Archive for September, 2009

What’s Georgia defense’s biggest problem?

Anyway you look at it, Georgia is lucky to have won its last two games considering that its defense ranks 112th nationally in pass defense, 108th in scoring defense, 97th in total defense and, as the Athens Banner-Herald points out, has given up the fourth most touchdown passes (nine) among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The undisciplined, unfocused play by the Georgia secondary has justifiably come in for a lot of criticism after its performance last week against Arkansas, especially covering the long ball.

Others have pointed to the lack of an effective pass rush as a major contributing factor, putting additional stress on the secondary.

Still others, including Mark Richt, have put most of the blame on turnovers and other mistakes (such as giving up long kick returns or kickoffs going out of bounds) that often have given the Dogs’ opponents a short field to work with. David Hale of Bulldogs Blog provides a detailed look at how costly Georgia’s mistakes have been, …

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Pitchfork Nation talking UGA trash

North Campus after the South Carolina game. (Tom Ritch / Special)

North Campus after the South Carolina game. (Tom Ritch / Special)

The tailgating jerks who left their unbagged trash behind and the disgusting cretins who couldn’t be bothered to use one of the portable toilets on North Campus when the Dogs met South Carolina two weeks ago are in reality still trashing UGA long after the cleanup.

Unfortunately, the news and photos of the sorry scene after the tailgaters had departed have spread across the country, drawing particular interest in areas that have schools facing the Dogs this season.

So it is that Arizona Republic columnist Bob Young has advised Arizona State fans coming to Athens that they better bring their galoshes because while all football fans enjoy talking a little trash, “Georgia fans prefer to roll around in it.”

He goes on: “Now we don’t mean to paint Bulldogs fans with a broad brush. Not all of them consider living ‘up town’ to be the double-wide section of the trailer park. Nor does a ‘bright smile’ mean one has a full …

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Win game tickets: Show us your UGA game day colors!

Photo by Brant Sanderlin / AJC

Photo by Brant Sanderlin / AJC

Any male who’s ever been to a home game in Athens early in the fall comes away a definite fan of the red or black (or red and black) sundress. When it comes to game day attire by the ladies, there’s some major stylin’ going on at Sanford Stadium.

But the men get into showing their Bulldog colors, too, whether it’s frat boys with red pants, alums in T-shirts making pithy observations about Georgia’s opponents, groups of guys spelling out words with letters painted on their bare chests, or folks with elaborately painted faces and heads.

And that’s the theme of Week 2 of the Junkyard Blawg Fan of the Week contest: Showing your UGA colors on game day. Send us a photo of your best game-day attire by midnight on Sunday. We’ll narrow the entries down to four finalists and put it to a vote of the readers.

The winner gets two tickets to the next home game and their picture up on the big video screen in Sanford Stadium. A grand prize winner later in the …

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Will Dogs fans get loud for Sun Devils?

It would be natural if Arizona State’s Sun Devils were a bit intimidated by the prospect of playing Between the Hedges in front of partisan crowd of 93,000, most of whom will be rooting for UGA.

After all, last week ASU played at home before a crowd of less than 44,000. And only seven current members of the ASU team, all seniors, have ever played in a nonconference road game. The rest of the team has never played anywhere other than a PAC 10 stadium. And so far this season they’ve only played two weak opponents at home in Tempe.

Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson said in USA Today that he’s told his players to “enjoy the moment. This is a tremendous opportunity for these guys. You can’t worry about atmosphere. I’m not going to tell them it’s not noisy. It’s going to be noisier than heck. … It’s college football at its best.”

But at least one Sun Devil doesn’t sound intimidated. In the Arizona Republic, junior cornerback Omar Bolden, who in last week’s ASU win …

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First Fan of the Week winner!

Justin's Bulldog wheels.

Justin's Bulldog wheels.

The voters have spoken and we have the first week’s winner of our Junkyard Blawg Fan of the Week contest.

The winner is a fan who calls himself “Justin” for his photo of a VW bug decorated to look like a UGA football helmet, complete with the “bones” on the back for big plays.

Congratulations to Justin, who wins two tickets to the next UGA home game. We’ll have details of the Week 2 contest here tomorrow.

Go Dogs!

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Jacksonville is right place for Dogs-Gators

ga flaJust about everyone in the Bulldog Nation has an opinion on keeping the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville and those opinions have been aired here many times. But since the UGA Athletics Board has decided that the game should stay there, at least for another six years, I figured some of you might want to vent one way or the other on the subject.

As far as I’m concerned, they made the right decision if you want Georgia-Florida to remain one of college football’s marquee games, like Oklahoma-Texas. As I’ve written before, it’s the 50/50 split and cocktail party atmosphere that elevate this match-up above just another important game in the SEC East.

You can make a convincing case for playing the game in Athens and Gainesville or at least alternating home-and-home with Jacksonville, but in the end that would take away from what makes Georgia-Florida special and a lock every year for a national TV slot.

That’s my take. So now that they’ve made it official it will stay in …

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Encouraging signs on Dogs defense

Demarcus Dobbs knows improvement is needed up front. (

Demarcus Dobbs knows improvement is needed up front. (

If talking the talk is at least half the battle toward improving, then I’m encouraged by some of the comments coming out of Athens about fixing Georgia’s defense.

First of all, at least the players appear to recognize some of the problems. David Hale of Bulldogs Blog talked to Demarcus Dobbs and Rennie Curran about why the Dogs have been successful against the run but unable to generate much pressure on the quarterback. Dobbs said the Dogs’ defensive line has been bad at getting off their blocks on passing plays because they were expecting run, and said the defense has been killed by play action. Curran said it comes down to needing more film study and being better at reading pass formations, while Dobbs said the linemen have to improve on reading the blocks of the offensive line.

Fundamentals, in other words.

At least there’s no question Georgia has a lot of talent up front on defense. They just need to …

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Hope it’ll be a Dog day afternoon for LSU

I’ll be off as usual on Tuesday, and the Blawg will return on Wednesday.

In the meantime, the news announced today that Georgia’s Oct. 3 home game against LSU has been set for 3:30 p.m. by CBS means the Dogs will play their first afternoon game of the season in Athens and first daylight game since the opener in Stillwater.

Frankly, that suits me. Night games are a nice change of pace, particularly during the heat of September, but even if you tailgate, that makes for an awful lot of time to kill before you go to the stadium. I’m glad to get back to afternoon football.

This will be Georgia’s first appearance of the season on CBS. The network’s usual team of Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson will provide coverage. They’re not bad, but Lundquist has slipped some in recent years, often missing developments or misidentifying players, and I think the CBS coverage was stronger when it had Todd Blackledge as analyst instead of Danielson.

I thought the ESPN crew …

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What can be done about the Georgia defense?

Dogs can stop the run but look clueless in pass coverage. (Associated Press)

Dogs can stop the run but look clueless in pass coverage. (Associated Press)

First, there’s no point in calling for Willie Martinez to be fired. Even if Mark Richt were to conclude a change is in order, he’s not going to do it three games into the season. If the situation is the same at season’s end, that’s the time for a change.

Secondly, as awful as the Dogs looked on pass defense the past two games, they’ve been pretty good against the run, pretty good in the red zone and decent on third down.

Against South Carolina, they simply gave too much of a cushion on receivers, allowing the Gamecocks to dink and dunk their way down the field. Against Arkansas, the problem was bigger: susceptibility to the long ball. And what made it worse was that so much of the time the receiver was virtually uncovered.

Macon/Columbus beat writer David Hale has an extremely lengthy but insightful dissection of the Georgia defensive problems at Bulldogs Blog. Essentially what it boils down to is …

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More reasons for UGA fans to feel good … or bad

Dogs fans have to feel good about Joe Cox. (April L. Brown, AP)

Dogs fans have to feel good about Joe Cox. (April L. Brown, AP)

There’s a lot to feel good about after Georgia’s win over Arkansas. And a lot to be concerned about, as well …

The biggest plus is Joe Cox throwing to A.J. Green, Michael Moore, Tavares King, Orson Charles, Aron White and A.J. Green some more. If Cox continues his trend of week-to-week improvement, look out!

Another plus: Richard Samuel finally showing his breakaway speed on that 80-yard touchdown sprint. But his two fumbles in the game are alarming. Caleb King looked very strong in relief. And like I said Sunday, take away Samuel’s long run and King was actually the more productive, reliable back Saturday. His passing protection came in for praise from Mark Richt, too. Samuel may hold on to the nominal starter’s spot this week by virtue of his touchdown run, but he better start holding on to the ball as well or he’ll quickly be relegated to backup. One thing King’s return should mean: No more wasting downs by …

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