Perhaps the play that best typifies Georgia’s underachieving season defensively occurred early in the fourth quarter at South Carolina.
With the Gamecocks leading 28-0 and facing a fourth-and-1 at their 20-yard line, they came to the line hoping to draw the Bulldogs offside. All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones obliged, extending a drive that concluded with a Connor Shaw touchdown run that made it a five-touchdown game.
“They were never going to snap that ball,” Bulldogs inside linebacker Christian Robinson said this week. “They looked like they were going to do a quarterback sneak, but all of their linemen’s hands were up by their side. You’re not going to do a quarterback sneak when the linemen aren’t down in a stance.
“They go down and score, and we look undisciplined and look like we don’t know what we’re doing.”
It’s not just that you guys looked undisciplined, Christian. When your best player indulges himself in a boneheaded play – and Robinson explains in detail exactly why that’s the case – it’s a clear sign that you are undisciplined. And I don’t care that it’s in the latter stages of a game in which you’re being whipped. That’s what all the practice and training is for, so that you don’t give up the dumb yards.
I’m not going to get all Jeff Schultz on you here. But it’s clear there’s more going on with Georgia’s defense than just shaking off the rust from the suspensions. Grantham’s right about one thing when he says, “Our players have to let the plays come to them and do what they’re supposed do.” Tomorrow night would be a good time to start.