Monday, October 02, 2023

9-30-2023 College Football Review: the Georgia & Tennessee Games (published 10-2-2023; article #432)


Welcome, dear reader, to the lucky 13th article, in the “Sports” topic section. To international readers, Americans call soccer what you call football. This article is my review of the college football games that the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers played last Saturday. Each team defeated different in conference rivals. To Tennessee fans, don't worry, I compliment and criticize both teams equally. The Georgia Bulldogs is the team that I follow first. My second favorite team is the Tennessee Volunteers.

First Time Out

Let's take our first time out. The technical time out, in the next paragraph, is in smaller font.

As a brief technical delay, the article of 9/24/2023 -- about my hike and podcast at Seven Islands State Park, on 9/21/2023 -- mentioned the “crawlers” or “bots” from Singapore. Thankfully, as of two days ago, the high number of daily views from Singapore have stopped! Yesterday morning, at 8:03 AM, analytics showed the following view totals, by nation, for the last 30 days (September): Singapore 16,900, United States 2,290, Israel 130, Russia 125, Germany 116, United Kingdom 114, China 57, Greenland 53, Canada 47, Ukraine 25, India 17, France 14, Netherlands 13, New Zealand 10, Ireland 8, Sweden 8, Australia 7, Belgium 7, Poland 7, and other nations 87. That's 20,035 views last month. Singapore accounted for 84.35% of those views! I disregard those Singapore views as illegitimate “crawlers” or “bots.” Thus, legitimate views last month totaled 3,135, which is about normal, on a monthly basis. Analytics hasn't shown any views from Singapore, since 9/29/2023. I am so happy! I hope that my 9/24/2023 warning, to Singapore, stomped their “crawlers.”

Article Continues

Please excuse the previous technical delay. Let's return to the review of the two football games, which were played on 9/30/2023!

Review: Georgia's Win at Auburn

Last Saturday, at 3:30 PM our time, the Georgia Bulldogs faced off against the Auburn Tigers, in Auburn, Alabama. The Bulldogs were in enemy territory. The living room and bedroom televisions were on the game. I watched it alone, while Mrs. Appalachian Irishman visited her father and sister, who live nearby. Thankfully, only the Good Lord could hear my fussin'! I'm sorry, Lord!

Second Time Out

Pausing, for an informational timeout, I'll mention the yard flag, in the photograph that follows. A couple, a bit older than my wife and me, live across from us. They are good neighbors. Stan, the husband, has an orange and white Tennessee Volunteer yard flag, in their front yard, near their sidewalk. It was there last football season. I see it, when I look out my home office windows. Tennessee is his favorite college football team, as it is for most folks around here, including Mrs. Appalachian Irishman. Yes, we live in a divided house, during college football season!

What could I do? What did I do? I purchased online, at the Georgia Bulldog's Store, a red, white, and black Georgia Bulldogs yard flag, and I bought a yard flag pole, at the nearby Home Depot. My Georgia Bulldogs yard flag has been waving proudly, in the front yard, near our sidewalk, since last Tuesday!

Photograph by M. Fearghail, 10/1/2023, 2:00 PM.

The windows, to my home office, are behind the rocker swing, on the front porch. I can now see my Georgia Bulldogs yard flag (up close) and my neighbor's Tennessee Volunteers yard flag (in the distance). It's “fair and balanced” now!

Article Continues

Unranked Auburn (now 0-2 SEC, 3-2 overall) had lost, on the previous Saturday (9/23/2023), at unranked Texas A&M, 10 - 27. This game, against Georgia, was Auburn's SEC home opener. I had expected Auburn to challenge Georgia, since the Bulldogs have not been playing with the desired consistency, but I anticipated a Georgia victory.

As Georgia head coach, Kirby Smart, has said, any road win, in the SEC, is a good win. I agree. Georgia won, 27 - 20, but it could have been a better win.

Georgia's mistakes gave Auburn 17 points. The game was tied, 10 - 10, at halftime. Auburn doubled Georgia's rushing yards (Georgia 107, Auburn 219). Georgia more than tripled Auburn's passed yards (Georgia 313, Auburn 88). Auburn rotated two quarterbacks, who could both rush. For example, Thorne rushed 61 yards on one play! That series led to an Auburn field goal. Georgia's quarterback, Beck, threw an interception that led to an Auburn touchdown. A Georgia fumble gave Auburn another touchdown. That's how Georgia's mistakes gave Auburn 17 points.

Beck was 69.6% in pass completion, which was good. It was his first start in an SEC away game. Georgia's tight end, Bowers, had a great game! Georgia's defense needs to learn how to stop the run, especially running quarterbacks.

After the win, Georgia remained #1, in both the AP and Coaches polls. Other top five football teams had better wins, on Saturday. #2 Michigan dominated unranked Nebraska (Big Ten conference rival), winning 45 - 7. #3 Texas took down #24 Kansas (Big 12 conference rival), 40 - 14, in a convincing win. After the game, I had speculated that the top three could be #1 Michigan, #2 Texas, and #3 Georgia. If Georgia had moved down in the polls, then the team might have been motivated to play more consistently.

Next up, on 10/7/2023, Georgia takes on Kentucky, at home. Kentucky, unbeaten, is ranked #20, in both the AP and Coaches polls, after having defeated Florida, at home, last Saturday.

Go Dawgs! At least you won. Play consistently!

Review: Tennessee's Win over South Carolina

The local television news media had been running segments, about how to make fried chicken. Volunteer fans were being encouraged to eat fried chicken, to help Tennessee (3-1, #21 AP, #19 Coaches) defeat the invading (unranked, 2-2) South Carolina Gamecocks (or Game Chickens, as I call them.) Mrs. Appalachian Irishman served fried chicken, for our 6 PM super. That was before the game, which started at 7:30 PM our time. It was good fried chicken. I never did hear the Game Chicken's rooster crow.

Last season, on Saturday, 11/19/2022, the Tennessee Volunteers (9-1, #5 in both AP and Coaches polls) lost to South Carolina (unranked, 6-4), in Columbia, South Carolina. Tennessee's only loss had been to #1 Georgia. South Carolina's four losses were to SEC teams (Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, and Florida). South Carolina had a “buzz saw” offense that sliced through Tennessee's almost non-existent defense. Tennessee's offense could not keep up. Tennessee scored 38 points, but South Carolina scored 63, a 25 point victory.

This season, it was time for Tennessee to eat some Game Chicken! They did. It was a 21 point victory, 41 - 20! Georgia, at home, had defeated South Carolina, 24 - 14, in a come from behind win, on Saturday, 9/16/2023. Tennessee beat South Carolina much more convincingly than Georgia had done.

Our adult niece (the daughter of Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's younger sister) and some friends, from Nashville, attended the game. Our niece shared her photograph of the stadium, below, with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, who shared it with me.

Photograph by our niece, from the southwest corner, on 9/30/2023.

Tennessee led 24 - 10 at halftime. The Volunteers out rushed and out passed the Gamecocks. Tennessee's quarterback, Milton III, threw two interceptions. One led to a South Carolina touchdown. Milton III, however, was 65.6% in pass completions. South Carolina's quarterback, Rattler -- whose rushes had given Georgia fits -- was sacked six times. Rattler threw one interception that led to a Tennessee touchdown. The Volunteer defense restricted Rattler's rushing much better than the Bulldog's defense had done.

Tennessee's only loss was to Florida, at the swamp, on Saturday, 9/16/2023: Gators 29, Volunteers 16. As I've already mentioned, on 9/30/2023, Kentucky (unranked and 4-0) beat the visiting Florida Gators (ranked #22), 33 - 14. If the Vols had beaten the Gators, at the swamp, this year, where would they be now, in the polls? Tennessee's loss, this year, to Florida will stick out, like a sore thumb, just as their loss to South Carolina did last year.

After an open date, this coming Saturday, Tennessee takes on Texas A&M, at home, on 10/14/2023. The date will celebrate the birthday of the youngest daughter, of my youngest brother and his wife. I hope that Tennessee celebrates a victory over A&M also.

Go Vols! You beat South Carolina far more convincingly than Georgia did!


Mark those calendars! On Saturday 11/18/2023, week twelve of this college football season, the Georgia Bulldogs invade Neyland Stadium, to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. I want to see the Volunteers win, unless they're playing Georgia. Go Dawgs! Beat Tennessee!

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are a divided house, during college football season. She is welcome to buy a Tennessee yard flag and another yard flag pole. I'll plant that pole near, but behind, my Georgia Bulldogs yard flag!

Well, that's this Appalachian Irishman's world of sports update, for now. Y'all keep turnin' right and goin' straight out there, ya hear?

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