Georgia Bulldog News - The Blawg House
... to get you 15 yards!
What a great weekend in SEC football! We saw some good teams become great teams, some good teams become bad teams, some bad teams become worse teams... It was pretty interesting. The way the SEC has been playing football, this season is shaping up to be an amazing year in the Southeastern Conference.
This is how we feel like the SEC ranks after 4 weeks of play:
October 3rd, 2011
1A. LSU Tigers (5-0 / 2-0 SEC)
Really, LSU and Alabama will be co-#1's until they play on November 5th. LSU made quick work of Kentucky this weekend by beating the Wildcats 35-7 in Baton Rouge. Although Lee was the starter, former starting QB, Jordan Jefferson, played for the first time since being suspended due to being implicated in a bar fight earlier this year. LSU has a tough, but hurt Florida team limping into Tiger Stadium next weekend.
Next up: vs. Florida
1B. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0 / 2-0 SEC)
Wow... that was a great game... until the end. Alabama dominated and imposed their will onto the Gators for four full quarters. It was incredible. I thought Florida may be able to put up a fight after those first two drives, but Bama put a lid on the Florida offense and put Brantley out of the game. Bama does have a tough Vandy team coming to town, but they should take care of Vandy pretty easily.
Next up: vs. Vanderbilt
3. Arkansas Razorbacks (4-1 / 0-1 SEC)
The difference between the top 2 teams in the SEC and the rest is staggering. Although the Razorbacks were taken to the shed in the first half vs. A&M, they were able to come back and beat the new SEC team in the 2nd half (someone needs to tell A&M that there are 2 half’s in a game). I would imagine the upcoming game with Auburn to be a pretty high scoring affair - take the over :)
Next up: vs. Auburn
4. Florida Gators (4-1 / 2-1 SEC)
Until things shake out a little more, I still think Florida is one of the better teams in the SEC. However, the injury to John Brantley will tell more about the success of the Gators. Without him, Florida really doesn't stand a chance to really compete for the SEC if they have a true freshman under center. They better figure it out quick, too - LSU is looming large.
Next up: at LSU
5. Auburn Tigers (4-1 / 2-0 SEC)
Ok, Auburn, you get a big bump this week. Seeing as how you have now knocked off USC (in one of the ugliest games I've ever seen) and only been beaten by a pretty good Clemson team, we're going to move you up. However, if Auburn wants to keep up with the rest of the SEC West, they’re going to need to play defense like they did this weekend. Arkansas will be a tough test for the Tiger D this weekend.
Next up: at Arkansas
6. South Carolina Gamecocks (4-1 / 2-1 SEC)
South Carolina played absolutely terrible this weekend. Garcia continued his downward spiral as the QB for USC and Lattimore was never able to get going vs. Auburn. The good news for USC is that a pretty bad Kentucky team is coming to town, and the offense should be able to get back on track for the Gamecocks.
Next up: vs. Kentucky
7. Georgia Bulldogs (3-2 / 2-1 SEC)
Just like that, Georgia is back alive in the SEC. After beating Ole Miss and MSU, Georgia now stands tied for the SEC East. However, the offense will need to play 4 full quarters and the defense will need to continue its dominance if they want to beat Tennessee.
Next up: at Tennessee
8. Tennessee Volunteers (3-1 / 0-1 SEC)
The Vols came out and threw the ball up and down the field on a pretty helpless Buffalo team. Bray threw 4 TD's and Rogers caught two of them. Arnett looks to be a decent replacement for Hunter, but the real challenge will come when UT plays a very stout UGA secondary.
Next up: vs. Georgia
9. Vanderbilt Commodores (3-1 / 1-1 SEC)
Vandy better hope it found its offense in the bye week. After seeing what Bama did to Florida, this may get ugly.
Next up: at Alabama
10. Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-3 / 0-3 SEC)
The pre-season SEC Media darling was officially dethroned this weekend after getting physically beaten by the Georgia Bulldogs. The offense was never effective, and the defense was gashed through the air and the ground vs. UGA. A bright spot? 3 INT's kept the Dawgs in the game.
Next up: at UAB
11. Ole Miss Rebels (2-3 / 0-2 SEC)
Ole Miss was finally able to get their offense going this weekend vs. Fresno State in their 38-28 win. Mackey, who replaced Stoudt, was able to hit some big plays and Jeff Scott was able to get over 100 yards on the ground. Ole Miss gets a chance to heal and get their offense in sync with the bye week.
Next up: BYE
12. Kentucky Wildcats (2-3 / 0-2 SEC)
Kentucky, I'm sorry, but you just are not very good this year. LSU really put a hurting on the Bluegrass Cats and kept them from being any kind of threat until late in the game. Going to a wounded USC is not the best medicine when you are 0-2 in the SEC.
Next up: at South Carolina
One of the stars from the Mississippi State game, OLB Cornelius Washington, is out for the next two games vs. Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Washington had some very good plays and is one of our most physically imposing players on the defense.
So, with him out, who are his replacements? Let's take a look at the guys who I think will be taking over for him in these next two weeks.
1. Reuben Faloughi (6-5 255lbs RFr.)
Faloughi is more than likely going to see the majority of the snaps as Washington's backup unless something crazy happens during practice. His body and size is what Grantham wants out of that position. Faloughi has seen a pretty good amount of playing time this year. Look for #95 to be a more than 1/2 time fill in for Washington.
Amount of Plays: 60%
2. Chase Vasser (6-3 227lbs RSo.)
While Faloughi is the obvious choice for back-up, Vasser could get plenty of looks at OLB for the suspended Washington. Vasser has started already for the Dawgs this year at OLB, and could again this week. While Vasser is obviously not as bit as Faloughi or Washington, he has played well and fast when he has had his opportunities. He will be the first sub off the bench for Reuben or Jones should they need one.
Amount of Plays: 25%
3. Ramik Wilson (6-2 218lbs Fr.)
Wilson, while only a freshman, has obviously made an impression with the Bulldogs' defensive coaches. He is listed on the two-deep in many of Georgia's defensive sets, and sits behind Faloughi at OLB. While he is more of an ILB, his pass rushing ability gives him an opportunity to make some plays at the OLB spot. I think you may see Wilson in some pass rush downs.
Amount of Plays: 10%
4. Ray Drew (6-5 243lbs Fr.)
This is obviously the young man that everyone in the Bulldog Nation want to see take this opportunity and run with it. Drew was a big hit with the Dawg Nation as he was one of the leaders of the "Dream Team." The 5-star recruit fell a little behind in fall camp after an injury from a scooter incident, but this may be the situation where Drew becomes the player everyone expects him to be.
Amount of Plays: 5%
I list 4 players because it will take a team effort to fill in for Washington. He is a physical player, and his size cannot be replicated. We will need to make sure the right personnel are in the right spots in the right situations. I estimate these amounts of plays based on today. As the Dawgs go through practice, one or more may stand out vs. the others. We will see Saturday night if we can do a good job of replacing one of our talented pass rushers.
Just when I was bragging on the arrests since last year, we had to go hurting ourselves again!
We're getting reports that OLB Cornelius Washington was arrested in Commerce, GA for a DUI. Trying to get confirmation. Will post when we do.
I just got off the phone with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Cornelius Washington was arrested last night for Speeding and a DUI. He was released on a $3,500 property bond and is no longer at the jail.
We'll see how Georgia now handles this situation.
The reason I started this blog was to help the average fan understand more about the in's and out's of football. In many situations, average fans throw out random, of the hip opinions, like, "Bobo sucks! All we do is run draws and screens!" (See any of those yesterday?) How about this one: "Look at the way that kid is celebrating, Mark Richt has lost control of this program." (Anyone been arrested since last October??? EDIT - Spoke too soon.)
What I want to try and show you about this game is that we won a good, dominating football game. Our offense was multiple when it needed to be, and our defense played lights out for 4 quarters. Here are some of the points of the game that I feel need to be understood:
1. Bobo's Offense is Unimaginative and Dull
Let me get this straight, we put up record setting yardage in our first three games, yet our offense sucks? There is a time when you need to pull out all the tricks and there is a time you don't. We have a long way to go in our season. There is no need to get 4 wide and show every route combo, screen, or creative play we have when we are up by 3 scores! I would almost guarantee you that at halftime we knew the defense was going to continue to be great, and the game plan changed to keeping the ball as long as possible and running out the time. It is Football 101. When you have a lead, you run the clock out and WIN. That is all that matters - WINNING. You loved the first half but hated the second, right? Because in the first half, we were multiple, imaginative, and creative, and we scored 21 points. After that, there is no more reason to do anything more when your defense is playing lights out.
2. Richt Has Lost All Faith in His Team
Richt's decision to kick a field goal after Georgia was stuffed on 3rd and inches brought boo's to Sanford Stadium - ridiculous. Please understand why Richt decided to go for the field goal. With a field goal, the Dawgs would go up by 21 points - that is 3 TD possessions. I know for those of you who play NCAA 12, three TD's in a matter of minutes is child's play. Well, in real football, it is pretty damn difficult. Especially when the opposing defense hasn't let you score more than 3 points all game. Richt could not see the botched snap coming, which is why he was extremely pissed in that situation. However, to go for the field goal is the right call.
3. Mississippi State Sucked Anyways
Oh, this is my favorite. The old, well, they sucked, and we didn't beat them by 60, so we must suck, too argument. Let me pound this point home - Mississippi State is NOT an average team. They are a well coached, high powered offense and defense, Southeastern Conference team. A win against that program is very, very good. However, we did not just win. We dominated MSU physically. For every time we heard how bad they beat us last year, we did it double to them, this year. LSU vs. MSU was in doubt until late in the game when Lee threw a late TD pass. UGA vs. MSU was mailed in after the second TD. The opponent mattered. An SEC win mattered. How we beat them mattered.
It feels like I am ranting and raving (which is in the tagline, by the way) but I get tired of seeing our football team have its name thrown into the mud after a win because many people do not understand the basics of this game. Now, that being said, I love Georgia fans. We are a passionate bunch and we care deeply about our team, but let's try to understand a little more and appreciate wins a little more.
My last point is that winning in this game is tough. There is so much that goes into planning every aspect of those four quarters that the average fan does not see. The fans may not like it, but winning - no matter how - is the most important thing. As a coach, when you go through all that time and prep and blood and sweat - all you want to do is win, and then move to the next one and win. Winning - especially in the SEC - is so very tough. Appreciate the win - celebrate it. So, next time you're at the game, ask yourself, "why" the coaches are doing what they're doing. Don't just try to point fingers and boo... ask "why." I can guarantee there is an answer - you may not like it, but the coaches only have one goal - win.