Thoughts from the 35

Easily one of the strangest games I’ve witnessed in Sanford Stadium – Georgia dominated the stats from the start, and yet Tennessee narrowed the lead twice in the game to six points (once as late as the early third quarter).  It should have been at least a three touchdown rout, maybe a lot more, but I loved the way the game played out in the end.

A few observations:

  • Southerland looked a little rusty, which shouldn’t have come as any big surprise.  Chapas, on the other hand, did surprise with a career day.
  • MoMass had an incredible game.  Some of it was by design – UT’s defense was very clearly set up to stop Moreno first and A. J.  Green second.  It may not have been clear on TV, but Massaquoi was allowed to roam freely in the Vol secondary;  Stafford missed at least two or three other opportunities to hit him when he was wide open.  But the kid played tough and had one incredible catch that he had to stretch out to make.  He also contributed his usual stout job blocking downfield and on screens.   The best moment of the day was seeing him catch the TD pass after taking the cheap shot to the head earlier in the same drive.
  • I have no idea why Georgia wasn’t awarded a first down on that defensive holding call inside the UT five.
  • Blair Walsh continues to be one cool customer kicking field goals.
  • One freaking yard rushing?  Willie Martinez gets some credit for drawing up a good game plan.  This week, he didn’t have his secondary sitting back in a soft zone and it paid off, except on a couple of occasions when his defense didn’t generate a pass rush and gave Stephens too much time to set and throw.
  • It was good to see Rod Battle back and contributing.
  • It sure seemed like the UT defense goes out of its way looking for head shots.
  • If I was the next player asked to start at left tackle, I might be a bit hesitant.  And you have to wonder if Kiante Tripp is about to change positions again.
  • You can criticize Bobo for going to the well once too often with some of his calls (and several people sitting around me at the game certainly did), like the screen pass and the fade pass in the end zone that Stafford got burned on spectacularly.  But that last drive was a thing of beauty, and most of it was nothing more than challenging the UT defense to stop the simple toss sweep.  And it couldn’t.
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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Thoughts from the 35

  1. JasonC

    To be fair, on slowmo TV the hit on MoMass looked like a shoulder to the sternum more than helmet-to-helmet, however, Berry ear-holed Moreno for sure.

  2. RaleighDawg

    I am still concerned about the corner position not manned by Asher Allen. Evans let Taylor go behind him on the TD and had no clue where he was, also I believe it was earlier in the drive. Either he or Miller let a man go all alone, and if Stephens would have looked down field his man was wide open. Also we had 9 penalties in the second half alone. The 2 in the first half, led me to believe we were turning the corner, but I should have realized we were just stock piling them.

  3. Jim

    WM did a much better job but Bobo gets too conservative. However, there were execution issues which would have made Bobo look better. The fades are a joke. They once worked but we looked like idiots today. Try throwing the ball to the back of the end zone corner. This was a weak team we played although I am grateful for the win , we need to concentrate on each future game. The season will come down to the Fla game. It would be great to win the East and somehow win the SEC. Hope springs eternal.

  4. montgomeryaldawg

    -agree Jim, the fades were a joke, not only in their failed execution but after we showed earlier and especially later, that we could run, why not the toss sweep ONCE inside the 10?
    -secondly, Chapas showed A LOT of athleticism. Very Impressive
    -Senator…how to find an answer about that holding call?

  5. Robert

    We should have scored 35 or 40, but I’m not complaining. Sort of…

    The offense moved the ball easily against a D that was one of, if not the best I believe, statistically in the SEC.

    If UT’s offense wasn’t so bad, that game could have been ugly, again.

    The penalties weren’t outrageous, 3 were on purpose. More seemed to be on the offense than the defense.

    There were a few PI calls that UT was flagged for that were clearly wrong. Thank you officials. I’m definately not complaining about that. At all.

    I know that I saw Knowshon take a punch or two to the gut after one play. I’m glad the ref saw it too.

    Dawg fans, was this the last we’ll see of Phil Fulmer?

    Bring on Vandy. The old Vandy.

    GATA.

  6. kckd

    Jason C

    That’s what kills me. They are never consistent with that call. One guy levels someone with helmet to helmet contact and nothing. Then they call it on a similar hit later.

    I agree, they missed the one on Morley, but there are several times a game where they see it clearly and do nothing.

  7. NebraskaDawg

    Bobo – The fade wasn’t working why the hell not give up on it?

    O-Line – Way to man up good job.

    Stafford – Overall good game, both picks not too bad (1 off a quick turn around throw, the other off confusion)

    Evans – The Turds are already eyeballing you for exposure. You need to step up or your going to get torched by Florida.

  8. peacedog

    The punch by Moreley was strange – he was flagged for a personal but should he have been thrown out?

    The “bad” PI call that they complained about so much on TV might have involved some shennanigans a little earlier in the play – we only got TV replays for the play right around the time of the ball entering the area where the DB/WR were (and it did look like a bad call just looking like that). The idiot D-team CBS allocated for this game never bothered to mention that (and harped on this and the helmet-to-helmet call all game, while ignoring the punch and the awful mis-call on defensive holding among other things).

    Bob’s play calling did get a little weird in the redzone and I’d have liked to see Knowshon tough it a little more there, but people are fooling themselves is they think we could have just handed off inside the 20 and run it it. I thought Knowhson had an exceptional game given the minimal room we could give him. The toss-sweep remains our bread and butter but we couldn’t properly balance it due to a combination of our OL and UT’s superior DTs. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want us to try a little bit, but we fought hard for every yard on the ground and it wasn’t until the last drive – when UT’s defense was exhausted – that we appeared to have anything less than a war involved for every yard. Also, Stafford was under durress a good deal and I Suspect that contributed to his missing Massaquoi once or twice. Despite this, I Think the OL had a pretty solid day. It’s been very unsettled all year and we lost *another* OL to the year it seems. But they held their own at times, made some good plays at times, and I think they’re going to continue to get better (I just hope it’s quick and now slow).

    On TV, it looked like UT was giving AJ a significant cushin so I think Bobo’s gameplan with him was pretty smart. We threw a good deal on first down both to help keep the Defense from selling out against the run and tot ake advantage of that cushin. AJ was pretty good on those short passes. Great game for MoMass and a good performance for Demiko.

    I’m still a little worried about the pass rush but they did get some pressure, and it was a pretty good gameplan by Martinez. UT’s offense is obviously their weakness but we pretty much shut them down. If not for the bizzare interceptions (and Stafford is saying Berry prevented the WR from running the proper route on the one but it sure looked like a bad fade throw on TV) it’s a route. DT play remains exceptional, I think. Even on several plays where UT picked up good gains on the ground at least one DT got good penetration and it required a cutback for the UT RB to get something accomplished (and there were a few holds in there).

  9. Christian

    peacedog hits at the right word for the redzone play calling yesterday – weird. I might use stubborn as another word. Two weeks to prepare and make the best, most proper calls against the UT defense and that was it?

    I get more upbeat about the game the more distance we are from it. We showed improvement in key areas to keep our momentum going and we will stay under the radar from the national media – thus giving us time to continue to improve.

    I think that Vandy is a perfect next game for us: at home, in our division, a chance to really fine tune the execution before we go to LSU & Jax.

    Go Dawgs!!

  10. mattr

    a few observations from section 321:

    A) Richt should know the rule book better!!! NO EXCUSES, he is the head coach of a major D-1 program. Me and all the fans around me knew it should have been half the distance and automatic first down!! Richt let that one get away and HE was not ready. That, to me, is a big detail problem that rests squarely on his shoulders. When the said half the distance, repeat 3rd down, he should have been on the 10 yard line having a get together with the zebras!

    B) Southerland was rusty but only because he wasn’t at game speed yet. But he was CRUSHING people on blocks. I mean heads were snapping back when he hit em and he stayed on em too!!. 8-miles away in sect. 321 and you almost thought you could hear him when he popped em. No offense to Chapas (who is great but has different strengths – we all God’s chillin’), but Southerland is an earthmover, a fast runnin’ guard, a D-9 Caterpiller with low ground pressure tracks… er, a very good addition to our team.

    3) MoMass…. takes a whallup. Four plays later, and he’s dancing in the endzone. Tough, with a capital T (pun intended UT).

    4) I think our poise is still a little off. Redzone composure got ruffled, it appeared. Should think about counter-treys, sprint draws, or just some good old sweeps. We looked good on the edge. UT wanted to stop the middle and IMO had marginal success.

    5) Asher Allen, you da’ man!

    6) The unsung heroes, our linebackers!

    7)Blair Walsh, I say this lightly, maybe you should have a migraine before every game. To have one partially blocked and still get it in and from that distance. Kid, you are going places!

    It could have been better. It could have been worse. You got to like the fact that Stafford quietly threw for 300+ even though everybody will only remember the two interceptions.

    GO DAWGS!

  11. peacedog

    People are kidding themselves if they think Richt could easily change Wagers’ mind if he had known the “rules”.

    It’s rare for a coach’s input to affect an on the field call. Very rare.

  12. Coastal dawg

    I think Vance giong down changed our offense more than we realize. Before he got hurt, we were very balanced in terms of pass/run, running to both sides and running inside/outside.

    I am really impressed with how well our line performed, but that is one of our achilles heals going forward. We are down, Sturdivant, Chandler (even though he is a tight end he is crucial to our run blocking), Tripp and now Vance. Tripp has got to come back to the o-line.

    The other hole in our game is conerback. Not sure how to address that.

  13. HVL Dawg

    Did anyone notice who was on the sideline looking over MoMass and was the first to start jumping up and down before MoMass did? It was Knowshon.

    And three plays later did anybody see who was the first guy grabbing MoMass after the TD catch? It was Knowshon.

    And during the TV timeouts who is in the middle of the huddle dancing and firing up the offense? You guessed it- Knowshon.

    Knowshon is the heart of the team.

    Dear Father God can we keep him for another year? No-son.

  14. HVL Dawg

    P.S. Although we don’t want to see him put on the field too many times, we are right now watching the future recordholder for highest scoring bulldog in history. And his name is…. Blair Walsh.