Charles Johnson bats down a pass vs. Miss. State (Photo by Jim Hipple)
Defensively before the game I was hoping to see:
- More pressure on the QB - check
More blitzing from the LBs - check
Using Ellerbe and/or Dewberry on obvious passing downs - check
Better tackling - nope. way, way, way off
Why so many points?
The Drive Chart tells the story, and it's awfully hard to blame the defense when the offense gives up five turnovers.
MSU had a 2 play 13 yard scoring drive resulting in a touchdown. They also had a 4 play 8 yard drive resulting in a field goal. Those were the gimmie points that we served up on a silver platter. Even the world's most inept offense can score in that situation. We also gave up another TD after a turnover.
The Bizarro Dogs had only 1 drive of more than 51 yards on the day. That's it.
Bryan Evans played like a redshirt freshman corner generally plays in the SEC. Some good, and lots of bad. On Tuesday, when they show the replay on CSS you'll see that he was the victim for most of MSU's big passing plays. The good news is the upside. He looked no worse than Paul Oliver, Tim Jennings or Tim Wansley looked as freshmen in their first start. Byrd still didn't get a ton of minutes, but Tra Battle had a solid game with a huge INT return to set up Georgia's first scoring drive. Hopefully, Remarcus Brown will be back for UF.
Worst tackling linebackers at Georgia since at least Marion Campbell's early 90s squad. If that group tackled better than this one, then we either have to go back to the 4-7 '90 team or some group coached pre-Dooley in the early 60s. They tackle at a level only Hal Mumme could appreciate.
The good news is that Tony Taylor really stepped his overall game up. He still missed some tackles, but he had a variety of big plays all over the field. He has a case of the want its. And it's obvious.
As I said earlier, Moses and Johnson had a huge game. Richt said after the game, "They made a difference in this game and I was thankful for that. I was proud of them for that." I agree 100%. We're going to need a bunch more of that in Jax.
If you're mad at Willie Martinez after this one (other than the tackling with I personally put on the position coach) you're barking up the wrong tree or you didn't watch the game. An opinion that David Ching shares with me. The turnovers put us in the position we were win. The offense must protect the ball better.
As someone else said this weekend, every scheme looks better with great effort, pressure on the QB and great tackling. I think we got 2 out of three. Still room for improvement, but I thought it was progress given the field position.