So i got back to my home in Florida yesterday after a long, long drive and you’d think I'd want nothing to do with this game. But the inner coach in me got me to sit down and re-watch the game (thank goodness for DVR). I watched EVERY play about 3-4 times for the first 3 quarters or so(guess what’s on my to do list). Every play once or twice in full time and three or four times in slow-mo.(thank goodness for DVR). I can honestly say, you really don’t know much about what happened in a game until you do so. I'm not going to defend the play calling too much, cause, let's face it, it was uncreative and commonly predictable. But I noticed we were very close to having a very successful offense on Saturday night. Isaiah Crowell looks even more impressive than I thought on Saturday. Branden Smith looked much improved from last year. Jarvis Jones is very obviously a beast. And our run defense is quite stout. Our pass defense was actually good when blitzing.
I'll start with our offensive line. It looks a little bit troubling. What jumps out on film is that Orson Charles should almost never be blocking for us. Just watching the first three or four offensive possessions show you that. He may have just had a bad night blocking, but he appeared to be very slow off the snap, confused at times, and unable to hold a block for a substantial amount of time. On the fourth and one we tried to run with Samuel in the first half, it looks like the man who went untouched and made the tackle was supposed to be Orson’s while he went out like he was supposed to be a slot receiver blocking the safety. I think if we were to use him mostly as purely a receiving tight end and used Arthur Lynch for blocking, we'd see about a quarter of the pressure to disappear. Bean Anderson also looks like he didn’t have his best game. To add on to the false starts, he got blown by several times in the first quarter. But i didn’t notice as many blown assignments as the game went on. The rest of the offensive line for the most part did average with a few blown assignments here and there. But i think you have to give some credit to their D-line. They are worth every bit of hype they were getting; they were fast, strong, and relentless in their game.
As for our receivers, besides some drops by king and Orson Charles, I think we did alright. Malcolm Mitchell seemed to be open a lot more than we threw to him. Marlon brown looked like a pretty good receiver; we had plenty of open men all night. Not too much to comment on, and plus i can only see what the ESPN camera gives me, which focuses more on the trenches and the backfield.
Aaron Murray has some improvement to do, which I bet he will. He looked to be very shaken up, hurrying his throws and looking inaccurate on several series. He also didn’t notice several open receivers, but he may have throwing to a predetermined receiver. It's hard to really say much other than he needs to play a little sharper next week.
Overall on offense, we were definitely disappointing, but we were also much closer to breaking big plays than it looks, especially on the run game. That may have been the reason Bobo called so many pistol inside handoffs, who knows. But hopefully we'll see more toss sweep, like we did a couple of years ago, with Crowell having a chance to bust some major runs. We also need to do more taking of what the defense gives us in the pass game instead of sending so many receivers deep. Its asking quite a lot for our offensive line to hold their blocks for 5 or 6 seconds while the receivers run down field. This creates more pressure on Murray, which ends up with him shaken up on the turf, which leads to bad offense. We need to see less of these deep balls and long passes to the sideline for 5 yard gains, and more slant route passes, and getting the ball to playmakers like Crowell and Mitchell in space. We have ot find mismatches, they’re there for sure.
Defensively, we looked to be swarming on the run very often. Linebackers were flying everywhere, the defensive line did decent. Not too much to complain about except that our tackling wasn’t as good as it should’ve been. Pass defense was another story. I think we all saw the short routes killed us. We constantly sat our DB's in zone when they killed us on this. It looks like our guys don’t have a great feel for zone defense, as they haven’t for the past 3 years of it. We constantly had guys miss their assignments, leaving a wide open receiver to get a first down. Our linebackers didn’t seem to pick up the Tight ends very well, and we often had multiple DB's in the same part of the field. Jordan love had a game to improve on constantly missing tackles, covering the wrong receivers, and leaving the receiver he was covering open too much. I’d be interested to see how Damien Swann can do next week. They also don’t seem to understand that you don’t sit in a deserted zone while there's a receiver four yards in front of you ready to catch a pass. In man coverage we looked better, giving up fewer big plays and usually giving up short yards. What would have been a major impact is if we had our guys jam receivers and stay to the inside of them to prevent these easy routes. I was frustrated to see the corners constantly backing ten yards off the receiver and the linebackers scarcely shucking slots and tight ends to disrupt timing. The Bright side is, we didn’t give up any deep balls to speak of.
What was puzzling was the lack of pressure. They ran quick routes and didn't run long developing plays, which helped their offensive line tremendously and usually didn't give us a chance to hit Kellen Moore. However, I noticed every blitz we ran worked. When you see our blitzes, Kellen Moore was hitting the turf almost every time. If I’m not mistaken, he was 0% completions on the blitzes we ran. However, we only blitzed a handful of times all game. Im not sure if this was because Grantham was afraid Moore was too good to blitz and he'd burn us, or if he was just wanting more guys in coverage, who knows. But we need to see more blitzing.
So Basically, there's two sides to every story. On one hand, you can see a UGA team that got outplayed by a team thats smaller and slower than us. This is true. But you can also see a UGA team that can be very explosive and can be coached up from a game in which they played a physical team that executes better than almost any team in the country, this is also true. I think if I'm a coach, we have plenty we can work on and show that we are a completely different team next week. But that's from the eyes of a 16 year old highschooler, so take it for what it’s worth.
As always, GO DAWGS!!!!!