Friday, October 31, 2008

It's finally here...

This is the one we have all had circled for a full year now. EVERYTHING that we have hoped for, all of the goals that we hoped to's all on the line tomorrow. Add that to the fact that it is one of our most hated rivals, in a game between two of the top teams in the country, in one of the most celebrated and historic atmospheres in all of college football, and you have what may be the biggest regular season game in decades for the Dawgs.

Up until recently, I would have actually had Florida 3rd on my "Most Hated Rivals" list, behind Tech and Tennessee. I realized during the week of the the UT-UF game, however, that for the first time ever I was actually rooting for Tennessee. This week, as gametime has approached, I've realized that Florida is REALLY close to passing Tech. All because of one man...Urban Meyer. This guy sickens me. He is an arrogant, hypocritical, whining, lying scumbag. When Spurrier was there, I hated losing to him, but I respected what he had accomplished and was actually entertained by him a lot of the time. There are ZERO redeeming qualities about Urban Meyer. He lies to recruits, he applies discipline to his team only when it does not affect his own goals, he changed his story regarding last year's Celebration in order to sell books, he refers to himself in the 3rd person, he runs up the score unnecessarily...the list could go on and on.

Enough about that piece of trash...on to the game.

No secret here...this one is going to be a shootout. Two of the most prolific offenses in the country, trading haymakers for a full 60 minutes. I don't think either defense is capable of shutting the other one down, but I think the winner will get some big plays from their fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict another defensive score for the Dawgs. I'm not going to get into a full breakdown of the two teams strategy, strengths and weaknesses, etc...that's been hashed and re-hashed to death this week. I just look for an exciting game, with big time players making big time plays for both sides. I truly believe that if these two teams play 10 times, they probably split the games right down the middle. Tomorrow, I think the Dawgs make enough big plays to win...let's say 42-30. Sound familiar?

Speaking of familiar...I've seen reports that Penn Wagers will once again be the head referee for this game. Look for at least 4-5 blown calls and a minimum of half a dozen personal fouls. What is the SEC thinking let this incompetent crew referee ANY game, much less one of this significance? Even by SEC standards, this crew is subpar, and it would really be a shame to have a game with this much riding on it come down to one of these guys doing something stupid.

I'll leave you with this...early in the week, I was already sick of hearing about and seeing footage of the Celebration last week. However, I watched it again this morning with Scott Howard and Eric Zeier doing the commentary, and I was reminded how fired up I was when it originally happened. I will never forget this moment, and I think we will point back to it in a few years as the moment we turned this series around.

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Never gets old...

Nothing really new to post today, other than make sure you check out Jody's write-up at

In the meantime, there's always this...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Falcons thoughts

Well, the Falcons lost the game on Sunday, but I think that was as expected. Philadelphia is a quality VETERAN team, used to winning, who had an extra week to prepare and was playing at home. At this point in the Falcons rebuilding process, it would have been a huge surprise if they won the game. We did learn a few things, though:

- Matt Ryan is still a rookie, but he is certainly progressing. Philadelphia presented many of the same challenges as the first two teams we lost to, Carolina and Tampa Bay. They were all on the road, and they all possess respected, capable defensive coordinators who like to blitz from a number of different angles and positions and put tremendous physical and mental pressure on a quarterback. This makes it especially difficult on a rookie, who is probably seeing many of these defenses for the first time, and especially at this speed. Ryan was noticeably more comfortable this time around. The INT in the end zone was poor...very underthrown. Other than that, I think he played pretty well in adverse conditions.

- Speaking of adverse conditions...the offensive line is NOTICEABLY weaker when Sam Baker does not play. Not sure what that says more about...the impressive impact that Baker has made as a rookie, or the otherwise mediocrity of this o-line. As a comparison, UGA is now on their 4th left tackle this season, and they are probably playing better as a unit than they have all year, while the Falcons O-line performance is considerably weakened when they lose their rookie left tackle. Hmm.....

- Roddy White is a legitimate big-time wide receiver. That's not anything we learned last week, I just like pointing out that the Falcons FINALLY have a legitimate big-time wide receiver.

- Keith Brooking, on the other hand, is one of the more overrated players in the NFL. Again, not anything new we learned, just something I felt like pointing out. This guy racks up more tackles 7-8 yards downfield than anybody since Junior Seau, and I don't think he could consistently cover ME at tight end. Plus, he's a Techie...enough said.

- The officiating in that game was horrid on both sides. We'll get to the "muffed punt" controversy in a minute, but the personal foul that Philly picked up for a supposed late hit on Ryan was brutal. I guess it was called a late hit...they called it a personal foul, but the guy had his arms wrapped around Ryan by the time he released the ball and then just fell on him. The defender would have had to defy the laws of physics in order for anything else to happen. He didn't hit him high, didn't hit him late...I guess he just hit him too hard. After all, that's what Hines Ward has been fined three times for this season...blocking too effectively. The Powers That Be are sissifying this sport, and it's disgusting.

- Now to the "muffed punt" - yes, the officials blew the call, but what in the world was Adam Jennings doing? Either field the punt or GET OUT OF THE WAY. Otherwise, you are just asking for trouble, and that's what he got. In real-time, I thought the ball touched him, too, so I can't really blame the was a tough call that they got wrong. But if Jennings had done what he was supposed to do, it wouldn't have been an issue. This guy is horrendous as a punt returner, and I really wish Thomas Brown wasn't injured so that we could see what he can do.

One more thing on that play...the TV announcers were blaming Coach Smith for not having a timeout left with which to challenge the play....ridiculous. He used his timeouts perfectly, and was about to get the ball back with 2:15 left on the clock, decent field position, and the 2:00 warning coming up to stop the clock. There was no way for him to PLAN on the refs blowing a call in that 15 second interval before it became an automatic booth review.

Overall, a tough loss, but not an unexpected one. If we can take care of business in Oakland, we hit the midway point 5-3, and I think ALL Falcons fans will take that...I know I would.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is, of course, Hate Week Part 1....part deux is coming the last week of November.

Mom and Dad...don't read this post. :-)

h/t to Dixie Dawg

Now THIS is a football coach...

Mike Smith is doing a GREAT job with the Falcons, don't get me wrong...but I would have LOVED if Mike Singletary had taken the Falcons job.

For those who missed it, 49ers TE Vernon Davis picked up a stupid personal foul penalty, and then was very nonchalant when Singletary approached him about it on the sideline. Singletary ordered him to the locker room, and this was his postgame press conference...classic stuff.

More yoo-toob goodness

Not sure how this turned into "pile on the Vols" day, since this is Florida week, but this was too good not to post.

h/t to Doc Saturday

The only thing UT has going for them right now...

This guy is amazing...sure do wish his dad wasn't a Vol, because he would have been a Dawg otherwise.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Observations - LSU

Well, THAT was fun...really, just an extremely fun game to watch. Big plays on both sides, both on offense and defense.

I said all week to anybody who asked that I thought our offense was on the verge of a breakout game, and I think this one certainly qualifies. Stafford really did look like a top 5 NFL draft pick, with mostly great decisions and some unbelievable throws. The throw he made to AJ on the touchdown, under pressure, was PERFECT, the throw to Demiko in the redzone was a laser, and so on and so on. He also threw ZERO interceptions, made the right decisions on audibles over and over, and just overall looked like a big-time quarterback.

Of course, he got a lot of help. First of all, whatever we are paying Stacey Searles is not enough. I've lost count of how many combinations we have started on the offensive line, we're on our 4th left tackle...and that OL just went into LSU and outplayed one of the best DL's in the country. Stafford was only sacked once, was not even pressured very often, and the Dawgs rushed for 194 yards. This from a line with three freshmen and two sophomores in the starting lineup. Unbelievable.

What's left to be said about Knowshon? Another jaw-dropping performance. Probably what impresses me the most is his amazing sense of balance. He is constantly bouncing off of defenders, keeping his feet somehow, and picking up extra yardage...about 60 yards of it on his touchdown run, where he bounced off a guy at the line of scrimmage, broke a tackle, and then outran Beckwith (despite Uncle Verne's claims that he "doesn't have great speed" - HA!). Loved the "call me" reference to the LSU student section...for those who don't know, somebody leaked Knowshon's cell phone, and the LSU students started prank calling him until he had his cell phone turned off in the middle of the week. They pulled the same stunt with Tebow last year, and he made the same gesture...those cajuns are slow learners.

Defense was kind of a mixed bag...gave up a lot of yards and points, but also made lots of big plays, including Gamble's pair of TD's. There was some poor tackling, even a couple of misses by Rennie, which you NEVER see. A lack of blitzing that would be disturbing if I hadn't been watching a Willie Martinez coached defense for the past several years. Overall, probably a C+ effort, and one that will have to be improved on next week.

Some other random thoughts...
- I would pat myself on the back for getting a couple of my predictions right (pick 6 for a touchdown, at least one big TD pass off of an LSU blitz), but I was nothing compared to Gary Danielson. Don't know if you noticed, but he called three of the touchdown plays before they happened: the screen pass LSU scored on, and both the fade and the QB draws that we scored on. Pretty impressive stuff...that is what makes a good analyst.

- Poor Shaun Chapas still hasn't scored a touchdown. Last week, he catches a pass, takes it all the way down to the 1, and then we hand it to Southerland for the cherry-pick touchdown. Then, this week, we go with three FB at the goal line...and hand it to Munzenmaier. Chapas continues to play well, and hopefully he'll be rewarded soon with a TD.

- How about the cajones of Blair Walsh? Freshman kicker, on the road in one of the loudest and most hostile environments in the country, and he nails a big 50 yard FG right before the half. Last week's struggles obviously didn't affect his confidence, which is a great sign.

- The message board negativity I've seen on the Dawgvent and Dawgrun is a little frustrating. This was a great win, against the defending national champs on the road in the SEC. Why do people want to find things to complain about in the aftermath of a win like that? I think that the message boards and sports talk radio have created an atmosphere where people think you only sound intelligent if you are being negative. Yeah, the defense could have played better, but the track record of this coaching staff speaks for itself, in my opinion.

It's great to be a Georgia Bulldawg...bring on the Gators!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes, yes, YES!!!!!

New season 5 promo for the greatest show on television...can't wait!!

Catch-up thoughts on the Dawgs

OK, lots of ground to cover here, since I haven't really posted about the Dawgs since the ASU game. We'll take them a game at a time:

Alabama (aka Blackout III: The Reckoning) - I'm still mentally blocking most of this game, and I haven't really dealt with it emotionally yet. I just sometimes wake up screaming after dreams of yellow flags flying all around me and gigantic Crimson monsters laughing maniacally while dangling poor little Uga VII over the pits of we just move on.

Honestly, this was just a good old fashioned butt-whoopin'. The disturbing part is that we seem to have one of these every year. Really not sure of the answer to why that happens, but this one hurt.The Dawgs no longer have any margin for error the rest of the year if they want to accomplish their ultimate goal.

Tennessee - I only wish we could have dominated on the scoreboard the way we did on the field. This was possibly the most dominating 12 point win I've ever seen. When you hold a 42-18 minute advantage in time of possession and a 460-200 advantage in total offense, you should expect to win by more than two touchdowns. Questionable play-calling and bad decisions in the red zone cost us at least another 14-21 points, and then we wouldn't have to hear any of the crap we're hearing about "style points" (seriously, style points? Is this figure skating? Are we in Russia?). We kept going to the well on the fade route in the end zone, and we never did have any success. Since we really haven't seen much of that play before or since, I can only assume that we saw something on film that we thought we could take advantage of and then just didn't execute.

Though I wish we could have beaten them by more, it was still a satisfying win to me. Like last year, UT was circling the bowl when they met up with the Dawgs...unlike last year, we didn't allow Phat Phil to clog himself in the drain and refuse to go down.

Vanderbilt - Almost a carbon copy of the UT game. Again, this was a much more dominating performance than the scoreboard would indicate. Once again, lack of execution in the red zone, including two uncharacteristic misses from Blair Walsh, kept this one closer than it should have been.

One disturbing trend that came out of these two games was that in each of them, Stafford threw an UGLY interception that was reminiscent of some of his early career mistakes. Up to that point, he had done an EXCELLENT job in valuing the football, so here's hoping they were temporary lapses that are out of his system.

Overall, the team has bounced back pretty well after the embarrassment against Bama. Two very good performances against SEC competition, even if there were still enough coughs and stalls to keep the game closer than they should have been. Pretty happy with the offensive line, especially considering the ridiculous rash of injuries and youth. Moreno continues to add zeroes to the end of his bank account with one jaw-dropping performance after another. AJ Green is a BEAST, and may be the best receiver we've ever had by the time he leaves. Really, the team has been playing well in most facets of the game, except we still don't seem to be able to get consistent pressure on the quarterback, which is affecting all phases of our defense.

Which leads us to the LSU game...

Early in the week, I felt really confident about this game, to the point where I thought we may be looking at a 31-17 score, with maybe a defensive or special teams touchdown thrown in there. The more I look at the game, though, the more nervous I get. The matchups in this game remind me a lot of the Alabama game, which is terror-inducing for obvious reasons that I still am not ready to talk about. The matchups on both lines of scrimmage favor the Tigers, I think, especially our DL vs. their OL. If we can't shut down their run game, or if we give Hatch/Lee all day to dink and dunk their way down the field, we could be in trouble.

For some reason, though, I still think we pull this one out tomorrow. I think the OL will surprise some people in their ability to hold their own against LSU's monstrous DL. Open holes for Moreno and give Stafford just a LITTLE time, and I think we can put up points on this defense. The strength of their defense is definitely NOT in the secondary...if Stafford gets time, I think he can make them pay for blitzing by burning them deep with AJ and MoMass. A factor that is in our favor, in my opinion, is that we are VERY good at picking up blitzes, with Stafford able to identify them pre-snap and Knowshon and Southerland/Chapas doing an excellent job in picking them up. I see at least a couple of big pass plays coming off of LSU blitzes.

On defense, we need to sell out to stop the run and make them throw to beat us. Mix up coverage, but do NOT play off them all day and let them work their way down the field. Anybody can hit 6 yard curl routes, even John Parker Wilson (...shudder). If you make their QB's have to MAKE PLAYS, then we have them right where we want them. In fact, I think we may see one of our DB's with a pick-6 in this one, probably off a rushed decision due to pass rush.

Prediction: Dawgs 27, Tigers 17

Ever feel like you're watching a movie you already know the ending to?

Knowing what we know about Noel Devine (Scroll down to "Personal Life" section) , and Roger Goodell's personal vendetta against any type of non-family-friendly activities engaged in by those under his command...what's the over/under on Devine's NFL career? I'm putting it at 1.5 seasons. It's a shame, too...this guy has been fun to watch ever since he became one of the first stars of this thing called yoo-toob during his freshman year in high school. Check him out...if you want your MIND BLOWN.

Old School Rasslin' post of the week

The Old School Rasslin' Post of the week makes its return with, who else....the Nature Boy.

By the way, the big guy blocking the camera looking like a big fat bumblebee is none other than the Boogie-Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant. Also, check out Ricky Morton to the left wearing his face guard after the Horsemen rubbed his nose in the concrete...classic.





Yeah, that was lame. Sorry, I'm really rusty, considering that yesterday marked the ONE MONTH anniversary of my last post. I appreciate all the cards and letters commemorating that momentous occasion.

Real life has severely limited my blogging planning season at work, and a remodeling extravaganza going on at my house.

I'll be back later (PROMISE!!!) with my thoughts on the last three games, as well as my preview of the LSU slobberknocker that will take place tomorrow in Baton Rouge.

In the meantime, here are some random thoughts that I have had over the last month:

- Mad Men is the second best show on TV, behind only Lost. (Quick note: when football season is over and the new TV season starts in January, you're going to think you wondered into a Techie blog due to all of the GeekTV posts you're going to see...all Lost/BSG, all the time, baby!). Mad Men contains some of the best writing and acting out there, and the art direction is just perfect. Both the writing and the acting are subtle, so it may take a few episodes to grab you, but do yourself a favor and pick up season 1 on DVD. Season 2 is wrapping up Sunday night, but I'm sure it will be replayed on AMC...I'll try to post the times when it starts.

- The schadenfreude factor of watching Auburn's struggles has been almost overcome by pity. The whole Tony Franklin situation was just a disaster from the beginning, and it all falls at the feet of Tommy Tuberville. I never understood the hire in the first place...Auburn has always been a rugged, hit you in the mouth, old school SEC team, and they have had a good bit of success doing so. Why, why, WHY would you decide to switch from that to some frou-frou pansy spread? My heart went out to Auburn fans as I watched their offense pull that crap where they all line up on offense, and then everybody stands up and looks at the sideline. They looked like a MAC team with that little act. THEN, after you hire Tony Franklin, who only knows one offensive philosophy, you tie his hands by not allowing him to hire his own staff, and leave a staff under him that has only known smash-mouth football. This was a recipe for disaster, and that's exactly what they got. The coaching staff never bought in to what Franklin was trying to do, which means the team never did, either. THEN, when the inevitable happens and the offense falls apart, you fire the coordinator in the middle of the season, and you're left with a mish-mash of players and scheme that keep you from running ANYTHING with any degree of effectiveness.

Bravo, Tuberville...Bra-freakin-vo.

Tell me if ANYBODY enjoyed watching Auburn get their lunch handed to them by West Virginia last night more than Tony Franklin...not only did the team/coach who may have cost you a career go down in flames, but they did so at the hands of the spread offense. I wouldn't have been surprised if the camera had panned up to the WVU coach's box, only to hear Jim Ross scream, "Wait a minute...that's TONY FRANKLIN'S MUSIC? Who let him up there? What a SHOCKING turn of events!"

- Tennessee, on the other hand...I'm TOTALLY enjoying watching Phat Phil's downfall. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. It's certainly turned the Phil Fulmer Show on SportSouth into Must-See TV for me. Few things in life bring more joy than watching Fulmer squirm as he says things like, "Yeah, we really didn't block anybody on that play...Another poor decision by Nick, he's gotta be better than that...looks like a blown assignment there in the secondary...." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

- How about those Falcons? Regardless of what happens from here on out, you have to be excited about the future of this team. Let me be one of many to say that I was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about drafting Matt Ryan. This guy is a future star in this league, and only the moron Vick apologists can possibly find anything to complain about in regards to his performance so far. It would be hard to have a better off season than what the Falcons pulled off this past year, which is AMAZING considering the shape they were in when the season ended. The Dimitroff hire looks great so far...a nearly PERFECT draft (first 4 picks: Ryan, Baker, Lofton, Douglas, all MAJOR contributors), possibly the best free agent signing of the offseason (Michael Turner). Love what Mike Smith and his coaching staff are doing right be honest, it reminds me a lot of what Dan Reeves had going on, which is fine by me. We'll know more about the possibilities for this year after the next couple of weeks, but you can tell the foundation is being built, and I honestly believe the playoffs could be a possibility as early as next year.

More to come later...I've got a lot of stuff that's built up over the last month!