Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Bowl week off to a good start

Monday December 26, 2011

The Dawgs (and Spartans) arrived in Tampa today. Mark Richt had said before the break that he didn’t expect any surprises from fall semester grades, and it looks as if everyone is in good academic shape for the bowl game.

Post More time in the Alabama sunshine

Monday December 19, 2011

If you like baseball – a LOT of baseball – the SEC is happy to oblige. With two programs entering the conference, the SEC Baseball Tournament will expand from 8 to 10 teams starting in 2012. The double-elimination format means that the tournament will stretch from Tuesday to Sunday in the week preceding Memorial Day for a total of 17 games. We’ve never been particularly impressed with the relevance of the event, but last season’s SEC Tournament provided a path for Georgia to earn a bid in the NCAA Tournament. With an additional two teams in Hoover, a few more programs could find themselves with a chance to make a push for a place in the national bracket.

As before, the seeding will be based on overall conference standings, but the division winners will be guaranteed one of the top two seeds. Here are all of the changes:

  • Increase from eight to 10 teams
  • Event will run from Tuesday through Sunday
  • Games played from Tuesday to Friday are double elimination with single elimination starting on Saturday with games 15 and 16.
  • Addition of SEC Baseball Legends Program recognized annually at tournament

Post Too many bowl games?

Monday December 19, 2011

Tell that to these guys:

ULL's Brett Baer
Chris Granger / The Times-Picayune

Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton
AP Photo

Post Football not the only program to get a conditioning makeover

Monday December 19, 2011

Nice story in the Banner-Herald today about the progress in conditioning made by Andy Landers’ womens basketball program. With most of the players in reasonably good basketball shape to begin with, emphasis has been less about weight loss and more about the marginal improvements that can come from better conditioning and nutrition.

The conditioning program has less to do with losing weight than with hardening muscles. Most of the team has only lost between five and 10 pounds so much of the change has been in body composition.

In addition to running, the team stuck to some new dietary guidelines.

The diet component eliminated most of the goodies that almost every college student lives on. They couldn’t eat sweets, fried food, baked goods and soft drinks. Instead they’d eat salads, baked meat, vegetables and wash it down with water.

Georgia’s rotation isn’t terribly deep again this year, so any incremental gains in conditioning could begin to show up in February and March when many teams and players begin to hit the wall.

Post What’s happened to the Georgia fullback?

Friday December 16, 2011

Kyle has a good question this afternoon:

Is the fullback simply an anachronism who has no place in the revamped up-tempo Bulldog offense of 2011? Does the play-calling simply reflect the personnel present in the Classic City in the current day, given the talents of Aaron Murray and the multitude of pass-catching weapons (including Bruce Figgins) at Mike Bobo’s disposal? Is the need to use the fullback as a blocker rather than a ballcarrier reflective of the thinness of the offensive line and the inexperience of the tailback rotation, or is a potentially worthwhile element of the arsenal going unused?

I admit to wondering the same thing. It was a surprise (and a pleasant one at that) to see Ogletree rumble for over 20 yards at Tech. And of course Figgins has been almost a sure thing on the 344-Fullback pass play. But there’s no question that the productivity from the position in the running game has declined, and Kyle has all of the data behind that conclusion.

Why is that? In addition to the possible reasons Kyle offers, we also have to consider that they might just not be the best carriers of the ball. Ogletree’s long run was nice, but the ball popped out. Admittedly, that’s a small sample size from which to draw any kind of conclusions about his ability to hold on to the ball. Likewise, Figgins is a converted tight end. As you’d expect, he can catch the ball. But the exchange on a running play is an entirely new operation for Figgins, and it’s possible that the coaches just didn’t trust his lack of experience there. Figgins is a senior, but Ogletree will return in 2012 with a great deal of experience. Of course a backfield that could feature Crowell, Marshall, and Mike Davis won’t leave many carries to spare, but there is an important role for a fullback that can move the pile in short-yardage situations. Given Georgia’s success against Florida, it’s also possible that the coaches will be content with Richard Samuel in that role.

Post SEC’s top stories of 2011

Friday December 16, 2011

TSK opened up the topic of the top (5, 10, 31) stories of 2011 across the SEC. Here’s my stab:

1) Supremacy. Within the pages of the 2011 calendar, Auburn won a national title while Alabama and LSU set themselves up to play for the next one. The case for the Tide and Bayou Bengals as the nation’s two best teams was so compelling that it was enough to overcome distaste for a rematch and a serious case of SEC fatigue from the rest of the nation. It wasn’t just supremacy in football – South Carolina notched back-to-back College World Series titles for the conference.

2) Comings and goings. At the macro level, the conference welcomed two new member schools during 2011. The real impact of expansion won’t be felt until the coming years, but the move could eventually have an impact on everything from recruiting to the location of the SEC’s marquee events. (As the Georgia Dome clock kept malfunctioning at the SECCG, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it was until Jerry Jones made a bid to move the game to one of the SEC’s newest states.)

The SEC also said farewell to a number of individuals whose personalities made following the conference more interesting. Bruce Pearl, Houston Nutt, Stephen Garcia, Charlie Weis…it won’t be the same without you. We’re glad that Mark Richt wasn’t among them.

3) Pat Summitt. Summitt’s diagnosis of early-onset dementia reached beyond the world of women’s college basketball. In vowing to coach on, Summitt brings this little-understood condition into the public eye and will doubtlessly do much for awareness and fundraising in the campaign for research, knowledge, and ultimately a cure.

4) Oversigning. The action of the season has pushed this story to the back burner, but you couldn’t avoid it for the first half of the year. The league’s decision to limit football class sizes to 25 probably won’t do much to change many of the deeper issues related to the oversigning problem, but it did at least force a conference-wide conversation about the practice.

5) The Tuscaloosa tornado. Much of the SEC landscape – from Mississippi to Georgia to our newest territory in Missouri – was scarred by a series of spring tornado outbreaks. The tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa and just missed Bryant-Denny Stadium pushed the story on to the sports pages and, if temporarily, refocused the passions of SEC fans. When even Auburn fans, players, and coaches become a positive part of a tragedy involving Alabama, you know you have an exceptional story.

What are your top 5?

Post Changes coming to SEC offense

Friday December 16, 2011

Gus Malzahn is leaving Auburn, taking a significant pay cut to become the head coach at Arkansas State. There are any number of theories this morning why a guy who could have had an SEC head coaching job a year ago now takes less money to coach in the Sun Belt. To me, the most reasonable explanation is asking where Malzahn expects to be in three years. If he’s looking for a stepping stone, Vandy might not have been the best choice: it would have been tough to build much of a resume with a shiny winning record and bowl bids (note how much praise Franklin has received for a 6-6 year at Vandy this year). At Arkansas State Malzahn should, in theory, have the opportunity to take over a program in fairly good shape, lean on his familiarity with the area, and build his portfolio for the next tier of jobs for which he came up just short this year.

Including the changes at Texas A&M and Ole Miss, the SEC will see new offenses at 5 of its 14 programs for the 2012 season. We know a little bit about what we can expect from the Aggies and Rebels from their new head coaches. But it will be interesting to watch the simultaneous vacancies at Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. At the very least, a lot of playcallers around the nation (and their agents) figure to make some money.

Will so many changes across the conference lead to a sea change in SEC offenses? Not likely. A&M and Ole Miss have a ways to go before they start influencing the rest of the league. Muschamp at Florida is committed to the pro-style offense. It’s hard to imagine Saban at Alabama getting far away from the “don’t screw it up for the defense” system that has worked for him.

Auburn will be worth watching. Malzahn took some knocks in 2011, but he fielded some very good units during his first two years at Auburn. Calling to mind the back-and-forth between Blutarsky, Elkon, and Chris Brown, Gene Chizik has to consider the talent recruited for the Malzahn system. Instead of recruiting players to fit a particular system, Chizik might have to constrain his coordinator search based on the players.

Kiehl Frazier was the centerpiece of the 2011 Auburn recruiting class. His background (shotgun preference, running ability, familiarity with the spread) fit the Malzahn system well. The Tigers have a pair of veteran backs in McCalebb and Dyer who have been successful in Malzahn’s system. Quan Bray is one of several young players who were recruited for their flexibility in a spread scheme. Chizik has to worry about both sides of the ball, but finding someone who can make the most of that talent on offense before his own seat starts to warm up.

Post Every one of Aaron Murray’s 33 touchdowns

Thursday December 8, 2011

GeorgiaDogs.com has a nice compilation up today showing every Aaron Murray touchdown pass of the year. Murray’s 33 touchdowns obliterated the previous Georgia single-season record by over 30%.

I had honestly forgotten about some of these. The cast of players catching touchdown passes is impressive – everyone from Wooten to Figgins to Boykin. By my count, 12 different Bulldogs caught a touchdown pass this year. By comparison, the Georgia defense only allowed 11 touchdowns total through the air in 2011.

Post Lady Dogs pick up important nonconference win over Tech

Monday December 5, 2011

The all-time ledger between Andy Landers’ Lady Dogs program and Georgia Tech is a lopsided 30-4 in favor of Georgia. Recent history hasn’t been nearly as one-sided. Since Georgia won the first 24 contests, the Lady Dogs have only enjoyed a 5-4 edge in the series entering Sunday’s annual meeting. In fact, the Lady Dogs had to win on Sunday for its senior class to avoid the ignominy of being the first at Georgia to finish with a losing record against their rival.

Georgia got the win. The 74-68 triumph moved the Lady Dogs to 7-1 on the year and preserved an umblemished home record in the series with Tech.

The game was every bit as close as you’d expect from two teams that have had a lot in common with each other lately. Tech has joined Georgia as a regular participant in the NCAA Tournament, and the Jackets have been just outside the upper tier of the ACC for several seasons. With a team featuring five seniors, you’d expect them to give Georgia a fight, and they did. A year after a poor showing in Atlanta, Georgia was up to the challenge this year.

Forward Jasmine Hassell led the way for Georgia with a career-high 24 points. Hassell was engaged in battle for most of the game with Tech’s
imposing 6’5″ center Sasha Goodlett. The Lady Dogs had good success double-teaming Goodlett in the high post, but the Tech senior still finished with 19 points. Jasmine James and Meredith Mitchell also scored in double-figures for Georgia, and James notched a game-high five steals.

Both teams built small first half advantages, and a little Georgia run at the end of the first half tied things at 33 going into halftime. The Lady Dogs built another small lead early in the second half and kept Tech at arm’s length before another spurt with about 7 minutes to go punctuated by a Khaalidah Miller three-pointer opened up a 12-point Georgia advantage. Some missed foul shots and timely outside shooting from the visitors got Tech back to within three points inside of a minute left, but Georgia rediscovered their free throw shooting and iced the game from the line.

If there was one thing that put Georgia over the top, it was Georgia’s ability to create more turnovers than they committed. The Jackets rely on full-court pressure and tight on-ball defense to create transition opportunites on offense. Georgia occasionally struggled with this pressure, especially when Anne Marie Armstrong had to sit during the first half with foul trouble. But much more often than not the Lady Dogs were able to work it up the court and get into their halfcourt offense. Thanks in large part to the successful traps of Goodlett, the Lady Dogs forced 20 Tech turnovers and created their own opportunities to run.

The remainder of Georgia’s nonconference slate is highlighted by a Las Vegas holiday tournament in a couple of weeks which includes a game against Gonzaga. The Zags were one of the surprises of last season’s NCAA Tournament and have another quality team this year. If they can get past that game, the Lady Dogs stand a good chance of entering conference play on January 1st with a 12-1 record.

Post Disjointed thoughts about the SECCG

Thursday December 1, 2011

We can dismiss any notion that LSU will be overlooking the game with their place in the BCS Championship a virtual lock. Despite the opinion that this game is now somehow without meaning, playing for an SEC title means quite a bit to anyone who puts on a uniform. Georgia’s absence from this game since 2005 has been noted, but LSU has experienced a lesser drought of their own. Few on the team were around in 2007, and everyone else has watched either Alabama or Auburn represent the West for the past three seasons. They’re about as likely to make light of their opportunity to be champions of the conference as Georgia was to overlook Tech last week.

In one of the more puzzling statements after the loss to Boise, the Dawgs claimed to have been rattled by the crowd noise in what was more or less a home game. Just so we’re all clear on this: LSU will have more fans on Saturday than Boise had. LSU fans are known for being a little loud. Hopefully the Dawgs will be more prepared this time.

We know both teams have a good defense. With that in mind, individual matchups are more interesting. Is Georgia well-seasoned enough up front to deal with LSU’s tailback rotation and pounding running game? Can they keep Jordan Jefferson’s mobility from being a factor? Rueben Randle is a beast, but only two LSU receivers have over 20 catches on the year. Can Georgia afford to cheat a little on Randle and Beckham?

When LSU gets into its power running game mode, they like to do it from one-back ace formations with two TE or from two-back sets. Against Arkansas it was noted that the Tigers often split out a third receiver instead of using that second tight end or blocking back. Because Arkansas wasn’t especially strong up front, LSU could get away with spreading the field without betraying their running game. The spread field opened up additional opportunities with the passing game and the occasional option play.

Georgia is certainly much stronger up front than Arkansas, so LSU will be faced with a few choices. The running game is still their bread and butter, so we could expect to see more power formations in order to establish the run against a good defensive front. At the same time, they’d forego the spread formation that made them more versatile and explosive against Arkansas. All of that depends on Georgia’s front playing as expected. If LSU can have early success running the ball, they’ll be able to spread out and put a lot of pressure on Georgia’s back seven or eight in pass coverage.

All sorts of things come to mind when Georgia has the ball. Can the Georgia offensive line that’s been so good in pass protection this month deal with a pure speed rusher like Mingo? Will the tight end be less of an option in the passing game if he’s needed to shore up the edge? Murray’s been much more efficient lately, but accuracy has never been his calling card. Can he get away with that against such a good secondary? Does that secondary lead Georgia to lean more on shorter passes, and can guys like Figgins or Charles be productive?

Can any tailback be counted on enough to develop a rushing strategy for this game? Will LSU’s Eric Reid be back? It looks that way. He’ll give them a more physical defensive backfield and make it tougher to run.

Will Georgia try their hurry-up? It was a train wreck in the season opener, but they’ve used it with more success during the year. It’s a reach to compare Georgia’s higher-tempo offense with Oregon, but the Ducks were able to put up yards on LSU. Just not points.

Turnovers and big special teams plays might seem like random events, but LSU has relied so consistently on them this year that they’re just about as reliable as 100 yards from a good tailback. We’ve seen everything from the fake punt against Florida to the kickoff return at West Virginia to a pivotal interception and punt at Alabama to the punt return against Arkansas. LSU can afford to get outgained in traditional yardage because it’s been so good at the margins. You don’t have to drive 80 yards when you’ve flipped field position with an interception or a long punt.

The challenge for Georgia isn’t just winning turnovers or avoiding special teams mistakes, though that matters. It’s doing those things in a way that create, if not points outright, an advantage that leads to points or changes how the opponent operates. That’s what LSU has done so well this year. Like a good defensive basketball team depends on a press to create easier transition chances, LSU effectively uses defense and special teams to score in spurts that bury an opponent.

Georgia has blocked a punt in both of Mark Richt’s SEC Championships. With Georgia retreating into a punt-safe shell after a couple of successful fakes, we’ll probably have to see if the Dawgs can win a title without a blocked kick. The Dawgs do at least look solid in the other areas of special teams. This is what I was just talking about though – it’s not enough to play neutral with few mistakes. Georgia needs those positive and point-producing plays from its defense and special teams to have success against an opponent of this quality.

If you look over the LSU schedule, the one game that gives more reason for hope than any other is the Mississippi State game. I don’t like comparisons using games from months ago – both Georgia and LSU are different and improved teams since then. That game though is the formula that gives Georgia its best chance to win. Play solid defense, don’t give up scores on big plays, make it a game of field goals, and do your best to get to the 4th quarter. Of course every other team has seen that film, and only Alabama was able to duplicate it.

Post Speaking of moot exhibitions…

Wednesday November 30, 2011

Echoing what Travis had to say about Mark Bradley’s latest, one question pops to mind:

Can we expect a similar column the next time the ACC and SEC basketball tournaments come to Atlanta?

I mean – it’s arguable whether the football SEC Championship game matters in this season’s national title picture. It probably won’t, but there’s an outside chance that the margin might affect the final polls. Whatever. But every few years the city hosts basketball conference championship games where the only bigger thing at stake is whether or not some bubble team can get 2 or 3 wins to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. There is no greater set of moot exhibition games than during conference championship week in March.

Bradley can mock the fact that LSU’s outcome on Saturday probably won’t change much about their place in the BCS or where they’ll end up in January. Yes, that’s the case in this exceptional season. If it’s an example of a flaw in the BCS, it’s also a sign of things to come in a post-BCS world. If you want to see a football conference championship really become a meaningless exhibition, make it so that the favored participant is already assured a place in your postseason football tournament.

Post SECCG seating diagram

Wednesday November 30, 2011

If you’re looking for tickets or just want to see where the Georgia section is, here is the distribution of seats (pardon the horrible orange and blue scheme). Georgia’s allotment is shaded blue; LSU’s allotment is shaded orange. Georgia will be the visitors, so the team bench will be opposite of both blocks of fans. Since LSU wears white home and away, the Dawgs will still be in red jerseys.

It’s a bit unusual in that the teams’ allotments are next to each other rather than across from each other. With both schools getting only about 16,000 tickets each, most of the tickets went to sponsors and the general public. The north side of the Dome should be a pretty random jumble of fans who got tickets through the secondary ticket markets. None of the premium mezzanine seating went to either school.

SECCG seating chart

Post Redcoat tribute to Larry Munson

Tuesday November 29, 2011

If you weren’t at the game or missed halftime on Saturday, here is the wonderful gesture made by the Redcoats in memory of Larry Munson.

Post Survivor’s guilt

Monday November 28, 2011

The rubber-stamp nature of the 2011 SEC Championship game has been accepted since summer. The conventional wisdom has been correct to this point – the season was more or less a matter of seeing who of LSU or Alabama emerged and then which team from the East would serve as the sacrificial lamb in Atlanta. It’s no surprise then that this storyline continues on into championship week. CBSSports had a nice poll up last night asking whether LSU should rest its starters in the SEC Championship. Such is life when you’re a double-digit underdog in a championship game. Dawg fans are characteristically whining about respect and indignant about falling in the BCS standings, but that can all be taken care of this weekend.

By this point, we shouldn’t need anyone else’s validation. A ten-game winning streak against any schedule is impressive, and everyone in the Georgia camp has seen the improvement for themselves. They’ve pulled off wins against their top four rivals for the first time in nearly 20 years. I don’t really care in what state those programs are. There’s nothing about which to apologize or feel anything less than a sense of real accomplishment for the Georgia program.

Dawg fans are acutely aware of the schedule, and we’ve noted the possibilities opened up by such a schedule since it came out. Nothing new there. I’m fairly sure though that last year’s Georgia team would not have done as well against this schedule. Mississippi State and Auburn proved to be lesser than they were a year ago, but on whole this slate wasn’t much easier than the one that gave Georgia a losing record in 2010.

Same with the outcome of the SEC East. It played out pretty much as expected, only with Florida and Tennessee a little weaker and Vanderbilt a little stronger. If anything changed, it was the assumption that a relatively weaker division meant more margin for error for the team that emerged on top. Credit to South Carolina for keeping it together and producing a quality season by anyone’s standard. They survived the midseason loss of their starting quarterback and tailback and still won ten games, besting their rival and former national contender Clemson in impressive fashion.

South Carolina’s refusal to budge made Georgia’s job clear but tough: win. The Dawgs couldn’t afford to regress to 2010 quality even against the worst of their competition. They didn’t. Georgia and South Carolina both lost to the best SEC opponent they faced this year – Georgia to South Carolina and South Carolina to Arkansas. As both teams kept winning, their seasons and prospects in the SEC East came down to a single common opponent: Auburn.

As Saturday wound down, this was the question on my mind: was South Carolina’s 16-13 loss to Auburn the most shocking SEC regular season outcome in 2011? The Tigers lost to Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and Arkansas by a combined 170-45. None of those teams scored fewer than 38 points, none gave up more than 14 points, and none won by fewer than 24 points. South Carolina picked a bad time to have a poor game against a team that was a whipping boy for the rest of the top of the league. What’s more, they flopped at home and with Lattimore and Garcia in the lineup.

That Gamecock performance against Auburn is a good illustration why it’s so hard for any team to sustain winning over the course of a season. On any day, your starting quarterback can go 9-for-23, or your stout defense can give up 141 yards to a good tailback that didn’t manage but 67 YPG against the top four teams in the league. If Georgia had one of those games against, say, Florida, they were able to find a way to overcome it and still win. That’s why Georgia is representing the East this week, and they deserve to do so.

Post A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon

Sunday November 27, 2011

Though Georgia has won ten of the last eleven against Georgia Tech, relatively stress-free wins have been infrequent.  Georgia hadn’t enjoyed a double-digit win over their rivals since 2007, and even that game was within six points in the fourth quarter. Saturday’s game certainly had its tense moments, but Georgia’s dominant third quarter made it increasingly clear that this would not be another nail-biter. Some more notes from a cheerful afternoon spent reasserting the natural order of things…

  • With only 128 rushing yards, "we run this state" might not be the best theme for the game.  Maybe "we passed them by?"
  • After a frustrating outing against Kentucky, it was important for the offense to get off to a good start.  Tech is always easier to handle if you can get up on them, and Georgia avoided the scenario that put Clemson in a hole in Tech’s only significant win of the season. 
  • Aaron Murray’s typical game usually starts slowly, but he was on from the beginning of this one.  His only first quarter incompletions were a catchable throw to Marlon Brown on a tightly-defended route and and interception off a throw on which Murray was hit. He was a perfect 4-of-4 on Georgia’s first scoring drive and 5-of-6 on Georgia’s next scoring drive in the second quarter.  His 32 touchdowns in 2011 has obliterated the Georgia single-season record.
  • Murray’s fast start was made possible by outstanding pass protection.  There was a breakdown on the intercepted pass, but generally Murray had as much time as he needed to pick apart a porous pass defense. It was a little more crowded on running plays, but that was a function of Tech’s decision to stuff the run and count on another shaky start by Murray.  Fortunately both Murray and the playcaller were prepared to exploit those opportunities in the passing game.
  • Was that particularly smart strategy by Tech? Murray threw all over the Yellow Jackets a year ago. Taking away the run might seem like first principles in ordinary circumstances, but this was a Georgia running game without its top two options and little faith in its third. The Dawgs were putting cornerbacks in the backfield. If you’re going to overload resources to take away an element of the Georgia offense, is the running game really what you’d choose?
  • With the focus on the passing game, it was enjoyable to see the running game take over to ice the game.  Any hope Tech had of a quick shift in momentum with six minutes remaining in the game disappeared as Georgia started to pound the ball.  Though the Dawgs ended up with no points, the five-minute drive was a giant dimmer switch on Tech’s chances of a miracle comeback.
  • Speaking of that final drive, it was gratifying to see Ken Malcome contribute.  His talent wasn’t so much the issue keeping him off the field.  If he’s starting to put the issues that led to his near-transfer behind him and working to earn playing time, we see that he brings something to the table. With the status of Crowell, Samuel, and even Thomas changing on a week-to-week basis, the opportunity is there.
  • Moving to defense, Georgia had pretty good success stopping the dive play – the lynchpin of any option attack.  They held David Sims to only 36 yards on 12 carries.  Garrison Smith’s play in relief of Tyson was huge, but the entire defensive front did a great job holding down the middle. 
  • With the dive covered, the next big job was avoiding the big play. Tech’s longest run was a 27-yard gain on a pitch, but they only had one more run longer than 20 yards.  Workhorse backs Jones and Smith couldn’t manage anything longer than 14 and 16 yards.
  • Tech had some success with inside handoffs, but Grantham soon added that to the list of effective adjustments he’s made this year.
  • In another nod to coaching, the tendency for Tevin Washington to keep the ball on plays close to the goal line had to be noticed.  Georgia was ready for the keeper on that early third down on their own two, and Washington was hit for a loss.  Holding Tech to 3 instead of 7 there kept Georgia out in front and let them open up an 11-point lead on their next possession.
  • Special teams had a second straight quality performance.  Georgia was bailed out on a poor field goal operation by Tech’s timeout, but otherwise it was a solid day.  Both Walsh and Bogotay buried kickoffs.  Butler is back.  Boykin had one of his best kick returns of the year. 
  • Watching LSU turn their Arkansas game on a punt return, it’s an unfortunate development this year that Georgia has all but abandoned the punt return or punt block as a strategic weapon.  Some of Richt’s players (Gray / Flowers / Henderson) just about made their names returning punts.  Being burned several times on fakes has led Richt to default to punt safe in all but the most extreme 4th down situations.  With field position so important in LSU’s games this year, ceding 10 or so yards on each punt by choosing to defend the punt rather than return it is something to watch next week.
  • I love scores that bookend halftime.  It’s the biggest payoff from winning the coin toss.  Georgia turned a close 14-10 game into a more comfortable 24-10 margin without Tech’s offense touching the ball. 

Tech scoreboard