I sat in a friend’s seat last night, hence the header variation.
Let me start by saying that Russ endeared himself to me with his all too apparent discomfort around Michael Adams last night. He kept trying to shift away from the outgoing president, realized that it wasn’t going to end until he suffered having the collar placed around his neck, bit the bullet and then trotted away as fast as those short, stout legs would let him. A damned good dog, in other words.
Certain aspects of the game that followed mirrored the awkwardness of the ceremony – the defense was in and out of sync throughout the first half, special teams play (outside of a flawless PAT performance by Morgan) had its whiffier moments, the offense turned the ball over four times, including a pick-six off an embarrassingly poor throw by LeMay that cost Georgia any shot at covering the spread – but in the end it all played out about as we expected. Lots of kids played, the most important defensive player got to rest his injury and they still won by better than five touchdowns. As I wrote on Friday, if the Dawgs win the conference games they’ve got coming up in the next two or three weeks, nobody is going to remember the busted coverage that led to FAU’s second touchdown.
On to the gory details.
- Okay, who wants to blame Bobo this morning? Georgia averaged over eleven yards per play last night. I don’t care who you’re playing, that’s fantastic. The offense looked well prepared. The wealth was spread around, as seven different receivers had catches and Gurley, Marshall and Malcome all looked effective running the ball. I had to look it up, but it’s worth noting that Georgia is tenth nationally in scoring offense and twentieth in total offense. Sure, that’s come against some cupcakes, but it’s not like Georgia is the only team that’s faced weaker defenses so far.
- Did you notice that the Dawgs ran plays out of the pistol set? Gurley’s 34-yard TD run came out of the pistol.
- If you’ve ever wondered what people mean when they say a player rumbled on a pass catch, that’s what Lynch did on his touchdown catch. It may not have been elegant, but it sure was effective.
- That was so not pass interference on that penalty call.
- Helluva night for Aaron Murray. He was as sharp as I’ve seen him. He had beautiful touch on his deep ball, as he displayed on the Bennett TD pass. He ran effectively. He didn’t get rattled in the pocket. The only knock on his night was the end zone pick, when he got a little too greedy for his own good.
- Marlon Brown didn’t have too many catches, but he continues to impress with his smoothness and confidence.
- Malcolm Mitchell: one offensive play, one 49-yard reception. Ho hum.
- I thought the whole idea about Erickson’s pooch punts was to keep the ball out of the end zone.
- As well as the linebackers played against Missouri, they played that poorly against FAU in the first half. Pass coverage in particular left a great deal to be desired.
- I know there were two true freshman playing in the front seven, that Ogletree and Rambo were still suspended and that Commings was rusty, but there’s still no excuse for the poor communication and disorganization that plagued the defense. It looked like Williams lost his cool with Gilliard on one play over that.
- Fumbled punt return and fumbled kickoff return both showed a lack of focus. But at least Mitchell laid off trying to field that punt that bounced in front of him. Progress, of a sort.
- Vasser looked like he had less to shake off than Commings did; he turned in a productive game.
- Quayvon Hicks is going to hurt somebody before his college career is over. He flat-out obliterated a lineman on one block I saw.
- Mixed results from the offensive line – run blocking looked improved, but there was more pressure on Murray than I liked (although FAU blitzed a lot). Still, after 713 yards of offense produced, it would be churlish to complain too much.
- Oh, yeah. Keith Marshall and Justin Scott-Wesley are fast.
I know the tendency is to get worked up about the defense’s mediocre first-half play, but it’s not worth getting too riled up about it. Jones didn’t play. Washington barely did. With them out, Georgia couldn’t get any sort of consistent pass rush. They put the clamps on when they had to. I don’t think there will be any focus issues for the Vanderbilt game. And worst case scenario, they’ll be back at full strength for Tennessee.
(BTW, I’m on DISH, so I don’t have the CSS broadcast. Anything those of you who watched it on TV can add, please do so in the comments.)