Monday, November 27, 2017

Deep South's Oldest Rivalry pt. 2

Can you believe it?  It’s amazing we’ve turned it around so quickly, and this is just the beginning.  I had serious doubts when Eason got hurt.  Fromm has proven to be a catalyst and 4-yr starter.  I’d say we’re namely here because of special teams and our o-line.  It sure is fun to be playing football in early December.  We should be here next year again.  We probably won’t be better next year, but we have 7 home games w/ 3 cupcakes, and play UT, Auburn and Tech at home.

I’m pleased Kirby figured out that losing to Tech will make his life very, very miserable.  I do think there was a little Saban in him that thought he could just play sound D and stop them.  They require some extra prep.  Looks like we did it.  That said, it’s going to get worse for those guys.  In a year or two, we’re going to have Speed, Gibbs and LeCounte roaming around back there, some big dudes.  We’re going to have such supreme athletes to them, it will be like that every year.  McBride will be the one running in Roquan’s place sideline to sideline.  Jake was shaky early (real shaky), but he loosened up to throw some gems.  On the long pass to Mecole, though, he had Nauta wide open for a TD.  WE ended up scoring, but still.

Part 2 of the DSOR:

·       Speaking of Nauta, I think we need a play from him or one of the TEs here.  1 or 2 key catches, maybe 1 for a TD or huge gainer.  Dawg fans have forgotten we have TEs.  Auburn’s Defense might have forgotten, too.
·       Jake’s gotta play really well.  That’s it.  He’s got to hit some big passes.  They are there to be had against these guys.  Can a true freshman QB do that?  If there’s one that can, it’s him.
·       Sony and Nick have to play like their hair’s on fire.  Running Angry and on a mission.  Sometimes, Nick looks disinterested.  It’s mostly his style.  He’s a very patient runner, much like Le’veon Bell.  He needs to hit it hard.
·       We’ve got to get Swift the ball 4-5 times in this game.  I didn’t feel like we did that on the Plains.  We were playing very safe.  Kid’s a playmaker.  Same w/ Mecole.
·       I don’t feel like we’ve gone to Godwin enough, but my guess is they’re going to key on Wims.  Terry is our most reliable receiver, and he’s got to play like it.
·       Rod gotta make kicks.  Every point is important.
·       We can’t get gashed on D and we’ve gotta get some kind of pash rush.  Send Ro if we have to.  He won’t miss the sack if he gets there.  We’ve gotta get pressure on the kid.  He had too much time last game. 
·       How many Dawg fans will be there?  I’ve got a guest preacher on Sunday.  I’m screaming my guts out.

I hated the optics and intangibles of the game on the Plains.  They’re seniors were 0-3 against us.  At their house. They had to win.  But their whole world is beating Bama (and making sure Bama is NOT SEC Champs).  It’s as if they can live w/ us as SEC champs, as long as Bama doesn’t get there.  It’s Monday, and every Auburn fan I know on Facebook is still posting pictures of Toomer’s corner and Alabama memes.  They’re enamored with winning the Iron Bowl.  What do you think class (sic) is like at Auburn today?  Lots of pats on the back and atta-boys.  What do you think Sunday and class is like in Athens today?  A lot of ‘go get ‘em, boys’, I’d suspect.  Has anyone even uttered the word “Tech” since about 7 p.m. on Saturday night?  Lock up the Governor’s Cup, and get to work.  No one will pick us or believe in us.  Maybe that’s rightfully so in the media’s eyes.  I really think this game could go sideways for either team.  I have no idea what to expect.  Could come down to the wire or be a 3 TD game either way.  I think we could end up down early and think, “Here we go again” or we could get them down early and they think, “Uh oh, we weren’t really ready for a real football game.” 

Some interesting playoff thinking:

·       If us and the chalk wins, do they keep us at 4 and go Clemson/UGA in NOLA.  Problem w/ that is that, if you really think Wisconsin is the 4th best team, and Clemson is the best, don’t you have to give the Tigers the easiest path?  Do they let geography get in the way of what is right.  Thought they got it right 3 years ago by sending FSU to Rose instead of Sugar.
·       If us and Ohio St. wins, we will almost certainly end up in Pasadena vs. OU. That would avoid a semis rematch between Ohio St. and OU.  However, you’d have a rematch from last year’s semis of OSU and Clemson.  Blah.
·       Looks like the only way we end up in NOLA is at #4 or massive upsets of TCU and Miami both winning, which would be epic. 

You guys see anything about the game I’m missing?  Will Ben Cleveland be a difference maker this game?

Go Dawgs!
Beat Auburn!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hate Week

Well, we held UK to 100 yards under their average on offense and 40 yards under their average rushing yards per game.  This is where we’re at with complaining.

Scoring Defense Nationally?

1.       Bama
2.       Wisconsin
3.       Clemson
4.       Georgia

Oh, so that’s how you win.  Also, some interesting stats.  Miami & UCF are tied for first with +16 in turnover margin.  That’s remarkable.  That’s also how you cover up a lot of warts.  Good on them, but the Canes won’t live on that forever.  It’s an impossible pace. 

It’s hard to see how we roll by anything less than 3 TDs on Saturday.  This is not a great Tech team.  We thought they were okay early, but they were playing garbage.  They’ve gotten handled by two pretty pedestrian teams in UVa and Duke in the last 3 weeks.  Nick has never beaten them.  I’d imagine he’ll be ready.  I think Jake will have a day, too, because they can’t cover.  Of course, we my throw it 5 times, simply…because.

I’ll say this.  The team that played Saturday in Athens is not going to beat Auburn or Bama.  We won’t be able to come out sluggish and throw an early pick in our territory and beat either of those teams.  But we played Kentucky Saturday.  That’s what people kind of miss.  Yes, we all want to be dominant every game.  It doesn’t happen.  Clemson had a four game stretch last year from mid-October to mid-November where they beat State in OT (and should have lost in regulation), beat FSU in the Doak by 3, beat ‘Cuse at home 54-0, and then lost to Pitt at home and gave up 43 points.  They rallied, won the ACC Championship by a TD, then played their 2 best games of the season vs. OSU and Bama.  That’s the key.

Beat Tech and play our best 3 games of the season to close it out.  Difference is we might need our best game in Dec. 2, but it is vitally important to remember that what happened last week won’t affect this week. 

In any event, it sure is fun.  We’ve had 1 loss heading into Tech only twice since that run in the early eighties:  ’02 and ’12.  Gotta appreciate that kind of season.  BTW, in those two seasons, we flattened the Jackets.

Go Dawgs!
Wreck Tech!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Keep Chopping Tee Shirts

Take a look at these Keep Chopping soft tees. A perfect time to rep the motto!  Also make a great Christmas gift for any Dawg fan!  Limited quantities available. Choose between red or gray!

Keep Chopping

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Rankings and What We Want

So, my lone 2 questions about the rankings would be this:

·       If Clemson and Miami both entered Saturday 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 Saturday 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:

1.        Bama
2.       Miami
3.       Clemson
4.       Wisconsin
5.       OU
6.       UGA
7.       Auburn
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 Saturday), all bets are off as to how this thing ends up. 

Keep choppin’

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Aftermath

Well, Saturday 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 5:08 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 on Saturday.  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.

Go Dawgs!

Beat Kentucky!