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September 5, 2006

Thoughts from a Long Weekend of Mostly Bad Football

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Rambling this and that....

WKU - I'm patient and understanding of the financial realities of the situation that we're in scheduling wise. I know that we need 1-2 teams per year that will give us a game without a return trip. Also, the rumors of the AD's office reaching out t bigger names for the schedule are exciting. However, Div I-AAs other than GSU offer nothing of interest. I've never been less up for a game than I was this one, and I've never known so many folks who refuse to leave a game early walk back to the tailgate on this one. When there's absolutely positively no chance that you lose a game, it sort of spoils some of the magic of going. That said, we sold the place out and attendance was way, way higher than I expected. Because of that, I'd wager that there's no end to our yearly Div I-AA seal clubbing.

QBs - Joe T is trying hard. He's probably a good leader, and his teammates love him. I'm no QB guru, but after watching Arkansas, Florida, G-Day and WKU I'm not encouraged. It doesn't look like he has the release, arm strength or quick decision making after the snap to get us to the SEC Championship game. As my brother Roy said, "We'd be better off with Cory Phillips right now."

[Random Photo of Mikey Henderson from]

Stafford - Lots of folks want to see Stafford start SC. It isn't going to happen, and it shouldn't. When Richt goes to him as a starter, he's turning to him for good. He can't yank him after a few INTs in his first start on the road and wreck his confidence (See Drew Weatherford's first year and Erik Ainge last year for how not to handle QBs). If he comes in against SC, it'll be because we're either way down or way up and whatever happens the expectations will be low. If he goes in, he's not coming out. That's why you can't rush him.

My Prediction of a Redshirt for Stafford - Well, I didn't know that JT3 and Cox were going to look that medicore.

[Random Photo of Joe Cox from]

Run Blocking - We don't. It's back to the drawing board. Why didn't we just blow them off the ball at the line of scrimmage? Why do we insist on standing up at the point of attack and dancing with the DL? I don't get it. That said, pass blocking looked better than I expected.

SC Game - Our biggest assets are special teams, defense and running backs. Our biggest weakness is QBs, WRs and run blocking. SC is going to stick 13 or 14 men in the box and force us to throw it, and we don't throw, catch or run block well enough to move the ball on them. Luckily their offense stinks too. First one to 18 wins.

New Play Clock Rules -- Richt can complain all he wants about it, and I don't blame him. But if there were EVER a year for this experiment. This is it. With our offense, we're going to need shorter games. It will work to our advantage.

UK vs. Lville - 28-0 before UK scores a point. That's why you don't renew Rich Brooks contract. UK let Guy Morris walk away over a $200,000 pay raise while Louisville pays their coach over $2 million. That's all you need to know about UK vs. UL.

Ole Miss vs. Memphis - Better OL coaching plus 3 new skill players equals much further along than I thought. OM might be in the Liberty Bowl this December. However, other teams are going to scheme that young WR a heap differently than Memphis did.

Miami vs. FSU - Watching FSU try to run the ball is a lot like watching us. Only worse. No ability to move the line of scrimmage whatsoever. Both of these teams will lose another game before the end of the season because they just don't have the offense. GT can beat Miami again.


ND vs. GT - Cause and effect question. Did GT's offense stop in the second half because Gailey put the headset back on, or did he put the headset on after they stalled? I'm not sure, but once he had the headset on there was no movement offensively and Calvin saw it maybe once more. Did my heart good. No special teams + Reggie Ball + weak DBs = same old 7-5 GT.

UAB - they scared the crap out of Oklahoma, but much of that was OU self destructing with turnovers. UAB isn't as good as the score indicated.

Colorado - Dan Hawkins is now official off the Sooper Genius Watch List. Wow. I mean just wow. Can you imagine the meltdown if our new coach lost to a Div I-AA team? I'd be apoplexic.

More later.



Matthew said...

Good stuff as usual. Cannot wait to see how things unfold this week.

Anonymous said...

The handwringing over JT3 is misplaced. Because I am lazy, I took my facts from Mr. Ching's blog:

Here's a rundown on each drive the QBs were in for, in order:
Joe T:
3-and-out, punt
3 plays, 18 yards, TD pass
6 plays, 26 yards, FG
10 plays, 46 yards, TD
3-and-out, punt
8 plays, 44 yards, FG
3-and-out, punt

Joe Cox:
7 plays, 46 yards, TD
1 play, interception

Matthew Stafford:
3 plays, 45 yards, TD
1 play, safety
5 plays, 65 yards, TD

Basically, Joe was in seven series, scored four times, and with better pass catching in particular, that might have well been 6 of 7. Most importantly, the statement that he doesn't make the quick decision after the snap is just plain wrong per CMR and Bobo; it may be his best asset.

Doug said...

Between Houston Nutt's Arkansas team getting sodomized a second straight year by USC, Dirk Koetter's Arizona State team needing a fourth-quarter Viagra burst to get away from Northern Arizona, and Dan Hawkins's Colorado team getting humiliated by Montana State, it wasn't exactly a banner weekend for former Boise State coaches, was it? The last two, in particular, seem to belie the contention of Heismanpundit and others that BSU is doing something revolutionary that will one day bring the BCS conferences to their knees. Koetter's teams have been characterized by sky-high offenses with defenses that can stop precisely nobody, and despite He Is Manpundit's contention that defense doesn't matter nearly as much as we SEC troglodytes say it does, that defensive deficiency is the primary reason why ASU can't get over the top in the Pac-10, and why Koetter's job security is so precarious at this point.

And Colorado . . . jeez. I mean, nobody thought they'd be going back to BCS bowls right away, and nobody thought their current QB was The Answer, but still, you just don't lose to D-IAA opponents at home. Georgia's QB play wasn't anything to write home about either, but we still managed to have our opponent face-down and bleeding on the mat after less than a half Saturday -- what's Colorado's excuse? And granted, Barnett left one hell of a mess behind when he got ridden out of Boulder, but even with Hawkins's influence this still looks like a recovery that's going to be measured in years rather than months.

C. Paul said...


Great stuff as always. I've watched the game several times now and two things strike me at first glance:

1. How much will adding Inman & Smith help our OL from games 3-12?

2. The DEF has a chance to be special this year.

To point 1: like you I was expecting to see us "run at will" against them by just dominating the line of scrimmage - but the play of S. Watts and Shack in particular was troubling. Once Inman comes back, does Shack or Turner start (and I thought Turner looked OK)?

To point 2, the DEF looks as quick as I've seen from any team in a while. Moses and Johnson were way too much for WKU and I thought Jeff Owens was fantastic. The depth in the secondary is sick right now when guys like CJ Byrd & Bryan Evans don't start but that's a great problem to have.

I'd add on a conference level, UT looked good for a first game, but am afraid they may have focused too much on that first game. If nothing else, it will make UF sweat for the next few weeks.

Go Dawgs!!

UGA 20
Cocks 17

S.A.W.B. said...

I'll come on board saying that I don't think it's time to worry about the passing game yet. CMR ran the most vanilla of offensive game plans this past week, and it showed.

Conservative passing, up the middle running, just enough flair to keep WKU on their heels all day. MoMass barely played, and had one catch for 2 yards. MoMass will be more involved in the offense this week against the Columbia Bums.

Defense looks stout again, and if the MSU game is any indication, Quentin Moses, Charles Johnson, and Jeff Owens might as well bring lawn chairs, since they'll be sitting in USC's backfield all freaking day.

And I know it was halftime warmups, but it's always a good sign when your kicker is hitting from 65-66 yards...

oreo said...

Great work on the blog.

About the I-AA teams...I don't think we'll see a stop in scheduling those.
1.I-AA victories count toward bowl-eligibiilty every year now
2.I-AA teams will request less payoff than bottom-shelf I-A teams AND don't require a trip back like the better I-A teams. So basically it's the best deal for athletic departments
3.Some bcs computers rank all the it's really not as bad in the computers as it used to be
4.A lot of people (myself included) believe that a top I-AA school is better than a bottom I-A school. Teams like Richmond, App State, etc are probably better teams than Buffalo, etc.

No, it's not sexy like UT-Ohio State, but it makes a lot of sense to athletic depts...especially when we continue to fill up the stadium regardless.

Anonymous said...

Calling USC's offense bad...just pull out a few tapes from last year then think twice before going by the first game of the season.

Liquid Courage said...

An impressive performance by Tennessee, as much as I hate to say it. Hiring Cutcliffe looks to be brilliant.

FSU-Miami was painful- think ESPN overhyped a little? BTW- they have got to get rid of Lou Holtz and Bill Curry. Both are AWFUL.

The "I'm Georgia" campaign is lame. Why is UGA trying to turn Sanford into Turner Field- trying to create new crap where we already have tradition? Shakers vs. towels? Last time I checked you could not stir a bourbon and Coke with a towel.

BCS Wyatt said...

Two teams that I was hoping to be down or overrated — Notre Dame and USC — are far from it.

1) Notre Dame — You need at LEAST two defensive game plans to beat these guys. The first one to hopefully stall Weis and Quinn and get a slight lead. And the second game plan to use once Weis figures out what your defense it trying to do. Repeat step one and two until the game is over. Coach Weis had a great quote at half time. To sum it up — Weis told the sideline reporter, after being asked what he is going to change at half time, that he didn’t have to wait till half time to make changes and he has already made the necessary changes. Point in case: Quinn was pressured early but only got sacked once (opening drive) and was forced into one intentional grounding a few drives later. I felt this way last year and do once again. Nobody protects the QB better than Weis. This includes great protection schemes, teaching a QB when to get rid of the ball, and situational offense.
2) USC — Quarterbacks U — JDB 24 of 35 for 261 yards 3TD 0 Picks. Maybe, and that is a big MAYBE, a team that can actually score some points, Nebraska, can test them on the 16th.

Great quote by Coach Bowden after beating Miami: “They (Miami) may have the best defense in the nation …. if not then us.” Terrific defense on both sides. Michigan can you take note on how get many people around the ball at the same time?
Big Wins — Notre Dame & USC winning on the road. Tenn crushing Cal and Florida State over Miami. Other than that, it was status quo for I-A football teams beating up on 1-AA teams. Unless you follow some Buffalo named Ralphy or a Devil that is Blue. See the article on 1-AA teams for hire.
It really is terrible what happened to Michael Bush and Anthony Waters this weekend. Both seniors, both great leaders.

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Anonymous said...

Joe Cox didn't get a fair shot out there. Cox had backup WRs to throw to and Stafford had Massaquoi in the game. It was almost as if Richt created the situation for Stafford to do better than Cox. Cox threw ONE bad pass and he gets written off. Cox led a great drive and then he got another drive and the WR gives up on a pass that was a bit overthrown, but didn't have to be that bad. The pass pinned WKU far into their own territory, it was the best punt of the game. Stafford played well, but his time is not now. Give him a year or two. Cox is way better than JTIII. Also, if Stafford starts this year... look for Barnes and Cox to transfer immediately (MS State and NC State respectively). The Dawgs would go from plenty of depth to none... like that. Richt has an abundance of talent to work with, but he has a serious tightrope to walk.

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