Georgia got its butt kicked in Baton Rouge Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs lost to LSU 36-16 and struggled to get anything going all day. I published a story on Saturday morning about how the team is young, quiet and hungry. That can still be true. However, it is more like young, humbled and still hungry. LSU humbled Georgia in many ways but ultimately exposed how young this team is.
Too many Mistakes by Inexperienced Players
With the youngest team in the SEC, Georgia saw a lot of growing pains Saturday. Young guys made a lot of mistakes in a hostile environment.
Jake Fromm struggled to get his team motivated and had way too many missed opportunities. From overthrowing his wide receivers to making bad throws, this was the worst game in Fromm’s career at Georgia. There is no way to sugar coat it. Instead of being his usual cool, calm and collected self, there were plenty times he just looked lost in the pocket. He went 16-34 for 209 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions. LSU got into his head and made him make mistakes. Fromm is still just a sophomore that is learning, and after Saturday that showed.
Cade Mays and Isaiah Wilson shined at times but struggled a good bit as well. However, so did Andrew Thomas and Solomon Kindley on the other side. I will give Lamont Gaillard credit where credit is due and say that he did a great job communicating and doing his part. However, the youth around him caused LSU to sack Fromm three different times. Before Saturday’s game, the sophomore had only gotten sacked five times all year.
On the defensive side of things, Tyson Campbell led the team in tackles but made a lot of mistakes as well. The secondary’s youth showed with him and Richard LeCounte’s high tackling which caused LSU to get more yardage. Campbell had eight solo tackles on the day. Both had miscommunications and misreads which gave the Tigers huge gains throughout the game. Jordan Davis is another that got significant playing time but made a lot of mistakes too. He did well plugging the hole but showed his lack of experience when the line would double team or did anything to try and stop him. He needs to work on getting that leverage and winning in the trenches.
It wasn’t just the youth that struggled against the Tigers yesterday, but the entire team. Georgia happens to play a lot of young guys, and if those young guys had a little more experience, the game could have gone differently. However, they don’t, and LSU exposed it.
Humbled by the Loss
Georgia needs to chalk this loss up as a learning experience. The Bulldogs didn’t play like the No. 2 team in the nation at all.
This loss should humble head coach Kirby Smart and his team because during the entire game they were outcoached, outplayed and LSU was unmistakably the more physical team. The head coach himself said in the post-game press conference that in the SEC if you play like that, your team won’t be very successful. Smart took full responsibility for not having the team ready and for not getting better each week.
Georgia’s entire team got a wake-up call Saturday, and it wasn’t a good one. The Tigers rushed for 275 yards on the ground and 200 through the air. Everything went right for LSU, and everything went wrong for Georgia. The best way to take this loss is by swallowing your pride and moving onto the next one.
Still Hungry as Ever
The Bulldogs loss against LSU reminds me a lot of what happened with Auburn last year. Georgia got sent home with its tail between its legs. Like Smart said last season, this loss doesn’t define this team. It’s how this team responds to the adversity. Georgia will either come out hungry and mad at the world two weeks from now in Jacksonville or continue the same trend.
Regardless of getting curb stomped in Baton Rouge, Georgia still controls its destiny to the SEC Championship and even potentially the College Football Playoff. However, after this week, it’s best to not look past the Gators.
Like I said in the first sentence, Georgia got its butt kicked on Saturday. Chalk it up, take the L and move onto the next week. It’ll be a long two weeks, but an ability to let this team get mad about getting embarrassed and finding that grit it had last season. Whether or not that’ll happen is still in the air, but we will find out as the Bulldogs next test will be the Gators on October 27.
The sky isn’t falling, but after this weekend, Georgia got a rude awakening and a major reality check.