ET’s Look Back to Florida and Ahead to Kentucky

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ET’s Look Back to Florida and Ahead to Kentucky

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Spike Squad First half - Georgia-Florida (Photo by Bulldawg Illustrated's Greg Poole)
Spike Squad
First half – Georgia-Florida
(Photo by Bulldawg Illustrated’s Greg Poole)
[su_spacer size=”40″] Last year was unacceptable. Yesterday was embarrassing. The Dawgs go down hard on the banks of the St. Johns River 27-3 as Florida manhandled the Georgia offense and eventually wore down a defense left on the field time after time. While the season isn’t over, every team goal is gone on November 1 as there will be no Eastern Division championship and no end of season run against the Big 3. Let’s get to the rundown.
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What Went Well

Malcolm Mitchell

Mitchell played hard for 60 minutes and has become the leader of this team.  The big catch he made was A.J.-esque as he went up high and made a great grab.  He has become a team-first guy and wants desperately to win.  There’s not much to say other than I would hate to see where this team would be without him.

Davin Bellamy

Bellamy was a beast on the field yesterday as he led the team in tackles and tackles for loss. He has been a big contributor especially in the absence of Jordan Jenkins. He’s becoming the most consistent of the outside linebackers.

What Didn’t

The Offensive Line

The line consistently got blown up by the Florida defensive front.  I don’t know what has happened to the line as the season has worn on.  Houston and Pyke weren’t at their best today, and Houston has not been the same player this year that he was last season.  No push on the line for the running backs and very inconsistent pass protection for the passing game.  This group has become very hard to watch.

Tackling

Once again, inconsistent tackling reared its ugly head especially as the game wore on.  We made the Florida running game look like the 1960s Green Bay Packers and the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers rolled up into one again.  The front 7 got pushed around by an inexperienced offensive line, and the team tackled poorly in the 4th quarter.

Special Teams

Another week … another disaster.  I’m going to leave it at that, so I’m not tempted to direct my frustration personally at any of our players.

Player of the Game

I’m going to give the honor to Davin Bellamy for his performance.  I usually separate this from my What Went Well section, but I’m just at a loss for anything positive to say beyond his performance.

Grades

Offense – F

That performance was possibly one of the worst performances by a Georgia offense in the Richt era.  It evoked memories of the 1990 offense where we looked absolutely clueless. I’m getting ready to say something that probably will offend some, but the quarterback switch was nothing but fake juice and blew up in Richt’s and Schottenheimer’s face.  There isn’t a trustworthy starting quarterback on campus right now, and that fact has been fully exposed over the last four games.  None of them respect ball security, but, of course, it’s hard to focus on ball security when your offensive line is doing their best collective matador impressions especially against speed rushers.  Keith Marshall comes in, makes 3 good runs, and catches a pass on one series.  He proceeds to go back to the bench and doesn’t see the field again. NO TOUCHDOWNS IN THE LAST 9 QUARTERS! THAT’S COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE FOR A GEORGIA OFFENSE! Sorry about the yelling …

Defense – C-

The defense gave up two scores – one on the only well thrown ball Treon Harris made the entire game and the other after the game was essentially over.  The other two scores are the fault of the special teams and the offense.  The defense gave up 126 yards on two plays and only 287 yards for the remainder of the game.  It’s hard for the defense to win the game when the offense gives them no field position to work with and no time of possession for them to catch their collective breath.

Coaching – F

I’ve made the comment about the fake juice.  I don’t think the coaches did anything yesterday to give the team the best chance to win.  To start Bauta in the most important game of the year seemed to indicate a degree of desperation. As I mentioned in my preview post, I thought we needed to punch Florida in the mouth early and often with the offensive line and the running game. Rob Sale hasn’t gotten his line to punch anyone since the South Carolina game. I also have to put Thomas Brown on notice here. He has wasted what is likely to be Keith Marshall’s last year in a Bulldog uniform.

Overall – F

The offensive ineptitude and the special teams gaffe overshadow any positives from the defense.  This game was a failure of the program across the board.  The question now is whether this team is going to mail it in for the rest of the season or try to get to 8 or 9 wins. It’s incredible to me to see how much the offense has gone off the rails since Nick Chubb’s season ended.

Look Ahead to Kentucky

The game in Athens on Saturday could be the most important, meaningless game of the Richt era and is exactly where it should be … the noon game on the SEC Network.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team come out, play uninspired, and get their butts handed to them.  I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this team come out, play hard, and run the Wildcats off the field.  I think the answer is somewhere in between those extremes as the Dawgs struggle but win ugly.  The Wildcats are currently getting beaten at home by Tennessee, so I have a feeling Big Blue Nation is looking to basketball season now.

That’s what I think.  Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments below.
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Avid lifelong football fan of the Falcons and Bulldogs, digital and multi-media support for Bulldawg Illustrated, host of BD Illustrated ON-AIR, dabbler in graphic arts, and peach cobbler fears me.