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15 Thoughts Recommends Removing the Rear-View Mirror

Nicholls v Georgia
Coach Smart, can I offer some advice on your O-Line?
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Let’s get this over with and try to erase it from our collective memory banks.

1. How about that first drive! Wasn’t that exactly how you thought the entire afternoon would pretty much play out? It is how it should have played out, anyway. As it turns out, that drive was kinda big. Ooof.

2. What if we had played Nicholls last week with the same shaky result, but had played UNC this week (with the same less-shaky, “OMG we’re the greateset team evah! result), how would you feel? The bottom line is this: We are 2-0 and this game will be just another “we always play down to our competition” point of argument when we don’t show up for the next cupcake - whether it’s this season or next or 5 years from now. Tennessee was mocked for their squeaker against Appalachian State. Now, they’re back to being the favorite in the East. A lot of perception can flip-flop from week-to-week. Watch those worthless early-season polls go wild later today.

3. Not sure I’m digging the 3 tight end set at the moment. To what end? This just allows for the defense to creep up and play the run. We’ve got more skilled players at the tight end position than anyone in the country, yet I counted 3, maybe 4 passes their way all game.

4. Eason did not play poorly. He wasn’t great, either. I thought he did a better job of finding check down receivers in the 2nd half in abbreviated playing time before Greyson Lambert entered the game, but he had Jeb Blazevich wide open in the right corner of the end zone when his primary target (Michael Chigbu) was open and dropped a pass near the goal line. After a sack, we missed a William Ham 52-yard field goal attempt. Chigbu was beating himself up on the sideline a bit. He did make perhaps the most clutch catch of the game on 3rd and 6 when Brandon Kublanow snapped a low ball to Lambert, who calmly picked it up, checked off his primary (looked to be someone over the middle), and hit Chigbu on the sideline for a key first down. Do you realize how backed-up we were?

5. I thought Nick Chubb played well in a game where his offensive linemen did him no favors. Nick doesn’t go down easy - ever. But I thought he looked a bit tired at times. His best run was the last one to seal the game.

5a. We turned the ball over 3 times: Jacob’s interception as we were driving to pull away. Nick Chubb’s fumble after a nice 12 yard gain, and McKenzie’s muffed punt. Two of the three were in the red zone (ours and theirs). Chubb’s fumble led directly to a short field touchdown drive by Nicholls.

6. I’m not going to harp on the offensive line too much. The left side - and particularly the left tackle - better tighten the hell up in a hurry. Nicholls was blowing it up all day long. Do you think Sam Pittman is in a good mood this morning? I believe he is going to have everyone’s attention in practice this week. Jobs had better be at stake, here. That was a horrendous display by the collective.

7. It was great to see Sony Michel in the game, although he was limited (by design?) to only 3 carries for 3 yards. I kept waiting for some screen passes to our backs to check Nicholls’ blitz packages.

8. Brian Herrien had 8 rushes for 47 yards, including a nice 23 yard scamper. The kid runs tough in traffic and continues to impress. Still no Elijah Holyfield, although he, according to the staff, is game-ready. Are we going to see him?...

8a. ...and where is Mecole Hardman? I’m slightly mystified by this.

9. Isaiah McKenzie: When he’s good, he’s great. When he’s bad, well...he fumbles punts. This kid is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball, and I love him. But he will put the ball on the grass, too. Every one of his 142 all-purpose yards were needed to win this game.

NCAA Football: Nicholls State at Georgia
A temporary disaster...
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I cannot believe I just typed this.

10. Trenton Thompson is just getting better and better. He’s going to be fun to watch for the rest of this season and next. We played a lot of youth on the defensive line. It showed at times, with a rotation of 2 true-freshman and Thompson.

11. I saw a lot of missed tackles, and Nicholls runners breaking first contact.

12. Juwuan Briscoe’s early pick of a Chase Fourcade pass in front of the Georgia bench was super-fine. Dominick Sanders continues his trek towards establishing himself of one of Georgia’s leading ball-hawking defenders to ever play.

13. This was Nicholls first game of the season. They didn’t play like it, for the most part.

14. MaconDawg has already expounded up this, but there is clearly a lack of vocal leadership on this team. Someone has to step up, preferably an upperclassman. We truly are a young team with new coaches at most positions and, as Coach Smart said at halftime, “no offensive identity.” They’d better find one in practice this week. Playing a night game in this conference - irregardless - regardless of the opponent is tough beans.

15. It wasn’t all bad. Just 85% bad. The good? Hmmm....let me think:

  • We won. We are 2-0. We can fix a lot of what went wrong.

  • Much better kickoffs from Rodrigo Blankenship resulting in touchbacks.
  • We were still in position to distance ourselves on the scoreboard.
  • We reacted positively in a very tight, much-in-doubt ballgame backed up in our own end zone.
  • Trenton Thompson is a beast.

That’s all I got. Hope these kids learn from this. From what I saw, they have a long way to go.

As Always, GO DAWGS!