Georgia did as much in 50:06 as they needed to do, and Louisiana-Monroe endured as much in the same span as they were willing to. After an extended lightning delay that emptied Sanford Stadium of people and energy early in the sec on half the coaches agreed to call it a game with time left on the clock rather than wait through another indefinite intermission. Still, we can draw some pretty fair conclusions from this game.
For one, we saw why the quarterback race remained (and remains) so close. Greyson Lambert finished the day 8 of 12 passing for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those numbers in and off themselves aren't that impressive. This is.
Coach Richt said after the game that every ball Lambert threw had "a good purpose." That's high praise from Mark Richt, who emphasizes to his quarterbacks the importance of not just throwing the ball up and seeing what will happen. He wants every throw to be made with a definite aim in mind. With that, he said that Lambert will again start under center next week.
For his part Brice Ramsey did all his damage in the first half, going 2 for 2 for 51 yards and a touchdown to Sony Michel. Neither signal caller threw an interception. In fact, other than one series during which Lambert looked a little discombobulated the quarterbacks both looked pretty in command.
Nick Chubb, as always, was in command of things. finishing with 16 carries for 120 yards. Also welcome was the return to form of Keith Marshall, whose 10 carry, 73 yard rushing performance included some nice cuts and some runs on which he dragged multiple UL-M defenders.
Much the same could be said for Malcolm Mitchell. If you take out the 28 yard touchdown above his 3 catch, 52 yard day was fairly pedestrian statistically. But he looked like the Mitchell of old in terms of route-running and cutting. That's also a very positive sign.
In terms of injuries, there don't appear to have been any of consequence during the game. However, in his post-game remarks Richt noted that injuries did affect the rotation during the game. Marshall Morgan's groin tweak during camp pressed Colin Barber into kickoff duties, which he handled well enough that they may consider allowing him to continue with the job. The inside linebacker rotation remains in some flux, but could solidify next week when Reggie Carter returns from a shoulder injury that kept him out of action today. Finally, while Reggie Davis did a fine job returning kicks and punts, it's hoped that Isaiah McKenzie will be able to assume that duty going forward as he recovers from a nagging hamstring injury. In short, both as to short term and long term injuries, the trend appears to be positive.
That being said, there were some negatives to consider in this one. The defense had some lapses in the middle of the game, giving up a scoring drive going into the locker room for halftime and another coming out that allowed UL-M to make the score a respectable 35-14 when the game was paused for 79 minutes for lightning. Freshman DB Rico McGraw was victimized on both drives and also had a missed tackle or two that he'll likely do penance for this week. But he'll get better just being out there and being tutored by Jeremy Pruitt. Just ask Dominick Sanders, who looked just as good the start this season as he did ending the last.
The offensive line also looked less than dominant at times, and as expected had some trouble handling UL-M's blitz packages at times. Brice Ramsey for example was sacked during the second quarter by a linebacker who was untouched on his way to the QB. I don't see that as indicative of a systemic problem though. That's just an aggressive, veteran defense making aggressive, veteran plays. The Warhawks were by and large handled by the Bulldog front. Georgia racked up 243 yards of rushing offense, gaining 6.4 yards per attempt, and it's safe to say they did so without really doing anything extraordinary in that part of the game. It was vanilla, but it was a pretty potent strain of the vanilla, the kind you can only get from a mail order specialty store that sources it from Vince Dooley's secret vanilla farm in Indonesia.
All in all, we did not learn any more about this Georgia team than we should have expected against an opponent of this caliber. But it was mildly comforting to see that Lambert isn't a train wreck (for now), Mitchell and Marshall are still bipedal (at the moment), and Chubb is still built like a brick firehouse with a Ferrari engine (knock on wood). For today that's going to have to do it so far as answered questions go. Until later . . .