Archive for the 'Football' Category



Georgia’s problem is luck….or is it?

It unfortunately becomes a broken record for the Georgia program.

With any loss, the fact that Georgia won’t win a MNC comes up. And shortly after, the back and forth handwringing over ‘we’ll never win a championship with Richt’ quickly ensues.

Usually, Georgia’s bad fortune as inopportune times is brought up. While it’s true that this team needed a break it didn’t get in 2002 and 2007, at what point due you stop blaming bad luck for this program’s shortcomings?

While a tipped pass cost Georgia the 2012 SEC title and very likely the MNC, Georgia was in a position to play from behind because of porous run defense.

Saturday’s heartbreak on The Plains falls on a similar route. Georgia didn’t lose the game on the final play. It lost because it was flat-footed to begin the game and the horrendous start put Georgia in too deep of hole to climb out of despite some incredible heroics from Aaron Murray.

Georgia was outplayed in the first half on both sides of the ball. Luck and pathetic officiating by an official whose name is not worth dignifying have nothing do with that.

Things are going to go wrong in football, as they will in many other things. You are going to have breaks go against you. 

Until this program finds a way to make up for the breaks it doesn’t get, the question of “when is Georgia’s turn to win a MNC’ will continue to be asked. 

Maybe it’s time to scrap “Finish the Drill” in exchange for “No More Excuses?”

Lugnut Dawg

 

Ten post-heartbreak thoughts

1. No way around it. This one stings. It hurts. I’d rather lose by two scores than to lose like that. 

2. Incredibly proud of this team. It won’t get the result it hoped for in August, but it’s fight makes it one of the more exciting and stressful ones for cheer for. 

3. We’re really going to miss Aaron Murray.

4. I turned to my wife before the pass and said, ‘I feel bad about this distance on fourth down.’ I hate being right.

5. Can this season be summed up more than on that pass? A fluke play that happens due to fundamentally bad defensive technique and just happens to deflect the ball right into the hands of a receiver just standing there. 

6. Gurley was a non-factor in the third quarter, but that was forced by being down by multiple scores. When the game was closer, you saw what gameplan Bobo wanted to do from the start.

7. I feel sorry for Georgia fans near Wilcox County having to fight against revisionist history that Nick Marshall ‘transferred’ or made a small mistake.

8. With the way Georgia’s season has gone, I am shocked Murray wasn’t concussed on the touchdown.

9. Let’s pack Sanford and send these seniors off with a bang. 

10. I’m not sure Larry would have made it through this game. 

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Why I Feel Strangely Good About Saturday

If you ask all the pundits, Saturday’s game is a mere formality for Auburn on its way to a gargantuan matchup in the Iron Bowl. 

Hopefully, Georgia’s coaching staff is using that talk as bulletin board material, I’d be surprised if they aren’t, frankly.

It’s baffling for Georgia to be counted out against Auburn. I feel strangely good about Saturday, which is somewhat unusual as many of us Georgia fans tend to be filled with Munsonesque pessimism before big games.

Here’s why I like our chances.

1. Auburn is on a strong run of momentum but has played nobody of substance. It’s biggest win was over Texas A&M in a game that Manziel was banged up. And is it even fair to claim a win over TAMU with its defense that’s shades of Kevin Ramsey bad?

2. While Auburn has run the ball a lot and done it well, Georgia has also been good against the run. Georgia’s defense has looked spotty against the pass, but its strong suit has been rushing defense.

3. Another week of health for Todd Gurley. He may not be what he was before LSU, but a stronger Todd Gurley than last week is a tremendous asset for Georgia.

4. Sure it was against App State, but the offensive momentum at WR from guys like Rumph is huge going into Auburn.

5. It’s in Auburn. For whatever reason, the away team holds an edge in this series. 

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

 

Five Things I Hope To See Saturday

1. Jay Rome going deep. This’ll really be his first time as a true No. 1 guy with Arthur Lynch out with an injury. Hopefully Georgia can stretch the field to guys like Rome, Rumph, Wooten and Davis and if anything, work on timing for next week.

2. Aaron Murray on the sidelines to start the fourth quarter. If he is, it’ll be the game is well in-hand. This team handling a lesser opponent would be a welcome departure from the norm of this season.

3. Defensive turnovers. This defense has looked good in spots the last two weeks. Turnovers would not only set an early tone, but also pave the way for momentum going into Auburn.

4. More fullbacks. Why not experiment this week and see what guys like Merritt Hall and Quayvon Hicks can do? Take some pressure off of Gurley and fine-tune the running game in case Gurley needs to be rested again down the road.

5. A packed stadium at kickoff. Yes, I know it’s an early start, but a Dawg can dream, can’t they?

Go Dawgs

Lugnut Dawg

Early Bowl Watching

A lot can happen during the next four games as far as where the Dawgs go bowling. Wins over Auburn and Georgia Tech could improve Georgia’s stock as well as getting some help from a pair of Mizzou losses.

Sure, having to think about another Florida bowl game is a buzzkill to a degree. On the other hand, if you are a native South Georgia Dawg like myself, having the game within easily driveable distances is a big plus.

Here’s a glance at Georgia’s bowl outlook, for now now at least.

Sugar Bowl: It’s pretty simple. Georgia’s path here is to win out in SEC play, get to Atlanta with a pair of Mizzou losses and then beat the SEC West champions, likely Alabama, in Atlanta.

Capital One Bowl: Even if Georgia wins out, playing here a year ago may hurt chances of returning to Orlando. Plus, this bowl wanted Texas A&M a year ago and I’d expect them to try that route again.

Cotton Bowl: This would be great. After all, isn’t it still 10 to 9 in Texas? The reality is that SEC West teams usually wind up in Dallas.

Outback Bowl: This is a possible spot…but again fan enthusiasm to return here could be a detriment. That said, can you think of a better place for Aaron Murray to cap his career at Georgia?

Gator Bowl: This seems somewhere likely. The Dawgs have not been here since the 1980s for a bowl and I’m sure a lot of fans would not mind another excuse to head down to the greater SSI area again.

Chick-fil-A Bowl: Playing a non-Big 10 opponent for the first time in a couple years in a bowl has a good appeal, and if it’s Miami it’d be an even more of a matchup with some buzz.  This also looks to be a good chance at this point.

Music City Bowl: A loss to Auburn could point Georgia here. Nashville is fun…but not as much in December.

Liberty Bowl, Independence or BBVA Compass Bowl: Two losses could land Georgia at either of these.

Five quick post-game thoughts

1. There is absolutely no such thing as an ugly win or a win not to be happy about against Florida, especially if you lived through the hell of earth that was the 1990s.

2. Todd Gurley might have to sit out the first half next week against App State. Honestly, he needs to anyway. He needs rest in a bad way. We saw how spectacular he can be in the first quarter and also that he was a shell of that when depleted as he was in the third quarter.

3. Georgia let Florida back in the game, but I wasn’t too shocked. This was a talented team with injuries, much like Georgia. They came into the WLOCP ticked off, and when you face an angry team in a rivalry game, they won’t roll over easy.

4. Speaking of rivalry…the SEC officials put on a clinic of how not to control a game. Some of the foolish pundits will point to a lack of discipline by Georgia and try to pin it on Richt, but when Florida is allowed to jaw at Georgia from the opening kickoff, how do you think thing’s are going to escalate, especially with two teams that dislike each other?

5. Five years ago, Georgia loses this game. It’s composure looked shifty at times in the second half, but it found that extra gear when it needed on both sides of the ball.

Go Dawgs!

Oh, and breaking news…. You can’t spell Muschamp’s first name without theee L’s to Georgia.

Lugnut Dawg

Looking Back at 1985

Although we tend to focus more on wins over Florida in the CMR era as well as the Belue to Scott play, the 1985 win was a pretty big one to. Although Florida was on probation, it still was gunning for an unbeaten season and share of the national title.
The Dawgs changed that at the WLOCP.

The positive of all these injuries?

Let’s get right to it. The injuries that this team have suffered have been crippling to any hopes this team had of a MNC. Take them away and this team has a good shot to beat Clemson and does not lose to either Mizzou or Vandy.

But the injuries have happened, making the offense a shell of itself, a bad combo with Grantham’s sieve of a defensive unit.

But in the middle of all of that, there’s a silver lining, oddly enough.

As unfortunate as it is, it has taken the last few games for it be glaringly obvious that this team has issues that were shielded by tremendous plays by guys like Jarvis Jones. Now that talents like that are gone, it’s becoming more and more clear that this team has serious things to fix, especially defensively.

The good news of all that is that Richt essentially has a mulligan. Did the defense fall flat this year so far? Yes. But thanks to the injuries, there is something to pin those setbacks on.

Georgia, thanks to injuries basically has a throwaway year. It may not have met expectations so far, but now those shortcomings open the door wide open to reevaluate everything under the cover of injuries.

Without injuries, this season would be a dumpster fire. But due to them, it’s chalked up, so far, as one where unreal adversity threw this team off course.

Lugnut Dawg

Yes, Atlanta Still Matters

After the sting of Saturday’s loss to Misery wore off, the realization had to be dealt with. That this team will not win a MNC, not with so many unbeaten or 1-loss teams ahead of it.

To me, though, I wasn’t terribly down about it. Coming into the year, I saw this as a 2 or maybe 3 loss year. This team had to run a gauntlet early on with its schedule, and it finally caught up with it, emotionally and physically.

Even if this team does not win a MNC, Atlanta still means a GREAT deal.

Yes, I know the Sugar Bowl sounds like a consolation prize. And even if the Gumps drill us in Atlanta, getting there is huge. Why? Because to be an elite program, you have to have the expectation of a fan base that if it’s December, odds are that you’ll be headed to the SEC championship game. When you are a factor in that each year, it makes you an upper-level program.

So if this team can somehow get to Atlanta, it’ll continue its path back to where it needs to be.

All it has to do is get Mizzou to lose twice and find a way to beat Vandy and Florida.

Simple enough, right?

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Shades of the Braves

It’s not really worth much time to go over what happened defensively Saturday. Whatever is said, it may as well be beating a dead horse. This defense is in 2008 territory. Like it or not, that’s what the deal is right now and you’ll may as well adjust to it.

And to think some folks were worried in the offseason that Grantham would leave for the NFL…

The more I think on it, this team is a lot like this year’s Atlanta Braves. Think about that for a minute. This year’s Braves were pretty good and had some dynamic players. But injuries and other flaws were not enough to keep them from being pretty good, but did keep them from being very good.

This team has also been easy to love. Without question, this team has been fun to watch, win or lose. Even when we were down 28-10 and even down by eight points late, you had the feeling that this team was not going to roll over and and would have shot to win it in the end. And that’s how it turned out. In the end, being -4 in turnovers was a killer.

Georgia may not have pulled out a win Saturday – being outplayed and outcoached had a lot to do with that. But if there is anything that Saturday taught us, it’s that this team won’t roll over, regardless of the adversity. And boy, has it had more than its share so far.

It’s easy to walk toward the ledge right now. But if you can somehow beat Vandy this week (It feels odd saying that), Atlanta is still a very real and reachable possibility, even though this team has serious hurdles to fight through.

Lugnut Dawg



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