Some early thoughts on the Vanderbilt game

Two good points to consider:

  • Greg McElroy notes that Georgia’s offense is predicated on the play action pass.  There are two parts to that:  one, a successful running game and two, an ability to hit the deep ball.  The Dawgs appear to be rounding into shape with the first requirement, but Eason is a woeful 6 of 34 on balls thrown 20 or more yards downfield.  He’s dead on when he suggests that Derek Mason should play to stop the run at all cost and not worry about Eason’s ability to hit the big play.  I’m expecting to see a loaded box and a lot of press coverage on Georgia’s receivers to frustrate Eason’s chances in the short passing game.  He’s going to have to hit a few big plays to resurrect that threat and get Vandy to back off.
  • I get the impression listening to Chuks Amaechi talk about Vanderbilt’s pro-style offense that he and his mates are really looking forward to playing against a “normal” offensive scheme for once, a scheme that the defense faces regularly in practice when the ones face off against the ones.  A bad (Vandy is the only team in the conference averaging less than 300 yards per game) and familiar looking offense may be just what the doctor ordered for Smart’s defense.

All told, that suggests we might be looking at a low scoring game, or a game in which turnovers and special teams play have an outsized effect on the outcome.  Unfortunately, Georgia doesn’t have much of an advantage as to the former and is wretched when it comes to the latter.  The reality is that this is a game where Eason needs to step up.


Filed under Georgia Football

55 responses to “Some early thoughts on the Vanderbilt game

  1. Russ

    I’ve got a feeling that Eason comes to play on Saturday. I sure hope so.

    • Macallanlover

      I think Eason comes to play every game but feel his accuracy is suspect because of happy feet in the pocket and some premature panic. Looks like the coaches are trying to shore up the pass blocking using every available body they can assign but Eason just doesn’t seem to have the pocket presence to sense the timing. He has taken some solid shots and rebounded but pulls the trigger too quickly in many cases. His accuracy is better on slants and short throws but even then many throws require an adjustment that is hard to make given the speed the ball gets to the receiver. Need to establish a rhythm early to get him some success and confidence.

      Mason will definitely make him beat them by selling out on the run, you couldn’t watch that film from SC and come to any other conclusion. Don’t know enough about Vandy’s secondary to say how effective they will be in man coverage but that, and special teams, will decide a close game. This could look a lot like FU and Vandy’s game.

  2. DawgPhan

    I suspect I will sit in the sun with my kid and watch football from 30 years ago as two teams struggle to overcome their own inertia.

  3. This has all the hallmarks of a ‘I expected it to be this close but I really can’t believe it is this close can we hurry up and win this I am disappointed in our performance/relieved we won’ game.

  4. Uglydawg

    “The reality is that this is a game where Eason really needs to step up”
    So true and so scary. This program is at the point where a win against Vandy is resting on the shoulders of a true freshman..halfway into his first year as the QB. I would have him throwing to the TE’s until he gets comfortable…the offensive line needs to step up as do the WRs. But mostly, the pressure is on the young’un.
    It’s becoming a cliche, but when he get’s enough confidence that the “game slows down” or “action slows” for him, he will be fine. Being at home should help.

  5. Otto

    People are talking about Eason’s accuracy, it would be interesting to see how passing breaks down under Center vs Shotgun and how many were drops, misses, and throw aways? I’m not saying that everything is perfect but 1 stat never shows the full story. We saw against UT and Mizzou he can make throws from shotgun. Eason likely needs to work on his footwork/body position on his drop back, which isn’t given a shock with how much time he ran out of the shotgun in High School.

    I would also love to know the behind the scenes on the run game improving, I believe it was Patrick Garbin that made a point that the team ran the ball better with Lambert despite having less of a downfield threat but could call block schemes better. Was this so? and has Eason put in the film work to fix this problem?

  6. Bright Idea

    After the UT catch I was wondering where Riley Ridley was in the SC game. I only noticed him on special teams. Blocking must be a problem.

  7. artful codger

    About the 6-34/20 yards ratio, wonder how many could be considered drops? Maybe enough to increase that % to nearly 50/50? Not to say his long accuracy doesn’t need work.

    • Greg

      Yes, it’s not just about a Freshman QB. McKenzie has had some drops (at least two on fairly long throws that would have been TD’s), Reggie Davis has had one or two, Jason Stanley dropped a TD right in his hands at Ole Miss. The play calling hasn’t helped at times either….2 runs up the middle, leaving us in 3rd and long. The D-Line pins their ears back and they are on Eason in about a second, forcing him to throw the ball before he wants. Neither of our tackles can handle a good pass rusher. They need help from a TE or RB, which takes those guys away in the passing game. Again, not taking all of the blame away from Eason, but he’s a Frosh and has done enough to make us 5-1 at this point. He’s come up with big plays when we’ve needed them most. Yes, 29 yards passing against SC was ridiculous and he made a bunch of bad throws in that game, but all he had to do was manage the game and hand off to the backs for us to win last week. He’s a winner – he’s already proven that.

      • doiknowu

        Chiigbu has had several, especially a couple in the Nicholls game, including one around the 5-yard line. We’ve had an epidemic of dropped balls.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Yep, our WRs need to get some separation – wouldn’t that be something different. And they need to quit dropping the ball. I’m far more impressed with Eason’s progress than with any of our WRs.

    • tonyqbr

      Eason is locking on to receivers early, release faster, also needs to Qb run from a pass formation to keep em honest, and move around in the pocket more to buy some time.

      In other words, be Chad Kelly🙂

  8. Nate Dawg

    My inner Munson is really working on me today…with all this Vandy talk…how am I gonna even stomach the fla and awbin games…?

  9. AusDawg85

    10 of the long ball misses are easily drops and heaves when the pocket collapsed, but I’m not sure Eason hitting the long ball is the only way to back off Vandy loading the box. Chaney has (finally) already addressed this by getting Sony out wide, running wide, and finally getting a few TE seams to work. I don’t expect to see as much PA as I do shotgun to spread the field, give Eason a read on the D, etc. We’ll see some of the 3 TE, I formation running with Chubb, but also those throws to the FB and probably a few new twists. Jury is still out on Chaney. Thought he was a game or two slow to adapt, but can’t believe he’ll regress with the offense. I expect this to be fairly wide open until we get up by a comfortable score. Dawgs win 35 – 14.

    • tonyqbr

      Offense scoring 35 on Vandy? Wow. Would be a first.

      SC scored 13.
      UF scored 13.
      Ky scored 20.

      Vandy seems built to stop SEC East offenses.

      On the other hand, they can’t really score vs SEC East Opponents:
      Scored 10 vs SC
      Scored 6 on Ky
      Scored 13 on Ky.

      Based on that, UGA should win 13-10 or 20-10.

      • Mayor

        I sure hope it is more one-sided than that.

        • tonyqbr

          Me too. I’d settle for a win.

          But you look at how Vandy’s D has held the other SEC teams to 13-20 points, just looks like a low scoring close game.

          Every single one of Vandy’s SEC opponents was low scoring and close.

          Likely, that’s more of what we’re looking at.,

  10. So. IL Dawg

    The Dawgs will roll tomorrow as the run game pounds them and Eason with some nice passes. Dawgs by 17!

  11. I am thinking that if we do not see some major improvement on special teams very soon that Beamer should begin shopping his resume around. Our guys can’t even set up a simple blocking scheme on punt returns.

    • tonyqbr

      Sp Teams are a small issue, not a high correlation with winning vs say Qbr (the highest), explosion plays, turnover margin, etc.

      I’d say Qb play is the main issue (qbr + explosion plays).

      Chaney should be looking around if Eason continues to struggle and deteriorate, Chaney will be out of a job..

    • tonyqbr

      Beamer does suck.

      I have no idea why he was hired.

      He was the RB coach at VT for the last 5 years, and his sp teams at South Caro in 2009 & 2010 ranked 88th and 92nd on ESPN’s fpi.

    • He’s trading on his daddy’s name-which wasn’t that great with special teams for the past decade anyway. Urban is the best special teams coach in the country. Period. Full stop.

      Shane can go.

      • tonyqbr

        He is.

        And his production as a RB coach at V Tech in 2015, 2014, 2013?
        117th ypc rush in 2013
        92nd in 2014
        105th in 2015

        He obviously doesn’t know how to coach and get his units to execute.

        Smart hired him, Dumb Hire.

        • Nothing wrong with making a bad hire….it happens. The problem is when you keep them around.

          • tonyqbr

            My point was I question Smart’s judgment on that hire, there was no track record Beamer had worthy of that hire that proved either:
            A- He could coach spec teams well
            B- He could coach his unit well

            • 202dawg

              Recruiting, pure and simple.

              • tonyqbr

                Good point, Beamer can recruit

                Smart better bring in a top 5 class and man up at OL, WR, DLine, etc.

                Looks like Smart tried to get the best recruiters

                Les Miles strategy, hmm, doesn’t always work out if you can’t coach.

          • Exactly. You have to figure that at least one coach would not work out. So far I am not liking what I see from Beamer. There are some bright spots, but too many mistakes. How many offsides on kickoff have there been? Does anyone on punt return actually block…ever? I don’t even want to talk about how bad our kickers are. Kirby is going to have to fix this or IT WILL cost him a game, and soon.

  12. PTC DAWG

    Pound. The. Rock.

    • tonyqbr

      I’d try something new.

      1- Accuracy: Focus on a gameplan towards getting Eason’s accuracy up, short passes, quick throws.

      2- Turnovers at Qb: can’t turn the ball over, placement is key, needs to get the passes down towards the knees, very worried about Eason’s high throws, could lead to another tipped pass TO or worse, a pick 6 turning the game late. Also, a sack fumble would be fatal, especially in our red zone.

  13. Does everyone realize we beat these guys 43-0 in Athens in 2010 with a redshirt freshman at QB who had already lost 4 games? We should run these guys out of Sanford if we play and coach well.

    • tonyqbr

      Uh, no, Smart’s team get leads and collapse, no killer instinct. Agree, would be nice to have a blowout.

      Like those words “should” and “if” and “2010”.

      Vandy’s D is a lot better than some think, have to respect them or could lose the game.

      • just sayin

        Senator…………….if no one else will, I’m sounding the goob alarm for this guy. Some trolls are simply more annoying than others and this one is fucking up your most excellent blog.

        • D.N. Nation

          Agreed. He hasn’t crossed any lines yet, but all the signs are there – overhyping the backup, picking and choosing numbers, making ultimatums after 6 games…

          • Trbodawg

            This is what I do when I see his handle, look a the first couple of lines, then skip the rest (or just ignore his posts altogether) Life is too short to spend too much time teaching a pig to sing. Or, just because he has an opinion, doesn’t require me to correct it. I don’t have to respond, regardless of how asinine it is🙂

      • My point is that we have handled them in Athens even with the 2010 team that struggled on defense. If we don’t turn the ball over and screw up special teams, they don’t have the offense to drive the length of the field. We should win and win comfortably.

  14. Debby Balcer

    Just my gut but I feel good about this game.

  15. 69Dawg

    I’m not trying to restart a debate that is DOA but we seem to be doing to Eason what Virginia did to Lambert. The kid has taken a beating and he is getting Happy Feet. He has no trust in this Oline protecting him especially his blind side. We are trying to change a shotgun spread QB into a Pro-style play action passer by OJT rather than by redshirting him. If he continues to throw interceptions and fumbles when blindsided, we have zero chances of beating UF or Auburn. I guess the price you pay for a 5 star Qb with a rocket arm is you have to let him play. I just hope we don’t get him killed.

  16. Debby Balcer

    Senator have you seen Autumn Fire the new hype video? It is excellent.

  17. JakeScott

    Going to be a beautiful fall afternoon. We gonna run it.

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