Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Evening thoughts

  • I left Athens Saturday night as exhausted as I've ever been after watching a football game in person. I suppose it was the combination of a long day, and one of the most poorly mismanagements of time on the part of ESPN and the officiating crew, plus being emotionally spent from the flow of the game itself. I generally prefer night games, but there was no excuse for the length of that game Saturday night.
  • Sanford was really loud at times - especially the Boykin return, Smith's TD, and Curran's play at the end; but there were some times when it was as quiet as I can remember. I think the flow of the game had alot to do with it. With all the big plays and quick drives that UGA put together, it seemed to suck the wind out of the stadium (at least until the next big play happened.)
  • I can't believe how fast Branden Smith is. UGA has had fast players, but I'm not sure that I can remember a player with that kind of burst. Florida and LSU have had some really fast "specialists" over last few years, and I've always been envious that UGA didn't land guys like Trindon Holliday or Brandon James. Smith doesn't seem like he takes a backseat to any of those guys. The difference is that Smith might be more than just a kick returner or somebody that you run special offensive plays for - he might end up as a shutdown cover corner before he leaves Athens. All-American potential.
  • Say what you will about Reshad Jones, but the kid is going to have a long career in the NFL. He just is. That said, he is obviously on the SEC officials' shat-list. As ridiculous as the personal foul call was in Stillwater, I think the one Saturday night was worse. I realize he was flagged for tackling the ball carrier after the whistle, and not for the horse collar tackle that you first thought. The SC player was still running full speed down the sideline. He was right beside the referee that blew the whistle signaling him out of bounds, and Reshad was 15 yards down the field. If the runner didn't hear the whistle, how is Reshad supposed to hear it? He was the last player between the SC player and the end zone. He's playing the ball and obviously didn't hear the whistle. I just hope he doesn't let up on somebody down the road in a key spot. It would be only natural for him to be a bit gunshy at some point. The patsy rules in college football are just getting ridiculous. For a defense that sometimes (in my opinion) needs to be more aggressive, rules that encourage softness are not good.
  • Joe Cox had a tough week last week, but he showed up Saturday night. He wasn't spectacular, but he's probably not going to be at any point. He was solid, and he was every bit the leader that we've all been told he was going to be all year. The interception was a bad play, but let's be honest. Eric Norwood hadn't had his name called all night. Not once that I remember. He was going to do something at some point, he's just too good not to. It just so happened that "something" was the biggest play of the game to that point. I've been as critical of Cox as anybody, but I was awfully proud of his effort Saturday night.
  • Speaking of Joe, I've thought all along that at some point this season he (and Bobo) were going to learn that they just need to start throwing it in AJ Green's direction, whether he's open or not, whether he's got double-coverage or not. We're starting to see signs of it, and these are good signs. There are few wide receivers in the history of football at this level that have the ability to dominate games. Green is that kind of player. I also noticed that he's starting to get a bit of an attitude on the field, and for the most part that is a good thing. However, there was one point in the game Saturday night when the SC cornerback came up to play press coverage on him. He came up to bump AJ, who simply put a move on him and just about put him on the ground before he ran toward the southeast end zone wide-arse open. Joe never saw him, otherwise AJ would still be running up Baxter Street with the ball. After the play, AJ walked back up the South Carolina sideline barking at the coaches for trying to man him up. Unfortunately I think the SC coaches learned their lesson and never gave him less than a 10 yard cushion the rest of the evening. Times like those that I'd prefer he lays a little bit lower. I'll take my chances if an opponent wants to man him up.
  • I loved the deep kicks, however I knew that one of them was going to get returned back to mid-field before the night was over, and then I just knew that Mark Richt was going to try to use it as an example of why he doesn't like to kick it deep. Hey Coach - not sure if you've noticed, but you were giving up at least one long return per game with the old method. Let's give this one a try for a while. Just trust us all on this one.
  • Hale mentioned it in his blog Sunday, but I was thinking it when I saw it in the 4th quarter. Odd time for Brown and Wooten to make their season debuts. It seemed like the coaches realized that they hadn't played yet again, and wanted to get them in there just so people wouldn't ask about it after the game. By the way, if you didn't notice, Marlon Brown looks like a monster in pads. Freakishly big for a wide receiver.
  • Really curious about how the coaches are going to find ways to get Orson Charles more involved in the offense. He is a weapon and it looks to me like he knows how to get open. Eventually he's going to catch one in stride in the middle of the field and some poor safety is going to get flattened.
  • I pride myself on remembering just about every play of every game, but I honestly never saw Logan Gray in the game other than to fair catch a punt. My wife had to inform me on the ride home that he came in for one offensive play. Really odd.
  • I haven't seen the replay yet, but I'm pretty sure I saw Owens and Atkins playing on the ends during South Carolina's last drive. I believe Weston and Tyson (or Wheeling) were playing tackle at the time. Cornelius Washington really emerged and Houston coming back will be huge, but I wonder if we're going to see alot more of Owens and Atkins on the ends as the season moves on.
  • Neither of the results of the first 2 games have been surprising to me, but how they both went down were a surprise. With that in mind, I haven't come up with a prediction for this weekend yet. Arkansas is hard to get a read on. They are basically opening their season Saturday. They have a pretty talented quarterback, but I hear that he can barely move out of the pocket. This will represent some different challenges OSU and SC did. It will be interesting to see how the defense handles a balanced attack like what Petrino brings.
  • For this UGA team, every game is going to be important, but my first impression is that the one in Fayetteville might make a huge difference in where UGA finishes up record-wise. Win this game, and you've got a pretty good chance of being 3-1 for a home game in early October against an LSU team that has been anything but impressive thus far. Lose in Fayetteville and you're basically back in the same position you were heading into last Saturday night. I hear the game is a toss-up in Vegas, and that sounds about right to me so far. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure that a pick-em for every game between now and Florida (with the exception of Arizona State) isn't about right.
  • And finally - Rennie Curran is the man. I've read about 10 bloggers in the last 2 days saying that Rennie is quickly becoming one of their favorite all-time UGA players. Let me add myself to that club.


Otto said...

Great post JJ!! What a game that was. It took 1 1/2 games but UGA is starting to get an identity and find their playmakers. I agree on all your points...

I still can't get over how fast BS is either......the saying "shot out of a barrel" hits the nail on the head. We always hear about players being fast before they get on campus but they end up just blending in with the other we have a legit burner that plays O, D & ST's!!

Boykins also had a breakout game and I believe he will be the best #2 in CMR era...yep better than TW and AA.

Got to give props to Samuel!!! I was as hard as anyone on him for falling down at first contact last week. Sat night he NEVER went down on first contact. I had images of Earl C. in my head......RS was a stud. If Bobo gives him the ball 15+ times in the 2nd half UGA wins by 3 scores!!!
Logan's one play was a option read... he handed it to RS for a 2 yard loss......if he keeps it he gets 8 yds at least.

R. Jones is getting killed by the refs and the new rules suck!!

I thought Joe played ok(I think he was purple for half the game) but still struggles on the deeper passes. AJ will still go up and get it though.....we are lucky to have him and should savor every minute he is in the Red and Black!!
We will get better and so will Joe!!
I'm still waiting to see T. King catch one in stride like he did against ASU last yr. Still waiting on M. Brown And R. Wooten.

Next week is huge and it is going to be fun to watch this team mature...No matter what R. Curran will keep this team going!!!

Mike said...

Really good stuff JJ. That about sums it up for me. My only question is how in the heck SC scored 37 points on us at home. I was and still am convinced this was the worst offense we'd see all year.
I think (once again) that Martinez just doesn't know how and when to pressure up front, and the result is a a lot of time to throw the ball (which Garcia had), and a lot of open receivers (which SC had). It makes our secondary look confused and slow to the play, but man we have got to start pressuring QB's...
Anyhow, a lot more to like about this game. Boykin, B. Smith, Reshad Jones all impressed the hell outta me. Richard Samuel must have been reading some of his bad press from OSU cause he had a chip on his shoulder. Let's hope he keeps that up.

BayouDawg said...

I don't know if anyone noticed but it seemed as if at the 14 min marker of the 2nd qtr, the team began to believe in itself for the first time.