I did watch the replay last night, at least some of it, anyway. I had two overriding insights from the experience. One, Georgia’s defensive competence is off the charts. It’s easy to brush off the end result as being little more than athletic dominance, but that’s not fair.
It was rare to see a gap not being filled correctly by the d-line. Substitutions were regularly made without missing a beat. Players knew the exact moment to pull away from a situation without having it escalate into a stupid penalty. There’s a Tae Crowder pass break up that was literally executed to perfection, and considering what ILB pass coverage has looked like in season’s past, that was almost as exhilarating to watch as a quarterback sack.
If only I could say the same thing about the offense. And there, indeed, is the rub. Perhaps you’ve noticed I keep posting Jake Fromm’s comments about how close the offense is as QOTDs. I don’t do it out of a sense of humor. They’re not funny, because they’re true.
I just keep shaking my head over blocking, because it’s inconsistent from play to play and from start to finish. I’m not exaggerating about that, either. On the very first play of the game, when Fromm almost threw a pick-six (and was blamed on the broadcast for a bad decision), the play was designed as a quick hitter to the receiver. The problem was, it was also designed for Kindley to get out and block the linebacker in order to clear the passing lane for Fromm. He never got there. Maybe that play repped well in practice, but Georgia was lucky it didn’t blow up for real.
That made me appreciate why Jake might not have been completely focused on the two throws that followed.
Another example — on the Dawgs’ first touchdown drive, Swift really got things rolling on a run to the right on his second carry. Two receivers were out there blocking, Jackson and Landers. Jackson got his block down, alright, but he blocked the defender whom Landers was supposed to block, leaving Landers standing around uselessly. The play gained thirteen yards, but should have busted the Tech defense for a lot more than it did, if both guys had gotten their blocks down correctly.
On the next play, naturally, Jackson is lined up on the other side and nails a perfect block to spring Herrien for another nice gain.
The receivers are like that throughout.
You want more? On that play I noted in yesterday’s Observations post, the one when Hill had to go out of the game because his helmet came off and Coley just loaded the o-line with road graders, leading to a big run by White, Mays is the center and absolutely destroyed the Tech defender he blocked. On the very next play, Mays is back at right guard, moves opposite the way the play was run, a linebacker shoots the vacated gap and blows White up in the backfield.
Based on what I watched, I saw two noteworthy blockers — one was Hill, who they were actually using as a pulling blocker on occasion (a pulling center is something you don’t see every day) and doing well at it. The other was Woerner, whom I never saw miss a block and was almost always involved in opening up any big play run to his side. Maybe that’s why they don’t throw much to Charlie, because he’s too valuable as a blocker.
This stuff drives me crazy, so I can only imagine what it’s doing to Kirby Smart. But, man, would I love to see a game where the offense plays as consistently as the defense. Not sure a Georgia team doing that would lose to anybody.
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