Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Unshocking News of the Day: Ken Malcome Comes Back

Ken Malcome has decided to rethink his decision to transfer and has returned to the Georgia football team. When the news broke yesterday, I did not write anything because I honestly felt he would be back. He is a redshirt freshman who is currently stuck on the bench behind a true freshman, a converted linebacker, and two guys shorted than Prince Miller was. I can't blame him for being disappointed.

But I had a feeling he would change his mind. I am sure he got calls from his teammates and parents and asked him to really think about what he was doing. Yes, he may be back on the depth chart now, but Samuel and Thomas are juniors who will be gone after next season. Crowell will be the feature back, but even when we had Knowshon, Thomas Brown and Caleb King got a good number of carries.

Can I honestly say I expect Malcome to complete his remain eligibility at Georgia? Right now, the answer is no. But he will be with the team at least the remainder of this season.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Important is the Mississippi State Game?

My simple answer is that this is the most important game left on Georgia's schedule. While all of the big rivalry games remain on the schedule, they will have no added story lines unless the Dawgs beat the Dogs on Saturday. Walk with me.

A Georgia win means the Dawgs will be back over .500 in the SEC for the first time since early in the season in 2009. This will be Georgia's last home game for over a month, so now is the last chance to have the home crowd help the Dawgs build the confidence they need to compete in Jacksonville. The next two games are in the state of Tennessee against clubs that Georgia should be favored to beat.

Tennessee is still a very young team that lost its best offensive player (Justin Hunter) to injury. They put up impressive numbers against lesser schools to start the season, but against Florida they looked like the young team that they are. For Georgia, this game will not be easy to win, but coming into Neyland with a winning record should give them the extra boost of confidence needed to pull out the victory.

The next week is Vanderbilt, a team that many people think are much improved. But last Saturday night, Vanderbilt could not take advantage of 4 Stephen Garcia interceptions andcould only score 3 points on a South Carolina team that Georgia put up 42 on. This may not be the 40 something to nothing blowout like it was last year, but the Dawgs should win.

If all this shakes out, Georgia could find itself at 5-2 heading into the off week. With both losses coming against top 15 teams, they most certainly will be back in the national rankings. Florida is always tough and this year will be no exception. But knowing that a win the next week over New Mexico State will secure a bowl birth again should take some of the pressure off the Dawgs.

But none of this happens without a win Saturday. A loss on Saturday means a losing record heading into a month away from home.

Do you honestly think Coach Richt would survive coming home from Jacksonville with a 3-5 record and Auburn and Tech still left on the schedule? I don't think so.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Looking Back at Ole Miss

What the hell, Georgia fans? Why is it that everywhere I go, people seemed to be upset about the outcome of the game this past Saturday. Why? Was the game perfect, certainly not. But it was a solid victory over an SEC team on the road. Here are my thoughts on Saturday's victory and what it means going forward.
  • First things first, the defense was dominant. Holding a team to under 200 yards of offense, whether it is Ole Miss or Soutwestern Prairie View State means you had a solid effort from your defensive squad. Coach Grantham's guys are finally starting to figure things out and it shows. And my counter argument to, it was only Ole Miss, is that they still did not have 200 yards even with a trick play that went for almost 40. Take out the drive where they scored their only offensive TD, and the Rebels gained around 130 yards. That's awesome.
  • Crowell is becoming the feature back we thought. He had big run after big run in the first. And even though he was clearly winded in the second, he still made some nice cuts to pick up extra yards. Samuel is serviceable, if he would just learn to stay on his feet. And Carlton Thomas is slowly but surely making me a believer.
  • Hello Aron White. Glad to see our other tight end finally make an impact.
  • Offensive play calling was much better, but I did not understand the reasoning for going so conservative when the lead was only 11.
  • Justin Anderson is not good, but unfortunately he is all we have got right now.
  • Murray looked better this week than he did against Coastal Carolina. Too bad Bobo won't let him take more shots down field. The interception was on OC, not Murray. The only bad 'lock on' moment I saw was the 4th and goal when he tried to pass to Crowell. But the pass interference was called, so it doesn't really matter.
  • Special teams is really struggling right now. Part of it is players (Walsh-what the hell) and a lot of it is coaching. After great games against the Carolina school, Brandon Boykin had a bad day on kick returns. Drew Butler continues to kick well, however.
  • Shawn Williams is a beast. I can't wait to see him and Olgetree back in the same lineup. Remember that the defense did all this on Saturday without Ogletree and Christian Robinson.
  • What is the biggest difference in Georgia's pass defense now vs. 2 years ago? Now, the corners and safeties actually play the ball instead of the crap Willie used to have them do. I saw at least three break ups that could have been catches if the players had not watched the ball and knocked it down.
So, at the end of the day, it was a horrible Ole Miss team that we let hang around a little too much. But was the final outcome ever really in doubt? I don't think so. This game reminded me a lot of the 2008 game at Arizona State. If the Dawgs defense can continue the momentum this week against a Mississippi State team that needed OT to beat Louisiana Tech, the Dawgs could have a winning record for the first time since opening day in 2010.