It's hard to know where to begin. Because this one went bad from the very beginning. There was the Tim Kimbrough dropped interception. Then the two penalties on the first offensive series. And then it got worse from there.
A few observations, and the unsettling conclusions that flow therefrom.
- When you change starting quarterbacks in the ninth week of the season and after that game admit that you don't know if the guy you just started will start the next week, as a coaching staff, you must have a thorough and sifting discussion about how you got in that situation. Because that's not supposed to happen. A quarterback battle going into week one is understandable. It's a problem. But it happens. Not knowing come week ten is a certifiable crisis.
- Even more worthy of discussion is why you go through a cloak-and-dagger routine about playing the quarterback who theoretically gives you a new dimension in the running game then use him to run the same drop back passing offense you ran before. Brian Schottenheimer is the kind of guy who would win the lottery, buy a Ferrari, and still drive it straight to the IHOP to meet Mom for breakfast.
- It's tempting to blame Brian Schottenheimer for all that ails the Georgia offense. He's the most obvious change from 2014. But there are other problems. Sure Nick Chubb is missed. But Georgia also essentially goes one deep at receiver with Malcolm Mitchell and Terry Godwin a somewhat distant second option (and closing). There's not a David Greene, Matt Stafford, or Aaron Murray to orchestrate the whole thing. This Bulldog team does not have the horses to put up forty points per game a la Mike Bobo. That's not going to change in four games.
- Mark Richt had better start Faton Bauta against Kentucky or it's really going to showcase the utter disarray his offense faces. Because the only reason to continue playing Bauta after that horrible first half was to get him ready to lead this team down the stretch. If he was brought in to throw four picks and go 15 for 33 only to go back to the bench next week, then, well, that was just stupid.
- Mark Richt has now lost an iteration of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party to five different Florida football coaches: Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp, and Jim McElwain. Sigh.
- The Georgia Bulldogs have now gone almost nine full quarters without a touchdown. I cannot remember the last time that happened. It's clearly been a while. Again, all sorts of reasons can be mustered for why Brian Schottenheimer's job is pretty challenging right now. But there is no reason that makes that sort of production indicative of anything but someone not doing his damn job. I can name a couple of dozen good high school coaches who could walk in and trick play their way to at least one touchdown in eight quarters.
- A lot of it starts up front. I saw Greg Pyke and John Theus each manhandled on more than one occasion this afternoon. Absolutely pushed backwards. It's too bad that due to Georgia's media availability we likely won't hear from Rob Sale about that. Because his offensive line is regressing. Badly. Georgia ran the ball 22 times for 69 yards. That's utterly pathetic. And it falls on the offensive line. The holes just were not there.
- When your second string/third string quarterback truly looks like a better option at punter than the scholarship punter you've relied on for the better part of four seasons, you should probably add that to the list of things in need of retooling.
- Georgia ran the ball 11 times for 15 yards in the first half. I can't really fully express how terrible that is. Again, there is no one in Butts-Mehre who can say anything that makes that acceptable.
- Jay Rome couldn't catch a cold at the CVS minute clinic if he ate roasted peanuts out of the chairs in the waiting room.
- The young Georgia secondary gave up plenty of yards, but at least, unlike our veteran offensive line, they have something of an excuse. Johnathan Abram was all over the field, and Rico McGraw showed some flashes as well. All told, the Georgia defense did about as well as it could with the depth it has after once again getting zero help from the Bulldog offense. I would love to be inside Jeremy Pruitt's head when he watches the Georgia offense fiddle-fart around. I could learn some new and highly expressive words.
- All that being said, Auburn and South Carolina fans would still trade places with us right now. The question is for how long. Georgia has games remaining against Kentucky, Auburn, Georgia Southern, and Georgia Tech. Every one of those is theoretically winnable, even with that thing that Georgia mistakenly calls an "offense." They are all, and I am including Georgia Southern in this, losable too. If the Bulldogs do lose more than two of those, or lose two of them in embarrassing fashion, I could probably be convinced that it's time to make a coaching change. Because while this team faces some challenges it hasn't faced the kind that end in a 7-5 season. That's the kind of season that creates a vicious cycle. The kind in which recruits start defecting because they're being asked whether they want to go to Athens to be coached down to mediocrity like the current squad. And when that starts happening, it's the beginning of the end. We'll be back with more overnight and into tomorrow. For now . . .