Things can change in a hurry. A flat tire. Winning the lottery. Gaining weight. Scoring 21 points in a little over 2 minutes. Indeed, that was a weird game.
1. All last week I couldn’t sleep. Life’s experiences and the ghosts of past cocktail parties will do that to an old bulldog soul. Going back to last Monday my Post Traumatic Munsonian Disorder began to manifest, slowly and steadily, reaching a crescendo about noon yesterday. No matter the records of either team and past results, my anxiety level was rising by the hour, no matter how many times I viewed DawgOutWest and dawg_stats excellent breakdowns and optimistic score predictions.
Why do I worry so? We have THE defense. They really are generational.
2. I honestly believe that was our “Mulligan Game.” I’m serious. We just whipped Florida by 27 points and covered despite not executing very well on offense for the better part of 33 minutes of football in the first half.
As I watched Florida completely disintegrate during the last 150 seconds of the first half, I couldn’t help but think “hey, that’s the way we used to lose here” — you know, superficially in the game, but hanging in suspense, waiting for disaster to strike. I must say the shoe looks very good on the other foot. - Senator Blutarsky
This is perfect.
3. On our first drive, we ran the ball right down their throats and for the life of me I can’t understand why we would get fancy on 3rd and 1 inside Florida’s 20. This was the kind of early, script-flipping nonsense that would get us beat in year’s past every single time. A grounding penalty on a questionable offensive play call (this was not Todd Monken’s finest hour, IMO) resulted in a missed field goal attempt. Look, I’m not complaining about the result of the game at all, but if we go up 7-0 on our opening drive things might have opened up much differently on offense. Anyway, we missed the kick and injected life into a motivated, but overmatched Florida defense. The last thing you want to do in this game is give the underdog hope.
4. The play of the game right here, folks. This changed everything and was the catalyst for the most unbelievable 2 + minutes of Georgia-Florida football that I can remember (when, you know, we actually had stuff go our way).
5. If I had to pick a defensive player of the game, I couldn’t do it. Nolan Smith made two huge plays in a matter of seconds. His interception on a tip-drill type play was incredibly athletic.
Do you choose Nakobe Dean for obvious reasons?
“Uh-oh” was the best thing Gary Danielson said all afternoon.
Quay Walker had 13 tackles, 7 solo. He was all over the field. Tough choices, all. He might get a pick-6 himself as Florida was driving in the 3rd quarter after a Kenny McIntosh fumble if Kelee Ringo doesn’t make a play and bats a ball down inside our 10. I’m not complaining, though.
6. Kearis Jackson returning to form is huge, huge news. As good as our freshman wideouts have been, nothing can replace the experience and athleticism that he brings to the table. We are getting healthy in the skill positions.
What a catch!
7. Stetson Bennett did not have his best day. He had a “good enough” day, but that will not get us to where we want to be. Even if J.T. Daniels was able to go, I believe Bennett earned the right to start the game yesterday, but as Daniels begins to become integrated into the offense I fully expect him to take over the starting job, perhaps as early as next week, or at least splitting 50-50 reps. There is a place for #13 in Monken’s scheme. We needed his mobility at times yesterday, and he came through. I’ve never been a fan of a 2 quarterback system and sooner than later we’ll roll with J.T. But that locker room loves the Mailman, and so do I.
8. I sincerely hope that Jack Podlesny can turn his kicking woes around. That early miss was bad, bad, bad. The 21-yard field goal barely stayed inside the left upright. the 42-yard kick in the 3rd quarter might have been his best effort to date and looked like the “Hot-Pod” of last year. I hope this is the thing that turns it around for him.
9. Dan Mullen on the talent gap between them and us:
Dan Mullen when asked about the talent gap between Georgia and Florida pic.twitter.com/ovcx1EvbYU— 704 Dawg (@FSFRecruits) October 31, 2021
Not the coach Florida wants, but the coach Florida deserves.
9A. Oh, look. Mullen may have to resort to raiding Georgia Tech for talent...
10. Compare the above to Kirby Smart’s take on recruiting:
Kirby talking about recruiting sounds very targeted at the head coach he beat today. pic.twitter.com/Un6AHRefaK— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) October 31, 2021
11. Florida probably has Dan Mullen for another year. He’ll be rolling out a defense in 2022 that stands to lose a lot of dudes, and their Jimmy and Joe pipeline is nothing like ours. The pressure on him is already immense, and that goes all the way up to the top as A.D. Scott Stricklin hearing it from Bull Gator boosters. Mullen is now gunning for (at best) a 9-4 season, provided he closes out the next 4 games.
Up next for
Emmett Kelly Dan Mullen is at South Carolina (then, Samford at home. Tickets are available), and later at Mizzou, then FSU. Given the fragile state of their psyche, a 5-loss season is not out of the question. Look, we broke Clemson. We might’ve broken Kentucky. We probably broke Florida. Personally, I hope Dan finishes out strong. We need want him on that wall. We need him on that wall.
12. Mizzou next week is a nooner, folks. I wish I could go. I’d primed on mimosas early and often, then I’d show up and be elite. If you’re going, be loud.
13. I’ve penned an open letter:
Please feed Zamir White more often.
He’s your alpha running back. He gets better as the game goes on. He never gets tired because he is a Greek god and, well, Zeus. Give him the rock, all day and well into the 4th quarter. It’s my birthday today, so this is my only wish. Actually, that’s not true. I’d like a bottle of 18-year-old Loch Lomond scotch, but I’ll take a 6-pack of Bud. And a Braves victory in game 5.
Sincerely, Dave (theDawg)
P.S. I love you, man.
14. We are SEC East champs. It’s almost an afterthought. We’ve got so much bigger goals and head into a stretch of games where we should be able to get the QB situation situated. Next week is an opportunity.
15. Yesterday was incredible. Between, watching Michigan/Michigan State, Baylor’s comeback against Texas, watching Tech lose and wearing out the remote while trying to focus, then settling in for the Cocktail Party, I was exhausted by 3:30. Then, after a quick pizza, witnessing what those incredible Atlanta Braves did, I was plum tuckered out by midnight. I swear, this team is my favorite of all time. Last night’s 2-0 Houston lead seemed insurmountable until it wasn’t. Dansby and Jorge! What a day it was.
Savor this, all. Soak it in. Every bit of it.
- Stingtalk: Always on-brand:
The brain worms have reached North Avenue pic.twitter.com/MFYW6gJFT8— DeadCrake (@RedCrake) October 31, 2021
- Only 5 Thoughts, Gator? That’s weak sauce.
- This is cool:
DAWG FANS still chanting for the Braves leaving the stadium. So cool! pic.twitter.com/l8TKM5A8EK— Barkalot (Robin) (@mktgdawg) October 31, 2021
Enjoy your Sunday afternoon, everyone. Go Braves and, as always...