Wednesday, October 5, 2011
THE PACKING LIST: TENNESSEE
Alright, the DAWGS hit the road this week headed for Knoxville having won their SEC road opener and looking to wake up from the nightmare that has been the last two trips to Rocky Top. When you take a trip, nothing’s worse than getting where you’re going and looking for some thing you just KNEW you had packed, only to find that somehow you have left it at home. I know, right? Insert expletive here, quickly followed by hassle and headache. So, it’s time to find out if the DAWGS can win the first of a string of games that they’re “supposed to” and must win if they’re going to make a real push to the top of the SEC East. We know traveling can get a little hectic and it can be tough to always remember everything, so we humbly offer up this week’s packing list.
On his way to landing on the DAWGBEAST list, Boykin went head over heels in his attempt to house a kickoff return and wound up with a bent facemask and a couple of loose teeth for his efforts. Boykin stayed in the game, wound up a BEAST and got some dental repair work most ricky-tick this week to make sure he can do his thing this weekend. A little extra wire can’t hurt the campaign to keep #2 in the game, but neither will a well-fit mouthpiece. Mold it. Pack it. Wear it.
Four missed field goal attempts in the last two games for Walsh? Hell, I didn’t expect him to miss four all year unless they were from 55+. But, thems the facts. Confidence isn’t the problem. Walsh knows he’s got the goods, Coach Richt won’t hesitate to call on his veteran kicker again and deep down I think the DAWG Nation still expects Blair to make every kick he takes. But, just to be sure Walsh called in a little help from an old friend this week to help him sort out his swing and word has it that the kinks have been worked out. Let’s hope so. It may not be this week…but it could be…but somewhere down the line the DAWGS are really going to need Blair to drill one to save our wrinkly bulldawg asses. So, let’s make sure the accurate boots Blair has donned for so long that made almost every kick he attempted a foregone conclusion for those of us that make up the Nation find their way onto the truck before we head out on Friday. You know what, just go ahead and put ‘em in the cab.
*DEFENSIVE READING GLASSES*
I was not drunk the last time the DAWGS went to Knoxville and went down in a swirling firestorm of debilitating 3rd downs and long, naked bootlegs and Jonathan Crompton-Lane Kiffin flavored frustration, but you wouldn’t know it based on the resulting blackout that I have suffered surrounding those events. So much so that I had to refer to my own musings to remind myself of what a putrid ass kicking it really was. I’ve got big respect for Tyler Bray as a passer and even quipped following last year’s game in Athens that I sure was glad he hadn’t started for Tennessee or the result may have been entirely different. That respect leads directly to concern, especially when I recall what happened in 2009. That’s why the Grantham’s DAWGS cannot forget to pack their reading glasses. Based on the Vols rushing performances this season and the DAWGS ability to play the traditional run game, play-action (though it must be acknowledged) cannot be the colossal determining factor it was in 09. If Tennessee wants to take their chances on the bootleg this weekend, I hope Bray’s greeted by a shot to the chest from any one of our OLBs. This is a basic play and should be handled by the DAWGS defense as long as they READ THEIR KEYS and attack when they get the chance. Bray can run, but he’s not a runner and Georgia should contain and get after him whenever they can. If the DAWGS are disciplined and trust their eyes, they will lead them right to the football.
*SPECIAL TEAMS BOOM*
The one phase of the game that actually made the trip to Knoxville on the last visit was the special teams. Drew Butler averaged 49.8 yards per kick, Zach Renner blocked a punt, Walsh drilled a 52 yard field goal and Bam Boykin had a 100 yard kickoff return for touchdown on the DAWGS last visit to Rocky Top. When Georgia has won at Tennessee in recent years the special teams units have come through with an outstanding effort each time. This has been and can be the DAWGS not-so-secret weapon to put the hurt on the Vols and it needs to show up this weekend at Neyland. Special teams….a handful of plays that can change the game. Like a bolt from a clear blue sky. Boom…or maybe in the DAWGS case…Bam.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for this week. It’s a night game, and it is in the hills of Tennessee, so you know ‘shine won’t be hard to come by. Take a nip if you like, but no drinkin’ and drivin’ y’all. Safe travels, Nation.