Georgia / Florida: 10 Thoughts for the Morning After
I’ll be back with a vengeance tomorrow with a thorough recap of the game as well as a macro look at the season and where the Dawgs have been and could be headed.
But before I head off to church for what is really important I figured I’d post these thoughts as a bit of a recap of my personal thoughts and opinions.
1. The whole Shawn Williams thing worked. All week it seemed like something the media took and ran with – and I can’t say that I blame them. In a weird sick way I am the media (Football Writers Association of America, fools), and if I read those comments about another team it would have struck a chord. Ultimately, however, those comments were accurate and exactly what leaders on teams say. I played fairly competitive sports though high school and that type of commentary from a player was not uncommon. I think most who have experience on teams would agree. Bottom line: he called out the defense, and the defense responded.
2. That being said, Williams can’t take all of the credit for the defense’s performance. The defense wasn’t just intense/motivated/aggressive/engaged/whatever-you-wanna-call-it, the defense was prepared. The Bulldogs looked every bit as knowledgeable and intelligent in their spacing and points of attack as the looked capable of attacking. Hopefully you feel a little better about the Kentucky game now, as it was clear the defense was looking forward to this game, if not outright preparing for it.
3. Of course it helps the effort when you have Jarvis Jones on your team. Florida didn’t contain Jones any better than Missouri did in week two, and it’s downright terrifying that the Mizzou game was the last game he was fully healthy. When he’s healthy bad things happen for opposing offenses. Really bad things. You can’t match Jones’ stat line – 13 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries – on a video game. And for what it’s worth I sat down and watched Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o last night and I’d take Jones any day. Te’o is a tremendous player and blast to watch, but his impact on the game seemed intermittent, while Jones is an ever-present force- again, when healthy. Commentators called Te’o’s game (11 tackles, 1 sack and an INT) a potential Heisman moment. Jones may have missed to much time too enter that conversation, but a few more games like he had yesterday and he’ll be back on some lists.
4. Looking back at the game, however, several players had periods of absolute domination for the Bulldogs’ defense. Alec Ogletree dominated early and was in on every single tackle in the first quarter it seemed. Bacarri Rambo was lights out in the 2nd and 3rd quarters with the important pick to end the half and several huge hits. Damien Swann continued to impress and showed his athleticism. And, Jordan Jenkins had yet another fine game.
5. All of this was made possible by superior defensive line play. Garrison Smith, Kwame Geathers abd big John Jenkins all seemed relentless in pursuit. The most aggressive game they’ve played collectively this year.
6. Aaron Murray had a bad first half, and I’m sure I’ll spend more time on it tomorrow, but equally concerning to me this morning is that the receivers seemed to have had a second half that matched his first half. They weren’t looking for the football, they were dropping the football and on some cases were flat-out refusing to come back to the football – that’s just lazy. A slumping QB needs guys who can catch balls, even if the balls are slightly off-target. A lot of those were catchable.
7. Nonetheless, both sides of the passing game put it together when it mattered most and got things done in the fourth quarter. Aaron Murray’s statistical output won’t scream “clutch,” but the Dawgs last scoring drive saw Murray go four-for-six 80 yards. That is clutch.
8. I haven’t analyzed that charts, but I think Georgia by in large won the field position battle, something that on paper seemed to favor Florida heading into the game. Georgia’s punting game (for the most part) did what it needed to do, and Florida started a lot of possessions deep in their own territory.
9. Speaking of kickers, if Caleb Sturgis really is nicknamed “Thunderfoot,” has anybody coined the term “Leadfoot” for Jeff Driskel. I thought that guy was supposed to be mobile. What was that? He looked like he had the world’s heaviest ankle weights on.
10. Lastly, I’ll point out that over the last three of four seasons a lot of Georiga fans have been clamoring for a hot-headed, fire and brimstone style head coach to replace a placid Mark Richt. Florida got their hot-headed, fire and brimstone coach (CBS did a great job of showing us that!), and he is now 0-2 against the Bulldogs. I’m just sayin’.
As always, thanks for reading. Go Dawgs.
That’s all I got/