Observations from the bar stool, Georgia-Missouri edition

One thing you can say about this series is that it lacks any form of consistency, other than Georgia winning (four out of five, now).  Last year was a defensive struggle only Tommy Tuberville could have loved, the year before was a turnover-fueled blow out, et cetera, et cetera.

Anyway, three games into 2016 and we’re starting to see a pattern emerge of a team that finds itself behind in the second half and manages to pull itself together to win in the end.  It’s thrilling, but it’s also a dangerous way to go about your business.  It also has meant that Smart hasn’t had much of an opportunity to get his younger, greener players some meaningful game experience, which kinda sounds like something we used to say about Richt.

Still, in the end, Georgia is 3-0, and at this early juncture, that matters more than anything else.  On to the bullet points.

  • You have to start with Jacob Eason.  In a game where the defense did exactly what everyone would advise you do against Georgia’s offense — gear up to stop Nick Chubb and make Eason beat you — the true freshman quarterback did just that.  (I don’t know if we appreciate yet how big a deal that should turn out to be.)  Eason made some freshman mistakes, sure;  to cite the most egregious example, the interception was the result of staring down the receiver and not seeing the defender step into the passing lane.  He was surprisingly wobbly and short with his deep throws.  He had a couple of bad reads.  But he did a ton right.  His intermediate passing was crisp.  He was patient on his touchdown throw to Payne.  And on the biggest play of the night, he read the defense perfectly and made a clutch throw to McKenzie.  Had his receivers held on to a few more passes, he final stats would have bordered on the remarkable.  Oh, yeah, he had almost sixty pass attempts in a game (55 throws and four sacks), which is more than any of Richt’s quarterbacks attempted.  Not too shabby, kid.
  • If Eason is Topic 1A, then Isaiah McKenzie is a close 1B.  That was the game of his career, and when you consider some of the big returns he’s had for Georgia in the past, that’s a pretty nice compliment.  He caught big passes, including the game winner, he had a couple of nice runs and he turned in a couple of decent punt returns, as well.  His hands and route running have improved significantly.  He’s always been a nightmare to cover in the slot.  It’s just that now he’s making defenses pay for that.
  • Unfortunately, the next item on the agenda has to be the offensive line.  It’s not a good story.  The line play was inconsistent at best, the worst offenders being Catalina and Kublanow.  Catalina was up against a stud in Harris, true, but it was the same story I saw against Carolina —  he simply isn’t capable of handling speed rushes.  If that were all, they could scheme their way around some of that.  In fact, they did use the tight ends, the guard and even Chubb (!) to help out.  The more troubling thing I saw was that Catalina disappeared as a run blocker throughout much of the third and fourth quarters, although he did rally on Georgia’s final scoring drive.  Maybe it’s just a case of a kid from the Northeast having to adjust to the heat and humidity, I don’t know.  As for Kublanow, he got pushed back regularly by the center of the Mizzou d-line, but did have his moments, especially when he had the chance to pull out.  As for the rest of the line, nobody really appeared to shine consistently throughout, although having to block eight and nine in the box certainly didn’t help.  No way around it, it’s an area of concern.
  • Chubb had a frustrating night.  And with the line blocking and Missouri’s defensive strategy, why not?  The good news is that he stands as the most likely beneficiary of Eason’s improvement.  The interesting thing is how much Chaney called on Chubb to pass protect; Chubb did pretty well with it, too.
  • Michel had a nice night.  I think he’s bound to explode once he’s fully back from his injury.
  • Where was Herrien?
  • Christian Payne, bad ass pass catcher.
  • The receiving corps was a mixed bag.  McKenzie had a huge night.  Godwin keeps being Godwin and you can’t help but notice he was out there for more snaps than in the previous two games; he may not be anything special as a blocker, but he’s too productive a receiver to hold that against him.  Chigbu is the yang to Godwin’s yin.  He’s a good blocker, but if you’re the possession receiver, the possession part’s kind of important.  They really need for a third wideout to step up.
  • The tight ends contributed all game with good blocking and some key catches.  I don’t know why they don’t throw more to Blazevich, though.
  • On defense, the d-line deserves a little credit.  Mizzou didn’t have 100 yards rushing on the night.  Thompson continues his excellent play.  Marshall again showed what a huge late pickup he was in this recruiting class.  Yes, the pass rush was pretty barren in the first half, but some of that was due to the quick pass plays Missouri had Lock spin.
  • The outside linebackers were similarly hit and miss.  Carter seems oh so close to being an impact player, but not quite.  He was in the backfield a lot.  D’Andre Walker seems like he’s on the verge of becoming a dominant player; he needs to see the field more.
  • It may not have been noticeable, but the ILBs did a good job with pass coverage in the middle of the field.  If you think about it, Missouri did almost no damage in that area, something that’s notably different from years past.
  • Weird game from the secondary, which got toasted quite a bit in the first half, but settled down nicely in the second.  Briscoe was the cover boy in that department, as he got picked on frequently early on, but wound up with some key turnovers to help.  Smith turned in another quiet game.  Sanders was inconsistent.  He had some brilliant moments, but he was a major contributor to that disastrous 79-yard TD reception.  But how about Quincy Mauger, who came off the bench and played his ass off!  That interception was about as well played as could be and couldn’t have come at a better time.  I’d say something nice about Parrish, except Missouri paid him the highest compliment possible by not throwing in his direction; in fact, I noticed on several occasions that the receiver he was guarding didn’t even bother to run a route, electing simply to keep him out of coverage altogether.
  • Do I really have to discuss the special teams?  If Kevin Butler is supposed to be the placekicker whisperer, they aren’t listening.  Tell me your heart wasn’t in your throat a little when Ham lined up to kick the winning extra point.  Neither guy can put a kickoff in the end zone consistently.  Fortunately, coverage on all but one kickoff was pretty good.  Long looks like he’s improving from week to week with his punting.  Blocking in the punt return game remains non-existent;  McKenzie earned every yard he made on his own.  Special teams should have cost them the game, but didn’t.  I wonder if I’ll be able to say that the rest of the season.
  • As far as coaching goes, Chaney deserves some credit for rummaging through the toolbox to find something that worked.  Let’s face it — power running teams don’t throw the ball 55 times in a game, not to mention that game being an SEC road game with a true freshman quarterback.  He got Chubb and Michel into a few sets together and made good use of them that way.  His offensive line isn’t consistent and that means he’s going to have to keep scrambling, but if Eason continues to develop, that’s going to make his job a lot easier.
  • Tucker did something you want to see a defensive coordinator do, which was to make some adjustments at the half.  Missouri’s offense was much less productive in the second half, and while some of that was due to the Tigers trying to run a little clock behind their running game, it was also due to his secondary stepping up with takeaways.
  • Smart deserves credit for two big things.  One, after last week’s debacle, it would have been easy to see this team collapse emotionally after Missouri roared out to an early lead, and again, after the Eason interception that lead to the Tigers’ last lead, a similar fold.  Instead, they held it together and walked out of Columbia with a win that was as satisfying as it was ugly.  The second thing was not bailing on Eason, even for a series.  I don’t know if that was the game plan going in, or if it were Kirby’s instincts that led him that way, but either way, it was a huge message to Eason as well as the team that they stuck with him after the interception and gave him the chance to win the game.  It’s decisions like that that lead to better days ahead.

Survive and advance has been the story so far in 2016.  There are some obvious and scary flaws with this team.  Some of those, honestly, I don’t see how there’s a fix for this season.  But you also got a glimpse of some other areas where the team has a high ceiling.  I’m still not backing away from my preseason prediction of nine wins.  But I can see the opportunity for one or two more if Smart can cannily balance the good against the bad.  We’ll quickly see about that this Saturday.

112 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

112 responses to “Observations from the bar stool, Georgia-Missouri edition

  1. RC

    Could a JUCO kicker be the answer for next year? I know that Kirby has gone on record as against giving scholarships to kickers, but he may have to get over that, and quickly. Kickers are typically not that hot a commodity on the JUCO market, but I have to think that if you (we) targeted the number one guy out there this winter that we would have a good shot of landing him.

    Be nice to have one that is a proven commodity in the college game, too.

    Like

    • HVL Dawg

      Kirby said yesterday he didn’t have a policy against giving scholarships to kickers. It’s just that when he finally got here from Alabama all the good kickers were gone.

      Like

  2. MLB2

    I’ve said that I would give CKS a 2 year pass without judgement. After watching the OL play, I may have to give him 3.

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  3. Bright Idea

    With the obvious holes on this team any win is a good win no matter how it looks.

    Like

  4. Starbreaker

    You mention the wobble on Eason’s deep balls that came up short…has anyone else noticed that he almost never throws a tight spiral? For sure his release is quick and he throws some rockets, but I feel like every pass has some turbulence on it.

    Like

    • DawgPhan

      he throws a really ugly ball..

      Like

    • I noticed that, too. Not pretty, but I don’t know that it affected “catchability”.

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    • Jared S.

      Someone once said of Tebow’s long balls that Tom Brady could throw a frozen turkey in a tighter spiral. I can’t help but think of that comment when I watch the replay of THE PASS to McKenzie. Ha.

      Like

      • DawgPhan

        I watched a little NFL this weekend and was shocked at the way Bradford could throw the ball. Obviously he is a Heisman winning NFL veteran and I just watched an 18 year old throw the ball, but the difference was amazing.

        I will definitely be watching to see if it improves over the course of the season.

        You know Chaney once coached Drew Brees.

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        • Jared S.

          Ha. I am glad Eason is our QB and don’t care how wobbly his long balls are as long as his receivers can catch ’em.

          I recognize it’s pretty ridiculous for me to critique him; I am 33-years old and in the “prime” of muscular-skeletal development. But I can only throw a pigskin half as far as Eason. And when I do it’s more wobbly than his longest throws…. and I’m tossing it around in my back yard without 300-lb lightning fast monsters trying to knock my block off. Ha.

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      • James Stephenson

        He can throw a spiral though, he did in the spring game. I think it will come around for him.

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    • RG

      Yes, I have noticed that too. But I also saw that in his high school tape. For some reason he does throw a wobbly ball but it still comes out of their screamin’. I’m sure it’s just a case of young qb with a gun slinger arm that needs to refine his grip to really throw a tight ball.

      He’s relying a lot on just his overall arm strength to get the ball down field but could become a more productive deep ball passer with less effort if he can tighten that spiral.

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    • When he has enough time to set and throw, he spins the ball beautifully.
      When he is under duress, which is way to frequently with our OL problems, he does throw some ball with a bit of a wobble, but the velocity and accuracy are still there most of the time.
      Don’t you guys have anything better to do than nit-pick little shit like this?
      How about you or the next George Whitfield, AKA DawgPhan, go by Kirby’s office this afternoon and offer to demonstrate to Jacob the proper technique, hmm?

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      • Starbreaker

        Relax…just making an observation. The kid obviously throws bullets and has a great touch to drop it in based on what I’ve seen (as I stated originally).

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Peyton Manning threw wobblers for his entire career.

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    • Sh3rl0ck

      It is just a matter of time. As he gets more experience, especially after a full offseason, the game will slow down for him. He will make his reads and decisions more quickly and will be able to focus more on form. A tight spiral comes from your hips and knee being in sync with your shoulder. He’ll get there, and it will be glorious.

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    • Dawg_Dave

      He throws spirals. Just nerves I would assume. A tight grip can make it come out ugly. Other mechanics probably fall by the wayside when you’re getting baptized by fire as he is.

      Like

  5. DawgPhan

    also just stop kicking the ball.

    just stop.

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    • Noonan

      Yep. As soon as we get inside the 40, we should be in four down territory. The OC can plan for this if he knows in advance.

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    • Connor

      This is the key I think. Having a bad kicker can be mitigated by using (or more accurately not using him) appropriately. Florida had a terrible kicker back in 2006, and they just didn’t rely on him much.
      Having no good kicker on campus is out of Kirby’s hands now. Using no good kickers going forward is entirely on him.

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      • Uglydawg

        Remember when Richt gave up on the kicker? The red zone became four down territory and things actually worked out better. Paul Johnson is no genius, but he does have the four down thing right most of the time. You’ll get more points over a season by risking a fourth and short than you will risking a field goal.(See GA vs UT late first half, last year).esp. with a shakey kicker.
        Then again, maybe KB can fix him.

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  6. FisheriesDawg

    Not that it is likely (I mean, who gets that lucky over a season?), but I can’t help but think of that 2013 Auburn team a little after watching us the first three games. They looked like garbage early on but somehow managed to just keep gridning out early wins. Yeah, it took a ton of luck late in the season to get to play FSU, but early in the year I wouldn’t have thought they would have even survived the first half against Alabama or FSU. They most certainly got much better than any Auburn fans could have imagined over the course of that season; I suppose we could hold out hope that we see something similar from our OL, WR, and LB corps.

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    • sUGArdaddy

      The biggest misconception too many fans have is that they think one game (or even a few) will tell the story of the season. They just don’t. Every game is a game unto itself, and it really takes about 6-7 games before you really start understanding a team.

      And you never know how teams respond to losses, wins, or whatever. What happened in CoMo will have almost no bearing on what happens in Oxford. When they kickoff, it’s football.

      You start to see patterns, but kids improve and sometimes they regress. There are so many variables (which make it fun), and every game has crazy plays that completely turn a game around.

      That Auburn team got trucked by LSU that year, then turned around and kept winning. They beat a bad Miss St. ugly, scoring a TD with 11 seconds left, won a huge game in College Station (that got them believing) by sacking Johnny Football on the final drive. Then, luck paid them a visit vs. their 2 biggest rivals, and chips fell right for them on championship Saturday. Todd’s injury was a huge break for them, too. With Todd, we most surely beat Mizzou and Vandy and go on to win the East. Todd kept getting better, and I’m not sure they fare well against us the 2nd time. But they got to play Mizzou.

      We might get boat-raced in Oxford, but one never knows. And…that doesn’t mean it’s the end. Keep Swinging.

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      • Uglydawg

        Interesting pov. I’ll buy most of it..If CKS can find a way to negate Old Miss’ pass rush, we may have a chance..but it will take quick throws, better blocking and mixing in some draws and screens…esp. screens. I-mac on a draw might be a winner.

        Like

        • Got Cowdog?

          Brand new coach, brand new QB, and IMO not a lot left in the cupboard by the former staff. Y’all know what Diddly/Squat is? Zero. That’s how much I know about football.
          So, I’m throwing my two cents in:
          The Dawgs will be fine, but it may take a couple of years. I think a lot of Coach Richt as a man and a coach, but I feel the change was necessary. I’m willing to support the team, win or lose until Coach Smart gets his own recruiting class into their later stages of eligibility. Then I will watch them some more, win or lose, and cheer them on because I am a Dawg Fan.
          I hope Coach Richt wears them out at Miami, because I don’t think the way it went down here was completely his fault. There are two sides to every story after all……
          But I like our great big puppy QB. I like our Coach. Especially the way he handles the media. I like our understaffed and somewhat outmanned O Line, I don’t doubt for a second what they give is all they got. And guess what Bitchez, we 3-0! We will see what the black bear land shark captain Akbar rebels got and Go Dawgs!
          Peace, out

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  7. BCDawg97

    I still think 9 wins is the ceiling and the Munson in me sees one or two more losses than projected if he we have to keep balancing the good against the bad. I was hopeful for 9-3, would’ve put money on 8-4 and now think 7-5 is a real possibility. But as everyone keeps seeming to say, these last 2 are games Richt loses. I don’t know if that’s the case but give the kids and coaches credit for pulling through. Hope it does pay off down the road this season.

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    • DawgPhan

      lulz….

      I love the idea that 2 weeks ago UGA put up one of the worst performances in 60 years and people can’t stop them themselves from saying CMR would have lost that game.

      He had 15 years at UGA and never even played in a game that bad, much less lost one.

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      • Jared S.

        Yeah, and many, many people (fans and “analysts”) predicted Miami would “faceplant” against Appalachian State last week and they won in convincing fashion. Almost like they knew what they were doing. Miami has won by an average margin of 43 points over their first three games. Not even a hint of “playing down to their opponents” like Richt was always accused of doing.

        Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m kind of playing the devil’s advocate here. But I think everyone can agree that CKS inherited a better team for his first year at UGA than Richt inherited at Miami. Or no?

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        • DawgPhan

          shhhhhhhh……

          dont bring that up.

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        • sUGArdaddy

          Brad Kaaya. Put him on this team and we’re a very, very pretty 3-0. It’ll get a lot prettier the next 2.75 years.

          As a RS Fr., Greenie had his glorious moments, but we also had constipated games (here’s looking at you 2001 South Carolina). Young or bad QBs make things kind of ugly sometimes.

          It doesn’t matter now. Loved Richt. Love Kirby. Beat Ole Miss.

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      • BCDawg97

        I stated it poorly I guess. I don’t know either whether Richt would’ve lost those games but people I know keep saying it. I’m just happy that the 2016 version of Georgia football found ways to win games they struggled in and hope it pays off down the road.

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        • The Truth

          See, I’m in the camp that remembers CMR winning games like Saturday night — his teams were pretty good on the road and didn’t quit.

          His problem were the high profile, everybody’s watching (I mean, seriously, other than UGA and Mizzou fans, who gave a shit about Saturday night), Gameday’s on campus games where we would come out and face plant.

          CMR’s failures had a different profile than the Mizzou game.

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          • LamontSanford

            Richt’s early teams were good on the road and didn’t quit. I was in the keep Richt camp (so long as he jettisoned the Schottenheimer albatross). But as time went on there was quit in them. When those teams were on, it was fun to watch–but when the momentum shifted it was awful. You could see it…and just knew it wasn’t coming back. I believe that a Richt team folds in 1 if not both of the last 2 games when they were down.

            Maybe its just the “newness” of Kirby but this team seems a bit more resilient than the ones the last few years.

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    • We lost to Florida, UT and Alabama last year and in 2014 we lost to Florida, South Carolina by 3 and to Tech in OT and won 10 games in each season with Mason and Lambert.

      Based on actual FACTS, CMR may have been 3-0 in 2016 with Lambert. I know we wouldn’t be 3-0 in 2016 if we didn’t have Eason.

      Where is the evidence/logic for the idea that CMR would have lost any of the first 3?

      It seems to me that we made the change for games like the 2 that are upcoming. The 3 behind us were never the issue and I don’t get the BS that they would have been, at all.

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    • Uglydawg

      I’m afraid the kicking game wlll cost us some games that I had in the W column…on the other hand, Eason could progress and turn this thing into something special.

      Like

  8. mwo

    Is Mecole Hardman injured?

    Like

    • 202dawg

      He was the sccop-and-score guy on that Choates targeting call.

      Like

      • mwo

        Thanks. I didn’t get to see the game. I listened to the 4th quarter on the way home from Chastain. Did the fair catch signal come early and Choates just didn’t see it? I think that is what happened in the NC game.

        Like

        • No. This time he just took him out before the ball got there.

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          • None

            Yeah, I think the ball actually bounced off Choates’ helmet as it was burying itself into Mizzou dude’s chest.

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            • Dawgfan Will

              The most frustrating thing about that penalty was that, after watching the replay, it looks like Choates might have been able to nail the guy legally with a good chance to still cause the fumble had he been a step slower. As far as I can see, the returner didn’t signal fair catch.

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  9. JasonC

    RE: Herrien
    I think you answered your question in the other bullet points. With the OL playing crappy, they wanted experienced guys who could block, like Chubb or receivers like Sony. If Chubb wasn’t going to have success running into Mizzou’s 8-man fronts, I don’t think it’s reasonable to believe Herrien would either.

    Like

  10. TXBaller

    Stoops just changed media access to Freshmen after Austin Kendall provided bulletin board material for Ohio State. And will limit access in the future to “older” players. Maybe Kirby not such a dumb ass after all.

    Like

    • DawgPhan

      sure because his comments are the reason that Ohio State beat them at home.

      Oh boy if only he hadnt said that, Oklahoma would have rolled.

      darn it.

      Like

      • ASEF

        No, but it does reinforce the idea that Stoops doesn’t have enough control over his players or can’t coach them to say sensible things with a microphone in their face. Stoops is 1-3 over his last 4. He’s got to do something to remind fans he’s a real football coach.

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      • stoopnagle

        The best part is that it was OU’s own athletic programming who put that out there – not independent media! So much for Sooner Pravda, eh?

        Like

  11. Beyond the awful performance of the offensive line, Kirby’s comments about not using scholarships for kickers and fullbacks kept echoing in my mind throughout this game. For a university with such a rich tradition at kicker, how did we get here? And Christian Payne should have earned a scholly Saturday night. With 9 in the box, a fullback suddenly becomes the most versatile player on the field IMO. As much as we talk about how the game has changed, having a Verron Haynes or Brannon Southerland in the backfield who can bring the hammer runblocking or catch the ball in the flat or downfield is a lethal weapon. Ask Missouri.

    Like

    • Jared S.

      See above post from HVLDawg regarding kicker scholarships. Kirby was asked about that yesterday and clarified that he’s all for using scholarships for kickers. Just that all the good ones were signed by other schools by the time he got to UGA. Which I totally buy.

      The fullbacks thing is worrying. Agree with you on Payne. He is a perfect example of why great fullbacks are needed and why they deserve scholarships.

      Like

      • The fullback issue is complicated by a couple of things. First, there are hardly any out there anymore with the way HS ball is going. For example, Hicks was a DL in HS. Second, when you put a FB in there you bring another guy into the box. Usually that guy is better than your FB. Few defenses have guys that can deal with 6’6″ 250 fast TE’s.

        There are good reasons to abandon the FB and go with more TE’s.

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        • Good comment about fullbacks. They’ve gone the way of the buggy whip in high school and are getting close to irrelevance in the League. Find a a TE/H-back who can play both positions.

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  12. DawgPhan

    I guess what I am most surprised about 3 games into this season is that I really thought that we would have a couple of guys just go and have really great seasons. IMAC has been great, Eason has been a great surprise. But I thought that we would have a couple of guys really show out this season and it doesnt seem like that is happening.

    I really thought that we would be seeing more great performances from a few of the experienced guys and that hasnt really happened.

    Like

    • Jared S.

      Nothing has surprised me this season except Chubb’s inability to get 100 rushing yards against Nicholls State and Mizzou. I find myself actually hoping that it is simply because the OL is THAT bad, and not because Chubb’s talents have been limited by his injury.

      Like

      • Spike

        This^^^, and throw to the tight ends!

        Like

        • So. IL Dawg

          When they put 8 and 9 in the box, no one can run the ball. Also, Chubb was hit in the backfield something like 67% of the time. He’s lucky to get the yards he did. if Eason can continue to progress, he’ll get teams out of stacking the box because he’ll burn them. I do remember one play where they didn’t stack the box and Chubb had a nice 9 or 10 yard run. the key is can Eason make them pay for stacking the box. if he can, the offense will be lethal. let’s hope it starts on Saturday.

          Like

  13. zdawg15

    Who is this Mauger kid you speak of? Did you mean Mojaay?
    The high pooch kickoff may be the way to go.

    Like

  14. ASEF

    That 55th pass attempt was definitely a “game changer” for Eason. True freshman playing behind a struggling line, pulls out an SEC opener road win with a do-or-die pass.

    I’m not sure that back-to-back games against Ole Miss and Tennessee – probably the 2nd and 3rd most talented teams in the conference right now – provide any immediate room to build on that growth. But “wobbly passes” to me usually suggest a QB playing tight and muscling his throws. Hopefully Eason can relax a bit and just focus on playing within himself and getting better week to week.

    Like

  15. PTC DAWG

    Reading some of the comments here, I’m pretty sure many of y’all have gotten your Miami gear in the mail.

    Like

  16. Sanford222view

    Why does it seem we only run Chubb out of one formation and basically the same play each time? He seems to excel at running the toss sweep. Has that play been outlawed? Or how about throwing him the ball out of the back field?

    Like

  17. Macallanlover

    I am envious that so many can find reasons for optimism, and I am grateful they found a way to steal one last Saturday, but this week looks like a disaster to me. I am a proponent of the “any given Saturday” philosophy in CFB but Old Miss looks like a total beat down to me, unless they don’t show up at all and sulk around following their loss to Bama. Just a dominant edge in all three phases of the game, bad match up for UGA.

    Like

    • So. IL Dawg

      Ole Miss has run out to a big lead in every game. The difference has been that their D has tired in the second half allowing the other team to score and catch up. We need long sustained drives keeping their O on the sidelines while attempting to wear out their D asap. our D needs to bend but don’t while not giving up the big, quick strike plays. Make them drive the length of the field and hold them to some fg’s. We need to keep the game close and get into the 4th quarter.

      I really like the direction this team is going

      GO DAWGS!!!

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        Like Mizzou, they are not a threat to run the ball well, but they are even better at QB and WR and I saw receivers running wide open all night last Saturday for Mizzou. I don’t think the Rebels will abandon their passing game if it enjoys the 1st half success Mizzou found. And the Old Miss front group is far better than Mizzou, who we could not block either.

        Your point about scoring quickly and tiring the defense out is valid, probably why Mizzou mysteriously abandoned what was working for them in the first two quarters. The concern is they will have built such a large lead into the third that even a tired defense will not give up enough to allow UGA back in.

        We will need substantial turnover help to bail us out, see us 3+ TDs down at the end. Would like to keep it respectable in Oxford this week, leave with no major injuries, and get after a Vol team next week that doesn’t look to be as bad a match up for us.

        Like

    • Russ

      I feel the same way, Mac. Ole Miss can’t continue to gack up huge leads. Comeback wins are nice, but at some point it’s going to bite us.

      Like

    • jrod1229

      Except that whole depth thing.. and knowing how to win, or run the ball.. those small things

      Like

  18. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Color me amused by the hand-wringing over the wobbly throws. FIRE EASON!!! Geez. He’s a true freshman playing on the road in the SEC.

    Of course I think on some of the shorter passes he should put a little more touch on the ball. 😉

    Like

  19. Jeff Sanchez

    On Briscoe’s second “turnover”….he was burned AGAIN on that play, and the WR was likely on his way for the score before he was stripped.

    The ball literally fell right in fron of 12, and instead of just jumping on it, he picks it up and tries to run with it. Big Trent had to tackle him to get him down.

    Just an awful, awful game for him

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    • WF Dawg

      Here’s my take on Briscoe: he has great hands and ball skills. We’ve seen that already with his two INTs. But he’s a liability in coverage, which means that his great hands are often nowhere near the ball, or the receiver. I don’t think Aaron Davis hung the moon or anything, but I’d give him, or somebody, a look at corner if Briscoe struggles early against Ole Miss.

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      • SCIllinois

        I was actually in a Mizzou skybox for the game (friend of friend of friend gave tickets). I had been incredibly quiet the whole game, trying to be respectful since I was in a room full of Tigers and had been given an expensive ticket.

        When Briscoe started running with the ball, I started screaming combinations of “get down” and four letter words. My “being respectful” plan went out the window (and potentially all the way down to Briscoe) at that moment =)

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        • Macallanlover

          Funny. I took a friend with me and we were sitting in the owner’s box of a MLB team, owner was also a friend. End of the season and the Cards were in town for a deciding series. Close play at the plate right in front of us and my friend jumps up and shouts as the Cardinal runner slides in safely. I went to the bar and sat the rest of the game out.

          Glad TT tackled Briscoe on that play to get him down. Also glad that didn’t cause Briscoe to fumble…that would have been so Georgia!

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    • Hardcoredawg 93

      I am rooting for Briscoe but he reminds me of Bryan Evans circa 09.

      Like

  20. Nate Dawg

    I just wonder what this game would have looked like say if you catch half of the dropped passes and that obvious pass interference call with about 9 min left in the 3rd quarter (I think) had been called. Even the word “flag” came up on the screen. Not sure if they threw a flag and picked it up or even the ESPN folk thought it would be called and then it wasn’t. Who knows what that might have lead to…

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    • WF Dawg

      That was the most egregious missed call I’ve seen in quite awhile. Get that right and make the two FGs, and we’ve got some breathing room.

      Like

  21. The 2 timeouts to stop the clock from running out at 5 min+ are the 2 genius calls of “Einstein” Kirby. Without those 2 calls, it is likely that Eason would have felt more hurried and not his mark to win the game or the clock would have run out.

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    • “not hit his mark”

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      • DawgFlan

        Meh. Either way that 4th down was the ballgame for us. No way we would have gotten the ball back. Give Eason full credit. If anything running a bit more clock would have given us a win without needing a turnover just as Mizzou was entering field goal territory with about a minute and a timeout. I personally thought Kirby used the timeouts too early, but it didn’t hurt us in the end.

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    • dawgman3000

      The biggest fear I had, even before we took the lead, was that Mizzou would have too much time left on the clock to drive down and kick a field goal.

      Like

  22. Hardcoredawg 93

    I am glad the D hunkered down so that sassy Mizzou QB couldn’t do that little dance anymore after a big pass play. Dude reminded me of Tebow with his ” look at me” antics.

    Also, it is humorous to hear Musberger try to pronounce “Dawgs”.

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  23. Mayor

    IMHO Mauger hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves for that INT. If Mauger doesn’t intercept that 3rd down pass Mizzou kicks a FG on the next play to get to a 9 point lead with about 6 minutes to go and the Dawgs lose the game. A lot of guys did a lot of good things to allow Georgia to win that game but Mauger’s play, really for the entire game, was right up there at the top.

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  24. Nice Observations Senator. Let’s add the 5 Turnovers the defense caused and no points to show for it. You mentioned the high ceiling for this group and I think we should add that to the list for the offense to do their part. Create points off turnovers and we will see those 14-24 point wins we are looking for.

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  25. PTC DAWG

    IF we come out of the UT game with one loss, we are still in prime position to win the East IMHO….

    Like

    • If we split we’re in good shape. Much better to win next week though for tiebreaker reasons. If UF extends their streak Saturday afternoon that can change because UT ain’t beating Alabama. In short if we win the early game we don’t care who wins the CBS game but if we lose its “go gata!”

      We lose them both and I think we’re doomed.

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  26. No detailed mention of passes dropped here, but there were a number of them. Chigbu dropped his only chance, Reggie Davis dropped one (although it was low and not easy), and although he was the star, McKenzie dropped a couple, including a touchdown pass right in his arms. If this continues, we’re in trouble against everyone we play, except maybe Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and those might be competitive too (see Nichols score).

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    • Macallanlover

      I see the rest of the season as dangerous as you do, unless we find a fix for our offensive woes. ULL, Kentucky, and probably Vandy look like the only certain Ws at this point. That doesn’t mean we go 6-6, just that some games we saw as wins early in August may slide into the loss column, IF we don’t pick it up. We have to get more play makers on the field in the WR position and find a short term fix for the OL.

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      • I would throw USCe in there as well. They couldn’t score on ECU, a traditional defensive dumpster fire.

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        • Macallanlover

          I would have but that will be such an emotional game for both Boom and Kirby, and it is at Willy Brice. They are as good as Nicholls so who can take anything for granted? Dawgs should win though, maybe our offense will click by then.

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    • None

      Chigbu actually caught one of his two targets, gaining nine yards and a first down.

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  27. W Cobb Dawg

    Mizzou appears to be a tougher team than I’d given them credit for. Not ready to say they’ll challenge for the division crown this year, but here’s hoping they can beat one of our competitors (ut and/or fu) and give us some breathing room.

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    • WF Dawg

      Mizzou showed me something on Saturday with that tempo offense working. They play UT, UF, LSU, and Ark still, and I feel sure that they won’t get shut out. I see 1-3 as a worst case for them in those games. 4-0 isn’t likely, but it’s not out of the question.

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  28. Russ

    Well, I was expecting some hiccups with the new (rookie) head coach, freshman QB and new staff. But I got caught up in the euphoria of the big comeback win against UNC. Then Nicholls provided a cold shower. Mizzou is a head scratcher.

    The good
    – multiple comeback wins shows mental toughness
    – finally starting to open the offense up some
    – defensive adjustments and rotating lots of players should pay off later in the season
    – we’re 3-0

    The bad
    – OL is terrible, probably the worst back-to-back performance I’ve seen from the Dawgs. And I don’t believe it’s all lack of talent.
    – Bad OL really makes it hard for Chubb to run, but the offensive formations aren’t doing him any favors. The defense puts 9 in the box because it’s obvious we’re about to run Chubb. Spread the field out, put Chubb in the backfield to either run/catch/block and the defense suddenly has to play a little more honest. Eason can make them pay.
    – Kicking is a headscratcher. How can Blankenship just totally whiff coming out of high school? I’m glad Butler is helping out, as it can’t get any worse.

    Bottom line
    – Probably where we should be given all the changes, though the lack of production from Chubb is really troubling. Fix that by quit running him into a brick wall and I think the OL will suddenly look better.

    Like

    • Jared S.

      Good post.

      And as much as I’d love to see the Eason/McKenzie magic continue, there’s nothing I want to see more in the Ole Miss game than Chubb get 150+ yards.

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    • Macallanlover

      Solid post, Russ. The kicking is a head scratcher for sure. I also don’t know why we don’t run out of the shotgun more. Eason is obviously more comfortable there, and it loosens the defense up while getting Chubb the ball earlier so he can pick his lanes.

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      • AusDawg85

        And this is why I’m not getting those with high praise for Chaney, including our host’s comments. Getting Eason to throw 55 times didn’t free-up Chubb and his OL stinks. No 3rd WR stepping up (which probably needs to be Reggie Davis). CJC should certainly get credit for helping find anything that worked, but if getting short passes off to our “speedy” FB’s is the best he’s got, well…

        I’ll be more hopeful when I see blocking schemes, line-ups, motion and plays that get Chubb the ball, whether through gaps created up the middle while proving we are a “power football team” or by getting him the ball in space. Our very best player is not getting a chance to help us win for 2 games now. Be less Arky, more Purdue.

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  29. 69Dawg

    As the offensive line goes so goes the Ole Miss game. If we think that we can get in a shootout with Ole Piss it’s just plain crazy. We have to win the time of position and keep their O on the bench. Their defense becomes tired like every spread defense does. They can’t stay on the field for 35-40 minutes and stop anyone in the end. I’m afraid we only have one play maker on this team and it’s iMac, here’s hoping for an injury free game.

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  30. hailtogeorgia

    As far as Chubb being used in pass-blocking situations more, I took this as Chaney wanting to keep him in the game as a decoy. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the offense having tells as far as formations and play type, but if we’re pulling Chubb anytime we need a back to pass block, that’s a big one as well.

    Also, if I’m not mistaken, Eason scrambled for around 12 yards on a 3rd and long in the third quarter. I don’t recall that being a designed run, so Eason actually did have 60 dropbacks.

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