I'm not going to mince words here. MaconDawg pretty much nailed it right after the game ended. Let's get right to it...
1. Sometimes, this post-game piece is just a breeze to write, almost always after any Georgia victory. The words just flow, everyone is feeling good about themselves and our collective optimism is reflected by rehashing the superlatives that are lavished upon players after great play. Today, I honestly feel like it's 2010 all over again. I'm hoping it'll turn out more like 2007: You remember that year, don't you? That team was at a crossroads. We got blown out at Tennessee, lost at home to South Carolina and were on the ropes at Vanderbilt. Somehow, we eeked out the victory in Nashville and then caught fire - finishing as hot as I've ever seen a Georgia squad finish. If a playoff system existed then, I believe (assuming we were a playoff pick) we would've won the whole enchilada. Fast-forward to today: We really control our destiny again in the SEC East, yet I am far less confident of finishing anything but a middle-of-the-pack also ran.
2. So, my power went out with about 12 minutes to go in the 4th Quarter. We were clinging to a 21-17 lead. I missed Todd Gurley's hurdle. I missed Gurley's long touchdown run. I missed Josh Dawson fall on a gift fumble-touchdown in the end-zone that should've put the game on ice. When I finally had enough wits about me to manually unlatch my garage door and back out my Honda into the driveway to pickup Sirius-XM, the score was 35-25 and I had just enough time to listen to the Vols claw back on Justin Worley's touchdown pass to Marquez North. I will say this: I was less stressed when the power went off and I couldn't watch than before.
There goes Gurley! http://t.co/AKw33bNX3M— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 27, 2014
"Thank God we have him." - Coach Mark Richt
3. When Nick Chubb scored on a little drag pass with a Tennessee defender draped all over him with on 1:17 before halftime, I thought the Vegas' line on the game (17 points) might not be so bat-shit crazy. We simply began to grind down the Tennessee defense and at that point in the game, our offensive line was dominating. The ensuing "defensive" series which allowed the Vols to blaze 83 yards in 7 plays was about the worst I've ever seen. And this is where we are as a defense right now. Confused.
4. As MaconDawg pointed out in his piece, our pass rush has improved. Teams are going to have trouble standing in the pocket too long against our pressure. We still have no answer for the dink-and-dunk. This has been going on for how many seasons now?
5. Losing Sony Michel really, really hurts. He could be out for up to 6 weeks. No official word as of this writing what the issue is, but he'll be out a long time. Damn.
6. Hutson Mason is the starter. He is The Man. That is not changing, but we've got to develop our backups. Vanderbilt will not be a scrimmage and will probably give us fits, but it is an opportunity to play some folks before tough road games at Mizzou and Arkansas. Mason must play better, and he knows it. His two interceptions were horrible. Horrible.
The only way Ramsey will get in-game experience is to put him in the game. If we can jump out to an early lead on Vandy, I say give Ramsey some significant playing time. - MDDawg
7. Todd Gurley can spike the football all he wants next year. Probably not a good idea to do it anymore this year. I've seen this called about 50% of the time in our league and Todd has "gotten away with it" before as well.
8. Third down: What is going on?
We are 17/45 on 3rd down on offense this year. I think that puts us in the 100s somewhere. And we have a top 10 rushing offense. That is a serious indictment of our passing game. The biggest shame of all is that we FINALLY have an OL playing pretty well and no Stafford or Murray behind it.- DocSkraynj
9. We can enjoy this victory, but it'll take a few days. We just beat Tennessee for the 5th time in a row, but it is tempered by the fact that Tennessee has been down since before Fulmer left and we were supposed to win big. History disproves this, except for 2010...a truly horrible Vol squad. This is still a rivalry game, and Tennessee has a good coach. I might've been guilty for not giving Tennessee enough credit, but I also knew in my heart of hearts that Vegas was way, way off base. Justin Worley is a far better quarterback than I thought. When he exited the game for 3 second-half possessions, that was our chance to get some distance. We failed at that, too.
10. Florida vs. Tennessee next week: For somebody, it's either the End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End...
11. I stopped watching football last night at halftime of the Mizzou @ South Carolina. It somehow doesn't make me feel any better. Well, just a little bit.
South Carolina fan is upset. pic.twitter.com/DcUCk70Ct4— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 28, 2014
11a. I want to thank Mizzou from the bottom of my heart for squelching Spurrier's snark for at least a week.
Just like that, our destiny is back in our own hands. Unfortunately, two of those sets of hands belong to Bobo and Mason :( - Anthony Pace
This actually made me LOL...
12. I'm still encouraged by our punt return team, and Isaiah McKenzie helped to wake us up with his nifty 30 yard return to set up our first touchdown. Now suddenly we can't cover a kickoff, or knock it through the back of the endzone when we need to? Yeah, we are missing Sony Michel... Oh, and nice hands Quayvon Hicks. I didn't see it, but his onsides kick recovery was another little, "big" thing...
...and I don't think you'll see us line up with 12 men in punt coverage again. That was awful. Could've really costs us. In fact, so many little things could have killed us.
13. Kudos to the defense for not allowing Tennessee to cash in on Mason's two interceptions. See...it wasn't all bad. Gah!
14. You can never have enough running backs in this league. Brendan Douglas, we'll need you.
15. I apologize for the negativity. I really do. Can we improve as we embark into October? I think this is going to involve some bravery on our coaching staff. If Hutson Mason struggles at all next Saturday, we've got to start thinking about 2015. I am behind this kid and hopes he can do this, but his window is closing, fast.
We should be getting Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley back next week. Can we use them?
This can still be a great year, but it'll take something of a 2007-scale turnaround for it to happen. I just don't know if we are equipped to do this, do you?