Seeds of hope

If you are searching for any grounds for optimism after Saturday’s epic disappointment, I may have something to soothe your soul:  Georgia’s last series of the game.

Dial up the clip to the two-hour thirty-minute mark and watch.

What you will see is an offense under severe pressure due to time constraints that manages to step up and execute almost flawlessly.  Consider just a few things during those four plays:

  • On the first completion to Terry Godwin, check out Tyler Catalina’s blocking of Barnett.  He flat out stones him.  The pocket sets up allowing Eason to deliver a nice ball to a wide open Godwin.
  • On the next play, again watch the line keep things clean for Eason, but also notice that Michel completely upends the rusher coming in on the quarterback’s blind side.  It’s a helluva job.  Eason delivers the ball in a tight spot and McKenzie manages both to shield the catch from the defender, and to shake him off to pick up another five or six yards for the first down.  That was huge, because the clock had to stop briefly to reset the chains.
  • The third play saw the line do adequate work to establish the pocket, with Wynn sliding over to help Catalina on Barnett and Pyke managing his man on the other side.  The real story on this play is that Eason’s throw is amazing.  He really had to gun it to Blazevich because the defender had position to knock down a pass with less zip.  The play is well designed, as you can see Godwin run off somebody in the secondary just far enough to allow Blazevich to pick up about eight or nine yards after the catch to convert another big first down.
  • Then, there’s the touchdown pass, which I’ve already posted about.  But take the time to look at how well the offensive line holds the pocket on the left side, as well as Pyke’s good work taking his rusher out.  Eason maintains his poise and footwork, which allows him to throw as gorgeous a deep ball as you’ll see.  (The irony here is that the throw reminds me of Lambert’s beautiful toss to Reggie Davis in last year’s game, with one slight difference.)

The only blemish in all that was Catalina’s false start.

All in all, given the circumstances and the way the offense had played for much of the fourth quarter, it was a remarkable turn of events and a demonstration of what the offense is capable of when things are clicking.  It’s certainly not a guarantee of immediate greatness.  But it does hint at better things to come.


Filed under Georgia Football

81 responses to “Seeds of hope

  1. Jared S.

    It was a thing of beauty.

  2. Compare that drive to the end of the game derp fest on our last drive vs UT last year where we couldn’t get set, could get plays in, couldn’t run people in, etc.

    I realize that drive started at the 2, but everything about this year was cleaner.

    Growing pains are going to continue, but I think we’re trending up for this first time in a long time.

    • There are still a lot of opportunities to lose this year (nothing’s a given any more), but I think the future is pretty bright. Georgia could be very good in the coming few years if they are able to bring in the OL and DL linemen they are recruiting, and coach up the ones they already have.

  3. 81Dog

    One has to be impressed with Eason’s poise and grit. After making a terrible mistake by holding on to the ball too long, and getting sacked for a UT go ahead TD, Eason didn’t fold up like an accordion. He got up, dusted himself off, and led his team down the field under time and defensive pressure for what should have been the winning score.

    He’s showed it in almost every game this year. He isn’t playing perfectly, but he seems to be learning, and he doesn’t lose confidence when he makes a mistake, or gets hit hard. I’m pretty impressed with his play. It took Stafford until about the AU game his freshman year to kind of figure it out; if Eason has it worked out by then, maybe we can finish up strong.

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Yep. I was skeptical initially. We’ve seen a lot of great prospects have trouble handling the SEC (I am not talking about UGA so much as through out the league) and he played in Washington State as opposed to Georgia or Texas or Florida, so who knew if he was going to make it in spite of his 5 stars. And he was skinny.

      Well, he’s not “Skinny” anymore; he’s THE REAL DEAL™.

      • Jared S.

        Agreed. I’m no longer skeptical.
        Sounds like Danielson has certainly bought in as well. I think he’s usually accurate with his assessment of QBs and their potential too.

        • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

          On Danielson buying in: he recognizes the mistakes and chalks them off to his youth. But he is you might say awed by his arm. That throw to Ridley was amazing for its length but a couple throws to Nauta on that drive were amazing for their accuracy. Win or lose, he’s fun to watch. I don’t think the other team can ever relax while he’s playing.

          • Like I said, that throw to Blazevich was also very impressive.

            • Jared S.

              Impressive is the perfect word. Perfect? No one is. The potential to be the best ever ever ever? Who’s to say?

              But there is simply no doubt he’s impressive. And, as has been mentioned by everyone including CKS, Eason is so composed it’s almost scary. Have there been times that he looks a little panicked when getting sacked? Sure. Who doesn’t? But just look at the close-ups of the dude’s face during that last drive. He wasn’t worried. At least, if he was he wasn’t showing it. Talk about inspiring confidence. I’m not sure how he comes across in a huddle to his team-mates, or when he’s directing traffic at the line of scrimmage, but damn if he doesn’t look as cool as a cucumber on television.

            • AthensHomerDawg

              As was that catch by Blaze.

          • 81Dog

            the Ridley TD reminded me a little of Stafford’s long TD to MoMass in the 07 blackout game. One of those throws where MM got way behind the DB, who might have thought “no way he can throw it THAT far,” but then the ball was suddenly there. Stafford’s throw was probably longer, but both were pretty impressive heaves.

          • Got Cowdog?

            I was concerned that he would be tough enough. Let’s see him get knocked on his ass, then we’ll see, I said.

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    And on a slightly different tack, Eason zipped 2 or 3 passes into really tight spots. Not interception risks, but “my guy or nobody” type throws.

  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’ve also noticed that Eason under pressure throws it safely, far, far out of bounds, off his back foot. I remember Stafford throwing one or two picks when he tried to make a play under pressure.

    • Normaltown Mike

      “I remember Stafford throwing one or two picks when he tried to make a play under pressure”

      and that was just 2008 Flarduh

  6. Russ

    Lambert would have thrown for two TDs on that last play.

    • JR

      yep, i mean cmon, he had a 10-2 record last year as a starter, made a mediocre o-line look better, learns from his mistakes, and the run game has a higher YPC with him in.


    • PatinDC

      Not sure why you had to get a dig in on Lambert. He has said nothing bad about the situation and looks like he supports the team all the way.

      • Russ

        Not a dig on Lambert. It was a dig on the commenter yesterday that was complaining about Eason and telling us (repeatedly) that Lambert was better in all phases of the game.

  7. From what I saw in the Mizz and Tenn games, I wonder if we can make the team’s offense and in particular Eason feel that every down is in the last minute or so of a game. They all seem to almost be perfect in those games at the closing minutes.

  8. BulldogBen

    Whole bunch of nope.

    I’m not ready to watch yet…..if ever.

  9. Hogbody Spradlin

    Vocabulary police, embedded typo division:
    A ‘sooth’ will say truth.
    You’ll ‘soothe’ our souls.

  10. DawgPhan

    Any idea why the TE didnt get out of bounds.

    Pretty meaningless in the scope of the game, but seemed weird to me.

    • Russ

      You mean “any reason the TE wasn’t ruled out of bounds?” He stepped on the sideline and landed on it when he was tackled. But he was PWG.

      • Uglydawg

        Just another screwjob by the ref.
        But I said on another thread, that I thought Georgia probably got screwed by the clock-keeper…I said I would admit it I was wrong.
        I was wrong. Clock looked fair and square. My apologies to the clocker.

        But I still think the refs cheated.

        • Bulldog Jay

          It seemed to me the refs were starting the clock before the chains were set, spot the ball and run clock immediately

          • Uglydawg

            If you’re talking about the replay, I saw that too but thought they had just edited some time out between plays. If it’s in real time..Georgia’s got a huge case to make that they got screwed…
            Sombody that knows might help us out here???

  11. Uglydawg

    That is very encouraging video. This will be an exciting team as it grows into what we’re all looking for. Gotta love these young Dawgs!

  12. Normaltown Mike

    would’ve been better if it was dubbed with this.

  13. SouthernYank

    Senator: “The O was horrible for the whole second half, except for that 1 series. I’m optimistic!”

    The man is glass half full.

    • In the end, the offense put the team in a position to win by pulling off an almost perfectly executed series in crunch time.

      Sorry if that observation offends you.

      • SouthernYank

        Not offended. I’m just more glass half empty.

        There’s no doubt he’s a stud. His arm is absurd. He’d be better if he threw overhand. It’d be better if the O play calling didn’t have him drop back to pass in his own endzone. And a better assessment of where the O is would have been made if UT had not had 3 D starters out, including their 2 best an a really good one.

        • Well, maybe it’s just a case of poorly worded hyperbole on your part, then.

          I don’t see how anyone reading this blog since the season started can believe I think the glass is half-full today. With regard to this specific series, I suggest you re-read the last two sentences of my post.

        • Will (The Other One)

          I wanted the pass on 1st down instead of second, but either way, I’m glad they at least tried it rather than “run for 0 or 1 yard, repeat, repeat, kick out of end zone,” that normally happens.

          • Uglydawg

            True…and a safety would have almost certainly bought Tennesse 9 points and taken time off the clock that was later needed. Nothing worse than punting from your endzone…And check with Nebraska to see what can happen when it’s thrown out of the EZ…(another kick in the nuts finish).

    • D.N. Nation

      That long TD to Nauta was pretty cool too, and it happened in the second half, so

  14. DawgByte

    Eason is maturing week to week and our new stable of running backs are playing very well. The Eason to Nauta combination bodes well for the future. The OL still needs work, however. Sims was taking snaps at Center in practice yesterday, so they may move Kublanow to LG and Wynn to LT. The other option is they’re just looking for a solid backup at Center in the event Kublanow goes down.
    FWIW, we lose Pyke and Catalina with no experienced backups for 2017, so get prepped Dawg fans, because this OL is going to be the source of angst until 2018.

  15. PTC DAWG

    I thought we played our asses off. Freshmen mistakes, for sure..but things look bright to me.

    • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

      My chief complaint in the Ole Miss game was effort and fundamentals. Generally speaking, both of those things were evident in spades all game.
      Playing hard and being in position to make plays gives you a chance to win these types of games. Kirby recruits better on the lines of scrimmage, we’ll see some major steps forward on both sides of the ball.

      As crushing as the loss was, as frustrating some of the coaching blunders were, this was a game that inspires confidence for the future, at least for me.

  16. Can we go back and take that 10 second run off?

    • Boz

      No shit.. 10 second runoff and the game ends after the next play. CMR would have won because he would have been out of TO… FIRE Bobo

  17. DawgPhan

    Just needed someone to make a play on those 2 drives before the hail mary drive. Could have ended the game.

  18. Debby Balcer

    I feel much better than i did adter the loss to Ole Miss and the win against Nicholls .

  19. DawgFlan

    I have evolved from “win now, dammit!” to “why so stubborn, Kirby?” and am now at “alright, let’s see.”

    This team does have glaring issues, and the coaches still have a lot to prove (with the exception of Beamer already proving he’s not the answer), but it was encouraging to see the flexibility, resilience, and overall improvement displayed in many areas since Ole Miss crushed us.

    They may betray my hope yet, but I am OK with the work in progress as long as there is continued progress.

  20. 3rdandGrantham

    Not trying to hijack the thread, but the weather isn’t looking good this weekend with the hurricane.

    IMO there is a very good chance this fame either gets moved or is canceled.

    • Jared S.

      Let’s pray it’s cancelled. I have a bad feeling about a night game at SCar right now.

    • Debby Balcer

      Columbia has flood issues downtown with lots of rain so this is a big concern.

    • 69Dawg

      Football in the flood rains means both teams will be the same speed wise. Unfortunately it will give the running QB an advantage. Slow teams always play better in the rain because the other team is slowed down. 3 yards and a clump of mud Saturday night in Columbia. By the way the wind projection shows tropical storm force winds in Columbia. Forget kicking and long passes, nobody can throw long into 40 MPH winds.

      • Uglydawg

        All motels will be full. If you go, don’t drink too much because you’ll likey have to drive home after the game. This is a big and slow moving hurricane and I’m betting it gets rescheduled if they can figure out when.

        • 3rdandGrantham

          Not to mention fill up on gas, including as close to Columbia as possible so that you can make your return home easily without stopping. I lived through quite a few hurricanes in the early 00’s in Florida, and entire regions would be out of gas due to the overall panic, with gas not being available for several days. I’d see 100’s of cars sitting on the side of the road that simply was due to– as we say in the aviation world — fuel starvation.

          • Got Cowdog

            I rode out a tropical storm in Florida. Our place was a mile or so off the gulf. That was a long night, very creepy being alone in the dark.

            • AthensHomerDawg

              I ain’t skeered. I said through a couple of typhoons in Okinawa about 200 yards off the beach. We filled the tub up with water and stocked up on chlorine tabs and taped the shutters and screwed them tight.

              • Debby Balcer

                They are evacuating the coast starting 3 pm tomorrow. School districts closing around Columbia she said she thought the game would be moved.

  21. Spike

    Why do we wait until the last series to play like this instead of the whole game?

  22. SemperFiDawg

    Last thoughts on the Game. Despite the ending I’m just glad I was blessed enough to watch it. I swear, there’s something about college football that is unique and unrivaled throughout the world. I can’t put “it” into words, but that game epitomized “it” to me.

  23. Doggoned

    You’re right. The O-line really picked it up on that drive; maybe it will be a confidence builder. Eason, Nauta, Blaze and those young RBs give me hope. Eason to Nauta could be special. Is Chubb 100%, or when is he expected to be? Use the young guys until then. Chubb is still my hero.

  24. AthensHomerDawg

    Off-topic but did DIF take a red shirt this year at GTP?

    • Macallanlover

      Down at GITMO trying to get the rest of his buds released. Climate change causing weather havoc in the islands every 20-30 years now. Never happened before Henry Ford, and other plantation types, screwed things up and made things that made life worth living for 76 years, on the average. Bring back Ward Bond and the wagon train days when no one used coal, or guns……oh, wait.

  25. MGW

    Mr. Senator Blutarsky, I didn’t “read your post,” per se, but I find it very upsetting, and strongly disagree.

  26. Sides

    The SC offense has also scored touchdowns this year. It doesn’t give me hope.

  27. Debby Balcer

    They are starting evacuatuons tomorrow for Matthew i imagine the game will be affected.

  28. UT game was loaded with seeds of hope and optimism for me. Now, about the week or two before…

    I loved our offensive game plan and most of the execution. Our entire kicking game is average to bad, though. FG kicker, punter and coverage.