Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ticket Punched.

Well, despite the big question marks and a ton of sloppy play, Georgia finally earned an SEC championship berth with Saturday's win over Kentucky. But our execution was so bad, the team so unfocused looking, that I wonder how good of news that actually is. If this team that played today - and I use the word 'played' loosely here - shows up next week against Tech or the next weekend in the Dome, things could get ugly, fast. First, we need to address our run game concerns. Crowell went out after his second carry and we didn't see him again all day. His sturdiness is now just as questionable as his character, and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't go next week at Tech. Carlton Thomas didn't play today for "personal reasons", and while that could mean any number of things, I get the sneaking suspicion he's fucked up again and had to sit out. This could have been his game, instead we had to rely on Brandon Harton and Ken Malcome, neither of whom is premier enough of a back to handle the workload effectively. With Samuel still recovering from an ankle injury, there's more questions than answers in the backfield.

Because of the lacking run game, we weren't able to get a whole lot of offense going today. Murray, who had finally started living up to his potential, failed to find a rhythm and we resorted to settling field goals throughout the first half. I HATE settling for field goals. It's become symptomatic of an overall failure of the offense to perform effectively and with the struggles we've had in the kick game this season, I cringe every time the field goal team trots out on the field. But, much to my pleasant surprise, Blair Walsh was perfect on the day (Georgia's lone missed FG was on Bogotay). Hopefully, he can build off of it, restore his confidence, and return our kicking game to it's place as a reliable team strength and not the crap-shoot it's become in 2011.

We finally scored a touchdown in the third quarter and it looked like the game was going to turn big time in favor of us, but we just couldn't stay on the gas pedal. Even with great field position after key turnovers, we saw Murray and the boys coming off the field after third down time and time again. This has got to be cleaned up before we go on the road to Bobby Dodd next Saturday.

Defensively, today was a continuation of the impressive resurgence the Dawgs have had this season. His personality faults aside, Grantham has done a fine job implementing his scheme and the addition of some key personnel has the defense playing as a top-5 unit. Jarvis Jones has emerged as the star of the unit and led the way against the Wildcats, racking 2.5 sacks and forcing a key fumble. He even made an impact after the game, when after he was asked about leaving for the NFL, he answered, “I am definitely coming back. Like I’ve said before, I’ve got a great coach and our whole defense is coming back next year." While it's great he'll be around in 2012, I just want to make sure he and the rest of the D bring the intensity they've been packing the last few games to Atlanta the next two weekends.

Kentucky did rack up 65 yards on a good looking first drive, but that was pretty much it for the Wildcats. They settled for a FG then and scored a TD on a short field after a turnover, but they were smothered the rest of the game, earning only one first down in the second half. The Kentucky defense was a little better, as Georgia only put up a little over 300 yards, but most of that was due more to the Dawgs ineptitude than the 'Cats' dominance.

But, a win's a win and it put us into the SECCG. Also, Coach Richt making out with his wife made ESPN.

Get some.
Heading into next week, the season finale at Tech, Georgia needs to be on guard for several things. They need to make sure Crowell gets healthy. They need to make sure Thomas gets his shit straightened out. They need to make sure the offensive game plan is conducive to helping Murray find a rhythm. They need to make sure the D brings their fire and intensity. And, perhaps most importantly, they need to make sure that all this SEC Championship hoopla doesn't have the guys overlooking their in-state rivals. /WreckTech!

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