Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tailback U is Back

It's going to be so much fun next year. It was so painful when Isaiah wasn't in there because we simply weren't dangerous...at all. Now, I like what I saw from Boo late in the year, but he's not dangerous. I'm interested in seeing how it all plays out. I'd bet we've seen the last of Carlton. That feels a whole lot like an summer 'left the program' deal. I'm not sure you can actually have 5 tailbacks on the roster, can you? I mean, you can. It's just that...you can't. We're crazy if we don't move Richard to fullback. God bless that kid. He's tremendously gifted physically, just not athletically. I'd love to see him at 250 and blowing up LBs on ISO's and toss sweeps.

It'll be fascinating to see who starts next year. But, with that crew, it's hard to imagine one of them being the bell cow. I'm not sure you need one to unless you just have one that gets supremely hot for a few games.

It's gonna be fun in Columbia, MO. Those guys are going to be thinking, "What on earthy kind of defense is this?" "Is it legal for them to have 13 guys on the field on every snap? What? It just feels like 13?" And then, "Wow, that #4 cat sure could get gone once he got on the edge couldn't he?"

If IC gets healthy and has his head on straight, then we're going to have a pretty nasty 1-2-3 punch with him, Marshall and Gurley.

Wonder what number Gurley will wear? He's 1 in high school.

I'm sure he'll pick a single digit, but it would be all-world if he chose 38. You know, we signed another big RB out of North Carolina about 25 years ago that wore 38. This really could be a run like that. The shame of Worley and Henderson is that they were academically ineligible in '87. Lars was a senior and Rodney was a freshman. They carried the load. But, we should have had all 4 of them for that one season. But we rolled pretty good in '88 with Rodney, Tim and Keith. Tailback U is back.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Detox from Tampa....Why the Isaiah Crowell Hate?

Good ride back from Tampa. Made good time. If we could just get our running game going like we were rolling. Guys, that was the story of the season. Luckily, in the meat of our season, Isaiah was healthy and we were a vastly different team.

He had:

147 @ Ole Miss
104 vs. Miss. St.
58 (and 2 TDs) @ UT
81 vs. Florida
132 vs. Auburn

The bottom line is that we were rolling by the Auburn game, even after the suspension. He came back and ran crazy hard against Auburn. After he got hurt against UK, it severely limited what we could do offensively. I'm frankly flabbergasted that people think he just came out of the game Monday and wasn't hurt. The kid wanted to get 1,000 yards. Frankly, I don't understand the vitriol for Isaiah. AJ never played a full season at UGA. His carreer was severely hampered by nagging injuries and a monumental suspension. No one seemed to care. Lattimore has yet to make it through an SEC season, and he's seen as a horse. I don't understand why some UGA fans want him to fail. Especially since the numbers simply don't lie. We were a much, much better team once we got him rolling mid-season. We turned the ball over less because Aaron didn't have to press, and we could milk games away and rest our D.

Toward the end of the season, we looked more like the 2009 Dawgs and Joe Cox. We couldn't run for anything and that forced Murray into bad situations. Aaron's a really good QB. He's going to be great. Our offense is not predicated on slinging it around. It's built on play action and we had to 'play' to 'action' late in the season. Tech's secondary is so bad it didn't matter. There was so much to blame about the bowl game, but it was a total team loss:

-Aaron's turnovers
-Richt's conservative calls
-The D wilted on the last drive after a stellar season
-Our (former) All-American kicker choked
-Bobo didn't have his best day

Couple notes from my perspective:

-We missed Gilliard, especially in pass coverage
-We dropped a boatload of game changing INTs
-We couldn't block them for nothing
-I'm going to miss Brandon Boykin
-That was a pretty good team, especially on defense

Two plays stuck out in my mind.

  • The shuffle pass to Orson, which I thought was a TD. We hadn't run it all year. It was brilliant and looked like a cinch. They closed the gap in a hurry and that made me think they were pretty good.
  • The pass that IC got hurt on. Another brilliant call that we haven't seen all year. It looked wide open and first and they closed on it in a hurry. I couldn't believe we didn't get the first down on the play.

They were just pretty good, and we missed our chances. I really don't mind Richt's calls. I don't think he does that in another game. I don't think he thought they could drive it on our D w/ no timeouts for 85 yards. I think he thought we'd get one sack, which would have been a drive killer. I also think he WANTED Blair to have the storybook ending. I don't know that it was a bad thing. I think looking back he'd run some plays and try to get some yards. But, he watched the same game we saw. We had 14 plays for lost yardage, Murray was off in the 2nd half and getting beat to death, and we were out of effective running backs. We were in a bind because 1 sack and you're out of field goal range.

Hopefully, we'll use it as motivation to say, "Hey, we made progress, but we still haven't really beaten anyone. We've got a lot to prove." That can be a good thing. Hard for me to complain about a 10 win season in which we beat our 4 biggest rivals. In the end, we lost to a 12-1 team w/ the winningest QB in NCAA history, the best team in the history of USCjr. Football that went 11-2, the best team I've probably ever seen in person in LSU (13-0), and a really good 11-3 Mich. St. We aren't quite there yet, but we're far from where we were.

Go Dawgs!
Beat Buffalo!