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15 Thoughts Nearly Fell Asleep in the 2nd Quarter, Too...

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Georgia jumped out to an early first quarter lead against Southern, took a nap before halftime, woke up and put away a spirited, but out-matched group from Baton Rouge before clearing most of the bench. The real season begins today. It's Bama week.

Malcolm Mitchell is the real deal.
Malcolm Mitchell is the real deal.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The main thought today

1. Despite the victory there really is only a single thought this morning and that is the welfare of Devon Gales, the Southern wide receiver who was injured while trying to block on a kick-return.  We have a separate thread that we at Dawg Sports will try to update with real information in a timely fashion when received.

Minutiae, really...

2. We are very fortunate this morning.  Georgia accomplished what it wanted:  Cruised (eventually) to an easy victory and did so without any injuries.  We were able to rest our starters and get a ton of guys some reps.  This is a good thing as Mark Richt & Co. continue to build depth sooner than later.  In a week of crazy finishes and closer-than-expected games across the country, our matchup went about as well as expected.

3. We still tend to build a lead and then relax.  We aren't the only one.  Bama looked lethargic on offense for most of the day against UL-Monroe.  Never did I feel we were in any sort of jeopardy, but it is and will always be maddening.  And I've accepted these "mini let-downs" as part of the ebb-and-flow of a Georgia game.

4. The punting game still worries me.  Very much.  It is just too inconsistent.  We nearly had one blocked and Collin Barber is still good for a shank or two.  I hope this doesn't bite us down the road.  I was watching with great envy Tennessee's punter yesterday afternoon.  Both kickers for Arkansas and TAMU were absolutely skying their punts.  We need to get better in this department, post-haste.

5. Nick Chubb got his 100+ (15 rushes/131 yards, 8.7 AVG, 2 TD) but it took a while.  The offensive line simply didn't block much in the first half, but got a "wake up call" at halftime.  I was very relieved when Nick scampered down the Georgia sideline for his 49 yard score at the 5:44 mark in the 3rd quarter, then promptly sat his hind-quarters down on the bench - safe and sound.  Mark Richt spoke to the offensive line during the half and "challenged" them.  They listened.  Chubb also took a 24-yard screen pass to the house in the first quarter.


5a. Chubb has now tied Herschel Walker for 12 consecutive 100+ yard games.  I've seen both play up-close and in person.  They are both great.  Herschel Walker is the greatest.  End of story.  This is no slight on Nick Chubb, either.  All debate on this is welcome, but for those of you who weren't around when Walker was playing...well, you just had to see him in person.  Chubb is not the next Herschel Walker.  He is the first Nick Chubb.

"We just needed a wake up call to become more physical, and that's what we did." - John Theus

6. If there is a better "backup" running back in America, I don't know who it could possibly be.  Sony Michel had another outstanding day given his opportunities.  This 58 yard touchdown won't get the same kind of coverage Leonard Fournette will, but it was every bit as impressive. His line?  Six rushes, 75 yards...12.5 average with a single 7-yard reception.

Oh, and the Tray Matthews Technique™ still doesn’t work very well.

h/t DawgNationElite

6aKeith Marshall is running hard, folks.  He got in there for a few series and seems to be more physical than at any time in his Georgia career.  As the season unfolds I hope he breaks a long one.  I think he will.

7. Greyson Lambert and Malcolm Mitchell are really starting to build some chemistry together.  Malcolm hauled in 5 catches for 96 yards (19.2 ypc average) and should've had another long touchdown reception on a perfectly thrown ball, but the officiating crew called Kolton Houston for an illegal formation penalty.  I have never seen this called, ever.  He was in his stance and not off the line of scrimmage.  No matter.  A few plays later, Lambert-to-Mitchell struck again and this time it counted.  Mitchell looks great, by the way.  He's like a loaded spring every time he touches the ball.

Isaiah McKenzie continues to look good and made a tough catch over the middle.

8. Lambert was efficient, completing 9 of 10 for 146 (14.6 average) and two touchdowns.  This is going to sound weird, but when he was sacked I wasn't necessarily "pleased," but encouraged that he didn't do anything to make that breakdown worse.  This happened early when the offensive line was admittedly sleepwalking a bit.  This won't do next week.

8a.  It was good to see Brice Ramsey get some snaps.  He went 11/14 for 125 yards.  Faton Bauta got some snaps too.

Comment of the Year of the Week:

Is it time for How Bauta Them Dawgs? - CaptJackSparrow

9.  Speaking of Isaiah...his 987 yard punt return that netted about 4 yards 'bout game me a heart attack.  I saw him take two of these to the house when he was playing down here in south Florida for American Heritage.  That was high school.  This ain't high school.  I get the feeling he won't listen to my advice...

10.  The Dawg's Defense allowed only 184 yards of total offense.  Lenard Tillery accounted for 79 yards (19 rushes, 3.9 average) and scored Southern's lone touchdown of the game on an impressive run that undoubtedly drew the ire of Jeremy Pruitt as he carried a Dawg or two into the endzone.  The Jaguar's QB, Austin Howard, was kept bottled up as expect but was a good athlete and quite mobile.  Their own "human joystick," Willie Quinn, was a non-factor.

10a.  The light is starting to come on for Trent Thompson.  Oh, goodie!

11. Alabama is coming to town.  I am flying up Friday for my annual trek for a home game.  This one has me as excited as any game in recent memory.  I think it is bigger than 2008.  Remember that?  We were the pre-season #1 team, but I think deep-down we weren't so sure we deserved that lofty ranking that was the result of how we finished in 2007.  I believe we had actually dropped a few spots.  No need to discuss that game any further.

(Allow me to digress a moment.  Now I'm really going to go old-school here, but this meeting feels more like 1976 than 2008.  I didn't have a ticket to that game.  I was an 8th-grader at Oconee County Intermediate School.  What I did have was a Boy Scout uniform.  Troop 80.  I put that sucker on and walked right through the main gate several hours before kickoff.  I shook Bear Bryant's hand across the hedges on the faculty side.  Bear was recruiting, too.  After the game started, I eventually found a seat in the upper deck on about the 40.  I think maybe a single person needed help finding their seat.  I obliged, then watched us absolutely dominate Alabama en route to a 21-0 victory.  Good times.)

12.  Alabama's defense is stout, no doubt.  Their offense is lacking the deep threat that Amari Cooper brought, but Bama will throw the deep ball a time or two - guaranteed.  We are about to find out a lot about both teams on Saturday.  I cannot wait.  I am not going to get any work done this week.  Nada.

13. We are about as healthy under Mark Richt as we have ever been heading into the 5th game of the season.  Davin Bellamy was out with concussion symptoms and his availability for Alabama is not known just yet.  Reggie Carter, who has not played yet this season, could be close to returning and we need more ILB depth.

14.  Should we be favored?  I think so.


15. Gameday is not coming to Athens.  Penn Wagers is in the ACC.  Lane Kiffin may or may not be having some sort of an affair.  The stars are aligning?

BONUS THOUGHTS:

  • Oh, Bert.  Thank you for being you.  This was a good game that Arkansas probably should have won. 

pic.twitter.com/JXrvPctuPm

  • Is it me, or when Auburn does something that doesn't work (which has been often this season), does Gus Malzahn look like he's thinking "I meant to do that?"  Holy mackerel.  What were the collective pre-season pundits smoking?  And these guys get paid cash money.  That team has got some real issues.  So does Gus. 
  • Two weeks in a row and Texas has lost because of their kicking game.  I'm not going to dig too much at this.  When you start making fun of special teams, you tempt Excessivus. 
  • Tennessee will never beat Florida again.  The irony is, they are a much better team than they were last season.  Anyway, the honeymoon is Kaput in Knoxville.  Someone tweeted that Tennessee's players are 4-0.  Butch Jones is 2-2.  It ain't the bricks.  It's the coach.


This doesn't exactly sound like Butch is "owning" it, does it?

  • Maybe Vanderbilt's defense is "all that."  They gave Ole Miss all they could handle for most of the night.  Derek Mason is probably a good coach. 

That's pretty much it.  I didn't hang around for the west coast games because I'm old.

Get ready, y'all.  This is going to be one helluva week against the best team on our schedule.  We got this.

GO DAWGS!