It's going to be hard to talk about the game without sounding like a spoiled, whiny fan, but I can't help it. I understand it was a win over Tennessee, a perennial tormentor who has spoiled many a fine season for the Dawgs. But I can't help feeling somehow unfulfilled by the game. It's not that I went into it with some wild expectations. I expected a nasty, tooth-rattling uglyfest, decided simply by testosterone levels. (Image:georgiadogs.com)
The frustration is that the game should have instead been a total slaughter and in many ways it was. Georgia held a better than two to one advantage in total yards. Almost a third of UT's yards came on one play, the bomb to Moore. Even better, the Vols had a very lonely 1 yard rushing for the entire game. Stafford had his first 300 yard passing game and Knowshon ran for better than 100, too. The Dawgs absolutely dominated the game. But, that domination never got translated to the scoreboard.
In many ways, our offensive performance was a easily digestible capsule of the Richt era: a base of solid defense combined with sporadic outbursts of ruthlessly efficient play action-based offense that races to the red zone, where it abruptly becomes fragile as a baby bird, prompting All-American kickers to trot out for field goals. It's a plan that has led to a workmanlike ten wins a year on average, but it is really frustrating considering this team. I thought that with Southerland's return, this team would be unstoppable in the red zone with two dangerous receivers, a sleek, powerful running back, and a big, mean battering ram of a fullback. That's not how it worked Saturday. The best I can describe the red zone offense was mixed: two touchdowns (one via that battering ram), two field goals (including one that was blocked and still made it through), and two interceptions. Field goals get you beat, especially in Baton Rouge and Jacksonville. Interceptions always sting.
On the positive side, though, that power running drive for our last score was encouraging, especially considering Vince Vance looks like he won't be around anytime soon. Guess that kind of ends the Tripp to TE experiment. Also, other than the obvious drop by A.J. Green for a TD, our receivers looked solid, especially Demiko Goodman. Look, it was a beating of UT and I can certainly appreciate that. It's just that we didn't give them the beating they deserved. I wish I felt better about it, but I'm somehow empty. I shouldn't be, but I am.