Archive for October, 2009

Dogs start slow but finish strong

Caleb King returned for a good day. (Frederick Breedon / Special)

Caleb King returned for a good day. (Frederick Breedon / Special)

After three quarters of the usual one yard and a cloud of dust, Georgia finally found some semblance of a running game in the fourth quarter, even if it was against the next-to-worst rushing defense in the conference.

With Mike Bobo on the sideline conferring with Mark Richt and quarterback Joe Cox instead of up in the booth, the Dogs’ offense initially picked up where it left off last week, looking sluggish as the linemen seemed to spend a lot of time down on the ground.

But once the brilliant A.J. Green at last got to touch the ball, taking a simple screen pass and zig-zagging his way downfield 65 yards for a touchdown, the Georgia offense seemed to wake up and at least looked at least adequate for the rest of the game.

It was encouraging to see Caleb King make a welcome return, winding up with two touchdowns, which hopefully will bolster his confidence.

And in the fourth quarter, mostly in sets with two …

Continue reading Dogs start slow but finish strong »

Two-minute drill: Could 1980 Dawgs win it all today?

1980 national champions. (University of Georgia)

1980 national champions. (University of Georgia)

We’ll head into the weekend with fingers crossed for a must win in Nashville and some quick reads of interest.

First up, College Football News’ Pete Fiutak tries to answer the question: Could the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs play with the top teams of today? Or could any of the best teams of all-time challenge for the national title in today’s game?

Says Fiutak:  “Older fans like to think that the teams they grew up loving and cheering for were special, and in their time, they were. But no, the most talented teams of the past wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s college football world. Yeah, some of the great national champions that were full of NFL talent could be competitive and could get to a bowl, but they’d get destroyed by the big-time programs of today.

“The biggest player on the offensive line of the 1980 national champion Georgia Bulldogs was 6-3 and 260 pounds. Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh is 6-4, 300 pounds and is as …

Continue reading Two-minute drill: Could 1980 Dawgs win it all today? »

Bulldog Bites: Kevin Butler known as ‘Drew’s dad’?

Drew Butler. (Markricht.com)

Drew Butler. (Markricht.com)

One of the few highlights of the Dogs’ season so far that doesn’t involve A.J. Green has been watching punter Drew Butler show off his very strong leg. An interesting feature on Butler in the Athens Banner-Herald notes that the NCAA record for season average on punts could be within the redshirt sophomore’s reach before the year’s out.

Young Butler also talks about carving out his own niche in the shadow of his legendary placekicker father. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be Kevin’s son,” Drew says. “I love my dad. He’s my best friend, but being able to do my own thing has been really cool. Not kicking, obviously, being a punter has helped. I think if I keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully people will know me and know my dad as Drew’s dad.”

Instead of him just being that old geezer who once kicked it a hundred thousand miles to beat Clemson.

WHITHER THE TIGHT ENDS?

Marc Weiszer looks at what’s happened lately to tight ends Orson Charles and Aron

Continue reading Bulldog Bites: Kevin Butler known as ‘Drew’s dad’? »

Martinez’s UGA defense has become predictable

Tennessee knew what to expect from Prince Miller and the rest of the Georgia defense. (Associated Press)

Tennessee knew what to expect from Prince Miller and the rest of the Georgia defense. (Associated Press)

One of the more disturbing quotes that came out of the Georgia-Tennessee game was this one from Vols quarterback Jonathan Crompton, because I think it says volumes about Georgia’s decline as a defensive team over the past couple of seasons.  Explaining his unexpected success against the Dogs, Crompton said: “We got the right play calls because we knew what they were going to do.”

Which brings us to one of Willie Martinez’s chief weaknesses: His predictability and lack of adaptability. I know we’ve heard that, contrary to fans’ perceptions, Martinez does make midgame adjustments in his schemes. He just doesn’t seem to make successful adjustments very often.

The most recent example is Georgia’s failure to adjust to Tennessee’s play-action bootlegs, not exactly a New Age offensive wrinkle. Perhaps the problem was on the field, not the sideline, with players unable to make …

Continue reading Martinez’s UGA defense has become predictable »

Is Dogs’ defense just what struggling Vandy offense needs?

While Georgia is about a 7 point favorite over Vanderbilt, I have to admit that I get a bit nervous when you consider Saturday’s game will be against another team from the state of Tennessee that is tough on defense and features an offense that is led by a much maligned quarterback who so far hasn’t shown much.

Joe Cox needs to have a good day, unlike his last trip to the state of Tennessee. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

Joe Cox needs to have a good day, unlike his last trip to the state of Tennessee. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

Vandy fans keep wondering why senior Mackenzi Adams is standing on the sideline wearing a headset, considering that redshirt sophomore starter Larry Smith is completing only 46 percent of his passes (less than 40 percent against SEC defenses) as the Commodores have thrown for just 146.7 yards per game, worst in the conference and 114th nationally. Smith has thrown only two touchdowns against six interceptions.

Yet I have nightmarish visions of Smith suddenly looking competent against Georgia’s secondary, which acts at times as if it thinks the opposing receivers …

Continue reading Is Dogs’ defense just what struggling Vandy offense needs? »

Is Georgia’s problem coaching or inferior talent?

Did  Brian Van Gorder benefit from better defensive talent? (Georgia Sports Blog)

Did Brian Van Gorder benefit from better defensive talent? (Georgia Sports Blog)

Is the relative decline of Mark Richt’s program in the past couple of seasons a matter of bad coaching or is it more a case of the talent not being up to the level it was during his first few years in Athens?

Quarterback-turned-broadcaster Buck Belue has been making the case for the latter scenario this week. Summing up the loss to Tennessee earlier this week, he said: “They recruited the wrong guys 4 years ago and they are paying for it right now.”

And talking about embattled defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, Belue says: “Again, to me it’s more about personnel than about his coaching. …I keep going back to this: In 2007, the Dogs’ defense was at the top of the SEC. Georgia was #3 in scoring defense: 20.2 per game. Dogs were #3 in rush defense. They forced 26 turnovers and sacked the QB 42 times … tops in the SEC. Did he forget how to coach? Think not. It’s the …

Continue reading Is Georgia’s problem coaching or inferior talent? »

Green tops midterm Bulldogs honor roll

In the midst of a below par first half of the season (more on that below), there still have been a few standouts for the Dogs, players whose performance on the field deserves special mention.

So here are the members of the Junkyard Blawg’s midterm honor roll:

A.J. Green. Perhaps the best receiver in the country, the sophomore leads the SEC in receptions and receiving yards and is Georgia’s go-to guy on offense. He’s made spectacular catches and has even blocked a field goal on special teams. Imagine what he could do if he were on a really good offense!

Rennie Curran. The junior linebacker leads the SEC with 63 tackles and is the only player in the league averaging 10-plus tackles per game at 10.5. He set a career high with 16 tackles in the LSU game and has led the Dogs in tackles every game this season. Without him, the won-loss record would be much worse.

Brandon Boykin. The sophomore defensive back is the first player in SEC history with two 100-yard kickoff returns for …

Continue reading Green tops midterm Bulldogs honor roll »

Bulldog Bites: Georgia has trouble even getting to third down

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

Richard Samuel has struggled but is still starting. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

Richard Samuel has struggled but is still starting. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

In a feature on Dogs running back Richard Samuel, The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has …

Continue reading Bulldog Bites: Georgia has trouble even getting to third down »

What is this, a remake of ‘Clueless’?

That's Bryan Evans giving chase as a South Carolina player scores earlier this season. Just imagine if he didn't spend all that time in the film room. (Associated Press)

That's Bryan Evans giving chase as a South Carolina player scores earlier this season. Just imagine if he didn't spend all that time in the film room. (Associated Press)

One of the most frequently used expressions in college football is everyone needing to be “on the same page.” Rennie Curran says it all the time about Georgia’s struggling defense.

But when it comes to the Dogs’ secondary, I’m beginning to wonder if some of them are in the wrong book. And don’t even know it.

It happens. I remember one day in seventh grade when the math teacher noted that quite a few folks in the class were having problems with the unit we were studying and she was going to ask several of the better students to help their struggling classmates.

Since I was generally an A student and had been tapped to tutor folks in other classes, I was eager to get on board. I raised my hand and asked, “Who am I going to help?”

“Oh no,” said the teacher. “You’re one of the ones who needs help.”

Oooof! I didn’t …

Continue reading What is this, a remake of ‘Clueless’? »

Let your cute pet win you free UGA tickets!

Photo by Brant Sanderlin / AJC

Photo by Brant Sanderlin / AJC

A number of fans already have sent us pictures of their dogs and cats done up in UGA colors. You can click on the “submit your photos” link below and check them out.

Still, chances are you’ll come to the conclusion your pet is much better looking.

If so, now’s the time to snap a picture of them showing your Bulldogs spirit and enter it in our third Junkyard Blawg Fan of the Week contest. You could win two free tickets to the next Bulldogs home game in Athens!

In order to make it into the final round of finalists, your pictures need to follow our theme: Showing your UGA spirit through your pets.

Send us a photo of your pet by midnight on Oct. 27. You still have some time for this contest, so we’re expecting you to get creative and show your originality. Any kind of pet will do, though of course this is Bulldog Country, as they used to say. We’ll narrow the entries down to four finalists and put it to a vote of the readers.

The winner gets two …

Continue reading Let your cute pet win you free UGA tickets! »