Everything was fine, up until then.

I mentioned earlier that it was likely one reason Smart felt comfortable letting Rodrigo kick that field goal — you know the field goal I’m talking about — is that his defense to that point had done a superlative job limiting Book’s ability to operate in short-yardage situations.

… The Irish finished with just 46 yards rushing on 14 carries, barely 3 yards a pop, with a long gain of just 9 via scramble by QB Ian Book. Still, their reluctance was mostly a matter of necessity. Situationally, they struggled throughout to stay ahead of schedule re: down-and-distance, keeping Book in obvious passing downs. Through the first 3 quarters, ND ran just 1 play on 2nd-and-short (less than 5 yards to go) and 0 on 3rd-and-short, a situation it didn’t face until well into the final quarter.

If only the secret sauce had lasted for the next drive…


Filed under Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Strategery And Mechanics

30 responses to “Everything was fine, up until then.

  1. Baitstand

    When we took our foot off the gas on offense, the whole team got the message that the game was over. Unfortunately, the other team didn’t get that message.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Biggus Rickus

      I guess it’s a good thing they slid their foot back over to the defensive gas pedal before the final drive by Notre Dame. I’m glad you were able to bring this phrase back out. It must have been killing you to not talk about gas pedals the first few weeks.


    • “[T]he whole team got the message that the game was over.”

      I’m sure you knew exactly what was going through the players’ heads after Kirby decided to kick the field goal. I’m sure you would be saying Kirby was an idiot for going for it on 4th and 1 if we didn’t get it.

      This is the play that changed everything:

      1st and 10 at UGA49 I. BOOK pass complete to C. KMET for 31 yards to the UGA18, 1ST DOWN ND (Monty Rice;J.R. Reed).

      I don’t remember if Rice was in man coverage with no help over the top (haven’t watched the replay yet) as he was regularly in the 1st half. If this play doesn’t hit, they may still score a TD late, but there would have been so little time left they would have been forced to onside kick rather than play defense.


    • Greg

      Probably want get it, but there could be hope:


  2. Go Dawgs!

    I’ve felt the need to point out several times with some of the hand wringing out there that Georgia did win the game. It could very well be that Notre Dame is a lot better than the national sports media (and the SEC media) gave them credit for.


    • Bulldawg Bill

      We did?!?!?!?! Thx for clearing that up. Must have missed it in all the hand wringing.


      • Jared S.

        Why the close win AT HOME bothers me:

        Rule #7 of college football in the 2010’s:

        Notre Dame is ALWAYS worse than the national sports media gives them credit for…


    • Macallanlover

      They were better than any one thought they were….on Saturday. This was do or die for them, their “man enough?” game. Not sure why anyone would not expect a lot of intensity from them, at least in the beginning. Same situation we ran into in Baton Rouge, except they were at home. CFB is such an emotional game, and that is why we see these great stories play out every weekend. It is what we rarely see on Sundays, and a primary reason I stopped watching or following teams in the pros.


  3. The missed ineligible man down field on the 2nd & 10 turned out to be huge imo. It was egregious as the play originally looked to be a QB draw and the linemen released.

    If that is called, now it’s 2nd and 15 and a much different animal.

    The refs clearly knew they blew it since they had a make up call a few plays later, but at that point ND had gotten rolling a little.


  4. mwo

    I am happy UGA won the game. Kirby is the man and all I’ve ever coached was tee ball. I’d just like to know what Nick Saban would have done in that same situation, knowing he had Rodrigo on call. I think he goes for the 1st.


    • 92 Grad

      Can we get an open records request for Kirby’s cell phone? I wonder how many texts he got from his friends (like saban, boom, etc.) and what they said to him.


    • Biggus Rickus

      Yes, Saban has never made any mistakes, which is why he has never lost a game. He certainly didn’t trot a guy out against LSU to miss three field goals in a game lost by 3 or try one well outside a guy’s range that ended up returned for a TD against Auburn.


      • mwo

        I’m no Saban fan but his record is hard to argue against. I have 100% faith in our staff but one of the above posts hit the nail on the head. When UGA went up 13 everyone thought it was over. Everyone except ND.


    • JD

      Folks, let’s please relax about what would Saban have done and allow Kirby to develop as a head coach.
      Go back and look at Saban’s records as HC at Mich St & LSU. He was hardly super-coach for those 10 years. Yes, he won NC in 2003. That was his 9th year as a HC.
      We won the game. Kirby bet that ND couldn’t score 2 TDs on his defense and he was right.


      • Russ

        Saban is an excellent coach, no doubt. The only area where I wouldn’t listen to him is on special teams, because his special teams have consistently sucked throughout the years (Ogletree blocked FG for a TD, Kick 6, many missed key FGs including the NCG that caused it to go into overtime, and others).

        We won. Kirby made the correct call. If we hadn’t have been stuffed on 1st AND 2nd down in that series, Kirby might have gone for it. But getting stuffed there on 4th down most likely loses that game as it gives ND all the momentum and sucks the air out of the crowd.


        • Salty Dawg

          This ^^^ what Russ said.

          Mark R didn’t have a coach for special teams, which I always found troubling. I was thrilled when Kirbs got one and then awesome Kevin Butler helped Hot Rod and that was invaluable. Thank you, Kevin!

          I would inwardly groan when either ND’s #83 and #84 were on the field. I know #84 was playing for the first time in a while and he was quite the difference maker.

          I’m glad we went for the FG. I didn’t have a lot of confidence we would have made it after ND kept us in check for more times than I’d care to think about. We have a W though, and I’m ready to Release the Krackin on the vowels in two weeks!

          GO DAWGS!


        • Garrett Williams

          It’s like everyone who wanted us to go for it has forgotten about our short yardage woes…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlottedawg

    If the team is executing successfully=> foot on the gas
    Not working well => took the foot off the gas

    Therefore if the other team starts moving the ball and scoring or if Georgia has trouble moving the ball or scoring, it’s because….WE TOOK OUR FOOT OFF THE GAS!!!! pedal to the metal at all times and we’ll never lose!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yurdle

    As usual, I will be a contrary voice. The defensive calls didn’t back down on ND’s TD drive. Instead, they remained aggressive. The converted third down was the result of bringing pressure: the CB had no nearby help and had to respect the deep pass. Smith was supposed to be in the passing lane, but he froze up and got caught in no-man’s land. The big throw to the TE was a bust caused by #2 jumping too far upfield. The long back shoulder throw was just perfect—there’s no defending that. The scrambles were poorly spied, especially by Dean, who got caught playing too far upfield and too far to his left.

    None of these busts were the result of throttling down on D.

    We could have brought more pressure, but we didn’t emphasize pressure at all on Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Saltwater Dawg

    After watching the game live, and then going back and rewatching some of it so far, I believe we were too aggressive on offense in one particular area, rather than too conservative.

    Our huge, strong and fast OL has been playing with some very aggressive schemes, which were extremely effective in the first 3 games, but came back to bite us against ND. In runs and screens, our OL has been engaging the defensive front, and then quickly disengaging and pushing to the 2nd level. This opened up some really long runs and some really long screen plays in those first 3 games.

    Against ND, we continued with this scheme, but ND effectively countered it by:

    Much better talent. Their speed and 1 on 1 tackling ability resulted in the guys that got released making the play at or near the LOS.
    They were stacking the line with DL and LB. Often, our OL went downfield to block the 2nd level and there was no one there, ie our OL were all standing straight up trying to find someone.

    I think that if we would have adjusted earlier and had our OL stay more in a zone scheme and stay on their man, we would have seen more success from the plays that had been working this year.


  8. Lutz Dawg

    It’s easy to play arm-chair QB after the fact. If the toss sweep to Cook goes for a TD, the coaches are awesome and calling a great game. However, when the TE whiffs on his block and the LB blows the play up, then they’re taking their foot off the gas. Stop the nonsense. The players have to execute the play. The Dawgs won so be happy. I remember when the Dawg fans sounded like the Gator fans now. We have a great team and coach let’s enjoy the ride!!


  9. Scorpio Jones, III

    “Ya’ll Jawja folks….ya’lls ignorance of the Process is sooooo funny….thanks so much for the giggles.”

    Hercule Poidras….spokesperson for the Kharmic Bitchez.


  10. Mick Jagger

    Listening to the national sports media, one would think ND won – “Can ND still make the playoffs”, What’s wrong with Georgia”, etc.

    I’ll take a W over a pretty L anyday!