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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ask a beat writer (or me)

I know a very popular feature on here has been a Q&A with a beat writer who covers the upcoming opponent. I did the same thing in my previous job, and plan to make it a regular feature here too.

The problem this week is both beat writers at our sister paper (The State) covering South Carolina recently left to take other jobs. Of course, one of them was me.

So, having covered the Gamecocks the past four years and lived in Columbia the past five, I’ll let you faithful readers send in questions and I’ll answer them. Feel free to comment on the blog, send in an e-mail, or come visit me in person at my Athens home. (Address withheld, because I’m kidding about that.)

In the meantime, my former paper reports Tuesday that even with Georgia’s A.J. Green still uncertain, the Gamecock secondary members are planning as if he’ll play. This according to safety Akeem Auguste:

“Most definitely,” Auguste said. “We’re going in knowing he’s going to play. Even if he doesn’t, we’re still thinking that he is.”

(I’ll leave you all to square that last sentence and see if it makes sense.)
More, from cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who would be lined up against Green in most sets.

“We’re calling all our coverages as if he was playing. You just prepare for the offense as a whole,” Gilmore said. “I’m looking forward to playing against him. He’s a big-time receiver. I’ll be ready to see what he’s got.”

Meanwhile, South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward was impressed with the play of Georgia QB Aaron Murray.

“He’s real athletic. He can make a lot of plays with his feet,” Ward said. “They’re trying to keep it simple for him in his reads, but he’s kind of dangerous with scrambling and getting out of the pocket and making big plays. The receivers do a good job of moving around when he does scramble.”

Other notes:

- What a day of football on Monday. Maryland stuffing Navy at the goal-line, and Boise State coming back to win.

We’ll see whether Boise State goes unbeaten, and we’ll see how good Virginia Tech ends up being. But if Boise does go 12-0, and Virginia Tech ends up at least a top 10 team, it’s going to be very, very hard for the BCS to keep the Broncos out of the BCS title game.

Keep in mind what Boise State did on Monday: It went across the country and won what was essentially a road game at the No. 10-ranked team in the country. That counts for something.

- Was Sunday’s “Mad Men” not one of the best in the show’s history? I got chills when the ghost walked in, even though I’m still not sure if it was a ghost or Don Draper was dreaming.


Erked Russell said...

I don't like that the old ball coach gets a few extra days to get ready for us. Maybe we will get A.J. back for the game, I fear we will need him to be the difference maker.

Anonymous said...

Please don't write or tweet anything else until you have an update on AJ Green. Thanks.

Bryan said...

What is the latest on Trinton Sturdivant?

Ben said...

"Even if he doesn’t, we’re still thinking that he is."

Is it legal for Georgia to put Green's jersey on a walk-on and send out a decoy for the first few plays of the game? It could be worth it if he isn't cleared by Saturday.

Anonymous said...

And the idiocy lives here too. No surprise.

Boise State plays 1 or 2 ranked teams a season. I don't care if they beat the dogshit out of both of them, they still don't belong in a title game until they improve that putrid schedule. A 2 loss SEC team has more right to compete for a national title than Boise. A one loss Pac 10, Big 10 or Big 12 team deserves it more than Boise. Period.

This isn't complicated.

Ant123 said...

Seth, I know people that live in Athens that say that the real problem in AJ Green's situation is that an expensive insurance policy was purchased, and that the source of money to purchase it can't or won't be identified. Can you shed any light on this at all?
Also, what is the difference between Coach Spurrier's and coach Richt's approach to preparing for a game?

PTC DAWG said...

You're right, it shouldn't be complicated. Top 8 in the final BCS decide it on the field.

Anonymous said...

What about the Whitney 5? Did all the players pay their debt and get away with it? So far none have been suspended. Will they play the Georgia game? What about Saunders?

Anonymous said...

What color uniforms will USC wear?

202dawg said...

I think the reason Draper is seeing apparitions is because he's a raging alcoholic. He's gonna either go straight or turn into Duck Phillips.

My verification word is apenflo.

Anonymous said...

This game is quickly coming down to one thing: AJ. (*Shocked gasps*)

If we have AJ, the whole team will get a boost and a swagger and come out ready and roaring.

If we don't have AJ, they will come out flat and not as confident.

W/ AJ: UGA 21 USCe 17

W/O AJ: UGA 13 USCe 24

Anonymous said...

Hey Seth, great job so far bro, keep it up.

I liked what you did when you let everyone comment and pick how UGA would finish (record, bowl game, etc) at the end of the year.

Maybe you could as for predictions as each game approaches each week?

I think it would be a good way to get the fans of the blog involved and get some good discussions going.

Anonymous said...

Hey Seth-

I know SCarolina has a good kicker but I believe, with or without AJ, UGA should have a nice advantage on special teams. The Boykin returns last year played a big part in our W. What are your thoughts on SCarolina special teams as I believe otherwise you could agrue the game is pretty equal, although I still believe talent wise, UGA has better/more talent and depth.

Paul said...

How is it a guy like the OBC, who prides himself on running a clean program and frequently calls out others in public who don't, allows his team to get caught up in this hotel mess? This is very uncharacteristic for Spurrier. Who dropped the ball?

Anonymous said...

I don't think AJ Green matters that much. They played GA Tech without him, they played most of the Auburn game without him.

Michael said...

AJ is a great player, but between missing games due to injury and now this NCAA heat, its almost like he's a non entity.

Whether he sold a jersey on ebay, had an agent pay for his insurance policy, or visited an agent in Miami, it sure seems like he did SOMETHING. It sucks to say that, but this has dragged on far too long to believe he's going to end up being innocent.

In my own mind, I've pretty much washed my hands of it. If AJ plays, that's a nice bonus. Otherwise, I look for our offense to simply score enough for the defense to win it for us.

Anonymous said...

What are your honest thoughts on Garcia?
Does he handle blitzes well? If you shake him early, whats his response? Give me anything you got...

Carter said...

Seth, How much would you pay for a copy of Roger's memoirs, "Sterling Gold"?

PTC DAWG said...

I agree with others, AJ would obviously be nice to have Saturday, but it won't be the end of the world if he doesn't play.


Anonymous said...

Seth - Since you've lived in Columbia the past few years how about giving those of us traveling to the game this weekend a good idea of restaurants, bars, pregame rituals, etc to check out.

Anonymous said...

Yes Boise can prepare all off season and beat the ONE team with BCS level athletes and coaching they'll play ALL season. I know they have Oregon St as well this year but that team would be comparable to a Kentucky (at best) in the SEC.

Being able to win ONE game is no the point. Being able to survive a "real" conference schedule as the BCS conference teams do is the point and Boise simply does not belong in the Championship game unless its via a playoff system.

Anonymous said...

?"Meanwhile, South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward was impressed with the play of Georgia QB Aaron Murray." Is this a test to see if we're paying attention? John Thompson is USCe's D-coordinator, isn't he?

Seth Emerson said...

John Thompson hasn't been there for five years.

You may be thinking of Ellis Johnson, who calls the defensive plays and whose title is associate head coach for defense.

Lorenzo Ward's official title is defensive coordinator, though he mainly coaches the secondary.

Anonymous said...

I'm not interested in yet another writer being a Boise State cheerleader.

Redcoat98 said...

Seth wasn't a Boise Cheerleader. He was just pointing out that if all the stars align, it would be hard to keep Boise out. There's a lot of ifs involved though:

IF Boise runs the table AND someone ahead of them loses AND IF Va Tech runs the board AND IF Oregon state is ranked at the end of the season, then I'd see controversy for the BCS not allowing Boise a shot.

I'd also expect even more controversy if a no or one loss SEC team gets shut out as a result, especially if the SEC team wins handily in the Sugar Bowl. Can you imagine the conspiricy theories surronding that scenario?

BulldogBen said...


How 'bout the boy Duck on Mad Med?? Openly attempting to drop a Cleveland Steamer on some office furniture.

Hall of Fame TV moment.

DevildawgNC said...

Hey Seth,

I'm curious about the suspension situation on the Gamecock side of the ball. Is Saunders coming back? Or is he minority whip to AJ Green at this point? How has UGA been planning to deal with Saunders and the tall USC receivers? And what do you think about the O-lines for both teams? Our line didn't look as dominant as hoped, and that's been blamed on the injuries and ailments that plagued a number of them, but do they feel confident heading into Columbia? On the other hand, the Carolina O-line had all sorts of question marks in the summer, but how did they do in the opener?

Tons of questions, but thanks for answering any of them you can!

meansonny said...


I'm lazy and have cheap satellite coverage.

Tell me why S.Car struggled against UCONN. Is there anything that UGA can exploit? Or do we just have to hope they lay an egg to support such a strong defensive showing by UGA?

And on the flip side, what strengths do you see at S.Car that will give this 2010 UGA team fits on Saturday if any?

Who is your favorite player on the Gamecocks? Favorite interviewee? And best moment covering their team?

Why has Spurrier mellowed so much recently? Is it because of losing? Because of potential embarrassment at the hands of Garcia (bad kid syndrome)? Or is The Ol Fart just getting senile and losing that edge?

What is your dream job? Do you see yourself doing pregame ala Chuck Dowdle in 30 years? Is UGA a stepping ground for some Eastern Divisional baseball team somewhere up in Yankeeville? Or do you have your eyes set on Chris Lowe's gig?

What's worse? Smart fans who lurk on boards? Or dumb guys like me with a ton of crappy questions?

Thanks for all the content. Don't let things like journalistic integrity and future employment and promotion get in the way of really stirring things up in here. What's said on blogspot stays on blogspot. I think.