Georgia Football Knee Jerk Reactions: South Carolina Edition

I should have known better. I mean really, a team that had been feeling themselves for two weeks off of a win against an allegedly worthy foe, traveling to take on a rival that had heard nothing for two weeks except how overrated they had been and how disappointed their fanbase was. All of the signs were there for a classic trap game, and everything lined up for UGA to get blown out of the water.

Except that’s not what happened, is it?

Whether it was the rain, the delay, or just that extra special something that Spurrier brings every time he plays Georgia, this was a game about the consistency of the underdog, and the rare flashes of brilliance from the favorite. Unfortunately, those brief moments of greatness weren’t enough on Saturday, and we all paid for it. All of us.

Yes, that really happened. And I regret nothing.

The Good:

– Hutson Mason looked better than serviceable, even with respect to the missing weapons on the outside. He rushed a few passes, but for his fourth start, I’ll definitely take over 70% completion and two touchdowns. I’m excited to watch the passing game evolve as players come back to active duty, and the early creative use of the weapons that were active makes me happy about Mason’s growth and the coaches’ trust in him.

– These young kids are starting to grow on me. Sony Michel got things going early, and Jeb Blazevich remains my favorite freshman by a mile. Two games in a row, he’s done more than his job in the running game, and his 18-yard catch shows the weapon he can be in the passing game.

– Once again, Todd Gurley Todd Gurley’d all over the place. Even after his 54-yard run was taken back by a ridiculous holding call (I will not complain about officiating, I will not complain about officiating…), he still managed 131 yards on only 20 carries. The guy is a monster, and continued strengthening his resume for whatever awards college football has.

– Damian Swann, THAT’S how you play aggressive zone defense. Now, let’s start that before the end of the game.

The Bad:

– *sips moonshine* I can accept that a heavy reliance on zone blitz is going to result in experienced offenses finding holes in those zones. What I can’t accept is the inability of our blitzers to win ANY one on ones in obvious passing downs, particularly in the first half. I don’t expect the young secondary to be perfect,  but I do expect that any mistakes be made at full speed. Regretfully, the more success Thompson and company had against the secondary, the more brazen they were in throwing whenever and wherever they wanted.

– And what’s the worst outcome of letting a team pass early? It opens up running lanes! Because now, your DBs are more focused on expected routes out of formations, and not reading their keys, and turning their backs, as receivers go to stalk block. Now, pair that with a front that didn’t seem to shed a block all day, and blitzers who could not run fit properly to save their lives (or this game), and you’ve got a recipe for a running game that, while not impressive in the box score, looked horrible live, and worse on my second viewing writing this.

– The Georgia running backs have to stop thinking every run is going to be a touchdown. I understand looking backside for cutback lanes, as the fast flow of a lot of the zone plays lends itself to using a defense’s aggression against them. This South Carolina team was not there for that. All that grief this unit has taken over the first two weeks? Poor gap discipline wasn’t going to be the undoing of that front, and too often, runs were abandoned on the front side, for hopes of bigger gains backside.

The Ugly:

– *sips moonshine* I AM NOT the one of the Bobo-hating masses, but with this backfield, calling THAT play from the 4-yard line is inexcusable. And while Hutson’s throws on that series were similarly inexcusable, it was a bad idea to put this offense in that position after a seemingly game-changing turnover.

– David Andrews, I need more out of you. From an A+ showing against Clemson, to whatever the hell that was Saturday. Not a strong week 2 out of him.

– Missed field goals and poorly covered kickoffs? WELCOME BACK UGA SPECIAL TEAMS! *chugs moonshine, implodes liver*

Well, that happened. Look, I’m not going to pretend that this loss didn’t sting. Of course, sting may NOT be the proper medical term for how it felt, but I’m gonna roll with sting. But, aside from the twitter bet with Click Clack (REALLY looking forward to my avatar for the week), I don’t regret a bit of it. I’m glad I got to lose myself in my favorite team being a front-runner for a few weeks. That when people discussed presumptive National Title contenders, Georgia HAD to be mentioned, and no matter how bad the last 36 hours have been, I’m glad I got to care like this. This season is no where near over, and everything that this team wants is still within it’s grasp in every game going forward. No one is keeping a one-loss SEC Champion out of the playoff, and if you think that’s out of the question for this Georgia team, don’t come crawling back when they are BACK in the SEC Title game after losing to South Carolina.

I honestly just hope one day, I can hate anything as much as Steve Spurrier hates the University of Georgia.

Go Dawgs.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air.

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Posted on September 15, 2014, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, Podcast, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, The UGA Vault. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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