Thoughts from the 35, Vandy edition

Remember when you were ten and your mom served you dinner with this meat in a some sort of mystery sauce that made you gag along with vegetables that you didn’t like (hell, what vegetables did you like when you were ten?) and you had to eat it all in order to get ice cream for dessert?

That’s what yesterday’s game was like.  With the passing of each missed field goal, the inevitable defensive collapse at the end of the second quarter, every dropped interception, the score after the turnover and the head scratching three and out at crunch time in the fourth quarter, I just wanted to get to the end of the game and the win.

Some specific observations, in no particular order:

  • As if there were any doubt, Knowshon Moreno proved again that he’s the heart and soul of this team.  The two big runs he cranked out to start the big fourth quarter drive got the team and the crowd energized.  In a weird way, it reminded me of David Greene coming off the bench in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech to salvage the win in ’04.
  • Stafford’s mechanics are still inconsistent.  Two of the long balls he threw were underthrown because of footwork and the last one, which had it been thrown properly would have been a touchdown, wound up being picked off.  On the other hand, the TD throw to Massaquoi was flat out perfectly thrown.  It’s got to be driving the coaches a little crazy.
  • Huge game from Reshad Jones.  Darius Dewberry, of all people, turned in the best game of his career.
  • I don’t know what’s happened to Brian Evans who’s gone from being the player on defense who improved the most over the ’06 season to the one benched in the second half in favor of Vance Cuff.
  • That hit by Asher Allen to shut down Vandy’s last gasp drive was awesome.
  • When’s the last time you watched an SEC game with zero offensive holding calls?  And when’s the last time you watched an SEC game when the offensive linemen on both teams didn’t hold?
  • In a way, I understand why Georgia kept throwing the ball on first down – Vandy kept loading the box with eight and kept cheating at least one safety up as soon as the ball was snapped – but when Moreno kept ripping the defense for 7+ yards a crack, why worry about it?  Feed the beast.
  • If there was any doubt about the tight end being reduced to nothing more than an afterthought in the passing game, there was a play in the fourth quarter that removed it.  Figgins ran a crossing pattern on a play where Stafford underthrew Green in single coverage and found that nobody in Vandy’s secondary even bothered to cover him.  Figgins gave up on his route before the ball was thrown. You could tell from his body language that he knew there wasn’t a player on the field, including his quarterback, that was taking him seriously on that play.

All I can say after yesterday is that play time is over.  The Dawgs need to find that edge that got them going last season starting in the Florida game.  Dominating teams statistically while leaving them in the game probably won’t be a good working strategy in the next two weeks.

On the other hand, if you want to guarantee me two ugly one point wins in Baton Rouge and Jacksonville right now, I’ll take ’em.  Happily.


Filed under Georgia Football

9 responses to “Thoughts from the 35, Vandy edition

  1. NebraskaDawg

    I can’t understand the TE situation either. When the defense blitzes, the TE is supposed to be an important safety valve in the pass. I can’t remember the las time a TE even got a pass thrown in their direction. The defenses are not bothering to even cover the TE because Stafford never looks at them. If we want to bust LSU next week, Stafford better start given the TE’s a few balls to keep LSU honest.


  2. peacedog

    Our offense is so much better with a TE threat. I don’t understand it either.

    Not Stafford’s best game this year, no doubt. The team looked listless at times. BUt Staff made some great throws; the long post to Green in the 4th was another excellent throw.

    In the first half we appeared to once again ahve trouble between the tackles; I think we were stopped for a loss or no gain 3 or 4 times. The Toss worked great but Vandy started selling out on it. Bobo finally consistently went back to ther rtunning plays in the 4th and it made a big difference. OL got better as the game went on. The 3rd quarter malaise was bizzare (didn’t seem like *anything* was working). In general liked the mix of first down throws; we just needed to realize we;ve *got* to run decently in plays besides the toss sweep a little earlier.

    I still have confidence in Walsh, and I believe at least one of his misses was Gremlins induced.

    Still not ehough pass rush, and we must have dropped 4 easy INTs. Note that I’m not counting Asher’s drop because it was a deflection and I assume it might have caught him off guard. HE could have and maybe should have had it, but I could see that at least. I’m glad we picked off 2 passes (and Reshad’s was a great effort), but for an int hungry team like we are you’ve got to take advantage.

    I was a little worried at what success Vandy had on the ground. We might be getting a little thinner after late last night too.

    Chappas had a terrific game and Southerland is rounding into form. I was paralyzed with fear at the thought of life after Southerland but I’m starting to feel like we’re in good hands.


  3. TimeForABenchin'

    Bryan Evans never should have played a snap all year. Going back to the Miss St game in 06 he has done nothing but give the opposing team the opportunity to get a first down or score a touchdown. Spurrier has picked on him for 2 years straight.

    I am willing to bet that out of all the passing TDs our defense has given up in the last 2 years, over 70% have been at Bryan Evans.

    Just off the top of my head, the bomb to Mo Brown of South Carolina was over Evans, the Bomb to Julio Jones was over Evans, the blown coverage against Tennessee was Evans and both TDs yesterday were over Evans.

    That means it’s time for a benchin’


  4. NoMoreEvans

    I see where you’re coming from Time. I get frustrated and hold my breath every time Evans takes the field. He may be the worst starting corner in the conference. As much as we hate on Willie Martinez, he’s not an idiot. That’s what scares me. If we had somebody better than Evans, he’d be playing.


  5. peacedog

    Well, it looks like Evans got benched in the 2h (for Boykin, who had one of the INT drops) so we’ll see how it goes.

    One of the TDs yesterday was indefensible and evans had tight coverage. I’m not suggesting it’s not time to look elsewhere, but some of the flack Evans has taken has been highly unreasonable.


  6. peacedog

    And by Boykin, of course, I meant “Cuff”.



    Game Ball for Reshad Jones. He was a big dawg. Another Game Ball for the Redcoat Marching Band. Who knew the 1908 UGA march they played at halftime had the words “To hell with Georgia Tech.”

    Re thigh ends – How about that 3rd down in the fouth quarter where Stafford rolled out and there was only one receiver running a route (covered). I think that came from a 2 tight end set. Argh!

    Staff didn’t seem to check off his receivers. He watched one man from the snap until he threw.

    Give us a break the clunked field goal against the post and catch any two of the three dropped interceptions and we’d call the game satisfying. But it was pretty uneasy walking out of Sanford thinking about the next few weeks.


  8. Tankdawg

    I too think Stafford forgoes fundamentals and relies on arm strength. He may have had thoughts of an early NFL career, but I think his best interest would be another year at UGA.

    I also wonder where have all the plays we used to have for the tight end are.

    After watching Carolina and LSwho last night, I would like for us to think about using the no-huddle offense against LSwho and the hated Gaturds.

    Let’s play the games and see what happens.
    Go Dawgs!


  9. dean

    I hope the complete disregard for the TE’s is all part of Bobo’s master plan.