First of all, I feel sorry for a lot of Georgia fans. Because of ‘real world’ obligations, I didn’t see either of the Braves latest postseason debacles or Saturday night’s forgettable showing on TV. Condolences to all who saw it live or in person.
But the beat goes on. The Georgia flag still flies here at the house – win, lose or overtime loss. In the midst of that, here’s 10 takeaways from Saturday night, which felt a lot like the receiving end of the Drago vs. Apollo Creed fight.
10. Coming into the season, one of the biggest thoughts I had about this team was its similarity to the 2003 team, which had a talented but young offensive line. Against very good defenses, that group struggled in 2003. It got better in time, but there was some lumps. Georgia got hit by some pretty big lumps Saturday.
9. There is a difference between a great defense and talented defense. Georgia is the latter. Georgia has phenomenal individual talent on the defensive side of the ball. So far, playing as a unit has been a struggle at times. Although Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo were back after missing the first four games, one must wonder if chemistry was an issue on Saturday.
8. A lot of fingers rightfully point to Georgia’s big-game flops. The offensive line play is a huge reason. What do last year’s LSU game, Saturday’s loss and the 2008 Alabama loss have in common? Georgia was whipped to a pulp in the trenches. There is a need for offensive linemen like there was at tailback a year ago. Sure, there is a current crop of good young linemen, but they suffer from a lack of depth.
7. Is the spread dying out? What do the top teams in this conference have in common? They play good old fashioned in your face SEC football= hit them in the face and knock them into the ground. In this conferences, that is how you win, and why Auburn’s offense is a train wreck and why the spread didn’t last past Tebow at Florida.
6. Aaron Murray’s big-time problems are mental. There is no disputing his talent. But when things go wrong in any big game, at some point you have to wonder if it is in his head, and when that happens, is playing too tight and pressing too much – or in other words, playing not to lose instead of playing to win.
5. Was this South Carolina’s version of Vanderbilt? UGA’s off-season focus, and its fans, were pretty zeroed in on making a statement against Vandy and James Franklin. At South Carolina, this game was the focal point, more or less, and it showed Saturday. Question is – will USC have a let down later on down the road? LSU on Saturday night is still no easy place to win.
4. I am worried about Florida. They play the same style of offense we saw last night, and are tough , as expected, defensively. And we all know about the Jacksonville voodoo.
3. It’s not time to panic. Are there issues to fix? Certainly. Luckily, there’s a whole off week to fix it. Now, if this team pukes it up after that, then you have issues. But until then, there is a lot of season left. Heck, Georgia wins out and USC loses to LSU, a Florida win over USC sends us to Atlanta.
2. I am downright embarrassed at the actions of some Georgia fans. Look, I hate losing, I’d rather win. But there is NO EXCUSE to vandalize a player’s front yard or attack them on social networks. NONE. If you’re a fairweather fan, get the heck out and don’t let the door hit you as you exit. Forget firing coaches. Can we fire fans instead?
1. Win or lose, I’m still proud to be a Georgia Bulldog. I’m proud to be part of the Bulldog Nation. I don’t have a house flag up, UGA stuff up on my walls at home or a UGA diploma on my wall at work to make my head rattle. It’s is because there is no greater thing to be referred to as than a Georgia Bulldog.