Georgia Football: TaxSlayer Takeaways for 2016
In a departure from what I expected given the lack of a coaching staff, Georgia took care of business and beat Penn State 24-17 on Saturday. In doing so, they completed maybe the most disappointing 10-win season in history, with three extremely sad losses and extremely frustrating wins.
To be honest, I’ve been ready for this season to end for awhile. The loss of Nick Chubb and the elimination from contention made this year a slog– and Penn State was a microcosm of that. In finishing with a win, perhaps the Dawgs can launch the Kirby Smart era with a little bit more positive momentum.
What (if anything) did the TaxSlayer Bowl teach us as we start to look forward to North Carolina in 7 months and 30 days? Well…
The Offense was a Schotty Problem.
Last I’m going to say on this. (Okay that’s a total lie). Yes, Greyson Lambert made some poor throws to open receivers, but everything– the spacing, the tempo, the creativity, the aggressiveness– were things of beauty in comparison with the ‘play and try to succeed inside a church van’ offense we saw for 12 games.
Quick hitters, smash routes, outside runs…these were things that could’ve MAYBE kept Georgia’s offense afloat in poor performances vs. Missouri, Florida, Auburn, Southern, and Tech. Instead of running into a brick wall blindly, they actually neutralized Penn State’s best player (DE Carl Nassib) and broke pretty much every tendency they had established (obvious given the theme of this subsection).
Hats off to you, John Lilly, for making this game watchable.
Terry Godwin…your new Malcolm Mitchell.
Outside of their jersey numbers, you wouldn’t have known who was who on Saturday. Mitchell put up the more impressive statistics, but for the first time all year they actually targeted another wideout on more than five occasions (seriously, not a single WR on the team not named Mitchell had more than 5 targets in any game prior to Saturday).
Godwin’s shiftiness, catch radius, and beautiful deep ball set the table for him to be one of Georgia’s more exciting players in coming years. With a little bulk in his first offseason of S&C, could he be new OC Jim Chaney’s next Tyler Boyd? Here’s hoping.
Next Year’s team is going to miss Jordan Jenkins (and probably Leonard Floyd).
The numbers won’t show it, but these two dudes were everywhere on Saturday. You heard multiple references to James Franklin “scheming around” both, which is hard to do when your quarterback finished his career taking…ahem, 115 (!!!!!!!!!) sacks in three years.
Both lived up to their billing yet again in this one, and its time for Lorenzo Carter to take it to the next level.
That’s all I’ve really got, as I don’t like making a habit of reading too much into bowl performances. Keep it locked here for what should be a wild offseason on the site.