Final thoughts from Columbia: just win, baby.

There’s a natural tendency on the part of us fans to overanalyze the ugly part of an ugly win – and yesterday’s was pretty much the textbook definition of ugly – that I think would be best to avoid here.  The reality is that what we saw in Columbia is something that we’ve seen before and will no doubt see again under Richt.  You can’t expect a team of 18-22 year olds to play at a high level of performance week in and week out.  What counts is that they got the win.  Any way you look at it right now, all of Georgia’s goals for this season are still intact.  That’s a lot more than you can say for the ‘Cocks today.

With that out of the way, here are a few observations I took from the game.

  • It really is hard to overemphasize the level of offensive futility that’s characterized this game this decade.  It’s the fifth straight year the winner has failed to score twenty points.  Given that, I was a little surprised at how Danielson brushed off Richt’s decision to go for two when the score was 12-7.  Had Richt elected to kick the extra point, the OBC is playing for field goals instead of a TD in the fourth quarter.  In the end, it was the biggest call of the day.
  • Speaking of Danielson, while he was right to draw attention to the problem Georgia had all game finding someone to match up with Jared Cook, he missed the stat line of the day, that of Moe Frickin’ Brown:  7 catches, 130 yards, 18.6 ypc, 1 TD.  Those were all career numbers for Brown.
  • Too bad Garcia didn’t play more.  Every time he dropped back to pass, you couldn’t wait to see what might happen.
  • If you want to know how a pass defense like Georgia’s looked in the second half could hold a D-1 football team to seven points on the day, just look at the stat of the day – South Carolina had a grand total of eighteen yards rushing.
  • Georgia dominated time of possession (35:13 to 24:47) and ran more plays than Carolina did.  Yet, as Danielson noted, it was the Dawg defensive line that looked gassed in the late fourth quarter.  If you want to be troubled by something, that’s probably as good a place to start as any.
  • Brannan Southerland can’t get back fast enough.
  • More A. J. Green, please.
  • It’s probably heretical for me to say this, but I was more impressed with Moreno’s TD run than I was with the Hurdle.
  • Talent matters.  The defense was running on fumes for much of the fourth quarter, Spurrier threw everything he had at ‘em from a playcalling standpoint, Bobo and Stafford were clearly frustrated with Carolina’s defense (which, don’t forget, was damned good) but in the end there was still enough to keep the ‘Cocks out of the end zone when it counted.  You can fix schemes.  You can work on conditioning.  Talent you either have or you don’t.
  • Last but not least, let’s not forget about the contributions of Brian Mimbs and Blair Walsh.   Mimbs’ last two punts pretty much saved the game; Walsh looked like the epitome of a cool customer drilling his first two collegiate field goals on an enemy field.  Well done, gents.
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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Final thoughts from Columbia: just win, baby.

  1. Christian

    Well said.

    My only real concern is again the kickoff coverage is deplorable. Their only TD was set up on a return to the 40 where we had the guy pinned in at the 25. This will cost a W before the season is out.

    Brian Mimbs won the game for us – IMHO.

    If we choose to play the Tampa 2 next week out at ASU, then it will be a long day. Chris Smelley – who played good but is not in the elite category – was able to find a rhythm and make throws – Rudy Carpenter – who is big time – will be able to also.

    A W is a W….but we need to step it up a notch for ASU, Bama, and UT.

  2. NebraskaDawg

    Richt teams generally have turned on the afterburners in the second half of the season. If we can hang on, I believe this team will get a lot better. Remember, we have a ton of freshman & sophomores on this team. Every time out there this year is going to have some ugly wins, most if not all will lose a couple of games, a several NC contenders will have some ugly losses. So cheer up fellow Dawgs, the season is still young!

  3. NebraskaDawg

    To edit my above post: Replace time with team. Also we have had 3 big injuries including 2 season enders. Not many will be very smooth after such losses.

  4. Heyberto

    Like a friend of mine likes to say… we seem to play to the level of our opponent (or perhaps it should be said as ‘perceived level’ of our opponent). As long as we get better each week and work on those weaknesses.. I hope we can make it through the gauntlet… but right now it doesn’t look too promising.

  5. dean

    My biggest observation, while sweating my a$$ off at the game, was the play of our O-line and D-line versus their counterparts. Far to often we lost the battle at the line of scrimmage. The good news is, like a fine wine, that should get better with age. Watching the replay there were a few missed assingnments by the young O-linemen. Hopefully we’ll get that worked out by ‘Bama ’cause the have a much better offense than the chickens.

  6. My biggest worry is how, knowing they couldn’t run worth a lick and knowing they were going to be throwing it all over the place late, we were still so lousy in pass coverage. Every single play seemed to be either a) pass complete, defender playing about 5 yards off, or b) pass incomplete, flags all over the place, give ‘em 10 yards. Danielson talked a lot about how our secondary didn’t match up particularly well with the particular group of receivers they were putting on the field, but surely we didn’t match up that poorly, did we? I don’t think we’ll look quite as bad next week, assuming we can apply some pressure and rough up ASU’s O-line as well as we should be able to, but still, that fourth quarter shouldn’t have been nearly as nerve-wracking as it was.

  7. Joe

    Reshad Jones is the real deal. He was the only defender still playing in the 4th Q. He crushed a couple of Scu WR’s and played a solid center-field most of the day. He and Rennie are our 2 best defenders right now. Just have to get an edge pass rusher.

  8. peacedog

    I’m at work right now (sigh), and having a frequently interrupted conversation with a friend. I think UGA had 75 ot 76 plays from scrimmage last year (excluding punts/kicks). This year was something like 60. I’m wondering if the clock rules affected this game significantly. It’s not really possible to gauge the strategic impact in blowouts. Just a thought.

  9. Stephen

    Doug – why do you think we’ll look any better w/ the pass rush next week? We haven’t protected well in all 3 games. What makes you think Willie “I can’t adjust my crappy schemes mid-game” Martinez is gonna miraculously fix this problem in the next 6 days?

  10. BCDawg97

    I’m not an Xs and Os guy so I may be a bit off. My interpretation of our “defense” is that we rely on the 4 man rush to generate pressure. Our LB and DB play the soft zone. I’m guessing that Martinez is willing to give up a receiver settling down in the soft spots of the zone and he’s hoping that pressure on the QB causes an errant throw as to where the receiver basically sitting open with 5 yds of cushion from any defender will have a hard time making the catch or at least we are keeping everything in front of us.

    The problem of course is we aren’t getting the pressure with the front 4 and are getting eaten alive with the dink and dunk passes against our soft zone. Sure the run D looks stout – I don’t think anyone is worried about trying to run the ball on us. Why would they need to when they’ve seen GSU, then CMU and now SC essentially dink and dunk their way down field at will.

    If we aren’t going to get a better rush or blitz more, Willie’s gotta adjust and get out of that soft zone. Otherwise, we are just gonna get picked apart all season.

  11. Wolfman

    Our linebackers have been the core of the defense for the past few years. No different here. They are easily the leaders, although Reshad Jones is a bit. Frankly, I know Asher Allen’s expertise is coverage, but his tackling looked terrible. Completely without fundamentals. I have a feeling that could hurt us on a big play one day.

    It just shows how good Moreno really is: King and Samuel looked as like as our other highly touted RBs of the past 15 years — TBrown, Lumpkin, Sanks (ugh), Milton, etc. — but Moreno is the first down guy. Good to see Israel Troupe get a catch, too.

    Best punt I’ve ever seen. Never stood up and yelled for a punt in my house like that before. Now if we can get Butler to bang it inside the 5 like Kilgo used to do…

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