1. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between achieving a blow-out victory and hanging on for dear life in a nail-biter. For most of this particular Georgia-Auburn tilt, the issue was never in doubt...until it was. Then, it wasn’t again. What a weird game. Despite another ugly offensive stat line, we were actually winning comfortably. The defense saved our whatchamacallits. I need a new liver.
2. Despite the 4th quarter defensive issues, the ‘Dawg “D” proved (at least to this writer) that it is elite. What is the most exciting aspect of how well we played, besides limiting Auburn to only 84 yards rushing? All of that youth out there making plays and the biggest play of all - Travon Walker’s game-clinching sack of Bo Nix - was from a true freshman who is comin’ on like a freight train of late.
Travon Walker is just a puppy. A really big puppy.
3. We held a Gus Malzahn offense scoreless until about 10:00 left in the game. That is the first time since the Gus Bus rolled onto the losin’-est little village that his offense had been held scoreless for the first 3 quarters of any game. If Eric Stokes makes what should’ve been a relatively easy pick in the end-zone, we probably preserve the shutout and killed the unnecessary drama. However, as every long suffering Georgia fan knows, things rarely work out like this. On the other hand, Auburn had real hope and real momentum and their fans were really into the game. Then, their collective souls were crushed and I’ve got no problem with that.
4. Our defense was gassed for the last 2⁄3 of the 4th quarter. I can hear Larry now somewhere in that heavenly radio booth in the sky, “...the clock. It just won’t run. Look at all that time!”
5. Our offense played well enough in the first half, with just enough aggression to offset the conservatism. The 3rd quarter scoring drive of 88-yards in 12 plays that consumed nearly 7 minutes of clock should have been the coup de grace. That drive was augmented by 2 personal foul penalties, including a horse-collar tackle by Marlon Davidson that could’ve ended Brian Herrien’s season.
6. We don’t go “up-tempo” much, but when we do, it often works. Think of the scoring drive just before the half against Tennessee. Yesterday, Gus Malzahn gifted us an unlikely opportunity to get points just before the half by not running clock and going 3-and-out (all passes). The Dawgs got the ball back with 1:18 left and scurries downfield for 81 yards in 8 plays, including a D’Andre Swift burst of 26 yards, that culminated in a Herrien touchdown catch in the corner on a screen. We are capable of moving the ball in a hurry when we commit to it. Why we don’t more is exasperating.
All Georgia in the first half.— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) November 16, 2019
The Bulldogs bring a 14-0 lead into the half. pic.twitter.com/NWSey59hSX
7. If this still isn’t the goofiest sumbitch in all of college football (Gus a close 2nd), I don’t know who is?
"WAR EAGLE!" - Florida head coach Dan Mullen...yeah, that's a new one.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 16, 2019
The Gators will be looking for some help from Auburn to stay alive in the SEC East. pic.twitter.com/tUZ6KzEQtJ
Dan’s plans for December 7? He’ll be stringing Christmas lights at Chateau Mullen. I hope he staples his thumb.
8. Auburn started 3 of their first 4 drives from their 2, 15 and 10 yard line because Jake Camarda had his best game in a Bulldog uniform. Eleven punts for a 50.7 average, including a 67 yard effort that pinned Auburn back on their own 2. Auburn’s ensuing possession didn’t achieve much, and they had to punt. Georgia, with decent field possession, and after a quick first down, Jake Fromm hit Dominick Blaylock with the 51-yard bomb.
Dominick Blaylock, making a tough catch with the sun in his face.
9. Lawrence Cager obviously wasn’t really fit to continue and left the game permanently after only 1 reception for 6 yards on our first scoring drive. Fromm did what he could, but virtually everything was thrown either deep, or to the outside. We did have some success, but Auburn did a very good job of covering. Still, do we not have the ability to probe the middle of the field at all? This I can’t understand.
10. D’Andre Swift gained 106 yards on 17 carries and flashed his patented spin move a few times. Owen Pappoe still hasn’t found his jock.
11. Still, if you would’ve said we score two touchdowns inside Auburn’s red zone, I would have thought we were finally seeing the offense have that game we’ve all been waiting on.
12. I’ll say it again: No one maximizes their opportunities more than Brian Herrien. He’s our “Swiss Army Knife” player and I shudder to think where we’d be without him. The horse-collar tackle that briefly knocked him out of the game was the stuff of nightmares.
13. Auburn probably has the best top-to-bottom defense that we’ve faced this season. Credit to our offensive linemen for giving Jake just enough time to do what he did. I know their defensive line is about as good as you’ll find anywhere in the sport. Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson are 1-4 against Georgia. Good bye.
13A. Indeed, Macondawg. Indeed. Our defense is going to be incredible for the foreseeable future. If the offense catches up, think of the possibilities?
Imagine Travon Walker. And Nolan Smith. And Nakobe Dean and Tyrique Stevenson....— Dawg Sports (@dawgsports) November 17, 2019
Now imagine they’re all true freshmen. pic.twitter.com/J4XNz69jYE
This is worth a re-tweet, amirite?
Just another true-freshman doing un-true freshmanlike things...
14. So many good things happened on defense until we went into an inexplicable zone coverage. To Auburn’s credit, they made it interesting and things could have flipped back towards the tragic had Bo Nix not thrown behind wide-open Harold Joiner in the flat on 4th down and 2. We avoided quite a few landmines, many that we could’ve diffused much, much earlier. Still, in the end, we got the win - warts and all - and that’s all that matters. Beating Auburn in their stadium is one of the best things a Georgia fan every hope for.
15. This team is who it is, and we are going to ride the defense next week and beyond. That isn’t entirely a bad thing because the defense is good enough to carry us a long way. I’d like to think the offense plays up to the talent level it has or the coaches just cut ‘em loose with some stuff in the soft middle and go up-tempo by design, but is it too late to find whatever gear they seem to be missing? We’ve got Texas A&M next Saturday and they wore down South Carolina in the 4th quarter last night, so we’ve got to take them very seriously if we want to even think about the playoffs. We’ve got to clean up some things. We were penalized often during special teams plays (Tyler Simmons gaffe cannot happen), with procedure stuff more often than not.
Bottom line is we beat Auburn in a tough environment and are SEC East Champs for the 3rd consecutive season with a chance to continue to improve and play well beyond the regular season. It’s Great to be a Georgia Bulldog.
- Shut up, Gary. I don’t know if he’s got an anti-Georgia bias or what, but he was incredibly annoying during, and now, after the game. I’m glad he doesn’t have a vote in the CFP ranking, but he’s certainly an influencer.
- I certainly hope Tua Tagovailoa has a full recovery after his horrific injury. Best wishes to #13 in Crimson. This is a reminder than football is a violent and sometimes perilous sport.
- John Rhys Plumlee should be on our roster with full scholarship in hand. That kid is very impressive.
- Chamberlain Smith is just fine and we are so very thankful. This is the best news of the day.
That’s all I’ve got.