Friday, September 28, 2007

Weekly Theme Music

The Bulldogs are going to look like they're partying on the Chattahoochee this weekend.

The Picks!
UGA by more than 18 over Ole Miss
Alabama over +2.5 FSU
Vandy over -20.5 Eastern Mich
North Texas to cover +35.5 Arkansas
Kentucky over -23.5 FAU
LSU over -41 Tulane

Georgia Preview

The Rebels travel to Athens this week to face the ranked Georgia Bulldogs. After a relative down year last year these Bulldogs look improved. They still maybe a little overrated but they are a solid team that will give the Rebels trouble.

Georgia has a great defense. A lot of speed that gets to the ball. They also do this thing called gang tackling as seen in the first picture. I don't think the Rebels know what that is. The Bulldogs are currently third in scoring defense and second in total defense. They've got good linebackers and are lead by Dannell Ellerbe.

On offense they have two solid running backs in Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno. Moreno actually leads the team in rushing at 85 yards a game. Which is a mis leading stat since the Predator is fifth in the league in yards at a 100 yards a game because of his one big game against Missouri. The Rebels are however sitting currently at 12th in the league in rushing offense with only 3.6 yards per carry.

Georgia's biggest weakness is the inconsistency of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. He will try to force the ball at times and can throw costly interceptions. Can be a tad streaky but when he's on he's got a great arm. He also likes to spoon guys as seen in the photo below but I'm not sure how that effects his play on the field.

What I Think I've Learned This Week

Another week down. Another week of predictions shot. So why not try again.

1) I don't think there is a worse tackling defense in the SEC, SunBelt, SWAC, or even the Pac-10.
2) How bad would this offense be without Seth Adams? He's looks like one of the best passers in the SEC right now.

1) There offense is suspect. Stafford's streaky and the running backs are a solid but not scary group.
2) They have a lot of speed on defense. Will be hard to score on. Play with a lot of discipline.

1) Not as elite as last year.
2) Not on the same level as LSU. (Sadly)
3) They do have tons of speed all over the field.
4) Passing game has a lot of issues. Tebow is not very accurate on long throws and relies on the receiver to come to the ball. He missed several mid range completions against the Rebels. Keeps his completion percentage up by throwing a lot of short range and safe completions.
5) Will get upset by someone this year. My guess at this point is South Carolina.

1) I hate LSU so I hate saying this. They are the tops of college football right now. I do not see them loosing to anyone. South Carolina looks like the best team in the East so far and they decisively beat them. I don't think Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Florida, or West Virgina would have a chance. Pray for Tulane this weekend.

1) They are an improving team and will get better each week. Would much rather face them earlier in the season, like UGA did, than later in the season, like say an Auburn.

1) Great offense. Will have a solid season but as soon as Andre Woodson has a bad game, and it will happen, they will have a terrible loss. If and when he has a poor game they can get beat by anyone.

1) Appears to have a very solid defense. Lots of depth and rotate players in and out. Guys who were not even on the second string pre-season depth chart played extensively and made plays early in the first quarter.
2) Had a very impressive goal line stand where they held on first and goal from the one. Shows they will be difficult to run the ball on.
3) Have intercepted their opponents in the the opponents first drive for a touchdown in three straight games. Not really an observation but a crazy stat.


This would have been funny had they spoofed Ogerzook instead.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Florida Recap

Ogerzook master of the moral victory. The thing about moral victories, you still lost. The other team still celebrated on your field. Unless you gambled on the team you shouldn't celebrate. So get ready to send your complaints to our favorite Canadian.(Pictures from the Clarion Ledger)

Seth Adams had another particularly nice day. Through for over 300 yards again. Going into the season I didn't expect him to through over three hundred yards in an SEC game. So there's obviously no complaints to his game. His one interception was late and was so far down the field it worked like a punt and didn't effect the outcome. Also had two more touchdowns.

Bruce Hall ran well and should get more carries. Even take some away from the Predator because at this point with the way defenses are stacking the line the Predator bruising and plodding style is hindering the offense more than it's helping. Requiring Seth Adams to do it all. In the game Don't Bring Me Down Bruce averaged 8.2 yards a carry to the Predators 3.4.

Burnell Mike Wallace had another big day and is showing to be a great deep threat. However Shay Hodge is the receiver that really stepped up huge in this game. He was the leading reciever in yards (81) and catches (7). He's got good hands and is becoming the go to guy when we need a first down. He had multiple big catches in the game and on his touchdown he simply timed the defender out of a pick for the score. That touchdown was a turning point in the game and was when the offense started getting the team relatively back into the game. And for that Shay gets the game ball.

Special teams weren't very special. The defenders are on average catching the ball around the 18 yard line. Needless to say we're not seeing a lot of touchbacks. The coverage is equally horrendous and leads to the other team starting in great field position every drive. This has lead to pour starts to the games and thus pour showings. Punting is not much better. And the fake punt in the fourth quarter was one of the worst attempts I've ever seen. Don't telegraph what you are going to do by lining up in some wacky formation. Either run a fake out of the punt formation or keep your offense on the field. Especially don't stay in said wacky formation after they call a timeout and explained to the defense what's coming.

Tackling is still atrocious. Cody Paul's competition, the little leaguers in California tackle better. Tebow averaged over 6 yards a carry and at least 4 yards of everyone of those carries had to be after contact. The coaching staff keeps making an excuse about how it will get better once we face a non-spread offense. If the Rebels keep tackling like this it won't matter what offense they face.
Moral victories. Especially fake moral victories that gets everyone unduly worked up. This wasn't even a real moral victory like Alabama in '05 or well Alabama again in '06. A true moral victory occurs when you play the other team to the line all day and its a real battle. Not when they just fail to show up.

This was a classic case of a top team taking a weak off because they felt the game was going to win itself. Which it did. The gators played nearly as poor as they could and still beat Ole Miss with Seth Adams firing on all cylinders. They'd watched the Vandy tape and didn't think there was a possibility that they could loose to the Rebels. And they were right.

You want irrefutable proof that Florida came out uninspired? They had 127 penalty yards. Good teams do not have over a hundred penalty yards or 14 total penalties when they are playing focused football. This is what kept the game close. Along with some curious 3rd down calls by Florida* and an overly gambling defense looking for the highlight real instead of just trying to make the play.

So spare me if I don't buy the whole, "If we could just play like we did against Florida every game" argument.

*(Seriously. Tebow's running for 6 yards a carry. You need 3 for the first. You bring out 5 receivers. The middle of the field is wide open. Tebow's been struggling all day with the deep pass. Why throw it?)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sports Wookie's SEC Rankings

Now that we're a third of the way through the season here are the sports wookie's SEC Predicted Final Standings.

1) LSU
2) Bama
3) Ark
4) MSU
5) AUB
6) Ole Miss

1) South Carolina
2) Florida
3) Kentucky
4) Georgia
5) Tennessee
6) Vanderbilt

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekly Theme Music

The team might as well walk out to this against Florida.

Florida by more than the 24 Vegas is giving.
Kentucky to cover the 7 over Ark.
Bama 3.5 over UGA
New Mexico to cover the 17 over Auburn
LSU 16.5 over USC
Tenn 18.5 over Ark. St.

Florida Preview

One of those unfortunate games where even if the Rebels play the best game they can and Florida plays their worst. The Rebels still loose. So I'm not going to spend a lot of time breaking it down. Tebow, Tony Joiner, Percy Harvin, etc. they have a lot of playmakers.

If they have a weakness it's the middle of the defensive line. But just because they are young. They completely killed Tennessee's running game. Especially on short yardage.

What I Think I've Learned This Week

Some things were right last week, some were wrong, and some are probably actually right but didn't get the opportunity to prove themselves.


1) Without a doubt the worst team in the SEC.
2) Talent wise they could be competitive.
3) They will be out coached in 12 out of 12 games.
4) Florida and LSU will combine to score over a hundred points on Ole Miss.
5) Ole Miss will not score 22 combined points in the LSU/UF games.
6) The offense over achieved the first two weeks against very poor defenses. The Rebels will struggle offensively once the competition increases just as they did in 2006.
7) Dan Werner's offense does not maximize the players he has.


1) This is not a great Vandy game. Ole Miss was just that bad.
2) They won't have a winning season; no bowl.
3) Good teams will score a lot of points on them and keep the ball away from them with a dominate ball controlling offense.


1) They are the team that will give LSU a run for the SEC title.
2) The LSU/UF game will be one of the biggest regular season games in history.
3) Their offense is amazing.
4) Tebow can throw the ball.
5) The defense is capable of giving up a big play because their play makers as so good they gamble from time to time.

1) They have a great running game that will take them to a big time bowl this year.
2) Their defense is suspect. But then Darren McFadden will make anyone look suspect.
3) Deserve to be in the top 25.

1) Auburn has a very difficult schedule this year. If they can't fix the offense soon they could end up with a loosing record.
2) The running game is dreadful and is what is really killing Auburn. Its one thing to turn the ball over in the passing game but when you fumble that many times you can't win.
3) Auburn will still have no problem beating Ole Miss.

1) Without Darren McFadden and Felix Jones they might be a sub 500 team.
2) They would kill Ole Miss without both.
3) Since they will have both, it will be another very ugly game for the Rebel defense.

1) Is very overrated.
2) They might finish in 5th place in the East.
3) They will still drub Ole Miss.

1) Will drub Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
2) Has a far superior defense to the Rebels.
3) Could very well win 6 games and go to a bowl.
4) State has another upset left in them.
5) Tuberville will not be Croomed.
6) Biggest remaining game is the Tennessee game. If UT does not get everything together by then State could pull off another upset.
7) Fulmer could be Croomed if they loose.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vanderbilt Recap

Rough week for the Rebels. Its bad anytime you loose a game. Its worse when you loose a game you think you should win. It bottoms out when you loose to Vanderbilt in embarrassing fashion by two touchdowns. So this weeks recap will not be overly rosy but feel free to send your complaints to our favorite Maple Leaf.

The offense had a few moments of looking competent this weekend. The Rebels got over 200 yards passing with two touchdowns. Seth threw a few good balls but I'm not as confident in him as I was going into the game. Not necessarily because of any of his throws or getting sacked but because what is his hand doing in the picture above? That's a rather effeminate gesture. Which is not something you want in a quarterback.

Last week I called on the Rebel receiving corps to have someone step up as a go to guy. For the first time in a couple of years we did. Burnell Mike Wallace stepped up big time and had a big day. He had 139 yards with two touchdowns. The first TD was an amazing catch in the corner of the endzone. The second one came late and he streaked 54 yards down the sideline. Clearly deserving game ball recog

The offense other wise looked pretty inept. The pass blocking was awful and gave up 6 total sacks. Before the game I said it would be key to get the Predator off and running if we would have any hope. Well. Vandy's big weakness was rush defense. Bama ran for 249 yards on them. Richmond ran for 149 yards. The Rebels 54. Seriously, the Richmond Spiders got nearly a hundred more rushing yards than we did.

The defense was hideous as always. Complete lack of form tackling. No one in position to make plays. And Vandy had our zone defense schemed to be able to get a first down completion whenever they needed. The defense is even worse than it was during the Chuck Driesbach 4-2-5 days or the Art Kaufman "read and react" days or even what ever defensive like substance you call the Don Lindsey days.

The biggest problem the team has is lack of linebackers that can make plays. The Rebels two leading tacklers against Vandy were the strong safety and a cornerback. Tony Fein had 9 tackles and Ashlee Palmer had 8. The rest of the linebackers to record a tackle were Jamie Phillips with 5, Chris Herring Strong with 3 and starter Lamar Brumfield with 2.

The true ugly from this game was Ogerzook complaining about the number of outside linebackers on the team and their play. According to the "I'm In" crowd its all because Cutcliffe left the "cubard bare." But according to Ogerzook we've been dominating the State in recruiting and he had three years to get players. So which one is it? Are we dominating in recruiting or do we not have the athletes on defense? Sounds like the same ole excuses we've always heard in a wait till next year approach. And either way we had the players and the talent to beat Vanderbilt.

Ogerzook hotseat watch: Up to Number 7.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ogerzook's Getting Called Out

One of my journalistic hero's, Rick Cleveland, had the following to say after Saturdays disappointment, " Ole Miss didn't look as big, as quick or as fast as Vanderbilt.

Or as well-coached."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekly Theme Music

The Rebels and your's truly are heading up to the big city in the SEC this weekend. Hopefully the City doesn't own the the Rebels.


Rebels +4.5 over Vandy.
(Don't think they can stop the Predator)

MSU to cover +13 over Auburn
Florida -8 over Tenn
Kentucky -6.5 over Louisville
Bama -3.5 over Ark
LSU -41 over Middle Tenn.

Vandy Preview

Vanderbilt's coming off a tough loss that many of their fans thought they should have been able to pull out. They know any hopes of a bowl game rests on winning this weekend so they'll pull out all the stops on the Rebels. They also have a bad taste in their mouth from last year where they out gained the Rebels 4-1 but lost thanks to turnovers.


Vandy's best playermaker is junior wide receiver Earl Bennett. He's one of the best wide receivers in the country and makes play after play for the Commodore offense. Expect him to get his share.

The Defensive player for the Dores is defensive lineman Curtis Gatewood. He's struggling a little this year compared to last. Expect him to snap out of it at some point. The Rebels have to keep him out of the backfield if they want to get the offense on track.


Vandy's major weakness is on defense. Especially the interior defensive line. They have a major problem stopping the running game which is why Bama rolled on them last weekend. Teams with strong running games should be able to control the clock. The key to the Rebels this weekend will be getting the Predator involved early and setting the tempo of the game. If the offensive line takes control and the Rebels get off and running on the Dores then they'll have a hard time catching up. They should be able to control the clock with a lead if the Predator is running well.

What I Think I've Learned This Week

New feature I'm gonna try to install on the blog. After watching the various college games over the weekend I'll take my observations and make a few comments concerning the Rebels and other teams. Feel free to add you own or disagree in the comments section below.


1) The Rebels are still very vulnerable to spread offenses. They are going to give up a lot of passing yards all year even against traditional defenses and average offenses as teams exploit the lack of speed and depth in the linebacker corps.

2) Defense is under performing all around and still has trouble getting pressure on the opposing quarterback. Something I really expected John Thompson to make us better at.

3) Seth Adams is a good quarterback and will keep us in games. Combined with a solid offensive line and the Predator the Rebels should have a decent offense.


1) Vandy is very soft up the middle on defense and will give up a lot of rushing yards a game. The will also have trouble running up the middle because they are soft on the middle of their offensive line as well.

2) A team (such as Ole Miss) with a solid running back and offensive line should be able to run and control the game on their defense.

3) Neither of the two quarterbacks are going to singlehandedly keep Vandy in a game. Best offensive player by far is Earl Bennett.

4) Vandy looks like they have reverted back to pre-Cutler Vandy and did not take advantage of his time there.


1) Offense is horrible. Line, running backs, and quarterback are equally quilty.

2) Defense is impressive. Especially the line.

3) They will be primed for another upset or two this season. Will be a major rebuilding year on the Plains. Should loose 4 games or more.

4) Look for Bama to break the streak. (Much to the dismay of our friendly Canadian.)


1) Has a much better offense than anybody expected. Scored 40 on a top twenty, albeit not strong defensively, Hawaii team.

2) Could easily upset someone this season. Slight warning for the Rebels.


1) With solid coaching Bama looks like they should rebound this year and have a solid season.

2) Have a great offensive line and very good running game. Mississippian Terry Grant is one of the better running backs in the SEC.

Missouri Recap

Apologize for the delay this week. Further apologies to Chuck Rounsaville. All complaints go to our Canuckian friend. Moving along:

(Pictures from the Clarion Ledger)

Again Seth Adams continues to amaze. I was not expecting much from him starting the season but he has more than surpassed any expectation I had from him. He hit some deep passes that showed he had a better arm than I originally expected and showed that he can complete the long pass when needed. He also continues to do a superb job of managing the game and avoiding turnovers. He also does a good job of spreading the ball to his different receivers as 6 Rebels caught passes against Missouri. Would have to get the game ball for his services.

The Predator had another great day running the ball thanks the the solid blocking of the offensive line that accumulated 245 rushing yard and only allowed one sack. The Predator gained 228 of those rushing yards and scored a touchdown. He did however have a costly fumble in the red zone that turned the game in Missouri's favor.

The Rebels also let the poor tackling bug strike again. The Rebel defenders were flying all over the place diving for tackles and missing and trying to arm tackle defenders and coming away with nothing. Missouri repeatedly made long gains on intermediate routes after breaking away from the defenders. It looked like the ol' Don Lindsey defenses of the Cutcliffe days.

However the offense simply couldn't keep up with Missouri. We had the best offensive day in a while but Missouri has one of the best offenses in the country. What killed the Rebels in the first half was dropped passes when Missouri was loading the line to shut down the Predator. If the receivers could have sustained some drives in the first half like they did the second the Rebels might have been able to stay in it instead of getting behind an unsurmountable 28 points. This will only get to be a bigger problem against the better defenses in the SEC. One receiver is going to have to step up if this team is going to win the big games.

Of course a lot of the "comeback" has to be taken with a grain of salt. The reason the Rebels were able to come back some on Missouri in the second half was the Missouri's defense is horrendous and they lack a power running game. Missouri's offense scores a lot of points and scores them fast. When they get up big they have to back off a bit because they don't won't to necessarily run the score up and they don't want to give up the big interception that gets the other team back in the game. They then don't have the running game to grind the clock out and instead give the other team a lot of opportunities to come back. It's why they let Illinois, coached by the original Ron Zook, come back on them late just a week ago. They give the opposing team as much short distance routes as they want in the hopes that they run the clock out themselves.

The Rebels still can't do anything to stop a spread offense and have one of the statistical worst passing defenses in the country. A large part of what's killing the Rebels in the spread is the lack of speed at linebacker and lack of depth. Even the Ogerzook admits as much. Its only going to be worse over the next couple of weeks as Jonathan Cornell is out. Walkon Jamie Phillips is expected to start in his place but no official work has come out.

Maybe this would be a good time to still have a few of the twelve linebackers* who have left the team during Ogerzook's three year career. A few including will get the face the Rebels this year such as Marquis McBeath who's starting for Louisiana Tech.

*(Quentin Taylor, Wallace Bates, Dustin Fortson, Jabarre Mitchell, Dontae Reed, Rogers Loche, Garry Pack, Retario Brown, Marquis McBeath, LeRon King, Rory Johnson and Robert Russell.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Weekly Theme Music

Now the Rebels return home and we find out if they are tough enough to stop a strong offense and come up with a victory they are expected to loose.

However I don't see it happening. The Picks:
Missou -6 over the Rebs
Vandy +3 over Bama
South Florida +7 over Auburn
Florida -26 over Troy
Georgia -5 over South Carolina
Kentucky -13 over Kent State
Tennessee -11 over USM
Mississippi State -6 over Tulane
Virgina Tech +12.5 over LSU

Missou Preview

Similarly to last weeks batch of Tigers, Memphis, the Missouri Tigers have some good offensive players and run a very good spread offense. On the other hand their defense is lacking and capable of giving up a lot of points.

The Tigers return a thousand yard rusher in Tony Temple but the offense's two real stars are quarterback Chase Daniel and tightend Chase Coffman. The Rebels traditionally have trouble with mobile quarterbacks and Daniel ran all over the Rebels last year. The Tigers have a much better control and players in their spread offense so expect them to score some points.

Their defense is headlined by safety Cornelius "Pig" Brown who had a huge 100 yard touchdown return off a fumble as part of collecting three turnovers against Illinois.


The big weakness for the Tigers is pass defense. They gave up 316 yards passing overall to Illinois. Much of it came from the back up quarterback. However they only gave up 119 rushing. If Seth Adams has a good day early and the Rebels can keep up with the Tigers they can win. Its a tall order, but Seth will be the key to this game. He won't necessarily have to keep up with Chase Daniel but he has to keep the Rebels in the game. If he does and the defense makes a few stops the Rebels will stay in it till the end. If he doesn't then the Tigers will get up big early and the Rebels don't have the offense to come back with. Especially once they get one dimensional in catch up mode. If that happens, its as Yogi Berra says, "deja vu all over again."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Memphis Game Recap

The Rebels opened the 2007 season last weekend and managed to hold on to a hard fought victory. Without further ado, and with all appologies to Chuck Rounsaville the latest Good Bad and Ugly. And remember all complaints go to our Crazy Canadian friend.


Seth Adams had a very solid first outing as the new quarterback of the Rebels. I'll be one the first to admit he's a lot better than I was originally giving credit for. What Seth does well is understand what he can and can't do. He did a good job of managing the game and did not try to do too much and loose the game. Like his counter part Martin Hankins did. One of the best assets a quarterback can have is not loose the game with stupid turn overs and killing drives by wasting downs trying to get a huge play when it isn't there.

Adams did that. He put up solid number going 19 of 30 for 63% with 197 yards 1TD and most importantly no interceptions. Hankins on the other hand had 4 interceptions. A couple of his interceptions were in the red zone. In a game where one made field goal is the difference in a win a red zone interception can literally be the game. Once less turnover by Memphis and they probably win. So having no turnovers turned out to be a huge stat for Seth. He also made some impressive throws in the first half and the ability to move the chain with a precision short yardage attack. What remains to be seen is what he will do with a real SEC defense. Which he won't get to see until Florida.

Ashley Palmer also had a great day for the Rebels in his debut. He finished with 12 tackles and an interception. Was flying all over the field making a lot of plays. Clearly the linebacker that was the most prepared for Memphis's attack and made the most plays. Looks like he'll be a great player. Marcus Tillman and Greg Hardy, especially, had great days for the Rebel defense. Hardy caught the Rebels lone offensive touchdown and had a sack and 11 tackles.

The Special teams also came up with a big score on one of the worst looking punt attempts I've ever seen. Seriously Memphis its usually good to keep a few people in to block.

The game ball however has to go to Dustin Mouzon. As previously mention the difference in this game was turnovers. And the Rebels got then when they had to have them. Mouzon especially was huge as he got two interceptions and a fumble recovery on the way to SEC defensive player of the week honors. The most critical of his interceptions was the one he caught as Memphis was going into score and cut the lead in half right before halftime. Instead Mouzon comes up big as he catches and races 99 yards for a touchdown. If he gets caught or doesn't make that interception we might be looking at a different outcome in this game. Huge game for Mouzon that he

The Running game was no where to be found. The Predator managed to chalk up 79 rushing yards mostly in the first half. When the team had the big lead and needed to burn up the clock by running the ball the running game disappeared. Memphis is one of the worst defenses the Rebels will face this year. The running game was supposed to be one of the Rebels strenghts this year with the Predator and 4 out of 5 offensive linemen returning. If the Rebels can't get a better showing out of the running game than that than the offense is in even worse shape this year and looking at another ugly season.

The Defense also pulled a disappearing act in the second half. The linebacker core minus Ashley Palmer had several times where the went for big hits and came up with misses. After holding Memphis scoreless in the first half they made the adjustments to come out in the second half and drive at will against the Rebels. The Rebels could not come up with the big stop they needed and thankfully Memphis ran out of time at the end.

Failing to counter the other team's halftime adjustments continues to be a problem for the Rebels.


Luck. Quite frankly luck hasn't worked with the Rebels lately. Last year it was Vandy. So far this year Memphis. It seems like the Rebels keep having to use up all their lucky breaks just to beat bad teams instead of using it like Appalachian State to pull off a signature upset.

Interesting new weekly link. The Coaches Hot Seat Watch.

Ogerzook hot seat watch: Down to 17. (From 5 last week.)