I’mYourHuckleberry breaks down Georgia’s game against North Carolina as the Dawgs came away with a 33-24 win in their season opener. Here’s the Good and the Bad.
#1 – Run Blocking – The run blocking was fantastic in Week 1. The combination of the offensive line, tight ends and fullbacks working together generated a fantastic push and opened some big holes for Nick Chubb and Brian Herrien. It was the blend of physicality, execution and nastiness that Bulldog fans have been wanting to see for years from the offensive line. While North Carolina is not the stoutest run defense the Bulldogs will face all season, they tried to stop the run with 8 in the box throughout the game and still couldn’t come close to slowing it down. UGA physically dominated the Tarheels at the point of attack.
#2 – Nick Chubb – What can I say that has not already been said. Chubb is a freak of a nature and is without question the best tailback in all of college football. There is literally nothing he cannot do.
#3 – Jim Chaney – Last season UGA’s offense was incredibly predictable and thus relatively easy to contain. On Saturday, the only thing that was predictable was that UGA was going to run the ball. The Bulldogs used multiple formations and ran a great variety of plays out of those formations. There were dives, draws, iso’s, toss sweeps, off-tackle and counter traps out of the same two and three tight-end formations. Chaney consistently dialed up the right calls allowing the Bulldogs churn out 25 first downs and convert on 50% of their 3rd downs.
#4 – Pass Defense – Whether it be Maurice Smith, Malkom Parrish, Juwuan Briscoe or any other member of the secondary, the Bulldogs did a very good job in pass coverage. The Tarheels have some very explosive WR’s in Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard and Mack Hollins but the Dawgs pass defense held them to a total of 10 catches for 73 yards. Heading into this game nobody thought that was possible but the Dawgs got it done.
#5 – The Quarterback Rotation – Jim Chaney and Kirby Smart handled the QB rotation very well. I was worried that the flow of the offense would be disrupted but the Bulldogs rotated the QB’s flawlessly, allowing both QB’s to get in a rhythm and just going with the flow of the game instead of assigning series and “executing a plan”. Extremely well done.
#6 – Lorenzo Carter – While Carter didn’t have the greatest game as a pass rusher, his effort was off the chart. He was all over the field chasing plays down, crashing the edge or containing the quarterback. His motor was running at 100% every snap he was on the field. The sacks will come.
#1 – Setting the Edge – UGA struggled mightily setting the edge throughout the game. Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan were able to get the corner on multiple occasions and create explosive plays. Sometimes it was the outside linebackers that made the mistake and other times it was defensive backs who got sucked inside. UGA can’t allow this to happen against better opponents because if they do it will spell trouble.
#2 – The Pass Rush – One of the Bulldogs goals in this game defensively was to keep Mitch Trubisky in the pocket. Make no mistake about it, Trubisky could have hurt the Bulldogs with his legs but UGA didn’t give him the opportunity. However, you still need to be able to get consistent pressure on the QB and the Bulldogs didn’t do that well enough.
#3 – Creating Separation (Other than i-Mac) – The receivers were not a huge part of the game plan for the Bulldogs other than run blocking, but when the Bulldogs needed their receivers to get open they struggled. Terry Godwin, Jayson Stanley, Michael Chigbu, Riley Ridley and others need to run better routes and create more separation on a consistent basis.
In my opinion the positives are that “The Good” should only improve. As for the bad, most of that should be fixable and should improve. Hell of a start to the Kirby Smart era!