Georgia Sports Blog FanShop

March 16, 2018

So You Knew This Was Coming

This is meme gold for a Georgia blogger. I told Westerdawg that we are getting a coach that is expressive as Kirby, with the on court temperament of Tom Izzo.

Running to Athens
Suffice it to say, we, at the Georgia Sports Blog are pretty fired up about this hire.

WSLS Ep. 130: Hoops and Spring Sports

We recorded this Wednesday night in the nadir of having been spurred by Thad Matta and inking Tom Crean, so forgive the tone.

February 13, 2018


Just because I'm don't run my mouth don't mean I have nothing to say....

Three thoughts about this interview of Tech AD Todd Stansbury.

  1. He sounds far more Canadian than I gave him credit for.
  2. His take on beating Georgia is the most sound take I've ever heard from someone associated with Tech.
  3. Paul Johnson either has him completely snowed or Stansbury is very, very good at playing his cards close to the vest.
Forgive me for suggesting you listen to Schultz, but the interview, though boring, is pretty good.


January 12, 2018

Johnson Signs Extension to Stay at Georgia Tech

A little good news for the week.  Insert your own 'best agent in the business/top Georgia fan' comments here.

January 9, 2018

I Ain't Even Mad

My initial response when I got home last night was to just post kittens and rainbows and move on with my life.  Maybe that will be the response I eventually get to, but riding home last night, I realized that as gut wrenching as last night was, there is a very important take away for Georgia fans:  We belonged on that stage and it took the greatest coach in the history of the game to beat our young team and young coach.

This is a beginning.  Give Nick Saban and Alabama credit, they belonged on the field with Georgia.  Yes, I mean it exactly that way.  Alabama is a deeper team, with more experience.  Until tonight last night, they didn't show they could change their game plan to win a game. Until last night.

One thing I kept tossing over in my head is the perfect feeling I had after the missed FG at the end of regulation.  That is was our time; The Dream Season was real. 

Alas, it wasn't.  Georgia beat Alabama at their game. Alabama had to play a different game to win. They did.

We have many months to diagnose why Georgia loss in over time in the national championship game to the team in the midst of the greatest run in the history of college football, but for today, and maybe for the rest of my life, we'll always have the 2017 Georgia football team.

This season was a proof of concept for Kirby Smart. It is the beginning. I believe we'll look back in a few years and realize that the game we witnessed last night was prologue to something greater, not an epilogue to a great season.


See also:

- Better Times (Blutarsky)
- Nightmare Doesn't End Georgia Dreams (Will Leitch, Sports on Earth)

January 8, 2018

Well, Here We Are - The National Championship Game

We've played a tougher schedule. We played a worse match up in the Semi-final. We had to face Auburn again after getting housed by them immediately prior. We have had to adjust during games to win games.

Georgia possesses the best offense Alabama has faced. We have the third best defense they've faced, behind Clemson and Auburn.  They only gained 341 yards in the loss at Auburn and 261 yards in the win against Clemson.  With the Clemson game, they had a pick six and a 7 play, 27 yard drive that came off a turnover. 

None of their scoring came on drives that started in their own territory.

All of what they want to do on offense starts with Hurts using his legs to make stuff happen with his arm. Take away one of those, Ridley would be my choice, and they are a much less dangerous offensively. Still, Alabama is super efficient when they have the ball, so keeping them behind the chains in a way we didn't against Oklahoma is the key.

Because they won't give up multiple 50 yard runs.

Their defense is exploitable. Ask Auburn and Mississippi State. Still, they've only given up 24+ points twice this season. I believe we  can score some more, but not in the 40s.  To beat them, we cannot give up pick sixes and whatnot.  We can survive a turnover or two, but under no circumstances can we give them two gift TDs. 

They can't afford to do that either.

In the end, we match up with the Tide well. I don't dread today's outcome. In fact, I think they should be the concerned team. They didn't win the SEC. The two things they have going for them is they have the best player on either team in Fitzpatrick and the experience of being in this game plenty. Georgia has the next five top players, at least.  Georgia has met every challenge presented this season save the Auburn game, including being down by 17 to the most explosive offensive team in football this season.

Overall, I believe we will win because we've shown we can make adjustments and play multiple styles of offense. And it is our time.


January 6, 2018

Ticket Prices for National Championship Game

Patience has paid off, some. There are still plenty of tickets available, and they seem to have leveled off at around $1450 or so, with lowers available below $2000.

PrimeSport has a few club seats listed around $2100, too.

First Thoughts on the National Championship Game - It Has to be Alabama

If I had a dollar for everytime someone someone made a comment about it being Alabama...

Seriously, Georgia was going to have to play good teams to win a National Championship.  Alabama has been the class of the sport for almost a decade. Of course, we'd have to play Bama.

And we should want Bama. Really, why wouldn't we.  Georgia hired Smart to emulate The Process. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have a shot to play for a championship and as long as"Georgia" is painted in the end zone at Mercedes Benz Stadium it doesn't matter what is painted in the other, but honestly, if you search your soul, I'd bet you would admit I'm right a little, win or lose.

Will Leitch, my co-host of Waitin' Since Last Saturday has talked about this being the beginning of something at UGA. If it is, having to play Alabama and unseat them feels inevitable. I don't think Alabama is dead. I don't think they are even done with their run of greatness. Win or lose, this game is a benchmark for Georgia as a football program as much as it is for Alabama.

All of that is to say, and exactly what I said on the podcast we recorded Thursday, I'm not scared of Alabama anymore. We may lose this game, but there isn't a sense of foreboding about facing them and being out coached, out schemed, and out depthed. Again, getting out coached may happen, but Smart and his staff matching evenly with or out coaching Saban and his is on the table. That's a huge change.


WSLS Ep 126 - National Championship Game Preview - Alabama vs. Georgia

Well, here we are talking about playing Alabama in the National Championship Game. In Atlanta. The only thing left on the writers table to work in the script is a game winning TD drive by Jacob Eason.

Have a question for us? Hit us up on Twitter
Or, Leave us a podcast review and ask a question. We will read it and answer it on a future podcast.

January 4, 2018

WSLS Ep 125 - Rose Bowl Wrap

Scott and Will break down Georgia's win over Oklahoma.

Will's Postgame Rose Bowl Article for Sports on Earth
"Get Smart: Right Coach, Right Time"…ach-nick-saban

Scott's Postgame Rose Bowl Celebration Video
"Watching UGA Win the 2018 Rose Bowl"

Tweet our show:

January 3, 2018

WSLS Ep 124 - Rose Bowl Immediate Reaction Pod

A few vignettes and immediate thoughts from the Rose Bowl, including an interview with two Aussies that became die hard UGA fans as the game wore on.

WSLSpodcast Social Links (Follow All of Them):

January 2, 2018

National Championship Game Tix

These have to go down, right? Right?  Get in price is in the $2100 range. If you are interested in food/drink packages, Prime Sport has some packages that include food and 'premium beverages' in the lower bowl that include guaranteed seating in Molly B's, but still, this is a crazy ticket. Click the picture to see those seating packages.

StubHub also has plenty of tickets listed, but the prices are still astronomical. I was expecting a $1000+ get in price, and it still may get down that low, but I don't see it doing that before the weekend. It could stay up, too.

It'll be interesting to see if Alabama fans dump their tickets. This is their sixth appearance in this game in nine years, so could be. I'd be surprised, even at these prices, if many UGA fans sell.


Rose Bowl Champions

There is a lot...I mean a lot...of stuff too talk about, but I woke up early in Pasadena with two things running through my head:

  1. Man, it still gets me some kind of way when Georgia out coaches a well coached opponent, especially with in game adjustments.  Yes, there are some first year coach things Lincoln Riley did (hello, kicking the FG instead of going for it), but he had no answer or recognition that Georgia had changed their pass fits and was essentially daring Mayfield to beat them going over the top.
  2. Georgia travels. I had a sense what the crowd was like based on people around town and tailgating, but it was closer to 70-30 than 60-40. Give OU fans credit, they were plenty loud, but it was a Georgia partisan crowd.
  3. I've seen folks on fire about Fromm being asked to throw the ball 29 times. I could quibble about when he was asked to throw, but for the most part, I thought the offensive game plan was good.  OU was giving Georgia the pass on early downs, so why not take it?
  4. Watching Baker Mayfield is fun. He's going to be a good pro QB, but he's also going to get his bell rung a lot.  He's a talker, which is fine when you are winning. I know you probably saw or read about Bellamy's advice to him. Don't take that out of context.  If you run your mouth for 75+ plays and lose, you are going to get that kind of advice from the players you have been jawboning with.
One other thing, that QB keeper is still going to be there when we need it. 

On to Atlanta.

Go Dawgs!

December 27, 2017

Stopping Georgia's Offense

If we didn't know what we were facing when Oklahoma had the ball, we'd be pretty ok with the S&P+ of Oklahoma's defense:


Yep, bottom quartile.  It is simple to assume Big 12 offenses and all, but when you look at the Big 12, only three are top 25 in offensive S&P. When you add in Ohio State, they faced four teams in the top 25, but did face two (Oklahoma State and Ohio State) in the top ten.

Georgia's 8th ranked defense faced one top ten (Missouri, who put up 28 pretty quick points on Georgia), and Notre Dame to round out the their top 25 opponents. Georgia faced some really bad offenses: South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Florida, all in the 85 to 118 range. The worst offense OU faced is Texas, but did face pretty bad (~80s) offenses in Iowa State and Baylor.

Need I remind you of the Iowa State game where the starting LB also wrecked havoc in the second half running the wildcat as the QB?

Which brings me to my actual point:  Oklahoma struggled with spread concepts, especially those that had power running options incorporated in them. 

So, what does that mean? Oklahoma has fared well against rushing first teams (Ohio State, TCU twice, WVU), holding them to under 5ypc.  But I keep coming back to the Kansas State game, a 42-35 win for Oklahoma.  The Wildcats averaged 6.38 ypc in what was easily their best rushing performance on the season. Not surprisingly, OU graded out at 16% in Connelly's ratings on defense for that game. 

Kansas State led 21-7 a few minutes before the half. They got there because the Sooners couldn't stop their inside runs from passing looks, while KSU ate them up on first down passes.

Now, I'm not saying Georgia will line up and try to jam the ball down Oklahoma's throat, if for no other reason than that is what Oklahoma is expecting.  However, if we can get running down hill, we can make it very interesting for a Sooner defense that has struggled trying to stop more than one phase of a dynamic offense.

That gives me reason for hope.


December 26, 2017

Georgia's Defense in the Rose Bowl

"Big 12 don't play defense."

"Oklahoma haven't played anyone with our defensive speed."

"They don't face any SEC type defenses in the Big 12."

Be honest, how many times have you said that in the past 15 years? This season? Since December 3rd?

We Georgia fans have been raised on the religion of 'Defense Wins Championships, Inc.™.' Well, now we'll have a small sample size, but a sample none the less, to test the theory (mantra, really) that they can't handle SEC defenses.

I'd posit that Georgia's defense hasn't faced an offense like Oklahoma's since Auburn's 2103 National Champion runner up. Yes, Auburn's 2017 offense is pretty good, and I feel comfortable saying what Georgia faced on the Plains in November is a close as we've seen this season. In the linked article, I noted it was more about the short passing game, supplemented with timely running plays, that makes Oklahoma's offense tick.

There are three things Georgia needs to do well to slow them down:

  1. Make Mayfield uncomfortable in the pocket with a four man rush. Call this the Iowa State plan.
  2. Play super competent assignment defense behind them. Call this the Mississippi State plan.
  3. Keep Oklahoma in difficult field position choices. Call this the SEC Championship Game plan.
Oklahoma will score points.  The key is to keep them from scoring TDs on all drives.  Blutarsky hit on this last week. The Sooners will score points. Oklahoma has punted 36 times all season, an average of three per game.  They are only giving the ball back two times a game between turnovers and failed 4th down conversions. That means they are scoring on about 9 drives a game.

Iowa State put Oklahoma's QB in difficult run/pass situations because of LB Joel Lanning's game.  He constantly put Mayfield in 'do I pass or do I run situations' on the underneath passes.  Mayfield got his yards, but Lanning's coverage of TE Mark Andrews gave the Cyclones' front the time it needed to cause Mayfield to run...into Lanning's waiting arms.  

The other two points are pretty self evident based on what Georgia did in their games against Mississippi State and Auburn in the SEC Championship.  I'm not comparing Fitzgerald to Mayfield as much as I'm comparing what Oklahoma wants to do with what Mississippi State tried in our game. Oklahoma doesn't have as much designed QB run built into their offense as they have the option for the QB to get chunks of yardage on runs built in if the pass isn't there. Georgia forced Fitzgerald to win the game with his arm, then took that option away from him. 

We did much the same in the SEC Championship against Stiham, but also closing some of the Auburn play book by keeping them in 2nd and 3rd and long plays. 

Now is the put up or shut up time for SEC Defense as the King of All Football Things trope. I'm still noodling out how this goes, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be as much about slowing rather than stopping Oklahoma.
Copyright 2009 Georgia Sports Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan