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January 11, 2017

WSLS Podcast Ep. 078: Live from Tampa, Clemson Beats Alabama

Will gives an instant update on the National Championship game live from right as Clemson is snapping the ball to end the game, which they won.


Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Coaching Edition

A little nugget caught my eye out of Dabo's day after the National Championship game interview:
“Five seconds, yes, we run the same play,” Swinney said. “I felt like it was going to be a four-second play. It’s going to be in and out. I felt like I could get a timeout with one second. Less than (five seconds remaining), we kick the field goal, and we go into overtime and see what happens.
“Our mentality was to play to win. I was trying to hang on to a timeout. I was just kind of guarding it with my life. That’s why we clocked the ball with 22 seconds, because I didn’t want to get in a situation where we’re having to run what we call red field goal. The clock is running, you try to run your guys out there on a red field goal situation. It’s a long way to go, guys coming off the sideline, and I just didn’t want to get into that situation, so I was trying with everything I had to keep one timeout.
If I had to say there is one thing I want to see out of Kirby before I'm ready to say he's a step up from Mark Richt is that level of preparedness and thoughtfulness about how you approach a play that is yet to happen. 2009 Dabo wouldn't have been there. 

January 8, 2017

WSLS Ep. 077 - Georgia Wins the Fight and the Game

Scott and I give a post game review of Georgia's win over Missouri, one that was spurred by a half time tussle between two coaches, Georgia's Kent Davidson and Missouri's Steve Shields.

Good times.


January 5, 2017

Why Special Teams Matter

After reading Blutarsky's take, I wanted to make a stronger point for the need for improvement in special teams play.

There has been plenty of ink and air used to outline the precieved trinity of Why Georgia Had a Disappointing Season - offensive line play, unimaginative offensive play calling, red zone defense - and deservedly so. There has been a lot less on the most glaring of issues, IMO: special teams play.

Let's start with the numbers from Bill Connelly
Special Teams

Special Teams S&P+-1.097
FG Value (per kick)-0.1694
Punt Success Rate38.2%124
Kickoff Success Rate74.6%61
Punt Return Success Rate43.5%92
Kick Return Success Rate55.6%18
As Blutarsky put it 
"the absolutely putrid yardage numbers turned in by the kick returners (anyone who returned a kickoff out of the end zone committed return malpractice)." 
That is book-ended by the actual coverage stats. In eight games, we gave up 20+yards/return, meaning if we didn't get a touch back out of the deal, the opposing team was likely starting beyond their own 25 yard line.

This ineptitude was on full display during the Vanderbilt game. Terrible coverage scheme/execution resulted in Vandy getting a 4 yard field for their first possession, resulting in a TD. Then we field a directional kick at the 3 that was 1) going to go into the end zone and result in a touch back and the ball at the 25, OR 2) go out of bounds, resulting in the ball at the 35 yard line. Said kick fielder promptly stepped on the out of bounds line resulting in the ball being spotted on the 3. After three plays, for added bonus, we managed a decent (41 yard) punt, but gave up a 17 yard return resulting in Vandy ball at the Georgia 27 yard line and already in FG range. That is how you lose to Vandy at home. You could make the argument that the loss to Tennessee, and how close the games against Nicholls and TCU were are directly related to that.

This is only a sample of what was a season long slink into bad special teams play. While having better athletes on the field will help, fixing the coaching and structural/scheme issues will be necessary to make the Dawgs a top tier special teams program again.

January 3, 2017

WSLS Ep. 076 - Post Liberty Bowl

We talk Liberty Bowl, CFB playoffs, and a get a Tommy Boy reference in.

December 30, 2016

A New Hope

Fitting last post of 2016, IMO.

If you want an idea of what Kirby Smart's vision of Georgia football is going to be, look at Georgia's second half possessions:

UGA      Fumble        T00  07:08 *TOUCHDOWN     12-52   6:36
UGA      Kickoff       T13  13:27 *FIELD GOAL     7-56   3:33
UGA      Missed FG     T00  02:48 *TOUCHDOWN      9-70   5:09
UGA      Downs         T31  00:00  End of half    4-25   1:14

If you are keeping score at home, that's two drives that come off defensive wins (fumble recovery and missed FG), a game winning drive, and game sealing drive. Not to mention three drives of 7+ plays and over 3:30+ possession. Say what you want, that's been the plan all along and it wasn't a terrible way to end 2016.

Go Dawgs.

December 23, 2016

Waitin' Since Last Saturday Ep 074 and 074.5 - Talking Bowls and Hoops

In Ep 074, we talk recruiting, Beef O'Brady's, and the Liberty Bowl. In the special episode, Will and I are live from Atlanta immediately after Georgia's 60-43 win over Georgia Tech in basketballs. No hedges were harmed in the making of that second podcast.

December 6, 2016

Waitin' Since Last Saturday Ep 073: Liberty Bowl Bound

We head downtown to Tailgate Georgia on Broad Street to talk AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Hoops, CFB Playoffs, and of course, uniforms.

December 3, 2016

Marquette is a must win for Georgia hoops

If UGA is to get to the NCAA tournament, we need to have a win tomorrow. Even if Marquette turns out to be a bottom tier Big East team, beating a Big East team will get Georgia noticed. Steve Wojciechowski, former Duke standout and Associate Head Coach, is their head coach. By the way, they are projected to be a bubble NCAA team. In that regard, this game is a must win for the Golden Eagles, too.

To date, they've gone 5-2, with a close loss to Pitt and a blowout loss to Michigan in the 2K classic at Madison Square Garden. They beat Howard by 32 at home. Coming into the game they are currently at 38th in KenPom. Georgia is 60th, being held down by adjusted offensive numbers and tempo (which is an adjusted measure of successful offensive possessions).

Marquette loves to get up and down the court. They have strong guard play, with Jujuan Johnson and Haanif Cheatam averaging double digit ppg. Center Luke Fischer is also averaging double digit ppg. Fox loves defensive basketball and this game will test our ability to handle an offense that can score inside and outside. In both of Marquette's loses, they were held to fewer possessions and got fewer good looks, forcing the ball into the hands of players other than Johnson, Cheatam, and Fischer.

Speaking of, when you look over Marquette's stats, there is one guy to keep an eye on: Kaitin Reinhardt. He's a graduate transfer from Southern Cal. While he's fourth on the team in points per game at 8.8 coming off the bench, there is something else that stands out: he's third on the team in shots taken, and second in 3pt attempts. Combine that with his being 8th on the team at 3pt% at 25% (and only 27.6% total), and you can see place that Mark Fox would want to force Marquette into. If Reinhardt is jacking long range jumpers with abandon, that is good sign that Fox's game plan is working.

Tip is 2pm tomorrow on ESPNU.

November 27, 2016

Protect the Hedges

If you want to protect the Hedges, beat Tech. I don't like it, but it is just that simple. Beat Tech. I understand taking a small memento of beating Georgia in Sanford. We can't rely on other team's players being reasonable about what a 'small memento' is. Especially Tech players.

You want to protect the Hedges, don't lose to Tech.

What's next?

We've all seen this before: Play calling to not lose, lack of focus at key times, not running the plays that work until the defense stops them, being too cute with personnel. Clock and play management snafus.

That's probably what I was most frustrated about.

And that was 2001.

It took a while of post game processing to get there, but I was frustrated because what we saw yesterday is replay of what we saw the last time we hired a young hotshot coordinator who is The Next Big Thing.

There isn't any real revelation there, but there is hope that this The Next Big Thing learns faster.

One other thing, before you get too far down that road, Mark Richt's 2001 team had three all conference selections on the Oline.

I've said all along, it is impossible to write the story of Kirby Smart's success until we see if he's learning to be a head coach. On the job training on national television sucks. We can debate if we are a program that should be doing that, but we made the decision that we are a program that does that. Ignore the noise about what Mark Richt was or what Georgia was or blahblahblahMuschamp.

That is until we are still doing those things above in year three.

November 23, 2016

Seniors being honored Saturday

It is Senior Day Saturday. Get there early.

LB Chukwuma (Chuks) Amaechi, Avondale, Ariz.
OT Tyler Catalina, Worcester, Mass.
FLK Reggie Davis, Tallahassee, Fla.
TB Brendan Douglas, Augusta, Ga.
FS Jonah Guinn, Walnut Grove, Ga.
WR Charles Hegedus, Marietta, Ga.
C Brandon Kublanow, Marietta, Ga.
QB Greyson Lambert, Jesup, Ga.
FB Kyle LeStrange, Milton, Ga.
OLB Tommy Long, Marietta, Ga.
FS Quincy Mauger, Marietta, Ga.
OLB Johnny O’Neal, Dublin, Ga.
PK Thomas Pritchard, Louisville, Ga.
OG Greg Pyke, Baltimore, Md.
ILB Ryne Rankin, Orlando, Fla.
C Billy Seward, Watkinsville, Ga.
DB Maurice Smith, Sugar Land, Texas
SE Kenneth Towns, Albany, Ga.
ILB Ridge Underwood, Moultrie, Ga.
FB Glenn Welch, Jesup, Ga.

Most of these guys have been through a pretty interesting time in their years in Athens. Damn Good Dawgs all.

November 22, 2016

WSLS Ep. 069 - Gronk approved

Will and I talk the win over ULL.

November 21, 2016


Never forget.

Durham and Dominique Inducted into College Basketball Hall of Fame

About damn time on both.
(photo from Augusta Chronicle)
A lot of awesome in this photo, taken the night Georgia sealed their 1990 SEC regular season title on the road at Auburn. Wilkins is a no brainer inductee. I'd say Coach Durham should have been put in way before now.  

Congrats to both.
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