Sunday, November 11, 2007

Georgia's Getting Gimmicky, and Good (Auburn's Not)

Georgia coach Mark Richt has proven master of the motivational ploy, or, as some say, gimmick. In back-to-back games now UGA has whipped the fans in a frenzy: last week against Florida there was the "extended celebration" after their 1st touchdown. It got the crowd fired up and the Gators never recovered. Then, Saturday, was the "blackout" the Bulldogs wore black jerseys and their fans wore all-black. It worked, as Georgia hung 45 points on Auburn's defense. From the looks of their defense, though, I don't think they need gimmicks. They are a talented team with a crazy-good freshman running back in Knowshon Moreno and trigger-happy young quarterback in Matthew Stafford. But coach Mark Richt seems to think gimmicks can bring the needed-energy level his team needs to compete. See, the thing about gimmicks, they can backfire. And they will on UGA, soon.
Auburn on the other hand, could use a few new gimmicks, particularly at quarterback. Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville did all he could after the game to deflect the punishing limelight off his tarnished quarterback Brandon Cox (4 interceptions), even going so far as to blame his defense for the loss.
"We just couldn't get over the hump tonight," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We got whupped pretty good on defense. We hadn't given up that many points in I don't know how long. I thought we looked confused out there at times," Tuberville said. "When you give up 45 points, you've been taken to the woodshed."
No, Cox was taken to the woodshed.
"Just one of those nights," said Cox, who also threw four interceptions against Georgia last year. "Their defense really got too much pressure on us."
The ploy won't work. Auburn fans saw their quarterback melt on national TV for the 4th time this season, and it's getting old.
Also getting old is Georgia's shy role of "We're just trynta make it in the SEC East." Nah, those boys are the cream of the East. Even though Richt can't beat Tennessee he can beat everyone else, and that says something.
For the game, Georgia gained 417 yards to Auburn's 216, and scored 40 points in its third straight game. The Bulldogs hung 42 on Florida, 44 on Troy, and 45 on a decent Auburn defensive unit.

"We're pretty good on running the football and have two special guys back there to do it," Stafford said, speaking of Brown and Moreno. "When teams are playing one-on-one coverage we're doing a pretty good job of making plays."
But one has to wonder what will Richt cook up next week as the Kentucky Wildcats come to town? Ballerina dresses?

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