Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

OTHER COACHES WEIGH IN ON "THE CELEBRATION"

Other than from Mark "Jabba the Hut" Mangino, Coach Richt receives their approval.



Mangino smugly said, "
At Oklahoma our tradition was to get dressed in the locker room, win the game, shower and go home." I guess he left out the part about eating two whole hogs, six chickens, a turkey, 103 Krystals, 7 Edwards Pies and four packs of Beech Nut. But at least he has the self-control to not encourage his players to celebrate excessively. And, to be fair, his team is 8-0, for now.



Nice F-bombs, Coach. You stay Classy, Lawrence.

FROM THE WORLD'S LARGEST OUTDOOR COCKTAIL PARTY

One of the few pics I have from the historic day. From left: William Rushing, Whit Yates (getting a handful of man boob,) Ed Hall (note OK. State cup,) and me.

GO NAVY, BEAT NOTRE DAME

Now that one of my nurturing mothers (or if you prefer, Alma Maters) has slain its dragon, it is well past time for my other to summit its Everest. If you think the Dawgs have had a mostly disappointing experience with Florida since 1990, you can at least be thankful that it does not come close to matching the abominable losing streak Navy has against Notre Dame, which can end this year after 43 futile attempts. Of course this is Notre Dame's worst start in history, but Navy is plodding along at 4-4 with losses to Rutgers, Ball State, Wake Forest and Delaware. Navy's best wins were against Air Force and Pittsburgh. The game is in South Bend, so we will have to defeat the eleven in Notre Dame uniforms as well as the men in stripes. Navy's can't defend any pass whatsoever. If Notre Dame cannot pass whatsoever, then we may be in business. At a minimum, Navy will score dozens of points in this one.

So here is the bottom line for me... If Navy loses, I move on without much additional thought on the matter. If Navy wins, I suppose I will experience emotions heretofore unknown to me, being that I am only 41 years old. I will have my kids singing the Navy Blue and Gold with me either way.

Here is a little video to set the tone.



GO NAVY!

And while we are on the Real Men of Genius angle, check out this one - completely unrelated to the game.

Monday, October 29, 2007

BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO TROY...

Beating the Gators once is a big deal for any season. But, the question is whether we are poised to start winning in Jacksonville with some consistency. Since Spurrier turned the series around beginning in 1990, Georgia has now won three times. The win in 1997 came after a seven game losing streak. Georgia entered the game as a double digit underdog even though they had only one loss in the season - to Tennessee. Florida was in the Top 10 and was seemingly on their way to another SEC Title behind stars Doug Johnson, Fred Taylor, Jaquez Green, Jevon Kearse, Fred Weary, and Teako Brown. Georgia won that game 37-17 behind a great four touchdown performance from Robert Edwards. In that game, Georgia was hot and the mood was similar to the game this weekend. In addition to Edwards, Georgia was led by seniors Mike Bobo, Hines Ward, Greg Bright and Corey Allen. The starting offensive line consisted of a senior center, senior guards and a pair of junior tackles named Matt Stinchcomb and Chris Terry. There were no freshman or sophomores starters on offense and only two sophomore starters on defense.

In 2004, Georgia ended a six game losing streak by jumping ahead 21-0 and then hanging on for dear life to hold off a second half rally by Leak and the Gators for a 31-24 win. The mood was elation early followed by serious concern the entire second half worried that the Gators would find a way to pull it out. Those Dawgs were led by Seniors David Greene, David Pollack, Fred Gibson, and Reggie Brown. Thomas Davis was a junior, but that was his final season as a Dawg. Interestingly, the 2004 team was loaded with Juniors. But the next year, heading into the Florida game with a load of seniors, Georgia was without senior quarterback DJ Shockley and lost 14-10.

The similarities between the 1997 and 2004 wins were that both teams were led by senior quarterbacks and several other key senior superstars. The difference between the team this year and the teams from 1997 and 2004 is amazingly that we only started 3 seniors on offense (Bailey, Velasco, Adams) and 2 seniors on defense (Howard, Johnson.) Indeed, we started 11 freshmen and sophomores, including Stafford, Moreno, Sturdivant, Boling and Davis on offense. You already know that Freshman Knowshon Moreno had 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns. On defense, 44 tackles were made by underclassmen. Freshmen made 16 tackles, twice as many tackles as made by seniors (8.)

Of course Florida has a lot of tremendous young players: Tebow, Harvin, etc. But one thing is for certain. We will have a whole bus load of players coming back to Jacksonville next year who know how to beat the Gators. That is the biggest difference between this win and the 1997 and 2004 games. The current streak is now 1-0 in Georgia's favor.

Now, on to TROY.
GO DAWGS!

WHIT YATES AND BIG DAWG

Taken at about 1:30 am at The Palace Saloon in Fernandina Beach. As you can see, Big Dawg's head paint was getting worn out so much that the Gator in UGA's mouth was almost gone. Gator tastes good! What a great day for a DAWG!
DO LINK, WATCH VIDEO, LAUGH SOME MORE

Repeat as needed.

My favorite comment from Gators is this, "Act like you have been in the end zone before." Hey Gators, I think that by the 3:54 mark in the Fourth Quarter, it had really become old hat. If you promise to be so generous again next year, we will fore go the end zone dancing to spare your fragile egos.

Scoring Summary:
1st 06:00 UGA - Knowshon Moreno 1 yd run (Brandon Coutu kick)
9 plays, 39 yards, TOP 4:54, UGA 7 - UF 0
04:39 UF - Murphy, L. 40 yd pass from Tebow, T. (Ijjas, J. kick)
3 plays, 67 yards, TOP 1:21, UGA 7 - UF 7
03:40 UGA - Mohamed Massaquoi 84 yd pass from Matthew Stafford (Brandon Coutu kick)
2 plays, 82 yards, TOP 0:59, UGA 14 - UF 7
2nd 14:41 UF - Pierre-Louis, W 25 yd interception return (Ijjas, J. kick)
UGA 14 - UF 14
07:11 UF - Ijjas, J. 43 yd field goal
7 plays, 35 yards, TOP 3:22, UGA 14 - UF 17
01:48 UGA - Knowshon Moreno 10 yd run (Brandon Coutu kick)
11 plays, 65 yards, TOP 5:23, UGA 21 - UF 17
3rd 12:02 UGA - Brannan Southerland 1 yd pass from Matthew Stafford (Brandon Coutu kick)
7 plays, 69 yards, TOP 2:58, UGA 28 - UF 17
07:22 UF - Tebow, T. 2 yd run (Ijjas, J. kick)
10 plays, 66 yards, TOP 4:40, UGA 28 - UF 24
4th 11:03 UGA - Mikey Henderson 53 yd pass from Matthew Stafford (Brandon Coutu kick)
2 plays, 72 yards, TOP 0:38, UGA 35 - UF 24
09:40 UF - Tebow, T. 3 yd run (Tebow, T. pass failed)
4 plays, 44 yards, TOP 1:23, UGA 35 - UF 30
03:54 UGA - Knowshon Moreno 3 yd run (Brandon Coutu kick)
11 plays, 68 yards, TOP 5:46, UGA 42 - UF 30
BECAUSE IT NEVER GETS OLD

Take it away Kool and the Gang...



HT-The Bulldawg Blawg (www.bulldawgblawg.com)

Read Coach Richt's lips, "Alright, let's have some fun in this place."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

HEY GATORS, WE KNOW THE FEELING

Anybody ever felt like this after THE WORLD'S LARGEST OUTDOOR COCKTAIL PARTY before?

Warning: Extremely foul language. Sailors and truckers, you will learn some new words that you never knew existed.

GEORGIA 42 - FLORIDA 30

Keys to Victory


On Friday, I overstated the obvious things the Dawgs would have to do to beat the Gators. Well, in a nutshell, the Dawgs took my advice.

1. Must establish the run. Check. Knowshon Moreno - 33 carries, 188 yards, three touchdowns.

2. Must connect on a deep ball early. Check. Second play of second possession, Stafford hit Mohamed Massaquoi for an 84 yard touchdown on a fly route. Longest pass of Stafford's career.

3. Defensive front 4 must get a strong push into the Gator backfield and cause disruption and keep our LBs free to make plays. Check. Our front four contributed 5 sacks and 1 other tackle for loss. In addition, our linebackers made most of the tackles instead of our safeties and corners. Four of the top six tacklers were LBs. That tells me that our front four kept the Florida O-line occupied. Perfect example was Florida's possession when the score was 28-24. Around our 33 yard line, on second down, Rennie Curran was able to stunt untouched in to the Gator backfield and drop the ball carrier for a 2 yard loss. Two plays later, on 4th and 2, again Rennie Curran shoots untouched into the backfield to tackle Andre Caldwell for a 3 yard loss. This was the defensive series of the season.

4. Our defensive front 7 must play balls out on every down giving tremendous effort on every snap. Check. Those guys played like heroes. They looked strikingly similar to the performance they had against Oklahoma State when we sacked Bobby Reid six times. Great effort and determination all around.

In my final analysis, I opined:
In the end, we need a huge performance from Moreno, a sound performance from Stafford and a superhuman effort from our defensive front seven. When we get all of these things, we will win.
Check. Check anc checkity check check!

Damn fine performance and it all came together because of a great attitude from the coaches, players and fans. The celebration gambit brought it all out of us. WHAT A DAY!



DO YOU EBAY?

You can buy this bumper sticker now for $5, and you know that is priceless.
IT'S GREAT

TO BE

A GEORGIA BULLDAWG!


Best. Penalty. Ever!!!!!!!!



HT, Sen. Blutarsky.

If you weren't there, you can only imagine what it was like. It was freaking AWESOME! Take a good look at Tebow's face and the look of "What was that?" and listen to the Georgia crowd's roar of approval. Finally, note Coach Richt's approval as he claps for his kids. This was a stroke of genius. And only if you are a Gator (or perhaps a Techie) you damn well loved it! To my knowledge, this has never happened in any football game. That is what makes it so special. It was Georgia's world Saturday and I was proud to be a part of it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friends it's time once again to let THE BIG DAWG EAT.

It's time, it's time, to let THE BIG DAWG EAT. It's time, it's time, to hear THE BULLDAWG BEAT. It's time, it's time, it's time, it's time, it's time.

I am moments away from getting in the car and heading to The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. I will be singing Glory Glory all the way down and back.

GO DAWGS!

Friday, October 26, 2007

To remain consistent, here I go...

GEORGIA WILL BEAT FLORIDA AND HERE IS WHY...

Purely a law of averages would dictate that at some point, a lesser Georgia team can beat a better Florida team. God knows that 3 of Florida's last 4 wins represented a lesser team beating the better team. At some point in this game, we are bound to make the big catches and not be stricken by a plague of dropsies. There is no overriding reason that this cannot be the year.

So, how can Georgia win this game? The Dawgs must establish a running game. There is no way for us to win without a solid ground game. I guess at least 150 yards rushing will be the minimum threshold. I think that it will be a tall order to expect Knowshon Moreno to tote the ball 30+ times to reach these numbers. But, I don't think Brannan Southerland and Jason Johnson can contribute enough to get us there. So that can only mean one thing... CALEB KING. I am not sure I like the idea, but I cannot see us winning this game without running consistently and I can't see us running consistently with only one back. Now, the flip side of this position is that if we can't gain any yardage on the first 20 carries, then we will be way behind and there will be no need to activate King. So, as you watch this game, if we are having some success on the ground and are either ahead or within one score of the Gators, expect us to keep running the ball and if we keep running the ball, that means King gets in the game in the second half.

I am not advocating that we don't try throwing over the top, since the Florida secondary is its weakest link. The problem is that other than two long balls to Demiko Goodman, we have been terrible in this department. So, fortunately for Florida, we may be totally incapable of exploiting there only significant weakness. Even if we are bad at throwing deep, if we are to win tomorrow, we must hit at least one deep ball in the first half. Maybe even on the first drive. Doing so would help tremendously on getting the ground game established.

Also, in our passing game, we need to use the middle of the field. Give the ball to Mohamed Massaquoi across the middle and use the tight ends for first downs.

As for our defense, I have already proposed using Marcus Howard as a spy. It won't happen. But anyway, in order to win, our defense needs to be on the sideline more often than not. While on the field, they just need to play hard, play fast and play smart. Yeah, I'm asking a lot and I'm asking for something we haven't seen much of this season. Maybe the Alabama game. Florida will move the ball and they will score. But if our guys start out with intensity and keep the intensity and work hard to be in the right place and make tackles, then they will get the Gators off the field enough to give our offense a chance. I really worry about the reverses to Harvin or Caldwell because we are terrible against misdirection. Hopefully we have worked on that for the past two weeks.

We need a major push up the middle from our tackles and our ends need to get off blocks quickly. Our linebackers must diagram plays accurately and also must get off of blocks. I think they are capable of doing this, but the key is that they must do it on every snap and that takes tremendous effort. Matt Ryan - throwing up Gatorade after single-handedly saving your team's bacon - type effort. If our front seven have the balls and the determination to give that kind of effort, then we have a chance. Again, the key is that this level of focus and effort must be there for EVERY SNAP. If they coast on any single snap, it could easily be 6 points for Florida. If we get this kind of effort from the front seven, then the backfield can take care of their business well enough for us to win.

Special teams? The bad news: Florida's kick returner Brandon James is a burner and is a real threat every time we kick off. The good news: If he gets more than one chance, then we are scoring points. I hope he gets lots of opportunities. In the punting game, Florida has only had two punts returned for any yardage and those were both last week. We have Mikey Henderson returning from a hamstring issue and I am not sure if he is 100%. Even if he is, I would not look for this to be the game, even though I always say it is not a matter of if, it is a question of when. We should have an edge in the placekicking department, but we always seem to miss field goal tries in Jacksonville, so I would not count on Brandon Coutu to have a big day.

In the end, we need a huge performance from Moreno, a sound performance from Stafford and a superhuman effort from our defensive front seven. When we get all of these things, we will win. GEORGIA 28 - Florida 24.

GLORY GLORY GLORY!

HALLELUJAH!

GO
DAWGS! GATA!
WHO SHOULD SPY TEBOW?

Assuming that the best strategy for slowing down the Florida offense is to put a spy on Tebow to track his every move and limit his production running the ball, who should it be? The conventional wisdom is to put a linebacker in this role. In that case, it should probably be Danell Ellerbe, who seems to be our most capable linebacker. However, if we reduce Ellerbe to the role of a spy, I believe our other linebackers will struggle to defend the other weapons the Gators have when running the end arounds or short passing game. I think we need Ellerbe to fulfill his normal gameday duties and hopefully do it better than he has all season.

My choice for spy is Marcus Howard. Marcus is plenty fast enough to catch Tebow and as one of the strongest players on the team, he can get Tebow to the ground. Marcus seems to have the stamina to run hard all game based on how I have seen him chase quarterbacks from sideline to sideline (with the exception of the Tennessee game.)

Of course this would require some creativity in how we deploy the other guys in the front seven. I would run a three man front with Adkins in the middle, getting relieved by Weston and Owens throughout the game. On the ends I would rotate Battle, Lomax and Dobbs. I am not sure if any of the tackles could play on the end, but if they could, I would try that some as well. These front three would be charged with tying up the o-line and keeping them off of our linebackers and our spy.

Our linebackers would still line up in their regular positions only the middle linebacker would need to make room for Marcus. Other than defending the reverses, the only other real threat in Florida's running game is Tebow. If we stop Tebow as a rusher, we should stop Florida as a rushing team. (Of course, now that I have said that, Kestahn Moore will have a career day.) Certainly our work will not be done if we can stop their running attack, because Tebow is a dangerous passer as well with many weapons in Harvin, Caldwell, Ingram and others. However, if we can force them to beat us by throwing the ball, we have a better chance in this game. If they can run and pass with equal success, then we are cooked.

Obviously, this is a gimmick approach to stopping Tebow. However, if there was ever a gimmick as a quarterback, it is Tebow. So, in my view, one gimmick begets another. While I would like to see this approach, I am quite sure that we will actually see our normal defensive alignment and will try to keep Florida off-balance by giving Tebow several different looks and changing coverages just before the snap, etc. Maybe we will even deploy a linebacker as a spy. But, in the end, our front seven guys will have to beat a block on more plays than not to stop Florida with any consistency. It promises to be a physically draining ball game and in the fourth quarter, our guys will be tired. Let's just hope that we are still in the game in the fourth quarter and hope that we have the football last like Auburn and LSU did.

GO DAWGS! GATA!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

FOOTIE PICKER WEEK 9

Had a good week last week with picking 11 out of 15 correct. Therefore, don't expect much to be accurate in what you see next...

My picks are bold and gold.

Thursday

VIRGINIA TECH 3 Boston College NOPE

Saturday

South Florida 5.5 UCONN NOPE
AUBURN 18 Ole Miss NOPE
VANDERBILT 13 Miami (Ohio) NOPE
Kansas 3 TEXAS A&M YEP
OREGON 2.5 Southern Cal NOPE
*Florida 10 Georgia YEP
Clemson 3 MARYLAND YEP
Virginia 3 NC STATE NOPE
TENNESSEE 3 South Carolina PUSH
KENTUCKY 13.5 Miss State YEP
West Virginia 6.5 RUTGERS YEP
Ohio State 3.5 PENN STATE YEP
ARIZONA STATE 3 California NOPE

On the season: 54-59. Creeping back close to .500. At least I am well above the Mendoza Line.
TEBOW WEARS JEAN SHORTS... WHO KNEW?

























DO NOT BE AFRAID GYPSY, I AM ONLY HERE FOR YOUR TEARS

Here is Jody's Preview of the WLOCP...

FootballWeek 8

Opponent: Florida Gators

Kickoff: 3:30 PM

TV: CBS

The week off was well-timed. For once we’ll take a shot at getting the off-week heading into Jacksonville and see how that affects us. UF’s had the off week every year seemingly except for 2004 (hey, we wont that one) so hopefully we can parlay that to a win. As crazy as this college football season is, I’m afraid to make any statements about what I expect to see. It’s just too random. Onto the facts…

About the Vandy game


It’s kinda interesting sitting back and thinking about the Vandy game now, knowing that they followed our close loss with a win over top-6 South Carolina. At the time of the game, we were coming off a complete drubbing at the hands of a rested UT team and we were begging for a win over anyone, especially a SEC-east opponent. We eked out a win…one that looked pretty ugly. I’m not saying that it’s now pretty, I’m just saying I imagine SC would take a last-second FG win over Vandy right now.

Could the offense and defense have looked better? Certainly. There were plenty of good things to take away from that game though. After a sluggish first half, the defense played incredibly in the 2nd half with the exception of Vandy’s last drive, but even that ended with a forced turnover. Stafford, while by no means clicking on all cylinders, once again avoided any turnovers and managed to execute another game-winning drive. He’s coming along nicely and while he’s not an All-American by a long shot right now, you have to remember he’s only a sophomore. Hopefully he’ll be able to have a solid game this week because we’ll need a stellar game from him to give ourselves a chance.

UF Offense


· This is a very good UF offense. They’ve topped 45 points in 4 of their 7 games. They are a balanced offense, ranking in the top 3 in the SEC in rushing, passing, total and scoring offenses. They do a great job of getting the ball to their incredible athletes, and they have a QB perfectly suited to run the spread offense that Meyer favors. The only teams to slow them were Auburn and LSU, two of the tougher Ds around. We’ll have our hands full.

· At QB UF trots out the media sensation that is Tim Tebow. He’s a tough joker, and he has to be to take the pounding that Meyer’s offense calls for. Many thought that Tebow might not make it through the season running the ball as much as he has and it remains to be seen if he actually can. He certainly has proven he can throw it this year, entering the game with the nation’s highest passer efficiency rating. He’s a little banged up with a bruised non-throwing shoulder, but he claims he’s fine. Judging by the cringes he was taking towards the end of the UK game, I think he’s obviously experiencing some pain. Judging by how successfully he was slinging it around during that same game, I don’t know that it will impact him much. He’s thrown 17 TDs to only 3 INTs on the year. Impressive indeed.

· At RB, UF has Tebow. For all the hype, he’s averaging under 5 ypc. He’s carried the ball nearly twice as often as the Gators’ top RB, Kestahn Moore, who’s averaging over 5 ypc. Tebow’s a running QB, but he’s not the dangerous option QB most running QBs are. With a top option QB, they’ll string it out and make the DE or LB with responsibility commit before pitching. Tebow doesn’t do this very well, as it’s typically easy to read when he’s going to keep (most of the time) and when he pitches, usually it’s too early and the D player that had responsibility is still in the play. UF uses a lot of folks to run the ball, often utilizing motioned players. WR Percy Harvin is averaging nearly 5 carries per game and fellow WR Jarred Fayson is used as a RB as well. Harvin is typically used outside with Fayson getting some straight ahead runs more like (gasp) a traditional RB.

· At WR, the Gators have a bevy of options with Percy Harvin being the most dangerous. Last year Harvin was more of a gimmick, touching the ball a lot but not nearly as much as a true WR, and he often struggled catching the ball. He’s started to polish his WR skills this year and he’s emerged as a true threat everywhere on the field. He leads the team in catches and is averaging 16.6 ypc. Louis Murphy chimes in with 23 catches for over 350 yards. Sr. Andre Caldwell has battled injuries all year but returns to add a fast, physical presence downfield, over the middle, on end arounds, etc. He’s that prototypical UF WR that’s haunted us forever. Perhaps the most dangerous receiving option (and that’s saying something) is WR/TE hybrid Cornelius Ingram, whose 5 TD catches lead the team. He’s got 21 catches on the year for almost 15 ypc which surprised me some because I would’ve sworn I’ve seen him catch 30 balls and I’ve only caught a few of their games. He’s a former basketball player at UF, so that should tell you how athletic he is. He’s lethal on crossing patterns against a LB and in the redzone.

· The UF OL has done a good job of protecting Tebow. At least until he doesn’t want to be protected. He’s been sacked only 5 times on the year and UF is 2nd in the country in giving up sacks, behind only UT. Their typical OL features 2 seniors, 2 juniors and a true freshman, but an injury to Sr. RT Carlton Medder has had him on crutches all week, so look for more shifting their OL. They’ve had some injury issues there already, losing their preseason LT for the year prior to the season. The OL is large, with every starter weighing in over 310 pounds.

· Bottom Line: It’s tempting to say the UF offense is more than just Tim Tebow, as they obviously have elite level athletes all over the field but the fact remains that Tebow is obviously involved in all the passing plays and he’s far and away the most often used runner in their ground game. He’s the offense. Stop him and the Gators aren’t going to move the ball. The problem is stopping him, as he’s shown this year that he’s more than just the FB he was used as last year. He’s got a strong arm and while his strengths aren’t breaking a defense down sitting in the pocket, the Gator offense doesn’t ask him to do that. They do a good job of scheming to get the ball to their playmakers and they can score from anywhere on the field. Tebow is a freak of nature and he’s flanked by fellow freaks Harvin, Ingram and Caldwell. This is a dangerous unit that will move the ball, but if Tebow’s injury is aggravated during this game and he’s slowed as a result of it, that significantly alters UF’s attack.

· Key Matchup to watch when they have the ball: Teams have had some success spying Tebow. You almost have to. I don’t know that we’ll do so, but I think it’s safe to say that given the number of times he’ll run the ball and how well he runs through tackles, we’ll have to have improved play from our LBs. Watch our whole LB corps. UF puts some tremendous pressure on LBs (an area we haven’t exactly excelled) with Tebow and all the end-arounds they run with their WRs, not to mention their regular running plays. If we use a spy, Ellerbe seems perfectly suited for that role.

UF Defense


· The Gator defense is a young one and it has its flaws. They’ve struggled this season (albeit against some pretty good offensive teams) giving up both yards and points. They’re a little banged up as well now. They always seem to play us particularly well though, so you can pretty much toss the book out when this matchup rolls around. In recent years, these have been relatively low-scoring affairs on both sides of the ball.

· The UF DL returned only one starter this year, but he’s a good one. Many expected DE Derrick Harvey to declare early for the NFL after last year’s Fiesta Bowl where the Jr put on an absolute show on a national stage. At 6-4, he carries his 260+ pounds very well and looks skinny. His 6.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss lead the team in both categories. He has 18.5 career sacks. Opposite him at the other DE spot is GA native Jermaine Cunningham. Like Harvey, Cunningham is a lanky DE that is more of a speed rusher than a run stopper. He’s very slight for an SEC DE at 6-3, 229. His 8 TFLs including 4.5 sacks on the season are indicative of his talents. At DT, Javier Estopinan provides the leadership of the unit, with 9 years of experience between the two of them. They are both nearly identically sized at 6-1, 280-ish. Clint McMillan had been the other starting DT but got injured in the UK game and might be out (at least limited) this week. Look for super recruit Torrey Davis to get playing time in his place, as he played well last weekend against UK. He’s a future stud but he’s also a true frosh that’s learning the position.

· The Gator LB corps was completely decimated last year, losing all 3 starters. In their place have risen some pretty good players who are young and have had to learn on the fly. MLB Brandon Spikes was recruited by everyone in the country and has lived up to his billing, leading the team in tackles. At 6-3, 243, the sophomore has the size, speed and attitude you want in the middle. His 7 TFLs are 3rd on the team behind the 2 DEs. Dustin Doe is another sophomore starting at the WLB spot and he’s playing well enough to be #2 on the team in tackles. The SLB spot is manned by RFr A.J. Jones. Jones is a smallish LB at 6-1, 210 and has yet to do anything to really distinguish himself.

· The UF secondary has struggled this year after losing ¾ of the starting unit last year (sound familiar?). The lone returner is FS Tony Joiner. The senior played alongside The Eraser (Reggie Nelson) last year and has experienced a decent season, although he’s gained more notice off the field than on, where he came into focus for the infamous Tebow kiss on the sidelines during the UT game and again after getting arrested trying to remove a car from a tow lot. Joiner is one of the few experienced players on this whole unit, much less the secondary. He has 4 career INTs. Opposite him is the litte Eraser, Major Wright. If you’ve seen UF play this season, Wright is the one flying around like a missile knocking people all over the place. He’s not the biggest safety in the league at 6-1, 204 (he looks smaller than that) but he hits like it. Unfortunately for him, he’s got a broken thumb that required surgery and if he plays (doubtful) he’ll be wearing a club. His hard hitting has already forced 2 fumbles on the year to lead the team along with 39 tackles (good for 5th on the team) despite the fact he’s only started the last 3 games. Senior Kyle Jackson has some starting experience and will likely get the nod but he’s fallen out of favor with the current staff and hasn’t been a regular. At CB, the Gators sport more youth, where a true soph and true frosh get the nod at each spot. Wondy Pierre-Louis is a lanky sophomore at 6-1 and less than 180 pounds and he’s banged up as well. He has yet to record an INT. True frosh Joe Haden has been a godsend for this team, playing physically and being more than willing to stick his nose in there; He’s 3rd on the team in tackles and leads the team in pass breakups.

· Bottom Line: This is a banged up defense. They were young to begin with and the injuries have robbed them of some of their depth. The injuries won’t make them any younger necessarily but there’s a reason those other guys were starting. When you take several guys off a struggling defense, you can’t expect them to play better. The UF QB pressure is a strange bird. They didn’t record a sack against LSU or UT and recorded only one against Troy yet they somehow managed 6 against UK and 4 against AU. They are susceptible to the pass, marking a mere 95th in the country in pass defense. That coupled with their 15th national ranking against the run probably has as much to do with their ability to score in bunches forcing teams to come from behind. AU had some success running right at the UF front line, and that was before they got back Lester and before UF sustained all those injuries on their interior. I’d look for us to run at them some but work the pass in a good bit more than we’d expect due to our injury situation at RB.

· Key matchup to watch when we have the ball: This weekend it’ll be imperative to see some solid play from our OTs. The strength of the UF D is their DEs, especially getting after the QB, and given our young OL, specifically LT Trinton Sturdivant, we’ll have to keep them off of Stafford if we expect offensive success.

The UF Game Overall


This game in recent years has been marked with UGA not showing up until at least the 2nd quarter. We’ve come out flat or ill-prepared or whatever you want to call it more times in this rivalry than any others in recent years. We simply can’t afford that this year with this version of UF we’ll be facing. They are too good offensively and are more than capable of taking the air out of the ball with Tebow grinding it out for us to get down multiple scores. Add in the fact we’ve been a very inconsistent offensive team and I think it’s pretty clear an early hole could be devastating.

Obviously Stafford is the key to our offensive success, especially with out decimated RB situation. I think we’ll try and take some shots deep again, as that’s certainly been a vulnerability in the UF D. We’ve struggled connecting on that play this year, mostly because of poor throws, but with a few exceptions, we haven’t really seen our WRs make great plays on the ball downfield either. Don’t get me wrong, our WRs have played much better this year, but I’d like to see a guy make a play on a deep ball.

Don’t expect a lot of turnovers in this game. Both UGA and UF are near the bottom nationally in forcing turnovers. They are also both at the top of the country in turnovers allowed. With that being said, the way this season has gone, I suppose we should expect 5 turnovers from each team.


Look, it’s widely accepted that Tebow’s shoulder is banged up to some degree. It might not be enough to bother him at all and it might be that several solid shots might have no effect at all. We just won’t know. Whether that’s the case or not, I really hope that we don’t see some of our guys getting caught up in trying to knock the guy out of the game. Oh, and for all the UF folks crying about Tebow taking shots…blame that on your coach for running the guy so much. It happens.

Finally, I hope we take advantage of the off-week, and I mean that more than just getting rested up too. Two years ago Meyer utilized the off week to break out some significant offensive changes, adding a FB and TE to the spread and quickly marching down the field for two early scores. I want to see something different, something that puts UF on its heels, trying to react. I want to see the no huddle or something. Actually, I don’t care if it’s that different, I just want it to be effective. I want to see a fired up UGA team that looks prepared against a UF team that’s reeling a bit. Is that too much to ask?

Positional Notes


· The return of Marcus Washington to the MLB spot shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s a force and one of the guys with the bulk to hold up against a Tebow. We’ve missed his physical presence.

· I have no idea what the plan is for Caleb King. I know he’s making the trip and it appears he’ll play. I know the UF coaching staff has no idea what he’s capable of (same as the UGA staff for that matter), so if he causes them any issues with preparation, he’s done his job already. I will say that we’d probably feel better next year with a King with a few games under his belt than just Moreno, King and a bunch of freshmen.

· Brandon Miller looks like he’ll play but might not start. He’s an experienced guy that should help on the edge with all of UF’s pulling, etc.

· Haverkamp returns to provide depth. That’ll be interesting…having a backup interior OL other than the 6-8 Vince Vance.

· Goodman looked good again, but Tony Wilson was the real surprise last week, coming back in a big way to lead the team in catches including a huge grab on the game-winning drive. Of course, he almost cost us that last shot when he fumbled on that huge catch only to have it bounce directly back to him.

· Henderson appears 100% now and ready to take back his role returning punts. UF does a very good job of covering punts and have only had 2 (I think) returned all year and both of those were last week against UK.

Random Thoughts





· Your current BCS top 17 consists of the following teams: Kansas, South Florida, Kentucky, UVa, South Carolina and Hawaii. UConn makes an appearance at #23 and BC is #2. I can’t decide if those are more shocking than the fact FSU is so amazingly mediocre…again.

· How brutal is the SEC? Over half of the conference (7 of 12) is in the BCS top 25, and that’s without traditional power Tennessee. Other conferences? The “mighty” Big-10 has 3 (including a team that lost to a 1-AA school) but only 1 in the top 19 teams. The Big XII has 4. The Pac-10 has 4 with 2 being in the top 5 and neither being USC. The ACC has 3.

· Tougher person, Tim Tebow or Chuck Norris? Dude…tough question but considering Tebow’s absence of intimidating facial hair I suppose I’d have to go with Mr. Norris, pretty sure he never had a “bruised shoulder” either. That’s assuming, of course, that I can’t take Dalton from Roadhouse as played by the immortal Patrick Swayze.

· Be prepared for the Verne Lundquist – Tim Tebow lovefest to reach epic proportions this week with the shoulder injury subplot making him that much more appealing. I suppose this is what the rest of the country was subjected to during the Greene-Pollack years where every broadcaster seemed to be contractually obligated to point out that those two played Pop Warner football together.

· At what point do we just change the name from mullet to Gator? I probably got emailed 30 different pictures of mullets for inclusion in this writeup…all of which were UF fans.

· In the end the SEC really needed LSU to win that epic game last week. The conference (and the country for that matter) can’t afford for AU, a team that lost to USF, to start knocking off top teams on a regular basis. That just makes USF stronger to the computers. I suppose the rest of the country should all give a tip of the cap to Rutgers, again, for knocking off a highly ranked Big East team (last year they took out Louisville).

· I’m not sure who’s benefiting more from these late ESPN and ESPN2 SEC games, ESPN or the SEC. ESPN is getting great ratings and phenomenal games. The SEC is getting exposure so that the nation gets to see that teams like UK and Vandy are for real and not just gimmicks.

· Continuing the recent Steve Perry trend on here, I present you the following music video from the Journey catalog: Journey – Separate Ways. I figured given the high density of mullets in the video and the presence of Steve Perry it only made sense. How did Steve Perry never get into acting? Good luck figuring out what’s the most absurd part of the video. I think it’s the guy randomly playing the keyboard on the wall of the warehouse. I have no idea how Casey Kasem ties into the whole thing. The great thing about this is someone emailed it to me (that’d be you Jim Garland) back way before the Journey rant after the Ole Miss game.

Have a safe weekend,

Jody

THANKS JODY.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007






AMELIA ISLAND INSIDER

If any of you are spending the weekend here on Amelia Island for The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and need any inside information regarding food, beverage and fun. Shoot me an email or comment to this post and I will give you my best advice, which may be good, bad or indifferent. But it is free.







GO DAWGS!

WATCH OUT FOR THE TIGHT ENDS

Normally, this position is completely forgotten by the Gators. But, somehow it seems like their tight ends tend come up big and/or score their first/only TD of the year/career against us. At least two years stand out...

In 2005, Tate Casey (#84) caught 3 of his 10 catches all season against us and his only touchdown of the season. He accounted for 1/2 of their TD production in that game. So far this season, the senior tight end has zero catches for zero yards and zero touchdowns. I am not sure if he is healthy or not.

In 2002, two of Florida's three TDs came from the combined efforts of tight ends Aaron Walker and Ben Troupe who each caught one. Indeed, those two guys combined for 8 catches on the day. Want to know how many TDs Troupe caught that season? One.

This season, Cornelius Ingram (#7) is listed as a tight end, though he looks and plays like a wide receiver. He has 21 catches and 5 touchdowns. Only Tim Tebow has more TDs for the Gators this season. Also, Aaron Hernandez (#81) - last year's top tight end recruit in the nation, has 2 catches and one touchdown.

Obviously everyone knows about the threats posed by Tebow, Percy Harvin and Andre Caldwell. But we also have to worry about Ingram and possibly even Hernandez. However, hopefully we can give them a strong dose of our own tight end medicine with Tripp Chandler and Bruce Figgins. In our last victory in Jacksonville, 2004, Leonard Pope scored two long touchdowns in the first quarter! In 1993, tight end Shannon Mitchell set a UGA single-game record with 15 receptions in the rain-soaked game ending with the controversial time-out nullifying the game-tying touchdown.

As a former tight end, I pay particular attention to this position. I hope we have much to cheer about regarding our tight end play Saturday afternoon. Let's go Chandler, Figgins, and Watson, GATA!

GO DAWGS!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


PLEASE NO REPEAT OF 2002!

In the Georgia-Florida game in 2002, undefeated Georgia lost to Florida and away went our possible shot at the national title. In that game, Terrence Edwards dropped a pass that looked like it was the game-tying touchdown. What followed by probably only small percentage of particularly nasty and idiotic fans was disgusting and embarrassing. Terrence Edwards mother heard such awful things from the seats around her that she had to be hospitalized overnight from some sort of panic attack symptoms. Terrence received threatening voicemails among whatever other ugly treatment he received. While the dropped pass was significant in that one game, Terrence's contributions in his four year career greatly outweighed that one play. As you know, Terrence ended his career as the most prolific receiver ever to wear the red and black.

Fortunately, a few good Dawgs over on the Dawg Vent, led by Ted Kohn of Tybee Island, collected enough money to post the pictured billboard in Terrence's hometown of Tennile, Georgia. Apparently, the billboard created the intended effect for Terrence and his family, which was show them that Real Dawg Fans loved Terrence Edwards and appreciated his contributions to our beloved football program.

After reading about the good feelings created with the Edwards family, I knew it might have been the best $25 check I ever mailed. But, I certainly hope we do not have a cause or need to repeat what happened in 2002. Here's to hoping for a flawless game for the Dawgs and miserable luck for the Gators!

GO DAWGS! GATA!

Monday, October 22, 2007

RECYCLING THIS POST FOR OBVIOUS REASONS

The Newest in Mullet Fashion: The TIM TEMULLET



This Gator did a fine job brushing out his 20+ inch mullet, whereupon we imagine he looked in the mirror and said, "Oh hell yeah. This is the look I'm going with for the game and it is TIGHT."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

FOOTIE PICKER: WEEK 8

Last week I finally got a few right and was 10-5.

My picks are bold and gold

Thursday

South Florida 3 RUTGERS Yep

Saturday

WEST VIRGINIA 23 Miss. State Nope
Arkansas
6 OLE MISS Yep
SOUTH CAROLINA 13 Vanderbilt Yep
Wake Forest
3 NAVY Yep
GEORGIA TECH 26 Army Yep
Kansas 4.5 COLORADO Nope
ALABAMA pick Tennessee Nope
Southern Cal
20 NOTRE DAME Yep
FLORIDA ST. 6 Miami Nope
Oregon 11 WASHINGTON Yep
MARYLAND 5 Virginia Yep
Florida
7 KENTUCKY Yep
Michigan 3 ILLINOIS Yep
LSU 10.5 Auburn YEP

For the year: 43-55. Still pathetic.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007



ATLANTA THRASHERS UPDATE: COACH BOB HARTLEY FIRED AFTER 0-6 START.

This will be my first, and probably only post related to NHL Hockey. However, after hearing that the Atlanta Thrashers have fired their coach after an 0-6 start, I thought I needed to pose the question...

Why would you expect anything more from a comedic psychotherapist?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

TAKE THAT VANDY!

When you come into our house and beat us by a field goal on the last play of the game, we exact a measure of revenge. We don't come to your house and beat you senseless, though we could, but that is not our style. Oh no. Instead, we come back to your house, let you take a lead and keep it the whole game just so we can come on in the fourth quarter and smack you down with a PAYBACK game-winning field goal on the last play of the game. That's how we roll. Sucks doesn't it?

GO DAWGS!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

GEORGIA AT VANDERBILT: AS AN ETERNAL OPTIMIST, I WILL SAY GEORGIA WILL BEAT VANDERBILT AND HERE IS WHY...

Georgia has an opportunity to reverse its fortune and show that getting throttled on their first foray in the Volunteer State was an aberration. Georgia could win convincingly and at least temporarily assuage the doubts and concerns of the Dawgnation. Georgia could find an identity in Nashville that will define this team for the remainder of the season. But, alas, the Dawgs will struggle mightily to gain traction in this game and will narrowly escape a two game losing streak to the Commodores.

The trend for Georgia this season has been to stomp on the gas in odd numbered weeks and ride with the parking brake engaged on even numbered weeks. Scoring in regulation time 35, 12, 45, 17, 45, 14, and this week? To stay on trend, the Dawgs would need to score 35-45 points on a Vandy team only allowing an average of 14 points per game. Auburn scored 35 on Vanderbilt last weekend, but Auburn is surging and the Dawgs are ...? I really don't know. And that is the problem with this team. Nobody knows what we will get from week to week. The offense was anemic against UT and Stafford looked like a freshman again. The defense didn't even show up. Amid all of the excuses, the only thing that remains clear is that there is a lot of talent on both sides of the ball for Georgia, but it has not performed consistently. Maybe this team can find its identity in Jacksonville (I am a dreamer, see the Shakespeare quote at the bottom of my Blog,) but it won't happen in Nashville.

On offense, the Dawgs will look beautiful on their opening drive and score a touchdown and will then go into a coma until the 4th quarter. Our defense will see Vandy dink and dunk the ball to backs out of the backfield and quick outs to Earl Bennett in between dragging the tight end across the middle. Unless oour linebackers can play 8 to 10 times better than they have recently, this VU gameplan will chew up yards, clock and will result in the Dawgs trailing 17-13 in latter part of the 4th quarter. A field goal will not help us, so we have to drive the length of the field getting a touchdown dive from Brannan Sutherland to save our hides. The DAWGS win 20-17, and come home to take a much-needed week off. At least that is how I see it. Load up on Maalox or Pepto this one will not be easy on the tummy.

GO DAWGS! G.A.T.A.