UGA 41 GT 34 – Dawgs Survive Jackets in Overtime

uga_gtGutsy 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.

Georgia Versus Georgia Tech – November 30, 2013

mark_richt_paul_johnsonNeither Team has Bigger Fish to Fry
The 109th renewal of the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry has lost some of its luster for the 2013 edition.  These two major college football programs from the Peach State have combined for eight losses this season.  How is this possible, you ask?  Any number of reasons come to mind, including an inability to stop the opposition, injuries, and untimely buffoonery.

Is Paul Johnston Still a Genius?
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has earned the right to be called a genius dating back to his time coaching the Naval Academy.  He achieved even greater success during his first two seasons in Atlanta.  However, since 2010, the Yellow Jackets have struggled to rise above mediocrity.  Georgia Tech’s inability to win big games in the past few years has left some fans in Atlanta wondering if their head coach is too smart for his own good.

Oh Yeah, Both These Teams Are Bowl Eligible
The contest known as “Clean Old-Fashioned Hate” signifies the conclusion of regular season UGA football.  Unfortunately, neither the Dawgs nor the Jackets are participating in a conference championship game, meaning a lackluster bowl game is all that separates these two teams from a long offseason.

Aaron Murray’s Injury
When Dawg Post tweeted a picture of Aaron Murray leaving Sanford Stadium to go to the hospital for a Saturday night MRI, the prognosis did not look good.  Sadly, the worst fears of Bulldog Nation have been realized Aaron Murray’s Georgia career is over.  He will have surgery to repair his ACL on Tuesday.  So ends his 52-game start streak, along with his decorated college career.

Don’t Cry for Aaron Murray
Aaron Murray’s injury does not signify an end.  Rather, it marks the beginning of his next chapter. #11 had arguably the greatest career of anyone to ever quarterback the University of Georgia.  He will get the opportunity to play in the National Football League.

Based on the grit and determination he has shown throughout his time between the hedges, Aaron Murray will make an NFL team start him on Sundays sooner rather than later.  Don’t cry for Aaron Murray, bark louder than ever.

The Hutson Mason Show
Hutson Mason’s time has come.  Any Georgia Tech fan who believes the sudden change at QB means the Jackets will win has not been paying attention.  Hutson Mason has been in the Georgia program for nearly four years.  He has yearned to start a game for the University of Georgia since he was 18 years old.  November 30th represents a chance for Hutson Mason to send a message to the rest of college football.

On behalf of all of Bulldog Nation, Hutson Mason’s arm is going to pronounce 2014 as the year of the Dawg.  The defense is going to reinforce the statement by keeping the Yellow Jackets from buzzing.  Todd Gurley has been unstoppable when healthy.  He is sure to make his presence felt as well.

Georgia-Georgia Tech, Picking a Winner
This Saturday is the final stop on the Bulldogs’ regular season calendar.  The 2013 UGA football season will not go down in the history books in the way that Bulldog Nation had hoped, but Georgia fans and players alike should be proud that passion did not waiver no matter how many obstacles got in the way.  Coach Richt has owned Georgia Tech during his time in Athens, expect that trend to continue.

UGA 31, GT 20.  GO DAWGS!

College Football Outside of the South – ACC

bobby_bowden

The ACC has not won many rings since coach Bowden retired.

The Atlantic Coast Conference Has Been Atrocious in BCS Games
The ACC has been one of my least favorite conferences to keep tabs on in recent years.  As a result, this post examining a portion of ACC football will center around the conference’s four most important games against the Southeastern Conference in 2013.

ACC Coaching Thoughts
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson may be a triple option guru, but when he loses he becomes an obnoxious oaf.  Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles have not won a big game since Bobby Bowden retired, Unless of course you are absurd enough to count the ‘Noles Orange Bowl victory over Northern Illinois at the end of last season.

I am looking forward to watching the ACC try to distance themselves from their own mediocrity in 2013. According to Mr. SEC the Atlantic Coast Conference holds a horrid record of 3-13 in BCS bowl games. Furthermore, if this is to be the year that the ACC reasserts itself as a power in college football, then there will be several roadblocks ahead.

Alabama-Virginia Tech
The Hokies are coming off an extremely disappointing year in which they finished 6-6 in the regular season, before defeating Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl to end the year with a winning record.  This year, Virginia Tech has the honor of playing the defending national champion, Alabama, to begin their campaign.

The Crimson Tide have been sitting atop college football for two consecutive years, and it is nearly impossible to believe that a fictional purple turkey is going to knock them off.  Luckily, college football is not played on paper. What a “Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game” it will be if the Tide forgets to roll in.

Georgia–Clemson
I will admit that my opinion on this game is totally biased.  With Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray coming back for his last chance at a championship, UGA has no intention of starting the season in an 0-1 hole.  There will be an offensive shootout in Death Valley, and Bulldog Nation will have the final bark.

Clemson may believe they will defeat Georgia, but history is not on their side.  mcubed, a sports history and statistics website, reports that the SEC went 6-2 against the ACC in 2012.

Georgia-Georgia Tech
Since Paul Johnson broke out his fish frier after his Yellow Jackets skewered the Dawgs for 45 points back in 2008, Georgia Tech has not been able to recapture that magic again.  Johnson was the ACC coach of the year for each of his first two seasons in Atlanta, but downright appalling defense has stung  Tech for a total of 19 losses in the past three seasons.

Georgia wiped the field with Georgia Tech in the final regular season game of 2012. The Bulldogs capitalized on a Georgia Tech fumble at the Georgia one-yard line to gain an early 14-0 lead and never looked back. It was a game that Tech head coach Paul Johnson called “a pretty good thumping.”  If the regular season pans out the way that Georgia fans are hoping for, a similar result should be expected in Atlanta this year.



South Carolina-Clemson
Steve Spurrier (thankfully) has had trouble winning the SEC East in the past two years. Consequently, the Ole’ Ball Coach has had to find solace in making life miserable for Clemson fans every year.  According to Clemson head coach, Dabo Swinney, the Tigers are knocking on the door to greatness, but how can that be if Clemson is not even the best team in their own state?

Despite their advantage of 65-41 (with four ties) in the series rivalry, the Tigers have not beaten the Gamecocks since 2008. The heat between the two schools figures to be kicked up a notch this year, as South Carolina and Clemson are ranked 7th and 8th in the preseason polls respectively.

steve_spurrier_yell

Georgia Versus Georgia Tech: 2012 Regular Season Finale

georgia_georgia_techThe Stakes Are High for Georgia Against Georgia Tech
Rivalry week is the focal point for Bulldog Nation as we head into the final Saturday of the regular season. Expectations are sky high in Athens, following two unlikely upsets. As a result of Kansas State and Oregon losing, Georgia is once again in the thick of the 2012 national championship picture.

Georgia Tech Will Play for the ACC Championship
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets venture between the hedges this Saturday with a lot to gain and very little to lose, so I can only hope that the Dawgs do not overlook the Rambling Wreck as the showdown with the Alabama Crimson Tide looms large. For their part, Tech had something to celebrate this past weekend as well—The Jackets clinched the ACC Costal as a result of Miami forfeiting their postseason chances.

Georgia Tech’s Defense is Terrible
Despite winning their division, Rambling Wreck is an apt description for the way Georgia Tech has played during the 2012 campaign. Tech’s offense rambles down the field and then the defense wrecks everything by giving up a ton of points. In week four against Miami, Georgia Tech climbed out of a 19-0 hole to gain a 36-19 advantage against the Hurricanes. However, the Yellow Jackets proceeded to blow a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter before losing to the Hurricanes in overtime.

Georgia Tech averages 39 points per game on offense. However, they give up 30 points per game. The result is a track meet. Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 68-50 a couple of weeks ago in the highest-scoring game in ACC history. As long as Georgia does not get bit by the turnover bug, Georgia should be able to swat the Yellow Jackets. Bulldog head coach Mark Richt is 10-1 against Georgia Tech and 3-1 against Paul Johnson. The Bulldogs are familiar with the option after playing against Georgia Southern this past weekend, so Georgia should be primed for a strong performance in the final game at Sanford Stadium this year.

Georgia Tech Would Love to Ruin Georgia’s Season
Paul Johnson is a man in need of a signature win. Raining all over Georgia’s SEC Championship parade would certainly be enough for Tech fans to forget the ups and downs of this season. The Dawgs must be aware of every possible fake and trick play, because Tech pulling off an upset in this chapter of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” would catapult the UGA-GT rivalry into a new stratosphere. For what it’s worth, such a result would probably also translate into a busy day downtown for Athens police. Remember, college football preaches sportsmanship, folks.

Georgia Has to Capitalize on Their National Championship Opportunity
Gloom and doom possibilities aside, I expect the Bulldogs to maul the Yellow Jackets on Saturday. The opportunity currently in front of Bulldog Nation is too great to squander at this point in the journey. If Mark Richt is going to be the man to lead Georgia to the Promised Land, Georgia must treat these final three games as a playoff. The first round begins at noon on Saturday.

bobby_bowden

Coach Richt is ready to prove he can win a national title without Bobby Bowden.

Georgia Bulldogs 2012 Schedule Preview – Part Three

(NOTE: For anyone who wants to look back, here is part one of the series, and here is part two.)

This crystal ball is not a homer, but it has been known to produce very accurate results.

The third and final look at the upcoming Georgia Bulldog football regular season begins with the homecoming game against Ole Miss on November 3. With all due respect to the Rebels, the only way this contest stays close is if it is played right after the Dawgs go to a homecoming party. Ole Miss won just two games in 2011, resulting in the departure of then head coach Huston Nutt. Hugh Freeze is the new face of Mississippi football, but I suspect hell would have to freeze over for Georgia to lose this one.

The Bulldogs hit the road for the final time in the 2012 looking for lucky win number ten in what could be a big time trap game in Auburn. The Bulldogs mauled the Tigers in 2011 by a final score of 45-7 during arguably the most impressive performance in Aaron Murray’s young career. Auburn will certainly be looking for revenge but it is hard to consider this Auburn team a serious threat based on last year. The coach Chizik era may end up being the biggest one hit wonder in the history of the BCS. The Dawgs get the victory by two touchdowns.

Following the conclusion of conference play, Georgia heads home for the conclusion of the regular season against a pair of in-state opponents.. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, the Golden Eagles of Georgia Southern and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets each run a similar offense, so Georgia should not be caught off guard by the triple option. Georgia Southern is a Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse, but they do not have enough to give the Dawgs a scare. Georgia continues their pursuit of perfection. Continue reading

Georgia Tech Needs More Options

paul johnson

Paul Johnson may be a genius. Is he also his own worst enemy?

Growing up a Bulldog in Athens has made me develop a healthy dislike for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Even though Georgia has dominated the head-to-head meetings with the Jackets since 2001, “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” is always a nerve racking week for Bulldog Nation. After all, the winner of the contest has bragging rights for an entire year, and the loser is left counting the days until the next chapter of the rivalry unfolds.

Despite my disdain for Georgia Tech, I want the Yellow Jackets to come into battle against the Bulldogs with as much buzz as possible. Crushing the momentum of a hated rival is much more satisfying than pouring salt into an open wound. After seemingly taking the Naval Academy as far as it is capable of going in today’s college football landscape, Paul Johnson was hired by Georgia Tech after the previous head coach (Chan Gailey) was fired following the 2007 season.

Paul Johnson brought his triple option offense with him to Atlanta in 2008. The Jackets were coming off of a seven win season the year before, and there was a lot of skepticism about whether Johnson’s offense could be successful in major college football. Georgia Tech doubters were silenced rather quickly, as the Yellow Jackets won 9 games in 2008, including hanging 45 points in defeating the Dawgs in Athens. The Jackets won the ACC title in 2010, and played in the Orange Bowl game in 2011.

Since reeling off 20 wins in his first two seasons as head coach in Atlanta, Paul Johnson has lost twelve games in the last two years, and he has yet to win a bowl game. Some of those aforementioned losses can be attributed to injuries, as well as occasional bad breaks. However, opponents of the Yellow Jackets seem to be smartening up to defending the option. Continue reading

Georgia Bulldogs-Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2011

Week 13 of the 2011 college football season means “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” for the state of Georgia. Before the Georgia Bulldogs challenge for the SEC title in a little under two weeks, a bitter rival awaits them in a pit stop in Atlanta before the Dawgs head to the Georgia Dome. Georgia must avoid looking ahead to December 3rd in order to secure another ten win season for Mark Richt. Overlooking the Yellow Jackets could mean a long afternoon for Bulldog Nation.



The big issue facing the Bulldogs this week is the tailback position. According to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner Herald, Carlton Thomas returned to practice on Monday and Ken Malcome got reps with the first team As for Isaiah Crowell, Weiszer reports that he was walking without a limp. It is still unclear who will get the start against the Yellow Jackets.

There will not be many other mysteries to solve against Paul Johnson’s team. Georgia Tech runs the triple option, and when Johnson gets frustrated with his option game he has his quarterback throw the ball to try to catch the defense off guard. Yellow Jacket quarterback Tevin Washington has 60 completions this season, with more than half of them going to either Orwin Smith or Stephen Hill. Hill stands at 6’5″ and is the go-to receiver when Georgia tech decides to pass the football.

Throwing the football worked very well for the Georgia Bulldogs against Tech in 2010. Aaron Murray threw the ball just 19 times in the game, but he racked up 271 yards on 15 completions. Murray finished the game with 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions in Georgia’s 42-34 win a year ago.

What a difference a year has made for the Georgia Bulldog defense. Todd Grantham’s 3-4 struggled the first time around against Tech, as the Yellow Jackets stung the Dawgs for  411 yards on the ground last year on their way to putting up over 500 yards of offense in the game. This year the Bulldogs have been dominant on defense, especially during their ongoing nine game win streak. The Dawgs are ranked highly in every defensive statistical category and have been phenomenal against the run. Last week, Georgia held Kentucky to a mere 23 yards rushing on 21 attempts.

Saturday’s match-up promises to be more challenging for the Bulldog defense. The Georgia Tech rushing offense is ranked second in the nation. Georgia’s defense will need to play disciplined football again this week and set the edge to prevent the Jackets from having many big plays with their option attack. If Georgia can force a few quick 3 and outs to take the crowd out of it, the game could get ugly in a hurry if Aaron Murray is on his game. Georgia Tech’s defense is giving up 25 points per game so it will be important for the visiting Bulldogs to have a fast start at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Paul Johnson once said of playing the Georgia Bulldogs, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.” The  statement rings true this year as well, but only from the Georgia Bulldog perspective. Georgia Tech is 8-3, and they are not a factor in the ACC title race this year. For all the bravado,  Johnson is just 1-2 against the Bulldogs and Georgia Tech has not beaten Georgia since 2008.

Meanwhile, Georgia Bulldog head coach Mark Richt is sporting a 9-1 career record against the Yellow Jackets. Georgia is now the team hoping to get a chance to fry the biggest fish in the college football sea. The latest chapter of this storied rivalry should be a good one for the Dawgs. The team is young and hungry, and the Bulldog defense is far too athletic to fall victim to Georgia Tech’s one dimensional offense. Thanksgiving will be a day to be thankful for a banner year between the hedges. Afterward, Georgia will have Yellow Jacket leftovers in Atlanta on Saturday.