Georgia Football Knee Jerk Reactions: Vanderbilt Edition

There’s a coaching cliche that has always resonated with me and I find myself revisiting it writing these over these past few years:

Winning hides the problems, losing magnifies the problems, but the problems are always there.

– Some coach

On Saturday, our victory left us faced with a unique conundrum: the win that felt like a loss. Now, we as Georgia fans are faced with choice: do we think that these are the growing pains of a team still finding their feet, or do we warm up the #FireEveryone engine in Week 2? Knowing this fan base, I can assume the latter, but the benefit of an extra watch (or two) showed that maybe there was more hope in the offense than we initially saw in Nashville.

The Good:

– There will come a day when I get tired of singing the praises of Nick Chubb. Mathematically, it’s bound to happen. Also bound to happen is the eventual heat death of this universe, but neither of these deadlines is pressing. 19 carries for 189 isn’t just good, it’s a master class in being a game changing running back. The different angles of attack he presents out of a simple inside zone are varied enough that you can’t prepare for them all, and dangerous enough that each one could put 6 on the board from anywhere on the field.

– The rest of the running game was unspectacular, if dependable. Taking their cue from the leader, each run felt like it had the potential to be huge, but one or two missed blocks (more on that in the NEXT section) would keep them bottled up. I love the balance, as the running back corps nearly matched Chubb’s carries number with 18, keeping the big guy fresh.

– Hey there defense. How are you? Dominant and opportunistic, you don’t say! If our passing game is one that has to evlove on the fly, I’m glad that Jeremy Pruitt’s unit is on hand to give them the room to grow. Leonard Floyd’s position has been upgraded from “in your backfield” to “right behind you”. He’ll be starring in direct to DVD horror movies all across the SEC this fall, but he was joined in his utter domination by Jordan Jenkins who turned in 11 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks in a days work.

– DEFENSE GETS TWO BLURBS! The young D-Line I’ve worried about since I counted the scholarship linemen this spring stepped up in a huge way, getting pressure without blitzers, and basically living on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Remember that Vandy O-Lineman who said that he’d take Ralph Webb over Nick Chubb? Webb ran 25 times, at 2.2 yards per carry. I thought Vanderbilt was the smart school.

The Bad:

– I’ve been a part of teams where a new offense is put in, and I know that it can be harder to gel on that side of the ball than defense, but that learning curve has to pick up speed, particularly up front. If we’re going to be a dedicated front side zone team, we need to shore up leaks on the back side, which requires a different blocking skill set than allowing and encouraging cut back lanes. If the left side of the line as currently constituted can’t do it, things need to change.

– Allowing for the fact that the Vandy defense made some good plays in space Saturday, there is no excuse for the first completed pass to come that late in the first half at the hands of the back up. Couple that with the inexcusable should have been pick, and the passing game has to step up NOW to be balanced and to win in this league. Can’t depend on a favorable schedule to mask these deficiencies.

The Ugly:

– Another trip to Nashville. Another horse$#!^ targeting call. I did appreciate Gary Danielson giving out everything but the offending refs’ blood type and home address.

– SPECIAL TEAMS GOES IN THE UGLY IT’S MY WEEKLY BLOG! Don’t be blinded by the Joystickiness of Joystick! Missed field goals! Poorly fielded kickoffs! It’s almost like we need a special teams coordinator.

– I need this to be the last time I have to even halfheartedly carry water for this offense. You’re on notice Brian Schottenhiemer.

End of the day, this was a road win against a conference opponent with a much improved defense, and UGA walked out with a W. After two weeks, we know we’ve got a defense that will keep opposing offensive coordinators up at night, a running game that can take over, and a thoroughly unimpressive passing attack and special teams unit. Learning these things on the fly isn’t fun, but learning them and collecting wins is probably the best way to do it. What say you, Saturday Daniel?

Sounds about right.

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. Follow me at @dpalm66.

Posted on September 14, 2015, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, Picks, Podcast, SEC, The UGA Vault, Vanderbilt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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