This post at ESPN helpfully compiles the four biggest crowd-pleasers from last night. Enjoy.
Richt slowly seems to be shaking off his playing not to lose mentality as it pertains to Georgia’s return teams. (I say slowly, because he still trotted out punt safe teams way too often last night. But Rome admittedly wasn’t built in a day.)
Gurley first tied the game with a 100-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Richt now regrets not keeping Gurley on kick return, where he was early in his freshman year before they decided not to risk him on special teams.
“We cheesed up. We decided, ‘Well we can’t put him back there because something may happen or something like that,’ ” Richt said. “This year I was like, ‘We’re putting our best players on special teams.’ ”
Georgia amassed 171 return yards in the opener. For context, Georgia’s return yardage for the entirety of the 2013 season was 538.
Consider that grounds for optimism.
This brings to mind what was rumored to be a point of strong disagreement between Georgia’s head coach and Todd Grantham last year.
Richt said that constant personnel adjustments kept everyone fresh, a game plan his staff hasn’t always been brave enough to implement.
“It’s nice to get a rest physically, but it’s nice to get a rest mentally, as well. We knew going in we were going to sub a lot,” Richt said. “I can’t tell you how many times over the years we’re in the meetings saying, ‘We’re going to sub; we’re going to sub,’ and then you get into the game and we just say, ‘Oh we can’t put the second team in. The game’s too close.’ But we did it from the very beginning and I’m glad Pruitt and the rest of the defensive staff stayed true.”
There were so many players going in and out of the game yesterday that I honestly lost track on occasion. But that paid big dividends in the fourth quarter.
Gawd, this sounds so much better coming from a Clemson player’s lips:
“I feel like 45 points in no way dictates our defense at all,” junior safety Robert Smith said. “Because I’ve seen how far we’ve come throughout the summer. We know we’re better than that.”
That’s a song we heard sung plenty of times last year.
There, I said it.
There’s nothing like heading up for a home opener. I’m getting ready to go.
For those of you planning on attending Hoppypalooza, remember the festivities start at 1:30. We’re in the Railroad Lot (#29). Look for a crudely lettered “GTP” sign and you’ll find us.
BYOB. And your bad selves.
Here’s an interesting factoid to digest.
Comparing total yardage in the 2013 Clemson-Georgia game tallied by players who'll play Saturday night:
Bulldogs 447 yards, Tigers 95 yards.—
Aaron Brenner (@Aaron_Brenner) August 29, 2014
Clemson’s defense may be better, but it’ll need to be.