First Half Film Review: Sackerlina vs Coastal Carolina Beachcocks

South Carolina (Sackerlina) Game Notes from week 1. I only watched the first half because watching the entire game would have been a waste of time imo:

– An overmatched Coastal Carolina team (aka the Beachcocks) spent most of their defensive series blitzing linebackers and playing man coverage, not typically a recipe for success against an SEC program.

– As a result, Sackerlina’s skill players were able get into space, and were typically met by undersized, poor tackling defenders. This often after traveling untouched past the LoS for many yards.

SC first half drives went as follows:

– Jake Bentley completed 8 of 9 passes in the first quarter, most on underneath, crossing routes and slants.

– His red zone fumble on the second drive was overcome with what can only be described as a serendipitous touchdown pass.

– IE two Beachcock players had Bentley dead to rights for a sack, but they suck so he was able to shuttle the ball to Kiel Pollard who, after two more missed tackles, found the end zone.

– The third drive began in the second quarter, and featured some pretty inaccurate passing from Bentley. The drive was extended by two 4th down conversions (major 🔑 in a game like this lol).

– It was capped by a pretty nice touch pass that dropped right over the middle of the defense from Bentley to Bryan Edwards.

– Drive four – Sackerlina goes 3 and out after Bentley threw a near interception on second down and took a free running sack on third down.

– Drive five – Bentley goes 5-5 but doesn’t complete a pass more than 10-11 yards down field. Cocks (Game not Beach) score on a screen pass to Rico Dowdle who runs 25 yards untouched for the score.

Coastal first half drives went as follows:

– The BC’s gained close to 25 yards on their first play from scrimmage. (The play was brought back for an inconsequential hold, but still).

– That drive stalled out as a result of 15 yards worth of penalties.

– On their second possession the BC’s proceeded to bang out five first downs and a field goal, pretty much moving the ball at will until they hit the red zone.

– During their third possession they got two more quick first downs before punting. Sackerlina committed two penalties which helped.

– The fourth drive was a three and out.

And that was pretty much it. Deebo Samuel is really good. SC has better players than Coastal, and yet Coastal was able to move the ball on them pretty consistently. Georgia certainly had their shortcomings against against Austin Peay, and it’s never clear what the takeaways are from opening game cupcakes. Suffice it to say I was not that impressed with USCe.

We’ll see if Boom and company can change my mind on Saturday.

-CB

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A Response to Dean Legge’s Article on Brian Schottenheimer and the 2015 Georgia Football Season

Dean Legge wrote this article on Dawg Post. It’s behind a paywall, and I was convinced to spend a dollar to read it. I want my dollar back, and I’ll explain why. In short, Legge appears to have set out to prove a preconceived conclusion and in doing so only used information that supported his version of the story while leaving out the rest. Criticism to follow:

Legge manages to gloss over the injury of Nick Chubb (Heisman frontrunner at the time), and the departure of David Andrews (who has started at center for the Patriots since his rookie NFL season) like those two things had no effect on the 2015 season. I find that mesmerizing. Those two personnel losses don’t excuse the season, but shouldn’t they at least be submitted to evidence? Not to mention the stone cold fact that former UGA offensive coordinator Mike Bobo barely left a shred of quarterback talent in Athens after taking the head coaching job at Colorado State (that could also be blamed on head coach Mark Richt, but it’s certainly not Schottenheimer’s fault).

For example, quarterback Brice Ramsey was ineffective under three different offensive coordinators, and Faton Bauta couldn’t hold on as a starter even after transferring to Colorado State in order to play for Bobo (who recruited him to Georgia out of high school). Greyson Lambert got benched at the University of Virginia yet after transferring to Georgia he still managed to outperform both Bauta and Ramsey on the field. He even started the season opener for Kirby Smart in 2016 with Ramsey still on the roster. What does that tell you? Answer: Lambert was the better quarterback of the three. In order for you to make a case to the contrary you would have to completely ignore all of their in game performances.

Never forget that Lambert set an NCAA single game completion percentage record that still stands and also signaled the beginning of the end for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina. That’s at least one thing to hang his hat on. Ramsey and Bauta never accomplished anything that even begins to approach that level of success. In any event, this is just one of many examples of Legge making his way through the article with a complete lack of disregard for context.

Speaking of Ramsey, I don’t understand Legge’s constant hinting that he should have been starting all along in 2015. He references Ramsey entering the Alabama game in the second half, but omits the pick six that he threw on his first pass attempt. Ramsey went on to complete one pass on six attempts that included  yet another interception. That means he completed more passes to the opposing team than to his own receivers. How do you not bring that up? That’s irresponsible journalism. The kid threw 6 interceptions to  4 touchdowns during his career which, again, spanned three different offensive coordinators.

As for Ramsey’s time as Georgia’s punter (which Legge seems to scoff at), that was actually a smart move by Richt’s staff. If you do a little research you’ll see he had the highest punting average on the team and ranked 8th in the SEC out of 14 teams. That’s pretty solid production especially considering that, Collin Barber, who served as Georgia’s primary punter in 2015, was dead last in the conference in punting average. I don’t mean to hammer Ramsey, the kid did whatever was asked of him. That includes sticking around for another year to add quarterback depth in 2017. He’s was a DGD, but he was never going to be a successful SEC quarterback regardless of who was coaching him.

To further my critique of the linked article I’m not too keen on journalists allowing quotes from player interviews to do the heavy lifting when it comes to painting a full behind the scenes picture. Certainly player perspectives matter, but a lot of the criticisms cited by Legge don’t seem to make sense.

For instance, he has a handful of quotes from players who were perplexed by the lack of playing time given to former 5-star running back prospect Keith Marshall, who never seemed to fully recover from a 2013 knee injury. I’ll admit I wondered the same thing about Marshall’s low number of carries in 2015, but the players went on to say that the coaches were upset that Marshall wasn’t practicing. The defense for Marshall not practicing was that he was hurt. Okay, that’s fair enough, but if he was hurt and wasn’t practicing then why would they expect him to play in the games? I don’t understand the point Legge was getting at with these quotes.

He also quotes one player who claims the team disconnected from the coaching staff after the Florida loss. That seems a little strange considering Georgia managed to run the table over the last 5 games of the season while scoring at least 20 points in 4 of the 5 contests. The offense wasn’t exactly lighting it up, but two of those wins were on the road against rivals. That’s not nothing (Granted it embarrassingly took an overtime period to beat Georgia Southern).

To be clear, I am in no way suggesting that Schottenheimer was at all superior to Bobo, or that he should have been retained, but he was only in Athens for one season. Let’s think back a few years.  I can only surmise that a surplus of good will built up over time allowed Mike Bobo to retain his job after the 2010 season when UGA went 6-7 and failed to score a touchdown against UCF (your father’s UCF, not the one that beat a 10 win Auburn and claimed a national title in 2017).

As a thought experiment imagine a scenario in which Bobo was let go after that abysmal season. What would players from that team have said looking back three years later? Good things? I doubt it. Heck, ask them now. They probably still wouldn’t have many positive memories from 2010.

In Bobo’s defense the 2010 defense was well… indefensible whereas the 2015 defense was one of the best in the country, and that definitely matters. Plus, Bobo rebounded and produced some fairly prolific offenses in the years that followed (although rational minds disagree about the effectiveness of those offenses against ranked opponents, but I digress).

Finally, and perhaps most egregiously, this article is riddled with typos, bad sentence structures, and grammatical errors.  On separate occasions Legge misspells the names “Keith” and “Schottenheimer.” How does an author misspell the name of the subject of an article? That comes off as a face palm error for a publication with a following as large as Dawgpost. Furthermore, some of Legge’s sentences omit entire words altogether. For instance:

“’I don’t (sic) what got in their heads,’ said one offensive starter.”

I can make out what the sentence was supposed to be. It appears he left out the word “know.” I don’t mean to be a jerk or split hairs but if you’re going to ask people to pay a dollar to read your work (AND $14.95 TO RENEW MONTHLY!!!) you should at least hire an editor. I’m certainly not Noah Webster when it comes to grammar and spelling, but I’m also not asking for your money. I wouldn’t insult you like that.

-But if you’re feeling generous I’ll send you my Venmo.

CB

Update: Upon further reflection the idea that selective player commentary somehow proves that a 20 year veteran NFL coach was unqualified to coach at Georgia is patently ridiculous. At least give readers some insight from named professionals with college coaching experience.

Schottenheimer’s year in Athens was definitely worthy of criticism, but the convoluted opinions of former players to go along with commonly held fan notions about play calling in Jacksonville is about as bush league as it gets.

Loophole For Paying College Athletes

An interesting development in the ongoing fight against the NCAA’s steadily diminishing case for maintaining amateurism has emerged. Apparently crowdfunding  payment for student athletes is a thing. I won’t go too far into the weeds, but this option could have staying power.

FanPay or any other company does not need an NCAA rule change or court decision that allows athletes to profit off their NILs (Names, Images, Likeness). All they need is a court decision that says only the student-athlete may enforce or protect their NIL rights.

Also

After such a decision and assuming no change in NCAA policy, institutions could send whatever cease and desist letters they want but it would be much more difficult to threaten actual legal action. A crowdfunding site might then be able to use student-athletes’ names, images, and likenesses to run campaigns with impunity.

Is FanPay on track to put Jeffrey Kessler in their shadow? Jay Jacobs is probably kicking himself for not thinking of this years ago.

-CB

 

The Process costs UGA a 5 star recruit

Apparently Tracy Rocker isn’t the reason  that Aubrey Solomon didn’t sign with Georgia (also Rocker never had a dispute with Solomon’s mother).

Much more interesting to me is the quote from the kid’s mother (Sabrina Caldwell) about why he didn’t choose Georgia.

Caldwell said they were affected by the scholarship that was no longer there for 4-star Texas RB and longtime UGA commit Toneil Carter.
Adding to the confusion: SEC All-Freshman kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was not extended a scholarship offer despite what he did to win games for the Bulldogs last season.
She said that was not her family’s fight but that it was a factor into how they perceived UGA.
“We were concerned with the scholarship issues of those not either receiving (them) or getting it pulled and again (this was) not our fight but it played a factor,” she said.

Actions have consequences. Sometimes anyway.

 

-CB

Bad sign for dawg fans hoping UGA lands Solomon commitment?

I’m not into recruiting predictions and crystal balls because I don’t believe there is any way to know what is going on in a high school kid’s head. If the kid himself doesn’t know what school he’s going to then how can we expect some middle aged white dude in a golf shirt and cargo shorts to somehow read the runes and predict the future? Add to that how often the predictions are wrong, and it becomes somewhat of a waste of time to follow (admittedly I still indulge from time to time).

I digress. In my experience one of the best ways to guess where a kid will commit is to check which schools are working the hardest on backup plans. If the coaches at one program or another are spending a good deal of time on another prospect at the same position then that often means the coaches don’t like their chances of signing a kid. Seeing as how Georgia is running out of room for the 2017 class this makes me think that Aubrey Solomon is going to end up playing for the dark pink pachyderms.

Granted, I have done very little research on either kid. I’ll read a quote here and there, but I am certainly not “plugged in” as they say. Perhaps Coach Kirby is looking for serious depth on the defensive front, but given all the glaring holes at other roster spots Slaton feels like a back up plan.

I’ll be tickled dark pink if I’m wrong.

-CB

 

2018 Schedule Change?

Here is somebody much smarter than me saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a while. It seems pretty obvious that eliminating conference championship games (usually resulting in contests featuring unevenly matched division champions) and subsequently adding another playoff round is more sensible than the current format. Not to mention that the committee has already proven that they don’t put much weight into the conference championship games (as they shouldn’t).
“Conference championships, as currently devised, don’t make much sense. Because of imbalanced divisions, championship games often don’t pit the two best teams in a conference against each other.”
My thoughts exactly.
In addition, Silver’s flex schedule concept in this piece is brilliant. Basically, conference divisions are eliminated, early match-ups are determined by how teams finished in the previous season (best against worst), and the rivalry games are set for weeks 2,4 and 7. After that, teams are matched up based on record similarity hence yielding games with more evenly matched opponents and essentially eliminating the possibility of two really good teams in the same conference not playing each other during a given season.
This format could be a logistical nightmare for both teams and fans traveling to away games since they wouldn’t know who they would be playing from week to week, but I would be really interested to see this concept incorporated. It seems to make a great deal of sense, but we all know “the powers that be” have no interest in that sort of thing. Perhaps the broadcast money from more appealing games could entice them. Of course Silver’s schedule would not solve all arguments, but if 8 teams are in the playoff and all the good programs play each other then the outcry likely becomes a lot more muffled.
Who am I kidding? Bill Hancock always sticks to his guns, it’s just that the guns are always changing. The man is a true model for consistency.
-CB

Tennessee has the most annoying fans according to top 2016 recruits

If you know a sensitive Tennessee fan be sure to send this to them and observe as they ironically explain to you in depth that they don’t care about the opinions of 18 year olds. I know I did and it was FANTASTIC! Disclaimer: It gets really annoying after about 10 minutes, but it’s still worth it.

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Butthurt condemnation from our Power T wearing friends aside, I find it noteworthy that over 11% of Under Amour All-Americans find the fans of a particular program to be more annoying than all the rest. It’s also nice to see which school has the best fan rating according to the poll, and by the same statistical margin no less.

In any case, Butch has his work cut out for him in making sure this information doesn’t distract the Vols from defending their 2016 Life Championship next season.

#BrickByBrick #VFL

-CB

“Did I make some dumb calls as a coach? Yeah.”

I’ve heard more than a few Georgia fans pine for Mike Bobo to take over the reigns in the event that Kirby Smart doesn’t pan out in Athens. Well, after back to back 7-6 seasons and the recent blowout loss in the Potato Bowl to a future FCS program, there is at least one Colorado State beat writer that would be much obliged for us to take him back. 

“Bowl failure and CSU go together like Mike Bobo and inflated salaries. $1.45 million? For what? Be glad you weren’t one of the 749 Rams who were suckered into buying a ticket to Thursday’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl,”

Hasn’t this guy ever heard of S&P+ rankings? That was a joke. The final score was 61-50 which doesn’t seem too bad until you realize that CSU scored 36 points in the 4th quarter and still lost by double digits.

I’m not one to put much weight into meaningless bowl games, but that one has to sting a little. 

-CB