Observations from the armchair, chilly day in Columbia edition

A weird comment to start this post:  for a 35-point blowout, I thought this was a well-coached game.  Drinkwitz knew he was undermanned, but instead of playing not to lose, he did the opposite and took plenty of chances, especially on defense.  And it worked, at least until the final 70 seconds of the first half.

Georgia showed up, but Mizzou’s aggressiveness in the second quarter put the Dawgs on their heels.  It may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, but Smart’s decision to call a time out just before the Tigers scored their second touchdown of the game turned out to be a key, as it gave the offense the time it needed to settle down and retake the lead before the half.

Bullet points, y’all.

  • Take out the second quarter and the o-line played well, especially considering Hill’s absence.  Missouri’s stunts and late blitzes certainly confused the middle of the line and allowed the Tigers’ defense to shut down Georgia’s offense after the Dawgs punched out to a 14-point early lead.  They settled down in the second half and that was all she took for Georgia to run away with the game.  Run blocking was solid enough that it made White’s long TD run and Cook’s TD run look effortless.  Once the pass pro settled in, Daniels looked like a different quarterback.
  • I’m still not convinced that Salyer is a left tackle, but you don’t hear his name called and he moves really, really well for his size, which is something Luke values.
  • That second string offensive line looks pretty damned impressive for… well, being a second string offensive line.
  • Four running backs with rushing touchdowns, two with 100+ yards rushing.  Yeah, I’d say they had a terrific day.  And they’re still waiting for Milton to get healthy.
  • White continues to improve.  I’m especially impressed with the patience he shows waiting for the blocking to develop.
  • Monken looks to have solved the James Cook puzzle, amirite?
  • Washington is still figuring out the position, which is a damned scary thought for SEC defenses.  I thought all the tight ends blocked their asses off, which has to be most gratifying for Kirby Smart.
  • George Pickens in single coverage is every bit the George Pickens we expect him to be.  He’s in single coverage because other legitimate receiving options have developed and defenses have to play Monken’s offense straight.
  • He only had one catch, but Kearis Jackson’s reception on third and ten on Georgia’s last drive of the first half was the play of the game.  If the Dawgs don’t convert there, they’re forced to punt again and go into halftime with their confidence shaken.  Instead, two plays later, Pickens makes an insane catch for a touchdown and they’re off to the races.
  • JT Daniels?  Yeah, he played okay.  Actually, he was better than that.  There were at least two throws — the touchdown pass to Cook for the second touchdown and the pass to Pickens that was Georgia’s first score of the second half — that were, well, if not perfect, good enough until perfect comes along.  His reads were spot on, his timing was impeccable and the throws led the receivers just as you draw it up.  You can tell he’s grown more and more comfortable running the offense with each week.  Finally, if you worried about his toughness, he showed he could take a hit in the second quarter and keep going.  (The aforementioned throw to Jackson came as a Mizzou defender took him down.)
  • Did the return of Jordan Davis have an impact?  Larry Rountree’s 14 carries for 16 yards says, why, yes, it did.  Missouri ran the ball 22 times and gained a total of 22 yards.  That’s how you shut down an offense in the second half.
  • There weren’t a lot of sacks (one, I think), but there were a ton of tackles for loss and a few quarterback hurries that had an effect, starting with Bazelak’s early interception.
  • It was one of those weird efforts where the defense was dominant, but there really wasn’t an individual defensive player who was.
  • That being said, the guy on defense who stood out was Brini, who took over for Smith and played his ass off getting his first extended work at safety.
  • Special teams had their first bad game of the season.  Fortunately, it only had the effect of keeping the score a little bit closer than it would have been otherwise.  Georgia simply looked flat footed on the blocked punt.  Jackson’s whiff was uncharacteristic, but it was good that White bailed him out.  All told, a forgettable day, although I expect Cochran won’t let them forget this week.
  • Good work from a coaching standpoint — Monken, as Daniels noted, did an excellent job of taking what Missouri’s defense gave him and Lanning bounced back with an effort that shut down what had been an effective Missouri offense of late.  And Smart deserves a lot of credit for having everyone ready to play in a game when a lackluster effort wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to us.

Georgia may not have much to play for, but they didn’t look like it this week.  That’s a good sign.  I’ll be curious to see what this team looks like against a Vanderbilt squad that’s in bad shape, but, to their credit, played hard against Tennessee.  There is still a lot to work on, regardless of the circumstances.

32 Comments

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32 responses to “Observations from the armchair, chilly day in Columbia edition

  1. I followed the game online while doing family stuff this weekend and watched it over a couple of sittings yesterday when we got back. The offense was a couple of plays away in the 2nd quarter from blowing the thing open, but then the Missouri defense would make a play to stop a drive. The game was essentially over after Pickens’s TD on the first possession of the 3rd. The run game was dominant, and the passing game was more than efficient. The defense really controlled the game throughout. I saw the same thing with Brini that you did. If he can keep that up, he may end up as a starter rather than a potential transfer portal guy in 2021. Special teams were not good other than Camarda’s kickoffs through the end zone.

    A lot of good and some stuff Kirby can chew on them for this week … overall a performance which we should have expected against a team where we have a decided talent advantage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gastr1

    The stunts and blitzes resulted in a five on the line blocking seven defenders scenario on Zeus’ run. The blocking itself was textbook, but in that case Missouri’s strategy backfired. Watched that play several times and couldn’t believe how bunched up they were –for a 3rd & 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Godawg

    Been saying since we signed him, Big 0 is gonna be a beast! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Biggen

    Anyone else notice that Edwards looks a bit like Chubb in the way he runs? Similar lower body, stature (Chubb was a bit taller), shakes off arm tackles like we brush off flies, etc… He moves like a bowling ball going down hill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was going to say he looks like tackling a bowling ball. He doesn’t have the top end speed of Nick, but the fact he’s our 4th or 5th option is pretty darn daunting for anyone who wants to take on our running game.

      Don’t look now, but Zeus is starting to look like the back we thought he was going to be before hurting his knees. Cook is dangerous any time he touches the ball in space. McIntosh just appears to glide when he gets the ball and has great vision. Milton was becoming a force before his injury (hope to see him back in action soon – he was on the plane this week).

      Liked by 3 people

    • willypmd

      To me, Zeus is starting to look like Chubb.

      Glides when he is wide open and doesn’t look fast, but is turning angles bad and leaving safeties behind.

      Falls forward on nearly every run, and has good change of direction without the smoothness of a Moreno or Sony.

      He’s even starting to see the cut backs and have some patience.

      Chubb is my favorite Dawg of all time, so this is meant as a tremendous compliment to Zeus

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Biggen

    There is a Dawgnation article up about what Drinkwitz said after the loss. He is quoted as saying:

    On trying to limit George Pickens and his production: “Well, we gave up 316 yards rushing. We were trying to load the box and if you load the box you leave the wideouts one-on-one it is kind of pick your poison-type deal. We felt like we needed to stop the run and we weren’t able to do that unless we put extra people in there and that opens up the passing game. It just wasn’t very effective today.”

    This is music to my ears. How long have we awaited having answers to a loaded box??

    Liked by 14 people

    • Whats really confounding is it was never that hard. For 12 years or more, i have said “dont care if its a pass or run, do what works, take what they give” but, you know, Carton Thomas up the middle, and Exert Your Will has to live on somewhere. The reason I loved Monken before he even got here is because he isnt latched on to anything. I think a coach has to be pretty comfortable with themselves for that. Do whats there, do what works.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. uga97

    great game. only confusion is why did Bennett go in then Beck after?

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    • Where is the confusion? Bennett is the backup, and as this year has shown, keeping young QBs on the roster is important. Beck may be gone anyway with the 2020 transfer rules (And BVG coming in as well) but was happy to see him get a few snaps in the blowout.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Russ

      Not sure. I’m glad Beck got a couple of snaps. Hopefully he gets more this weekend because of our big lead.

      Like

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Didn’t Kirby just have a press conference where he lamented not getting young subs more playing time? There was a golden opportunity here for Beck to get a couple throws. I get that Kirby didn’t want to be seen running up the score. But you got to get younguns ready, and our 2nd last game may have been the only chance for Beck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Texas Dawg

        It should not matter if it’s bombs away when you are up that big IF you have the 2nd and 3rd string in. I don’t think any realistic person will get mad if the 3rd string QB who has not played all year gets to throw it a few times. Now if JT is still in there and going deep that’s something the opposing coach will remember forever.

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  7. akascuba

    Im extremely happy anytime we have 600 + yards of offense. I like our chances. With balance for bonus points. I do wish Beck could have come in earlier enough to throw a single pass. Yeah Im picking nits and happy to do so.

    JT Daniels proved he could take a hard lick and come back to bite the defense for their aggression. The designed roll out on 3rd down to move the chains seemed to take the wind out of their sails on pass rush. Monken saw the problem and delivered the cure. JT executed with pression.
    Mizzou played their ass off the first half and certainly came to play.
    Their diminished roster caught up with them in the second half.

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  8. charlottedawg

    I was worried JT was going to get killed there in the second quarter. A ton of clean shots on him, remember the sack on the RPO where the defender gobbled up JT and could have tackled the running back as well. Fortunately we got that cleaned up as the game wore on but those third and longs make me nervous I don’t care how well Daniels throws on those 3rd downs.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Replacing Condon with McClendon was unquestionably the right move. Seeing Ericson, Jones, Webb, etc. out there makes one wonder if they are better than some of our starters.

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  10. Jordan Davis is gone, but I wish he wasn’t. He’s our biggest fill, IMO for 2021.

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    • willypmd

      Hopefully Mason Smith and Korey Foreman say hello.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Completely agree. We are going to miss that dude. As much of a throw away year as this one has been (and which I expected it would be) it is painful that he won’t get to be in a playoff game.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      I think Carter will do nicely next season. He’s been playing well the second half of this season and think he will only improve.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Stackhouse looked the part on Saturday. With a year in the nutrition and strength program, he could be that space eater in the middle.

      I assume Devonte Wyatt could also return if he thinks it’s wise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Truth

        I was impressed with the way Stackhouse played as well. He can be a plus on D. That being said, I’m developing a man crush on Cine. I think I’m most impressed by the fact that he seemed to have learned from his targeting call against the Gators and is staying very aggressive but with a little more caution.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. 81Dog

    if this was a preview of what 2021 could look like with a full spring/offseason and a healthy JT, inject it right into my veins. Keeping Monken needs to be a priority, and getting a healthy Blalock and Rosemy to go with Pickens, Jackson, and Burton, plus White, Cook, McIntosh, Edwards and Milton should be quite an offense.

    I cant blame anyone who leaves early, especially ZW, but if the rising seniors decide, like Chubb, Michel, Bellamy, etc that coming back is dealing with unfinished business, could be awesome.

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  12. The last drive of the first half and the 3rd quarter were just wonderful. 380 yards, TDs at the end of every drive, and over 12 yards per play.

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  13. SoCalDawg

    Agree on the KJ catch, play of the game — the way he boxed out the defender who was in perfect position to make a play was so impressive.

    Let no Vanderbilt HC flirtation develop into a special teams distraction/liability ever again, Coach Yeah, especially this week. (LOL)

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  14. practicaldawg

    Cook is definitely one player I’d love to see in Monken’s system one more year. He’s an electric player in space, very good at pass protection from what I’ve heard, and seems to really flourish as a RB when the box is less loaded and he can just zip through seams. Once he gets to the LB level, he’s really moving and it seems to be tough to take the right angle on him at that point.

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