Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A response to the Gentlemen from Atlanta

The Senator asks:
How much better would Georgia’s record (and how much lower would your anxiety level) be if…
  1. the Dawgs’ turnover margin today were zero?
  2. the program had a full time special teams coach whose name wasn’t Jon Fabris?
He also asks for responses to Michael Elkon's querry:
Option A: the Georgia defense plays inspired football against Tech and shuts down the triple option. The Dawgs win 24-17. Willie Martinez stays.

Option B: the Georgia defense plays the same way against Tech that they did last year, only Matt Stafford isn't around to keep the game close. The Dawgs lose 45-24. Willie Martinez goes.

Which option do you choose?
That one is easy.  Option A.  Every time.  If you remotely think Option B is better, please turn in your red and black.

So, on to the Senator's questions.  It is fair to say that one game, LSU, wouldn't have been any different, either outcome wise or anxiety wise, without the one turnover (the int Cox threw at the end of the game) or without Jon Fabris as the special teams coach.  Not to say a turnover during the game in favor of Georgia wouldn't have helped, but nothing about the final kickoff changed what the outcome would have been. Yes, you could argue that there was lost opportunity of making Jefferson throw the football (which I did at the time), something he wasn't that terrible at to start with (18/27, 212 yds).  In the end, Charles Scott would have just made a 50 yard run, instead of a 33 yard run.  I am now convinced of that.

Looking at the other three losses, I can only see one, Oklahoma State, that would have been different.   There were at least three missed interceptions, two on Oklahoma State TD drives.  Furthermore, Georgia gave them the ball on the six and 32 yard line, resulting in two TDs. Walsh's second half kickoff was a directional masterpiece, returned to the Georgia 24.  Another TD.  If you are scoring at home, that is 21 points with only 62 yards gained.  Yes, Oklahoma State would have been different if we had evened out the turnovers and had let Walsh kick it to Tulsa.

Georgia would have been competitive in the Tennessee game without the turnovers, but that game was more about the defense's inability to adjust to the short passing game and misdirections thrown at them and the complete inability of the offense to make anything positive happen.  Georgia scored 16 points as a direct result of special teams and turnovers.  I suppose you could say there were issues on the kickoffs, but facemask and personal foul penalties on those were the big buggabos.  I can blame that on Fabris too, right?

That brings us to Florida. In a lot of ways, the Florida game started just like the Auburn game. Two TDs with workmanlike efficiency against what looked to be an over-matched Georgia defense.  Another day at the office for Tebow and Co. against Georgia.  Then, the Dawgs got it going offensively, getting back to 14-10.   Penalties reared their ugly head, giving Florida life when we had shifted momentum, giving Florida the 24-10 lead at the half.  Then the wheels fell off.  Two ints inside the Georgia 20 resulted in 14 points.  Another at the Georgia 30 resulted in a Caleb Sturgis FG.  Walsh had three touchbacks in the game.  The one kickoff that wasn't a touchback netted 19 return yards and another 15 yard personal foul against Georgia on the return.  In the end, though, I don't see this changing the outcome, but certainly the way the game felt and looked would have been much better without the turnovers.  

I have to agree that this season would be much less frustrating, as we don't let South Carolina, Arkansas or Arizona State hang around with either more takeaways or hopefully fewer turnovers.  Arizona State scored both of their TDs, one on a pick 6, as a result of turnovers.  Arkansas was given three short fields, resulting in 10 points.  Like the Oklahoma State game, at least two ints were dropped, both on drives that resulted in Arky TDs.  South Carolina scored on a pick 6 and scored another TD as well as a FG on fumbles by AJ and Boykin inside the Georgia 25, not to mention the Garcia fumble caused by Gamble that South Carolina recovered on the drive the resulted in a FG that put SC up by 10 (immediately before the Boykin kickoff return fumble).

Blow out those three and 6-4 doesn't seem so blah.  Compete in Florida and Tennessee and win in Oklahoma State, I believe we are ranked (maybe top 15) at 7-3 and people are seriously talking upset against Tech.

As it is, we are all fretting about not going to Nashville.

Yes sir, Senator, the anxiety would be very different if we were closer to even on turnover margin and we had better coaching on special teams, but our record would only be 7-3.  Probably the best 7-3 team in the nation....

1 comment:

  1. A very difficult exercise you took on here.

    I believe one play can change everything that follows it.

    Take the LSU game, with different field position they play a different offense and we play a different defense. We were basically playing goal line to keep them from improving their field goal chances.

    Ultimately, I think his point was turnovers and penalties, etc., are no excuse to keep Willie around.

    Like you said, I hope Willie is back because that will mean we finished the season strong.

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