ET’s Look Back to Tennessee and Ahead to Missouri

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ET’s Look Back to Tennessee and Ahead to Missouri

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Leonard Floyd rolls toward the end zone
Leonard Floyd rolls toward the end zone
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated
[su_spacer size=”40″] This one is going to hurt for a while. The Dawgs blow a 21-point lead to end a 5-game winning streak over Tennessee in a deflating 38-31 loss on the banks of the Tennessee River. On Saturday night, pretty much every goal of the team now appears to be out of reach after the loss with the loss of Nick Chubb for the season on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Last week was a shot across the side of our heads with a 2×4.  Saturday was a kick in the gut as all of the bug-a-boos from the season to this point reared their ugly head. Let’s get to the rundown.
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What Went Well

Malcolm Mitchell

Tampa had a big day with a number of catches including a beautiful TD catch. The senior continues to impress with his toughness, strength, and hands. In a season that is truly on the brink now, Mitchell has been one of the stars of the team. Greyson Lambert almost has too much trust in him as Mitchell seems to be the security blanket that #11 locks onto.

Defending Jalen Hurd

Hurd didn’t get his even though he made a few tough runs (we’ll get to defending the quarterback in a minute).  Hurd rarely found much room to maneuver to get yards for the Tennessee offense.  Once again, Trent Thompson and Tim Kimbrough made a lot of plays in the running game.  Thompson is really blossoming into a man who is going to be very difficult to deal with over the next 3 years or so.

What Didn’t

Mental Errors

The team committed multiple substitution infractions on both sides of the ball. Sony Michel’s killer fumble changed the momentum and complexion of the game.  Reggie Davis’ drop of a certain tying TD was just a failure to secure the catch. Two terribly covered kicks gave Tennessee good field position to set up their TD before the half and to punt the ball into the real coffin corner inside the Georgia 1 at the end of the game.  Poor offensive line play against a defense that had been shredded by teams all year long kept the Dawgs from generating any semblance of a balanced offense.

Tackling and Defensive Fundamentals

The tackling looked like a 2009 Willie Martinez defense all over again as players bounced off Josh Dobbs.  Leonard Floyd once again got exposed in his attempt to set the edge against the zone read especially the QB run.  Whatever Pruitt taught his secondary last year has been forgotten as the safeties once again left the middle of the field wide open for tight ends.  All of this happened against a Tennessee offensive line that was down multiple starters to injury.  It was hard to watch.

I could keep going on …

Player of the Game

In my opinion, no one deserved to be named as my player of the game, so I’m going to give it to Nick Chubb as a season-long honor for his toughness, his skill and his class.  With his injury, it’s the last opportunity this season to honor his performance between the white lines and his professional manner of going about his business.  Get well soon, Nick! The DawgNation has you in our thoughts and prayers.


Offense – D

Saturday was quite possibly the most quiet 400+ total offense day I’ve seen from a Georgia offense.  If not for some big plays, this offense would have done absolutely nothing for most of the day.  If Davis catches that pass and the Dawgs go on to win, the grade would have improved but not by much.  For as much as the defense appears to have regressed, the performance of the offensive line has been just as big of a head scratcher for me. I knew we would miss Boss Andrews, but I didn’t think it would be this much.

Defense – F

The defense got a couple of turnovers including Floyd’s fumble return for a TD, but other than the turnovers, the defense was worse on Saturday than they were last week in the loss to Alabama.  We made Dobbs look like a Heisman winner.  Maybe the Senator can add Beyond Dobbs to his lexicon after Saturday.

Coaching – D-

Most of the problems on the field were poor execution, but the game plans were on the coaches.  As special teams continue their slide from mediocrity to dumpster fire, all of that has to be on the men who are responsible for putting the right people in the right place.

Overall – F

Just a terrible performance – not a whole lot more to say

Look Ahead to Missouri

The Dawgs return to Athens to take on Missouri in a rare night game between the hedges on Saturday.  With the suspension of Will Grier at Florida, Georgia once again has a clear path to Atlanta if this team can put the pieces back together.  The line opened as a big number on Sunday night, but this game seems to have upset written all over it.  The Tigers have more offensive challenges than we do, but they once again have a pair of excellent pass rushers.  While it’s tempting to pick the upset, I just think this Georgia team has a talent edge that will lead to a win closer than the experts think.  In that case, bet your 401(k) accounts on the Dawgs to cover because I just can’t get a feel for how this team is going to perform.
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The University of Georgia 1991-1994. Lanier Tech 2009-2012. Writer and graphic artist covering UGA athletics, college football, and recruiting. Peach cobbler fears me!