Monday, October 27, 2008

Georgia Handles LSU?

Everyone's been going crazy talking about how Georgia DOMINATED LSU this past weekend. But...well....we didn't. I was dead-on about the point spread, but 6 more touchdowns were scored in that game than I envisioned...three on each side. I don't feel bad about not guessing that Gamble would take two interceptions back to paydirt. But really, scratch those two plays, and the game's a tie. Or, even worse, if LSU scores on either drive, it's a loss.

Look, the Dawgs played well...don't get me wrong. But, the game they played against LSU gets us beat against Florida.

My Kudos to the offensive line who surrendered 1 sack, a week after LSU took 6 from South Carolina. That's pretty huge.

Also, big props to Knowshon Moreno who proved that he can indeed run the ball well against GOOD SEC defenses. I wish he'd put another one in the endzone, but hey...we'll take it!

I'm throwing a shout-out to Coach Mike Bobo. Now, I'm not doing that because his offense scored 38 points. Sure, that's good. I'm not saying it because he called a QB Draw for a TD, or put us in a perfect play when LSU called a safety blitz, enabling Moreno to hit a 68-yard TD scamper. I'm not even saying it because his playcalling effectively put LSU away in the second half.

I'm saying it because in the first quarter, with all the weapons we have, be it Knowshon Moreno, AJ Green, Mohommad Massaqoui.....Bobo called on some of the most underrated players on the team - the third and fourth receivers. On UGA's first drive, the bulk of the recieving work was done by Michael Moore, who caught 3 passes for 38 yards. Massaqoui's 9-yard catch was the only other grab on the drive. On UGA's second drive, it was Demiko Goodman grabbing a 16-yarder inside the 10 yard line. Two plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, Kenneth Harris caught a 5 yard touchdown pass.

Suddenly LSU realized they had to cover EVERYONE because the Dawgs have a BUNCH of guys who can catch passes, not just AJ Green. The defense was suddenly off-balance. This paid dividends in the second half, when UGA used LSU's impatience against them. See, when a quarterback is able to go through his progressions and hit 3rd and 4th receivers, you have to put more pressure on him. So, LSU really started coming heavy. That's when things like Stafford's 49-yard td STRIKE to Green happened (on a 3rd and ten, no less). So then what? UGA gets the ball back, and LSU blitzes on first down.

Oops. Moreno hits them for a 68 yard TD run.

Ok, back to the drawing board. Take away the big play by doubling the wideouts. Load up the box to discourage running to Moreno. Ok, we've got a good plan for first down. Wait a second...don't forget the tight-end, Aaron know, the guy who hasn't caught a pass all season. See, when you forget about him, that's when he catches a 48 yard pass.

You really just have to take your hat off to Mike Bobo. He had LSU on the ropes all day, and that's why many people like to think we DOMINATED that game.

But, there's another story as well.

Our Defense was anything but rock-solid. Don't forget, LSU scored 38 points. UGA's offense scored 38 points. If not for two great plays by Gamble, the game looks a whole lot different.

UGA didn't really have a great answer for Charles Scott. He's a hard-nosed between-the-tackles runner who knew exactly what to do with the ball when he got it. He tallied 144 yards, and most noticeably was picking up HUGE gains late in the game. That's when we can't be giving them up. Also, the Lee/Hatch duo at QB lit the defense up for 309 yards. Of course, 109 of that came on two garbage plays in the 4th quarter. But still, the defense CAN'T DO THAT. Those two garbage plays resulted in 14 points for the opposition (one directly, one indirectly). Without them, UGA wins by 4 TDs (in one of those completely illogical points of view where the rest of the game is played exactly the same, except for those plays).

Being completely honest, after the first quarter, I never felt that the game was in doubt. My only question was whether my score prediction would be correct....nope. I admit I didn't give UGA enough credit with being able to come up with more points. I wanted to. I initially wanted to predict 45-17. But, the Dawgs have been underperforming of late, and I was getting tired of blowing people's betting lines for them. So, I played it a bit conservative this week. Perhaps I should just call by my gut, betters be damned! : )

Either way, I'm happy with the outcome...and with one other VERY important injuries. Nobody got hurt in that game. All the receivers and linemen are intact. Our league-leading QB didn't get knocked around. The defense didn't take any knocks....and actually may have found yet another playmaker in Daryl Gamble. And the man who everyone counts on to really "establish that running game", Knowshon Moreno, was at the top of his game. Rolling into Florida on Saturday, if they can avoid pitfalls at practice, will be the healthiest UGA team in weeks. And, we'll need Florida is pretty dang good.

So, enjoy the win dawgfans....but get ready, cause here comes the Cocktail Party!


1 comment:

CP said...

Right on with the defense. We had some blown plays, but we also had several inconsistent defensive series in terms of play-calling. I hope Willie remembers the pressure we exerted last year 'round this time. The pass rush must be rolling. Florida's D is overrated in my opinion. What high octane offense have they played? Mississippi put serious points on the board. Arkansas is one dimensional. UT? UK? Nuh-uh. We have to fire on all cylinders for 4 quarters, but I believe.