Obligatory caveat: yes, it was a game against a 1-AA opponent which has gotten more attention from its head coach’s weird rant than it has for its play on the field and whose nickname when pronounced properly sounds more like a men’s choral group than a football team. (Maybe that’s because there is a men’s choral group with that name.)
Yeah, well, anyway, we’ve seen Georgia play too many times down to the level of its opposition. And that’s by far the best thing I took away from yesterday’s game. The team showed up focused and with a sense of purpose. And maintained it all game, especially on defense. It’s only one game and it was against the weakest opponent they’ll see all year, but if the Dawgs had to start somewhere to try to redeem the season, getting locked in and staying there was the right place.
In case you’re wondering, the worst thing I took away from yesterday was this lousy sunburn, on a day where the weather forecasters totally blew it. Lesson learned: any September game when it’s not raining, I’ll take sunblock.
On to the details:
- I didn’t realize beforehand that Tyson wasn’t going to play. Evidently that gave Grantham the chance to throw out some exotic defensive sets. If I’m not mistaken, at one point Georgia was deployed in a 2-4-5. I doubt we’ll see that in SEC play.
- It’s not that Aaron Murray has regressed, but he’s not getting better. His tendency to lock onto a receiver was on display several times yesterday and his mechanics when he throws on the run leave something to be desired.
- Bruce Figgins catching that pass in the flat continues to be money.
- Mason had some jitters on his first series, but looked better once he got comfortable. He threw a couple of nice balls, like the touchdown pass to Charles.
- Biggest worry about the defense? No sacks on the day, which means it still has only one for the season.
- It was a good game to work on the shotgun spread stuff, but the offense still looks more comfortable running out of I-formation sets.
- Amarlo Herrera looks like he’s gonna be a good ‘un.
- Yes, Carlton Thomas ran between the tackles with the results you’d expect, but say this for him – he’s not afraid to pass block. And he’s not bad at it either.
- There aren’t any options behind Anderson at right tackle, which means there are going to be some scary moments against any defense with a decent pass rushing left end. On the other hand, he has moments when he’s a dominant run blocker.
- It’s kind of funny given all the preseason talk about his speed, but Malcolm Mitchell has turned into Georgia’s possession receiver.
- Another week, another great Isaiah Crowell catch.
- I was glad to see the offensive line backups get in and play, but none of them exactly covered themselves in glory.
- At least we confirmed that Ken Malcome lives.
- Branden Smith, there’s no rule that says you have to try to return every punt.
- I was impressed with how fast the defense played, not just in terms of its sheer physical speed, but also in the way that players seemed to line up and play their assignments properly. Maybe there is something to that learning curve business.