Your football weekend is only hours away, but first here are a few Bulldog headlines to get your day started.
Apparently the team which grinds out the most rushing yards has won the last ten World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Parties. Yeah. That’s worrisome.
How has Florida turned this rivalry around the past two seasons after losing three in a row in the series? Among other things, by scoring on special teams in each of those two contests. Special teams could again be a factor in this one. Yeah. That’s worrisome.
Florida was particularly banged up heading into their off week, but appears to have gotten most everyone back just in time for this weekend. Yeah. That’s worrisome.
Even a year later, no one involved really wants to talk about the decision to start Faton Bauta against Florida. For my part, it’s still not the decision to start Bauta that’s irksome. Greyson Lambert had looked uncomfortable and out of step since the Alabama game. Brice Ramsey didn’t look any better in the action he’d had. The Bulldog offense desperately needed a spark of some sort.
What gets me is still the fact that the decision appears almost as if it was made during the week of preparation, which is a little late to throw any player into that fire. And that if it was made earlier, there was absolutely no effort in the offensive plan to take advantage of Bauta’s strength (his legs) or diminish his weaknesses (playing under center, throwing downfield).
You can’t throw out your entire offensive playbook. Not eight games into the season. I get that. But the fact that it looked like Brian Schottenheimer rolled out of bed on the Tuesday before the biggest game of his first season in Athens and thought “Hey! Let’s start Bauta against Florida!” helps explain why neither he nor Mark Richt remains in Athens.
Bernie is attempting the rally the troops, and I salute him for it. The truth is there have been very few Bulldog wins in this series in the past 20 years which were predictable or expected. More often than not victory in Jacksonvile seems to begin with a Bulldog team limping into town on three flat tires deciding that they’re just tired of getting pushed around and yelled at and they’re not going to take it any more. Personally, I would take that kind of win (or any kind) tomorrow. Until later....
2016-10-27T21:10:09-04:00Not a ton to say this week. No game last week that necessitates praise or panic. Just a nice off week to relax, watch other teams and bathe in a deep rooted empty void. I’ll jump into two quick things I wanted to talk about. 1. Nerd RA’s You have seen a quick initial glance at how Kirby will handle disciplinary issues moving forward. If you aren’t charged, you play. And that is how it should be. Georgia would have been absolutely gashed at the ILB position had the lost Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick to a suspension for marijuana. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be harsh or immoral but what kind of nerds do we have over at ECV at the player dorms. You thought you smelled weed? Well isn’t that convenient because none was found in the room. Come on man they are in college, keep it moving. I don’t smoke pot but I also don’t feel the need to report people who (allegedly) do. Especially when those people are in college and serve as our modern day gladiators every Saturday. I know there are those of you that take a hard stance on disciplinary issues and I don’t blame you. I just have a different approach. We all did stupid things in college at times and I won’t hold players to a different standard than myself. Maybe I am wrong in that regard, but the good news here is no arrests, no punishments. I’m sure I will have to deal with at least one person in the comments and to him I respond with this. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xW9AHQXh_RM?wmode=transparent&rel=0&autohide=1&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"> 2. Jarvis Jones and Herschel Walker against Florida How unreal were these two against Florida? Jarvis Jones has unquestionably the best aggregate performances against any single team since I’ve been alive. I declared this on twitter and was quickly reminded of how dominant Herschel was against the Gators as well. My bad, wasn’t alive yet. Here are the numbers: Jarvis Jones · 2 games, 2 wins · 18 tackles · 8TFL · 8 Sacks · 2 FF, 2 FR Herschel Walker · 3 games, 3 wins · 649 yards · 9 TD’s · Ga/FL Hall of Fame It may have been a bit easier to star at RB but both of these careers against Florida are absolutely nuts to think about. Who ya got? Both DGD’s II. Florida Preview I think this game is all about matchups. Sure, both teams will be rested off of a bye week and I guarantee you that Georgia does not come out flat. They have too much to prove. But as all the initial energy begins to fade away and matchups begin to dominate the game, here is where the advantages will be. Georgia Run Game vs Florida Front 7 Advantage: Florida A stellar D-Line with tremendous size will be tough for Georgia to move in the trenches. I expect to see continued use of eye candy motion and misdirection to allow Georgia to open up any sort of running lane due to the aggressiveness of the Florida front 7. Bryan Cox, Brantley, Ivie and Cece Jefferson are going to be tough guys to maneuver. I expect Georgia to use influence blocking a decent amount. Chaney utilized this at Arkansas even with some of the behemoths he had there. This won’t be anything new in the Georgia offense but I am sure it was emphasized in game planning this week. Florida aggressiveness early could allow Georgia to break open a few big running plays if linemen can get to the second level and block some talented inside linebackers. The health of Jarrad Davis could be a major factor in this game. As is often the case when matching the Georgia OL and opponent DL’s, Florida has more talent here Georgia TE’s vs Florida Linebackers Advantage: Georgia I phrased this as TE vs LB for a reason. Clearly, there will be times when safeties man up TE’s. But when Florida is not manning TE’s, Georgia should have an advantage in the short passing game. I will get to Florida’s corners [...]
It happens every year, like clockwork. My Georgia/Florida week looks like this, psychologically speaking:
Monday: “We’re toast. We lost to South Carolina/Tennessee/Vandy and Florida’s defense is far better than any of those units. We may be shut out. This is going to suck.”
Tuesday: “Well at least we got some guys healthy over the bye week. We’re still going to get beat like a Singaporean jaywalker.”
Wednesday: “You know the Gators have a couple of injuries, and they’ve been a little turnover prone, too. If we jump on them early we may be able to stick in this one . . .”
Thursday: “You know the defense has really shown a spark the past couple of weeks . . .”
Friday: “Oh no! I’m getting excited! How did this happen? I took all the precautions!”
Saturday 4 pm: “We’re still in this thing!”
Saturday 6 pm: “Life is pain. Then you die. No one really notices. Sigh.”
And this year I’ve told myself I will not allow it to happen. I will not allow myself to become irrationally exuberant about the chances of an underdog Georgia team to pull off an upset against Florida.
There’s just too much stacked against us. Florida is ranked second in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense. We’re going to counter that with a true freshman QB and a porous offensive line. Did I mention that the Gators are averaging 3.17 sacks per game, fourth best in the SEC? I should mention that. Also that UF leads the league in scoring defense at a stingy 12.0 points per game? You need to know that, too. It would be unfair for me not to make you aware of that.
There’s no objective reason to expect the Bulldogs to triumph in this one. But still we’ll watch. Because anything could happen. Luke Del Rio, thrower of three interceptions against Mizzou, could do the same in Jacksonville. Jim Chaney could continue figuring out how to manufacture a running game. The special teams could, just this week, not manage to fudge it all up.
It could happen, I swear. If everything does come together, and the Dawgs do steal one on the banks of the St. John', it could become Kirby Smart’s own hobnail boot moment. The game in which the corner begins to be turned�....
On the other hand, if things go according to Hoyle in this one, we’re all going to want to forget it ever happened as soon as possible. And there’s only one libation for that job: tequila.
I literally cannot remember ever drinking tequila. Not in a cocktail. Not as a shot with a lime chaser. Not with a beer back. Every encounter with this spirit has been erased from my recollection and replaced with a throbbing headache. That seems like as good a metaphor as any for my experiences with the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Until later...
Big slate of games tonight, as the following five will be ongoing:
Virginia Tech vs. Pitt
Akron vs. Buffalo
Ohio vs. Toledo
App State vs. Georgia Southern
Cal vs. USC
We'll see if the 19 point favorite Trojans can help their coach move towards keeping his job.
Keep it civil and clean. This is just the appetizer before the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Until next time... GO DAWGS!!
One day closer to seeing Florida Man.
We’re halfway through Hate Week and let’s see what’s the latest on the Georgia Bulldogs.
We all know the Dawgs are starting their fair share of freshmen. While we’ve been talking about them all year it’s easy to forget this will be the first taste of the Georgia-Florida rivalry for them. The youngins have been receiving some advice from the upperclassmen.
"I’ll tell the younger guys, if you’re not playing for yourself or for your family or anything like that, play for the seniors," senior right tackle Greg Pyke said. "Let them go out with winning against Florida."
To provide an update from yesterday - after playing in his first game of the year against Vanderbilt, Jonathan Ledbetter is looking for a bigger role. He served a six game suspension for two alcohol-related arrests. Against the Commodores, Ledbetter had four tackles and he is seeing some time with the first team during practice.
Saturday’s game will be a homecoming of sorts for defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. He was the interim head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars for five games in 2011. While the defense hasn’t played up to standards, it should be noted that both of Tucker’s wins with the Jags came at EverBank Field. That totally has to count as some sort of advantage, right?
The Dawgs will likely see a steady dose of the run from the Gators. The past 10 games in the rivalry have been won by the team with more rushing yards.
Reggie Davis spoke to the media for the first time since the Vanderbilt game. As you can imagine he wasn’t in much of a talking mood about the situation.
Wednesday’s practice saw Deandre Baker looking ready to go. His availability would mean the Dawgs would have a starter available at every position. Other practice updates included: Aaron Davis continuing to be the first team safety, Brice Ramsey throwing with the quarterbacks and a scout from the Baltimore Ravens was on hand among other things. While it can’t be confirmed that scout was the same who offered his thoughts on the team, it can be noted the scout who spoke was with an AFC team.
‘Til next time... Go Dawgs!
2016-10-26T16:24:40-04:00It's a busy week of hate, and I'm late. I'm late, for a very important date. So let's get right down to all the action going on with Dawgs outside the hedges of Sanford Stadium and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. BASEBALL Justin Grimm gave up two hits, a walk, and two runs in an inning of work yesterday in Game 1 of the World Series for the Chicago Cubs. Let's hope Game 2 goes better for him and his teammates tonight against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK AND FIELD The SEC Championships are Friday at 11 a.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas for our Trail Dawgs on the cross country team. They've performed well this season, so a strong finish can be expected. Meanwhile on the track, assistant Devin West has added Recruiting Coordinator to his titles. SWIMMING AND DIVING Also at 11 a.m. on Friday morning, the Swim Dawgs get back in the pool. They've been working since last beating North Carolina in Chapel Hill on the 7th earlier this month, and get to host Florida in Athens at the Gabrielsen Natatorium before heading to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech next Wednesday at 4. VOLLEYBALL The Net Dawgs fell to Florida and Texas A&M last weekend. They'll be at Arkansas Sunday at 2, which will be aired live on the SEC Network, before coming back home to host Florida Wednesday at 9. And congratulations to former Dawg and current Emory head coach Jenny McDowell on being this year's Hartman Award recipient. SOCCER The Kick Dawgs got their second SEC win of the season last Thursdaywith a 3-0 victory over Ole Miss before dropping a 4-3 thriller to Missouri on Senior Day. They go on the road to Kentucky tomorrow to close out their regular season. EQUESTRIAN The Horse Dawgs notched a pair of 17-2 victories on their belt this past weekend, taking care of UT-Martin and a top 10 ranked New Mexico St. They'll have this weekend off before getting back in the saddle at Texas A&M on November 5th. TENNIS Coach Jeff Wallace's women will be at the Puerto Rico Fall Classic this weekend following an excellent showing at the ITA Southeast Regional in Gainesville, Florida last weekend. Freshman Eleni Christofi won the main draw singles, while senior Caroline Brinson took the title in the consolation bracket, and Christofi, along with junior Kennedy Shaffer, made the finals in the doubles draw. Manny Diaz' men meanwhile were at their own ITA Southeast Regionals, in Tallahassee, Florida, where 3 of 4 Dawgs made the semifinals (junior Wayne Montgomery, and sophomores Emil Reinberg and Walker Duncan) only to see FSU's Guy Iradukunda take the title. Montgomery and Reinberg fell in the semifinals of the doubles draw. They'll retake the courts next week with, depending on the player, the National Indoor Collegiate Championships in Flushing, NY or the Bulldog Scramble. GOLF What are you doing for Halloween? Is it travel to Monterrey, California to play in the Cypress Point Classic before continuing the journey over the Pacific to Maui for the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic? Then the men's golf team has better Halloween plans than you do. These tournaments will end their fall campaign before next getting back in the tee box in February. BASKETBALL Single game tickets are now on sale for both the women's and the men's seasons, both of whom begin their seasons on November 11th. (The men's game with Kentucky is already sold out, which displeases me considerably if my assumptions about why are accurate) Joni Taylor's team will host South Carolina State in Stegeman at 7, while Mark Fox's men will be tipping off in Clemson also at 7. The men will first host Ft. Valley St in an exhibition next Thursday, November 3rd, at 7 p.m. in Stegeman. Admission will be free. Junior big man Yante Maten has also been named to the Malone Award [...]
2016-10-26T07:00:03-04:00RedCrake already has provided your schedule for the weekend, and HNDawg has provided context with the national rankings. And we’ve even got Executive Chef of Ceramics haagen dawgs giving you details on serving up a game day feast. It’s a new morning in the Bulldog Nation, so let’s get right down to all the news that’s fit to put in a Georgia Bulldog football, bourbon, barbecue, and Oxford comma blog. Enough about football already, let’s talk some Hoop Hounds! For those who complain about empty seats at the Steg, there’s at least one game that is already sold out. Only about 17 more to go!! Enough about basketball already, let’s talk some football! Skipping the discussion on my attention deficit, of course. You know it’s Hate Week. I know it’s Hate Week. We also know it’s the WLOCP. But the SEC Network decided to investigate further, as SEC Nation will pontificate from outside EverBank Field this Saturday. It didn’t turn out so well the last time we saw them, as they came to Athens October 1 for the Tennessee game. Tuesday’s practice yielded some interesting notes, as did Coach Kirby Smart’s briefing. If you aren’t a big fan of Juwuan Briscoe’s downfield coverage, Deandre Baker seems to be back in the mix. In fact, he was taking lots of first team snaps. At this point, just having options is nice (stares at the offensive line). In addition to Baker getting attention, sophomore Jonathan Ledbetter has been working more and more with the first team as DE. Though I’m sure he’s been conditioning and other practice type activities, he’s only coming to his 2nd game from serving a 6 game suspension to start the season. **Click bait Warning** SONY MICHEL SERVES UP GUARANTEE ON FLORIDA. Spoiler alert: he’s only talking about getting ready to play the Gators, and the effort the team needs to expend versus the Booger-Eaters. Amongst many of the Dawg Sports commenters, I’ve seen many express that we may not expect a win, but we should expect effort and improvement. I’m glad to hear that the team shares the sentiment. If you thought last year’s Bulldog top-ranked pass defense was smoke and mirrors, well then you should love this year. Jason Butt gives some stats and context that will make you cry with joy, and cry with fear and loathing. And probably just cry. Just don’t expect to hear from our Defensive Coordinator himself. Like it or not, you know Kirby Smart’s policy. There’s some more breakdown of Florida’s vaunted defense, and I expect you’ll hear plenty the rest of the week on this. But hey, if you just don’t feel the Munson, or not quite feel the hatred fueled by fire of a thousand suns, then be my guest. We’ll be back later with more news, notes, analysis, and commentary. And as always... GO ‘DAWGS!!!! [...]
2016-10-26T06:00:03-04:00Brought to you by Golden Grain® and a watermelon.... because watching the Georgia-Florida game usually means you'll need to get blackout drunk. Most years I don't exactly look forward to the Georgia-Florida game. I've never had a good experience in Jacksonville and I've never seen the Dawgs win there. Typically, what I remember about the game is the hangover I have the day after. And it's not an "out late celebrating" hangover. That said, there are some years I at least appreciate the buildup of "maybe this is the year." 2016 is not one of those years. While I'd be thrilled beyond belief if I was wrong, I imagine I'm going to be highly inebriated and alternating between violent rage and openly weeping around 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Picture a combination of the Incredible Hulk and that "very special" episode of Saved by the Bell where Jessie got hooked on caffeine pills, Anyway... Just because I'm no longer able to enjoy college football doesn't mean you shouldn't. So here you go: Your Week 9 College Football TV Schedule >>> CLICK HERE!!! THURSDAY Appalachian State Mountaineers @ Georgia Southern Eagles, 7:30 pm, ESPNU One might be tempted to watch the #25 Virginia Tech Hokies and the Pittsburgh Panthers, but who can resist a gridiron battle between two behemoths of the Sun Belt? FRIDAY #22 Navy Midshipmen @ South Florida Bulls, 7 pm, ESPN2 As you probably know by now, I'm a sucker for watching service academy football. And add in the bonus of a Top 25 ranking? Come on, man! I'll be taking in this one then flipping over to the Air Force Falcons and the Fresno State Fighting Detwilers. SATURDAY NOON #2 Michigan Wolverines @ Michigan State Spartans, Noon, ESPN There are some very good football teams playing in the noon slot. The problem is they are all playing some decidedly not good football teams. Given the in-state rivalry angle, I guess this is the best one. SATURDAY MIDDAY Georgia Bulldogs vs. #14 Florida Gators (Jacksonville), 3:30 pm, CBS Why do I do this to myself? Every year. At this point, I'm basically Linus in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". By God, there is no pumpkin patch more sincere than this one and all that ever shows up is a beagle! Someone owes me restitution! SATURDAY EVENING #3 Clemson Tigers @ #12 Florida State Seminoles, 8 pm, ABC No. Brainer. SATURDAY LATE Stanford Cardinal @ Arizona Wildcats, 11 pm, FS1 Are you up late feverishly writing an alcohol-infused blog post? Making some bad decisions in an open comment section? Planning out a way to flood the Atlantic and make Valdosta beach front property? Join us for a game that won't end until 3 am. --- That's all for this week folks. Until next time... GOOOO DAWGS!!! [...]