Heat Check: The Braves close in; Tech and UGA run wild

Pennant fever! Ger yer pennant fever right here! (AP photo)

Pennant fever! Ger yer pennant fever right here! (AP photo)

Is it just me, or do the local teams never lose? Our Heat Check examines.

BRAVES: Swept the team they’re chasing, so the season’s final 2 1/2 weeks might actually see a real chase. They’re 5 1/2 games back with 15 to go — the Nationals have 16 remaining — and if you’re wondering if such a thing could happen: Sure it could. The pholdin’ Phillies of 1964 led the National League by 6 1/2 games with 12 to play. Heat Index: Even if the Braves don’t catch Washington, they’ve still all but assured themselves a wild-card spot. And, assuming they’re indeed a wild card and assuming they win the play-in, they could well play the Nats in the Division Series, which would be a best-of-five with the first two games at Turner Field. (With the new playoff format, teams from the same division can meet in Round 1.)

FALCONS: Technically they haven’t played yet — that comes tonight — but they had a very good Sunday. The Saints are 0-2. Tampa Bay blew a lead against the Giants. Carolina looked pretty good in getting to 1-1, but the Panthers have already lost a division game. Heat Index: If the Falcons beat the Broncos tonight, they’ll be 2-0 and leading the NFC South. (They’d also be 2-0 against the AFC West, not that it matters.)

GEORGIA TECH: Beat Virginia by 36 points, which is a pretty big deal considering the Cavaliers outmuscled the Jackets 11 months ago. Better still, Virginia Tech was routed by 0-2 Pittsburgh, and the magnitude of that non-conference loss suggests the Hokies could have two or three ACC losses in them. Heat Index: A season that started badly is brightening by the week.

GEORGIA: Beat Florida Atlantic by 36 points, which is no big deal. Freshmen Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley had 100-yard rushing games. The Bulldogs set a school record for yards (713) gained in a game, which assumes this qualified as a real game. Longtime interim Russ was instituted as an official UGA. A good time was had by all except Jarvis Jones, who sat with a groin injury. Heat Index: Already ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll, the feeling persists that Georgia is only now approaching peak form.

GEORGIA STATE: Here’s the local exception. The Panthers lost by 24 points to UTSA before a Georgia Dome gathering of 11,496. Georgia State is 0-3 and has been outscored 122-33. Heat Index: Might want to circle the Sept. 29 game at William & Mary, which is also 0-3. If the Panthers come home still winless, they could be looking at a season of abject wretchedness.

DREAM: Has won six of seven and just clinched its fourth consecutive playoff berth. Heat Index: No big deal, you say? Well, the past two seasons the Dream reached the WNBA finals.

146 comments Add your comment

Coach Todd Grantham

September 17th, 2012
8:44 am

You are right MB, the Dawgs are approaching top form. We will play a complete 4-quarter game vs. Vandy.

I HATE the Dores & Coach Franklin!

GATA

Buddy Landel

September 17th, 2012
8:44 am

I missed the Hilltoppers score

Who Cares

September 17th, 2012
8:56 am

WNBA….BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA now that is funny! Good one Bradley!!!

ramblingbuzz

September 17th, 2012
8:58 am

GT rolls against the U, wins by 28. UGA’s D gives up 31 to Vandy but still wins by 2 scores.

Goldenrod

September 17th, 2012
9:03 am

FIRST! So proud of my Jackets for completely dominating a strong Virginia team.

We are back in the heat of the ACC race and looking forward to November when we will dominate the leghumpers in the cesspool up north and restore order. WE WILL RUN THIS STATE!

dawgnation1

September 17th, 2012
9:03 am

Mark, as the eternal optimist, I agree with you on all counts. Do you have a pick for the game tonight? I think it’ll be close and maybe in the high 30’s.

FIRE HERSCHEL TALKER (he’s an idiot)

Elm Street

September 17th, 2012
9:19 am

JB

September 17th, 2012
9:22 am

I was worried about the Dawgs offense. although that team Saturday would struggle to beat the Dawg scout team, it was a good exercise and practice. The offense will be fine, and at full strength, the Dawgs D will make every team they play struggle. SC and Fla look pretty good though.

NC Dawg

September 17th, 2012
9:22 am

Status of Jarvis…will he play against Vandy?

Tech Engineer

September 17th, 2012
9:23 am

We’ll find out more about the Jackets this Saturday. Another big win against Miami, and we’re on to a special season.
Georgia goes undefeated in SEC games.

Nothings shocking

September 17th, 2012
9:27 am

But…buffalo beat up kc like we did. And buff stinks. Makes you wonder just how good the coons are. makes you think denver comes in and wins 34-20

Gut check

September 17th, 2012
9:30 am

The mighty sec isn’t so mighty anymore. No more week in week out it’s brutal bs. Yeah if you have to play alab and lsu it’s brutal.
Western Kty beating kentucky. Texas thrasing ole miss. Alab crushing Ark and La monroe beating Ark and taking Aub into Ot? I’d sat the sec bottom 6 are worse than the acc.

Jacket Fan

September 17th, 2012
9:30 am

Big win for us, but lets not get too excited. UVA was tiny up front on defense; we did handle their rather stout offensive line, though. Mr. Crenshaw knows how to rush the passer – glad to see him in there in those situations. UVA’s best play was pulling Tevin’s helmet off. You get Vad when that happens – not a good trade.

Best thing we have going for us is the ACC is down this year (if that is possible). When one of your flagships loses to Pitt (did they lose to Youngstown State?), you are hurting. Lets see if we can take advantage of the opportunity we have been presented with.

Buddy Landel

September 17th, 2012
9:33 am

By the above reasoning…are the Rams a better team than the Saints? Seahawks better than Giants?

Class of '98

September 17th, 2012
9:37 am

“The mighty sec isn’t so mighty anymore”

If having three of the top five isn’t mighty, I don’t know what is.

2 live moes

September 17th, 2012
9:37 am

Goldenrod a strong UVA team? That team should have lost to a lousy Penn State team at home last week. If Penn State had a kicker they would have.

Just Asking?

September 17th, 2012
9:50 am

Mark, were you watching that UGA game? Your comment ” the feeling persists that Georgia is only now approaching peak form,” rings hollow when you saw that for much of the first half it was a tie game or at least very close. I am a Georgia fan, not someone who just pretends to be, but I don’t think this team has proven anything. Two more defensive players will not change the fact that this team allowed a much weaker team to score twice on them while the first stringers were still in the game.
Am I wrong or are you drinking the Koolaid?

dean

September 17th, 2012
9:53 am

If I’m going to stay up until after midnight, roll out of the rack 4 hours later, and feel like crap for the next 2 days, I want to see maximum effort and minimal mental errors. That’s all I ask of the Falcons. (A win would be nice, too.)

Jeffrey

September 17th, 2012
9:55 am

I like uga getting stronger and this being a special season. I was concerned when I saw that buffalo score but it was in buffalo. I’ve been saying forever that you need 92 wins to make the playoffs and the braves are on track. I never have been bored enough to watch women’s b-ball.

dean

September 17th, 2012
9:55 am

Hmmm. Releeeeeeeeeease meeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Thank you.

Jeffrey

September 17th, 2012
9:56 am

Oh yeah, go Stanford!!!!

sleeze

September 17th, 2012
9:59 am

Very indepth analysis, Mr. Bradley. More of our AJC subscription dues hard at work. Sad..

Gut check

September 17th, 2012
10:00 am

So the big 12 was mighty 4-5 years ago when missou kansas and ok were in the top 5? Didn’t think so. Once the teams play each other, they drop.
Sec fans always talk about how week in week out it’s brutal. Def not the case this year.

Alphare

September 17th, 2012
10:10 am

“the sec bottom 6 are worse than those of the acc”.

That can be true any year.

I am not that convinced Dawg D is that good. They give up lots of points to Buffalo(23pts) and FAU(20), while most other good teams shut out their cupcakes.

FSU played 3 cupcakes so far, gave up a total of 3 points with 2 shutouts.

ALA played 3 games, gave up 14points with 2 shutout.

UGA played 3 games and 2 cupcakes, gave at least 20 points in each game. That’s not good D.

GT Dude

September 17th, 2012
10:13 am

Proud of the Jackets, offense gets all the acolades, but it is the defence that impressed me the most on Saturday

UGA looks really good and expect them to win the SEC East, unless Gators get their act together

bham dawg

September 17th, 2012
10:14 am

Im glad the offense came alive this week but its hard to get excited over that kind of victory considering the opponent. The defense still need to reach another level if we expect to win in the dome. Once we put two halves together i think this team can do special things but if we come out flat like we have in all 3 games so far we won’t hang with the big boys.

Fat harry

September 17th, 2012
10:20 am

You dogtards better worry about beating sc and uf before talking about playing in the dome.

GTBob

September 17th, 2012
10:21 am

If having three of the top five isn’t mighty, I don’t know what is.

Didn’t Arkansas teach you how meaningless rankings are this time of season?

GTBob

September 17th, 2012
10:27 am

As for GT, it looked way too easy this weekend. Im not really sure what to make of it other than we are much better than Virginia. Our defense is currently in the top 25 though which is an amazing sign.

DIT

September 17th, 2012
10:29 am

Let’s just be happy for both for now. Personally I would love to see GT with only one loss coming into Athens and if the Dawgs could some how stay undefeated. What a game that will be. If that would be the case then both teams will be in the top 10. When was the last time that happened???
Tech will kill Miami. I’m just not convinced that Clemson can stop tech’s offense. The question is can tech’s D stop Clemson this time. I say yes!
As for my Dawgs, just beat Vandy. Yes, I’m one that is nervous about the D starting slow. If they decide to play a full 60 minutes of football then I would be overidden with confidence. Until then, I’ll be nervous going into the next 3 games.
Good luck to both of our teams!

Reebok

September 17th, 2012
10:29 am

Nice showing by both the Jackets and the Dogs. If my Yellow Jackets play like they did against Virginia, Miami doesn’t have a chance. I will be interested to see how the Bulldogs do against Vandy…I expect Georgia to lose only once, to either Florida or S Carolina, and play in the SEC Championship. I don’t see Tech getting to the ACC Championship, unfortunately, because I don’t think they can beat Clemson, which means V Tech has to lose 3 times. Happy Monday, football fans!!!

Ted M

September 17th, 2012
10:32 am

Yeah but the fact that the Chiefs got the crap beat out of them by the Bills, who themselves got the crap beat out of them in week 1. means the Falcons week 1 win was not so impressive.

Falcons – a little cooler.

Joey

September 17th, 2012
10:33 am

Goldenrod’s mom: Wake up son, and go wash the bed sheets. Ugh!

Joey

September 17th, 2012
10:36 am

JB, Sat night proved that Murray, if given time, is very accurate, even on the long throws.

It’s all up to the O-line – which is already undergoing a patch job, from the two sprained ankles.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

September 17th, 2012
10:36 am

” Already ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll, the feeling persists that Georgia is only now approaching peak form.”

AGAINST WHO???????????????????????????????????????????

I absolutely can not wait for the Crimson Tide to totally humiliate this overrated UGA team on national television.

Joey

September 17th, 2012
10:38 am

JB, Murray proved how accurate he can be, if provided time.

This season is all ON the O-line, which is already undergoing a mix-and-match, due to the sprained ankles.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

September 17th, 2012
10:38 am

Mark Bradley,

Can you take a month off from writing anything about the Braves please? Every time you write something about how awesome they are they end up choking. If you stop writing about them they’ll do just fine.

Please just focus on your love fest with UGA.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

September 17th, 2012
10:39 am

” unless Gators get their act together”

They looked pretty good against a ranked UT team. Ranked..something UGA doesn’t know anything about.

Joey

September 17th, 2012
10:40 am

Can’t blame you for that wish, DONNAN OF A NEW ERA,

You sure ain’t wishing for your Jackets to play us on national television, huh?

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

September 17th, 2012
10:41 am

“You sure ain’t wishing for your Jackets”

I’m not a Tech fan, Joey. Try again.

DIT

September 17th, 2012
10:43 am

@DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

Take a step back and take a long breath my friend. It’s not worth all the hate no matter who you follow. WOW!

#3 Bumble-Bee

September 17th, 2012
10:45 am

Bob
You say early rankings are meaningless, then you are amazed that your defense is ranked 25th. Which is it Bob. Meaningless or Amazing???

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

September 17th, 2012
10:47 am

” It’s not worth all the hate no matter who you follow.

Overreact much? I call em like I see em and UGA is a very overrated football team. When do they even play a ranked team?

Ted M

September 17th, 2012
10:48 am

And the team that beat the crap out of the Bills in week 1 got the crap beat out of them in week 2.

Lets hope that that is just a bunch of meaningless bull honky and the Falcons beat the crap out of the Broncos.

Joey

September 17th, 2012
10:50 am

So, who IS your team DONNAN OF A NEW ERA?

GT Dude

September 17th, 2012
10:53 am

@ DONNAN I watched a lot of the UF @ UT game and at this point I don’t think that UF could hang with UGA, but I was much impressed with the athletes that UF has playing this year. If Muschamp will quit whining and get them playing as a team by time the cocktail party come around it will be one heck of a game.
BTW give the money back from your ponzi scheme. :-)

#3 Bumble-Bee

September 17th, 2012
10:56 am

Tech had a very good win this weekend. Instead of talking about the improving direction of the team, some of you morons would rather belittle a UGA team that is irrevelant to us. Get over your petty jealousy and hatred of the Dogs. We beat an ACC team and took another step toward our goals of winning the ACC. Give it a break and focus on what’s important.

DIT

September 17th, 2012
10:57 am

@DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

“I call em like I see em and UGA is a very overrated football team.”
__________________

If they are overrated, why does that bother you so much? If they are over rated they will be exposed. Your the one over reacting my friend. Bold letters in your blog name. Three posts back to back to back. I promise the week will get better for you. l.o.l.

GTBob

September 17th, 2012
10:58 am

Bob
You say early rankings are meaningless, then you are amazed that your defense is ranked 25th. Which is it Bob. Meaningless or Amazing???

Our defensive ranking is based on actual statistics. Not old men guessing who is good at football.

#3 Bumble-Bee

September 17th, 2012
11:03 am

Joey
You guys seem to be on a roll. Congratulations on a win. Now beat someone worth beating like Vandy and just be ready for a new GT team this year. We may have a defense to go with our offense this year and it will not be a cakewalk playing Tech this year.