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September 4, 2005

Boise State vs. Georgia: The Good, Bad and Ugly

The only Ugly in this one was on the other team's sideline. Realistically, you can only find so much to complain about from your own team when you beat a ranked team like this. 45 points in the first three quarters isn't too shabby!

The Good:
1. Shockley -- Going into this game my concern was Shockley's penchant for throwing the ball as hard as possible on every play. That and overall inaccuracy. He had excellent touch on every pass in this one. He did over throw a few balls, but all QBs do. His stat line....16-24 for 289 yards and 85 yards rushing. Considering that 5 passes were dropped, those are outstanding numbers. Interestingly, the media has taken notice.

[Photo: Shockley did it with his arms, feet and mind. Click to enlarge.]

2. The Defense - Boise was averaging eleventy billion yards per game coming into this. The first team defense whipped them silly. I was especially proud of the turnover creation. All offseason Coach Martinez stressed interceptions. We had 5 INTs all of last year. We had 4 in the first half of this game.

3. The WRs and TEs in the 2nd Half -- The first half was rocky for these guys. But Richt did the smart thing. Rather than sit on the lead versus a Boise team that continued to stuff 9 in the box. Richt threw it til the final 5 minutes. Sean Bailey in particular made two outstanding grabs. Bryan McClendon made steady possession receiver type catches. And for the first time in his career, Martez Milner showed his true athletic ability.

4. Punt Coverage - we looked excellent here.

5. Mohamed Massaquoi = Hot DAMN! This kid comes in cold off the bench and makes 2 outstanding grabs in traffic. This kid is going to push McClendon for playing time now that he's healthy.

The Bad:
1. Kickoff Return Coverage -- we need massive improvement here. This has been a weakspot since Kirouac (sp?) graduated in 2002. We can't/won't kick it into the endzone, and we don't cover well after we kick it to the 10 yardline. It seemed like Boise started most possessions on the 30.

2. Dropped passes first half -- This was all over the map in the first half. Bailey and Harris both made outstanding grabs early. But Milner dropped two in the first half, Gartrell dropped one and even Pope dropped one. I liked the improvement as the game wore on. That is the greatest source of encouragement for me as it relates to this group. Also, Gartrell tripping over the 50 yardline and Southerland's drop after beating the coverage were both things that need to be improved upon. And are fixable.

[Photo: The first half was brought to you by the fine folks at Nestle]

3. Thomas Flowers on Special Teams -- Flowers lead the SEC in punt returns last year. He did not have his best night vs. Boise by any stretch. A fumble, a fair catch run anyway fiasco and a Tyson Browning-esque weak kickoff return. He's proven that he's better than this. He just needs to shake this performance off. BTW -- Flowers looked fine at CB.

The Ugly:
1. Jared Zabransky - wow. Could it have been worse?

[Photo: The Kingdom in Seattle. This photo documents the only known implosion greater than that of Zabransky and the Boise State hopes of legitimacy. Click to enlarge]

2. Boise's State's Hype -- This article says it best.
Hawkins and his team didn't orchestrate the hype. Instead, there was a growing school of thought that Boise State would literally outscheme higher profile and more athletic teams. That theory took a big hit.

Worse still, Boise State undid in a little more in an hour what had taken six years to build. This was a chance to show that the gap between the supposed mid-majors and the BCS boys didn't exist. But now, no matter how many W's the Broncos pile up, they just won't be taken seriously, certainly not by the pollsters. And no matter what you think, that is relevant.

Things I'm looking forward to seeing:
1. The WR Depth Chart Evolution -- How will Kenneth Harris and Mo Mass impact the WR depth chart? Will AJ Bryant get healthy enough to make a move? He came in late in this game, but really didn't make an impact. The #2-4 WR positions will be a tough battle the next few weeks.

2. UGA's Defense When Healthy -- The defense gets one of its key performers back this week with the return of Kedric Golston. In the 2nd Half our guys up front at DL and DT got winded and cramped from all the minutes. Having Golston back gives us the flexibility to move Gant back and forth from DE and DT for depth in 4 spots.

3. Shockley -- If he continues to play like that the rest of the year. Watch out world!

4. Martrez Milner -- This kid has all-world athletic tools. But prior to the 2nd half vs. Boise he had been a debacle on the field for the Bulldogs. If he uses this as a confidence building platform, teams will struggle even more with scheming against our offense. Hopefully, this is just a harbinger of great things to come.

In case you missed my Boise recap. Click here.


Anonymous said...

Some players on defense including Blue caught some cramps and that was a slightly worrisome, but to their credit, they WERE playing their asses off and that kind of thing can happen when you do that. Hope cooler weather gets here quick.

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