Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Tech & UGA Bowl Losses: Same Story

With the game on the line, both Utah and Michigan State discarded what wasn't working offensively. GT and UGA TRIED to rely on the running game to run out the clock. Late in the fourth quarter when Utah was scoring twice to tie the game, Tech's two "three & out" offensive possessions were compromised of three quarterback keepers, one fullback dive, and two option plays.

Georgia was unable to run the ball all day, especially when Michigan State was expecting it. Just like the Tech game, when UGA needed to run out the clock, the opposing defense stuffed the run. Perhaps even a few short passes would've loosened up the defense. Aaron Murray was lauded as a future Heisman candidate by College Game Day and announcer Jon Gruden. Murray played a great first half, but his two second-half interceptions turned the game the Spartans way.

It's crazy how an all-American kicker like Walsh could go from being so automatic as a sophomore and junior to being so unreliable this year. Bradley's column after the Tech loss was spot on...so many coaches say special teams are one third of the game. Time and again, it's special teams play that loses the game for Tech.

Kickers these days go to several kicking camps a summer, and have their own personal coaches, like golfers. Former UGA all-American Rex Robinson coaches young kickers. As a former kicker, I know from personal experience that a 42 yard field goal should be little more than an extra point for a major college kicker. Tech's kicker missed two in the Sun Bowl, and Walsh missed one with the game on the line.

Tech's last punt, from deep in their own territory, went for 35 yards. It was returned 31 yards. With the game on the line, special teams has got to perform. If Wisconsin can have a good kicker, there's no reason why most major colleges in the South can't have above average kickers.

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