The Georgia Bulldogs came about as close to losing in Neyland Stadium as they could without actually doing it. The now limp back to Athens to face the as yet undefeated Missouri Tigers quite possibly without one of their top two tailbacks, sans three of their top four receivers, and with the flippin' punter questionable with a concussion.
A few random dog bones for you to chew on . . .
We'll obviously get the full injury report tomorrow, but it's bad. It's obviously bad. The good news is that we likely get Todd Gurley back. Rantavious Wooten has really blossomed. Chris Conley is a big play threat, and Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome are still available. The cupboard on offense isn't bare, it's just not overflowing anymore.
The bad news is that the defense, and especially the young secondary, continues to be a huge liability.And we've lost perhaps the two most explosive offensive weapons we had, as well as our most steady, clutch wide receiver, all of whom have helped rescue that defense repeatedly this season. I'm afraid that unless Todd Grantham's guys grow up in a hurry, they're going to soon find themselves calling for the cavalry only to be told the cavalry is no longer there to ride to the rescue.
Mike Bobo's play calling, even before he lost almost all of his weapons, was pretty spotty in this guy's opinion. And I say that as someone who has defended Mike Bobo and believes that, despite his imperfections, he's still one of the most successful offensive coordinators in the nation. I know the offensive line looked very good early, but we ran into eight man fronts time and time again. A lot of those runs between the tackles by 178 pound J.J. Green reminded me of Tyson Browning and Brandon Harton doing the exact same thing.
While that 54 yard Aaron Murray run was exciting, I am not one of those who's asking why we haven't had him doing that all along. Because I know that the answer is that at some point he would have landed wrong or gotten steamrolled and we would have been breaking Hutson Mason in at some point.
I'm a little disappointed in both the fact that Tennessee converted over 41% of third downs, and that Georgia only converted 31%.
I'm not sure how I feel about our response to the rash of injuries. At a certain point it just seemed that the Bulldogs lost focus and didn't quite have the mental fortitude to keep chugging despite the injuries. I know that's a lot to expect. But expecting something other than 20 minutes of utter mental collapse probably isn't. I'm hoping we'll never have to see how we respond to a rash of injuries like that again. If Uga had sprained a paw tonight, I wouldn't have been a bit surprised.
And I'm pretty impressed with Butch Jones's team. They've gotten the crap beaten out of them, and they've struggled to beat teams they should have. But on this afternoon in Knoxville they did a great job of taking advantage of Bulldog errors and outright misfortune. That's one of the things General Neyland championed, and for good reason. A lot of the time it wins you football games. Thankfully, on this day, it wasn't quite enough. I'll be back with the most costly Mark Richt Victory Watch in recent memory as soon as my blood pressure normalizes. Until then . . .