An Immature Win
Our pretty boy longhaired quarterback Jacob Eason won his first career start as rookie coach Kirby Smart went to 1-0 in home games on a sunny September Saturday in the Classic City.
Other than a lack of devastating injuries and an avoidance of perhaps the biggest upset ever, the 2-0 Dawgs have nothing to smile about today. Tough App State won at a ranked Michigan some years ago before moving up in classification and just last week South Alabama beat SEC member Mississippi State, but a loss to the FCS Colonels by the #9 ranked team would have out-disgraced either significantly. UGA was favored by between 50 and 55 depending on where you bet. The Dawgs won by just two in Athens one week after beating a ranked, explosive North Carolina team in a neutral site game by nine.
I asked last week if #GEORGIA could handle even the modest hype that came off the first big win of the Kirby era. Answer? No. Explosive? No. Nick Chubb had easily his worst full game as a Bulldog, bottled up for a still decent 80 yards on 20 carries, a yards per carry number that is less than half of what he averaged over half of a football season last year. He added an early touchdown but also had a key fumble. While our top receiver continues to be Isaiah McKenzie, who had a total of just two catches, one for negative yardage. He had a big one for 66 and popped a punt return for 55 but also muffed a punt. Eason was just 11-of-20 with a touchdown and a tipped ball pick. Lambert spelled him for three passes and netted two yards on two completions. No quarterback controversy emerged before SEC play begins this week at The Zou. Ham missed another kick, but Kirby stayed with him and he made two (long of 26) when the Dawgs had to settle.
Both of our opponents have scored 24, with our three turnovers playing a huge factor this week and UNC running a kick back. Overall the defense has been good, offense average, special teams bad.
UGA’s strength of schedule isn’t very high this year so far: UNC is 1-1, Nicholls is 0-1, Missouri is 1-1, Ole Miss is 1-1, South Carolina is 1-1, Vanderbilt is 1-1, Kentucky is 0-2, Auburn is 1-1, Louisiana Lafayette is 1-1. While Auburn’s loss was a close one to (#2) Clemson and Tech, Tennessee and Florida are undefeated, so the rivalries look real.
Most of the schedule scored way more than Georgia did this week. In order: UNC: 48, Nicholls: 24, Mizzou: 61, Mississippi: 38, UT: 45, SCar: 14, Vandy: 47, (BYE), UF: 45, Kentucky: 7, Aubie: 51, Tech: 35.
Is it very early? Sure is and many of the teams across the country played much differently in weeks 1 and 2. That happens with these kids many years, because of the psychology of being such a young inexperienced man living inside the hype machine of this game.
Georgia got brought down to a thudding reality without losing a game and now needs to be coached up. Less Ham. More Godwin, more Michel, take some of the pressure off Chubb. Better ball security. Passing more early in downs will help, but we must convert on third down more. A good way to move the chains would be by being less predictable. UNC was tackling Chubb on 3 and 1 before he had the ball and Nicholls State did the best job any team has done on him.
Unless you count Tennessee. October 1st is coming! Please be with us at The Max Canada before the huge SEC home opener. Let’s hang out.
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Book: “Richt Era” debuts 11/11 -Avid Bookshop, Athens