ESPN was a mess in the gametime transition from the early to evening games and seemingly mislead a lot of folks. If it got straightened out - I still don't care. It was piss poor. Everyone was scrambling for a network and a game and worrying about a blackout situation. There was a time when you put the tv on the correct channel and the ticker would scroll: "We will air the Georgia vs Auburn game, now in progress, immediately following the final" or some such. I can't believe a network with 100 channels can't advise us what channel to watch and when properly. So, basically, I still hate ESPN. Speaking of which, these 4 hr + CBS games are insane. Let the last 7 minutes of a game run naturally already! It's going to get someone hurt or alter the game. So, basically, I hate them also.
Georgia came out to a very solid first quarter throwing more than running, clearly wanting to put up a lead and I knew early on that would lead to a running game and our gameplan was a good one, made of solid plays and play calling. Tonight was the most people I have seen in red and black at Jordan-Hare, and I'm ok with that. Coach Mike Bobo used our strength, the play action pass, to get a lead and establish tempo, and then Todd Gurley started playing some serious old man football. Great, great day for Gurley pounding the rock. That's doing what works and another good game called by Coach Bobo. The use of the tight ends was absolutely awesome. The defense was motivated and hungry, and even got a butt chewing late in the game by Coach Grantham! I like the concept of fight, fight, fight versus bend but don't break.
Murray looked comfortable and found virtually all his reads. On Murray, he took a big hit, another body slam by Auburn. He came back in after one play and threw a GREAT TD to T King. That's what I'm talking about! That changes the entire chemistry of the team and game. That's how leaders lead. To pick on the offense a little we called two timeouts in the second half and had a delay of game to get position sets in place, and that's no good. Those little things hurt in a close game. I'm actually not being nitpicky on this one, using TOs because guys are moving around and figuring out where to go is not good, guys need to know when and where and what they are at all times during a game. That being said, Murray showed good command in those times to wait, give it a chance, and then call time out on the last second of the play clock. He didn't get impatient. Malcom Mitchell had a great day and I noticed he is really, really running good routes. He has found his grove again. Keith Marshall had a good run on a draw play on 3rd and 20, so the Green Notebook is now validated for another year. Marshall's 60 yard TD showed he has "break-away speed" on another level. I absolutely loved watching the CBs close on him and he just drove right by. Marshall Morgan was 5 for 5 and 1 FG. He was 5 for 5 last week. Either he is getting it worked out, or he is doomed in the SECCG (I hope not). I'll credit reader BravesAreZilla for pointing out the good work by David Andrews coming in for Ben Jones. Andrews has done a great job.
On the other side of the ball, Auburn gained yardage on us initially, and I attribute that to two things: the scripted trickeration and the standard game start energy any team is going to have. It's so, so, so hard to have a shutout in today's football. Today was incredible. Coach Grantham elected to keep the starters in for the most part, but with the hope we have very complete games in the next two weeks where we do rest more starters, I was ok with that. Jarvis Jones is a force of nature. You can only watch now, there are no words. If he gets Pollack's sack record, considering he was out two games and he is continually schemed against, that will be an amazing achievement. Jarvis just has a "presence" that doesn't translate to stats. Damian Swann missed a pick 6 on what I was sure would be an Auburn scoring drive, and Baccari Rambo stripped the ball lose to get us a turnover and prevent a score. It was funny, as in the live thread I had just called Rambo out and said "I know y'all are bored back there and all, but time to step up." Rambo ended up with like 8 tackles? (I don't look at stats for this write up) and an int and had a good day. Holding is still mostly legal it seems and I hope they are looking for it in Atlanta. John Jenkins is still getting held but made his presence known a little more than lately. The defense didn't have to face much in terms of Auburn's talent but they get to boost their experience and confidence. You can't do whole sale substitutions at the end of a game; however, I think getting Jarvis out may have been a good idea.
We all wanted a record for score, but in the end, this was hella good. The last thing we needed was someone getting hurt at the end of the game. As I said early in the year in print and on the Dawg Gone Podcast, this is a special team and a special year. This was a pretty clean win with a very good 1st half. I can't fault Mark Richt for not going for 45-0 when he has people like the 2nd team QB and RBs in while leading 38-0. Those guys have to learn to get it done as well. It was really nice to sit back and enjoy this one. Kyle will be around sometime way later on with the Mark Richt victory watch and post game round up. So, while we wait, let me know your thoughts and takes. In the meantime...
How ‘Bout Them Dawgs!
edit 1 - night games are killing me and my saturday. but as long as we win.....