Posted: 11:54 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013
Let's get right to it, shall we? The good stuff first. It'll be brief.
1. Congratulations to Aaron Murray. He became only the 2nd SEC quarterback (Danny Wuerffel) to throw for 100 touchdowns in his still-going-strong career, and his total now stands at 103. Murray's line: 22/30, 408 yards, 13.6 average, 3 Touchdowns and 1 interception for a QBR of 91.1 (vs. South Carolina, it was a 92.9). I'm not going to dwell too much on the interception because it was bad - even Murray admitted later that he totally forced a throw that was picked off by a linebacker Will Wright in the end zone. Two weeks ago against South Carolina, he was almost perfect. Today, Aaron was merely very good. Those picks in the end zone cannot happen going forward. I think he knows this. Better to get this out of his system this week than next...
2. Jay Rome made a nice 27-yard grab on Georgia's first scoring drive, but re-aggravated his ankle injury and left the game for the duration. I don't know his availability next week, but we need him. Arthur Lynch continues to show why he's a pre-season First Team All-SEC pick. He blocks, he catches, he catches touchdowns, and he blocks. Four receptions for 85 yards and a score. Stay healthy, you big Chowda' Head...
3. It looks as if a couple of freshman will continue to contribute good things as we get into the meat of the SEC schedule: Reggie Davis, welcome aboard! The recipient of the longest touchdown pass in Georgia history just ran a simple fly pattern, beat the safety, caught the ball in stride on the Georgia 40, and cruised right down the middle of the field. J.J. Green is a very good back, getting in on the scoring action on Georgia's last "Backups" drive. Nice little burst down the sideline for 39 yards was the longest run from scrimmage all day. Brenden Douglas got in for a series with minimal results. He did not fumble. This is important, I kid you not.
4. North Texas, obviously, jammed the middle of the field to take away the run limiting the effectiveness of Gurley and Marshall. It was tough sledding. Gurley ground out 91 tough yards on 21 carries with a touchdown. Keith Marshall only rushed for 16 yards. It was very vanilla: No traps, not many formations out of the "pistol" and essentially runs in the middle against a stacked line with a few sweeps to the outside.
Let's talk about some not-so-good stuff...
5. I saw it, you saw it, and Chuckdawg nearly committed ritualistic hara-kiri with a plastic Chik-Fil-A knife over it: What was the thinking to end the first half? We get the ball on our own 27 with a few ticks under 3:00 and don't wing-it down the field? As mentioned before, NTU is jamming the box and the beginning of this series was no different. So, run the middle on first down (2 yard gain), 7-yard pass to Conley brings up 3rd and 1...and we run the middle again where Gurley gets stuffed. Punt. Not sure I get this entire sequence. Anyway, we hold North Texas deep, force a short punt setting us up on their 36. Why not take a shot here? We opt for a long field goal that's wide right.
5a. Our starting offensive line "lineup" was the same as we used against Clemson. I think I liked the South Carolina version a bit better. Something is wrong here. Give North Texas' defense credit...but not too much. This has to get fixed.
6. North Texas had a long 10 play, 86 yard drive that was featured a drive-sustaining pass interference penalty and a short-side screen pass that was not defended well which set NTU up for their eventual 20 yard TD pass from Derek Thompson to Darnell Smith over Damian Swann. It was a perfect throw and a better catch, but should never have gotten to that point. Yeah, I'm being overly critical here...but the defense went to sleep on that entire drive. That's football.
Now it gets ugly...
7. Special Teams play is going to have to get some attention, and it will.
We’ve already made a move on the punt snapping anyway," Richt said. "We’ll reevaluate if that’s what we want to do next game but there’s a pretty good chance Frix will continue to snap for punts and we’ll decided what we need to do on extra points and field goal as well." - h/t Marc Weiszer - Online Athens
8. Collin Barber made a great catch with a wet ball on the punt block after our first (3 and out) possession of the second half. It didn't matter. That punt was doomed to be blocked whether the snap from Nathan Theus was dead-solid perfect or not. North Texas blew right up the middle and was past our wall in disturbingly fast speed. Perhaps the wet ball, more than anything - as the rains really intensified at this junction of the game - was mostly at fault. They had some high snaps, too. But this was a breakdown in blocking assignment.
9. On North Texas' long kickoff return, I'm not so sure Blake Sailors didn't get blocked in the back when Brelan Chancellor burst right up the middle through a slew of bad angles to go 99 yards and a score. Just kick the damned ball through the end zone, please. Do we have anyone with consistent leg strength? I wonder sometimes.
I feel guilty now. Here's some more good...
Lloyd Floyd. He was a terror off the edge and is beginning to play a bit more instinctual. He could stand to gain a bit more weight, but is really quick. Oh, and Andre Ware's favorite 70's rock group is Pink Lloyd.
11. Freshman playing time. A bunch of them got in to the game. Play 'em if they can play. We're already young, why not get younger?
12. 641 Total yards. 450 passing (Don't forget Wooten the Ball Thrower - 32 yard toss to Lynch), 191 tough yards rushing. Except for the lateral from Murray-Wooten-Lynch, it was still a very vanilla offensive plan. And we do first and bomb because it's what we do. No surprises there.
13. The press is saying it took something to "motivate" the Dawgs for some sort of cosmic football switch to flip on. Perhaps it was Tray Matthews' interception midway through the 3rd quarter to light the fire. I never doubted the outcome of this game, but that was, indeed, a very big play at a critical time because we just took the lead again and North Texas was driving - with a big screen pass for 30 yards to Reggie Pegram - setting them up on our 27. Big play, Tray. BIG PLAY TRAY! I hope this becomes a t-shirt or something.
14. If we're gonna schedule a cupcake, schedule FIU or Savannah State or FAMU or ULM. There were more blowouts yesterday than a caravan on a Mexican dirt road. Some of these blowouts were classless in a most Urbanesque fashion. I guess some teams are trying to make a point. On the other hand, some of the recipients of their whipping probably shouldn't be in D-I football anyway.
15. Florida and Tennessee needs to be demoted by CBS until further notice. Maybe this game should be an ESPN2 Thursday Night Special.
I'm Feeling Frisky...Bonus Thoughts!
16. Speaking of Florida, best of luck to Jeff Driskel, who broke his leg in the first quarter on Saturday. I hate seeing any kid go down with an injury like this.
17. Jeremy Hill had a lot of yards for LSU. He's a big back; typical of what the Bengal Tigers trot out there every year. 184 yards against Auburn in the rain is impressive, but Auburn now has a Rodney problem. The WarTiglesMen got gashed in the middle of their line all night. There is much to be learned from this film study prior to next week, Grasshopper..
18. Alabama looked hungover, Michigan is four-and-oh and shouldn't be ranked, the PAC-12 will be very interesting to follow.
19. ESPN's GameDay has chosen to be in Athens next week. I need this news like I need a hole in my head. Rats.
GameDay makes my head hurt