“You can see on tape,” he said, “that it’s there.”

Did you know that Georgia didn’t score an offensive touchdown Saturday night?  If you didn’t, here’s Matt Hayes to remind you.

This can’t be overlooked: The past 3 quarterbacks to play Clemson in a CFP-type atmosphere averaged 389 yards passing and 4 touchdowns.

Daniels threw for 135 yards and no TDs, and more disturbing averaged a pitiful 4.5 yards per attempt.

Those three quarterbacks who gutted the Clemson pass defense were the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft in 2020 (Joe Burrow), and 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields in his sophomore and junior seasons.

Daniels is a potential first-round pick, has an NFL arm and a high football IQ. But he and the Bulldogs were flummoxed by Clemson’s sink zone, forcing Daniels to take checkdowns and making receivers earn first downs.

The Tigers dropped seven and eight in coverage at times, and Georgia didn’t have an answer because, with the injuries, it doesn’t have a deep threat or a tight end with the athletic ability to stretch coverage down the seam.

That’s how you get 4.5 yards per attempt. That’s how you get a frustration interception by Daniels, when he stared down a receiver while trying to make an intermediate throw.

Daniels will see those sink zone defenses all season until Georgia adjusts. The easiest way: crossing routes, but those take time, and the Bulldogs’ offensive line had trouble in pass protection.

Yeah, that’ll happen when you lose your starting center and starting right guard (who was replaced by the injured starting center for virtually the entire game) to injuries.  That’s not to make excuses — hell, Georgia won the game, so who cares?  Instead, it’s something that should improve over the course of the season as some of those receivers make it back.

Which makes this comment especially funny:

One more thing: The narrative that Clemson will be the best defense Georgia faces until Alabama is ludicrous. First and foremost, Georgia plays 8 SEC games against teams that know their personnel and know how to scheme against it.

That’s how you get an upset loss to South Carolina 2 years ago. And those same three teams that can hurt the Georgia defense with a running quarterback vs. man under defense (Auburn, Florida, Kentucky), are the same three teams with good enough personnel on defense to cause problems for Daniels and the Georgia passing game.

Next up, PFF, which has never been on the Daniels bandwagon.

Brandon Marcello, too, has his doubts.

I have long been high on JT Daniels as a quarterback, but the lack of time in the pocket and the frustrating absence of playmaking receivers against Clemson should open eyes to a problem that has long (and frustratingly, I might add) plagued the Bulldogs. For whatever reason, Georgia just isn’t a complete team and hasn’t been for some time. This is Georgia’s best defense yet under Smart, and it just might be the best — by far — in the country. The Bulldogs have championship players on paper nearly every year, but playing together consistently throughout a 12-game schedule has never been their forte.

Listen, Clemson’s defense is also incredible and should not be taken lightly. Veteran Clemson assistant Brent Venables has, on paper, the best defense of his career, but at some point it would have been nice to see Georgia be more dynamic. There were flashes of potential, particularly when Daniels lifted the ball over the heads of linebackers in the second half to keep drives alive, but little else popped other than Zamir White (74 yards on 13 carries) salting the game away on the ground.

Until Georgia puts all the pieces together, I hesitate to say Smart has turned the corner in Athens. There is plenty of time to work out the kinks (and there might be only one more defense on the schedule in the same neighborhood as Clemson) but what we saw Saturday in Charlotte is yet another example of a well-rounded Georgia team transforming into a one-armed heavyweight fighter.

“Veteran Clemson assistant Brent Venables has, on paper, the best defense of his career, but at some point it would have been nice to see Georgia be more dynamic.”  Well, yes, but I don’t think that was on Venables’ agenda.  Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other guy.  Then again, if Matt Hayes is right, look out for Todd Grantham!

Perhaps this was a problem.

Georgia got contributions from McConkey and Johnson.  I’m pretty sure back in the spring nobody was counting on that from the receiving corps against Clemson.  It is what it is.  Kirby knows it, too.

“The perception is we didn’t score a touchdown and we didn’t,” Smart said. “We’re a very matter of fact judgment. And it’s OK, we didn’t score, but why? Why didn’t we score? You go through the reasons why, you go through each play, a lot of it was attention to detail. Not converting on third down, missing explosives.”

You beat the third ranked team in the country as an underdog and still have things to fix?  That’s Kirby Smart’s wet dream.  Let’s see where attention to detail and getting the walking wounded back over the next few weeks takes this offense before we start shoveling dirt over their grave.



Filed under Georgia Football

33 responses to ““You can see on tape,” he said, “that it’s there.”

  1. D as in Dawg

    I agree. Let’s see. But not a lot of positive history to go on sans 2017. There appears to be a mysterious opposition force at work here targeting our offense. A 1 step forward, 2 steps back anomaly in the WR space and QB time continuum. Offense is good, umkay? Umkay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David K

    The idea that we need George Pickens, Darnell Washington, Dominick Blaylock, Arik Gilbert, etc to return to have a functioning offense is absurd. The guys we suited up against Clemson are all better than the majority of receivers that played for most other teams on Saturday. So unless we have the highest ranked, elite of the elite players on the field we’re incapable of getting a few hundred yards passing?

    Liked by 3 people

    • mg4life0331

      This. Its hilarious some people think we need a 5 star at every position just to score 30 points a game.


    • magyarmattw

      Is it really reasonable to expect UGA to rack up yards through the air on Clemson when Jaylen Johnson and Ladd McConkey are the top receivers who aren’t injured? Hard to expect production on a team like that with your two top targets from last year are out, and #3 Burton might as well have been…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Biggen

    Losing Tate on the first serious hurt us. O-line shuffling will be a problem for any team. Then we are so limited at WR is ridiculous. I had assumed Jackson would be better by now but it appears he has lingering issues. Blaylock, who is over a year removed from his ACL injury, still isn’t 100%. Rosemy-Saint caught one pass from what I recall and then got injured and went out.

    It seems crazy that we have lost so much offensive production and we are only 1 game into the season. No where to go but up in the receiving room I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gaskilldawg

      Rosemy-Saint was not out of the game long. He came back in and played the rest of the game. I suspect that what caused him to go out in the first place was a cramp.

      Liked by 3 people

    • HirsuteDawg

      RE: O line shuffling. Some of the clips I’ve seen here and elsewhere show the O line (or parts of the O line) as being almost clownish in their inability to block. It may have been how good Clemson was on D – but it does’t look like I expect a Georgia line to block. How did individual linemen grade out in this game?


  4. akascuba

    The starting WR’s against Clemson are not as a group going to put fear in anyone. That they also could not block most of the time is another big problem.

    Hopefully all these talented WR’s we have on the roster will be available soon. Having a freshman TE as your leading receiver was not something I saw coming either.

    Georgia beat Clemson again.


    • akascuba

      Clemson also totally changing their defensive schemes was not mentioned by any of those above pundits either. I didn’t see anyone all off-season predict what Venables showed and it worked for him.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Frank S

    Don’t forget he was missing three of his top receivers in Pickens, Washington, & Blaylock. Not to mention Arik Gilbert.

    Just give it some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Once we’re healed up, I think this offense becomes a juggernaut…personally, I think we fought Klemzen with 1 arm tied behind our back…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. ugafidelis

    Well we definitely don’t have to worry about any rat poison.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. spur21

    I truly HATE all these statistical analyst and their numbers game. The only numbers I care about are the final score and being the winner.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Derek

    If you think there are other teams on our schedule who can drop 7 and 8 into coverage and not get run by Zeus and Co., well, then you’re fos. It worked for Clemson because their best unit is DL and our OL was in flux. And guess what? We still rtdb when we had to have it.

    I hope that everyone copies Clemson’s defensive strategy, but they won’t, because they can’t.

    Every team JT has played as a UGA starter has tried something different. MSU loaded the box. Both carolina teams played soft. What they all have in common is that they’ve all lost.

    Liked by 8 people

    • That’s exactly right. If we had been busting holes open in the Clemson front 7, Venables has to bring a safety down and attack the run game.

      We just beat the #3 at the time team in the country with what amounted to a barely one-dimensional offense. The reason … our defense made their vaunted offense look horrible.

      Who is left on the current schedule that can match up with our lines of scrimmage? No one. People may not like manball, but, I like winning.

      Liked by 6 people

      • ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

        all the negative nancies keep spewing stats and providing a lot of « ifs buts could’ve should’ve would’ve » hate and we just keep winning. fine by me.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Down Island Way

          Here is your late Saturday/Sunday headline….UGA 60 – uab 10….it was only uab, not klempzen or the bammers or FU or, or, or…#FTMF…ya know what would really be funny, UGA football goes 15-0, wins the title, takes the trophy home to Athens Town and the only interviews granted were to D.J., Maria Taylor and Stinch…(knowing it can’t happen)…


  10. Faltering Memory

    Negative, negative, nefative!


  11. mg4life0331

    You can see it on tape. A little over 2 years worth of shit performance.

    I’m starting to think the Georgia way is that while our results don’t change, our excuses do.


  12. 79dawg

    One narrative of doom dies (can’t win the big one), another rises (JT and the offense stink)…

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Ran A

    Why he’s just brilliant. If Georgia’s offense doesn’t improve they’ll likely lose a game for two. And he wrote an entire article on it… Yawn… We all know the offense needs to improve. You either believe Clemson had an elite defense or you don’t. If you don’t, then you have to believe we are screwed. If you do and you believe that between the competition over the next month, along with getting guys back that will be fine – then you good. With each week, good enough to more than handle their opponent. Get the week to dial in for UF and handle them and then continue to build during the 2nd half of the season.

    I am very comfortable with where Georgia is and where I believe they will be by the Auburn game, by the Kentucky game and by the Florida game.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think the national media continues to forget the 2018 WR group. That offense was legitimately overflowing with talent. If you want to shit on Kirby for manball and wasting offense playmakers, that’s the year to make that argument.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. godawgs1701

    I’m fine with the national media not knowing anything about our team because that might lead to the people we actually face not knowing, either. Still, it does baffle me that they’re putting all of the offense’s struggles on JT Daniels while ignoring what the receiver situation is right now (and hopefully won’t be in four or five weeks. The tap dance that you have to do to simultaneously show respect to Clemson’s defense while also implying Georgia is a terrible team for not being able to shred that great defense is truly deft indeed.


  16. Dawg in Austin

    I really like Matt Wyatt, but if he thinks we’re going to play the same defensive scheme against Kentucky, Auburn and Florida, he’s never seen Kirby and Lanning scheme a defense.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 86bone

    Bama #1
    UGA #2
    Also rans……….

    Liked by 1 person

  18. We had a freshman TE (Bowers) and a 4’2” teenager (McConkey) as primary targets. We won. We’ll get much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 69Dawg

    F’em all we won. Next victim.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Some sportswriters want to objectively analyze a team or a game and give their best educated guess as to what the implications are. Others, like Matt Hayes, want to make an uneducated guess right out of the box and then move as many goalposts as they need to in order to prove they’re still right.

    Before Saturday, Hayes was saying the Clemson game “means everything” to Georgia, clearly casting doubt on the Dawgs’ ability to pull out the W. Now that the Dawgs have won, all of a sudden the game doesn’t mean that much at all. Funny how that works.