Friday, November 4, 2011

A Welcome Homecoming

The Dawgs return to Athens for their first home game since beating Mississippi State back on October 1. And after the hard fought victory over the Gators in Jacksonville last week, getting a cupcake game could not come at a better time. I am not going to take much time talk about tomorrow's opponent, the New Mexico State Aggies. I did a profile of them earlier this year that you can check out here. They are a bad team from a bad conference who the Dawgs should beat handily. They do have a decent passing offense and are one of the better teams in the country at kickoff returns (which does scare me a little bit). But other than that, there is not much to talk about.

As for Georgia, the feel good vibes from the Florida victory were quickly dashed this week with the suspension of Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas, and Ken Malcome. The controversy surrounding these suspensions is BS and it seems like everyone is trying to take shots at Mark Richt. But the truth of the matter is the tests took place on Thursday, they got the results on Monday, and the players were automatically suspended per AA policy on Tuesday. I really have to laugh at the Florida and Auburn fans who are complaining, since if this had happened at their schools these guys would be playing this week. In the end, it is just an extra week of rest for these backs who we will need down the stretch with Richard Samuel out with ankle surgery (yes, even Ken Malcome).

This Saturday should be a good chance for the Dawgs to rest some guys and get some backups into the game. Despite his insane 4 sack effort last week, Jarvis Jones has an MCL sprain and I would love to see him get some rest. Maybe we get to see more Ray drew? I'd also like to see Mark Richt give Mason some snaps, just in case Auburn decides to carry on the traditions of Nick Fairley and take cheap shots next week.

Despite the suspensions, I feel like the team is in a really good place right now. A win tomorrow (which would be 7 in a row) coupled with an Arkansas victory over South Carolina could mean next week's game with Auburn will pretty much decide the SEC East (there's no way we lose to Kentucky with the East on the line). From a team that started 0-2 and was getting killed in the media to a potential SEC Championship birth, I am proud of this year's squad.

Georgia 48, NMSU 10


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So, what will the play book look like on Saturday?

Since we have exactly zero scholarship running backs healthy or eligible for Saturday, I predict a heavy dose of passing. I'm thinking the play book will look something like this:

Good luck boys!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Glory, Glory...HALLELUJAH!!!!

My first trip to Jacksonville since the victory in 2004 proved to be victorious this time around. I guess that means I am going to have to make the trip every year. I don't care how ugly the victory was, it was still a victory. And in this series, that is all that matters.

I will only spend a little breath on the bads, because we all know them. Special teams...WTF. Blair needs to see a shrink or something. The kick coverage was horrible too, even though I noticed a few more starters like Ogletree and Samuel out there. Murray made some great passes, but missed a couple of easy wide open throws. No where near as bad as last year, but still. Everything else wasn't perfect, but we won, so they are forgiveable. Now, onto the bright spots.

  • People can give Todd Grantham crap all he wants about being a hothead, but he is one hell of a defensive football coach. He has turned this team into one of the best in the country in just two years. After the first play of the game that went for 72 yards, Florida had a grand total of around 160 yards. That is phenomenal against ANY team. The blitz worked well and we did exactly what you are supposed to do to a quarterback with a gimpy leg, make him feel uncomfortable.
  • Jarvis Jones has been in beast mode all season, but it really showed. Man, I wish he would have came to Georgia straight out of high school. Grantham gets a lot of the credit for the defensive improvement, but I think Jones deserves a little bit as well. He is the play maker we needed to make the rest of the scheme work.
  • Ogletree. Bad ass. All I need to say.
  • Crowell had another solid game but the injuries keep biting him. I was proud to see him come back on the final drive and pick up a huge first down. People seem to be a little down on him right now, but come next season, injuries and conditioning will not be a problem.
  • Coach Richt and Mike Bob deserve a lot of credit as well. The offensive game plan was pretty damn good. If Murray had not been all over the place with a few passes (and Walsh could actually make 30 yard field goals) this game could have been very one-sided. The play calling was very good.
  • Hello Christian Conley! A couple of huge catches and one key PI call. It makes me giddy to think about the wide receiver position next season. King, Mitchell, Brown, Bennett, Wooten, Conley, and 6'7'' Lonnie Outlaw. That's a lot of size an experience for Murray to throw to.
  • My final nod of the week goes to the much maligned Richard Samuel. He may still fall over way to easy when hit from the side and may never live up to the 5 star recruit he was out of high school, but Saturday this kid wanted that game and it was his determination that keyed the strong second half from the Dawgs. He ran hard and put his head down on every carry and showed the kind of emotion that has been missing in the Georgia backfield the last few years. When he crossed the goal line to give Georgia the lead, his excitement made me finally believe we were going to win the game. 17 carries for 58 yards may not be an impressive line, but this kid had one hell of a football game. It has been a long time, but in honor of Samuel's first touchdown since September 19, 2009, I present to you the return of the RICHARD SAMUEL TOUCHDOWN PYGMY GOAT (for more info, read this)
This was just a great weekend. A gritty, gutsy effort for the Dawgs. This is the type of game that Georgia loses in this series, but we somehow found a way to win. The celebration was great and my favorite quote came from Georgia receiver Michael Bennett:

"I've never seen so many drunk people in my life. I jumped in crowd and all I could smell was whiskey."

And in victory, what a glorious smell that is!