Watching on TV last night was glorious. Despite a light steady rain that fell for most of the evening (you could only really tell on close-up shots with the sky as a backdrop), the field played fast and any worry about a sloppy turf did not come to pass. Carson Beck, however, came to pass. The ball. All.night.long.
1. My dad texted me after Ole Miss scored on their first possession, which featured a risky 4th down conversion fairly deep in their own territory. “Not good,” he said. “Dad, this is Georgia’s M.O. We’ll adjust.” After Ole Miss tied the game at 14 (after Georgia took a 14-7 lead) the adjustments took hold as our defensive brain trust did what they do, and the players did, too. At this point, I had to make an adjustment. I switched from bourbon on the rocks to scotch, neat. It worked.
2. The offensive line absolutely dominated from start to finish. Having Amarius Mims back was bigger than big. Brock Bowers’ contribution to run blocking cannot be overemphasized. Oscar Delp only caught a single ball but contributed in the run game, too. The Dawgs ran several 12 personnel formations to great effect.
3. As someone said post-game, Kendall Milton ran “pissed off.” It was his best game, by far, in a Georgia uniform and if #2 can stay healthy for the stretch run this team will go deep into the post-season. Kendall ran for 127 yards on 9 carries, a couple of scores including a 33-yard bolt, untouched to ice the game.
4. Brock Bowers was not about to just show up to just show up. He made a massive difference in how everything meshed. Immediately after his tight-rope surgery, he was in rehab with the goal to come back as soon as possible, outside noise be damned (including this probing question).
Chip Towers, ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/wYBF7Kxw9T— Media_Check (@TriviaCfb) November 12, 2023
What a crap take. Brock is a football player, Chip. He loves to play the game. He loves his school and his teammates. You’d think by now, as a journalist, you’d have some insight on what makes #19 tick? The rest of us seem to know.
Back on point: Brock’s presence on the field alone was worth points as he demanded attention (and got it) from the 2nd and 3rd level of Ole Miss defenders, thus freeing up everyone else on Georgia side who was “receiver eligible.” Nine different Dawgs caught a pass for 311 yards and two scores.
5. Ladd McConkey led all receivers with 81 yards on 4 receptions and a touchdown from Carson Beck who was as unphased by any semblance of a pass rush as I think I’ve ever seen. At no point did Ole Miss really get any type of consistent pressure, and occasionally forced Beck to move a bit, he ran effectively. Carson’s football I.Q. is very high. He knows when to take off and he’s deceptively fast once he gets up a head of steam. He had 4 runs for 30 yards, including a long of 14.
6. McConkey tweaked his ankle late in the game and came out for the bulk of the 4th quarter. It doesn’t seem to be serious. “I just rolled it,” he said in the post-game presser. Georgia’s offense is just plain different when he and Bowers on on the field together.
Carson Beck ➡️ Ladd McConkey pic.twitter.com/EdlkR5an4R— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 12, 2023
As Kirk Herstreit said, an absolute “seed” from Beck to McConkey.
7. Back to the run game for a moment: 300 yards is a season high, and through 10 games surpassed the team average of 180 yards per game. Everyone got into the act, with Daijun Edwards grinding out important yardage - 59 yards on 12 carries/2 TD’s - and Roderick Robinson returning to action - his first since going down against South Carolina. It wouldn’t upset me too much if we could get him into the rotation. He’s a big dude with some speed, too.
8. Six-hundred and eleven yards of total offense (10+ yards per play average) against a top -10 team? Why, yes please. The Dawgs only punted once in the game: Georgia received the ball after the half and went 3-n-out. A lack of execution and communication between Beck and Dom Lovett (the plays were there to be had). Otherwise, it was about as perfect a game plan from Mike Bobo as you could expect. #DoNotFireMikeBobo.
MUST WATCH:— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) November 12, 2023
Kirby Smart on Brock Bowers when agents reached out to tell him to sit out the rest of the year.
Pretty good stuff.
"He's not risking millions guys. He has an opportunity to make more millions."#goDawgs #Georgia pic.twitter.com/dL0GcdidIr
Brock Bowers is all Dawg, folks.
9. Just a few criticisms which I’m sure you’ll agree with. I don’t understand why we didn’t call timeout prior to the Rebels 2nd touchdown (from our 4 yard line) when our personnel groupings were in total chaos. After Javon Bullard picked off Jaxson Dart at mid-field, we had a minute to go and at least 2 timeouts (maybe all three?), but we let the clock inexplicably run down. Ultimately, Carson Beck got picked off a deflected pass off Dom Lovett. The ball was actually perfectly thrown. A touchdown there before the half buries the Oxfordians. Anyway, it didn’t matter.
10. Yes, it took just a little over a quarter of football to figure some things out on defense. Once they did, they shut down Ole Miss from the 2nd quarter until the final whistle. As good as the Rebels were on their first two drives, they became ineffective as Georgia began playing more press coverage and really began pressuring Jaxson Dart. Georgia took away the stretch play for the most part, forcing the excellent Quinshon Judkins to run between the tackles. It didn’t work.
11. I think we saw the light literally “go on” for C.J. Allen as he seemingly got better from quarter-to-quarter. There is no better environment to learn than in your own stadium, and his natural ability and instincts began to coalesce in short order. The kid is going to be another great UGA linebacker. C.J. led all defenders with 9 tackles, 4 solos, 1 sack and 1 TFL as Jamon Dumas-Johnson watched/coached from the sideline. He was getting abused early and often. By the end of the game, he was wreaking pure havoc.
12. Julian Humphrey might have broken his collarbone, but as of this writing it is unconfirmed. He was clearly in a great deal of pain when he exited the field in the 3rd quarter. This is not good as the kid was really coming on. The pass interference penalty called on him was just bad. He was in position and made an excellent play on the ball.
13. It is amazing how you rarely hear Malaki Starks has his name called. I swear he’s on the field. The opposition simply avoids him. Javon Bullard’s interception was perfect anticipation. It’s a pity we wasted it just before the half.
That’s two in the last two games for #twenty-two. Keep it up.
14. When Kiffin elected to kick a field goal on 4th and 5 from the Georgia 12 after an 11-play, 65 yard drive I knew we had broken him. As aggressive as the Laner was early in the game (who in the stadium/around the world didn’t see the fake punt coming?), he just wanted some points at the end and then get the hell out of Clarke county. At last check, he’s still waiting for his signature win*
*The LSU victory earlier in the year has been disqualified as signature because LSU still doesn’t play defense.
15. Special teams were good, if not spectacular. The aforementioned fake punt muddied up things a bit, but that’s on the coaches more than anything. Notice we played “punt safe” on every attempt afterwards? Mehki Mews only had a decent return that was nullified by a hold or clip. Peyton Woodring remains perfect since South Carolina and Brett Thorson is utterly bored at the moment.
This Georgia team continues to play with its food. With all the offensive weapons that are now healthy they are in position to truly go on a run. We need to figure out how to stop the opposition’s success on their first drive of the game. I expect Tennessee will go deep a lot on Saturday and will probably hit a few. But the blueprint to beat the Vols in Kneeland Stadium was drafted by Florida and Alabama...but Missouri perfected it as they completely dominated Tennessee in what was my 2nd favorite game of the day to watch. I expect Tennessee will give us a tussle.
Georgia is your 2023 SEC East Champs. And Kirby Smart is singularly focused on that 3:30 kickoff in Knoxville. You better believe his team will be, too.
I love our coach.
- I think James Franklin is toast. Burnt toast. You hate to see it.
James Franklin: "I answered your question."— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 11, 2023
Reporter: "I don't think you did." pic.twitter.com/ZTlhp1sVa5
- Jimbo, just take the money and retire. Anyone who talks as fast as he does without actually articulating anything will never make a good TV analyst, but he could have a 2nd act as an auctioneer. Hang in there, TAMU. Maybe James Franklin will be available in a few weeks? You can’t recruit your way out of mediocrity. The A&M transfer portal is about to go nuts. Oh, and Jimbo’s buyout is roughly the gross domestic product of Mexico.
- Georgia had 611 yards of total offense against Mississippi. Jayden Daniels had 606 total yards against ...Florida. In one game. It was on the TV. I saw it myself.
- I can’t understand how Arkansas, at home no less, just got waxed by Auburn the way they did after coming off the road win in Gainesville last week. Only 255 yards of total offense? Does Sam Pittman survive this?
- Just when Georgia Tech started to get a bit uppity, Haynes King threw 4 interceptions. Clemson rolled.
- At last check, Cody Schrader was still running. And running. And running. I think that kid could wind up having a long pro career. Anyway, 205 rushing and 116 receiving yards on Saturday was the performance of the day of the week...until Jayden Daniels did his thing.
That’s all I’ve got.