Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Are we really not going to play this kid?

He’s 6’5” and has done it vs. Tech, FSU, Louisville, Carolina, BYU.  He’s played some games against some teams.  He had 11 picks as a sophomore in 261 attempts.  That’s an INT every 23.7 throws.  Murray had 14 picks in 403 attempts as a sophomore.  That’s an INT every 28.8 throws.  Both had about 59% completion percentage.  Murray got to play with Jarvis Jones’ D in 2011, Lambert did not.  This kid wasn’t that far off what we saw out of Murray as a sophomore with worse talent around him and worse coaching.  

If he’d have been here in the spring, would this competition be over?

Position Battles

I’ve mentioned I’m concerned about fullback, but I’m encouraged and intrigued about the move of the Nick Moore kid to fullback.  He’s 6’3” and 245, much bigger than a lot of our other guys.  Can he catch at all?  Hope the Payne kid gets better, but he’s no bruiser.  Could be like 2012.  Injuries forced us to finally play Zander Ogletree, and we just got better because of it.  I’m all about effort and knowledge, but give me talent.  Quayvon might miss 3 blocks in a game, but he might make 10 plays that help us win the game, including some scoring plays that no one saw coming.  And the Moore kid might end up being a beast.  I keep telling my boys that if Richt is still there and they have any size, they have no choice…I’m sending them to UGA to walk-on at fullback.  Quickest way to get on the field for a walk-on.

Very interested to see what ILB looks like when the dust finally settles.  

I think Greyson and Brice will both play against ULM and Vandy, and the more I think about it, I’m okay.  As crazy as it sounds to most people, we are no unlike 2011 Alabama.  They had no idea going into that season about QB.  Phillip Simms and McCarron split time in the opener.  McCarron had been careless with the ball as a back-up.  Remember Saban lighting him up on the sideline as a freshman when he came in late one blowout (I think it was against GA State) and threw a pick?  They went to Happy Valley the next game and McCarron started and never relinquished the role.  He went 19-31 that day w/ no turnovers.  It was his team for the next 3 years.  They went 12-1 that year and won the natty, 13-1 the next and won the natty, and 11-1 the next in McCarron’s 3 years.  But it started with a great deal of uncertainty?

What did that 2011 Bama team have?  A smothering defense, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy.  They replaced Richardson with Yeldon the next year and kept rolling.  The point is there’s just no reason to be obsessed with finding the starter in mid-August.  We don’t have to go THAT far back to find a team that won a title and went on a run without really knowing who ‘the guy’ was.  And just last year, we saw a team lose their starter in camp and win a national title with a back-up during the season and 3rd teamer in the last 3 games.

Gosh, it’s been awhile (maybe never??) that UGA has had stories like Lambert and Ganus.  Would be wild if we won a title with those two guys playing key rolls.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Few Pre Season Thoughts & Scheduling

Hopefully headed to practice on Wednesday.  Very interested to get a scouting report on the QBs, of course.  The counselor and I were talking the other night about the math of football.  Long story short, I believe in schedule math.  

We don’t play a 2nd Power 5 team this year.  Since the addition of the 12th game in 2006, that has only happened one year:  2012.  We rolled to 11-1 and had what I think was maybe Richt’s best team.  What we don’t know is how much the rest of another cupcake helps and how much getting valuable playing time for back-ups makes a difference.  For instance, if you were to ask people who was better last year between UGA, Ole Miss and Miss. St., you’d get a mixed bag or responses, especially since Ole Miss had that marquee win, and Miss. St. rolled for several weeks at #1 (still can’t believe that).

Ole Miss went 9-3 and lost their bowl game.  Along with their upset Alabama, Arkansas beat them 30-0.  They finished 9-4
MSU went 10-2 and lost their bowl game, finishing 10-3.
UGA went 9-3 and won their bowl game, finishing 10-3.

Ole Miss played Boise St., Memphis, Lafayette, and PC.
MSU played Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama, and UT-Martin – 4 guaranteed wins.
UGA played Clemson, Troy, Charleston Southern and GA Tech.

The million dollar question is “How much does a game like Clemson take out of your preparation and effort for a game that ‘really’ counts?”  You waste playcalls, energy and film study.  And you spend emotional energy that you just don’t need to beat UT-Martin.  Miss. State’s schedule was embarrassing.  What does all this mean…

We’re going to win the SEC in 2015.  And we won’t have to beat Bama twice to do it.  They won’t be there.  They play Wisconsin to open (a decent team), and that might cost them down the road.  They play UGA and UT.  LSU plays Florida & South Carolina (and, strangely, a trip to the Carrier Dome to play the ‘Cuse).  I think if they find a QB, we play the Bengals in ATL.

Mark Richt gets something very rare this year:  3 guaranteed wins.  I believe that fact will be very good to him, just like it was in 2012.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Running This State & This Conference

You know, I’m pretty pumped about seeing our RBs, especially that #27 kid.  I’m not convinced we’re going to see as much ‘spreading it around’ as the chatter suggest.  We found a special back last year.  We want to keep him fresh for 15 games, but in the big ones, we’re going to ride that horse.  Nicholas has a chance to be ‘all-time’ kind of special.  I’ll say it:  In 2014, he was better than Gurley was in 2012, and that’s saying something.  He was less explosive, but more dependable.  He rushed for over 1,500 yards.  Here’s the list of guys that have done that for three seasons in the history of college football:


No player has ever done it 4 years.  Ron Dayne also set the career record at 6,397.  If Nick stays 4 years, he has a legitimate shot.  And he seems like a he might pull a fast one and stay 4 years.  Anyway, that’s pie in the sky down the road, what matters is this year.  I give you food for thought for this year.  Since Vince Dooley retired, we signed Eric Zeier and we decided to play modern day football, we have had a 1,000 yd rusher 6 times:

1992      Garrison Hearst                             
9-2 & Citrus Bowl win
2002      Musa Smith                      
11-1, SEC Champs & Sugar Bowl Win
2007      Knowshon Moreno        
10-2, Sugar Bowl Win
2008      Knowshon Moreno        
9-3, Cap. One Bowl Win
2012      Todd Gurley                     
11-1, East Champs, Cap. One Bowl Win
2014      Nick Chubb                       
9-3, Belk Bowl Win

What does that mean?  Despite what any rival fan or Negatron Dawg fan would want to say, you can just about take 9-3 to the bank.  Only 2 of those 6 seasons did we lose 3 games, and that happened in 2008 when we were a mental trainwreck most of the year and 2014 with the most average QB that we’ve had in a long, long time and the most devastating crazy suspension that I can remember (Nebraska and Phillips comes to mind).  In the 2 years that we had elite defenses in those 6, we won the Sugar Bowl and were a top 5 team.

So, no matter what anyone wants to say, what questions they have, the last 25 years of history beg 3 questions:

·       Will we have a 1,000 yards rusher? YES
·       Will we have an elite defense?  YES, I believe so.  The best we’ve had in a while, at least since 2011.
·       What kind of QB will we be able to put with that Running Back and with that D?  Average QB play or a sieve for a defense will get you 1992, 2008 and 2014.  Elite defense and a QB that makes the plays needed gets you 2002, 2007 and 2012.

It is interesting that the two 3-loss seasons with a 1,000 rusher include inexplicable home losses to Tech.  I’ll get into my season analysis soon, but my early prediction is an early December date in the Dome with the Bayou Bengals, if they can find a competent QB.  Chubb and that #7 for LSU will be the best two players in the league.