Good Day, UGA: The Muppets Edition

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South Carolina's inconsistent offensive line presents UGA's front seven its best chance to improve its terrible HAVOC rating.

Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, I tell you about the Muppets, and we look at Georgia’s weak HAVOC rating.

Muppets: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

There are many Georgia gameday traditions that make your heart swell with pride for the Red and Black: the lone trumpeter in the southwest corner of Sanford Stadium, the “Spell Georgia” cheer, ringing the Chapel Bell after a victory. But today I’m gonna introduce you to a new Georgia tradition that’s brightened my gameday for years.

While in college, my roommate stumbled across a random YouTube video that we played while tailgating before every game my junior and senior years, and almost every game since. We call it, simply, Muppets.

It begins with grainy surveillance footage of Kermit the Frog standing in an elevator, humming the opening notes to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Before long, he’s joined by Fozzy Bear, who hums along with him. On the next floor, Gonzo and Pepe the Shrimp get on board, creating a quartet. The video slowly builds into a crescendo, until each Muppet is in full-voice humming a pitch-perfect acapella rendition of “Glory, Glory.”

Frankly, it makes me wanna run through a freakin’ brick wall. There are few things that get me pumped for Georgia football quite like the Muppets.

If it makes you feel the same way, make it part of your Georgia gameday from now on. Play it before you walk to Sanford if you’re tailgating, or play it a few minutes before kickoff if you’re watching at home. I wanna hear Muppets emanating from every tailgate I pass before Vanderbilt in a few weeks! Let’s make it happen, folks!

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

Georgia vs. South Carolina has officially been moved to a 2:30 p.m. Sunday kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium, which just makes me think about Queen.

Don’t worry about the strange time slot affecting the game’s broadcast. We’ll still get it live on the SEC Network. The only challenge here is for Falcons fans, who will have to start flipping between channels when the Dirty Birds kick off against the Broncos at 4:05 p.m.

But tomorrow is the rare Saturday off. Enjoy the Saturday break by watching all the college football action you normally miss during Georgia games, or going outside. (Weather permitting, of course.)

When I hear we get college football on Sunday, too

ICYMI

Cry HAVOC

And let slip the dogs of war. You’d think that famous Shakespeare line from Julius Caesar would be a good omen for Georgia’s standings in the HAVOC ratings — a statistic designed by Football Outsiders that measures how much chaos a defense is creating by adding up tackles for loss, passes defensed and forced fumbled, then dividing by total plays. But instead, Georgia is near the bottom of the nation, which would partially explain why offenses have attacked UGA so efficiently: the Dawgs just can’t disrupt.

Entering Week 6, Georgia is ranked 91st nationally in HAVOC, with a rating of 14.7 percent. (For comparison, Texas A&M has the top HAVOC rating in the SEC at 21.5 percent.) It doesn’t appear the defense as a hole is a problem, though. Georgia is tied for 22nd defensive back HAVOC at 8.3 percent, largely on the back of seven interceptions, making the UGA secondary one of the best at creating chaos in the nation.

The problem comes from the front seven HAVOC. Most top teams have a front seven HAVOC well over 10 percent. In that category, UGA ranks 118th nationally at just 6.4 percent. The front seven’s inability to keep offenses off-kilter is probably the biggest detriment to Georgia’s defense this season. UGA only has six sacks and 18 tackles for loss. As long as the front seven is contributing such paltry numbers, the defense will struggle.

At this point in the season, there usually aren’t a ton of anomalies left in the stats. So what you see in them is pretty much what you get. Georgia’s front seven hasn’t done a good job of disrupting the opposition so far this season, and there isn’t a switch we can flip to make them start. We’re just gonna have to make due with a pretty good secondary and a bad defensive front.

There is some hope for this weekend, though. South Carolina’s offensive line has struggled this year, and it’s probably the weakest line — barring Nicholls State — UGA has faced so far. On top of that, a wet afternoon is a recipe for offensive mistakes. It’ll only take a slip by the QB for UGA to get a sack, and maybe the wet ball will lead to some fumbles.

Come Monday, UGA’s front seven HAVOC should see a fairly significant boost. If it doesn’t, that means this inexperienced front seven is even further away from the finished product than we imagined.

Good Dog

From now on I’m gonna try to end each one of these posts on a high note with a section I’m calling “Good Dog.” Basically, every day I’m gonna find a good dog on the internet to show you. Which shouldn’t be a problem since greater than 99 percent of all dogs are, in fact, good dogs.

We start with this pup photobombing the pope.

Have a good weekend, folks. Stay dry, and stay safe. Until next time.

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