ET’s Look Back to GSU and Ahead to tech

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ET’s Look Back to GSU and Ahead to tech

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Newly collared Uga X
Newly collared Uga X
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated
[su_spacer size=”40″] Well, that didn’t go as I hoped or predicted. I thought the offense would be able to march up and down the field against Georgia Southern on Saturday night in Athens, but the offensive bugaboos that have affected the team since the Alabama game reared their ugly heads again. Fortunately, the defense continued to keep the team in the game, and the Dawgs defeat the Eagles 23-17 in overtime in what is likely to be the last game in the series between these 2 tightly connected universities. Let’s get to the rundown.
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What Went Well

Sony Michel

Michel went for 132 yards rushing including the game-winning 25-yard “one and done” run in the overtime period. He has run hard all season long and could go over 1,000 yards in the regular season with a solid game on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. Since Chubb’s injury, Michel has been a work horse at running back, and I would hate to see where this offense would be without him.

Rushing Defense

Throughout the game, the Georgia defense generally controlled the GSU triple option especially the dive option. The only significant yards the Eagles mustered on Saturday night were on the outside, and even then, they never really lined up and gashed the Georgia defense consistently. If you hold a team 150 yards under their game average, you are doing something right. Hopefully, this defense has more of that stored up for Saturday against the enemy.

Brice Ramsey

Ramsey has become a field position weapon with a couple of kicks inside the 20 and a ball downed inside the 1. It’s been a long time since I’ve been confident that we can consistently flip the field when the offense stalls. If he keeps this up, he may get a look next year by an NFL team as a punter and could be a Ray Guy Award candidate in 2016.

What Didn’t

Ball Security

The two fumbles were killers and took potential points off the scoreboard. Mitchell’s fumble wasted the great field position created by Ramsey’s punt and an immediate 3-and-out by the Georgia defense. It also dulled Georgia momentum and gave the Eagles a shot in the arm as they created their first drive of the night after that. Of course, I-Mac’s fumble on the jet sweep turned into Eagle points with the scoop-and-score that truly changed momentum. Once again, the fumble occurred as the defense created a 3-and-out to start the 2nd half and the offense was driving. McKenzie must be left-handed because the ball is always there. He appeared to be carrying the ball with his inside arm, and that’s a recipe for disaster for a man his size.

QB Contain

Southern QBs broke containment in the pocket a few times and created yardage and first downs. In the overtime, Upshaw broke contain on 3rd down and got them to 4th and 1 to set up the huge defensive stop in the OT period. Yes, I’m being picky.

Offensive Play Calling

We continued to run power even though the Eagles were selling out to stop the Georgia running game. We seemed to gash them with both run and pass in spread sets. Then, all of a sudden, we would go away from it and stall. Very frustrating to watch …

Player of the Game

In what was likely to be his last game in Sanford Stadium, Leonard Floyd was absolutely dominant with 12 total tackles including 3.5 for loss. His play in the overtime period was like we would see from David Pollack or Jarvis Jones at their best. He has matched his execution with his consistency this year.

Grades

Offense – C-

The only reason the grade is this high is that the Dawgs won. The turnovers, the play calling, and the QB play were pretty awful and came close to wasting a great effort by the defense. I have some thoughts on what the problems are, but that’s a post for after the season.

Defense – A

The defense gave up 10 points. That should have been enough for the Dawgs to win comfortably. Floyd, Jenkins, Kimbrough, and Ganus brought their lunch pails and got the job done. If these 4 play like that on Saturday, I like our chances to win and control the tech offense.

Coaching – C

Whatever got said before the OT needs to be bottled up and used before the game in Atlanta. Pruitt and company, excellent work. Schottenheimer and company, we want a pro style offense, not an NFL offense that doesn’t have a QB.

Overall – C

It was a win, but a very mediocre one. That’s a C in my book.

Look Ahead to tech

Boy, who would have thought tech was going to be awful this year? The offense is a high school offense has generally been difficult to defend. I imagine Pruitt has been looking at film to adjust his strategy to defend the service academy triple option. The defense has been consistently gashed by most teams they have played, but the question is whether the offense can make tech pay for loading the box. I like the Dawgs to keep the streak at the Joke by Coke alive with a solid win to complete the regular season.

What do you think?
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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.