Sunday, September 25, 2011
GEORGIA’S CORNERBACKS – Sanders Commings, Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith were in the hip pocket of the Rebs receivers all afternoon. Ole Miss completed a few balls into zoned coverage, but when the DAWGS were locked up in man completions were hard to come by for the Rebels.
ISAIAH CROWELL – Georgia’s stellar freshman continues to impress, setting career bests with 147 yards on 30 carries. Crowell has a “sudden-ness” about him that, combined with his vision, makes him a pleasure to watch.
MALCOLM MITCHELL – Mitchell has shown to be electric for the DAWGS so far this season and he did not disappoint Saturday in Oxford. The freshman from Valdosta plays beyond his years. Mitchell slyly created separation on his deep ball that would make you swear he was wearing number eight and had a different last name. Pair that effort with a couple of key catches that moved the chains for the DAWGS and you get a very productive three catches for 93 yards.
Well, how does .500 feel, DAWG Nation? One SEC road game played...one SEC road game won. Dig it. Let's look back and see if the DAWGS followed our road trip packing check list for Ole Miss.
FIRST ITEM: *RUNNING GAME* CHECK
The DAWGS rushed the football 56 times for over 200 yards against the Rebs. We called for Isaiah Crowell to get at least 20 carries in the game and that's exactly what happened as Georgia's freshman toted the rock a career-high 30 times for 147 yards, averaging right at 5 yards per carry.
SECOND ITEM: *ISAIAH’S FLAK JACKET* CHECK
Clearly there was no issues here as Isaiah saddled up and carried the mail for the DAWGS on Saturday.
THIRD ITEM: *BALL SECURITY* CHECK
Well, the DAWGS did turn the ball over once with a pick. Aaron Murray went through his read progression, then went back to his first read...which you should never do...and as a result, the ball was batted around and Ole Miss came down with it for the interception. However, Georgia also had two takeaways in the game and won the turnover battle. The DAWGS backs also displayed great ball security despite taking some pretty good hits during the game. The DAWGS took care of the ball and just like we said, "...the production on offense should take care of itself."
FOURTH ITEM: *PRESSURE FROM THE DEFENSE* CHECK
Check, check and check. We said that the DAWGS needed to put the squeeze on the Ole Miss offense as a whole, and if that pressure led to sacks, all the better. Well, that's exactly what happened. The D-line got a good push up the middle and played the run well, the backers flowed to the football and the secondary were in the hip pockets of the Rebs receivers all day closely contesting nearly every ball thrown. The result? The DAWGS allowed only 34 yards rushing, 183 total yards, forced two Bacarri Rambo interceptions and, oh yeah, collected four sacks.
FIFTH ITEM: *PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE* CHECK
Georgia knew they should be able to run the ball against Ole Miss and that's exactly what the did. Georgia rushed the ball 50+ times for 200+ yards and wore down the Rebs. Murray was efficient in the pass game and spread the ball around to seven different receivers on the day.
SIXTH ITEM: *EXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP* CHECK
Being the first road trip of the year, you can never know exactly what to expect. The DAWGS needed leadership from their veteran players and that's just what happened. Although just a second year starter, Murray led a young offense to an efficient and productive afternoon, hitting 17 of 26 passes for 268 yards and two scores. On defense, the DAWGS had a few players that have played a lot of football in the SEC and it showed as Abry Jones and Cornelius Washington anchored the front seven, while Rambo locked down the back end reeling in two interceptions for the DAWGS.
All in all, Oxford proved to be a very productive trip for Georgia. The DAWGS got that first conference road win out of the way, and that is huge with Knoxville looming in a couple of weeks where Georgia has not won since 2005. Murray put another notch in his belt as the leader of this team and the defense showed how you go to work and get things done when you head out on the road.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
So the DAWGS hit the road this week headed for Oxford looking for a win in their SEC road opener. 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. Well, Georgia can’t afford that kind of goof up this week against the Rebels or this season could quickly combust into a “flaming ball of WTF?” for everyone in DAWG Nation. 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.
Road games in the SEC are never a walk-over, regardless of the opponent, but one of the time-tested tempers for the heat of an opponent’s stadium full of rabid fans is being able to rush the football. For Georgia, that means good fullback play. Bruce Figgins and Zander Ogletree need to do their part to help lighten the load on the O-line and clear the road for the DAWGS feature backs. Isaiah Crowell and a returning Richard Samuel should look to have a big day against a Rebs defense that allowed 281 rushing yards and three TDs on the ground to Vanderbilt last week. Since Samuel is just getting back into things this week, look for Crowell to get his first 20 carry game for the DAWGS and that could result in some big numbers.
*ISAIAH’S FLAK JACKET*
After Crowell got dinged for a second straight week after not wearing his rib protection on Saturday versus Coastal Carolina, Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon made it known this week that the talented freshman won’t make that mistake again saying, "The bottom line is he's got to wear it until I tell him he doesn't have to." When you’re running hard it certainly helps to be able to breathe, so for goodness sake let’s make sure this piece of equipment makes its way onto the truck this week.
Before the DAWGS can beat Ole Miss, they must first be sure to not beat themselves. Clearly, this was a lesson that should have been painfully learned against the Chickens two weeks ago. Secure the football, make good decisions in the passing game and the production on offense should take care of itself.
*PRESSURE FROM THE DEFENSE*
There has been a lot of talk this week about Georgia’s sack total up to this point in the season and you can count me among those that would certainly like to see the other team’s quarterback in the dirt on every play. I believe in a dictating defense and (as a Raiders fan) I completely agree with Al Davis when he says “The other team’s quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.” With that said, sacks aren’t everything and I’m not talking strictly about rushing the passer. What the DAWGS really need to do this week is apply pressure to the Rebs O across the board with an in-your-face physical presence and an aggressive attitude that will disrupt their timing and force errors which will hopefully lead to turnovers. Force mistakes from a mistake prone team. Ole Miss threw FIVE interceptions last week in Nashville, so create your own luck DAWGS and GATA.
*PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE*
The last thing the DAWGS need to do on Saturday is get all schizophrenic in their game plan. I’m looking at you offense. We’ve already mentioned that we see a clear opportunity to run the football against the Rebs, and that should open up the play-action passing game and shots down the field, but the key is that the DAWGS stick with the plan. Ole Miss is at home, their coach is under attack and they will come out playing hard. The Rebels have SEC caliber players too and early on the sledding may not be so easy, but if the DAWGS just keep pounding the rock it will break and Georgia should be able to take control of the game.
This is probably the situation where Coach Richt is hoping he was right for playing Boise State in the season opener. He wanted to get his team used to playing in a big time environment with a high level of intensity and the nation watching. Well that may not be the case with an early kick in Oxford Saturday, but the idea is…basically…the same. Richt wanted to find out who his leaders are and who can keep their head and make plays when it matters. This is where your upper classmen and players with experience must take control when things get tough and lead the way. As we said above, road games inside the conference are never easy. If Georgia is going to begin to reclaim control of this season, and there is still plenty out there to be claimed for the DAWGS, it must start on the road this week in Oxford. With a team that is counting on production and explosive plays from a long list of young players it is imperative that the guys that have been there, done that, got the t-shirt and then returned it because it didn’t fit show the young pups how to get it done away from home.
So, I guess that’s it. Make sure these bags here in the front get on the trucks first, don’t forget your wallet and for goodness sake…hit the bathroom before we leave. Safe travels, Nation.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
The game plan is a little different this year Nation, in that I will only be acknowledging DAWGS that go full-on BEAST after victories this season. I mean winning is what it’s all about after all.
Damn it’s nice to get a win.
**BLAIR WALSH – 56 yard field goal and a fumble recovery – Blair didn’t kick all week as he battled a muscle strain and had to shake off the rust a bit, but his swing was pure from long range as he drilled a career-long 56 yard field goal and drove the ball well on kickoffs.
**SHAWN WILLIAMS – Williams moved down into the box and did a good job at linebacker showing the heart of a BEAST, being the first in line to do whatever he can do to help the team. I can’t help but think of the flexibility this gives the defense going forward. I see visions of Thomas Davis wreaking havoc in opponent’s backfields and I just get all giddy thinking about the match-up advantages the DAWGS can create as we go down the schedule.
**TAVARRES KING – 6 catches for 65 yards and 2 scores – TK seems to be getting more comfortable each week as the primary option in the Georgia passing game. There are plenty of young and talented playmakers that are beginning to show for the DAWGS, but those pups need a leader and a steadying presence on the field. If King continues his solid play it will bode well for the offense.
**ISAIAH CROWELL – 16 carries for 86 yards and a TD – Crowell once again showed a nice burst, balance and great patience in the run game, as well as a good set of hands in the passing game. So far so good for the DAWGS freshman as he continues to find his legs in the world of big time college football.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
For your entertainment, we present some cold hard facts brought to us by our friends at Coaches By the Numbers concerning Coach Richt's seat temperature, as well as further proof of our long held belief here at the BEAST that success starts with the defense. READ IT.
If Coach Richt and the DAWGS are ever going to turn things around it will have to start in the defensive huddle.