Archive for the 'Rivals' Category

Style points or not, it’s all about the wins from now on

- To quote the noted orator from Faber College, “nothing is over until we decide it is!”

In the midst of the fog of despair of the loss to USC-East, one thought, though tough to swallow, is that the pursuit of the SEC East was still within this team’s control. It gets old having that mindset for the Georgia program, but that is the reality with the way the schedule sets up.

All of a sudden, the game next month at Mizzou is very, very large. Funny thing is, it was one of the biggest worries of the season going in – back to back road trips to Fayetteville and Mizzou won’t be easy.

The bottom line is this – it doesn’t matter how you win in this league as long as you win. From here on out, it’s win out and you head to Atlanta. The wins still count the same amount, regardless of how hideous they look.

That’s how I look at the Tennessee win. Was it a bland victory in some ways? Yes. Georgia won in spite of a punchless passing attack and the good fortune of Tennessee catching fumblitis in its own end zone.

But it’s still a win. I’m sure USC would gladly take an ugly win over Mizzou instead of a loss on Saturday.

From here on out, it is all about getting a win – no matter how they come.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Has the Tennessee rivalry lost a step?

Rivalries are a funny thing. You highly dislike them and want to be beat them and beat them bad. But once you do it too much, can it lessen the rivalry.

To a degree, that’s where the Georgia-Tennessee rivalry is right now.

Unless you live up near North Georgia right now, Tennessee has taken on the look of another game on the schedule. The Vols have fallen on hard times (if you have had to endure UT fans, you shed no tears over it). To a point, you want to do a combination of laugh and pity them (maybe a small amount). That’s how it goes when you regularly beat someone.

There’s a part of Georgia’s younger fan base that wonders why UGA and Tech still play, and do not have a genuine dislike for the maggots. But the ‘old school’ fans…or those of us who lived through the 1998 to 2000 Tech wins, see Tech as a massive rivalry.

Tennessee is the same way. As Macon Dawg noted earlier this week, if you think the Bama fans (aka, the guy who saw Bama play on TV one time when he was 9 years old) are unbearable, you didn’t have to deal with the Tennessee fans in the 1990s.

This is a fan base that, and still does, shove the greatness of Peyton Manning down our throats. This is the program that got away with Nick Fairley-style cheap shots game after game with guys like Raynoch Thompson. UT took full advantage of UGA being mediocre in the 1990s and 2000s. If there was a recruit in the Atlanta area, the Volunteers and Phat Phil usually got them. You want to talk about lucking into a national title? UT took the cake in 1998 when Clint Stoerner inexplicably fumbled the ball right into Tennessee’s hands. And of course, there’s the engineering nightmare of a stadium in Knoxville. The capacity of that place needs an asterisk by it – it’s easy to cram 100,000 plus in with seats that narrow.

Oh, and then there’s that idiotic song that oddly enough was written by a Georgian.

Time has healed some dislike of Tennessee. Other than Lane Kiffin, there’s not much much to hate about Tennessee recently.

There will be if Butch Jones takes UT a step forward Saturday.

Somewhere along the way, the intensity of the rivalry has lost some steam. It needs to get back to the dislike of a bad guy wrestling in WCW.

Saturday’s kickoff is early, there is no doubting that, and Tennessee could benefit from a flat, late-arriving crowd (it did so in the 2004 upset).

If you’re heading to the game, get there early. The Bulldog Nation needs to get back to treating Tennessee like an old hated rival again.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Post USC-East takes

Maybe it was the emotional exhaustion of another grindfest in SEC play…or maybe it had something to do with an eight-week old girl in the house, but I somehow drifted into an unexpected nap on Sunday afternoon.

So after all that, and some time to let everything from Saturday sink in, here are a few takes.

- Was the decision to not run Todd Gurley four times at the four-yard line a knuckleheaded call by Mike Bobo? Probably (Of course, it didn’t help that officials botched the intentional grounding call…more on that later). But I’m more than willing to give Bobo some slack. This offense has averaged more than 40 points or so the past three years. If you would have told me we’d roll up around 40 points the first two games this year with a hovering above average QB and ZERO deep threats at receiver, I’d gladly take it. This team has some shortcomings right now. Mike Bobo is not one of them.

- The defense showed how far of a hole it has to dig out of. When you have inexperience, you can have the greatest coaching in the world, but it cannot compensate with lack of experience. There is talent on defense, but that talent has to grow up in a hurry. A few players that did not want to do it ‘The Georgia Way,” who are not worth mentioning, may help this team long-term, but they put it in a tough spot short-term. This defense will get on the right track. Hopefully, it will be before it is too late. Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins were non-factors against South Carolina…but the Chickens going max-protect had a lot to do with that.

- Did the referees cost Georgia the game? Yes and no. It baffles me that as much revenue as the SEC pulls in that it has no problem that its officials continue to embarrass the conference. And this is not only a Georgia gripe. Ask Kentucky’s fans, as well. An awful holding penalty call cost Georgia a touchdown and Heisman-highlight clip from Todd Gurley, and the intentional grounding call was an awful miss too.  For whatever reason, the SEC does not think its important to have quality officials. It is laughing all the way to the bank. The league, its teams and fans deserve way better. At the end of the day, though, you have to assume in every game you are not going to get certain breaks and have to play well enough to over come them. Georgia did not do that. Which brings us to…

- Football is a funny and illogical game sometimes. How Marshall Morgan’s field goal streak ends with two misses in the second half baffles me. If he makes one of them, it’s a tie game. If he makes both, Georgia wins. On the road in this conference, you have to make your own breaks and take advantage. Georgia did not do that.

- Despite many comment section and Facebook postings after the game, this season is not over. It’s a tough pill to swallow to lose to the HBC, but this team still controls its own fate. USCe will lose at least once more this season. More often than not, you won’t run the table in this conference, it just won’t happen as much as you want it to.

- I’m avoiding the call-in shows on Monday.

- You can’t pin this loss on one facet. It was a team loss. There were breakdowns on offense, defense and special teams that contributed to the loss. This team has a week to get better and heal up against Troy and take on what will be a pesky Tennessee team.

- Can we replace Uncle Verne?

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Keys to Beating Tech

Five Novembers ago, we experienced in Sanford Stadium something that I would not wish on any Bulldog – a loss to the North Avenue Trade School.

Here’s what I think they keys are to winning for the fifth time in a row against the Maggots.

1. Defense has to stay on target. With the triple-option being unconventional, it relies on two things to have big success against a team such as Georgia – missed assignments and players not finishing plays – both of which result of big plays – see Reshad Jones in 2008. This worries me…a lot. How many times has Georgia’s defense missed on assignments this year? It will be very critical for Grantham’s charges to not get worn down and frustrated by the mundane nature of defending Tech’s defense. Tech will get its chunks of three or four yards per play. But if Georgia can force numerous third and longs, it’ll have itself a good day.

2. Mason doesn’t need to win it, but can’t lose it. Hutson Mason doesn’t need to takeover the game, but he’ll need to do enough to make Tech think about the pass. If Georgia can have some measure of success, it’ll prevent Tech from putting eight or nine in the box on a regular basis.

3. The tight end. The best way to catch a Tech defense looking for a heavy dose of Todd Gurley’s running sleeping? Quick passes over the middle to Arthur Lynch to spread things out.

4. Absence of the red zone. With Tech’s offense able to pick up short-yardage first downs more easily, multiple trips inside the 20 could bode well for the Jackets. Georgia needs to prevent that from happening by snuffing out scoring drives before they advance that far.

5. Up the Middle. Georgia doesn’t have a John Jenkins or Kwame Geathers up the middle to clog the center of the running lanes. The Dawgs will need to come up with a combination of linemen or linebacker play to shut this option (no pun intended) down and force running plays towards the perimeter, which could equal a big day for Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

This week is pretty simple

“If you ever wonder if Tech is Georgia’s biggest rival, just lose to them once and you’ll find out.” – Ray Goff 

There is no beating around the bush this week. The Georgia Tech game may be named ‘Clean Old Fashioned Hate,’ but there’s nothing clean about having to deal with the maggots.

The biggest difference between the two schools? It all goes down to this. Georgia worries about Georgia Tech one week out of the year. Tech is so insignificant, playing in a sorry joke of a conference, that it worries about Georgia YEAR ROUND.

If you’re a fan of the Georgia program, this much is true – you should not lose to Tech. Now, there will be flukes and flash in the pan moments ever so often. But UGA, with its resources (aside from the Indoor Practice Facility) and what it has to draw from, should not consistently lose to Tech. 

Ray Goff’s career was extended longer than it should have at Georgia because he beat Tech. Donnan’s came to an early end because he could not beat Tech.

When you think about it, isn’t a Yellow Jacket the perfect mascot for the North Avenue Trade School. A yellow jacket is a pest – an annoying little pain to deal with that comes out of the woodwork ever so often.

Florida is a bunch of beach bums who pretend football didn’t exist before 1990, Tennessee is a bunch of hillbillies whose climax of success came in the 1990s when it got away from late hits and NCAA idol worship of Peyton Manning, South Carolina nothing without the HBC and Auburn  can’t win unless it skirts the rules of recruits QBs from prisons. 

And then there is Tech. They know Georgia is better than them, and they pull out the whole ‘we’re smarter than you’ crap. Funny, from 1998 to 2000, you never heard much of that.

Yeah, I know they like to be cute with the whole ‘we’ll be your boss one day’ deal.

Let’s just say that none of us here at TGT have ever worked for any Tech grads.

Tech has astronauts to graduate from there? Astronauts have not been relevant since the 60s.

It takes a special type of a classless to cheer when a mascot dies, but that’s common practice for the nerds.

Atlanta traffic is horrendous. With so many ‘engineers’ at Tech, they can’t engineer better traffic plans for the roads near them? Therefore, traffic in Atlanta is the fault of the Jackets. 

The University of Georgia has produced numerous governors, congressmen, senators and captains of industry. Tech? It’s produced one of the worst presidents in the history of America.

Say this for Tech, though. At least it’s located near The Varsity.

What’ll ya have?

Go Dawgs!

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

 



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