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UGA’s Richt Expects Some “Vinegar” When His Dawgs Play Vandy

At the end of last year’s Georgia-Vanderbilt game, there were some on-field fireworks between Commodore head coach James Franklin and UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.  Franklin didn’t like what a gloating Bulldog player said to him after the contest.  Grantham didn’t like Franklin bringing his complaint to him.

Franklin went on to deliver his now famous “we are not gonna sit back and take stuff from anybody” speech in the postgame presser.  Grantham was later told to tone things down by Mark Richt and AD Greg McGarity.

That episode hasn’t been forgotten.  Asked yesterday by a Dawg fan if Richt might send Grantham to the pressbox for this year’s matchup with Vandy, Richt laughed and said:

 

“Yeah, he may need to go upstairs.  You know what, I think the Bulldog Nation likes a little piss and vinegar…

We all as coaches have to set the right tone and that kind of thing.  But it was an interesting exchange, I’ll say that.  I don’t think we’ll have much trouble getting jacked up to play the Vanderbilt Commodores this year, I’ll tell you that.”

 

Here’s guessing Franklin would say the same about his team getting up for Georgia this year.

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Bequette Hit On Shaw Not Dirty At All

For the past 24 hours my inbox has been peppered with emails from South Carolina fans.  They want to know why I’m not predicting — or calling for — a suspension of Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette after his concussion-inducing sack of Connor Shaw on Saturday night.  Even a few columnists have claimed that the play was dirty.

Here it is for those missed it:




So why aren’t we at MrSEC.com calling this shot cheap and dirty?  Because it wasn’t. 

It was rough and it was brutal, but it was simply a tackle.  While Bequette’s helmet did come into contact with Shaw’s, Bequette didn’t lead with the crown of his helmet.  If anything, it was the front of his helmet, not the top that collided with Shaw’s. 

As two upright bodies crash into one another, how is the front of a defender’s helmet not going to make contact with his opponent’s?  There’s a difference between the front of a helmet and the crown (top).

Also, some have said Bequette slammed Shaw to the turf, but it looks like a standard tackle to this writer.  Again, how else could Bequette have made that play?

There’s a clear difference between Bequette’s play and that of fellow Razorback Marquel Wade a week ago. 




Wade lowered his head — which was a danger to himself and his opponent — before going straight into the head of Vanderbilt’s Jonathan Krause.

Bequette didn’t lower his head and didn’t appear to be going for anything other than a quarterback sack. 

Does that mean the SEC won’t suspend Bequette?  Not definitively.  I can’t speak for Mike Slive.

But we would be surprised if the SEC took a stand on such a normal-looking football play.  The NFL has backed itself into a corner to where any player who makes any contact with any quarterback or receiver’s head — intentionally or accidentally — will receive a fine.  So even if a defender puts his helmet into a quarterback’s sternum and that helmet slides up into the passer’s facemask as they both fall down… that defender will be fined.  That’s ridiculous.

The SEC isn’t likely to set that kind of precedent.  Bequette’s hit was rough, but it sure doesn’t compare — at least not in MrSEC.com’s view — to Wade hit or the dirty shots delivered in the recent Georgia-Vanderbilt game.

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Arkansas’ Wade Suspended One Full Game By SEC

Arkansas receiver and punt team gunner Marquel Wade received a one-game suspension from the Southeastern Conference today for his actions in Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt.

During that game, Wade was penalized for a flagrant personal foul when he launched himself, helmet-first into the helmet of defenseless Vandy punt returner Jonathan Krause.  Was was also ejected from the game for his hit.

In a press release, the SEC referred to “Southeastern Conference Constitution, Article 4.42 (d) which states that a student-athlete may be suspended if it is determined that the student-athlete has committed a flagrant or unsportsmanlike act.”

This is the same rule that was cited two weeks ago when players from the Georgia-Vanderbilt game were suspended for one half of action by the league.

Knowing that this is standard operation procedure for the SEC, yesterday we called for Wade to receive a full-game ban considering the dangerous nature of the hit he put on Krause.  (Krause later returned to his feet and then to the game.)  We further explained our position on the statewide Hog Sports Radio Network this afternoon.  It wasn’t hard to guess how the league might respond to such a vicious hit.

The SEC does not want players — regardless of intent — to launch their bodies, helmet-first into the helmets of other players.  In this case, both Krause and Wade were lucky to escape injury.

The suspension should serve as a lesson to other SEC players that these types of dangerous highlight-reel hits will not be tolerated.  Wade will miss the Razorbacks’ game with South Carolina on Saturday.

“We have addressed the matter and will comply with the league’s decision,” Bobby Petrino said today.

While Wade was no doubt suspended for the hit, his actions after the hit — a bit of a hopping/celebration move and his having to be restrained and escorted to the locker room by Hog assistants — were run over and over and over on national highlight shows all weekend and again on Monday.  You can bet that Mike Slive wasn’t happy that his league was shown in such a light. 

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