Archive for September, 2007

FOOTBALL: Day after observations

September 30, 2007

Maybe it’s not the spread offense that should strike fear into Ole Miss. Maybe it’s just offense.

I continue to read the stat book from yesterday’s 45-17 loss at Georgia to make sure I’ve not misread something, but everytime I do I see 345 under the heading of net yards rushing.

It started out as a pretty good effort on defense. That theory of good defensive line play by Ole Miss was bearing some fruit. Peria Jerry had a tackle for loss on a fourth-and-1 attempt, and momentum was clearly with the Rebels, who were already up 7-0 in the first quarter.

It was later in the first half that Georgia changed tactics a bit and started running less at the tackles and more out wide and with more misdirection. As the day went on the Bulldogs could run however they wanted.

Thomas Davis and Knowshon Moreno are indeed good backs, but show me the average ones in the SEC.

You have to tackle good backs or get embarrassed. Ole Miss’ MO appears to be the latter.

— It’s not encouraging to tell your fan base in September that your team’s problems can’t be cured until February.

That was the essence of Ed Orgeron’s statement when he said the Rebels “have some deficiencies that can only be solved by recruiting” and that the Rebels “do not have SEC players at some positions.”

Orgeron has never been slow to move players around to try and fix problems. Maybe it’s time to do that now.

The coaching staff has praised freshmen Jamariey Atterberry, Jamison Hughes and Fon Ingram. Maybe it’s time to see if some of them can tackle in a game. Free safety Kendrick Lewis, a converted wide receiver,┬áis struggling to get opposing backs to the ground.

Try these young guys, the most recent recruits, who were signed as defensive players.

— Up front, Peria Jerry had a monster first half and showed what kind of player he can be when healthy and in a game that fits his style. He’s not a runner and chaser who’s going to make a lot of plays against a spread offense that’s throwing quick outs all day. But Jerry was a frequent visitor to the Georgia backfield and really disrupted the Bulldogs’ offense early.

Ole Miss’ best tacklers are indeed its defensive linemen.

— Offensively, it was good to see a strong game from the offensive line. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 108 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and Bruce Hall averaged 6.3 per carry with 44 yards on seven attempts.

That was not a slouch defense they were running against, as Georgia ranked third in the SEC against the run, allowing 109.2 yards per game.

The OL also did not allow a sack for the first time this year.

— Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams continues to be a player the Rebels can win with. He is accurate and has a stronger arm that was believed at first. He’s done a lot of really good things.

But Adams is also prone for one bad pass a game that results in an interception.

Saturday he also fumbled at the 1, something that has not become so routine as the interception, which was his fourth of the year.

Adams fumbled on a quarterback sneak going into the end zone. He’s not a great runner, and the sneak has never been a productive play in his brief time as a the starter or last year as the reliever when he tried to sneak for a first down against State to run out the clock.

Still, Adams engineered an 18-play, 86-yard drive to open the third quarter. It consumed more than 9 minutes and finally ended with a touchdown.

He completed 17 of his first 21 passes and two of the incompletions were catchable balls. He finally finished with a 68.5 completion rate when the game got sloppy.

Adams and his teammates are an offense the Rebels can win with, but they have to do more.

Ole Miss is a one-dimensional football team right now, and the Ole Miss offense has to score in the 30s for the Rebels to have a fighting chance against good teams.

— PA

FINAL: Georgia 45, Ole Miss 17

September 29, 2007

Read the details in Sunday’s Daily Journal.

— PA

HALFTIME: Georgia 17, Ole Miss 10

September 29, 2007

Ole Miss is playing well enough to have a comfortable lead. That would be the case except for a handful of key mistakes. Sound familiar?

Peria Jerry, in the midst of a monster game with two tackles for loss already, was carried off the field seconds ago.

So the list of starters now out with injury includes: Dustin Mouzon, Greg Hardy, Peria Jerry, Corey Actis.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Green-Ellis has returned

September 29, 2007

He was in the game when Adams fumbled inside the 1 and Georgia recovered. End of first, Rebels lead 7-0, Georgia has a first down at mid-field.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Green-Ellis to lockerroom

September 29, 2007

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has left the game holding his mouth or nose. Rebels up 7-0.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Missing two starters

September 29, 2007

Rebels are playing without center Corey Actis and DE Greg Hardy.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Bad news

September 29, 2007

Starting cornerback Dustin Mouzon hurt on the opening kick and carried off.

— PA

FOOTBALL: 37 minutes to kick

September 29, 2007

Dexter McCluster is on the field and going through all warmups, unlike at Memphis where he dressed and stood on the field as a decoy.

— PA

FOOTBALL: An hour to kickoff

September 29, 2007

ATHENS, Ga. — It’s an absolutely beautiful day. I’ve not seen a cloud yet, and the temperature is 70. Almost 70. A breeze is stirring, and it’s supposed to reach 79 or 80.

The Georgia players have completed the “Dog Walk” in front of the student union, under the bridge and into the stadium.

The band is filing in and playing its game day stuff.

No sign of the Rebels yet, but I believe they’re here.

The Georgia press box is one of the nicer ones I see. I prefer an open press box, and this one is. It’s lower to the field than most press boxes.

As with most of the SEC institutions, it is decorated with large photographs of special moments in history.

One of them used to be a picture of Alabama linebacker Jackie Sherrill. Jackie was quite proud of that. Somehow we got on that discussion after State lost 47-0 here in 1997.

Rebels are in the house. Specialists are coming onto the field now.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Some Georgia tid-bits

September 29, 2007

— Georgia running backs Thomas Davis and Knowshon Moreno get all the attention and deservedly so, but it was fullback Brannan Southerland who scored both Bulldogs’ touchdowns. Southerland scored on two 1-yard runs.

Southerland has carried seven times for 11 yards this season but has also scored two touchdowns.

— Former Georgia QB Mike Bobo is in his seventh season on staff, his first as offensive coordinator. He has been given full control of the offense, says Georgia coach Mark Richt, himself a longtime offensive coordinator at Florida State.

Bobo’s time at the wheel actually began during Georgia’s late-season surge a year ago when he called plays in wins against No. 14 Virginia Tech and No. 16 Georgia Tech.

This Georgia team is averaging 364 yards and 29.5 points per game.

— In an odd twist of scheduling, Georgia does not have a home game in the month of October. Following the Ole Miss game, the Bulldogs are at Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, then open and at Jacksonville to face Florida. They return to Sanford Stadium Nov. 3 against Troy and won’t play another SEC foe in Athens until facing Auburn Nov. 10.

— Georgia’s least productive season in Richt’s seven years as head coach was his first. The Bulldogs were 8-4, 5-3 and third in the Eastern Division.

Richt is a remarkable 23-3 in an opponent’s stadium, including 9-2 against ranked foes. Last week the Bulldogs defeated then-No. 16 Alabama 26-23 in Tuscaloosa.

The losses in that time are 17-10 to No. 11 LSU in 2003, 24-6 to No. 3 Auburn in 2004 and 24-20 to unranked Kentucky last season.

Richt’s 64-18 record at Georgia has the Bulldogs as the SEC’s second-winning program during that time frame, two games behind LSU at 66-16 and five games ahead of Auburn and Florida.

Georgia won SEC championships in 2002 and 2005 and played in the championship game in 2003.

— The Bulldogs’ top deep threat is wide receiver Sean Bailey, who has 16 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown. It was Mikey Henderson, however, who caught the game-winning overtime touchdown, a 25-yarder, at Alabama last week.

— PA