Geaux Dawgs Geaux!

Seeing as I’m on record saying I’d have settled for an ugly one-point win last night, I’m feeling pretty giddy about Georgia football this morning.  Looking at it today, it’s sort of the best of both worlds – a dominating performance from a team that still has areas it can improve.

Here are some specific observations from the early morning:

  • The biggest point of concern has to be the sloppy tackling on defense.  Charles Scott is a hoss, but that’s still no excuse.  Reshad Jones went from having the best game of his career against Vandy to a forgettable performance against LSU (and that’s even with a nice sideline pick).  Tackling like that against burners like Harvin, Demps and Rainey will be costly.
  • That being said, don’t get too worked up about pundits wringing their hands about the Georgia defense giving up almost 500 yards yesterday.  182 of those yards came in fourth-quarter garbage time after Georgia had opened up a 21-point spread in the game and the Dawg defense looked like a bunch of guys who kept checking their wrist watches to make sure they weren’t going to miss their plane back to Athens.
  • This one came down to quarterbacking.  I haven’t seen Matt Stafford play a better all-around game.  He’ll need to do it again in Jacksonville.
  • Likewise, kudos to Bobo.  His game calling was spot on.  He didn’t panic; quite the opposite, he stuck with Moreno and adjusted his passing game as LSU adjusted its pass defense.
  • But the game balls should go to two assistant coaches, Searels and Jancek.  Mark Richt’s summary of the offensive line’s performance – “I’m not going to sit here and say that they dominated the game because they probably didn’t. But they fought like mad and gave Matthew enough time when needed and gave Knowshon room to run.” – is a tribute both to the players as well as the guy that’s held things together all season.  Jancek’s done much the same with a linebacking corps that’s managed to remain the strength of the defense despite being ravaged with injuries.
  • Speaking of which, I’m not sure how often the SEC awards the defensive player of the week to a kid whose defense gave up 38 points, but how can anyone ignore Gamble’s titanic performance (thirteen tackles and an NCAA-tying two pick sixes by a linebacker)?
  • A pass to the tight end!  A forty-eight yard pass to the tight end! Woo hoo!
  • Nice cell phone gesture, Knowshon.
  • In the credit where credit is due department, CBS was on its game yesterday.  The graphic about how Georgia’s offense has played with and without Southerland was a noteworthy job of good reseach.  And while Gary Danielson may be somewhat incoherent about the future of the spread offense, he was his usual uncanny self predicting play calls, particularly in the red zone.  His description of how Bobo’s passing game plan and Stafford’s ability to throw the ball forced the LSU defensive coaches to adjust the Tigers pass defense was as good as a TV analyst gets, too.
  • That was the best performance we’ve seen from Georgia’s special teams this year.  Holliday handled the ball ten times on punt and kickoff returns; his longest return of the day was a 26-yard kickoff return.  Walsh hit a 50-yard field goal when it was needed.  Mimbs was solid, averaging over 50 yards per punt.  Just like with Stafford, they’ll need to replicate that level of performance this week.

That was a win worth savoring – Mark Richt goes to 28-4 in opponents’ stadiums, an incredible record for an SEC coach and the Dawgs ended a thirty game LSU home winning streak in dominant fashion.   That ain’t exactly chopped liver.  Sure, Penn State complicated Georgia’s chances to play in the BCS title game and we’ll be rolling our eyes this week over tales of Gator revenge, but that’s all in the future, even if the future is only a day or so away.  This was a damned good win.  Enjoy it.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Geaux Dawgs Geaux!

  1. baltimore dawg

    how about the pow-wow richt conducted on the sideline with the team in the second half? i’ve seen him do that only a few times before. whatever he said seemed to steady the team to withstand lsu’s little surge there when the outcome was still very much in question. a lot of good coaching out there yesterday.

  2. S.E. Dawg

    S.B,
    I think we should hire Gary Danielson as a consultant to set in the booth with our defensive guys. He predicted the right call each time.

  3. Bulldog Bry

    The only time I remember Danielson being wrong was when he said, “OK, now there’s a lot of time left, so you can’t just give the ball to Moreno and run.”

    Next play, KM rips off the 68 yard TD run.

  4. MontgomeryAlDawg

    Bry, that was AWESOME wasn’t it!!! Proud of my dawgs this morning. And, as I look ahead, I will butcher Gamble’s line, ‘we ain’t kentucky!’

  5. peacedog

    I loved the gameplan and play calling as well. I thought the OL had a good game, but there really wasn’t a lot of room to run outside of Knowshon’s two long runs – LSU’s front 7 was beastly. Pass protection continued to be “good enough”, though it seems to be sowly but steadily improving (Staff knocked down alot against UT, less so in the last two weeks. ANd he hasn’t had to move around in the pocket too much).

    I’m wowed by Stafford’s pocket presence in general, and his ability to make throws under duress. He broke LSU’s back several times yesterday and was calm, cool, and collected. I think Gary was right when suggesting that he came out a little too fired up – a couple of noteworthy misthrows early but that was it and he had an excellent game.

    A couple of huge plays by Gamble, but the LB had a very bad game yesterday. The Mammoth LSU OL was eating them up left and right. Florida doesn’t have that kind of OL, though, and we seem to do well against perimeter running teams. Tackling overall was sloppy, and Gamble suggested we were lining up improperly at times in an interview. I agree on the “looking at the watches” comment.

  6. Ally

    “That being said, don’t get too worked up about pundits wringing their hands about the Georgia defense giving up almost 500 yards yesterday.”

    I know you’re right. My head tells me you’re right & that I’m being ridiculous, but…… Damn! Doesn’t it tick anyone else off to see us do that when we get a comfortable lead. Why not play the full 60 minutes focused on “finishing the drill”? Why give up the long runs for a td and make a team think they have a shot? Why take a knee with more than 2 minutes left and hand the ball back?

    I ceratinly don’t wish CMR to be a douchebag like urban and run up the score with your first-stringers in during a blowout just to prove you are indeed a colossal prick, but damn. Why open the door and play “not to lose”?

  7. Carolina R&B

    Speaking of Gamble, did anyone see on Gameday Final that he was given a helmet sticker by…Mark May? The one I truly feel who has it out for us and who predicted a given UGA loss, picked Gamble for an honorary helmet sticker.

  8. Hobnail_Boot

    2 things..
    -LSU hadn’t won 30 in a row at home. They lost last November in Baton Rouge to Arkansas.
    -Holy crap Stafford, what a throw to Kris Durham.

  9. NM

    I saw it phrased as “30 *Saturday* home games in a row” — I think the Arky game might have been the Friday after Thanksgiving.

  10. Hobnail_Boot

    Okay, well they lost to Tennessee in 2005 at home.

  11. A couple of huge plays by Gamble, but the LB had a very bad game yesterday. The Mammoth LSU OL was eating them up left and right.

    I think it was more of a case that the defensive line had a bad game defending the run. Those are the guys that are supposed to be tying up the OL so the LBs can make plays.

  12. dawg1

    tenn in 2005 wasn’t on a saturday either.

  13. Bradshaw

    Great chuck to Durham.
    We have room to improve but how can one complain about that type of performance in Baton Rouge. Tough place to play and we hang 52 on em.
    I’ve seen some complaints about Martinez as a DC. I think he has done a good job of giving us a hybrid defense that can play against a power offense and a spread offense. We needed to finish better yesterday and tackle a little better but those things are going to happen from time to time. I think he has done a good job getting our D ready to play any offense since that debacle against WVU in the Sugar Bowl.

  14. Bradshaw

    Oh, and anyone who thinks Muschamp would be better, his D at Texas hasn’t exactly been that impressive the past few weeks. He is also climbing the ladder folks and will be head coach soon and it won’t be at UGA. But, the grass is always greener…

  15. peacedog

    Senator, I don’t think the DL was perfect or without culpability, but they weren’t getting blown off the ball at all from what I could tell (maybe sometimes the DEs were off tackle, but some of our DEs are closer to LB size than DE size, so perhaps it’s not that surprising).

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  17. pd, I think it was more a case of problems maintaining gap control rather than just getting blown off the ball. LSU’s o-line did a good job of creating lanes by turning the tackles out. Scott with head of steam is tough for any linebacker to corral.

    In any case, I agree with you that Florida’s OL won’t present the same challenge.

  18. NRBQ

    Gotta agree with Ally.

    They got half their yards in the 4th after Richt quit trying to move the ball. Our D was on the field forever.

    We were up 21-7, and would have won by 4 touchdowns if we kept the hammer down for 60 minutes.

    Thank Knowshon for this win. If he goes down in the third quarter, we don’t win.

    Okay, great win. Let’s win our way to Atlanta.