South Georgia Football News and Views

December 9, 2015
By

Ladies and Gentlemen –

I apologize in advance, due to circumstances out of my control
(I screwed something up)

We are a day behind with Harley’s article and The Last Picks of 2015

Please forgive my inability to multi-task……After all I am a man

Enjoy….

There was no football here in Telfair County on Friday night but there were plenty of fireworks to observe on Saturday as battles for conference supremacy were intermingled with one particular “championship” for the State of Georgia which took place up at the Prettiest Little Stadium in America. I’ll set this up in one simple statement. Georgia State University (GSU) and Georgia Southern University (GSU) don’t like each other and one of the reasons is because there is much debate between the two institutions as to who is the “real” GSU. The fan bases have festered with so much animosity, that prior to last year’s inaugural game, the rivalry was nicknamed Modern Day Hate. And while that first game was only last year, the rivalry started out with a bitter 69-31 defeat of the Cats in the Dome in front of what was, more or less a home game for the Eagles who outnumbered Kitten fans by 2 to 1. This year the results were much different as the Atlantans defeated the homestanding Eagles by a 34-7 score. The Eagles kept it close for the first half, but an injury to Matt Breida in the second quarter just as he was heating up, proved to be their undoing. The Panther’s broke things open in the 2nd half, posting 27 straight points while the Birds struggled on offense without their workhorse and leaving the defense on the field for much too long. So the “real” GSU appears to be in Atlanta for now, but regardless of the outcome this has the makings of a great rivalry.
 
I watched a ton of football on Saturday. Lots of close games made for plenty of excitement. In the SEC Championship game the Tuscaloosa Tide walked out of the Dome in Atlanta as 2015 Conference Champions. Although the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated, Coach Jim McElwain’s Reptiles were able to keep the game from getting out of hand despite meager offensive numbers. The Gator’s were able to pretty much hold serve with Tide Running Back Derrick Henry in the first two quarters, but come the second half those paltry 2 and 3 yard gains turned into 8 and 10 yard pickups as the defense just ran out of gas. And up in Indianapolis, the Spartans of Michigan State finished off the previously unbeaten Hawkeyes of Iowa to win the Big 10 Championship. This was a nip and tuck game from start to finish and the outcome was up in the air until L.J. Scott’s lunging touchdown gave the Michiganders the lead with under 30 seconds left. 

A little closer to home, the Clemson Tiger’s kept their perfect season going by coming out on top of the Tar Heels of North Carolina by a 45-37 score. This game was marred by some poor officiating which could have impacted the outcome of the game, but the victorious Cats of Clemson traveled back to South Carolina as ACC Champs. But in my opinion, the most impressive part of this contest was the orange-clad defenders who pretty much stymied Big Blue quarterback Marquise Williams who only completed 11 of 33 passes all night. 
 
On Sunday the CFB Committee announced the matchups for the National Championship playoff. While who got in wasn’t a big surprise, what did make me chuckle was the actual pairings for the first round. No, Oklahoma didn’t play that 13th game, so it did seem rather odd that they paired the Sooners and Tigers, two spread teams, and the Tide and Spartans, teams that use more traditional offense.

Things I think
 
Derrick Henry – That kid is an absolute beast. They need to make a likeness of him for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
 
North Carolina – The offsides call wasn’t the only error on the part of the officials
 
Clemson – Great win for your program. But, Oklahoma is going to be a big load.
 
Georgia – The Smart hiring is a done deal but I’m still not convinced that this was the answer. Hope I’m wrong
 
South Carolina – I’m definitely not sure about this hire. Muschamp? Somehow I think the HBC had something to do with this
 
Steve Sarkisian – You’re a drunk, embarrassed the school, and now you want to sue them? Amazing. That should be something you have prominently placed in your resume.
 
Mark Richt – Coach Richt landed on his feet, but is he the man for Miami? Distractions of Miami and shady boosters plus having to deal with some of those ex-players is going to be difficult
 
Florida – Will Grier would have helped. Hell, Richard Gere would have helped.
 
The Season – Sadly, the regular season is over. My beloved Dawgs didn’t do as well as I’d hoped but, being the eternal optimist, there’s always next year. I wish Coach Smart the best and hope he brings us continued success during his tenure.
 
Well, That’s it for now. Hope everyone’s team wins and you have a great week.
 
And remember; make sure you support your local High School Athletics.
These are your future collegians of tomorrow.
 
Until next time,
I’m Harley Hanesworth

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