Last Wednesday I posted the 5 things I thought we were bound to see during the course of the Oklahoma State game. I was generally incorrect, at least by degree if not totally. You should probably get used to this, because it wil happen again tomorrow when I post the 5 things you will see during the South Carolina game.
But I believe in facing my mistakes and learning from them, so here's my review of last week's "5 things".
1) Brandon Coutu. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Double wrong. Kenny Irons as a Rhodes Scholar wrong. Attending a seminar on the finer points of the Jeff Bowden offense wrong. Coach Richt said after the game that while there were a couple of times when Coutu could have lined up to kick the two field goals I predicted, they chose not to because of spotty blocking on previous extra points. I suppose in retrospect I couldn't have predicted that the conditions for this prediction to come true would exist but Coach Richt would, of his own volition, choose not to kick. But I was still wrong.
2) Oklahoma State turnovers. I like it when I'm wrong, and it doesn't matter. Oklahoma State only turned it over once. We didn't have a single turnover. I can't tell you how much it means to me to be able to say that. Wrong? Sure. But only "I should have gotten the chicken instead of the fish" wrong.
3) Reshad Jones. We saw him, though not as much as the Oklahoma State player he cold cocked. Dumb play, but something tells me it won't happen again. Reshad likely had a hot date Monday morning with the Sanford Stadium steps. Dannell Ellerbe also vindicated my feeling that he would have a good game (though not my hunch that he would create a turnover). I guess I was right, though for the wrong reasons.
4) Miscommunication. Again, wrong and proud of it. Other than the one special teams sequence where we narrowly avoided back-to-back delay of game penalties, we played a heady game. Mark Mangino in a tankini wrong, and glad for it.
5) UGA 27, OK State 17. Right result, wrong score. The difference? The second half. Last season the third quarter was our own personal house of horrors. On Saturday, we played the third frame like a team that smelled blood in the water. It was really when we took control.
Also contributing was the fact that Oklahoma State's staff apparently didn't watch a lot of tape of our defense. When Willie Martinez-coached defenses get gashed by "spread" offenses (whatever that means nowadays), it is straight ahead and up the middle. Auburn and West Virginia in 2005 are the best examples that come to mind. We always have trouble with teams that spread the field then force our 'backers to tackle halfbacks one on one in the open field.
Gundy's team apparently watched film of Colorado and Vanderbilt in 2006, thinking that rollout passes and edge option plays would work. But if I may descend into conference homerism for one brief moment: "SEC Defenses are too fast for that." Rod Battle and Marcus Howard played fast off the edge and Brandon Miller was the physical presence we needed him to be last year. So that strategy didn't work.
The inspiration for the Mike Gundy offense, tunnelling left, right and under the UGA defense without actually confronting it in the open.
I'll be back this afternoon with some recruiting news, and tomorrow with your 5 Things To Look For against South Carolina. Until then . . .