This week is a bigger challenge than last week
Scoff if you want, but this week against Ball State presents a bigger challenge than UT Martin.
And it has nothing to do with the on-field personnel that Georgia has to gameplan for.
The atmosphere was no issue last week - thank you, 6 pm kickoff. And as the game went on, especially in the second half, Georgia appeared to feed off of that.
Flash things ahead a bit to Saturday and the kickoff is at noon. Look, the kickoff is early and it’s expected to be a lot warmer. For fans, getting cranked up for a noon kick is tough. The same goes for players. It’s easy to get fired up emotionally for a later game, but when the energy is lacking, it's tougher to get going.
How self-motivating can this team be and start fast on both sides of the ball? That’ll be revealed on Saturday.
Carson Beck Needs To Get Going Quicker
There was a degree of angst in the first half of last week. Yes, the very poorly executed goal-line sequence had a good bit to do with that, but the other was a perceived expectation that there needed to be a 21-point lead after a quarter.
Part of that was Carson Beck needing a half to appear to be comfortable within the offense. Beck had a handful of big misses in the first half - who knows what the score is at the half?
I’m not saying Beck needs to be 14-15 at the half - though it would be nice.
Albeit against backups, Brock Vandagriff looked sharp last week. If Beck starts slow again, an unwanted quarterback controversy could begin to simmer. That’s a headache that Mike Bobo would like to avoid.
Last Week’s Lesson From Dabo and Deion? Change Or Die
Two very varying storylines were built out last week. In Boulder, Colorado, the talk of Coach Prime’s success in beating a rebuilding TCU team got a lot of the spotlight. The big story, however, is not Deion Sanders, but having success with a roster fully made up of the transfer portal. If there is tangible success for the Buffaloes, it’ll send a message that the way to build a program, ethical questions aside, is the transfer portal the heck out of things. It’s not conventional, but if it works, will be accepted across college football, and that’s not a good thing for the sport.
Then on Monday we had Dabo Swinney, disliked so much that fans willingly cheered for Duke. Let that one marinate like Griffin’s BBQ sauce on meat you're smoking this weekend.
Swinney appears dead set on not being part of a college football that includes NIL and the transfer portal, and last Monday showed it.
As Georgia fans, it’d be wrong to expect Clemson to be in shambles. But in its current state, the Tigers have the look of a solid program, but not the kryptonite to Alabama of a few years ago....funny how that works without a generational QB.
It’s a factor of a reaction to change, and if the past few years showed anything, it’s that Kiby Smart is not afraid to adapt and that has been rewarded with more success in Athens.