Short intro this week with a lot of content to follow. It was interesting to sit back and watch some of the freak-out this week after a sloppy, unconvincing 14 point win. The bad news is that Georgia has plenty to work on (especially as the team who must not be named continues to look more dominant week by week). Short yardage run game, run defense, and redzone defense need some serious work. The good news is we have a bunch of young talent, a mediocre schedule and a coach that has proven he can improve his team as the season progresses.
Coaching Concerns vs Mizzou
It feels really weird to type the “coaching concerns” header after a 14 point win but there was some weird stuff going on in the coaching department last Saturday. I am typically not one to question play calling as I know just how difficult it can be on a week to week basis, but these are some of the issues that stood out to me:
-Run/Pass based on Down and Distance- Some very questionable run/pass calls in what seemed like clear down and distance decisions.
· Situation 1: Interception leaves UGA the ball on the 7 yard line. We run 3 pass plays. AGAINST MIZZOU FROM THE 7. Don’t make this harder than it has to be. See what you get on 1st down run and go from there. Now I will give Chaney some credit. We put in Fields on 1st down for redzone action. I do like that aspect and hope to see more of it, but Fields can just as easily produce in a designed run play.
· Situation 2: Run on 3rd and 6. We run the ball into an 8 man box and man coverage.
· Situation 3: 1:30 left in the first half. We run the ball on 3rd and 10 from the 50. Line up for a 4th and 6 and then Kirby takes a timeout and blows a damn gasquet. That was directly aimed at Jim Chaney through the headset. This is my own personal thought so feel free to disagree. Obviously Kirby is the main man and bows to no one but he would not yell at McGee, Pittman or Coley like that because they are talented recruiters and he does not want to lose them. Our offense has scored over 40 in every game and is clicking. No changes will be made no matter how loud the guy behind you in Sanford continues to scream “RUN THE DAMN BALL BOBO”. However, I am not convinced Jim Chaney’s job security is as set in stone as the other 3 on offense.
-Personnel- We had several 3rd and shorts and one 4th and short that did not go well. I’m not crazy about the lack of creativity in shoving the RB straight up the guard’s ass, but if we are going to do it, can we at least get the right RB personnel in? I love Brian Herrien and he runs really hard, but there is no reason Herrien should be in for short yardage unless Elijah Holyfield is absent because he is filming a muscle milk commercial somewhere. Holyfield is built for short yardage. Shore up the short yardage blocking and use him.
-Defensive Blitz Checks- Sorry to everyone that has had the misfortune of watching the game at my house for the past 3 weeks. While you may have enjoyed the slow smoked Boston butt, you probably didn’t enjoy my incessant bitching about why we continuously refuse to check our defensive play call. This has been my biggest pet peeve for the last two years. We refuse to check our pressures when QB’s recognize blitzers. And we don’t discriminate on the QB’s. Baker Mayfield, Drew Lock, hell, even Felipe Franks tear us up in this department. IF THE QB RECOGNIZES YOUR PRESSURE, CHANGE THE DAMN PLAY. Look at the play below. Tyrique McGee shows pressure extremely early (no idea why). Lock, the receiver, the running back, Truman the tiger all notice the blitz. We have plenty of time to change the pressure, we don’t, Lock finds a wide open receiver with room to run, he gives us a major gift and Mel Tucker looks like a genius to every uneducated football fan while he is really being a dunce.
Tae Crowder's INT!— New Account (@ftbeard_17) September 22, 2018
Credit to Mizzou's defense though, they held Georgia to a FG. pic.twitter.com/CmfMy5KLKp
We had a bunch of really talented and important pieces that lead to an amazing run in 2017. I am starting to notice a lot of guys with similar attributes to 2017 playmakers.
2017: Take your pick of Nick Chubb, Wynn, Sony Michel or Roquan
2018: Lamont Gaillard. He anchors an excellent line and leads by example. Quiet but steady
- Out of Nowhere:
2017: JR Reed
2018: Eric Stokes- had a coming out party on Saturday and I really think his speed could help this team. I was worried about how raw he was but he has come along really quickly and is becoming a confident young player
- Go get it guy:
2017: Javon Wims
2018: JJ Holloman- Holloman is only 6’2” but his arm length makes him a perfect candidate to go up and get the football. Georgia’s offense is built around guys that can win 50/50 balls so Holloman could have a strong year
2017: Sony Michel
2018: Mecole Hardman- Mecole has been ridiculously good. He makes opposing defenses prepare for so many options and formations. He can score from anywhere on the field
- Get the ball:
2017: Lorenzo Carter
2018: D’andre Walker- Walker forced 2 fumbles and broke up a crucial pass. He has been the most consistent pass rusher and playmaker on defense
- Quiet Baller:
2017: Andrew Thomas
2018: Isaiah Wilson- anyone notice how quiet the pass protection on the right side of the line has been? Much like Thomas last year, Wilson has been excellent. He is so big but has the athleticism to keep up with speed rushers and he is finishing them into the turf
- No Flash, Just Production:
2017: Reggie Carter
2018: Juwan Taylor- not overly fast but knows where to be and produces stops
- Quickly getting better: Mark Webb, Tyson Campbell, D’andre Walker, Riley Ridley, Tyler Clark
Mizzou Prediction Recap
- James Cook breaks a run of greater than 25 yards- caught a 10 yard pass but no long rushes
- Georgia defense records at least 3 sacks- 2 sacks, both by Walker
- Elijah Holyfield records over 100 yards for the second game in a row- led the team in rushing with 90 yards
- Mecole continues his hot streak with another TD- check. Still staying on the fringe of Heisman contention
- Dawgs win 48-24- Dawgs actually win 43-29
Man, last weekend got really really ugly for Tennessee. This was a really different emotion for me regarding Tennessee but there came a point in the game where I really just started to feel bad for them. I’ve worked for Coach Pruitt when things aren’t going well. It is a really difficult place to be and probably why I didn’t last in the coaching profession. I had a clear moment of realization that I would likely be pursuing something other than football early in the 2014 season. Deep in the 3rd quarter of our first game against Clemson, the tigers were driving. I had the realization that I wanted the Dawgs to win so that I would not have to face Pruitt’s wrath on Sunday. We won, I was pumped but I knew it would be my last year in football.
Woah, that got weirdly personal for a second, let’s get back on track. Things are not going well for Tennessee this year and they do not have enough raw talent to turn it around. This blowout will be big. Maybe not as big as Vegas says, but it will be sizable and the Dawgs will play plenty of young guys needing bigtime SEC experience. Dawgs 45 Vols 17
Buckys Easy Money of the Week
Still firing on all cyclinders over here after a 3-2-1 week last week. This week’s picks were a little tougher as Vegas gets smarter, but don’t doubt the process.
Last week: 3-2-1
This season: 14-6-1, 70% winning percentage
Overall: 74-62-3, 54% winning percentage