Man, they really thought they could do it. Hell, they had me halfway convinced they could hang by last Wednesday. Most South Carolina fans got a massive head prior to this game before quickly sinking back into Belk Bowl level irrelevance. They didn’t have the horses. To me, this game felt like 2015 Bama vs UGA. Man, I was all in, sitting in the pouring rain, ready to knock off the top dog and become a contender. The only issue was we didn’t have the players to even remotely contend. Neither does South Carolina. They didn’t have the speed, strength or game plan needed to scare us. That Bama game crushed our season and Richt’s career at UGA. By the end of that season, we were quite possibly the worst 10-win team in the history of college football. That year was painful and it could go the same way for USC if they don’t recover quickly. If things go south for them this season, you won’t find me crying. Don’t poke the giant that has awakened in Athens.
Where Do We Go From Here?
So we put together an excellent game in a hostile environment against a subpar team. What do we actually know about ourselves after week 2 and where do we go from here?
1. We have a well-rounded, top 3 roster in college football from a talent perspective
· Speed- Mecole, Drob, Swift
· Size- Wilson, Ben, Riley Ridley
· Heady play/Leadership- Fromm, JR Reed, Elijah Holyfield
2. We have a young, fast defense
· What we lack in experience, we make up for with athleticism
· We shut down developing offensive plays very quickly against USC
· We finish plays with aggression
3. We have 4 good, not great ILBs
· Natrez Patrick- has made huge strides in maturity. He has the most experience and consistency.
· Juwan Taylor- his play has surprised me. He’s very physical and runs better than I thought. He is a starter in my eyes.
· Monty Rice- probably my biggest disappointment to this point. Production is still there but Rice is a bit of a liability in pass coverage. He does not have great eye discipline. What he gives you in rush defense, he gives away against the pass.
· Tae Crowder- very rangy but still inconsistent. He is the most raw at the position as he is still completing the transition from RB. Good depth player.
4. We are still one corner short
· Being one corner short cost us a national championship last year
· Tyson Campbell will be an All-SEC player in two years, but right now he is swimming
· Bama and Clemson have elite WRs. By late in the year, we need to fill in with one more consistent and athletic corner opposite Bake.
5. We rotate more players than any team in the country
· We rotate every single position other than punter and kicker
· When I worked at Georgia in 2013-14, we were probably comfortable playing 15 players on defense
· We now play 25+ players on defense without thinking twice
· Depth and experience play huge dividends in December and January
6. If you want to play WR at Georgia, you will block
· Tyler Simmons is the best blocking WR in the SEC. He freed up Mecole for the long TD and finishes aggressively against corners.
· I think Demetris Robertson is seeing less playing time than expected because he doesn’t block as well as many of the starters
· Effective and committed blocking in the run and screen game opens up receptions for Ridley, Simmons and Godwin
7. Our halftime adjustments are elite
· The changes we make in personnel, scheme and pace consistently keep opposing teams off-balance and sluggish as the third quarter starts
· Part of this is second half depth wearing down opposing teams
· When the game is tight at halftime, the Dawgs have the advantage
South Carolina Prediction Recap
· Georgia puts up 250+ yards rushing, uses 7+ offensive linemen in the process- Check. Cade Mays looks like the next elite tackle to break through. He will see more playing time one way or another.
· Justin Fields has at least 45 yards rushing and one TD (rushing or passing)- Fromm was too in control of the game.
· James Cook is a huge change of pace back in the 2nd half, makes a major impact- By the time Cook got major carries, it was over.
· Brenton Cox gets his first sack- Nope. Pass rush is becoming a bit of a concern but we haven’t exactly played offenses whose offense allows you to effectively get to the QB.
· D’andre Baker, aka “Who?”, picks off one of Jake Bentley’s two interceptions- Nailed it. JR Reed’s pick was very nice too.
· Prather Hudson gets 8+ carries in mop up duty
· They continue to play one of “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Livin on a Prayer” or “YMCA” for Karaoke cam. Honestly the best part of any game in Sanford Stadium. Gotta keep those big donors happy and nothing makes them happier than seeing a painted middle aged man sing Bon Jovi Karaoke. Long live the Karaoke Cam!
· Georgia wins 38-3
Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week
Last week: 5-0 (suck on that Bear from college gameday)
Overall Record: 67-59-2: 53% Winning percentage
Put on a clinic last week. I should have parlayed my life savings on these 5 games and bought a Sea Island mansion. Oh well, the long game it is. Feelin hot again this week so lets get to the picks