Georgia won in a “blowout” this afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium. Yeah, winning by 2 touchdowns (and covering the spread) in this venue qualifies as such in my book.
Let’s chop some wood...
1. We never trailed, ran the ball very effectively against a team that doesn’t defend the run very well, and pretty much did what we needed to do to leave with a victory in Columbia for the first time since 2008. I’ll take it. This is a tough venue and points are at a premium whenever we play there.
2. We cannot stand prosperity when it comes to creating points out of turnovers. Much of this is skewed because of a few factors. When we were probably well within field goal range at least twice (before getting penalized backwards at least once) after a Carolina turnover. But Kirby Smart elected to not attempt any because of a swirling wind in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, uncertainty at kicker, and the sight of a bleeding Will Muschamp which is very disturbing. He may have headbutted himself, or finally blew that vessel. Gotta score when they give us the ball, especially deep in their end.
3. Jacob Eason’s stat line was...uh...pretty gnarly. Not the hang-ten, catch a perfect curl surfer dude gnarly. More like I wouldn’t have minded seeing Greyson Lambert get a few snaps gnarly. Five of 17 for 29 yards (1.7 avg) with a touchdown (Isaiah McKenzie) and a horrible pick on ‘Sakerlina’s 5 yard line. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you will never, ever see a stat line this bad from this kid again as long as he’s playing the foosballs. Yikes!
4. Kirby Smart said after the game that the field conditions - breezy conditions and the “environment” may have led to some anxiety and such. Eason just had a bad “this is gonna happen to your superstar freshman QB” type of inevitable game. Hopefully, it is out of his system.
5. The offensive line blocked well for the most part, especially in the middle of the line and we saw a lot of new pulling action especially with Brandon Kublanow. This is a new twist. Eason couldn’t get very comfortable in the pocket, especially in the 2nd quarter, so pass protection is still a work in progress.
6. Nick Chubb scored twice, rushing 16 times for 121 yards (7.6 avg) and is beginning to look like his old self. Sony Michel does what Sony Michel does every game: Runs hard (21/133 6.3 avg), protects the ball and moves the chains. I did not realize this was the first time this duo had rushed for 100 yards each in the same game. Do it again soon, fellas.
7. Brian Herrien has solidified himself as the #3 guy at RB with another solid performance. His 9 rushes for 82 yards (8.1 avg) was outstanding in his limited opportunites and he continues to make the most of it. Elijah Holyfield only got in for a few snaps, and a procedure penalty in a key spot got him off the field just as quick. Gotta tighten that up. He will.
This kid is a revelation.
8. Malcolm Parrish had a beautiful interception, reading Perry Orth’s eyes and releasing from his man to drift back into the throwing lane for the pick. We actually turned this into points.
9. I cannot understand the non-review against Carolina - backed up on 3rd and 27 - late in the game when Quincy Mauger appeared to pick a pass that was ruled a possession catch by Carolina’s receiver. No review? Didn’t that ball possibly hit the turf? The late hit against Orth by D’Andre Walker as Carolina was driving late was phantom. Again, best Conference in the land. Worst collection of officials. Across.The.Board.
Hubert Owens: Business man.
10. Kirby Smart has to make finding a kicker who can consistently boot the ball through the back of the end zone a major off-season priority. If it takes going to Australia, Nigeria, Hialeah, Bora-Bora, or Ludowici, just find one.
11. Georgia recorded 5 sacks on the day. It didn’t seem like that many, but here’s the breakdown: Trenton Thompson, Chucks Amechi, Lorenzo Carter all had 1 apiece. Davin Bellamy recorded 1, and shared one with Tyler Clark.
12. The youth movement continues, especially on the defensive line. Trent Thompson was out there all day. Julian Rochester and Tyler Clark continue to build upon their resume. Once again, freshman were all over the field either in the offensive/defensive rotation or on special teams.
13. Young teams are a lot like young feline predators. They toy with their prey, sometimes playing with it. Eventually, they put it out of its misery, but sometimes they let the next meal escape. I never felt the Dawgs were in jeopardy of losing the lead. But until this team learns how to deliver the kill shot (and this could have been done in the first half. What was that botched clock management right before halftime about?), they are going to let lesser teams hang around.
14. So, we didn’t let Tennessee beat us twice. Perhaps we caught a break with Hurricane Matthew and the whole rescheduling thing by not having to play on a Saturday night. I still believe we win regardless. I’m just glad we got out of Columbia under some difficult circumstances. Just getting out of a routine can cause issues.
15. Next week, Vandy at noon. I guarantee there will be no hurricane issues. I saw some improvement, but there is still so much to clean up on this team. Most of it seems to be mental issues. Eason will be alright, and hopefully he got his “true-freshman” game out of his system. The running game is poised to really get stronger down the stretch. I expect Jim Chaney will open things up against Vanderbilt at home. Today was vanilla and it didn’t need to be anything else. Sometimes, just run the damn ball. And more toss sweeps, please?