Saturday in Athens was an opportunity for the team and the fans to get their heads right and feel better. We all know that Georgia lost two games in a row and desperately needed a win. The fans needed a win and a little good weather as well. It has rained on Athens a lot this fall literally and figuratively. But Saturday was beautiful, and gave the Bulldawg nation a chance to take in a little sunshine. The temperature was cool and the sky stayed blue all day. Later that night, Georgia squeaked out a win but it sure wasn’t pretty. In fact, at times it was downright ugly. In the end, Georgia got the win and that is really all that matters, but most dawg fans didn’t leave the game feeling much better. I will always take a win no matter how bad it looked. A win is win right? A lot happened last week in college football. Spurrier retired, USC fired their coach for drinking, and Michigan lost a heart breaker in really weird fashion. Regardless, this is Athens, GA so I will continue to focus almost exclusively on the Dawgs.
THE GAME– Georgia won 9 to 6 Saturday night and didn’t have a lead until the 1:44 mark in the 4th Quarter. No one even scored a touchdown. One could look on the bright side and call it a defensive struggle, but most Dawgs fans seem to be focusing on the anemic offense. I will discuss the offense a little later, but for now let’s focus on the positives. First, they did win the game and it was a SEC win. Second, they actually won the special teams battle. In a game with no touchdowns special teams become even more important. I know that Georgia had a missed field goal and a failed on sides kick. So maybe I am being generous to say they won special teams. Nevertheless, they recovered a fumble and made the game winning kick. But the key play of the game may have come when Malcolm Mitchell got down the field on punt coverage and caused the fumble. In my mind, Georgia had the two biggest plays on special teams and that equaled a win. Third, the defense played well but more on that ahead. Lastly, #5 Terry Godwin had a great night and is emerging as a weapon on offense which Georgia really needs.
MIKE BOBO, WHERE ART THOU? -The offense struggled again Saturday. Which makes it three weeks in a row that Georgia has looked just awful on that side of the ball. In retrospect, the South Carolina game was not real impressive given their record. And the fact that their coach has already quit midseason. Ok, Ok, I understand that Nick Chubb is hurt and that is bound to effect any offense. But these problems existed before Chubb’s injury. The offense has looked bad against Vanderbilt, Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri. That’s not good considering Florida’s defense will have two weeks to rest before Jacksonville. So what is going on? Is it the coordinator? Well maybe and maybe not. I am sure you can recall Georgia’s last coordinator. His name was Mike Bobo, and he was often bashed by the fans. Mainly, for two calls. The infamous “No Spike” against Alabama and the “First and Gurley” debacle at South Carolina. But when he wasn’t being unfairly bashed by the fans his offense routinely scored over 30 pts and set offensive records almost yearly. Thank goodness because the defense usually gave up 30 as well. On top of that he was a pretty darn good recruiter. Well Dawg fans, who has egg on their face now? That’s right, we do. But let’s not blame everything on the new offensive coordinator. In general, Coach Schottenheimer’s offense is very similar to Bobo’s and many plays are almost identical. I don’t feel like I have a seen a lot of bad play calling. But I have seen a lot of bad execution, bad throws, and bad blocking. At the end of the day, this offense doesn’t seem to have too many playmakers. At times, it looks like a two man show that doesn’t feature a quarterback. Thanks to Malcolm Mitchell and Sony Michel the offense has a pulse. But they better find some more weapons soon or there will be dark days ahead. I do think Mike Bobo is a hell of a good coach, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to blame the new guy just yet.
DEFENSE, WAS IT IMPRESSIVE? – The short answer is yes. I don’t care who you play. When you keep a team out of the end zone for 4 quarters it is impressive. Granted, Missouri’s offense is probably worse than Georgia’s, and they started a freshman quarterback. But if they are bad on offense, and have a freshman quarterback than Georgia did exactly what they needed to do. If you recall Missouri returned an interception to the 1 yard line in the 1st quarter. The defense kept Missouri out of the end zone and then only gave up 3 more points. Sorry folks but that’s impressive.
LOOKING AHEAD – We have reached the half way point of the season and as usual there are really big games ahead. In fact, Georgia has a chance to make this year successful if they can win out. Sadly, when you look at the schedule that doesn’t seem too realistic. Here’s what remains for Georgia:
Florida at Jacksonville
Kentucky in Athens
Auburn at Auburn
GA Southern in Athens
GA Tech at Tech
Four of these games seem winnable, but they are losable as well. Let’s be honest with ourselves. If Georgia beats Florida we will all be surprised and it would be a BIG upset. But so was last year’s outcome so you never know what can happen. Kentucky has improved. They are hunting for a big win over a top program, and Georgia is prime to give another team that big win. Auburn looks bad, but they are improving and this game is often unpredictable. Georgia should of course beat Georgia Southern but the triple option offense is designed to give underdogs a chance. And then there’s Tech. I do not care for Tech. Boo Tech! My point is that these last 5 games are really important. If Georgia wins out that would be incredible. But if they lose 3 of them things could get very interesting.
SILVER LININGS– I am trying to be more positive these days, and they say every cloud has a silver lining. So let’s take a look at the silver linings from last week. At least from the Georgia point of view.
- Bye, Bye Spurrier- Mixed emotions here for me. This guy was good for college football, and he made things more interesting for sure. We were all surprised by the way he left. But Spurrier has been a thorn in Georgia’s side for 25 years. So in the end, it is a positive for Georgia. Depending on who South Carolina hires of course.
- Florida Lost- Always a great thing for Georgia fans. The loss wasn’t that surprising but still good to see. It gives Georgia a chance. At least for now.
- Tech Lost Again- Wowser! Tech lost to Pitt and this season keeps getting worse for Paul Johnson. What a shame. Couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow.
- Georgia has HOPE- Technically, UGA is still in the SEC East race. If they beat Florida they have a shot. So let’s all keep the faith a little longer and see what happens.