Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. In today’s edition, we talk about how Brian VanGorder’s return to Athens could be (symbolically) good for both parties. You didn’t have to read me, but you did, yes you did, yes you did, and I thank you.
Something w/ VanGorder
I guess VanGorder wasn’t back in town just to take in a basketball game. It turns out the former Mark Richt assistant has come to Athens as a consultant to Kirby Smart and his staff in the run-up to the Georgia Tech game. VanGorder has coached against the triple-option at Notre Dame a few times over the last couple years and was once the head coach of Georgia Southern, a program known for its triple-option attack.
“He didn’t come here until late last week and began work on Georgia Tech. He’s a part of that game plan,” Smart said of VanGorder, according to Seth Emerson of Dawg Nation. “He’s been very helpful. He’s very knowledgable. I’ve got a lot of respect for Brian. Always have, when he coached here (at UGA). Mel knew him when he was in the NFL, so they had a good relationship. And then he coached at Notre Dame, which plays the academies and also played Georgia Tech.’’
I’m hoping this is more Smart reaching out a helping hand to a fellow coach who could use some kind of a gig after getting axed by Notre Dame earlier in the year. And I’m sure he can be of help, in some respects, but I hope Smart doesn’t really need VanGorder to prepare for Tech. After all, this is a guy whose Notre Dame defense gave up more than 300 rushing yards to Navy the last two times he faced it. What I really want this to be is a healing reconnection.
From 2001 to 2004, both Georgia’s defense and VanGorder were at their absolute peaks. With the likes of David Pollack, Thomas Davis, Sean Jones and Tim Jennings, VanGorder coached one of the best defensive units of early aughts. Georgia only allowed 16 points per game while he was running the defense. The fans loved the way his defenses played, and they loved him.
VanGorder left Georgia in 2004, and its been 12 years in the wilderness for him and the Georgia defense. VanGorder made a lateral move to become linebacker coach with the Jaguars, became Georgia Southern’s coach for one unsuccessful season in 2006 and has jumped from job to job every couple of years since. Georgia’s defense has struggled likewise in that frame. Although there have been years of bright spots, neither Willie Martinez, Todd Grantham nor Jeremy Pruitt led defenses that matched the dominance of VanGorder’s units.
Maybe there’s some kind karmic energy out there somewhere that’s been bobbing around out whack since VanGorder left 12 years ago. And maybe a symbolic appearance back in Athens is enough to center that energy. At least I hope so, for the sake of VanGorder and Georgia’s defense.
Don’t get hyped; stay hyped
I’m guessing there will be more to come before the week is over, but here are two UGA-Tech hype videos to get you amped for this weekend:
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) November 22, 2016
— UGA Spike Squad (@UGASPIKESQUAD) November 22, 2016
I was perusing #WrechTech on Twitter recently and noticed a few fun pieces of UGA-Tech art. Check ’em out:
— SicEmDawgs.com (@SicEmDawgscom) November 23, 2016
— UGA Supporters (@Support_UGA) November 22, 2016
— UGA Supporters (@Support_UGA) November 20, 2016
“GET THAT T-SQUARE OUTTA HERE, NERD!” said the man-sized dog as he pummeled the Techie with his mighty fist.
Yet another Mannequin Challenge
The Mannequin Challenge is dangerously close to jumping the shark, but Georgia’s track team squeezed this excellent rendition right before it makes that fateful leap. Well done.
— Georgia Track&Field (@UGATrack) November 20, 2016
- Kickers share center spotlight in 2016 Georgia-Georgia Tech clash (Steve Hummer, Dawg Nation)
- Injury update on Georgia’s Natrez Patrick (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Georgia practice report: Another former Richt assistant attends (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Mark Bradley’s prediction: Georgia Tech 24, Georgia 20 (Mark Bradley, AJC)
- Facing a triple-option new to Deandre Baker (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
- J.J. Green to play back between the hedges for Georgia Tech against ex-teammates and friends (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Bulldogs haven’t forgotten Georgia Tech’s last trip to Athens (Jake Rowe, Dawgs 247)
This good dog is really pumped about some snow.