Upon further review: Georgia-South Carolina

Having replayed the ESPN broadcast and looked at the stats more closely, I’ve got a few more observations to share about the win:

  • When you break it down, the running game was more than serviceable.  Samuel, Smith and Thomas combined for 152 yards on 23 carries, a 6.6 ypc average.  I’ll take that all season long, thank you.
  • I think what I’m more puzzled about with Bobo Saturday night was his personnel selection rather than the playcalling.  Logan Gray saw more action on special teams than he did at quarterback – and it’s not like the Dawgs didn’t have plenty of red zone opportunities to deploy him (that was the reason du jour last week as to why Gray didn’t see more action).  Even more puzzling was the decision to keep Samuel out of the game for a long stretch in the first half when it seemed like he’d developed a really good lather.
  • On the other hand, 5 of 9 on third down conversions and 5 of 5 in the red zone – all of those scores touchdowns, mind you – means that Bobo must have been doing something right.
  • Some of that may have been the result of taking advantage of what South Carolina’s defense offered.
  • Garcia did a surprisingly effective job of keeping his game under control.  His pocket presence and awareness of the rush was uncanny; he saved himself from at least three sacks on plays that turned into decent gains.
  • I should have mentioned it in my previous post on the game, but Bryan Evans’ breakup of the end zone pass on Carolina’s last drive may have been the finest coverage moment of his career.  And don’t tell me your heart didn’t leap in your throat, if just briefly, when you realized he was in single coverage on that play.
  • The replay reinforced my initial impression of the job Martinez did.  Given what he had to work with – the injuries, the turnovers and Garcia’s surprising effectiveness in negating what was an improved pass rush – his overall scheme was sound.  No, he didn’t get any three and outs, but he did get the ‘Cocks to settle for a large number of field goals (and remember how shaky Lanning had been in that department coming into the game).  In the end, that was the difference.
  • TV makes the players look smaller (it was much more apparent live how much AJ bulked up in the offseason) and faster (that fourth quarter sack of Cox by the cornerback on a blitz seemed like it took forever from the stands).
  • The one long kickoff return Georgia yielded wasn’t Walsh’s fault.  Georgia lost contain on one side and Culliver took advantage of it.
  • From a penalty standpoint, that was a sloppy game (24 total penalties for 206 total yards).  But it could have been much worse, as the refs failed to call a bunch of holding penalties that I thought appeared pretty obvious.  Georgia also got bailed out by some poor Garcia throws on what could have been a couple more pass interference penalties.
  • The irritation factor of the Mike Patrick-Craig James team is pretty significant.  But at least we didn’t hear about Britney.
  • And I’ll stick with my Orson Charles prediction.  When that kid figures out what he’s doing, he’s going to be an utter stud.  As it is, he knows how to get open on a route, he’s got great hands and he’s passionate about his play.  What’s not to like?
  • The issue with Cox isn’t what we thought would be his weakness – his physical limitations -  but his strength – his consistency and accuracy.  He was 17 of 24 (not bad).  He averaged about 2.5 yards more per pass attempt than Garcia did, on Garcia’s career night.  His touchdown pass to AJ was flat out perfect.  But there were all those little annoyingly dumb decisions that make you wonder what’s going through his head sometimes, like his pick six.  I’ll be curious to see if, another week away from the flu, he progresses this Saturday against a team that isn’t nearly as formidable on defense as South Carolina is.
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34 Comments

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34 responses to “Upon further review: Georgia-South Carolina

  1. kckd

    What you said is exactly what scares me with Joe.

    He’s been up and down on the intermediate stuff that we’ve been assured he’s deadly accurate on and he makes bad decisions under pressure many times.

    Right now I’m holding my breath every time he steps back in the pocket. Very much reminds me of the feeling I had with JTIII.

  2. BigOldDawg

    Thought the defense was actually better than you give them credit, after all when we won the game, the defense was on the field.

    All the conversation about Joe’s shoulder makes me wonder if the staff has been taking their evil pills again.

    This is a team with a HUGE upside, I am not sure I have ever seen this much individual talent on one Georgia team. When, and not if, they jell it is going to be amazing to watch. Somebody has been doing a helluva job recruiting and coaching.

  3. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Two things from me …

    - Glad face guarding isn’t pass interference in college; else we have about 4 calls against us

    - Cox has to look off defenders. He stares down the WR too much

    • On the “face guarding”… the salient point is that our kids were close enough to the receivers to actually “face guard” effectively. In other words, they had the speed and stickiness to be on the hip of the receiver even if they were not in position to play the ball. Now, they just need to make that leap and take the ball away.

      Branden Smith looked burned on one play but closed down five yards in about two steps. Champ “F’ing” Bailey all over again. Amazing.

    • The Revenge of Greg Talley

      I don’t know. He stared down Eric Norwood really well and then threw the ball directly to him.

  4. Section Z alum

    thinking back to the my favorite summer sports columnist sloppiness and the discussion of whether our talent level has fallen…

    of course, one cannot say that the loss of the overall #1 and the 12th pick is easily replaced by incoming freshmen. but damn – that branden smith can scoot. when he gets comfortable and knows what he’s doing he’ll be great. arson charles looked great. boykin looked exceptional.

    worried about d-end.

    mike patrick, warm and affable but clueless, identified marcus washington as a “converted defensive end playing lb tonight.” nice.

    i want to see what samuel can do with 30 carries.

    • Turd Ferguson

      “i want to see what samuel can do with 30 carries.”

      Yeah, same here. I’d also like to see him given more opportunities to showcase the exceptional speed that Bobo says he has. Get him out on the perimeter a few more times or something. I saw only one run on Saturday that made it seem like he might have decent enough speed to get around the corner and break one.

    • Will Q

      I’ll second that also. He should have already had two 100-yard games under his belt easily if not for the play-calling.

  5. This thought occurred to me during my morning run, inspired by LD’s post, http://gunslingers.blogspot.com/2009/09/five-field-goals.html):

    Willie Martinez may be the most misunderstood coordinator in the SEC.

    Consider that the chickens had the ball nine more minutes than us, got 127 more yards, ran 30 more plays, got a breakout game from their QB, won the turnover battle — hell, they beat us just about everywhere but on the scoreboard.

    So what happened? Five field goals and 6/17 on 3rd down. Martinez’s defense is Chinese water torture.

    To me, the difference between a field goal and a punt/turnover is execution. Thus I view having held a team to a FG is a coaching win. Especially given that those FGs were in or around the red zone.

    If you look at the chickens’ 37 points, back out the 15 points on FGs and 9 points for the pick-six and safety, and you’re left with two touchdowns (net a blocked PAT).

    So over the span of 34 minutes, 83 plays and 427 yards (basically, a game and a half’s worth of offense), South Carolina’s offense achieved its primary objective on only two series.

    • Scott

      SC had the ball 83 plays b/c our defense gave up 26 first downs. 83 plays was not just some lightning strike unrelated to defensive play. We never adjusted to those short passes. They dinked us to death. I would rather die by the big play than suffer through 26 first downs.

  6. Darryl Strawberry

    Some of the responses to this post are just moronic, plain and simple.

    Our fanbase is laughable at times.

    The one thing that is worth mentioning that bothered me about this game was the fact that Samuel looked like a totally different back. Night and day. If he had ran the ball that way against Ok St, he would have had a 200yd day and we would be 2-0.

    Joe Cox is making first year starter mistakes, he looked 100% times better Saturday over Ok St. He will improve again before Ark. He is our guy, so you all might as well give up with all this hate. And please stop comparing him to Joe T. III. Apples and oranges, people.

  7. jferg

    I’m fairly satisfied with the game. Had we merely jammed the TE at the LOS, I believe we hold them to 100 less passing yards and beat them handily. However, giving a TE a free 10 yards to run and find an opening in our zone is a problem (which can be fixed by simply putting a man on him–he’s a TE, he’s not going to shake our LB or outrun him). Numerous drives were extended because of this problem.
    Still scratching my head about the departure of RS from our offense. Did he get tired or get cramps? There must have been a reason…….

    • Scott

      “However, giving a TE a free 10 yards to run and find an opening in our zone is a problem (which can be fixed by simply putting a man on him–he’s a TE, he’s not going to shake our LB or outrun him). Numerous drives were extended because of this problem.”

      Shouldn’t this adjustment have been made during the game? Even if we “fix” this problem, what happens when the next good opponent spots a new weakness? Must we wait until a subsequent game to “fix” the new problem?

  8. NRBQ

    Decent running, Senator, but it ain’t 6.6 ypc when you subtract Smith’s 60-yard time-warping blur.

  9. Smitty

    Lets not just focus on the pick 6 but the “pass” Cox threw when he was getting sacked was straight to a Defensive Lineman. Good thing he wasn’t ready for it. Sometimes he just doesn’t have a clue.

    Craig James was a royal pain to listen to in that game. Never really got under my skin like that before.

  10. Dboy

    Cox is making rookie mistake because, although he is a senior, this is his first in game experience and is a rookie in that sense. Playing in game is different than having an encyclopedic knowledge of the play book and running drills in practice. His arm strength looked ok (but he did still underthrow the deep pass). QB will be ok. What we are waiting for is the coaching and maturation and development of this young team with a big upside. Boykin, smith, and samuels have amazing physical skills. Let’s hope the coaches can continue to develop this team, cut out mistakes on special teams, penalties and turnovers and the upside is enormous.

  11. dean

    Very good observations Senator. The one observation I’d like to share from watching the replay was the reemergence of Evil Richt right as the half supposedly ended. Any one who doubts Richt’s fire or says he doesn’t show any emotion or is not competitive needs to watch those couple of minutes of Richt chewin’ on some ref a$$.

  12. smitty

    I did enjoy seeing Richt tell the ref “Horsesh*t” at the end of the half.

  13. heyberto

    To get specific.. that reverse play was a thing of beauty. I love those kinds of wrinkles. Can’t rely on them as a regular offensive component.. but it sure was fun.

  14. Pingback: That was exciting, wasn’t it? « The Hobnail Boot

  15. JasonC

    Actually, Martinez & Co. did get a 3-and-out, but we screwed up punt return and they ripped off an 11 yard fake. I am assuming that is on Fabris’ watch and not Martinez’.

  16. Coastal dawg

    Garcia has spent his career imploding. I have to wonder (or wishfully hope) Martinez was banking on that with the bend not break. After D Bryant scorched Evans last week and Miller got beat deep, keeping everything in front of us ain’t all that crazy. The problem was Garcia never imploded. Still we tightened up in teh red zone and that won the game.

    Not saying I’m thrilled with the scheme, just saying.

  17. JasonC

    Also, good call on the 57 yard return. I posed that question to David Hale after Richt’s excuse.

  18. Scott

    We gave up 26 first downs–only 6 rushing. TWENTY-SIX first downs. That is an incredible statistic. How can we give up so many first downs by the short pass and never adjust? We had 53 offensive plays against SC, and that is attributable to the our defensive scheme and all those long SC possessions. We have talent on defense. We don’t have a defensive coordinator. Martinez will have a gem every now and then to give us all some hope, but he will have 3 -5 defensive collapses a year and keep us all disappointed until he is gone.

    Do you realize that Van Gorder’s defenses only gave up 30 or more points once in 4 seasons (against LSU in SEC title game). Under Van Gorder, we finished 17th, 3rd, 4th and 8th Nationally in scoring defense.

    Do any of you really believe that we can succeed with Martinez? Is it going to take a future NFL draftee at every position for us to have a good defense.

    Remember how embarrassing it was to see us fall 4 touchdowns behind by the second quarter (Alabama, Tenn, West Virginia, Florida) or see a GT team score over 50 on us at home. A GT team that LSU ‘s weak defense almost shutout. A GT team that lowly Gardner Webb figured out and held GT to 10 points in a 10-7 nail-biter. It took a good plan to stop Tech’s option, not talent.

    I hope another school will give Martinez a head coaching job, b/c I doubt Richt will demote him or send him packing.