Observations from the 35, Georgia – ULaLa edition

Saturday was not one of those days when you could cut the tension with a knife.  A bit of a letdown was inevitable after the team left everything it had on the field against Auburn and subdued was the tone set for the day.  Not even black jerseys could save things.

Bullet points coming at you now:

  • The crowd was um… let’s say not into it for the most part.  Lots of empty seats and only a few moments when they really got pumped up and into things.  Not that it stopped the playing of “Seven Nation Army” on the stadium PA about a thousand times.
  • In the first half, the Dawgs scored a touchdown on the first offensive play of the game, McKenzie returned a punt for a touchdown, the defense garnered three interceptions… all of which added up to a less than the sum of its parts 21-7 halftime lead.  Meh.
  • Part of the problem was that they were only able to convert one of those turnovers into a score.  The first interception led to a punt from the ULL 30-yard line.  Meh squared.  (At least it was at a point on the field where a Georgia punter could do some real damage.)
  • McKenzie’s first score came as a result of a really nifty play design that showed a flow to the left, but a toss to the right.  McKenzie’s speed did the rest, but he had plenty of space to operate.  Nicely done.
  • It’s a real shame that Eason didn’t have the same consistency on the deep ball against ULL that he displayed against Auburn, because he had receivers open downfield quite often.  The wind may have played a part in that, although it didn’t seem to affect that gorgeous throw he made to McKenzie on the first scoring drive of the second half.
  • If you want to understand why Georgia is starting a true freshman quarterback this season, compare the 60-yard toss Eason made to Godwin towards the end of the first half with Lambert’s sideline throw late in the game.  The lack of velocity on the latter pass was literally startling by comparison.
  • It’s also nice to see Eason slow down when he realizes he’s got pass protection and work through his progressions, as was the case with his touchdown pass to Chubb.
  • On the other hand, he still forces things a little too much for his own good.  The interception was off a pass he tried to force in to Nauta, who was covered, when he had Ridley wide open on the play.
  • Good to see an effort made to get Terry Godwin the ball, although I wish they might have taken a shot or two with him downfield.
  • They ran that meshuggeh short-yardage play with McKenzie lined up behind Chubb in the I again, but at least this time the ball was handed to the right guy.
  • It’s heartening to see another solid game out of Chubb, who looks more and more like he’s got his speed back.  It wasn’t one of Sony’s better games, so let’s hope he got it out of his system.
  • I hate to keep saying it, but Payne simply hasn’t been the consistent blocker he was at the start of the season.  Don’t know what’s up with that.
  • The line did some good things — no sacks were nice — but they’re not a bunch you can count on for power blocking in short yardage situations.
  • Special teams again wound up as contributors, even if Blankenship wasn’t the player of the game.  He dealt with the wind on kickoffs as best he could, and was aided by what may have been the best coverage work of the season.  Reggie Davis had a nice kickoff return.  And McKenzie, of course.  The blocking on that was excellent, but there was also a little juke he put on mid-play that made the return.  I have to admit Beamer isn’t ticking me off as much as he was earlier this year.
  • The defense was a little disappointing, to be honest.  The good work we watched against Auburn — no third down conversions and no gashing with outside runs in the second half — largely dissipated, as ULL was able to convert a number of third downs and had a good bit of success with perimeter runs.  Gap integrity and assignment football kind of came and went.  On a positive note, the defense bowed up on fourth down, shutting down all three conversion attempts.  That and the turnovers are what saved the day on that side of the ball.
  • Pass defense was, for the most part, good.  I’m not sure how much of that was due to the defensive effort and how much to Jennings’ erratic day throwing.  It’s fair to say, though, that all the interceptions came off athletic plays by the DBs.  Parrish’s pick was the most intriguing of them, in that it seemed he baited Jennings into the throw by letting the receiver get a little distance between them.
  • Trent Thompson is a beast.  That is all.
  • As far as the coordinators went, it was a day for vanilla game plans and an uninspiring atmosphere.  They weren’t great, but it could have been a whole helluva lot worse than it was.  That being said, Chaney’s play calling during the last two minutes of the first half flat out sucked.

In the end, a win’s a win.  And in the year of close calls and disappointing losses, you could do a lot worse.  Then again, maybe Kirby’s plan all along was to demythologize Georgia’s black jerseys by pairing them with a ho-hum game.  If so, he succeeded admirably.  On to Hate Week.

50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

50 responses to “Observations from the 35, Georgia – ULaLa edition

  1. Chapindawg

    You still diggin the Cayman? I am seriously considering ordering one soon.

    Like

    • Other than hauling my aged carcass in and out of the car, it’s been a complete blast. Highly recommended.

      Like

      • Chapindawg

        Agreed, not getting any younger. That is why I need to do this now, before I get to old to get in and out. I don’t want to be “that guy”. The biggest obstacle up to now was getting the bride to buy in, but I am finally there. Another reason to do it quick, before she changes her mind.

        Like

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        On egress: Place outside elbow on back of driver’s seat, press down firmly with elbow. Swing one leg out da car, taking care not to twist the knee still in the car. Put weight on leg out da car. Step out, taking care not to twist the knee still in the car.

        Getting in is much easier. Gravity. But watch twisting the right knee.

        Like

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I want to C-I-L-L Tech!

    Like

  3. 92 grad

    “Bullet points, brought to you by Remington”.

    Like

  4. Athens Dog

    Gap integrity has to be it this week. Beat the nerds.

    Like

  5. DawgPhan

    The defense getting gashed on the run the week before tech is worrying. Sounded like the team has been working on Tech game planning all year so hopefully a solid week of practice tightens everything up.

    A win against Tech and this season isn’t the end of days that it could have been a couple of weeks ago.

    Like

  6. HahiraDawg

    “Trent Thompson is a beast. That is all.”
    Ditto
    “It’s heartening to see another solid game out of Chubb, who looks more and more like he’s got his speed back.”
    Yes, especially on the pass TD, but a couple of other times I thought either “He’s not as fast as before” or “He’s not as strong as before”. I hope, like many argue, that year 2 is the true return to 100%. Even as it should mean seeing him compete for another team.

    Like

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    “At least it was at a point on the field where a Georgia punter could do some real damage.”

    Funny…best comment evah…and true, too. 😀

    Like

  8. Macallanlover

    A pretty blah game with almost zero drama, played in front of many empty seats on the alternate SEC channel at noon. Players looked sharp in the black jerseys, as they always do, but who ever tripled the size of that red band around the neck made it look like a bib…ugh. Suggest we donate the extra 2/3s of that excess to make more “Georgia Red” ties for Kirby (and those who still wear ties.) Good to see Nick Chubb look 100% again, hope he tears it up his final two games in red and black to improve his draft stock and get his just rewards from the NFL for all his work. As CKS said, he does everything right as a player and teammate.

    Cannot fault the play of the team in any area except the concern on stopping the run at key times, specifically third down plays. Even though we have been pretty solid against the run in most games it does set off alarm bells with the GT option coming to town. I honestly don’t know what to expect in this rivalry game on Saturday, just hope our guys really want to close this season out positively and move forward. Hate that it will be another noon game but maybe the weather will be good enough to bring more fans to the stadium.

    Like

    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      My only comment on the black jerseys…which I’ve always said we should wear each year because I think they are just a good look…I wonder if we’ll see the same thing each year, so next year the UK game will be black and the year after the UMass game will be black…so basically the last home game before Tech gets black? It just seems like a waste of what could be a really cool tradition…Night game, black shirts. If we had an AD that could actually get us a guaranteed night game…the Miss State game or the Carolina game…like I said, it could be a great tradition rather than a gimmick.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        I feel they should be worn once every season at home, at the HC’s discretion, and in a post season if he chooses to again. Don’t involve the AD at all (except to pay for the jerseys to be on hand), and don’t announce in advance. It isn’t the jerseys that are fake juice, it is the coordination with the fans. Fans are behind them whether they wear red, white, or black polos or jackets to sit in the stands. Agree, it was silly to wear them against ULL but maybe that was to get the voodoo worriers out of their funk after 8 years, as if we hadn’t lost in both red and white jerseys before.

        Like

        • Irwin R. Fletcher

          I think we agree on most points…but I actually think locking in the game at the beginning of the season takes that ‘fake juice’ …BIG GAME LETS WEAR BLACK…mojo out of the whole thing. So…if you think like me and think you put in on the schedule early…then if you are going to wear them once a year, it would seem to me that you should wear them at night…which goes back to our AD being able to talk to the powers that be and say ‘hey, that game there…needs to be a night game.’

          Like

          • Macallanlover

            We do agree on most of this. Main exception is deciding/announcing the specific game in advance….that is what puts a bulls eye on it to me. Just do it. It is a primary color, a uniform we have worn before, and plan to wear occasionally in the future so treat as another game. The new materials used means black is no issue for any night game, or inside game, as there are no sun rays to be absorbed and create a heat issue. Day games after mid-October would probably be fine as well. TV only chooses time in advance of the season for 2-3 games…..now if we just had some big games!

            Like

  9. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Good to see an effort made to get Terry Godwin the ball, although I wish they might have taken a shot or two with him downfield.

    I thought that pass play towards the end of the 1st half where Eason overthrew him was Godwin? He worked the middle of the field and got behind the defense.

    Two other issues…(1) There is talk about 17 and 7 maybe leaving after this season to go pro…I just don’t understand how a guy like Carter can literally go a whole game against ULaLa and the only stat that shows up is a fumble recovery. He’ll test off the chart at the combine, but that kid just disappears for LONG stretches. Would love to see another season in Athens out of him to see that potential blossom.

    (2) I don’t want to get into ‘gameday’ atmosphere too much…but if you are going to do Karaoke to Don’t Stop Believing… DON’T EDIT OUT THE MUSIC AND LYRICS to suit the TV Time out. Pick a different song.

    Like

    • I thought that pass play towards the end of the 1st half where Eason overthrew him was Godwin? He worked the middle of the field and got behind the defense.

      It was. Sure wish Eason had been a little more accurate with it, but that was a stunning throw. 60+ yards on the fly.

      Should have said a shot or two more

      Like

    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      Oh…and the line got blown up way too many times on running plays. I’m waiting for the advance box score…I don’t think it’s going to be any different from the rest of the games.

      Like

  10. DawgPhan

    That last 2:23 was some really bad football and could have really turned the game into a mess.

    Leading into the bad play calling and clock management was a 3 play 75 yard TD drive where basically no one touched a offensive player.

    Like

  11. AusDawg85

    Will be very interesting to see what Chaney can do with Eason over the off season. Control of his pre-snap reads, seeing more of the field, finding a couple of uber reliable receivers, getting the right touch on his long balls. They should hire David Greene to tutor.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Or Chaney’s replacement. There are a lot of talented coordinators out there who have put points on the board with far fewer weapons. We continue to look constipated on offense, and seem clueless near the goal line. How many times do we have to run into that brick wall between the tackles before we realize there are other options available? This offense doesn’t work well against cupcakes, much less what we faced against Auburn and FU. Another year of that is asking too much, we aren’t in the 80s/90s any longer.

      Like

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        I just disagree…the O-Line is brutal and our WRs that are over 6′ are green and you have a true freshman QB…this whole ‘done more with less’ is a great line, but you really had two choices…go through the growing pains of switching to a completely different system or go through the growing pains of trying to rebuild talent for a pro-style system. You’ve got the QB…it looks like you’ve got the start of something at WR. The question for me is the O-Line development/recruiting in the offseason.

        I can’t stand Bobby Petrino…but the guy is an offensive wizard. You know how many points Louisville scored in 2013 under Charlie Strong? 35.2ppg…you know how many they scored the next two years under Petrino? 31.2 and 28.7. This year they are averaging 46ppg. Did Petrino forget how to coach and then somehow magically fixed it? Nah. It’s about talent. Heck…even Bobo needed talent…look at the difference between that 2009 team and the 2012 team.

        You look at the game on Saturday…Eason missed two easy TD throws, threw a pick in the redzone, AND you had kids from ULL blowing up our O-Line all day. I just don’t know how you hang all of that on the OC in his first year.

        Like

        • Olddawg55

          We seem to be hitting the WRs a bit better..don’t know if it’s better route running/better hands or the fact that Eason is less panicky and can read the field better. We have capable WRs..fast and with Wims/Chigbu and others..not used..we have sufficient height. Separation and recognition are the major factors and maybe experience will cure both ills. Chaney should just stick with what the defense is giving us..not go rote thru his play chart. The man has a good offensive mind..just use it!

          Like

      • D.N. Nation

        I haven’t been particularly impressed with Chaney this season, but 4 OCs in 4 years is not a great idea.

        Like

        • Macallanlover

          Only real change was this year, Schotty used Richt’s playbook and system (not well) last year so this season was the only major change. Unlearning this would be worth a few months set back relative to ingraining this any longer. We seem to have no idea how to use the whole field or take advantage of what the defense is vulnerable to. We just sit and spin in the same direction.

          I know the OL gets all the blame, and it isn’t good, but it isn’t any worse than the one last year, or for several years before that. But we were very effective in running the ball last season, even without a downfield passing attack. This year we gained less than 100 yards in eight quarters, two whole games (Vandy and Florida) with healthy Chubb and Michel available. That is virtually impossible to do but we were totally inept.

          Like

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            Much respect to those guys for grinding but the difference between Theus and Catalina and even Houston and Pyke at tackle is startling. That’s where the talent gap shows up most…at the tackle spots…you can even see it during the game…the offense starts and stops and usually it goes back to the one on one battles at the tackle spots.

            Like

  12. CB

    My main takeaway was that the 2nd team defense is really bad. It’s strange to me since most of those guys either started or saw significant playing time under Pruitt, but there was a significant drop off when they entered the game on Saturday to the tune of two fairly easy scores for ULL.

    Like

    • Second stringers haven’t played much and were even more vanilla against ULL than first team was.

      Like

      • Olddawg55

        Re “second stringers” (I prefer “reserves”…believe a better solution is to use reserves in spot replacements not wholesale a new 11 all at once. The former adds to the reserves confidence..playing with starters..the latter tends to bring on communication/cohesiveness issues. These are all talented individual who gain from selective substitutions but feel “spotlighted” with wholesale subs. Either way, the team gains experience.

        Like

    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      It’s strange to me since most of those guys either started or saw significant playing time under Pruitt

      Wut?

      Here are the guys that appear on the play by play on those two drives…Roundtree, Juwan Taylor, Johnny Oneal, Michail Carter, Jarvis Wilson, Mecole Hardman, Tyrique McGee, Wilkerson, Parrish, Briscoe.

      So yes, they are green. No, they weren’t last years starters getting torched.

      Like

  13. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    The game had all sorts of potential for disaster going in and wasn’t a disaster – although it wasn’t great, either – and that has to be my biggest takeaway. The defense was Jekyll and Hyde: at times, they played heads up, stopped 4th down conversion attempts, made INTs, recovered fumbles. Most of the really bad D was in the 4th quarter when things had been decided and you could sense they were basically mailing it in. Hopefully they are saving up the good stuff for next Saturday.

    Like

  14. PTC DAWG

    35-7…Then the good guys let up…all in all, good showing..

    FWIW I like the black jerseys.

    Like

  15. SB: “If you want to understand why Georgia is starting a true freshman quarterback this season, compare the 60-yard toss Eason made to Godwin towards the end of the first half with Lambert’s sideline throw late in the game. The lack of velocity on the latter pass was literally startling by comparison.”

    I don’t doubt the superiority of Eason’s talent; I question 1) whether it was useful to use a year of eligibility on a rebuilding season to get him ready for next year and 2) whether Lambert, even with his weaker arm, would have done a better job getting UGA in the right play more often this season – experience does count for something – and if the run game would have been better with him at QB.

    But it’s great to see the process progressing.

    Like

  16. Macallanlover

    I liked the use of backup players and young freshmen in the 4th quarter. The file on those developmental players will be valuable between now and next fall. The margin of victory was insignificant at this point and it was the only game we have been in aposition to do this. Good decision, let’s build something here.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s