Georgia Football: What I Saw- Georgia 45, Clemson 21
For what it’s worth, this fan really says everything that needs to be said: the best sport is back.
If you want to delve a little deeper, though, follow along!
Meta- The Three Phases
First of all, major shout-out to the third phase, the infamous UGA Special Teams, for getting the job done with a bullet on Saturday. I thought the first punt and Adam Humphries’ backwards return set the tone for the defense’s ensuing 3-and-out. Georgia won the field position stalemate portion of the game in the third quarter, leading to the explosion. Oh, and then there was this.
Defensively, one simply can’t say enough about the Georgia second half. Regardless of schematic adjustments and personnel, Clemson is the type of offense that should be relied upon for at least a few first downs in a half. I came away stunned. The D looked more aggressive (while not leaving secondary players on islands, Todd Grantham) and most importantly, more confident.
I loved the multiple looks Pruitt provided. Floyd with his hand on the ground, off the edge, or up the middle in third-and-longs. Swann taking over as the ‘Star’ (the LaMarcus Joyner role) with everything from edge blitzes to the middle deep third. Swann is who Andrew thought he was this time last year.
The offense simply did a great job wearing Clemson down, and not really showing its hand too much while doing so. I’m not personally a fan of giving the best running back in the nation multiple breaks that end in three-and-outs, but hey, results.
After 28 games of intense Georgia-watching, I think I have a pretty good idea of Mike Bobo’s playcalls based on formation and presnap movement, but he got me a few times on Saturday. Early on, moving the slots to the backfield and showing a two-back look with both Isaiah McKenzie and Sony Michel joining TG3 was a twist I haven’t seen in Athens. Bobo broke tendency a more than a few times on Saturday, and with the talent on this offense, that’s horrifying.
So many to name based on spending most of my Labor Day on the couch rewatching and napping.
TG3- If he stays healthy, he’s leaving Athens with a heavy bronze statue. Simple as that.
Michel/Chubb- Bobo’s willingness to play them in the slot as well as at traditional back is a fascinating development. You will see the jet shovel sweep to Michel like the one on Georgia’s second possession a lot, then, BAM! fake it, counter to Gurley, 6. And Chubb….lord.
Brandon Kublanow- this guy was GREAT on Saturday. He got to the second level on at least two of the 4 long TD runs, kept Grady Jarrett out of the backfield for almost all of the game, and showed the athleticism to pull as the lead guy time and time again.
Isaiah McKenzie- he had the bad drop early, but is just the shifty threat this offense was lacking.
Sterling Bailey- for the first time since I’ve been watching, Bailey was a disruptive force on defense. Like everyone else, he moved around all game, but was most impressive as a regular DE. His athleticism jumped out at me, even on a very athletic front seven.
Quincy Mauger/Corey Moore- both were a little out of position a few times, but both looked like new players after 2013. Mauger was a heat-seeking missile.