Saturday morning musings: With an NCAA rule change mandating that players who lose their helmets in a game must sit out for at least one play, I’m wondering if Georgia’s equipment managers will be trying hard to come up with a new strategy for keeping the lids on Jarvis Jones and Isaiah Crowell, who ended quite a few plays topless last season. … Another rule change has teams kicking off from the 35-yard line but touchbacks being brought out to the 25, which is likely to make high, shorter, directional kicks the vogue with some coaches. Somewhere Jon Fabris must be smiling. … And in the case of an arrested UGA soccer player, I’m left wondering: Where exactly does one hide stolen hash browns in one’s pants?
With that image stuck in your brain, let’s dip into some of this week’s Junkyard Mail ….
The most common concern mentioned (besides Mike Bobo still being offensive coordinator) was, naturally, the offensive line. As Lee Bowen noted, “Even [the] best running backs need hawgs opening holes.”
Arrests and “off-field incidents” was another frequently expressed concern.
As for G-Day, Robert L. Kushner III is excited about seeing Keith Marshall and Christian LeMay. Darren Micheal Self wants to see some “toughness” out of Crowell. Wally Logan is hoping for “a Junkyard Dawg aggressive defense and some excitement from our running backs!”
And, returning to the concerns, Jesse Murrah is looking forward to seeing “what we have on the offensive line. The rest of our talent will do just fine as long as we can protect, block, and open holes.”
From the regular Junkyard Mail, DawginLex writes that, among other things, on G-Day “I want open QB competition between Murray and Lemay. I would love to hear of a plan to semi-platoon the 2 of them to take some of the heat off of Aaron.”
Frankly, I wouldn’t get your hopes up, Dawg. The David Greene-D.J. Shockley rotation appears to have been a one-time aberration for Mark Richt and Bobo. I’m also a proponent of getting your No. 2 quarterback some meaningful game time, even if you don’t go as far as platooning or scripting offensive series for the backup. But, barring an injury to Aaron Murray, I’ll be surprised if we see the backup QB any more this season than we did last season.
Also on the subject of G-Day, Eddie Whitaker writes: I’m quite simply looking forward to being in Athens (Sanford Stadium to be more specific) on a glorious spring Saturday. G-Day games are usually less than exciting, but just the chance to be in the stadium, see the green field, the hedges, and the Red and Black, gives me something to look forward to during this “black hole” time of the sports year. You never know how many opportunities you’ll have in life to experience this. Thanks, Bill!
I agree with you complete, Eddie. We only get a handful of opportunities to watch football Between the Hedges each year, and G-Day’s the only time where you can choose your own seat. I’ve hunkered down through several cold, rainy April Saturdays just for the chance of seeing the Red and Black teams scrimmage. And also quite a few gorgeous spring days when just being in Athens was a pleasure, no matter whether the action on the field was compelling or not. Attendance is always pretty good for G-Day, but I’m betting with the Keith Marshall-Isaiah Crowell story line this spring, there might be a few more folks than usual showing up.
On offseason concerns, Jason Meucci writes: No surprises here … O-line and now with suspensions and dismissals, very concerned about our secondary. Also seems odd to say I’m comforted by having a true freshman as a kicker, but even that is an upgrade over what had become of Blair Walsh. If there’s a “darkhorse” concern, its Aaron Murray’s tendency to commit multiple turnovers against good teams. Oh, and Mike Bobo is still never to be trusted to come up with a creative or aggressive game plan or adjust when things aren’t working. 9-3 with losses to Mizzou, Florida and Auburn.
So you’re pegging Missouri as a loss, huh? Well, I know quite a few fans are pointing to that as a “trap” game for the Dogs. But I watched Missouri in its bowl game, and while they can move the ball, I can’t quite see their defense shutting down even Bobo. As for Florida and Auburn, those are always tough games, but I’m more worried about South Carolina.
DawgDayBlog writes: I am a longtime reader and huge fan of your undying love for all things UGA and Athens. If I had to pinpoint one concern for the (every) offseason, it would be spring break and the raucous outings and getaways our players will have. Unfortunately, we live in a world today where every move is made under a microscope, and an individual, especially of high profile, cannot get away with indulgences once considered mundane and insignificant. Many forget our players are kids, and are going to go out and have the times of their lives, much like we did at their age. Many on these blogs will moan and groan about Coach Richt not having control, though it is asinine to expect Coach to a) monitor every move by every player at every hour of the day, and b) expect Coach to lock them in a box and not allow them be kids (and we saw how locking kids in a box worked out for Mike Leach). Many other people on these blogs (mostly Tech fans who have nothing better to do than come on and spew their drivel about their football stadium property owners) will point fingers at these kids for having a party bone. Reality is, everybody, even the Techies, enjoyed life to its fullest when we were in college and would just about give up everything for one more day of carefree youth. Anyway, with spring break on the horizon, I, along with many other Dawg fans will hold our breath every morning when we open up the AJC or Twitter. Hope the boys have a GREAT time, but manage to keep a level head on their shoulders in the process. GO DAWGS!!!!!
Yeah, I’m always thankful when spring break is over and we don’t see the beat reporters having a feeding frenzy over an arrest report. And you make a good point: Yes, the head coach sets the tone for his team in terms of discipline, but he can’t control what 120 college kids do, especially when they’re not under his supervision. What he can do, though, is make it clear up front what will be tolerated and what won’t and also make it clear that transgressions will be punished. I think Richt has done a good job of especially the latter in recent years.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg