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Lewis Grizzard Wednesday II: Clemson Paratrooper

I couldn’t get the thing to imbed, so here is the link to the Lewis story of the Clemson paratrooper.

Corbindawg

6 Bold Predictions

I’ll see how I did at the end of the season. 

Bold Predictions.

1. Alabama won’t win the SEC West:  I think the Crimson Tide are prime for a step back.  I do think a “step back” for them is somewhere around 9-3.  Too many unresolved issues at QB, and in this league, even as good as their defense and running game is, your QB is going to have to win you a ballgame.  Especially on the road.  I’m afraid they just won’t do it this season.

2. LSU will win the SEC West: I know they have to replace a lot of offensive skill players, and are breaking in a new QB also, but they get Alabama at home.  The Tigers do have tricky road games in back to back weeks at Florida and at Auburn, but I think they are able to pull it out.  They will win the SEC West and be a contender for the National Playoff.

3. Florida upsets Alabama, but Will Muschamp won’t finish the year against Florida State:  The former student will have his boys ready against his mentor.  The Gators will pull off the upset in Tuscaloosa on September 20. However, three weeks later against LSU, Florida will get beaten, then will lose again to Georgia.  I had originally thought that if Florida lost to Georgia, Muschamp would get the Kiffin treatment and be fired at the stadium and have to get his buddy Mike Bobo to give him a lift home, but the victory over Alabama will keep around another week.  No, it will be more poetic.  Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks will beat Florida and run up the score in the swamp.  He will be fired before Eastern Kentucky, and then of course Florida will lose to FSU.

4. Georgia will make the 4 team playoff, but not win the National Title: How many times have we said that If there was only a playoff, Georgia and Mark Richt would have a couple of National Titles by now? This year, Georgia will make the playoff but won’t win it all. I cannot yet see who will win it all, but it won’t be the Dawgs.

5. This will be Dan Mullen’s last year at Mississippi State:  One of two things will happen:  Dan Mullen’s best team will perform well and exceed Mississippi State expectations, or they will underachieve. Either way, the natives will get restless or another school (like Florida) will call and beg him to leave.  He made a mistake a few years ago for not striking while the iron was hot; he won’t repeat that mistake.

6. Hutson Mason will lead the SEC in passing:  I’m not sure why this is so bold.  Throwing to talkbacks count as passing yards.  Who are the other candidates?  Not Nick Marshall.  Has to be someone.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: To My Son

You knew this was happening…

Great moments in a would be father’s life

To my Son, if I ever have one:

Kid, I am writing this on September 3, 1984. I have just returned from Athens, where I spent Saturday watching the University of Georgia, your old dad’s alma matter, play football against Clemson.

While the events of the day were still fresh on my mind, I wanted to recount them so if you are ever born, you can read this and perhaps be able to share one of the great moments in your father’s life.

Saturday was a wonderful day on the Georgia campus.

We are talking blue, cloudless sky, a gentle breeze and a temperature suggesting summer’s end and autumn’s approach.

I said the blessing before we had lunch. I thanked the Lord for three things: fried chicken, potato salad and for the fact he had allowed me the privilege of being a Bulldog.

“And , Dear Lord,” I prayed, “bless all those not as fortunate as I.”

Imagine my son, 82,000 people, most whom were garbed in red, gathered together gazing down on a lush valley of hedge and grass where soon historic sporting combat would be launched.

Clemson was ranked number 2 in the nation, and Georgia, feared too young to compete with the veterans from beyond the river, could only dream, the smart money said, of emerging three hours hence victorious.

They had us 20-6 at the half, son. A man sitting in front of me said, “I just hope we don’t get embarrassed.”

My boy, I had never seen such a thing as came to pass in the second half. Todd Williams threw one long and high, and Herman Archie caught it in the end zone, and it was now 20-13.

Georgia got the ball again and scored again, and it was now 20-20, and my mouth was dry, and my hands were shaking, and this Clemson fan who had been running his mouth the whole ballgame suddenly shut his fat face.

Son, we got ahead 23-20, and the ground trembled and shook, and many were taken by fainting spells.

Clemson’s kicker, Donald Igwebuike, tied it 23-23 and this sacred place became the center of the universe.

Only seconds were left when Georgia’s kicker, Kevin Butler, stood poised in concentration. The ball rushed toward him, and it was placed upon the tee a heartbeat before his right foot launched it heavenward.

A lifetime later, the officials threw their arms aloft. From 60 yards away, Kevin Butler had been true, and Georgia led and would win 26-23.

I hugged perfect strangers and kissed a fat lady on the mouth. Grown men wept. Lightening flashed. Thunder rolled. Stars fell, and joy swept through, fetched by a hurricane of unleashed emotions.

When Georgia beat Alabama 18-17 in 1965, it was a staggering victory. When we came back against Georgia Tech and won 29-28 in1978, the Chapel bell rang all night. When we beat Florida 26-21 in the last seconds in 1980, we called it a miracle. And when we beat Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl that same year for the national championship, a woman pulled up her skirt and showed the world the Bulldog she had sewn on her underbritches.

But Saturday may have been even better than any of those.

Saturday in Athens was a religious experience.

I give this to you, son. Read it and re-read it, and keep it next to your heart. And when people want to know how you wound up with the name “Kevin” let them read it, and then they will know.

 

Can Gurley Be Stopped? Yes, By Only One Team

While everyone is preparing for the game Saturday, I am beachside. My family is taking our vacation this week. Now, I’d prefer to be living, eating and sleeping football 24/7 right now, but being on the Gulf Coast isn’t bad. And don’t worry…we are leaving Friday morning to head home and will get up with the roosters Saturday to head to Athens.

The key to Georgia victory on Saturday is how effective Todd Gurley can be running the football. The key to Georgia having a good season is how effective Todd Gurley can be running the football.

That might be the duh statement of century.

Gurley’s Heisman and NFL draft pub isn’t just empty hype. He is a special player with once in a generation skill. He is awesome. I used to not think a defense could be able to stop a healthy Gurley.

Then, as I was swimming in the ocean today, and I had an epiphany. Not like Larry David when he almost drown, but still I had a clear mind.

There is only one defense in the country that can stop Todd Gurley.

It isn’t Vic Beasley or Clemson. It isn’t Florida’s.

No, it isn’t even the great Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide defense.

The only defense that can stop Todd Gurley is Georgia’s defense.

If our defense screws around and gives up lots of big plays, lots of points, then it will take Gurley out of the game plan.

Take for example the game last year at Auburn. Gurley only had two carries during Georgia’s 3 possessions in the entire third quarter as UGA was trying to mount their comeback. Now, as the game got closer in the 4th Quarter, Gurley did have 6 carries in the 4th.

Against Auburn, Gurley had 15 carries for 79 yards. Gurley only had fewer carries when he was either hurt (like against LSU or Clemson) or when he services really weren’t needed (like Kentucky).

I had that post written, but I then had another thought. My mind is going wild! I’m getting a headache doing all this thinking.

Gurley showed last year he can be a receiving threat. The Auburn game showed how effective Gurley can be as a receiving option. Because it was necessary to find your best player a way to get the ball, against Auburn Gurley had 10 catches for 77 yards. The next week against Kentucky, he had 5 catches for 90 yards, 4/36 against Tech, and 7/97 against Nebraska.

The only way that Clemson is able to stop a healthy Gurley is take him out of the game. Even then, as we saw last season, he is still a threat catching the ball.

So, is it really possible to take him out of the game? Can he really be stopped?

I still say yes. As great as a weapon as Gurley can be in the passing game, offense works better when a team throws when they want to. I still think a successful Georgia offense is one with Gurley getting somewhere around 20 carries per game. That probably means we are doing what we want to be doing.

The key to the Clemson game, and the rest of the season for that matter, simply falls on if the Georgia Defense will take Gurley out of the game. If Georgia is having to play catch up or from behind all the time, then Gurley won’t be near as effective.

I personally think the defense will be pretty good this season. So if Gurley can stay healthy, watch out.

Corbindawg

Joe Cox-Hutson Mason: Too Soon?

I recently took a trip overseas to India. It was an awesome experience, and while I was glad I went, I don’t have ANY desire to go back and was very glad to come home.

I won’t get too much into my trip, but one thing from India is the food is all the same. For the duration of my trip, I had basically the same food every day, 3 meals a day (except the one night where we found a Pizza Hut, and I thought I was in heaven).  Heavy doses of Naan Bread, lentils, and Kingfisher Beer. The Kingfisher wasn’t all bad.

I like Indian food every now and then. Like, once every couple of years. Needless to say, I’ve had my fill for the next decade.

Our weekly ritual is going to Barberitos on Sunday nights. The little girl especially likes it. We went a couple of weeks back, after my return stateside, and ordered her a cheese quesadilla with black beans. She wasn’t eating it, so I reached over and grabbed a triangle to take a bite. The texture of the loose tortilla and the cheese along with the black beans tasted just like Naan Bread and Lentils. Before I could finish chewing, I had a shiver of fear run up my spine. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Instinctively, I grabbed a napkin and spit it out.

“What is wrong?” my wife asked.

“Too much like Naan Bread and lentils. Couldn’t do it. Too soon,” I replied as I reached for my tea to wash the taste out.

You may laugh, but go to India and you’ll understand.

I say all that to say I had a similar moment in regards to Georgia Football. I saw a picture of Hutson Mason from a game. For a fleeting moment, I had visions of Joe Cox. The skinny guy wearing #14 throwing a “catchable” ball. I recoiled in horror with visions of Joe Cox throwing another interception or fumbling yet again.

It was too soon to see that.

My fear is that Hutson Mason will be Joe Cox 2.0.

To be fair, Joe Cox did have some good moments. The 4th quarter of the Colorado game in 2006 was mighty exciting.  In 2009 he threw a lot of touchdowns. 24, or third most in the SEC that season. But he also had 15 very bad moments, which were the 15 interceptions, or second most in the SEC.  The ineptitude vs. Kentucky in 2009 was pretty bad.

Now, I don’t think Mason will be like Joe Cox for three reasons. Todd. Gurley. II. And two more: Keith. Marshall.

The running game in 2009 was inconsistent at best.  And the rest of the skill talent at that time on offense was subpar compared to what we have in Athens this year (A.J. Green obviously excluded). The defense was pretty bad, too. It was poorly coached and didn’t have much talent. At least this bunch will have talent.

We saw some good moments from Mason last season, but we also saw some good moments from Joe Cox before he became the starter. I keep going back to the point that I think Cox tried to do too much too often, becuase he looked around  and didn’t see much else.

Hopefully, Mason will recognize the talent he has around him, and won’t try to be the superhero.

I’m just glad Mason isn’t a Ginger, otherwise I might be in full on anxiety mode.

Corbindawg

Don’t Get Caught Up In Starters

People are concerned about the reports that Ramik Wilson might not be “the starter” against Clemson due to his concussion.

I would be more worried about the risk of him getting another concussion and potentially being medically disqualified like Merritt Hall rather than his playing time against Clemson.

Becuase even though he might not start, or be listed on the first team, I’d be willing to wager that the SEC’s leader in tackles from a year ago still sees a lot of snaps against Clemson.  Even with missed time, he is a stud that will make plays and find his way on the field.

Corbindawg

Eye of the Tiger Part II: A Clemson Fan’s Perspective

NOTE: Our token Clemson friend-come on, we all have one-again was gracious enough to provide us with some insight on his Tigers and offer a prediction. Rub Howard’s Rock predicted a 30-27 nail biter win for his Tigers last year, and wasn’t far off. Hopefully his prediction for this game is like the picks for the rest of the college football season and will prove to be wrong. Below are his unedited comments. 

 

FROM THE EYE OF A TIGER – TAKE TWO

by: Rub Howard’s Rock

Well it’s Clemson’s turn to drive across Lake Hartwell for the season opener. Hopefully the whole team is able to make it (I hear they like to arrest football players in Athens). The stage is set for another great game with both teams in the preseason top 20. Las Vegas has Georgia walking away with an easy victory, but that is yet to be seen. We will all have to wait just a little longer before “Glory, glory” is bugled, the Red Coats march off the field, and the sweat and blood of the players is exchanged. Here’s what you should know about the Clemson Tigers for the 2014 opener.

Offense:

Like Georgia, Clemson has lost their long time (by college standards) quarterback, Tajh Boyd. He will be replaced by Cole Stoudt who is a senior and has been the backup for three years. The loss of Boyd and Sammy Watkins appear to be the reason why Clemson dropped in preseason rankings and is approximately a 10 point underdawg (that’s for you, Georgia fans) in Las Vegas. I am not so sure this is warranted. Don’t get me wrong-Tajh was good, but he also got flustered easily, locked into receivers, and rarely went through his progressions. On numerous occasions over the past two years Cole has stepped in momentarily during prime playing minutes and our offense didn’t miss a beat. Cole is accurate, makes his reads, and releases the ball quickly. However, he is not as nimble as Tajh was running the ball and his deep ball hasn’t been as accurate (this may be improving as he gets practice reps with the first team). While I won’t vouch for his haircut, I will step out and say Cole can do the job and do it well.

The loss of Sammy is more material in my opinion as Clemson’s big play ability is significantly reduced. There is still a tub full of talent at “wide receiver U,” since the offensive scheme attracts receivers. Mike Williams, Germone Hopper, Charone Peake, and Adam Humphries are all back and have quality experience. None are like Sammy, but a few are better than Martavis Bryant (also left early for the NFL) and could be as good as Nuk Hopkins was.

The running back responsibilities will be done by committee again this year. I know this sounds intimidating, but they only let one or two on the field at a time, so the Georgia defense will be peppered with mediocrity. There a few tight ends that will likely see the field and play a vital role. Stanton Seckinger is one and is responsible for the dagger to the Georgia fans’ hearts last year with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jordan Legget, injured last year, is expected to make an impact. The offensive line isn’t much of a concern, but they are still trying to find the right mix which is a little alarming.

Defense:

Clemson’s defense has gone from atrocious to tolerable to could be pretty good. They allowed 14 or fewer points in 7 of 13 games last year. Starters are returned two deep on the defensive line and the defensive ends are back. In addition, the majority of the linebackers return. That said, the secondary is young in a few spots with little to no game experience. Ole Hutson Mason may have a field day Between the Hedges if the recruited talent doesn’t come to fruition. If Malcom Mitchell makes it back for this game, please someone in Athens teach him how to celebrate.

Prediction:

Clemson’s returning defensive front gives me some comfort, but Gurley still scares me. Granted, I weigh about as much as a dressed Georgia white tail deer, so plenty of people fall into that category. However, I’ve seen him in a casual setting off the field and he sticks out like a bulldog in a litter of pugs. He, and he alone, won more than one game for Georgia last year. Georgia’s defense is also bound to be better as Richt pulled off the best magic trick I’ve seen with Grantham going to Louisville. Cole Stoudt will have to grow up fast in front of 90,000, unreasonably angry, Georgia fans and methodically lead the Clemson offense without turning the ball over for Clemson to win. Looking through my pumpkin colored glasses, I think Cole and the Clemson defense is up to the task. Clemson 35 – Georgia 31.



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