Upon further review, Clemson-Georgia edition

My weekend was in and out, so I had to watch the replay in fits and spurts.  I’ll go back and watch it again at my leisure, but even with the patchy way I got through it, a few things stood out.

  • Resilience/Luck.  There were three big moments of derp:  the replay official’s bad call on the Bennett fumble; the Lorenzo Carter roughing the passer penalty that kept Clemson’s offense on the field; and Rico Johnson’s complete coverage flub on that Mike Williams reception during the Tigers’ last series of the first half.  Amazingly, Georgia survived all three.  And, yes, there was some luck – Williams stepped out of bounds way up field and that drive fizzled with a missed field goal, for example.  But the bigger deal was that the defense didn’t get rattled in the face of adversity.  That is a sea change from last year, folks.
  • The angriest man in Sanford Stadium.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to get Tracy Rocker mad, Lorenzo Carter.
  • What a throw.  Deshaun Watson’s touchdown pass was something else.  It’s the kind of throw that should make Clemson’s coaches reevaluate who starts.
  • Vic Beasley.  Bobo and Friend can deny it, if they like, but Georgia clearly schemed to slow down the Clemson defensive end.  Theus got help from Kublanow on occasion.  (That sometimes left problems in the middle for the rest of Georgia’s line.)  Georgia called a lot of quick pass plays, too.  It didn’t hurt that Beasley was having some conditioning issues, because there were several occasions when his speed rush clearly got the better of Theus.
  • The last two touchdowns.  The blocking on Chubb’s and Gurley’s long fourth quarter scoring runs, especially the latter, was spectacular.  And it wasn’t just the right side of the line, either.  Bennett and Maxey both delivered big blocks.

A replay to savor.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “Upon further review, Clemson-Georgia edition

  1. Russ

    While I thought it was too close to overturn, I did think Bennett fumbled. Carter’s PF was a bullshit call, though, especially after watching the headshots that Tennessee was taking on the Utah State QB.

    • William

      Agreed with the prespective of the TN no-calls. However, the reason Carter was called was because he went head high. Had he lowered his strike point, he might not have gotten called (although it was quite a few seconds after the ball left the QB’s hand). You go head high now-a-days and you will be called for it.

      • William

        Unless you play in an ugly orange color that is.

      • Cojones

        I thought he tried to pull up, plus the QB helped by jumping backwards. Notice that when he hits the ground he was calling for the flag. He played it for all it was worth (don’t blame him), but all together it made the shot look worse.

        The disappointment experienced by the D ,after holding them for three plays and having that work negated, was the downer on that play. But they came right back. Good on them!

  2. Puffdawg

    Agree on Watson. I thought he should be taking the majority of the snaps. Stoudt did throw some excellent balls though. Watson just appears to be an equal (or better) passer and seems to have a bit more quickness and speed. Watson is going to be a good one when it’s all said and done.

    I can’t remember which of the three consecutive toss rights it was, but I remember thinking as it unfolded how the right defensive side just totally collapsed and then Maxey swung in their to clean it up. Just a dominating blocking play.

    Carter was bouncing around BEFORE that play. You could just tell he was “geeked up” as our boy Asher Allen once said (after demolishing our own kicker’s legs in a spring game). I thought the Carter call was ticky tack and frankly I didn’t blame him too much. He was amped and slightly over aggressive. Better than passive and a great sign from what will undoubtedly be a stud for us eventually. How freakin big is he!!!!

    I think you already mentioned Barber’s first punt as a key play, but his overall play (along with Erickson) deserves mention. While Gurley, Floyd, and Herrera (deservedly) have gotten the accoloades, the punters (and coverage team as well I suppose) deserve a MAJOR pat on the back.

    Does anyboy get the feeling Reggie Carter and Tim Kimbrough are going to be absolute studs? Guy near me mentioned they reminded him of Boss and Tony Gilbert, right down to the numbers. Couldn’t agree more, although I love the rotation to keep them ALL fresh. No doubt Herrera is the foundation of the defense and a stud in his own right. Just hard not to get excited about all the shiny new toys (being properly deployed and coached).

    • charlottedawg

      I’m surprised CLemson didn’t use Watson almost exclusively mid way through the third quarter. They needed a spark and to me it was obvious stoudt wasn’t going to be successful like he was in the first half.

      • JCDAWG83

        He didn’t look any better than Stoudt in the fourth quarter. In fact, he looked very much like a freshman. He has great physical talent and will put up some good numbers in his career, but that offense struggles against a physical defense. There is a reason SC has won five in a row over them. SC manhandles them and the “basketball on grass” offense relies on the qb having room to work. When the qb is forced to stay in the pocket and there is pressure, that offense doesn’t work.

      • HVL Dawg

        I think Dabo didn’t want to put a true freshman QB in the game, trailing, on the road, amped up crowd, and underneath his own goal posts.

        Watson is surely their QB of the future. He’ll win a lot of games for Clemmons, but not against UGA,

    • Mayor

      The operative words being: “properly deployed and coached.” +1,000.

    • Does anyboy get the feeling Reggie Carter and Tim Kimbrough are going to be absolute studs? … Herrera is the foundation of the defense and a stud in his own right. Just hard not to get excited about all the shiny new toys (being properly deployed and coached).

      Both Carter and Kimbrough are more athletic than Herrera and Wilson. They stand out that way, and in that sense are more suited to Pruitt’s system.

      But Herrera is a heckuva football player and a DGD, and Wilson is a good player, too. Glad we have them. Especially Herrera, we need his experience and leadership this year.
      ~~~

  3. jadams

    A couple of things I noticed:

    1. The OL looked slimmer and more athletic than I have seen at UGA in a very long time. And they were hustling down field on every play (not just on Chubb’s run.) Their conditioning allowed for a LOT of pulling and stretch blocking, which really paid off late in the game.

    2. The dime package we went to in the fourth quarter was something special. Essentially, we were in a 2-3-6 with both OLB’s on the LOS and the MLB blitzing on every play. Pruitt mixed in a DB off the edge or through the middle perfectly and Clemson had no answer.

    • I agree…I don’t remember the last time I saw a Georgia defense improve as the game went on.

      Plus it is way more fun to see our offense manhandling a tired defense than it is to see our tired defense getting manhandled…

      We should ask Irwin Fletcher. I understand he likes to be manhandled.

  4. AusDawg85

    Good observation about Theus getting some help with Beasley, leaving the middle exposed. In the first half, I saw Andrews get shoved into the backfield which disrupted several carries (probably Marshall’s, yet he’s the one catching some heat). Seemed not to be a problem in the 2nd half, which goes with Beasley wearing down. To be clear, Andrews showed real hustle, but those few plays were cause for concern. I expect SCAR to push the center of our line hard to stuff the run, go man on the corners and dare Hutson to beat them long.

    • Cojones

      Our cheers will now become: “Pork Andrews up! Pork Andrews up!”

      • Macallanlover

        Your left out “Erin” in that cry. Speaking of which, Samantha has made everyone forget the former FU dance queen.

        As for David Andrews, I liked his mobility but there will be times he needs help with a 340 nose tackle. If our backs can be effective helping out when needed, our pass protection will be OK and we will just run to the perimeter if teams collapse the middle. Liked the way that worked last Saturday.

  5. On the flipside, we got away with an egregious pass interference mid way through the first quarter. Don’t the recall the exact players, but our guy had a hold of his shoulder pads.

    • Ben

      I couldn’t believe that PI didn’t get called. Our DB about took the Clemson guy’s jersey off. That’s one of those no-calls that we never get, but sure enough, it worked out for us this time.

    • Going down the right hashmarks on a 30-ydish pass — I believe it was #20 Mauger who was beaten outside as the Safety. It was a cagey play by him and I assume something you learn from an ace defensive backs coach like CJP.

  6. Tronan

    I watched the replay Sunday morning. I wound up more impressed with the D’s first half showing than I was during the game itself. No, they weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either. I didn’t notice any confusion and the players tended to be in the right place to make plays. That is such a stark contrast to last season (and too many seasons over the last decade). The difference between the two halves: the defense made almost all the plays it had to make in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Some of that was the result of halftime adjustments, but the rest of it seemed to be the result of them getting more and more comfortable with what they were doing as the game went on.

    I’m still not sure what to make of Mason or the OL. The former didn’t really have to do much on Saturday, but there no doubt is going to be a game or two in which he will. I’m impressed that Mason didn’t make any glaring mistakes, but just can’t tell if he’ll be able to carry the team if needed like so many QBs who’ve preceded him. The OL got better as the game went on, but there were a lot of plays early on where Clemson defenders were in our backfield in a hurry. I’m hoping that’s a refection of the fact Clemson’s DL is good and was still fresh.

  7. That Watson pass had Ramik covering downfield with his back turned to the ball. Carter was covering a WR down field on another play as well. Several times the db’s had their back turned that they could’ve made a play on the ball.

    • Ben

      I was going to say the same thing. Oftentimes they were in position, but the well-placed pass or the not playing the ball hurt us. That pass from Watson went right by Wilson’s earhole; I didn’t see a nicer pass thrown all night, and then I begged, on Twitter, for Clemson to put Stoudt back in (I’m glad they heard my cries.)

      Beating Clemson down was a lot of fun, but it won’t mean anything if we drop the contest in Columbia. I hope we find a way to beat Carolina like a drum because nothing would be funnier to me at this point in the season than seeing Carolina 0-2 in the conference.

    • 69Dawg

      That’s teachable especially when you are close to the endzone. I’m sure CJP will be using those plays to calm all the DB’s down about the game. That being said, it was a perfect pass and catch. Had it been off even a little it would have been incomplete with no PI by our guys.
      The past Auburn coach whose name I can’t spell did point out that our DB’s were having trouble in the first half in man coverage. He used Swann as an example. He said Swann did not correctly disrupt the WR off the line and allowed him to get by him. The WR was faster than Swann and made enough space to make the catch. Swann was close enough to tackle him. Any way CMR said the adjustment at the half was to go to more zone and less man to man.

      • Dawgfan Will

        Had it been off a little, it would have doinked right off Wilson’s helmet. That sucker was laser precise.

      • He said Swann did not correctly disrupt the WR off the line and allowed him to get by him.

        Chizik said that? Yeah, Swann flipped his hips inside, and he was beat already. A basic mistake. And I’m looking forward to see how Pruitt handles our DB’s not knowing where the ball is. And whether we coach up Ramik and the LB’s about that as well.
        ~~~

        • Swann flipped his hips inside …

          Or rather ended up inside, running with his back to the QB, IIRC. And maybe was too soft with his punch, it seems. Can’t remember. I do remember thinking it was at it was a basic, freshman-type mistake.
          ~~~

  8. Rico Johnson’s complete coverage flub on that Mike Williams reception during the Tigers’ last series of the first half.

    Haven’t watched the 2nd half yet, but we clearly have some issues at CB. I noticed 2 plays where A.Davis was beaten badly, and then failed to locate the ball. He looked much better at Safety, at least in the first half.

    IIRC, Rico lined up on the wrong side of the field, had to run across the field late, and didn’t get set. That gave Stoudt a hot read to Williams. I think Rico ended up a little too deep, which hurt his chances of coming up to make the tackle. But he also badly misjudged Williams’ speed. Rico is green, and still learning the speed of the game. And he’s learning he’s not as fast up here as he thought he would be. That’s not a bad thing. I’m high on Rico.

    Looking forward to watching the second half. Apparently, Pruitt pretty much abandoned man coverage, soon after the aforementioned play.

    So, freshmen mistakes. Even Swann had a freshman mistake in the second quarter which led to a big play in Clemson’s second scoring drive. There were some issues with all the CB’s. No surprise, we can’t expect too much too soon, but there’s a long way to go still.

    The good thing is everything appears correctable. And we have a great Corrector. To me, that’s a source of comfort.

    Interested to see how much we improve this week and next, especially in the secondary. As Richt said, there’s a lot to clean up everywhere.
    ~~~

  9. You guys are nerds for watching a replay.

    So I was watching the replay…..:)……I noticed that Floyd, like he did last year in Knoxville, flew at the QB instead of running right at him. Stoudt then eluded him and took off to get back to the LOS. Wouldn’t he better served coming right at him with his hands up? I mean, he’s like 7’5″…..

    Full disclosure-not in the arena.

    • I noticed that Floyd, like he did last year in Knoxville, flew at the QB instead of running right at him. Stoudt then eluded him and took off to get back to the LOS. Wouldn’t he better served coming right at him with his hands up? I mean, he’s like 7’5″….. Full disclosure-not in the arena.

      No, you’re right. Floyd left his feet and he shouldn’t have. But part of it was he thought Stoudt was throwing, and had reacted to go up and knock the pass down.

      Can’t remember whether it was deliberate fake by Stoudt or not. But if Floyd doesn’t leave his feet, he’s probably got him.
      ~~~

  10. I Wanna Red Cup

    The D was very organized. I think as soon as the 2nd down play was over our guys on the sideline were getting in there and they knew what to do. I was impressed with Kimbrough. The dude can hit. Drew was excellent but it might have helped that he played in the second half when Clemmons fat OL was already tired. Some breakdowns but overall a very good outing. The DBs were usually close to the guy they were guarding. Very encouraged for the future. The D will get better over the year. Next game is the key. GATA

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