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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fleeting Thoughts: Arkansas Edition

This one's going to have to be brief (or at least shallow) as I have a plane to catch in about 45 minutes.

-- Let's officially put to rest any of the talk about Joe Cox not having the arm to play quarterback in the SEC. The kid has all it's going to take to lead the offense, and his attitude in the huddle Saturday night was awesome. From Orson Charles: “My feeling was that we couldn’t be stopped, and Joe got in the huddle and said, ‘We can keep going, they won’t stop us.’”

-- A.J. Green is a man among boys. I dare another cornerback to question his ability. I honestly want to see what will happen.

-- I look forward to Stafford and A.J. playing together again in two years when Detroit has the No. 1 pick again.

-- Georgia is going to look back on that Okie State loss and wonder what went wrong. This offense has the potential to be very, very good. Orson Charles and Green are simply better than anyone they're going to go against this year. It's a mismatch every game.

-- Michael Moore may have had the quietest 6-catch, 91-yard performance in history. I was shocked looking at those stats at the end of the game. But thinking back, a number of those grabs were just huge and came at crucial times.

-- Georgia is not going to continue to win games when they turn the ball over three times.

-- Fourteen more penalties against Arkansas. I know Richt doesn't want to hurt the aggressiveness, but a lot of this had nothing to do with playing hard. It was playing stupid. I'll go back and count tomorrow, but there had to be at least a half-dozen false starts. That's just unacceptable.

-- The line had some nice plays -- obviously the 80-yard run by Samuel tops among them -- but overall I didn't think this looked like the best performance. I'll be interested to hear what Richt and Bobo say about how it looked on film.

-- Speaking of the 80-yard run, it was nice and it really demonstrated Samuel's impressive speed, but take it away and he had 24 yards on 15 carries. Caleb King was the stronger runner by a wide margin Saturday.

-- Rantavious Wooten saw a good bit of action. I may be wrong, but I think Marlon Brown got two snaps. Tells you a lot about who has the confidence of the coaches right now.

-- I've been critical of Mike Bobo's play calling in the first two weeks, but the game plan was exceptional for this one. He never backed off, and there wasn't a single stretch in which I disagreed with his calls. Just a beautifully called game on his part.

-- The defensive line isn't going to chalk Saturday up as one for the ages, but they played alright. Justin Houston had seven tackles, they got occasional pressure on Ryan Mallett, and outside of a few long ones in the fourth quarter as the wear and tear of a shootout had to be adding up, they stopped the run altogether.

-- Key stat of the night: Arkansas was 3-of-14 on third down.

-- Speaking of that key stat, that will be one of four excuses given to the defense in the coming week. Here are the others:

2.) We just need to execute.

3.) We held them without a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

4.) Vance Cuff and Akeem Dent didn't play and that really hurt our depth.

-- All of those excuses will be B.S.

-- The Bulldogs have allowed 721 passing yards in the past two games.

-- The Bulldogs have allowed 912 total yards of offense in the past two games.

-- There were some plays where Georgia's DBs were burned, but worse, there were others where there simply wasn't a DB within 10 yards of the receiver. It was as if Georgia was playing with eight defenders.

-- Brandon Boykin looked great in the kick return game again, but he was awful in coverage. By far his worst performance.

-- I love Bryan Evans. He's a good kid, a hard hitter and a smart football player. But honestly, I'm not sure he belongs in coverage. He gets burned more often than a pack of Camel Lights. (Lame, I know, but it's 8 a.m.)

-- Mallett is a stud. If he sticks around next year, Arkansas is going to be the favorite to win the West. But to be honest, I could see him bolting after this season. The kid has NFL talent and then some. Very impressive performance tonight. Yes, Georgia made his job easy, but he didn't miss a throw.

-- I know everyone wants Willie fired right now, but that's not a solution. At the end of the year? Who knows? But who is Georgia going to hire tomorrow that is going to remedy these problems? And to be honest, I'm not sure at this point how much can be pinned on Willie and how much needs to be pinned on just some awful coverage, execution and the worst tackling we've seen since Georgia Tech. Fundamentals just went out the window.

-- Drew Butler is one heck of a punter, eh?

-- A lot of this game reminded me of how last year spiraled downhill, but nothing more than Blair Walsh booting consecutive kickoffs out of bounds following big Georgia touchdowns. But give the kid some credit -- he's 6-of-6 on FGs so far, and that last one before the half was a game-changer in terms of momentum.

-- We got completely robbed of what should have been the best play of the game. On third-and-long in the fourth quarter, Mallett took off running and slid well short of the marker. Had he gone for the first down, Rennie Curran was right there to stop him. The slide prevented 5-9 Rennie from absolutely dismantling 6-7 Mallett. It would have been great.

-- Aside from the final score, I can't decide if this game was more like the Georgia Tech game last year or the LSU game. I'm leaning toward the former.

-- Arizona State won't present a fraction of the problems Arkansas did, but Georgia needs to use next week to fix a lot of problems before LSU comes to town.

-- Georgia is 2-0 in the SEC, should have an easy time of it next week, and if the Dawgs beat LSU, things could shape up to be pretty interesting this year after all. Sure wouldn't have thought that after Week 1.

-- I said this last week and I'll say it again: It wasn't an easy game to watch if you're a fan (or a writer on deadline), and there's plenty to complain about now, but man oh man was it fun.

-- Fayetteville is a fun town, and the loss seemed to do little to dampen the spirits of the Arkansas fans. I give it two thumbs up.

-- Erin Andrews said two syllables to me. It was a good day.

20 comments:

Knowshon4Heisman said...

I say go throw as much money at Brian van Gorder as he wants, heck look how much the Vols are spending. 2.) Now that David pollack is no longer playing, has the coaching staff considered bringing him on to help with the defense??

IveyLeaguer said...

I agree that part of it is Willie and part is lack of fundamentals, execution, dumb football, etc.. All of which Willie is responsible for.

I've been saying since last year that one of the primary problems is there is a cancer in the defense, and its name is #9. Excise the cancer, and the D will begin to heal up.

But like many cancers, it likes to hide and has the ability to go undetected most of the time. But all the while it continues to slowly spread.

I'd love to be wrong about that, because I can't see anything being done about it. As horrible as our safeties are, Jones in particular, we'll likely have to die with them. We have some great young talent waiting in the wings but the hardest spot on the field to get snaps is safety.

~~~

Brandon said...

Willie D's: Automatic for our opponents.

rbubp said...

Dave, it isn't just the scheme for WM. Somebody has to do a better job of teaching the secondary how to read routes, and short of that, demanding that they do a better job. Last night was pathetic, one of the worst secondary performances I've ever seen from a UGA team.

A lot of those passes may have been completed anyway because of Mallett's gun and good hands of the Hog WRs, but but yards after catch, missed tackles, missed assignments, complete confusion, etc...Wow.

rbubp said...

Ivey, I'm all for gossip. What you got, Loran, that gives you confidence to say that about Jones? Spill, man.

The Cuatro said...

Ivey,

You are way off (as usual). Reshad had the best day by far of any DB yesterday, and he has been the strength of our secondary thus far this season. Without him, we lose the past two games... he has made critical plays for us down the stretch (last night, one being him dislodging the ball on an otherwise completed pass on a 3rd and long in the 4th quarter).

If you have to point the finger at somebody, it has to be BE. I love the kid, but damn, he consistently lets his man get up into him before turning and running. He has been burned deep for a TD in a cover 2 every game this season.

As far as yesterday goes, BE, BB, PM, BS, and even Rennie blew coverages or got burned at least once, but RJ did not.

Get off your high horse and stop unjustly criticizing a kid's play because you refuse to look beyond an attitude problem he appears to have moved on from.

BTW, this young talent waiting in the wings you speak of is largely non-existent in that they are not ready to play (as of now,. anyways). Otherwise, Pugh, Commings, Williams, etc. would be starting in place of BE (I left off Rambo b/c I'd like to see him get the nod over BE). The lack of talent will also be evidenced when Jakar Hamilton comes in and takes a starting spot next year, leap-frogging a few of the young guys.

The Cuatro said...

rbubp,

Ivey's got nothing. He's just a guy that watches the game from his living room and has probably never played a down of football in his life. For some reason, he finds bone-jarring hits and trash talking offensive; and subsequently, doesn't like Reshad.

Also, remember this:

Willie is both the DC AND the secondary coach....

He's the one doing the teaching that you say needs improvement (and clearly, it does).

Knowshon4Heisman said...

We need to have a Champ Bailey summer camp for the DB's

Greg said...

Ivey-

You're the cancer of this board. Stop posting here. Your comments are neither insightful nor appreciated.

And BTW, no one cares "what you've been saying since last season." Stop trying to act like you know something.

Anonymous said...

Right now, our defense has potential. The potential to make Jonathon Crompton look good.

They'd better fix some stuff in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

David, were you able to find out why Akeem Dent did not make the trip? Wasn't aware that he was injured. Hopefully there is not a discipline issue.

Thank you for any info you can share with us and plenty kudos for a great job as always.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure Dent was nursing a hamstring problem

Anonymous said...

I thought #9 did an exceptional job and have felt like he has played as well as any of them all year.

Hell all of them got burned at one point or another.

I am sure Crompton is lickin' his chops. Our defense will give him the opportunity to look like a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Our defense is terrible. Nobody can deny that. But you can't get rid of Willie right now. That should have been done at the end of last season.

All we can do at this point is hang on and hope we can put 50 up on everybody because we are going to need it.

rbubp said...

BTW, yes, Drew Butler is one hellacious punter and Blair Walsh is a hellacious kicker. Those two have already impacted games positively and we have a done a great job in getting them.

The difference is even more noticeable after watching Arkansas' punter toe that pathetic dink to their 30 last night in a rather crucial situation for them. faced with the same for us Butler kicked it with both the "uppers and the yonders," as CMR supposedly said.

Steve said...

I couldn't disagree more with the criticism of Reshad Jones. I think he's turned a major corner from last year, and I'm glad to have him starting in the secondary.

jferg said...

on a lighter note...

DH,
were those two words from Erin "where's jferg"?

Beave said...

jferg,

My guess is that he purposely bumped into her forcing her to say "excuse me".

Anonymous said...

I was there and she screamed "help, police!".

Anonymous said...

A+ to both comments above.

HokieDawg said...

If you want to single out a player on the team over his performance, for me, it would not be Reshad. I would agree with D Hale's comment that #22 did not perform as well as his avg carry numbers would indicate. I think what is much more important to note is the fact that he fumbled the ball twice in the game, losing both, showing that he obviously has not figured out how to improve his butterfingers from last year. (see GT game fumble that was lost on kickoff that cost us the game). Dont get me wrong, Samuel is an amazing athlete. He is a stud, but I am not sure he would not be better suited at another position, like strong safety or linebacker. He is very big, and very fast, but he falls down after the first hit all the time, and he cannot seem to hold on to the football. Almost any player with decent speed could have scored on Samuels 80yd run. The line created a huge hole, and he just had to run through it. He did not make anyone miss, and he was not touched. (thank goodness, bc he could have fumbled again). I really hope caleb king can continue the improvement we saw yesterday (he did a much better job blocking). Otherwise, we are in trouble. Without a great running game or at least the threat of one, there is no passing game.