Gutsy Performance From Hutson Mason
A determined Hutson Mason led the Bulldogs to victory in Atlanta. The redshirt junior engineered a 20 point comeback against the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, culminating in an overtime win. Making his first career start for the University of Georgia, Mason completed 22 out of 36 passes for 299 yards. The unfamiliar quarterback seemed far more comfortable in a hurry-up offense where the Bulldogs dictated the pace.
When Bulldog Nation found themselves in a 17-0 hole at the end of the first quarter, UGA seemed resigned to end the regular season on a low note. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson threw the Dawgs a curve ball with an aerial assault.
Dawgs Hunker Down Again
The Georgia defense hunkered down in the second half, leaving the door open for Bulldog Nation to make a comeback. After allowing four scoring drives in the first half, UGA surrendered just one touchdown during the remainder of regulation. Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense went to the passing well a little too often, as GT quarterback Vad Lee threw a costly interception that swung the momentum in Georgia’s favor.
The Final Frame/Overtime
Georgia seized victory on the power and determination of Todd Gurley. The Bulldogs’ leading tailback scored on consecutive possessions in OT, allowing Bulldog Nation to crush the hopes of Georgia Tech once again. TGII wrapped up the afternoon with 122 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.
Dawgs Finish 8-4. Gators Sink in Swamp.
Their win in week 14 means UGA finishes the regular season at 8-4. Due to the adversity and injuries the team had to overcome, eight wins is a number to be proud of. Dawg alum Will Muschamp can attest to that. The 4-8 Gators will not go bowling. Although this matter is off topic, I cannot taking a shot at Florida.
Where Will Georgia Go Bowling?
According to CBS Sports, Georgia is likely headed to the Music City Bowl in Nashville on December 30. If this prediction comes to fruition, the Dawgs will play Boston College before closing the book on 2013. On paper, one may think this paring favors Georgia. To quote the immortal Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend!
The Eagles are led by the nation’s top rusher, Andre Williams. Utilizing his dangerous combination of speed and power, Williams has become a legitimate Heisman candidate. UGA gave up nearly 600 yards rushing in their final two games of the regular season. Sounds like a recipe for a highlight reel.
Below is a preview of what may await Bulldog Nation. I hope the Dawgs do face Boston College. It would be interesting to see how the defense matches up with Andre Williams.
Upon Further Review…
UGA’s post season destination is uncertain. The Red and Black reports Georgia is likely going to the Gator Bowl against Michigan. If this occurs, Bulldog Nation should expect a recurring theme of a ton of points without much defense.
Mike Bobo Must Put the Game on Aaron Murray’s Shoulders
Georgia decided to run the football on the third down play preceding the botched snap that will live forever in Vanderbilt lure. I hate to play the role of Captain Hindsight in Georgia’s loss to the Dores, but I do not understand why offensive coordinator Mike Bobo did not give his senior quarterback Aaron Murray the opportunity to put Vandy away.
Aaron Murray did not play well in Nashville, but, he is Georgia’s best offensive weapon. #11 should have been given the ball in crunch time. Instead, Murray was forced to try and save the Dawgs’ backside when UGA’s special teams imploded for the umpteenth time.
Todd Grantham Signed a Contract Extension in June of 2012
Bulldog Nation is still waiting on the Georgia defensive coordinator/associate head coach to earn the money he received. For better or worse, Todd Grantham’s contract runs through 2015. If Georgia’s defense does not improve over the second half of the campaign, UGA should consider how much a buyout would cost.
Injuries Have Ruined Georgia’s Championship Chances
While defense and special teams have been a constant issue, the injury bug has been flat out cruel to the Bulldogs. Wide receiver Chris Conley, as well as safety Josh Harvey-Clemons both suffered an injury during the loss to Vanderbilt. It seems if it were not for bad luck, Bulldog Nation would have no luck at all this year. One cannot grieve forever.
The Georgia players and coaching staff have to exhaust every avenue to turn this season around. Bulldog Nation can strive to finish the season 9-3, or struggle to the lowest tier Southeastern Conference bowl game tie-in. At present, enjoy the week off, and take solace in other teams beating up on each other.
Nightmare in Nashville
Georgia’s trip to Vanderbilt resulted in pure terror for Bulldog Nation. The encounter between the Bulldogs and Commodores turned disastrous in the fourth quarter, as the Dawgs gave up a 13 point lead in the final frame. UGA fell to Vanderbilt by a final score of 31-27.
Sex appeal to ease the pain of a 1-2 record in October.
Special Teams Miscue Recapped
Georgia’s special teams woes continued to haunt them in week eight. The Bulldogs were leading by three with less than three minutes to go in the football game. The Dawgs were forced to punt, but the punter never got an opportunity to kick the ball away. For the second time this season, a botched special teams snap contributed to UGA losing.
Aaron Murray: Countless Records, Zero Championships
The worst part of Georgia’s lackluster performance against Vandy was the season altering implications attached to it. When Georgia finished September 3-1, Bulldog Nation was poised to compete for a championship. The month of Halloween has altered the course of Georgia’s voyage completely. Instead of sailing towards the SEC championship, the Dawgs are 1-2 in October. The Bulldog boat is barely afloat.
With the injury list mounting, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray had one of the least productive outings of his Georgia career. The fifth-year signal caller managed only 114 yards through the air, and did not throw a touchdown pass. The silver lining for the senior Bulldog is he surpassed Tim Tebow for the most total yards in Southeastern Conference history.
Dear Georgia Coaching Staff, Hire a Special Teams Coach, Now.
On the first day of 2013, SB Nation reported the Bulldogs would not hire a special teams coach for the 2013 season. Furthermore, Georgia head coach Mark Richt stated he would educate himself more on the fundamentals of kicking, to help out with that aspect of the game.
Allow me to pose a question. Does the long snapper hiking the football back to the kicker constitute fundamental? If so, UGA’s head coach needs to go back to the drawing board.
I love Coach Richt, and my faith in Georgia football will not be shaken. However, it is time to hire a special teams coach. The Dawgs have had bad snaps, blocked kicks, and an overarching issue with the kicking game all season long. If I were UGA athletic director Greg McGarity, hiring a special teams coach would be a demand, not a request.
Mercifully, the Dawgs have an extra week to get up off the mat. Following the bye, Georgia will travel to Jacksonville for a game against the equally reeling Florida Gators.
Larry Munson Calls the Dawgs
In 1966 Larry Munson was working in West Palm Beach, Florida, covering spring training for the Atlanta Braves. According to Wikipedia, Munson was browsing the Atlanta Journal, (now known as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) when he noticed a blurb about Georgia Bulldog radio play-by-play man Ed Thilenius leaving The University of Georgia to take a broadcasting position with the Atlanta Falcons.
Larry Munson seized the opportunity and called the UGA athletic director to express interest in being the new voice radio voice of Georgia football. He was quickly hired. Despite the location of his new job, Munson continued living in Tennessee to maintain his Rod & Gun Club television show. Larry Munson resided in Nashville until 1978 when he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work as a reporter for the Georgia Radio Network.
A Match Made In Bulldog Heaven
Larry Munson’s distinct voice set the tone for UGA football for over 40 years. Former Georgia sideline reporter Loran Smith told the Gwinnett Daily Post that Munson was cut from a different mold than the sportswriters of today. Larry Munson was a master at his craft while openly rooting for Georgia, which is one of the many reasons Munson will forever be revered by Bulldog Nation.
Larry Munson’s Favorite Calls of All-Time
Rather than opining about personal favorite Larry Munson moments, it is best to track down Munson’s fondest bellows according to the memoirs he left behind. The historic memories that follow can be found in an ESPN Insider CFB Nation article written by David Ching on November 21, 2011.
Larry Munson’s ten favorite calls are chronicled in the article, which is written according to Munson’s autobiography, “From Herschel to Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson. For the purposes of this blog, his top five calls are remembered.
5. Sugar Falling From the Sky/Hunker Down!
Larry Munson’s work on the Georgia/Auburn game in ’82 has likely been brought up during every UGA football season since it occurred on November 13, 1982. The Dawgs put on their rally cleats to stage a comeback and grab the from the Auburn Tigers. Munson made it sound as if the Bulldogs were hanging on for dear life.
“I know I’m asking a lot, you guys, but hunker it down one more time!” UGA responded by stopping Auburn on fourth down, which led to an observation which will live forever in Georgia football lure. “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky.” Hear the call at larrymunson.com.
4. My God a Freshman
I regret that I was not conceived yet, so that I could at least lay claim to being alive in some form when Herschel Walker announced his arrival in Athens. It was on September 6, 1980 and the Dawgs found themselves trailing the Tennessee Volunteers.
Enter freshman running back Herschel Walker. Larry Munson’s rousing reaction to Herschel’s heroics soon followed. “He’s running all over people! Oh, you, Herschel Walker. My God almighty, he ran right through two men. They had him dead-away inside the nine. Herschel Walker went 16 yards. He drove right over orange shirts, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!“ Hear the call.
3. An Olympic Effort
Florida Gators football is nauseating. From the obnoxious Gator chomp celebration, to the ridiculous statue of Tim Tebow, everything about the swamp sucks. In 1975, the Bulldogs used some trickery to pry a win from the jaws of the Gators. With Georgia in a 7-3 hole, UGA head coach Vince Dooley called a reverse pass.
To the delight of UGA fans, Larry Munson roared during the ensuing touchdown which propelled Georgia to a 10-7 victory over UF. “Washington caught it, thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, and ran out of his shoes right down the middle 80 yards! Gator Bowl rocking, stunned, the girders are bending now. Look at the score!” Hear the call.
The final two calls will be remembered in part III of our tribute to Larry Munson. We will also share a bit of personal recollection on what impression the Bulldog legend left on every Georgia fan who heard him call a football game.
Steve Spurrier: Head Dawg Catcher Since 1963
Stephen Orr Spurrier began his collegiate football career at Florida in 1963. He was the starting quarterback for the Gators from 1964-1966, and won the ’66 Heisman Trophy. During his four years as a player in Gainesville, Florida had two wins and two losses against the Georgia Bulldogs.
1979: The Ole’ Ball Coach Could Not Sting the Dawgs as a Yellow Jacket
Steve Spurrier was the quarterback coach at Georgia Tech in 1979. During his lone season coaching the Tech quarterbacks in Atlanta, the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Jackets 16-3. Bulldog Nation’s rivalry with coach Spurrier went on a ten-year hiatus after that, as the ole’ ball coach spent the next ten college football seasons at Duke. He began his time with the Blue Devils as an offensive coordinator in 1980 and ’81, until he was named head coach in 1982.
1990: The Gator Went Home to His Swamp
December 31, 1989 would turn out to be an ominous day to be a Georgia fan because it was the date that Steve Spurrier was hired as the new head coach of the Florida Gators. Coach Spurrier was hot off of leading Duke to an Atlantic Coast Conference title in 1989, and he brought his healthy disdain for Georgia with him back to Gainesville.
Steve Spurrier spent 12 seasons at the helm in Gainesville making life miserable for Georgia fans everywhere. He compiled an 11-1 record against the Bulldogs while on the sidelines at Florida. During one particularly horrible encounter in 1995, Spurrier and his Gators ate the Bulldogs alive by a final count of 52-17. When asked his reason for hanging “half a hundred” on UGA, Spurrier crowed, “We heard no one had ever done that before.”
1997: The Bulldogs Finally Beat Steve Spurrier
Entering the 1997 season, The University of Georgia faithful had endured seven straight years of losing to Steve Spurrier and Florida. As we summarized in an article on the history of the Georgia-Florida Classic, the Bulldogs got the better of Steve Spurrier as a coach at long last on November 1, 1997, when Georgia defeated Florida 37-17. The win was undoubtedly Mike Bobo’s biggest victory as a player at UGA.
Coach Spurrier would go on to build a new four-game winning streak against Georgia before he departed for the Washington Redskins and the National Football League. After two seasons as a head coach in the pros, Spurrier would quickly opt to return to the college game. Spurrier’s rough NFL stint is quickly summed up by the video below.
2005-2012: SpurrierTakes South Carolina To New Heights
Steve Spurrier was announced as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecoks on November 23, 2004. Since his arrival in Columbia, Spurrier has led the Gamecocks to an SEC East title, beaten a number one ranked Alabama squad, and garnered multiple top ten rankings for the previously mediocre South Carolina football team.
2013: The Latest Chapter Unfolds
The ole’ ball coach has continued to be the bane of Bulldog Nation’s existence. South Carolina has beaten Georgia four times in the eight years that Spurrier has been the head coach at USC. If the Gamecocks can fight off the Bulldogs for a fourth straight season, they will be the early front-runner to win the SEC East this year.
The Georgia Bulldogs Cannot Afford to Start 0-2
When Georgia began the season with two straight loses a couple of years ago, the Bulldogs began the campaign ranked number 19 in the 2011 preseason polls after a 6-7 season in 2010. At present, the Bulldogs’ goal is to win a championship. For UGA to have a chance to earn a championship of any kind in on the gridiron in 2013, the Dawgs must defeat Steve Spurrier this weekend.
The task is easier said than done. Steve Spurrier has a record of 15-5 against the Georgia Bulldogs since he put on his head coaching visor. It may be too early to pronounce the Bulldogs’ season on the line in week two, but this game could not be more important to the immediate future of Georgia football.
The Third Time is the Charm
Georgia will win the SEC East for a third straight year. The Bulldogs are led by fifth-year senior signal caller Aaron Murray, and the Dawgs look to have a bad bark on the offensive side of the ball. With five starters returning on the offensive line and three more lineman with college football experience, Georgia figures to have one of the best lines in the country.
Furthermore, we are entering year number two for the dominate rushing duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall who together ran for 2,144 yards last season. It is safe to assume that Georgia will have no trouble putting points on the board.
An Examination of the Competition (In Order of Projected Finish) The final SEC East standings will look exactly the way they did in 2012. Florida will finish second because Will Muschamp will give his roster nightmares with his terrifying glare if the Gators lose too many games. An example of this (hilariously) horrifying look can be seen in the video below. Along with the motivation of the Muschamp death stare, the Florida Gators have a very talented defense that will leave the opposition afraid to enter the swamp.
Nothing to Crow About
Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks will finish third, because the Ole’ Ball Coach will not have enough bullets for his fun n’ gun offense. Despite welcoming back the fearsome Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina will be without Ace Sanders and Marcus Lattimore, who are now both in the National Football League.
Vanderbilt is Improving
The Vanderbilt Commodores finished 2012 with nine wins, which is the Dore’s highest total since 1915. The Commodores may very well open the season ranked in the preseason polls. Even so, Vanderbilt simply does not have the athletes to defeat the top teams in the Southeastern Conference. James Franklin is a good coach, not a miracle worker.
The Tigers Have Been Tamed
The Missouri Tigers attempted to make a splash in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers were roaring when Sheldon Richardson called out Georgia for playing “old man football.” But, after a 2-6 finish in Southeastern Conference play, the Tigers have yet to make a ripple in the SEC pool. The Tigers figure to have another sub-par campaign this year, as the transition from the Big 12 has proved difficult. Missouri finishes fifth in the East, and the biggest question in the “Show Me State” this year may be whether or not Gary Pinkel keeps his job beyond the upcoming season.
Tennessee is Going to Hit an Iceberg
New Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is about to set sail on his maiden voyage as the captain of the Volunteer ship. But the boat has taken on water before it can even leave the dock. The leak that I am referring to is Tennessee’s schedule this year. The Vols play Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Oregon in a six week stretch that may be one of the most difficult schedules in recent memory. The folks in Rocky Top have not had much to sing about on the gridiron lately, and that will not change in 2013. Tennessee will finish sixth in the SEC East.
Another Rebuilding Year in Kentucky Finally we come to the bottom of the barrel in what is a very top heavy division. The Kentucky Wildcats have brought in Mark Stoops from Arizona, but the new head coach inherits a team that lost ten games in 2012. Mark Stoops is the brother of the Oklahoma Sooners head coach nicknamed “Big game Bob.” That pedigree will not save him from the Bluegrass blues. Kentucky is a basketball school now and forever.
Sometimes Statistics Do Not Tell the Whole Story
Richard Samuel had only 18 carries in his final season at the University of Georgia. The senior Bulldog fullback was once a five star recruit and a Parade All-American in high school. In his last two years of high school football, Richard Samuel rushed for a total of 2,771 yards and scored 43 touchdowns. In addition, Samuel recorded 160 tackles and five sacks on the defensive side of the ball. With those statistics in mind, it would be easy to consider Samuel’s time between the hedges as a disappointment. After all, Richard had just 214 career carries at Georgia for a total of 833 yards and four touchdowns. These numbers are not at all indicative of what has defined Samuel’s contributions to the UGA football team.
Richard Samuel Made Sacrifices for the Good of Georgia Football
Richard Samuel should be remembered as a Damn Good Dawg. Samuel was mister unselfish at Georgia, as he was always willing to switch positions to help his team, and his teammates, get better. According to the Macon Telegraph, Richard Samuel and Jarvis Jones formed a potent linebacker combination at Georgia football practice in 2010. However, Samuel never played a snap on defense in Athens because injuries at the running back position dictated that he move back to offense.
UGA Running Back Richard Samuel Wanted to Contribute More on the Field
Richard Samuel does not have any hard feelings about how his time between the hedges played out. The Macon Telegraph reveals that Samuel is a little bothered he did not make a bigger impact on the field for the Georgia Bulldogs, but he does not blame anyone involved with UGA football for the way his college career turned out. Samuel says, “It’s been bits and pieces, here and there. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything consistent to help the team.”
Richard Samuel always does what is best for Georgia football.
Richard Samuel is One of the Finest Guys to Ever Come to the Georgia Program
If Richard Samuel is concerned about leaving a lasting impression, he needs only to consult coach Richt. Mark Richt told the Macon Telegraph, “I can’t say enough good about Richard Samuel. He’s a very valuable part of the team, and he’s one of the finest guys that’s come through the program.” Richard Samuel’s days as a Bulldog have been marked by his immense talent and character, because he has put the needs of his team ahead of his own personal goals.
Richard Samuel enrolled at Georgia at the very young age of 16. If I were in his position at that age I would have failed out by the age of 18, and that is without the daily grind of major college football. As far as his accomplishments on the gridiron, I will most remember #22 for carrying Gators on his back as he helped Georgia defeat Florida in 2011. As for what the future holds for Richard Samuel, if he wants to try his hand at the next level he will likely be able to get his foot in the door of an NFL training camp. If pro football is not in his plans, Samuel certainly has the character and work ethic to succeed in life after being a Georgia Bulldog.
Georgia Versus Florida for First Place in the SEC East
This Saturday afternoon promises to be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, as the Georgia Bulldogs try to turn back the gridiron challenge of the undefeated Florida Gators. Florida is the number two ranked team in the Bowl Championship Series, and the Gators are arguably the hottest team in all of college football right now. Conversely, Georgia is coming off an uninspiring victory against the Kentucky Wildcats. On the bright side, the Bulldogs are once again in control of their fate in the SEC East after the Gators chomped on the South Carolina Gamecocks last weekend.
The Florida-Georgia Classic The artist formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” underwent a name change in light of all the drunken debauchery that has taken place in Jacksonville over the years. There is no specific trophy given out to the winner of the game, but maybe a prize should be given to the university that has the least amount of students arrested.
The History of the Georgia-Florida Football Classic The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have shared a mutual disdain on the football field for almost 100 years. The rivalry began in 1915, where it played out in a number of different locations in Georgia and Florida respectively. The game has been permanently held in Jacksonville since 1933, and has been contested there every year with the exception of ’94 and ’95 because of stadium remodeling.
Georgia needs to hit Florida hard to set the tone on Saturday.
The two universities cannot even be civil long enough to agree on a series record because Georgia counts a game contested in 1904, even though Florida argues they were not established as a university until 1906. Since we are a Georgia blog, we will stand by the Bulldogs’ claim of leading the overall series with a record of 48 wins, 40 losses, and two ties.
1942: Widest Margin of Victory in the History of the Georgia-Florida Series The most one-sided affair in the history of this match-up occurred way back in 1942. At the time, Georgia featured a supreme backfield of Frank Sinkwhich and Charley Trippi. As for Florida, the Gators lost the majority of their most experienced players that year because they were serving in World War II. Georgia dominated the game, mauling Florida by a final count of 75-0. Frank Sinkwhich captured the 1942 Heisman Trophy, and Charley Trippi is universally remembered as one of the best athletes in the history of Georgia football.
1964: Vince Dooley Brings Georgia Consistent Success in Clashes with Florida Upon becoming the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs in 1964, Vince Dooley inherited a team that had lost ten out of its last twelve football games against the Florida Gators. At the beginning of his coaching tenure in Athens, Dooley was only able to achieve moderate success against the hated foes from Florida, as his record started with a pedestrian three wins, three losses, and one tie during his first eight seasons between the hedges. However, Coach Dooley found a way to change his fortune against UF, as the Bulldogs would feast on the Gators in 14 of the remaining 19 games that Vince Dooley was patrolling the sidelines.
1980: Georgia Wide Receiver Lindsay Scott Runs for His Life The Georgia-Florida football game has produced some of the most unique moments in Georgia football history. 1980 in particular provided what is quite possibly the most unforgettable play-by-play in Georgia history, as incomparable Georgia announcer Larry Munson pleaded with Georgia wide receiver Lindsay Scott to keep running after then Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue completed a pass to Scott as the Dawgs were trailing by a point with 90 seconds left in the contest. The result saved Georgia’s season, as the Bulldogs prevailed by a final score of 26-21.
The meeting in 1980 also featured a superhuman effort from legendary Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Walker carried the ball 37 times during the game, for a whopping total of 287 yards, which may explain some of the reason that Lindsay Scott found himself so open on that fateful play.
1985: Georgia Strips the Gators of the Number One Rank in the Nation
One of the most satisfying aspects of defeating a bitter rival is crushing their championship aspirations en route to the triumph. This was precisely the case when the Bulldogs met number one ranked Florida in in this chapter of the storied feud. In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, Georgia had two first freshman tailbacks (Tim Worley and Keith Henderson) carry the ball for over 100 yards in a 24-3 stunner over the previously unblemished Gators. The loss kept Florida out of national championship consideration, as they finished #5 in the Associated Press poll. (Note: The weather was rainy during that ball game. Does anybody know a good rain dance?)
1997: Georgia Finally Beats a Steve Spurrier Coached Football Team As the Bulldogs began the 1997 season, Florida head coach Steve Spurrier had been torturing the Georgia Bulldogs since he started as the Florida Gators head football coach in 1990. This included an instance in 1995 when Spurrier’s Gators put 52 points on the scoreboard in Athens because Spurrier wanted to be the first visiting coach to accomplish that. Spurrier stated, “We heard no one had ever done that before.”
Steve Spurrier has never called a play he did not like.
When these two teams squared off in 1997, Bulldog Nation was desperate to shut the brash Gator coach up. Dawg fans finally had their day on November 1 of that year. Former Georgia quarterback and current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo led Georgia to a 37-17 win over Florida. According to Sports Illustrated, this game was Florida’s worst regular season loss in nearly five years. Even coach Spurrier had to admit that the better team won that day as he remarked, “Mike Bobo had some good passes and they blocked better than we did. I don’t know what else to say except they were better than us.” 1997 was the only year that Georgia ever beat Steve Spurrier while he was the coach at Florida.
2007: Georgia’s Impromptu End Zone Celebration
When Florida and Georgia renewed their annual rivalry in 2007, the Bulldogs had just one victory over the Gators since 1997. Mark Richt and his pack of Dawgs had grown tired of being Gator bait, and Georgia was ravenous for anything that may change their luck in Jacksonville. When Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno scored a touchdown at the six minute mark of the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead, Bulldog Nation proceeded to party like it was 1980. Thankfully, Georgia maintained their momentum and found a way to win the football game, because losing after all those shenanigans would have been embarrassing. (Celebration highlighted at the 2:12 mark.)
All Aboard the Mark Richt Mediocrity Express
The forthcoming battle with Florida will determine the fate of the 2012 Georgia Bulldog football team. Either the Dawgs will bite, scratch, and claw their way to a win, or Georgia will simply roll over as the Bulldogs take yet another signature loss, allowing the Gators to clinch the SEC East. Regardless of what happens for the rest of the regular season, this one game will define the legacy of this Georgia football team.
In order for the Bulldogs to be victorious, the Mark Richt mediocrity express must come to a screeching halt this Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville. If Georgia is able to pick up the victory, it will be the first time in over two decades that the Bulldogs earn consecutive wins over Florida.
Week three in SEC football brings about a big match-up in the East, Alabama likely picking the bones of a skinned Hog in the West, and Missouri trying to rebound from an old man attack. It is difficult to pick a side in Saturday’s SEC East battle between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators, but the slight advantage goes to Good Ole’ Rocky Top.
Derrick Dooley could not have scripted a better start to the Vols’ 2012 campaign. Tennessee is 2-0, and ranked in the AP top 25 for the first time in four years. If Tyler Bray can stay healthy, the Volunteers will be a factor in the SEC East race if they can find a way to beat the Gators on Saturday night. Whomever comes up short will have a big hole to climb out of in the race to Atlanta.
The Georgia Bulldogs have a much simpler task ahead of them Saturday evening, as the Florida Atlantic Owls come to town. Georgia welcomes back Chase Vasser and Sanders Commings to a defense that does not need any help stopping FAU. It will be important for the returning Dawgs to play at a high level quickly because the Bulldogs resume Southeastern Conference play next week.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off one of the most embarrassing things to happen to the program since Bobby Petrino wrecked his motorcyle with a female employee on the back. The Hogs lost at home to Louisiana Monroe in overtime after blowing a 14 point fourth quarter lead. This week, Arkansas welcomes the #1 ranked Crimson Tide into town. Upsetting Alabama seemed highly improbable at best, and that was before the Warhawks visited Fayetteville. Continue reading →
Week two in college football was a put up or shut up week for a number of teams in the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M had the perfect opportunity to make a big splash in their first SEC match-up with the Gators. Had the game ended at halftime, the Aggies would have done a cannon ball into the SEC pool. Unfortunately for the “12th Man” in College Station, Texas A&M could not sustain their high level of play for 60 minutes and the Aggies were eventually Gator Bait. Using that pun makes me feel dirty.
Todd Grantham is a fantastic defensive coordinator. If Mark Richt is even considering making this current contract his last in Athens, he would be doing every Georgia fan a favor by keeping Mr. Grantham around as the successor to the Georgia throne. The transition would be seamless and it would be a perfect fit.
Staying with defense, Jarvis Jones had a Heisman level performance on Saturday night. When the season began, I did not think he could top the high level of play he reached last year. I was wrong. Jones has been dominant thus far in 2012, and he The Bulldogs will certainly be among the best defenses in the country when the suspended starters return.
On the other side of the ball Mike Bobo is quietly developing into a great offensive coordinator. Bobo’s commitment to the run game and use of the play-action pass to slow down the fast Mizzou defense was a great strategy. Statistics rarely lie, and the Georgia offensive attack is poised to score a lot of points against a favorable schedule. Mark Richt should be commended for the way he has handled the offensive coordinator position because his loyalty is now paying off.
In other SEC East competition, the Vanderbilt Commodores suffered a deflating loss against Northwestern. If head coach James Franklin wants anyone outside of Nashville to take Vanderbilt seriously, the Commodores have to start winning on a consistent basis. Vanderbilt has a tough road to travel following an 0-2 start.
Alabama and LSU each kept on rolling. In some ways, watching these two teams steam roll everyone else is disheartening, but credit must be given where it is due. LSU and Alabama are firmly perched at the top of the college football mountain, leaving everyone else to try to knock them off.