Better late than never, I present to you the weekly review of the five things which I (usually incorrectly) forecast to happen against last week's opponent. I urge you to review the list very, very quickly, then turn your attention to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
1) Andre Woodson squarely in the pocket. Woodson didn't take off a lot, and that was expected. What wasn't expected was that we would harrass him enough to prevent him from sitting back and finding receivers, especially in the second half. I think it should be a point of pride for this defense that perhaps the two best quarterbacks in the SEC this year (Tebow and Woodson) each had one of their poorer games `
2) Jeff Owens. In the backfield. With Geno Atkins next to him. And Marcus Howard coming from the other side. The defensive line played exceptionally, not only in getting a pass rush, but in stopping Kentucky's rushing attack cold. Stopping the run with only 5 to 6 defenders allowed us to drop linebackers (and even Marcus Howard a couple of times, I think). Excellent job by Coach Garner's charges.
3) 1 minute scoring drives. I have to admit it, I was experiencing spasms of dread when the Wildcats went 80 yards in 2:31 for that first TD. But the 5 sacks put up by our defense came in critical situations, and the run defense played by our front seven allowed us to sit back in coverage a lot more than I would have thought.
4) A Gut Check Day for our secondary. Prince Miller is still the least physical corner I've seen at Georgia under Mark Richt. Watching him get pushed around by Kentucky's receivers was just painful (as was the dropped interception he had in the endzone). I'm calling him Princess Miller until further notice. Everybody else played lights out. There are going to be some breakdowns when a quarterback like Woodson throws it at you 41 times, but all in all it was a stellar performance. I don't fear Tinkie Winkie Bennett at all after this performance.
5) UGA 41, UK 31. The fact that we held this offense to 13 points, and only 3 in the second half totally mystifies me. Seriously, I spent roughly two hours Sunday just staring at the drive chart in total bewilderment. If you told me before the game we would turn the ball over four times and only create 1 turnover in return, I would have asked how many we lost by. Hands down, the best defensive performance of the season.
Matt Stafford began the game by going 3 of 8 with 2 interceptions. He threw a grand total of 5 passes in the entire second half. All of which tells me that Stafford had his worst game of the year, and it didn't matter. We just ran the ball right at Kentucky and they were powerless to stop it. That's the kind of offensive balance that allows you to play less than your best football and still walk away with a victory. That is very, very encouraging for the rest of this season and next.
On a brief programming note, I'll be spending tomorrow with family, and while I may be enjoying a cocktail, I won't be posting one. That will have to wait until Friday. I'm thankful for many things, one of which is the continued support from all of you who read and comment at Dawg Sports. You've made this site a place to come for intelligent, insightful dialogue about college sports, and University of Georgia sports specifically. Again, thank you.
And I'd like to extend a special thanks to site proprietor T. Kyle King, for giving me the opportunity to meet and interact with all of you. Happy Thanksgiving, folks!