As Paul Westerdawg observed, the University of Georgia did not drop its first SEC opener since 2001 by playing poor defense. To be fair, the defense did some things that we all wish they wouldn't do again. The tackling could have been better, the push from the interior line more consistent, the coverage a bit more secure. But when you give up 16 points to a Steve Spurrier coached offense, you've generally done enough to win. Alas, that's not always the case.
Matt Stafford shouldered some blame. Coach Richt stood by his offensive coordinator, and acknowledged that our receivers were once again plagued by the D word.
Three Kopps in the clutch in one game? Not a danger to anyone. An equal number of clutch drops will just about kill you though.
What this team needs is offensive punch*. What do you need for Saturday? Offensive Punch. You make it by mixing:
24 ounces of cranberry cooler
16 ounces of ginger ale
8 ounces of lemonade
8 ounces of bourbon (brand of your choice)
If you're looking for a vessel in which to contain said beverage, might I suggest one of the trash cans Matt Stafford was knocking over for target practice before the South Carolina game? They haven't touched the dirt, I'm sure.
But that will change. Darius Dawgberry noted earlier this week that Matt Stafford looked a lot more like a freshman on September 8th than he did on September 1st. This is a little frustrating, but not unexpected.
Anyone who plays golf will tell you that you never improve in a linear fashion. You learn to line up your putts a little better and your 102 becomes a 95, seemingly overnight. You cure your slice and your 95 becomes an 89. You improve your grip, gain 15 yards off the tee, and suddenly your 89 becomes an 84. Football is the same way (with the additional variables represented by 300 pound charging nose tackles and blindside safety blitzes. Those will really foul up your tee shot.)
If last Saturday represented Matt Stafford's worst effort of this season, then it will have been a heckuva a lot better than his worst outings of 2006 (damn you Rich Brooks, damn your crotchety Red Forman-looking soul and your generally porous but speedy defense!). I think his baseline performance will continue to rise, just as I think our offensive line will play better. Ditto our young wide receivers. As bad as it sounds, I've basically given up on Gartrell or Bryant having any impact, a fact which I hate because I wanted desperately to see them both suceed.
The question in my mind is how many we lose before we really turn the corner. While you're pondering that question, I'd suggest you have another glass of punch. I'll be back tomorrow with some recruiting stuff. Until then . . .
*This should go without saying, but drink responsibly, in moderation, and only if you're over the age of 21. Those drinking Offensive Punch should not operate motor scooters, kegerators or other machinery while under the influence of Offensive Punch. Overconsumption can cause bloating, nausea, and the kind of stubborn rash you would only wish upon Steve Spurrier. Offensive Punch not available in Auburn, South Bend, Ann Arbor or Nashville. I hate Auburn. That's not really relevant, but neither is the only known internet picture of former Georgia/subsequent Clemson punter Wynn Kopp, and nothing stopped me from posting that.