Thursday, October 01, 2009

Back Again...

Ok since I registered to be a Mumme Poll voter I figure that I need to write something here every now and again to establish some credibility as a college football fan.

Right now I am still searching for my "niche" in the blogosphere. I don't have the time nor the energy to immerse myself in the stats and numbers for every opponent. Not to mention that there are several sites (my personal favorite being T.Kyle King whose site you can visit here) that give you all of that type of information. I would be doing a disservice to them trying to break down every game statistically. I also don't have an "in" with any of the players or coaches such as David Hale whose site you can visit here. I check his site at least 2-3 times a day to get all the post practice information, injury updates and a general sense of what is going on with the team. Where I think I will fit in is somewhere along the lines of the Georgia Sports Blog and the Senator over at Get the Picture by offering my opinion on what is going on with Georgia football as well as around college football in general.

Hopefully I will stay around this time and not be one of those lame bloggers that posts once a month.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grading the Offense

After last week's disappointing showing by the Offense I think we were all in fear of a repeat of the offensively challenged Auburn v Miss St game of last season that ended 3-2. Neither team looked particularly good in Week 1 and the Dawg offense looked down right bad. It has always been said that the biggest improvement that a team makes is between Week 1 and Week 2 so that coupled with a well Joe Cox gave me some optimism for Saturday's game. I never in my wildest dreams thought that we would put up 41 points on a very good defense (heck as bad as the offense looked agaist OK State I wouldn't bet that they could score 41 points against air.) so to say that our offensive outburst was a pleasant surprise would be an understatement. Let's look at each unit and see where the improvements happened and where we can continue to get better.

Quarterback-All summer long we have been hearing about how Joe Cox may not have Matthew Stafford's arm strength but he was "very accurate" and the offense wouldn't miss a beat. Last week Joe looked terrible plain and simple. I don't know if it was the flu, or first game jitters, or a OKST defense that played out of their minds (or a combination of the 3) that caused the bad game. Combine that with reports coming out of Athens that he has a bum shoulder and the prospects for improvement did not look all that good not to mention the reports of Logan Gray becoming the starter coming out of Athens on Thursday. Everyone was anxious about what was going to happen against USC.

For the most part Joe played a solid game on Saturday completeing 17/24 passes (70%) for 201 yards and 2 TD/1 INT. He made a couple of nice throws to AJ Green and to Orson Charles, conversely he made a couple of really bad decisions with the ball one of which resulted in a pick-six by LB Eric Norwood. The worst part of the INT is that he said he saw Norwood there but decided to throw it anyway. Joe did fumble once, but I won't blame that one on him since he was flattened on the blind side (more on that play in the O line review). Logan Gray got all of one snap so I can't really offer too much of an opinion his play. Overall not a bad game from the QB position.


Running Backs- Richard Samuel is a beast! Why we keep getting away from the running game is beyond me. The guy seems to get stronger and run harder as the game progresses, yet he virtually disappeared from the game for the better part of 2 quarters. Samuel had a solid game rushing 15 times for 65 yards and snagging 3 passes for 32 yards. Considering he is not considered the "pass catching" back I thought he did a nice job in that area. Carlton Thomas is just not panning out to be the "change of pace" back that he was billed to be in the preseason. 6 rushes for 22 yards is just not going to cut it, I do have to give him credit for being heads up and recovering the fumble when Cox was leveled. Branden Smith added 65 rushing yards to the total but 61 of those came on a reverse for a TD. The backs also did not give up a sack due to poor pass protection or missed blitz pick up and did not fumble. Overall a good but not great day for the running backs. We really need Coach Bobo to give Samuel a chance to rush for 100 yards and take some of the pressure off of Joe and the passing game. Getting Caleb King back for Arkansas will be huge.

Grade: B+

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- This continues to be the AJ Green show and a couple of other guys that can catch the football every now and again. Tavarres King had a good game and showed signs of being the guy to step up and take some of the pressure (not to mention the double coverage) off of AJ. Micheal Moore had another TD catch, but for the most part was a non factor in the passing game. Orson Charles is going to be a great TE once he learns the entire game plan and puts on a few pounds. He had a couple of very nice grabs over the middle on Saturday night. AJ is just AJ, the guy is a freak and can take over a game if he wants to do so. He makes the impossible look routine on a regular basis. I was glad to see that Bobo made it a point to get him the ball and get him involved early. We finally got to see Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten briefly in the 4th Quarter, neither were thrown to so no official stats there. Branden Smith was lined up at WR several times during the game and while I realize that he is part cheetah (as evidenced by the 61 yard reverse for a TD), I wonder why our coaching staff considers him the 4th WR over Izzy Troupe and ahead of Wooten and Brown.

Overall Grade: B

Offensive Line- For all the criticism that the O line weathered last year (and even last week for that matter) they finally turned in a dominating performance Saturday night with one (BIG) exception. Clint Boling was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the week after grading out at 94 against S. Carolina and for the most part the line was opening holes, picking up blitzes and protecting Joe Cox all night. It looked like on the sack that Vance was just beaten around the corner by the USC DE and that gave him a clean shot at an unsuspecting Cox. Other than that it was as solid an effort as I have seen from a UGA O line in a few years.

Overall Grade: A-

As a whole I thought that the Offense was leaps and bounds better than last week against OKST. Putting up 41 points against what is largely regarded as one of the better Defenses in the SEC is nothing to sneeze at either. Now I don't think that all of our Offensive woes are fixed and we are just as likely to come out next week and have a clunker as we are to score 40 points again. The main thing is that we seem to be on the right track in getting the ball in our playmakers hands and having our starting QB healthy. I would like to see us stick with the run a little more and the addition of Caleb King to the RB rotation should definitely improve our ability to do so in the future.

Tomorrow we critique the defense.

Go Dawgs!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Well THAT was unexpected....

For a game that has historically been a low scoring affair, Saturday's meeting between the Dawgs and the Chickens was anything but typical. For the fan it had a little bit of everything, trick plays, a safety, a kickoff return for a TD, a pick-six and plenty of penalties!!

For the most part I think the Dawgs played a good game. It was sloppy (108 yards of penalties and 3 turnovers), the defense gave up ALOT of yardage (425 yards of total offense to include 313 passing yards) but by the same token the offense was exciting (61 yard reverse for a TD) and the special teams weren't quite so special (in a bad way) but were special in a good way (100 yd KO return, blocked extra point).

Ultimately it was a W which we sorely needed at this point and it sets up well for next week at Arkansas. I still don't have a "warm fuzzy" about the offense (which I will discuss more tomorrow) but I do feel better than last week. Despite giving up 37 points and a ton of yards the defense from my vantage point played well. Many times the pressure was there and Garcia was able to scramble out of trouble and make a play.

More tomorrow on the specifics of the Offensive performance!

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cox vs The Cocks

At 7pm on Saturday Joe Cox (contrary to the recent rumors) and the Georgia Bulldogs (0-1,0-0) will tee it up between the Hedges against the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0). South Carolina brings a stout defense, questionable special teams, and a pathetic offense into this year's tussle with the men in Red and Black.

Offense-One would have never thought that in 5 years in Columbia Steve Spurrier would fail to produce an exceptional quarterback (or for that matter an AVERAGE quarterback). In last weeks game against NC State the Gamecocks were only able to manage 256 total yards of offense (148 pass, 108 rush) and 7 points which ranks them last in the SEC in all offensive categories except rushing (I will give you one guess who rushed for less yards last week.). This week against the Dawgs expect to see a heavy dose of RB Brian Maddox (23-66-1TD) who seemed to be the only weapon the Cocks had last week. Being a Spurrier offense you can also expect them to "sling it around the yard" a bit also (although hopefully Garcia will complete a few passes to our DB's as well as his own players). With the Dawg D playing well last week against a much more explosive opponent and the relative ineptitude of the SC Offense I don't expect these guys to be able to muster very many points.

Defense-Ellis Johnson is one of the best DC's in the SEC and the NCAA as a whole. He always seems to put a quality D on the field no matter the talent level or inexperience of his players. All SEC LB Eric Norwood is just two sacks away from the all time record at South Carolina. Add to that the return of DE Clifton Geathers (convienient isn't it?) and solid play along the line and in the secondary and the Dawg O will really have its work cut out for it on Saturday night. Expect pressure from all angles, good pursuit to the ball and hard tackling from this group. It is going to take a great effort by Joe Cox and the boys to put up points on this very good defensive team.

Special Teams-With the graduation of Ryan Succoup, South Carolina is breaking in a new kicker this year as Freshman K Spencer Lanning getting the call. Lanning was 1-1 on PAT's against NC State, but missed a 27 yard FG . Lanning also will handle the punting duties for SC. Chris Culliver was the primary kick return man last week and averaged 19.5 yds per return, two players returned puts for the Cocks against NC State with Akeem Auguste returning two kicks for a 3.5 yd average and Devin Taylor returning one for 12 yards. The USC kicking team allowed 2 returns for 39 yards (19.5 yd average) and 2 punt returns for 42 yards (21 yd average). This unit struggled in its opener against NC State and can't afford to miss opportunities against the Dawgs this week in what is sure to be a low scoring game.

Overall this is one of the least talented teams in the Spurrier era across the board. There are some very good players on the field but each unit has holes to fill. I expect the Offense to struggle to move the ball and the Defense to keep the Dawgs from moving the ball as well. This game is going to come down to special teams and which Defense can come up with a key turnover. In typical Georgia/South Carolina fashion this one should come down to the 4th Quarter and end up 17-10 with either team being capable of winning.

Until next time: GO DAWGS!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Trying this once again............

Ok I tried to get on a regular blogging schedule last season and it just didn't pan out, so let's see we can get things started this year. One of the reasons I didn't blog very much last season is the fact that there are a ton of very well written blogs about the Dawgs and SEC football in general. What could the world possibly need with another one?

If the first game of this season is any indication of what lies ahead, my blog will be more of a catharsis for me as a fan (which you as the reader are also welcome to contribute your opinions or observations) than an X's and O's break down of each game.

For now the weekly lineup will look something like this:

Sunday-Recap of Saturday's Game
Monday-Offensive Breakdown from Saturday's Game
Tuesday-Defensive/Special Teams Breakdown from Saturday's Game
Wednesday-Reader Poll/Topic
Thursday-Preview of Coming Weeks Opponent/My Picks on the biggest NCAA/NFL games of the week.
Friday-Brief injury report (if available) and predicitions for the following day's game.
Saturday-Probably nothing since I will be at the game....

My goal is to have original material that is more based on my opinion and not a rehash of what is already out there on the other Dawgly sites. I am just a fan like you and have no inside sources or access to players or coaches so don't expect any indepth interviews or the like.

Tomorrow: Breakdown of the Gamechickens and my picks for all of the big NCAA/NFL games of the week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 The Year of the Dawg?

Ok I know, posting once a year just doesn't cut it. For now all I can promise is once a week (hopefully more) and the subject matter won't just be all Dawg related, but rather all things I am interested in and feel compelled to write about. For now let's just get on with the '08 season and let the big Dawg eat!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

How 'bout them DAWGS!!!

That had to have been one of the most thrilling college football games I have ever witnessed. We had about 20 people over to our house to watch the game so it was a blast.

Game critique as follows:

Offense: For the most part a good effort. The O-line had their best game of the year so far (especially since there were 3 freshman on the line). I would have liked to see a few more holes opened up for the backs, but a good job all around. Pass protection was very good last night. Both backs had fantastic games, Brown and Moreno both rushed for close to 80 yds each and had several receptions out of the backfield. Receivers were average as usual. Sean Bailey was the most reliable out of the bunch, Mikey gets a pass since he caught the game winner. TE's (or should I say Tripp Chandler) was really poor in the pass game. He had 3 key drops that could have won us the game (or at least made the FG a little shorter) in regulation. Stafford was OK, maybe I just expect too much of him right now. He threw a few great balls, but as a whole most of them were behind receivers or over their heads. The kid has a big arm, but he really needs to work on his accuracy.

Overall Grade: B

Defense: These guys played their hearts out. If not for a very questionable pass interference call on Bryan Evans, this game is over in the 4th Quarter. There were some mental lapses and poor execution, but I thought that the D-line did a great job generating pressure and clogging the gaps, the LB's swarmed to the ball, and the DB's did a good job in run support. The only negatives that I saw were Evans getting toasted by DJ Hall on a key drive in the 4th Quarter and we gave up some gashing runs toward the end again (just like S Carolina). Willie Martinez gets a gold star for calling some timely blitzes and having an overall good scheme.

Overall Grade: A

Special Teams: Outstanding on both sides of the ball. Kick and punt coverage were great (much better than last week). Mikey had a couple of good returns on punts and Thomas Brown had solid returns on kickoffs. The only negative were Coatu's two misses (to be fair there were both over 45 yards). Good improvement from last week.

Overall Grade: A

I was so encouraged by this game, however we all have to bear in mind that with a young team, inconsistancy is to be expected. That being said I really think that we have the talent to compete with anyone in the conference.

More later.....thanks for reading.