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December 6, 2011

Upon Review: LSU

I could spend a whole week writing about the third quarter, but after watching the replay, there were a few things that really jumped out at me:

  • Our first string, on whole, is every bit as talented as theirs (this was a recurring theme in the 3 Questions comments). The flip side is they have that talent level on defense in some of the key second string places, particularly on the line.  I think we are getting close, but we aren't there yet.
  • Thinking about the above point, the S&C program has paid off. As much as I couldn't tell you what was wrong last year but to say look at them, I can't tell you what is working now, but look at them. For something quantitative, Georgia had 34 non-starters play, including Mason and Bogotay. LSU had 45 and didn't use but one kicker or QB.
  • Wow, did LSU ever find a way to neutralize the linebackers in the second half. Particularly on running plays. The first half they used their basic scheme to try and get holes and got stonewalled. In the second, LSU threw a couple of wrinkles in their blocking schemes that had Georgia confused. That was most obvious on the Ford run up the middle immediately after the second long Mathieu return. Ford literally dragged John Jenkins on his back from the line of scrimmage with no one else helping until Ford goes down after 7 yards, presumably from exhaustion. We can debate execution or coaching on our side, but you have to take your hat off to LSU's coaching for that adjustment.
  • The second Mathieu return was a thing of beauty. The first was a product of one miss, some questionable no calls, and a good return guy.  The second was as well run punt return as I have seen in a while. Perfect blocking and great vision. If I'm Georgia's special teams coach, I'm showing that...never mind.
Like I said, I could go on. LSU is the best team Georgia has faced since the 90's.  Too much is made of their 'lack' of offense. Their running game is a hidden gem. Yes, they aren't going to flash and dash you like Oregon or use one stud back like South Carolina, but they are strong, they block well and whomever is calling plays is good at getting into the mind of the other team and figuring out what works and making it happen.


Anonymous said...

Before we grant kudos to the LSU offense and how awesome their run game is. I need to remind you that every single one of our D-line and OLB were held and nearly gang raped by the LSU Oline and TE's. There are numerous plays where the center has Jenkins in a bear hug and the guards have our DT's in a full nelson. I am not kidding. You can actually see the arms of our D-line up in the air with the LSU Oline's arms around them. The shear amount of jersey grabbing on Jarvis Jones by the TE and OT is ridiculous.

Their run game is much more of a product of holding than anything else. They did not hold like that in the first half and got 5 yards. They hold in the second half and get 230. This is by far the most disgusting thing about the game. I have noticed this more often by WVU in 2005, Bama in 2008, Auburn in 2007 and 2010, Florida in 2005-2010. I point these teams out specifically because they never got called for the holding.

Back to the LSU SEC Champ game. We were called for holding and I almost threw my libation at the TV because the officiating at that point in the second half was so lopsided. But I figured I needed it get through the rest of the game. Anyway, while I agree with you on 3 of the 4 points. I would love to see those holding calls get called and see how many yards LSU gets when they have to play fair. I am going to say as much as they got in the first half.

This is a pet peeve of mine. Next year I am going to start taking notes on holds. I may even go back and look at all the games from 2011 in the off season to see what I can find out. This has gone on long enough and we need some data to support what ERK's (see what I did there) me to no end.

Sorry for the rant. I am better now thank you.

Ginny said...

Tyler- What's your opinion on oversigning and the perceived advantage it has for some teams? I've heard many people (dawg fans) say LSU's depth can be directly attributed to oversigning. I can't figure out if that's just sour grapes or a relevant argument. What's your take? Are we always going to be at a disadvantage depth-wise until we start oversigning or until the rules on oversigning are changed?

Tyler Dawgden said...

Rhymer, I agree. Typically, I don't go too far off the reservation on subjective penalties unless they are game altering or blatantly and utterly wrong (think AJ's celebration).

Holding is a tough one. Every play in the SEC has holds. That being said, the refs certainly 'let them play' to the extent that the team willing to push that envelope gained an advantage. Did it mean the difference in outcome? Probably not, but I agree there were plenty of times that individual plays changed because of it.

Tyler Dawgden said...

Ginny, I honestly have no idea. Some places do it and succeed ('Bama and LSU come to mind). Some don't (Ole Miss).

I really haven't done soul searching over how I feel about it ethically vs. how it would change the math for Georgia (or how it changes the math for the teams that do it).

Sounds like a good off season article, though.

Anonymous said...


Bless those SEC refs' hearts. They may not catch holdings, or blocks in the back on punt returns for a TD, or even crossing the goal line without the ball, but hand it to them, they can spot unsportsmanlike conduct by UGA players from 3 counties away.

Something to be said for that talent, I guess.

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