Georgia Bulldog News - The Blawg House

National Championship Preview & Pick

Alright Blawg House fans, we are here, the biggest game of them all - the BCS National Championship. Although I really felt that Oklahoma State should have been in the game, Alabama and LSU really will be a great college football game - I just hope we see some points and some high drama.

We are 22-12 (assuming Ark St lost) and hopefully we helped you pick some games this season. This game looks to be really close, so listen with caution:

Allstate BCS National Championship
Monday, January 9th, 2012 - 8:30pm EST - ESPN

National Championship

#1 LSU Tigers (14-0, 9-0 SEC) vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC)

 Preview: In the first ever SEC vs. SEC National Championship, we get a rematch of a 9-6 game that went into OT during the season. LSU got the win due to Alabama's inability to convert some clutch field goals. However, in a game that pits two of the top defenses in the nation, I actually think the offenses will be the difference. A month off and time to come up with new wrinkles will definitely make for more exciting plays on the offensive side. Look for more option game from Jefferson and LSU and look for McCarron to hit some big throws for Bama. 

Pick: Although the popular pick is Bama, I am going with LSU on this one. I think the "Mad Hatter" is definitely going to have his guys ready and will pull out all the stops. I think the power run game, the option game, and the crazy play calls of Les Miles gives LSU the victory and another National Championship.

LSU - 17 / Bama - 13

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One of Georgia's Top Players Set to Commit

Jordan Jenkins takes on John Theus at Dawg Night

One of the state of Georgia's top recruits is set to commit Monday night on Fox Sports South's "The Next Class" at 7:00pm EST. 

Jordan Jenkins, the 6'3" 245lb 4-star OLB from Harris County, is going to let the nation know where he intends to play football and the Georgia Bulldogs are in his final bunch with Florida and Alabama. Many have thought that Jenkins would be a Bama commit, but the late visit in November, a bond with Todd Grantham, and Bama's number of commits to number able to sign makes Jenkins really a toss up at this point. Jenkins' father even went on to say that no one has any inside info about where the 4-star player will be going.

The elder Jenkins said there is no guarantee that his son will pick Alabama, which has been listed as the leader since last summer until recently. “To tell you the truth, after this week, I don’t even know where he is going to school. Jordan really likes things about all of the schools. This weekend, we’re going to sit down and go over each school again and iron out any differences. We’ll get everybody’s viewpoints in black and white out on the table. My wife and I will give our input, and it will be Jordan’s final decision to make.”

Georgia has emerged as the darkhorse candidate for Jenkins. He nearly cancelled his official visit with the Bulldogs twice because of speculation over Mark Richt’s future. Jenkins ended up making a recruiting trip in November and bonded with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

“Georgia came at us at a different pace than the others,” the elder Jenkins said. “They were one of the first ones to offer, but we didn’t feel the same intensity early in the process as we did from the other schools. Then they came on late.

“Coach Grantham has impressed our family. He definitely let Jordan know how much he wants him there. Coach Grantham and Jordan have a few things in common outside of football, such as fishing. We like Georgia. I guarantee you that Georgia is in it for Jordan.”

Jenkins has really come on as of late, and his performance at the Under Armour All-American game really made Jordan a big target for Georgia's Todd Grantham. Since his official visit in November, Georgia has come on real hard for the 4-star DE who would most likely be an OLB at Georgia. During his official and their meeting in Florida this week, Coach Grantham was very specific on how they will use Jordan in their 3-4 scheme.

After Jenkins and his family arrived in Athens on Friday, they met with UGA coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. They explained that Jenkins is being recruited to play outside linebacker in similar roles as Jarvis Jones, and that UGA’s logjam at the position isn’t really what it appears to be.

“Coach Grantham explained how he planned to utilize Jordan, as well as some things on the depth chart that would open up some early playing time for him as long as he keeps working hard,” Jenkins said. “There are some guys in the mix at outside linebacker who are outgrowing the position. They are going to be moved more toward the line in the near future.”

If you had to ask me, I would think that Bama would be the choice for Jenkins, however, at this point, it is really a toss-up. Georgia is definitely in the mix and I think it is down to the Tide and the Dawgs. Regardless, make sure you follow me on Twitter, as I will put the announcement on their as soon as I hear - or just tune into FSS at 7:00pm EST.

Cotton Bowl Pick

Did anyone see that Orange Bowl coming. Come on. If you picked West Va to win, you were either a genius or an idiot. I guess, sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good. That is what may just happen in today's pick of tonight's AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic:

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Friday, January 6th, 2012 - 8:00pm EST - FOX

Cotton Bowl

#8 Kansas State Wildcats (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) vs. #6 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 SEC)

 Preview: In my opinion, this should have been the Sugar Bowl. Both of these teams had great seasons and both lost to top ten teams. In Arkansas' case, they only lost to the #1 and #2 teams in the nation. Regardless, the Cotton Bowl has a great match-up set for Friday night. Tyler Wilson and Arkansas bring in their high powered offense (#12th passing attack and #15 in points scored) against Collin Klein who's 26 scores were 2nd in the NCAA.

Pick: It is no secret that the Big 12 does not play defense like the SEC. In their 2 losses, KSU gave up 58 and 52 points. Against Arkansas, those numbers could be pretty similar. Arkansas, on the other hand, hung with Alabama and LSU until late in their games. This looks to be a high scoring game, but I like Arkansas by 10 because I think their defense gets a few stops.

ARK - 45 / KSU - 35

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Why Georgia's Offensive Line Was Exposed

Thoughout the season, Georgia was able to get by with their "patch-work" offensive line until the final two games of the season - when Georgia's OL faced two of the best defensive lines in college football in LSU and Michigan State.

With defensive lines full of future NFL prospects, Georgia's OL had trouble in both pass protection and opening lanes for the Georgia backs the entire game. In the Outback Bowl, Georgia's OL was dominated and MSU finished with 10+ tackles for loss - pretty bad.

Last night, one of my twitter followers asked about why Georgia's offensive line was man handled so badly. Well, the short answer is that Georgia played the entire year with 4 offensive guards and 1 center on their offensive line.

Following Trinton Sturdivant's injuries and Brent Benedict's transfer left Georgia in a very tough spot at tackle. Sturdivant and Benedict were looked on to be 2011's OT's with young guys, Watts Dantzler and Austin Long adding depth. However, the attrition left Georgia's OL coach, Will Friend, scrambling to put the best 5 offensive linemen on the field. The problem was that Georgia just had ZERO offensive tackles ready to play in the SEC. So, Friend put 2 guards (Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson) at tackle and let some younger guys (Burnette and Gates) play OG because experience was needed at OT.

Now, everyone remembers that nice graphic that came up earlier in the season - the one that showed that Georgia's OL was the heaviest in both the NCAA and NFL. Well, football fans, I'm going to tell you, that is a very deceving stat.

At center and offensive guard, guys can be big men with big guts. Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson are GREAT offensive guards. They are average to bad offensive tackles. Just look at their body types:

Justin Anderson & Cordy Glenn

Just to let you know, our reserves at OT both are right around 300 lbs. Our big time recruits at OT are right around 300 lbs. Guys who are 342 lbs and 338 lbs are offensive guards - because their job is to double team, move big men, and not have to be extremely athletic.

Offensive tackles are built differently because of what the position demands. 

You all have seen The Blindside I am sure, so you understand why the offensive tackle position is so important. You have to be athletic enough to take on DE's and OLB's who are on pass rush. These are guys who run 4.4's to 4.6's, so you know you have to be athletic to beat them to the point in your kick slide.

If you don't know what a kick slide is, below is a video that explains what the kick slide drill is and why it is important in pass protection.

So, just imagine if you will, 342 pound Justin Anderson and 338 poind Cordy Glenn in a kick slide drill vs. Gohlston from MSU - it would be pretty bad. They'd have to get a pretty good jump to beat a guy like Gohlston - now you know what "Bean" got about 100 procedure penalties this year.

Now, when it comes to run blocking, it is the exact same problem. Although these guys are big and can move you if they get to you, they are having to block some pretty athletic guys. At their size, Anderson and Glenn just do not have the full athletiscism neccesary to be able to be successful.

The good news, Georgia fans, is that Georgia has one of the best offensive tackle prospects in John Theus coming in for 2012. Theus and, another commit, Mark Beard will be expected to come in and compete with Dantlzer, Long, and DeBell. Out of those 5 guys, Georgia should be in a lot better situation at OT.

As for "Bean" and Cordy, I think these guys are DGD's. They were put in a position that they definitely were not comfortable with. Cordy is seen as a big time NFL prospect, so, showing that he can play OT is big for him. For as out of position as these guys were, Georgia still turned it around and they were able to contribute when the coaches needed them.

Todd Grantham Review - Comparing 2010 to 2011

Todd Grantham's Defense was much improved

There is no doubt that Todd Grantham's defense was one of the big reasons Georgia was able to go from 6-7 to SEC East Champion with a 10-4 record.

When you hire a new defensive coordinator, you understand understanding and attrition will effect how a defense performs in year 1. That is why in year 2 a defense sees a dramatic improvement. For Todd Grantham's 3-4, you could see it every game that players understood more and they played faster. 

Statistically, Grantham's unit was on of the top in the nation. Although we still have a few bowl games left, Grantham's unit will finish the year with a top 10 national ranking in total defense and passing defense, a top 15 ranking in rushing defense, and a top 25 ranking in scoring defense. Pretty incredible for a group who - last year - looked pretty lost at times. 

Let's take a look at the 2010 vs. 2011 Georgia Defensive Stats:

2010 vs. 2011 Georgia Defensive Stats

In case you don't want to look through the PDF, here are some of the highlights of improvement:

  • First Downs - 2010: 17.77/game - 2011: 13.79/game (Almost 4 less first downs per game!)
  • 3rd Down Conversion - 2010: 42% - 2011: 29% (AN INCREDIBLE TURN AROUND!)
  • Net Rush Yards: 2010: 147.23/game - 2011: 101.36/game (Almost a 50 yard swing per game)
  • Yards Per Attempt: 2010: 7.44 - 2011: 5.73 (Giving up less big plays than last year)

Those are the major highlights.

The main point is this: In every single facet of the defensive side of the ball, Georgia improved - and, sometimes, dramatically. 

If Mark Richt and Todd Grantham can keep a big majority of the players on the defensive side of the ball in Athens for another year, Georgia could really have a great opportunity to make a run with a very, very good defense.

Under Armour All-American Game Preview

UA All-American, Keith Marshall

In his last game before he dawns the red & black, the #1 RB in the nation, Keith Marshall, will be playing in tonight's Under Armour All-American Game in St. Pete. The game, which will be televised by ESPN at 7:30pm EST, will pit some of the top committed and uncommitted prospects in the nation against one another.

Marshall will be on the "White" team which will be coached by former NFL coach, Steve Mariucci. Here is what Marshall had to say about himself and the game this evening:

Marshall considers himself “a speed back with quickness and stuff,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m not really 100 percent healthy, but hopefully I’ll be able to show that.”

Marshall said he will still play in the 7:30 p.m. game on ESPN, “but I don’t know how much.”

Although Marshall is not 100% healthy, Dawg fans will still get a preview of one of their top prospects going against some really great competition. 

Joining Marshall on the White team are Georgia commits, OG John Atkins (#77) and DT Jonathan Taylor (#53). Other players that Georgia is in contention for that will be playing are: DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins, OT Avery Young, and Chaz Elder (and although he is picking, it is well known he is going to be picking USC tonight).

You can find the entire roster here or just tune in tonight! 

Your thoughts?

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