Knee Jerk Reactions: Tennessee Edition

It’s always a positive when you can go into a hated rival’s stadium, take their best punch (really, the best punch they’ve given anyone since they almost toppled #1 Alabama in 2009), and walk out with a win. Marshall Morgan was massive with his two big field goals, and once again Aaron Murray drop kicked the “can’t win the big one” narrative, but the big victory came at great cost. Now we will again see how this UGA team responds to yet ANOTHER challenge popping up this season, and if the past 6 weeks have taught us anything, it’s that this unit can answer the bell when needed.

The Good:

– We’ll get to my continued Aaron Murray gush-fest in a second. First, I want to heap a good deal of praise on the freshmen backs, JJ Green and Brendan Douglas who stepped up when Knoxville snatched away Keith Marshall’s ACL. I know we just watched a pair of freshman step up and dominate last year, but don’t get it twisted: this situation is NOT that situation. But, there is something to be said about stepping up when your number is called, and as the old axiom goes, the best ability is availability.

– Marshall Morgan took command of the game when he needed to, one miss notwithstanding. A week after a massive 55 yard field goal, he topped himself with a 57 56 strike that started the scoring on the afternoon, and then Kimbrel’d the game after a Tennessee turnover set him up in overtime.

– And, clocking in at his regular spot on “The Good”, the general of the offense, Aaron Murray. On a day when he broke the all time SEC yardage record, and orchestrated a masterful final drive to tie the game on 3rd and no time left, his most impressive feat is one that is hard to see in any stat book or box score. He kept a team united and focused when they lost their starting running back and a good chunk of receiver production. We have all seen quarterbacks go off the rails when everything around them isn’t perfect, and when untested players were missing hot reads on routes, Murray did not let the frustration stop him from being productive; he acted like a true leader and did what it took to win.

The Bad:

– It’s been said ad nauseam how young and inexperienced this defense is, and how much they struggle with read option. But we’re headed to game 6, and even without two big contributors in the secondary, we have to do better against both read option and crossing patterns. Say what you will about Mizzou, but these coaches get paid too, and they are going to exploit what they see as holes in this defense.

– Another week, another blocked punt. You’re on notice @UGASpecialTeams. Again.

– HEY KNOXVILLE, I WANT OUR ACLs BACK. I already stated how much I hate that stupid city, but man oh man, watching playmaker after playmaker drop one after the other was irritating as hell, and frankly, I’m sick of it. The level of difficulty has been ratcheted up from “Heisman” to “The Game Cheatin”. Honestly, if this happened in my Dynasty mode on NCAA 14, I’m reaching for the reset button. But that’s why I write blogs, and don’t lead people. Except for Chad the Intern.

The Ugly:

– Smoke gray uniforms.

Look, it’s hard not to be pessimistic in the face of all these injuries, but I’ve turned the corner, and think that whatever has come before is setting the stage for more greatness. What’s a better story than a team coming together in the face of mounting adversity, and continuing to answer the bell? I know I am excited to see it, and based on what this team has already shown, I have all the faith in the world that they can pull it off.

Go Dawgs.

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Posted on October 7, 2013, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, Missouri, Podcast, SEC, Tennessee. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. SEC Players of the week and notes for UGA:

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Marshall Morgan, PK, Georgia
    •Morgan scored 10 points in the Bulldogs’ 34-31 overtime win at Tennessee, including the game-winning 42-yard field goal (first FG game-winner since 2009 for the Bulldogs).
    •Started the game by drilling a career-long 56 yarder to put Georgia up 3-0 (longest FG for the Bulldogs since 2011, the longest on the road in school history, longest in Neyland Stadium history, the longest for any team against Tennessee in history, the longest in the SEC this year).

    OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: Chris Burnette, OG, Georgia
    •Graded out at 82 percent with six dominator blocks and four knockdowns during Georgia’s 34-31 overtime win at Tennessee.
    •Burnette anchored an offense that generated at least 34 points and 400 yards for the fifth consecutive game of the 2013 season.


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