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Thursday, November 16, 2017
So, my lone 2 questions about the rankings would be this:
· If Clemson and Miami both entered undefeated, and Clemson lost to Syracuse and Miami beat ND, would Clemson still be #2. The answer is, of course not.
· If Auburn beat UGA by 23 in early October, and they both entered this past with one loss, and UGA beat Vandy or Mizzou and Auburn lost to LSU…would Auburn be ranked ahead of UGA. The answer is, of course not.
You know they are pulling hard for Wisconsin (after secretly hoping they’d lose the last few weeks) so they don’t have to make a decision, because they clearly don’t know how to make them. A common sense top 8 would be:
8. Ohio St.
Yes, Auburn curb-stomped us, but they also lost to a team that lost to Troy. It all doesn’t matter, as it will play its self out, but the concerning thing is that these are the goobers that run the sport.
Either UGA or Auburn would have felt mad at being behind the other. But the Miami/Clemson thing is ridiculous. If Wisky loses (probably late afternoon), all bets are off as to how this thing ends up.
Monday, November 13, 2017
Well,was depressing, but it happens. We weren’t “not ready.” We took it to them from the opening kickoff and held them to FGs early. As the game wore on, we couldn’t control the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball, and we made ridiculously dumb penalties.
· We missed a sure TD down 9-7
· We held them the next possession, forcing a punt, about the get the ball back down 9-7, before the leaping penalty. They’re punting it to us with to go from their 31. We stand to get good field position.
· We completely screw up the end of the half. Kirby admitted as such. But, we were certain we couldn’t block Holland and were fearing a sack. Then we missed the kick.
· Alas, our D goes 3 and out to start the 2nd half and Mecole muffs the punt at our 23.
Boys, You can say all you want about how we lost composure or the crowd got to us or we got man-handled up front. Maybe all 3 of those things happened. Maybe it all worked together. But, had auburn missed a FG, given us 2 free possessions from our punts, and mis-fired on their long TD pass. It would have been a different game. They executed. We didn’t. It ain’t rocket science. Once it got 23-7, that’s when the place got rockin’, but it was mighty quiet after Nick scored early, and it would have been quiet if Ridley was running across the goal-line. And maybe we wouldn’t have started to feel like we’ve got to make those plays.
There is no ‘annual egg-laying.’ We have put a number on Auburn a few times in the last 12 years in kind of inexplicable ways. 2011 and 2014 come to mind. Both of those at home when things got sideways and the crowd got pumping. Ohio St. got one handed to them in Iowa City. It’s college football.
I do think we saw some deficiencies on the OL that is mostly about youth. We do still start 2 freshman, and the entire right side of the line will start as juniors the next time we’re in Jordan-Hare. We do have a freshman QB. He wasn’t the problem, but he didn’t look like a wiley veteran. It reminded me of Zeier in Tuscaloosa in ’91 when we lost 10-0. He got slung around that night and so did Jake. Z rebounded and so will Jake. To me, that’s who Jake reminds me most of. And, for my money, Murray and Zeier were the best 2 we ever had.
We didn’t tackle well, but it’ll get fixed. We’ll win the next 2 and see where we’re at. Win the next 3 and we’re in. 15-0 would have been sweet, but I’ve always said I want to get to the Benz 11-1. That’s all the ever really matters. Even if we’d have won, we’d be in a stretch to make the 4 while losing in Atlanta. Bama in. ACC champ in. OU prob. In. Wisky in if they win. Or, would they put us in over Big 10 champ OSU? Or, would we get the nod over Miami if they lost to Clemson seeings as how they curb-stomped the team we beat by 1? Winning ATL is the only sure way.
What do we want? We want the Cocks to beat Clemson and Clemson win the ACC. Then, we got to N.O. if we win. And I want Bama. I think we’re a better match-up with them, and I also think we’ve got to climb that mountain at some point. Might as well be now.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Welp…we’re a national powerhouse. I suppose we all have to deal with it. There’s no getting away from it. We’re now 25 point favorites over a 6-2 team. And 25 sounds about right because that’s about what we beat everyone by.
Interesting scene and feel in Jacksonville. The Gator fans knew what was coming, and their side was only about 75% full at kickoff. The first 7-8 minutes of the game were so fast and furious it was almost unbelievable. Most of us were in shock. We’d never really experienced that. But we had gotten up 20-0 in 2013. The most impressive thing to me is Kirby’s ability to keep the hammer down in these games. I don’t know if that’s scheme or mentality. I just know we’re better at it than ever before.
As for Jake, after it was 21-0, I was thinking, “Why throw the ball?” The only way that thing was going to end up tight was for us to make some stupid mistakes, as it him getting sacked and fumbling or throwing picks. The narrative is that we will need to throw the ball. But, I think I’ve seen that we can. We did against MSU. We did against Mizzou. There’s no need to if we don’t need to. We’re not trying to prove a point. We’re trying to win games and keep leads safe. Up 21, the clock was our friend. Now, what will we do in a game where we don’t jump up? Well, we went score for score vs. Mizzou until we finally started stopping them. Will Auburn make us throw it? Maybe. Statistically, Miss. St.’s D is much better than Auburn’s in basically every category. In Total D, they’re 6 & Auburn is 13. We’re 3rd. Now, that MSU D couldn’t really slow down us or Auburn. But, the point is that this is far and away the best D Auburn has faced, but maybe not us. MSU’s is statistically better and ND is a better rushing Defense by 8 spots. And ND has played UGA, Mich. St, USC, and NCSU…4 pretty good teams.
South Carolina is 107th in total offense and we’re #3 in total defense. They shouldn’t score much. They just shouldn’t. I’m succumbing to the numbers. We’re just waaaaay better. I’ve got to own and embrace it. You do, too.
· So happy for our 5 big seniors. They deserved this and all played well.
· Trenton Thompson makes a huuuuuge difference on the DL.
· No one is talking about how we’re surviving (well, that’s a bad word…we’re thriving) on D without Natrez. One more game.
· I don’t know what was going on w/ the delay of game penalties. The refs were screwing up the clock there. The first time, I find it hard to believe we got 25 full seconds. We barely had any time. Maybe we were slow. But BOTH times, the game clock was moving after the penalty. Uh…I don’t think that’s the way this works, elsewise the way to run out the clock is to keep getting penalties. The game clock does not start back after the penalty.
· Nick Chubb still hasn’t seen the field in the 4th qtr since South Bend. Seriously, I expect our skill guys to be very fresh down the stretch.
· JR Reed continues to climb up my favorites list.
· I do wonder what will happen to us in a close game. It’s going to come at some point.
2 things: No one could have predicted this, especially with Eason getting hurt vs. App. This wasn’t the plan, per se, but it sure has worked out. Jake seems to be the leader this team needs. Maybe it will bite us as ‘too conservative’ at some point, or maybe he’ll be Buck Belue. But, But BUT!!!! This wasn’t THAT complicated, was it. I love Mark Richt. I really do. I wanted him to stay as our coach. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why he couldn’t figure out what any fan that knows a little football knew about this program 3 years ago. We didn’t need to fix THAT much, but we HAD to fix it if we were going to compete:
Ø Lock down the in-state talent. Check.
Ø Develop a competent offensive line. Check.
Ø Structure you’re team around these fantastic backs. Check.
Ø Play nasty defense with more press man coverage. Check. (We were getting there with Pruitt)
Ø Improve special teams. Huuuuge Check.
Ø Discipline. Stop jumping off-sides and getting stupid penalties. Stop yapping at the other team during warm-ups. Check.
Ø Keep your foot on the gas and blow teams out. Check.
It surely is a lot of improvement, but it wasn’t like it was that difficult to diagnose. Maybe it was difficult to do. Maybe the last 2 are the culture changes that had to happen with a new staff. I love what Kirby has done, and he’s got a chance to be around for a long time and we’re going to watch some good football. Our captains, Sony, Ro, and Wynn looked like robots coming out onto the field. There’s no drama or chatter. We’re about that business. Talk with your helmets.
And, yes, we CAN beat Alabama. But beat South Carolina first. Sanford is going to be fun.
Monday, October 23, 2017
You know, just thinking....
-This was supposed to be Florida’s easy year. They played BOTH West opponents at home. They have UT, LSU, tAMu, and FSU all at home. Boy, to blow that home schedule. Imagine if we had Tennessee, Auburn, tAMu, and Tech all at home?
-This is our murderers row schedule. We have road games at ND, UT, Auburn & Tech. Next year, we have a MUCH easier slate, with 3 true cupcakes and all our rivals at home. We go to Baton Rouge and Columbia.
It’s early in the week, but there is no logical reason this game should be close. Florida is in the middle or bottom half of nearly every meaningful statistical team category. They are 6th in total defense (which is what we imagine is their strength). That is against the vaunted offenses of Michigan, Tennessee, and Vandy. By contrast, MSU is 3rd in total defense with a schedule that includes UGA, Bama and Auburn, which include 1, 3 & 4 in Total offense in the league.
Florida’s defensive prowess might be a mirage. It’s hard to imagine how they move the ball. They punt it well. That’s about all you can say.
We are way better than this team, guys. What has Kirby Smart done to me? I want to be worried, but nothing rational makes me worried. It makes no sense. It’s the Cocktail party. We’re supposed to be spooked. I’m trying to convince myself to be spooked.
I’m worried about tipped ball, a blocked punt, and DB falling down. That’s how this has to go. ‘Cause if we just line up and play, we’re going to throttle them.
40 ain’t enough. I want 50. 52-3. That’s what I want. I want Jacob Eason throwing a TD to Jayson Stanley with 4 minutes left.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
It's hard to keep dominating. But, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this. I saw some games in ’82, but I don’t remember anything. It feels like the way things ended in ’02, ’07 and almost ’12. You know, we just sort of got on a roll to end those years and dominated our rivals and bowl games.
But we’ve come out of the gate doing this and put ourselves in position. I keep thinking about what is in hand – the possibility of walking out of Everbank Field undefeated. We did that in ’68 (had two ties), ’71, ’80 and ’82, but most of us reading this don't remember it.
Florida has done that in ’95 (Sanford), ’96, and ’09. That should tell you something. In the last 50 years, a team has walked out of the cocktail party undefeated and untied only 6 times. The results? Played for 4 National championships, Won 2 national championships. 4 SEC titles. ’09 Florida lost to Bama. ’71 Dawgs lost to Auburn and Bama was undefeated in conference. The ’68 team won the SEC, incidentally.
So, walk out of Jax with a victory and there’s a 2/3 chance you’re playing for the natty. Them’s just numbers. Of course, that means nothing. It does mean it is, indeed, historic. We don’t need any help. We just need to win. And that’s nice.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Well, I didn’t necessarily like being right in the first quarter. I thought after the UT game that one of the next two would be closer than we liked. After Vandy, I was trying to convince myself I was wrong. Eventually, you just get beat on a play. Somebody makes a play or two. That’s what happened. We made a mistake and they got an easy 7 from the 5 on a great play call. And we won by 25. As we broke 30 in the 2nd quarter, I was thinking how we couldn’t score 30 for the last 2 seasons. Like, we literally couldn’t do it. We scored 30 FOUR times last year: UNC, Tennessee, Lafayette and TCU. The most we scored was 35 vs. Lafayette. In 2015, after the Tennessee game, we didn’t score 30 all year. So, it’s fun to score. Touchdowns remain fun.
BTW side note: Washington didn’t turn the ball over 1 time vs. ASUnight. They just couldn’t move the ball.
Jake Fromm is 6th in the nation in Passing Efficiency. And I had a thought…right now, who’s you’re all conference 1st and 2nd team All- SEC? I guess Hurts is All-SEC by default, though he hasn’t been overly impressive. Is Fromm 2nd team? I mean, Stidham is in the running, but they’ll get their chance against one another. I’m not sure with their record if Patterson makes it on any lists.
I really feel bummed for Jacob Eason, because I’m so appreciative of what he did for our team last year (virtually carrying it) and the work I know he put in over the summer. I hope his time at UGA is a positive for him. It’s clear that we’ve GOT to dance with Jake for the next 3 ½ years. The kid’s got IT. I don’t know what IT is, but he has a moxie about him that is apparent. I keep saying he reminds me of Zeier more than anyone else. It’s like if Eric Zeier had played with a defense. The pick didn’t phase him, and it shouldn’t have if you have the right mindset. It’s clear the kids are buying into him. And the zone read at opportune times is darn near impossible to defend. I have no doubt that we could have been (and probably would have been) 7-0 with Eason. But we’re not. And, I’ve shifted in recent weeks to gain more confidence in #11. With the game on the line, I think I trust him now. We were at 21 all and in a little bit of a dogfight and he slung it around beautifully. He’s a gamer.
Saw someone worried about the Gators say that it reminded them of ’02. Undefeated in 2nd year of coach headed to play a beleaguered Gator team. It’s entirely possible it happens. A difference I’d see is a few things:
1. That ’02 team lived on the edge the whole first half. We beat Clemson, South Carolina, Bama and Tennessee by the hair on our chinny-chin-chin. We had come out smelling good in close games and were kind of due to lose one.
2. That Florida team had Rex Grossman, who probably should have won the Heisman Trophy in 2001. They were 2 years removed from an SEC title. They were still very, very dangerous offensively.
This Gator team is not. I think (if we get most of our guys back) they are going to have a very difficult time moving the ball. I also think we’re going to play with a boatload of confidence, and they are going to have some unfounded confidence. I’d guess their mindset is, “Well, we always beat Georgia down there, so we’ll take care of business as usual.” I don’t think there’s anything about Roquan and his band of Savages that is business as usual.
My biggest fear is that we get into a dogfight and don’t kind of tense up in the pressure of a tight game. I mean, we haven’t been in one since South Bend, which pretty much feels like last season. I think we’re going to throttle them, that we’ll be focused and ready, and that it’s more likely we’re in a tight one the following week vs. the ‘Cocks. But it is Florida. We’ve beaten them a handful of times over the years. ’04 was fun but by 7. ’07 was fun but tight all the way through till the end. ’11-’13 were all very, very tight. ’97 turned into a route late, but they had taken the lead in the 3rd Quarter. We owe them an epic beat-down where they don’t stand a chance the entire game and they know and we know it and everyone watching knows it. They’ve given a few of those to us in the Spurrier and Meyer years. It’s our time.