Georgia outlasted Missouri tonight in a game that may have set football back thirty years. Truly, this contest was akin to watching two blind octogenarians fight to the death with toothpicks. Left-handed.
Georgia's 298 anemic yards of offense was eclipsed only by the legally comatose Missouri attack's 168. There was plenty of bad to go around, but there were some good things as well. For one, Brian Schottenheimer stuck with the run as he hadn't the past couple of weeks. Georgia ground out 120 yards on 45 carries, 2.7 per attempt. It wasn't enough to score a single offensive touchdown, but it was enough to feign a credible ground threat and loosen up some room for Greyson Lambert to throw the ball.
Lambert was a respectable 23 of 32 for 178 yards. But Georgia fans will likely remember the multiple passes he threw tonight which really should have been intercepted. Missouri came into tonight's contest boasting one of the best defenses in the nation, statistically speaking. They didn't hurt their numbers, even if they don't leave Athens with a win. The Bulldog defense does deserve credit for a solid 9 of 19 performance on third down. It seemed a little like 1 for 347, but in point of fact Georgia moved the ball okay at times.
However that movement was largely sabotaged by bad execution and poor play-calling. I like Terry Godwin. And I like screen passes. I don't like 5'11, 175 pound true freshman Terry Gidwin blocking big, physical corners at the point of attack on screen passes. Brian Schottenheimer apparently does. I can't explain why. Perhaps Schotty saw something on film that he believed made Missouri vulnerable to screen passes to the edge. At least I hope so. I also hope somebody burns the Jim Donnan Memorial screen pass portion of his play book.
The offensive line continues to look consistently less than dominant, though they did get a better push in the fourth quarter than the first. That being said Missouri's front seven is good. Florida's is better. I have no reason to believe they won't stuff the Bulldog running game in fourteen days.
Defensively it's tough to draw a lot of conclusions. Mizzou is terrible on that side of the ball. Tonight they looked it, and Georgia helped a little. The Red and Black gave up a miserly 21 rushing yards all night, an impressive total no matter how you slice it. Special teams didn't lose the game for Georgia. But it damn sure didn't win it either. Collin Barber punted as well as he has all season. Terry Godwin continues to show promise in the return game. Marshall Morgan continues to give me indigestion. But I digress.
In the end a win is a win. Following LSU's victory over Florida the 'Dawgs still control their own destiny in the SEC East. Go down to Jacksonville, win, and you're once again the division front runner. The thing is, Georgia's done nothing in the past three weeks to indicate they have a prayer in Heaven of beating the Gators. Before this season no one would have predicted that Florida under new coach Jim McElwain would enter this game the favorite. Yet here we are. Oh college football. You never disappoint those who thrive on absurdity.
If you're Mark Richt the upcoming bye week couldn't come at a better time. He needs to get playmakers on both offense (Isaiah McKenzie) and defense (Jordan Jenkins) healthy. He also needs to establish some sort of identity for his Nick Chubb-less offense, preferably one that involves scoring some damn points. But for now, 5-2 feels better than 4-3. It's what we've got. Let's just acknowledge that it could have been worse, and very nearly was. Georgia's still got a shot in the SEC race. Don't question it too hard. Until later....