GEORGIA Football Notes from Fayetteville
Han Vance on Georgia football: MVPs on offense and defense Richard LeCounte III – vampirical “Le Count” is Ball Hawk, Baby! – and Stetson Bennett IV – The Mailman delivers! – are both just 190 pounds and 5-11. Not on the bigger side for athletes, for sure; I’m bigger and taller than those guys.
I @-ed Richard LeCounte this morning that he was going to win the Jim Thorpe Award, which only NFL outcast first rounder character-bust Baker ever won at our old school. LeCounte has four interceptions in his last two games, a whole lot for a safety. Coming out of high school, I projected him to be THE ball hawk who immediately changed Georgia football, which was perhaps the last time I’ll ever say a true frosh DB will do that, since it didn’t happen immediately, and was based on his crazy high school stats at fumble recoveries and picks.
EXPAT JACK, a sometime contributor to BHB, noted the talented guys were scheming for more takeaways from the defensive backfield this season, in the late stage of the fall camp, which I bemoaned on one hand: trying to get strips when you are a small DB can lead to extra running back yardage and YAC (run yards-after-catch), which can result in first downs and touchdowns and ultimately losses. I said they needed to break on more balls and get picks to increase turnover ratios.
LeCounte’s main comp at UGA for the Thorpe Award is a guy who did just that, as Eric Stokes Jr. had the game-breaking pick six Saturday in Hogland. Georgia won 37-10 and got widely poor-mouthed by the media; that’s just how strong the league is, I suppose.
Watched the game tape of said Stetson Show, which was a bit less impressive than I first thought but still plenty strong for a relief save. Bennett had a 93.6 QBR and hit 69% with two touchdown passes and some key runs, plus no turnovers. He came in the game at 10:07 of the 2nd quarter, should have been plugged in earlier.
I won’t hit you with the intermittent run plays so much as just the key plays, which focused on Bennett. He was 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 3-4 (on a tipped ball D-Rob dropped), had key run for a first down on 4th down on the next play. 4-5, then Zamir White (who was average at best as a feature runner, yet again) was stopped on both 3rd and short and 4th and short. That was a bad omen for the season, I felt, but 4-for-5 was such a massive improvement over D’Wan’s overhyped debut that I felt pretty good, suddenly.
4-6 as he forced the next one to George Pickens who was doubled, which could have been picked. Then a designed run for him on 2nd and 10 got a first down. He’s pretty quick. 4-7, another one broken up. Sacked next play and could’ve maybe thrown it away. 4-8 and hit an offensive lineman in the back on a screen pass. I was well-worried, again. He was hardly lighting it up at 50% and Dawgs were losing (7-2) on the road to a team that had dropped 19-straight SEC games.
We got the ball back with exactly 1:00 in the first half. 5-8, 6-9, 6-10 (James Cook with a drop). 7-11, 8-12, 9-13, 9-14, 9-15…and from there he heated all the way up and had just two more incompletions.
Georgia nailed a key kick to close the sad first half down 7-5.
11 points scored on his first five drives is not good enough to win most weeks, actually. But the George Pickens touchdown play was fairly great. And, getting the two-point conversion was also money.
3:20 of the 3rd was when the real whole team magic started with the FitzPatrick touchdown, after the Zamir White blocked punt. He’d add a nice, short TD run when the game was out of reach.
While White blocking a punt was cool, is a feature running back who has had two catastrophic injuries the best guy to play on special teams in punt cover? Georgia needs to run the ball much better, y’all.
Although soph RB Kenny McIntosh was a real revelation at kick returner, as the whole special teams played excellent. Nice to see that.
The dynamic D scored eight points, getting a safety, while only giving up 9 points (not counting easy extra point kicks on either stat line). You net -1 point a game on defense, you win.
After yielding best in the nation 12.6 per game as a team last year, Georgia is giving up just 10 so far in 2020. Talented Auburn, longest league win streak Tennessee and our white whale, an angry and loaded Bama are the next three teams up, though.
The Mailman threw no passes in the last 12 minutes of the game.
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