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15 Thoughts Was Once a Freshman

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Georgia, lead by a cadre of true-freshmen, whipped Kentucky in an offensive and special teams outburst that was as satisfying as it was record setting. It is time to turn our attention to Auburn. I hate Auburn.

The Human Joystick
The Human Joystick
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

A Bible verse popped into my head on this Sunday morning, so I looked it up.

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. - Isaiah 11:6

Isaiah.  Seems to fit, no?  And don't let his diminutive size fool you.  This kid plays big.

Georgia played its most complete offensive game on Saturday, with a tremendous boost from special teams.  Let's recap, shall we?

LET'S TALK ABOUT THOSE FRESHMEN

1.  It is rare to return an opening kickoff for a touchdown, but after Isaiah McKenzie blew by the Kentucky defense - untouched- en route to a 90 yard score, who amongst you felt like we were going to have a very, very good day?  I don't think this will be the last time iMac™ will start the game off on the "good foot," either.  Way to set the tone, kid.

2. As great as iMac's kick off return was, I thought his punt return was better.  He sets up his blocks very well, has patience, vision, and is quite frankly a little bit tough to see among all the tall timber and confusion of bodies flying around.  187 All-purpose yards (116 kickoffs/59 punt return/12 rushing).

2A.  One little nit-pick:  He got very lucky on a fumble when he received a handoff in the 2nd quarter.  In high school, no one caught him from behind.  It's a little different in the SEC.  This will get coached up.

3. Jeb Blazevich has become a weapon.  He's got great hands, runs good routes and his learning curve is accelerating.  Jeb's upside is tremendous.  He's only going to get stronger.  He scored two touchdowns.  The first of many.

Only at Georgia can I talk about liking iMac and Sony and not be talking about electronics. - sippyjuice

4. Nick Chubb just continues to impress each and every week.  You want a stat?  Thirteen rushes for 170 yards for an average of 13 per pop and a score.  Nick has better top-end speed than these ill-prepared TV announcer du jour realize.  He's got a knack for getting to the edge, planting, and accelerating.  Nick now has 895 rushing yards and is averaging 6.7 yards per carry.  Hope he gets his Grand against Auburn.  I hate Auburn.

5. Welcome back, Sony Michel.  Again, the cliche "change of pace" back just doesn't fit. He's every bit as physical as Chubb.  Again, another powerful back with explosiveness and great vision.  He was untouched on his 20 yard TD jaunt.  Smart kid...he let his blockers take the hits.  His return gave Chubb the critical relief he hasn't had for a month.  It showed.

Awful Announcer 1: Well, Rod...here comes Sony Michel.  He's a change of pace back, you know (flips through script notes leftover from Andre Ware...)

Awful Announcer 2: Why, yes Dick.  Michel is more of a finesse back (replies from script notes left over from Bob Davie...)

Yeah, Sony will finesse right slap over you.  God, I miss Larry Munson.

6. Lorenzo Carter, have a game.  He's got the size, the technique and the speed that will make him an All-American before he leaves Georgia.  There was much speculation as to why he got the start over Leonard Floyd.  After the dust and innuendo settled, Floyd was simply banged up.  Jeremy Pruitt got with the position coaches and decided to turn Lo loose.  Watching Carter chase down Patrick Towles from across the field in the first quarter was a sight.  For the game, he recorded 2 sacks and 3 1/2 tackles for loss.

6A.  Carter has got to reign in his aggressiveness a bit, particularly when chasing elusive quarterbacks out-of-bounds.  That stuff cannot happen to keep drives alive - especially against Auburn & Tech upcoming.  He got flagged for a late hit on Towles early in the second quarter.  He also got flagged for this against South Carolina which kept a drive alive, and Clemson if I remember correctly.

THE OTHER GUYS WHO, MOSTLY, DID WELL...

Hutson Mason finally looked like a 5th year player. Not in terms of numbers but in terms of his demeanor. In the huddle and on the sidelines he looked confident and, dare I say, had a bit of a swagger to him. Yeah, there were some passes that were to high or off target but not many. Yes, this was Kentucky, but after the criticism he’s gotten all year I just had to throw an Attaboy to #14 - Ellenberg88

7. Hutson Mason was as good as I've ever seen him on Saturday.  He was the model of efficiency, and threw the ball with authority when he needed to; touch when necessary.  His corner route to Chris Conley (sorry, no GIF available...you'll have to wade through the mandatory commercial) was a perfect throw dropped into a pickle-barrel.  Chris Conley is, in a word, steady.

Back to Mason:  Maybe he's starting to trust his arm now.  Maybe, having all that receiver talent coming back is allowing him to trust his arm.

Kentucky!  (And I Hate Auburn.)

8. Jonathan Rumph led all receivers with 81 yards on 4 receptions.  He sure looks the part, doesn't he?  He caught a 47 yard deep ball down the Kentucky sideline and made a nifty adjustment on the play.  Any contributions we can get from this kid will be gravy.  He's really a very good player, but just hasn't been able to play.

9. The smoothest player on the team is Malcolm Mitchell.  He pulled up with an apparent (groin?) injury on his 2nd quarter TD reception, which appeared serious at the time, but he returned and was effective.  The guy is one fast-twitch muscle, and I hold my breath every time he touches the ball because:

1.  He might score.
2.  He might pull something.
3.  He might pull something and score.

Please stay healthy, you crazy bookworm you.  We need you.

I have been told that everyone in this picture has a vocabulary to rival T. Kyle King and also hates Auburn.

10. How 'bout that offensive line?  They opened holes all day long and protected Mason who had tons of time.  They simply dominated.  This was as fine an effort as we've seen all season from this unit, and Kentucky has some beef up front.  In fact, it was a supposed strength of this team.  David Andrews is so incredibly important to our entire offense, playing through the ankle injury suffered against Florida last week.  Tough.  As.  Nails.

10A.  I believe we were flagged for a single holding call all-game-long.  In fact, we were only penalized 4 times (33 yards).  Much improved from the week before.  On the other hand, Hubert Owens wasn't calling this game and the SEC crew that did work actually called Kentucky for holding.  This was incredible.  I thought holding flags in this Conference went by the same way as the Ivory-billed woodpecker.

11.  Sixty-three points.  That's nothing to sneeze at.  In fact, it's the 2nd highest points total ever scored against an SEC opponent (75-0 vs. Florida in 1942 is still the record)  Total offense:  559 yards.  Let's do it again next week.  I Hate Auburn.  Hate 'em.  What's the over/under for offensive output next Saturday going to be?  I say 2500 yards.

12.  I love the way Jeremy Pruitt is utilizing Damian Swann.  He's a blitz threat, and can drop back (where he's most effective, IMO) in safety support.

13. How huge was Corey Moore's interception right out of the gate on Kentucky's 2nd half opening drive?  Great concentration on the pick which led to another touchdown and essentially iced the game.  Having said that, Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera missed a few tackles in the 1st half.  Herrera missed a sure sack of Patrick Towles.  The first half-defense was frustrating to watch.  The 2nd half defense adjusted.  However, our Senior linebacker play in recent weeks is most troubling.

13ATim Kimbrough, from what I saw, can lay the lumber.

14Brice Ramsey was perfect in his opportunity to run Mike Bobo's offense with all available parts.  I am impressed with his arm, plus he's mobile in the pocket.  His touchdown pass - deflected by a linebacker - wound up in the hands of Blazevich.  This ball had some spice on it and had anyone else on the team thrown it, it's probably picked off.  I hope this kid gets some serious time against Charleston Southern.  In a perfect world, he gets garbage time next week against Auburn because we are blowing them out.  A Dawg can dream, can't he?

IN WHICH I OPINE VEHEMENTLY...

15.  Todd Gurley is back next week for Auburn - the first home game since Apollo 11.  This is my opinion on Blackouts:  If Todd Gurley's return isn't enough "real juice" for you, I'm sorry.  We don't need anymore gimmicks in this program.  To me, it is a sign of desperation.  2007 was different.  It was novel.  Do I feel the black jersey should never be utilized again?  I don't know.  It's a very cool look, but until we win another SEC Championship, I don't want to see them.  This is just me.  What's your take?  Want something different?  Wear home whites and red pants.  That'll get me fired up.

Folks, it's Hate Week again.  Auburn is in town for the first time since 2011.  We owe them.  I don't want "revenge," because that never works.  I want us to play the kind of offensive football all day like we saw on Saturday.  I want us to play the kind of defensive football like we saw in the second-half in Lexington, or the entire game against Mizzou.  We need to be disciplined against a team that is wounded - just as we were on Saturday.  We must re-focus...and not let the return of Gurley distract from what will be a very difficult task:  Containing Nick Marshall.  Auburn lost a game they were about to win against Texas A&M.  They'll come in here focused.  We must match their intensity.  We have to play smart with emotions in check from start to finish.  When we get them off the field on 3rd down, we can't allow ourselves to do the kinds of stupid things that keep drives alive.  Defensive stops will be at a premium.

I have no doubt we are going to score on Auburn.  I believe we are going to run wild against them.  Auburn's defensive shortcomings have been masked by their offensive prowess for 2-years running.  If we can get the kind of effort against the Tigers as we got in the 4th quarter in last season's game (tipped passed notwithstanding), we will win.

THIS POLL IS CLOSED

I hate Auburn.

As Always,

GO DAWGS! BEAT AUBURN!