What a day and night of college football. I guess you could classify last night’s 16-6 victory as a “quit playing with your food” football games. Once again, the defense did what they needed to do, and for the 2nd consecutive season we have a perfect conference record. Every season seems to have a weekend like we just witnessed. Call it “Survival Saturday,” which was certainly true for us, and the other 3 CFP contenders.
Let the schadenfreude flow...
1. If it weren’t for Clemson thumping Miami (FL) yesterday, the Orange Trifecta of Suck™ would’ve been perfect. Vandy beats Florida and Tennessee affirmed that their defense and the latest color choice of helmets is really hot garbage. I think Spencer Rattler just threw another touchdown.
Vandy, you now have the Conference’s 3rd longest winning streak to date, behind Georgia and LSU. Go ‘Dores! Here’s is Florida’s last play of the game (or, should I say last two plays because the refs didn’t keep the clock running when they should have).
RADIO HIGHLIGHTS @VandyFootball 31-24 over Florida. What a great day in Nashville!! ⚓️— Andrew Allegretta (@AAllegretta) November 19, 2022
The chaotic final seconds: ️ pic.twitter.com/9QCRXeONym
Never underestimate any SEC officiating crew’s ability to screw things up...
Tennessee, I hope you enjoyed your brief 4-day stay atop Mount Kirby, and your rapid ascension into relevancy. But please be honest with yourselves. Offensive football is sure purty and all, Edwina...but you gotta’ play some defense to take home the bling. Anyway, I’m sure the millions of Vol Twitter Warriors slept well last night. But 63 points to ‘Sakerlina? Bwahahahahahahaha!
Fixed it for you. pic.twitter.com/CKH3MnBpgH— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) November 20, 2022
Troll hard or go home...
2. Back to our little tilt... So, we kicked a bunch of field goals and couldn’t get a single damn yard on what seemed like a million tries last night and had some stupid penalties. There were times when I was having nightmares/acid trip flashbacks to Carlton Thomas running in the middle on 3rd and 7 last night. Look, this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this issue in 2022. I doubt it’ll be the last. But please fix it, coaching staff. Seriously.
3. I think the weather conditions certainly had an effect on the passing game, but when you throw a deep ball that was picked (after beginning to ground-pound the other team into submission) that was ill-advised and perhaps the worst pass of Stetson’s career, perhaps you forfeit the right to air it out later on. Now, I really don’t think this is the case, but the plan was to run the ball, throw when needed, and get out of Dodge with a win. No one was getting open, though. I’m not sure what to think about the how’s and why’s of the overall offensive performance, but that’s the 2nd poor road performance this season, yet we still won. I’ll take it. Am I concerned? Not at all.
4. Why am I not concerned? I think Georgia and especially Tennessee were a bit guilty of some recency bias. Kentucky lost last week to Vandy in a game where the ‘Cats just looked lifeless and listless all night long, so perhaps the temptation - despite coaches’ warnings - was to take your foe a little less seriously. I think to a greater degree in our case we just had a very conservative “get the win and get out” game plan from the start. Too conservative, but it was what it was.
Tennessee was probably looking at their their opponent in a similar light and still patting themselves on the back for laying 60+ on Mizzou last week. South Carolina looked absolutely putrid vs. Florida a week ago, losing an utterly unwatchable game at The Swamp. Spencer Rattler had been way down the list in QB measurables, Carolina was missing its 2 best running backs and certainly looked vulnerable.
Allow noted Rhodes Scholar Erik Ainge to pontificate:
I’m already bored with this game tonight. Even worth tweeting about? We’re gonna kill those fools!— Erik Ainge (@ErikAinge3) November 19, 2022
On the interwebs, stupid is forever.
Last night is why college football is the greatest sport. A 12-game playoff will damage it because games like last night simply won’t carry the same weight.
5. Honestly, the Kentucky game was the ONE game on our schedule that had been worrying me the most. After the Cocktail Party, we had to get up again for Tennessee and then two tough road trips where lesser teams probably lose one of those games for various reasons. We are at a point in the season where guys are dinged up and, with the distraction of the post-season looming, maintaining focus is a challenge. This team is very good. It hasn’t yet been great, but if we can get A.D. Mitchell back for another run at the Natty, things really set up well.
6. So, individually we must praise Kenny McIntosh, who ran hard all night long (with or without blocking) and proved why he is our most reliable back, with 19 carries for 143 yards and our lone TD. Kenny may be on the verge of coming completely into form. Daijun Edwards chipped in 50 tough yards and Kendall Milton ran hard when he got his chance as he comes back into form from what was described as a groin injury.
7. Stetson Bennett was 13/19 for 116 and the aforementioned horrible “what are you doing?” pick. Dominick Blaylock led all receivers with 2 catches for 38 yards, including a long of 35 that was the happy result of a dangerous pass that could’ve ended in disaster. However, Stet side-armed the ball just out of harms way. The tight ends were barely involved, probably should’ve been more involved. Bennett missed an open Darnell Washington early in the game on a promising wheel-route. It was just an all-round off night that we survived.
8. Defensively, how can you be critical of an effort that only saw your opponent score 6 points? Well, it wasn’t perfect, but the defense did carry the day. Will Levis threw for 206 yards and a single touchdown, and the Dawgs held Kentucky to 89 yards rushing. On Kentucky’s first possession, Levis bailed Kentucky out of a deep hole on a very well thrown ball that Kelee Ringo misplayed. Kentucky didn’t score on their first drive, but had we forced a punt there, we probably get a very short field and perhaps we’re off and running? Of course, Ringo atoned once again with a brilliant interception to thwart a long UK drive in the 2nd quarter.
Textbook pick for Kelee Ringo. pic.twitter.com/4Pcb9aaShB— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 19, 2022
9. Smael Mondon had a helluva night with 11 tackles and 4 solos. Mykel Williams is getting better every game. He’s going to blow up next year, believe me. Malaki Starks and Jamon Dumas-Johnson record 8 tackles each.
10. Despite Kentucky not breaking the 300 yard total offense mark, Georgia gave up some 3 (by my count) big pass plays. Two of those were “up for grabs” type of throws that could’ve been picked, especially the 2nd one as Kentucky was trying to make the game much more interesting in the 4th quarter, ultimately missing a field goal. To the Wildcats credit, they did press us in the 4th quarter, but our defense did not break.
“It was bend but don’t break. We didn’t stop them. They ended up getting down in the red area, and the wins on fourth down were the difference in the game, you know? Our ability to stop them on fourth down was big, but our inability on some of the third downs to get off the field hurt some.” - Head Coach Kirby Smart
11. Kentucky has been a more effective offense since Chris Rodriguez returned to the lineup after missing a large chunk of the early season. That guy is a load. Once again, we’re getting everyone’s “best shot.”
12. Jack Podlesny was perfect on a night where he had to be, going 3-for-3 on field goals. They’re generally short, but that swirling wind down on Kroger Field is tricky. Stetson Bennett handled a poor snap on Pod’s first attempt that could’ve failed. Brett Thorson had a much better night on his 2 punting attempts and both resulted in long fields for the ‘Cats offense. Cold and windy weather can wreak havoc in this phase of the game. We did just fine.
13. Georgia got bullied a little bit by Kentucky’s defensive front. Just when it looked like we were about to start running away with the game, we didn’t. But great teams overcome themselves in times like these. I believe we are on the precipice of being great and could truly be on any given Saturday.
14. Yes, this game had me concerned but not to the point of losing sleep. It was cold and until we get LSU in 2 weeks, we’re really playing out the string. The month of November has been challenging because the slate was back-loaded (at least, on paper back in October). Immediately after Florida, the “Game of the Century” vs. Tennessee in Athens and then a trip to Starkville and Lexington. It’ll be good to be back home at noon next Saturday. I hope the crowd is extremely loud because, well, it’s Tech.
15. Speaking of Tech: What happened last night? I didn’t watch a minute of this game and didn’t realize they had knocked of North Carolina in Chapel Hill until this morning. Anyway, they think they’ve got some hope. Let’s crush it.
- Twitter has become a repository of every Tennessee keyboard warrior talking smack about how they’re this and that. I could post a zillion Tweets to that effect. Today, 90% of Tennessee Tweets are absolutely NSFW. It’s glorious. In the end, we have survived The Great Orange Uprising.
November 20, 2022
- Texas A&M struggled with UMass before eventually winning the game. Things have gotten so bad in College Station that the Aggies have resorted to artillery.
Did this really happen? It really happened.
Texas A&M might be the most classless program in the SEC. Why fire a cannon on your opponent during prayer? Why?— LEE Ring0️⃣ (@HBTFD1) November 19, 2022
Fan heard saying: “I got it, that’s awesome” pic.twitter.com/daNquZg4Xf
- More excellence from Jimbo Fisher’s Reign of Terror:
This play epitomizes A&M's season thus far. pic.twitter.com/a1UIAWrahi— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) November 19, 2022
- Vandy is the Grim Reaper
November 20, 2022
- My CFP Final Four, as of this writing:
2. Oconee County*
3. Jimmy Sexton
*Not actually a college, but a state of mind. And home.
That’s All I’ve got. I could cull Twitter for days and not be satisfied over the content blasting our rivals. And remember, Dawg Fans: There’s ain’t no freude like schadenfreude!
Schadenfreude ist die schönste Freude ☝ pic.twitter.com/1xzalqqARh— Bud der 14te (@Bud14te) November 15, 2022
AS ALWAYS, GO DAWGS!