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15 Thoughts is at a Crossroads of Sorts

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Georgia v Georgia Tech
Prayers up, Richie.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

2020. I can’t even...

1. Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about yesterday was how we looked on offense after a bye week. As bad as we were at times offensively (and in only an 8-possession game, we weren’t very good for more than half of those possessions), is anyone more concerned with our defensive injuries than our quarterback situation? I don’t recall ever witnessing a game where so many key stalwarts got hurt in such a short amount of time. Jordan Davis has some sort of elbow issue that occurred early. Julian Rochester went down with a knee, Lewis Cine with an ankle and Quay Walker looks like he got a neck stinger as a result of “friendly fire” in a collision with another ‘Dawg. Tyrique Stevenson left late as well. That was bad.

That is a lot of defensive line beef that had to leave the game and the strength of Kentucky is their offensive line. Some young guys had to step in and step up - Jalen Carter, Warren Brinson and Nazir Stackhouse - and they did fine. I’m mortified about our safety situation, however.

2. None of the above were life-threatening. The motorcycle accident involving Richard LeCounte nearly was. As of this writing, he seems to be out of danger having suffered a concussion, some sort of rib injury and probably other issues that haven’t been revealed. The only thing that matters is his health. Feel better, Richie.

3. The game itself could not have started better for Georgia than it did when the Dawgs methodically marched 86 yards in 12 plays (aided by a 15 yard facemask penalty), all on the ground to score 7 points. This was the first time Georgia has produced points on their opening drive all season. The offensive line was leaning on UK and there was much rejoicing in the land.

4. Kentucky’s only points came on the game’s next possession as a historically long (19 plays!) resulted in 3 points. It was Georgia’s worst defensive effort on the day, but without Jordan Davis Kentucky exploited his absence and moved the ball effectively. Still, the Dawg Defense stiffened and Kentucky really wouldn’t threaten the rest of the way.

5. Georgia had 4 possession in the first half. We scored on our first. Our 2nd possession was a modest 9 play, 31 yard drive that began deep in our territory, but stalled. The 3rd drive of the day showed great promise after a big play from Bennett to James Cook on 1st down for 46 yards...

6. ...However, Stetson Bennett, for the 2nd game in a row, had a pass deflected and intercepted by a big, fat, defensive lineman as he was attempting to hit Jermaine Burton who was going to open on a wide receiver screen back over the middle. It was a great call, with lousy execution and simply can’t happen. Look at this play: Burton is going to break open and probably scores. What is the remedy here? Jamaree Salyer has UK’s Phil Hoskins blocked, but Hoskins wingspan (he’s 6’ 5”) is too much to overcome. A great play by them; a horrific play by us and something that has to get fixed.

7. I can’t say enough about how hard Zamir White ran yesterday. The offensive line did their part, mostly. But the lethargy that we showed on that side of the ball was simply painful to watch. Bennett only attempted 13 passes all day, completing 9 for 138 yards. But his 2 interceptions has divided the fan base and begs the question: do we even have another option at QB? What is J.T. Daniels’s status? Why not give Carson Beck a try? Have we totally given up on Dwan Mathis?

7a. In a limited possession game like this (that was the longest, “fast” game I ever witnessed), there just wasn’t an opportunity to tinker with the next QB on the depth chart, whoever that may be. It’s maddening. We cannot turn the ball over next week. End of story.

8. Tell me? When is the NCAA going to start addressing this crap? Yeah, don’t hold your breath.

10. The 2nd quarter began exactly how the first. A long, methodical drive culminating in a Zamir White 22-yard touchdown run. Then next 3 possessions looked haunting familiar: Interception, punt and downs to end the game in Kentucky Territory.

11. We left at least 10 points on the field in the first half, including the botched snap on a hurry up drive that got us close. Snapping issues continue to plague this team. We’ve had at least 1 in each and every game this season.

12. The defense played a gutsy, physical game and paid the price. The aforementioned injuries are a terrible blow as we head towards Jacksonville weekend. This is where all that recruiting depth is going to have to step up. But with LeCounte out and Lewis Cine’s ankle injury and yet-to-be-determine severity, this does not bode well against a Florida team that will throw the ball all day next Saturday.

13. Nakobe Dean and Richard LeCounte accounted for 27 tackles (11 solos). We sacked Kentucky’s Joey Gatewood 4 times on the day and allowed Kentucky only 229 totals yard: 91 passing, 138 rushing - with a fine effort by UK’s Chris Rodriguez, Jr (108 total yards). Special Teams were solid - outside of the bad snap at the end of the 1st half - with Jake Camarda pinning Kentucky deep on his 2 punts (long of 54).

14. Kentucky didn’t even try to throw deep, even when they had to late in the game. This will change next week.

15. Despite everything: QB play and general offensive conservatism that may or may not have been the plan all along resulting in a nearly unwatchable game, at no point did I feel like we were going to lose this game. At this point in the season, we are what we are: A supremely talented team at all but 1 position who is banged up beyond belief at the worst possible moment.

BONUS THOUGHTS:

Sometimes, the great equalizer is turnovers. Sometimes, it’s injuries.

Then sometimes, it’s sheer stupidity.

We’ll find out how this affects the Gators next week.

Again, we cannot turn the ball over. We must rush Kyle Trask and hit him (legally) every time he drops back. If we don’t win another game this year, we gotta win the next one.

It’s hate week. Let’s Go!

AS ALWAYS, GO DAWGS!