Question of the day

Seth Emerson asks, “Did this defense get exposed, or was it just a bad night?”

The short answer is that nobody knows.  Obviously, the team hopes it was just a one-off experience.  But their coach hints at underlying structural issues when he says things like this:

“We can play better. We have to strike and get off blocks, but every player on our team can do that,” Smart said. “It’s easy to look at a lot of the things that reared their head in the last game, they were in the game before and the game before that. You may not have noticed them because the results weren’t the same.”

That begs certain questions, such as, if they knew there were issues that needed addressing, why weren’t they able to do so?

Of course, it’s equally possible that Smart is using the Auburn outcome to motivate his defensive players to up their game, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Another big question is, assuming this was something more than just a singular bad day, whether it takes a certain level of offensive proficiency to expose Georgia’s defense.  If so, what’s tough for those of us looking for context is that Georgia’s last two regular season opponents before the championship game aren’t exactly on Auburn’s level, that being 24th nationally in offensive yards per play.  Kentucky is 58th and Georgia Tech is 53rd.  Thus, it’s possible that we see significant improvement in the Dawgs’ defensive effort without knowing how much of that to attribute to the lapses being cleaned up and how much to the level of opposition.

Of course, we’ll get a truer measure of all that at the SECCG.  Besides Auburn, Alabama is tenth in yards per play.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

31 responses to “Question of the day

  1. Mark

    “…if they knew there were issues that needed addressing, why weren’t they able to do so?”

    Perhaps those issues are more significant than the kind that can be corrected in a couple weeks of practice. I got no clue what they might be, I am just reaching here.

    But if that’s the case and the problems can be fixed only by recruiting, then we can forget winning the SEC.

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  2. When you get left on the field the entire game by a sputtering offense and lose field position by special teams’ miscues, eventually the dam breaks. We stopped Auburn’s first drive and they kick a 50+ yard field goal. We stopped the next two scoring drives and force red zone FGs. In the meantime, the offense can’t get out of its own way. The leaping penalty eventually led to Slayton’s TD. That game is dramatically different at 9-7 at the half. The defense got the stop to start the 2nd half and then Hardman muffs the punt. Did the defense play well? No. Was the rest of the team worse? Yep.

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    • James Stephenson

      Right UGA had to keep it close until Gus felt his Ass tighten and then he would do Gus things. But the miscues, omg, it was like watching the Falcons when they just do stupid shit.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mayor

      ^^This. I thought the leaping penalty was the turning point of the game if you can have a turning point in a 23 point loss. Instead of the Dawgs getting the ball suddenly the Aubies get a first down 15 yards closer to the Georgia goal line. It was similar to a turnover and had to be demoralizing on the D.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sanford222view

      ^^^Yes!!!!

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    • Dawg in Lutz

      if we hit the 2 long TD passes that were wide open, the halftime score is 21-16 UGA. i think the second half is much different if we’re winning. Additionally, the AU D has to honor our deep passes; therefore they can’t just bring the house every play. It was a game of miscues by the Dawgs and everything went right for AU. If we play again, all those things won’t happen that way. We might not win; but the game will be different.

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      • Got Cowdog

        If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass every time he hopped. Auburn is good. Little Larry in my head was right. And that leaping penalty was a killer.
        But, I agree with you, Lutz. We run into that bunch again I expect a much better game. I certainly hope so ’cause this one was damn painful to watch.

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      • Ben

        And if my aunt had outdoor plumbing, she’d be my uncle, but that ain’t the case, is it?

        We can’t putter around with “what ifs” because the reality is that we got smoked by a better coached team that was playing better football than our guys. If our offense was moving the ball, we woulnd’t have needed to rely on those long TD passes (or missed passes) to keep us in the game, but we did because we only got 40 some odd yards on the ground because our O line was getting blown up at the point of attack all day long.

        I don’t know if it was a one-off game, or if there are bigger issues, but losing to Auburn sucks, and I hope they get their stuff together before we potentially lose to Tech, too.

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      • Drops and missed big plays are part of sputtering. Against a good team, you must take advantage of those. We survived the TD drop by Hardman at ND. You can’t do those kind of things and beat a good team without some luck.

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  3. kfoge

    The Auburn game is hard to read. If Fromm hits Ridley, we go up 14-9 and how does the game play out then? Even if he doesn’t hit Ridley but we make the FG before half or even try for a TD before half, how does that change things. If Mecole doesn’t muff the punt….. I know many games have what-if moments but the Fromm to Ridley one was so huge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normaltown Mike

      Agree.

      I think Auburn was gonna win Saturday nite (they just looked better in all facets of the game) but that play would’ve made it entertaining into the 4th QTR.

      Instead I left the room and watched SuperGirl w/ my tween daughters 😦

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  4. dawgfan

    “Did the defense get exposed or was this just bad day” yes and yes
    Auburn had by far the most physical offensive line and running back we have seen all year by far. Any time a running back goes for 160+ you’ve been exposed. SEC East is Natty Light.

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    • I️ guess our manhandling of Mississippi State doesn’t count as a data point.

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      • dawgfan

        Miss State isn’t a powerhouse and hasn’t won the SEC in modern history. Beating them in Athens should always be a given which is the only data point I see. They did beat LSU, who beat Auburn, who kicked our butt. Maybe that counts to some.

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        • They’re a top 15 team this year and until this year, had been ranked #1 since our last time at the top of the rankings in 2008. They also went toe to toe with the #1 team in the country last Saturday.

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  5. Granthams replacement

    Tech game will show the level of one on one tackling, gap control and outside contain.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      indeed.

      I’ll say that Johnson was uniquely talented in his stop/start running style. Our guys looked like they were running in sand when they filled the gap and then Johnson backed up and went around them.

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      • 92 grad

        Johnson made his presence known with his ability to anticipate his downfield blocking. Almost every run he took I could see him basically turning every play into a draw. I think he’s the first back we’ve gone up against that had the poise to slow down, see the best timing to take his run behind the blocking scheme. Their blocking was phenomenal and the timing of all the moving parts was just a little bit off of what the typical opponents have been. They pretty much landed drop shots at the net all night, neutralizing our speed and pursuit angles.

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  6. I could be wrong, but it seems like teams have stopped trying to run laterally and instead are running straight up the middle and the DL is getting pushed back.

    GT should scare the shit out of everyone right now.

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    • tech should scare the hell out of Kirby right now. I️ wouldn’t want to enter 2018 on a 2-game losing streak to the maggots. The last 2 guys to lose 3 in a row to them has ended up on the unemployment line.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Please guys, I just no longer have the capacity to worry about anything but Kentucky. But if I did, I would say Tech worries the shit outa me.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jared S.

    What was exposed was that we didn’t know how to collectively respond when we got body-slammed (not “punched in the mouth” as so many have said).

    In my opinion that’s mostly a problem of preparation and coaching.

    It’s a mental thing. I think we’re very tough physically, but mentally we were (evidently) fragile.

    Now the question is whether our ass-whooping makes us better or damages our psyche and makes us second-guess ourselves to the point where we have an Epic Ass-Whooping Redux on December 2nd (or – God forbid – an embarrassing face-plant against Tech).

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  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    I realize there is no data point to base this on, but …two years away? Is that not what got exposed?

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  9. Looking at it now In hindsight, Auburn’s offense is a tough fit when they are playing well. They combine a power running game (which most D’s struggle with nowadays since they are built to stop the spread, hence most of our success on offense this year) with a QB who can throw the deep ball well. Our secondary has been beaten deep all year long, we just haven’t faced many QB’s who had the arm/accuracy to take advantage of it – Mizzou’s QB was about the only other one we had faced and he hurt us bad in the first half of that game.

    I’m not sure how much you can fix to suddenly be able to stop power running, but the secondary issues should have been able to be addressed. Of course, a better pass rush sure would help.

    Football is all about matchups, that’s why even comparing common opponents isn’t always that good of a gauge because strengths and weaknesses are different between every team. Two teams who overall are mostly equal might have drastically different results against a common opponent simply because of what each team is good or not good at.

    Long story short, Auburn is a tough matchup for us. Even a rematch I think they’d have to be favored pretty strongly.

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  10. Jt (the other one)

    Here’s the thing. Essentially the same OL we faced last year and same defense…same RB…change in QB that is it. So what happened? Its in between their ears. Mentally we got punched and didn’t know how to handle ourselves. The little things snowballed and it showed in penalties etc…I like our chances moving forward.

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