South Carolina 38, UGA 35 – Bulldogs Suffer Bitter Defeat

hutson_mason

Georgia’s championship hopes may rest on the arm of Hutson Mason.

Georgia Train Wrecks Right On Schedule
It is hard to find more staunch supporters of Georgia football and Mark Richt than us here at UGAMADDAWG.  Still, there was a disheartening sense of familiarity in Georgia’s performance on Saturday night.  UGA has a developed a laundry list of signature losses, which make this past weekend’s disappointment more difficult to swallow.

If it Were not for bad Luck…
The above is not intended to blame Georgia UGA head coach Mark Richt.  Coach Richt did not advise Hutson Mason to redefine intentional grounding in a single play.  Coaching had nothing to do with Marshall Morgan missing two critical field goal attempts.  Sometimes if it were not for bad luck, Georgia would not have any luck at all.

There are a lot of people that would take issue with the argument above.  After all, if a team executes properly, they need not concern themselves with luck.  The fact is, Bulldog Naton had ample opportunity to leave Carolina with a win and they could not.  Still, faith in the Dawgs must never waiver and Georgia pride is not based on wins and losses.

Unintended Intentional Grounding
Bulldog signal-caller Hutson Mason made a terrible mistake resulting in him getting flagged for intentional grounding on first and goal from the four yard line.  There is a lot of football left to be played, but Hutson Mason needs to step up if he does not want his Georgia career to be remembered for the game changing gaffe he made last night.  While I cannot speak to the accuracy of the call in question, the less left up to referee’s discretion, the better.

Pruitt Serves up Prune Juice
I have no doubt Jeremy Pruitt will succeed in his mission to rebuild UGA’s defense.  With that said, week three was a harsh reminder of how far the Dawg defense has to go.  With the exception of one big play, the Bulldog D was nothing short of terrible. Still, growing pains are to be expected.  Jeremy Pruitt has been the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia for two games.  Practice makes perfect, but there is no way to simulate game speed.

Todd Gurley led an impressive Georgia rushing attack again.  TGIII carried the ball 20 times for 131 yards and a touchdown.  If the zebras had not made a very questionable holding call, Gurley would have run for nearly 200 yards.  The Bulldogs have the pieces in place to be special, but now they must work to improve every time out.

Steve Spurrier Strikes Again
The college football calendar is not yet a month old.  Bulldog Nation always has cause for concern when the Ole’ Ball Coach comes calling, because coach Spurrier won his 16th game against Georgia this past weekend.  According to the AL, this total marks the most wins against Georgia by any coach.

The Bulldogs welcome Troy between the hedges this weekend.  In all likelihood, the game will serve as a tune-up before the Bulldogs resume Southeastern Conference play in week five.

UGA SEC Opener 2014: Dawgs Face Gamecocks

mark_richt_steve_spurrierGeorgia – South Carolina – Expectations Versus Hope
Bulldog Nation expects to contend for the Southeastern Conference Championship.  The Gamecocks hope the past two weeks were not a harbinger of things to come.  After giving up 52 points at home in the SEC opener, Steve Spurrier and South Carolina enter week three with their backs against the conference wall.  Still, the Ole’ Ball Coach has made a living turning Bulldogs into bad Dawgs.

Bulldog Nation – Maintain Momentum
Sanford Stadium featured a raucous crowd firmly behind the home team, leading UGA to a convincing week one win over Clemson.  Now, the Bulldogs must visit South Carolina to face a desperate conference foe.  The Dawgs must not give Cocky and company anything easy early, as Georgia has the talent to pull away late.

Feed the Beast – Embrace the Heisman Hype
Todd Gurley leads the way with regard to early Heisman Trophy hype.  After scoring four touchdowns in the first game of 2014, the eyes of the college football world are on TGIII.  Bulldog Nation has a stable of running backs in its arsenal.  TGIII leads the way, but running backs such as Keith Marshall, Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel have proven able to contribute when called upon.

Jeremy Pruitt Makes Immediate Impact in Athens
Georgia’s biggest move this past offseason occurred off the field when the Dawgs hired Jeremy Pruitt to be their defensive coordinator.  In 2013, Pruitt’s FSU defense dominated college football.  At present, the Bulldogs appear poised to bring defensive dominance back between the hedges.  Let us not get ahead of ourselves though, two great quarters only represents progress, not a finished product.

South Carolina’s Secondary Sucks
Georgia’s running game was special in week one.  However,  the Gamecock’s biggest weakness is found in their secondary.  After giving up more than 500 yards through the air against the Aggies of A&M, Carolina gave up 321 more passing yards to East Carolina last week.

If one puts their ear to the crowd anywhere in the college football universe it is almost possible to hear the Georgia bandwagon piling up.  From a fan standpoint the hype is a lot of fun, but it will be interesting to see whether UGA can manage expectations.  As for the opposition, Steve Spurrier’s mouth is the only thing crowing right now in Carolina.

Prediction: Georgia Bulldogs 31, South Carolina Gamecocks 17.
Other than Steve Spurrier’s propensity to make life miserable for Georgia, there is not much to indicate the Gamecocks can keep up with the Bulldogs.  South Carolina has looked average at best, while UGA is in pretty much every early College Football Playoff bracket.  If South Carolina is victorious Saturday afternoon, it will speak far more about Georgia being overrated than the fighting Spurrier’s being underrated.

For what it’s worth, Steve Spurrier has a record of 15-6 coaching against the University of Georgia. Even so, five of those losses have come during his tenure in Carolina.  The father of the “fun n’ gun” offense may not have much fun in 2014.

UPDATE: Urgent Memo to Georgia – Be on the lookout for fake punts.

Bonus Key: From Old-Man Football to Grown-Man Football to Old-Time Football

We’re gonna hit ‘em hard boys. And yes…the referee is wearing a tie.

Yesterday, we identified five keys to the upcoming match-up between UGA’s Dawgs and the USC Gamecocks.  Kirk Herbstreit at College Gameday (prior to Lee Corso putting on a giant cock head) discussed the importance of ball control and long drives.  Herbstreit is absolutely correct in his assessment.

Nick Saban fears that football is turning into a track meet, and frankly, I am inclined to agree with him…but not that we should change rules to slow the game down.  However!  When it comes to Georgia and South Carolina today, long drives will be an investment in a dominant fourth quarter.  Watch time of possession carefully in this one.

University of Georgia vs. South Carolina: What is a Gamecock?

Steve Spurrier as Foghorn Leghorn…I say, I say, keep fanning me walk-ons.

A gamecock is a scrappy rooster whose temperament lends it to cock fighting.  Cock fighting is illegal.  Still, South Carolina seems inordinately proud that their mascot is a chicken. Foghorn Leghorn is not a gamecock.

Wikipedia:  A gamecock may undergo physical conditioning in preparation for a fight. The conditioning process is sometimes referred to as a “keep” and is designed to, among other things, tame the cock so that he can be handled during a fight.

The most famous gamecock in contemporary times is Little Jerry Seinfeld, the gamecock featured on a notable (and hysterical) episode of Seinfeld.

Kramer: “Just because big Jerry is a has been doesn’t make little Jerry a never was.”

Ultimately, what else is there to say about gamecocks? They seem to be angry birds who run around trying to fight and f**k everything they see.  I leave you with this:

 

SEC Drug Policies (Steve Spurrier is a Hypocrite and a Whiner)

steve spurrier drug policies at south carolina

Rodney Dangerfield Spurrier: I get no respect I tell ya.

Tomorrow night, Georgia and South Carolina meet in a gridiron battle that will go a long way in determining SEC East supremacy. However, before the Bulldogs and Gamecocks ever step on the field, the Ole’ Ball Coach must be addressed.

In light of our recent   Completely Unofficial (but Accurate) SEC Drug Testing Rankingswe could not help but remember a joke that Steve Spurrier made during an interview with ESPN:  South Carolina Head Grouch Spurrier joked that, “I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them (UGA) that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

That is an easy shot to take when your school, the University of South Carolina, does not suspend players for violating drug policies on the first (and barely on the second) violation of said “drug policy”…if one can call it that.

First drug test failure by a University of South Carolina football player:
A warning. (how many warnings did Stephen Garcia – more on this in a bit – get before one of his five suspensions?)

What kind of douche makes wisecracks about Georgia having a few players suspended when afore-mentioned douche heads a program with a joke of a rulebook when it comes to drug abuse on the football team? Meet Coach Steve Spurrier.

More…If a South Carolina player were facing discipline for a second violation of the Gamecock drug policy, said player would still only miss three games. By comparison, any player on the Georgia Bulldog roster who violates the University of Georgia football team’s drug policy a second time faces a half-season suspension.

Mr. Credibility, ie Coach Spurrier, would probably still have quarterback Stephen Garcia around if Conner Shaw had not risen to take the lead at QB.  Yes, I realize that Garcia was a senior in 2011, but if Spurrier could play him in 2012 and win…Spurrier would find a way (alcoholic-based redshirt for 2011 anyone?). This coach, Steve Spurrier, “suspended” Garcia five times and yet did Garcia (I’m not even gonna look it up) ever even miss a game?  On and on it goes.

Next Week:  The Worse of the Worst: The University of Florida is even more lenient toward drug use on their football team. We will examine the tawdry goings-ons in Gainesville and a most lenient (so understanding and forgiving) drug policy for University of Florida football players.

Maddawg’s Play of The Day – College Football Week 10 (November 5, 2011)



The college football forecast for week ten was accurate, as a tidal wave hit Tuscaloosa. The result, depending upon your allegiances, left something to be desired. LSU and Alabama played a hard hitting, well executed football game, with only a few critical errors.  Alabama’s special teams woes may have cost them the game, but LSU and Les Miles deserve all the credit for getting a season defining win in a hostile environment.

However, the contest felt like a great movie with a mixed bag of an ending. It was a suspenseful affair with twists and turns, highs and lows, and overtime as well. But at the conclusion of the game the same essential question remains for many college football fans: Who is the better team? Alabama missed four field goals, and they had 61 more total yards than LSU. Neither team was able to score a touchdown as the final score read LSU 9, Alabama 6. The moral of the story is that the Tigers capitalized on their opportunities…the Tide did not. There does not appear to be any feasible scenario where the two teams could meet again this season.

The problem with such a conclusion lies in its after effect–The Oklahoma State Cowboys stand to be #2 in the BCS after this week. Oklahoma State survived a 52-45 shootout with the Kansas State Wildcats in week ten. The Cowboys give up 26.5 points per game (an average that will go up), and they are the second best team in the country?  It is true that games are not played on paper, but no one outside of Oklahoma State’s fan base believes the Cowboys can win a national title this year. If Oklahoma State does not lose before December 3rd, hopefully the Oklahoma Sooners can make this a moot point.

Other Saturday happenings included a South Carolina loss to Arkansas. As a result, the Georgia Bulldogs are finally in first place in the SEC East all alone. While this is certainly a “ding dong the witch is dead” type of moment for Bulldog Nation, there is still the matter of taming the Auburn Tigers next weekend. Georgia must make sure the witch is truly dead by winning their next two conference games. As for this week, the Georgia Bulldogs celebrated homecoming with a 63-16 pounding of the New Mexico State Aggies.

Though a lopsided outcome was to be expected, it was good to see the Dawgs maintain their focus playing a lesser opponent. Georgia’s 63 point outburst came despite being without their top 4 running backs against New Mexico State. The three suspended individuals need to come back strong in order to help this team continue to build momentum.

Maddawg’s Play of The Day is the outcome of the Arkansas Razorbacks and South Carolina Gamecocks. The fighting Petrinos did Bulldog Nation a big favor with their 44-28 thumping of South Carolina. Now, the Georgia Bulldogs have the four turnover reprieve they have been hoping for since the second week of the college football season (how ironic). The Auburn Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats are all that stands in Georgia’s way in the Dawgs season long road to redemption.