Fresh legs win.

One thing I used to bitch about in the Richt era, even in the good times, is how often his teams didn’t put opponents away in a manner that let the backups get significant playing time.  Last season was more of the same, unfortunately.

There was no such scenario last year, when the Bulldogs pulled out last-second triumphs over Missouri and Kentucky and suffered last-second defeats against Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech. Georgia’s most comfortable win a year ago came in the 35-21 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, a game the Bulldogs led 35-7 midway through the fourth quarter, and even the expected feasting on FCS-member Nicholls resulted in a 26-24 escape.

That hasn’t been an issue lately.

Georgia’s only close call this season has been the 20-19 win at Notre Dame on Sept. 9, with the Bulldogs having opened Southeastern Conference play the past three weeks with routs of Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt by a combined 117-17.

Smart bemoans the downside — “If you don’t play in tight ballgames, sometimes guys get tight when you do have to play in them.” — even if that wasn’t a problem against Notre Dame, while acknowledging the obvious.

“It helps the development of our team, should we have an injury or a situation where a guy’s got to go in and play. We now have some experience, which we didn’t get last year, so there are positives and negatives.”

That’s huge, not only for this season, but for future seasons when this year’s backups become next year’s starters.  The positives outweigh the negatives by a wide margin, especially when you toss in that you’re reducing the chance of key players being injured.

And even if a little in-game R&R might hurt a bit when it comes to individual honors

While Chubb is the SEC rushing leader at the moment, he is 16th nationally.

He has done this despite sitting out in a lot of fourth quarters due to five blowouts in six games.

“Sony (Michel) and I did some calculations, and we missed a quarter from five games,” Chubb said. “That’s (over) one game we’ve missed. It’s great to keep us fresh and keep getting the young guys some playing time. It’s working out well for us right now.”

… I really doubt Nick’s complaining about it.  Even if he is doing the math.

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8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

8 responses to “Fresh legs win.

  1. Jack Burton

    This years schedule has set up perfectly for this team. Build our strength against the run, including a massive out of conference road game against an all time great program at night in their legendary stadium, followed up by the early season dual threat darling and paper tiger defense, then the at the time SEC leading rusher, before facing a decent pocket passer and now a team that heavily relies on the pass. Get through this game then a bye before the gators. Running teams, road tests, passing teams, bye week, end of season gauntlet of rivals.

    Let’s just hope we are fortunate to make it to the Gators and Aubs without any more significant injuries or suspensions.

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  2. dawgtired

    We have had the opportunity to give 2nd and 3rd stringers enough playing time now that they have the experience to get playing time even if we do not have a comfortable lead on the opponent. I know there is a little drop off in talent but a fresh 2nd stringer is really close to a tired 1st stringer. I love being able to rotate the players the way we have. There are so many positives, as you mentioned. Another thing is the opportunity to find that diamond in the rough. How many times have we discovered a player’s ability because the starter got hurt? In the past we wouldn’t have known how good a player could be because they didn’t get the PT to show off skills. This year we have players running on and off the field nearly every play.

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  3. Bill M

    If I’m Nick and Sony, I’m loving it. Who wants to get run into the ground their senior year before going pro?

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  4. Macallanlover

    Starters have played only one 4th quarter, and that is when we have worn them down and we could have rolled up some stats. Good news is our studs are well rested headed into the upcoming stretch of tougher tests, and our backups have gotten some playing time and film for evaluation and teaching. I am concerned we haven’t gotten any 2 minute drill practice, even though we have had a couple of opportunities before half time. All in all, life has been good in so many ways for this UGA team, and the confidence is building as the home stretch approaches.

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  5. watcher16

    Chubb and Michel are also doing the math knowing they are that much fresher for the NFL. Win-Win

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  6. Cojones

    Chubb and Michel continue to show “Team First” in everything they do. Accolades are eschewed by both when playing a game that they will live for in the future. And the NFL doesn’t pay much for college loyalty while they do pay less for the lowest stack of college plaudits. The money that Chubb and Michel pull in from alumni for their unselfishness should be credited to their future as partial donors for our University.

    DBDs (Damn Best Dawgs) would be appropriate at this point to describe what they have done for their school’s team in enhancing the name of our school.

    When or if we lose a game, it won’t be because the team hasn’t done it’s damnedest to measure up to the standard these two have given it.

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  7. AusDawg85

    Chubb should pitch to Sony from the WildDawg so both get the yardage credit. 😜

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