On a picture perfect day, Georgia settled in and, for once, dominated an opponent it should have dominated.
It would be churlish on my part to do a good-bad-ugly breakdown for a game that went 38-0, so I’ll just settle for a few bullet points.
- The non-football stuff. The weather couldn’t have been better. The crowd was larger than many people thought it might be and was generally supportive, if not rabidly enthusiastic (to be fair, it wasn’t that kind of game). And with a 1:00 PM start and no TV, it was like doing the time warp and watching a game as if it was in the eighties – efficiently pleasant.
- The shutout. Yeah, it was Tennessee Tech and that was a pitiful offensive line that the Dawg defense went up against yesterday. But any time the other team doesn’t cross midfield, you’re doing something right. Six sacks, fifteen tackles for loss, negative rushing yardage on the day – that’s a Grade A performance in my book. And Martinez had the good sense not to crow about it. Bring that level of excellence this Saturday, and we’ll talk.
- Logan Gray. I don’t know whether it’s the player or the coaching, but, man, that was one underwhelming performance yesterday. Everything – and I do mean everything – about the interception was horrid, except that it came on a part of the field where it didn’t leave the defense in a hole. But for Gray to look less than impressive against a less than impressive opponent isn’t a good thing. You look at schools like Cincinnati which can trot a backup out after the starter goes down and can’t help but wonder what’s the problem in Athens. There’s a reason why Cox is the starter. And next year looks a little scarier, to be honest.
- The penalties. You can’t blame this one on the coaches. Eleven penalties in a game that was in control from the first series? Five false start penalties? That’s a focus problem, big time.
- The tight ends. I heart Orson and Aron. They’re only going to improve, especially as they become better blockers.
- Washaun Ealey. Given the limits of the offensive line’s ability to run block, he’s clearly Georgia’s best option at running back. It’s not that Caleb King is a bad back, but his style is such that he tends to wait for the blocking to develop, which is not part of the standard equipment right now. Ealey is much more decisive hitting the hole, which is what fits best.
- Turnover margin. If you wind up going -1 in a game like that, it’s hopeless. I had to look, and, yes, Georgia is still 119th nationally in TO margin. And dead last in takeaways. But, hey, at least Joe Cox ended his interception streak!