September 8, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) directs his team during the second quarter at Faurot Field. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Missouri Tigers 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-US PRESSWIRE
Part I. I'm actually beginning this post before the game Saturday. So, you will have some transition through the 15 thoughts. I should also explain that DavetheDawg went to the game and I'm covering for him on this post. The dawgsports staff had great communication with both our folk and folks we know at the game, so we got a lot of continual insight.
Part II. Post game. I've thought a lot about people's emotional reactions and analysis before, during and after the game. After speaking with Kyle, I gained greater insight on how people can have different reactions, such as an emotional analysis before the game, and critical analysis during the game or vice versa. After the game - win/loss obviously hugely impacts thoughts and emotional reactions. I think going back and watching a game again mid-week would give the best perspective. So, here's your 15 thoughts today:
1. Why do we watch football? For moments like Utah State beating Utah last Friday. I'm sure something's still being set on fire in Utah somewhere in celebration.
2. Whether it's starters or a full load of 85 players, I'm just sick and tired of not playing with a full roster. On the positive side, the problem children we showed the door are continuing to be so elsewhere, so good riddance. But dang, can we just for once start strong and get stronger?
3. RedCrake said privately in regards to Rambo and Ogletree, "On the one hand I wanted them to play because we get accused of being undisciplined thugs anyway so we might as well kick tail. On the other, I'm proud of Richt for sticking to his guns (OH HAI Spurrier!) and I honestly don't know why I'm even a little bit surprised that he did." That's pretty true and summed up my feelings pretty well.
4. Now that we're on the subject, I'm convinced Coach Richt had no disinformation campaign on the suspensions, it was not any secret subterfuge to trick someone, he is simply is tired of spending 15 minutes a day every day talking about drug suspended players. And you would be as well.
5. The AJC is a completely worthless rag. Any paper, and we know this to be true, that routinely posts stories, then deletes them rather than edits for correction or edits with a redaction is not practicing journalistic integrity. This same paper loves opening and closing the flame war comment threads that don't remotely pass for any kind of intellectual commentary. Please don't go there as much as you can.
6. We don't know truly how good anyone is on week 2 opening SEC games, we just get a pretty good look at strengths and weaknesses. It's a schedule, not just a game. It's about improvement and maturing. Sure, the big new SEC teams had exciting games, now they got the rest of the SEC. We'll know a lot more in 3-4 weeks. Today, we just had some fun games to start. And they were very fun games.
7. After all the complaining, USCe maybe lucky not to have played us week 2. I still don't know why Spurrier wanted to kill Conner Shaw, but maybe knowing he wasn't playing us this weekend he felt better about trying to kill him.
8. QBs everywhere are doing a bad job of throwing the ball away or running to a safe spot. I can see a bad NFL year or two for rookie QB drafts on the way. Murray, however, did a better job of taking the sack when he needed. Proud of him on that.
9. It's 4 quarters of football for a reason. If there is anything that truly makes the "SEC " the "S-E-C" it's that. The ability of the Pac 12 and Big 12 teams to jump out to a huge lead is mitigated by teams in the SEC that make you hate your life in the 4th Quarter. Although there are a million takes, in the end, James Franklin and company were tired and tired of being hit very hard. And if we played Oregon, I would hope to do the same thing - hit you and hit you and hit you until you break. Stats are irrelevant in this regard as we see all these yards here and there, but in the end, the eye sees a team getting blown up physically, and there is no stat for that other than the post game Motrin count.
10. Jarvis Jones isn't just a great football player that we love, go Dawgs, sic um. He's an incredibly, insanely smart football IQ wise player. The almost fumble? He went for the arm swipe instead of a tackle. On the interception? He changed arms for the football to the outside on his return. Dude.
11. Twitter is stupid.
12. ESPN has an amazing ability to change story lines without any notice. I really wish there was a "Daily Show" mocking ESPN. Before the game it was, "Georgia has got everything they can handle" and after the game it was, "It all went exactly as we said." No, I'm not making that up, those are exact quotes. It's all whatever ESPN says it was. No need to redact or retract.
13. Putting starters on special teams sure makes a difference, doesn't it? Richard Samuel made one of the most critical tackles of the game, and he fought through blocks and made a fine solo tackle. Why it took Mark Richt so long to make this change, no idea, but more please.
14. In a boxing match between two quality fighters, one fighter may continually give strong shots to the body of his opponent, over and over, round after round. The opponent is still fighting, and it seems close on the score card. But the eye can see what the score card doesn't show, an opponent getting hurt, repeatedly. In the last rounds, the opponent is sore, hurting, begins to lower his hands, and then a strong fighter takes big shots to the opponent's head, putting his opponent away, sometimes with a knockout. This is what Georgia did to Mizzou, and why the game was nowhere near being close physically and why the game was not that close on the field, which is in fact reflected in the final score. Georgia so physically dominated Missouri that by the 4th quarter, they had nothing left, and Georgia capitalized on this, scoring 17 pts to Mizzou's 0. Had Murray merely completed 3 open passes in the first half, it would have gotten lopsided very early. This wasn't a meltdown by Mizzou, this wasn't truly that close a match. To the prize fighter's trainer's eye, this was one team hitting another team over and over until they were so incredibly worn out they couldn't fight much anymore.
15. This is a very special team that may have a very special year. Soak it in, they don't come by often.