When it comes to sports the first statistics anyone ever sees is the score. The final for Ball State at Georgia was 45-3 (Dawgs win), but that is by no means the whole story. Like last week’s game against UT Martin, this outing left fans with some questions– particularly having to do with the state of the offense and the fact that there was little to no action in the first quarter. That side of the ball has experienced plenty of change from last season with Carson Beck and Mike Bobo now being the new starting quarterback and offensive coordinator. This change is what has brought about some qualms amongst the Bulldawg faithful. 45-3 just isn’t enough for some. To be fair, three of those scores came off of turnovers near or beyond midfield putting the Dawgs in prime position to score, one of them was credited to special teams, and the offense failed to score in the first or fourth quarter.
There’s plenty of potential in this offense, we just have yet to see it on display. The past two weeks have served as tune-up opportunities to prep for SEC play against South Carolina this week. Dawg Nation just has to let Kirby cook.
Football is a team sport. Relying on one lone guy could wind up coming back to bite you, but that isn’t the case here. The Georgia offense threw to 12 different receivers last Saturday which keeps in trend with the 11 different receivers they threw to the week prior. One thing this offense knows how to do is spread the wealth and that’s precisely what we’re seeing here with all these receivers getting opportunities with the ball. This number really speaks to the functionality of the receiver room; these guys are good at getting open. Albeit, this stat may look a different come Carolina, but Georgia should be doing this kinda stuff against this level of competition.
The Dawgs have something special in walk-on receiver Mekhi Mews. He’s an electric player with a different level of agility that is put on display whenever the ball is in his hands, especially when he’s returning. Mews was the first Dawg to score against Ball State after a dry first quarter after he took a punt 69 yards to the house. This score may have been foreshadowed by his opening kickoff return going for 47 yards, but regardless just know Mews is the man with the ball in his hands. In addition to the return game he was able to contribute as a receiver as well catching three passes for 27 yards.
The Dawgs picked the ball off three different times in a little under five minutes of gametime versus the Cardinals. Coach Smart doesn’t want to let that stat get into anyone’s head though. Smart said that two of those picks were “lucky,” with linebacker Chaz Chambliss and STAR Tykee Smith both getting theirs off of tipped passes. The other interception from Malaki Starks was labeled as “really really great play” by the Georgia head coach because of the way timed the ball and “caught the ball at highest point.” This turnover number is a significant improvement on last week’s performance, but with luck, there’s not a lot you can do expecting it to translate to other games. The guys did a good job playing the ball and catching tipped passes this week, so here’s hoping they continue that the entire season.
21 yards was the longest run of the afternoon; credit receiver Dillon Bell with the carry. And no this wasn’t a jet sweep, a backwards pass, or any type of gadget play. This was Bell lining up in the backfield in shotgun next to Carson Beck, receiving a handoff, and taking off for 21 yards to the house. This was in the middle of the second quarter too. This was meaningful playing time that bell was seeing. Georgia has a very interesting running back situation right now, and it will be fun to keep up with it as the season progresses.