Here’s a quote from a former player answering a question about comparing the 2012 South Carolina blowout with what happened Saturday:
“But the thing for us is that we didn’t really care if we got down 14 points because we knew that we could score that in two minutes,” one of the three on the 2012 team said. “We can’t do that right now. The combination of Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo was pretty lethal. They couldn’t do that (Saturday). They couldn’t play their game the other day. This is a young, physical team. They can’t score quick necessarily. We could. This team will grind you up and spit you out. Next thing you know you are getting killed. That didn’t happen Saturday.”
That is perceptive. I remember thinking to myself at the start of the fourth quarter last Saturday that in 2013 Georgia was down 20 points to Auburn at the same point, only to come roaring back to take the lead with about two minutes left in the game and then reminded myself this year’s offense isn’t built the way that one was. That explosiveness may have been largely out of necessity because of how porous the defense was that season, but also because Murray and Bobo aren’t Fromm and Chaney.
And the thing is, until last weekend, they haven’t needed to be as dynamic as their 2012-13 counterparts. Grinding and spitting has worked just fine all season. But Fromm, while precocious, isn’t at a point where he can lift the team up and carry it on his shoulders for a quarter (which is not the same as saying he’ll never get there — he will) and Chaney has to call plays based on the quarterback he has, not the one he might wish he had.
The point is, this offense, while effective for the most part, isn’t a finished product. If the running game gets jammed, there can’t be a slide by the defense or on special teams because the passing game isn’t capable of taking up the slack and creating the kind of momentum the team can rally around in a comeback. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we watched happen at Auburn. The trick going forward is to avoid those situations until the passing game catches up.