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15 Thoughts Got Bigger Goals Ahead

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South Carolina v Georgia Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

This game went about exactly as I, and many of you, expected. It wasn’t our best showing to be sure, but as MaconDawg said in his post-game wrap up, sometimes you’ve gotta just get through the game and mitigate the damage. Georgia pretty much dominated and a win is a win. There were a lot of distractions and possibly some post-WLOCP let down, but in the end we are 9-0.

1. I loved opening on-sides kick despite the outcome. It was there, but Carolina’s up-man fielded the pigskin before it could take another wonky bounce and that was that. I suspect we’ll see some other aggression between now and whatever last game of the season we play in.

2. I didn’t hear it because my CBS broadcast was significantly delayed by the Syracuse-FSU game down here in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale TV market, but I suspect when the PA announcer introduced Georgia as the #1 ranked team it was well received. I’m also pretty sure that Kirby probably wishes this bit of pomp would not necessarily occur. But there were a TON of blue-chip recruits and families in Athens yesterday and, well, if you’re #1 I think it’s a good thing everyone is made aware of it. Marketing in recruiting is big time stuff. If you got it, flaunt it.

3. After Carolina missed a 46-yard field goal on their short initial drive after the ill-fated on-sides kick, the Dawgs executed a fantastic 10-play, 67 yard initial drive of their own. Unfortunately, Terry Godwin got stripped of the football by ‘Sakerlina’s Steven Montac inside the 5. Up to that point, Jim Chaney’s scripted playcalling was perfect and should have resulted in a touchdown. Credit Montac, though. He whacked the ball and instant replay revealed that Godwin wasn’t necessarily carrying the ball irresponsibly...it just happens sometimes.

Jake Fromm blocks!

4. Carolina never really abandoned their defensive game-plan to stop the run. And we still managed 242 yards on 53 carries (4.6 average, 1 Sony Michel TD). And we dominated time of possession. There is absolutely no reason to expect everyone we play from here on out to do the same...and there is absolutely no reason to expect that, ultimately, we will still get our yardage.

5. Our final points-producing drive was a thing of beauty, despite settling for a field-goal. We had Carolina on their heels and essentially burned 7:32 of clock - more than half the quarter - by methodically grinding a 15 play-65 yard that culminated in a Rodrigo Blankenship’s 20-yard score. Yeah, we left some points on the turf yesterday, but I didn’t have money on this one anyway. We won...all that matters.

6. I think Jake Fromm is getting progressively better week-to-week. He threw the ball into some tight windows and his back-shoulder TD pass to Mecole Hardman was perfect. (He also got very lucky on a quick-out to the right side of the field intended for Charlie Woerner that was nearly jumped by a Carolina DB). Bottom line, his passing was efficient and effective, with a 73% completion percentage, and no interceptions. In Will Muschamp’s scheme, turnovers are a big reason why ‘Sakerlina came into this thing at 6-2. When Jake has to throw, he’s shown he can with great effect even if the media largely still doesn’t see it.

Shades of another #11 who did this so well not so long ago...

6a. I really wished I could have heard just a bit of the Allman Brother’s tribute at halftime.

7. Nick Chubb ran hard with 20 carries for 102 yards. Every yard seemed to be contested, but I thought it was one of his best performances this season. Sony Michel added 81 on 16 carries and both guys were running into a crowded box and got a ton of yards after contact.

8. Javon Wims is going to make someone look like a genius on Draft Day. I absolutely thought his incredibly toe-tap-touchdown had no chance. It took about 3 views of instant replay to convince me...and once I was able to see what the replay officials ended up seeing, I was simply amazed. That kid is balling.

8a. All of our receivers are physical. They’re blocking on every play and yesterday was no different. That is some very good coaching from James Coley and all that S&C is evident in how this unit has improved from this time a year ago.

9. Our offensive line only gave up a single sack, but generally provided Jake Fromm ample time to read the defense, and make his progressions to have the success he had. Run blocking wasn’t perfect, and Carolina did get into our backfield on a few occasions, but overall they paved the way for another very good rushing day.

10. Defensively, the defensive line and inside linebacking corp did a great job. Carolina only gained 43 yards on the day, and their longest run was when A.J. Turner broke contain early in the game for 15 yards down the left side. Otherwise, they got shut down and it pretty much forced Carolina and Jake Bentley into a one-dimensional presence. I think Hayden Hurst will have a helluva NFL career, too. He’s a junior, right? Wonder what the NFL grade on this kid is?

South Carolina v Georgia
Roquan: #3 in your program...#1 in your heart

11. Roquan Smith was typically all over the field again, and after a half-time adjustment or two we did begin to pressure Bentley more. That kid doesn’t throw many picks and we nabbed two. He’s so typical of a Carolina quarterback - like Connor Shaw before him: Not the most highly rated kid out there, but competitive as hell.

12. Despite the 227 passing yards, the defense did hold a surging Gamecock offense to just 10 points. I feel we can do better, and the 3rd-and-long stuff needs to get fixed before next week.

12a. Carolina got away with a lot of holding from a lot of different position players: tackles, guards, receivers...especially receivers. One of our regular posters, DocSkraynj, made the observation that their linemen were consistently downfield 5+ yards and not getting dinged on this.

Officiating was bizarre and missed Ortre Smith consistently pushing off at the top of routes (multiple times with full arm extension), missed Fromm getting face-masked directly in front of a ref, called a strange, ticket-tack late hit penalty on us, consistently ignored holding by the South Carolina offensive line, ignored a defensive hold on a fade route when we were inside the 10 (where the DB held the WR literally the entire duration of the play), and missed several ineligible receiver downfield penalties that should have been called against South Carolina offensive linemen 5+ yards downfield on passing plays. - DocSkraynj

I’m planning on watching the CBS replay as soon as possible.

13. How ‘bout that perfect coverage on Cameron Nizialek’s punt down to the 1 yard line? Special teams has been incredible this year, hasn’t it?

14. Deandre Baker had an excellent game, with 3 pass break ups. Otherwise, some of our guys looked a bit lost at times and this is a concern heading into next week. I don’t know if we’ll face a group of taller receivers than we did yesterday, but I hope not. (Bryan Edwards is 6’4”, OrTre Smith is 6’ 3”, Shi Smith is 6’3” and Hayden Hurst is at least 5 stories and a television transmitting tower - just a shade under 6’6” tall).

15. So, we’re 9-0 for the first time since I was a sophomore at Georgia. Jeez...that’s a long, long time ago. We’ve got to take care of business down on the Plains next Saturday. Auburn will probably try to do the same things defensively as everyone else we’ve played has done. Will Fromm have to throw the ball more? Maybe, but I’m not worried if he does. What I am worried about is our pass defense. It’s been a bit “iffy” at times of late. Auburn is going to miss their big back Kamryn Pettway, but will still try to run. I think it’ll be another classic Georgia-Auburn game and if there is any justice in the world, Tray Matthews will tip a late ball into the hands of a streaking Terry Godwin to seal the deal.

BONUS STUFF:

Will Florida become bowl eligible? I almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

I love a good snow game...as long as we’re not a part of it. Watching that last night was mesmerizing.

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Wyoming

Ohio State and Penn State going down does two things: It probably confirms that the B1G will be shut out of the playoff round of 4, and absolutely confirms that Cowlin Cowherd is an idiot and might call in sick on Monday.

Shakin’ it up:

Tech lost yesterday, too. That’s some öööö öööö öööö öööö öööö good stuff right there, folks.

That’s all I got. As Always,

GO DAWGS!