Friday, November 30, 2012

My Pre-Game Talk to Georgia (if I was Mark Richt)

[Scene: Georgia Dome Locker Room 10 minutes before kickoff]

Coach Mark Richt: Listen up. I need everyone who isn't a player or coach to leave the locker room.

[Locker Room clears of all but players and coaches]

Coach Richt: Men, you have worked hard to get here and you know what you need to do out there today. And I have zero doubt that you are going to do it. You're going to win tonight because you are going to focus on whipping your man on every play. Whip his ass and make sure he knows you whipped his ass and then whip his ass again. Whip his ass up and down this field and whip his ass all the way to the to the state line. You don't ever give up on a play and you be there to have your teammates back all the way.We are going to win this as a team by individually whipping some ass on every damn play.

Let me tell you this... I don't like Nick Saban. He is a sawed off little tyrant and our teams have whipped his in the past and we are going to do it again tonight. I promise you this, I will allow you to score as many points as you can score tonight. We are going to press the accelerator to the floor and not take our foot off until the final horn. The sky is the limit tonight and there is not going to be any stopping you. Period. Failure is not an option. We are going to win and we are going to win convincingly. It starts with you whipping someone's ass on the opening play, the next play and every single play until the last play. Just WHIP SOMEBODY'S ASS.

Men, you have said since summer that this is "Our Team, Our Time, No Regrets". YOU are the TEAM and THIS is the TIME. The last part is up to you and what you do for the next few hours.

Now buckle up, hunker down and Get After Their Asses!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Do We Even Play The Game? (Redux Article)

As a lifelong Dawg fan, this SEC Championship Game against Alabama is the type of game you dream about but according to most of the talking heads and the Paul Finebaum Show we are awaiting a funeral. Despite our team playing lights out for the past 5 games, if we don't show up with our A game in the Dome, we are waiting for a funeral.

This would be an appropriate death dirge chant...
Where will we all be 1000 years from now? (hunnnhh)
Where will we all be 1000 years from now? (hunnnhh)
Where will we all be 1000 years from now? (hunnnhh)
Keep repeating that while pushing the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down.

I would usually look at this game and try to figure out what I think the Dawgs must do to win the thing. But, at this point, I am going the other way and channeling Munson at his poor-mouthing best. There is no way we can beat these guys. They are just too big and physical and they have all the momentum. They have the greatest coach of all time. They have the greatest program of all time. Our defense was once adrift like a rudderless ship. And our offensive line was struggling to block for the run, their pass protection was terrible earlier in the season. Our Quarterback is 1-49 against ranked teams. Mark Richt is 1-211 against ranked teams. Our University President is 1-976 against ranked teams. Bama is ranked #2 after being ranked #1 for yeares. We are doomed. Let the talk about Georgia being unable to win the big games begin anew. We will be lucky if we even score. This could be as bad as when Bama came to Athens during Goff's tenure and we lost 31-0.

There is only one thing that gives me even the slightest glimmer of hope and that is the shape of the football. If the damn thing was round, we would be done. But, it ain't round and therefore it could take a few funny hops our way. We will need every break, every weird occurrence, every freak accident, etc to go our way. Our team just isn't man enough to win this toe-to-toe, mano-to-mano. To put it another way, we will have a slim chance of winning if we play like this is Auburn or Georgia Tech instead of Alabama and have Bama play like they are South Carolina trying to hold on to the SEC East. This means that we don't drop first down and touchdown passes, but Bama does. This means we return a kickoff or punt or interception for a touchdown, but Bama doesn't. This means that we don't have any touchdowns negated by penalty, but Bama does. This means that we don't have a kick blocked or give up a fake punt, but Bama does both. You see, these odds are long... but, in the immortal words of Lloyd Christmas, "You're telling me we've got a chance!" It's slim...we're talking frog's hair slim. But we do have a chance. And for that infinitesimally small chance... I will once again make the trek down to the Dome for hours of misery or ecstasy or a torturous mixture of both. 

While this may seem like a funeral, I will be praying for a resurrection. Come on Dawgs... Hunker the Fuck Down.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Game Day and a Pesky Bee to Swat

Georgia hosts Georgia Tech in what should become the Four In A Row, Baby game and 17 of the last 18 in the record books. Some of those games have been close. Will this one be close? Looking back to last Saturday's 45-14 win over the triple-optioning Georgia Southern Eagles we should get some insight into how our defense will handle Tech;s triple option. Southern ran the ball 58 times and racked up 302 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. Despite the 302 yards, Southern only reached the red zone twice. Importantly, Southern only gained 31 yards in the third quarter as Georgia got dialed in on the speed and execution of the triple option. At the end of the 3rd the score was 38-7 and the 122 yards Southern gained in the 4th quarter was an afterthought.

Surely the Dawgs have benefited from from seeing this offense run by the capable Georgia Southern offense but they certainly see a few Paul Johnson wrinkles today and a few more timely pass attempts. The key for the Dawgs will be in limiting the big plays. Tech's defense ranks 76th in the land in scoring defense and fired the defensive coordinator mid-season. This is a team that has surrendered 42, 49, 47, 41 and 50 to ACC juggernauts and Middle Tennessee State. Despite the amount of hate and determination this defense will play with today, they aren't going to hold Georgia under 40 points. They will have to decide whether they want to load up to stop the run like Southern did and then die by aerial assault from the nation's highest rated passer, Aaron Murray. If they sit back to defend the pass, Gurshall will run over and around them for a big day like 2009. Unless Tech gets out front early, Georgia will have the luxury of running a balanced attack and may choose the weapons of Tech's destruction.

I think we will see a bigger day passing than running. But it would suit me to see Gurley and Marshall each eclipse 100 yards rushing. I also hope to see another big day for the tight ends (as I always do.)

Defensively I expect to see another day of assignment, disciplined, run to the ball gang tackling. This should be a great day for the linebackers and I can't wait to watch them blow up the triple option all day!

I keep going back and forth on what I think the final score will be but I have settled on 45 - 20 with the Dawgs on top.

In other news, this is a big day for the SEC against the best teams in the ACC. Georgia is the only one favored. Florida State is favored over Florida and Clemson is favored over South Carolina. I am picking Florida to win 23-20 in OT and South Carolina to win 33-24.

Go Dawgs! GATA!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Speed Bumps and Humpty Humps

It turns out Auburn was merely a speed bump again this year as we again won by 38 points to make the tally 83-7 in the post Scam Newton era. The Dawgs played a nearly flawless game and this defense has now done it 3 weeks in a row. It will be fun to see how they handle Georgia Southern's triple option as our on-the-field preparation for the Four In A Row, Baby game against Tech next week.

I am taking my kids to Athens this weekend and we leave in a few minutes. Looking forward to a fun albeit cold weekend.

Dawgs will win 45-14.

Go Dawgs! GATA!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Can the Dawgs Even the Series in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry?

We start this day with an all-time ledger of 53-54-8 with the Tigers from Auburn. All indications are that this is the day that we even the series. Auburn enters 2-7 with nary a win in the SEC. The Dawgs enter 8-1 and set to secure a return trip to the Dome for the SEC Championship Game if they can, as expected, win the SEC East with a victory on the Plains tonight.

Auburn's defense has been surprisingly atrocious. Surprising because they now have Brian Van Gorder coordinating. Admittedly, most Dawg fans were worried about this hire when it was announced. Now, we scratch our heads as we gaze upon Auburn's national ranking of 87th in Total Defense. It is stunning that BVG's defense is playing so poorly.

On offense, the Tigers are even worse, ranked 116th in the nation in Scoring Offense with a paltry 19.2 points per game. In Total Offense they are ranked 116th.

Do those numbers get you fired up? NOT SO FAST! Kentucky is ranked even worse on offense and we let them hang around for 60 minutes. As awful as Auburn has been at times, they only lost to #9 LSU by a score of 12-10 and to #10 Clemson 26-19. Last year the Auburn game was our annual "open a 55 gallon drum of whoop ass" game. This year, we already had that game against Vanderbilt so I am not expecting a redux of the 45-7 thrashing we visited upon Auburn last year. Instead, I think Auburn will come up guns blazing and may even take an early lead. I'm not talking about a 1993 Ben Leard 28-0 Auburn lead. But maybe 7-0 in the first quarter. However, Georgia will punch back and will hammer Auburn with a balanced offensive attack and will gradually add to the lead until when it is over, it won't look close but it won't feel that way while it is happening. Figure something along the lines of 7-7 at the end of the 1st; 17-10 at the half; 27-13 at the end of 3rd; and 30-13 final. It won't be nearly as gratifying as last year but every win on the plains is a beautiful game.

A few things I hope to see:

- 75% completion Aaron Murray, not SC/FL Aaron Murray.
- More tightend (like more cowbell only better). With Marlon Brown now out, I would like to see Lynch and Rome step up.
- Gurshall rushing for over 200 would be sweet. We haven't been treated to a long one in a while. That ends today.
- All Jarvis all the time. Auburn OL Chad Slade certainly issued the challenge by saying that it's not hard to stop Jarvis Jones. We shall see.
- Smothering defense. Today, we find out if our defense is truly "back" if they can make it 3 consecutive games of steady, consistent, assignment football and shut down Auburn like they did Florida and Ole Miss. I think they will. Yielding around 13 points will be a good outcome.
- SEC East Baby. Get it done.

Go Dawgs! GATA!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Dawgs Hunker Down on the RBBs

Like Saban... I don't have time for this shit.

Georgia must win tomorrow and thus they will win. I am not confident that we will make it easy but we will end up with the W. We may even cover the spread with a late security TD.

The key to the game will be to maintain some defensive continuity from last week with guys playing as a unit and playing assignment football. If Jarvis is healthy, I alredy feel comfortable.

On offense, we need to continue running the ball with some authority but also need to be sharp in the passing game. We can't be one-dimensional, ever. So I hope to see Murray play well for 4 quarters and for all 3 running backs to get carries. Don't wear out young Todd Gurley if we don't have to.

I am now leaving for the 6 hour drive and for some banqueting tonight. Sic Vos Non Vobis.

Go Dawgs! GATA!