Thursday, September 30, 2010
Kiss My Ass - Anyone who wants to criticize our AD Greg McGarity's scheduling philosophy.
Kick My Ass - Oklahoma State Defensive End Ugo Chinasa who had a huge game tonight for the Cowboys with a direct impact on the outcome with an interception, sack, relentless pressure and overall bad assedness. He is big, strong, fast and I have little doubt that he could Kick My Ass.
Kick Your Ass - Pussies in Congress who ran off for "adjournment" to avoid a vote that could kill the looming tax hikes coming in January. I am certain I could kick the ass of any one of them and if for some reason there is a fighter among this group of wimps and thieves, I would not back down. As Herschel Walker told UFC President Dana White... any time, any where!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
That is my philosophy for the rest of this season. Since there is no chance that our overall record will be special... I will just look for a weekly victory and savor those that we achieve. Hopefully that will start this Saturday in Boulder. Though it is a long trip for the Dawgs, we go in favored by more than a field goal. Will the return of AJ Green be such a boost of confidence that all three phases of the game perform at a new, higher level? I think it is possible. My biggest concern remains with our offensive line and running backs. We need more inspired play from these guys if we are going to have any chance of creating any momentum. Maybe the thin air at a mile high will make them faster and more elusive. We shall soon see.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Well things ended up being ok for the La La game but then the train went immediately off a cliff because the entire team and offensive coaching staff forgot how to play football without AJ Green on the field. This is inexplicable since he was missing for the Auburn and GA Tech games last year and the team won without him. But, for whatever reason, the offense has been in an extreme funk and 3 straight losses have resulted. So this is where we are now at 1-3 and AJ Green finally coming back. It is a little like the fire truck arriving just in time to save the brick chimney. Our utter offensive futility without AJ does not bode well for next season or even this season if he misses any time due to injury. But still, this is where we are right now and surely he will have a measurable impact.
So I am heading out to Colorado with some great friends to have a good time and to cheer for the Dawgs in a setting that we are unlikely to ever visit again. I expect the offense will have a heartbeat for a change but I wonder if our inability to block and to run with determination will be magically cured. I have no expectations about what will happen on the field but I do expect to have a great time with my friends regardless. And frankly, that is why I enjoy following the Dawgs as much as I do anyway. It is always more about good times with good friends than it is about what actually happens on the field. A win in Boulder will certainly make the trip more enjoyable... and for that reason I say...
GO DAWGS. GET AFTER THEIR ASSES. The time is now!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I am positive I will have fun in Boulder next weekend.
I am positive Aaron Murray wants to win football games.
I am positive we will beat Idaho State.
See... staying positive!
- We complete 6 balls to TEs, and
- Have a 100 yard rusher, and
- Win the turnover battle.
Those are my indicators for tonight.
Real Dawgs 27 - Bizarro Dogs 23.
GO DAWGS... GATA!!!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Miami 3.5 PITTSBURGH
Virginia Tech 3.5 BOSTON COLLEGE
GEORGIA TECH 9 NC State
MISS STATE 2 Georgia
OLE MISS 2.5 Fresno State
Oklahoma 7.5 CINCINNATI
Alabama 7 ARKANSAS
BOISE STATE 16.5 Oregon State
Stanford 3 NOTRE DAME
TEXAS 15.5 Ucla
FLORIDA 14.5 Kentucky
AUBURN 3 South Carolina
LSU 7 West Virginia
Kiss My Ass - NCAA Appeals People. For the third consecutive week, the people who can Kiss My Ass are those involved in keeping AJ Green off of the playing field for 4 weeks while others who violated the same rule got only two week suspensions.
Kick My Ass - UGA RS Freshman QB Aaron Murray. Anyone who can survive getting sacked 6 times and pummeled a number of other times in an SEC contest and keep getting up and later say that he is having fun is definitely a tough SOB. I would win the tale of the tape vs. Aaron Murray and I might beat him in a wrestling match (if I didn't throw out my back) because I still have some skills, but in an all out brawl, I am sure he would win because he wouldn't be scared and he wouldn't quit as his iron will is being forged under intense fire on the gridiron. Plus, he would probably have a cadre of offensive linemen watching his back!
Kick Your Ass - Former SEC referee Al Ford. Again, I am picking on an old dude. But, I have wanted to kick his ass since he atrociously, capriciously and possibly intentionally blew the call on the Jasper Sanks non-fumble at the goal line against Ga Tech in 1999. Not only did the crew completely blow the original call, but then they failed to rule it a safety when the man they say recovered the non-fumble ran from the one yard line and into the end zone where he was caught by a UGA player and whistled dead. Then, after blowing those two calls, they decided to award GT the ball on the 20 yard based upon some mysterious touchback. I honestly don't know that I have seen any referee crew blow a single call three different times. It was as if they could not follow a simple "if/then" logic progression as follows:
If it is a fumble, then the Tech player is live and ran backwards into his own endzone on his own and would therefore be a safety; or
If it is a fumble and the Tech player is not live, then the ball would be placed at the point of the non-fumble, the one yard line; but...
The only thing that doesn't compute is to rule that it is a fumble recovered at the one and immediately whistled dead even though the man recovering the fumble is one his feet at the one yard line, untouched by an opposing player and attempting to return it for points by bellying into his own endzone and being trapped by an opponent but wait... let's just end this madness and give Tech the ball at the 20 yard line because... well, it just seems like that would be better than giving them the ball so close to their own endzone where they could possibly get a safety.
Yeah... Al Ford, for having no clue how to officiate a football game and still accepting pay for your gross, unconscionable incompetence, I still want to Kick Your Ass.
This is a photo of the men in my dad's "Men's Room" watching the Dawgs play. Seated (Left to right) is Paw Paw (my dad - John Tanner), Charlie Walton (my sister's 4 yr old), Me, Hampton (my 7 yr old son), Drew Tanner (my brother), Hollis Tanner (Drew's youngest son - 9) and behind us is Michael Tanner (Drew's middle son - 16) and Rob Walton (converted Colgate grad and the best damn brother-in-law in all the land.)
The highlight of the weekend was spending time with two fellas that I got in to plenty of trouble with back in the day, telling stories until the wee hours and laughing so hard my sides ached. Harold Ragsdale was our starting QB for two seasons leading the team to a record of 19-4 and was a 4 year starter at shortstop on our baseball team that won 2 state championships in 4 years. Eddie "Wink Andujar" Anderson was a dominant pitcher and played split end until Rags graduated and then started at QB his senior year. It was just like old times.
Also at the reunion was the real Andre "Pulpwood" Smith. Everyone reading this blog knows about the real Pulpwood and the fictional prognosticating Pulpwood. The real Pulpwood was virtually unstoppable at tailback since the age of 12 and was arguably an even better baseball player. Pulpwood has been through some difficult times, but in the past couple of years, he has returned to Coffee County, gotten baptized, become a devout Christian and is doing quite well. He is beloved by many for his exploits on the field, but those days are long in the past and his true friends and admirers today are those who accept him as he is and support him in his continuing journey. When I first caught up with Pulpwood at the reunion, he loudly exclaimed that "Hamp Tanner was the best receiving tight end in Coffee High history." He went on to say, "Hamp caught every pass ever thrown his way." The second part is almost completely accurate. Though we were predominantly a running team, I did catch 18 passes in 2 seasons as a starter and there was only one incompletion on a pass thrown to me when a Glynn Academy safety (Wynn Fendig) broke it up in the end zone. I still kick myself for not getting that ball! Anyway, the larger point is that Pulpwood is the kind of guy who will always build you up larger than life and pour on the compliments because he truly loves people. He is a genuinely nice guy with a heart of gold. It was a privilege and an honor to be his teammate for so many seasons, so long ago.
This is a photo of my Bro-in-Law Rob Walton, Andre "Pulpwood" Smith and me.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
While both losses were disappointing, the season is still young and can become exactly what most people expected if these Dawgs can get going and win 8 of the next 9 games. While that is a tall order, if it happens, then this team will have met most expectations. But, for this to happen, it is imperative to go and get a win on the road in Starkville Saturday night.
But, back to the rarity of magical seasons...
Since 1948, the Dawgs have exactly 15 seasons with 2 or fewer losses. That is 15 out of 61 seasons or 1 in 4. Coach Mark Richt has delivered 3 of those seasons, averaging 1 out of every 3 years (2002, 2004, 2007). Naturally, we want to have these type seasons every year. But, again, this was not a year in which this was expected. I do believe that our football program should be at a level where we are enjoying as many of these magical seasons as any other teams in the SEC or around the country and we aren't quite there. Still, if this team can pull it together and run the table, it would mark 4 such seasons in a decade for only the second time in the modern era and without the benefit of one Herschel Walker.
Realistically, what I will do for the rest of this year is to enjoy each victory as it comes... starting with one this Saturday against the Bizarro Dogs.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
However, I do want to say that as a former tight end, I always look for getting tight ends involved in the offense. I am puzzled why we have not. I am even more puzzled why we almost never put Aaron Murray in the shotgun despite the enormous pass rush from Arkansas and despite the fact that he is barely 6'0" if that. It just seems to me that he would have a better chance to see the field from the shotgun when we are in obvious passing downs. And, since he is mobile, why are we not moving him out of the pocket from time to time? Puzzling.
Oh well, off to call on customers and then to my first game in Fenway Park tonight.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
But, more importantly, we are now going to celebrate Annie's 10th birthday, and that is all that matters!
What I expect today:
Washaun Ealey must be a horse. Ealey must do his best to imitate Lattimore because I don't expect much if anything from Caleb King today. But, as I stated before, we must rush for 200 yards to win this game. And do it with Munzenmeir at fullback since Chapas is out.
Aaron Murray must use the tight ends, a lot. In fact, I will say if he throws 10 balls to the TE's that will be a great thing. Naturally, the TE's need to catch these balls.
Somebody out wide needs to step up in the absence of AJ Green and get behind the Arkansas DB's. Will it be R. Wooten, T. King or K. Durham? We need to stretch the field to help our running game.
Clearly the O-Line needs to sustain their blocks better than we have seen so far this year to get the run game going.
On defense, the word of the day is pressure, pressure, pressure. There is a great opportunity for Justin Houston to have a huge day but he will be getting plenty of attention from the Arkansas pass protectors. Thus, someone else needs to get after Mallett. I am looking for Darryl Gamble and Cornelius Washington to get to Mallett twice each.
We will see our nickel defense all day and without Branden Smith. These guys will need to make some plays to keep this game close. One or two timely interceptions would be outstanding!
This game very well could come down to the kicking game. In that case, I like our chances with Blair Walsh.
Prediction: Dawgs 34 - Hawgs 30.
Go DAWGS! GATA!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Actually, Pulpwood decided of his own volition that he was not speaking again until the Dawgs win an SEC game. Hopefully, he will be back next week.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
GEORGIA 2.5 Arkansas
UNC 1.5 Georgia Tech
OLE MISS 11.5 Vandy
Alabama 23.5 DUKE
FLORIDA ST 9.5 Byu
Florida 14.5 TENNESSEE
Southern Cal 14 MINNESOTA
Nebraska 3.5 WASHINGTON
OKLAHOMA 17 Air Force
AUBURN 6.5 Clemson
Texas 3 TEXAS TECH
LSU 7 Miss State
Iowa 1.5 ARIZONA
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Kiss My Ass - Chris Hawkins. For the second straight week, parties involved in Jersey-Gate can Kiss My Ass. This week it is the former UNC defensive back, Chris "I am not an agent, but I am a financial adviser and collector" Hawkins who bought AJ Green's Independence Bowl jersey (pictured) for around $1000. Hawkins met Green via Facebook and the two never met face to face, but Hawkins just had to have that awesome Indy Bowl jersey, ya know. I am not exactly sure how he meets the NCAA definition of "agent" but I don't think he would meet most people's definition of "collector." "Dirt bag"? Maybe. "Collector"? Not so much. In unrelated news, Hawkins was arrested in Madison, GA in April 2009, while driving a U-Haul truck from Miami to N.C. and allegedly had a small amount of marijuana in his pocket and 3 ounces of cocaine was discovered in the contents of the truck. To be fair, the coke may have belonged to someone else. Still, for luring AJ Green afoul of NCAA rules, Chris Hawkins can Kiss My Ass.
Kick My Ass - The Marines of BLT 1-4. The bad ass Marines that took back the Magellan Star from 9 armed Somali pirates on Sept 9th are from the same Battalion Landing Team (BLT) that I floated with onboard USS Okinawa in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91. After boarding the ship and capturing the 9 pirates, the Marines then went down to rescue the 11 man crew that had taken fortified refuge deep in the bowels of the ship in a space they called their "citadel." The Marines had to cut through steel doors and other obstacles because there was no way to communicate to the crew that they were being rescued. Now, read this paragraph from the link above:
"They finally cut one last hole, and called in with our loudspeaker that it was safe, the Marines had control of their ship, and to please come out. The ship’s captain peered hesitatingly from behind a steel bulkhead, still unwilling to come forward. Sgt Chesmore ripped an American flag patch from his shooter’s kit and held into the room as a final identification. The captain broke into a huge smile and immediately called his crew from their hiding places. They ran forward, unlocked the final barricaded door in their “citadel” and were escorted topside. Excited. Exhausted. And happy to have their ship back."
Notice the Polish ship captain's response upon seeing the Stars and Stripes! That is why I am proud to be an American and proud to be a Navy veteran. We are the good guys and screw the idiots that have that fact twisted. Ooh-rah! And yes, without even breaking a sweat, those Marines can Kick My Ass.
Kick Your Ass - Granny Holtz. I know it looks like I am picking on old men, and maybe I am. But, this scene from Stepbrothers is how I felt when looking at Lou Holtz's shit-eating grin in the ESPN studio moments after his Gamecocks had secured their 3rd victory over the Dawgs in the 10 tries since Coach Mark Richt arrived.
But wait, there's more. This week we play another of Dr. Lou's alma tomatoes in Arkansas, so be prepared for him to transparently pull against our Dawgs yet again. And for those reasons, Lou Holtz, I would love to Kick Your Ass.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Assuming that we will not have AJ Green, I don't think we want to get into a track meet with the Hawgs like we did last year when Joe Cox played unconsciously in a 52-41 victory that featured over 1000 yards of total offense. However, we do need to open the offensive playbook a lot more than we have and let Aaron Murray play. Still, the Dawgs need to take this opportunity to get their balls back and answer the Hawg's Mallett with a sledge hammer.
If you want to see a good example of what I mean by a sledge hammer, see Alabama's dismantling of Penn State. Maybe we can't do it, but if we can, we need to do it this week. We need to get back to run blocking like we were at the end of 2009. We have all the same personnel, so the problem has to be a combination of the injuries and illnesses that kept half our starting o-line from practicing for a month of preseason and a lack of conditioning and effort. I am hopeful that the poor run blocking in the first two games is fixable and that it is getting fixed this week. The second part of the equation is that our running backs need to use running back skills to gain yards. Sounds simple right? Well, apparently we have reverted back to our running woes from the first half of 2009 in which we could neither run away from the defender or break a tackle. The same backs we have now were able to show these skills in the final games of 2009, so I am guessing that they are capable of recapturing that determination and effectiveness and this is the game in which to do it.
The best way to limit the damage done by Mallett's arm is to keep him on the sideline. We can do that if we will get mean on the offensive line and run the ball like our hair is on fire. I honestly believe that we will need over 200 yards rushing to win this football game. (Again, assuming AJ is still getting screwed by the NCAA) Keep that number in mind Dawg fans. We need 200 yards on the ground. We need to grind the Hawgs defense into sausage and control the clock. We can do it, but only if a maximum effort is given by every player on every play. Again, see Alabama - or for that matter, see South Carolina.
Let's go Dawgs, time to let your balls drop.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
- Our defense has a ways to go to execute within the new 3-4 scheme against SEC competition.
- We could not tackle Marcus Lattimore. He has strong leg drive and good balance and runs behind his shoulder pads. He is a stud, and you cannot tackle him high - especially when you don't wrap up. The only good news about our tackling is that we are better than at least one team: Florida State. Boy did they tackle like the team from New York Life today.
- In the words of the houseplant with a microphone, Bob Davie, we got "outphysicaled" on both lines of scrimmage. The SC offensive line held their blocks just long enough for Lattimore to get going downhill for 5 yards or more on almost every carry. In contrast, after the first series, our offensive line didn't appear to anything particularly well.
- We miss AJ Green. A lot. Of course he wouldn't have helped us tackle any better, but his presence in our offense would have kept Lattimore off the field more so we would have missed less tackles at a minimum. When SC didn't have to account for AJ, they could load the box and challenge our other wideouts to beat them and we were unable to separate from the man coverage all day.
- We need to learn how to use our excellent tight ends. Granted, Orson Charles dropped what would have been a TD on the first drive. But where were these guys the rest of the game?
- Our offensive play calling is too conservative in an effort to ease Murray into the speed of the game.
We learned a few good things as well to build on...
- Aaron Murray is a pretty cool customer and he was careful with ball. The conservative play calling helped him limit mistakes but it also kept us from scoring. However, he really had nowhere to throw the ball on many plays today. Did I mention we missed AJ?
- We were only penalized 4 times for 35 yards.
I can't think of any other pluses right now except that Tech lost to Kansas - so there's that.
Here are a few other truths that may keep you from committing suicide or starting a website called "www.FireRicht.com":
- Maybe two teams will go undefeated in 2010. We won't be one of them.
- Our defense will get better. They are still learning the new scheme and they will have plenty to learn from after this game.
- Murray has the tools and with any running game at all, he will be plenty effective throwing the ball.
- AJ Green will be back someday - let's hope that the appeal gets him some relief and he can play next week against Arkansas.
- Our rushing game has nowhere to go but up.
- The last time we lost to SC, we ended the season ranked #2.
Go DAWGS. Get After That Film Study
Friday, September 10, 2010
The Dawgs annual 15 round slugfest with the South Carolina Gamecocks will kick off in 12 hours from when I am writing this. The big news all week has been the 4 game suspension of star receiver AJ Green. This has been a distraction for sure, but SC has a few players suspended for this game as well - TE Weslye Saunders and LT Jarriel King. So neither team is at full strength. Now what?
If Georgia wins the toss, I think they would defer and likely start on defense. Dawg fans would be excited to see Grantham's Dawgs GATA early and often. But, I would not be disappointed if we start on offense because we often have a well-scripted first series of plays and I would love to see our offensive line come out and set the tone early and get points on the board.
This game is always close. Always. Except when it isn't. Barring a rash of turnovers by one team, I would bet on this one also being close. The margin for error will be teensy. In the Dawgs last two losses to Carolina, we dropped three TD passes - not going to name names. Of course, in several of our recent wins, Carolina turned it over deep in UGA territory late in the game. A blocked extra point and a batted ball on 4th and goal saved our hides last year.
For the Dawgs to win, the following needs to happen:
- Relentless pressure on Garcia with containment to keep him from getting outside the ends. - Capitalize on turnover opportunities (ie. no dropped INT chances.)
- Maintain the golden ratio in offensive balance: 66% runs and 34% passes.
- Stretch the field a few times to keep their safeties honest and hopefully connect on a big one to T. King or Wootentheballcarrier.
- Use our tight ends often.
What I am looking for tomorrow:
- A big day from our tight ends because SC will be without injured LB Shaq Wilson, who had a monster game against us last year. There should be many mismatch opportunities for our TEs and they were virtually unused last week.
- At least one big return from Boykin or Smith. Yes this happened last year and I would like to see lightning strike twice.
- Magic Number for our defense is 5 - combination of sacks, Int's and fumble recoveries. If we hit this number, we will win. I think we will. In fact, I predict 3 sacks, 1 Int and 1 fumble recovery.
- 150 yards combined rushing from Ealey, King and Thomas. Ealey will lead the way with 85 yards on 12 carries.
- 3rd down conversion rate: Last year we converted a whopping 55% against SC while holding them to 35%. I can't imagine we will have a 20% spread again in this stat with a freshman QB and no AJ, but if we can produce a 10% spread - it will be enough. Look for something like 45% against 35%.
I will be a wreck when this game begins. How nice would it be to get a quick early lead and maintain a comfortable margin throughout the game? Well, we won't find out tomorrow... Dawgs prevail in a war: 27 - 20. Let's go Dawgs! GATA!
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Last week I went 6-5 against the spread. Not great but I am above .500 for the first time in a long time.
Auburn 2.5 MISS STATE
Georgia Tech 13 KANSAS
SOUTH CAROLINA 2.5 Georgia
FLORIDA 16.5 South Florida
Lsu 10 VANDY
OKLAHOMA 9.5 Florida State
NOTRE DAME 4 Michigan
OHIO STATE 9.5 Miami (Fla)
Oregon 13.5 TENNESSEE
ALABAMA 11 Penn State
SOUTHERN CAL 19.5 Virginia
Ole Miss 21 TULANE
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Unless you have been in an enclosed MRI tube for the past 4 hours, you know that AJ Green was suspended for 4 games by the NCAA for selling his Independence Bowl jersey for around $1000 (reportedly.) UGA will appeal the severe punishment in hopes of having it reduced like that of Alabama player Marcell Dareus who received close to $2000 from the party-throwing Miami agent scumbag. Dareus had his suspension reduced from four games to two. Dawg fans, don't count on a reduction for AJ. Don't pin any hopes on it. If it happens, then he will be a "luxury" in the Arkansas game and maybe the Miss. State game.
Do I think the time fits the crime? Hell no. But... he knew it was a violation to sell the jersey. Just because a rule might be stupid or unfair (on the argument that this one is) the players still know the rule exists and that a violation will result in a penalty. This is especially true with a huge asterisk at Georgia where we encountered serious potential problems after several players sold their 2002 SECC rings on Ebay. When I was a plebe at Navy, we were not allowed to mingle with civilian girls out in town. Was that a stupid rule? Damn straight. Did we intentionally violate it? Only if we could find civilian girls that would mingle with us. But, we would get stuck marching "tours" the next weekend if caught. Some rules are worth breaking. But breaking rules, no matter how petty, that will cause you to miss football games and let your teammates down is not worth breaking. Ever. The risk/reward calculus does not favor taking the chance.
I don't want to beat up on AJ Green, who is a fine person and a fantastic football player. I am sure he isn't the only player in the NCAA who has done this this year. But he got caught. I am sure that he knows the juice was not worth the squeeze so why belabor that point? The only thing for him to do now is to support his teammates and to be ready to play when he is reinstated.
So how do the Dawgs beat the Cocks without Green? Simple... DEFENSE. The Junkyard Dawgs are the ones who will bail him out Saturday. GATA Coach Grantham!
And the NCAA can still Kiss My Ass!
We had a gorgeous day in Athens last Saturday and there was virtually no humidity. I don't recall seeing any of our players cramp up. That is in part due to the weather and in part due to the substitutions later in the game. However, I saw plenty of cramping in the LSU-UNC and Boise-Va Tech games. This coming Saturday, the weather in Columbia will hover around 90 degrees with humidity over 60 %. That is not "A Time To Kill" hot, but coupled with the effort required to win this annual 15 rounder, cramps are going to happen.
If you watched LSU-UNC, you know that all-world corner Patrick Peterson was on the sideline with cramps when the last two UNC passes were deflecting off the hands of their tight end. Can you imagine if Rennie Curran had been on the sideline with cramps in waning moments of either of the past two UGA-USC tilts? What about Pollack in 2002? Rennie and David won't be there Saturday, so our new hero will need to be fully hydrated, full of pickle juice, bananas or whatever it takes because it's never easy in Columbia.