In the context of this “single” game, the Georgia Bulldogs were thoroughly whipped and demoralized by Alabama. There was a question after Georgia’s first four games against obviously inferior opponents if the Dawgs were as good as what fans were seeing or was it simply a mirage? The truth is, even after this beating, we still don’t know. But there is a trend that isn’t developing but has developed in Athens, and I honestly don’t know how to answer the question. In each of the last ten seasons, Georgia has lost at least one game by more than 15 points! THAT’S ALARMING! Or at least it should be to those in charge of this program if winning a championship is an actual goal.
There is very little to point to here. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both played hard. Nick Chubb rushed for over 100 yards against one of the toughest defenses in the Country to surpass Herschel Walker’s record with 13 straight 100 yard games. Those numbers in and of themselves are a little deceiving as Chubb had one long touchdown run for 83 yards. The other 19 carries, Chubb gained only 63 yards.
The only other really good news coming out of the game against the Tide was that none of the Bulldogs hurt themselves running through the pre-game banner and that Georgia came out “relatively” unscathed from an injury standpoint.
Georgia’s defense made Alabama’s Jake Coker look like Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay fame. Coker was 11-16 for 190 yards and a touchdown. On the flip side, Georgia’s quarterback play was pathetic. Lambert seemed to be waiting for receivers to run “wide open” which isn’t going to happen against excellent defenses. Brice Ramsey, in relief, was even more inept than Lambert, which is saying something.
Alabama made a commitment to rush four on the defensive front while typically dropping seven into coverage. Alabama felt very comfortable stifling Georgia’s experienced offensive line and making sure that Lambert/Ramsey had no openings in which to fit most passes.
The Georgia team that showed up to face Alabama on this day IS NOT championship caliber. Georgia is loaded with “individual talent” but has consistently failed to rise to the occasion as a team in the recent past against Top-10 opponents.
The Bulldogs were a turnover machine giving up three interceptions and one fumble; which you cannot do if you hope to even compete with the likes of an Alabama. They also had a punt “literally” taken off the foot of the kicker for another score.
The worst situation may have been early in the contest as Georgia took 3 points off the board when Alabama committed a penalty on a field goal try and the Dawgs then failed to convert a 1st and goal into a touchdown; that really set the tone for the rest of the game.
Also, fans had to be extremely disappointed in the schemes, matchups, and failure in execution on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Schottenheimer did a poor job creating matchups using personnel groups. Georgia didn’t even target a tight end the entire ball game. Pruitt’s defense, although put into precarious situations at times due to turnovers, failed miserably in pass coverage and in pressuring Alabama’s quarterback.
NO BONES TO THROW:
Football is a team game, and this was a total team failure; from the head coach all the way down to the trainers. If we threw the Georgia team that showed up Saturday “a bone”, they would surely have to gum it because they were toothless in their most recent appearance between the hedges.
NO BONES ‘BOUT IT:
Georgia isn’t Alabama no matter how much they try to fashion themselves after the Tide. Saban has a reputation of obsessing about how to make his team better and how to win championships. Richt not so much. As I left a rain-soaked Sanford Stadium, I heard many people talk about Georgia needing to relieve Coach Richt of his duties. The crazy thing about those making the comments is that they were ALABAMA fans. This a group of people so spoiled by success that many have forgotten what it was like to have Mike Shula, Mike Price, and Dennis Franchione leading their program.
I heard one Georgia fan exclaim, “Georgia has lost all national respect!” I replied that the Bulldogs needed to worry less about national respect and find a way to get back their self-respect. Many people called this game a “program definer”. Had the Bulldogs won this game, I may have agreed with that perspective. But in truth, how this team responds to adversity and what they choose to do with the rest of their season will be the program definer.
I would be hard pressed to believe that a team that got dismantled at home could still make the College Football Playoff. However, it would be almost unfathomable that whoever wins the SEC would be left out. Georgia can still win the SEC East. Georgia can still make it to Atlanta. Georgia can still win the SEC. The Georgia program is really at a crossroads in the middle of Richt’s 16th season. As they prepare for a tough road test in Knoxville, the Dawgs are going to have to put this loss behind them and make the conscious decision that they won’t let Alabama beat them twice in two weeks. And there are NO BONES ‘BOUT THAT!