Is Mike Bobo reaching for a new box of crayons?

If there are still questions surrounding Hutson Mason – and there seem to be (“Georgia certainly holds promise, but quarterback Hutson Mason still needs to show he can carry an offense…”) – you’d have to think that’s a bit unfair in that he’s missing a couple of his most potent weapons in Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley.  Richt is still a little closed-mouth about their health, but Mark Schlabach sheds a little light on their current status:

Mitchell, a junior who missed most of last season with a torn ACL, is still recovering from preseason surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. He watched the Clemson game from the sideline and wasn’t using crutches or wearing a brace. Mitchell, who is probably UGA’s most explosive receiver, isn’t expected back for the South Carolina game, but might be ready to play against Tennessee on Sept. 27. Scott-Wesley, who had 16 catches for 311 yards with two touchdowns last season, might be ready to return from a high ankle sprain in time to play the Gamecocks.

One is better than none, of course, but that’s still a little disappointing, even if you’re somebody like me that thought it was going to be a slow return for the two.

That begs the question of whether the injuries to them are a controlling factor in the way Bobo is directing the offense, or if there’s something bigger going on.

A healthy Todd Gurley and a talented trio of running backs behind him showed Saturday against Clemson that pounding the ball with a potent ground game could give the Bulldogs’ a different identity on offense this season.

“We’ll see,” center David Andrews said. “I like it and I think the running backs like it. We’ve got enough of them where we can do it and keep them fresh.”

… Georgia still scored 45 against Clemson with quarterback Mason going 18 of 26 for 131 yards.

Mason didn’t need to put up big numbers through the air this time with the way the running backs were going and the room the offensive line provided.

That last sentence is the key.  Mason threw for a lot more yardage in his earlier starts, but passing yards weren’t needed to put down the Tigers.  So I don’t know that Saturday night signals a big philosophical change in Georgia’s offense as much as it shows Bobo’s maturity in fashioning a successful game plan against a specific opponent.  Let’s wait and see what he has up his sleeve for South Carolina.

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Defense, for the win

I know Gurley was dazzling and I know Clemson lost some very good offensive talent, but here are the stats I take away from Saturday night that give me the most hope the Dawgs are headed in the right direction:

No opposing defense in 2013 held the Tigers to fewer yards (291), and only Florida State’s flame-throwing D held them to fewer yards per play (3.79).

If that’s not an opening game mirage, Pruitt has these kids so far ahead of schedule that I’m in a little bit of awe.

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Fabris Invitational results, Week 1

Strong start out of the gate for many.  In fact, the tiebreaker came into effect, as we had a five-way tie at 9-1.

STANDINGS for WEEK 1
Rank
Selection Name
W-L
Pts
Tie Breaker Game
13-31
1 Oh, Look at the clock! 9-1 9   17-27**
1 BR Dawg 9-1 9   24-31
1 egallinger1855 9-1 9   27-35
1 Turfman25 9-1 9   27-35
1 awreed79 9-1 9   34-42

Congrats to Oh, Look at the clock! for pulling it out.

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Time served.

Florida suspended three players for its opener against Idaho.  You know, the game that was suspended after the kickoff.  One play.  So…

The answer is as obvious as the heat on Boom’s tuchis.

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“… an A+ performance in the opener…”

You think you were impressed with Georgia’s game Saturday night?  Bill Connelly really dug it.  And check out this chart:

Before Gurley’s kick return After Gurley’s kick return
Score Clemson 21, Georgia 14 Georgia 31, Clemson 0
Yards Clemson 208, Georgia 117 Georgia 342, Clemson 83
Yards per play Clemson 5.6, Georgia 5.6 Georgia 7.4, Clemson 2.1
Sacks Georgia 1, Clemson 0 Georgia 4, Clemson 1
Turnovers Clemson +1 Georgia +1

I guess that return was kind of a big deal.

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Labor Day buffet

Dawgly tidbits for your dining pleasure…

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Now comes the hard part.

The national fawning over Georgia after its convincing win against Clemson has commenced.  In response, Mark Richt is saying the right things.

“I don’t know,” Richt said with a laugh. “I just think we’re really young in so many ways, and there are a few veterans that understand the deal. But I don’t know how good we are, quite frankly. We had a good performance, we had one good game, and even in that one game there were some things that need to be corrected. So I’m not gonna get too excited yet.”

I’m glad of that, but as a Dawg fan with a long memory, I remember the aftermath of games like the 2004 smoking of LSU and AJ Green’s coming out party against Arizona State.  Georgia doesn’t always handle success well under Richt.

It’s a must-win game for South Carolina and it’s in Columbia.  Very dangerous, in other words.  Hopefully the coaches will take part of the next two weeks to remind the players and themselves that early season press clippings are BS.  If that lesson takes, we may be looking at a special year.

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