Some bullet points and a conclusion:
- I posted last week before the game that Urban Meyer’s game plan for Georgia was an easy one – simply play it straight, don’t take unnecessary chances and let the Dawgs beat themselves. And in essence, that’s what Florida did. On offense, Tebow was efficient throwing the ball, he led the team in rushing and Hernandez and Cooper led the Gators in receiving. On defense, Florida was patient and eventually took advantage of Georgia’s weakness in the passing game to turn the game for good with timely sacks and four interceptions.
- After reading Martinez’ quotes in this post at David Hale’s blog last week, I pretty much knew that Willie was prepared to dish up another heaping helping of More of The Same and he didn’t disappoint with a soft zone that had to bring smiles to the faces of Tim Tebow and Steve Addazio. Still, I don’t think anyone in the stadium was prepared for the ease with which Florida scored on its first two possessions.
- Bryan Evans started and played on those first two possessions. He got bailed out by Brandon James’ spectacular drop, but that was about it. Bacarri Rambo came in for Florida’s third possession and the Gators were forced into a three-and-out. Which of course meant that Martinez put Evans back out for the next series, resulting in another Florida score. I gave up keeping track after that, because it obviously didn’t matter, but Evans caught my eye when he rushed at full speed past Tebow on his second touchdown run. I’ve got no idea where he was going on that play.
- That pick-six will go down as the easiest score of Brandon Spikes’ career. And by “career” I don’t just mean college – throw in high school and the pros. And if he played Pee Wee football, that, too.
- Everyone no doubt has his or her key moment of the game. Mine was Dunlap’s sack of Cox during that disastrous series late in the second quarter. Joe’s stats before the sack: 6 of 9 passing for 101 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Afterwards: 5 of 11 passing for 64 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs.
- The dumbest play of the game was easily Mike Gilliard’s personal foul on the kickoff after Georgia had scored to narrow the game to 14-10. But let’s not forget that it was set up by the ridiculous sideline celebration which got the juices flowing and Fabris’ inevitable decision to directionally kick (by the way, Walsh continues to lead the SEC in touchbacks, with 12).
- All of the interceptions came off ill advised throws. You can argue that the first was the result of a terrific effort by A.J. Jones, but you also have to admit that Florida should have had at least one more pick, but for Orson Charles’ fine effort to break up a pass thrown into triple coverage.
- For a fifth-year senior, Joe Cox doesn’t play like a fifth-year senior. He still stares down receivers and holds the ball too long. The real killer on that Charles’ pass breakup was that Cox had A.J. Green wide open down the right sideline for a big gain.
- Washaun Ealey had seventeen carries and is slowly evolving into the featured back. He deserves it. He’s better at hitting the hole than King and is able to shift downfield better than Samuel.
- Blocking on kickoff returns was absolutely pathetic. Boykin made something out of nothing on his 37-yarder, but there were always at least three or four Gator defenders that arrived without being slowed.
- The saddest thing about the game was that the good work on the offensive line in the first half largely went for nought, undermined by a rash of untimely penalties in the first half and the plague of interceptions in the second half. Georgia ran the ball effectively in the first and second quarters – something I wasn’t expecting – and it set up the play action game that made Bobo look smart and Cox look comfortable. Amazing how that works.
Ultimately it was another game like so many others we’ve seen this year. You look at some of the good things this team is capable of doing at times and you wonder how it struggles so much. But then you step back and notice its inability to remain focused and composed for an entire game and wonder how Georgia has managed to win four games with that schedule.
With the four remaining games left on the slate – Tennessee Tech is a likely win, Kentucky (which lost at home to Mississippi State) is a probable one, Auburn is a tossup (turnovers will be the key factor and that doesn’t bode well for Georgia) and Georgia Tech is a likely loss (again, because turnovers won’t allow the Dawgs to keep up on the scoreboard with the Jackets) – it looks like Georgia will limp into a minor bowl game. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what anyone had in mind at the beginning of the season. There’s an awful lot of talent being wasted in Athens these days.