Three Sugar Bowl takeaways

These are broad brushstrokes only.  The usual bullet pointed Observations post will come in time.

  • Winning a meaningless bowl game is a lot more enjoyable than losing a meaningless bowl game.  In the vast scheme of things, it may not mean much, but it was good on a number of levels to see Georgia take this year’s version of the Sugar Bowl more seriously than last year’s.  Kirby coached like he needed the momentum, the players who were there looked like they wanted to be there and, as a fan, it sure was a lot more fun to watch.
  • Recruiting matters.  Hey, remember all that angst we shared before the game about the missing Dawgs?  Turns out this team is pretty loaded, especially on defense.  Stacking top three classes on top of each other makes a big difference.
  • There is still a gap.  The problem is that it doesn’t make a big enough difference, at least not this season.  I’m sure there will be something of an argument about which of Alabama, Georgia or Oklahoma deserves to stand fourth in the final rankings, but that doesn’t change the reality that this Georgia team finished on a lower tier than the three best teams in the country.  Closing that gap is Smart’s biggest challenge of this offseason.


Filed under Georgia Football

29 responses to “Three Sugar Bowl takeaways

  1. MDDawg

    Even before the game was delayed (that Rose Bowl post-game was must-see-TV) I’d decided I was going to bed at halftime since I have to work today. I’ll probably do the same for the national championship game. Just another sign that I’m getting old.


  2. Bigshot

    Sure a lot better than last year. I was pleasantly surprised. Now on to bigger and better things. Congratulations! Go Dawgs!!


  3. JasonC

    The defense for the most part was quite good despite missing at least 2 key players. One question though, does Tyson Campbell still play? Is he injured? DJ Daniels definitely looked like the guy Baylor picked on and exploited the most last night, so just a little surprised I didn’t see Campbell or maybe missed him.

    Like the Senator said, today is better with a win and it will likely get even better as there is a really good chance UGA signs the #1 RB, #1 TE and #1 CB within the next 48 hrs.

    Like MaconDawg said, that post game interview felt like Fromm is more likely to be gone, but I guess we’ll have to see. I thought Zeus was good, but I really like McIntosh and think he might be the best RB out of all the guys returning.


    • Sanford222view

      I noticed Campbell on the field but I am not sure how often he was out there. Like you said, Baylor targeted Daniels mostly so I don’t know if Campbell was less noticeable because he was simply on the other side of the field or if actually only played sparingly.


    • Campbell played a good bit (I thought). Of course, he has been a star on special teams as a punt gunner.

      He and Daniel were both taking reps, but I think the injury slowed Tyson a bit this year.


  4. RangerRuss

    For sure the Dawgs are in a lower tier than LSU. We’re going to see how much lower the Dawgs are than CU and ohio st. I suspect the NC game is going to be closer than any think.
    I’m very pleased the Dawgs showed up last night. That put to rest a lot of doubts I had concerning HC Kirby Smart.


    • Lsu won’t be the same offensive team next year, the bammers will be UGA’s team to beat next year (twice hopefully!)…but, alas, lsu has left UGA with a HUGE scar(s) to get over…tosu & clempson (qb play) will keep them at/near the top of the college football world next year…so, finishing in the top 4 nationally, plus a top rated recruiting class should be enough to keep UGA in the media conversation till sept.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. RangerRuss

    Should be many instead of any. My optimism has been restored.


  6. dawgman3000

    For me, with the way this season played out, particularly on offense, the win last night was thoroughly refreshing. No, the team wasn’t perfect but considering the circumstances, they played hard and roughed up a gritty Baylor squad. Matt Rhule is a heck of a coach IMO. Pickens is a stud. I hope he matures and gets his academics in order if there’s any truth to the rumors. Zues kinda reminds me of Chubb in 2016 after he returned from his injury. He will be beastly next season if he stays healthy. I’m feeling good about the future of this team this morning. That feeling could dissipate if Fromm comes out and says that he is going pro. I think this offense can take off with the emergence of Pickens and the receiving talent we have coming in, but we need Fromm directing the show. Anyway, happy off season to all.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. J-Dawg

    I am thrilled with the win and the way the offense came to play. Defense was great, “but” we missed and whiffed on way too many tackles. Could and should have had at least 4 or 5 sacks and many tackles for loss. I’m sure Kirby will be on top of this in the off season.


  8. Starbreaker

    Really happy with the win…the way the offense started I was like “here we go again…” but glad we got some things working. I’m REALLY excited to see how Zeus looks with another off season to recover from the knee injury, as his burst last night was ridiculous and he showed some lateral moves I had not really seen earlier in the year (perhaps confidence growing in the knee). Pickens was a beast and I was glad we just kept tossing it to him to let him make plays. I would be curious to know if there is legit something to the dead arm/shoulder issue rumors on Fromm, as something still seems off beyond mechanics (the deep ball on the flea flicker just seemed to sort of die short of leading Pickens), but no one is going to argue with that dime he dropped on that sweet TD pass. I hated it for Cook that he couldn’t get anything going before his injury, as I was really hoping to see a breakout game for him with all that talent. Anyways, pumped for the win, as I remember last year’s loss sort of fed into a general malaise in the feeling of the program this time last year and it’s nice to be on what feels like an upswing.


  9. JD

    Enjoyed the energy and the win last night.
    Anyone else notice that play changes (audibles) on offense were coming from the sideline?
    May be something they took off Jake’s plate to ease the pressure a bit and help him relax.
    Anyway, Go Dawgs. Looking forward to the future, regardless of who stays and goes.


  10. bcdawg97

    To me, the gap is in coaching, not the roster. With a patchwork roster of starters and backups, I thought the team showed out well last night. Someone else mentioned “deploy and develop” in a previous comment. The way we are stacking classes, deploy and develop is the key to UGA’s success moving forward.


  11. DawgFaithful

    “Stacking top three classes on top of each other makes a big difference.”

    According to some of the turds that frequent this establishment, it doesn’t make a difference. And I’m an idiot to spend any of my time following it.


    • It’s interesting that Ruhle pretty much said this when he was asked this week about the missing Georgia players.

      Recruiting makes a big difference … as Bear said, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken ——. I think there does become a point where you better have the right chef in the kitchen to make the best dish.


    • Ahem….(clears throat)…
      I reserve the opportunity if not the right to criticize and ridicule the coaching staff, announcers, other UGA fans, fans of other teams, and officials. Especially during and immediately after a loss. I try hard not to expect too much or criticize the players of any team themselves as they are just kids, for crying out loud. Cut ’em some slack.
      I will admit that I said some things out loud when Tyler Simmons muffed the fair catch against ND that I will have to explain when I get to the pearly gates. I’m sorry Tyler.


      • Paul

        My wife still says ‘he didn’t drop it!’ every time Tyler catches a punt or pass. She seems genuinely surprised. Guess she’ll have some ‘splaining to do too.


  12. Russ

    Very good win against a good Baylor team that was fully motivated. Nice to see all the young talent playing hungry. It feels a lot better going into the off-season with a nice win, than a disinterested loss.

    Comments last night during the game attributed to Kirby give me hope he’s not as stubborn as I (and others) had believed. Said he was disappointed in our run blocking this season, and he’s said several times that we needed to open up the passing game more, so here’s hoping it all pays off for next season.


  13. HillDawg

    Please, somebody, recognize that the receiver route is as important as pass accuracy. If you don’t show up at the planned spot on time you’ve got a problem. It’s not the QBs fault! It’s not backyard football. It’s very precise.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Duronimo

    Nice game all around. The tempo of the offense was definitely quicker. Coley got Fromm into a nice rhythm. Zeus is quite a weapon. He and McIntosh punished the defense. I also saw a more mobile OLine (zone blocking) as the OC attacked the edges with his backs. Used the pitchout to good effect. Kirby got the right players on the bus for this game. They played with enthusiasm and determination. Is there a faster defense anywhere?


    • Bat City Dawg

      I realize he was just filling in and this is probably unfair criticism, but from what i saw, Mays was a huge liability at left tackle. I am sure he could develop into the role, but it looks like the OT battle will be interesting going into 2020.


  15. CEPH

    Instead of LeCount “bulking up” he needs to “toughen up” he still misses a lot of tackles. I think he is counting worms because his head seems to always drop when he attempts to tackle.


  16. DawgByte

    There’s no way Bama leapfrogs Georgia in the final polls. The committee will not move the Tide from #13 to #4, particularly when UGA beat ANOTHER Top 10 team. Additionally, OU will not stay in their current #4 position after getting destroyed by LSU.

    I believe the final Top 5 will look like the following:

    Ohio St.


  17. Tony Barnfart

    Anytime you win the Sugar Bowl and look pretty good doing it, it’s a good day and reason to celebrate. Another beautiful trophy for the case at Butts Mehre. Our depth is freaking ridiculous.


  18. Bulldog Joe

    Good to see more creativity from Georgia’s defense and it paid off in havoc plays and three turnovers.

    Going into the game, Baylor was plus 14 in turnover margin and Georgia was even. Big key to the win.


  19. David Dozier

    Disagree. We played without Swift, Cager, and Pickens for a 1/2 and lost Dom B. in first qtr against LSU. They were good but we are right there talent wise and everything with LSU, Clemson, and Ohio State. That being said, Burrow was on another level at QB this year for LSU and we saw our offensive struggles. Kirby has addressed that issue with the 2020 WR class.


  20. PNWDawg

    I’m in the minority I guess but I just don’t buy the notion this is a ‘meaningless game’. Sure we hoped to make the playoffs but it’s still a prestigious event. I’m excited for every game UGA plays. (disclaimer: I do hate playing cupcakes and I’m often full of shit).


  21. ApalachDawg

    I hope the best for the eligible players that did not make the trip but if they don’t realize that if you half ass, you will be processed and someone behind you is more than capable of taking your spot.
    That to me was the biggest take-away from last night…well, besides the “best” special teams fake ev-uh…