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Season 4 Volume 5: Tennessee

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NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Intro: Notre Dame Recap

I can’t remember a greater in-game atmosphere in all my years attending Georgia games. I remember looking at the clock with 53 minutes until game time and the stadium was completely full and buzzing as if the game had already started. Whatever the athletic department spent on the new lighting was worth it. We may not be the only team in the country with that type of lighting capability, but we were the first to show it on a national stage. UGA had a long way to go on in-game experience since about 2014. The experience has improved tremendously and is now one of the absolute best in the entire country. Funny what winning can do.

Georgia fans were absolutely unbelievable against Notre Dame. The crowd itself was legitimately worth 5-7 points. I have never seen anything like it. Crowd noise/confusion caused 7 Notre Dame false starts, a bad 4th down snap and 2 burned timeouts early in the second half. At a minimum, those combine for 35 yards, a turnover and one minute and 20 seconds of game time. In a game this close, that was the difference. This fan base continues to prove how hungry it is. From taking over Notre Dame, Vandy and hopefully Knoxville this weekend, there is no fan base more committed to the success of their program. If unrivaled support is there, ultimate success is sure to shortly follow, correct?

Felt a couple seismic ripples from all the nega-dawg take quakes over the past two weeks. Some of you have been hurt badly by the Dawgs and it shows. We did not play our best possible game against the #7 team in the country, but the amount of disappointment and conclusion jumping was a little much. It brought me great joy that just one week later, the “far more elite” programs of Alabama and Clemson were in dog fights with horrendous opponents. Bama’s game was close in the first quarter before convincingly pulling away but any Bama fan that tells you they aren’t worried about the middle of that defense hasn’t been paying attention. Clemson looked atrocious against a low tier ACC team and Trevor Lawrence looked very human as he has for much of this season. The moral of the story here is that you don’t have to look your best every week especially at the beginning of the season. If you beat the 7th ranked team in the country without playing your best, that’s pretty damn impressive in itself and gives you the opportunity to live for another week. It’s a different age in Georgia football, don’t be so damn negative. A bunch to work on, but we could not be in any better position to start the season.

Superstar leaders

In order to make a deep run through the college football playoffs, there are a few must haves. You must be able to win the line of scrimmage, you must play good perimeter defense and you must have a few dynamic speedsters that can break games open. One often overlooked keys is upper classmen leadership. Georgia was so successful in 2017 on the backs of tremendous play and better leadership by Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and Roquan Smith. It’s great to be an upper classmen vocal leader, but if your play isn’t on an elite level, your leadership holds less weight. JR Reed is playing at an elite level right now and his leadership ability is also thriving. Reed came flying from the opposite side of the field to impressively intercept a Notre Dame flea flicker. Reed is a clear leader on this team and his elite play will allow him to further leverage and push this team.

Notre Dame v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

SCUBA! SCUBA!

I know people were enraged by Notre Dame faking injuries on fast paced Georgia drives. It was really frustrating to see and antics that obvious should be penalized. It was also extremely effective. It slowed Georgia’s pace, allowed ND to change personnel and ultimately killed some rhythm and momentum, turning possible touchdowns into Rodomatic field goals. However, I want to make sure Georgia fans aren’t acting like this is some Notre Dame independent crap and it would never happen in the SEC. It happens all the time and is game planned for constantly. When I first started as a defensive student assistant under Todd Grantham in 2013, we installed a play call called “Scuba”. I recorded the call as we ran it later that day in practice but it seemed there was an injury on the play, so we moved on to the next play. Later in the day, as we were reviewing practice, Grantham called me into the defensive film room. He was not pleased. “Hey, dumbass, how about we never write Scuba on a script again, ok?” “Yes Sir”. I learned quickly that Scuba was not a play call at all but rather an alert for someone to immediately go down to stall offensive progress. It’s done all over college football but Notre Dame’s Scuba needs some work.

Good Game Boys

Divaad Wilson- Wilson is a rangy ball hawk perfect for the star position. He gets more time as the season wears on and that will be good for the Dawgs. Tuck the ball away young man

Richard Lecounte- I don’t give Lecounte much praise because he is typically not very good but he played excellent in run support against ND. He did blow one coverage but overall, a great game

Lawrence Cager- this is 2017’s Javon Wims. The back shoulder connection with Fromm will play dividends all year. He is an absolute steal and good on Todd Hartley for letting the Georgia coaches know that he was worth a take

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Georgia Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

George Pickens- the offense is flowing towards him and he is going to get a bunch of chances to shine as the season wears on. I actually think he gets penalized for being so good as less defensive PI’s are called on him because of the effort he makes to get the ball. He is blocking his ass off. Awesome Player.

Rough Outing

Tyler Simmons- less Simmons, more Dom Blaylock and Pickens. Simmons is great as a compact speedster on jet sweep, etc. But as a receiver, we have much better options. He has got to pull in the TD in the back on the endzone after a perfect throw by Fromm. Hoping he will not see punt return duty the rest of the year. Almost cost us the game.

Jake Camarda- Very rough game. When your defensive or offensive momentum is stalled, you need special teams to reverse that momentum. Camarda made things considerably worse against ND, leaving them only needing 50 yards for a game winning score. He was bailed out but it needs to improve quickly

Tyrique McGee- we do not recruit 5’9” corners anymore and for good reason. McGee was picked on all day after Eric Stokes came out with injury. You need healthy corners for late season. Imagine how bad McGee would look against the WR’s of Bama or Clemson….oh boy

Tennessee Preview

I feel bad for Pruitt. He was put in a really tough spot, with Butch Jones’ horrible recruiting classes and an unrealistic AD and fan base. If he has time and a little less pressure, he can be a really good coach and recruiter. I think Tennessee is making a mistake if they let him go but Vol twitter is something else and if this Georgia game gets ugly, it will not help. Unfortunately, Tennessee does not have great players and I expect this one to be over early. The Dawgs will experiment with the offense and I think they will look good doing it. Dawgs 41 Vols 10

Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week

Last week: 2-3

2019: 12-8, 60% win percentage

Overall: 102-89-3, 53% win percentage

  1. Florida vs Auburn (-2.5): Auburn
  2. Texas Tech vs Oklahoma St (-10): Oklahoma St
  3. Kansa vs Oklahoma (-32): Oklahoma
  4. Army vs Tulane (-2.5): Army
  5. Notre Dame (-46) vs Bowling Green: Bowling Green