Nothing profound, hopefully of some interest, though, here are a few things I saw from my vantage point in the end zone corner to the left of the band, about thirty rows up:
- First of all, whatever else I have to say, congrats to the Gators and their fans. Your guys showed up to play all four quarters and did so, while my team… not so much.
- As bad as the third quarter was, that’s not when the game was lost. Your offense can’t play all-world between the twenties and sputter in the red zone repeatedly against a team as good as Florida without paying a price, and Georgia certainly did.
- I truly thought that Stafford had turned a corner against LSU. That turned out to be a fantasy. After the game, a friend compared Matt to Jeff George, and while I think that’s a bit extreme, he still remains frustratingly inconsistent. Bad reads, mechanics that come and go, forced throws – they were all there, long before the game got totally out of hand.
- I don’t know who gets the lion’s share of the blame for the playcalling in the first half – whether that goes to Bobo for the calls, or Stafford for the reads – but there were plenty of head scratchers. As Mergz noted in the comments to my previous post, Strong gambled by playing eight in the box to stop Moreno. Playing that many so close to the line also meant that screens, passes to the flats and that abominable zone read play where Stafford keeps were all going to be extremely well defended, too. Yet, we saw all of it. And it all got shut down. In the meantime, that meant there were yawning gaps of real estate with no Gator defenders patrolling them in the middle of the field. Crossing routes, slants, posts, throws to the tight end over the middle were all invited, and the few times that the Dawg offense took Strong up on his offer all resulted in resounding success. But for some reason, Georgia was clearly reluctant to exploit this. Why? I have no idea.
- Don’t know what’s going on with Blair Walsh, but it’s gotten ugly, as in Andy Bailey ugly. And before I jump the coaching decision to onside kick, I’d be curious to know if Walsh gaffed the execution of that play as well. Florida only had four men on the line for the kick; Walsh simply kicked the ball directly to one of them. I doubt that’s what Fabris had in mind for the play.
- All things considered, I thought the defense played well. It’s too much to expect it to hold up under the sheer onslaught of all the turnovers in the third quarter. And don’t forget that the Dawgs came up with a stop on Florida’s first possession of the second half, before the bottom fell out.
- It’s not worth getting too worked up over the officiating, since that’s not what cost Georgia the game. But I’ve got to say that the spot of Tebow’s run that allegedly picked up the first down was an astonishingly bad call. It was clear from where I sat on the opposite side of the field that he didn’t make it. Again, though, that and five bucks will get me a latte at Starbucks.
- I have to admit that I guessed wrong on Meyer’s grand gesture of retribution for the Celebration. I thought he was going to take a run at setting the all time record for Gator points scored in a game against Georgia, but he called off the dogs in the end. I found the time outs anti-climactic – when you’re on the receiving end of a 39-point ass whooping, something like that hardly matters. I’m sure their fans ate it up; the irony is that I assume it was wasted on most of our fans who had either cleared out of the stadium or changed channels on the TV long before.