It sucked. The end.
…………………………………………………………….. Oh, not enough? Welp, go back and look at my preview post for a sec.
I’m still convinced the SECCG comes down to the play on the line of scrimmage. If Georgia’s o-line can create space for its backs to run and the d-line can hold its own without requiring additional help, we’ll have ourselves a game. If not…
Put it this way: if the score stays in the twenties, I like Georgia’s chances, but if it climbs into the thirties, definitely not so much…
One other big deal — Georgia simply cannot turn the ball over against LSU. It’s going to be hard enough keeping up with that dynamic offense; giving away a couple of possessions will be deadly for its chances…
The Dawgs went oh for four on that list. The lines didn’t control what they needed to, the score climbed into the thirties (not that that really mattered) and Jake threw two bad picks. Add to that a poor showing from special teams, some remarkable breaks that went LSU’s way — Burrow not only caught a batted pass, but managed a big gain in the bargain; how often do you see that? — and injuries that added to an already significant cast unavailable for action and it was all a game that was never gonna be for Georgia.
Really, each team’s first series was all you needed to see to know which way the wind was going to blow. Coley came out calling aggressive pass plays, only to see Simmons drop one placed right in his bread basket, Landers run a poor route that ended in making a catch out of bounds and Fromm short-hopping a throw to a wide open Robertson. Absolutely soul crushing.
Compare that complete mess to LSU’s calm, controlled march down the field against a defense that played a three-man front with a spy behind that didn’t cause Burrow to break a sweat as he went 4-5, with a touchdown. The contrast between Burrow’s confidence and Fromm’s shakiness was palpable and lasted all game long.
You want a few bullet points? Really? Gluttons for punishment, we are.
- Scream at Coley all you want, but I’m not sure what else he could do, working with a Swift who was far from 100%. Georgia came out wanting to establish the pass to set up the run, which was certainly a defensible strategy, only to see Fromm and his receivers provide a dysfunctional performance. When you can’t pass and don’t want to rely on the run overly much, there ain’t much left to call after that. That isn’t to say Coley had a great game as it went on, but the offense had much bigger problems than the plays he called.
- The biggest problem for Georgia on offense is its predictability. The offensive line hasn’t been as dominant as we expected, but a lot of that can be chalked up to opposing defensive coordinators flooding the line of scrimmage with extra men because they’re not worried about an anemic passing game. Beyond that, the safety blitz that came when Fromm went under center and led to a sack was obviously coming as soon as you saw the alignment.
- The final stats looked bad, but I thought Lanning and Smart did about as much as they could to slow down LSU’s offensive juggernaut. The wholesale borrowing of Auburn’s defensive strategy against LSU was a mistake on the first series, but they began tweaking immediately after that and slowed the Tigers down enough that if Georgia’s offense and special teams could have managed contributions of their own, the game might have been more of a fight. That never happened, and you could sense the dam was fixing to burst at any time.
- If there’s one positive to take away from the debacle, it’s how many newbies on defense made plays. Smith, Johnson, Stevenson, Daniels all had their moments. Next year’s defense is gonna be hell on wheels.
- Burrow’s Heisman moment, 71-yard touchdown pass was the most brutal thing I’ve seen a Georgia defense give up since that 2013 touchdown pass at Auburn.
- It was a bad time for Inconsistent Camarda to show up.
- I sure hope George Pickens can get his head straight, because he’s the most talented receiver to wear red and black since A.J. Green.
Fuck it, I really don’t want to wallow in any more details.
It’s a shame the regular season ended on such a sour note. Eleven-win seasons and SECCG appearances don’t grow on trees in Athens, especially doing each three times in a row. Then again, even without the breaks and the injuries, Georgia — more specifically, Kirby’s coaching philosophy — got exposed. Kirby Smart has a sharp football mind. Kirby Smart is also somewhat stubborn. The story this offseason will be which side of Kirby Smart makes the big decisions this program faces.
Mercifully, that’s all I got.