Archive for November, 2013

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

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A Dawg Nation Thanksgiving

“And dear lord, I prayed, please bless those not as fortunate as I.”

On behalf of all of us here at TGT, we wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. 

As Bulldogs, it goes without saying that we have so much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that out of all the college towns in the country, we get to call the greatest of them all, Athens, home.

I’m thankful for an open west end zone at Sanford Stadium, offering an ever constant window to the rest of campus.

Im thankful for the Loran Smith and Larry Munson impersonators all around the Georgia fan base, and for the fond memories over the years from Larry on the radio. “Get the picture, now…”

I’m thankful for Mark Richt. At times, the program is not where we’d like it to be, but it beats the heck out of the wilderness of UGA football in the time before. And we don’t worry about our head coach embarrassing the program off the field, a la Petrino or Kiffin.

I’m thankful for the greatest mascot in all of sports, Uga.

I’m thankful for the second family many of us have that is rooted in six or so Saturdays a season – our tailgate families.

I’m thankful for Herschel.

I’m thankful to my parents for raising me as a Bulldog fan.

I’m thankful that we’re not nerds.

I’m thankful that the Redcoats don’t play that idiotic Budweiser song. 

I’m thankful for how the silver britches look.

I’m thankful that no matter what Nike does to UGA’s uniforms, it will never, ever include orange.

I’m thankful that Florida is a dumpster fire. As they say, ‘it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks.’

I’m thankful for P-44 Haynes and 47-X takeoff.

I’m thankful that somehow we’re all able to remain steadfast Bulldogs despite perpetual bad luck this program runs into.

I’m thankful that the Bulldog Nation, the south and many other parts were given the gift of Lewis’ humor, and highly thankful that he was a Bulldog.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

UGA Should Retain Grantham

I usually don’t make it a habit of calling for a coach to be fired.  I think people who constantly say “Coach X” should be fired are just clinging to the lowest common denominator.  My opinion doesn’t carry much weight.  I doubt Greg McGarity is one of the few hundred people that might read this article.  But this is a blog where my opinions are put out, so I’ll share it anyway.

Georgia shouldn’t fire Todd Grantham.

I may get accused of being too positive or not wanting to make changes as quickly as others.  I think I was in the small minority of folks who didn’t jump off the Richt bandwagon a few years ago.  My friends remind me I didn’t want Willie Martinez fired after 2008.  That opinion did change after the 2009 Arkansas and Tennessee games.

I am not in love with Grantham.  The defense the last two years has been very bad.  The only reason it was any good in 2012 was becuase of the talent.  Individual players made big plays.  Jones, Ogletree, Rambo, Swann, Jenkins all made big plays.  I thinkt the talent on the team did well despite the coaching.  This year, the youth (and all the attention to the injuries on offense, don’t discount the injuries on the defense either) was a major factor.  But these freshmen are pretty much sophmores at this point, and the same mistakes made in Clemson were made in Auburn.  They haven’t gotten better.

Going back to the 2012 SEC Championship Game, opponents have scored 30 or more points against Georgia 9/13 games.  Not all of that is on the defense-Tennessee and Vanderbilt scored non offensive touchdowns.  But still.  They haven’t played well.   The 2012 defense is historically bad.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement so far.

Georgia will return 10/11 starters next season.  6 of the 11 starters this year were freshmen or sophomores.  The biggest problem seems to be the players this year don’t understand the complicated system Grantham employs.

The thing I look to is the 2011 unit.  That unit was full of NFL talent, and was one of the best defenses in the country.  Yes, they gave up 20.6 ppg, but if you remember, that season the offense caused many teams to score on them.  If you take away all the scores opposing teams had when the defense wasn’t on the field, the UGA defense was giving up somewhere around 15 ppg.  For proof of that, look at UGA’s total defense.  That number was 277.2 ypg.  That was 4th in the SEC, ahead of Florida and just about on par with LSU.  In fact, that was good for 5th in the entire country.  The 2011 defense was on par with Alabama and LSU in many areas.  Turnover margin, 3rd down conversions, etc… Go to cfbstats.com and see for yourself if you don’t trust me.   And don’t say that UGA’s schedule was weak.  LSU, UGA and Alabama shared 5 common opponents that season.  Their schedules were all similar (though LSU did have the toughest).

2011 was Year 2 of Grantham’s system and the defense played like they should play-great.

The 2014 team will return most of its starters on offense and defense.  The offense should continue to be good.  The defense should take the next step with most of players in year 2 of Grantham’s system.  Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?  The results are there.  We know Grantham can coach an excellent unit.  Will he?  That is multi-million dollar question.  Becuase…

This is a tough position for Richt to be in.  If he fires Grantham (and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be sad if he were to leave), then he has to make another hire and run the risk of breaking in a new system again.  If Richt retains Grantham, and the defense flat out sucks, then all the good will Richt built back up since the 2010 debacle will be gone and we will hear “hot seat” talk again.   The comparisions of Mack Brown going through coordinators and shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic will be made.

It is my opinion that Richt should stick it out with Grantham.  If it works out, then Georgia should get back to having a great year in 2014.  If it doesn’t work out, well UGA’s new head coach can then worry about finding a new DC.

Corbindawg

PS…one thing that is not talked about is Bobo.  Bobo needs to be the highest paid assistant on the staff.  He deserves it, and if we do make a change at DC, then Richt will have to pay a new DC a ton of money to get the guy we want.  Whoever it is will be paid more than Bobo, and that just isn’t right. Think about your job.  If you are successful, and they have to replace a co-worker and the new person they bring in is making twice what you make, how would that make you feel? Bobo needs to have a big payday.

Typical Tech

I won’t dignify Bill Shanks’ latest column in the Macon Telegraph with a link,  and I actually feel dumber after reading it.

I’ll spare you the pain of having to read that crap, but here are some highlights:

Bill Shanks called the Georgia-Georgia Tech programs turkeys becuase the game this weekend didn’t mean anything.  The only thing at stake is the winner can brag about having 8 wins and the loser will have seven wins and five losses, which should make the loser of the game downright angry.

First off, what is on the line is pride, as in any rivalry game.  This game never means anything except a chance for Tech fans to come out of the wood work and make fun of injured players, dead animals, dead announcers and brag about how much money they are going to make.

This game doesn’t mean anything becuase Tech sucks year after year.  It is an important game for Georgia to win, becuase at Georgia we have expectations.  We might fall short of them, but our expectation is to win every game. Even in years where expecations are tempered, we always expect to beat Tech.  Becuase they are Tech.

This game could be a premier rivalry in college football if Tech wasn’t Tech.  Georgia has been ranked high many times going into the Tech game. This game could have more meaning if Tech would hold up its end of the deal more often.

2001:  UGA 19/GT 21
2002:  UGA 5/GT NR
2003: UGA 5/GT NR
2004:  UGA 8/GT NR
2005:  UGA 13/GT 20
2006:  UGA NR/GT 16
2007:  UGA 6/GT NR
2008:  UGA 13/GT 18
2009:  UGA NR/GT 7
2010:  Both NR
2011:  UGA 13/GT  25
2012: UGA 3/GT NR

Only twice since 2001 has Georgia Tech been ranked and Georgia not been.  5 times, Tech has been the unranked team between the two.  5 times since 2001-5!-Georgia has been ranked 8 or better against Tech.  Three times it has been ranked in the top 5.

If Georgia loses Saturday, it will be devistating.  I’ll be pissed for losing to Georgia Tech and losing 5 times this season.  Tech fans will just be pissed about losing to Georgia should they lose.    Since 2001,  Georgia Tech has lost 5 or more games 10 times…every year except 2008 and 2009.  Losing 5 games in a season is the exception to the norm for Georgia; losing 5 games is typical for Georgia Tech.   Shanks tries to elevate Tech’s program while at the same time degrading UGA’s program, suggesting they are equals.

He talks how the Iron Bowl means something, and Georgia-Georgia Tech should too.  For most of the past decade, the Iron Bowl has either featured an irrelevant Auburn or an irrelevant Alabama team.

So win or lose Saturday, Georgia’s program will be in better shape in the long term becuase they are Georgia, and Tech is Tech.

And if Tech wins, they still have the bowl game to get that 5th loss.  You know they won’t disappoint.

Corbindawg

PS…the whole Tech thing wasn’t the most absurd thing Shanks wrote.  Shanks went on to mention that Mercer University’s football team was the best football program in the state.  Yes, Mercer who just started up football this season.  Yes, that Mercer with  no scholarships.  Yes, that Mercer.  Bill thinks Mercer is the best pogram in the state. Not taking anything away from the outstanding job Coach Lamb has done in the program’s first year.  But, still.  Come on, man.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Does Tech’s T Stand For Tacky?

Does Tech’s “T” stand for tacky?

Athens – This will end my crusade, at least until next September, to improve behavior at college football games.

After Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville, Florida players strutted in front of the Georgia fans at game’s end and rubbed in their victory by using obscene gestures.

After Georgia-Auburn, a member of the Georgia staff was hit in the head by a bottle thrown from the stands. So we come to Georgia-Georgia Tech here Saturday.

It was the Tech band that decided to show its collective hindparts.

At haltime, the Yellow Jacket musicians rolled out a Georgia Tech logo and covered the logo at midfield in Sanford Stadium that celebrates this, Georgia’s 100th year of football.

“The band,” said Tech drum major Dana Papp, “takes a lot of pride in our creativity.”

Creativity?

What creativity? All I saw was a group of juvenile horn blowers and drum beaters insulting the Georgia crowd.

It was like going to visit and neighbor’s house and deliberately spilling red wine on a white carpet.

The logo was painted on the stadium grass as a means of showing Georgia’s pride in its centennial season. Naturally, Georgia fans booed the Tech crowd.

“It made the people watch,” another member of the Tech band was quoted as saying. “Even if the response was negative, it was great.”

I thought people who make music in public did so to entertain. Whatever work went into the musical performance Saturday was completely wasted.

If those wusses had wanted to do something to make Georgia Tech look good in Sanford Stadium Saturday, they should have put on pads and gone out and stopped
Garrison Hearst. The Tech defense couldn’t, to the tune of a two-touchdown loss.

And speaking of Garrison Hearst, when he scored his third touchdown of the night, he struck the pose of the figure on the Heisman Trophy, given annually to college football’s most outstanding player.

I suppose he was trying to say, “I deserve the Heisman Trophy.”

I happen to agree, and I would like to see him win it. But I’d like to see him handle his acclaim as humbly and appreciatively as Georgia’s other Heisman winners, Frank Sinkwich and Herschel Walker.

And I happen to think Georgia coach Ray Goff would agree with me.

All this bragging, all this rubbing it in, all this show-boating, all this bottle throwing, comes from, I think, this “in your face” mentality in sports.

ESPN uses “in your face” to promote its sports coverage. “In your face” is just another way of saying, “Up yours.”

It breeds anger, and I don’t think anybody who sees it is impressed one bit.

Would the Tech band like to know what Georgia fans said to describe their little prank?

I heard “tacky” a lot, as well as “low class.”

Yeah, kids, you made quite an impression.

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 

Desitiny Is Fickle

Even before the season began, my wife and I talked about what games we were going to attend.  Living in Macon, having a new baby, and both having jobs that require travel, we had to be strategic with what games we could attend.   It ain’t as easy as it used to be packing up and going to Athens.

We decided we would go to South Carolina, LSU, Missouri and Florida.  I think, all things considered, that was pretty good.  Now, after we went up for the Missouri game, I gave the App State and Kentucky tickets to my brother so he could go.

RANDOM SIDE NOTE: I hate scalpers.  I’d rather give my tickets away or simply tear them up and throw them on the ground than deal with them. 

Usually after the team loses, that is when people give up going or become disinterested.  After the heartbreaking defeat to Auburn, the game was still barely over, I was sitting on my couch and told my wife I want to go to the Kentucky game.  Not becuase it was a night game.  Not becuase I’d have to order ESPNU.  No, the reason I wanted to go to the Kentucky game was becuase I wanted to see Aaron Murray play in Sanford Stadium one last time.  I wanted to stand up and cheer for him on Senior Night.  I had a friend that gave me a free ticket so I wouldn’t have to pay for another after I’ve already paid for two.

That may sound stupid.  I am 1 of 92,746.  My attendence there wasn’t going to make his ovation any louder.  But after watching his performance against Auburn, I thought I owed it to him to show up and cheer him on one last time.  Murray has played his guts out for us for the last four years.  His contributions to the program go well beyond the records, the two SEC East division titles, the wins over Florida, the near chance of winning a National Championship.  His legacy, to me, will be that of a selfless guy who played his heart out while at the same time stabilizing the Georgia program.

Mike Bobo and Mark Richt have certainly had a big part in his development, so they should get credit here.  If there is one thing they have proven they can do, it is coach up and develop quarterbacks.  I don’t think anyone, even if you negative towards them, can deny that.  But Murray’s play has kept both of them gainfully employed by the Univeristy of Georgia.  The program was on rocky ground in 2010 and early 2011.  Murray came in and was the stabilizing force that helped the program go from losing to UCF in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2010 to going toe to toe with the mighty Alabama and being 5 yards short of a National Title less than two years later.

I stood up and cheered loud when Aaron’s name was called at the end of the Senior line.   I wore my black per his request.  I had to be there.

The way his career ended at UGA is a damn shame.  My favorite character on one of my favorite TV shows, Ben Linus on Lost, once said that destiny is a fickle bitch.  That fickle bitch showed her face to Aaron Murray Saturday night.  What was to be a celebration of a great career turned sour.

I hate it.  My heart breaks.  Big picture, I am glad Hutson Mason is getting some game time.  He will have two and a half games, and don’t discount the importance of bowl practices, to get ready for next year.  But I don’t care about if this means we lose to Tech.  I don’t care if we lose the bowl game.  Get away from football for just a minute.  I hate it for Murray.  His NFL potential was already limited.   I don’t think he was going to get his shot in the NFL.  He just doesn’t have the NFL size.  But I was hoping he would have the chance.  Now, that chance seems like it is even slimmer than before.  He came back for a final year to win a championship.  It is painfully poetic that his career would end to an injury, becuase injuries ended our Championship dreams this year.

I said last week that I thought Murray was the best QB in UGA history.  I plan on writing more on his impact and what he has done.  But right now, I’m just sad for him and his family.  As we spend Thanksgiving Day eating turkey and pecan pie, Aaron Murray will be recovering from ACL surgery.  As the team prepares to take on their rival on the Flats, Murray will be on crutches watching helplessly from the sideline or on TV. We have much to be thankful for this week.  I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my beautiful and healthy baby girl.  I’m thankful for my sweet and beatiful wife who puts up with me.  I’m thankful I have a job I enjoy.  I’m thankful that I’m the luckiest guy on this planet who has more to be thankful for than he deserves.

I am also thankful Aaron Murray chose to be a Bulldog.  I am thankful that I got to witness him play and lead us to many victories.  I am thankful I got to see him play Between the Hedges one last time.

Corbindawg


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