Georgia Bye Week Thoughts



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.

The Telegraph posted an insightful look at the manner in which Todd Grantham should address his critics. Before college football season began, we hypothesized Todd Grantham would hold the key to Georgia’s season.  Inexperienced defense or not, coach Grantham’s unreliable key is part of the reason UGA is locked out of the championship chase.

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.

Georgia Versus Vanderbilt – October 19, 2013

todd_gurley_south_carolinaDawgs and Dores at a Crossroads in Nashville
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a difficult loss to the Missouri Tigers.  Vanderbilt’s goal was to be a top 25 caliber team this season, but the Commodores are 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play.  Week eight will be a turning point for the team that is victorious.  Georgia will either rebound or head further south, while Vandy looks to navigate their SEC schedule which will only get more treacherous.

Georgia Cannot Afford to Turn the Ball Over
Georgia self-destructed last weekend against Missouri, turning the ball over four times.  The Bulldog defense is vulnerable enough without the offense making things easier for the opposition.  The majority of the miscues by the offense were side effects from Georgia’s injury bug, so the Dawgs must learn to adapt and overcome their roster issues.

The Health of Todd Gurley
For UGA, having running back Todd Gurley at their disposal would solve a myriad of issues.  Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green are both talented, but neither is ready to start at tailback for The University of Georgia.  ESPN reveals that Georgia head coach Mark Richt expects Todd Gurley to be back soon.  Gurley and the Georgia coaching staff will have to decide whether he should return for the contest against Vanderbilt or take a few more weeks to heal for Florida.

Austyn Carta-Samuels is an Experienced Quarterback
I remember watching Austyn Carta-Samuels win a bowl game his freshman year as the starting quarterback of Wyoming in 2009. Having transferred to Vanderbilt, he is a talented passer who is fully capable of making life miserable for Bulldog Nation.  UGA must pressure Samuels to force other Commodores to beat them.

Statistically, Vanderbilt ranks in the top half of the nation throwing the football. However, the Commodores are currently rated 80 in rushing yards.  If the young Georgia defense can prevent the Commodores from converting on third down through the air, it will severely hamper their chances to pull off an upset.

The View From Vanderbilt
The Commodores last played on October 5, when they too suffered a defeat at the claw of the Missouri Tigers. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and his team have had two  weeks to prepare for a visit from the Georgia Bulldogs.  According to The Tennessean, Coach Franklin is looking forward to the early kickoff. “I love the early game, I don’t think our guys like just sitting in the hotel waiting for the game to start”.  Vanderbilt will be ready for the kickoff at noon Eastern.

The Stakes are High for Georgia and Vanderbilt
Georgia has beaten Vanderbilt six years in a row.  It is critical for Bulldog Nation be able to pick up lucky number seven on the road.  The Dawgs have had more than their fair share of setbacks this season; still, Georgia is still the favorite to capture the SEC East if they do not suffer another conference loss.

Vanderbilt is a quality football team.  The Commodores would love to ruin Georgia’s conference title hopes in the process of notching their first Southeastern Conference victory of 2013.

Paying Tribute to Larry Munson – Part I

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Larry Munson is a Cornerstone of UGA Football Tradition

Over two generations of Bulldog Nation heard Larry Munson’s gravelly tone every Saturday while he provided Georgia fans everywhere with chills and thrills.  Munson voiced the soundtrack to the historic memories and moments that unfolded on the gridiron during the four decades that he spent passionately calling Georgia football.

Rather than one long article, it is best to allow our admiration for Larry Munson to span multiple posts.  This piece focuses on the late Larry Munson’s life before he broadcasted UGA football.   The subsequent two posts that follow will center around his legendary tenure between the hedges, and his legacy that grows with every Saturday in Athens.

A Short Biography
The man born Lawrence Harry Munson came into the world on September 28, 1922.  He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he was a two-sport athlete in college at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Munson played both ways on the football field, lining up as a defensive end, as well as at the offensive tackle position.  The iconic announcer also played basketball at MSUM as a center and a guard.

Larry Munson Served His Country/First Announcing Experience
Before Larry Munson ever picked up a microphone, he served in the United States Army as a medic during World War II.  When he returned from duty, Munson used all $200 of the mustering-out pay that he earned to attend a Minneapolis radio broadcasting school.  His first official experience announcing sporting events happened when he made $15 dollars per week to introduce boxers and wrestlers to crowds at a Minneapolis venue.

Take Me out to the Ball Game, Mr. Munson
Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, Larry Munson was hired as the announcer for a minor league baseball team located Oklahoma City in 1946. Unwittingly, the same friend played a key role in bringing Larry Munson to the state of Georgia because Munson gained valuable experience doing play-by-play for minor league football and baseball teams while in the Sooner State.

Larry Munson was Once a Commodore/The Rod & Gun Club
Prior to becoming the voice of the Bulldogs, Larry Munson moved to Tennessee in 1952, where he worked as the caller for the Vanderbilt Commodores on WKDA, a local radio station in Nashville.  He did the play-by-play during Vanderbilt football and basketball games for the better part of the 1950s.  It was during this time that Munson started his own hunting and fishing television show, titled The Rod & Gun Club. The program first aired on local television in Nashville.

Larry Munson was an Original Member of the Atlanta Braves Broadcast Team
After successfully holding jobs doing play-by-play for the Vanderbilt Commodores, coupled with his minor league baseball and football expertise, Munson was hired to be part of the first broadcasting team for the Atlanta Braves when the team relocated from Milwakee to Atlanta in 1966. 

Georgia Will Win The SEC East in 2013

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Will this be the year that Georgia wins it all?

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.

Hail to Georgia.



UGA Football – Recalling an Encounter With A Fair Weather Fan

A few months ago, I posted an article detailing why fair weather fans are annoying. I would like to take this opportunity to recount a personal experience with a fair weather Dawg.

Georgia’s Homecoming From Hell: The Dawgs Get Caught By The Commodores
It was October of 2006 and I was less than a week removed from watching the Georgia Bulldogs suffer an agonizing 24-22 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores on homecoming weekend. While minding my own business on the way back to my house after class, I passed by the practice field fence just in time to witness an obnoxious young man standing behind the fence shouting, “Vandy’s bitches!” repeatedly, as loud as he could.vanderbilt_beats_uga
I quickly left the area, but it is hard not to wonder how much longer the guy stood at the fence yelling such charming encouragement.

There is no Loyalty Among Fair Weather Fans
That incident makes me chuckle when I think about it now, but it is a prime example of how insufferable certain fans can be. With the increasing popularity of football, armchair quarterbacks have become an unfortunate fact of life for football programs everywhere. Even so, I cannot envision a scenario where I would boo a Georgia Bulldog football player.

One Year Later: The Bulldogs Stomp On The Vanderbilt “V”
When Georgia and Vanderbilt met again in 2007, Georgia celebrated on the Vanderbilt V in the middle of the field following the Dawgs’ 20-17 victory.  I wonder if the big mouth fan’s remarks had anything to do with the Bulldogs’ post-game antics?  Maybe the Bulldogs wanted to be sure that the Commodores knew they were not “Vandy’s bitches” after all.



Bulldog Nation Address (What We Learned From Week Two)

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.

Georgia Bulldogs 2012 Schedule Preview – Part One

Over the next several weeks, I will be previewing the 2012 Georgia football schedule as college football is on the fast track to kicking off the regular season. This three part series begins with the focus on  the Dawgs’ first four games of the 2012 campaign. The highlight of the opening month will likely be a showdown in the “Show Me State” for Georgia’s Southeastern Conference opener against Missouri on September 8.

Before the Bulldogs come face to face with the Tigers, they begin the year at home against Buffalo. On paper, this is certainly a tune up game but it will be good for the Dawgs to get some of their parts in place before hitting the road in week two. Georgia would be well served to treat the season opener against the Bulls as a dress rehearsal. Bulldog Nation can get an early glimpse of who will step up up at the running back position, and the coaches can decide which side of the ball Malcolm Mitchell can contribute the most. Somewhere in the not too distant past, a Michigan fan had a similar train of thought going into the Appalachian State game in 2007. Remember how well that turned out?



Catastrophic possibilities aside, I will assume that Georgia wins the first game, and begins the year 1-0. Missouri will be chomping at the bit to take a bite out of Bulldog Nation, as suspension and depth issues have left the Bulldogs ripe for the picking early in the year. By the time the final whistle blows, this game will come down to three key factors. First, quarterback Aaron Murray must exercise his turnover demons from a year ago and play a polished game in a hostile environment. Georgia may have to outscore Missouri, and that task will ultimately fall on the shoulders of the signal caller. Second, Georgia must make a few key stops on defense to keep the Tigers at bay. The more out of control the game gets on the scoreboard, the more confident Missouri becomes. Continue reading