By now, you know the drill: Seth Emerson impartially reports over at the Bulldogs Blog, after which I overanalyze what he has described with my own unique brand of panic, because that’s just how I roll. Here is Seth’s latest, regarding Wednesday’s scrimmage:
The coaches will be in game position, the booth or the sidelines. They’ll play at least 30 minutes like a real game, transitioning from defense to special teams and so forth. They’ll go so far as simulate a coin toss. . . .
It’ll be simulated to the extent that it’ll be the Georgia players going against the scout team simulating Louisiana-Lafayette. So if "Georgia" wins the toss, it could elect to receive and Aaron Murray and company will go against the scout team. And vice versa.
But they will also interrupt play to simulate some game conditions, like an onside kick. . . .
Asked to name their punt return guys, Richt said AJ Green, Branden Smith and Carlton Thomas, Bacarri Rambo and Logan Gray.
I don’t know about you, but I’m liking this immensely. For one thing, having the coaches in game position will assuage my previous fears. For another, I’m glad to see them anticipating an onside kick. I don’t want to get overly worked up about Pelican State schools which previously had two directional indicators in their names, but the 2005 Louisiana-Monroe game still chaps me.
The visiting Indians trailed only by a 17-0 margin at halftime of their September 17, 2005, visit to Sanford Stadium, but the Bulldogs were set to receive the kickoff to start the third quarter. Unfortunately, the Red and Black were caught napping when ULM got the second half underway with a surprise onside kick. The visitors recovered and drove for the touchdown against a Georgia defense that hadn’t expected to be on the field at all. The score cut the lead to ten points, and, although the ‘Dawgs went on to claim a 44-7 victory, the whole thing still burns me, so I’m glad we’re getting ready for that kind of
Finally, while that list of punt returners went on one name too long, I’m glad to see that a special teams philosophy more akin to Urban Meyer’s has taken root in the Classic City. The kicking game is to football what the yellow light is to a traffic signal: it isn’t on for long compared to the other two alternatives, but, boy, it makes a big difference when it is. Big plays get made on special teams, so big-time players need to be on the field when footwear accosts pigskin.
In sum, I find no fault with the Georgia Bulldogs based upon this latest report. Does that make you as nervous as it makes me?