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September 29, 2014

Sheldon Dawson off the team

Developing story, but it was abrupt, as he played Saturday. There is some insider speculation on the boards, but this isn't a great thing to be happening 1/3 of the way through the season.

UPDATE: Dasher at UGASports has a bit more:
No other details were given, but according to two sources familiar with the situation, the dismissal had to do with a disagreement the Memphis native had with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, allegedly over playing time. 
If he got in a pissing match with a coach at practice, that is what is to be expected, from what I've heard about Coach Pruitt.

Georgia at Missouri kickoff time set...for a six day hold

You have got to be kidding me...
Five SEC games have been designated for a six-day hold for CBS for games to be televised on October 11, meaning that television selections for that date will not be made until after the games of October 4.
That's nuts. The only upside is that it increases the possibility of an evening kickoff, if that is what you are looking for.

-Georgia-Missouri kickoff TBD (Emerson, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer) - notes the full list of possibilities for game times and networks

SEC Power Poll Ballot: Week 5

  1. Alabama: Still hasn't been behind against NC State.
  2. Texas A&M: Arkansas gave the Aggies all they could handle by exposing A&M's offensive weakness. Then A&M found new plays that Arkansas hadn't practiced for.
  3. Auburn: Hasn't recruited anyone with active felonies in over a week.
  4. Mississippi State: At least we had a week off from hearing cowbells.
  5. Georgia: As long as Todd Gurley has two functioning legs, the Dawgs will hang around with teams long enough to win.
  6. Ole Miss: Relax Ole Miss bros, beat Bama and you'll be moving on up. But you can't wait until the 4th quarter to put them away.
  7. LSU: Yeah, but UGA held their Sun Belt cupcake scoreless.
  8. Arkansas: I'll never understand Arkansas trying to become a passing team in the 4th quarter, but coaching matters when you are splitting hairs.
  9. Missouri: What? I mean, what the what? Missouri's last two weeks are an exact microcosm of the SEC East.
  10. South Carolina: Bro, Indiana scored more than 20 on Missouri.
  11. Tennessee: They missed their chance to win a big game this year. They don't match up with any other big name rival the way they matched up with Georgia.
  12. Florida: Sad to say, but an off week has been the best thing for those still in Muschamp's camp.
  13. Kentucky: Vandy's D had their best game of the season against the Wildcats. Welcome back to 13th place, Kentucky.
  14. Vandy: I'm starting to think Vandy plays to the level of their competition, which means it might be too early to count them out of the SEC East.
If I'm being honest, I'd rank Mississippi State, UGA, and Ole Miss as a tie. I'd do the same with LSU and Arkansas. And we may still have to go to a coin toss to see who gets slaughtered by the West in Atlanta.


3 questions answered: Tennessee

  1. How much does Tennessee have success throwing the ball? Almost enough? As I noted yesterday, they didn't light us up, but they were able to do enough to stick around. 
  2. Can we grind it out? The time of possession ended up being close, but that was due to the first quarter being nearly 10 mins vs. 5 minutes in favor of Tennessee. Hard to complain about grinding it out when we basically just hand it off to Gurley on 4th and 4 inside of a minute needing a first down to seal a win.
  3. Can special teams remain special in a good way? I'm guessing some GA is getting fired today for the punt snafus. Too bad it is only a GA in charge of that.
We are what we are. These types of games are our lot.

September 28, 2014

Notes of the really irrelevant: Polls for Week 5

UGA up one more in Coaches' poll to 12th. Fall one to 14th in AP. All the SEC West, but Arkansas, are in both polls.

Missouri kickoff time best guess

Good news: If you aren't going to the game, I think it'll be a national telecast so you'll be able to see it.

Bad news: October 11th is CBS's noon/3:30 double header weekend.

SEC Schedule for October 11th
Sat, Oct 11 TBD # 3 Alabama at Arkansas
Sat, Oct 11 TBD # 17 LSU at Florida
Sat, Oct 11 TBD Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky
Sat, Oct 11 TBD # 10 Ole Miss at # 6 Texas A&M
Sat, Oct 11 TBD # 5 Auburn at # 14 Mississippi State
Sat, Oct 11 TBD # 12 Georgia at Missouri
Sat, Oct 11 TBD Chattanooga at Tennessee
Sat, Oct 11 TBD Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt

Fortunately, Ole Miss at Texas A&M and Auburn at Mississippi State are likely to be first picks over UGA-Missouri at the 3:30pm kickoff. The noon kickoff for CBS is basically a joint pick with ESPN for their games kickoffs. The big caveat on that is the in the past few years, both CBS games have been national exclusives, meaning no ESPN network noon kickoffs.

When you look at the rest of the games, there are three/four clear SEC Network games. That leaves UGA at Missouri and Alabama at Arkansas, along with whichever of the other two isn't a 3:30 CBS kickoff for that noon game, with the other two going on ESPN networks for evening kickoffs.

My best guess is we'll be one of those evening kickoffs, probably something like 7:30 eastern on ESPN2. I could see CBS putting us in one of thier games since they could have the SEC East battle and an SEC West battle in one day, but I would think games featuring ranked opponents, and/or the possibility of an Alabama upset, trumps the SEC East thing.

Related: I hope they don't pull that 6 day option crap.

On our pass defense

I have two ideas:
  1. Never play prevent again.
  2. Any time we have a passing situation, we run one deep safety with man on man press coverage, an LB to green dog whomever is the most likely rushing threat or RB on a wheel, and blitz the crap out of everyone else. 
If we can't provide consistent pass coverage, taking away routes while making the QB decide what to do in a hurry is the only consistent pass protection scheme we've shown to have success with.

Georgia's passing issues

I can't help but to think Mason has something going on with his arm. Folks keep saying wait from Mitchell or wait for JSW, but having someone to throw deep to is clearly not the issue. Mason can't throw a decent deep ball right now. Against Troy, we went run early. I can't say it was on purpose because it is becoming clear that our passing offense is predicated on swing passes to the flats and quick cross routes.

And that is solely by design. I believe because that is what we are capable of throwing without significant issues. The problem with that is teams will continue to put 6-8 in the box because they'll trade off the chance of a long pass play on a missed tackle or assignment than have Georgia run all over them.

At some point, that will be a loss because we can't get that extra yard see the South Carolina game.

The tough part: there is no real answer. Clearly the coaches think Hutson Mason is our best option at QB. So he is our QB. I believe we'll continue to have these gut wrenching games because other teams can slow our running game down enough, and they can pass against us.

More maddening? It is looking more and more likely that Mason and his receivers aren't on the same page:
"It's a lot more fun to learn from your mistakes after a win. ... It's just a little frustrating when you rep stuff all week, and you don't execute it right."
Even Conley is taking some of the blame...
“I was wrong on my route, and I caused that interception,” Conley said. “I was supposed to be able to adjust by the way I ran it off the line. I messed it up at the line, and it gave the corner position. It’s one where I’m supposed to beat my guy at the line, and I’m supposed to establish a cushion at the sideline. What I did at the line didn’t establish that cushion.”
It's hard to say if that is Conley trying to take some of the blame off his QB or if he believes that, but it still doesn't paint a good picture when an 'average one on one' route gets executed in a way where the only person with an opportunity to catch the ball was the defender.


Sunday Morning Comes: Tennessee

It is never easy...

I'm still torn about Georgia's play. Was it uninspired? Was it lackadaisical? Did we just happen to face a Tennessee that brought their 'A' game and that is why we struggled to put them away? I have a different theory: absent another special performance à la the Clemson game, this is what we are going to see from our football team. I'll have more about our passing game and defense, but we'll continue to scrape by teams because of those issues.
  • Todd Gurley is a damn man. That is all.
  • Give Mason props for a couple of nice down field blocks, including taking on a streaking LB. No one should doubt his desire to win.
  • I was surprised at how we struggled with a a young Tennessee offensive line. I believe Pruitt thought (like all of us, I suppose) that he'd get a decent pass rush with bringing three or four. We were wrong.
  • That being said, our pass rush kept Tennessee from winning the game. I am convinced of that. There was a time in the third quarter when I haz crayon Bobo decided to throw the ball some, just because. That rush kept Tennessee's QB from getting comfortable.
  • The offensive line did ok at times, but their penalties killed us.
  • On the flip side, I thought our defensive front did great against their run offense...on inside runs. They ate our lunch on the edge.
  • Expect another 'yeah we messed up, but so what' letter from the SEC regarding the non-fumble.
  • I'll get to Mason later today, but I have to think he is having issues with his arm. I don't recall him being able to hurt guys with his throws, but he didn't throw anything with zip on it yesterday. And the second interception, he under threw Conley by at least three yards. He gets that ball in front of him, Conley scores.
  • I'm not sure if we ever go back to prevent defense. Tennessee scored two TDs on 14 plays for 141 yards in 3:01 against prevent.
  • While I'm down on our pass coverage, generally, we look much improved in separating the ball from receivers that have gotten their hands on the ball. I can think of at least three passes that Worley/Peterlman got to receivers that we knocked out of the receivers' hands. As long as we struggle in coverage, that will continue to be huge for us.
  • Oh. Special teams, especially punt coverage. Dude.
Looking over the stats, it is hard to say Tennessee did anything different than they've done in other games. They had the same passing % and yards per pass they did against Arkansas State. The biggest difference between our game and their loss to Oklahoma were long passing plays. The Vols completed 8 more passes on the same number of attempts against Georgia. That is the difference between domination and a skin of your teeth win.

Dispatches from Columbia: South Carolina classy edition

Missouri wins 21-20. Gamecock fan is sadz. Glad her 14 yo son is being classy.
The SEC East is officially as bad as the Big Ten North Coastal Leaders West.

September 27, 2014

Noon games and all

Well, we find ourselves drinking tailgating early again. Get some drinks tailgates and get here.

September 26, 2014

Sanford wins

Way to go Dawg fans. Sanford Stadium moves on.


3 Questions: Tennessee

  1. How much does Tennessee have success throwing the ball? If the Vols have a chance, they have to be able to complete longer passes. Teams have been able to do that against our secondary. The bigger issue facing Tennessee is keeping Worley from having to flee for his life. Their offensive line is young and hasn't looked all that great. Which plays right into Georgia's defensive strength.
  2. Can we grind it out? I mentioned the other day that no one can throw against our defense if our offense is on the field. It wouldn't surprise me to see us run the ball a bunch just to keep the defense on the side lines. Actually, that makes sense considering out running backs and what we've seen out of the passing offense. What worries me is that we give up some special teams scores and have to pass the ball.
  3. Can special teams remain special in a good way? The UT game was the start of some bad juju for Colin Barber, who got hurt on the blocked punt. Georgia has looked on the positive side of merely competent on special teams the first quarter of the season. Having another strong game will certainly go a long way in helping us win tomorrow.
Blutarsky pointed out something I've been mulling all week (while sitting in meetings without real internet), that being UGA is apparently much better than the Vols are. Even the eyeball test gives that impression, considering Georgia's two wins and one loss vs. Tennessee's two wins and one loss. Still, there is something about this game that has me concerned. 

Needing a Pig Howard fumble last year to pull out a win will do that to a man.

Friday morning misery: Tennessee

* Last year: injuries, fumbles, blocked punts. This year: more of the same.
* What if we have to pass to win.
* Justin Worley will look like Dylan Thompson. A lot.
* Todd Gurley's ankle.
* Tennessee's offensive line will grow up.
* Noon kickoff blues
* All of their receivers but Pig Howard are as big as Jay Rome.
* The ever rotating cast in the defensive backfield remainings ever rotating.

I need a drink.

September 25, 2014

Picks are due

I've been traveling this week, so I nearly missed the Thursday night UCLA game we have in our pool.  Be sure to get your picks in.
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