Talk about a game that turned on a dime. The Dawgs seemingly fiddle farted around for a little over a quarter in Knoxville and then turned on the jets in the last four minutes of the first half to put the Vols in their place.
On one level, it was another example of how loaded this Georgia team is. Even when trailing, there was no sense of imminent danger. On the other hand, it was another example of how it takes this team some time to settle in, even against inferior opposition. Is that a side feature of Kirby’s devotion to manball, or are they simply choosing to hold back some of their explosiveness?
I don’t know. But I do know it’s time for some bullet points.
- The offense really wasn’t the issue during the first half lull. After all, they opened with a 13-play, 84-yard touchdown drive that burned almost seven minutes off the clock. But it seemed that a little focus was lost, as the next three series were all taken off course by (mostly stupid) penalties.
- Not that I’m complaining, but how much does Blankenship’s ridiculous consistency this season factor in to the way the offense seems to relax now and then?
- Wheel route, for the win!
- Hard to say that there’s a player who’s shown more improvement over the first five games of the season than Brian Herrien. He’s developed a sense of patience and timing that’s made him a real threat behind that offensive line.
- Yeah, Kirby, maybe you should have let Zamir White play a little in the Notre Dame game.
- It’s not so much that I’m trying to knock Tyler Simmons as it is that I wish a few of his touches had gone to James Cook instead. Cook’s been criminally underused so far this season. Maybe they’re saving him for something.
- Those of you blaming Pittman for the offensive line’s poor showing on the failure to convert a couple of short yardage situations — have you given any thought as to why Coley had Fromm in the shotgun for those?
- Pass protection was pretty damned good throughout. Fromm had lengthy periods of time to survey the field and choose his spots on more than one occasion.
- Coley trotted out a new version of a jumbo package, adding Mays as an eligible tackle, and it had its moments.
- I’d say Lawrence Cager is this year’s version of Javon Wims. Fromm certainly thinks so.
- Robertson’s route running looks so smooth.
- I dunno, guys. I don’t think this is gonna be the year of throwing the ball to the tight ends more.
- Jake Fromm is a rock. Road game in a hostile, loud environment and the home team has some momentum? No big thang, man. A (conveniently timed) busted clock? Eh, no worries. Dude takes what the defense gives him and adds in some stunning throws as back breakers, like that beautiful downfield completion to Robertson in the fourth quarter.
- Bottom line, it’s hard to complain too much about racking up over 500 yards of offense on the road. It’s even harder to complain about Georgia running 70 plays on offense.
- I know the defense again made good second half adjustments to take away the slant pass, but has anyone thought about making those adjustments earlier in the game? Like, say, right after kickoff?
- Richard LeCounte is a good, talented football player. Richard LeCounte is an inconsistent football player. Those aren’t contradictory statements, although I’m increasingly prepared to accept debate on that.
- He had company, surprisingly, as Reed had a couple of whiffs, too.
- The only guy in the secondary who turned in a consistently excellent night was Stokes, who played big.
- They miss Tyson Campbell. I’m not kidding.
- As the outside linebacking went, so did the defense. In other words, not as good as we’d like in the first half and killer in the second. Ojulari played a dominating third quarter and UT could barely move the ball.
- It was easy to miss, but the ILBs did a good job in pass coverage limiting UT’s starting tight end. I bet that surprised Jim Chaney.
- Tae Crowder keeps making big plays. Good on him.
- He doesn’t get a lot of mention, obviously, but that was a nice play Nate McBride made to break up a pass on UT’s last possession.
- And let’s tip our collective caps to the defensive line depth. Jordan Davis went out early with an injury and the rest of the cast still shut down the Vols’ running game. Not a bad night’s work.
- That all being said, the defense gave up what seemed like a lot of explosive plays in the first half. Should we attribute that to Chaney’s familiarity with the scheme, or is the emphasis on havoc leaving the defense more vulnerable to the big play than it was last season?
- Special teams… well, special teams outside of Blankenship showed a little better this week, mainly because there were no big mistakes in the return game. But I’ve got to think Camarda’s adventures are causing more concern for the coaches than they’re admitting publicly. It was a good thing that UT’s punter kind of evened things out.
- I hate to keep saying this, but I have the feeling that Kirby enjoys these little adventures of having to dig out from adversity. That’s all well and good, but adversity against Alabama and Clemson is going to be a whole ‘nother animal than adversity against Tennessee.
- Stupid penalties are stupid, David Marshall.
- I’ve made a promise not to discuss officiating in these Observations posts anymore, because it’s simply a waste of bandwidth, but, jeez, that call on Matt Landers in the end zone was horrible. Not that I’m expecting to hear a mea culpa from Steve Shaw any time soon.
I get being a little frustrated about the early inconsistent play, especially on the defensive side, but, really, this game was never in doubt. That was enough to make Kirby happy and it should make you happy, too. Now, it’s on to South Carolina… are those cannon shots I hear?
65 responses to “Observations from the armchair, burnt Urnge edition”
I just hope that our kids did enough this time to please Tebow. Lol.
Observations from JJ:
The UT fans that we encountered this weekend were all very nice. Most believed that they had no chance and that the game was over before it began.
We saw Peyton Manning exit the stadium as we were making our way in.
Many more empty seats than my last trip there in 2007. When I watched last night the announcers said that attendance was 92,000 but I am not so sure.
When they scored on the long pass play the crowd was very loud.
I couldn’t see many replays as the crew there did not show the ones that were iffy against Georgia. The Cager interference looked like a no call live but when I watched the replay it was probably the right call. I would still advise the receivers to do that every play and make the refs call it.
I paid close attention to Andrew Thomas on every snap and he is the best offensive lineman that we have had that I can remember. No matter who UT put against him he blocked him with seemingly little effort.
The long pass to Swift was incredible in person.
Great effort by the team to put the game away in the 2d quarter.
Beers are $12 for about 20 oz and worth the long wait in line.
Is the Cager interference call the one where the corner lost his helmet? I have to think that in live action, a missing helmet might create some presumptions in the mind of an official. Not that that excuses it, but it might not have been home cooking.
I think the lost helmet was on the Matt Landers hands to the face call, on which the refs missed the punch the UT player threw prior to the helmet coming off. Should have been 1st down and 1/2 the distance to the goal instead of a penalty on UGA. I think the Cager call was probably legit.
I waited 40 minutes for my beer. Missed most of the second quarter. Emphatically not worth it. However, while in line, I was chatting with some UT fans and telling them how pleasant they were. They ALL told me that if they thought they had a chance, they would have been really obnoxious. Points for honesty I guess. Couldn’t agree more with Senators post. Speaking of senators, we bought tickets off of stub hub and were told by the UT season ticket holders around us we were in Lamar Alexander’s seats. Guess he wasn’t up for the lamb slaughter 😉
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Fromm in the gun on 4th and 1 isn’t the problem (IMO). The problem was rushing to the line and running the exact same play. UGA didn’t need to quick-snap a team it was dominating. They didn’t need to “catch” Tenn in a lull. Take your time, call the play you want, and then run it. Also, I like UGA running out of the gun, but do it in a spread look, not a jumbo look with Fromm in the gun. Spread Tenn out and force them to choose to let Fromm make a simple 5-yard out for the first down or match up with the spread and then run the ball.
Instead, we acted like we had the talent deficiency and were playing the better team and we tried to catch them off guard.
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Good comment as usual … I liked the QB sneak from under center with that personnel grouping.
I agree. I say you put Jake under center in jumbo and line up Travon Walker in the backfield. Have Walker give him a push from behind to counter the LB’s push. Don’t over-complicate things, just use your biggest and best athletes to get a yard when you need it. If you gonna go jumbo, go JUMBO!!!
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I have fan only expertise when you post possible plays and usage, but your post is certainly lucid and reasonable without assailing the coaches. Now these are the types of input that I enjoy on this blog.
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Agree on all points. Why don’t we ever use a QB sneek in these 1-yard situations? Bringing the ball back 3 yards makes it 4 yards to gain instead of one and gives the D-line time to penetrate. As stated above, this is a formation-play call mismatch. If you want to go shotgun, go spread formation and call an RPO and put it in Fromm’s hands which have proven very accurate. If you want to jam it up the middle in a jumbo package, then put him under center.
If we can’t defend the slant in the 1st quarter then we can not possibly beat Bama this year.
Yep. I’ll take the over in that one.
Senator’s takeaways are once again almost identical to mine. But you missed mentioning the reverse… ha.
Additionally, the Gators have a 6’6″ TE that will eat us up if we don’t plan for it. No need to give them any hope either.
Think they will stick with Emory Jones for the rest of the season?
Yes. Slow starts are a side feature to impose your will manball.
Start pounding the line early and often and have your depth payoff late. Play base defense until you see what they’re trying to do. We know this only works when your talent is much deeper than the opponent.
Talent gap is not as deep this week and South Carolina has shown weakness against the pass. Will we adjust?
And Lawrence Cager is clutch. Hope he’s OK.
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I really really really wish we’d start doing a rugby kick with Camarda when we are at midfield. He is awful at the controlled pooch kicks and the rugby run might prove useful on a 4th and short from the 40’s if the gunner turns his head
I’d get someone else to punt the short ones. Seriously. There has to be someone with a decent leg that can just punt it in bounds.
I’m beginning to wonder when Rodomatic gets a shot at punting. He can certainly do all the other kicks without a drop of sweat. (Side note: Is he the best kicker in UGA history? Color me amazed at the consistency and leg strength.)
The guy is to kickers what Fromm is to the QBs. Never flustered. Ice water in the veins. If he is not the best in UGA history, then he would have to be #2 only to Butler and then by a razor thin margin.
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He’d be in the top 3-5 I think, but when you’re talking about a group that includes Kevin Butler, John Kasay, Rex Robinson, Blair Walsh …
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Him, too, for sure. We’ve had a bunch of them.
Was thinking of Robinson and Butler, but he’s definitely better than Blair Walsh, IMO.
PDawg, don’t forget Alan Leavitt
His leg strength went up drastically from his FR year to his Soph year. Have no idea what exercise routine and trainers he used but he he went from an average leg to Superman on both kickoffs and FGs. And his accuracy has climbed as well. Very special kicker now, for sure.
Are we now kicker U?
I think the issue is when he is trying to coffin corner on the short kick (directional kicking) is when he is getting his shanks. Quit the directional punting and just let the kid punt.
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“Fiddle farting” went down better than my first cup of coffee this morning. Curmudgeon with a dash of whimsy.
Jake Fromm is the absolute man. Steve McQueen in pads. Drive By Truckers cross-reference is a bonus.
Jake cooked an omelet in the pocket for AThomas who ate it in two bites. He had all the time he needed and he knew how to use it.
Manball was working okay in the first half. UGA scored on their first three possessions and five of their first six. It would have been two touchdowns on its first two drives if not for the Cager penalty. I think the defense had the slow start, due primarily to the really bad bite on the fake by LeCounte and Marquez Callaway being a bigger, better receiver than DJ Daniel was ready to handle.
I think offensive pass interference is the most punitive penalty in college football. It is also highly subjective and not called as often as it occurs.
Fifteen yards and negate the play is way more punitive compared to the result of the play than defensive pass interference has ever been. Five yards and a loss of down would be way more fair. The Cager OPI killed a drive after making it 1st and 25. Had it been 2nd and 15, that drive may turn out differently.
Speaking of officiating, the SEC should be embarrassed by the display on Saturday. It was a complete clown performance from the multiple intentional groundings that went uncalled to the phantom targetings to the chop block that never happened (which they decided to reverse after announcing the penalty instead of before announcing the penalty) to the phantom facemask to the Landers flag. Guys have bad days, but usually it is one guy here or there and the rest of the crew does an okay job. I have never seen a crew so completely lost as they were.
I knew the targeting call on Tennessee was going to be overturned because Alabama precedent was in effect. It was the exact same hit that Quinton Dial put on Aaron Murray in the SEC championship game in 2012. If it was called targeting this time, there would be a lot of side-by-side comparison videos on loop sent to the SEC office asking why Alabama wasn’t penalized for the same thing. By the way, both should have been illegal hits; neither were called.
One would think with all the SEC teams being off last weekend, we would have been assigned a better crew for the prime time game.
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The referees made the game almost unwatchable during the third quarter. So many stoppages, that the game had zero flow to it.
Punting is still an adventure, and not in a good way. It’s obviously in the kid’s head right now. I’d say get him some outside help (Drew Butler want to take a grad class?) or put someone else in there for now. Hot Rod punted in high school.
The pass coverage/breakup by McBride at the end of the game was very good against a good pass. Glad to see it and keep them out of the end zone.
And for everyone whining about not going for 4th and 1 against ND, this past weekend should show you why Kirby kicked. We still don’t get movement, especially when the defense stacks the box. We need to (…wait for it…) think outside the box.
it seems we either get too cute on 4th down, or we line up jumbo and telegraph what we are doing. i wonder if they ever thought to just run the same damn plays that get us 7-8 yards a chunk?
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We should put Stetson in on 4th downs, let him toss a long ball to the 5. We either catch it or let the other team catch it. Way more accurate than anything we’ve done so far.
I personally like the trade off of havoc for explosive plays.
The scoop and score canceled out the LeCounte lapse and I like the idea of having our kids be the aggressors.
Azeez andvNolan are going to eat as the year goes on.
Also #freeJakeFromm. Short yardage, long yardage, 1st down, 4th down: get the ball in Jake’s hands with 3-4 routes and let him work. He’s our Desean Watson/Tua/Lawrence. Put the ball in his hands and live with the results
His 77% yearly average and over 82% (w/o interceptions) finding targets for this game back up fans’ calls for more passing.
Think the Dawgs will be showing that Stokes hit and separate as training film for the next several years! Perfect form and strait through, never left his feet or launched.
He swerved left to get his helmet down and to the left side on that tackle as he closed. It was a classic legal decleating of the QB.
Let’s make him our official QB headhunter.
James Cook? I think we can find his face on the back of the milk carton. Makes no sense.
And for the love of gawd, ditch the east-west sweeps. They rarely work anymore.
The east west sweeps in multiple games set up the reverse this game
All good points. The game played out like I thought it would. These coaches know each other, Dawgs are highly ranked and the Vols had a chance to improve their image by bringing their “A” game. I enjoyed watching my Vol family members riding high in the first quarter, before a collapse into silence and depression.
Indeed. I was getting the “Are You Nervous?” text messages in the second quarter. I honestly can’t say that I was terribly nervous, but I at least humored them.
Speaking of inconsistency from LeCounte. Did anyone pay attention to his attempted one-arm interception to end the half? I’m losing trust in him regardless of his talent.
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He scares the hell out of me. I hold my breath every time the ball goes his way. He is truly feast or famine.
LeCounte = Tra Battle. Same type of inconsistency. Its going to cost us sooner or later.
IMO, all of the teeth gnashing over the last few weeks from our fans is best summed up by the bullet point that the adversity against a team like Bama or Clemson will be a bit different than the adversity of the UT game. That and the “let’s wait til the 2nd half to make adjustments”. Seems like we are sticking to the game plan no matter what in the 1st half and assume our talent will wear them down in the 2nd half. Not sure that will work against teams with equal talent so to, me this season is on the coaches.
Senator, I know I should know this already, but exactly what is manball?
Shortened version of “impose your will”.
Overall a great game, but there is still a lot of work to be done
1) Penalties are going to really bite us in the ass as some point. A couple were SEC officials being SEC officials, but most were just dumb on our part..
2) Jake Carmada is scaring the hell out of me. I hold my breath every time he comes in. It is BOOM or BUST.
3) Lecounte is to safeties what Franks was to the QB position. Wow plays followed but too many “Oh shit moments”.
4) Reed had a few whiffs, but unlike his fellow safety, this is totally out of character and has to be looked at as an anomaly.
5) Short yardage out of the gun? The announcers in the UCF-Cincy game criticized Cincy for doing that very thing on 3rd and short. The next play they went under center for the QB sneak with a push from the backs and made it easily. I am not the only one across college football that is left scratching their head at this.
6) Is it illegal for us to throw the ball long down the middle of the field? Are we saving that till later?
7) Cager has turned out to by a grand slam pick up. All the talk about his hands (or lack there of) when he was at Miami seems to be BS.
8) Tae Crowder and Brian Herrien are proof that just because you are not a 5 star does not mean you can not blossom into one. Both have gone from serviceable to integral parts of the team that we would be in trouble without
9) After watching White, I can not wait until he is the feature back. Some LB’s and DB’s are going to very embarrassed when they get trucked.
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One more thing. When teaching how to PROPERLY tackle, Stokes drilling Maurer should be required viewing. Shoulder to the midsection, ARMS FIRMLY WRAPPED AROUND THE TARGET (looking at you Lecounte), and drive through said victim.
I think some of you missed the 4th and 1 that was lost with our RB running right and directly into their D push that overcame our right side O line.
Did Bama fans get as upset about their slow starts against Duke, SC, and Ole Miss that turned into inevitable blowouts? Or are they just used to owning the second half and UGA fans are still adjusting to seeing Kirby blow out teams without looking perfect on every possession?
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Yes and yes.
I just can’t with LeCounte. I have 0 test in him.
Lotta teeth gnashing on this one and I’m just not feeling it. Once the dawgs started tightening the screws on UT, I thought we looked great. Sure, our opponent clearly has some big organizational level issues, otherwise they wouldn’t have lost to Georgia State and BYU, but they are still the 16th most talented roster in the country per 247sports (#7 in the SEC). That’s enough talent to have its moments, particularly when it is coming off a bye week, at home, with absolutely nothing to lose. Hell, their receivers have been catching passes for them for 20 years it seems.
We took their best punch and then put them in a sleeper hold that they were hopeless to recover from. Also, we covered the spread. If we were supposed to steam roll them for 4 quarters, with zero signs of life on their end, the line would have been 45 and not 24.
Agree. We basically had one blown coverage, and the crowd went batshit crazy because they’ve been living in batshit for most of the 21st century. It was truly an unbelievable moment. And then after that, Tenn had only one legit scoring drive and zero points in quarters 2-4. This was a copy/paste performance of countless Alabama outings in the last decade — something UGA fans have been envious of forever. Enjoy it.
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I’m becoming increasingly confident that we will show up to every game, and was never worried about this game.
UT has a handful of elite players, a lot of them from GA. Even if they aren’t buying into the Pruitt regime, you expect the pride and effort to be there early. Add in rallying around the new QB, and they played inspired a bit.
Sure, I shook my head at #2 biting, and taking a couple of bad angles here and there. But otherwise UGA did exactly what I expected – grind and wear UT out.
I’ll worry about Bama, Clemson, et al when they get on the schedule. And if/when they do, I expect it to be a much more mature and explosive UGA team that shows up to play them.
We’re chopping wood just fine.
The one thing CKS gets that CMR did not is depth. The injuries are not as much of an issue now because CKS builds depth at every position.
My bullet points:
We will never throw the ball to the tight ends more. We will always say we’re going to throw the ball to the tight ends more.
Georgia has been vulnerable to the wheel route since, well, as long as I can remember. Multiple head coaches and beaucoup defensive coordinators and the results are always the same. If I were playing Georgia, I’d throw it constantly.
The lollygagging around will absolutely cost us a game at some point if we don’t stop it. We need to get into a groove now.
We’ve roared out of the gate to big leads against Bama twice and lost both. Maybe we need to “lollygag” next time we play them.
Senator: “I know the defense again made good second half adjustments to take away the slant pass, but has anyone thought about making those adjustments earlier in the game? Like, say, right after kickoff?”
At the very least after the first series. It was just like the tight end against ND, we did not correct it till halftime
Game confirmed why it was good to let Chaney go.
Vols put in 14 point in first quarter plus 30 seconds into 2nd quarter.
That was all she wrote!
Yes sire. Chaney’s offense disappearts completely in the second half.
Senator, I am not saying you’d win nationally but with those creeds of information you would win the state of Georgia for POTUS.
I think you hit exactly ever UGA nail on the head with no glancing blows. Hopefully the sparks will hit close to the coaches meeting room and start a fire.