Mother Nature, bless your heart. My favorite two words from Saturday were “cloud cover”.
- Give the fan base some credit — the second straight home cupcake game, time moved up seven hours and the joint was damned near full anyway. Crowd wasn’t sleepy, either. Pat yourselves on the back, folks.
- Maybe I’m imagining this, but it seemed like they cut back on the canned music a little and let the Redcoat Band show out more during the game, especially the first half. If that’s right, whoever made that call, thanks.
- You may have heard something about this already, but there is ridiculous, outrageous speed on offense. Holyfield looked like he was shot out of a cannon on that long run. Simmons showed some freakin’ afterburners on his touchdown jaunt. Those are just the most recent examples I’ve seen; the usual suspects were still rocketing along when they got the opportunity.
- Run blocking was excellent. On the aforementioned Holyfield run, the middle looked like the proverbial parting of the Red Sea. Pass protection got better as the game went along, but one of those sacks was definitely on the o-line. Cade Mays wasn’t as good Saturday as he was against South Carolina. (No shame in that for a true freshman thrown into the fire.)
- I hate to keep picking on him, but Woerner’s blocking continues to be a real liability.
- Multiple completions to the tight ends? Get outta here!
- One thing cupcake games are good for is the chance to develop depth in a lower risk setting. Godwin is still coming back from his injury, but that means there’s an opportunity for others, like Jeremiah Holloman, who’s really starting to blossom. The receiving corps looks like it’s going to be something to reckon with.
- I know the official reason we’re not seeing much out of Robertson yet is that he’s still learning the offense, but I think the real story is that he’s not blocking downfield the way the rest of the receivers are. That may not have mattered at Cal, but it does in Athens.
- I haven’t heard anything dark about why Swift’s day was short, so I’ll go with Kirby’s reason, that he wanted to give other backs the opportunity. It’s not like Georgia didn’t get ‘er done on the ground. Holyfield, in particular, is really coming into his own and if he and Swift can give the team a legit one-two punch like a couple of other guys did last year, I’m okay with that.
- Fromm got off to a somewhat slow start. (Relatively speaking, that is.) He was guilty of holding the ball too long at times and that almost cost Georgia on the strip sack that Cleveland recovered near the goal line. The switch got flipped, though, much like it did against South Carolina and when, Fromm is on, the offense really hums. The bomb to Holloman came off a pump fake and was a beaut. The TD pass to Holloman came off a roll out to the right, something Fromm looks way more comfortable doing this season. Much like the Carolina game, when the dust settled, he was freakishly consistent, if that’s such a thing.
- Fields isn’t exactly chopped liver, either. You can tell he needs a few reps under his belt to get settled in, but, man, once he does, he is smooth. His touchdown pass to Stanley was perfectly thrown into tight spacing. Not that I’m wishing anything, but if Fromm got hurt, I wouldn’t be concerned the way I was when Eason went down last season.
- The defense is still playing vanilla, so much so that I was startled on one of the rare occasions when Tucker dialed up a blitz (it worked, too, forcing Stockstill to throw earlier than he wanted for an incompletion). I do feel that’s a big reason they’re still not getting to the quarterback as much as we’d expect, or, in Saturday’s case, at all.
- That being said, MTSU’s passing game didn’t pose much of a threat, as the Dawgs forced everything underneath. The one big play suffered was clearly a defensive breakdown, as Campbell was cleanly blocked by his man and one of the safeties (Reed?) took a bad angle on the receiver. I imagine some ass will be chewed about that this week. I’m not sure Georgia allowed another pass to gain ten yards.
- Run defense is a little more concerning. Part of that is likely due to playing a lot of dime coverage. Again, it’s not like they got burned for any big plays, but they did allow the Blue Raiders to nibble steadily for much of the game. That’s stuff that’s got to be tightened up, and soon. And that starts with the defensive line.
- The ILBs did a respectable job against the run, but they were cleaning up too many plays four yards past the line of scrimmage. Taylor looks like he’s getting better each week.
- Lots of people got the chance to play in the secondary and that meant I got to watch a fair amount of Otis Reese. He’s gonna be a good one. Poole looked good, too.
- Special teams were special-er, I guess. Blankenship was his usually consistent self and Camarda finally mixed in a punt with a little touch to go along with his boomers. The big thing was the punt return blocking finally shaped up enough to allow Hardman to break two big returns, one for his first touchdown. Downside was both he and Crumpton allowed a couple of punts to hit and roll, so there’s still work to be done there. And what was the deal with not one, but two offsides calls on kickoffs?
Georgia didn’t bring its A game Saturday, but it didn’t need to. The coaches called the kind of game you’d expect and there’s enough talent at their disposal that it played out as expected. Three games in and they still haven’t shown many cards, tactically speaking. That’s bound to change as Georgia returns to conference play for the next few weeks. We know there’s plenty of talent and depth. What we don’t know yet is something we learned in the second game of 2017 and that’s how this team responds to adversity.