October 30, 2006
Offensive MVP. Image: DawgPost.com
I'm always prone to hyperbole, and it may have been the bourbon talking. But before the game, I said, "This will be one of the greatest days in American History, or it will be exactly what I'm afraid will happen."
Actually it was neither. We played better than I thought we would, and we kept it close while losing.
-- Our defense only allowed two touchdowns to Florida. That's fewer than the defenses of LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee allowed in their match-ups with the Gators.
-- Our offense scored two touchdowns on the solid Gator defense. That is more than the offenses of Auburn (0 offensive TDs), LSU (1 offensive TD) or Alabama (1 offensive TD) scored versus the Gators. And it's the same as UT managed.
-- Chris Leak got a concussion in the game. WAIT -- BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT. I don't wish injury on anyone, and I've got no beef with Chris Leak. I want him to live a long healthy life. However, for Chris Leak to get a concussion we had to actually hit him. That's something we have not done often in three of the prior four games against the Gators. In fact, most QBs this season that UGA has faced -- not named Blake -- haven't even experienced grass stains much less violent collisions. The Dawgs knocked Leak around several times. Hopefully, it's just a headache and he heals up nicely. But it was nice to see us get some pressure on the QB for a change.
-- We didn't roll over and play dead. Down 21-0 I was afraid it was about to get risickulous. But the Dawgs battled back and played well.
Ouch. Image: ABH
-- Martez Milner tries hard. He's a good dawg. He's overcome so much to just be eligible to play this final season after starting out as a partial qualifier. The Colorado game should've been the moment that turned his career around. But it doesn't look like that will be the case. Can we see what Tripp Chandler can do in a broader role? He certainly made some critical plays vs. MSU.
-- Receiving in general. We could improve so much in this area. Right now, we have a team that couldn't catch syphilis at a Rockdale County prom. And we don't block well either. Whatever we've been doing the past six years doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's time to try something different in our approach...beyond the tennis ball thing.
-- Tackling, while much better than the past three weeks, still needs work. Primarily, we need to work on our tackling at the spot manned by the 170 pound walk-on safety who starts over the bigger, faster, stronger, better tackling, well rested and younger player named CJ Byrd. Is Tra Battle so critical to our defensive scheme that he can't come off the field more than a handful of plays on defense per game? How is Byrd going to get better on the bench?
-- The turnovers. You don't beat anyone with 5 turnovers. The Kelin Johnson turnover was horrific luck. The Stafford INT in the endzone was horrific decision making. The others sort of ranged anywhere in between. If we had committed just one fewer turnover, we have a shot to win it.
-- Why on earth does Danny Ware return kickoffs? Why not try Mikey Henderson back there? Or Bryan Evans. Or Remarcus Brown. Or someone else with breakaway speed?
A face mask penalty that wasn't called. Image: ABH
-- I think the defense played pretty well, and Martinez made some nice adjustments to the Gators misdirection game. We also hit hard enough to cause some of the UF drop balls, which were a big asset in slowing them down. It was our best defensive game since South Carolina way back in Week 2.
-- Dropped passes, inconsistent line play and turnovers continue to plague the offense. If we can just cut the silly drops and turnovers in half, we would have an entirely different view of the season.
-- No coach looks like a genius when faced with a consistent string of 3rd and 10. I'd love to see what Richt's offense would look like with consistent OL and WR play.