Bradley’s Buzz: An invisible link about UGA’s Carlton Thomas

Doggone it! Here's someone else I neglected to mention! (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Doggone it! Here's someone else I neglected to mention! (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Carlton Thomas. How could I forget Carlton Thomas?

In a perfect world — meaning: in a world where college games didn’t last four hours, leaving me 20 minutes to write a print column after doing a five-hour live chat — I’d have sung the praises of Carlton Thomas in this little submission. But his name isn’t in there, for a rather basic reason:

I forgot to mention him.

Carlton Thomas made maybe the biggest play of Georgia’s victory over South Carolina, and it was a pure hustle play, and what makes this so embarrassing is that I pretty much wrote about hustle. Which makes me the biggest idiot in the history of sports writing. (Don’t tell me. You knew that already, didn’t you?)

I wrote about DeAngelo Tyson blocking the extra point. I got Rennie Curran in there — I never forget Rennie Curran, who’s unforgettable — for deflecting Stephen Garcia’s final pass. But I left out Carlton Thomas. And here’s what I’d have written if I’d had five more minutes to think about it and one more column inch with which to work. (Please insert this paragraph, in your mind’s eye, right after the one about DeAngelo Tyson’s block.)

“And then there came another want-it-more moment, a moment of pure hustle that saved a play and a drive and three ultimately essential points. It came after Cox was all but obliterated on a blindside sack by Stephon Gilmore and the ball flew 10 yards backward and there ensued the scramble of all scrambles for possession and darned if Carlton Thomas, the backup tailback, didn’t outright three Gamecocks. That wasn’t a play born of precision. That was a recovery driven by desire, and it was part and parcel of this impassioned Georgia performance.”

OK, now to some real linkage

Here’s Chris Low of ESPN.com writing about, of all things, Georgia’s hustle. Pithy quote from Rennie Curran on DeAngelo Tyson’s post-interception blocked PAT:

“It’s all about your attitude. We could have hung our heads low after that interception. Nobody had that attitude. Nobody pointed any fingers. We went out there and kept a good attitude and kept it positive. We blocked that extra point, which was the difference in the game.”

And another good one, this from Georgia’s head ball coach:

“There was a special energy. I don’t know why. Maybe there was a special sense of urgency of not going 0-2, knowing we’re at home, knowing it was the SEC. There were so many things riding on it, and for whatever reason, I think our boys had as much heart and fire, wire to wire, that I’ve ever seen.”

And here, just to show that one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor (Paul Simon reference), is Joseph Person — to me he’s Joe, and a very fine writer — of the Columbia State on the Gamecocks’ reaction to Tyson’s block. From Carolina special teams coordinator Shane Beamer (son of Frank):

“Extra points should never be blocked. Regardless of penetration, a kick that short should never be blocked.”

Writing for SI.com, Stewart Mandel says the victory could do wonders for Georgia’s psyche. And I tried to suggest the same thing myself. Provided I didn’t forget that, too.

As for Tech …

In Sporting News Today, Matt Hayes calls Georgia Tech overrated at No. 14 in the new Associated Press poll. Me, I think the Jackets are still about four spots underrated, but I’m a big fat homer, as we all know.

Back to SI.com’s Mandel: He believes Tech fans shouldn’t be daunted by Josh Nesbitt throwing 11 incompletions in 14 attempts against Clemson. Because Nesbitt completed the one pass he needed. Me, I might be a tad daunted, but I’m just a big fat pessimist, as we all know.

Oh, goody. It’s schadenfreude time!

It’s always to hoot to read out-of-town papers after a big loss. Here, from the Oklahoman, is Berry Tramel’s account of Oklahoma State’s billion dollar flop against Houston. The Sports Illustrated jinx is mentioned prominently, you should know.

And here, from David Climer of the Tennesseean, is an entry sure to get the author sued. Because Climer calls Lane Kiffin “a bit smug.” (Just kidding about the legal action. I’m not sure at this point that it’d be possible to libel Lane Kiffin.)

Oh, and you might have noticed that Kiffin’s team lost to UCLA. Not to say I told you so, but … well, here you go.

The Falcons are 1-0. Ho, hum.

It's a shame this guy isn't any good. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)
It’s a shame he isn’t a top QB. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

A year ago we were incredulous that the Falcons won their first game because we weren’t entirely sure they’d win a game. Now they beat Miami to go 1-0 and it seemed almost … boring. But Peter King of SI.com makes a salient point: The Falcons’ D, over which there’d been much hand-wringing (yes, in this space among others) defended the heck out of the Dolphins’ vaunted Wildcat.

And here, from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, is an odd little item. The headline: “If Dolphins struggle against [Matt] Ryan, what about top QBs?” (So much for us around here thinking this Ryan guy might be pretty decent.)

Speaking of top QBs …

The Falcons play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Carolina quarterback is Jake Delhomme. He’s terrible. But he is, as Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer notes, getting better. In Delhomme’s last start of last season (an epic playoff loss to Arizona), he made six turnovers. In Sunday’s 38-10 loss to Philadelphia, he only made five! And coach John Fox is sticking with him!

And I picked Carolina to beat the Falcons in Week 2! Yow!

104 comments Add your comment

"Chef" Tim Dix

September 14th, 2009
9:41 am

Miami’s D line is good but the Falcons did not go to great lengths to establish a Burner type running game as they did last year. Against Carolina, it’s possible to do that and just mail in a victory.

Cuz

September 14th, 2009
9:43 am

Carlton Thomas, a hero to all of us who are vertically challenged.

F-105 Thunderchief

September 14th, 2009
9:44 am

Thanks for the props to Carlton. He’s a gamer, who showed it on that play.

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
9:46 am

Yep. Only two days late, I am.

Dawg17

September 14th, 2009
9:55 am

Hustel wins games!!!

Dawg Fud

September 14th, 2009
9:56 am

Mark,

I had the pleasure meeting Mr. and Mrs. Thomas walking out of the stadium back to our vehicles. Such nice people – Mrs. Thomas is a huge football fan! They made the long trip from Florida. I said to them how proud they must be of Carlton both on and off the field.

Mrs. Thomas and I were joking that we both needed to see our cardiologist after that game. Very nice people and could not have been more polite.

A friendly reminder to the fans that win or lose, the players are students and have parents.

GO DAWGS!

PS – Mrs. Thomas made a prediction on the season but I am keeping that one to myself for right now

Cuz

September 14th, 2009
9:58 am

Well yank the redshirt off Hustel and get him in the game.

Cuz

September 14th, 2009
10:00 am

Mark, if you cover the Ar-kansas game you may have less time to submit a story. Better give that one to Jeff “Sergent” Schultz.

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
10:03 am

That’s well said, Dawg Fud.

Big Canoe

September 14th, 2009
10:07 am

Nice story about Carlton Thomas. Wouldn’t it be nice to have him, and Richard Samuels, in the backfield at the same time!

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
10:09 am

I actually made deadline, Cuz. Just blanked on Carlton Thomas. And I think I know why. Before we did live chats off games, I would write down every play. But now I’m too busy typing to write down anything. I have to think of a workaround, as we say in IT.

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
10:10 am

Thanks, Big Canoe. Just imagine how much nicer it would have been two days ago.

MightyQuinn

September 14th, 2009
10:12 am

Hey Mark, I consider myself a Paul Simon fan but didn’t recognize the reference. Little help here? And good save on Carlton Thomas.

Interesting........

September 14th, 2009
10:13 am

UGA blows a 15 point lead and nearly lost in the final seconds, but has heart and it “could do wonders for Georgia’s psyche”. Tech blows a 24 point lead, comes back to win and is overrated….interesting

KJ

September 14th, 2009
10:15 am

“Hustle” and “attitude” are great qualities and all, but the simple fact is that our defense was helpless (one deflected pass notwithstanding) against a QB that could only muster 7 points (off a TO) against an unranked team the week prior. Going to be a long season if that keeps up, regardless of the intangibles.

How2fish

September 14th, 2009
10:15 am

Mark seems like you got hit with a “senior moment” but hey you remembered it later…your still ahead of the curve! And good win for both the Dawgs and Falcons..and for the Bees too ! I for one always love it when the local teams win…except when the Dawgs play the Bugs..

MightyQuinn

September 14th, 2009
10:16 am

and r.e. your 10:09 post, hire an intern! A fifty-one year old intern! Will work for free press box food! I’m cheap!

Sting 'em Buzz

September 14th, 2009
10:20 am

Mark, I think you are going to miss on that Carolina game. Just a hunch.

Sting 'em Buzz

September 14th, 2009
10:22 am

or he could get me to come blog with him, my legs wouldn’t be as sore as they are from the 5 games I officiated on Saturday.

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
10:24 am

It’s a title of a song on his second solo LP, “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.” You’re too young to remember it. I remember buying it about the time I finished high school, which is why I liked “Kodachrome” so much.

Wake Up Sportswriters of the NFL

September 14th, 2009
10:33 am

Falcons keep playing like they did on Sunday, won’t be long before writers stop saying “Oh this team played so terrible,” or “Let’s see the next game,” or “How on earth are the Dolphins going to stop GOOD QBs if they can’t stop Matt Ryan” and they start saying “Wow, the Falcons played really well.”

You know what they say about excuses

Harry Dawg 73

September 14th, 2009
10:39 am

So far, UGA has played two very, very average ( bad ) treams and they are yielding 30+ pts a game. Wait until they face the better schools and that per game points yield could go through the roof.

Richt loves Martinez and unless he is told to shed him and maybe one or two other coaches, it will continue. We are looking at a 6-6 or “break through” 7-5 year. Very, very minor bowl too.
We easily could go to 5-7 with the usual crummy UGA attitudes and player jealousies.

A coach has to win now with the “three years and gone” to the NFL mentality of today’s players. To be in the “well, we need to groom them for the future” mold is gone. Win now or the good players are gone. That fact is why NCAA football is so different than when I was at UGA in the late 60s,- early 70s.

Easier I think for a new man to come in to a major school, recruit exactly what he needs to win now
( barring major injuries ) and go out and play the schedule. To build and maintain a consistent so called Top 10-15 team is far more diffiuclt. To creidt Richt, that is maybe far more important that a NC. In other words, do we want a NC with one coach, then he leaves for the NFL or a bigger time school and we have to rebuild? Really have to weigh both approaches, I think.

Long term consistency?? or one NC and then there is wake in the guy’s exit, like at Miami back in the 80s or LSU with Saban or at ND or Clemson with Ford or right now at FSU. They are gonna seek new lows this year.

Just a thought.
WIn now or else? Is that the way to go for UGA ???

Harry Dawg 73

coach smith

September 14th, 2009
10:39 am

MARK BRADLEY:

Let me get this straight:

TECH blows a 24-0 led at home to an unranked team that ended up horrible last year, the Tech QB has to run the ball 20+ times and passes 3-19 for 83 yards and has to have a holding call and a feild goal save them to hold on by 3 and…..

YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE RANKED IN THE TOP 10???????????????

WOW!

What will you say when they get blown off the field this Thursday?

Right now TECH and UGA belong in the 18-20 range until mproven otherwise

murfdawg

September 14th, 2009
10:40 am

Nice of you to mention Carlton Thomas. As I have posted over and over, football players make football plays. Athletes are good for intramurals. Rennie Curran has been doing this since high school(see Brookwood vs Starr’s Mill 2005 playoff game).

Don’t worry about Climer being sued. In your journalism classes when they talked about libel, didn’t they tell you that the truth was the best defense for libel suits?

Are you a fan of Boston Legal?

coach smith

September 14th, 2009
10:46 am

Harry Dawg 73

You are ridiculous

How has Georgia played “two very, very average teams”????????

OSU was ranked in the top 5 before being upset, and S.Car always plays UGA and most everyone tough

and as far as 30+ points a game…..9 of the points that S.Car scored HAD NOTHING let me repeat NOTHING to do with the defense (pick 6 and safety)

Also 10 of the points in the in the OSU game came on very short fields after turnovers AND against S.Car one turnover on our own 7 yard line and one on the 23 how are you supposed to stop the team from scoring when they get the ball at point blank range? It is at least going to be a field goal

I would concentrate more on the fact that UGA held SC to 5 field goal attempts…that shows some toughness

That is not to say there aren’t things to work on BUT COME ON with the alarmist knee jerk reactions

It is people like you who, if Georgia wins at ARK and over AZST you’ll say “I knew it the whole time”

PERSPECTIVE people…just hold on and let this YOUNG TALENT develop

coach smith

September 14th, 2009
10:52 am

Harry Dawg 73

You are ridiculous

How has Georgia played “two very, very average teams”????????

OSU was ranked in the top 5 before being upset, and S.Car always plays UGA and most everyone tough

and as far as 30+ points a game…..9 of the points that S.Car scored HAD NOTHING let me repeat NOTHING to do with the defense (pick 6 and safety)

Also 10 of the points in the in the OSU game came on very short fields after turnovers AND against S.Car one turnover on our own 7 yard line and one on the 23 how are you supposed to stop the team from scoring when they get the ball at point blank range? It is at least going to be a field goal

I would concentrate more on the fact that UGA held SC to 5 field goal attempts…that shows some toughness

That is not to say there aren’t things to work on BUT COME ON with the alarmist knee jerk reactions

It is people like you who, if Georgia wins at ARK and over AZST you’ll say “I knew it the whole time”

PERSPECTIVE people…just hold on and let this YOUNG TALENT develop

Go Dawgs

Sanford Drive

September 14th, 2009
10:57 am

I came here to question why you think Tech should be in the top ten but it looks like coach smith covered it for me. They almost lost to Clemson. In case you didn’t know, Clemson sucks.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

September 14th, 2009
10:59 am

Mark, your tardiness is ok with me. I haven’t opened Sunday’s paper yet.

Reality Check

September 14th, 2009
11:00 am

Interesting – UGA isn’t ranked 14th in the polls. It must being tough going through life caring more about your rival than your own team.

Chris

September 14th, 2009
11:15 am

Bank – with the AJC’s subscription numbers, not too many other people have either.

Seriously – Sunday paper – does anyone buy it for anything other than the sale papers?

coach smith

September 14th, 2009
11:15 am

Harry Dawg 73

You are ridiculous

How has Georgia played “two very, very average teams”????????

OSU was ranked in the top 5 before being upset, and S.Car always plays UGA and most everyone tough

and as far as 30+ points a game…..9 of the points that S.Car scored HAD NOTHING let me repeat NOTHING to do with the defense (pick 6 and safety)

Also 10 of the points in the in the OSU game came on very short fields after turnovers AND against S.Car one turnover on our own 7 yard line and one on the 23 how are you supposed to stop the team from scoring when they get the ball at point blank range? It is at least going to be a field goal

I would concentrate more on the fact that UGA held SC to 5 field goal attempts…that shows some toughness

That is not to say there aren’t things to work on BUT COME ON with the alarmist knee jerk reactions

It is people like you who, if Georgia wins at ARK and over AZST you’ll say “I knew it the whole time”

PERSPECTIVE people…just hold on and let this YOUNG TALENT develop

Tech in the top 10? come on Bradley

Pi$$onaDawg

September 14th, 2009
11:18 am

Where was all that SEC D in the UGA v USC game. Clemson sux so Tech is overrated. USC sux and OSU lost so, UGA falls in the polls. If USC wins then what would you say about the Dawgs? On that last drive UGA VII was putting on his chicken suit getting ready to sneek out of Sanford Stadium. UGA better find some D and Tech better block on the line better or it could be a bad week for both Georgia Schools.

Cuz

September 14th, 2009
11:20 am

Tech won’t lose on Thursday. Dwyer gets back on track and Nesbitt completes at least half his passes. Tech by 14.

Pi$$onaDawg

September 14th, 2009
11:24 am

Am I the only one who has noticed that CPJ has rack that would rival Pam Anderson?

Ryno

September 14th, 2009
11:27 am

Mr. Bradley – I’m not sure Peter King is right about the Falcons defending the WildCat well. If I’m not mistaken – the Phins only ran the formation 6-7 times at most? They just simply quit going to it because they were trailing.

I also think Tech is a bit under rated. They should smoke Miami as the Jackets always seem to have the Hurricanes number.

William

September 14th, 2009
11:28 am

Mark:

General Patton also said that Americans love a w winner and will not tolerate a loser. I guess you are just not a rugged American.

College trained minds are so poor these days.

Pi$$onaDawg

September 14th, 2009
11:33 am

I encourage your to vote for Wes Durham as “People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive”

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 14th, 2009
11:41 am

hmm, how would Houston, or UCLA do in the almighty SEC?

…just wondering.

MightyQuinn

September 14th, 2009
11:42 am

“When I think back on all the CRAP I learned in high school….” I think I was a freshman then. Paul’s solo album in Central Park is right up there with the greatest live albums ever recorded. (Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus is the best, in my humble opinion)

Pi$$onaDawg

September 14th, 2009
11:48 am

I have a life size poster of Coach Mark Mangino hanging on my bedroom wall.

Jackets2009

September 14th, 2009
11:55 am

Thanks Cuz. It’s a shame Mark’s humility seldom rubs off on either GT or Uga loudmouths. Mark admits every mistake. Unfortunately there are too many bloggers about like Serena. She got beat and makes a complete jackass out of herself blaming the official even if the call was wrong. I am going to follow Mark’s example and admit I am so far incorrect about the Falcons’ D. Chad doesn’t have a great arm though.

Johnny Test

September 14th, 2009
11:56 am

Dawg 73, we’ve had 6 turnovers and two special team blunders that have led to somewhere between 30 and 40 points scored in the first two games. Histoey never reveals its alternatives but wouldn’t be interesting to know what the score of those two games would have been if we didn’t make so darn many mistakes. I am convinced that if we don’t turn the ball over we will look like a much better team even if everything else stays the same.

I believe there is so much hype around the NC and we happen to play in a conference that has Nick Saben and Urban Myer that folks have lost all objectivity about the UGA program. I want to win SEC Championships and NCs as much as anybody but our program is solid and I believe it will continue to get better. Florida is on a run like Georgia in the early 80’s when we had Herschel. They will always be good but at the level they are now with Tebow. Alabama is back. LSU is good but over rated in my book. Over the long haul I’ll take my chances with CMR.

Tech Man in Dawg Country

September 14th, 2009
12:08 pm

Funny thing about Matt Heys’ of The Sporting News comment about Tech being over-rated at #14. The Sporting News own poll has them at number 8 ! Guess he doesn’t have any input on the SN poll … lol. After two games, I am not sure how good we are yet, so I don’t know who it right. But I trust CPJ, know we have the right man at the helm for Tech, and found the internal discrepancy at SN interesting.

murfdawg

September 14th, 2009
12:13 pm

Johnny Test,
If you ask any coach in the country what his record would be if he was MINUS FIVE in turnovers, he would probaly tell you 0-4. It is amazing how lucky you get when you are getting turnovers. As an old timer, I seem to remember we were plus 19 in 1980. Fla was something like plus 22 last year. Championship teams make you turnover the ball over and they get “lucky”. This will be something to watch this year.

EDGE

September 14th, 2009
12:16 pm

I hear ya Mighty Quinn, “Waiting for Columbus” is a great album!!!!! Truly one of the best!

MoDawg

September 14th, 2009
12:17 pm

hmmm, how many times would Ramble On!! do the almighty Paul Johnson or Jonathan Dwyer..?

…just wondering.

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
12:24 pm

Mark admits every mistake because he makes so many and it would be even more mistaken to pretend otherwise, Jackets2009. Don’t give me too much credit.

EDGE

September 14th, 2009
12:26 pm

Quick Thoughts:

-Good Win for Joe Cox, maybe will get some nay sayers off his back
-Georgia Tech is a really good football team, just need to stick to their game plan
-Miami wil be a tough game and we could possibly lose; 4 wins in a row against them and home opener for them is plenty of motivation on their side.
-Georgia fans should really stop saying Clemson sucks, they are a tough out for anybody and on any given day could beat GT or UGA, i wouldnt want Tech to play them again in a ACC Title game if it happens.

Mark Bradley

September 14th, 2009
12:26 pm

“Waiting for Columbus” is a dandy. (I admit I came late to Little Feat.) But the Band’s “Rock of Ages” still remains my standard for live LPs. I wrote a review of that one — for my high school newspaper. (The Advocate, it was.)

EDGE

September 14th, 2009
12:28 pm

Oh yeah, I am cleary a Tech fan, but CMR is a great coach who has definetly resurrected the UGA football program and i think it is absolutely stupid that there is uga fans that wish he was fired!!! If you ever let him go, watch how quick he is picked up and how hard it will be for yall to fill the void!