Archive for December, 2009

A season’s high points, low points

bulldogMark Richt is still searching for a new defensive coordinator, the players have exams and I’m on vacation this week, but that’s no reason for the discussion of all things Georgia football to stop here.

I’ll get you started by asking what you think the high points and low points were in this disappointing season. I’m guessing the win at Tech tops many people’s lists of high points, but there are others: the emergence of a running game late in the season for one.

Low points? So many to choose from, but I’m stuck on picking which was worse: the domination by the Vols in Knoxville or the Dogs’ second-half collapse against Kentucky.

Anyway, comment away, but keep it clean and civil, please. And the Blawg will return next week.

Go Dogs!

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Keep talking Dogs

I’m a bit under the weather today and so won’t be blogging, but feel free to keep discussing the Dogs here. Congratulations to Drew Butler on being named the nation’s best punter in his first year as the starter. Go Dogs!

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Bulldog Bites: Washaun for Heisman?

Washaun Ealey's numbers are getting some UGA fans excited about the future. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Washaun Ealey's numbers are getting some UGA fans excited about the future. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

An interesting comparison between Knowshon Moreno’s numbers and those of freshman Washaun Ealey at Bulldawg Illustrated makes the case that Georgia fans could be in for some exciting results in the running game.

Ealey didn’t play an entire season, but if you take his numbers and extrapolate them to a full season’s worth, they compare quite favorably with what Moreno did. In fact, his yards-per-carry average of 5.8 is better than Moreno’s 5.4 in 2007 and 5.6 in 2008.

The blog also notes that “only two SEC running backs with a minimum of 100 carries, Dexter McCluster of Ole Miss and Mark Ingram of Alabama, averaged more rushing yards per carry in 2009 than Washaun’s 5.8 YPC. Mark Ingram is considered to be the leading Heisman contender, and here is his 2009 line: 249 carries, 1542 yards, 6.2 yards per carry, 15 [touchdowns]. Washaun’s extrapolated numbers would be in …

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Pollack’s advice to Owens: You are what you eat

Jeff Owens might not watch what he eats, but someone else does. (Georgiadogs.com)

Jeff Owens might not watch what he eats, but someone else does. (Georgiadogs.com)

Supersized senior defensive tackle Jeff Owens has become something of a legend among Georgia fans on Twitter for his frequent updates about eating. If you follow Owens on the social media site, you generally know where he’s having lunch or dinner.

But those tweets took an interesting turn this week as Owens discovered that Big Brother is watching. Or, rather, former UGA star defensive end David Pollack, another heavy user of Twitter.

Here’s how the exchange went (I’ve fixed the punctuation):

jeffowens95: Just finish working out; today’s running killed me.

davidpollack47@jeffowens95: It’s bc [because] your diet sucks, get the heck out of Waffle House.

jeffowens95@davidpollack47: Ha ha, I’m a D Tackle.

davidpollack47@jeffowens95: No excuse, diet is important.

Pollack continued his “intervention” the next day.

jeffowens95: Time for dinner. I want to eat at the Blind Pig.

davidpollack47@jeffowens95:

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Rex Robinson: Players in control in Athens?

Was Mark Richt's choice of uniforms against Florida a symptom of a bigger problem? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Was Mark Richt's choice of uniforms against Florida a symptom of a bigger problem? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Rex Robinson isn’t sure a new defensive coordinator will cure what ails Mark Richt’s program.

He blogs that “There have been ever increasing signs that the inmates were running the asylum at UGA. For three years the intermittent collapses on offense, defense or as a team left many Dawg fans scratching their heads. … Now it comes out that the strife on this team has reached new levels. I’m not going to go into specifics on here, but suffice it to say, it’s much worse than we imagined.”

While he doesn’t provide any specifics, Robinson cites Richt’s decision to go with the black helmets and pants against Florida as a case of him catering to the players to try and get them to perform. “It’s not the actual helmets and pants, or even black jerseys,” Robinson says. “It’s what they represent. The players are in control.”

He goes on to bring up again recurring questions about …

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Athens paper favors charge for North Campus tailgating

Tailgaters leave a mess on UGA's North Campus. (Elizabeth Quillin / Special)

Tailgaters leave a mess on UGA's North Campus. (Elizabeth Quillin / Special)

In an editorial published in Sunday’s Athens Banner-Herald, the paper came out in favor of UGA beginning to charge tailgaters for access to the university’s North Campus quadrangles.

The ABH noted that UGA President Michael Adams said last week that a committee looking into how to get a handle on the trashing of North Campus on game days by tailgaters had recommended that the university consider limiting access to that area of campus if tailgating crowds get too large, or start charging a fee for the privilege of tailgating there.

Adams said he would “recoil a little bit” from the prospect of charging for tailgating, but the Banner-Herald noted that restricting access to North Campus would be a hardship for those folks simply trying to get from downtown Athens to Sanford Stadium. Plus deciding when to close off the area would be problematic.

Charging for access seems to be the most workable option, …

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Lame bowl lineup: Did BCS fear the Frogs?

bcsWhen it comes to his year’s bowl lineup, it might not have been the year of the Dogs, but it’s certainly a dog year once you get past the BCS title match between Alabama and Texas.

I was looking down the list of this year’s bowl matchups to see which ones I might want to circle on the calendar as must-sees. It’s definitely an underwhelming lineup.

Forget the early minor bowls, which boast the likes of Fresno State vs. Wyoming, and Central Florida against Rutgers. OK, BYU against Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl might occupy the attention for a quarter or two. Ditto USC and Boston College in the Emerald.

But the Music City puts its perennial SEC team, Kentucky, against Clemson, who got jobbed by the Gator Bowl. Unless Clemson goes into a post-ACC championship funk, that should be a blowout.

Miami and Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl doesn’t excite me much as a viewer. Neither does Arizona-Nebraska in the Holiday.

Actually, one of the more interesting bowls this year should …

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Key to beating Aggies: Play keep-away

Jerrod Johnson is the type of QB that gives the Dogs fits. (Associated Press)

Jerrod Johnson is the type of QB that gives the Dogs fits. (Associated Press)

The Independence Bowl probably isn’t much on the minds of the folks at ESPN2, but if they do spend any time looking ahead to the Georgia-Texas A&M matchup, they’ll no doubt be licking their chops over the prospects of a shootout between two teams known for scoring points and for having suspect defenses.

Especially with the sidebar that one of the teams fired all but one of its defensive coaches and will see the former quarterback head coach and two graduate assistants helping the lone survivor try to scheme against the No. 5 total offense in the country.

I watched that Texas-Texas A&M game on Thanksgiving night in which Aggies QB Jerrod Johnson was so impressive, and when it was mentioned they might be headed to the Independence Bowl, I remember thinking, “I really don’t want to see the Dogs facing that quarterback.”

Ranked sixth in the nation for total offense, Johnson is one of those mobile …

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Bulldog Bites: Bowl tickets on sale Sunday night

Will the Dogs go bowling in Atlanta or Shreveport? (UGA Sports Communications)

Will the Dogs go bowling in Atlanta or Shreveport? (UGA Sports Communications)

Atlanta? Shreveport? We’ll find out Sunday evening.

I’m hoping for the Chick-fil-A Bowl but recognize there were times this season when the Dogs looked like they’d be lucky to make it to the Independence Bowl.

I noticed the other day when I wrote about how Shreveport is not a popular destination among SEC teams, some defender of the Louisiana city took umbrage in the comments. Hey, I’ve got nothing against Shreveport itself. But its bowl, in its last year of a tie-in with the SEC, doesn’t generate much buzz. Though whenever I hear the Independence Bowl mentioned, I think of a time back in the 1990s when I was at a UGA baseball game and a guy sitting behind me, who did a dead-on impression of Ray Goff, kept drawling, “Dadburnit, Vince, I like Shreveport!”

Anyway, whichever bowl the Dogs get, the athletic association has announced that tickets will be available to the general public beginning at 8 …

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Pooch kicks: Dogs rumor mill working overtime

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart

It’s getting kind of hard to keep up with all the folks rumored to be under consideration for Georgia’s defensive coordinator, and the fact is that much of this probably is pure speculation. Let’s see, so far I think the names I’ve heard the most are Bud Foster, Kevin Steele, Ellis Johnson, Kirby Smart, Dick Bumpas, Manny Diaz, Tommy Tuberville, Tyrone Nix, Bob Sanders and Brian VanGorder. And there are all sorts of unconfirmed reports of various names on that list being spotted in the vicinity of Athens.

Van Gorder, the former Georgia DC, says he’s happy with the Atlanta Falcons and isn’t interested in the UGA job, but Twitter rumormeister David Pollack, one of VanGorder’s former star players, isn’t buying it. Tweeted Pollack: “To everyone, VanGorder has a job so he can’t say he is interested. He is in the mix, believe it.”

Whether that’s true or not, I think Mark Richt and Damon Evans should scratch VanGorder off the list (if he’s on it) because a) he already …

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