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Season 2 Volume 5: Dawgs are Barking

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NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Intro

I’m not a big “I told you so guy”, I actually think it’s pretty obnoxious. But humor me for a second because I like to think that the stuff I bring y’all every week is rooted in some knowledge rather than random blabbering (likely wishful thinking). I said last week I didn’t expect this matchup to be close and was spot on. Only problem was I couldn’t give you the winner. Well the Dawgs made it pretty clear that their defense is on another level and Fromm is beginning to get more comfortable in the offense. I also told you that Jim Cheney would have to be very creative on offense to loosen up the Todd Grantham run defense. How bout a 59 yard Flea Flicker on the first play from scrimmage? Crap on him as much as you want but Chaney has been excellent this year. He put together a perfect offensive gameplan against a very respected defensive mind in Todd Grantham. I asked three questions of the offense last week:

1. Can UGA OL push anyone around?

Yes. 203 easy rushing yards that setup an efficient pass game. If y’all haven’t watched #66, he is moving people with that big ole body

2. Will TE get more usage?

Usage? Eh. Long TD? Yessir and I’ll take it

3. Go to Guy in vertical passing game?

Godwin, Wims, Nauta…take your pick. Here is a quick note to remember…Riley Ridley may be our best blocking WR and has not made any big plays in the pass game this year. He won’t stay quiet long and he likes playing Tennessee

Chaney had perimeter run game with excellent WR crack blocks, he had successful wild dawg, he had play action to the TE. Everything you could have wanted, Chaney unleashed on Mississippi State’s defense and ran them out of the stadium. That is one big sexy play caller. Good week Dawgs, on to the next in the SEC

Similar Defense to 2012

This defense RUNS. The ball pursuit and tackling ability of this team has been unbelievable thus far. The Dawgs are about to get a great test from Tennessee RB John Kelly. But the shell of this defense is starting to remind me of the excellent 2012 dawgs. For example:

Core of the Defense: Roquan Smith/Alec Ogeltree

Ball Hawking safety: Dom Sanders/ Bacarri Rambo

Run Enforcing Safety: JR Reed/Shawn Williams

Long Corner: Aaron Davis/Sanders Commings

Athletic Corner: Malkom Parrish/Branden Smith

“Go get it OLB”: Lorenzo Carter/Jarvis Jones

Point of Attack OLB: Davin Bellamy/Cornelius Washington

The biggest difference between this defense and the 2012 defense is the defensive line. I think this year’s DLine is much deeper than 2012. Trent, Tyler Clark, Ledbetter, Marshall, Atkins, Carter, Herring, Rochester. This line is stacked with big bodies who can rush. The difference in the 2012 SEC championship game was Bama’s commitment to the run game in the second half and Georgia’s inability to stop it with limited talent on the DLine.

How many times this weekend did you hear “Booooooommmm” from the crowd as one of our defenders knocked the hell out of someone short of a first down? As good as the defense has been, the turnover margin is still at -1 on the season. There is room to improve and that is a little scary.

Starting to convert me

A few weeks ago, I thought the Jacob Eason injury was the worst possible scenario for this team. Not only did I think Eason was the best fit as the starter but I also knew Fromm would perform well and create a QB controversy. I will admit I didn’t think he would perform this well. As we enter week five, Fromm has gotten better and better every week. The offense has grown with Fromm and the success in the downfield passing game is a testament to his development. His leadership at the line and calm demeanor really steadies this team. Eason has a massive potential ceiling and the ability to make unbelievable plays every once and a while. The leadership and passion traits are questioned at times. Fromm has a low talent ceiling with the potential to be an elite college player. But his command of the offense and savvy at the line is unquestionable. With a defense this talented, how many huge passing plays do you really need every game? Eason came out of fall camp as the starter after thousands of reps by each player. I trust the coaches to make an effective evaluation of who will lead the offense best. But is it worth it to disrupt the current rhythm? Not to me. If Aaron Murray (Fromm) and Matthew Stafford (Eason) played at Georgia at the same time, who do you start? All aboard the Jake Fromm train…please don’t let me down kid.

Gimmick City, Tennessee

The Kirby Smart era is young at Georgia. Season one was nothing to write home about. But two top 6 recruiting classes and a hot start to 2017 have me feeling excellent about the direction the program is heading. Do you think any Tennessee fan could legitimately tell you that they are excited about the current trajectory of their program? Butch Jones is too self-conscious to run a team in the SEC. The constant gimmicks and cringe worthy media statements continue to mount. “Champions of life” and the turnover garbage can? Keep that for your second tier SEC program (woah, condescending alert). I want a guy that is going to put in work and relate to every recruit, not a guy I can picture in his office brainstorming the 2017 team motto. I cringe when I hear some of the things that he finds it appropriate to mention in front of media. This week he gave the local media a talking to and reprimanded them for not being better cheerleaders for Tennessee. He said DL Shy Tuttle broke his orbital socket by “falling on a helmet”. That’s funny, I told my mom the same thing when I got in a fight with my neighbor at age seven. What a joke. The coaching rebuild is still in its beginning stages at Georgia and I don’t want to get ahead of myself after a year and four games. But you can tell it is only a matter of time at Tennessee. It would be a shame if Georgia accelerates the timeline this weekend.

Now, with all that said, Tennessee is going to put up a hell of a fight this weekend. This rivalry is too heated to see a huge blowout, especially when the better team has to travel to Neyland Stadium. Tennessee has a ton of injuries to key players in Todd Kelly, Jauan Jennings and Cortez Mcdowell, etc. But John Kelly and Marquez Callaway (who Georgia told to look elsewhere in recruiting) will lead the Vols offense. I’ve tried to picture how Tennessee can consistently move the ball on our offense and I just cannot picture it. It’ll start close but the Dawgs team speed and depth allows them to pull away. Dawgs 31 Vols 17

Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week

Last Week: 3-2

Overall: 38-29-1

Making money week by week. I like this week’s picks even as vegas starts to get a bit smarter