I’m going to try to avoid rehashing what’s pissed us off as best I can. Here are a few things I picked up watching the game again.
- I’m guessing most of you don’t want to hear this, but the defense had its longest sustained period of excellence of the season. Here’s how Vanderbilt went from about mid-way in the second quarter until the Wilson “penalty”: pick-six; 3 plays, 2 yards, punt; 4 plays, 6 yards, punt; 6 plays, 35 yards, INT; 3 plays, 5 yards (all on penalty), punt; 4 plays, 6 yards, targeting call. That’s 54 yards on 21 plays, with two turnovers. Yes, the wheels kind of came off the wagon after the call, but keep in mind the two touchdowns scored then covered 15 and 13 yards.
- Also, remember all that happened after they lost Drew and Harvey-Clemons. The defensive line stepped up and continued to play well, and, somewhat shockingly, so did the secondary (at least one of Georgia’s sacks was clearly credited to coverage). Swann played far better at star than he did at corner and Grantham got more out of Mauger and Moore than he did all season. One example was Moore’s interception. Sure, it was a lucky deflection, but if Moore wasn’t in the correct coverage on that play, he never makes the pick. Jordan Matthews isn’t the best receiver Georgia’s faced this season, but he’s in the top three, and the Dawgs held him to his season low in yards per catch.
- Given Swann’s play, what does Grantham do when Harvey-Clemons and Matthews come back?
- Man, that flag on Wilson was slow in coming. I guess that’s what “when in doubt” looks like.
- A lot of the line play could be chalked up to numbers. Georgia ran strong when Vanderbilt showed a four-man line. The Dawgs were also able to run out of the I when Vandy set up with five men on the defensive front. Otherwise, nothing. Shoop did a very good job on a lot of pass plays making sure there was one more man to block than Georgia had blockers for, and while Murray never got sacked, he played like a quarterback who felt he didn’t have much time.
- That may be one reason there was little play action run. But for the second straight week, I wonder why Bobo didn’t call more screens.
- What’s killing this offense more than anything is inconsistent play in the red zone. Georgia had a first-and-goal on three separate occasions and only managed to get in the end zone once, and that was on a first-and-inside the one situation. Convert all three, and Georgia likely wins the game. Not having Gurley hurts, but the tight ends aren’t showing up, either.
- Bobo’s fourth-quarter play calling left something to be desired, but the scoring drive that effectively closed out the first half was a thing of beauty.
- How was that hit on Murray not flagged for targeting? At this point, all I can figure is that the SEC has decided that Aaron Murray by definition is never a defenseless player.
- I haven’t seen another team that’s played Georgia this season use their hands as much as Vanderbilt did. The offensive line, the secondary (Conley, in particular, was held almost every time I saw a replay downfield) and the receivers (Krause got away with what I thought was a blatant push-off of Swann on that 41-yard completion) were all doing it early and often. But you know what? If the refs aren’t going to call that stuff, you coach your players to do it. Vandy’s a well-coached bunch.
- If the US is looking for a replacement for waterboarding terrorists, may I suggest turning Brando and Taylor loose on them? Between the two, I can’t figure out what was more excruciating – Brando’s fumbling about on the targeting rule or Taylor’s insight on Georgia running the read option in almost any situation – but combined they were bad enough that it would have been a relief to listen to Jesse Palmer.