ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 15: Michael Bennett #82 of the Georgia Bulldogs pulls in this reception against Josh Orsino #7 and Jeremy McKnight #26 of the Florida Atlantic Owls at Sanford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Good afternoon, my Dawg brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. We dispatched a team that we were expected to dispatch without a few players (either by choice or by decree), looked incredibly un-focused for about a half (on defense) and rolled up 713 yards in essentially 3 quarters of play. I present to you another collection of 15 random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon for your perusal and enjoyment. Thanks again to Chuckdawg for filling in for me last week as I was partying my butt off in CoMo and was essentially incapable of speaking the King's English...much less writing it.
Oh, and congratulations to Mizzou for gutting out a tough win against Arizona State, doing so without James Franklin. Up next week: James Franklin. That Guy.
We have never circled the Vandy game on our calendar. Ever. Hey, fella. We remember...1. Credit Florida Atlantic for coming out with an aggressive plan on offense. They moved the ball on us and had some big plays, which is always disturbing. I could actually sense this coming. Jarvis Jones was wisely held out of the game to rest his injured groin and we had a few guys back from suspension. Which brings me to another thought...
2. When we get Rambo and Ogletree back, will there be some chemistry issues? Assignment gaffes? I saw some back-and-forth between some of our guys in the secondary after FAU hit a few big plays early on. Which brings me to another thought. There will need to be some major rust knocked off these guys, I don't care how much they game-plan prior to their return. When we face Tennessee and their 8-wide offensive sets, communication in the secondary will be key. There was a distinct lack of communication at times last night, at least early on.
3. How much did we really game-plan for FAU? It seems to me we only rushed 3 guys the entire evening, and good things happened on the few occasions their QB got pressured. Our corners played way off the ball. I thought we'd be up there jamming the Owls receivers, thus throwing off their timing. Yeah, it was an ugly first half defensively, but once again Grantham adjusted. Still, I wonder. I have a feeling we took a similar tack as we did against Buffalo: We prepared more for Vandy next week than we did for FAU this week.
4. We have a saying around here on Dawgsports: PWG (Playing while Georgia). It can be applied to many, many things. Like phantom pass-interference penalties when the ball wouldn't have been caught by anyone, unless you were in a cherry-picker. FAU held our defensive front all night long. I'm convinced the refs were attempting to even the playing-field a little bit.
5. The chemistry between Aaron Murray and Michael Bennett is special. I'm loving this. Hello Malcolm MItchell. One reception for 46 yards...and a little reminder that he's good at running and catching. Let's just tuck that away in our back pocket for now...
6. Murray was, in a word, efficient. He did it all. I'm still gonna nit-pick a little. That interception in the corner of the end zone was disturbing. This can't happen anymore.
7. Okay. I'm going to do it. I'm going to mention Todd Gurley and Herschel Walker in the same breath. Todd Gurley, in my opinion, is the most SEC ready, true-freshman running back I have seen at Georgia since Herschel Walker. I think this kid is going to just get better and better. I'm not saying he's Herschel. But he's unique.
8. Gurley has another gear, too. It may take him a few more strides to hit that gear, but it's there. I don't know how much our S&C program has added muscle to his frame since he arrived on campus, but this kid is a physical specimen.
9. Keith Marshall, if he can get the touches, will continue to improve. And that's the rub. How many opportunities will all of our running backs get in any given game? The competition is damned fierce, and that's a good thing. When the opportunity comes, you'd better take advantage of it. Going forward, it is going to be increasingly difficult for defensive coordinators to game-plan for this offense.
10. Boo Malcome is still running hard when he gets his shot. This is good to see. Collectively, our running backs are becoming a dangerous bunch. The future at this position looks very, very bright.
11. I'm a little bit worried about our punt returns. Damian Swann mis-judged a few and there was an occasion when we only had 10 men on the field with no one to account for FAU's gunner. I believe in Swann and perhaps this was just par-for-the night, focus-wise. This phase of our game needs some work.
12. Artie Lynch is forgiven for his early fumble on a beautiful pitch-and-catch in the 2nd quarter. He's big, deceptively fast and pretty dang nimble. His tippy-toe-touchdown in the 3rd quarter was super groovy. I hope we can get him involved more. The ability of our upcoming oppositions defensive-fronts will probably dictate much, as Lynch will either remain on the line to block or, if we can block, he'll be able to sneak underneath the linebackers.
13. We amassed 713 total yards. It could've been 900, but we wisely pulled our starters. Our backups should've come in and blown a tired FAU defense off the ball. This didn't happen and it's disappointing. Christian Lemay is talented, but has absolutely no confidence at the present time. His pick-6 was a disaster. Is he truly our first QB off the bench if something were to happen to Murray?
14. The buzz over the Vols is officially over. Things have been dire over on Rocky Top for years now and I sincerely believe they're an improved team, but this is the SEC. You've got to run the ball, SOD. I only watched a smidgen of the second-half of their tilt against Florida and it would appear there was some questionable coaching decisions in this game. That's 8 in-a-row for Florida in Knoxville.
15. Who the hell let Chris Doering in Sanford Stadium? I would like to have a word with stadium security. He sure liked to reminisce about his playing days, didn't he? I understand the dude is trying to make it as a broadcaster, but you have got to understand your audience, son. The only people watching this game were Georgia people. That's it. He managed to get in a little 1995 dig in there, too. No one gives a crap about your Florida days. Jack-wagon.
- Do we need to start paying attention to Notre Dame? I hope not. Michigan State is a dreadful offensive team.
- Auburn has issues. But enough about their personal life. Their football team ain't all that, either.
- Joker Phillips better have his resume in order...
- Mississippi State survives....Troy. Are they a distracted team right now? I think the NCAA Sword of Damocles says, "yes."
That's all I got. Talk to me, people!