Quick note on the election since apparently everyone is required to have an opinion they post to Facebook. Pretty shocking result no matter who you endorsed but there is really no other alternative now but to support the president elect and move forward grinding in your everyday life. Sometimes I wonder how America gets itself into an election with two less than ideal candidates and then I go into a bathroom and see that grown men still piss on the toilet seat. Not all that shocking
Back to your regularly scheduled programming and the really important stuff. DAWGS GET THE WIN. Yes, I may have tweeted "WE WANT BAMA" after RODRIGOAT nailed his 4th FG. Yes I may have had a few Hendricks Gin and Tonics at the fanciest wedding I've ever attended. No I don't believe the two are related but also please do not give us Bama. But hey, I have never been more pumped to beat Kentucky and I don't feel ashamed about it at all. Huge win for Kirby to set the tone for the rest of the season and on into the recruiting cycle. I won’t try to convince you that Kentucky is an above average team but I will say that victories in the SEC are always hard to come by and should not be scoffed at in year one of a new head coach.
One thing that bothered the hell out of me this week was Ken Blankenship’s (father of Rodrigoat) comments about his son leaving the team should he not be offered a scholarship at year’s end. Ken said Kirby has not committed to the “R” (vomit). Let me give a quick backstory here. I grew up in East Cobb and went to Walton High School. I played middle linebacker for two of the best high school coaches in the state of Georgia in Ed Dudley and Rocky Hidalgo. There was also a very quirky, strict and odd teacher at Walton named Ken Blankenship. He was at the beginning and end of every football practice grooming his young son to be a college kicker. Every single day, Rodrigoat was kicking field goals as an elementary and middle school student at the high school practices. Kid worked his ass off whether he liked it or not. I finally graduated and moved onto the University of Georgia where I became a defensive undergraduate assistant involved in recruiting. We were always on the hunt for any kicker we could bring in that would not count as a scholarship. Rodrigo (he was just known as Rodrigo back then) had a very good field goal percentage but struggled to get the ball into the endzone for touchbacks. Coach Richt was hesitant to use a scholarship on a kicker that had some weaknesses in his game. Rodrigo came to prove himself at a kicking camp midsummer and absolutely crushed it. Hit a 62 yard field goal in a competition. Yet there was still hesitancy based on his kickoff performance. I went up to Ken Blankenship to offer some friendly conversation while his son tried to prove himself, knowing he would not recognize me as the family had moved from the school district. I asked Ken why they moved from Walton, “Coach was an asshole”. Ah yes, you mean Rocky Hidalgo, the man I considered as basically a second father and idol. I knew whichever team landed that walk on kicker would also land his entitled East Cobb dad, and Ken has proved me right.
I have worked with some Alpha dog coaches. Jeremy Pruitt, Mike Bobo and Todd Grantham don’t take demands from many people. I expect Kirby is much the same. I would really hate to see Ken put his son in a bad position due to the fact that he can’t separate himself from a coaches’ decision. I really do not think it is wise to challenge Kirby. Sure, Rodrigoat likely won us the Kentucky game with 4 clutch kicks. But by no means was he a world beater in the early season and we have yet to see how he will mentally respond to the attention that has been thrust on him this week. I’m not sure demanding a scholarship after his first all-star performance is a good idea. Look, I understand as a parent you want what’s best for your child and you want to minimize the financial burden of college. But if my dad walked into my office and demanded a raise for me, that’d be pretty uncomfortable. And I guarantee you a few things. One, Rodrigoat is eating like a king everyday and not paying for any of it. Two, he very likely has the HOPE scholarship and is paying 10% tuition. I know it’s not cheap Ken, but don’t ruin your son’s brief time in the spotlight with your little league demands. It’s clear that Rodrigoat is under Kirby’s rule and he answered questions on the matter as he should have.
Q: “Where are you with not being on scholarship? Is that on your mind?”
Rodrigoat: “I just need to take each week one week at the time. I just want to focus on the aspects of my life that I can control and that’s just to kick was well as I can on a daily basis and kick as well as I can on Saturdays.”
Q: “We saw the story with your father’s quotes. Does he speak for you?”
Rodrigoat: “I don’t know. My father and I have had discussions about our financial situation. But like I said, I’m just trying to focus on the things that I can control right now.”
Kirby is in a tough spot. We probably do need to give the kid a scholarship and hope he plays consistently for another 3 years. But damn, being pitted against a whiny dad can make it tough to swallow your pride. Go sit down somewhere Ken and let Rodrigoat make his own case.
II. Kentucky Recap
Don’t have a ton for you on the recap this week. Still the same special teams mistakes that lose you ball games but we were able to overcome it with 4 FGs. Young freshman continue to emerge and it has got to make you feel good about the future. Nuata is a special dude that is going to have a long career on Sunday’s. I feel bad sometimes for some of the guys in the TE room. They are all SEC caliber starters but even as a freshman, Nuata seems to be the most complete player. Woerner will still get good minutes and hopefully Blazevich can make enough plays to get drafted next year. The guy that could get lost in the shuffle a bit is Jackson Harris. I think he is a great player with tremendous size. If the coaching staff deems the TE talent sufficient next year while OT talent struggles, could Harris make a move to OT? Some of the best OT’s in the league are converted TE’s and Harris has the frame to be able to add weight. I know it could be a crazy idea but desperate times call for desperate measures. Our two all-star tackles (ha) will both graduate this year and either a freshman or a Juco is likely to take at least one of those spots. Other than that, not much on Kentucky. I was at the aforementioned wedding watching sporadically on my phone in between oysters and hand rolled cigars (swanky). My roommate then forgot to record it (Sweet dude. But he did come up with the name Rodrigoat so give credit where credit is due). I promise to be a better Dawg fan this week, but I needed some me time post-Jacksonville.
III. Auburn Preview
The Dawgs win if these three things happen:
1. Maintain Stout defense on 1st and 2nd down
I like Georgia’s matchup against the Auburn run offense. They really can run the ball and they will definitely gash you with the hurry up. But if Georgia can consistently force Auburn into 3rd and 7, they will expose Sean White as the very average QB he is in this system. Even more so if it’s John Franklin III. I expect Pettway to play but who knows. It would really help Georgia if it’s just Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin. Georgia will sub a ton. Whenever Auburn changes personnel, the Dawgs will sub DLineman and linebackers. Reggie Carter and Quincy Mauger will likely get a ton of snaps as experienced depth. Carter’s speed is a liability and if Auburn gets him on the perimeter, Kerryon Johnson has the advantage. Johnson is a very good player. Coach Pruitt wanted him badly at DB but could not convince him against going to the plains. The Georgia DL will have to be huge. Every single guy up and down the two deep will be exhausted after this one. Stop the run on first and second down, this offense sputters. It’s a tough task
2. +2 Turnover margin and Sudden Change
Not only are turnovers necessary, but dealing with sudden change is crucial. Georgia has 33 points off of 18 turnovers. Averaging 1.8pts per turnover!!! THAT IS HORRENDOUS. When you get the ball, don’t poop your damn pants. Nobody likes poopy pants guy at the party. The ladies go for poised, confident guy. It’s the same damn process as if you receive it off of a kickoff. Damn that’s awful. The Auburn offense is liable to turn the ball over forcing a 3rd down pass. Stay diligent. Half the time, Dom Sanders abandons his responsibilities looking for a pick anyway so I know I don’t have to tell him twice.
3. Game of the Season for Eason
Auburn run defense is stout with DLineman who spurned Georgia like Montravius Adams, Derrick Brown and Andrew Williams. A ton of talent for Rodney Gardner to work with on that line. Probably a worse matchup for Georgia than the Florida defensive line. Of course, it’s crucial to establish a run game. Whether or not Georgia is able to do that, Eason still needs to put together his best game in order to beat this team. There will be multiple times that he needs to complete a 3rd and 9 after two consecutive stops by the Auburn defensive line. The good news is that the Auburn defensive backfield is not nearly as talented as Florida. Eason will have some opportunities to find guys deep. Tray Matthews is a liability in coverage. The dude was horrible at Georgia: constant blown assignments, bone headed plays, speed deficiency and occasional flashes of physical brilliance. He could never put it together physically and mentally and so adds to the legend of the 2013 recruiting class. Eason has it in him, it just all needs to come out in one game. Shouldn’t be that much to ask against a top 10 team in your freshman season.
IV. SEC Predictions
V. Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week
2-2 last week. Those are not the results that young Buck is used to. Overall record still stands at 23-17 against the spread. Double down if you aren’t still recovering from market futures on election night.
Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week Portfolio Value: $600
VI. Previous Volumes