A quarterback has been found. A running game has been rediscovered. A vertical passing game with skill and speed is evolving.
1. This game wasn’t so much about “revenge” as it was about taking the offensive momentum we displayed (at least, in the passing game) last Saturday and building upon it while fixing some things that needed fixing. Revenge alone never works. Solid execution does and the run game was so efficient we didn’t need to throw the ball all over the yard.
2. J.T. Daniels had a “pedestrian” 10/16 night for 139 yards and a couple of scores by design. He also gets the blame for a interception that wasn’t his fault. He threw some absolute dimes once again, but also showed that his game still needs a little work that will certainly come between now, our last game of this season, a full-on spring practice with G-Day (praying for this) and next August camp.
3. James Cook had his most productive (and efficient) game since arriving on-campus with 104 yards on 6 carries and 2 scores. Zamir White ran with his head-up all evening and bulled his way for 84 yards and 2 scores. As great as these guys were on the evening, Kenny McIntosh really showed some Sony Michel type elusiveness and vision, turning something out of nothing on more than one occasion, with 79 yards on 8 carries. The bulk of Daijun Edwards 77 yards came on Georgia’s last drive of the night and the true freshman impressed me with his vision and toughness. Pity his earlier 15 yard touchdown was negated by an illegal formation penalty. He’ll get his eventually.
3a. The possibilities for next year’s running back corps are endless. Kenny McIntosh is only going to get better, Kendall Milton should be ready in a few months, James Cook (assuming he returns for his senior season) has finally become that dual-threat back we need. I’d be surprised if Zamir White returns if he has the opportunity to get drafted, but who knows?
Start. Stop. Cut. Go!
4. The offensive line mauled South Carolina’s front all evening, atoning for their poor performance of a week ago. Jamaree Salyer had to briefly exit the game with some sort of leg injury, but returned and was excellent all evening.
5. It was good seeing Tre McKitty getting involved early in the game. Daniels’ perfect throw on our first possession on a TE seam route eventually set up his first score as a Bulldog. Just the fear of a passing game opens everything up in the run game. That first possession set the tone for the rest of the night. Dare I say the offense has become balanced?
6. The play that probably created the most buzz, at least for me, was J.T. Daniels touchdown throw to super-speedy true freshman Arian Smith. If you are a defensive coordinator scouting this team and happened to turn in last night, this could be your present and future nightmare. Smith is the fastest kid on the roster. This is how you blow the top off a vertical game and open soft spots in the middle of the field. The threat alone changes the defensive dynamics. Okay, throw some cold water on me.
This money ball was straight money.— 960 The Ref (@960theref) November 29, 2020
Welcome to the future, SEC D-Coordinators. Sleep tight...
7. Lewis Cine is a human heat-seeking missile and should honestly get some All-American consideration before his time is up at Georgia. He loves contact, brings the wood when he hits and is instinctual. Twelve tackles, all solo. He was the defensive player of the game...
8. ...with Jalen Carter a close 2nd on that ballot. Carter was blowing up guys all evening, block an extra-point attempt and will only get better if that’s even possible. He’s still a teenager. I thought Zion Logue played very well as the light continues to “turn on” for the big red-shirt freshman. Tyson Campbell’s first career pick was great to see as he dropped into the throwing lane and really anticipated where the ball was going.
#88 appears to have been shot out of a very large caliber cannon and simply destroyed this play.
9. Overall, the defense played well but was not without some tackling issues. The most glaring was not wrapping up South Carolina’s Kevin Harris on a 4th and 1 where he was absolutely stoned at the line of scrimmage, but bounced off a couple of tacklers. It seems to me that the inside linebackers had some issues like this for much of the evening.
10. Special teams play, especially Kearis Jackson as a return specialist, were solid. Jackson broke a long 52-yard punt return and nearly scored. Jake Camarda only punted once for 50 yards and Jack Podlesny has quietly become pretty much automatic in un-returnable kickoffs and as a scoring weapon. Coach Scott Cochran is a revelation.
Just gotta juke that pesky punter...
11. This might have been the worst SEC crew we’ve been saddled with all year, and that is saying something. Lewis Cine got flagged on a ball that was not only uncatchable, but was perfectly defended. There were other instances, but it’s PWG (Playing While Georgia for the unaccustomed).
12. Kirby must have chewed some defensive butt at halftime. Despite the 28-10 intermission lead, Carolina (credit Mike Bobo) did some things to keep us honest while poor tackling raised some blood pressure. Carolina’s 4 possession after the intermissions were:
Punt (3 plays)
Punt (6 plays)
Interception (8 plays, 32 yards)
Touchdown (98 yard drive in 11 plays)
13. Back to the offense for a moment. I think J.T. Daniels is very much a rhythm type of passer and last night was certainly not conducive for a rhythm passing game as the running game dominated. But when J.T. goes back and looks at some film today, he’s going to see that he had guys open as 2nd or 3rd options. In particular, Jermaine Burton was wide, wide open in the end zone when the Carolina safety fell down. Daniels won’t miss many of these opportunities going forward. J.T. also slightly underthrew Burton on a brilliantly called sideline pass where Pickens took the safety deep and Burton had to slow down for the ball which should’ve been caught. If that ball is more accurate, Burton scores easily.
14. How weird is it not playing Tech on Thanksgiving weekend? Is it not so weird that you’d just rather not continue the series if we had to add an extra SEC game in the future? I honestly didn’t consider it much - considering the bizarre times we live in. Having said that, we should continue to play ‘em and whip their ass every year.
15. Vandy is next, kickoff time 4 PM on
TBD (probably a nooner, which is fine with me this season). An underrated Missouri team awaits (we hope) after that, again date and time TBD. I’m looking forward to the offensive progression over the next few weeks more than anything as Kirby will undoubtedly begin to get some more youth involved and Todd Monken begins to flex. Here’s hoping the ‘Rona stays in-check as we wrap things up this year.
That’s all I’ve got. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break.
As Always, GO DAWGS!