Upon further review: Georgia-South Carolina

I settled down and watched the replay of Saturday’s game for the first of what I’m sure will be several times.  I wouldn’t say I’ve got anything earth shattering to share, but there were a few things worth noting.

  • If anything, the job Mike Bobo did in the cold, hard light of digital replay impressed me even more than it did live.  The way he protected the offensive line with his playcalling – the number of times they were able to use Clowney’s inside move to direct him to run himself out of plays was remarkable – was only bettered by his recognition that SC’s smaller defense could be effectively bludgeoned by Georgia’s running game.  Add to that the way he adjusted pace to wear out the ‘Cocks and you’ve got a virtuoso performance.  Keep it up, brother, because the defense can use all the help it can get right now.
  • The offensive line was better than it showed at Clemson.  Some of that was due to the playcalling, but Chris Burnette deserves credit for stabilizing the line play, too.  Andrews looked much, much better finishing blocks this week.  Under the circumstances, Gates looked like he did the best he could, and really his worst moment, the Clowney sack, was partly on the shoulders of Marshall, who appeared to miss a blocking assignment.
  • Other than that whiff, the non-line blocking was as good as I’ve seen from a Georgia offense.  Wide receivers were throwing downfield blocks all over the place, Marshall and Gurley did well in blitz pickup (Marshall in particular had a couple of awesome blocks), Lynch showed why he deserves the preseason acclaim and Hicks was simply amazing with several nice blocks on Clowney, along with everything else he did.
  • When Aaron Murray rolls out, good things tend to happen.
  • The sideline reaction to Brendan Douglas’ first run was fabulous.
  • The pass rush was actually a little better than I initially gave it credit for.  Shaw was very good at escaping from trouble.
  • Sure would have loved to have seen what would have happened if Reggie Davis had been able to hold on to that quick slant pass.
  • I can’t get enough of watching those South Carolina defensive coaches get into it on the sideline – after Georgia was forced to punt, for some reason.
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80 Comments

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

  1. Totally agree on the Reggie Davis slant. I wasn’t at the game this year so had the benefit of seeing the replays on tv right when it happened, and there were 2 defenders in the area but with enough space that Davis could have been gone (the corner was trailing him by a couple of steps, there was enough room to make the safety miss, and Murray hit him perfectly in full stride). I’m sure we’re going to see him make his share of plays though!

  2. Aside from the Justin Scott Wesley TD, the sideline reaction to Brendan Douglas’ first run was my favorite moment of that game. Third place goes to the coaches fight. Had Spurrier been a part of it, that would of jumped easily to first.

  3. uglydawg

    What a luxury to have Marshall as a second running back. I know he can make some big plays and maybe there is some scheme to use him against LSU. If we can get both of them in the game at the same time a lot…even with a fullback in…what a headache for a DC.

  4. Rusty

    One of my favorites with the DVR-After Scott-Wesleys hand grenade moment, when the woman wearing number seven told her family “I don’t believe this s—! No one responded, they just stared straight ahead. You can read her lips.

  5. Ben

    Couple of things I noticed. We got Marshall out in the flats a couple of times, especially in the passing game (that TD of his was a great call). JSW is really, really fast. Agree that when Murray gets flushed out something good will happen. It’s such good coaching, too, since when the coverage breaks down, even a TB can get open for a TD catch. Brendan Douglas will be fun to watch. And how sweet would it have been for Langley to have iced the game with a pick after they’d gone after him time and time again?

    I don’t know how LSU’s pass protection/OL is, but if we get that same pressure on Mettenberger, I imagine he’ll go down a few times.

    Finally, I’m about ready for this defense to mature. If they’re grown up by UT and UF, that could be a lot of fun to see, too.

  6. mwo

    On the end of the swing pass Marshall caught he flat out abused the safety or whoever it was that was broken down waiting on him. I know Marshall didn’t score but he broke both of that guy’s ankles with a juke.

  7. Russ

    I watched the final drive and noticed that Superman was on the bench for our penultimate 4th down conversion when SC still (I thought) had a hope. If Clowney is as good as everyone says, shouldn’t he be out there for that play? I can see Clowney mailing it in the rest of this season waiting for the draft.

    • Irwin R Fletcher

      You mean on the same drive that Brendan Douglas and Merritt Hall were in to give Gurley/Hicks a breather?

      I wouldn’t read too much into it…although, based on Clowney’s comments after the game, he wasn’t too pleased with the way the coaches used him.

      • Russ

        We put Gurley back in to get the first down. I doubt we had to beg him to go back in. If I’m Sakerlina, I want my best defensive player in for that play. If it was reversed, do you think Jarvis would have been on the sideline for a play like that? I don’t.

        • Irwin R Fletcher

          Agree with that…I really don’t know how to explain it other than I don’t think it was Clowney’s call to stay on the sideline and that his comments after the game seemed to indicate he wasn’t happy with the way the coaches used him.

          • Will (the other one)

            Can’t say I really blame him. They barely moved him around. We had Jarvis do lots of different things last season and flipped where he was often as well.

    • adam

      He hurt his ankle a bit before that.

  8. fetch

    One of the ways that’s impressed me the past few years is Bobo’s use of pace. He seems to know just when to slow it down and when to go faster to step on their throat. The use of no-huddle to slow down substitutions and keep favorable match-ups combined with line of scrimmage adjustments, have been spot on at getting us in the right play at the right time.

  9. AusDawg85

    Bobo the egnima. Did he need the Clemson film to study and make the adjustments, or was the first game a mix of player first game jitters, poor execution, injuries, etc? Or did his USCar plan simply work due to great player execution and it never called for him to have to make any adjustments? In other words, is he as good as his players, or does he make his players better? I still get the sense his pre-game planning and operation of the “Georgia offensive scheme” is excellent, but I’m not convinced he has his own signature style and adapts quickly mid-game when things go wrong. I’m admittedly uninformed (not in the arena) and may be totally unfair, but its a nagging perception I don’t have when observing other top OC’s. While not advocating his departure, I think it would be interesting to see how he would do with his own program and I have a lot of faith that CMR would still succeed with another OC working the “Georgia scheme”. Just my 2 cents worth.

    But at least we can move on to FIRETODDGRAMTHAM!!1! now. :-)

    • Bulldog Joe

      If a play worked, Coach Bobo ran it again. He didn’t do this at Clemson.

      • Normaltown Mike

        yeah, Georgia scored 35 points on the road against a top ten team.

        Bobo lost his crayon!

        • adam

          And we scored 41 on a much better defense. We knew our D would need as much help as possible against Clemson, so while we scored 35, I understand people’s frustration. Like, getting first and goal from the 5 and getting 0 points. That sucks.

          • Irwin R Fletcher

            Bobo needs to get better on his snaps. We might have to replace him as the long snapper. Durrrr….

            When you really get down to it, the only difference in this game to the one in Clemson was the missed FG, the extra turnover, and a defensive stop (or two). It sounds great to say these were two different teams…but they weren’t. The difference was a matter of degrees.

            • adam

              I don’t think the defense played much better honestly. Maybe a little.

              But Murray didn’t miss easy throws. Or, really, just about any throws. Maybe 2 that were a little low, but he was basically perfect. The OL blocked much better (no coincidence that Murray played better when we kept him clean). Gurley didn’t miss a big chunk of the game against South Carolina either. And the game plan was better. The offense looked like what we all expected in the second game. They looked a little freaked out at Clemson. I know the silent count was part of the problem, but it irks me that if we run that PA pass to Lynch at the goal line at Clemson like we did against SCar, we would probably be 2-0 and ranked #1 or #2.

              And I agree that the defense could have played better at Clemson. But we knew they would be young and struggle. We didn’t expect weird mistakes from the offense (2 turnovers) or for the O to get 1st and goal at the 5 and walk away empty-handed. Or for the offense to have a long drought in the middle of the game. It’s a game we easily could have won. That goes on the whole team, but it’s easy to see how our high-powered offense could have outdueled theirs. It’s not as easy to see where our defense could’ve made 1 or 2 plays that ALMOST happened. Well, other than Tray making that tackle on 4th down or Swann stopping Watkins on the big play.

              It’s a game that came down to a few plays and we should have made them.

              I have the distinct feeling that you’re confusing me with someone who is baselessly attacking our offense.

              • hailtogeorgia

                ‘It’s not as easy to see where our defense could’ve made 1 or 2 plays that ALMOST happened. Well, other than Tray making that tackle on 4th down or Swann stopping Watkins on the big play.’

                …I get the point you’re making in the bigger picture re: the offense (and I agree with you that I expected more out of the offense), but it was funny to read one sentence where you say it’s not easy to see where the defense could’ve made 1 or 2 more plays that would’ve made a difference, then turn around and promptly list two that easily would’ve made a difference (particularly the Matthews missed tackle).

                • adam

                  Yeah, I didn’t do a great job communicating what I meant there haha.

                  Those would’ve made a difference. I believe Tray’s tackle came on a 4th down early in the 3rd quarter, right after we went 3 and out to start the second half. At that point it was tied, and they scored on the next play. So, that certainly could have mattered. But when you lose by 3 and end up with 0 points inside the 5, that’s pretty tangible.

                  The defense actually kept us in the game for a while. When we went up 21-14 2 minutes into the second quarter this is what followed:

                  Clemson Punt after 8 plays
                  Georgia 3 and out
                  Clemson 3 and out
                  Georgia fumble out our own 16 3 plays
                  Clemson TD (21-21)
                  Georgia 3 and out
                  Clemson muffed punt return, recovered by UGA
                  Georgia INT on the next play
                  Clemson 3 and out
                  Georgia drive ends with halftime
                  —————————————–
                  Georgia 3 and out
                  Clemson TD drive after missed tackle on 4th down (21-28)
                  Georgia TD (28-28)
                  Clemson FG drive (28-31)
                  Georgia 8 play 67 yard drive for 0 points, TO on downs after high snap from the 2
                  Clemson 3 and out
                  Georgia 4 plays and punt
                  Clemson TD drive that was nearly a 3 and out, but instead 12 plays for 87 yards (28-38)
                  Georgia 4 plays and punt
                  Clemson 6 plays and punt
                  Georgia TD 5 plays 64 yards
                  End of the game

                  Our defense got a lot of stops, but we had some serious offensive ineptitude leading to a LONG drought. Really hurts a defense.

              • Irwin R Fletcher

                I was just picking on ‘i understand people’s frustration’. People should be frustrated we lost…they shouldn’t be frustrated because they feel the coaches or Murray or some specific unit failed at Clemson. Fair enough that you aren’t attacking the offense without base.

                And while I agree that the 3 and out at the 5 is frustrating…there are so many what ifs in a game like that because we were so close…not because we were so bad (see Palmer, Jesse and the atrocious thread that followed).

                I thought they were on both sides of the ball…Herrera’s almost pick…Matthews tackle…the series from the 5…the horsecollar tackle that set up the series from the 5…what about Andrews false start on the first play on Offense? We gained 13 yards on that series, but had to punt because of the penalty. Look…Cakalaka has the same sort of thoughts this week…Connor holds on to the football…they punch it in…the sun isn’t in their eyes….It just makes me feel good about where the program is because these teams are good and I’d rather be a couple of plays from being undefeated against two top 10 teams than anywhere close to where about 70 other programs are right now.

                • adam

                  I’m with you on all of that. I guess I’m just more willing to forgive the mistakes of a group filled with freshman that I am the one filled with vets.

                  That said, I couldn’t be happier with the offense at South Carolina. Maybe a few too many drops, but we were missing our most reliable receiver. And those drops came from a TE, a WR who was covered, a true freshman’s first target, a walk on receiver, and JSW, who otherwise had a great game. We also lined up in a 3 man pistol, sent lots of extra blockers at Clowney, ran at least 1 packaged play, and tried a couple other new things on offense. I thought the South Carolina game was the best stuff (calls, execution, plans) I’ve seen out of the Bobo and Murray and it’s not close. Hopefully we just win the rest of them and we won’t have to be mad about the close loss to a good team, on the road, at night, in the first game.

    • SMBlues

      Watch Clemson again. There were significant issues with execution and a couple of plays in particular where it was exactly the right play call and a Clemson defender just got a hand on the ball.

    • Irwin R Fletcher

      “I’m not convinced he has his own signature style”

      You mean other than racking up yards and scoring points? Durrr….

    • Ben

      We scored 35 points and over 400 yds of offense at Clemson. The D gave up just as much and 3 more points. Not sure it lays at the feed of Bobo.

      • hailtogeorgia

        I think the reason people (including me) are putting the Clemson loss on the offense is because I knew going into the game that the defense was going to struggle. I didn’t expect the offense to disappear for lengths at a time – I was expecting them to be the reason we won the game.

        That’s the thing…the expectations (and the onus) were on the offense to perform. The defense, given all the new players and the fact that Clemson is a high powered offense themselves, was not expected to necessarily perform at a high level.

  10. LSU is scary, but Mett being far less mobile than Boyd or Shaw (though he’s not immobile) makes me feel better. Driskel actually worries me, though. Mobile QBs give Grantham serious issues.

  11. Irwin R Fletcher

    One last note…since this will be the last time we see Connor Shaw, it’s worth noting how tough that kid is. He’s one of those guys that just impresses you with his decision making, grit, and he’s a pretty good athlete and thrower, too.

    • Slaw Dawg

      Agreed, Irwin. Watching the second time, I was impressed with what a warrior he is. Like Aaron Murray, he just picks himself up and keeps on going. Has some great moves, too. The downside is that with him and Davis in the backfield, we really very little margin for error the rest of the season.

    • charlottedawg

      Second that. I thought Shaw and Davis both had really good games.

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    What’s North Texas’ ground game like?

  13. JRW7

    CTG’s defense gave up 454 yds to SC, is that any better than Willie Martinez defense? Seems like CTG gets a pass on this and we ran Martinez off for this!

    • D.N. Nation

      I’m in the “Grantham’s defense frustrates me” camp, but even I’ll admit that Grantham’s D wouldn’t have ever gotten shredded by Crompton. That’s the difference.

      • RandallPinkFloyd

        Agreed. Frustrated? Yes. But for those that are already calling for his head, it may be a wee bit early. Why even discuss it at this point, we’ve got games to look forward to.

      • James Stephenson

        Plus normally the D plays so much better in the 2nd half.

        • WF dawg

          That’s right. CTG will at least make half-time adjustments (like this week, defending the option better). With Willie, there were often no signs of adjustments at all.

      • Patrick

        Wouldn’t getting shredded by Kentucky last year qualify?

  14. zdawg15

    Senator, You say you feel good about the pass rush now better than you did. Can you expand a little? Who in particular? Do you think it will be more evident in a game say vs. an LSU or Florida rather than Clemson and USCe simply because they have less mobile quarterbacks?

    • zdawg15

      Seems like the LB’s get too far up field and lose contain. Just an observation.

    • They appeared to get more pressure on Shaw than I thought at the game. With a less mobile QB I think Jenkins would have had a couple of sacks.

      • zdawg15

        Agree. And assume they needed Matthews in or near the box to control read option; therefore, he couldn’t help Langley over the top? The pocket seemed to collapse but Shaw’s mobility allowed a gain because the linebackers were in coverage, too far up-field, or being blocked. Maybe more blitzes with a less mobile QB.

  15. DeputyDawg

    Watching the replay of the last drive… at 2:37 left in the game, did Richt and Bobo use a “screw you” timeout on Spurrier, a la Urban Meyer 2008?

    Dawgs are icing away the game and Spurrier calls time, delaying the inevitable. After SC’s timeout, UGA lines up in an “I” with Gurley as the tail and Lynch in motion to the right side. UGA then calls time only to come out of it in the same set with the same personnel. Lynch again goes in motion to the same spot. Toss to Gurley. First down. Everyone knew what was happening.

    Call it safe measure to convert on fourth down. I can’t see it as anything other than a middle finger to the old ball sac. Eeeeeeeevil Richt I tells ya

    • Coastal Dawg

      I think the play clock was about to run out. The Dawgs were late coming out of the huddle from the sidelines.

    • Slaw Dawg

      If you’re looking for the “screw you,” how about this: on the 4th or 5th play of that last drive–in which all other plays were run to the right or middle, that is, away from Clowney (or Clowney’s position)–on a 1st and 10, when we’re not yet at midfield, Gurley was run to the left, right at Clowney, who he slipped away from for a few yards. Evil Richt (or Evil Bobo) message: we are in control of this thing, not you.

  16. dudetheplayer

    I have to give Coach Bryan McClendon and Coach Tony Ball a lot of praise. Remember when we moved our RB coach to WR coach and brought on a former WR to coach the RB’s and a lot of us were scratching our heads? Well, that move has worked out beautifully for us.

    Coach BMac has proven to be an excellent recruiter and more than competent position coach, and our WR’s consistently show improvement and solid fundamentals under Coach Ball’s tutelage. We had some dropsies on Saturday, but it doesn’t seem to be nearly as big of an issue as it was in the early part of Richt’s tenure.

    Those men (and Bobo) likely deserve another raise after this season.

  17. W Cobb Dawg

    Glad we finished strong. For a while I thought we’d blow scu out, but then we returned to our most disturbing tendancy to screw up at key points of the game (Barber fumble). We obviously have a boatload of talent. Need to eliminate the stupid mistakes if we’re ever gonna get to the mnc. Am I the only one who saw a game that very easily could’ve went the other way?

    • Dawgwalker07

      Idk I feel like our offense had enough working to never really give sc the game. I could see them scoring more points against our defense for sure but not necessarily them stopping us more.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I saw that too, Westy. If the Dicks….er…Cocks score on their last possession things might very well have been different at the end.

  18. Senator, about 95% of your posted comments and observations since Saturday have been about the offense. I keep waiting for you spin the performance our hapless DC.

  19. In other news, Where the hell is Cojones?