Jeez, that sucked.
In the immortal words of James Brown, can I hit it and quit now? No? Oh, well, on to the bullet points, which seem to lack a sense of urgency today.
- Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. It wasn’t the offensive line’s greatest day. They lacked effort and found themselves outhustled all game, seemingly. As I mentioned in my previous post, a stubborn game plan didn’t help, but even on those rare occasions when Georgia ran out of a three wide receiver set, the run blocking seemed hit or miss. Catalina is strong and is fine when straight ahead run blocking is called for, but he lacks lateral quickness, which is kind of important for a left tackle. As far as his cohorts go, multiple holding calls against an inferior opponent are an embarrassment.
- Watching Nick Chubb get stuffed repeatedly is an experience I hope never to see again. No excuse for his fumble either. That being said, I hate to think how the game might have ended if he hadn’t picked up the blitz on the Lambert completion that picked up Georgia’s last first down.
- Speaking of which, 5 of 13 on third down conversions? Against a mediocre FCS defense? Argh.
- Terry Godwin is one of the fastest players on the team. He has the best hands among all of Georgia’s receivers. Yeah, he’s not a great blocking threat – there’s only so much he can do with that physique – but you have to get the ball in his hands more, don’t you?
- Okay, Chigbu is a physical presence downfield, but how much does that compensate for dropping a couple of catches they really needed him to make?
- And if downfield blocking is your primary consideration for receivers’ playing time, I think Mr. Wims showed he’s due a little more time on the field. The block that sprung McKenzie for his touchdown was sensational.
- Nice Jekyll and Hyde game, Isaiah. Speaking of which, after the fumbled punt, which coach thought it was a good idea for you to handle the kickoff?
- Two lies: the check’s in the mail and Georgia’s offensive coordinator intends to involve the tight ends more in the passing game.
- Eason didn’t play badly. He really didn’t. There were a few missed reads. There was also a few balls dropped that shouldn’t have been. And, yeah, he probably shouldn’t have forced that throw that wound up being intercepted on a bounce. But I didn’t see any reason to pull him late like they did.
- Especially when Lambert showed nothing special in his two series. His incompletion came after reading only half the field; too bad his two open receivers were on the side he didn’t see.
- Weird game from the defensive line, which seemed to have issues handling second down plays and didn’t get too much pressure on the Nicholls’ quarterbacks, but also saw Trenton Thompson rack up a bunch of behind the line of scrimmage tackles and a sack. Marshall continues to show why Smart pursued him so ardently.
- Lorenzo Carter saw some time in pass coverage. Okay.
- Add the secondary to the hit and miss group. Parrish got burned more than once. Mo Smith wasn’t anything great, either. Sanders was lucky that on the play he slipped leaving the receiver wide open for a touchdown pass there was just enough pressure up front to cause a poor throw. But there were a couple of interceptions, granted on poorly thrown balls, but still.
- Kudos to Aaron Davis for a perfect timed blitz. Yay!
- Special teams? You really want to talk about special teams? McKenzie was the little girl with the curl out there. Blankenship was much improved on kickoffs, with several touchbacks. Long looked more consistent with his punting. Ham has a strong enough leg, but still looks rusty. Outside of McKenzie’s big run, there wasn’t much else to like about the return game.
- I joked to my friend during the game about the relative sizes of the two staffs, but Nicholls clearly got more for their money yesterday, as Georgia was badly outcoached, both in terms of game planning and in terms of having the team ready to play. Again, the stats don’t bear it out, but when you have to burn a timeout because your defense is confused and has too many men on the field, that’s a sign of lost composure, not something that should happen against Nicholls.
- While I’m willing to give Smart a pass from a longer time frame standpoint, there’s no doubt he bears the bulk of the responsibility for a game that almost became a complete disaster. His game plan was that of a coach who was clearly looking ahead and his players were completely unprepared to handle a cupcake game.
Maybe Smart wanted to see if he had a team that could bring its D-minus game against a FCS team and survive. If so, he cut that a little too close for comfort. Maybe he wanted to show recruits a reason to believe he’s being entirely serious when he tells them the program needs new players. (I’m being facetious. But, if that wasn’t a reason going in, you can be sure he’ll point to it on the recruiting trail. Whatever works, and all that.) In any event, nothing worked.
All I know is that a good coach learns from his mistakes. Plus, you know what they say about a team improving the most from its second week to its third… oh, wait.