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August 13, 2013

Exorcising the demons

I finally re-watched the final drive of the SEC Championship game. I've seen the final play probably 200 times, but I haven't watched the final drive, with the exception of going back right after the game to see how close the incomplete pass call that was an overturned int was.  I just haven't had the stomach for it.

Three things stood out to me:
  • I see why Artie Lynch is getting so much pre-season love. I've focused on his misses last year, but I missed something of how he presents a great target, then turns and gets up field. He was such an integral part of that last drive. That catch and run in the penultimate play of the game was terrific. He had the safety on him and caught the ball with the safety hanging on him. He then ran another ten yards with the safety hanging on to him. Just huge.
  • Aaron never ever looked rattled. Even after the seeming game ending int (that got over turned). 
  • No one on Georgia's side line looked scared or panicky. They were genuinely shocked we had lost.
I noted the heart of Georgia's team after the loss. I still see it on the screen ten months later. There is something palpable about that group that gives me great hope about 2013. Could that be just wishful thinking or some sort of false security? Surely. 

Still, I've got a feeling about Georgia's season I haven't had since 2005 or so. I expect us to go to Atlanta and play in the SEC Championship game. I expect us to win it. If we do that, those good things, such as a trip to California in January, should come. Could that all come crashing down in spectacularly karmic fashion Labor Day weekend, the weekend after, or any number of Saturdays between then and December? Sure. Oh definitely.

So I've rewatched that last drive for the final five times. Yes, we lost that game, but the lessons learned from it are pretty important, too. And will be more so as this season comes on. 

I've kept from deleting that game for some reason. Maybe this was it. To help get my psyche in the right place about this season. Kind of a weird thing, a kick in the balls loss, doing that. But there you have it.   

And now I've deleted it. New year. New Team. One Dream.



Aladawg said...

I just watched the game this past weekend and one thing that is killing me is that 3rd and 1 that Gurley got stuffed with 5:25 or so to play. That one really hurt because it allowed Bama to be able to run the football to set up that infamous pass. Tough.

TylerDawgden said...

Hey, Alabama had a great defense. Only one other team averaged more than 3ypc (Texas A&M, 3.59). We averaged 3.9 against them. To that point, we hadn't run a single time on 3rd down, even on the two 3rd and shorts we faced, opting for play action. Didn't like the result, but can't really quibble with the play call, either.

Aladawg said...

Yeah, because of the pattern in the game on 3rd and short I was looking for a naked bootleg at that point with Murray. I expect to see that occasionally this year to loosen it up. Quinton Dial's hit was still vicious and with an official right there I still can't believe the "no call". I guess Aaron should have gotten up and gotten in the ref'd face like McCarron did on the Ogletree hit. I'm ready for Clemson. I'm curious to see if we push to poubd it early to chew up time and wear down Clem's D. What do you think?

TylerDawgden said...

Hard to say. I'll probably write a post on offensive philosophy at some point, but our MO, especially early in the season, is keep the toys in the box until we have to bring them out.

I'd guess we'll be as vanilla as we need to be, with the exception of a few wrinkles when Clemson starts cheating up on us. It also depends on what Bobo thinks he can get away with against Clemson's D. Clemson is going to have to sell out to stop the run and hope Murray is off on the fades, TE seam passes, and FB/HB in the flats stuff OR hope their front line can stop the run enough to play in a full time nickle and press cover. They certainly don't have the defense, IMHO, to line up in their base and stop both.

They could surprise me and be that much better. I just don't think they will be.

PS. The naked bootleg would have been a great play call there, but you hit on the one thing that has been a limiting factor: what happens if Murray goes down?

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