Well, looky here:
I can only think of two issues about today’s game.
The first is whether we’ll be treated to Nicholls, The Sequel…
It’s hard to take Samford’s chances seriously today. Add to that what would be an understandable emotional hangover after last week’s thrilling win in South Bend, and it’s not hart to extrapolate another struggle against a lower division squad. I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but I’m not gonna lie and say I won’t be watching carefully to see if this team’s learned how it needs to approach every game.
Second issue: does Georgia finally get off the under-40 points scored schneid?
Check and check. The team lost its focus mid-second quarter, as we were treated to a Fromm turnover after a Samford scoring drive, with a couple of embarrassing drops by Hardman and Woerner mixed in. At one point, we were staring at a fourteen-point game, the visitors with the ball deep in Georgia territory late in the first half, followed by them receiving the second-half kickoff. If visions of Nicholls started dancing in anyone’s head, well, nobody could be blamed for that, right?
However, J.R. Reed, Lorenzo Carter and John Atkins weren’t having any of that. Carter came up with a crucial sack when Samford scrimmaged from the Georgia 11. Reed blocked the ensuing field goal attempt to end that particular threat. Atkins recovered a fumble on Samford’s first possession of the second half. Two minutes later, instead of being in a squeaker, the Dawgs went back up by 21 points. From there, the only burning question left on the day was whether they’d clear forty. That threshold was crossed before the end of the third quarter.
It was a dull, dominating win over an outmatched FCS team. I enjoyed every minute of its complete predictability.
Bullet points comin’ at ‘ya:
- My favorite play of the game wasn’t particularly meaningful, but I sure loved the block Fromm threw to free Chubb on his first touchdown run. That followed Fromm dropping a fifty-yard dime to Riley Ridley. Two-play scoring drives are fun.
- Speaking of Chubb, he had several runs where he turned nothing into something. Which means the offensive line is still struggling in run-blocking on occasion. They did wear a lesser opponent down as the game went on, but the middle of the line had a hard time establishing push early. There really is little excuse for not converting that fourth-and-one on the opening drive.
- D’Andre Swift’s spin move. Whoa.
- Terry Godwin’s got his groove back.
- When Mecole Hardman finds his consistency, I have the feeling this offense is going to take off. We know what a threat Godwin is and Ridley’s smooth. Three big play guys would be great.
- I saw a lot of good downfield blocking from the receivers all game.
- The best of Jim Chaney’s night was getting the right mix of run-pass. Letting Fromm only throw 13 times while letting the running backs do their thing was exactly the way to go.
- Second best: no wildcat.
- Third best: adapting to the reality that runs up the middle were being stuffed early by taking the ball outside.
- On the other hand, the virtual absence of the tight ends from the passing game has moved from benign neglect to something more purposeful. If there’s a message being sent, I’m not sure what it is, but zero completions and only one or two targets is sending something that way. Whatever is going on, it’s the opposite of getting them involved.
- This may be the only time I mention Prather Hudson in an Observations post, so I thought I’d better get that out of the way. Hi, Prather!
- Other than handling the quick slant, the defense played well, which you’d expect when the other team averages a yard per rush (and even that came from the benefit of garbage time at the very end of the game).
- I’m beginning to think that instead of doing a detailed point on Roquan Smith, I just need to invoke his name and leave it at that.
- Tyrique McGhee was picked on, and fairly successfully. Here’s to hoping Parrish is back soon.
- In the midst of Samford’s first scoring drive, Trent Thompson had two jaw-dropping tackles, the first on a three-yard TFL run, the second when on a passing play he rushed and then turned around to make the tackle of the receiver several yards downfield. No big man, especially a defensive tackle, should be that quick. (I checked the broadcast and it really doesn’t do Thompson’s freakiness justice.)
- At some point, the secondary needs to start converting some of those pass breakups into interceptions.
- Samford’s offense, by the way, is well coached and Devlin Hodges does an excellent job running it. Good arm, very quick release. He won’t be the worst quarterback Georgia faces this season.
- Seven-for-seven in the touchback department and a 46.5-yard average on punts with negative return yardage are things I’ll take all day long.
- Coaching this week deserves credit for mental preparation more than anything. It would have been easy to mail this one in, and based on history, that wouldn’t have been surprising. Instead, they came out ready to grind, survived a momentary blip and finished the drill.
They’re 3-0, with two wins over inferior opposition and a big road win against a ranked opponent. Now things get serious, as game prep for the SEC begins.