Friday, December 2, 2011

SEC Championship - Prediction

Unfortunately, I had to go out of town this week for a funeral and this did not allow me to provide much preview for the game. At this point, you have all seen a million break downs so I will leave you with a preview.
No matter what happens, this has been a great season for the Dawgs. I honestly feel we are headed in the right direction and will be a contender for the national championship next year. But as much as this team has improved, LSU has been amazing all season long. The Dawgs will put up a fight and it will not be easy like some think. But depth in the fourth quarter will help the Tigers pull the victory.
LSU 24, Georgia 17

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is this the best defense of the Richt Era?

Todd Grantham has done an amazing job with the Georgia defense. The idiots on television can say what they want about weak schedules, but the improvements we have seen this year speak for themselves. You don't have a top 10 defense in the country by luck. My question is whether or not this year's defense is the best of the Mark Ricth era, even better than the Van Gorder units. Take a look at this comparison of the national rankings for Georgia's defense during the 2002 SEC season, the 2003 SEC East Champion season, the 2005 SEC Championship season, the 2007 #2 final ranking season, 2009 (Willie's last stand) and this year:

Of the 9 major defensive categories I examined, the 2011 squad had the best national ranking in 5 of them. Arguably, this is the best defense since 2003 when the unit featuring David Pollack, Odell Thurman, and Thomas Davis helped the Dawgs win 10 games despite an offense that struggled all year. What sticks out even more is the deterioration under Martinez and the rebound under Grantham. Georgia finished second in the nation in 2007 because of the strength of the offense and the ability to get sacks, not because of their ability to cover receivers.

Can I honestly say this is the best defense of the Richt era? I don't know. But what I can say is Coach Grantham has returned us to the defense glory we once had and I don't see that changing with the very experienced group we having coming back in 2012.

Monday, November 28, 2011

We Run...We Pass.. We Own this State

For the 10th time in 11 years under Coach Mark Richt, the Georgia Bulldogs defeated in-state rival Georgia Tech by a score of 31-17 on Saturday. The margin of victory was 14, but like many other Georgia games this year, the game was really not that close. People were concerned that Georgia would be looking ahead to the SEC Championship. They were wrong (I'm looking at you, Corso and Herbstreit). Once again, we played without our starting running back and Georgia Tech took out our best defensive tackle with a cut block on the first play from scrimmage. Didn't matter. The Dawgs put "Boots to Asses". Here are my thoughts on victory 10 of the 2011 season:

  • Dirty play by Georgia Tech knocks Tyson out and what happens? Garrison Smith comes in and play lights out all game. Paul Johnson calls a timeout to try and ice Walsh and Walsh gets a second shot and makes it. Karma bitches!
  • John Jenkins is every bit the player we hoped. His presence made the difference in how we defended Tech last year and this year.
  • Tech still seemed to be able to pick up too many yards on the sweep play. Why can't we stop it when we know they are going to run it on third down.
  • Bad game for Christian Robinson, but he is definitely the emotional leader on defense. I am very glad he is a part of our team.
  • Shawn Williams vs. Mike Gilliard for biggest surprise play on Georgia this year. Both were after thoughts in the depth chart pre-season.
  • I thought Brandon Boykin was going the distance.
  • When you get a big running back near the ground, fall on him. We can't let LSU backs keep their feet this week.
  • Murray looked sharp like he did against Auburn. The only bad pass was missing a receiver wide open in the end zone (can't remember if it was King or Mitchell).
  • Speaking of Mitchell. Can you think of a better freshman trio than Mitchell, Bennett, and Conley? I sure can't.
  • Orson Charles could have had 10 catches at least if we kept throwing to him. Tech had no answers for him.
  • I am proud of Ken Malcome. He made sure we held the lead with his hard running in the fourth when Tech knew we were trying to kill clock. If Crowell is still hampered and Samuel is 100%, I would keep Malcome for LSU.
Overall, a great day for Georgia once again. After the 0-2 start, nothing feels better than getting win 10 against Georgia Tech. Now, it is the Dawgs' turn to upset someone.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

"That's how winning is done"

I will be back tomorrow to offer my review of the Tech game and begin to look at LSU. But until then, I offer this quote from the last Rocky movie which perfectly sums up what the attitude the Dawgs should take heading into this match up:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!