Saturday, October 30, 2010
The Dawgs offense has been firing on most cylinders for the past three games. There has been a fine blend of running and passing and the offensive line play has improved significantly during the three game winning streak. The defense has also shown signs of improvement as they ascend the learning curve in the new 3-4 defense. Of course, these trends have occurred against Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky so it remains to be seen if there has been enough real improvement to warrant the optimism in Dawgnation.
In the Dawgs past three wins I did not make any pre-game predictions so I am certainly not going to start now! I hope our team will remain consistent and remain on the plus side of the turnover ledger. I hope the penalty monster will not rear his ugly head for us today, but he is welcome to afflict the team in Nike Pro Combat uniforms as much as he likes. And perhaps most of all, I hope that we don't get complete incompetence from the officiating crew (a man can dream can't he?)
To Corch Meyer, the message of the day is: TIME TO CRY, BITCH!
I will be heading to the stadium in about an hour. I will leave you with these important thoughts:
Gators wear jean shorts.
It's great... to be... a Georgia Bulldog!
Go Dawgs! GATA!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Florida State 3.5 NC STATE
Miami 14.5 VIRGINIA
IOWA 6.5 Michigan State
Clemson 6.5 BOSTON COLLEGE
S. CAROLINA 17.5 Tennessee
ARKANSAS 21.5 Vandy
MISS STATE 7 Kentucky
Auburn 7 OLE MISS
TEXAS 7.5 Baylor
Georgia 2.5 Florida (in Jacksonville)
NEBRASKA 7 Missouri
Michigan 2 PENN STATE
Oregon 6.5 SOUTHERN CAL
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Bite My Ass - Gators. This is obvious. Gators... Gators... how'd you like to bite my ass? Gators... Gators... how'd you like to bite my ass?
Kick Her Ass - Hunker Down Beer Challenge & ugakerri. It appears that ugakerri was the latest victim of The Hunker Down Beer Challenge last Saturday as she started it with the Auburn-LSU game and continued for UGA-Kentucky and then this happened - NYC walk of shame.
Kick Your Ass - Joy Behar. What an insufferable bitch. She seems keen on challenging Sharron Angle to a catfight, but my money says that she would get her ugly ass kicked. This idiot is clearly misnamed - Bitter Behar would be a better name. Shut your stinking pie hole, bitch.
Monday, October 25, 2010
These are listed loosely in order. The last two spots easily could have been occupied by at least 4 other teams outside of my top ten. I feel pretty solid about who I like as the top 8 teams in the country. I am surprised by Missouri but they showed me something handling Oklahoma the way they did.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Later in the day, the Dawgs created opportunities early and capitalized on them jumping to a 28-10 halftime lead and held off Kentucky's second half comeback effort to win 44-31. Washaun Ealey rushed for 157 yards and 5 touchdowns (a UGA record). The Dawgs' other TD came on a Brandon Boykin 100 yard kickoff return.
I have heard some Dawgs fans grumbling about the Wildcats outgaining the Dawgs 423 to 290 yards. This stat means nothing to me as the Dawgs worked with short fields most of the evening and you can't get any more yards once you cross the goal line, which we did 6 times (which was more than Auburn or South Carolina scored against these Cats). I was impressed that we dictated our will on the Kentucky defense on the ground and only threw the ball 12 times, completing 9. Justin Houston racked up 3 more sacks putting him at 9.5 on the season and Sanders Commings got his 3rd interception of the season. The Dawgs forced 4 turnovers and surrendered only one which came on the late on-side kick that bounced off of Boykin's knee right back to the UK kicker.
There were a few trouble spots such as our propensity to continue to give up first downs on third and long. There are still some coverage issues to work on. The only other problem is one that I am glad happened in Kentucky so hopefully it won't happen this coming Saturday in Jacksonville. Blair Walsh missed a make-able field goal and also missed an extra point for the only time in his career. Get it out of your system Blair because we need you to be perfect at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
All said... it was a thoroughly satisfying win as we scored over 40 points for the third consecutive week and did most of it on the ground and without Caleb King. Now, we prepare for the Gators in a game that I look forward to more than all the rest. Have a great week of practice Dawgs and get ready to Get After Some Gator Asses!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Two weeks ago, Kentucky played a knock down drag out game against undefeated Auburn in which Auburn won on a field goal as time expired. Last week against South Carolina, Kentucky pulled themselves out of a deep hole in the second half, scored a go-ahead TD on fourth and game and then staved off the SC answering drive by intercepting a pass in the end zone to seal the victory. Today, the resurging Bulldogs enter Commonwealth Stadium after two easy wins in which the Dawgs outscored their opponents 84-14. The Grind Effect clearly favors the Dawgs.
Here are a few examples of the The Grind Effect in action in 2010:
Alabama: After downing Arkansas 24-20 in a come-from-behind thriller and then handling Florida 31-6 in a heavily hyped game, the Tide was out when The Grind Effect was on and Bama lost The Grind Effect game to South Carolina by two touchdowns 35-21.
South Carolina: After losing a physical war against undefeated Auburn 35-27, SC played lights out in beating Alabama 35-21 and then collapsed in the second half against Kentucky in The Grind Effect game losing 31-28. Losing Marcus Lattimore for the second half was a huge factor which can also be lamed on The Grind Effect.
Arizona: Beat Iowa 34-27, beat Cal 10-9 and then lost to mediocre Oregon State 29-27 in The Grind Effect game.
The Dawgs are entering this game relatively healthy but without the suspended Caleb King. Kentucky will be without their best RB Darren Locke. The Dawgs need to play physical and win in the trenches - where grinding really takes a toll. Making Kentucky work hard for everything they get will hasten the process of emptying the Wildcats' tank so that another second half comeback (like last week against SC and last year against UGA) will not be possible.
Join me today in pulling for the Dawgs and The Grind Effect as Georgia continues to improve and stay alive in the SEC East race.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
OREGON 21.5 Ucla
Notre Dame 6.5 Navy (in East Rutherford, NJ)
MIAMI 6.5 Unc
CLEMSON 5.5 Georgia Tech
IOWA 5.5 Wisconsin
Michigan State 7.5 NORTHWESTERN
South Carolina 12.5 VANDY
*ARKANSAS 10 Ole Miss
OKlahoma 3 MISSOURI
Alabama 17 TENNESSEE
AUBURN 6.5 Lsu
Georgia 3.5 KENTUCKY
TCU 20 Air Force
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I assume that it is your job to get calls correct on the field or at worst, upon review. I further assume that you would like to perform this task accurately. (Penn Wagers and Marc Curles are excepted.) Here is a bit of advice that will improve your accuracy percentage... When AJ GREEN appears to catch a pass in the end zone, call it a touchdown ON THE FIELD. In other words, set your default on "TD" and then let the replay official fix it in the unlikely event that you are wrong.
AJ Green has now been screwed out of two amazing acrobatic touchdowns in the past two seasons because the official on the field probably felt that it was not possible for any receiver to make that catch. Guess what... AJ Green is not "any receiver" and he has proven over and over that he has the best combination of hands and body control of any receiver in the SEC in a long time. This is especially true in the end zone where he has routinely defied physics and logic to make unbelievable catches. I think that AJ has earned the benefit of the doubt instead of the opposite which is "let's assume that he didn't make the catch unless indisputable video evidence proves he did."
TD #1 that was taken away:
The second touchdown that was missed was last Saturday against Vanderbilt but I can't find any video. AJ went up high and snatched the ball away from a defender and came down with the ball tucked in one hand against his belly and landed on his belly. It was clear that his arm was between the ball and the ground. When he bounced off the ground, it was clear that he kept the ball tucked tight against his body as he rolled over to reveal possession of the ball. The referee said that the ball hit the ground, which looked possible in full speed. Upon review, it was clear to me that the ball did not touch the ground but there were not 10 corroborating video angles proving this so the replay official did not overturn the call.
So, in the future, just call it a touchdown and chances are almost 100% that you will be correct. Then apply the "indisputable video evidence" standard to overturning the touchdown. Got it? Great. Carry on.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The Dawgs pitched a beautiful shutout against Vanderbilt in a 43-0 shellacking of the most hapless team I have seen in the SEC in a long time. As usual, Murray played a fine game, earning him SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the second time this season. Kris Durham and AJ Green made big catches while Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas sparked the running game behind improving offensive line play. The defense swarmed the ball, pressured the QB, forced turnovers and generally played a highly spirited ball game. But... what does it all mean?
As you know... The Mighty Gator lost their third straight SEC game to Mississippi State 10-7. This slide means that UGA and UF have the same number of losses in the East and some Dawgs fans are giddy about what could happen in Jacksonville at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in two weeks. There is hope that the Dawgs could climb back into the race for the SEC East.
In addition, Sackerlina lost their second SEC game and only hold a one game lead over the Dawgs with Arkansas and Florida remaining on their schedule. Yes things are looking up for the Dawgs and the new pup on the block, UGA VIII.
[Cue sound of a phonograph record scratching to a stop]
Have you all gone mad? Are you insane? Have you lost your minds? Don't take the bait. Stop looking forward to a game two weeks away! Let me inject a few nuggets of reality here...
- We have to play Kentucky, in Lexington, at night. Two weeks ago, Auburn needed a last second field goal to win in Lexington, at night. Last Saturday, South Carolina lost in a late rally by the Wildcats in Lexington, at night. In short, we have to play a good Kentucky team, that just beat the team that beat us and Alabama this season. This is the same Kentucky team that beat us 2 of the past 4 years - and would have been 3 if not for a late game heroic redemption by Mo Massaquoi. The Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we will get to that game in Jacksonville. But first, there is some extremely serious business to attend to this week. We can beat Kentucky but it will require the best game we have played on defense all season and our offense must continue the momentum it has gained in the past two weeks against significantly lesser competition.
- Even if we are able to win out, we need South Carolina to lose twice and we are counting on the Gators, who have looked anemic on offense most of the time, to give them one of those losses. Presumably, Arkansas would provide the other opportunity - but at Columbia. Yes, Marcus Lattimore hurt his ankle and missed most of the second half against Kentucky and this assuredly contributed to the comeback by the Wildcats. But SC plays Vanderbilt and Tennessee in the next two weeks, so I would imagine that Lattimore will be back in business in time for Arkansas on November 6.
- In addition, we would have to beat the best Auburn team since 2004 with this year's likely Heisman winner making all kinds of Herschel Walkerish, Bo Jacksonish, Tim Tebowish plays. For us to win at Auburn this year, we would have to win our 5th straight over the WarTigers which we haven't done since Harry S. Truman was in the White House.
Now, I am generally optimistic about things but I am also realistic. And while there is still a chance that we could win the SEC East, nothing really matters except the next game. And this week, the next game is against a Kentucky team that plans on making it extremely hard on us this Saturday night.
After our loss to MSU, I stated that it is time to literally take this season one game at a time and enjoy any wins in the singularity of that event. The win over Tennessee was satisfying for me because I don't think I will ever grow tired of seeing a Dawgs victory over any team in orange. The win of Vanderbilt was enjoyable because the team looked great in every phase of the game and there were some beautiful plays that will be on highlight films for the next number of years. And, I will submit, that a win over Kentucky this Saturday night will be a wonderful thing no matter what happens in the other convoluted precarious scenarios that we hope will come to pass.
And now... despite all that I have just said... I must admit, I am a little excited about the glimmer of hope and how uplifting it is to know that there just MIGHT be a chance...
GO DAWGS! GATA!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
CLEMSON 15 Maryland
MICHIGAN ST 7 Illinois
GEORGIA 15.5 Vanderbilt
South Carolina 6 KENTUCKY
FLORIDA 7 Miss State
ALABAMA 21 Ole Miss
Unc 6.5 VIRGINIA
NEBRASKA 9.5 Texas
Iowa 3.5 MICHIGAN
Ohio State 4 WISCONSIN
AUBURN 4 Arkansas
GEORGIA TECH 19 Middle Tennesee St U
TEXAS A&M 3.5 Missouri
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Kiss My Ass - Major League Baseball. Since the Braves lost and since it is freaking mid-October... baseball can totally kiss my ass. For that matter, so can the NBA and NHL. Why don't they wait until winter when someone may actually watch?
Kick My Ass - Hunker Down Beer Challenge. As BernieDawg predicted... The Hunker Down Beer Challenge last Saturday kicked my ass. I committed to drink one beer for every Georgia score (TD, FG, Safety) which resulted in my obligation to consume 7 beers. One of the 7 was a 22oz bomber of Terrapin Hopzilla at 10.7 % ABV. The next 6 beers were Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ales at 5.4 % ABV and then I had "one to grow on" which was a Sweetwater IPA at 6.7% ABV. The photographic evidence is tendered herewith. Note - my mom was drinking the red wine and my friend Dave was drinking the Ketel One. Anyway... since the Dawgs decided to open a can of whoop ass on Tennessee and scored 41 points, I willingly and happily drank to excess. You may be saying, "Dude, it was only 8 beers. You let that kick your ass?" In short, yes... briefly. I admit that I dozed off during the second half of Bama's debacle at Columbia and woke up just in time for Navy's kickoff at 6:30. The last time I took a nap shortly after a UGA game was in 1991 when we beat Clemson on the same day that the Braves clinched a playoff berth. I was in San Diego at the time and my Navy buddies and I watched the Braves clinch at a place called Sluggos in La Jolla that served Chicago Style dogs and chili cheese fries along with cheap pitchers of beer. Then we went to a sports bar to watch UGA beat Clemson. My friend Jim Chatfield from Pittsburgh decided that we would all do a shot of tequila every time Georgia scored. The Dawgs won 27-12 and we did 5 tequila shots along with countless beers plus the pitchers at Sluggos. We were exuberant, to say the least. Anyway, I thought, by way of comparison, that I would equate my beers last Saturday to tequila shots. Turns out that my beer challenged resulted in the consumption of 7.046 ounces of alcohol. If a tequila shot is 1.5 ounces and is 40% alcohol (80 proof), then my beers equated to 11.7 tequila shots in about 3.5 hours (or 1 tequila shot every 18 minutes.) Ouch. I am glad the Dawgs broke out in a big way, but I am also glad that things slowed down in the 4th quarter. So yes, The Hunker Down Beer Challenge kicked my ass, but I will reissue the beer challenge on October 30 for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Who is with me?
Kick Your Ass - Aaron, the Indian midget on Eastbound and Down. Little man, you and your fake mustache better stop screwing with my boy Kenny Powers or I will come down to Mexico and kick your diminutive ass! And your tiny blade doesn't scare me at all, cabronita.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
We kicked Tennessee's ass all the way up 441 and right through Talullah Gorge. It was about time this team showed up ready to play, executed well and received a plethora of breaks at the misfortune of the opponent. As Senator Blutarsky pointed out, we recovered as many fumbles in the first half as we did in all of 2010.
Aaron Murray continues to get better and Bobo finally moved the pocket and sent him on some bootlegs. More please. Common sense says that Murray will make some more rookie mistakes, but I would like to compare his performance against UT with Stafford's breakout performance against Auburn in 2006. In both cases, the teams were coming of a stretch of 4 losses and the teams appeared to be on the verge of coming unglued. In Auburn 2006 and UT 2010, our freshman QB showed their first best grasp of the playbook and recognition of the defenses resulting in sound execution, timely audibles and several gutsy improvisation runs to lead the team an emotionally charged victory over an SEC rival. Starting with Auburn 2006, the team went on a 24-5 run with Stafford at the helm. Much remains of the 2010 season, but if history was to repeat itself, I think Dawg fans would be happy. (In fairness, Murray has played well in every game this year, but he noticeably elevated his game Saturday and part of that was a result of playcalling, part a result of AJ Green being on the field, and part due to Murray getting more experienced and more comfortable running this team.)
Aaron Murray's play reminds me of Chase Daniel from Missouri a couple of years back. Daniel was a three year starter and had two seasons with over 4000 yards passing and 30+ touchdowns. Daniel was also an elusive runner and certainly made plays with his feet. I think they are both about the same size and a lot of Murray's movements are reminiscent of Daniel - to me.
How did you guys feel about Tennessee making all of the mistakes that have haunted the Dawgs in the past couple of seasons? Fumbled kickoff, fumbled punt, interception, two personal fouls on late hits out of bounds... It sure was nice to see a team not in Red and Black shooting their feet off for a change.
Tight ends... the more we use them the more we score. The more we score, the more we win. Ergo... throw to your tight ends early and often! With AJ getting so much attention, our tight ends should find some open space in the middle seam but we haven't exploited that yet. We missed Charles on a seam route earlier this year but that was without AJ in the lineup. I predict that Charles or Aron White will strike for a long one against Vanderbilt right down the middle of the field.
AJ Green is Superman. There is no other explanation.
Monday, October 11, 2010
the next 9 not necessarily in any order:
Dammit Mumme Poll, I need my 11 and 12 spots back so I could put both Sackerlina and Bama on the ballot but not in the Top Ten. Seriously, I believe Alabama would beat most any team in my Top Ten, but they have a loss and if I keep them in the Top Ten, wouldn't I also be obliged to put South Carolina in the Top Ten as well? And, if so, which undefeated teams get booted?
To solve this conundrum, I decided, at least for this week, to include only undefeated teams in my Top Ten. Of course, there are undefeated teams outside my Top Ten as well. Most notably, Utah. I suppose I could replace Michigan State or Nevada with Utah, but frankly, I am more impressed with the body of work of those two teams at this point.
I recognize that Nevada is my outlier, but I have seen them play twice and I am blown away by there efficiency and execution. They have yet to trail this season and Colin Kaepernick looks like the second coming of Vince Young, only better. The 52-31 drubbing of Cal continues to stand up as Cal smashed UCLA 35-7 Saturday. If Nevada remains undefeated until their showdown with Boise State 11/26, they can make everyone believers by dispatching the Broncos on their home field in Reno.
Oregon is my #1 team and it is not even close. I cannot imagine why the major polls have tOSU in front.
LSU is the only team in the nation with 6 wins over BCS conference foes. In fact, no one else in the Top Ten has more than 4 wins against BCS conference teams. Say what you will about the method, but the madness has resulted in a 6-0 start.
What do you think? Where did is screw up? What would you do differently?
Saturday, October 09, 2010
1. Bootleg QB keeper.
2. Bootleg toss to TE on an out.
3. Misdirection pitch to a tailback going one way while the other 10 guys are going the other.
4. Play action pass to a tailback on a wheel route.
I would run these plays until the Georgia defense stopped them. Tennessee feasted on this combination in 2007 and 2009.
If I was Todd Grantham, I would do all in my power to take away those 4 plays.
We need a win badly and stopping the bootleg just might be enough to get it done.
Go Dawgs. GATA!
Friday, October 08, 2010
Drew was an extraordinary pitcher in Douglas, Georgia in an era when we had a glut of excellent baseball talent which led to many consecutive youth league State Championships, a long run of High School Region Championships and a run of 3 State Championships in 4 seasons at Coffee High School: 1981 (AAA), 1982 and 1983 (AAAA). Drew was pitching at Navy in 1983, so he can't get any credit for that one.
Drew, a lefty, was a tall kid until around the age of 14 when he stopped growing taller and everyone else caught up or passed him. In High School he was 5'-10" and about 185 lbs. His fastball was in the upper 80's (despite his claim of being in the low 90's) but he had immaculate control (picture Greg Maddux) and he managed to throw his deceptive change up with the exact same arm motion as his fastball. But, his out pitch was a devastating curve ball that came in only about 2 or 3 mph slower than his fastball and would literally dive 18 inches right at the plate. It didn't move as much from left to right as it did from high to low. It was virtually unhittable and he could throw it for a strike. If the batter did make contact, rarely would the ball leave the infield. In other words, if you were going to get a hit, you better get it early in the count, because once the count went to 2 strikes you weren't getting another straight pitch and driving the curve ball was impossible. Often the third strike would hit the dirt in front of the catcher and would require a tag or throw down to first base. On occasion the batter would reach first base after striking out. But, then Drew would use another crafty tool from his bag of tricks and pick them off with the sneaky "balk move." This usually happened to the first man to reach first base in the game and thereafter, any other runners would usually be heading back to the bag while Drew was throwing to the plate.
It was a lot of fun for me to watch my brother pitch for so many years. In fact, when I was a sophomore bench warmer for the baseball team in 1982, when Drew was pitching, I was his de facto database on the opposing batters. Before each inning I would remind him what upcoming hitters had done in their previous at bat in an exchange that might go something like this...
Me: The first guy swung at the first pitch fastball and made good contact so maybe start him out with a breaking ball. The second guy almost fell down swinging at the curve ball and the third guy fouled off several curves in a row so maybe give him some high heat as an out pitch since he will expect the curve.
Drew: Ok. Thanks Brother Rudy. (Long story but has nothing to do with the move "Rudy" which came out later.)
In his senior year (1982), Drew was 16-0, yielding a lonely one earned run in 101 innings - with a stint of 78 consecutive innings without an earned run. But what about strikeouts? After all, the title of this post is "Strike Out Kings." This is the point that made me think of Drew last night after Lincecum recorded his 14th strikeout. In his senior year, Drew averaged nearly 14 strikeouts per 7 inning game with 197 K's in 109 innings (1.8 K's per inning.) A couple of years ago, Coffee High School had a pitcher strike out 12 in a game and one excited fan, upon seeing my brother in the crowd, asked, "Drew, did you ever have 12 strikeouts in a game?" My brother, doing his best to be humble, replied "Yeah, a few times."(Drew was featured in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" on July 5, 1982)
Drew was recruited by Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Texas A&M but was leaning to go to Navy (where our uncle had recently graduated) and since pro scouts were telling him he was too short to pitch in the bigs. But another reason was that the big schools would not offer a full scholarship as they explained they only had 13 scholarships for the whole team and so rarely did a pitcher get a full ride. As a point of pride, Drew wanted a full ride because he felt he could also contribute as a position player and hitter. When none of the big boys offered anything more than a 1/2 scholly, Drew chose Navy. Regarding his recruitment, I will never forget the day that Ga Tech head coach Jim Morris came to watch Drew pitch against the Johnson High Atom Smashers (out of Savannah.) Drew wanted to impress on this occasion and only threw a no-hit shutout. Later, back at our house, Jim Morris sat in our dining room and told Drew that college hitters won't swing at his curve ball. I heard him say it.
Despite Jim Morris's prediciton, at Navy, Drew continued to win games and strike out batters with his curve ball. In his Junior and Senior years he had a combined 18-2 record and led Navy to the Miami Regional where they lost a close game to Georgia Tech, but not before Drew, in a no-decision, struck out his share of Morris's GT batters in a game that went 11 innings and ironically was ended when our former high school teammate Riccardo Ingram hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 11th.
At the conclusion of his senior year at Navy, Drew was recognized as a Baseball America Third Team All American and was selected to pitch on the 1986 USA Baseball Team that summer before heading off to flight school in Pensacola. After 7 years flying P-3C Orion's in the Navy, Drew joined me at UGA Law School and is now practicing back in Douglas.
Of course, I recognize that Drew was not striking out players in a MLB playoff game. But when it comes to Strike Out Kings, my all-time favorite will always be #22. I love you, bro!
Nebraska 10.5 KANSAS STATE
MICHIGAN 4.5 Michigan State
NC STATE 10 Boston College
UNC 1 Clemson
GEORGIA TECH 7 Virginia
GEORGIA 10.5 Tennessee
Alabama 7.5 SOUTH CAROLINA
FLORIDA 7.5 Lsu
ARKANSAS 8.5 Texas A&M
MIAMI 7 Florida State
Auburn 8 KENTUCKY
STANFORD 8.5 Southern Cal
Navy 5 WAKE FOREST