Taking Care of Business…
Maybe you wanted a ‘Keyes to the Game’? Maybe you wanted a post that linked the best breakdowns in the Dawg Nation Blog Roll. Well today, you just get me, Inspector G. Alone with my thoughts….delivering to you the most honest blue-print for success for UGA on Saturday. You may not agree and that’s ok.
I sit here at Midnight on the Eve of this game wondering about our chances. Hell, who hasn’t had a post this week about this game? Blutarsky (as usual) has pinned exactly all of my thoughts before I could even write them. The Georgia Sports Blog has even seen some Paul Westerdawg gems. Facebook has been riddled with so many posts about this game, it’s about to shut down and here is this little ‘ole blog quietly relishing getting picked up by the dawgbone.net that has led to the most hits we’ve ever had in a month. For that we thank you. Yay! (not so quiet anymore, huh?) But, back to business…
How many times have you heard this all week, “Well, LSU is the most dominant team in the country. They’re in the BCS Championship win or lose. However, who is UGA to summon up the nuts enough to play? How does UGA even prepare for LSU? They’re too fast. Too strong. Too good. UGA is just another walk in the park for them.” Huh? You’ve heard that? So have I. Surprisingly, there are a few little pockets of the contrary out there (outside of the UGA blog rolls) that have actually given UGA a punchers chance.
To be honest, I still don’t know exactly what to think about this game yet. On one hand, we are playing a team that I have watched no less than 6 times this year and I can say that this team would wipe the floor with ’06 Florida and ’10 Auburn. They are vicious, ruthless, unrelenting, poised, talented, and are well coached. What are we?
What are we, seriously? Are we a team that has improved constantly to a point where we are actually playing our best ball right now? Or are we, as most pundits pointed out, the recipients of the Miss Congeniality Award bestowed upon the SEC Team with the weakest schedule? I can answer that second question for sure: HELL NO. UGA has played 4 ranked teams. Lost to 2 top 10 teams and beat two top 20 teams. The team hasn’t backed in to shit…
What do we have to do to win? The question of the week. Maybe the question of the year. Here is my list of what we have to do and why…
1) Be patient, but take risks. Conflicting views? Maybe, but what I mean by this is that the last time we played a team of this caliber, we tried to force so many things we didn’t have to…talkin about Boise. We know what we do well and there is no reason why we should come out and immediately do a double reverse pass back toss flea-flicker throwdown. Although a couple of well-timed trick-plays would be nice.
2) Make them have an answer for Orson. No team has really had an answer for him all year. Let’s see just how good Orson (or the LSU linebackers/DB’s) can be. He may be the best TE in the country, try him a couple of times and see what happens.
3) Receivers play smarter. Look, our freshmen “Triumvirate of Awesomeness” (Bennett, Mithcell, Conley) are good. But, they are not going to out-athlete LSU’s DB’s. They have to play smart and key on what they are giving us (just like those cut off routes against Auburn). Don’t over do it. Run clean routes and anticipate Murray having to scramble and hit you on an impromptu.
4) OL has to have their best game. Ever. In the History of Best Games. You know why. Everyone knows why.
5) Key on their aggressiveness. The 6 times I’ve watched LSU they have played so aggressive in the secondary. They feed on that aggressiveness. Burn them with it. If 3 and 4 are coming true and they start jumping routes, punish them with a pump and go. Punish them with a screen.
6) Crowell/Malcome/Thomas do not have to carry the team on their shoulders. Just be somewhat efficient. If Crowell especially can get a few nice gains early, the play action will be much more effective.
7) Murray has to have his best game. There has been much talk about Murray’s Nostradamus-esque prediction that UGA would be back to the dome. He’s a winner and leads those around him with poise, drive, and tenacity. Now, he just has to be accurate. You and I both know what happens when he gets pressured early: the footwork begins to weaken and the throws are all over the place. If he can trust Ben Jones and Co, it may get dangerous out there.
1) Stop the run with pure athleticism. And you’re all going “well no shit, Sherlock”…but wait. WITH PURE ATHLETICISM? Big John Jenkins, Geathers, Abry Jones, and Garrison Smith showed last week (and all year) they can take over a game and do some work. LSU’s offense is not this juggernaut of excellence that everyone continues to say (and yes, I know there is a point to be made about their toughness, but I’m not buying it). Get the penetration, make them stretch to the perimeter, and pass.
2) If no 1 comes true, then continue to force them to pass. Let Jefferson put the entire game on his shoulders and he WILL crumble. He will make a mistake or 3.
3) Stop that bullshit option thing they do and that inside give handoff. They run this a ton, with lots of success. Ask Alabama. I don’t know how you could every time except play disciplined and man the f up.
4) Watch for the Mad Hatterness. Don’t doubt for a second, at any point in the game, he wont run a double reverse pass back toss flea-flicker throwdown 3 plays in a row…with the Honey Badger….ridin’ a Zebra.
5) Force at least 2 turnovers. I don’t know how or when, but if we can force 2 turnovers….mmmm…it would be beyond huge.
6) Jarvis Jones, introduce yourself to Jordan “Semper Fidelis” Jefferson early and often.
6) Don’t let up. If they get up on us early, hunker it down and keep us in it. If any unit on our side can, it is the Defense. Save our asses if you have to. If you don’t, it’s over and over quickly.
1) No mistakes. This includes a) missing field goals under 51 yards b) muffing a punt c) shanking a punt d) out kickin our coverage e) missing coverage assignments f) getting our punts blocked g) fumbling on a kickoff.
2) Basically our special teams have to be perfect. Time and time again LSU has absolutely taken over a game with their special teams. Fake punts, punt returns, etc…they GOOD. If we can’t be perfect, we will probably lose. Look, its honest, right? I mean we’re not gonna just walk out there and win against the no 1 team in the land.
1) I know the guys aren’t scared, so come out loose. Have some fun. And feed off of each other. We’ve seen it in the Auburn and Tech games. We really took those over and everyone got involved: from Jarvis Jones to Zander Ogletree.
2) When they hit us (and they will) hit them right back. Straight in the mouth. This team hasn’t backed in to shit. We are on the 10 game winning streak. That is no fluke, especially in this league. Play like you belong, because regardless of what Mark ‘I hate UGA’ May says, YOU DO.
I know this was long, but it is how I would plan around this team. We have to pretty much do all of these to be successful tomorrow. It is a tall order, but achievable. Lady Luck’s tender caress won’t hurt either. We will not be able to beat LSU unless we play our best game of the year, on all sides of the ball. Period.
Larry, if you’re up there, see if you can send a couple of hobnail boots and see if we can’t just pull one more miracle out. Just for you, old pal. Just for you.
See you at the game. Yellow lot.