The play by play line – Matthew Stafford pass complete to Sean Bailey for 22 yards to the Geo 42 for a 1ST down out-of-bounds – hardly does it justice. From where I sat, above the Tech band in the end zone seats, that throw of Stafford’s which got Georgia moving on the third quarter drive that would put some distance between the Dawgs and Jackets was remarkable. Bailey was bracketed by a linebacker underneath and a safety coming over, and Stafford got the ball out so quickly that it seemed as if the ball was in Bailey’s hands before the linebacker even knew it was thrown there. But it wasn’t just the quick release and the velocity on the ball. Stafford put the ball in a perfect place between two defenders and the sideline, where, as the cliché goes, only his guy could make a play. It was all over in the blink of an eye, it seemed.
If there are five other quarterbacks in college that can make that throw, I want to see their names.
It was like that all day. Tenuta basically set his defense up to stop Moreno on the run on the early downs and to force the Georgia receivers outside. He hoped that his corners would be good enough to make some plays on the long throws that he invited with that scheme. And they did make some (Stafford was below 50% on his completions), but they also got burned spectacularly on occasion (Georgia had a scoring drive in the second quarter of 77 yards in 0:51 and a third quarter 80 yard scoring drive that took all of 1:20).
Yes, Tech held Moreno to 45 yards on 17 carries. Let me extend my congratulations to the young, drunken Tech fan who was so proud of that after the game that he couldn’t maintain his balance.
But the Jackets couldn’t account for Thomas Brown, who ripped them for 139 yards (8.2 yards per carry) and a 33 yard TD run during which he was never touched by a Jacket defender. And Bobo made the entire Tech defense look foolish on a 31 yard Stafford run, keyed off of an outstanding play fake to Moreno, that managed to evoke memories of that horrible George Godsey plod in the 2000 game.
As I said, it was like that all day. When Georgia needed to make a play, it did.
The box score doesn’t lie on this one. Georgia racked up 432 yards of offense – 214 passing, 218 rushing – on what had been the #7 school in the country in total defense. The only thing Tech’s defense did well was to hold the Dawg offense to a poor 4 of 13 performance on third downs.
Seven in a row.
“Drop me a line when you get settled at your new gig.” (photo courtesy Curtis Compton /AJ-C)