- Sunday, 13 October 2013 02:00
- Author: Ed Thomas
The Dawgs have their home winning streak broken on Saturday by Missouri 41-26 when our offense finally couldn’t bail out this defense. The season clearly isn’t over, but I can’t help but think the season got away from us last week in Knoxville. Teams don’t win games when you are -4 in turnover margin where the turnovers have a minimum of a 17-point impact on the outcome of the game. Give Missouri credit – they outhustled, outplayed and outcoached us for most of the game. Let’s get to the rundown.
What Went Well
Freshman Running Backs
With the exception of Douglas’ fumble, the two freshman running backs ran hard and caught the ball coming out of the backfield. They have filled in well since the loss of Keith Marshall and really did some good things today. We won’t win a lot of games without Todd Gurley for the rest of the year. He needs to get back as quickly as possible.
In another performance to forget by the Georgia defense, the Pastor of Disaster is becoming the force we were hoping when he was one of the lynchpins of the Dream Team recruiting class. He’s a good pass rusher and is also doing better work in the running game.
2nd Half Heart
Three years ago, this team would have folded its tent after the 1st half performance today. The team came out and played possibly its best quarter of football all season on both sides of the ball in the 3rd quarter to get back in the game and make the game competitive deep into the 4th quarter.
The offensive tackles had a day to forget today against the Missouri edge pass rush. Kolton Houston has a great personal story, but he didn’t play well at all today. I don’t understand why John Theus isn’t playing more. We have a guard playing left tackle. We got bailed out multiple times where sacks were negated by offsides penalties. I hate to think about what the Florida front 4 is going to do to these guys in a few weeks in Jacksonville.
Halfway through the season, the youth excuse is officially old. This defense isn’t fundamentally sound at all. They don’t tackle well. They don’t cover anybody and consistently get caught out of position. After Franklin went out of the game, everyone in the stadium knew they were going to run the ball on the 3rd down with the intention of punting. We don’t set the edge, and they get the first down. A few plays later, Missouri hits the double pass where Corey Moore gets completely caught out of position and left Shaq Wiggins hanging out to dry.
-4 will get you beat period. We don’t force turnovers on defense because of our problems with fundamentals. The two picks today were poor throws by Murray. Poor pass protection and communication up front caused the scoop-and-score that really put the game out of reach. The fumble at the end of the 1st half took points off the board. For a team that has such a thin margin for error, the turnovers completely changed the game’s outcome.
Offense – C
The turnovers bring this grade down dramatically. The offense didn’t cover for the defensive deficiencies today, and we paid dearly for it. Should I mention again that we need Todd Gurley back to keep this season from becoming a nightmare?
Defense – D
Absolutely pitiful performance by a defense that is quickly losing its confidence and by a defensive staff that is rapidly losing the patience of the Bulldog Nation.
Coaching – D
The only reason the grade isn’t an F is the way the staff kept the team in the game and took the game to the 4th quarter. The defensive staff gets a big fat F for the performance today.
Overall – D
Teams now see the blueprint for beating Georgia. Exploit the secondary and pressure Murray without blitzing if Gurley isn’t available. I don’t know how many other teams have the recipe for it, but I guarantee you there’s a team waiting in Jacksonville that has the ability to do it.
Look Ahead to Vandy
Vandy has to be thinking they have the ability to upset us in Nashville for another noon (11 Central) kick-off. The problem is that they don’t have a quarterback that presents the challenges that James Franklin posed. If we play to our potential, we should win fairly easily. If we mess around and make mistakes, we could knock ourselves right out of any discussion of getting back to Atlanta. I would really like to see Todd Gurley on the sidelines in pads and not with his stylish sunglasses on in a Georgia warm-up suit. I think this team comes out, plays well, and gets a win heading to the showdown in the Cocktail Party on the St. Johns River.