Observations from the 30, Georgia-Georgia Tech edition

I got to tell you my heart just isn’t in this one.

Let’s start with Kirby Smart’s accurate summary of the game.

“I think that game was kind of indicative of our season,” first-year Georgia coach Kirby Smart said afterwards. “A little good here, a little bad there but we don’t play with enough consistency yet. It’s a 60-minute game. You’ve got to play all 60 minutes. You’ve got to play each play like it’s got a history and life of its own and we didn’t do that today. We as coaches have to do a better job and that starts with me.”

Yes, there was good:  as the game went on, the coaches had the team focused and made good halftime adjustments on defense; Eason had some nice throws; the offensive line had its best showing run blocking all season; Jim Chaney didn’t get fancy when he saw what the line was doing to Tech’s defensive front seven; Michel and Chubb went to town.

And then the clock struck twelve in the fourth quarter and everything fell apart.

The offense wouldn’t adjust to Roof predictably loading the box and blitzing at every passing opportunity and thus couldn’t move the ball; the defense, after getting a brilliant stop on fourth down to force the change of possession and then backing Tech’s offense up to its own four-yard line, looked totally discombobulated and couldn’t stop anything; the staff mismanaged timeouts and appeared disorganized; Eason was inaccurate; Nauta dropped a key pass that might have given Georgia a shot at working towards a game-winning field goal at the very end.

In essence, Kirby Smart played not to lose too soon and got his fingers burned.  It really isn’t any more complicated than that, and all the bullet points in the world won’t make any difference, which is why I’m not going to spend any more bandwidth on Saturday’s game.

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UPDATE:  Grizzard was even more succinct.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

34 responses to “Observations from the 30, Georgia-Georgia Tech edition

  1. FGs instead of TDs against a triple option team is a recipe for disaster. We played the game they want us to play. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned for life. When you have a chance to go up 3 scores, you have to do it.

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  2. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    You obviously saw the same game I did. I thought the defense caught on to what Tech was trying to do late in the first quarter. Thought the lack of offensive focus in the fourth quarter is what did it to us.

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  3. DawgPhan

    This team has no plan for finishing out a quarter or half this season. It seems like every time it gets to single digit minutes to end a quarter they start playing to end the quarter.

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  4. Athens Dog

    Nothing to see here………let’s move on………….

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  5. birddawg91

    If i was Kirby i would spend all off season on red zone defense and offense. Learning to maximize the red zone would lead to better focus and intensity which we lack an abundance of.

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    • ^This. OL play and being able to open holes would help w RZ offense. On D, I have no idea what happened. That certainly seems to be an anomaly given that D wasn’t awful most of the time–just when they got in the Red Zone.

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  6. Atticus

    As far as Eason, he shows his potential but didn’t seem to improve much, but everybody said the same thing about Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan on the Falcons. It was too plain, predictable, no creativity, too may INTs etc….but they put an offensive line in front of him and had another year to install and execute the offense and now its lights out, he’s thrown TDs to 12 different players, its not just about Julio. Eason’s curve is still huge and he will have his 1st offseason. His first, think about that. it will slow down and they have some pieces but they have to figure out OL quick and have to find a few playmakers in Ridley, Godwin, Nauta, Webb, Blount, Landers and hopefully Holloman or one other. Have to find playmakers on defense, young guys up front are good but need some ball hawks in the DBackfield couldn’t get anyone off the field and poor in the redzone.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      I get your point. But turnarounds like the Falcons offense is experiencing are unusual. As you say, much of it can be attributed to better OL play – which folks have been pointing out for years. UGA, on the other hand, may be losing Chubb & Sony, and will be losing 3 OL starters. Nothing in Chaney’s or Pittman’s history indicate they will turn this offense around. With all that improvement on O the Falcons record is just 7-4, same as UGA on Saturday morning.

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      • playmakers in space

        Not only are the Dawgs 7-5, but an NFL schedule is nothing at all like a college football schedule. There are no Nicholls and Louisiana’s on the Falcons schedule. In fact, they’ve played one of the most difficult schedules in the league, which makes their 7-4 mark more impressive.

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  7. Bright Idea

    Will Smart and Chaney trust Eason? They never did this season until they absolutely had to in desperation. It made no sense and it kept him from progressing as he should.

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  8. Uglydawg

    “Kirby played not to lose too soon…” Yes…at the end of the first drive where he had two plays to make a short first down and chose to throw it (batted down, I think) then attempt FG. This sucks. If the FGs weren’t allowed, we win. Georgia left an almost guaranteed win on the field. We lost by one and 6 from 21 is 15…surely we would have gotten 7 out of one of those three trips. After the early part of the game…it seemed we resorted to passing only in obvious passing situations. Caution got us beat..again.

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  9. Spike

    When we stopped that fourth down play with a tackle for a loss we had all the momentum in the world. What the hell happened? The Georgia Way.. Sigh..

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    • Dawgy

      Predictable isn’t it? Sad but predictable.

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    • Turning point of the game….I thought we had it in the bag. 13 pt lead with possession mid field…and then another miraculous pull of defeat from the jaws of victory. The Sanford stadium way Spike. Sadly, my apathy drowned out most of the emotion, and I thought to myself while walking out the stadium “hey, at least it was a nice day and we were winning for a chunk of the game”.

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      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        Being up 11-13 points is the kiss of death, IMO. It’s such a false sense of security. It means you’ve played well enough to score on 3 more possessions than the other guys but not good enough to put a team away. It means one TD will make it very, very tight. I was ill when I saw the playcalling from the 49…I actually looked at the clock and told my wife, it’s too early to be this conservative….but still was feeling decent until the in-explainable false start on 3rd and 5 by Wims…and how Mauger could be THAT lost in his 4th game against Tech is beyond me. Aaron Davis getting hurt was the unsung moment in the game.

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        • I didn’t even notice that Davis was hurt. Yea, that made a difference. I thought we had it, but to your point, that 13 difference was enough force Tech into making more risky, and successful play calls. They loosened up right as we got tight. Typical, and the playcalling was definitely suspect there.

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          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            The coaches clearly thought going into the 4th Q that 27 points was enough to win. It infected the players. They called plays and burned timeouts as if the game was over. So when it became very apparent we may need another 3…EVERYONE PANIC!!!!

            I don’t know much about coaching…but I thought if we wanted to step on the jugular, they should have called a play action BOMB on 1st down, up 13. If for no other reason, you keep everyone in the game.

            I said earlier 13 points was the kiss of death…you know that is back to back games where a team put up 14 in the 4th Q on UGA? The last time that happened was LSU and UT in 2013..both UGA wins. The last time they’ve given up 14 in the 4Q in back to back home games? I honestly couldn’t find it. It didn’t happen under Richt and the box scores just get too hard to find prior to that. Add that in with the 20 spot they gave Tennessee and it’s been a banner year closing out games in Sanford Stadium.

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    • Athens Dog

      As soon as they hit the long pass to get them out of the end zone, you knew the ultimate outcome. The Georgia Way really sucks. Hope Kirby can change the culture

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  10. Brandon

    Our D this year was more of a “break don’t bend”. Stats looked good except in the red-zone. It was like anytime the opponent got inside the 20 our D just gave up and said oh well. Odd season all around.

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  11. PTC DAWG

    Just read that GT is 5-5 at Sanford Stadium in the last 20 years….

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    • And 1-9 at home with the help of a bs fumble call. What you’ve got is Donnan losing three straight and then 3 of 4 new DC’s losing their first time out vs. that offense. (CTG never lost.). Second year and beyond UGA DCs are 6-0.

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      • dawgfan

        Not only that, Tech was playing academically ineligible players Donnan’ s last 3 years, including the starting QB. Tech cheating went a long way toward costing Donnan his job.

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  12. CB

    The interception ultimately lost the game. Sure there are a lot of different factors, but that was the turning point. If you’re going to play it safe then play it safe. Keep running the ball, and punt it. I highly doubt Tech’s ability to score a touchdown if they got the ball inside their own 20 with 1:30 left. Especially if we are looking for the pass.

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  13. As for Grizzard does anybody know for sure whether the story that Lewis had the headline “Dogs to play Cocks with Dicks out” is a true story? It’s a funny story and would be the greatest sports headline ever, but I can find no proof that it actually happened.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      I’m fairly certain it is true because on one of the blogs, they republished the newspaper headline earlier this year.

      BTW, the blank Lewis Grizzard article posted above was from my freshman year in 1984 when we lost to those pukes. John Dewberry, who’d been kicked off the UGA team, was the Tech QB who beat us. I quickly learned to despise Tech because of how obnoxious they get the 1-2 times a decade when then actually win.

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  14. dawgfan

    When you have bench players running on the field to celebrate and get a 15 yard penalty that costs you field position on the ensuing kickoff, you deserve to lose. When you need 1 yard on 4th down and give the ball to the smallest player on the team, who gets stuffed, you deserve to lose. When you let a triple option offense go 96 yards in 2 minutes to score a TD with the game on the line, you deserve to lose. That pretty much sums up the season for me.

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    • Russ

      Watched the Vandy game against Tennessee. When Vandy stopped Tennessee with 1:45 left in the game to essentially seal it, half the Vandy team ran onto the field, most without helmets. Zero flags thrown. Yet we have one guy run behind the endzone after a hail Mary with 10 seconds left in the game, and of course we get a flag. It was a bullshit call then, it is still a bullshit call, and it will always be a bullshit call. Same as the call against AJ when we should’ve won against LSU.

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      • dawgfan

        I don’t recall much controversy on the call on #36 other than us UGA fans not liking it. I don’t like it but the call was correct. He should not by the rules have been on the field. The refs obviously missed the call against Vandy. My point is that a lack of discipline and poor coaching costs games, especially at critical points in games. I agree the excessive celebration call on AJ against LSU was one of the worst calls I have ever seen. He didn’t do anything.

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  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    That is NOT the best lede ever written. When Happy Dicks was injured and couldn’t play against South Carolina, Lewis wrote: “DOGS TO PLAY COCKS WITH DICKS OUT”

    That is the best lede ever written, or ever will be written, imo.

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  16. rchris

    “And then the clock struck twelve in the fourth quarter and everything fell apart.” …. Wow. The substance of your post aside, I have to say I admire the pure excellence of your craft. What a fine phrase.

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  17. Macallanlover

    We can all point to specific play result for why we lost but I look at the defensive strategy which wasn’t adjusted after the punt to the six yard line. You have an offense that cannot drive the field twice in that time unless they make big chunks. Defensive secondary should have backed off run support and made sure no one got behind them, particularly when the first play was a loss and made it 2nd and 12. To give up a long pass and allow them back in, and to have hope was the biggest mistake of all.

    Like

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