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15 Thoughts: Something New, Something Old.

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NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Georgia
I Heart Sony Michel.

Georgia (eventually) imposed their will on a very game Appalachian State team. Here’s what I, DavetheDawg, your average Joe in front of the flat screen, saw from my vantage point.

1. The defensive line is amazing and will only get better. Trent Thompson was disruptive from the get go and has a real shot at being an All-American this season. Our new D-Line coach Trey Scott has these guys playing their gaps and are buying Scott’s preachin’ and teachin’. Appalachian State’s offensive line could not deal with our front all evening. They deserved the shut-out they had pitched until lifted in the 4th quarter.

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Georgia
Big Trent. Baddest of a bad bunch.

2. I saw a play where Tyler Lamb rolled to his right and was nearly run down with a 10-yard head of steam from behind by Tyler Clark. I did not realize how fast Clark was until then. If our defensive line stays healthy, we will force many teams on our schedule to become one-dimensional sooner than later. This will be fun to watch. David Marshall is getting better and better. Jonathan Ledbetter continues his ascendency as well.

3. Our linebackers are fast. The only real yardage that App State was able to generate were from some broken plays where the ‘backers had their assignments covered, the secondary was tight on their guys and Tyler Lamb took what the defense gave him.

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Georgia
Roquan Smith. I heart him, too.

4. Richard LeCounte is destined for immortality (or, at least All-SEC status sooner than later). The kid has a motor, don’t he? He was fun to watch once I was able to really start paying attention after concentrating on all the jersey changes. Kirby played a bunch of guys. Young guys. Guys that will grow up and be great.

5. Tommy Tuberville did zero research before this game. None. Isaiah Nauta? Really? When describing our freshman defensive backs that were pressed into service, and lumped Deandre Baker in with them - a junior - I realized he was ad-libbing. When he referenced being in Miami when Hurricane Andrew hit in “1991,” I about lost it. When you start screwing up the dates on major weather events...well, you done screwed up, A-A-Ron! Andrew was in ‘92. So, here’s the ESPN broadcasting color commentator food chain of fail: Andre Ware > Bob Davie > Mark May > Lou Holtz > an ostrich with a microphone > Tommy Tuberville. There were many more moments...but every time he opened his mouth qualified as a gaffe, so I can’t remember ‘em all. Horribad.

6. RedCrake and DudeYouCrazy have already touched upon our punting, and Cameron Nazialek is a bona-fide field flipper. I posed this question to our editors earlier in the week, so I’ll ask you: When is the last time we had a punter truly bail us out of a deep hole? Seriously. Hot Rod’s leg has gotten stronger and I hope he continues to improve on his accuracy because we’re gonna need him to win one for us again this year, methinks. Mecole Hardman seemed a bit tentative on some punts where I think he could have scooted, but maybe he was just being cautious. I mean, were we being vanilla in the punt return game, too? Watch out Notre Dame! Kicking the ball into the back of the end zone and punting effectively is welcome news.

7. How vanilla was our offensive game plan by design? Well, the fact that Jake Fromm had to strap on his helmet mid-way through the first quarter (and, please Tommy Tuberville...he knows a good bit more than 50% of the playbook), probably dictated some plain-Jane stuff. But I’m not so sure had Eason not gone down we would have seen anything different than what we saw. The offensive line took a while to block some dudes and, true, App State presented a different kind of dog with their smallish front that flip-flopped around into the gaps. But, the size of our guys did begin to grind the Mountaineers down. I think this is an improved unit as a whole, and Andrew Thomas is-as-advertised...but they’re going to have to do better in terms of consistency. Something old, I guess.

7a. Lamont Gaillard, dude! Gotta tighten up those snap infractions. I think he will as Kirby was in his ear after the second offense.

8. So, now we wait for the medical results on Jacob Eason. Yeah, it was a shaky 10-play start for him, and Fromm definitely injected some adrenaline in what was a disturbingly lethargic unit, but Eason is still the man until someone says he isn’t. As good as Jake was, he’s still a freshman and going to war in this Conference for the 2nd consecutive season with a newbie at QB is probably why I’m feeling a bit queasy this morning, beer and chips aside. Eason has got to come out a bit less amped-up, though...

Everyone loves the backup quarterback - DawginStLous

Is there a backup OC? - Culinary Clergyman, 1st half open comment thread.

9. ...but Fromm seemed more ready to play when suddenly thrust into the limelight. Jeez, the last thing we need is a QB controversy. Why can’t we have a fair-catch specialist controversy? Oh, wait. We had that once, and it sucked, too. Nevermind.

If Eason is out for any length of time, he may be done as the starter at UGA and I don’t think I’m overstating the situation. - Doc Skraynj, 1st half open comment thread.

10. Nick Chubb does look quicker and is strong as ever. My heart sinks every time I see him or any of our RB’s get met before the line of scrimmage and this happened way, way too much - especially early. Sony Michel’s ability to plant and foot, sink his weight and change direction is every bit as impressive as Knowshon Moreno back in the day. C’mon, O-line. Just give these guys a crease...

11. I felt bad for Brian Herrien. When he got his chance, behind mostly the 2nd offensive line unit, he had nothing...

12. ...and how impressed were you with D’Andre Swift. His one-handed catch on a throw meant to go out of bounds caused me to do a double-take every time I saw the replay. He didn’t get much help when his number was called, either, but this kid is a load. All of our backs have excellent hands. Swift might have the best of ‘em all. What a fire plug.

12a. Javon Wims. Player.

13. We got the win, and although it was far from perfect, there were enough elements to impress me and give us some confidence heading into next week’s tilt up in South Bend; mainly the defense.

13a. So, he had a bad day. But I’m not going to criticize Brice Ramsey. Not ever. Here’s why.

14. Congratulations to Maurice Smith and Tyler Catalina. Both were undrafted free agents and both made their respective 53-man rosters; Smith with the Miami Dolphins and Catalina with the Redskins.

15. We are 1-0, and face a read-option offense next week in Notre Dame. We are also 1-0 against the Fighting Irish as I’m sure some of you recall a significant game that was played on January 1, 1981. I watched a little bit of their 49-16 victory of Temple - enough to know that The Irish are not going to rush for 422 yards against our defense. But we’ve got to do better on offense. Stay tuned for more as the week progresses, including updates on Jacob Eason and other injuries (Aaron Davis, hamstring and Solomon Kindley, ankle).

Bonus Stuff:

  • I’m sure Florida was affected by the 10 suspensions (more to come?) in their game against Michigan. They scored 3 points on offense. Are the Gators that bad on this side of the ball, or will the return of Callaway and Jordan Scarlett jump start them?
  • Baylor lost to Liberty and their descent into irrelevance is complete. Liberty was a 34-point dog.
  • This will make you a bit weepy-eyed. Very cool. Very.

Notre Dame next Saturday night. Remember, they’ve got the Hunchback...we’ve got the tailback(s).

Go Dawgs!