Welcome to Wednesday everybody. Before you go attack the day, here are the goings-on that are going on in Bulldog Nation this morning.
There has been a great deal of digital ink spilled in the past couple of days about what went wrong with the Georgia offense against South Carolina, and as much as it pains me, it is possible that Jordan Rogers has crystallized the one that’s most concerning.
SOUTH CAROLINA DOMINATED IN MAN COVERAGE vs Fromm— Jordan Rodgers (@JRodgers11) October 14, 2019
vs Man: 8/26 (30%) 1 TD 2 Int
vs Zone: 20/25 (80%) 1 Int (off WR hands)
SC made it tough on Fromm all day. All completions in Man were contested. Have to find WR that can separate consistently vs man!
UF plays man well
We talked in the post game about the Bulldog receivers’ inexperience hurting us in this one. Some of it was dropped balls, but a lot of it as Rogers correctly points out was an inability to get separation paired with an inability to take away contested balls. Those are things that veteran receivers just do better. We do not have a lot in the way of veteran receivers at this point. It remains up to James Coley to scheme around that. No, James, the answer probably isn’t another bubble screen. Yes, it truly bugs me (without surprising me) that Will Muschamp, PhD (Defensive Phootballer) was the one who figured this out.
DawgNation has a list of the 3 players who need to step up for Georgia in the second half of the season. I’d argue the title is a misnomer because two of the three are actually freshmen who have already stepped forward into critical roles. My list of the three Bulldog football players who need to step forward in the second half of the season would actually be Richard Lecounte, Matt Landers, and Kearis Jackson.
Lecounte is a no-brainer here. In fairness to him Lecounte has gotten some grief for the big plays given up by the ‘Dawg defense because he’s the safety and the safety is always the second man to the scene of that kind of crime. When corners get beat deep it’s Lecounte’s job to be their safety net over the top. On long pass plays against Notre Dame, Tennessee, and South Carolina Lecounte didn’t start the fire, but he also didn’t get there in time to put it out before the house burned down. Couple that with some iffy tackling and it hasn’t been a superb season for a guy I really hoped would break out in 2019.
Landers was another guy I thought would impress this season with his mix of size and athleticism. Instead he has 6 catches for 54 yards, with almost half of those coming in the opener against Vandy. Sadly it looks like he’s just been passed in the rotation by freshman George Pickens, the team’s leading receiver, and Lawrence Cager, who’s been perhaps Jake Fromm’s most consistently reliable target.
Jackson of course has been injured since the Vandy game. His inclusion on this list is no slight on his performance. It’s just a recognition of the fact that Georgia has gotten solid production out of Demetris Robertson and Dominick Blaylock in the slot, but the guys on the outside have been hit and miss. Jackson, praises by Coach Smart in camp precisely because of his consistency, could be a welcome addition to get that unit on track.
Finally, moving to the hardwood, SEC media voted the UGA men’s team to finish 9th in the conference and placed freshman Anthony Edwards on the All-SEC team. I’m sure some fans will feel a little slighted by the 9th place prediction, but when you look at Georgia’s losses in the front court, not least of all Nic Claxton, it’s clear Tom Crean has work to do to get his talented recruits up to SEC speed.
It’s also worth noting that the SEC got eight teams in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and seven in 2019. So the prediction is tantamount to saying the Crean Machine in Red & Black is a March Madness bubble team based 75% on freshman hype. That’s quite a change of pace for a program no one’s been really confident in for some time. Until later...