August 30, 2018

2018 UGA Football Preview




2018 UGA Football Preview



*cross-posted at The Piedmont Chronicles

In just a few days the 2018 edition of our Silver Britches will finally be hitting the gridiron once again as we face off against FCS (formerly 1-AA) foe, the Austin Peay Governors, on Saturday September 1st at 3:30 PM in that football cathedral known as Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.

It was almost 8 months ago that the Dawgs, fresh off the epic victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, had their hearts ripped out of their chests when a true freshman QB came off the bench & somehow found a way to will the Crimson Tide to victory The cruel suddenness of it was not unlike the SEC Championship game in 2012 as well as the fact that if not for Alabama, UGA would've very likely been twice-National Champions in the past six years.

Oh well, things seem to happen for a reason. And all of that's in the past, and unlike almost six years ago - things feel different now. It doesn't seem like UGA is a doomed Charlie Brown caricature anymore, constantly tormented & cursed. No, it feels as if we're right on the edge of a glory that we haven't seen since the early 80's & that feels pretty damn good. So let's break it down.


How 'Bout Them Dawgs!


Overview

While losing guys like Roquan, Chubb & Sony will be hard to overcome, many - myself included - truly believe that from top to bottom, this year's team might actually be better than the 2017 squad. Whether it's the embarrassment of riches we find ourselves with on the O-line, the top-notch running back by committee we'll likely see, or perhaps the best receiving corps UGA has had in years, there's a lot to feel good about; however, there are question marks, mainly on the defensive side of the ball with multiple starters & contributing key personnel gone. 

And what of the schedule? Many have been nervously looking at our 2nd game in Columbia on September 8th, but I'm not so sure about that one. USCe lost a good bit of firepower & I think they'll be trying to get their feet under them as much as us & talent will carry the day. LSU on October 13th in the "Red Stick" does bother me a bit, and I wouldn't go to sleep on Kentucky up in Lexington in November, either; and naturally Auburn, even in the Classic City, will be a tough one. And chances are we'll have to face the best quarterback in the league when we go to the other Columbia. With all of that said, though, there's a lot of folks out there that think Georgia has a pretty manageable schedule, and I'd probably agree with that.

Coaching? We seem to be in good shape there, don't we? Kirby, after all, is Kirby, and we've got Jim Chaney & Mel Tucker once again leading the offense & defense, respectively, though we do have two new assistant coaches. Cortez Hankton takes over the WR duties & Dan Lanning will be coaching up the outside linebackers.



Kirby!!!1!


Then there's the intangibles, or the X-factor, as it were. Things just feel different now. No longer does it feel as if there is a millstone hanging around the neck of this program. Gone is the general sense of malaise & dysfunction that followed the Dawg Nation for so many years. We not only think we can get it done - we know we can get it done. Enthused optimism & collegiate gusto - 
with the players, the coaches, the fans; with everyone - abounds. It's a nice feeling. 


|||||||



Offense 


The offense is going to be good. This much we know. The other day I  saw a fellow Dawg Blogger say that we'll average 40 points a game! Man...that'd be something else, and you know what - I wouldn't say it's an impossibility.

Let's start with QB. Jake Fromm, after a most impressive campaign (2600 yds passing; 24 TDs) as a true freshman, looks poised to be one of the SEC's premier quarterbacks this season. Of course, #1 is on the minds of many. Justin Fields, the 6-3, 225 lb "Cam Newton" wowed everyone in the G-day Game with his 200+ yards in the air & several nice runs. Controversy? Not really. I think Fields will see playing time right away here & there, but Jake is the guy, and I think everyone knows this.


Jake From State Fromm



As we mentioned earlier, we have a veritable plethora of running backs, and I believe we will see an all-hands-on-deck/RB-by-committee approach w/ D'Andre Swift (#7 | 5-9; 215 lbs) as the primary with both Elijah Holyfield & Brian Herrien making significant contributions. And the true freshman, James Cook, continues to impress everybody in Summer Camp.



D'Andre! He's a bad man, man!


Again, the WR corps is just off the charts. The leader of this squad will no doubt be Terry Godwin (#5 - Senior - 5-11; 185 lbs). He'll be Fromm's go-to target & he's got the athleticism & skill to handle that role. As many have mentioned, what's so exciting about 2018 is the breadth & depth of this group. Riley Ridley's coming out party in the National Championship game was great to see. He'll be racking up a lot of yards & touchdowns while Mecole Hardman might be the best one of the bunch. It's the next level that's so impressive. A strong argument could be made that UGA's second-string group of WR's is better than most of the SEC's first-stringers. And leading that group of the best of the rest, in my opinion, is Newton's own - JJ Holloman (#9 - Sophomore - 6-2; 200 lbs).


For years UGA has been referred to as "Running Back U," and that's certainly an apt description; however, we could just as easily be called "Tight End U," and 2018 will be no exception. Isaac Nauta, Jackson Harris & Charlie Woerner are all SEC starting material. They all have their strengths & could all have good years (if Chaney remembers they exist...). 


So basically we're stacked at all of the skill positions, and that's great. But it wouldn't matter much if we didn't have full stable of top-shelf O-linemen, and, brother, we sure as hell got that


|||||||

Defense

It seems as if most of the Bulldog Nation's hand wringing teeth gnashing slight anxiety is on this side of the ball, which I still really don't get. I mean, yeah, I get it. Roquan's gone. And so is Lorenzo & a couple of others, but again - just like with the team as a whole - I really think that the D, across the board & in terms of depth, will be better than 2017.

The D-line has some worried & I just don't get it. Jonathan Ledbetter, lucky # 13, is beast of a DE & will be complemented by Rochester & Clark, with support from DaQuan, David Marshall et al. They're gonna be a great crew. 






The Linebackers are going to be a very strong unit, I believe. We've got a lot of talent & several of these guys got in some quality time last year. But like just about everyone else has said, the key to whether or not this group will be exceptional will come down to Natrez Patrick. If he's good to go, we're good to go. And I think D'Andre Walker is gonna have a helluva year. Hell, 5 & 1/2 sacks & 13 & 1/2 tackles-for-loss last year as a back-up? It'd seem logical that he's going to be something special.

Same with the secondary. The other Deandre - Deandre Baker - as well as the blitzman, JR Reed, will be in good company with LeCounte, McGhee, Webb & the rest of the gang. It might take 'em a few games to jell as a unit, but once they do, I think they'll be one of the best secondaries in the SEC.



Special Teams 

The kicking game. So important.

Rodrigo Blankenship...that's all you have to say.


And we got a little spoiled with our punting last year, but let's not forget that Marshall Long did a pretty solid job back in 2016. I think we're good.

And coverage & protection should be on point, as it always is when Kirby's involved.

2018 Prediction 

I can see this team going 12-0 this season, but I can also see a loss in either Baton Rouge or maybe even Columbia, MO. And there's always that fear of a trap game or a Murphy's Law day. I also worry about what should be a much improved Tech team at the end of the gauntlet. With all of that said, I'd be surprised if we are not back in the SEC Championship game. if we can win that one - then depending on the lay of land (and our record) - we'd be right in the mix for the Final Four. We shall see. Regardless, college football is finally back & that is an awesome thing!

GO DAWGS!!! GATA!


Keepin' it real in the #COV

- MB McCart, Editor of The Piedmont Chronicles; Owner/Operator of Go You Silver Britches!


August 19, 2018

[GYSB, 8/19/18] - The Sunday Treatment & a Trip Around the Dawgosphere

19 August 2018

*cross-posted at The Piedmont Chronicles

Welcome back to GYSB, and How 'Bout Them Dawgs! 13 days away now. You can practically taste it! 

First off, let's deal with the bad news. Zamir "Zeus" White, the second coming of #34 in the eyes of some, blew out his ACL yesterday in Saturday's scrimmage. Very sad. Some naysayers are already wanting to point blame at Kirby for having Zeus working special teams, but that's crap. You want your best players out there. The one silver lining is that we do seem pretty deep at running back w/ James Cook continuing to impress in addition to our 1,2,3 punch of D'Andre, Holyfield & Herrien. Hopefully Zamir will make a full recovery & will be ready to go for the 2019 campaign.

A lot of positive chatter about the receiving corps w/ Newton County's own JJ Holloman, in particular, getting kudos. I honestly believe this is the best group of receivers the Dawgs have had in some time. With our wealth of talent at QB, RB, tight ends & O-line, it's not surprising that some are predicting UGA could average upwards of 40 points a game this season. 



GeorgiaDogs.com


But there are question marks for many, especially on the other side of the ball.

We'll save most of that for our 2018 UGA Football Preview that will be out next week.

At any rate, it's almost here & that's exciting!

So let's check the pulse of the Dawgnation & take... 



A Trip Around the Dawgosphere




Alright, folks, that'll do it for this go 'round. And again - keep an eye out for our 2018 Season Preview next week. As always, thanks for reading. GO DAWGS!!! GATA! 

- MB McCart








April 23, 2018

Thoughts on G-Day

23 April 2018

Welcome back to GYSB & How 'Bout Them Dawgs! The annual G-Day game is behind us & guess what? We won!

But seriously...

Approx. 82,000 devoted members of the Bulldog Nation attended the spring game yesterday & I'd reckon maybe a few folks were surprised w/ the turnout. I read yesterday that this was the highest attendance for any Spring game in the SEC this year & that we've have the highest average attendance over the last 3 years. That really speaks to the level of interest & excitement Kirby & Co. have created.

The Black Squad (1st-team defense; 2nd-team offense) defeated the Red (1st O; 2nd D) by a score of 21 to 13. 

Some folks, especially after hearing Kirby talking during the week, may have been on the lookout for high scoring affair, but that didn't happen. Now we can swap theories as to if Kirby was playing some mind tricks w/ his beloved D (very likely), but I'd reckon that most everyone was pleased w/ how our defense looked, especially w/ the much-worried-about secondary. The defense IS looking legit & that's pretty awesome. And our linebacking corps is looking pretty damn good, and deep, too.

But what of the offense? As one certain city councilman deep in the heart of the Georgia Piedmont wrote in the book on Saturday, Justin Fields was looking "Cam Newton, version 2.0." I'm not sure about that or even if I like that comparison out of principle, but Fields definitely had his moments. W/ a 200+ yard day & some really nice runs & passes, Fields, I think, is about right where many thought he'd be as a legitimate #2 at the QB spot. The rest of the O looks to be in really good shape.

It's exciting times for the Silver Britches faithful as we are looking like a pretty safe pick to make it back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship.

GO DAWGS!

April 8, 2018

Sunday Check-in: 4/8/18

8 April 2018


So a couple of weeks ago I basically said the following:

From here on out, you can count on your old pal MB, at least for a Sunday post.

Well, I'm a man of my word. 

And when the Senator smiles, that makes GYSB smile. 

And apparently numbnuts won The Masters.  And word on the street is that he hates old people, children & dawgs, but still loves nothing more than cheating on the golf course & stealing from his teammates. 

Dr. Choad Boy 


GO DAWGS! 

April 1, 2018

4/1/18: A Trip Around the Dawgosphere

1 April 2018

Greetings & Salutations, Dawg fans, and we hope it's lovely out there. He is Risen! Happy Easter to all. No Sunday Treatment today, so let's get straight to it:

Okay for now, friends. GO DAWGS & GATA! 

March 25, 2018

3/25/18: Hello Again; The Sunday Treatment & a Trip Around the Dawgosphere

25 March 2018

And we're back...

A bit of a layoff there, folks. Sorry about that. But the big news is that GYSB is back in action.

Why the long break? That's a good question & I'm glad you asked. The usual suspects. Laziness, maybe. But not really. I've just been really busy. Plus, I pretty much stayed drunk there for a few years, so there's that, too.

I've been concentrating on my main writing project, The Piedmont Chronicles. It's an online newspaper that covers the glorious Georgia Piedmont, and the city of Covington & Newton Co. in particular. Originally just a personal blog where I concentrated on local history & people, it has now became a full-blown thing with local advertisers & everything. I've told my readership there that a relaunching of Go You Silver Britches! was imminent as the main part of the new Sports Division of TPC. We're really excited about it & hope you are too!

The Sunday Treatment 

New UGA Hoop Dawgs Head Man Tom Crean
This is typically kind of a slow time of the year for UGA athletics, but this year is a little different for a few reasons.

The biggest of which, naturally, is that while we're not talking about UGA Hoops in the NCAA tourney, as usual, we are definitely talking about UGA Hoops in the month of March. That's because we've got a new head coach that most everybody is pretty pumped about. Tom Crean, by all accounts, is truly a top-tier coach. With a high level of success at his previous two stops - Marquette & Indiana - there's a palpable sense of excitement surrounding the UGA B-ball program that we haven't seen in the Classic City since...well, probably since we hired Mark Fox in 2009.

With the level of talent we have in the great state of Georgia & now with a coach of Crean's caliber, there should be no reason at all, in our estimation, for the Hoop Dawgs not to make it to the Big Dance almost every year and to advance at least a couple of rounds on a fairly frequent basis.

Diamond Dogs Skip, Manager Stricklin
Switching gears to baseball, the UGA Diamond Dogs have been impressing folks so far this year. A 17-6 regular record with a 4-1 conference mark approx. a third of the way through the season has some wondering if AD McGarity was right to bring Scott Stricklin back after three underwhelming seasons at the helm. Although we're just underway in conference play, it does look like this edition of the Diamond Dawgs has the potential to do something this year. We'll keep an eye on it.

And enough with the filler stuff, the UGA football spring game - G-Day - is less than a month away. April 21, 2018 can't get here soon enough for a lot of us. Many are anxiously awaiting seeing some action from some of the players of the consensus top recruiting class in the country. And Justin Fields, though! Very exciting.

A Trip Around the Dawgosphere 



Welp, that'll do it for this go 'round, gang. Thanks for reading. No promises moving forward than this: you WILL be able to count on the Sunday Treatment every Sunday, and hopefully a few other write-ups here & there. Til next time.

Your Pal, 

MBM

September 12, 2016

The Sunday Treatment & a Trip Around the Dawgosphere: CANCELLED due to "medical episode," and/or "overheating."

Regrettably, Go You Silver Britches! had a medical episode after the abomination that was Saturday's game. Per advice of staff, the Doc, the Dr., and counsel, it has been decided that we'll skip this week.

Look for a breakdown of the Mizzou game on Thursday. Maybe. We are the laziest blog in the Dawgosphere. So, you never know.

And hey, winning always beats losing, right? So there's that.

GO DAWGS!