I had this crazy buddy named Dave who was a huge Bulldog fan. He was sitting around in east Georgia somewhere when he turned to me and said, "MD, there's 100 things every fan needs to know about each Georgia Bulldogs football game. Here's 15 of them."
1) That was one to savor. Really, there have been few times that Georgia has beaten Steve Spurrier-coached teams, and even fewer that were close to that convincing. The Head Ball Coach was grappling for answers in the post-game but simply admitted that his is not a very good football team right now. That does my heart good.
2) Brian Schottenheimer can totally do this. As wonderful as the execution by Lambert, Chubb, Mitchell, Michel and others might have been, Schotty seemed to likewise be in the zone. Every call seemed to work, even if it was not one I necessarily would have made in his shoes.
3) It won't always be like this. I'm fairly certain that at some point Lambert is going to have a tough stretch. His receivers aren't always going to help him out the way they did last night. But the shot of confidence derived from this weekend's performance was a well-needed boost.
4) Nick Chubb, still a manimal. Chubb's 159 yards bring his total on the young season to 468, 156 yards per game. Assuming Georgia plays a 12 game regular season and at least a bowl game, he's on track to be the Red and Black's first back to ever gain 2000 yards in a single season.
5) It was a big recruiting win for Georgia, too. We'll have more on this tonight, but suffice it to say that some big targets were quite impressed with what they saw both on and off the field.
6) The first down playcalling was much improved. One aspect of the offensive plan against Vandy that bugged me was the first down run/pass mix. Georgia ran it 26 times versus only 5 passes on first down against the Commodores. Against the Gamecocks that turned around big time as Georgia threw it 15 times on first down. That had a lot to do with the South Carolina defense being just a little off balance, and it also led to some plays that really put Georgia in solid down/distance/field position situations.
7) How about Malcolm Mitchell? His 122 yards receiving on 8 catches was his most since 2012 and tied him for 10th on the Georgia all-time receptions list. It was also a promising sign for Lambert long-term. I suspected Mitchell would get more touches this week, but I certainly didn't expect that kind of night. Great for him.
8) Georgia quietly has the best offensive line in the SEC. LSU fans may quibble with that assessment. But Georgia's front once again didn't surrender a single sack on Saturday night. They've allowed two through three games, and that despite playing from ahead for most of the year with opposing defenses gunning for big plays the whole time. That's to say nothing of the holes Chubb, Michel, and company have been running through.
9) Special teams will always worry me. It's just unavoidable. Last week it was Marshall Morgan's kicking. This week it was a couple of kickoff returns that could have gone the distance and a relatively poor kick return average. There's a lot that goes into the special teams game. And I've always believed that most teams don't practice it as much as they should. But I've come to embrace the notion that the last "perfect" special teams effort I saw from the Bulldogs was last year's Clemson game, and it may be the last one I ever see.
10) That Terry Godwin is going to be something. There was actually a pretty spirited debate among SB Nation recruiting writers last year about Terry Godwin. Some thought he was not as fast on the field as claimed, others weren't sure if he had the toughness to be an every down SEC receiver. All admitted that he would have moments when he'd wow everyone in the stadium. After Saturday (his first start) I'm more and more coming around to the position that once he polishes his game some he'll be among the best in the conference.
11) The rankings really aren't that important. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Georgia remains #7 in the AP poll after being jumped by Ole Miss and Notre Dame. That's a little frustrating, because I thought the 'Dawgs would return to the top 5 for the first time since the 2013 preseason poll. But Georgia's going to have plenty of chances to impress the playoff committee, the only poll voters who really matter, between now and December.
12) Ole Miss isn't that good. I don't mean that to sound like a slight to the Rebels, who held on to beat Alabama on the road early this morning, 43-37. The Rebels did what you have to do to win on the road in the SEC, taking advantage of turnovers and short fields to score enough points to outlast the momentum. But Bama's offensive situation is a mess, and Ole Miss isn't going to get that many easy scoring opportunities against the rest of their schedule.
13) Do it, Pruitt. The Georgia defense looked sound if not blatantly spectacular. South Carolina ground out 174 yards on the ground, but 68 of those came after Georgia hit the 45 point mark late in the 3rd and had the game well in hand. The Gamecocks were held 150 yards below their season average.
14) It's okay, Kubes. Brandon Kublanow suffered the indignity of a center butt fumble, but we still love him around these parts.
15) Steve Spurrier throwing things will never, ever get old.
September 20, 2015
Until later . . .