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Season 5 Volume 7: Mississippi St

Florida vs Georgia Photo by Matt Stamey/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Intro: Still Recovering

I am still recovering from the horrendous performance Georgia put on in Jacksonville two weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting a win, as I wrote in that week’s article, but I also wasn’t expecting a pretty robust breakdown in defensive scheme, execution and preparation. Georgia lost the game in Jacksonville and a shot at any relevant title this year for three main reasons:

· Outcoached on defensive side of the ball

This effort reminded me of the 2014 Florida game. Coach Pruitt was convinced we could handle Florida’s run game in Nickel (bringing in an extra DB rather than a line defender). We stayed in Nickel while Florida was in run heavy sets far too long and the Gators absolutely ate us alive for a failure to adjust. I was convinced that Georgia would adjust at halftime to a heavy dose of wheel routes, but no adjustment was made and Kyle Trask completed balls to wide open defenders all game long. Maybe the failures in coverage had something to do with the third bullet in this list, but it didn’t make watching any less frustrating

· Jake Camarda

Tough to place blame on one kid, especially after a strong season but Camarda had two punts that changed the trajectory of the game. His shank near the end of the first half gave Florida a prime opportunity to go into the locker room up 17 rather than up 10. That punt started a sequence that basically ended the game before the 1st half was over. His shank in the second half sealed the deal as Goergia was playing better on both sides and momentum for a comeback was building. His second shank of the day provided field position for an easy score and end to momentum.

· Injuries

At the end of the day, you have to play with what you’ve got, even if you are missing players at all levels of your defense and on the perimeter of your offense. Jordan Davis and Richard LeCounte are irreplaceable and it showed. George Pickens’ odd season continues and his “injury” kept him at home when he was needed the most. Marcus Rosemy-JackSaint’s absolutely brutal ankle injury turned the game. We went from up 14-0 with all the momentum in the world and a freshman receiver coming into his own to a shell shocked team concerned about their teammate and unable to regain the early momentum we jumped out and grabbed.

JT Daniels Makes the Start

I think JT Daniels plays well in this game, causing the entire fan base to promptly freak out and blame Kirby for another botched QB situation. Let’s not forget that Kirby brought in two highly touted transfer QBs in the offseason. Is it his fault that one took all the valuable #1 reps in fall camp and bolted two weeks prior to the first game on bad advice from those around him? Is it his fault that JT Daniels either has not recovered from injury at the pace needed or is not the decision maker in the pocket that Georgia needs? Maybe Kirby is proved wrong and Daniels blows up the rest of the season with tremendous play. I am not convinced, however, that he is the long term answer at QB for the rest of this season and beyond. Let’s try to keep a bit of perspective here and compare what Kirby Smart, Todd Monken and team have seen and know vs what we, the fans, know:

Smart, Monken Etc:

· The good and bad of every rep JT has taken in practice vs every rep other QBs have taken

· Ron Courson’s daily medical evaluations

· Every minute of every film session JT and other QBs have been in, engagement in film study

· Decision making tendencies

· QB mechanics

Fans (including myself):

· “I watched 5 mins of his HS highlight tape and 10 mins of his USC highlight tape”

These guys make millions of dollars for a reason and therefore do deserve some scrutiny. They don’t always make the right decisions but they do always have the most information and the best interest of the team (or their job) in mind.

Game Preview

This one feels very weird. Mississippi St will only have 53 scholarship players available due to it’s latest round of covid testing as well as opt outs. It kind of puts the Dawgs’ season into perspective a little bit as MSU as really struggling to control their covid situation as well as a decaying culture. They are limping to the finish. That said, they are still an Air Raid team that could provide some issues for a Georgia team that has really struggled defending the pass this year. Chris Smith and Lewis Cine at safety need to keep everything in front of them and avoid huge downfield shots. If they can limit MSU to a max of 2 30+ yard pass plays, they won’t have enough fire power to stay in the game. I think JT Daniels plays well and gives Georgia a bit of an offensive spark, easily allowing the Dawgs to overcome a slim MSU lineup with a huge talent edge on both sides of the ball. Dawgs 34 Dogs 14

Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week

Overall: 132-118-4

2020: 13-11-1

Last Week: 3-1-1

1. Vanderbilt +31.5 vs Florida

2. Tennessee +11 vs Auburn

3. Liberty +3.5 vs NC State

4. Army -3.5 vs Georgia Southern

5. Minnestoa +1 vs Purdue