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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fleeting Thoughts: Tennessee Tech Edition

You know the old joke with fortune cookies where you add "in bed" to the end of every fortune? Well, go ahead and use the same philosophy reading these, except rather than ending with "in bed," begin with, "it was just Tennessee Tech, but…".

-- The running game was excellent throughout, totaling 304 yards on the ground. The way I look at it is this: They struggled early against Vanderbilt but had a big second half. They looked good but not great against Florida. They dominated a team they should have dominated this week. So that's three straight games in which the running game has improved over the week before. I doubt they add a third, but I do think things are headed in the right direction, and the Caleb King-Washaun Ealey combo, with a dash of Branden Smith, seems like a nice mix.

-- I don't think it's completely fair to give up on Logan Gray at this point, and he may yet turn out to be a decent QB. But I think it's pretty clear that Mark Richt wasn't lying when he said Joe Cox gives the team its best chance to win.

-- Credit Cox for this, he managed to poke some fun at himself after the game. He gave himself a nice derisive cheer and joked about how long it had been since he'd gone a game without an interception. Since he's been in the arena, self-deprecation is allowed.

-- People will talk about the penalties after this game, and rightfully so, but here's the really troubling stat: Georgia got six sacks and dominated at the line of scrimmage. Tennessee Tech was clueless on offense, down big early and made a quarterback change. And Georgia's defense still didn't create a turnover.

-- Georgia, on the other hand, did have a turnover. The Dawgs fumbled three times, too, but managed to recover all of them. Guess the ball bounced their way.

-- Speaking of those penalties, credit Mark Richt for getting about as tough as he can possibly get, yanking a player after each flag. But the bottom line is, that didn't work either. Here's the thing: Maybe punishment doesn't work as a teaching tool on penalties because the teaching that goes into doing things the right way isn't working either. Just a thought.

-- Fifteen tackles for a loss in a game without Justin Houston. I don't care if it was Tennessee Tech. That's pretty good.

-- And on the topic of "I don't care if it was Tennessee Tech…" I'll add that -13 total yards on the ground and 55 yards of total offense is downright dominant. Yes, Georgia was supposed to be dominant, but "supposed to" so rarely actually happens.

-- I mentioned this stat in my post-game notes but it's probably worth mentioning again: It has been just one week shy of four years since Georgia's tight ends had as many catches as they had Saturday.

-- In the department of easy wins, just remember: Against Georgia Southern last season, the Dawgs allowed 21 points. Against Central Michigan, they punted three of their first six possessions. Against Western Carolina, Georgia didn't reach the end zone until its third possession and allowed points on three of WCU's first five possessions. Troy posted 34 points on Georgia in 2007, too.

-- In fact, the last time Georgia scored points on each of its first five drives of a game was against Vanderbilt, way back in 2002.

-- Mark Richt discussed how bad Tennessee Tech's kickoff team this week, and I thought, hey, maybe a big day for Brandon Boykin. As it turned out I was way off. Tennessee Tech only kicked off once in the game and it was fielded by Shaun Chapas.

-- Cox didn't throw an incomplete pass until there was just 5:40 left in the third quarter.

-- The Branden Smith Wild Cat package worked again, but I'd really like to see it work against an SEC opponent.

-- Without A.J. Green you would have liked to have seen another wide receiver make some noise, even if Georgia did throw just 18 passes in the game. As is it turned out, the receivers combined for just five receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown.

-- Where does the decision not to redshirt Marlon Brown rank on the list of coaching screw-ups this season? Gotta be top five, right? He didn't see any action until late in the second half Saturday and has basically been relegated to the sideline for all but about 10 snaps this season outside of garbage time.

-- Here are some points worth noting: Montez Robinson had two sacks and was very good on defense. Cornelius Washington had a nice day, too, recording one sack and two tackles. Marcus Dowtin led the team with seven tackles and had a sack. Christian Robinson had another solid game adding five tackles. Washaun Ealey came just shy of 100 yards and scored twice. Orson Charles got his second touchdown of the season and Arthur Lynch had the first two catches of his career. Rantavious Wooten got his first start at wide receiver. Caleb King got his first start at tailback and tallied more than 70 yards. Branden Smith had a touchdown, too, and was a weapon on offense and defense. Blair Walsh booted yet another field goal and has missed just one all season. Drew Butler punted just twice but still leads the nation in punting average. Brandon Boykin didn't let a receiver get by him all day. Aron White had two catches and led the team with 53 yards receiving.

-- Every single player I just mentioned is either a freshman or a sophomore. Yup, it was just Tennessee Tech, but it was nice to see the future on display and see it look pretty darned good.


Greg said...

This game was like seeing a long lost friend again. It was great being there, spending time with, and enjoying the presence of the UGA offense, but like that long lost friend, nobody knows when we will see it again.

I think we can all be thankful that if nothing else, the future looks bright.

Dave- on one of cox's last throws, he threw it in the direction of Marlon and Orson and it went over Orson towards a defender and probably could have been picked.. I have a suspicion that ball was for Marlon whom I believe ran the wrong route. Do you know if that may be the case?

Anonymous said...

I wish every time Caleb King was announced they'd add the tag, "...and he's STILL on a liquid diet!"

Bernie said...

This offensive line needs to grow up pre-snap. Getting that jumpy with the defensive front shifts and barking...against Tenn Tech...ridiculous.

And not red-shirting Brown is well below the red-shirting Knowshon decision in CMR coaching staff brain farts. But it's up there.

That being said, as long as AJ doesn't have any setbacks this week...I saw a team that should be primed to pluck the war eagles.

Anonymous said...

The penalties always suck, but let's be fair here: the TT defensive line was reported to be mimicking our snap count and caused many of the False Starts. That is illegal, and I cannot undersatnd why Mr Penn Wagers ddin't handle this. (It should be an unsportmanlike penalty because it is playing dirty.)

None of this excuses Nick Williams cheap shot Personal Foul which seems to ba a pattern. Bench his butt, and run him until he pukes.

Prince Lightfoot said...

Do have any friends in the biz out in California? I'd really like to hear someone ask how Jim Harbaugh spent his bye week, since 2001 was Stanford's last win over Oregon, and the Ducks were ranked in the top 10, hadn't lost since Week 1, and made USC look like they were only playing 10 guys on Defense. Was his game plan something complicated that only Stanford students could understand, a diabolical scheme? Maybe something like, "Score first, run the ball, avoid penalties, and break even on turnovers?"

More importantly, how much did he agonize over the decision not to roll out black helmets for extra motivation?

Anonymous said...

Shameful that we're playing our starters into the 4th quarter and up 38-0....but after allowing 50 total yards and shutting out a D-2 opponent, we will surely improve on our miserable stats.

Back to reality next Saturday!