Archive for September, 2015


Jeremy Pruitt was associated with Alabama football from the time Nick Saban arrived until the end of the 2012 season.  From 2007-2009, he was director of player development, whatever that means.  I think it means he was an assistant coach, but not really an assistant coach.  In 2010 he became the secondary coach, until he became Florida State defensive coordinator in 2013.

We know about him since then.

A lot has been made of the impact Jeremy Pruitt has made on the Georgia football program, from helping push facility upgrades, to details as specific as routines for practice and game days, and even big picture aspects such as the overall culture of the program.

If you hear some people talk, he is basically the head coach, and Mark Richt is the figure head.  I think that is overblown, and Richt does deserve some credit, if for the very least not letting his ego get in the way of stopping the changes.  Being willing and able to adapt and change is the reason Mark Richt is still head coach at UGA today, and not forced to depart after 2010.  That is why Mack Brown, (soon to be)Steve Spurrier, Phil Fulmer and others are no longer coaching.

However, I believe Jeremy Pruitt has had an immeasurable impact to this defense and this program.

You notice how the defense is changed.  Yes, I know last season there were some ups and downs.  In the three losses, the defense was shaky. I will say, though, that every coordinator struggles the first time they see Georgia Tech’s triple option offense.   Even with their struggles so far in 2015, I’d suspect that the Georgia defense will do better against Tech in Year 2 of Pruitt.

Since Jeremy Pruitt’s departure from the Capstone, in three seasons Alabama’s once invincible defense has given up 40+ 4 times, only winning one of those games (Auburn last season).

Also, is it a coincidence that since Coach Pruitt left, Alabama has had a rash of player arrests in recent season, including 5 in the past calendar year, while Georgia has seen that problem all but disappear?  I believe the last player to run afoul of the law was Jonathan Taylor, who was also infamously admitted (and famously dismissed) by Alabama.

But the defense has really made the biggest strides.  You can see the big difference.  I told someone I was sitting with during the Louisiana-Monroe game that the defense plays with disciplined aggression.  You don’t see stupid penalties (except in Nashville where BS targeting calls appear), but they are fast and hit hard.

Could you imagine how much better this unit would be if Shaq Wiggins, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Tray Matthews and the aforementioned Jonathan Taylor would have had their heads sewn on straight?

If you want to know the difference of the game this Saturday, the Pruitt affect will be it.  For as good as Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Malcolm Mitchell, the offensive line and the others on offense are, even without Jeremy Pruitt Alabama still has a great defense.  Sure, they have been susceptible to give up big plays and a lot of points in recent years, but that says two things.  One, offenses in college football are just better than they were 5 years ago.  They just are.  It is an offensive-centered game now.

But the teams that Alabama has struggled with defensively are teams that run the spread or have a mobile quarterback.  Texas A&M, Ohio State, Auburn, Ole Miss-these teams present a different look compared to what Georgia likes to do.  Against comparable pro-style teams, Alabama still plays good defense.  Against LSU, Arkansas, Wisconsin, etc. they continue to play very well.

Now, I don’t think it is entirely fair to put a once size fits all pro-style label on Georgia’s offense.  For those of us who follow the Dawgs closely, and watch a lot of other college football, that is oversimplifying it.  We have speedy play makers, go up-tempo, and quite frankly Nick Chubb is unlike any other running back in America, with apologies to Leonard Fournette.

But to expect Georgia to score 30 points against this Alabama defense is living in the clouds.  If they do, I will dance an Irish Jig all the way back to the car.

Conversely, Alabama’s offense is good.  Really good.  They have problems at quarterback, but against Ole Miss, even with 5 turnovers, they scored 37 points and ran 100 plays!  Lane Kiffin gets a lot of the attention, mostly negative, much like Mike Bobo.  But Kiffin has done a hell of a job there, and while I don’t think Alabama’s offense is as good this season as it has been, don’t be fooled.  They can still score points.

It is hard to gauge this early in the season because the level of competition has been so weak across the board.  Last year, for all the different narratives, Alabama’s offense still scored 37 ppg.  That was the same as Mississippi State and about the same as Auburn and Texas A&M.  Matter of fact, it was more than everyone else in the conference other than Georgia’s 41 ppg (Blame Bobo!).

So you want a key to the game this Saturday?  I think it is easy.

Of course, you get the stock answers like turnovers, special teams, blah, blah, blah.

The intangibles are even.  Georgia is at home, has revenge on its mind, and will be fired up to prove it belongs among the elite of college football.  Alabama will be fired up to prove it deserves to stay among the elite.  Win or lose for either team, and I think both are still really good teams.  Although Alabama does have a much smaller margin for error.

No, the key to the game will be Georgia’s defense against the Alabama offense.  It will be if Georgia can put pressure on Coker, force him to make mistakes, stop the run and not let the dink and dunk passes move the chains.  If there has been a weakness in this Georgia defense since Pruitt’s arrival, it has been getting gashed in the running game and being exposed in the passing game.

Alabama’s defense is still good.  Georgia will have a hard time moving the ball, I think.  I think they can, but it won’t be easy.

But can we stop this offense?

The Pruitt affect will decide if Georgia wins or loses.


This was for you, Ray Goff

Few head coaches at The University of Georgia have been as maligned as Ray Goff, who had the unfortunate circumstance of taking over as head coach of a handstrung program that at the same time became a glutton for punishment at the hands of the Ol’ Ball Coach, especially when he hung half a hundred on the Dawgs in 1995 in Athens.

I wasn’t in Sanford that day – but know plenty who were. If you had to endure that day, Saturday night was especially sweet.

1966 was a lifelong torture. 1997 was sweet revenge. Last night? That was an undressing. Georgia has a good team, and showed it. USCe is down, and Georgia exposed it in a big way.

Detractors – you know they are out there. They’ll pull out the fact that, “but…USC is a bad team. That win isn’t that big.”

Not hardly.

How many times has Georgia played an inferior team and slopped its way to an ugly win. I’ll eat crow – I expected it on Saturday. But what we saw on Saturday is what championship teams do – take care of business and make a statement – do what you are there to do to start with.

Will this team play on that level the rest of the year? Probably not. You cannot expect that over the course of a season. In a perfect world, you could bottle up the emotion of Saturday and sprinkle it around each week. We remember all too begrudgingly the 2004 LSU win followed up by a flat loss to Tennessee…even the 1997 Florida win followed by laying an egg against Auburn.

But if this team plays at a fraction of what we saw Saturday – executing on both sides of the ball and a lack of special teams gaffes…for the most part…bigger things could be in store later down the line.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

South Carolina Preview

I didn’t watch the South Carolina-Kentucky game last week. I was watching the Michigan State-Oregon and LSU-Mississippi State games because I had a, err, vested interest in those games’ outcomes (and I came away half-happy).

Skip to the bottom after the bold type if you want the nuts and bolts.

At any rate, it is hard to gauge most teams out there, because for the most part, the level of competition has been sub-par. I love, but this early in the season, it is hard to get an accurate read on most teams.

That is not necessarily the case with South Carolina. They have played two Power 5 teams, and are lucky to not be 0-2.

Georgia has played two inferior opponents, but I think time will prove the Vanderbilt defense is quite competent.

With that said, here we go looking at the matchups…

First and foremost, I hope for a win. If we win every game ugly, I’ll be bitching and moaning with a smile on my face 12 weeks from now.

Based on watching South Carolina attempt to defend North Carolina’s running game, I just don’t see how they stop Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. I just don’t see it happening. The Gamecocks are (with a small sample size) giving up 200 rushing yards per game and are nearly giving up 6 yards per carry. Georgia has gotten 262 yards per game on the ground at this point, at almost 7 yards a carry.

Georgia has the capability to, and should, run all over South Carolina. Seeing how none of the offenses South Carolina has faced have backs like ours, I feel this is a very safe assumption to make.

And I don’t see how South Carolina will score on our defense. Georgia may not have the best defense in the country. Hell, they probably don’t have the best defense in the SEC (we’ll see on that). But what they do have is several elite linebackers that can stop the run and rush the passer.

While Georgia doesn’t throw the ball well, South Carolina’s passing threat isn’t much better. I think it is fair to say Georgia’s biggest weakness on defense is the secondary, which has shone chinks in the armor. I think poor Perry Orth will be hit one time by Jenkins/Floyd/Carter and that will be all she wrote.

So South Carolina’s defense won’t stop what we are good at, and Georgia’s defense is really good. Offensively South Carolina won’t be able to exploit our weaknesses on defense.

Sounds simple, right?

It should be. But it never is.

If Georgia doesn’t turn the ball over and give South Carolina free points, and doesn’t have disasters on Special Teams, this should be a rout.

 At some point, the above is going to happen. Every running back fumbles. Even great backs. It happens. Every quarterback, from Grayson Lambert to Joe Montana, will throw an interception. It will happen.

Every team has at some point a bad snap on a punt.

If just one of those things happens, we can recover. If we decide to make all our mistakes in one game, like Georgia has been known to do, it will be difficult to win.

It is really that simple.

I think we’ll have a pretty good idea by halftime, one way or another.


This Saturday Could Be Heaven or Hell If You Hate Spurrier

The way I see it, Saturday can go one of two ways. And it’ll carry two very different emotions with it.

On one hand is the fact that it could be one of the most revered wins in Georgia history. Stay with me here. Any true Georgia fan HATES Steve Spurrier with a passion. Now there are some, like Kensington Dawg and myself that enjoy his wit and one-liners, but you cannot be a true UGA fan and hate the coach that is Spurrier.

Thing is – the feeling is mutual. Spurrier detests Georgia, and it shows. That’s why Saturday could be a very sweet victory. It’d rank up with the other two big Georgia wins against the OBC – tarnishing his 1966 Heisman season and preventing Florida from going unbeaten and the 1997 streak-breaking route of the Florida in the WLOCP.

If Georgia wins Saturday, it will more or less raise the warning flags up that perhaps Spurrier’s time has past even more and would mark the beginning of the end. It’d also put USCe at 0-2 in the conference. Think about it – Georgia can put the Gamecocks into the ground barely into the season. Talk about a dream come true if you hate Spurrier.

But there’s the other aspect of Saturday, the one that worries me.

Here we are with a chance to embarrass and humiliate a rival. Sound familiar, anyone? Heck, USC even has a quarterback that recently bagged groceries…which of course is an awful flashback to the WLOCP last year. It’s well known of course. Spurrier hates Georgia, and would like nothing more than to pull off another win in Athens and send the UGA program into chaos, as we has done before.

Go Dawgs

Lugnut Dawg

Need To Beat Spurrier

If you read the tea leaves and think like I do, Steve Spurrier is on borrowed time at South Carolina.  Much has been made of his age.  He is quite sensitive to it, as Mark Bradley well knows.

Combined with his age and the downturn of success at South Carolina, I think he only has a a year-maybe two-left there.  They have lost to Kentucky back to back seasons, and if Georgia takes care of business Saturday, they should start off 0-2 in SEC play.

The rest of their schedule plays out like this :  at Georgia (they should lose); Central Florida (not a gimmie game by any means); LSU (loss); Vanderbilt (Win); at Texas A&M (should lose); at Tennessee (should lose); Florida (toss up); Citadel (Win); Clemson (loss).

South Carolina could very easily have a losing record this season.

I am not going to question Spurrier’s ability to coach.  He is best coach in school history at two SEC programs-only Bear Bryant can claim that-and could arguably be considered the best coach in the history of Duke football also.  He took South Carolina to unprecedented heights from 2010-2013.

But remember, Spurrier left Florida because they weren’t appreciative anymore.

Even if he does stick around after 2015, I doubt he will be back to Athens in 2017.  So Saturday probably marks the last time Spurrier visits Sanford Stadium.

We all know that Steve Spurrier has been a thorn in our side forever.  He revels in beating Georgia.  He loves it more than golf and Arby’s.

Due to the neutral site Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, Spurrier hasn’t been to Athens too many times.

1995:  Famously wanted to hang “half a hundred” for the first time in Sanford Stadium

2005:  Second game at South Carolina, lost in a close one 17-15.

2007:  Painful game that helped keep Georgia out of the BCS Championship.

2009:  Close win for Georgia in an exciting game we had no business winning.

2011:  Close loss for Georgia in an exciting game we had no business losing.

2013:  Big win for Georgia, 41-30 with a stout goal line stand and a 8 1/2 minute drive to close out the game.

So, for those keeping score at home, Spurrier has been to Athens 6 times.  He has a 3-3 record Between the Hedges.

If this is in fact his last visit here, he doesn’t need to have a winning record in Athens.  Spurrier is a petty man.  He will remember that, and be damn sure he will remind you of his winning record here.

SEC Championship race be damned.  Playoff aspirations be damned.

Sometimes, pure hate is the most important motivating factor.

We need to send Coach Spurrier home a loser Between the Hedges.

Go Dawgs!


Why The Angst?

Judging from Twitter and private conversations, there is considerable angst out in the Dawgnation.


I have realized I have become schizophrenic when it comes to my UGA Fandom.  I have the two Corbindawgs on my shoulder.  One is the positive, upbeat one that you’ve come to know and love.  On the other shoulder is a bitter, salty, negative Corbindawg.

Think to the episode of Seinfeld with the two, um, “Jerrys” playing chess.

Allow me to explain my frustration, and hopefully this is true of you, reader.

First off, let’s get this out of the way.

We won Saturday.

Winning is the most important thing.  An ugly win sure as hell beats a close, dare I say it, “good” loss.  Would you had rather won on Saturday, or came up just short like Oregon or Mississippi State?

I am grateful for a win.  Especially in a place that has been a shop of horrors.  This team can win everywhere in the SEC.  Columbia, SC has been difficult, and so is Nashville.  But  Baton Rouge?  Check.  Tuscaloosa?  Been there, done that in back to back trips.  Auburn?  Knoxville?   No worries.

But up in Nashville, weird things happen.  So I am glad we won.  The national pollsters didn’t penalize Georgia for the poor showing, either.

Georgia is 2-0 and in the top 10.  Would you rather trade places with Mississippi State, Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Florida, South Carolina, or even LSU right now?  On LUS-at least our quarterback throws the ball.  LSU almost lost to Mississippi State because they went Ted Cruz conservative Saturday night.

Georgia has a blemish at quarterback, but seems to be the least blemished of many other teams in the SEC.

Winning ugly beats losing pretty.  I am glad that social media wasn’t around in 2003 after beating UAB 16-13.  I am glad that it wasn’t around during the magical run in 2002 when every game seemed to be an ugly, ugly game.  Ugly games that Georgia won.

And I’ll go a step forward and say this kind of game was probably a game Georgia would lose a few years ago.

So Georgia won.  Why the angst?

Because it is just the same old, same old.

The general angst today is similar to the angst after the Tennessee game last season.  Remember that one?  We won.  We beat Tennessee.  Tennessee was a team that dominated Georgia for an entire decade prior to Mark Richt’s arrival.  With the victory against the Volunteers last season, Mark Richt moved to 10-4 against Tennessee, and won 5 consecutive games.  Shouldn’t that had been cause for celebration?

It wasn’t.  Because the devil is in the details.  I was at a low point after the Tennessee game.  Georgia had just lost to South Carolina and narrowly squeaked by Tennessee.  Then, some 12 days later, the Todd Gurley news broke.

I was near despondent.  The season felt like it was going in the crapper, and we’d be a 7-5 team.  If you say you didn’t feel that way,  you are lying.

Things turned around, and Georgia ended up having an OK season.  Sure, the annual bed wetting occurred against Florida and that hurt, and the sting of the Tech loss is still felt.  But the Georgia team that ran out on the field against Missouri, Arkansas and Auburn wasn’t the same team that needed a fumbled recovery TD to ice the game against Tennessee.

Maybe Georgia beats South Carolina.  Maybe, just maybe, they beat Alabama.  But what is so frustrating is the shit we saw on Saturday is the same shit we’ve seen before.  It is the same problems we’ve seen game after game, year after year.

Georgia beat Vanderbilt by 17 points.  It needed three interceptions, one of which was in the end zone and another that was run back for a score, to do so.  It needed a punt return for a touchdown.  It needed Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd to play out of their minds.

The devil is in the details. 

Does anyone on the team know how to competently field a pooch kick?  How many times have we seen that similar situation play out?   Just off the top of my head, I remember doing the same thing against Kentucky (twice, if not mistaken) and once against Tech.


How many times have we seen other mistakes?

This team can be great.  This team should be great.  Is it too much to ask for them to be great all the time?

That is where I get back to.  The angst out in the Bulldog Nation is this is same story we’ve seen over and over and over again.

We won this time. Will we win again?

Paul Westerdawg used an analogy of a pregnant women looking for cupcakes to describe the quarterback situation.

I feel like Georgia is that pretty girl you knew in high school (or to prove I’m not a sexist, that good looking guy).  They got by because they were pretty, and they let the smart kids do the work for them.  They simply just got by for no other reason than they were able to and no one challenged them.

When it comes time for them to do it themselves, how do they do?  They usually fail.

You’re on Facebook.   You know the folks I’m talking about.  How many people did you go to high school with that seemingly had it all-the looks, the popularity, the cool car, the cool parents that let them do whatever they wanted?  I bet a lot of these same folks in your friend list are probably not doing much these days.  When they were tested in life, and had to get by on something other than superficial talents, they stumbled.  I had my 10 year reunion a couple of years ago, and many of these “cool kids” hadn’t grown up or developed into productive adults.

Screwing around against Vanderbilt won’t cause you to face any consequences because you have Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins.

When the Ole Ball Coach and Alabama come to town, you better be ready.

Am I despondent like I was last season?  No, not yet.

Am I frustrated?  Yeah, I am.  Why?

Because I’ve seen this story before.

I hope this one has a different ending.


Vanderbilt Game Review

Quick recap of the details…then big picture stuff to come later.


My biggest qualm was not with Grayson Lambert’s performance, although that was still something to be concerned about.  Sure, he went 0-7 to start the game.  He did have a fumble and pass that should’ve been picked off.  But in the second half, he went 13-15.

The biggest qualm was the approach to the game.  Vanderbilt was sold out to stop the run, and we couldn’t open the passing game up to ease pressure.  Chubb got his, but it wasn’t enough.

My wife had to work most of the game, and I was chasing my 2 year old around, so admittedly didn’t watch the first half as close as I normally would.  I didn’t see any screen passes, short passes to the tail backs, etc.  to help open it up.  It seemed the offense was more vanilla against Vanderbilt than Louisiana-Monroe.

My biggest complaint on offense was player utilization.  Again.  I understand Chubb shouldn’t carry it 30 times a game, especially against Vanderbilt.  I also understand, and adamantly believe, that Sony Michel is a special player.  When you get the ball back at midfield to try and put the game away, Chubb wasn’t there.  When we were backed up inside the 10 yard line, and everyone knew you were going to run it, Chubb wasn’t there.


Yes, I know it was just Vanderbilt.  But this defense is something amazing, and will only get better.  Considering that the officials were trying their damnedest to get Vandy in it, I think that this would have been a lot closer had the defense not carried the load for us.

Special Teams

Yes, McKenzie’s touchdown is a valuable weapon, especially with an offense that is struggling.





Final thoughts

I said the Vanderbilt game will be very telling to what kind of season we are going to have.  I said that if we go in and stream roll them, as we should, then we could have a chance at being a pretty special team.  If we go in and struggle, it would be hard to imagine anything other than a Florida New Year’s Day Bowl game.

I believe the exact quote was “If we want to consider Georgia an elite team, they should handle Vanderbilt with the ease of a hot knife going through butter.”

We got a great defensive performance, a struggling offense, and a mixed bag on special teams.  And poor coaching.  It wasn’t a complete disaster to the level where you are ready to fire every coach on the staff, but it surely wasn’t a performance that inspires confidence either.

So I guess we’ll see what happens Saturday.


Vanderbilt Game Preview

I wrote this a last month, but in summary my thoughts on the Vanderbilt game are this:

For whatever reason, Georgia teams usually struggle in Nashville.  Even good or great teams.

If we want to consider Georgia an elite team, or a team that can contend for anything other than a Bowl Game on New Year’s Day in Florida, they should handle Vanderbilt with the ease of a hot knife going through butter.


Man In The Red Bandana

If you’ve seen this before, it is worth watching again.  If you haven’t seen it, get the tissue.




Lukewarm Takes From Saturday

A little late to the game on this, so I’m sure you’ve read all you want to about this past Saturday’s season opening game against the overmatched War Hawks.

But there are a few points that I have been ruminating on the past couple of days, and spending about 8 hours behind the wheel yesterday, I’ve had time to think through some points.


Obviously, the main thing I was looking at how the offense would look under Brian Schottenheimer. It didn’t look a whole lot different. I must say, and I echo Ucheedawg’s sentiments, that I was hoping that Mike Bobo would take the draw out of the shotgun with him to Colorado. It stayed behind…so that must just be a Mark Richt thing.

I thought it was interesting to see how the Bulldogs ran the hurry-up offense. The Bulldogs have been doing the HUNH offense in recent seasons, although it isn’t as up-tempo like Oregon and Baylor do it. The Bulldogs would rush up to the line of scrimmage, then look back to the sidelines.

I noticed many times Georgia would run up to the line and not sub, therefore not allowing the defense to sub, but then huddle up.   Not really sure what this means, but it is a different approach that was noticeable to me.

One question I had about Schotty’s offense was how they would incorporate Sony Michel. Michel may be the #2 back on the depth chart, but I think he is explosive and has a special “it” factor. He has become one of my favorite players on the team, and whenever he touches the ball, something special is liable to happen.

But I’ve had concern about how Schotty’s NFL mind would use a player like Michel, because those kind of players aren’t really utilized in the NFL. I was very happy to see Michel lined up at receiver, and be a factor in the passing game.

I think the general consensus out there is that the offense was very vanilla. Well, if in the vanilla offense Michel’s talents are used to the level where he is the team’s leading receiver, then I think we can expect big things from #1 this season.

As far as Lambert goes, he looked very good. Completing 66% of his passes, with two of the incompletions being throwaways, is exactly what is needed from him (or whoever is playing quarterback) this season. The first touchdown pass to Blazevich is something I hope we see more of.

Lastly, the best moment of the day was seeing Keith Marshall come in. The warm ovation he received was much deserved. From a football standpoint, if he can be healthy and a major contributor, that is something great. From a human being standpoint, it was just touching.


 Not sure what more to say here. They were fast. They were aggressive. But they weren’t stupid, either. I said they played with disciplined aggression. No late hits, no hits out of bounds. The two brain fart drives gave Coach Pruitt just enough to be angry about and coach up, but there are special playmakers all over that side of the ball, and I will look forward to watching them play with this disciplined aggression. For the first time in a long time, I am not worried about what will happen on 3rd and long. I am excited about the hell that is about to be unleashed.

Special Teams

 Everything I’ve said can be qualified with “It was just Louisiana at Monroe, but…”

But with that said, when was the last time that Georgia blocked two punts in one game? When was the last time Georgia blocked a punt, period? I am not sure.

Remember way back to the early days of Richt’s tenure when Special Teams was a valuable weapon? Then remember when it became viewed upon as a necessary function, nothing more and nothing less. Then the pendulum swung the other way and it became a liability that hurt the team? I hope we are going back to the days when it was a weapon. Blocked kicks, electric returns, and tight coverage can help turn a close game into a blowout win.

Final Thoughts

 A good win to start the season. It wasn’t perfect, but the areas that weren’t perfect gave the coaches something to look at to correct. I left Sanford Stadium pleased with what I saw, and I hope you did to.

I was disappointed that the weather issues caused some of the heralded freshmen like Michael Chigbu, Roquan Smith and Trenton Thompson not to get as much playing time as we had hoped to see, but I think the Vanderbilt game will be another glorified scrimmage. We can hopefully see a steady dose of them Saturday.

If this team can play up to its ability and give the same sort of effort we saw on Saturday, this will be a fun season.

How many times have we all said that before?