Archive for the 'Coaching' Category

On Georgia Southern

For the record, I think Georgia wins. But in possibly an indictment of how uneasy things are amongst the fan base, I could also see Georgia losing as well.

Living in Middle Georgia, you live among a good mix of fans, and with its proximity, that includes Georgia Southern fans. To me, GSU has always been a rural version of the Georgia Tech fan base. Georgia should not lose to them on the gridiron – and when it happens, it is MAJOR deal.

And don’t discount the dislike for the Bulldog Nation either. Asking people on campus not to wear red all week because they are playing UGA? That’s North Avenue Trade School inferiority complex stuff. Heck, you can almost argue that a Georgia loss would devastate UGA’s fan base more than any other group.

We’ve talked in this space before about Georgia enabling programs to get a signature win. You think winning at the The Swamp was big a few years back? That’s absolutely nothing compared to what it’ll be if the Eagles pull off the win. It’d be more revered than any of Georgia Southern’s 1-AA titles. A state of Willie Fritz would be commissioned within three days.

Georgia has talked big in recent years about ‘running the state.’

A loss to Georgia Southern means taking a back seat going forward to GSU. Georgia, and Mark Richt cannot allow that to happen.

Bottom line – if Georgia has multiple three and outs and relies on defense and special teams on Saturday, it’s a recipe for disaster and one of the most infamous home games in Sanford Stadium history.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

One group to be very happy for

Sure, Saturday night’s game was probably only fun to watch for people with a football appreciate like Gene Stallings, and Georgia very likely set offensive back to the stone ages, but there was a very important group within the program to be extremely happy for.

The defense.

I don’t care who you play. Any time that you hold an opposing offense an entire game without a score – especially when they START a drive at your one-yard line? That’s a heck of a night.

As much as this team’s offense has been maligned as of late, the defense has bore a heavy load of it as well. Except in their case, they were supposed to be a cornerstone of this team along with its now-injured potential Heisman Trophy Candidate.

It hasn’t been fun for this defense the past two weeks – and two pretty good offenses exposed some weak spots during that time. And yes, I know Mizzou’s offense is not on the same level. But a game without a TD is a game without a TD.

Going into an off week, momentum is everything. This group has it on defense.

I’m not guaranteeing they will slow Florida down…but they’ll at least head to Duval with a strong wind at their back.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg


The rift is easy to find. Just mention among a group of Georgia fans, even amongst family, and the opinions will land on both sides of the aisle when the question…that question…is raised: “Should Mark Richt be fired?”

I’m not what you’d call a “Disney Dawg,” but I didn’t want to set a torch to everything, either. I’m a proud alumnus of UGA, but I also believe that you can support something even if you don’t back those in charge.

For me, and probably for others, the time of crossover came Saturday afternoon.

I’m not naive. Firing a coach and/or his coaching staff isn’t exactly cut and dry. And its much, much more touchy because of the fact that due to Richt’s persona, a lot of people in this state think highly of Mark Richt due to his faith and off-field approach – it’s not too different from why so many fall over themselves to insist Tim Tebow deserves to play in the NFL.

Richt likely won’t be fired at the end of this year or before that. And that call will come be determined by how much more Georgia’s Athletic Board wants to live with 9-3-type seasons.

But Georgia didn’t just lose a game..or an incredible player to injury on Saturday. It lost a significant part of its fan base.

The crowd that defended Richt? There’s one less leg to stand on now. Yes, coaches don’t control players fumbling or dropping passes…but Saturday’s loss happened due to a lack of focus, and that falls squarely on the shoulders of the head coach. Is it fair? No. But that’s the nature of sports. The head coach gets the good and bad.

You can only hold out hope for so long that ‘next year’s recruits’ will get things to another level. Since when did a single player become larger than the program?

And as for ‘but who will you get?’ to replace Richt? Yes, there’s a risk. But it’s worked out ok for Clemson and Florida so far.

Richt may not load up the moving trucks at the end of this year. But when that time comes, Oct. 10 2015 will be marked as the beginning of the end.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

And we still don’t know

On Saturday, before everything hit the bed, myself and few of my other tailgating comrades in arms were mushing over so many aspects of what we thought may or may not happen on the field at a sloshy Sanford Stadium.

One comment that was said still sticks out…”we don’t know how good we are.”

Honestly, I’m still not sure how good…or bad this team is.

This team isn’t as good as it looked against South Carolina. As we’ve seen, bad teams make other teams look great, and Spurrier’s bunch are a very bad football team that may not win four games. One concern that I had Saturday was, ‘what if Lambert looked good because USC’s defense is that bad?’ That turned out to be right, in a way.

At the same time, this team isn’t as bad as it looked on Saturday. A very motivated Alabama team had something to do with that. Bama came out of the corner swinging desperate punches like its life depending on it, and it showed. Why Georgia didn’t show that desperation? That’s another post for another time. Alabama found some holes in Georgia’s defense and exposed them (vulnerability to covering the tight end finally caught up), and Lambert’s first look at a top of the line defense exposed how to easily rattle him.

Still, there is something to be said about how much field position and Georgia having to go away from its running game turned things on Saturday.

It’s a broken record, and I tire of saying it, but despite the loss, all things are still in reach for this team. Is Georgia as good as it looked against USC? No. But it’s not as bad as it looked on Saturday as well.

Lugnut Dawg

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

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

Five Sunday Morning Thoughts

– It’s almost a dropkick to the stomach. You wait all spring and summer for the season, and lightning stops and later shortens the opener. Still, it was all in all a good day. The offense did a lot of good things, nobody got hurt and points got put on the board by not having to crack the playbook open. As nice as it would have been to play those final 9:51, that’s also 9:51 that injuries could not occur.

– Man. How great was it to see Keith Marshall carry the ball and get into the end zone? A healthy Keith Marshall, as we saw back in 2012, makes a pretty good 1-2 punch…or in the current case, 1-2-3.

– Lambert wasn’t spectacular, but he made some nice throws when needed – which is what he needs to do, for the most part. The chatter from camp about his football IQ showed. Lambert not only didn’t turn it over, but you didn’t really see any balls thrown that should have been picked off, either.

– One of the things that would drive you nuts about Bobo was at times underutilizing the tight ends. How nice was it to see the first TD pass of the day to a tight end?

– It was disconcerting to see all the pass completions by ULM, but some of that may have been the very basic packages that Pruitt was running and also some first-game rust from the secondary. That’s something that can easily be fixed before road tripping to Nashville next weekend.

Go Dawgs

Lugnut Dawg



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