Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie has been listed on an Athens-Clarke County police report for making "terroristic threats and acts" toward a woman at a Chili's on Monday night in Athens, Ga. The woman, Maya Labat, said McKenzie “said he was going to call some friends and they were going to come out and he was going to kill her,” according to the incident report obtained by The Red & Black.
This is highly interesting stuff, in that it's just so weird sounding. There have been no arrests made, but, should one actually be made, then Coach Mark Richt is in a serious bind. After campaigning so vocally to rid the conference of Jonathan Taylor-type transfers, what does he do if Georgia's best return man, the dangerous McKenzie, is in the poke for threatening a woman by word and deed?
Really we don't know anything about this, it may be a big story. Or it may be a non-story. No one knows. But I do know that it's the kind of distraction this Georgia squad simply doesn't need headed into a monumental matchup on the national stage. Until later . . .
As Dawg Sports notes, no, we know absolutely nothing definitively. All we have is an incident report to the Athens PD, and I can literally go put in an incident report for anything I want to. There are three options though: The facts as-stated are true (see above,) and a crime has been committed. The lady filed a false police, and a crime has been committed. Or, it was bunch of confusing sound and fury, not at all rising to the level of an offense.
Let's just say if I were Nick Saban, I'd be ready to see Isaiah McKenzie this weekend.
20% seems pretty low to me...
"I just think that in every sport, there's about 20 percent bad fans," Saban said. "They don't get it. They're disrespectful. They do things and say things that don't really need to be said."
If he thinks that number is only 20%, then he doesn't internet very often.
This game will be won or lost between the ears
Besides trying to eliminate outside noise, the veterans made abundantly clear in the players-only meeting that there was no more room for error. "We put ourselves behind the eight-ball a little bit," Jones said. "I think we've been in this situation before, so it's not new. We have to keep trudging on and take it one game at a time to keep that from happening again."
The Ole Miss loss was 75% mental, 25% bad luck. There's not much you can do about the latter, but the former begins by executing your assignments -- securing the catch before turning upfield, securing the ball when on returns, communicating on the offensive line, etc. This is an inexperienced team on the offense, so there is still room for growth. But, as Cyrus Jones notes, there is no more room for error.
It was suggested the Georgia has copied the Alabama football blueprint. Saban said, "I would say they look a lot like some of our teams of the past. Very physical, don't make a lot of mistakes, don't beat themselves much. And they play with a lot of toughness and they're very aggressive on both sides of the ball. That's the kind of team that we've always sort of aspired to have here. And it certainly looks like that's the kind of team they have developed there."
Very good read from Coach Saban here. He likes the team and the ceiling and the weekly development, but, buried in that is his open crush on this Georgia team and his respect for what his long-time friend, Mark Richt, has built in Athens.
"Alabama is a great football team," Richt said. "I don't know what the talk might be out there. But they're as good or better than anyone in our league, and they're as good or better as anyone in the country."
Then, Mark Richt turns around and poo-poos the notion that somehow the SEC is down or that Alabama is a paper tiger. You can almost hear the scorn in his voice. Richt seems upkey, relaxed, and just a very different coach than he was even five years ago.
Echoing his coach, Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland talks with SEC Network's Maria Taylor about being a leader for the Crimson Tide and how Alabama has to win this one both physically and mentally.
Xs and Os
SEC Network's Clint Stoerner, Greg McElroy and Laura Rutledge preview Georgia vs. Alabama.
No joke: This one will be won or lost at the point of attack. UGA runs the ball over 60% of the time, Alabama wants to get closer 55%. With Bo Scarbrough healthy and available again, perhaps we will get an ugly, physical throwback game in Athens. FWIW, I believe we will: Alabama DBs will squat on Greyson Lambert's "tiny, little baby throws," leaving UGA to make hay by trying to get the edges in the running game. The reason is obvious: There is no one in America who is going to line up and beat this front seven up the middle.
We're definitely speeding up," Georgia running back Nick Chubb said. "I know in practice we're very fast. We have four plays done in a couple of seconds, I don't know how long. ... We're moving." Georgia (4-0) doesn't use a huddle most of the time, but usually it's more about streamlining the operation that moving fast. "But we like no huddling," coach Mark Richt said. "We do have different paces. Sometimes we go faster than other times. But we like it because it ― if you get the play call and you get to the line of scrimmage and see what's going on, it gives you time to make a change if you need to."
Let's get this straight: Georgia is a no huddle team -- Richt prefers it that way because it "streamlines the offense." That does not in any way mean this will be a hurry-up affair. Alabama runs 74.5 plays per game. UGA averages 59.5 a game. I would think we'll see both teams somewhere in the 60s this weekend, with a few but not significant amount, of tempo packages. The reason? The Dawgs are playing a very young, talented, but very thin defense. Those guys have to be protected, and 45-second, three-and-outs do not do that.
Finally, ask anyone who has played organized football past the pee wee level, and you will find practices are fast by design; they are calculated to the minute and often to second. UGA's tempo in practice has absolutely no bearing on its game play.
That's it for today. Go forth and do evil.