Observations from the 35, SHON-ti-clear edition

Obligatory caveat:  yes, it was a game against a 1-AA opponent which has gotten more attention from its head coach’s weird rant than it has for its play on the field and whose nickname when pronounced properly sounds more like a men’s choral group than a football team.  (Maybe that’s because there is a men’s choral group with that name.)

Yeah, well, anyway, we’ve seen Georgia play too many times down to the level of its opposition.  And that’s by far the best thing I took away from yesterday’s game.  The team showed up focused and with a sense of purpose.  And maintained it all game, especially on defense.  It’s only one game and it was against the weakest opponent they’ll see all year, but if the Dawgs had to start somewhere to try to redeem the season, getting locked in and staying there was the right place.

In case you’re wondering, the worst thing I took away from yesterday was this lousy sunburn, on a day where the weather forecasters totally blew it.  Lesson learned:  any September game when it’s not raining, I’ll take sunblock.

On to the details:

  • I didn’t realize beforehand that Tyson wasn’t going to play.  Evidently that gave Grantham the chance to throw out some exotic defensive sets.  If I’m not mistaken, at one point Georgia was deployed in a 2-4-5.  I doubt we’ll see that in SEC play.
  • It’s not that Aaron Murray has regressed, but he’s not getting better.  His tendency to lock onto a receiver was on display several times yesterday and his mechanics when he throws on the run leave something to be desired.
  • Bruce Figgins catching that pass in the flat continues to be money.
  • Mason had some jitters on his first series, but looked better once he got comfortable.  He threw a couple of nice balls, like the touchdown pass to Charles.
  • Biggest worry about the defense?  No sacks on the day, which means it still has only one for the season.
  • It was a good game to work on the shotgun spread stuff, but the offense still looks more comfortable running out of I-formation sets.
  • Amarlo Herrera looks like he’s gonna be a good ‘un.
  • Yes, Carlton Thomas ran between the tackles with the results you’d expect, but say this for him – he’s not afraid to pass block.  And he’s not bad at it either.
  • There aren’t any options behind Anderson at right tackle, which means there are going to be some scary moments against any defense with a decent pass rushing left end.  On the other hand, he has moments when he’s a dominant run blocker.
  • It’s kind of funny given all the preseason talk about his speed, but Malcolm Mitchell has turned into Georgia’s possession receiver.
  • Another week, another great Isaiah Crowell catch.
  • I was glad to see the offensive line backups get in and play, but none of them exactly covered themselves in glory.
  • At least we confirmed that Ken Malcome lives.
  • Branden Smith, there’s no rule that says you have to try to return every punt.
  • I was impressed with how fast the defense played, not just in terms of its sheer physical speed, but also in the way that players seemed to line up and play their assignments properly.  Maybe there is something to that learning curve business.
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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Observations from the 35, SHON-ti-clear edition

  1. TennesseeDawg

    I’m concerned the issues with Murray will cost us the rest of the season. Watching the replay it is painfully obvious he is staring down receivers. I don’t know if it a product from a lack of confidence in his OL and he wants to get rid of it ASAP or that he has no intent of checking down to the other options and will force it if he has to.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I sure wish we had played Coastal Carolina the first game of the season and worked out some of the kinks before playing USCe. We’d have beaten USCe if we had done that.

    • Spence

      I agree. Beyond locking in, when he has to put some zip on the ball, they often look like shit and are off target. With time and when he can put some touch on it, he throws a great ball. But it’s those other circumstances that I am really worried about.

      Will happily eat my words if he improves.

  2. GreenDawg

    Just wait until we play an aggressive D. We’ll be faking that pass to Bruce in the flat only to hit King or Mitchell about 40 yards downfield. This may be the first time I’ve actually felt like Bobo is setting up an opponent. My guess is we’ll see it against MSU.

  3. dawg dad

    One thing, why do South Carliner schools like to have a chicken as their mascot? Just wondering.

  4. Georgia lined up in 2-4-5 against South Carolina (SEC play) a few times.

  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Coastal is no slouch in their division. They make the playoffs every year and have been conference champs a couple times. Besides, regardless the team, it’s damn hard to hold someone to 104 yards total offense.

    Coach Bennett’s rant is actually a funny country boy story. Watch it on YouTube.

    • Dawgy45

      Buck Belue interviewed Bennett and he really seems like a pretty good guy who just has a down-to-earth manner about him. I also hear that his players love him.

      After only seeing the “dogs” clip, I thought he was a little off his rocker, but the more I learn the more I like him.

  6. Slaw Dawg

    Maybe I was overtrained to worry in my Dooley and Munson tutored youth, but Murray’s inexplicable forces (esp. in this game) and our inability to get a sack vs. even a team of this caliber strike me as major problems. So does lack of real depth at RB–what the heck would we do if Crowell went down? And overall, we seem to be much the same as last year–blowing out teams we’re supposed to beat (excepting Colorado), struggling with and ultimately losing to the others. I would consider winning a nail-biter vs MSU a major breakthrough at this point. I suspect we’ll need Crowell to be healthy in the 4th quarter and taking the load off Murray, but even then I’m not sure our O line can open up enough space.

  7. AusDawg85

    OL is near emergency status. Straight ahead gap blocking when we are in the I is adequate, but such poor technique any other time is going to cost us. This seems fixable with some “coaching-up”.

    Hunker Down you guys!