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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Live Blog: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech

UPDATED, PREGAME, 3 HOURS TO KICKOFF

How about some links to get the live blogged kicked off in the right direction?

-- David Ching writes that this may well be the last time we'll see the old-school Georgia Bulldogs.

-- Tim Tucker has a good story on the emergence of Caleb King after numerous setbacks.

-- Marc Weiszer writes about the recruitment of both King and Jonathan Dwyer by the Dawgs.

-- The Telegraph has an update on former Bulldog Michael Lemon, who wrapped up his season with NC State today.

-- Here's a great post on how Georgia Tech students are getting some help talking to the ladies.

-- Bubba N Earl offers some additional nerd-related humor.

-- A big happy birthday to our good friend Bernie.

-- And to cap off the festive holiday weekend, here's a list of the top Thanksgiving TV episodes of all time. While I'll heartily agree with much of the list (the Thanksgiving "Cosby Show" is one of my favorites) it is absolutely inexcusable to forget the Thanksgiving foodfight episode of "Cheers."

And on to some gameday issues...

First off, last year, it was the second half that cost the Bulldogs against Tech. This year, it could be the other way around.

Georgia Tech has outscored its opponents 103-55 in the first quarter this season, so they're used to fast starts.

Georgia, on the other hand, has been dreadful in the early going. In the Dawgs' five losses, they've been outscored 23-10 in the first quarter, and with the exception of Tennessee Tech, Georgia has racked up just 10 first-quarter points in any game since the beginning of October.

So while last year's game will no doubt serve as a reminder that Georgia needs to finish strong, it could be the start of this year's game that makes the difference in the outcome.

And one more link for you...

Chris Low takes a look at how the SEC's quarterbacks stack up against common competition -- i.e. SEC games. And you might be surprised to learn, Joe Cox is among the best.

While Cox has obviously thrown too many interceptions, that's essentially the only knock on his in comparison to his peers throughout the conference. That, I think, reinforces a lot of what I've said about Cox all season -- it's not that he's a bad quarterback who never should have started at this level. It's that when he has been bad, he's been REALLY bad.

If you had those same numbers from Cox, but he was a redshirt freshman, you'd be pleased. But for a fifth-year senior, you would have hoped for more consistent results. And while you can blame that on the coaching staff, I have little doubt they, too, expected more consistent results.

Be back soon with some more pregame updates...

UPDATED, TWO HOURS UNTIL KICKOFF

-- So South Carolina thumps Clemson. What does that mean for your Bulldogs? Well, for one, it might give some hope that the ACC stinks and the Dawgs have a good shot tonight. Of course, it also means that South Carolina's profile for bowl season just got a bit better. Coming in to today, the Gamecocks were really the only team obviously behind Georgia in the SEC pecking order. Now? Well, we might be spending some time in Birmingham.

-- That means Papa Johns in the press box for me. That stinks, since I can get Papa Johns at UGA hoops games. I was hoping for a bowl upgrade.

-- The PapaJohns.com Bowl is played Jan. 2, which means Georgia can forego any major changes because, after all, they will have played in yet another January bowl game!

UPDATED, ONE HOUR TO KICKOFF

-- So there's about 5,000 people in the stadium, but those boos when Georgia ran onto the field for warmups were awfully loud. But I'm sure that Tech would never artificially create crowd noise. Besides, where would the get the technology?

-- And speaking of the Tech-savvy nerds, half the people in the press box can't get on the Intergoogles. Oddly, I had no problems. There's a first time for everything.

-- Tech charges for its press box food. I'm not complaining because, well, what have I done to deserve a free meal? But if I have to pay for it, couldn't they have at least had boneless chicken and not have it be so soggy?

-- Also, they ran out of red velvet cake before I got a slice. Not cool.

-- Apparently there's a little traffic on I-75. Who woulda thought.

-- I can't wait to see Rennie Curran hijack the Ramblin' Wreck. Also, I'm going to need him to give me a lift to my car. I think I might be parked in Buckhead.

UPDATED, 10 MINUTES TO KICKOFF

-- Was just down on the field. Saw Tashard Choice, fresh off putting up 11 points against me in fantasy football.

-- Two people I didn't see on the field: A.J. Green and Willie Martinez.

-- Willie may have simply been hiding behind A.J. Harmon the whole time, but I noticed every other assistant coach out there but didn't see him. Not saying that means anything, just saying I didn't see him.

-- Rambo was on the field, but wearing street clothes. Tavarres King was rocking a No. 8 on his arm, but no signs of A.J.

-- The video board had short messages from each senior naming their favorite moment at Tech. The vast majority said beating Georgia.

UPDATED, START OF FIRST QUARTER

-- The Internet here absolutely sucks.

-- Georgia wins the coin toss and will receive.

-- Branden Smith in on the return and gets some nice yardage up to the UGA 26... wonder if that means bad news on Brandon Boykin.

-- Two straight runs to King. That's a big change from how Georgia has started most of its recent games. Third-and-1.

-- Two tight-end set and King runs straight up the middle for the first down.

-- Fourth straight run. This one goes to Ealey around the right side, and he picks up five. Think perhaps Bobo is concerned about controlling time of possession?

-- Fifth straight run -- this one picks up a first down. Whatever happened to balance?

-- Sixth straight run... this one a designed run by Cox that gains a yard to midfield. Milking the clock.

-- Seventh straight run... this one to Caleb King who gains 10 yards. Bobo better be planning to open the second half with 10 straight passes or this balance is going to be completely off.

-- From Anonymous... what a win could do for Georgia... http://twitpic.com/rd0gi

-- Ninth straight run and this one goes to Ealey for a huge gain down to the 1-yard line. First-and-goal.... just in time for a false start! This one's on Chris Davis, backing UGA up to the 6.

-- Caleb King finishes off the drive with a 6-yard run for the touchdown. Well, you won't see Bobo script 10 straight runs very often, but it worked to perfection. Georgia 7, Georgia Tech 0 (10-74-5:21).

UPDATED, FIRST QUARTER, 9:29 REMAINING

-- Michael Adams on the jumbotron gets a nice round of boos... not sure if that was exclusively from Tech fans.

-- Kickoff goes through the end zone for a touchback. Are we sure Richt didn't replace the coaching staff before the game?

-- Alright, I'm officially confused. UGA runs 10 straight times for a TD. Georgia Tech comes out throwing on first down. WTF?

-- Josh Nesbitt keeps on second down and is forced out by Reshad Jones after a 24-yard run.

-- Jeff Owens with a nice tackle of Nesbitt for no gain. That'll bring up a third-and-three at midfield.

-- Nesbitt hits Thomas along the right sideline for a 10-yard gain. Vance Cuff was in coverage, and I'm guessing we're not going to see Boykin tonight.

-- Toss to Roddy Jones, who fumbles the pitch but, as always, the ball doesn't bounce Georgia's way. Jones recovers his own fumble to bring up second-and-6. That's 13 fumbles against UGA this year and they've recovered just one... way back in Week 3.

-- Third-and-six from the 36. Nesbitt rolls out and pitches to Marcus Wright for the first down and a gain of 13 to the 23. There's a guy sitting behind me yelling out the results of every play at an exceptionally loud volume.

-- We've run more than 10 minutes off the clock and we havne't yet completed the second series of the game. I might make deadline after all.

-- Dwyer rumbles through about 43 tackles before Bryan Evans brings him down after a gain of 8. That was just hard running right up the gut.

-- Pitch to Allen goes nowhere after Justin Houston does a great job of lateral pursuit where Vance Cuff jumps in and finishes off the tackle. Fourth-and-two from the 15 and Tech is going for it.

-- Tech does its best UGA impression, getting flagged for a false start on Joseph Gilbert. That brings up a fourth-and-7, and Tech misses the 37-yard field goal try. That's a huge turn in Georgia's favor.

-- Remember what I wrote earlier today... winning the first quarter will be huge for the Dawgs. They're in good shape to do that now.

-- 12 straight runs now for Georgia. Ealey goes outside and has plenty of room to run. This is an impressive start. Gain of 14 for Washaun.

-- Run No. 13 was not so lucky for Georgia. Caleb King fumbles and Georgia Tech recovers and will take over at the 40. Man, that really is both devestating and not at all surprising at this point.

-- Tweet from David Pollack: "To all, It does appear that Willie Martinez will not be back next year. Will be an intresting next 46 hours to see what happens"

-- Roddy Jones picks up a first down. Nesbitt shaken up one play later. He's down on the turf after a four-yard run and looks to be in a good bit of pain. The crowd is chanting "Nes-bitt, Nes-bitt" but I really think they mean "Ram-bo, Ram-bo."

-- Nesbitt walks off the field under his own power, but he's clearly hobbled. Might just be a stinger, but he's having trouble just hobbling over to the sideline. Jaybo Shaw in at QB.

-- Shaw keeps it on second down and goes nowhere. Rennie Curran makes a nice tackle, and that ends the first quarter.

UPDATED, START OF SECOND QUARTER

-- David Schmidt just won a 2010 Camaro. Good for him. Now turn down the volume on the friggin' Jumbotron. It's not a Skid Row concert.

-- I'm gonna have to take a break here in a few minutes. I have to have a notebook in for the paper by 9:30 so the readers on the outskirts of Macon can enjoy the highlights of the first quarter of this game tomorrow morning. Ah, newspapers. You're such a delightful throwback industry.

-- Tech connects on a 43-yard field goal. Georgia 7, Georgia Tech 3 (6-15-1:14). That's a great stop by the D. Willie should be rumored to resign every week. It apparently gets the guys really pumped.

-- Brandon Boykin is in the game returning the kick and he goes nowhere, brought down at the 10. Not sure why he's out there now but not earlier in the game. Branden Smith took a big hit on his first kick return though and looked a little loose with the football, so perhaps that's it.

-- First pass from Cox is a quick out to Wooten, who picks up just two. That seems like a wasted play to me. If you're going throw, challenge Tech deep. Particularly when the play-action has been set up so perfectly by the first two drives.

-- Ealey goes up the middle and picks up nine yards to the 22 for a first down. At this point, why throw the ball at all?

-- Three wide, and Cox has Israel Troupe open at the 30, but he simply drops a well-thrown ball. Again, Tech has to be expecting the run now. Why no play-action?

-- Well they may be expecting the run, but they sure as heck can't stop it. Ealey goes straight up the middle again, gaining 17 yards for the first down. Seriously, how bad is the ACC? "It's Clemson. It's Georgia Tech. Catch the best missed tackles and soft defenses the ACC has to offer live from Tampa! ACC football... it's FAAAAAN-marginal!"

-- I think you know that this game is going UGA's way when it's the other team that constantly has players limping off to the sideline.

-- Cox had Wooten wide open down the left sideline for what probably would have been six and Wooten simply dropped the ball. Cox hasn't always been sharp this year, but man have the UGA receivers dropped a lot of passes. Remember when A.J. said it was impossible NOT to catch a ball Cox threw? Whatever happened to that?

-- And yet another GT injury. Now third-and-seven. Cox has all the time in the world, hits Orson Charles down the middle and picks up a first down into Tech territory.

-- Handoff on second-and-10 to Ealey goes 34 yards around left end down to the Tech 15. Maybe Willie isn't the DC who should be on the hot seat. By the way, Ealey's stats so far: 8 carries, 122 yards. Yikes!

-- Caleb King with a big gain sets up a second-and-2 at the Tech 7. Another false start -- this one on Orson Charles -- backs up the Dawgs to the 12, however.

-- King runs hard and picks up nine to the 3. This is simply domination at the line of scrimmage. The ACC is just not a physical conference.

-- The flickering "Louder" sign on the jumbotron is seizure-enducing. Like listening to Mary Hart. (How's that for a timely reference?)

-- Third-and-goal from the 5, Derrick Morgan gets pressure on Cox and his pass goes out the back of the end zone. Blair Walsh on to kick. He connects from 22 yards out. Georgia 10, Georgia Tech 3 (15-84-6:40). Wow. 15 plays. Wow.

-- Sorry for the lack of updates. The Internet is not working.

-- Reshad Jones picks off Jaybo Shaw with a beautiful catch at the UGA 44. That's probably the prettiest catch I've seen all year... including the work A.J. has done.

NOTE: Internet stopped working and I had to get a notebook in before 9:30. Sorry for the lapse. We'll see how things go in the second half with the Internet. We can't expect the Tech school to have proper network capabilities, after all.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

David, your assessment of Cox has been fair and consistent all year long. He has been as good or better than most of the other quarterbacks, but his interceptions have been too frequent and have really hurt.

David Hale said...

You're right. Two-thirds of the time, Cox is a solid quarterback and one-third of the time he's an absolute disaster. That was probably a fair expectation Weeks 1-4, but the biggest problem is that ratio hasn't improved as the year has gone along.

Anonymous said...

If you were to tell me at the beginning of the season that Cox would put up better numbers than Snead at Ole Miss and have the same SEC record, I would have been elated. In the end, the difference in schedules (Ole Miss: Memphis, SE LA, Vandy, UAB, N. AZ) will put UGA in a much different bowl.

Anonymous said...

I know we're lucky to even be in a bowl this year, but a dot com bowl just makes me sick...as it should everyone else. Man, we need to beat Tech.

Anonymous said...

Any chance we see AJ tonight or is he definitely out?

Anonymous said...

Did coach richt show the team what could be in store for them if the win http://twitpic.com/rd0gi just imagine a red&black version its glorious!

blackertai said...

It seems Pollack is saying on Twitter that CWM is gone after the season. I wonder what his sources are? That's pretty big coming from a guy like #47.

Anonymous said...

David,

Just a rumor but a friend of mine w/ a parent on the boaster club said Tubberville will be DC next year... $1.2 mil... you heard anything about this?

DAMMIT said...

Note to the Georgia Receivers: CATCH THE FUCKING BALL!!!!

Anonymous said...

David, if you're struggling to make your deadline tonight, I'm guessing it's because a Georgia Tech player gets injured every other play.

HattiesburgJay said...

Hale-bad kickoff after the TD and the defense mans up??!! WOW!!

Randall said...

Bad internet at a trade school? C'mon nerds.

Anonymous said...

THere's another one for your list

Jameson said...

Dear St. Simons,

30-24, hahahahahahhahahahah!!!!!

Jameson

Erik C. Kriebel said...

http://twitpic.com/reurk - Might wanna add "catch the ball," to that list there buddy.


Enjoy UGA Fans

Anonymous said...

This is so freakin' sweet!!!! Oh, what a season. I will take this as a down payment on the future. I am SO SICK of listening to Tech fans. God really IS a bulldog. David Hale RULES!!! So does RUSS!!!!

w said...

Tech's linebackers lost that game. Georgia played smart, but I wouldn't get too excited. Few teams have such poor run support from the backers.

KTM said...

I think we hit 'em harder than they've been hit all season, on both sides of the ball. We blew their D off the line and we did an OK job of containing. There was some confusion in Tech's backfield after Nesbitt returned. And that final possession by GT was just odd...