Well...I thought that went well. What do you think? Apparently I'm a disgruntled fan, and we have some minor disputes going on around Dawgsports. Hmmmm...Georgia must have lost.
I for one, continue to be astonished at the talent and fight this football team of ours has. While I am as disappointed as anyone at the outcome,I was downright depressed all day yesterday, I am shocked at how well they played in spite of the setbacks . I love this football team, as frustrating as it is. I believe this a special Bulldogs squad. Faults and shortcomings this team has already done some very special things, and will do more before January rolls around.
1. Combat effective? Georgia is not. It has lost too many key players, to really be considered combat effective. This team has been bled out over the last couple weeks. Its on RB 3 and RB 4, WR 3 4 5 and 6. Missing a defensive back as well (less noticeable since the D is intermittent at best).
Georgia is not banged up. The Bulldogs are broken. If this were a movie, it is The Patriot, and Georgia is what's left of the militia after the redcoats decimate Heath Ledger's group, straggling back to black swamp tired and busted, through waist deep water, in the dark. 3 of the top four receivers, as well as both running backs who normally see the majority of the play are gone. This does not happen in college football. This rate of attrition would send (and typically does on those rare occasions when it happens) most teams into fetal mode and "just get through the game without more injuries" mode. Georgia went out and played to win. Which brings me to my second thought:
2. Resilient. Georgia is.
The defense is improving, it is doing so in baby steps, but it is definitely getting better. And meantime, the team continues to battle. Its called grit. True grit. And Georgia has it.outcomes notwithstanding, this team is a fighter's team, and for that reason, despite the injuries, despite bad calls, this team will find itself in every game it plays this year, regardless of the ending.
The offense is still scoring, after losing pretty much all of its starting skill players except Chris Conley, Arthur Lynch (Is Jay Rome playing? (I know he caught a couple balls, but he's kinda been not a huge factor)), and Aaron Murray. They're having hiccups, which will happen when a QB has to find rhythm with that many new receivers, basically on the fly, but they're putting up points. Missouri (no misery jokes made For anyone monitoring) Is one of the most complete teams we've faced this season They were also the healthiest team Georgia had faced since week one, and Georgia playing down 5 starter talents still put up plenty of points and had a shot to win the game.
See above: Georgia probably shouldn't even be competitive with that many injuries. This team is deeper than we probably thought, and they're fighters. This year's squad is a tough, stubborn, no quit unit. Have they come up short? Yes. But You have to admire the fight this team has in it.
3. In it. Georgia is. Yes, I am now officially notice. No, I do not care. First off, I am a pessimist in life. But during football season, I get irrationally optimistic (this is despite my Munsonian comments to the contrary). To get this out of the way upfront: Georgia handed the rest of the SEC the keys to its destiny, but Georgia is by no means out of it.
My irrational (and un-Munson) optimism tells me that Georgia still has the talent to play with anyone in the country. Disagree all you want, but the fight in this team will keep them in the game, and there's enough talent to make the plays here. Gurley will be back eventually, and meanwhile RB 3 and RB 4 aren't all that bad themselves. Georgia must take care of business.
Vanderbilt is probably pretty desperate by now. And a depleted Georgia team will seem vulnerable. This means we're in for another dogfight. Yet another team that should go away early will hang around and make a game of it. But I think Georgia will win this game. And that's just it. Win this week. If Georgia does that, focuses one week at a time, I have every confidence that Georgia will land atop the pile in December.
4. Aaron Murray: He fumbled. He threw a pick. I don't care. The only thing he's guilty of is trying to force it, because he has to. He's been a fighter since his very first game, and continues to do that. He puts the team on his shoulder every Saturday. And no one can deny that. He makes mistakes, it happens. He's the best QB Georgia has, and has had since Stafford left.
And he's all heart. He's not perfect, but he's a gamer of a caliber that Georgia hasn't seen. He grits it out and finds ways to get things done. Sometimes he has to force it. Because his receivers aren't quite on the same page as him. Sometimes it doesn't work out. Some of it is his fault, some of it is the OL's fault, some of it is the receiver's fault. That happens. As far as I'm concerned he's a monster, and we're not likely to improve at QB after he's gone.
5. Defense: Aggressive good, passive bad. Its just that simple. Our defense has played sporadically To this point in the season, if you combine all the good defensive time, they've got about 60 minutes of it.. But the one bright spot and consistent thing about it is this: When They blitz, good things happen. When they prevent, bad things happen. Its that simple.
From now on: Georgia needs to blitz early and often. For all it problems, this team is not lacking in talent or athleticism. This defense literally can blitz out of any package and any situation. Corner blitzes, safety blitzes, etc. Now obviously they can't blitz on every play. But Georgia can blitz early and often, and not drop into prevent on 3rd and long. If the opposition is punting? Put 10 up front and go after it. Georgia's best option on defense is sheer unbridled aggression. GATA, every single play, GATA.
Bonus thought: Your beatings will continue until morale improves. We're a poor mouthing fan base, and that's fine. I do it too. But this squad is something special, and will do more special things in days to come. They've got more fight than any Georgia squad I've ever watched. They aren't done, and neither are we. Its just that simple.
Anyway, Those are my thoughts at this particular juncture. Its less of a week/game review, and more of a season review of the team to this point in the season. Like it? Let me know. Hate it? Tell me why. Thanks for reading folks.