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September 19, 2006

Checking in with the Enemy: Around the SEC

Fernando Velasco. #75 in your program. #1 in your heart. Image: UGA

Georgia - As I said Sunday, overall I'm pretty pleased. We have to get more out of our offensive line. Mainly the tackles. If they give us execution like we got in Columbia, we can play with anyone (and yes, I realize the Coots stink). If they give us effort and execution like we got vs WKU and UAB, not so much. All that said, Fernando Velasco (OG) won SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and played the best game of his career. Best line from the weekend comes from who said:
"The last time a Georgia squad opened the autumn with two shutouts in the Bulldogs' first three games, Mark Richt was nine years old."

Tennessee – UT flat out can’t run the ball. Their offensive line delivered 2 rushing yards on 22 carries vs the Gators. This follows the Air Force game where the Vols ran for 79 yards on 32 carries. The defensive coordinators of Georgia, LSU, Alabama and to a lesser extent South Carolina and Arkansas know how to stop one dimensional attacks. The Vols are in real trouble this year. So far, all Cutcliff has really brought to the Vols is an improved passing game, one hellified bad ass trick play, and the Ole Miss running game. Read More UT Thoughts:
-- Unit Analysis -
-- Where to from here - CornFromAJar

"But Sensei, I'll be disqualified." Image:

Florida - Florida looked very good. The guy that jumped off the screen to me was Brandon James, the punt returner. He's Mikey Henderson with two working hamstrings. Another thing I noticed: this wasn't the UT vs. UF game of yore. The ultra violent, bloodsport death-match, hittingest game of the SEC year was played in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Not in Neyland. The Gators schedule is still far too difficult to run the table, but they are well positioned for big things this season. The SEC East will be decided at the Cocktail Party. More UF thoughts:
-- This Team is Tough Enough -
-- Defense and Special Teams Thoughts -

A throw to the 5 yardline?

LSU - Jemarcus Russell lost the Tigers that game in the 4th Quarter. Yes, the officiating was bad. Yes, LSU got rooked on the pass interference call. BUT, how can you take a sack with under 1 minute left when you have ALL DAY to roll out? THROW THE BALL AWAY. The Tigers are good enough to beat UT. As long as their offense isn't on the field with the game on the line in the final 2 minutes, they can beat the Gators too. Why? Because their run defense held Auburn to 72 yards on 38 attempts. With that run defense, you can beat anyone. More LSU thoughts:
-- Post Game Comments - And the Valley Shook

Auburn - The Plainsmen defense imposed their will on the Cajuns allowing only 42 yards rushing on 23 carries. No LSU back gained more than 16 yards. The encouraging sign for UGA has nothing to do with them and everything to do with our own team. We're playing much better run defense this year than last. Granted, we've played a bunch of tomato cans, but the key to slowing down Auburn is in slowing down Kenny Irons. These blowout wins that we're getting right now are helping us build depth at defensive tackle and end. Depth that will be critical when we hit Jordan-Hare in late November. A win over the Gators in Jax likely gets us two games against the Tigers. More AU thoughts:
-- Saturday was Old School - Auburn's AOL Site

The Other Guys:
Alabama - The Tide is playing an all-time bad non-conference schedule. They will finally stop feasting on cupcakes and play a real football game vs. the Razorbacks. Win and they solidify their Top 25 ranking in both polls until the UF beatdown in 2 weeks. Lose and they won't see the Top 25 again until late October at best.

Vandy missed a FG with 1 minute left. Image: ESPN

Arkansas - Mustain was named SEC Freshman of the Week and the Hogs won. Sure, they only squeaked by Vandy, but with a true freshman QB at the wheel anything can happen. has the Good, Bad and Ugly from the Vandy game. The Hawgs host Bama on Saturday on CBS. The game will go a long way in revealing where both teams really stand.

Kentucky - The Cats are 2-1. They have games remaining against CMU (who just beat Akron...the team that beat NC State), Mississippi State, Vandy, ULM, and South Carolina. These guys still have a shot at the Liberty Bowl or another at-large spot.

Miss State - They lost to Tulane. No seriously. I'm not kidding Tulane won a game. What you don't believe me? Why would I lie about such a thing? Anyway, Hail Dear Ole State's T-Shirt is priceless. It's called "Sink the Slytanic." Do the link!

Ole Miss - When UK sends you fetching their smokes, times are bad. The Rebs lost to UK 31-14 primarily because of 5 turnovers and 12 penalties for 79 yards. That's right 12 penalties. When you rush for 205 yards and get 195 yards passing, you usually win vs. a team like Kentucky....unless you play like a bunch of tards via turnovers and penalties.

South Carolina - The Gamecocks needed an interception on the 10 yardline with 29 seconds left to avoid going into overtime against Div I-AA Wofford. To put that into perspective, Wofford is the type of team that Georgia Southern plays used to play for homecoming.

Vanderbilt - Vandy is Vandy. If they could do us the HUGE favor of winning their next three games including TN State (home), Temple (home) and Ole Miss (away), then maybe our game with the 'Dores on Oct. 14th can work its way above the LFSports 12:30 pm kickoff time and onto ESPN2. Otherwise, that game is 12:30 (LFS) or 1:00 (PPV) kickoff (SEC Schedule).



LD said...

Paul, hate to fact check you here...

But Wofford is no longer a homecoming opponent for Georgia Southern. The Terriers have won 3 of the last 4 between the two. Wofford is in the top half of the Southern Conference. Every couple of years they have a really good team (2003 they ran the table in conference). Wofford, Furman, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State kind of rotate as to who is going to be the best in the conference recently. Chattanooga, Elon and Citadel are kind of the permanent underclass, and Western Carolina is schizo - occasionally they'll upset someone but they're usually in the bottom half.

Unknown said...

Fair enough. I'll say "used to be a homecoming opponent for Georgia Southern until they got all uppity."

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Fear the Terrier. You know Spurrier does.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it counterintuitive to say "Tennessee is in big trouble" while simultaneosuly praising Florida? Either Florida barely scraped past a one-dimensional, mediocre SEC team or Tennessee stood toe-to-toe with a great team despite no running game and an injury-riddled defense. I don't think the analysis can go both ways.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure that it is counterintuitive.

The only reason the game was close was due to a trick play called at the perfect moment. The Gators schemed for a balanced attack. The Vols can't run block. At all.

Once the Gators figured that out, they outscored the Vols 14-3.

Anonymous said...

Maybe so. I just figured if UF was really that good, winning 21-20 over a rival who admittedly couldn't block anyone all night doesn't give you the warm and fuzzys. And that's not even getting into the surprisingly large talent advantage UF has.

I think I tend to agree more than UT is in trouble than that UF is good. UF barely scraped past a team that is going to finish around 5th in the SEC East. I don't think a 21-20 win over UK should merit much praise.

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