Look Back to Alabama and Season Review

Great game, coaches

Great game, coaches

As a college football fan, this SEC Championship game has to go down as one of the best games in SEC history.  Saban said before the game it was going to be a 15-round heavyweight fight, and that’s exactly what we got, a true classic in every sense of the word.  While the outcome still hurts, I have never been a prouder Bulldog in defeat than after last night.  I said in my preview that I thought Alabama would make one more play that would end up as the difference, and that’s exactly what happened.  I tip my cap to Alabama, but still it’s still great to be a Georgia Bulldog.  Let’s get to the rundown.

What Went Well

Off to the races

Off to the races

The Dawgs went toe-to-toe with the best team in the country and had a chance to pull off a huge win.  I believe there are a lot of things to build on entering bowl game preparation and next year from Saturday night.

Todd Gurley – #3 of Gurshall was a warrior last night against the nation’s best defense against the run.  He rushed for over 120 yards with 2 TDs and ran with the same toughness we have become accustomed to over the past 12 games.  While running backs seem to be out of favor for Heisman consideration now, I believe we are going to see young Mr. Gurley in New York at least once before his college career is over.

Alec Ogletree – #9 has been our best defensive player for the 2nd half of the season, and he seemed to be the only guy making plays close to the line of scrimmage last night.  For a defense that didn’t have a lot to brag about last night, Ogletree probably continued to improve his draft stock assuming he decides to come out as expected.

Special Teams – With the exception of the long missed field goal which ended up as a game changer, the Dawgs won the special teams battle last night.  Excellent kick coverage at least forced Alabama to drive the length of the field rather than giving up short fields.  Lynch and Commings beautifully executed the fake punt leading to Rome’s touchdown.  I really thought we were going to take control of the game after the field goal block, scoop, and score.

What Didn’t

I really thought that the yards given up in the running game the last couple of weeks were a function of the offenses we faced.  We found out that we weren’t strong enough up front to hold off the Alabama running game onslaught.

Inability to Kill the Clock – With about 7 minutes to go, we had an opportunity to get some first downs, run the clock and change field position.  Instead, we went three and out, punted, and set up the Tide for the winning drive.  We got into 3rd and 1, tried to pound Gurley between the tackles, and failed to get the 1st down.  I would have liked to have seen Murray have an option there to give to Gurley, run the bootleg run-pass option, or a short pass to get the 1st down.  This series was the only series of the game where I thought we played not to lose rather than playing to win.

Rushing Defense – I know this is just too easy, but after the 1st quarter, we generally got gashed the rest of the night.  Alabama’s offensive line dominated the game, but we missed a lot of opportunities to limit Lacy and Yeldon.  After the 2nd half of the LSU game last year, I thought we would play better up front against a team bent on running the ball.

Clock Management – We wasted one of our timeouts in the 2nd half with what appeared to be a defensive personnel grouping issue.  We could have used that timeout either to stop the clock on Alabama’s last possession or on the goal line.  I don’t know if spiking or not was the right call on the goal line, but it would have been great to have the extra 30-40 seconds to find out if we could have finished the drill.

Overall Assessment

Five yards away from a chance to win an SEC championship and play for a national championship – It was so close but yet so far.

Offense – A- If someone told me we would put up 28 points against Alabama, I would have been packing the bags for Miami.  Yes, I know we scored 7 off special teams, but the offense played well enough to win the game.  We have been a quick strike offense all year long, and Saturday was no different.  The problem was we really did need to be able to sustain some drives to keep our defense fresh and didn’t do it.

Defense – C We couldn’t keep the pressure on for 60 minutes.  I give a lot of the credit for that to the Alabama offensive line, but a proud defense should never be gashed like we were on Saturday night.  With the exception of the two long passes to Cooper, we did a solid job against the Alabama passing game.  I said before the game that our linebackers needed to be ready to fill holes and make sure tackles when the Tide’s offensive line got a hat on a hat.  We didn’t do it effectively enough times to put the Tide’s offense behind the chains.

Coaching – B+ Coach Richt absolutely had the team ready to play and came out with an attitude of “we may not win but we’ll go down swinging.”  Anyone who doesn’t think Richt can coach in a big game can jump on the bandwagon of other fan bases in the SEC.  Bobo designed a game plan that was generally successful.  Grantham appeared to have a day to forget last night with the beating that the defense took for the last 40 minutes of the game.  I probably would have liked to have seen some run blitzing on early downs when it became apparent we weren’t going to hold up against Alabama’s professional offensive line.

Season in Review

Great season, guys!

Great season, guys!

11 wins and a division championship with a near miss to play for a crystal football has to be a really good season.  This senior class leaves Athens with two division championships and wins over the Big 3 and Tennessee for two years running.  After the thrashing in Columbia and the terrible defensive performance in Lexington, this team was left for dead going to Jacksonville.  By the end of the season, this team validated itself as one of the best five in the country.  I wrote last year after the LSU game that I believed the best was yet to come, and I still believe that to be true.

Offense – A

With the exception of one game and part of the 2nd quarter in Jacksonville, this offense shredded defenses, produced big play after big play, and will set season records that will be difficult to break.  Aaron Murray played big all year long and became the leader everyone expected him to be.  He is the glue that has held this team together.  Many times, high profile running back recruits flame out under the pressure at Tailback U, but Gurshall has been everything we thought they would be and more.  These guys are going to be fun to watch the next 2-3 years.  The receivers and tight ends provided Murray with multiple targets even in the face of injuries to 2 DGDs, Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown.  Most importantly, the offensive line grew up before our eyes after the South Carolina game.  This unit goes from a weakness to strength in 2013 assuming no injuries and a good recruiting class this February.

Defense – B-

Poor performances until the Florida game bring this grade down dramatically.  I understand we had to deal with multiple suspensions and nagging injuries to Jarvis Jones, but this unit had enough returning talent to excel with a weak early schedule and didn’t get it done.  We played extremely well late in the season until Saturday night.  With the number of players that will be selected in April’s draft, I would have to say that this unit underperformed for the season.

Special Teams – B

Special teams progressed from liability last year to neutral this year.  The freshman kickers became strong performers by the end of the year.  Collin Barber punted extremely well down the stretch and really limited the amount of punt return yards.  Marshall Morgan became solid as the season progressed as performed as one would expect a freshman would in a high pressure, high profile position.  He will be an asset for us the next 3 years.  Overall, we appear to be correcting some of the issues, but I still think we need a member of the coaching staff to be responsible for coordinating our special teams effort.

Coaching – A-

Coach Richt appears to have righted the ship over the last two years and put the program back on solid footing.  He deserves a raise and a contract extension to assure the stability of the program.  His coordinators should be on people’s short list of candidates for head coaching jobs soon, but the question is will they give up a great working environment for the opportunity to lead a program.  This group of working assistants is a great mix of X-and-O guys and recruiters.  Richt’s key issue going forward is now how to go from “good to great” and maximizing the talent he is blessed with at a program like Georgia.

Overall – A-

It’s hard not to give this team anything but a grade starting with an A with 11 wins and an eyelash from playing for the national title.  Debby Downers will think this grade is generous given the early season performance, the suspensions, and the South Carolina disaster.  Disneys will think this is harsh given the record and how close we were.  I believe it’s about right because we were the most talented team in the division, and I believe one of the five most talented teams in the country.  It’s time to raise our game to meet Alabama, Florida, and LSU as the elite Big 4 in the SEC.

We should be pleasantly surprised to be in Orlando for New Year’s Day with a bowl game against a traditional blue blood in Nebraska.  The Bulldog Nation needs to dust itself off and finish what would be an excellent season with a top 5 ranking and a renewed respect in the college football universe.

Those are my thoughts.  I would like to read yours in the comments.

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Alabama Preview – We Are the Champions

The main event

If anyone outside the Georgia locker room in Williams-Brice on October 6 thought we would be in a national semifinal, I would have said at the time they were crazy, but that’s exactly where find ourselves.  A win on the floor of the Georgia Dome will send the Bulldog Nation to heights we haven’t seen since the day sugar fell from the sky in Auburn.  This game has all of the ingredients of a classic with athletes all over the field on both sides and two coaches who have similar styles and very dissimilar personalities.  Let’s get to the preview.

When Alabama Has the Ball

The Freak

Alabama is who they are.  They are an offense that likes to run downhill with skilled running backs behind a dominant offensive line to set up a passing game that can be deadly efficient.  They have balance in that they can run most any play in most down and distance with the confidence they can keep the sticks moving.  While the Alabama defense gets most of the media’s accolades, the Tide’s offense won the LSU game with a late drive and almost bailed out the Bama defense against Texas A&M.

I do believe the key to a Georgia win is whether or not we can control the Alabama running game.  If we can, we may be able to put enough pressure on A.J. McCarron to force mistakes and turnovers.  If we can’t, I see this game going the way of many of the games we played against Tennessee in the 90’s where they play keep away, grind out points and the clock, and keep their defense fresh.  We must win on 1st down consistently and keep Alabama from being able to use their play-action passing game to hit potentially big plays against the Georgia defense.  Finally, we have to tackle well because Lacy and Yeldon are hard to bring down especially in one-on-one situations where the hole opens and it will be the Alabama tailback against a Georgia inside linebacker.

When Georgia Has the Ball

Field General

The Alabama defense statistically is the nation’s best allowing only 230 yards and fewer than 10 points per game.  While the front 7 is talented, they don’t have the dominant pass rusher that we have seen from the Tide the last few years.  Their linebackers run to the ball, make a lot of tackles, and rarely get caught out of position.  The secondary is skilled but has clearly had issues following the loss of multiple 1st rounders in the NFL draft last year.  Anyone who thinks we’re going to be able to ring up yards and points by the bunches against this group probably drank a big glass of red Kool-Aid before the game.

The key to a Georgia win is the play of the offensive line.  I wrote before the season that I would reserve judgment on the line until after the South Carolina game.  We know how that game turned out, but this line has gotten steadily better since that night in Columbia.  This line finds itself against another talented and well coached defensive line in a high stakes game.  If the front 5 can protect Aaron Murray, we will get opportunities to make plays on offense both running and passing.  No disrespect to Johnny Football, but Alabama will see the best total quarterback they will see all season in Aaron Murray with his ability to run the Georgia offense, manage the game, and get the ball to his playmakers.

What Will Happen

I think these two teams are evenly matched with similar styles and level of talent across the board.  Without a rash of turnovers by one side, I don’t see either team winning by more than 12 points in a hard-fought game.  I think this game comes down to a turnover or a big special teams play by either side.  While I believe that we can win, I just think Alabama makes one more play at the end of the day.  I hope someone can send me a really good recipe for crow on Saturday night with a trip to Miami thrown in for good measure.

Final Score:  Alabama 24, Georgia 17

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Look Back to Tech and Ahead to Alabama

While it wasn’t a 6:09 type of score at the end of the day, the outcome of the 2012 edition of Clean Old-Fashioned Hate was no less dominant than that glorious day in 2002.  The Georgia offense ran roughshod over the Tech defense and carved it up like a turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.  The Georgia defense did its best Junkyard Dawg, bend-but-don’t-break impression and won pretty much every big down against the Tech offense.  Let’s get to the rundown.

What Went Well

Offensive Balance – The Georgia offense pretty much did whatever it wanted whenever it wanted while the 1st team was in the game.  Aaron Murray, the nation’s most efficient passer, had 215 yards on only 17 attempts with 2 TDs.  Why he isn’t in the Heisman conversation eludes me at this point.  Gurshall ran over and through the Tech defense for 160+ yards and 4 TDs.  The offensive line played beautifully pretty much the entire day in both run blocking and pass protection.  While I’m not a huge fan of statistics, a 9.02 yards per point is a ridiculous figure of offensive efficiency.

Defensive Aggressiveness – While the big hits and the turnovers will get all of the headlines, I loved how we played against the option.  The only big plays came off the cut blocking version of the toss sweep where they got to the edge quickly before our outside guys could react.  For the most part, we appeared to eat up the triple option with fundamentally sound defense.  We gave up yards but few points.

Penalties – Only 1 unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  We played on the edge but clearly played under control.  Jarvis Jones had a roughing the passer penalty, but it was aggressive rather than a cheap shot.  Also, it should have been negated by an offensive pass interference penalty on Tech for that play.

What Didn’t

Not a whole lot to say about the performance on the field, so I have something that has nothing to do with the team.

Late Coming Crowd (including the students) – Yes, I know it was an early game, and it’s Thanksgiving weekend.  That’s no excuse for the crowd especially students being in your seats for a game with arguably our biggest rival on Senior Day.  That would be like the Cameron Crazies showing up for the UNC game at Duke with 10 minutes to go in the 1st half.  Since McGarity isn’t going to insist that we hire a special teams coordinator, this may be the one area of the football program where he and the administration need to figure out how to get people in their seats before the game starts.

Overall Assessment

Offense A.  When this offense operates as it did on Saturday, there aren’t many college defenses out there who can handle it.  When we go into a spread look with Murray, Gurshall, an athletic tight end, and 3 wide, it’s very difficult to stop unless you can really disguise coverage and get pressure without blitzing.  While Texas A&M may be more flashy with “Johnny Football,” I’ll take this offense when it’s executing crisply any day of the week.

Defense – A While we gave up some yards, the 1st team defense protected the end zone.  While time of possession is an important statistic, this game showed really how useless it is at the end of the day when you have a defense playing on the edge in good condition.  Tech never could hit the big play against our defense.  I think we can say Grantham has figured out how to defend the service academy offense.

Coaching – A.  Coach Richt made it clear that he and the team were only thinking about Tech.  He and the staff kept the players focused exclusively on winning the state championship, and they got the job done.  Excellent game planning and execution will earn an A every time.

OverallA+.  The whole is greater than the sum of the parts in this case.  I never thought we would be able to dismantle a Tech team coached by Paul Johnson, not because he’s a genius but because we wouldn’t have an opportunity to demonstrate how much more talented and prepared we would be.  If you have visited the Tech message boards, you will see Saturday’s win has absolutely demoralized the Tech fan base.

Look Ahead to Alabama

While I didn’t get the outcome in Los Angeles that I wanted (I can’t stand Notre Dame), it’s now clear that the winner of the SEC championship will play for the national championship in Miami.  This game has all of the makings of a classic between Georgia and Alabama.  While the talking heads are already downplaying our chances to win, I believe that we match up well with the Tide primarily because I don’t think they have the pure pass rusher in the Clowney mold that can cause havoc.  I do believe that both defenses are likely to control the game, and one big play on offense or special teams could make the difference.  Right now, I have to give the Tide a slight edge to win next Saturday, but I won’t be surprised if we’re celebrating an SEC championship on Saturday night.

Those are my thoughts.  I would like to read yours in the comments.

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Georgia Tech Preview – Old Fashioned Hate

It’s time for the game the Bulldog Nation hates the most to lose, Clean Old-Fashioned Hate.  While we have won 10 out of 11 in the series, the games for the most part have been competitive.  Last year in Atlanta was the first game since Fish Fry Johnson has been at the helm where the game really wasn’t competitive.  Saturday afternoon will certainly be the largest game in the series since 2002 when Georgia was playing for a potential spot in the BCS championship.  This game is a default national quarterfinal to keep us in position for a shot at the national championship.  Let’s get to the preview.

When Tech Has the Ball

For the 2nd week in a row, the Georgia defense faces the service academy triple option, and they will be tested to play assignment football and be fundamentally sound.  Tech is a different animal than GSU in that they will run the offense with bigger and faster players and will likely attempt more passes than the Eagles.  As I wrote last week, we need to control the dive and the inside running game.  Tech will get some plays wide on us as they do with everyone they play.  The key is to limit the ability of the Tech offense to hit big plays and to keep them behind the chains.

When Georgia Has the Ball

The Tech defense has struggled to stop teams all year long, and we’re likely the best offense they will face this season.  Aaron Murray has picked the Tech defense apart the last 2 years with big games through the air.  If the Tech defense sells out to stop Gurshall, look for the Georgia passing game to kick into high gear as Murray exploits match-ups down the field.  If Tech tries to keep the safeties back to help in coverage, I look for Gurshall to find big holes and yardage.  Tech is going to have to pick their poison and hope we can’t make them pay.

What Will Happen

Georgia has better talent across the board than Tech does on both sides of the ball.  The Dawgs have everything to play for to keep their focus on Tech.  Hopefully, Georgia has a home crowd that is ready and at full throat for kick-off and throughout the game.  A win without a doubt makes Tech’s season regardless of what happens in Charlotte.  While I think Tech will get points and yards because we’re not going to stop them every time they get the ball, Georgia should be able to put up points and yards by the bunches as long as we don’t turn the ball over.  The Dawgs pull away in the second half as the defense gains control of the game and the offense keeps the pressure on the Tech offense to keep up.

Final Score:  Georgia 38, Tech 24

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Look Back to GSU and Ahead to Georgia Tech

The Dawgs get off to a slow start on Saturday but finish strong to put away Georgia Southern 45-14.  As I thought, we played a lot of base defense early, made some adjustments, and shut them down as the game went on.  The Eagle defense sold out to stop the run and take away the threat of Gurshall.  Once again, Aaron Murray and the Georgia receiving corps made GSU pay for it as Murray went over 300 yards passing again with 4 TDs.  A solid win and good tune-up for Clean Old-Fashioned Hate at high noon on Saturday.  Let’s get to the rundown.

What Went Well

Passing Game – I thought we would find match-ups to exploit on the outside, and Murray was outstanding again.  He spread the ball around to multiple receivers and absolutely picked the Southern secondary apart.  Chris Conley was really good on Saturday with a couple of big plays.  Mitchell and King made plays including Mitchell’s TD that completely changed the game at the end of the half.  The tight ends exploited match-up problems in the middle of the field.  Overall, a great performance across the board.

2nd Half Defense – Until late in the game, the defense put on a clinic in the 2nd half on defending the option.  The defense only gave up 25 yards of offense in the 3rd quarter as the offense put up huge numbers immediately after halftime.  In particular, Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson made some big plays behind the line of scrimmage on the pitch.  We’re going to need a full 60 minutes of that kind of performance to control the option this weekend.

Marshall Morgan/Jamie Lindley – The kickers were solid on kick-offs and kept the Southern return game in check.  Remember they ran a kick back last year against Alabama.  Morgan’s day was uneventful with 9 points.  I’m not going to blame the field goal miss on him because I thought it was the wrong decision to try to a 51-yarder into the prevailing wind.

What Didn’t

We took care of business on Saturday afternoon, but we clearly have some things to work on before taking on Tech this Saturday.

Running Game – I’ll give Southern some credit for their defense of our running game.  They sold out to blitz the running game and got some penetration on our offensive line.  We had a solid day running the ball but never really hit the big play that we have become used to in the running game.

1st Half Defense – We struggled early with the option especially with the pitch.  They controlled the line of scrimmage and kept us off balance with multiple variations off the triple option.  If we take as long to make adjustments against Tech, we could find ourselves in a four quarter battle on Saturday.

Missed Field Goal – As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t like the decision to attempt the long field goal, and Southern was ready for it as they brought in a player to play deep in case of a short kick.  We got caught unaware that they had the player back there, and the field goal team seemed to think the play was over.

Overall Assessment

Offense B+.  An A for the passing game with a B- for the running game averages out to about a B+.  We still seem to struggle in the running game when defenses sell out to stop the run.  We have been fortunate enough to take advantage of the opportunities in the passing game as a result.  We will have to have a consistent running threat against Alabama to beat them in the Dome.

Defense – B Saturday was a solid outing to get our legs under us against the option running attack.  We missed some tackles and assignments on Saturday.  Against Southern, they become first downs.  Against Tech, they become big plays for touchdowns.

Coaching – A-.  Bobo took what the Southern defense was willing to give and made them pay consistently.  He continued to run to keep the defense honest but really called a good game throughout.  Grantham made adjustments to counter the Southern running game, and they worked exactly as expected.

OverallB+.  The Dawgs took care of business, and everyone appears to be healthy entering the Tech game.  Mission accomplished, and it’s time to move on.

Look Ahead to Georgia Tech

This past Saturday was the little brother that you like because you taught him the ropes and enjoyed the success he has had.  This Saturday is the little brother that thinks he’s superior but hasn’t been able to back it up and is obsessed with you.  We need to make an emphatic statement on Saturday that we’re not looking ahead.  I look for us to come out on defense with the same intensity we had in Jacksonville but with an offense executing on all eight cylinders.  Right now, we give up some points but win in a game not as close as the score may appear.

Those are my thoughts.  I would like to read yours in the comments.

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GSU Preview – The Erk Bowl

Sanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon hosts a top 10 matchup between the #6 Georgia Southern Eagles and #5 Georgia Bulldogs.  Of course, the Eagles are ranked #6 in I-AA as opposed to D1, but we’ll play them while Tech won’t.  The spirit of Erk will be present as the two programs that he spent his adult life bleeding for square off between the hedges.  Due to the tie between the programs, this game is not your typical rent-a-win game against a I-AA opponent.  While GSU hasn’t won a match-up with a D1 opponent, they have been pesky over the years with the big boys in the Southeast.  Let’s get to the breakdown.

When GSU Has the Ball

As everyone knows, GSU has built their program from the beginning around the Hambone triple option attack now run by the service academies and Georgia Tech.  They are who they are and have done it very well over the years.  The key to controlling the triple option whether in the form of Bear Bryant’s wishbone, Tom Osborne’s I-option, or GSU’s flexbone is to stop the fullback dive.  Therefore, John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers need to be able to plug the middle to take away the consistent threat of the dive to start the option.  It’s necessary to push the option out to the edge to allow our defensive team speed to corral the quarterback and the pitch.

When Georgia Has the Ball

The Georgia offense should be able to handle the GSU front 7 due to our size advantage across the line of scrimmage.  Therefore, I’m looking for Gurshall to have a big day of running the football and piling up yardage.  I really only think the only thing that can stop the Georgia offense is likely the Georgia offense with execution mistakes, penalties and turnovers.  Plays should be available in both the passing and running game as we present a nightmare of match-up problems for the Eagle defense.

What Will Happen

The Dawgs will win this game going away and the only unknown is the final margin, which is definitely important this time of the year for the polls and the computers.  The Dawgs get control of the game early, but let off the gas to protect defensive players for Clean Old Fashioned Hate next Saturday.  GSU scores a touchdown or two later in the game to make it look closer than the game really will be.

Final Score:  Georgia 45, GSU 21

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Look Back to Auburn and Ahead to GSU

I got the 38 right on the good guys’ side of the ledger but didn’t see the dominating defensive performance resulting in Georgia’s 1st shutout of Auburn in 36 years.  Georgia wins the SEC East championship and now awaits either Alabama or Texas A&M for the SEC championship.  Last year’s woodshed beating in Athens was emotional.  Saturday night’s dominant performance was surgical and workman like and could have been much worse.  Let’s get to the rundown.

What Went Well

Offensive Balance – Georgia generated 38 points and 497 yards with appropriate balance.  From the first possession of the game, Aaron Murray was in complete control of the offense, consistently got us into the right play, and stood tall in the pocket.  Gurshall was in full force with over 220 yards rushing, each with a run over 50 yards, and a touchdown.  Gurley ran with power and speed, and Marshall’s touchdown demonstrated his top end speed.  The offensive line overpowered the Auburn front 7 and gave Murray the time needed to pick apart the Tiger secondary.  The receivers and tight ends consistently made plays to keep the chains moving and the Tiger safeties back.

Defensive Dominance – This defense went out to make a point at Auburn on Saturday night.  The defensive line consistently changed the line of scrimmage and bottled up any running threat out of the spread, zone read look.  The linebackers were absolutely outstanding as Jarvis Jones and Jordan Jenkins were consistently pressuring the quarterback.  Ogletree, Herrera, Gilliard, and Robinson were running sideline to sideline blowing up plays with their athleticism.  Robinson’s hit on Tre Mason was a bone rattler.  The secondary had some trouble with Emory Blake, but overall they ran to the ball and made the plays necessary.

Special Teams Consistency – The kick-off and punting units were very good on Saturday and were field position weapons throughout the night.  The kick-off coverage was really good against a couple of very athletic return men for the Tigers.  Overall, a solid performance by the Georgia special teams.

What Didn’t

After the first 3-and-out, the game was not in doubt.

Hits on Murray – Murray took some shots from the Auburn pass rush even having to leave the field for a play after being shaken up.  Murray is the one guy we cannot afford to lose for an extended period of time.  He’s tough, but we can’t have him taking some of the shots he has the last couple of weeks.  The Alabama front 7 is already making me nervous.

Overall Assessment

Offense A.  We could have named the number we put up on the scoreboard last night if Coach Richt had wanted to make a point.  We rolled up points and yards and absolutely demolished the Tigers’ defense.  When this offense clicks as they did on Saturday night, it’s a thing of beauty to watch.

Defense – A+ A shutout with fewer than 250 yards of total offense in a conference game will get an A+ from me every time.  This defense is clicking on all cylinders since the Shawn Williams tirade.  To see this front 7 up against the Alabama offensive line will be interesting.

Coaching – A+.  The staff punched all the right buttons with motivation and game plan this week.  While it could have been easy to come in unfocused, this team came in and played on the edge for 60 minutes.  Bobo didn’t let off the gas until he delivered the point to Chizik, Van Gorder and Martinez.  Grantham clearly wanted the shutout and coached until the final minute with that in mind.  Coach Richt appeared to be very businesslike in his approach, and it clearly carried over to the team.

OverallA.  This game certainly was the most dominant I have seen on the Georgia side of this rivalry.  The game wasn’t as close as the scoreboard indicated.  The team was ready to play, and everyone involved deserves a big “Go Dawgs!” for the way they performed on Saturday.

Look Ahead to GSU

The Georgia Southern Eagles, our favorite little brother, come calling between the hedges early Saturday afternoon.  GSU seems to have impeccable timing for the years they play us for a pay check, and this year appears not to be unique.  We have a chance to get some game speed repetition against the triple option and the offense’s vaunted cut blocking scheme.  We are going to have our challenges against this offense over the next 2 weeks.  Georgia wins going away with our size and skill against an FCS opponent, but don’t be surprised if we have some challenges and give up points.  The Dawgs start the quest to keep the state championship at its proper residence in Athens this weekend.

Those are my thoughts.  I would like to read yours in the comments.

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