The Reverb: Dawg Days?
(Photo by Kevin Schoonover)
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – When Georgia’s loss to Florida popped up on my feed last week, I shrugged.
The Gators victory over Clemson was resonating a good bit more than it does now, so it looked like Florida was on uptick. Despite being tied at halftime with Georgia, Florida pulled away in the second half regardless of the best efforts of UGA goalie Reed McCall (18 saves).
After demolishing Auburn and defeating that same Clemson squad this weekend, the Bulldogs have my attention.
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Caveat emptor, however. The Dawgs can be a mercurial bunch.
Last spring, Georgia lost to Florida by a goal before knocking off both Florida State and Colorado on the road. UGA sat at 5-2 and were ranked No. 13 in the first Weekly Coaches Poll presented by New Balance.
The Bulldogs hung around in the poll for the next six weeks, but Georgia lost six of its last seven games, including a 13-10 setback to Tennessee and a SELC tourney rematch loss with the Seminoles.
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Granted, three of those losses were to three of the four eventual national semifinalists – Clemson, Georgia Tech and South Carolina – and injuries come into the equation late in the season.
Still, it was mildly surprising to see.
But here we are a gain, with Georgia showing some serious early-season juice.
Along with McCall between the pipes, rookie attackman Rory Cavanaugh – checking in at 6-foot-2 – is looking like an all-SELC talent after two weekends.
Realistically, the Dawgs could legitimately be 9-1 heading into the heart of the season when they host both Georgia Tech and South Carolina in a six-day span.
Or maybe they won’t be.
February dreams don’t always play out in May. But I like the way Georgia is playing right now.
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MY TOP FIVES
South Carolina won its opener, but it’s not going to get them on the grid yet. Georgia Tech gets squeezed out for now as it waits on their first ranked contest, while the Gators get the bump, too. Rhode Island lost, but enters the D-II mix while FAU and Wake prepare for a showdown.
1. Concordia (1-0) – BYU is not in the business of giving up 18 goals. Impressive.
2. Florida State (1-0) – The Seminoles planted their flag with the win over BC.
3. Boston College (1-1) – Good bounce-back victory against Florida.
4. UC Santa Barbara (2-0) – UCLA is improved this year, and Cal rebounded.
5. Virginia Tech (4-0) – Lot of options here, but we’ll give the Hokies the nod.
1. St. Thomas (1-0) – Tommies are idle for two weeks, so there could be some slippage.
2. UC San Diego (2-0) – Mission accomplished in Vegas. Tritons should stack victories for a month.
3. Rhode Island (0-1) – URI lost to Northeastern by nine last year, so this is an improvement.
4. Wake Forest (3-0) – A decisive win over App State sets up date with FAU.
5. Florida Atlantic (2-0) – Owls topple D-I USF. Next up: Wake.
SNEAK PEEK AT THIS WEEK
Chaptown coming to the Upper Midwest? Yessir. The Panthers are leaving their SoCal lair to battle both Minnesota and Northeastern. Good first test for new head coach Joel Kallas.
It’s jamboree season as both Division I and Division II will have quality events. The PAC-12 shootout returns to UCLA with 11 games in two days in Westwood. Eleven of the 12 traditional PAC-12 schools are in action, with Cal Poly filling in for Colorado.
The second annual Battle by the Bay returns to Foley, Ala., featuring numerous quality D-II squads. Rhode Island versus Kennesaw is the highlight of the slate.
SLIDES & RIDES
- For anyone ready to pile dirt on BYU after the Concordia rout, I’d pump the breaks a little bit. Three games in four days takes a toll on anyone and those UCLA and USC still resonate. Concordia deserves all the credit, but I’d encourage every team to go through this Cougars’ road grind and see what happens.
- Texas A&M knocked off defending LSA champion TCU to spice up the race for Round Rock. The Aggies bounce back from the LSU setback, while the Frogs take the first loss of the season. Just for a little historical context, TCU lost to A&M early last year by a goal and ended up beating them for the automatic qualifier in the LSA title game. So there’s that.
- No. 15 UC San Diego downed No. 6 College of Idaho in Vegas, 9-8. The contest played out the way everyone hoped with great action. Northwest Nazarene and COI went 1-1 on the weekend while Claremont got the collar…Weird weekend for Auburn. They manhandled Clemson, but proceeded to get drilled by Georgia…Arizona got the most of their mileage to El Paso, hanging a 27-burger on Texas Tech…UC Irvine hit the 27-mark as well in a 27-18 win over Biola. Hope you had the over!
- Oregon sent a message early with the 18-12 triumph over Dominican. The Ducks have their hands full for the rest of the season, starting next weekend at the Pac-12 shootout, but this win is a keeper…the Cal win over Santa Clara doesn’t mean much within the conference – they’re on different sides of the ledger – but it still centers the Bears a bit.
- Head coaches, get those nominations in for Warrior Player of the Week and PEARL Goalie of the Week to [email protected] ASAP…and remember, no poll this week. First regular season poll will drop on Feb. 22