Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What happened to our vaunted defensive lines?

These are the last two sentences of David Hale's main Georgia football story Tuesday:
Sophomore defensive end Justin Houston was named the SEC's defensive lineman of the week. Houston had four tackles, two for loss and a sack to become the first Bulldogs player to win the award since Charles Johnson in 2006.
Why not just stab me in a cheek bone?

Update from David Hale:
That's my bad -- should have said first DEFENSIVE END to win the award since Charles Johnson in 2006.
That changes things a bit. Now I'm just back to freaking out about our defensive end play, instead of the whole line.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A.J. Green always gets a foot in bounds

Photographic proof that we were shorted a touchdown against ASU Saturday.

Hat tip to Mr. Hale.

UPDATE: Not everyone agrees. And, after staring at the picture some more ... who knows.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The rain and A.J. Green

Those would be the main stories.

Richt teleconference notes from David Hale:
Both of Cox's interceptions came on the exact same play call.

Cordy Glenn played every snap at left tackle against Arizona State.

The A.J. Green for Heisman campaign starts now

Rather, it started earlier this year.

Jason Vorhees, The Telegraph.

Dawgs 20, Arizona State 17. ESPN box score.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tailgating: Recycling bag donations get free beer*

*Where free beer = good will.

University of Georgia business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi will be distributing garbage and recycling bags this season. They're also taking donations for the recycling bags, which will be clear.

Chick-fil-A Beechwood and Jittery Joe's have already made generous donations, the fraternity reports.

Donations can be made online with a credit or debit card via PayPal. Click here then click on the logo. Athens Bureau Chief Brian Huff, a member of AKPsi, notes you may also physically send bags or checks to the fraternity at 545 S. Milledge Ave., 30605.

Clear recycling bags make sense because you can see through them, yo.

For more information: melanielfoster@gmail.com.

From AKPsi:
“UGA fans are a people of pride,” said Thorne Brown, President of Alpha Kappa Psi. “We can show that same pride in the way we treat our campus. You don’t show your pride just by wearing UGA’s colors—you show it by keeping your campus clean.”
"Or, if you play defense, by destroying things, being in the right position and making sure tackles."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UGA on trash: pick it up

More details on the University's game day trash plan:
The university plans to distribute 12,000 trash bags in parking lots and around campus this Saturday before the Georgia Bulldogs play host to the Arizona State Sun Devils in a 7 p.m. kickoff. Volunteers from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will walk through tailgating areas distributing trash bags and encouraging tailgaters to bag their trash and deposit it in an appropriate receptacle. The number of disposable trash boxes on North Campus will be increased to 400 from the previous 250, and over the entire campus to 1,500 from the previous 1,200. Several large roll-off dumpsters will be placed strategically around campus for tailgaters to dispose of their bagged trash.

Additionally, the firm that contracts to clean the campus on Sundays following a football game - American Stadiums - will send crews on an initial sweep through North Campus during the first quarter of remaining games this season to pick up trash already collected and set aside by tailgaters.

The number of Port-a-Johns available on campus also will be increased, particularly in the North Campus area which has been problematic.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Joe Cox: National Offensive Player of the Week

My mind is just blown.

Cox named Walter Camp player of the week.

David Hale: "It was as if Georgia was playing with eight defenders."

Get The Picture: "To win by eleven on a night when you go -2 in turnover margin and rack up an astounding 14 penalties ... is amazing."

Box score.

Who knew our quarterback was a fearless gunslinger? Outstanding. And 2-0 in the SEC is so much better than 1-2 overall.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ashley, soldiers, deserve to be remembered

Three years ago my friend Ashley was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. She was 23. She was a soldier and a University of Georgia ROTC graduate.

You may remember her story, which ran in most of the state's newspapers. Brian Huff, a regular contributor here, was her husband.

Ashley was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery across from Sanford Stadium. I'm told you can hear the crowd noise there on gameday.

A ceremony in Ashley's honor is planned Friday at 2 p.m. at the University Chapel on North Campus. After that, the University ROTC program will dedicate a plaque in her honor in the newly renovated ROTC lounge on campus.

They based the plaque on one of the more iconic pictures Ashley sent home from Iraq. It shows her smiling with a little Iraqi girl.

But, then, all the pictures showed her smiling.

The plaque is not the world's only monument to Ashley. When the Iraqi government opened a new police academy in Erbil, a bust of Ashley was placed outside.

The Inscription reads:
Operation Iraqi Freedom
First Lieutenant Ashley L. Henderson Huff, USA
19 December 1982 – 19 September 2006
Friend of Kurdistan
Advocate of Irbil Police Academy
Died in the Defense of Freedom
Remembered always with fondness
I know not everyone can be on campus Friday afternoon. But, if you would, will you think of my friend Ashley this weekend? And of her family and of Huff, and all the soldiers and families out there.

So many never make it home.

And if you do happen to be near campus Friday, the University's ROTC liaison assures me the ceremony is open to the public. The online guestbook from Ashley's funeral is still up as well. All 68 pages of it.

1st Lt. Ashley Laine Henderson Huff with Iraqi police trainees.

Update: After some contemplation, I've decided the looks on those guys faces translate to "Wow." Agreed, gentlemen. Ashley, may you rest in grace and peace, and may the Iraqi people flourish.

Uh-oh. Adams gets involved on tailgate trash

He called a press conference today to issue a warning. Chip Towers has the basics.

The University will put out more trash bags and Adams doesn't "want to start arresting people."

Obviously the trash bags will help. But there are more bedrock problems. Just because it's in a bag doesn't mean it's not a ridiculous amount of garbage.

I'm also a little surprised how up in arms folks have gotten over the trash this year. I guess not everyone strolls through campus at 2 a.m. the way I tend to, but the trash on North Campus isn't noticeably worse than it has been in years past.

I'm glad to see it, but it's interesting the way issues reach tipping points.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Funniest show on television back Thursday

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Thursday nights on FX at 10 p.m.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

.5: over/under on SEC coaches fired this year

That's all I got. Also, Branden Smith is the fastest guy on the team.

I'll call for two new coaches in the SEC next year, though. I'm looking your way, South Bend, and to you, Columbia.
Joe: So, is your plan for Urban Meyer to win a 3rd National Championship in five years, then go to Notre Dame?

Me: Not especially.

Joe: That might be the best plan of the last 5 years.

Tailgating and trash: Please do better

UPDATE: I feel like I should add here: That looks like one hell of a party. Someone needs to invent a better disposable cooler.
This video is from Saturday night. Ten years ago I can see myself contributing to this, so I understand. But if you tailgate like this, you should be ashamed of yourself.

It was like that all over the two main quads at 2 a.m. The people who clean that up, I wonder what they think of you?

Thanks to Georgia Sports Blog, Get The Picture and The Grit Tree for getting the word out. You have to wonder: Just how bad is the environmental impact of a University of Georgia game?

It's actually pretty easy to recycle on Gameday. Just bring a bag and make a little sign. There are drop off locations all over campus, as shown on this map, downloadable here in pdf form. And I imagine if you mark it, some enterprising soul will come pick it up.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Church sign wisdom

On the road to Athens, somewhere near Eatonton.

Joe on the S.C. game: We were erratic

Lucid Idiocy lead football analyst Joe Petersen's thoughts on the weekend that was for UGA and the rest of the college football world.

We are just very erratic. That's the word my dad used.

Steve Spurrier looked like he did not want to be a football coach anymore.

Tennessee losing, that's awesome. Notre Dame losing, also awesome.

Next week I think you find out whether Lane Kiffin is flammable. What's your over under on Tebow touchdowns? Seven?

The Norm Chow / Monte Kiffin question was answered. They both suck.

Orson Charles just looks incredible to me. I really liked how Richard Samuel ran the ball.

Word up.

ESPN showed Ben Jones and Joe Cox jawing at each other. You could read Ben Jones' lips and it just looked like he was saying, "---- you, you're wrong." After that, Joe Cox was the one who was wrong.

The horse collar on Reshad Jones was a good call.

We definitely had a few instances of poor tackling. There were definitely some plays that made you cringe.

My additions to this:
Norm Chow and Monte Kiffin do not necessarily suck. Blair Walsh is quietly becoming a trusted weapon. I'm concerned about Auburn apparently not sucking. It's not clear to me whether Arkansas is better than South Carolina, or worse.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1-1, 1-0 in the SEC. Excitement.

What a game. What an absolute hell of a game in Sanford Stadium.

From my friend Ryan Mohs, who made his first return to Sanford Stadium in 12 years:
"I was gritting it out in the end. I was thinking, 'we could really lose this game.' But then Spurrier was crying in his milk."

Image: Grant Blankenship, The Telegraph. Gallery here (scroll).
ME: A.J. Green is Batman.

JOE: In Batman's dreams.
Dear Coaches: Thank you very, very, very much for kicking off deeper. Like Apollo said in Rocky III, it takes a real man to change. Now, please run the ball more.

p.s. You have proven Joe Cox can shoulder the load in an SEC win. You do not have to keep trying to prove this the rest of the year.

I liked the way Richard Samuel ran. He could be coming into his own, discovering his game as a running back.

I got no problems with the way the defense played. That short passing game has always been the hole we leave, but if you can make goal line stands consistently that's OK, and we can. The defense plays with heart, the refs are afraid of Reshad Jones and I think we've just about developed a good pass rush.

Biggest play in a big-play game? DeAngelo Tyson blocking that extra point.

Gameday text message: CMR just asked the ESPN reporter who blocked that PAT. "Do you know who that was? That was tremendous."

South Carolina's 3rd down conversion rate? Six of 17, or 35 percent.

Branden Smith sleeps in Brandon Boykin pajamas. From Georgia Sports Blog:
"It appears that any time Smith touches the ball, he is steadfastly attempting to break the sound barrier on the way to the end zone. ... If he is in there when the ball is kicked into the end zone, Chapas should tackle him."
Finally, I have no idea whether we're a good team. I'm inclined to say Yeah, we're not bad. We've sure got some speed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joe Cox hurt, out Saturday?

If all these text messages I'm getting are right, yes.

Shades of Joe T.

UPDATE: David Hale says Cox is playing, but Caleb isn't. He also has some play-by-play on how the Cox story went down.

It sounds like everything's going just great in Athens.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Joe Cox and the offensive line will play better

This is my new logic, which allows optimism.

Also, our defense will cause turnovers against South Carolina. Stephen Garcia is not a good quarterback.
ME: I mean, Joe Cox has got to be better than that, right? Because the coaches have been watching him for four years, and they put him out there. Plus, in Searels we trust, right?

JOE: Yeah, but still. If that crowd gets bored and drunk and the offense goes three-and-out, you're going to hear some boos.

ME: Especially if the call on 3rd and four is Joe Cox right for a gain of one. You think Spurrier smells blood in the water?

JOE: I forgot he even coaches that team.
1996 was the last time we started a season 0-2. I believe that's also the last time we dropped a season opener.

Things I don't understand

I find myself unable to get over my anger following the Oklahoma State loss, which is new and disturbing territory for me. It's entirely possible I'm completely ridiculous.

If Caleb King was able to practice with "no limitations" on Sunday, why couldn't he be in Stillwater on Saturday?

If Logan Gray was shifty enough to return punts last year, how is Branden Smith the better option in the "Wildcat Formation" our coaches seem to have discovered approximately 3 years after it was popularized?

Can Branden Smith throw the football, or is the plan just to have him go that way, really fast, and if something gets in his way, turn? Because any snaps that could go to a backup quarterback right about now are pretty key snaps.

I agree with the senator wholeheartedly: What, indeed?

Coach Richt has coached two Heisman Trophy winners, the NCAA's all-time winningest quarterback and the most recent No. 1 NFL draft choice. Can someone explain to me why this man would ever find himself starting Joe Tereshinski III in a major college football game?

Monday, September 7, 2009

0-1, I feel dumb

"It's not like we just had a terrible game and this is it, this is how we're gonna be the whole year."
- Joe Cox, in The ABHDN

It's funny how quickly things change. Just last week I felt a little bit of magic in the air. Now I feel dumb and gullible. I feel like I'm back in 2008, except this year we tackle better and lose more.

I recognize this may not be fair after one game. But having seen the product on the field I have a hard time judging on potential.

My hat is off to Oklahoma State, whom I clearly under-estimated. The game was winnable for us and turned on the sum of a lot of little things, as football games usually do.

To the team: I hope some of you guys can play better than that, or like getting embarrassed.

To Coach Richt: Why can't you fix the kickoffs?

To the refs: That was not an illegal hit. They did not get that first down. I hate you.

I can't believe Trinton Sturdivant is out for a year again. What a test the Lord has put before him.

I don't understand our offense. I'm down on Joe Cox. If you offered me 7-5 right now, I might take it. If you came with 8-4 you'd lose a finger.

I think Oklahoma State is a good team. I'd like to see what happens when Joe Cox hasn't had the flu before a game, and I'd like to see our luck change.

Still, I'll tell you the question that really bothers me, the one I'm not sure I want an answer to.

Why is Alabama so much better than us?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Recovery through music

David Hale reporting:
Head coach Mark Richt said the team would have to wait for the results of an MRI before knowing the severity of the injury, but Sturdivant was wearing a cast down the length of his leg and was on crutches after the game.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How many times will I be subjected to Dave Matthews Band's "Why I am" this year?

Still, I'm glad it's football season.

"And the face of that Duck man tells the story so far. ... The feathers are coming off quickly."

- Mark Jones, ESPN

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gameday, Chipper in Atlanta Saturday

From The Atlanta Examiner:
If you love College GameDay, here’s your chance to see Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard up close and in person as they broadcast live from Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park this Saturday morning. As an added bonus, Chipper Jones will make an appearance as a guest commentator. The show airs from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM on ESPN in advance of Saturday night’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff game between Virginia Tech and Alabama.
UPDATE: Chipper Jones is a gator fan and can go to hell.

Cowboys Forever: Seriously, can this be real?

Click on the play button in the top right corner of this page. Seriously? Seriously, can this be real?

"45's, chaps, bandannas and spurs, we are Cowboys ... forever. ... The prairie wind touches our skin, another maverick morning begins."

Huh. And you've heard of Georgia Tech, right?

The Oklahoman says this Okie State song is very real, but will not be used as an introduction Saturday, which is a shame:
"Cowboys Forever” is not the song that will play as the football team takes the field. It’s not the music for the intro video, which in previous years has featured "Back in the Saddle” by Aerosmith. It’s not going to replace whatever pumping, bumping, thumping song brings the Cowboys onto the Boone Pickens Stadium turf.

"There’s a lot of misconception about this song being the song that the football team runs out to,” Martin said. "The team will not come out right when this video and song are done.”

Tony Barnhart spoke to Munson

“I talked to somebody the other day who told me that when they retired they missed every blade of grass at Sanford Stadium,” Munson said. “That’s the way I feel right now. I’m going to miss everything about that place.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coach Dooley: 2009 Dawgs united

Vince Dooley was in Macon today signing books. He predicts a win against Oklahoma State, as do I.

Much has been made about the chemistry on this year's team. With Knowshon and Stafford leaving early, you had to expect the "team is the star of the team" narrative to take hold. But I found this comment from Coach Dooley particularly heartening:
"I think Coach Richt is gonna have more fun with this team than any team he's had in a long time. ... I don't know if they'll be champions, but they'll be champions in his mind. ... The coaches and the players are as united as I've ever seen a football team."
You know, Oklahoma State may be falling apart before our very eyes with injuries, distractions and a defection. Maybe I'm just feeling what I hope, but the closer we get to the season, the more I feel like there may just be a little magic in the air.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Kiffining of Vol Nation

I can't say I fully approve of my own subject line here. Vol Nation has never been a group you'd turn to for a knowledgeable opinion on much of anything. Still, there has been a noticeable intensifying of the sheer crazy from them recently.
JOE, at a gunshow, talking to a VOL Fan: Well, if you guys can just take care of Tebow for a couple of games ...

VOL Fan: Oh, man. His backups are even better than he is.