Archive for September, 2009



Getting Hard to Defend Willie

One stat says it all.  According to the AJC’s Mark Bradley , over the last nine games Georgia has given up an average of 33 points a game.  Georgia just gave up 30 points one time in Brian Van Gorder’s tenure.  That was to the 2003 BCS Champion LSU Tigers in the SEC title game.  UGA also ranks 97th in the nation in total defense.

While many were killing Martinez last year, I defended him.   Any team that suffers eighteen season ending injuries is going to struggle without fresh bodies to run in and out of games.  Anyone who ripped Coach Martinez last year and didn’t consider the injury situation just aren’t being intellectually honest.

But, with a healthy tandem of players on defense this season, so far 2009 has been disappointing.  Georgia still doesn’t create pressure and plays too passive.  They also appeared lost and confused.  You don’t believe me just ask senior safety Bryan Evans “That was poor execution by us. Some people were playing a certain coverage and another player was playing another coverage. That accounted for some of the big passing yards that they did get”.   If Martinez can’t get this fixed in the next nine games it will be time to move in another directon.

 

Kensingtondawg

College Football Hall of Fame to the ATL.

College Football’s Hall of Fame is coming to its rightful place.  The Center of SEC Country.

Tuesday Leans

Ucheedawg got on the board after Week 3.  Here are the standings:

1. Corbindawg (5-1, .833) 0 GB T2. Kensingtondawg (4-2, .667) 1 GB T2. Granitedawg (4-2, .667) 2 GB  4. Ucheedawg (1-5, .167) 4 GB

Here are TGT’s Tuesday Leans

Corbindawg (5-1)

Texas Tech as Houston (-1) Though Texas Tech is not going to make a MNC chase this year, they are still a quality team that will put up some points.  They made their match up with Texas very interesting last week.  Houston is going to score points also.  While they beat OSU, I don’t see them repeating this feat against TbyT.  Take the Red Raiders and The Good Doctor straight up. 

Florida (-22) at Kentucky-  Urban Meyer is like a shark in the water.  He got a sniff of blood last week.  Tebow was going into the endzone early in the 4th Quarter and fumbled on the Tennessee 2.  What was going to be a 30-6 (at least) blood letting turned into a more respectable 23-13 win.  Urban got a taste, now he wants to devour.  Kentucky hasn’t been tested this year and are probably not as good as they have been in the last couple of years.  Urban can say how he doesn’t care about style points and I can say how I have washboard abs.  The spread could be 40 and Florida would cover with ease. 

Michigan State at Wisconsin (-3) Sparty is down this year.  Wisconsin is not as good either, but Camp Randall is a tough place to play.  Take the Badgers to cover. 

Granitedawg (4-2)

Louisville at Utah (-13) -Yes Utah lost a good game to Oregon last week but don’t let sway you.  Louisville lost a hard fought game to their rival Saturday and now has to make a cross country trip to Utah.  This line will go up by Friday and I think Utah wins by two touchdowns.  Don’t know how I will feel if it goes above 14.

Wake at Boston College (+2)  -This line has moved quickly in Wake’s favor and I will stick with it as far as it goes on Friday.  This is a good (for ACC standards) Wake team who won a close game with Stanford and lost a close one with Baylor.  They are playing a BC team that got handled by Clemson, yes that Clemson, and had big wins against Northeastern and Kent State.  Wake has been in close competitive games so far and will win their first divisional game, yes I had to look that up.

 Army at Iowa State  (+10)  I have no reason for this other than the, “Iowa State is a double digit favorite?”  I’ll take Army’s terrible quarterbacks over Iowa State’s terrible quarterback.  This will be my loss this week.    2-1 every week will bring home.

Kensingtondawg (4-2)

Fresno State (+16.5) at Cincinnati U:  Cincinnati has one of the hot stars in the coaching ranks with Brian Kelly, and he proved it again Saturday night by traveling to Oregon State and knocking off the Beavers.  Fresno State, on the other hand, suffered a loss to Boise State last Friday night.  However, this will be a tough game for Cincinnati.  After playing a late game out west the Bearcats travel back home to face a Bulldog squad off an extra day of rest and preparation.  Expect the Bearcats at home in front of a lackluster crowd at a 12:00 p.m. kickoff to have trouble getting up for this game.  Fresno State and the points look like a good bet.

North Carolina at Georgia Tech (-2.5):  Neither one of these teams has looked worthy of their 2009 expectations.  North Carolina struggled last week against East Carolina, and the gnats from over on “The Flats” have looked obysmal on offense the last couple of weeks especially QB Josh Nesbitt.  However, after getting embarrassed last week at Landshark Stadium on national TV expect Tech to have something to prove Saturday.  I think Tech will have their best offensive day in 2009 and will cover the 2.5. 

Virginia Tech (+3) at Miami, FL:  How many times this week have you heard this quote “The Canes are back”!  While Miami got a huge win over Georgia Tech, Miami still has to show me more to make me a believer.  Jacory Harris is doing an excellent job of guiding the Hurricane offense, and the addition of Mark Whipple as OC looks to be one of the nation’s best offseason hires.  However, the Hokies will be ready.  They are getting three points in one of college football’s toughest environments at Lane Stadium, and the Hokies will CLEARLY be the best defense that Harris has seen this year.  I believe Harris is also prone to make mistakes, as he did on a couple occasions against FSU on Labor Day night.  I really expect the Hokies and the 3 to be one of my locks for Friday. 

Ucheedawg (1-5)

The real world called for Ucheedawg, and he will grace us with his locks on Friday.

Richt on this week’s Dawg Walk, Cleaning Up Campus

From today’s weekly news conference…

“I want to talk to the Bulldog fans and tell you that I love you and appreciate everything that you do. The Dog Walk will be at 5:00. We will not be there before 5:00 like we did last time. We jumped the gun, and there were probably fans getting ready to go to the Dog Walk and realized that the players had already come through. We need to do a better job of that, so we are definitely going to do a better job in that regard.

“The other thing I wanted to mention with our fan base is how we take care of our campus. It’s one of the most beautiful campuses in the country and we want to keep it that way. We are Georgia and I am encouraging everyone to put the trash where it belongs and if you have to bring some baggage, bag your trash. Let’s do that, because it is a beautiful place and we don’t want it to look like the city dump after a ballgame. I want to encourage everyone to do that, and if everybody takes care of yourself and helps the guy next to you, it will be looking good when we’re done. It’s OK to pick up someone else’s trash if you want to; I do it all the time.”

(Courtesy, UGA Sports Communications)


Lane and Urban Need to go on The Jerry Springer Show

As Chris Low reports, Lane and Urban are not following Commissioner Slive’s orders to play nice.  They are both having snarky things to say to each other. 

Urban said that Lane wasn’t trying to win, and Lane said that Urban would complain about the close victory because his players are sick.  Wow!  Makes us more and more thankful for Coach Richt, huh? 

What would happen if Urban and Lane decided to be men and settle this on the Jerry Springer show?  It may look somthing like this….

thegrittree

Go Dawgs!

Looking back at the Three Keys

Before Saturday’s game at Arkansas, we presented three keys to a Georgia victory.

Here’s how the Bulldogs fared:

1. Control the game early:

Remember last week how South Carolina tempered the Sanford Stadium crowd with an early score? Well, Georgia needs to do likewise against Arkansas- getting an early lead an not allowing the Arkansas fans to get crazy. If they take the crowd out of the game early, it could be UGA’s advantage.

This one didn’t quite work out. Arkansas scored a lot of points early, leading 21-10 and the Bulldogs also turned it over early. Luckily, Georgia rallied as the game went on.

2. Hammer Mallett

Georgia must not only generate a pass rush against Razorback QB Ryan Mallett, it must wrestle him to the ground. This was an issue last week against South Carolina when Stephen Garcia was able to avoid sacks. That cannot be allowed to happen again this week.

Mallett had a lot of passing yards due to multiple factors, two of which were less than subpar play from Georgia’s secondary and a lack of applying pressure to Mallett for much of the game. The good news here is that when it counted late in the game, Georgia was able to throw the Razorbacks out of synch offensively.

3. Control the clock

The best way to keep Arkansas’ offense on the sidelines is for Georgia to have the ball. That will come by running the ball successfully. If Georgia can move the ball up and down the field, it can dilute the threat of the Razorbacks’ offense.

Georgia didn’t control the clock primarily by running the ball, but it didn’t need to with the way Joe Cox was throwing and Georgia’s tight ends and receivers were catching. That said, Richard Samuel’s long run and some nice runs by Caleb King were good to see.

The Georgia Defense is Capable of Rebounding

That was terrible.  Did you see how out of synch we looked?  Our pass rush could not get to the quarterback.  The average QB looked like Peyton Manning.  There was no pressure and he had all day to throw.  There were receivers wide open down the field.  Where were our linebackers at?  Our cornerback* looks confused out there.  I will tell you this much, we are going to get run out of the building against Florida and Auburn.  Tebow and all that speed is going to go right past us.  It won’t even be close.  We may not even make seven wins.

Does this sound familiar?  Did many of us say that after the Arkansas game?  After viewing two mediocre teams put up nearly 1,000 yards of offense against the Georgia defense, many within the Bulldawg Nation are probably at their wits end.

I said the same thing, but not after the Arkansas game.  I said the same thing after the worse performance of a Richt team, the 2007 Tennessee game.  This game, Erik Ainge and Tennessee’s running game tore us apart.

What happened after this game?  The Dawgs went on an 8 game tear and finished #2 in the country.  Ask Tim Tebow how good the defense was.  He got sacked six times.  Ask Colt Brennan about our defense.  We lead the SEC in sacks.

There are problems that need to be fixed.  I think they can be.  I don’t think all hope is lost-yet.  Six games in the 2007 and we made leaps and bounds and improved greatly.  Conversely, last season the last six games our defense was not very good.

I still think it is too early to tell one way or another.  I don’t know if they can improve, but we also don’t know they can’t.  Let’s hold off any judgments until the end of the season, so we can have a full body of work.

Corbindawg

*The cornerback who looked confused?  Around 0:45 into the video, you will see him get tangled up on a run play.  That #2 was Asher Allen.  He was in his second season, first full season as a starter.  I think he turned out ok.  The Minnesota Vikings thought so, anyway.  The #2 we have now is in his second season, first as a starter.  Again, too early to say he is not a good cover corner.

Cuff has MCL Sprain

David Hale reports that cornerback Vance Cuff has a MCL sprain and is listed as day to day.

LSU Game 3:30 on CBS

This is expected.

Objective look at UGA’s Defense

David Hale has one of the best Bulldog blogs out there.  Not being a fan, he is objective and provides good analysis and indepth commentary.  He summarizes the defense on this blog post. 

There is a line in the sand drawn here at TGT.  The other contributors are very, very anti Willie Martinez.  I don’t feel like he is the best Defensive Coordinator out there, but I don’t think all the scathing criticism is warranted, either.   I was not pleased with the (poor) effort on Saturday, but I don’t think hope is lost for this unit this season.  

Here’s to a crappy Pac-1o team coming to Athens.   

Corbindawg



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