Is Herschel right about the key to winning in the SEC?

Herschel Walker is still on top. (MMA)

Herschel Walker is still on top. (MMA)

UGA legend and current MMA fighter Herschel Walker talked with the press while in Chattanooga for the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. While his comments dissing Lane Kiffin and praising Derek Dooley have drawn most of the attention, the quote from No. 34 that caught my eye was this one in the Times-Free Press in which he explained why he thinks the SEC is the ultimate college football conference:

“You can’t do the Run and Shoot or California offense in the SEC,” Walker said. “The SEC is about blocking and tackling and running the football. Line it up and go get it.”

And, you know, despite all the variations on the spread and some pretty gaudy passing numbers that have been showing up in recent seasons, I think Herschel is right on the money. As Bama showed last season with Mark Ingram, there’s nothing like a terrific tailback to elevate what otherwise would be just a good offense.

The Dogs certainly will be counting big-time on their running game this coming season, especially until Aaron Murray gets some games under his belt.

What do you think, is the running game still the key to winning in the SEC?

BRUTAL BUT HONEST … THE BEST APPROACH?

Here’s another quote that jumped out at me. After his Diamond Dogs flat-lined in a 25-5 loss to the Vols at Foley Field, UGA baseball coach David Perno pegged his team’s problem this season as a lack of pride.

“It obviously doesn’t affect our pride enough. Because we keep putting ourselves in these situations and that’s what’s frustrating. At some point, they’ve got to have a look at [the College World Series plaques] on this wall out here and realize what the standard is and what the expectations are. We’re not doing our part. Even if you can’t get some wins down the stretch here, at least you’ve got to learn how to play competitively and try to get some momentum for next year. We took a huge, huge step back today and it’s the first time I’ve been this disappointed and down on them.”

What do you think of a head coach talking about his team that way? Perno, who has a history of being a bit blunt, probably sees that approach as the only way to get his team fired up enough to at least compete. Even with all the talent the Dogs lost to MLB last year, the Dogs were expected to make a better showing than they have this year.

Still, if your own head coach has given up on you, are you likely to play harder? Tough situation.

CHALLENGING THE GATORS IN THE EAST

One last quote I liked. Asked in an ESPN.com chat who he believes will give Florida a run for the East this season, SEC blogger Chris Low picked Mark Richt’s Dogs.

“As we get closer to the season, I’m leaning more toward Georgia,” Low said. “I would have told you South Carolina a couple of months ago, but I’m not sure how the whole Spurrier/Garcia deal will play out. And with 10 offensive starters back, Georgia has a chance to be one of the most improved offensive teams in the league if redshirt freshman QB Aaron Murray can just be steady. I also think the defense will take on more of an attacking approach under Todd Grantham.

I don’t see anything to argue with there, do you?

150 comments Add your comment

snotbubble

May 11th, 2010
11:11 am

You hit the nail on the head Hershel……run, run, run.

Bradley G

May 11th, 2010
11:18 am

Ball ain’t heavy! Run the damn ball!

Big L

May 11th, 2010
11:25 am

That’s right baby. Line up and punch somebody in the mouth. GATA!!!!!!!!

Blue Fox

May 11th, 2010
11:26 am

Hershel looks fit enough in the picture to line up today, doesn’t he still have a year of college eligibility left?

Iraq Dawg

May 11th, 2010
11:32 am

run and lets play defense… HOOAH!

ARdawg

May 11th, 2010
11:40 am

Wow! I actually agree with Chris Low. Bill I also agree with Hershel. The SEC is the premier conference and the SEC knows what it takes to win. The run and shoot was a gimmick that enjoyed some attention. It’s been proven again and again that it doesn’t hold up against a solid defense with a running game that eats up a clock which most SEC teams are expertly capable of.

I don;t know what to think of Perno’s latest remarks. Perhaps he’s at the end of his rope. Usually, when the team lacks motivation the finger pointing needs to be focused at the coach. One or two unmotivated players perhaps but not the majority of the team. Thats generally a coaching problem

guy

May 11th, 2010
11:41 am

yeah the spread, or run and shoot will never win an SEC title…

florida has about 8 or nine trophies and a few crystal footballs in their case that will beg to differ.

of course herschel thinks you need an awesome running back to win. he is the only reason uga won. but absent a once in a generation talent like his, you can pursue other options that can be successful.

RxDawg

May 11th, 2010
11:41 am

I want to believe.

Watching some of these knuckleheads make such bad decisions has been demoralizing though.

Hopefully it was just the wrong mixture of events and players the past couple of years. I think they can certainly improve to be competitive in the SEC again.

BurningRedBleedingBlack

May 11th, 2010
11:46 am

Thats right smash mouth football gotta love it GO DAWGS!!!!

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
11:48 am

Guy,

Quiet man! Next thing you’ll know you’ll have that Patrick loon on here talking about how much better of a football team UGA has over Florida or how much better of a coach Richt is than Myer. Of course it’s still the morning. The asylum probably doesn’t give him his computer time untill after dinner!

jack bull

May 11th, 2010
11:51 am

now i typically don’t question CMR’s decisions, i fully trust him to do what is right for UGA, and i actually respect that he gives his coaches and players every oppurtunity to be productive before he puts them on the shelf, BUT, i sure do wish there was some way that Murray could’ve gotten some playing time last year.. with that said, i still believe we just got rid of our best QB, unfortunately. it is kinda funny how other teams look at that situation and say “we don’t care what you did, as long as you can play some football”

ARdawg

May 11th, 2010
11:53 am

guy

There is a clear and distinct difference in a well planned passing attack/passing game as Spurrier’s teams in the 90’s and a run and shoot. If I were Spurrier I would be highly offended at your reference but, I never liked him anyway. Excellent case in point was the “highly regarded” Hawaii team June Jones brought to the Sugar bowl. That was a run and shoot. Run and shoot is what a team does when they have no defense and no running game. Ask Hal Mumme

jack bull

May 11th, 2010
11:53 am

oh yeah, one of those ‘Crystal Footballs’ that UF has is in about a million pieces,,,,thank you Orson Charles..

guy

May 11th, 2010
11:57 am

run and shoot, fun and gun, whatever. semantics aside, spurrier was pretty damn successful with a pass oriented offense in the SEC. hawaii was a joke, and doesnt have the athletes to match up with the big time college football schools. a school like texas tech has had decent success with it because they can at least recruit better talent.

BobDog

May 11th, 2010
11:58 am

Guy,

The Florida spread was centered around Tebow running the ball. It wasn’t a wide open passing offense, even though you can call it a spread. I think Herschel is still right.

My gosh! How old is Herschel? He is still built incredibly and has to be getting close to 50 years old.

ARdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:04 pm

guy

Spurrier’s team had a balanced offense and a darn good running game at the same time. He also kept a strong defense. FL teams in the 90’s were loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Run and shoot is a gimmick for gimmick coaches. Did you fail to notice where it landed Tuberville? Attempting to try it in the SEC eventually cost him his job. Good analogy TT, if they played anything related to a competitive schedule such as FL did in the 90’s you’d have noticed the clear difference in the two

bigdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:06 pm

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIP

guy

May 11th, 2010
12:10 pm

true. Auburn never had a good running game. no good RBs out of that school…

To win championships you need a balance of offense and a stout defense. thats the way its always been. smashmouth football is well and good, but its not all you need to win in the SEC, and its only the ‘key’ to winning if you have an athlete like Herschel. Its not often you can just hand the ball off to your RB and expect to gain big chunks of yardage over and over again.

bigdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:11 pm

@guy

the TTech situation is sheerly because they play in a conference with no DEFENSE. DEFENSE is what seperates conferences not offenses. The reason SEC teams have been winning championships is because of DEFENSE

2006 Florida :great DEFENSE, 2007 LSU: great DEFENSE, 2008 Florida: great DEFENSE, 2009 Alabama: great DEFENSE

see a common denomenator, DEFENSE

also you will notice that the only teams with decent DEFENSES in the Big XII the last 4 years: Nebraska last year, Texas last year, and Oklahoma the three years before, all won or went to the conference title game, only to be shown in bowl games (with the exception of Nebraska) that they just don’t have the level of DEFENSE that the SEC does.

that should answer the that issue

which answers

bigdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:13 pm

my comment got a little screwed up at the end, sorry I got sidetracked and wasnt thinking as I was typing, but you get the gist of the last two lines… :)

robert

May 11th, 2010
12:14 pm

Your statement about Perno is not only inaccurate, it’s idiotic. In the paragraph you cited, Perno never even came close to saying he has given up on the team. He is mad and disappointed in their performance. Heck, as a huge UGA baseball fan, I am too. Coach Perno says what he thinks whether you like it or not. It appears to me, you’re either taking a shot at Perno for some reason or your choice of word use is so poor you probably should not be writing for any paper. But, the AJC may not qualify as a real paper.

guy

May 11th, 2010
12:16 pm

agreed on the defense. its tough to win (at least consistently) without it (see GT last season). my main point is that smash-mouthed football is not the ‘key’ to winning the SEC. you need to be able to score points, and stop the other guy from scoring points. there are many ways to do that.

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
12:17 pm

Look at the picture above. That is why UGA won the national championship in 1980. Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and especially Georgia Tech had their hands over their eyes as they waited for the impact. Not much of that happening at UGA the last couple of years. Let’s hope it starts again this year.

Shreveport Sam

May 11th, 2010
12:28 pm

Of course Herschel would tout running the ball, and if UGA could find another Herschel they’d be glad to. As it is. it appears that Florida has demonstrated a bit more success than Georgia utilizing said “gimmicks.”

For edification, are “black outs” gimmicks?

bigdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:29 pm

@guy

do you need to score points, yes, but as the Ravens proved in (I believe it was) 2000 (maybe 02?, someone please clarify) you can have one of the worst offenses around and still win with DEFENSE. That Ravens D won Trent Dilford a ring for cryin out loud…

bigdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:31 pm

@Shreveport Sam

no, i’d consider navy and GA southern high school offenses and AFL passing games gimmicks, what UF does is sheerly smart usage of the best player in college football. give him blockers and a running start and give him a run-pass option and let him do what he does best… smart by Meyer but without Tebow, Cooper, Pouncey, Spikes, Haden, Pierre-Louis, Wright, Dunlap, well… you get where i’m goin

ARdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:39 pm

Shreveport Sam

Are you actually alive or is a corpse posting for you? Did you not read what I wrote about Florida/Spurrier teams of the 90’s? They were not gimmicks. Well balanced attack offenses. Spurrier was/is a master of exploiting weaknesses. His offenses were referred to many times as run and shoot or fun and gun but they were not.

Were Blackouts a gimmick. Absolutely without a doubt they were. Did it rain in China a week ago last Tuesday? I don’t know either but what has that got to do with Run and Gun offenses?

bigdawg

May 11th, 2010
12:42 pm

Blackouts werent gimmicks we just shouldnt have used them as much, the players got extremely emotional and ready to play the first couple of times we used them, but by the time of the bama game it was like they were used to it and it didnt mean anything to them, musberger said it best during the broadcast, “they the hit the hight of emotion before the game rather than during it”

Beeeeg Boy

May 11th, 2010
12:48 pm

Perno might want to take a good hard look in the mirror.

SSIgator

May 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

Which Herschel was speaking in Chattanooga?

The Real SugarHillDawg

May 11th, 2010
12:58 pm

Running the rock is all well and good BUT if you got more guys in the box than you have blockers it ain’t gonna work. Murray is gonna have to be able to throw over the pile and complete some if we want to get back to where we were.

yeah whatever!

May 11th, 2010
12:59 pm

last 9 years under Richt against SEC teams
Pay attention ALA fans:
.
Alabama: 3-1
Auburn: 6-3
Arkansas: 5-0
Florida: 2-7
South Carolina: 7-2
Tennessee: 5-4
Kentucky: 7-2
Vanderbilt: 8-1
Ole Miss: 4-0
Mississippi St: 2-0
LSU: 3-3

Gillislee

May 11th, 2010
1:05 pm

It must hurt to put Richt’s record against Florida up there….Wow! Embarrassing. Although that loss against Vandy could be worse then the 7 Florida losses combined.

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
1:06 pm

Oh great, it looks like Patrick has finished lunch and they gave him some computer time to post his delusional posts.

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
1:08 pm

Patrick, to reiterate: Georgia has consistently been a top 25 program over Richt’s tenure. He’s been very good, no doubt.

However, when Saban and Myer started coaching in the SEC the bar has been raised. Richt doesn’t compare to either of those coaches. Both have multiple NC’s. Richt doesn’t. End o story, pal.

Dr. Phil

May 11th, 2010
1:10 pm

Which of Hershels personalities was interviewed?

Dr. Phil

May 11th, 2010
1:13 pm

Patrick is actually one of my patients. I let him blog for therapy but he doesn’t appear to be getting any better. When he was kicked out of the Marine Corps, his papers said it had something to do with his chihuaha.

Gillislee

May 11th, 2010
1:16 pm

With that being said, I really think we (UF) are going to start a downhill trend. This year is a rebuilding year, and I don’t think Meyer will be coaching more than 2 years due to his health. Plus, we’re even worse than UGA when it comes to student-athletes and the law. It’s been a fun ride and I hope I’m wrong..

Sogadawg

May 11th, 2010
1:16 pm

Jimmy, I wouldn’t say the run lindsay run play was UF holding their hands over their eyes. It was a lucky beyond belief play in which Buck is still capitalizing on to this day. That being said, I would rather be lucky than good.

Dr. Phil

May 11th, 2010
1:17 pm

With that being said, I really think we (UF) are going to start a downhill trend. This year is a rebuilding year, and I don’t think Meyer will be coaching more than 2 years due to his health. Plus, we’re even worse than UGA when it comes to student-athletes and the law. It’s been a fun ride and I hope I’m wrong..

That appears to be Patrick’s imposter mode.

Dr. Phil

May 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

Beware of Patrick:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158327737&ref=name

1eyedJack

May 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

I have always believed that to win on a consistent basis you must be able to run the ball on offense and stop the run on defense.

Oh for the good ol’ days under Dooley when he would win football games throwing less than ten times a game. Everybody knew the Dawgs were going to run it and still had trouble stopping it. Even before Herschel.

Dr. Phil

May 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
1:20 pm

Dr. Phil. Patrick reminds me of Bruce Wilis from that movie in the mid 90s, “11 Monkeys” or something?? Some pyschotic who lived in his own reality, seperate from everyone elses. Of course at the end of the movie it turned out he was right and everyone else was wrong, so what do I really know?? lol

Of course I still know that CMR is still not a better coach TODAY than Saban or Myer. Richt has lost his players, and the guys he has either aren’t happy about playing time(Grey) or use his program to get to the NFL. I dont understand recruiting all of these top QBs. They all can’t start and once the dust settles, one ore more will transfer leaving the program where it is today–with no real starting experienced QBs in SEC play.

Patrick, and all of you UGA homers, do you really think Murray, Mason and LeMay will all be on the UGA roster come next fall??? When all Richt does is promise you that you can become an NFL starting QB and make tons of money, this is what happens. When the dust clears and the 2nd and 3rd string QB’s realize he sold them fools gold, they transfer, or will.

Unlike Florida, where Myer promises no NFL riches. Just the shot to compete for a starting spot on a team that will compete for an SEC and NC EVERY season!

#1 BAMA FAN

May 11th, 2010
1:22 pm

Yeah Whatever….play us two more times and that number will be even. You forgot how many Championships (SEC, NATL, etc.) or maybe you did list them, I just couldn’t see them.RTR

AceDawg

May 11th, 2010
1:24 pm

The Dawgs should (”should”) be solid next year. Only significant injuries, such as at the QB spot, would warrant much of an excuse to not be better. If Grantham is a strong coach, there should be enough talent to improve their success on defense over the Martinez regime’s final year, and for sure, the offense is deep, comes into the season with an established running game unlike last year, and will have a QB that on paper should be more effective than Joe Cox. We as fans should hold this team to a high standard this year and expect to be very competitive against anyone.

ThreeSheets

May 11th, 2010
1:27 pm

Yeah buddy, but the dogs cannot tackle.

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
1:27 pm

….and Patrick will now start reeling off the stats of Richt, BEFORE Saban and Myer became HC’s in the SEC, once again living in his own fantasy world and proving absolutley nothing. In 3, 2, 1 . . . . .

Jimmy

May 11th, 2010
1:29 pm

Oh, and then he’ll claim he’s won the arguement, when in reality he’s made to look a fool again, by spouting Richt’s numbers before the SEC became a real juggernaught. Hurry up Patrick i’ve got to leave soon to take my boys to a tball game! I don’t have all day to wait for you to prove me right!

LOL

May 11th, 2010
1:33 pm

“Oh, and then he’ll claim he’s won the arguement, when in reality he’s made to look a fool again, by spouting Richt’s numbers before the SEC became a real juggernaught.”

Not siding with Patrick or anything, but that is not an accurate statement. The SEC was already a well established juggernaught when Richt became the head coach at UGA.