I was riveted by this game, and had to go back and watch it. I wound up taking a million notes and making observations as I went, so I decided to share them with you. I’ve never played football, and if you need someone who has played for UGA to break it down, go see Ben Dukes. Here’s every play, with as much insight as I can provide. Feel free to pipe up if I get something wrong.
You’ll see if you read this that the biggest defensive disappointments in the first half were by Jenkins, then Herrera, then Swann. Those three played every snap that I could see. Whether their inability to make plays stems from their job security or fatigue, I don’t know. I also will say here that I didn’t see Grantham chew anyone out, and haven’t since 2011. As a side note, our defense has sucked since 2011. Still, everyone else played well on defense in the first half with a few exceptions, and I enjoyed watching it, especially JHC. What happened in the first half were minor miscues which would bite us in the second, perhaps because we were out coached on defense. Read on for more.
UGA 0, UT 0 – 15:00 1st –
Kickoff – UT wins toss. On the return, we get the ball out to the 18, then UT makes a throat slash gesture to push us out to the 36. For our first play, we line up with Hicks behind Kolton Houston, and he then shifts to the Fb spot to make the I. UT has 8 in the box. We don’t care, and Hicks smacks someone to allow for a nice gain of 8 for Marshall. On the very next play, we come out in an offset I. UT has 8 in the box and blitzes a guy from the the OLB spot. Hicks picks up the blitz, the run goes to the spot of the blitz, Hicks mauls the dude tossing him out of the play, and Marshall runs for 13. Lynch has a nice block downfield too. Houston also mauled a guy on the play.
Every Dawg fan in the world realizes the importance of the game this weekend against LSU. Here are my reasons why we so badly need this win.
This is not a “blow the lid off the program” type game. UGA is a great program. Just not elite. A team that has not played for a national championship in 30 years is not elite. Not yet. Beating LSU will not make us elite, but it will give us more “street cred” on the national level. LSU embarrassed us in the SEC championship two years ago. It was painful sitting in the Dome watching the clock strike zero in the 4th. We knew then we needed to get depth on the lines to compete with Bama and LSU. Saturday will be a good measuring stick of our progress.
Recruiting. Name a big recruit or commit from ’14, ’15, or even the 2016 class. He will be in Athens Saturday. Winning the game is big for high school kids, but atmosphere is one of them most important factors. Kids want to know the fans will be there and be loud. As Zach would say, “We need the wine-and-cheese crowd to get up and be loud!” Well said, Zach. Even a close loss would still be a positive, but a win in a crazy environment pays major dividends with the lifeblood of any successful college program.
We need a victory on a national stage to help the psyche of die hard fans. We don’t have a great record when Gameday sets up shop at our games. See here for evidence. Arguably our biggest games in the last few years have been LSU in the 2011 SEC championship, Florida in ’12, Bama in ’12, and Clemson this season. As you know, we are 1-3 in these games. Not an elite program in big games . . . yet. A win would help chip away the rough edges of even the most jaded Dawg fans.
If we win, book your ticket to Atlanta. We will not lose 2 more SEC games. Florida has a brutal schedule left and I do not see us losing to UT, Vandy, Kentucky, or Missouri. Even if UF manages to beat us, we still have the head-to-head over USC. This year it might actually help us to get the brutal part of the season over with early.
Saturday is not a make or break game, but Lord it would help on a number of different levels. Win and we are all dancing in the streets. Lose and . . . oh boy, will there be a lot of howling.
GameDay is coming to Athens Saturday. Mark Richt presided over 13 games where ESPN set up GameDay at the location Richt’s team suited up. Here is a full breakdown of every GameDay ever. Our record is 3-10
Fun Facts that should scare you rotten:
We have not won with GameDay around since 2007 (UGA v. Bama – Mikey Henderson in OT);
Since 2008, GameDay has covered 5 UGA games, and UGA has gone 0-5;
GameDay under Richt covered games where we played LSU 3 times. We lost all 3;
We have never beaten Florida under Richt when GameDay was around;
We have never won an SEC championship game when GameDay covered it;
In the Richt Era, GameDay has only covered us playing the following opponents: Bama (2-2); LSU (0-3); South Carolina (1-1); Florida (0-2); Auburn (0-1); Clemson (0-1).
Here is a breakdown by year of UGA playing when GameDay was there:
Look, I’m going to the game. I’ll be there, going nuts, yelling profanity at children, religious zealots, and the prude blog-commenters who think urinating on north campus is a crime or something. I’ll simultaneously make proud and shame both halves of our fanbase, like always.
I just don’t know if my heart has healed enough yet. But maybe, just maybe, like the last time I got close to the prize, the first date after that relationship ended will be fantastic, like this one was:
If anyone else feels this way, let me know. Thanks for listening.
Before answering that question, consider this – when did “Journalism” become a series of reader questions? I thought journalists wrote facts and occasionally offered insider opinions and informed analysis. Those days seem to be so far in the rearview that they have drifted over the horizon.
Michael Carvell, whom I’m sure is a nice person and does not fight kittens in dank cellars, covers recruiting for the AJC. Perhaps March is the bleakest month with signing day a fading memory, and Michael has nothing better to do. Two words for you Mike: THE BEACH. Take a vacation, champ. Kick back and enjoy a few sugary blasts from a few tangy margaritas. Smoke a cigar and listen to the waves as your folding chair sinks deeper into the sand. You crushed it this recruiting season! Actually, I don’t know if you did or not, but you still have a job for now. Get a pedicure!
Well Mike didn’t take the month off. In fact, he scrambled. Apparently no good stories about exciting 2014 recruits can be written now, and apparently doing a summary or recap of 2013 is impossible. So having beaten the Todd Grantham is leaving UGA how will it affect recruiting thing to death before Grantham announced he is staying at UGA, Mike decided there was nothing left to do other than non-report by asking a series of inflammatory questions and speculating about what will happen in the future.
You can see it coming a mile away.
Probably the most popular form of negative recruiting that will be used against UGA this year will be Todd Grantham.
Grantham is the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, and he’s considered one of the college football’s brightest minds. Recruits want to play for him because he has NFL coaching experience, and they think that he can help put them in excellent position get to the league. Those are the positives.
The negative for any elite defensive recruit that is considering UGA is this: Will Grantham, who got NFL feelers this off-season, still be around to coach me in a few years?
What do you think? Do you think Grantham will still be at UGA in a few years?
Ignore his ridiculous argument that having a bright and successful defensive coordinator is a negative. Ignore that he seems to be arguing that Georgia should go back to having a mediocre or worse coordinator who may or may not be on the verge of getting canned. Ignore the asinine logic and ridiculous drivel he has already subjected you, the fair reader, to and keep reading, because Carvell doesn’t stop there. He goes on to conjure a complete fake conversation between high school coaches and Grantham.
You can expect this topic to be torpedoed heavily against the Bulldogs in recruiting battles for 2014 defensive prospects.
It’s a very simple conversation between the coach of a competing college and a recruit, as one high school coach indicated. Here’s the summary:
Coach: “Grantham is a fine coach at Georgia. Do you think he’ll still be there to coach you?”
High school senior: “Hmmm. Well …”
He puts the bow on the present nicely, with this little series of questions:
If you were an elite 2014 defensive recruit, what do you think about Richt’s comments? Do you trust him enough to replace any top assistant with another top assistant? Could he get somebody as good as Grantham if he left? Or would the attraction to playing defense for Georgia leave with Grantham? And if you were Richt, how would you address this situation? Please post below.
So here’s the deal. I’m a blogger, I guess. I’m not constrained at all by the ethics of journalism, and apparently those are out the window anyway. So let’s rumormonger a little too.
If you were a reader of the AJC in 2014, would you want to read Carvell? Do you expect him to have a job in 2014? Please vote below.