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August 20, 2014

Mixing it up on defense

One takeaway from yesterday's open practice is just how much rotation there will be on defense this year. While there is definitely a feature vs. bug discussion to be had, one thing that keeps floating around in my mind is how this will play out with personnel groupings.

It looks like Ramik is taking some time to get back into playing shape, but honestly, did we think/want him playing nearly every down as he did last season? And Floyd seems to be still banged up, but the coaches have been clear that Lorenzo Carter has earned playing time:
Carter will play whether Floyd is healthy or not.
“Either way, Lorenzo is going to play,” Richt said. “He’s had a really good camp. He’s like a lot of freshman. He’ll do something outstanding and he’ll have a brain lock.”
"Brain lock." That is concerning, especially considering we haven't put in Clemson's scout team yet. I hope we are just looking at this the way we would a regular practice scenario, installing the Clemson game plan/scout team to go against next weekend, but damn if it isn't hard to think we might need the extra time to get a very green defense ready for that first game.

All of this is to say that none of the news coming out of practice is making me feel any better about how we'll match up against a Clemson offense that is designed to feast on young DBs. Think how much they went at Brendan Langley last year.

The only upside of all these guys getting reps is that with Chad Morris' love of HUNH offense, 80+ plays isn't out of the question for our game. Those fresh legs could help late in the fourth quarter, even if they aren't quite sure what they are supposed to be doing.
TD

Hicks moving around

On one hand, Hicks getting reps as the first FB is a good sign for his progression as a blocker back at FB, yet the coaches recognize they want him on the field during passing situations. On the other, it means Rome and others aren't quite where the coaches want them to be.

We are now ten days from Clemson and Georgia hasn't started scout team work, which means our offense is our offense. I'll get to what that nugget suggests for defense, but the coaches think enough of what we are bringing to the table that they don't feel we need to scheme around Clemson.

That is both heartening and terrifying, especially considering Clemson's defensive line.
TD

Gator Kool-Aid

This is some good stuff. They have the Gators going 7-5 8-4, with a win over Georgia in an upset. Now, I'm all for some good home team puffery, and Lord knows I'm not very high on Georgia right now, but unless Florida has found offensive players to run their new season, points will still be at a premium.
TD

August 19, 2014

2014 SEC Helmet Schedule

Download at your leisure. And thanks to @UGAKerri.
TD

Defensive about defense

A few weeks ago, I was cautiously nervous about our defense. Now that we are inside two weeks to play, I'm approaching level 2 meltdown. We still haven't settled on starters at DB and now it is looking like our top returning player is wayyyy behind the eight ball in practice time:
Ramik Wilson: The Southeastern Conference’s returning leader in tackles from 2013, Wilson is still a starter at inside linebacker for the Bulldogs. However, Wilson missed significant time with an injury that kept him sidelined for most of camp. Because of how many practices he missed, it might take Wilson a little longer to return to playing form and it may be harder for him to be in complete shape for Clemson.
On the DB issue, I still maintain that we have the team we have, and I'm encouraged that Rico Johnson and JJ Green have both thrived in the switch over from offense. That still doesn't mean they are going to match with Swann, who is the other bright spot back there.

As for Ramik, I guess it is wait and see. I like what is being said about Reggie Carter, the overall substitution philosophy of Pruitt, and what that means for getting guys on the field, but Ramik is just that good, especially in rushing situations. Which, of course, isn't great for someone who is recovering from a concussion. That goes double for someone who is learning under a new position coach and DC.

The lone bright spot is the front line is settled and by all accounts are doing well, with plenty of very good players listed on the two deep.
TD

August 18, 2014

Petrino and Grantham: Is the honeymoon over?

I'd been hearing some rumors from friends in Louisville, but now this...
Not quite sure how it will play out, but it isn't hard to see where the Cardinal staff room isn't big enough for those two egos.
TD

UGA is ranked 12th in AP preseason poll

See the whole poll below. You can also drill down by voter in the tabs on the left of their page.

SEC Teams:
2: Alabama
6: Auburn
9: South Carolina
12: UGA
13: LSU
18: Ole Miss
21: Texas A&M
24: Missouri

Of course, the AP could name their own national champion, but with the current playoff structure, it'd take a very weird set of circumstances for them to do so. That means this is really just a way for the AP to help their affiliate newspapers fill column inches.

Alabama is the only SEC team to get a first place vote:
(###) Number of first place votes
1
Record: 0-0
PV Rank
-
Points
1,496
2
Alabama (1)
Record: 0-0
-
1,361
3
Oregon (1)
Record: 0-0
-
1,334
4
Oklahoma (1)
Record: 0-0
-
1,324
5
Record: 0-0
-
1,207
6
Record: 0-0
-
1,198
7
Record: 0-0
-
1,106
8
Record: 0-0
-
1,080
9
Record: 0-0
-
1,015
10
Record: 0-0
-
966
11
Record: 0-0
-
885
12
Record: 0-0
-
843
13
Record: 0-0
-
776
14
Record: 0-0
-
637
15
Record: 0-0
-
626
16
Record: 0-0
-
536
17
-
445
18
Record: 0-0
-
424
19
Record: 0-0
-
357
20
Record: 0-0
-
242
21
Record: 0-0
-
238
22
Record: 0-0
-
226
23
Record: 0-0
-
194
24
Record: 0-0
-
134
25
Record: 0-0
-
130
 
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