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July 30, 2014

The difference in UGA and Clemson in 2013

Look forward to our first opponent, I was digging through some stats for comparison sake. Something that really jumped out at me was how good Clemson's defense was last year. With the focus on Watkins and Chad Morris's offense, Clemson's defense was quietly having a very good season.

Now, both teams have new QBs and strong D lines (noting UGA's front seven is a step behind Clemson's). Offensively, UGA should be more dynamic than Clemson. Defensively, Clemson's Vic Beasley is a difference maker.

Then there is Brent Venables' coaching, which really took hold with the defense in 2013. In 2012, Clemson was ranked 64th in total defense, with 396 ypg. In 2013, they were ranked 24th, with 356 ypg. They also dropped nearly 3 ppg from 2012. Now, it could be a function of improving talent, but some of it is getting the guys to play in a way Kevin Steele couldn't.

Now, if Jeremy Pruitt can get some improvement, particularly with scoring defense, we're in business.

GameDay to Fort Worth

@leefitting: First stop on the @CollegeGameDay tour will be Fort Worth for @OSUAthletics @FSU_Football. Join us @sundancesquare Shared via TweetCaster

Reigning national champion and nondescript football world over on campus site. So ESPN.


July 29, 2014

2014 ESPN Game Day Predictions, Weeks 1-5

Until ESPN confirms sites, all of this is speculation. I have listed the all known networks and times and all times listed below are Eastern. If I didn't list a time and/or network, it is because I couldn't find information on it. As usual, the go to for information on college football broadcast times and networks is

I'll assume, unless it is just a really, really compelling match up, GameDay will be at a WWL broadcast game (ABC/ESPN) site.

Week 1 (August 30)
Prediction: Georgia at Clemson (5:30pm, ABC)
Not a lock, but it is close. FSU vs. Oklahoma State could trump that, with FSU being the reigning National Champs, but they'll get some other chances, notably in week 4 with Clemson coming to town.
Other Candidates: FSU vs. Oklahoma State (8pm, ABC); LSU vs. Wisconsin (9pm, ESPN).

Week 2 (September 6)
Prediction: USC at Stanford (3:30pm, ABC)
Going off the charts here with a Pac-12 game. Yes, it is early...12:30 local. Oh, I have Michigan State at Oregon as my second choice.
Other Candidates: Michigan State at Oregon (5:30pm, Fox); Virginia Tech at Ohio State (7pm, ESPN)

Week 3 (September 13)
Prediction: Tennessee at Oklahoma (8pm, ESPN/ABC)
USC at Boston College could end up making the cut if they aren't in week 2. Also, if Tennessee is a dumpster fire, it is possible ESPN does one of their crazy wildcard picks with this week.
Other Candidates: USC at Boston College (8pm, ESPN/ABC); Georgia at South Carolina (3:30, CBS)

Week 4 (September 20)
Prediction: Clemson at FSU (TBA)
Actually, this is a great week for football. Miami at Nebraska might sneak in here, but it isn't 1989.
Other Candidates: Miami at Nebraska (8pm, ESPN/ABC); Florida at Alabama (TBA); Oregon at Washington State (TBA)

Week 5 (September 27)
Prediction: Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (TBA)
This week is a bit of a toss up. There aren't any rivalry games. The match-ups are very record dependent at this point in the season. I went with location here. This game will be in East Rutherford at Giant's Stadium, so it wouldn't surprise me if they do something with NYC in the background, or actually broadcast from Time Square, since that is so close to East Rutherford. It isn't unprecedented. They did Game Day from the USS San Diego for a Navy game a couple of years back.
Other Candidates: Missouri at South Carolina (TBA), Stanford at Washington (TBA), Oregon State at USC (TBA), Colorado at Cal (TBA); Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (TBA); Duke at Miami (TBA)

I'll do weeks 6-10 and 11-15 later.

ESPN to announce first GameDay site this week

@leefitting: Week 1 site for @CollegeGameDay to be announced this week. Getting close to kickin' er' off! #toemeetsleather Shared via TweetCaster

Hopefully, I'll be able to get my predicted Week 1-5 sites posted before then. The post is already scheduled for later this week, so I'm fighting technology and kids who are really invested in learning to water ski.

Is Georgia installing a new offense?

I keep coming back to something I can't resolve in my mind. Why do we keep listing Quayvon Hicks as an H back?

Think about that. We've lined up TEs fairly consistently at the end of the line, with the possible exception of spacing out Orson Charles on occasion. Ian Boyd at SB Nation thinks we are onto something.

I'm not saying that we'll wholesale change what we are doing, but think about this:
With Gurley and Hicks in the backfield running the inside zone read. It allows the offense to freeze the LBs, with the ends having to respect the possibility of a handoff to Gurley with Hicks on a lead block to seal the end, OR Hicks fading in the flats on one side, Gurley on the other, with any one of Conley, Bennett, Mitchell in a one on one with a safety that is biting inside.

Another option that is possibility is that we'll use the Hback as the lead on a pitch play. Or swinging Hicks out on a bubble screen.

Again, think about the physical similarities between Hicks and some of the best collegiate Hbacks we've seen, particularly playing for Clemson and Urban Meyer. Not to mention, that also takes some pressure off Mason.

I've got to say, I like the idea. Can't wait to see how they use Hicks.

July 28, 2014

The QB Strike Zone

The SEC thinks they know how to protect QBs more: By defining the area of the body a defender can hit them when they are in a throwing posture. The area from below the neck to above the knee is the area a defensive player can hit an offensive player in a 'passing posture.'

The penalty will be called regardless if the QB is inside or outside the pocket. If a player is blocked into the passer, there will be no penalty called.

On paper, this is a pretty good idea. It puts defensive players on notice that if they lunge for a QBs knees as he's passing the ball, he's getting a penalty. Think Nick Fairley type plays. We have targeting the head penalty in place already. The problem arises from the judgement calls on where hits are and if a player was blocked into the passer. 

Remember, these are the same folks that called a targeting on Ray Drew for a hit, which was upheld upon review, which was neither above the neck, nor anything remotely near a hard hit. In fact, he backed off the last second:
I'm all for protecting players, but their is a certain...zeal...officials have for making these calls. These calls, mind you, often change the momentum of drives and games, given the length of the penalty and the award of a first down. The officials now have more decisions to make in a split second, all while the voice of conference commissioners are in their heads about 'protecting players,' which is a cover for 'reducing exposure to lawsuits.'

Yeah, I don't see how this goes badly at all.

July 27, 2014

Brendan Douglas blows up people

Brendan Douglas is a dangerous man.
(h/t Bernie Dawg)

This is the primary reason I feel good about our offence. We've gotten good at the soul crushing long drives. Think the end of Florida or the South Carolina game where the master piece above came from. While Gurley is getting all the love, and for good reason, Brendan Douglas is very much a part of why I think out offense will help keep our defense covered.

I'm still mulling around an idea, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Georgia play out of a bit of different set this season. Jay Rome is hurt. Quayvon Hicks is listed as Hback. Something is up, which leads me to think Bobo is cooking up a bit of a different set, especially for when Brendan Douglas is in the game. Imagine this very play, with Hicks or Rome lead blocking out of the backfield.


July 26, 2014

Names for our defense

With the latest news of an arrest involving a defensive player (Bellamy for DUI, I can't post links from here), I figured we need a name for the defensive unit that will actually end up playing against Clemson.

My attempts:
The Relatively Clean Dozen
The Freshmen
The Replacements
Athens' not Wanted (yet)

Do your damage in the comments. I'm to the point of macabre humor on this. Let's just go full bore and win The Fulmer Cup, boys.

Gurley ranked number 3 player in the nation by SOE

Sports on Earth's Matt Brown had this to say in his breakdown of Gurley:
3. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. The NFL continues to shy away from drafting running backs early, but Gurley's the type of player who can be an exception. After rushing for 1,385 yards as a true freshman, injuries limited him to 10 games last year, yet he still ran for 989 yards (six per carry) and 10 touchdowns and caught 37 passes for 441 yards and six touchdowns. He's one of the most complete running backs in recent history, a 232-pounder who is frightening to tackle because of his size and physicality but can also break away from defenders in the open field.
Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston were two and one, respectively.

UGA placed Ramik Wilson (#39) and Leonard Floyd (#46) on the list, as well.

As far as players we'll face, Clemson's Vic Beasley (#6) and Garrett Grady (#71), South Carolina's Mike Davis (#34) and AJ Cann (#55), Tennessee's AJ Johnson (#84), Florida's Dante Fowler (#31) and Vernon Hargreaves (#10), and Auburn's Sammie Coates (#65), Reese Dismukes (#49), and Nick Marshall (#15) made the list.

July 25, 2014

A little vacation

I'm leaving today for a bit over a week, so I'll miss the opening of training camp and all of that. I'm sure I'll be tweeting regularly, and if I can find free wifi here and there, I'm sure I'll post some stuff.

Get psyched. We are nearly at five weeks until Clemson.


July 24, 2014

SEC Network to show classic games for each program

@MattSmithCFB: SEC Network's @Vol_Football classic games in first 2 weeks: 1999 Fiesta Bowl, 2004 vs FLA, 2005 at LSU, 2007 at UK, 2013 vs SC Shared via TweetCaster

Full listing of the games for UGA is below.  I didn't notice, but I'd guess Georgia will be in some of the other team's showings as well.

2007 Auburn at Georgia (UGA 45, AUB 20) – Fri. 8/15 (11 p.m. ET)
2013 LSU at Georgia (UGA 41, LSU 38) – Sat. 8/16 (1 a.m. ET)
2007 Georgia vs. Florida (UGA 42, FLA 30) – Sat. 8/16 (5 a.m. ET)
1980 South Carolina at Georgia (UGA 13, SC 10) – Sun. 8/17 (10 p.m. ET)

I'm looking forward yo that 1980 South Carolina game. I don't think I've ever seen it replayed.

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No social media for UGA freshmen

Not sure how I missed this
but I like it. And I get the hypocrisy of me thinking UGA freshmen should stay off social media, considering my problem enjoyment of social media, but my days are decidedly less full. And me thinking I'm awesome because some random stranger saying actually true.

Oh, and I'm probably a lot less likely to get trolled by a South Carolina fan in a way that is going to result in me making boneheaded decisions.

July 23, 2014

And then there was one

Of those that played check picture deposit games is left. John Taylor has been dismissed.

That leaves James Deloach.

And Louisville folks are having fun with it:
I don't have any inside info on Taylor going to Louisville, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

Where do Tech's dismissed players end up?

It looks like all three were for drugs, so Troy?

Got any better guesses, put them in the comments.

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