- Joined: Jun 26, 2014
- Last Login: Sep 17, 2021, 8:07am EDT
- Comments: 2,407
Share this profile
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Comment 2 replies, 7 recs
This was great.
The candor and knowledge is impressive.
Ultimately the ACC’s issues boil down to offensive and defensive fronts. This is why I rate UVA higher and even VT could turn out to be the second best team in the league. Those teams have good OL and at least functional DL. Miami has flashy skill but their fronts let them down huge when they play the big boys and also contribute to losing some games they shouldn’t. UNC isn’t nearly good enough up front to be a top 10 team, just like we weren’t back in the Bowden era. The league has good QB’s and some decent skill around them, but the OL and/or DL situation really rears its head like we saw with Louisville getting run by Ole Miss. NCSU’s offensive front was pathetic against Miss State. I know ours was terrible against UGA but that UGA front is top 2-3 in the nation easily. What line in this league can pretend to think they can block our defensive front? UVA maybe? VT? Those are the only two I’ve seen so far that I think could dream of it.
Comment 2 replies, 4 recs
This is false
I won’t get into the actual story but the one you have here is not correct. This has everything to do with dealing with how CJ is choosing to rotate the backs which is not the way Elliott had been doing it before and I will leave it at that.
Comment 1 reply, 4 recs
UVA underrated, Miami overrated
As usual it is a hot mess behind Clemson overall. UNC could very well lose to UVA and I think UVA is underrated. Maybe Illinois is just that bad but if Armstrong can throw it anywhere close to how he did in that game to go with how he can run, they are a dangerous team in the Coastal for sure. VT losing their stud TE is going to hurt and their QB is due to get hurt if he keeps being as reckless as he’s been so far running. NCSU made Mississippi State’s defense look like the Steel Curtain. Totally overrated and Leary can’t win if they don’t run the ball. Add in their injuries on defense and they may struggle to a low level bowl vs. challenging for the Orange (assuming Clemson makes the playoff).
Injuries are always game changers. Wake Forest and UVA could benefit thanks to what has happened in other places. Both are well coached and have a lot of veterans this year (especially Wake). FSU is in serious trouble going into this game with Wake.
Pitt is functional as long as Pickett is upright and healthy. BC’s situation is likely dire with Jurkovec’s injury because they suck at running the ball too. We’ll see just how good that coaching staff is now.
Comment 1 reply, 3 recs
Goodman and Dodd both got big draft jumps thanks to good bowl games
Neither really panned out. Goodman lasted longer than Dodd.
Comment 1 rec
Oh yeah DJ has way better arm talent for sure
Kelly actually threw the deep ball pretty well but he never was great with anticipation or throwing guys open. He needed the play to work just like it was drawn up to make plays in the passing game. DJ has the ability to go off script a lot more but that will have to come in time. As I’ve said before, folks saw last year that he can throw that post and the slants really well and are working hard to take those two routes away from us. We are working hard to run it well enough to force an extra safety down into the box.
Comment 3 replies, 7 recs
Putnam was way, way better for sure
and I saw him drive some dudes into the ground more than once, which is nice to see from any OL. We did get lucky on the drop on that slant where Simpson got beat inside, but otherwise the plays they made were mostly just good plays on a couple of great throws and nice catches I think caught our DBs off guard. I was happy they limited Booth because he doesn’t need to get hurt playing in a game like that. He’s so vital to our chances against the top end teams.
DJ is a lot closer to Kelly Bryant than he is Trevor or Deshaun at this stage of his game. Obviously Kelly was a gifted runner but in terms of a passer, they are similar to me right now. DJ has a way higher ceiling but we need the supporting cast to do their jobs while he continues to grow into the position. The time to get our offense is now as I fully expect it to be a different animal the back half of the schedule. Thankfully our defense is so good we can live with the growing pains on that side of the ball beyond facing a team like UGA, and even then we had plenty of chances to win. It feels like 2014 where it took a few games (and going to Deshaun fully) to unlock that offense. By the bowl game even Cole Stoudt had what he needed around him to light up Oklahoma.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
There is a delicate balance with our QB situation
First of all, DJ is still very young and relatively inexperienced. This is the first time he has seen a team fully prepare for him more than anyone else on the offense vs. last year when Etienne was at the top of the list for everybody, especially if Trevor was out. Some play designs expose the QB or ask more of the QB than others do. Both teams had relatively conservative plans for the QB, but we actually were more aggressive (and had to be in several cases) than UGA was in my mind. UGA clearly wanted the ball out of Daniels’ hand inside of 3 seconds.
Second of all, we really were not wanting to have to play our backup (and neither were they, hence the quick releases on their pass plays). That also affects play calling. We actually were a lot more willing to run 5 man protections than they were during the game.
You go into a game like this, in game one, with your starters and top rotation guys only and you can’t carry too much on the card because of the unknowns of a team with no film from this year out there that matters. Teams show who and what they are by the third or fourth game in particular and it doesn’t change a ton from that point on, and coaches can expand their call sheets in the preparation phase accordingly.
Our lack of a true alpha back was a major reason they abandoned the running game as much as the blocking issues. As we saw last year, they would keep running Travis (as much as they usually would run him, which is another point to argue of course) in the games we couldn’t block for him like ND game 1 and the OSU game and others. They just don’t have a guy they really trust fully yet and that is what screamed at me watching the game. Maybe Dixon’s suspension was a big factor in that. Maybe he would have been RB1 if that wasn’t the case and would have gotten more touches. I did the RB preview and it was definitely the biggest question mark for me on the offense going into this season. They have to get that worked out these next two weeks before we go to Raleigh.
Comment 6 recs
I hate to be a #goACC guy, but we need NCSU, UVA, Syracuse, and Pitt to deliver, at least most of them
If our conference teams lose all these games vs. power 5 teams, it could jeopardize our chance for the playoffs winning out. It certainly looks like we won’t have a championship game opponent like we had in ND last year. UNC was the best hope for that if they held serve. VT has a long way to climb and a track record under Fuente of blowing it more than once after looking good. Obviously our game with UGA wasn’t that damaging in of itself because it was a four quarter war vs. a top 5 team. Miami losing badly to Bama is partially forgivable because Bama is #1 and has killed everyone they have played in that opening game under Saban since 2008 no matter the conference. However, Louisville looked awful against Ole Miss in what should have been a fairly equal paring. Fair or unfair the week ACC narrative isn’t going anywhere until some of these other teams step up and play better. FSU helped a little by looking dangerous against Notre Dame.
It certainly would help a ton if the Coastal could give us a ranked team in the championship to play and a team like BC or NCSU does well outside of us hopefully beating them like we should.
Comment 2 replies, 4 recs
Outstanding job here
and a reminder to everyone that the difference in games like this are down to some very small details vs. just overall "suckage" or terrible schemes or whatever fans usually say.
If you look back at the destruction of Alabama in 2018/19, Trevor had a similar situation with third and long early in the game deep in our own territory. He was able to anticipate and recognize Tee Higgins beating the coverage and hit him for a huge gain that set up the first offensive touchdown and really set a tone for the remainder of the game. Had DJ chosen differently or thrown on time with just two or three of these opportunities, who knows what happens with UGA’s entire gameplan on defense or how they were choosing to play offense? Obviously the Ross mistake and the pick six are glaring because the absolute worst case scenario occurred. Every WR have routes they prefer running and my guess is Ross much prefers getting the ball on a slant vs. the quick out probably to improve his chances of run after the catch. It could be something else, but that was my guess. Of course, he didn’t run that route nearly sharply enough and seemed to give up on it when he felt the nickel squeezing him on the inside.
And you point out what I mentioned in the comment thread on QT’s post: Jordan Davis was the #1 factor to our OL issues without a doubt. We just couldn’t handle him with one guy at all and when we tried it was a disaster.
Comment 2 replies, 9 recs
I think the problem started at center
as it has the last couple of years when our offense has had problems. Bock did OK and lord knows I’m glad it was him and not Cade Stewart out there, but Jordan Davis was just too much to handle so we had to help on him just to partially function. It was like when we played Suh from Nebraska who was wrecking our line. Once we adjusted to him, that other DT started being free to make plays. UGA was getting us with stunts and twists with the line and linebackers as our guards were consistently getting caught inside probably due to the presence of Davis. I know I saw Putnam get caught twice at least that way where he was late getting back outside as a LB came around.
We have had to survive waiting on better recruiting and the development of some projects on the DL, but it has happened now and we survived not having Davis out there way better than we did at any point last year against a decent to great team. We have been in the same boat on the OL in terms of the interior line. Falci turned into a good enough center at the end of his career but it has been a problem since he left. John Simpson was a stud and obviously an NFL talent. Cervenka at least gave you a dude strong as an ox inside. Putnam isn’t there yet and we are growing up a true frosh at the other spot. Hopefully signing Linthicum will eventually help us be better at center vs. having to convert our starting LG to function there. I’m sure a lot of what we see the next week or two will be the staff hoping to create more options at center.
The good news is nobody else has a Jordan Davis that we are going to see anytime soon.
I’m really hoping we see Pennington get work at RG. I’m not giving up on Putnam but I’m not sure he will ever be the mauler we need for the run game to work like it should. They’ve preached that we have better OL depth and I have to hope that will result in more accountability in the room and a growth as a unit. There probably wasn’t a worse team in the country to start out with than UGA in this regard, but all the warts are known right away and it’s all about getting it fixed now the best they can.
Comment 6 recs
Yeah he caused that fumble that they got lucky on in the first half
ball bounced right back to Zeus. One bounce to the left or right there and it was our ball. I’ve liked him way better than the other guys we signed in his class.
Comment 1 reply, 3 recs
I wondered about our lack of pre-snap movement as well
although UGA was able to stay in the same coverage most of the game anyway, so pre-snap ID wasn’t that important on that front, but they were stemming the front a lot and we didn’t counter that much with formation shifts of our own. I wonder if it was just trying to cut down on potential missed assignments and penalties considering Bock was playing center for the first time in a game and we had a true frosh at LG, Jordan at LT for the first time in a big game, and Parks starting for the first time on the right.
As for the jet sweep, we did have some motion with Ross at times but none of the sweep play action, but we really didn’t run hardly any of the traditional zone/read type action we have been used to seeing. Handoffs were straight zone runs or counters. Perhaps DJ just isn’t ready for a steady dose of read plays?
I do share your frustration in that a lot of the stuff we have seen other programs do to us and others with great success don’t seem to be a part of what we are doing. Our pace was largely plodding when we did have the ball. We might have caught them in a stem had we been ready to go sooner. I just have to chalk it up to not feeling comfortable with being able to execute that way. Maybe a lot of the snap problems in practice were happening when we went tempo?
I think we will all be able to see what kind of offensive coaching we really have going forward this season with how much this team can progress from now to December. Elliott has had the luxury of super elite QB play and mostly elite RB play during his time. It does seem the vast majority of the actions we did with Morris have left the playbook. It seemed our plan was to send 5 out on the routes as much as possible, but I’m not sure what advantage that presents if DJ isn’t going through progressions well or the protection isn’t allowing it. I’m willing to give Elliott the benefit of the doubt because this is the first time in a long time our offense was rendered inept. Usually issues in the lower scoring games was due more to turtling after getting leads, but we had been consistently topping 24 points. I certainly have given Brent the benefit of the doubt coming off games like last year’s Ohio State game. If the offense doesn’t really progress that well or can only really operate when they have a clear talent edge, we will have our answer on whether or not the time has come to shake up what we do on that side of the ball or who is running the show.
As for the transfer portal, I don’t have a lot of hope of change in that regard. We certainly need to do a better job getting to 85 legit scholarships as you have noted, however that might happen.
Comment 1 reply, 19 recs
I have to disagree with one of these points
UGA was not loading up against the run and giving us a lot of one on one coverages outside of playing man under. They played 2 deep safeties probably 80% of the snaps or more. One thing that occurred to me about this game for DJ vs. the two from last year. Last year, the defenses were geared to stop Etienne, especially when Trevor was out. This is the first time DJ saw a defense specifically geared to stop him. UGA figured they could handle our run game without having to bring safeties down much and they were right. They know DJ’s best throws based on last year are slants and the deep shots, so they loaded up with inside leverage and played over the top of our outside guys to take those away from him. We didn’t have the OL play to wait for longer developing post routes or post/corners. I remember when teams were able to adjust to what Willie Simmons did well and he ended up losing his job to Whitehurst because he wasn’t able to mitigate that. DJ obviously isn’t in danger of losing his job but I’m anxious to see how he grows from this first real dose of humble pie he’s had to eat in a very long time.
Now, what you say about the OL is spot on and we certainly are not looking special at RB at the moment. UGA’s corners were not in much press from what I could see. They sat 5-8 yards off and leveraged inside to eliminate the slants. I thought we could get them with more switch routes and slot fades but when we ran those, DJ wasn’t making the right reads or the protection broke down. He was very poor at working the pocket and attacking the vacated spaces with a scramble.
Trevor struggled at Texas A&M as a freshman after his first big play and thankfully we had Kelly Bryant’s veteran presence to get us through that game. We don’t have that luxury on this team with Taisun being the most experienced backup and he’s barely played and coming off the Achilles. Obviously Trevor grew leaps and bounds in 2018 and the rest is history. As I said earlier, I’m very anxious to see how DJ progresses. I do agree that the staff had to be trying to protect him from hits in the run game the same way they did last year when he played. That one speed option didn’t work because DJ made it obvious he wasn’t going to keep it on that play so the DE didn’t have to commit. I don’t think we ran very many RPOs but if we did, DJ was picking pass.
We are probably going to see a lot of 2 high shells with teams seeing if DJ and the WR can execute the short game and if we can really establish a running game. Next week won’t tell us much but it will be important to start developing confidence with the OL, which has to be clearly shaken after that first game. It’s funny to me to know that had we busted a play here or there to get a cheap score how all the narrative would be about how our defense stifled UGA’s offense.
Lastly, let’s not forget that Powell wasn’t Powell until we were about four or five weeks in last year. He was just looking like a serviceable blocker who could make a short catch here and there. By the end of the year he was as big a downfield threat as we had on the team. Ngata was a major bright spot and we all know Ross is capable of much better. I’m anxious to see how he responds to this last game as well. I think Pennington will be a factor on the OL before it is all said and done this year.
Ultimately any offense is going to look pretty awful when the front is getting beat the way ours was getting beat. UGA was getting beat the majority of the time as well but their attack was better suited to protect them from TFL’s and sacks. Daniels is more advanced in the short game as a QB than DJ at this point. You could definitely count on one hand how many passes they did that would equate to a 5 step drop, and zero that would be a 7 step.
I feel great about this defense considering Turner and Davis should return. The Turner/Mukuba pairing at safety could be very special and Booth looked like an All American. He rallied up like Garry Peters but is a way better athlete as well.
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
Daniels not being a runner really improves my optimism about our defense handling them
I’d probably have to go back to the 2015 Alabama game for the last time our defense really had some issues with a non running QB-led offense, and even then I’d say Jake Coker was more mobile than Daniels. I kind of regret not talking about that more in my preview but it was a great observation here to discuss his lack of running.
Comment 1 reply, 11 recs
The Richt to Smart change reminds me of
the O’Cain to Amato change at NCSU. Now, UGA certainly has been better than the Wolfpack but the point is that Amato got a ton of hype and such in his first few years and really didn’t win much more than O’Cain had before he got there. There was that somewhat splashy 2002 season with Rivers but they still didn’t even finish second in the ACC that year.
Smart is simply doing what Richt had been doing for the most part, just with a lighter SEC East to deal with. Richt had to deal with Spurrier early on, then Meyer at Florida, and then the best stretch of football in U of SC history with Spurrier there. Mizzou’s best teams of their SEC lifetime also happened with Richt was in Athens.
Smart has enjoyed a largely pathetic SEC East. Florida has finally begun to get its act together but when Kentucky has the next most consistent program in the division, that says a lot.
And what happened towards the end of Richt’s time? He was getting embarrassed by the upper echelon teams on his schedule. Smart’s 2020 Dawgs got beat by Florida and Alabama by a combined score of 85-52. I lived in Athens from 2001-2003 during the peak Richt years when the man was treated like a deity in the town. That shine faded and so will Kirby’s.
Comment 1 rec
The 2009 team had to have been one of the greatest kick/punt return teams in CFB history
and it was SUCH a huge factor in that team pretty much overachieving to win the division. I thought the 08 team was better overall by a decent margin, but the special teams edge in returns was major. I recall that BC game where we really didn’t do much of anything on offense but returned a kick and a punt for a score if I recall (or maybe two punts?). Heck the first game of the year would have been a lot closer with MTSU but we ran two back that day too. We were starting nearly every drive at the 35 or better it seemed.
To me it meant keeping Bockhorst on the field either at center or guard.
I’m guessing they will try to see if they can do it with him at guard to start and move him over if need be. Just guessing though.
Comment 3 recs
In terms of quality opponent
I have a hard time ranking FSU ahead of Wake, or Pitt even. Those teams have flashier players and FSU obviously a flashier name but Wake has been better than both these last couple of years.