Some crummy tackling, iffy clock management, unnecessary penalties, and poor offensive execution have combined to leave the Georgia Bulldogs in a dogfight through one half in Starkville.
Defensively the Dawgs have looked solid with the exception of one long Will Rogers pass. The Mike Leach attack is designed to pick up yards early in the sequence and then convert 3rd and short. The Red and Black have forced third and longs, and should be okay if they continue to do so.
Offensively things aren’t so good. Stetson Bennett is clearly nursing an issue with his throwing arm and the running attack (37 yards on 13 attempts) hasn’t been there to take up the slack. In fact, 22 of the 37 yards came from Stetson Bennett and a single Kenny McIntosh gallop of 12 yards. That could definitely be better, but it will take the interior of the UGA line producing better (Xavier Truss and Tate Ratledge both have had some rough snaps).
The Bulldogs also gave up their first special teams touchdown of the season to allow the Bizarro Bulldogs back within a score. Kirby Smart, like a lot of coaches, likes to talk about winning “the middle eight”, the last four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second. The Athenians did not win the first four of those critical eight minutes. They’ll get the ball with a chance to do better coming out of the locker room.