Georgia won a game they were supposed to win, racked up a ton of yards they were supposed to rack, and generally accomplished what they set out to do. Still, this game was a bit like a nice, hot bowl of grits that was lacking in a bit of salt and some butter. And you know I love me some butter.
1. After 4 weeks of competition, I’m still not sure what we are as a team. I think we’re good. I think we could be very good, but with the injuries everywhere we cannot truly gauge. I think we are a coiled snake, ready to strike. I just hope we aren’t a coiled hose that sometimes looks like a snake. #Munsoning.
2. Kudos to everyone who made the trip to Athens. On television, the stadium looked spectacular and the crowd seemed engaged which ain’t always easy when playing an out-of-conference opponent.
ESPN fired a bunch of talent as you very well know. I’m not sure if play-by-play man Brian Custer has ever called a football game in his life, but if so, The Worldwide Leader can do better. Rod Gilmore’s role wasn’t so much color commentator as damage control. Custer needs glasses, or Lasik, or a better lesson in player identification. Every Georgia running back was “Daijun Edwards,” prompting me to turn the volume off for a better part of the 2nd half.
2a. So much for the Blackout™.
3. The slow starts continue on offense, despite taking the opening drive and marching 75 yards in 8 plays. The next 2 offensive series resulted in a 3-and-out and then a 10-play, 54-yard drive that culminated in a failed 4th down conversion. I would’ve liked to see Peyton Woodring get an opportunity to atone for last week right there. The kid needs some opportunities, and kickers have fragile psyches that are tricky.
4. What I saw from the offensive play calling was fine. The lack of execution at times is still mystifying going into the 4th game of the season. Carson Beck overthrew a sure touchdown to a wide open Jackson Meeks. Later in the game Arian Smith dropped a perfect pass and certain touchdown. These were perfect play calls.
5. Beck’s overall numbers were actually good, going 22/32 for 338 and 3 scores (1 rushing) for a respectable 83.9 QBR. It is taking him a while to get in rhythm, which he eventually did, showing progress as the game aged. It’s the early part of the last 4 affairs that is still concerning. Having said that, I thought Beck was seeing the field better. He wasn’t perfect, but is improving.
6. You can never have enough running backs. We have been spoiled for a long time now. Daijun Edwards is the alpha back to be sure. In fact, he’s the only back with any true wiggle and ability to make people miss and this scares the hell out of me because we are so thin. It was good to see Andrew Paul get a few opportunities, and the potential is there. Sevaughn Clark was the 2nd leading rusher on the night, with 5 carries for 32 yards and a score.
7. I still do not know what to make of our offensive line. I know the rotation of bodies has been a challenge and I did see them mash some guys, especially after the half. It’s still a work in progress after a month of football. At some point this week, I’ll re-watch the game and focus on those dudes.
8. A tip of the cap to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. His name alone continues to confound football announcers nationwide as they still can’t get it right on the first, second or fifth attempt. But he has become a dependable part of the offense and often makes the tough catch in traffic. His blocking is physical, too.
9. Georgia amassed 588 yards on the night. Brock Bowers accounted for 121 on 9 receptions including a 41 yard score that was a typically wonderful adjustment on an imperfect throw. Bowers’ ability to stop on a dime and re-start his momentum was put on display all night, and on that scoring play in particular. Enjoy him, folks. He’s a rare talent.
BROCK BOWERS IS HIM pic.twitter.com/rHXe2pTgw1— Barstool UGA Back 2 Back National Champions (@ugabarstool) September 24, 2023
Adjust, catch, stop, start, score.
One more play from the Napa Nightmare.
10. Being critical of the defense warrants some caution when so many key components are missing. Mykel Williams was out with an “illness,” and didn’t even dress. Javon Bullard missed another game. Both of these dudes are difference makers. UAB’s Jacob Zeno (you realize this is the 3rd time we’ve faced this guy?) was 32 of 51 for 250 yards with 2 TD’s and a pick, with much of his success coming late against some young pups. We played 28 guys on defense. This sows the seeds for future success, although in the moment it’s frustrating to watch the growth process.
This is why Kirby Smart has UGA reloading every year. He doesn't care what you think of the final score. He cares about getting young players snaps and experience. https://t.co/ZJbEqcz2OK— Dr. SEC (@thedrsec) September 24, 2023
11. Special teams, outside of punting and kick coverage in general, was fair-to-middlin’. Mekhi Mews had his first lost fumble which occurred as he was fighting for extra yardage. I think that’ll get coached up. Sometimes, you just need to concede the tackle. Peyton Woodring was perfect on extra points. Jared Zirkel had 5 kickoffs returned by UAB. Not sure if this was by design, although a few were ill-advised.
12. One of Macondawg’s MVD’s, highligts Xavian Sorey, Jr. who led the way with 6 tackles and 5 solos. I also wanted to give a shoutout to Smael Mondon, who deflected the Jacob Zeno pass that was picked by Tykee Smith.
Stat of the day:— Jonathan Williams (@Dr_JWill) September 24, 2023
Tykee Smith joined Richard LeCounte and Bacarri Rambo as the only players over the last 20 seasons to have at least three interceptions within the first four games of the season.
23 has been making a massive impact this year. pic.twitter.com/7JDygBwTFc
13. Kirby Smart, though 100 games as Georgia coach, has now surpassed a couple of pretty good coaches at the same point in their tenures. 2016 seems like it was yesterday.
14. Last night was another opportunity to work out some things and get better. It was another imperfect victory over an outmatched opponent, but Georgia began to show some things on offense that should improve as some injured guys return. We still don’t know what we’ll look like if some key guys return and we may never truly know. This team would have been so much better served had we been able to keep the Oklahoma game on the schedule - win or lose.
Will we see Ladd McConkey return next week? Can we get Kendall Milton back? I thought Carson Beck was more assertive in taking shots and there were some really good results. He’s still learning. We’ve must clean up the turnovers, too. Through 4 games, Georgia is 14th nationally in scoring offense at 41.5 points per game. It’s about where we expected to be, right? That doesn’t exactly suck.
#UGA rose a cool 41 spots nationally in red zone TD% after the UAB game. (No. 91 to No. 50)— Jake Rowe (@JakeMRowe) September 24, 2023
Bulldogs scored six touchdowns in six red zone trips against the Blazers. Their TD% is now 68.18.
Last year it finished the season No. 30 nationally at 68.67%
15. It’s now on to Auburn. I watched enough of their game at Texas A&M to know that they have a typically physical defense, if not spectacular.
Auburn’s offense, on the other hand, is offensive. Texas A&M sacked the Auburn QB’s (they played all 3) seven times on Saturday, and recorded fifteen tackles for loss. Auburn only gained 56 passing yards. Total. The Tigers rushed the ball for 144 yards on 41 carries and did not score an offensive touchdown. However, their lone touchdown (defensive scoop ‘n score) could have been prevented if Jimbo Fisher had any lateral quicks:
I would’ve paid good money if #9 for Auburn would’ve trucked Jimbo just for giggles...
- Yep, I figured Alabama wouldn’t play 3 bad games in a row. It wasn’t perfect, but proves that Bama can adjust and Joey Freshwater still can’t win the big game.
- What was Clemson doing in overtime? They should’a, would’a, could’a, but didn’t. Clemsoning is back in the most painful way possible. You hate to see it.
- Ryan Day calling out Lou Holtz...
Ohio State HC Ryan Day just went OFF on Lou Holtz in his postgame interview after a walkoff win over Notre Dame.pic.twitter.com/QHoQwn1AUp— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 24, 2023
...and Lou Holtz’ response
Deep South’s oldest rivalry is up next. There are no guarantees that it’ll continue beyond this season. Auburn delenda est!
That’s all I’ve got.
As Always, GO DAWGS!