Lukewarm Takes From Saturday

A little late to the game on this, so I’m sure you’ve read all you want to about this past Saturday’s season opening game against the overmatched War Hawks.

But there are a few points that I have been ruminating on the past couple of days, and spending about 8 hours behind the wheel yesterday, I’ve had time to think through some points.

Offense

Obviously, the main thing I was looking at how the offense would look under Brian Schottenheimer. It didn’t look a whole lot different. I must say, and I echo Ucheedawg’s sentiments, that I was hoping that Mike Bobo would take the draw out of the shotgun with him to Colorado. It stayed behind…so that must just be a Mark Richt thing.

I thought it was interesting to see how the Bulldogs ran the hurry-up offense. The Bulldogs have been doing the HUNH offense in recent seasons, although it isn’t as up-tempo like Oregon and Baylor do it. The Bulldogs would rush up to the line of scrimmage, then look back to the sidelines.

I noticed many times Georgia would run up to the line and not sub, therefore not allowing the defense to sub, but then huddle up.   Not really sure what this means, but it is a different approach that was noticeable to me.

One question I had about Schotty’s offense was how they would incorporate Sony Michel. Michel may be the #2 back on the depth chart, but I think he is explosive and has a special “it” factor. He has become one of my favorite players on the team, and whenever he touches the ball, something special is liable to happen.

But I’ve had concern about how Schotty’s NFL mind would use a player like Michel, because those kind of players aren’t really utilized in the NFL. I was very happy to see Michel lined up at receiver, and be a factor in the passing game.

I think the general consensus out there is that the offense was very vanilla. Well, if in the vanilla offense Michel’s talents are used to the level where he is the team’s leading receiver, then I think we can expect big things from #1 this season.

As far as Lambert goes, he looked very good. Completing 66% of his passes, with two of the incompletions being throwaways, is exactly what is needed from him (or whoever is playing quarterback) this season. The first touchdown pass to Blazevich is something I hope we see more of.

Lastly, the best moment of the day was seeing Keith Marshall come in. The warm ovation he received was much deserved. From a football standpoint, if he can be healthy and a major contributor, that is something great. From a human being standpoint, it was just touching.

Defense

 Not sure what more to say here. They were fast. They were aggressive. But they weren’t stupid, either. I said they played with disciplined aggression. No late hits, no hits out of bounds. The two brain fart drives gave Coach Pruitt just enough to be angry about and coach up, but there are special playmakers all over that side of the ball, and I will look forward to watching them play with this disciplined aggression. For the first time in a long time, I am not worried about what will happen on 3rd and long. I am excited about the hell that is about to be unleashed.

Special Teams

 Everything I’ve said can be qualified with “It was just Louisiana at Monroe, but…”

But with that said, when was the last time that Georgia blocked two punts in one game? When was the last time Georgia blocked a punt, period? I am not sure.

Remember way back to the early days of Richt’s tenure when Special Teams was a valuable weapon? Then remember when it became viewed upon as a necessary function, nothing more and nothing less. Then the pendulum swung the other way and it became a liability that hurt the team? I hope we are going back to the days when it was a weapon. Blocked kicks, electric returns, and tight coverage can help turn a close game into a blowout win.

Final Thoughts

 A good win to start the season. It wasn’t perfect, but the areas that weren’t perfect gave the coaches something to look at to correct. I left Sanford Stadium pleased with what I saw, and I hope you did to.

I was disappointed that the weather issues caused some of the heralded freshmen like Michael Chigbu, Roquan Smith and Trenton Thompson not to get as much playing time as we had hoped to see, but I think the Vanderbilt game will be another glorified scrimmage. We can hopefully see a steady dose of them Saturday.

If this team can play up to its ability and give the same sort of effort we saw on Saturday, this will be a fun season.

How many times have we all said that before?

Corbindawg

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