Archive for May, 2011

Reason for Concern in 2011: The Offense

This is the first in a series of post where I will highlight the reasons for concern and Kensingtondawg will focus on the reasons for optimism.  We will review offense, defense, special teams, coaching and the schedule.  You can read each and form your own opinion. 

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Despite the emergence of Aaron Murray as one of the Conference’s best quarterbacks, the offense still has plenty of question marks.  To start right out of the gate, Chris Low broke down who has the most offense coming back next season, and UGA is 11th in the SEC in returning touchdowns:

11. Georgia: 36.9 percent

46 offensive touchdowns in 2010 (17 are back)

25 passing touchdowns in 2010 (25 are back)

25 receiving touchdowns in 2010 (9 are back)

21 rushing touchdowns in 2010 (8 are back)

Last year, A.J. Green had career best in total reception and touchdowns…and that was missing 1/3 of the season!  So yeah, needless to say his impact was tremendous.  Look no further in 4 games where he didn’t play. Taking out the warm up game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia mustered 42 points TOTAL in the 3 SEC games without Green.  Once A.J. Green returned, UGA scored 30 + points in 6/8 next games (removing Idaho State).  So, in an understatement of the young century, the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs are really going to miss A.J. Green.  And don’t forget about Kris Durham.

Georgia has the best Tight End group in the country, but the receiving corps…is little to be desired. Tavarres King should have a break out year, but is no A.J. Green, and what about everyone else?  Marlon Brown couldn’t catch a cold in Alaska wearing a bathing suit. Israel Troupe? We better hope that Malcolm Mitchell comes in and makes a huge impact.  There are a gaggle of other freshmen coming in that could provide a spark, but there are A LOT of question marks.  We know Aaron Murray is good, but how good can he be if he is throwing it to a bunch of scrubs?

The situation at running back is not much better.   The blessing in disguise is that Georgia losses Washaun Ealey.  That should go in Kensington’s positives column. 

But the bad news is that losing Ealey leaves Caleb King the top returning running back.  One, King is not a reliable back.  He has missed 8/24 games the last two seasons.  I am sorry, but a reliable back does not miss a third of your games over the course of two seasons.  Some the factors have been beyond his control, like injuries.  But he can control some of his off the field shenanigans. Two, King has not been very productive.  You can blame some of that on the running back by committee approach, but I contend that if he was as really good, he would be the featured back.  King had a meager 430 yards rushing and 8 yards receiving for 2 total touchdowns in 2010.  I will take out 2008 since Knowshon was the featured back, but in 2009 and 2010 King had a combined 1,024 yards and 9 rushing TDs.  That is not very impressive over the course of two seasons. 

You have King, who has proved to be not very spectacular, and Carlton Thomas, who the coaches don’t have clue on how to use him.  That leaves Ken Malcome and Isaiah Crowell.  I think Malcome can be good, but the star and difference maker is going to be Crowell.  Can he make an impact right away?  Folks point to Michael Dwyer and Marcus Lattimore as freshmen that have come in and made an immediate impact in the SEC.  Isaiah seems to have the ability to make a similar impact, but what helped the great backs like Lattimore and Dwyer along is they were running behind really good offensive lines…you like that transition?

I have said often times that this Georgia offense reminds me of the 2005 team.  A very talented, mobile quarterback.  Suspect wide receivers that could get a boost from an incoming freshmen to be complimented by great tight ends.  Wait, dagumit, that is my positive side coming out.  Let’s ignore the concerns that I have listed above and look at something the 2005 team had that this team doesn’t have:  a deep, experienced offensive line.

UGA struggled in 2003 and it was a miracle that Georgia made a return trip back to the Georgia Dome.  Georgia had a young offensive line and no real running game.  Those youngsters on the line in 2003 anchored a great line in 2005.  Ben Jones, Kenarious Gates, Cordy Glenn, Justin Anderson and company are all pretty good….but there is no real good depth behind them except a group of VHT freshmen coming in.  So Georgia cannot have any more injuries!  The 2004 line had standouts Nick Jones, Chester Adams, Fernando Velasco.  I see drop off there. Maybe the departure of Stacy Searles will help this group, or maybe the linemen that we have just aren’t as good as we thought (and maybe the Georgia Tech defensive line in 2009 made us think we were better than we are).  One bright side is that, before Sturdivant’s unfortunate injury and Harmon’s departure, that Coach Friend spent a lot of time cross training the guys at different positions.  Very wise.  But still…

Maybe UGA can again overcome the offensive line woes like they did in 2003.  In 2007, there were several freshmen on the line, and the Bulldogs managed a #2 finish.  Can UGA get lucky for a third time and have a good season despite offensive line woes?  Can you expect lightning to strike for a 3rd time?  

 Corbindawg

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Closing the Book on Derek Lowe

Charges against Derek Lowe in his DUI case have been dropped.

Personally I think this was a case of an over-zealous cop maybe trying to take advantage of the badge. Bulldog Nation knows a little something about that, don’t we? Derek should not have been behind the wheel after having a few drinks, but legally it seems he was was in line. He was probably over it, but now the organization can be as well.

ucheedawg

BBQ Thursday: The Butt Hutt

The Butt Hutt

We’ve covered BBQ in Athens before, but there’s one place that has become one of my favorites: The Butt Hutt.  My roommate and his girlfriend ate there a few months ago, so I decided to try it then. All I can remember about my first time at Butt Hutt was that I had to come back. I went last week to have their full meal.

The Butt Hutt is located next to UGA campus on Baxter Street between Lumpkin and Milledge, located in the same building as Jimbo’s Gas Station.   I think it has become so popular that they have opened another one in Elberton, Ga.

You can tell the pic is dated. We haven't had clouds & rain since March...

End of a Gas Station

The owners know their BBQ trinity of meat, stew & slaw, and they pull off all three really well.  I ordered the BBQ pork plate so I could try all three, and it was excellent! The plate:

Meat 4.75/5
I like my pulled pork moist, with smoky flavor, and served plain.  This meat was all three.

Stew 5/5
Like my fellow posters, I’m picky about my stew.  A bad stew can ruin an entirely good BBQ meal, but that’s just my opinion.  Butt Hutt’s stew was right on the money.  It was a great balance of all the ingredients plus a little bit of kick. And after having it  I loved the fact that i had more stew than BBQ meat (which is saying a lot).

Slaw 4/5
The Butt Hutt offers two different types of slaw, vinegar based and mayo based. I talked the waitress into getting me half of one and half of the other so I could try them both out. The slaw was made fresh. It was more cubed than rough chopped, which didn’t bother me. They were both good, but I was more a fan of the mayo based slaw.  The vinegar based slaw with the vinegar sauce on the BBQ was just a little too much vinegar.  All in all, the variety was nice, but I’ve had better.

Sauce 4/5
The Butt Hutt offers 4 sauces Sweet, Vinegar, Hot, Mild. Now, in my opinion sauces are good to have, but if the meat is cooked right you don’t really need it.  All of the sauces were good and you could use them to mix and match.  If you like all of your BBQ Vinegar, you can get the Vinegar slaw and use the Vinegar sauce– same with Mayo Slaw and Sweet Sauce.

Environment 5/5
Not to mention that you basically park a gas station, the Butt Hutt looks like a BBQ restaurant in Athens should. There’s only room for seating around 20 in the place, plus there is red and UGA stuff everywhere. The first time I went, Mike “Big Dawg” Woods was there eating and talking about about the football team with the waitress. Awesome stuff.

The Wall

The Wall

If you’re ever in Athens around lunch or supper, check out the folks at The Butt Hutt. You won’t be disappointed.

barn

And… picture to leave you with:

I think this was the Big Dawg's truck

Why fans want Richt to turn it around

Let’s be frank about it. Losing is no fun, especially in SEC football.

That’s why the past few years have not been quite as fun – there hasn’t been as much winning in Athens as we’d like to see.

In the midst of that, a number of fans, want to see Mark Richt rectify things in Athens. Now, some have doubts about his ability to do so…but many still want to see him get the program back on its feet.

Stories like this one remind us of why

Will Mark Richt revive the fortunes on the gridiron in Athens? Who knows? But having a coach open about helping the less-fortunate certainly makes it very easy to want him to do well. That is, of course, unless the Dawgs lose to either Boise State or South Carolina to start the season.

Lugnut Dawg

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Barber Shops

A Barber To The Roots
  
 
A male barber cut my hair the other day. I couldn’t remember the last time such a thing happened. 

I always got my hair cut by a male barber for the first 20-plus years of my life. Where else would I have gotten my hair cut? The Curl ‘n Chat Beauty Salon? 

“Hi, Beatrice, see what you can do about these split ends, and did you hear t he latest about the Bobbitts? Talk about taking a little off the top.” 

But at some point during my 20s, somebody – a woman, I’m certain – convinced me I shouldn’t go to a barbershop anymore to get my hair cut. I should go to a stylist instead. 

So I did. The primary difference between a barber and a stylist, most of whom were women, is that the magazines in the stylists’ shops were mostly for women, too, and the stylist charged about three times what the barber used to. 

But I kept going to stylists. Somehow, I guess I thought to go back to a barber would be like going back to wearing Old Spice. 

The stylist would have an assistant shampoo my hair, first, and then the stylist would, well, style. Barber-cutting, I also noticed, doesn’t take as long as styling. 

I had a stylist ask me once, “What kind of statement are you trying to make with your hair?” 

I didn’t know how to answer that. 

The barber used to forgo the shampoo unless you asked for one, and hair didn’t make statements back then. It just sort of sat there on the top of your head in utter silence, especially after the barber had cut it so short about all it could have done was recite the military swearing-in oath. 

It’s sort of a long story how I got back to a barber for my latest haircut. Let’s say only there was a convenience factor involved. 

The barber’s name was Jack Smith. He has a shop in Atlanta’s Airport Hilton. Jack Smith did a great job on my hair. He cut it the length I like, just touching the ears. He nailed those sideburns that always creep down my cheek when I haven’t had a haircut in a while. 

When he finished, I looked into a mirror and my hair looked just as good or better than it did after all those expensive stylings I’ve had. 

Vidal Sassoon, his own self, probably couldn’t do a lot with my cowlick mop, but that’s beside the point. 

The point is, it was a nostalgic comfort being back at the hands of a barber. The things I’ve done in my life to please women, I thought, and I laughed recalling my old barber at home who used to douse on a little Old Spice after my haircut, and say “Now, you smell like a boy dog.” 

One more thing about Jack Smith, the barber, and my haircut. 

Jack Smith didn’t turn out to be just Jack Smith. He was the Jack Smith I used to watch pitch for the baseball team that reared me, the old minor league Atlanta Crackers. 

THAT Jack Smith. Hard to believe. There I was getting a haircut from a barber who was also a boyhood idol. 

In the year 1960, when I was 13, Jack was a relief pitcher for Atlanta’s Dodger farm team that won the Southern Association’s pennant. 

We remembered some of his teammates together. Big Jim Koranda. Jim Williams. Pete Richert. Poochie Hartsfield. Tim Harkness. 

Jack later made it three seasons in the big leagues. 

“But that was when it was a sport, not a business,” he laughed, a way of saying he didn’t qualify for a pension. 

Jack said the fear of flying drove him out of baseball, and he’s been cutting hair ever since. 

I finally go back to a barber after all these years and he turns out to be THAT Jack Smith. 

“I like your haircut,” Dedra said to me later. 

She probably wouldn’t have understood if I had tried to explain it wasn’t just a haircut. It had been, as a matter of fact, at least a temporary settling of my restless soul.

Russell Wilson to Auburn?

How about this for a shocker of the day? 

There are rumblings on ESPN and Auburn recruiting sites that Russell Wilson is visiting Auburn today.  Wilson, who has signed a minor league baseball contract with the Colorado Rockies, has one season of eligibility remaining in football.

The recruitment of Wilson does make sense.  Auburn cannot be happy with the prospects of Barrett Trotter starting at QB in the fall.  The Tigers do have highly regarded prep signee Kiehl Frazer coming in, but it’s rare that a true freshman at QB can make much of a positive impact without making too many mistakes. 

This leads us to the Wilson visit.  Wilson would be an outstanding player for Auburn.  He won’t be Cam Newton, but he is arguably better as a passer and a very capable runner.

The only question remains is how much is Auburn paying Wilson?    Cam received somewhere in the 200 -250K range.  Inflation has set in from last year so I would expect a $275K signing bonus could be in the works here.  However, since the NCAA is closely monitoring Auburn, my money is on a nice $5 million insurance policy purchased by Jimmy Rayne and “Yella Wood” in case poor ole Russell ends his baseball career due to a football injury.

Kensingtondawg

The 2011 UGA Football Season: Shades of Gray

Right or wrong, black or white, cross the line you’re gonna pay.  In the dawn before the light, live and die by shades of gray.

I was at this concert…were you?

Regular readers of the blog in our two year history have probably noticed a few things.

1.  We are fans of Robert Earl Keen.

2. I, Corbindawg, am what the folks on the Vent refer to as a “Disney Dawg”.  I am the eternal optimist, loyal to Coach Richt, and except the extreme cases following the Mississippi State and UCF games, kept my anger in check last season. I like to think that the 8-5 and 6-7 seasons in 2009 and 2010 were merely blips on the radar. 

3. Kensingtondawg is a pessimist and has been saying for as long as I have known him (2008) the direction of the program was heading this way, and as long as the current regime is in place, it won’t improve-or improve quickly enough.  He was on that bandwagon before it was the prevailing thought.

As we head into the 2011 campaign, there are some definite positives on this team, and there are some very glaring concerns.  There is reason for hope and optimism, while at the same time there are reasons for despair and pessimism. 

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be highlighting each category:  offense, defense, special teams, coaching and the schedule and posting on the positives and negatives facing each one. 

But in a twist, and an attempt to better understand each other, Kensingtondawg will highlight positives and I will report on the negatives. 

Enjoy.


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