Leaving Tennessee in the rear view mirror…

A few final thoughts from last Saturday’s craziness:

  • Georgia’s defensive game plan is unlikely to be repeated the rest of the season.  Per Richt, “I think if we had played press man all night long with those big, tall, fast, athletic receivers and the quarterback that can get the ball to them, we might have given up a bunch of big plays. I think it was wise to try and not get run by. We did play a little tighter coverage one time and Cordarrelle Patterson ran right by us and hit him right in the hands and he dropped it. If he caught that one, who knows how that game would have finished up.”  Dooley noted that Grantham lined his safeties up deeper than he’d seen anyone play them.  The thing is, that might have worked but for two things:  (1) the offensive/special teams meltdown in the second quarter that allowed Tennessee to get back in the game and (2) the excellent play by the Vol offensive line that kept the running game viable.
  • David Ching points out that one positive play from the special teams came from a player being smart:  “Speaking of that play, credit Deas for recognizing a tendency by Tennessee wingback Moore on the play and taking advantage of it. He told me after the game that Moore had been overstepping on his drop as he blocked and that left a crease for Deas to attack the punter. Sure enough, Deas started out on the far left on this punt, Moore dropped too deep and Deas cut inside him toward punter Matt Darr. Moore got a piece of Deas’ left shoulder, but he was still able to get his right arm free to block the kick. Very well done.”  Maybe Deas can return punts, too.
  • Also from Ching, this was the other big problem on defense:  “The final score and the way things played out makes this an obvious statement, but this was a really sloppy game by Georgia. It seemed like I was consistently writing down about so-and-so blowing a blocking assignment or covering the wrong receiver or dropping a pass or not making an interception that was there for the taking. They can’t afford to make this many errors at South Carolina or it won’t work out so well.”  You can’t blame the defense’s entire showing on the game plan.  If Wooten catches that perfectly – and after watching the broadcast, I do mean perfectly – thrown ball from Murray there at the end, the game is over.  And don’t get me started on the special teams play (besides Deas, of course).
  • Speaking of Murray, check out his completion percentage from game to game this season.  We smiled when Bobo targeted a 65% completion rate as Murray’s goal this season.  We snickered when Murray said he was aiming for 70%.  Maybe we should stop chuckling about it.
  • While I think what happened during the second quarter meltdown was that the team simply relaxed after racing out to a seventeen-point lead (that would have been bigger but for a tipped pass), that doesn’t explain why the offense disappeared in the fourth quarter.  Bobo is right to be concerned about that.
  • Say what you will about how they were in that position in the first place, but the fact remains that when they had to, a number of players on defense stepped up on Tennessee’s last three series of the game and forced turnovers.  Late game plays like those suggest that something good is happening with strength and conditioning.

There is a bottom line here, and it’s a positive one.  Georgia has played plenty of games against Tennessee in the last few years when it didn’t play its best and got embarrassed.  Saturday night saw a rusty defense, an offense that committed three brutal turnovers and failed to execute at key times in the game and some pathetic special teams play, but the team still came away with the win.  Obviously, it’s not a formula that you want to see the Dawgs repeat again, but survive and advance sure beats Beyond Crompton in my book.

*************************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Jay Rome was prepared for the defensive look on his great reception.

“With the coverage they were running, a Cover-3, they were rolling the front-side safety down, the one on our side of the field. I knew that if I could get a clean release off the defensive end and keep it wide, there was only one safety in the middle of the field. And if I kept it wide, then Aaron would have a chance to put it on me. So when the play got called, I was sitting there in my stance and I looked up to start surveying the defense, and I saw the safety start to roll down, and my eyes got kind of big. I was like, ‘Oh, I think I’m about to get this one.’ So I made sure I got a clean get off the end, ran my route out wide and once I turned back, I saw the ball in the air and went up and got it.”

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79 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

79 responses to “Leaving Tennessee in the rear view mirror…

  1. Brandon

    I am still of the old school that believes the best pass defense is a good pass rush, make the QB think he is going to get killed every time the ball is snapped and see how accurate he can be. Unless you are dealing with the nfl version of drew brees you’ve got a good chance to hold them to less than 478 yards of total offense. Say what you want to about the turnovers that yardage total is atrocious period but especially with our talent and someone who rattles easily like Bray. See how Saban plays him in a few weeks if they get that many yards on Alabama I’ll gladly eat my words.

    • Jarvis Jones

      +1. That said, it is hard to rush the passer when the UT O-line men have grabbed your jersey with both hands an are holding on for dear life.

      • Brandon

        Like the Germans who invaded Russia in 1941, the UT-O linemen were in the position of a man who has grabbed a tiger by the tail, they dare not let him go. In all seriousness, there was some severe holding but it is apparent from Richt’s comments that Grantham played it more on the cautious let’s don’t get beat deep side (and that may have been at Richt’s directive). I suspect Saban’s philosophy will be to send as many as it takes to put Bray in mortal fear on every down and see if he holds up.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Big fan of your work, btw.

  2. Spike

    All good points to be sure. But i’ve seen other Georgia teams in years past that simply melted down, against UT and other teams, and lost the game in the fourth quarter. This team hung in there, continued to fight thru adversity and get the win. That first drive in the second half was wonderful. So, despite the problems, kudos for that.

  3. paul

    “While I think what happened during the second quarter meltdown was that the team simply relaxed after racing out to a seventeen-point lead.” I think you are correct. And that concerns me a great deal. That’s something Georgia did fairly consistently over the past few seasons and not only did it drive us crazy, it cost us a few games as well. Up until this point in the season it seemed we had gotten over that tendency. I didn’t like seeing the loss of focus a week before we have to play in Columbia. It’s a lot easier to get your head back in the game and regain momentum at home than it is on the road. If we sputter like that next week it might cost us a trip to Atlanta.

  4. adam

    Reading that Richt and Bobo saw that shutting down the offense cause unnecessary drama and that they were concerned about our inability to get that last first down… Man that’s a relief. Now we just gotta fix that.

  5. charlottedawg

    I’m pretty concerned about the defense and special teams and I don’t know how sustainable this level of offense is. But the bottom line is we’re 5-0 and we have a chance to fix our probelms and reach all of our pre-season goals. If the defense and special teams get their act together nobody will remember we didn’t get style points on Tennessee, FAU, and Buffalo.

    • Macallanlover

      Quick answer, it isn’t sustainable at that level in this league but it will remain explosive against any team….. At times. My concern is frustration when we get stymied for a period of time. We did somewhat the first half against Mizzou and Murray remained calm. This weekend may bring another test. I am more worried about the O this week than the defense. Could be low scoring, traditional Old Man football.

  6. DawgPhan

    I really didnt see them “shutting down” the offense. the offense shut down, but I dont think it was play calling. we were still throwing the ball on the early downs late in the game. No one that I talked to after the game thought that we shut it down either. most were happy that we still seemed to be going after them, but just dropped some balls.

    • Nate Dawg

      I think the “shutting down” is refering to the play calling out of our own endzone in that 2nd quarter. All the runs up the middle then punt. Then after getting it back after they scored, we go special teams blunder, run up the middle, then AM fumble – if memory serves me correctly & I’m interpreting correctly. I could certainly be wrong tho…

      • HVL Dawg

        I guess runs up the middle of 75, 70 and 50 yards for touchdowns were bad play calls because they were conservative “shutting down” type calls. After those long touchdown runs I guess we should have figured them to be accidents and abandoned the run.

        And I guess Wooten dropping a perfectly thrown ball and Murray getting sacked and fumbling while attempting a pass play constitutes play calling that is shutting it down.

        • Nate Dawg

          I since some hostility here, I’m just puttin’ out what I saw. You know what woulda been really neat? Is if some of those runs up the middle from our endzone woulda busted for even longer runs of 90+ for touchdowns, but they didn’t. They resulted in a punt to the 50 and an opposing TD. Then boched kick-off return. One first down. Then another run up the middle for -1. And I’m pretty sure AM fumbled on a 2nd & 11. I’ve never been in the arena, but that smells like a passing down to me. Miss a block – qb fumbles. My only point is/was that it looks like they “shut down” the playcalling a bit be it due to field postition or the lead or both or whatever but anyway you slice it, it dissappoints me. That’s all.

          • HVL Dawg

            I just don’t understand how our fans are still focused on the offense that scored 51 points in a league game.

            Where is the outrage that we didn’t lay a paw on their QB until the final minutes of the game? Where is the outrage that we give up points to Buffalo?

            I just don’t understand.

            Here’s a peace offering: (NSFW)

            • Dboy

              The offense actually netted 30 points… If you take away the 21 points we basically gave them on turnovers. A truly brilliant offense display when we were moving forward rather than givin it to them amd going backward

              • HVL Dawg

                ..but you see, you don’t take away points once they are on the board.

                The defense is supposed to get a 3 and out from the other team every once in awhile.

        • Cojones

          We don’t have time for logic in our sarcasm here,HVL. Some of us like it, but unless you put a smiley face on the end, some missys get hissed off. If any part was written to make me happy, job well done. But a lot of people in their zeal to overanalyze aren’t aware that they are attacking the basic principles of good football play as it is presented in the arena.

          Just erased all the overkill in the next paragraph. I must be getting house broken. :)

    • adam

      Think we passed twice on first down in the second half (other than the screen to Malcolm Mitchell) and they were both first downs.

      • With about 7 minutes left in the 4th we lined up 5 wide on all 3 downs and did not get it done. Then UT put 9 or 10 in the box after that when we knew we had to run clock and ran the ball anyway. Then Murray makes the best play of his career on a 3rd down pass to seal the game that Woot drops. While it was frustrating, the only thing bobo could have done differently was throw the ball with 4 minutes left. If we don’t get it there, the uproar that would be heard would be deafening.

        Bottom line is we didn’t get the job done, but we got the job done.

        • adam

          I guess one way to look at it is: the offense stepped up when the defense was letting us down (outside of the 3 turnovers) and the defense stepped up at the end when the offense was letting us down (by forcing 3 straight turnovers).

          We can just chalk this one up as a team victory and move on.

          • Uglydawg

            Georgia scored at will in the first half. Take away the three gifts Georgia gave to Tennessee and the lead would have easily been in the thirty’s at the half. Tennesseee WOULD have quit and then, the sky would have been the limit. This was a freakish happening.
            South Carolina has a good defense, but UGA has a WONDERFUL offense. It’s going to come down to who can make a few stops. A lot of SC’s offense is a very good QB running the football very, very well. He will get his yards as will Lattimore, but so will AM and Gurley and Marshall. Quit the fretting over the offense….rest assured there will be some plays installed for just the situation of “running out the clock”…and know that the defense isn’t perfect, but it is adequate at least and probably more.
            This is the kind of game we all live to see…..some complain about playing cupcakes and then bitch when we play a team that turns out to be competitive.

  7. BuzMan

    I think the sense of dominance in the first quarter led the team to think that the game was already over and that they could just go through the motions for the rest of the game. The sloppiness of the second quarter seemed to show that. The good news is that they seemed to get back on track for the second half and hopefully learned a lesson about playing hard focused football for the entire game.
    I also think that this game was a gift to the confidence of Tennessee. If we had stepped on them hard in the second quarter instead of letting up, I believe in the second half they would have just been trying to get the game over with.

  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    It is, it would seem to me, just possible that Tennessee is a bit better than anybody thought….including some of the players, so jumping all over them early probably did contribute to a bit of slacking off.

    But don’t worry…Grantham expected this, let Tennessee back in the game just to do a defensive chitlin check.

    It is all part of the plan.

    • Scott W.

      Hold up. Part of the plan? That does not sound like worry to me. Have you forgotten your assignment? Your self designated assignment!

      • Cojones

        He goes into positive remission off and on. We generally don’t disturb him during these times when he hits his retrospect button and turns inward. It happens every time he warms up the mj tea. He gets kinda jumpy while anticipating the ladle. Of course, the funnel sticking out of his ass is disconcerting, to say the least.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Forgot to turn on the sarcasm meter….I wish I could forget, but I can’t.

        Part of the plan, right.

    • Macallanlover

      TN’s offensive line was better, that was about it. And it was a lot better than CTG seemed to expect given the defensive plan. SC has a decent OL but not that good.

  9. simpl_matter

    I watched the game again last night, Gurley looked a little gimped & spent late in the 3rd (I thought the same thing on Sat). No knock on him, “he a beast” had another monster game. We had a fresh Malcome, wonder why he didn’t get a few chances to grind out yards.

    • jryuuu

      did you see his jersey vs marshall’s towards the end of the game?

      gurley’s had rips and tears all over it from grinding out the yards and running up the middle over and over. marshall’s jersey by comparison “didn’t need to be washed” according to the announcer cause he hit those 70 yd runs..

      i kinda wonder the same thing about malcome.. doghouse maybe?

      • You have two monster workhorses and a close game. You keep going to them. One…I understand will get tired. Two…better be able to take the load. I like Malcome, but there is a difference.

  10. Rebar

    We will find out who we are this weekend; a team that comes out focused and determined in a hostile setting, or a team that lets opportunity slip away. I think Spurrier has been planning for this game all along as he knows he has to win this game what with the rest of schedule they have to play this year. This is going to be the best defense we have faced all season, so we will learn how our offense works against a top rated defense. I’m not so worried about the Tennessee game now after reviewing the game, Carolina does not have the same deep threat capability of Tennessee. Not to piss Scorpio off, but I think we are going to win and win big!

    • DawgPhan

      BIGGEST GAME FOR CMR!!!

      of maybe it is just another one. I dont think that anything changes win or lose this weekend. Jacksonville and the plains are where you win SEC East titles.

    • In addition, some individuals are comparing UGA and SC performance vs Missouri. This is not a good comparison since when we met Mizz on their home turf, with their best offensive lineman and QB still unhurt. SC met them at their own home turf with Mizz already without their best OL person and with a QB already hurting in his throwing shoulder.

  11. BosnianDawg

    Slightly off topic here, but does anyone know where I can find a replay of the game online? Does CBS even provide replays? I looked on their website and they only had audio and ESPN3 doesn’t have it either.

  12. THIS IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY. But what happened last Sat with Tenn game should have saved Dooley from being fired in the middle of the season if not extend his coaching life for another season.

    It could be providential indeed. UGA literally saving one of its alums, Athens boy, and baby, breathing more life to his coaching career, and still winning and keeping UGA dreams alive. Nobody was hurt bad and therefore everybody lives for another game. GO DAWGS.

  13. Cojones

    Sanford, you may be getting him mixed up with Blut . He went to UVA as undergrad and then came to UGA Law School. It’s easy to get them mixed up, just remember that Dooley is the handsome one. :)

  14. Slaw Dawg

    I dunno, man. Good to come away with the win, yes, but after 5 games, certain tendencies are detectable. Good: very good O, best running game we’ve had since Knowshon, better than expected O Line. Bad: unexpectedly middling D, run gashable in the middle, vulnerable to the short pass, second year of scary STs. I s’pose we can add to the “good” some possible S&C benefits, as perhaps evidenced by (i) winning when we had to v. Mo and UT in the 4th, and (ii) (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood) little lost playing time due to injuries. I’m concerned that SC’s “good” this year matches them up well with our “bad,” and they, too, have played well when they had to in the 4th.

    There is an intangible that I like, though. For a while there, we were concerned our Dawgs had become the set up team for other teams’ “next step up.” We didn’t let that happen with Mo or with UT. Another knock on our boys, and Murray in particular, is the “can’t beat the ranked team” meme, and it has certainly been a while since we beat a top 10 team. That’s another “barrier” due to come down, and this Sat just might be when it does, just maybe. Which would leave one more: that we cannot beat the Gators 2 years running; but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    • Macallanlover

      Don’t you think this running game is better than it was when Knowshon was here? No offense to Knowshon or Brown, but I think we are much better in that area. Knowshon was a little better in battling for the tough yards but he had no quicks like Gurshall. Add Boo for getting the tough yard and we pose much more of a threat, imo.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Won’t we know the answer to your question a little later in the season?

        Like, after the chilluns have driven it 80+ yards against a real defense to keep the best team from losing the game?

  15. Bulldog Joe

    Suspending four starters and expecting them to communicate well as a defense on day one is unrealistic.

    I won’t rehash our unique discipline policies other than to say our defense has to catch up with the rest of the league very quickly.

  16. DawgPhan

    loving the rome quote. Seems like there is so much more knowledge in the player quotes these days…or maybe it is the kool-aid, but give me the Gurley post game interview and rome quotes over the $cam meltdowns and “you know, um’s” all day everyday.

  17. dcdawg79

    100% agree on the Rome quote. Very impressive knowledge coming from a young kid. Love it.

  18. James Stephenson

    Now that is a well prepared player right there. In fact, it is nice to know the ball is likely coming your way by looking at the D, so that is very nice. If the team knows where the holes will be, before the snap oh my must make the O to do well.

  19. TennesseeDawg

    Was this a musical reference? Pearl Jam? Because if it was it was great

  20. JCB

    I’ve noticed something you guys are fond of: UGA turns it over, and all that means is that UGA was sloppy and gave the ball away. UGA gets a turnover, and they forced it, played good D, etc.

    Too perfect.

    • 69Dawg

      You’re new to college football if you think this is limited to UGA fans. Our O is always great, not their D sucked, etc. It’s called being a homer dude.

    • Dawg19

      No other fan base does that. Good call…

    • Peteydawg

      I’ve noticed something chicken fans are fond of this week at my friends wedding…having the lowest football knowledge of any sec fan base other than UK and being total homers, blind to their 100 years of suck.

      • Peteydawg

        At least columbia’s a really cool college town lol, if you’re a bail bondsman or own a pawn shop.

    • Macallanlover

      What a dunce, his posts are closer to SC “message board post mentality” than TN. We may have misjudged him/her. What part of mismatch didn’t you see? Oh, you got your heart broken because your pot head QB choked….again? Actually thought TN was going to win? If you are a UT fan, better hope the week off helps you against BulldogsJr because it will get nasty in KnoxVegas if you lose to both MSU and Bama with SC still to go. Of course, if you are a chicken you were just hoping……for anything to give you a shot.

    • Dawgfan Will

      History is written by the victors.

  21. hailtogeorgia

    The thing I really like about the Rome quote is this: ‘once I turned back, I saw the ball in the air and went up and got it.’ That, my friends, is what I love about Aaron Murray. Rome read the defense and knew he’d be the likely target, and Murray read the defense, knew where to go with the ball, and threw the ball before the receiver was looking for it. That’s the way a good passing play is supposed to be run…the ball is in the air and heading for the receiver before the receiver ever turns around for it, and that’s something you only get with a veteran QB who knows the system and the reads, and is on the same page with his receivers.