As we always do, we’re here to spotlight the best and brightest from this weekend’s Georgia Bulldog football effort. Frankly, there ain’t a whole lot to work with this week. But the show must go on. Here’s what I got:
Offensive MVP: Jacob Eason. Pretty easy choice here given that his 143 passing yards were 87% of the total offensive production on the day. Eason had most of his best moments when he escaped the pocket and created some things downfield, which is a good sign that he’s getting more comfortable with his receivers. It’s also a bad sign regarding the Bulldogs’ pass protection. Much like Matt Stafford ten years ago Eason is just out there learning a little more every week, and eventually that’s going to pay dividends. Assuming we don’t get him killed first.
Defensive MVP: Roquan Smith. I seriously considered Deandre Baker here in light of the sack and 10 tackles he recorded in his first game back from injury. But Smith once again was a force in the middle, making plays all over the place en route to 9 tackles on the day. He’s now one stop behind Natrez Patrick for the team lead.
I’m a firm believer that defense is played from the inside of the field out to the perimeter. If you can control what goes on from the B gaps in, you’ll win way more than you lose. Smith, Patrick, and our burgeoning DL talent are going to make that a reality in the not so distant future.
Play of the day: Error. This file does not exist.
Low light: Marshall Long’s 20 yard second quarter punt. Leading 10-7 but backed up on their own 24 Georgia needed Long to live up to his surname. He did just the opposite, saying “shanks for the memories!” and leaving the Gators with the ball on the UGA 44 and 5:12 on the clock before the half. Florida scored eight plays later and never trailed again.
To be fair, I could just as easily go with Greg Pyke’s false start on 2nd and goal from the 2. That one may actually be worse given that Long is a true freshman thrust into the spotlight while Pyke is a preseason All-SEC fifth year senior. Actually on second thought, let’s go with Pyke. That brain fart was so emblematic of the Red and Black offensive line this season they should put it on a teeshirt.
Fun fact: Georgia had as many punts as first downs (8). Those punts averaged 32.0 yards per attempt. That average would place the Bulldog punters 10th in the GHSA’s small school Class A division in punting. Yup, there are that many kids playing for small private schools in Georgia who see our punters and think, quite fairly it seems, “Heck, I could have done that.”
FYI, Prince Avenue Christian senior Noah Campbell leads the state and is booming ‘em for 45.3 yards a kick. Hint, hint. Until later . . .