“The way we played tonight, they could have had anybody back there.”

As you’re well aware, I am loathe to make any major pronouncements about where the program is headed under Smart based on what we’ve seen so far this season.

However, I can’t deny what I saw last night was what Smart saw, too.

“It was a great job by Mel Tucker and the defensive staff,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “Those guys work really hard. … Those players believed they were going to stop them. They believed every time they went back out on the field they were going to stop them. And they did. I’m really proud of that and those players, who have bought in.”

Really, outside of Auburn’s one scoring drive, the defense played well in the first half.  But things really seemed to kick up a notch after Maurice Smith scored Georgia’s only touchdown of the game.

Davin Bellamy’s very much right about one thing: I don’t care who was banged up on that Auburn offense; you don’t shut a team out on first downs for an entire half without playing lights out football.  I watched confident players who knew their roles in the scheme and I watched confident coaches deploy their personnel to maximum effect, particularly on blitzes.

In short, last night made me feel the exact opposite of this.  It’s a nice place to be.  I should say, though, I felt was there once before, after Georgia’s defense played a great game against Mississippi State in 2011.  Two seasons later, that turned out to be a false dawn.

So I think I’ll leave things for now by thinking that last night was a terrific effort by all from which to build.  If it leads to great things, I’ll look back at that pick-six as the start of something big.  In the meantime, I’ll savor last night on its own merits.

Way to play, guys.

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

38 responses to ““The way we played tonight, they could have had anybody back there.”

  1. rchris

    I guess they felt like they could play anybody on offense as well. Shakenneth Williams got his first start at wide receiver, just a couple of weeks after having been moved from there to DB. Not sure what’s going on there.

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  2. Timphd

    I have to say that I came away feeling much better about the direction of this team, both offense and defense, and to a degree special teams too. For the defense, other than the one long drive, they were in position to make the plays, no blown assignments, receivers were generally well covered, pressure on the QB despite only two sacks. When the opposition has 32 total yards and no first downs in a half, you have kicked ass. Offense: moved the ball relatively well between the 20’s, got back to a mix of run and pass, Eason completes 66% of his passes to 8 different receivers. No interceptions. Chubb and Michel ran with anger. Receivers caught the passes thrown to them. Only downside were the two trick plays that didn’t work (neither in my opinion were bad calls) and the one false start that cost a field goal. Special teams: Kickoffs into the end zone for no return!!! Made field goals. No muffs or fumbles. Good punt coverage and three punts downed inside the 20, one inside the 2. One shanked punt was about the only blemish but the D pullled that out of the fire. Overall it is great to be a Georgia Bulldog today.

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    • Q

      PR team had the biggest gaffe in the entire game when it bounced off Imacs foot. We got lucky that they were equally incompetent. I don’t think I’m being negative by still being angry with Beamers overall contribution. He damn near cost us the game. I will say I’m super pleased with our defense, RBs and I didn’t think I’d ever say it but our WR play.

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  3. I know having Pettway out and White banged up hurt them but it wasn’t the difference. Funny how Danielson and others kept making excuses but failed to mention how we had 2 defensive starters out and another banged up.

    As I said last night, I REALLY liked what Kirby said in the post-game presser. I liked how he gave due credit and I really like how he really stood up for the OL. Kirby seems well balanced, intelligent and it seems that the team is taking to his plan. I may have been wrong about some things. I see guys stepping up and I see improvement. Kirby said it best…we have a long way to go but guys are playing hard and guys are stepping up and getting better.

    If this staff can recruit and really coach in the off-season I don’t see why we can’t be really good in a couple years. The defense could be elite as early as next year. Honestly, as far as personnel, I really think we only lack a couple good OL and another good WR or two. And a punter. We’ve got talent everywhere else. Hopefully we don’t lose many underclassmen on D to the draft this year.

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    • I was probably a little too hard on the staff but it’s not like I had much to feel good about leading up to the UK game. That said, Maurice Smith had one of the best post-game player interviews that addressed this. I see why he wanted to play for Kirby and I see why Kirby wanted him. Smith will probably be a coach one day.

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  4. Bulldog Joe

    Saban clinches his division early by loaning us Mo Smith.

    Dude has all the angles covered. #TheProcess

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  5. Timphd

    One more thing, the way the defense went into attack mode with Smith’s interception was a thing of beauty. I think all ten other defenders got into the return and made blocks for him. Awesome.

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    • doofusdawg

      was going to post same thing. And all of a sudden our defense looks extremely well coached. Really happy for the kids… looks like the first game all year where they were having fun.

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  6. greg63

    On the interception return watch #8 for Auburn. He does everything but run to the opposite side line to not make contact with anyone. WTH? I laugh every time I see it.

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  7. Russ

    Staff seems to have found their groove the last two games and the players are playing hard. Loved the effort on both sides yesterday. Even without a TD the offense did a great job. Kickoffs are no longer an adventure. Butler has worked miracles, now to focus on the punting.

    Student body right, and Eason to Nauta should be run all day, every game.

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  8. watcher16

    3-0

    Georgia’s record this year when Kirby Smart doesn’t wear a visor.

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  9. Q

    I’m psyched about the defense, but if their QB didn’t miss on 3-4 very easy throws they win 7-6. White just plain sucked yesterday.

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  10. KornDawg

    I picked a bad time to visit the restroom. Made it back to my seat in time to see the PAT.

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  11. Athens Townie

    I’ve been sticking up for the defense most of the season. A lot of the points this defense has given up have been on short fields (special teams problems, turnovers, three and outs). And the defense kept us in some games when the offense just failed.

    But last night the offense contributed big time. Even though we didn’t score an offensive touchdown, the offense avoided turnovers and three-and-outs. We kept our defense off the field and won time of possession in a landslide.

    Special teams came through again too. (Did I just really say that?)

    Great team win at a great time.

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  12. Uglydawg

    Actually, I predicted how this game would go in a post earlier in the week. I said if Georgia could manage field position, Eason had turned the corner in the Kentucky game and his throws would open up the running game. Eason really, really is becoming amazing.

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  13. Grafton

    I was glad to see the D not go into prevent and let AU march down the field. Stay with whats working and put them away.

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  14. 69Dawg

    The second half gave me just a glimpse of our D becoming more Alabama like. It has been a while since I could feel like the lead was secure in our defenses hands. Great game.

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  15. GATA 72

    I didnt see #7 on defense until the last minutes of the 4th qtr…..the team D seemed better for it

    Like

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