Anytime you win a football game 63-17, you tend to do a lot of things well.
For Georgia, this was absolutely the case on Saturday. Take away the sluggish start, and it was all in all a strong showing for the Dawgs, both on the scoreboard and the effort shown on the field.
It’s one thing to win, but a whole other tenet is to be pleased in the manner of the win. Georgia accomplishments both and in doing so, surpassed the keys to the win.
Control the edge and minimize chunk plays
This’ll be Georgia’s first look this season as a defensive group against an Air Raid-style offense, similar to what you would see from Mike Leach or Art Briles offenses. In fact, Murray State’s head coach is one of many from the Hal Mumme coaching tree, having played at Valdosta State for Chris Hatcher, who oddly enough was previously the head coach of the Racers.
Given all that, taking away plays on the edge and minimizing yards gained off of tunnel screens and mesh patterns will be something to look for, especially when gauging Georgia’s inside linebackers.
Other than the Racers’ early touchdown on a slant that turned into a 60-yard touchdown, and Murray State never really did anything offense. Georgia not only took away Murray State’s passing game, but minimized any ability to offset the pass by the run. Overall, the Racers were held to 284 yards, 23 of which were on the ground.
Set the tone up front
Georgia has the size to control the game up front. Now, they’ll need to go out and do just that. Look for this group, especially after a few short-yardage sequences last week, to be motivated to do that. Also, keep an eye on how Sam Pittman rotates guys in and out with Isaiah Wilson’s injury.
Even as the game went on and Sam Pittman got less-experienced linemen into the game for experience, the Bulldogs set the tempo up front.
All told, seven running backs got at least a carry, three of which scored a touchdown - D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Zamir White. When so many backs churn up yards, and when you rush for 269 yards as a team, you are doing a lot of things well up front.
There’s a degree in which penalties can be committed. If a defense is playing hard, yes, you may have a late hit call her or there. What Georgia cannot do if it wants to win big moments later this year is commit penalties similar to last week - hitting a guy well out of bounds or things like a 15-yard facemask penalty.
If Georgia wants to have a good feeling about itself after Saturday, one way is to avoid mental penalties instead of hoping that they will suddenly stop happening.
This area stuck out like a sore thumb a week ago against Vanderbilt, but appeared to be cleaned up to a degree this week. Georgia was flagged five times for 40 yards against Murray State and most importantly, didn’t extend scoring drives due to self-inflicted penalties.