Tough neighborhood

Somebody posted a great line last night about Georgia — “the best time team in the country not playing its best” — so it’s worth keeping in mind that despite whatever angst you may be suffering through at the moment, the Dawgs are undefeated atop the SEC East.

That beats the alternative.

It’s also worth noting that succeeding in the SEC is nothing to sneer at these days.

None of which should be construed as a prediction of smooth sailing.  This team continues to look like a bunch that at times clearly coasts on its immense talent against sub-par opposition.  That leaves the question of whether they have it in them to step it up when the other guys are better and that’s something nobody knows until the time arrives.

But they’re not exactly chopped liver, either.

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82 Comments

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82 responses to “Tough neighborhood

  1. 92 grad

    Yessir. I think they’re just young, as in, need to mature. Hopefully they will gel soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 81Dog

    Much as I detest James Franklin, the notion of stepping up from being a great program to being an ELITE program as a sometimes bumpy ride may apply here. I just hope to see this team’s A game at some point; we will need it to win the East, the SECC, and the CFP.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Offense is a combination of youth, execution, and a seemingly hesitancy to unleash the vertical game. I do wonder where #16 is in that regard. 16 and 4 unleashed in a vertical game should be lethal.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good grief … we’re bitching about beating an SEC team by 26 points in a game that wasn’t that close. Tennessee never even sniffed the red zone and scored only because Juwan Taylor got caught in 1-on-1 with a wide receiver (Kirby should have used a timeout there because we weren’t in the right defense or had the wrong personnel package) and we overran a swing pass we were in position to defend. Did the offensive line look great? No. Did Fromm look a bit spooked from his protection? Yep. Did we impose our will on the Vols in the 4th quarter? Absolutely.

    This team is young, deep and talented. They’re winning convincingly and know they haven’t played their best football yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes.
      I blame the first scoring drive on that personal foul, and the second on Kirby not calling timeout when the defense was obviously confused.

      I see things we can be corrected, but count me as one who still vividly remembers the vols and gators from the 90’s, and that will color my glasses rose every time I want to bitch about why we aren’t blowing an inferior team out. Kirby has obviously won in the recruiting front, and that gives us the privilege of griping like Bama fans. Enjoy it folks. I am.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Athens Townie

      I agree with this assessment.

      But I do wonder if this team will grow up soon enough to make a serious run at the CFP. I see this team as likely losing a regular season game, but it’s hard to imagine not winning the East. It’s just hard to tell where the ceiling is.

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      • Jim

        I haven’t studied Kentucky’s remaining schedule but if they beat us they could shock the world and win the east

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        • UK is @ A&M … Vandy … @Mizzou …. UGA … @Vols.
          It appears the rumble in Lexington could be the rubber match.

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        • Doiknowu

          The only teams they might lose to are us, aTm, and Mizz, IMO. If they beat us then we’ll have to pull hard for one of those two to pull off the win. And should we lose to either LSU or Auburn along the way we’d need them to lose to both, because I don’t see Vandy beating them.

          We had better be ready to play and not fool around for the first couple of quarters.

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          • Uglydawg

            If UK beats UGA, they would have to lose two for UGA to get in. That probably won’t happen. Georgia must play it’s very best against what will be one heck of a determined Kentucky team.
            It’s going to be a struggle..esp. if Georgia doesn’t become more consistent in it’s play.

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            • UGA crushed SCar on the road. UK won by two TDs at home. What am I missing here?

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              • Uglydawg

                Nothing. In fact, SCar had all summer to prepare for UGA and only a week for Kentucky (but of course that works both ways), which makes Georgia’s win even more impressive. Also, Kirby called off the Dawgs early. Kentucky didn’t earn that luxury.. still “comparative scores” can deceive.
                But the first half of that KY game last night scared me a little. It can get weird in Lexington on a cold November night, but I think it will be College Gameday in Lexington on Nov. 3, which should help the Dawgs.
                If so, I can already tell you the usual crew will mostly pick Kentucky for the upset. They love to pick against UGA…even if they were playing , say…Hawaii.
                An afternoon crowd will be much less of a factor than it would be fueled by Wild Turkey with the cold night air amplifying the noise and somewhat negating Georgia’s depth advantage. They made a lot of noise last night. It’s going to be tougher than we were thinking back in July.

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                • DoubleDawg1318

                  For whatever reason, it seems like night games in Lexington regularly leave us scratching and clawing for a win even when we have good teams.

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              • I think they are heaping praise on Kentucky looking for a narrative to run with as the next “trap game” for UGA. It’s not a trap game – they have Kirby’s full attention, I’m sure – but Kentucky has to throw to win versus UGA and good luck with that against our secondary. Not a good time to come out of a 1-dimensional offense.
                They are good, but until the passing game becomes a real threat I don’t think it’s the “sure upset” some are painting that future game to be.

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        • The other Doug

          UK is last in the conference in passing yard per game with 153 yards per game. Kirby and Tucker love a one dimensional offense.

          Liked by 2 people

      • old dawg

        We should be 6 and 0 heading to LSU…that’s half a season for the Freshmen and Sophomores playing older than it looks…in other words,I’m thankful for those 6 games to help the young ones play like a year older…

        the second half will plainly have more challenges as in LSU,UF,AU and UK so get ready young Dogs…

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    • Greg

      Times are good, this team has some fighters on it, we are young & haven’t jelled just yet. Even a 1 point win for me against those hillfockingbillies makes me happy. We get better imo…

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      • Uglydawg

        We get better. I think so, I hope so, I pray so, but I don’t know so. My guess is we’ll see a much more focused Georgia team after the last of the easy ones against Vandy.

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    • Uglydawg

      Who’s “bitching”? Having concerns and discussions that aren’t all flowery is not the same as bitching.
      I’ve seen bitching..and this isn’t bitching.

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      • Reading the comments on the game day thread and some of the complaints today …

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        • Uglydawg

          Semantics, I suppose. But negative criticism presented in a careful way does not qualify as bitching to me.

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          • BCDawg97

            I agree that it isn’t bitching. There is a difference between Bama fans nitpicking things in a 50-14 rout of ULALA and a 38-12 score (or 43-29) that despite the lopsided final scores, most would agree that we aren’t looking flawless, smooth or 100% efficient.

            I think the Senator is on the right track – we are playing down to the opponent, just out talenting teams and won’t know what we’ve got til LSU.

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    • stoopnagle

      This is spot on, but the bitching is largely due to comparison and we’re just not close.

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  5. Hobnail_Boot

    If this team plays it’s “A” game, it’s capable of blowing the doors off its next 7 opponents.

    If not, they could lose 2-3.

    Standards are a mother, and it’s pretty clear that they are learning on the fly how to play as the hunted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 69Dawg

    Kirby sure isn’t going to let them get the the big head. He had a long list of things. Everything I’ve read this morning he talked about in the post game presser.

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    • 69Dawg

      One thing about Kirby he doesn’t try to put lipstick on the pig.

      Liked by 1 person

    • siskey

      It was very hot in Section 321. I want to see the tv copy to see what the commentators talked about especially when UT had the two scores in the 3rd and 4th Quarter. In person, I was never really concerned it was hohum and I was impressed with how the defense played. I think that if Swift catches that screen pass we would have beat them like we did last year.

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      • Russ

        Yep, that screen to Swift was a certain TD if he holds on. He had a convoy.

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      • Greg

        Yep, nothing but green…not the mention if Godwin would have held that on. Oh well, they can make it up next game.

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      • D as in Dawg

        I think you’re right about that. He had four blockers and two defenders between him and the goal line if I remember correctly.

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        • 904Dawg

          Yep. Cheney had the perfect play called for the blitz the defense brought. It looked like Swift just took his eye off the ball a little early, looking to run before he had secured the ball. He probably realized that he was finally getting a great opportunity for a long TD run and was a little anxious to get going. Those long runs he had in almost every game last season have, thus far, eluded him so it’s kind of understandable how he started looking to run a bit too early.

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  7. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    At the start of last season, the expectation was that 2019 was really the year we should expect something. Then last year happened. Expectations have fast forwarded, but some regression to the mean is to be expected losing Roquan, Lorenzo, Nick, Sony and Javon. And also Isaiah: for someone that was thought of as small for his position he sure was good – without him, Jake is getting pressured a lot more it seems. Still, we are winning and I think we are winning better than our eyeballs make us feel like we are winning. For example, I heard that we had more rushing yardage against UT than they had total yardage. Jake might have had his worst statistical day ever yesterday, but he is still completing 74% of his passes for the year. Like the Senator said, not exactly chopped liver.

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  8. No Axe to Grind

    LSU will be UGA’s Notre Dame game this year. Win in Baton Rouge and UGA will have proven itself. I was lucky enough to be there when Donnan’s team won a while back.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. No Axe to Grind

    One more thing. The LSU crowd I was sitting next to acted pretty civilized considering they got beat, to include my first cousin. I was proud of him.

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  10. Russ

    I’ve never thought we sucked but we haven’t been playing like the #2 team in the country, or as well as we were at the start of the season. The team that waxed Sackerlina on the road would have stomped Tennessee a new one yesterday. Instead, it was a fitful performance, full of starts and stops. To be nearing the halfway point of the season makes it a little worrisome. We should be improving, not regressing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Texas Dawg

    It think the part that drives me the craziest is the penalties. How many personal fouls (right or wrong) have we had this year. They all seem to come right after what would have been a big stop. Other teams will take notice and bait them in to doing something stupid. They have to get that under control.

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  12. Cojones

    Slightly different view , but it includes our opponent. Somehow most came to the conclusion that the spread was too big. How could that be unless we felt that UT wasn’t as weak as we saw against FU. They had six sickening turnovers against FU, one that was a td fumbled through the end zone. Something was bothering our subjectivity and that appeared to be that, no matter the team, the kids all put their pants on the same way.

    I know, we gifted them a couple of tds that should have been easy with Swift’s drop being the worst from a team perspective since the blockers were all set downfield. That still doesn’t account for the fight-back that I saw UT display. They have QB, WR and RB talent that doesn’t have a strong backup, but the talent seems serviceable. I saw them make hard tackles in the secondary as much as I saw Dawg players pushing hard to make the big engine go. UT played a game that says they ain’t as bad as we wish them to be and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few upsets on their agenda. The Dawgs fought hard to win this one because they needed to in order to win and it wasn’t as easy as the score appeared for it to be.

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  13. Cojones

    Senator, I received a call from the Nazi proofreaders and they said that you meant “the best team” and not “the best time” in your first sentence quote.

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  14. No Axe to Grind

    You mean the Bolshevist proofreaders?

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  15. AusDawg85

    The die is cast. We let the Cats win the east, lose to Bama, we waltz into the CFP with the one loss. Then take down Bama.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Charlottedawg

    Not that there aren’t issues that could bite us in the ass later on but I’m just gonna enjoy the very fact that we’re bitching and moaning about wins over sec opponents by two or more touchdowns.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gurkha Dawg

    No angst here. We won. You play one game at a time, and can only win one game at a time. Next up: Vandy. Just win that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. doofusdawg

    LSU, Auburn, Kentiucky, Alabama could all be top ten teams when we play them. Mizzou and South Carolina were top twenty five and Florida could be. Our cup cake schedule which will prevent us from making the playoff if we lose the sec championship consists of seven top twenty five teams and four top ten teams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Will (The Other One)

      Unless Auburn’s offense does a magical 180 from how they’ve played so far, I don’t see them winning everything between now and when we play them. Struggling to run the ball and protect the QB vs Southern Miss at home is not great.

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      • Mayor

        Excuse me….are you talking about the team that beat #5 Washington, the projected winner of the PAC 12, and has as its only loss a 1 pointer against #6 LSU? That Auburn? Yeah, they really suck.

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  19. TMC DAWG

    Agree with most of the comments this morning. We play up to standard only when we have to. Our season will be dictated on the game at Lsu. From what I saw last night we will have to play up to that standard for sixty minutes. I’m already wondering if that will be enough. LSU looks I impressive. Especially on the defense.

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  20. Cojones

    The SEC teams that I have watched couldn’t beat us with their play that is seen thus far. If LSU, Kentucky, FU, Auburn (the best by rankings) play as they have, we will stone them. We may be having troubles getting to that perfect game play, but the teams listed are worse.

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  21. Uglydawg

    The SEC East has risen up and is making the statement that it is on the mend and rise.
    Florida is better than we thought
    Georgia is a top five team.
    Kentucky is much better than we thought.
    Missouri, according to our own CKS, is a solid football team..better than we though too.
    Vandy is competitive and could challenge for the title in some conferences. On the down side,
    SCar’s improvement over last year is marginal at best, and Tennessee is bad but not as bad as last year.
    But over-all the East has improved and will be even better next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      I will allow that Kentucky is better than anyone anticipated, but Florida is about what I expected. I thought MSU was overhyped coming into the season, and that’s been borne out.

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    • Mayor

      Every one of those teams (with the possible exception of UT) is going to a bowl this year. Did you see how Vandy played at ND? Could have won the game.

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  22. Bright siding it, what I saw was:

    Nauta lines up as FB sometimes. Based on his scoop and score we could do worse to have him as an option as a power back if needed.

    Our receivers can road grade like linemen. On that Fields touchdown (the first) I saw Hardman take a guy to the sideline. Made me smile.

    I saw the future with the second Fields touchdown. Between he and Cook, that was so fast I couldn’t tell up from down.

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    • An RPO with Fields and Cook is a real deadly combo.

      Our defense was good but the score came as a breakdown in coverage after LeCounte had his eggs scrambled and he and Reed were totally out of it. I think it opened the floodgates of confidence that lead to the second and I’m sure the PF that extended the first scoring drive is a teachable moment to the internal leadership. Could a and should a had another shut out against Tennessee.

      Each RB gives you another thing to think about. If we are going to bullheadedly run 70% no matter what, at least there is a variety in what you get. Holyfield more and more reminds me of Michel. Swift is an improviser and Herrian was a “B Button” running back for us. Cant imagine how Zeus would make that group.

      Considering the shuffling at O line they aren’t terrible but there is still the sense they haven’t gelled as a unit. I feel this will come. Young and lots of good years ahead.

      The fuss about Fromm I think stems from the hesitancy to pass at times, but you have to recognize he tries to avoid bad decisions and that locks him up in the backfield sometimes. I am personally happy he isn’t more cavalier and I think that’s Chaney and Kirby’s m.o. with his play. He is a good field general but he does get his marching orders from the sideline, for better or worse.

      Our secondary was a question at year’s start. They get a little stronger each week. LeCounte is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Love how he plays like Thomas Davis. He just needs the size to boot or he will kill himself.

      The same thing I said about o line is true for the d line. They have to click but the talent is there.

      Remember the days when we lamented some element of special teams? It has become the last worry in my mind each week. When you quibble about touchbacks with punter as your greatest problem things are alright.

      Overall, this coaching staff gives me more confidence than any during Richts tenure. I know Chaney gives us fits but I think it is a matter of principle that Smart’s teams will run, run, and run. We have the talent to do more when it is necessary I think, but we haven’t played from behind yet or with an urgency so when that time comes I will be intrigued to see the response. I dont think we have seen anything yet.

      One thing I am impressed about is the lack of quibbling over being the “premiere” anything. Not that it was a thing, but I think there is an anticipation that having so many blue chips and 5 stars would lead to infighting and someone not being the “#1” at their position, but the intensity I saw from Herrian given his limited role over the past few years shows that they are buying into “The Process” and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper.

      And for the record, watching Georgia football with the intention of “I wonder how the other team could beat us today” is a damn great step up from the way I once watched games prior to Kirby of “I wonder what fantastic and spectacular way we will underperform and lose a sure win today” that we had grown accustomed to. Remember when they were writing that “Clemsoning” the season should be called “Georgia-ing” under Richt?

      I’m glad we have a new narrative of bitching and griping to follow with the Red and Black now. (:

      Liked by 1 person

  23. ASEF

    The danger is that young teams who win by just being more physically talented can get a bit addicted to that. And then you run into a game where execution becomes the differentiator. Hard to flip a switch on execution.

    Add another stellar recruiting class, and the solution becomes obvious – the guy who is executing the most reliably plays.

    I seriously doubt Kirby doesn’t have a handle on that this year, though. He’s racking up teachable moments in conference scrimmage games.

    Conference. Scrimmage. Games.

    Hard to believe.

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  24. Chopdawg

    We might not be as good as we thought we were. Not bitchin’, just sayin’.

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  25. Cojones

    Don’t advise anyone to look at the seniors on this team because when that bunch leaves at the year’s end, it gets plum unhealthy looking until you begin to look at the SOs and FR on this team and realize the future team is trying to learn as fast as they can. Reed and LeCounte (SOs) are our big hitters on D (tadah!) and the monster D names we think of first are leaving after this season. This means that the learning rate of our newbies that are targeted for getting us there this year has to be on a steep curve if we make it to Playoffs(?) and the same applies to next year.

    Guess what? That was the formula needed last season and for the next two, which means we are living in our up seasons now. Kirby is playing the cream of the crop now and will do so next year with the 2019 class (and so on, ad infinitum). We need to hang our hats on these kids as they are coming through the door and stay with them as they represent our team’s future through the years.

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