Posted: 12:14 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013
1. Sometimes losing a physical, heart-breaking game like Georgia lost last week is a prerequisite for victory in another similar setting. I believe had we not gone through the adversity we faced in Clemson, we would not have been prepared for victory yesterday. This game evolved into a shootout for many reasons, but in the end the Dawgs imposed their offensive will over a quality South Carolina squad that simply could not stop our ground attack. Let me say it again: South Carolina could not stop our running game. Sweet.
2. Mike Bobo dialed up an excellent game plan. Yes, he did. He was aggressive, which is how we should be every game. We often ran directly at Jadeveon Clowney, whose own aggressiveness sometimes backfired, particularly on the beautifully executed touchdown screen to Keith Marshall early in the 2nd quarter. Clowney had a single sack, much to the dismay of the highlight-reel editors of your favorite 24-hour sports network. Bobo utilized the intermediate passing game all evening, limited the amount of time Aaron Murray would sit in the pocket thus neutralizing Carolina's edge rush.
3. Aaron Murray played about as well as I've ever seen him play. He was smart with the football and was in rhythm from the word "go." The only pass Murray attempted that appeared to remotely "unwise" was the 32-yard completion to Michael Bennett during Georgia's first touchdown drive of the game. Otherwise, our QB managed the game brilliantly. His line: 17/23, 309 yards, 4 touchdowns, no picks, and there were a few dropped balls that would've jacked his numbers even higher. Regardless, that's an astounding passer rating of 244.2. Is this his highest rating ever? Just a wonderful, wonderful game played by our senior leader. His 85-yard scoring strike might've been the "sexy" play of the game, but his scramble and pitch to Todd Gurley for an 8-yard touchdown was my favorite. Woo Hoo!
4. I'm truly hoping some "narratives" were put to rest yesterday, and I do believe they have. Aaron Murray played a
perfect great game on a big-time stage and was the MVP. Even Lou Holtz and Mark May reluctantly admitted as much. When you've lost these two goons, you've lost won 'Murica.
4a. Miami's victory over Florida might actually mean that the honor of providing the signature win for the University of ________________ now rests with the Gators. We just can't derp it up against Tennessee (or Vandy, Mizzou, Kentucky, Auburn, Tech...you get the idea).
5. I don't really like Connor Shaw, but he is a helluva competitor. Spurrier maximizes Shaw's skill set and there was never any doubt he'd target our youth in the defensive backfield. Brendan Langley had a tough day, but he probably learned more between 4:30 and 7:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 7 than he has in all the high-school games leading up to his moment. He almost had a huge pick on South Carolina's final drive. He's going to be a good one.
6. What can be said about Todd Gurley that has already been said? Not much. He had Herschel-esque numbers yesterday: 30 carries for 134 yards, and a touchdown. When is the last time a Georgia back toted the rock (on a hot, early September game) for 30 carries? His performance and his helmet-less rumble is one of those moments that might just stick with the Heisman voters in a few months.
That's a man right there, folks.
7. About the defense. It was the break but don't bend defense for much of the game. It was youth on display. It was poor angles, missed tackles and (on both sides) some non-holding calls. It was often frustrating. In other words, the learning curve is still ascending but perhaps the apex has been reached.
8. By someone's count, we played 8 freshman on defense. I know there were a lot of blue-chip recruits sitting in the stands loving that. Opportunity is err'where! The future is now. And if the "future" figures this out sooner-than-later, the sky is the limit going forward.
9. I'm very glad we have a "bye" week, and then a cupcake (nom nom nom). We've got to heal up. Keith Marshall has a bruised knee and was probably held out of the game for precautionary measures more than anything. Big Ken Gates, who settled in nicely after a rough start against Clowney, apparently rolled his ankle when he got caught in a big pile. It sure looked ugly on replay and I was convinced it was a knee.
10. Couldn't be prouder of how our offensive line responded. We neutralized the 'Cocks advantage in defensive end speed, and just flat-out blocked for our running game to do their thing. Our backs don't need much, just a little crease. Arthur Lynch went the whole way at tight end I believe, and showed why he's 1st team All-SEC. More than anything, the offensive line controlled the Carolina front and wore them down, particularly late in the game...speaking of which:
11. Georgia's final, wonderful clock-eating soul-crushing Eight-Minute and Twenty-Eight-Second drive was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. You know what it reminded me of? Probably something that half of you weren't even around to see: When Georgia was trailing Florida in the 1981 Cocktail Party and we drove the ball the entire 4th quarter, scored and sealed the deal against Florida...with Herschel running left, right and a key pass or two thrown in. This was the same thing. Folks, the outcome of the game was still in doubt when we began with our backs and butts against the wall on the 1/2 yard line after a procedure penalty. I'm thinking, "lets get five yards and punt, brace for another score and on-sides kick. Better fill my glass up again..." We ran it and passed it out of there because, again, Mike Bobo opted for aggression. Murray's pass to Quayvon Hicks on 2nd and 9 for 23 yards was just a perfect, perfect call.
12. Brendan Douglas accounted for 31 yards on this drive, including a bone-crushing 17 yard gain to the 'Cocks 40 where he absolutely trucked a linebacker. You know, there's a lot of rhetoric that comes out of August camp. But every one of our guys all said the same thing about Douglas: He's the real deal. Yes. Yes he is.
13. Patrick Beless is a good kicker. He wasn't even the starting kicker in high-school. Give that Dawg a bone.
14. "Onside kick Evil Mark Richt" is awesome. One of our coaches noticed a tendency in the film-room, probably noting how a certain up-man would back away from the ball before it was kicked. That's some quality research. I find it odd that Spurrier didn't even attempt to reach into his bag of tricks. In fact, as we ground down the 'Cocks on our final drive, Spurrier sat on his time outs - a point well-made during the game-thread. This is very out of character. Did anyone else think Spurrier looked as gassed as the 'Carolina defense as the sun began to set? The ol' Ball Coach just seemed like The ol' Coach at times. Pity. Not really.
15. Justin Scott-Scott Wesley is fast. He's becoming the deep threat we'll need going forward. Chris Conley made a spectacular grab in front of the Georgia bench. Yes, we did have some drops, but we're in great shape at this position despite the loss of Malcolm Mitchell. Jonathon Rumph - yet to play in 2013 - should return for North Texas. Message to any young guys on the bench: When you do get our chance, you'd better catch the ball. The depth chart demands this.
That's all I got. What did I miss? I'm sure you, dear reader, will help me out.
It's Great To Be A Georgia Bulldog!