Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mettenberger's 10:1 TD:INT ratio WON'T LAST

...At least, not for the whole season.

To be sure, Teen Wolf has looked better this year than last. Other than not being the fleetest afoot, he has all the measurables you look for in a QB. LSU has done a good job of getting the ball out of his hands early, and continuing to be a power run-first offense, while taking shots down field as soon as the defense steps up to stop the run.

Having said that, I will go on record as saying that Zach Mettenberger will not finish the season with 20 TDs and 2 Int's, or 30 TDs and 3 Int's...you get the idea. I don't believe he's improved that much that quickly since last year, and I don't believe he's flat-out capable of that, period.

So, my question for you, dear readers, is whether or not the severe dent in his overall passing statistics will begin in Athens this Saturday, or will it solely be reserved for games against Bama and Florida? Not for nothing, but racking up positive stats against the defenses they've gone up against thus far only tell me he's not bad. They don't tell me he's especially good (and that's not to say he isn't, it's just that I can't glean much from what I've seen so far).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Georgia's SECRET WEAPON against the Tigers?

I think it's evident that, against North Texas, Georgia wanted to give the Tigers a little more to think about, by showing the "Rooskie" and the the halfback pass (well, WR pass to be more precise) with WootenDaBallCarrier. I say that, because it's fairly safe to say that the Dawgs were not having any trouble moving the ball against the Mean Green with a more conventional approach, so they didn't NEED to resort to trickery.

So, the question now becomes, has Georgia already emptied its bag of tricks in an effort to spread LSU thin mentally, or do the Bulldogs have more gadgetry up their collective sleeve?

In general, my only suggestion would be to max protect and take some shots downfield early and often. North Texas proved that any running game can be stopped if the defense completely sells out to stop it, and LSU is obviously bigger, faster, and stronger than the Mean Green. I think everyone will be expecting Georgia to get Gurley involved early. Aside from that, what kinds of things would you like to see that Georgia has not yet shown this year.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I can post blogs using CAPITAL LETTERS, too!

Just sayin'. Now, for something Bulldog-related... LSU is a huge favorite at home against Auburn this week, and for good reason. The national story line is whether or not Auburn is on its way back to above averageness, or if most folks are putting waaaaaay too much stock in a last second victory over MSU. I'm going with the latter. But, I am hoping for an all out war Saturday night in Red Stick. The Dawgs are coming off the bye, and should be able to have nothing but 2nd and 3rd stringers in the game at about the 40 minute mark. So, if Auburn can keep it fairly close for most of the game, Then LSU should be the more tired and beat up team (not to mention the traveling team) in Athens in a couple weeks. At the end of the year, in, say, the SEC Championship Game, I'll be more of the "I want 'em at full strength" mentality. But, for now, I just want to see the Dawgs get out of this September gauntlet at no worse than 3-1.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Georgia's Defense, Or...Why We Fans Are A Funny Lot

First, for all you Webster, Jr.'s out there, I am aware that "Fan" is short for "Fanatic," so critical thinking and rational conclusions are not going to be key ingredients in our general mindset. That being said, we knew this was coming.

We knew just about every defensive starter was leaving, and for the NFL at that. We knew that we were going to be starting freshmen, and for that matter, freshmen who'd missed extensive practice time in the fall. We knew that the resulting inexperience would lead not only to 'busted plays,' but also to missed opportunities.

But, here we are after 2 weeks (myself included), throwing beer cans at the TV, and cussing out anyone who misses a tackle, drops a pick, or fails to get pressure on the QB on any play.

Part of this, I know, is that we all try to have a positive outlook when there's a bleak prognosis.

"Hey, the defense was crappy against the run last year anyway, so maybe some new faces will help."

"I heard Brendan Langley and Shaq Wiggins are picking off 3 balls every practice."

I attribute that to the same thing that you'll see with Ben Affleck playing Batman. People will remember that they were pissed off when Heath Ledger was picked to play The Joker, but that turned out great. They'll tell themselves that the studios have too much riding on this to go with someone they weren't sure could pull it off. The bottom line, though, is that no matter how much rationalizing you do, Ben Affleck is going to suck as Batman, so you might as well accept it, and just hope he's at least good enough to not completely ruin the whole movie franchise.

The difference here is that, unlike Affleck, who will suck for the entire movie, the Dawg D has the ability to make improvements over the course of the year. With a bye week and a patsy coming up before mighty LSU, and 120 minutes of game film to pull from, I do expect Georgia's defense to make significant strides.

So, we can continue to be irrational fans, or we can take a deep breath, remember that we knew this would be part of the deal, and just see what happens.

Until the next time a safety gets burned for an 80 yard TD, and we'll go through this all over again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Possibility of Dawgs being overconfident? Good.

Sure, a 5-2 record and being ranked in the 20's in the polls is not the end game of Georgia's aspirations, either this season or any other. Even though it marks a return of sorts to normalcy compared to the past couple of years, most will acknowledge that there's still a long way to go before being considered among the elite in the SEC or college football as a whole.

So, it may sound strange to consider that the Bulldogs should be feeling supremely confident heading into the WLOCP this Saturday against a team that has dominated the Dawgs for the better part of the last two decades. By the way, I've taken to saying the word "decade" like Kennedy did when he said "we choose to go to the moon in this d'cade..." I just like the way it sounds.

Anyway, this confidence could stem from the fact that the Bulldogs have reeled off 5 straight victories, albeit against lesser competition, while the Gators are scuffling, and have lost 3 straight. Add to that the fact that the only viable QB for the Gators should be hobbled and rusty, if indeed he does take the majority of the snaps.

It's needed, this confidence. The Bulldogs need a real sense of superiority for a change, and not one that's conjured by some nifty motivation, new uniforms, or celebrations. Those ugly uniforms and goofy gator head on those helmets seem to bring out ineptitude, and even fear in the Bulldogs almost every year.

Let's face it. Georgia has a better team than Florida. Despite several missteps, the Dawgs are finding ways to win the close games instead of finding ways to lose them. The only thing that can stand in their way of beating the hated Gators this time around, barring injuries and such, is that deer in headlights look that seems to grip the team 'round Halloween each season.

If Georgia is carrying around a feeling of confidence, even arrogance this time around, then that is a welcome change, and it could help keep the Dawgs riding high.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Actually like Georgia Football? Enjoy this week.

Nobody with any objectivity in his makeup is suggesting that beating Coastal Carolina, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State means that the Dawgs are "back." They may not be back to being an SEC title contender, or even a candidate to win 9 games this year. However, they are back in the SEC East race for now.

Losses by Florida and South Carolina mean that the Dawgs have no more SEC losses than any other team in the East after 3 games. No matter what happens, this week the Bulldogs are in the thick of things. This week, the game has division title implications for both teams. This week, Georgia can make a statement that they're in this thing to the end, or they can meekly bow out, leaving only the faintest of hopes for a good season.

The point is, this week, Georgia's game at Tennessee means more to the standings and SEC East title aspirations than any game in quite some time. The Dawgs can move to 3-1 in the conference for the first time since 2008, and only their second time since 2005 (when they started 5-0 in the conference).

I have no idea what will happen Saturday. I hope that the defense has truly rounded into form, that Crowell will continue to impress, and that Murray is ready to get over the turnover bug. But, I don't know, and neither do you.

I can tell you this: It's been a rough couple of years, and I am excited to have a meaningful game in October again.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Richt is 100% dead on about Crowell, but...

As we watched Georgia jump out to a 21-3 halftime lead, only to see the offense sputter to 3 lousy points in the second half, many noticed the absence of Isaiah Crowell in the backfield for much of the second half.

Head coach Mark Richt was forced to address this afterward, given the fact that, without the dynamic freshman in the game, the Bulldogs lacked rhythm and cohesiveness for much of the time. In doing so, Richt makes perfect sense. He's "not interested" in getting Crowell 30+ carries a game. This is completely understandable. It's a long season, and Crowell is still getting into SEC condition. The tolls of running the ball that many times takes on the body, particularly a freshman, cannot be overstated, and despite limping across the finish line, the Dawgs were never really in any danger of losing the game.

Having said all that, I wonder if it might be a bit more advantageous to the Georgia offense if Crowell's carries and general workload was spread out a bit more. If you're going to put a general limit, almost like a pitch count, on his carries/touches, then why not pull him out for a play or two during multiple series rather than "use up" half his touches on one drive? Hell, if he's capped at, say, 35 total snaps for the game, and you have him in on 12 snaps of a 15 play drive to start the game, then he's already 1/3 done for the day. (that's obviously a bit simplistic, but the point remains)

This much is clear: The offense just "goes" when he's in the game, and it has a tendency to sputter when he's not. I understand the idea of getting running backs into the proverbial rhythm, but I think the Dawgs might be better off in the second half if he's not sitting on the shelf for 15 minutes at a time, having reached 20 carries halfway through the 3rd quarter.