David Hale of Bulldogs Blog has a fascinating look at how Mark Richt’s perception of where Georgia’s defense has struggled differs from what the numbers actually show.
Richt said this week: “I think when we get people in the third-and-long situations, the possession down, we need to nail it more often. We need to get off the field when we get them there. … We’ve gotten ourselves in that position on enough occasions where if we could just finish it I think the outcome of a couple of our games would have been different, too.”
But Hale crunched the numbers, which show Georgia doesn’t have a problem getting off the field when they get third-and-long. The problem is that the Bulldogs aren’t getting to third down enough because opponents are often getting the yards they need on first and second down.
RED ZONE BLUES
In a feature on Dogs running back Richard Samuel, The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has a depressing historical tidbit: Georgia, which hasn’t rushed for 100 yards since its win against Arkansas, never reached the red zone in last week’s loss at Tennessee, and the last time that happened for the Bulldogs was in a 34-3 loss at Clemson in 1990, a span of 232 games. Back in 1990, Georgia recovered a fumble at the Clemson 27-yard line that year, which led to a John Kasay field goal. The farthest the Bulldogs offense got last week was the Tennessee 34.
As for Samuel, who is expected to start a seventh consecutive game Saturday despite a continual decline in his production (along with the rest of the Georgia running game), he tells the Times-Free Press he believes his two biggest weaknesses to this point have been getting brought down too easily and not making anything happen when nothing is there. He ran for a season-best 104 yards against the Razorbacks, but his favorite game to date is his 15-carry, 65-yard performance against South Carolina because he broke some tackles.
THE BULLDOG TRIANGLE
The Athens Banner-Herald takes a look at Mark Fox’s new-look Georgia basketball team, which begins practice on Friday and opens the season Nov. 13 at home against New Orleans. The Banner-Herald reports Fox will replace departed Dennis Felton’s motion offense with a variation of the triangle offense that Phil Jackson used to win 10 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Says Fox: “There’s not many teams that play the way we’re going to play on the offensive end. If you look at our previous teams, we’ve had post players who’ve led us in scoring and we’ve had perimeter players score 25 a game. We can structure to get our best players the most shots.”
Georgia point guard Dustin Ware tells the ABH he likes the triangle offense “because it’s very open. It’s not like set plays, it’s more like multiple options and you have to read and react. You can do just about anything out of one set. I like it because it gives you floor space and it’s an open way to play.”
“It’s flexible enough to go with the hot hand wherever that hot hand might be,” Fox says. “We’re probably not going to install all of it at one time. Normally you have three or four new players, but this year we have 15 because they’re all trying to run a new system.”
FEWER DRINKS, MORE COPS
If you go to Jacksonville for the Georgia-Florida game mainly just to get blitzed rather than for the football, it won’t be quite as easy this year.
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party will have no more roaming shot-sellers, no giant-sized drink cups and fewer alcohol-sales sites this year, the Florida Times-Union reports. For the game between the Dogs and Gators on Oct. 31, the Jacksonville Landing will cut in half the number of places alcohol can be purchased and will not allow wandering, outdoor vendors to offer shots of liquor, the paper says. Drinks will be limited to a maximum of 20 ounces, far smaller than several years ago, when 60-ounce footballs were filled. Pitchers of beer will still be available but must be consumed inside the venue where they are purchased. IDs will be checked on a drink-by-drink basis.
The Gainesville Sun also reports the Landing will increase the police presence in its common areas by one-quarter, according to a plan submitted recently to the city of Jacksonville.