Thursday, October 30, 2008

Q&A with Catfish and Cornbread

The good 'ol boys of Catfish and Cornbread were nice enough to partake in a little Q&A session with me today. I've been a big fan of their blog since I stumbled across it a few months back. If you ever have the urge to find out if Richard Seymour was still an asshole in college, or how good Robert Edwards was before his catastrophic knee injury, or even how far Matthew Stafford can really chuck a keg, I suggest you check 'em out.

C&C was nice enough to allow me to weigh in on a few topics as well. Please take a look at their site and feel free to leave comments professing my awesomeness.

Q..A.J. Green came into Athens with all kinds of hype. It seems he has lived up to expectations thus far. How has he revitalized UGA's passing attack?

C&C: Well, he's definitely lived up to the hype. I'm comfortable saying he is already one of the best wide receivers to play between the hedges. If he stays healthy, he should shatter all of Georgia's receiving records. Nobody will ever mistake Georgia for WR U. Even Hines Ward spent half his time in Athens at quarterback or tailback. Over the years the Dawgs have had a hard time putting a legitimate homerun threat at WR. Green has completely changed that. He has helped revitalize the passing attack by having another talented option on the opposite side of senior Mohamad Massaquoi. It's well known the problems UGA receivers have had at dropping passes throughout the Richt years too, which have seemed to come at the worst times in recent WLOCP games (2002 and 2005 really stand out). With AJ and MoMass those dropped passes seem to be in the past. Another thing Florida fans will notice this year is that Georgia focuses a lot more on the wide receivers in the passing game instead of the tight end threats that Georgia has had in the past.

Q. Finally it seems Georgia's much-maligned offensive line has started to get it together. What's the key to their recent success?
C&C: Stacy Searles, Stacy Searles, Stacy Searles. Our offensive line coach is arguably the best position coach nobody has heard of. The man is a miracle worker. He's in his second year at Georgia after CMR hired him away from LSU. He is the mastermind behind a lot of the dominate LSU lines of recent years. Last year he did it with 2 true freshmen and a redshirt freshman as starters. This year he's working his magic with all underclassmen, including two more true freshmen as starters. Because of season ending injuries, Searles is on his 3rd left tackle of the season. Also, it needs to be pointed out how great of a player Clint Boling has been. He started as a true freshman at guard after coming in as an under the radar recruit. He has since moved from guard to left tackle to fill in for all the injuries and hasn't missed a step. Watch the true freshman center Ben Jones too. He plays with bad intentions. Reminds me of a David Pollack.

Q.Last year, Knowshon Moreno completely dismantled the Gator defense. Do you see him having another big day in Jacksonville?
C&C: I think this goes along with the previous question. If Georgia's young offensive line can get lathered up, Knowshow will go off again. If Florida can manhandle Georgia's young pups up front, it could be tough sledding for Moreno. Florida jumping out to an early 2 score lead would be an ideal situation for the Gators to slow Moreno (see Alabama game). The facts are, Moreno is 14-1 as a starter for Georgia. He has only be stopped once (Bama) and slowed down once (tech). He has over 2200 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns in his year and a half playing in Athens. If he gets under 100 yards Florida is winning. Over 130 yards and Georgia is winning. In between those rushing numbers and it probably comes down to one of the FG kickers at the end.

Q. Outside of Moreno, no other Bulldog impresses me more than Asher Allen. How important is Allen to the entire Bulldog team?
C&C: This is a very keen observation on your part. Asher is the real deal at corner. He doesn't have blazing speed, but is as technically sound a corner as has ever played at Georgia. He is very sound in the running game too. One of his best strengths is his ability to be such a physical corner. Now because of this, Georgia fans have watched with frustration everyone we play pick on the wide corner opposite Asher. Allen is extremely important to the Georgia defense and team as a whole. Simply put, he is one of the most important leaders on the team. Look for him to possibly get a punt return in also as we rotate about 3 returners each game.

Q. Saturday's game is already being hyped as the most important WLOCP game ever. Where do you think this particular match-up ranks among the all time greats?
C&C: I can see how this WLOCP could be considered the biggest ever. Obviously there are the implications of what the winner gets…outside of a miracle – the SEC East title and a trip to Atlanta, not to mention the inside track to an at-large BCS bowl and a decent shot at the chance to play themselves into the National Title game. For those reasons it's as big as ever. In the rivalry it's as big as ever also. It's well documented that from 1990-present Florida is 15-3 in the rivalry and from 1971-1989 Georgia was 15-4. Most those games were due to outmatched coaching on one side or the other. I don't believe that is the case anymore. Should Georgia win, it will be 3 of the last 5 and finally 2 straight. The mental block of Florida would probably be put to bed. Should Florida win does it become same song different verse? Yeah, it's huge.

Q. I ask all my Georgia friends this question: Do you like the game in Jacksonville every year, or would you prefer a traditional home and home series?
C&C: I love the game in Jacksonville. Heads should roll if the game is ever played home and home. Even the Jacksonville and Georgia Dome theory is a crock. The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is an institution. It's what we have that makes this game different from all others. My grandparents went to the game in Jacksonville for 24 straight years. My wife and newborn daughter are on our way to St. Simons as I'm answering these questions now. There is nothing more important in SEC football than one word…TRADITION. The WLOCP in Jacksonville is one of the finest traditions in America. Dawgs flood Amelia, Jekyll, and St. Simons with family and friends, playing golf, fishing, and partying in anticipation of the game in Jacksonville. As undergraduates about 10 of us with dates would always stay at a friend's great place in Ponte Vedra. I pray the powers that be never take it away. That atmosphere before the game could never be duplicated anywhere else. The college football eyes are always on this game where the stands are split 50/50. I also know how great this game and location is from a players perspective. It's like having a bowl game in the middle of the season.

Q. Of course I have to ask about the celebration. What's your take on the whole thing? Is it really fuel added to the fire, or just old news?
C&C: "It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We'll handle it and it's going to be a big deal." – Classic. I do think it added fuel to the fire. The biggest thing though is Georgia winning the game. Georgia and Florida splitting the last 4 in the series is a bigger deal to the rivalry than the celebration. The fact is that the celebration will go down in WLOCP history though. Another thing that Florida fans should know is that that stunt was the coming out party for 'Evil Richt'. Georgia fans had always wanted CMR to show more fire. It endeared him to the fan base as much as anything ever has.


Anonymous said...

Well done and insightful. Thanks for reaching out and doing this. I enjoyed the responses from both sides. Thoughtful Q's.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for tomorrow! Thanks for doing this. Enjoyed reading.

Hunker Down said...

LBG, Thanks for the compliment. I probably could have been more productive with my time - but I was desparate to try and figure out how we could have a chance in this game! I like our offense against your defense, but your offense is a juggernaut. Turnovers would be a killer for either team. We also have to worry about punts being either blocked or returned. Best solution is to score and not need to punt!

Can't wait. Go Dawgs!

LeakBrewerGator said...

Yeah I feel Brandon James is the KEY to the game tomorrow. I can't wait either. It should be intense.