Monday, September 12, 2011

The Effort Was There, Now We Need Results

What a tough game for a Georgia fan to watch. Saturday's 45-42 defeat at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks may be one of the most gut wrenching games I have seen at Georgia. There have been bad losses and close losses, but this is one game where I felt the team played pretty well, yet still ended up on the losing side. There are not many times can you say that 3 plays in a game make the difference between a loss and a blowout victory. The effort put forth by the team on Saturday was such a seismic difference from week 1 that I felt Georgia just deserved to win. But that didn't happen.

So let's start with what went wrong:
  • Three turnovers lead to three touchdowns (including 2 defensive scores). Couple this with the fake punt and that is how the Dawgs lost the game. We can't lose the turnover battle. This felt a lot like a game from the 2009 season, in that respect.
  • The passing game was almost non-existent in the first half. Murray was constantly on the run and receivers were not getting open. As a matter of fact, I think there were only two completions to receivers the entire first half. The interception was horrible, with Murray throwing it directly into a blanketed man. Murray's numbers look pretty good this year, but he has not been up to par with last season.
  • The offensive line is still not providing proper protection. I know the play that ended with Clowney causing the Murray fumble was a screen, but you at least need to try and block a little bit. Justin Anderson still looks lost on pass coverage.
  • The running game may have had a nice day, but why are we running out of the shotgun on 3rd and 1?!?
  • Jordon Love's pass interference may be the play that cost the Dawgs the game. We got good pressure and it was a bad pass from Garcia. There was no need to hop on the guy's back. It gave Carolina new life and Lattimore scored just a few plays later.
  • What is up with Walsh? The chip shot field goal he missed ended up being the difference in the final score!
  • No receptions for Orson Charles. REALLY?!?
On the flip side, this game was filled with a ton of positives:
  • Brandon Boykin is the best player we have right now. Solid on defense, makes things happen on offense, and is just amazing on kick offs.
  • Rambo and Cummings had great games. It made me feel that we really missed Rambo against Boise. Garcia was basically a non-factor with the exception of the touchdown to Jeffrey.
  • The receivers showed up in the second half and looked like they may be a good bunch. I said it last week and I'll say it again, Malcolm Mitchell should be starting.
  • The defense overall played a hell of a game. Lattimore racked a ton of yards on a few carries in the 4th, but other than that the Dawgs did a much better job tackling him than they did last year. Garcia was held in check and we even got some sacks. It is a shame when a defensive effort like that was wasted with turnovers. If you take out the fake punt, the defense allowed 335 yards. Pretty damn good against a team with a senior quarterback and All-Americans at receiver and running back.
  • The coaching was better. Definitely not perfect. Allowing the fake punt was all on the coaches. I mean, it was Spurrier after all.
  • Michael Bennett has good hands. He may be the slot guy we are looking for.
  • Marlon Brown and TK have talent, we just need to get them the ball.
  • Isaiah Crowell showed on Saturday why he was the #1 running back recruit in the country. 158 total yards on just 18 touches and two scores. We have to get him the ball 25 times a game. His running on Saturday reminded me a lot of Knowshon Moreno. A number of times he got hit right at the line of scrimmage, but somehow ended up with a 3 yard gain. And if you watch the game, look for a play in the first half when a SC defender blows him up about 10 yards into a carry, he shrugs it off and picks up another 15 or so. The kid is that good, we just need to use him. (added video)

At the end of the day, this game should have been a victory. The team I saw on Saturday looked nothing like the one we saw in the Dome last week. If they cut just a few of the mistakes, they could begin to play great football. We should get an easy win on Saturday against Coastal Carolina and it would not surprise me to see us follow that with four more wins. The talent is there.



Anonymous said...

Good and fair analysis. At one point you probably saw the guys in the stands with the poster saying "Alumni Support Coach Richt" or something to that effect. I thought about the loss and frankly it wont and shouldn't surprise anyone if CMR stays next year as well regardless of the outcome. Outside of the Athletic department is really where the "hotseat" discussions are playing out. That said, This is not a championship caliber club. not because of the players but because UGA simply employs tactics and coaches subpar to those of the likes of Alabama and even Boise State. You cannot win Championships SEC or otherwise with an OC that to your own statement "runs the shotgun formation on 3rd and 1" Put Bobo against the likes of Charlie Wise and he's going to get his and UGA's collective clock cleaned. Keep CMR, find a championship caliber OC and for God sakes man have a backup for your linebacker.

Anonymous said...

Jarvis Jones may be the best player on the field. Dude is a beast

Streit said...

Jarvis Jones is awesome. But Boykin is the best player we have on either side of the ball right now.

George said...

great post. Murray does need to be better, Charles does need to be used and Bobo does seem like he loses his mind every five plays. The fake punt was so embarrasing.

Georgia has talent, has improved from last year and is still in place to do some damage. Whether they will or not remains to be seen the Miss St game is it.

Also, the defense is so encouraging compared to years past. They did what they could do. Grantham is a definite keeper.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out that we had another mental mistake with the onside kick. There was no gamecock near that ball, and if we were a couple of inches back, that's a huge momentum shift. I'd personally like to see some double moves from recievers after we throw the short stuff. Not happy with a Loss, but happy about the way the dawgs played.

Amanda said...

He is a beast. He should have been starting the whole time. Amanda Vanderpool