Sep 30, 2009

Why LSU could be our most important game

It's funny, or sad I guess, how there's such a lack of hype about our upcoming test this weekend versus LSU. It's to be expected that national media (ESPN) would focus more on Oklahoma at Miami and Cal at USC, considering those games are appearing on their networks, but still, there's a strange silence surrounding our huge SEC matchup.

Even in the online world where words are flung like textual bullets, the smack talk has been at a minimum. Georgia fans seem cautious, yet slightly confident. We know that our team has potential to be great and to win any game, but our constant turnovers and occasional lack of defense has tempered our expectations. LSU fans, although ranked #4 in the country, seem equally as worried after similar lackluster performances from their team. And fans of other teams, or those whom I've seen, agree that LSU is overrated, but Georgia is nothing special either.

However, this could be the most important game of the season for UGA. Our contest against LSU is considered by most to be our 2nd most difficult game (behind Florida), but that really remains to be seen. And the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville will likely determine whether it's Georgia or Florida that will win the SEC East. But this weekend at home versus the LSU Tigers? It could be the proving game for the entire season.

Last year that game was Alabama. Georgia failed the test, and followed with similar disappointments. Is it possible that, had UGA won that blackout game a year ago, they would have won other important games (Florida and Tech) and carried on with their momentum?

And this year it's LSU. If this Georgia Bulldogs team can beat the #4 ranked team this Saturday, things will be in place for a spectacular season. With this victory, games against Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Auburn, and Georgia Tech all seem very manageable. The Florida game would still remain as important and difficult, but Georgia would have momentum and perhaps newfound expectations. The Florida at LSU game is already being talked about as UF's toughest game of the season (of course ignoring Georgia's importance still). So if Georgia beats LSU, it would only be reasonable that the media would find Georgia to be Florida's most important opponent (as they should be), and maybe Dawg fans would start to believe that we can beat the Gators in Jacksonville.

But if Georgia loses against LSU? The season would be far from over, and the SEC Championship would still be within reach, but it would seem like a much more difficult (and unlikely) goal.

It could be the crossroads for the entire season. And it's coming this Saturday to Athens, Between the Hedges.

Sep 29, 2009

AJ Green non-TD Saturday: Bad Call?

Here's a photo of it that's been floating around.

Judge for yourself.

The catch was certainly impressive, but more impressive to me is how he did it with his left shoe untied.

Sep 28, 2009

My Thoughts After UGA vs. ASU

1. Put AJ Green in on every crucial opposing field goal attempt.

2. Want to see Bacarri Rambo play more, on defense, special teams, etc.

3. Don't overuse the fullback dive. Seems to lose its effectiveness after using it a couple of times.

4. Speaking of fullbacks, let's get some better communication between fullback blockers and Boykin on kick returns. If Boykin can catch it, let him catch it.

5. If Logan Gray comes in, let him do something other than a QB read where he gets stuffed at the line. Maybe an outside option with King or Thomas would be better?

6. Stop tossing the ball to Samuel. It scares me. Plus, doesn't he seem like more of an I-formation, plain handoff, run up the middle type of back? Why do we send him to the outside so much? Let King do that.

Example of what Samuel should do:

7. If all else fails, send AJ Green down the sideline and lob the ball down there for him.

8. Maybe put some pressure on punts for once, especially when the opposing team is punting from deep in their own territory/their own endzone. It would be nice to actually try to block one at a crucial time.

9. Teach offense how to tackle in case of pick-sixes.

10. Play rap/hip-hop on the loudspeaker whenever we need a pick-me-up.

Ok, that about does it.

By the way, that was maybe the worst crowd I've ever seen at Sanford Stadium. I've never seen it so empty, even for games against lower division opponents. Plus, the yellow and blue ponchos everywhere really messed up the usual sea of Red and Black. They need to hand out red and black ponchos at the gates or something. The student section beside the band, however, was packed an hour and a half before kickoff and was rocking in the rain with the players when they came out. Whoever that was on the radio show after the game who scolded the student section for not filling up, shame on you. Sure, the endzone student section was pitiful, but the areas by the band were the only fully packed sections of the stadium.

Sep 27, 2009

ESPN Gameday going to FSU at BC

That's right. Boston College will be the wonderful location for an action-packed ESPN College Gameday next weekend as they host Florida State.

I understand that it's all business, and ESPN's trying to spread things out. They don't want to do our game for two reasons: we're on CBS, and they probably want LSU to beat us so they can go to Baton Rouge next week for their game against Florida. Their other choices all died on them yesterday as Cal was destroyed by Oregon and Miami was also crushed by Virginia Tech.

Due to recent bad memories, I don't really want Gameday in Athens right now anyway. But FSU at BC? Wouldn't it have been better for them to just go to the USC vs. Cal game, or even Miami vs. Oklahoma?

This season is getting more and more ridiculous.

The Polls Are Out of Control

Take a look at them yourself.

I'm astonished at how bad these rankings look. After all of the "one play away from beating Georgia and being undefeated" talk from ESPN Thursday night, South Carolina didn't crack either the AP or Coaches' polls. Did they not beat a top-5 team? Ole Miss dropped a TON, to #21 in the AP and #18 in Coaches', so clearly the media and coaches felt like they were severely overrated and it wasn't a fluke loss. So why were they ranked so high to begin with? And why not at least reward South Carolina for pulling off a win over their overrated opponent?

We saw a similar situation with Oregon, who demolished #6 California yesterday. Cal also dropped like a rock in the rankings (#24 in AP), but Oregon? They're rewarded a #25 spot in the coaches' poll for their performance. They are, however, ranked #16 in the AP.

In other news, Penn State somehow remains above Iowa in the Coaches' Poll, Boise State cracks the top 5 despite playing no one (except for a currently unranked/#5 Oregon), and LSU somehow is allowed to reach #4 in both polls while most are yawning unimpressed.

So what's going on? Is this year just a year of amazing parity in college football where no team looks particularly outstanding? Or have the media and voters just screwed up so badly with the pre-season rankings that everything is a mess that is still waiting to be worked out?

(PS: Georgia moved up to #18 in the AP and #14 in the Coaches'. It's nice to see us back near where we started.)

3 Turnovers Per Game: Are we trying to lose?

It sure seems like it.

First, I posted about how we were making so many mistakes (especially turnovers) but still were winning games. Then, I looked closer at how tough this is for our defense, which has been put in tough situations many times, ever game this season.

Things didn't change this night against Arizona State.

The defense looked sloppy in the first half, letting ASU's Nance run all over the place, but still, the Sun Devils were held to only 3 points until halfway through the 3rd quarter. The points are what matter most, and our D held strong.

Until our offense decided it was time for our 3 per game turnovers. One turnover was directly responsible for 7 points (the pick six) and one turnover ended up in an ASU touchdown. So there's 14 of their 17 points that were either directly or indirectly caused/affected by our turnovers.

And the defense played lights-out in the 2nd half (other than the one TD after a fumble in our territory).

We should/could have won this game comfortably, but those mistakes by our offense are going to hurt us sooner or later. We can't always get bailed out by the defense or special teams at the last minute.

It's really frustrating to see glimpses of how good this team can be, but then almost lose due to mistakes. First game, it was the offense that wasn't working well and had turnovers. Second and third games, the offense was amazing (but turnovers were bad), and the defense wasn't too hot. Fourth game? The offense was alright (but turnovers were terrible) and the defense was excellent. It may be asking for a lot to see all parts of the team work well in the same game, but can we at least quit the turnovers? I think that would help a lot to keep these heart-attack games from happening.

In conclusion: I'm glad we won. But please, please let us blow out some teams this year so us fans can relax.

Sep 24, 2009

Could South Carolina and Arkansas be Good?

I've posted my fair share of excuses for Georgia's defense and why we've struggled so much in the past two games to put away our opponent. Well, here's another one.

What if South Carolina is actually good this season? What if the Gamecocks have finally figured out this thing called offense and can compete with everyone, not just their SEC-rival Bulldogs?

And secondly, what if Arkansas is a real threat in the SEC West in 2009? The media have been gushing about Ryan Mallett (understandably, although they give little credit to an even more impressive Joe Cox from Saturday) and their receiving group looked outstanding Saturday as well.

So going on with this "what-if" scenario, what if South Carolina beats #4 Mississippi tonight? I honestly think there is a very good chance of that happening, and if it does, South Carolina will surely jump up into the rankings.

And Arkansas? They certainly could upset #3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, although people are giving them much less of a chance in that game. But could they at least put up a good game against the Tide and see more pass-happy success from Ryan Mallett and company? Sounds very possible.

If either South Carolina or Arkansas win this week, it really shows just how good Georgia's past two wins were. Even if those two teams play a really tough game against Ole Miss and Alabama, it still should legitimize UGA's victories over them as signs of a good team (even though the media will likely forget Georgia's wins and only look at how great Ole Miss/Alabama would be to win against those teams).

My prediction: At least one of those two teams will win their upset game this week, and if I had to pick one, it would obviously be South Carolina over Mississippi in Columbia. But I wouldn't be very surprised if Arkansas pulled out their game as well. Remember that although Alabama has looked great so far, their only real test was against Virginia Tech in Atlanta (more of a home game for Bama than VT), and VT hasn't really stood out to me as being a really great team.

Here's the question though: If somehow South Carolina AND Arkansas win, they will both vault into the rankings. But would Georgia get any recognition for beating them recently? And would South Carolina and Arkansas actually jump UGA in the polls? Now that would be funny.

Sep 23, 2009

It's hard to have D-Fence when the fence keeps breaking

I mentioned in my last post that this Bulldogs' team has struggled with turnovers, so far having 3 of them in EACH game they've played this season. Three turnovers per game is not good news.

On the other hand, the defense (and its coordinator) have been under fire for giving up so many yards and points to opposing offenses. Let's take a look at what situations our defense has been put in the past three games:


At Oklahoma State:
- A fumble by Carlton Thomas is recovered by OSU at the Georgia 11 yard line. The defense holds strong and they kick a field goal.
- The first kickoff of the 2nd half is returned by OSU to the Georgia 24 yard line. OSU scores a TD from there.
- A fumble by Joe Cox is recovered by OSU at the Georgia 32 yard line. OSU scores a TD from there.

Total scored after turnovers: 17 points

Vs. South Carolina:
- AJ Green fumble recovered by USCe at the Georgia 23 yard line. USCe touchdown.
- Branden Smith fumbles the kick return at the Georgia 8 yard line. USCe held to a field goal.
- Joe Cox pass intercepted by USCe, returned for TD. (missed extra point)

Total scored after turnovers: 16 points

At Arkansas:
- Prince Miller punt return fumbled, recovered by Arkansas at the Georgia 34 yard line. Results in a TD.
- Richard Samuel fumble, recovered by Arkansas at the Georgia 30. Results in another Arkansas TD.
- Joe Cox pass intercepted by Arkansas at the Arkansas 48. Arkansas forced to punt by Georgia defense.

Total scored after turnovers: 14 points


Georgia's defense this year has been forced to try to stop offensive drives starting in Georgia territory 7 times already this season. 5 of these drives resulted in an opposing touchdown, while 2 were held to field goals. The defense had to defend starting at the Georgia 11, 24, 32, 23, 8, 34, and 30 yard lines.

An often noted aspect of any sport, but especially football, is the idea of "momentum." In other words, a big play can boost momentum and stimulate the play of a team, while a big mistake can destroy momentum and hurt the performance of the team as a whole. If you believe in the effects of momentum, it's easy to understand why the Georgia defense has been struggling. They've faced 9 turnovers in only 3 games.

This not only hinders momentum, but I'm sure that our offensive and special teams turnovers catch our defense off-guard. When they're supposed to have time to rest between drives, they instead have to rush back onto the field, many times right after successfully stopping the opposing offense.

So yes, you may disagree with the coaching, or you may fault the defensive players who may not execute perfectly on every play, but when you look at what they've faced recently under a microscope, it's hard to feel no sympathy.

I don't think we've seen this Georgia defense at their best yet, simply because they keep getting rushed onto a short field to defend in our own territory. If our offense and special teams can stop turnovers and mistakes, only then will we see what this defense is capable of.

Sep 20, 2009

ESPN Gameday going to the wrong game next week

It looks like ESPN's College Gameday program is headed to #5 Penn State for their "revenge" matchup against an unranked Iowa. Keep in mind that Iowa had two miracle field goal blocks to beat Northern Iowa 17-16 in their first game this season. This will be a very... exciting.... gameday.

Interestingly, #9 Miami will be playing at #11 Virginia Tech the very same day... also on ABC.

Also, notice that #21 Georgia's game versus Arizona State, while not a marquee matchup, is one of the best non-conference games of the weekend. But it'll be stuck on ESPN U, while ABC will have Iowa at #5 Penn State, unranked Notre Dame at unranked Purdue on ESPN, and unranked Texas Tech at #17 Houston on ESPN 2 that evening. Amazing.

ESPN is really dropping the ball with their scheduling and Gameday location decision right now.

Georgia: The Giver of Gifts

First of all, UGA is now first in the SEC. Not just the SEC East, but the entire SEC. Our team has beaten an east team and a west team, and now they have the best conference record (2-0). That's a pretty good way to start.

Second of all, have you ever seen a team that has so many unfortunate turnovers but still comes back to win? We had 3 turnovers in the first half, 2 of which led to 14 scored points by Arkansas. (Let's pretend like without those turnovers, they don't score those points, and we win that game 52-27).

Last week against South Carolina, we also had 3 turnovers which combined gave South Carolina 20 points. (Let's once again imagine that no UGA turnovers would subtract those earned points, and Georgia wins that game 41-17).

That's crazy. Mark Richt had a quote about how it's a blessing to make that many mistakes and come out with a win. Well, I guess that means the Bulldogs are simply blessed at this point, and let's hope we either fix the mistakes, or the blessings keep on coming.

But some blessings seem to be built into this Georgia football team. Joe Cox played an almost perfect game, silencing the naysayers and proving that he is, in fact, the right guy for the job. Our receivers and backs look like one of the most talented groups in Georgia history, and of course the O-line gave Cox plenty of time on crucial passing plays. And we have a kicker AND a punter who are two of the best in the country.

There are still questions on defense, from execution to the general defensive scheme, but the good news is: it's nothing that can't be fixed. And the same goes to those turnovers.

The big picture is this: It would be an understatement to say that we have a talented Georgia football team this year. It's looking very much like the only thing that can stop them is themselves. Adjust the defense and cut down on the mistakes, and think about what can still be done in 2009.

Sep 16, 2009

Preparing for R-Kansas

This week doesn't need a feel better video (thankfully), so instead I made something to help us focus on our next opponent: Arkansas. Special thanks to Les Miles for his motivation.

Sep 11, 2009

ESPN Says: Joe Cox is injured

So it looks like my #2 possibility was correct, after all.

ESPN's Joe Schad posted a story a little while ago saying Joe Cox has now stated that he has "nerve problems" in his throwing shoulder causing pain and forcing him to miss practice time. He also is recovering from the flu and apparently lost nine pounds.

However, Cox is still expected to start Saturday as coaches say he gives Georgia "the best chance to win."

So our recently-sick, injured 5th year QB who has only two starts experience and has missed practice time gives us the best chance to win out of the 4 guys we have? Now I'm worried.

Sep 10, 2009

The Cox Rumor: A Closer Look

Today has been a strange, confusing day for Georgia football fans. First, rumors appeared everywhere that Logan Gray would start at quarterback against South Carolina due to some type of arm/shoulder problem with Joe Cox. Then, ESPN even picked up the rumor and confirmed that their "source" told them the same thing. Finally, UGA coaches and officials stated that Cox will, in fact, start on Saturday.

I can understand if this was just a rumor started by anyone that got out of hand, but there were multiple reputable websites that reported on this.

The first place I saw the story reported was UGA They claimed to have "three sources close to the team" that told them "Gray in fact took all the snaps with the No. 1 unit Wednesday and appears will start Saturday's game against South Carolina."

ESPN then posted a similar story, that they had a source close to the team who basically said the same thing.

But then, when things almost seemed confirmed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution posted that they received a text message from Coach Mike Bobo saying that Cox would start. And then Mark Richt at a press conference reiterated: "Joe is the quarterback." When asked about the shoulder/arm injury rumor, Richt replied, "What we have been doing with Joe is giving him off Wednesday as far as throwing the ball." His reason? "He's getting old."

It was obviously a joke, but a little concerning to me. According to the media who were present at the conference, Richt never plainly said "Yes" or "No" concerning the arm rumor.

So what's going on? UGA and ESPN both had as many as 4 sources whom they trusted enough to publish their claims as online reports. But even if the only reason these sources were convinced that Gray would start is because he took all of the reps with the first team on Wednesday, why does Joe Cox need to take a break on Wednesdays? Coach Richt's reason is to keep him "fresh," but then he practices on Thursdays.

I'm seeing only a few possibilities here:

1. Joe Cox is perfectly fine, and Coach Richt is just strangely holding him out of Wednesday practice.

2. Cox is having arm problems that the coaches don't want to make public, but he will still start Saturday.

3. The rumors were true and the coaches/team want to keep it a secret.

I know that #3 is unlikely, but #1 doesn't seem to make much sense either. So that leaves #2, which is perhaps most worrying of all. If Cox isn't 100%, why would the coaches still be playing him? Maybe they have a lot of faith that Cox is the best QB we have. But if an unhealthy Joe Cox is that much better than any of our 3 other quarterbacks on the roster, then I am very worried.

I hope #1 is the correct answer here, but that doesn't clear up any of the confusion.

What's your take?

Sep 9, 2009

Your Wednesday Feel Better Video

Hopefully this is the only time this season that I'll need to make a "feel better" video the week after a game, but today, I'm going to do just that.

So I hope you enjoy.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

So there it is. Hopefully now you're all ready to go out and beat the Cocks this weekend. LOL

Sep 6, 2009

Examining the 1st Offensive Drive: What Worked

Our first offensive possession of the game was our only TD-scoring drive. 10 plays, 80 yards, and 5:18 off the game clock. By FAR the best offensive drive of either team on the field yesterday.

And then? Georgia's offense sputtered to a halt through pretty much the rest of the game.

So let's take a look at ESPN's "Play-by-play" for the game to see exactly what happened.

Let's start with our first drive:

Georgia at 14:25UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 20Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 23.00
2nd and 7 at UGA 23Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 26.
3rd and 4 at UGA 26Joe Cox pass complete to A.J. Green for 29 yards to the OKSt 45 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at OKST 45Branden Smith rush for 4 yards to the OKSt 41.
2nd and 6 at OKST 41Richard Samuel rush for 19 yards to the OKSt 22 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at OKST 22Richard Samuel rush for 6 yards to the OKSt 16.
2nd and 4 at OKST 16Logan Gray rush for 2 yards to the OKSt 14.
3rd and 2 at OKST 14OKLAHOMA ST penalty 5 yard offside defense accepted.
1st and Goal at OKST 9Branden Smith rush for 5 yards to the OKSt 4.
2nd and Goal at OKST 4Joe Cox pass incomplete to A.J. Green.
3rd and Goal at OKST 4Joe Cox pass complete to Michael Moore for 4 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.60

We started immediately running the ball right up their gut with Samuel, who gained 6 on 2 carries. Perfect to set up a long pass to AJ Green (obviously our most reliable receiver). Then, we change things up. Branden Smith takes the direct snap for 4, followed by another pounding run by Samuel for 19. Again, a direct snap to Gray for a small gain. We draw OSU offsides, perhaps the result of our confusing playcalling, giving the ball to so many different guys. Smith runs again, and then we let Cox throw the fade in the endzone (twice, baffilingly, but it worked).

We kick the ball off, OSU starts on their own 8 after a penalty, and our defense stops them pretty easily. We have all the momentum in the world and this game is looking VERY GOOD for UGA. So then comes our second drive.

Georgia at 6:01UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 16Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 19.70
2nd and 7 at UGA 19OKLAHOMA ST penalty 5 yard offside defense accepted.
2nd and 2 at UGA 24Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 27 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at UGA 27Joe Cox pass complete to A.J. Green for 3 yards to the Geo 30.
2nd and 7 at UGA 30Joe Cox pass incomplete to A.J. Green, broken up by Perrish Cox.
3rd and 7 at UGA 30Joe Cox pass incomplete to Michael Moore, broken up by Perrish Cox.
4th and 7 at UGA 30Drew Butler punt for 68 yards, downed at the OKSt 2.

We start off doing exactly what we did in the first drive. Samuel rushes twice, which is enough for a 1st down thanks to an OSU penalty. Now, however, we decide to pass on a 1st down, which is complete for 3. But this is where things get confusing. Cox passes again to Green, incomplete. At 3rd and 7, another incomplete pass. And we're punting.

3 passes in the row to give us a 3 and out doesn't really make any sense here. It's almost like the coaches said, "Hey, look how good we did with running the ball so much on the first drive. Maybe this time, we should pass the ball mostly and then use the run just a little." It didn't work.

Our defense looks great again, we get the ball back for a 3rd try.

Georgia at 0:51UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 34Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 37.70
2nd and 7 at UGA 37Joe Cox pass complete to Michael Moore for 2 yards to the Geo 37, GEORGIA penalty 10 yard holding accepted.
End of 1st Quarter

We get the ball and run Samuel AGAIN for 3 yards. Not too bad, it worked before. Then Cox passes for 2. The quarter comes to an end with us facing a 2nd and 15 due to a holding penalty. So what do we do with 15 yards to go?

Georgia at 14:22UGAOKST
2nd and 15 at UGA 29Joe Cox pass complete to Branden Smith for 3 yards to the Geo 32.70
3rd and 12 at UGA 32Joe Cox pass incomplete, broken up by Patrick Lavine.

We pass twice for little gain, and are forced to punt.

Guess what? Our defense stops the "best offense in the country" for the 3rd time. We get the ball back.

Georgia at 11:09UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 20OKLAHOMA ST penalty 4 yard pass interference accepted.70
1st and 10 at UGA 24Joe Cox pass incomplete to Aron White.
2nd and 10 at UGA 24Joe Cox pass complete to Carlton Thomas for 1 yard to the Geo 25.
3rd and 9 at UGA 25Timeout GEORGIA, clock 10:30.
3rd and 9 at UGA 25Joe Cox pass complete to Carlton Thomas for 17 yards to the Geo 42 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at UGA 42Richard Samuel rush for 6 yards to the Geo 48.
2nd and 4 at UGA 48Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the OKSt 49.
3rd and 1 at OKST 49Richard Samuel rush for a loss of 1 yard to the 50 yard line.
4th and 2 at OKST 50Drew Butler punt for 50 yards for a touchback.

We start with an incomplete pass, then a short drop off to Thomas. Facing 3rd and 9, we make a good call and do a screen to Thomas for 17 yards. Near midfield, we return to what worked and run Samuel. But what's the problem? WE RUN SAMUEL THREE TIMES IN A ROW. The 1st run works well for 6. The 2nd works alright for 3. And then, we run again to lose 1, forcing a punt. What happened to mixing up the running game? If we're going to run 3 times in a row, why no more direct snaps to Smith or Gray?

And the story continues.

Just to sum up the next drive:

5th drive: Cox pass for 25 to Charles. Smith runs for 2. Looks like we have our groove back. We try passing to Chapas, incomplete, and Samuel loses a yard, and we punt.

6th drive: They have tied the game at 7-7. We come out with 2:24 to take back the lead before half. Sounds like time for a nice, running the ball, running out the clock scoring drive we've done so well in the past.

Georgia at 2:24UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 23Joe Cox pass incomplete.77
2nd and 10 at UGA 23GEORGIA penalty 5 yard false start accepted.
2nd and 15 at UGA 18Timeout OKLAHOMA ST, clock 02:14.
2nd and 15 at UGA 18Carlton Thomas rush for 3 yards, fumbled, recovered by OKSt at the Geo 11, GEORGIA penalty 5 yard personal foul accepted.

Why pass on the 1st play? It didn't hurt us much, but then... why run Thomas suddenly? Despite many complaints of Samuel's running style, it was working pretty well on the 1st drive, and even later. But here, with suddenly a tied game, we run our 2nd guy, a small speedster, up the middle. (Personally, I'd say we send him to the outside into space where he can zip around, rather than into the mess of the line). But I guess we couldn't predict that the ball would get knocked out by a helmet here. This leads to OSU's field goal and we're down 3 at the half.

Our special teams fall apart and we let them start with the ball deep in our territory. They capitalize and score.

Our next drive was a good balance of running Samuel and passing from Cox. We made our way down the field, but things failed when Cox took the ball out of bounds for a 5 yard loss rather than throwing it away. So we settled for a field goal.

And our next drive?

Georgia at 2:22UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 4Richard Samuel rush for 7 yards to the Geo 11.1017
2nd and 3 at UGA 11Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 14 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at UGA 14Richard Samuel rush for 3 yards to the Geo 17.
2nd and 7 at UGA 17Richard Samuel rush for 2 yards to the Geo 19.
3rd and 5 at UGA 19Joe Cox pass incomplete to Orson Charles.
4th and 5 at UGA 19Drew Butler punt for 75 yards, downed at the OKSt 6.

I would circle the 4 Samuel rushes if I could. 4 runs by Samuel in a ROW? I mean, yeah, he looks pretty good, getting us a 1st down on 2 carries, but then running him twice more, leaving us at 3rd and 5? What the heck happened to the mixing up of the play calls?

Our next drive started with a promising move for a 1st down.

Georgia at 11:20UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 24Joe Cox pass complete to A.J. Green for 9 yards to the Geo 33.1017
2nd and 1 at UGA 33Shaun Chapas rush for 3 yards to the Geo 36 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at UGA 36Joe Cox sacked by Shane Jarka for a loss of 4 yards, fumbled, recovered by OKSt Nigel Nicholas at the Geo 32.

And Cox lost it again for us. I know you can't blame too much on the guy, but that's 2 promising drives with good movement that halted due to mental mistakes by the QB.

Now down 14 points in the 4th quarter, we do as expected and freak out, passing the ball repeatedly with no success.

Georgia at 7:59UGAOKST
1st and 10 at UGA 20Joe Cox pass complete to A.J. Green for 11 yards to the Geo 31 for a 1ST down.1024
1st and 10 at UGA 31GEORGIA penalty 5 yard false start accepted.
1st and 15 at UGA 26Joe Cox pass complete to Tavarres King for 4 yards to the Geo 30.
2nd and 11 at UGA 30Joe Cox pass incomplete to Aron White.
3rd and 11 at UGA 30Joe Cox pass incomplete to Michael Moore.
4th and 11 at UGA 30Drew Butler punt for 50 yards, returned by Perrish Cox for 16 yards to the OKSt 36.

I think we probably could have mixed things up a little better there, but instead, the coaches decided to put it all on the shoulders of our QB with "flu-like symptoms" who had already made some big mistakes earlier. Where was Gray? Where were some running plays? We were low on time, but we still had over 7 minutes.

And the last drive was mainly more of the same.

So what have we learned?

The 1st drive only features 2 passing plays out of 10. We ran the ball with 3 different guys, Samuel, Smith, and Gray, in differing formations. It worked to perfection.

So here are some fun/sad facts from our offense in the game:

- Only ONE drive of the game (other than the 1st scoring drive) had more running plays than passes, and that featured 4 runs in a row by Samuel.

- Only 3 running plays in the game resulted in no-gain or a loss. That's 3 of 28 plays that were less than a yard gain. On the other hand, 15 of Cox's 30 pass attempts were incomplete, and thus no gain.

- Only 1 player (other than Cox) rushed for an average of less than a yard - Carlton Thomas. (This could be a result of the plays they put him in on.)

- Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten were never thrown the ball in the game. I'm not even sure if they saw the field.

- Oklahoma State averaged 40.8 points per game in 2008, and scored 24 or less only twice, against Texas and Texas Tech.

- Zac Robinson passed for 135 yards against us, and he only passed less than that once in 2008, in a cupcake game against Missouri State where he only attempted 4 passes.

- Kendall Hunter had 75 yards and averaged 3.3 against us. In 2008, he never ran for less than 84 yards, and that was only in a 61-41 loss to Oklahoma. His lowest average in a game in 2008 was 4.3 yard per carry.

- Dez Bryant was held to 3 receptions, but for 77 yards. In 2008, he never caught less than 4 passes in a game.

- In conclusion, either our defense is very good, or OSU should be very worried about their "high powered" offense. Or the Big 12 does have bad defenses and they'll do well in the conference.

Sep 4, 2009

Pre-Game Conspiracy Theory: Gundy Gave Joe Cox the Flu

If you've been in a cave the past two hours (or work/go to school like a respectable citizen) then you may not have heard the rumors coming out about Joe Cox having "flu like symptoms" and not flying out to Stillwater with the rest of the team. ESPN and UGA Rivals both had stories on it this afternoon.

Keep in mind that at the moment, NOTHING has been confirmed by the UGA football staff, so even if the World Wide Leader (and Georgia's Benedict Arnold himself, Mark Schlabach) reported it, it's still just a rumor.

But what if Cox is sick? What are the chances that this would happen the day before the big game in Stillwater?

Look back to earlier this week, when news sources reported that Coch Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys was stating that he did not want his team to participate in the new "pre-game handshake" with UGA.

And now, suddenly, rumors that Cox is sick?


I always knew this guy looked familiar... he looks like something of the purest maniacal evil, something that appears from the darkest of places to stab you in the back and make your life miserable, always glaring with spiked, gel-filled hair and strangely dark complexion.

But he didn't stop to think that even if they didn't shake hands before the game, they would be tackling each other for the next 3 hours on the field. And little does he know that Joe Cox, "The Ginger Avenger," is not affected by mortal viruses, but he can spread them with potent accuracy to any orange-clad players who oppose him. Hope you have your surgical masks prepared, Coach Gundy. Your plan is about to backfire.

(Note: The above post was meant to be entirely ridiculous and false. The rumors about Joe Cox have NOT been confirmed, and whether he is sick or not, the only advice I can offer is to PUT HIM ON AN ORANGE JUICE IV NOW.)

(UPDATE 4:40 PM: UGA Athletic staff have confirmed to that Cox had flu-like symptoms Thursday, but has "improved" and likely will travel to Stillwater tonight.)

Sep 3, 2009

Extremely Last Minute 2009 Predictions

This past week I've been considering making a full schedule prediction for at least every SEC team, and maybe all of the big-6 conferences. Then, I realized that this task would be extremely difficult, and honestly, I didn't want to have to predict UGA's losses. I'm too superstitious for that.

So I've decided, as we only have a little over 30 minutes to go until South Carolina kicks off against North Carolina State, that I would post some very generalized predictions at the last minute. Why? Because if I somehow am miraculously correct on some of these, it will have been published on the interwebs and I will have proof of my clairvoyant abilities.

Note: Some of my predictions seem very biased, unclear, or downright stupid, but hey, I'm only typing what I can magically forsee from the future.

Here are my extremely generalized and extremely last-minute predictions for the 2009 season of college football:

SEC Predictions:
-Georgia will not lose more than 2 games in the regular season.

-Florida, on the other hand, will lose at least 2 regular season games.

-Kentucky will surprise in the SEC East, finishing either 3rd or 4th in the east standings.

-Likewise, Auburn will surprise in the SEC West, and perhaps even be a contender for the SEC West title.

-Tennessee will upset one BIG team. (hopefully not Georgia)

Other Predictions:
-Georgia Tech will lose at least 4 regular season games.

-Only 2 teams from the current preseason top 10 AP Poll will play in BCS games.

-Colt McCoy will win the Heisman, thanks to ESPN's help, but most fans will be upset that a non-QB candidate that emerges this year does not win.

-No BCS-busters this year. In other words, no non-BCS conference teams will go undefeated and appear in a BCS bowl game.

-USC will not win the PAC-10. It will be either Cal or Oregon.