Dominant Win Yet Uneasy: Dawgs beat the Vols

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9/29/18 9:00pm

Dominant Win Yet Uneasy: Dawgs beat the Vols

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Cover Photo: Curtis Compton

 

By: Joshua Grosh

Georgia defeats Tennessee 38-12

The Dawgs came out of Athens with a win against an ailing Tennessee team but many fans are not satisfied. In fact, at one point in the fourth quarter, the game was only 24-12 with the Dawgs seeming to be fading until roaring to life and finishing off the Vols to the tune of 38-12. Yet, the Dawgs won with many fans, and likely coaches, wanting more from the offense. The offense struggled mightily all game with just 24 points to show for their fight a majority of the game – even to the point that Kirby had Fields on the field for multiple drives while the game was still in question. This game left many in Dawg Nation questioning about the team and what to do heading forward. So, per usual, I am going to provide my wrap up and take.

Prior to the second half, Georgia was in complete control but with a somewhat underwhelming offensive performance. The defense stood tall and the offense did enough to win. Yet the offense left much to be desired as they had multiple stalled out drives and weakness along the offensive line. With Fromm multiple times taking hard hits from a free rusher or from a collapsing pocket, it was hard not to imagine there being a less than desirable performance by the offense. To make matters worse, a couple passes that could have easily gone for touchdowns were dropped added further to the offensive woes of the team. The running game became the only means of survival late in the game as the offense finally began to break down Tennessee’s defense. So, it leaves many fans questioning the offense – is it a player issue or a play calling issue? A couple of times Fromm missed open receivers down field in favor of a shorter pass, many rushes seemed to be stuffed near the line of scrimmage. Then, to add to the woes, the repeated draws and read options with Fromm in the game which did little to nothing to help the situation as Tennessee had no reason to fear a Fromm rush. While Fromm did complete 16/22 passes – which should have been 18/22 passes with touchdowns – it left a lot to be desired. However, the running game was what truly shined as UGA out-gained Tennessee 251 yards to 66 yards on the ground at the tune of 5 yards per carry – which can somewhat explain the stubborn adherence to the run all game. Though, another bright spots was Fields who scrambled for two touchdowns and saw more meaningful play time – potentially raising the question of quarterback controversy. Thus, the game in of itself is not a terror, but the questions raised post-game are quite pressing.

Going forward, Georgia may likely be faced with a two quarterback offense – and one where Fromm’s starting position could potentially be on the line. So, instead of giving straight opinion, here are the stats behind both quarterbacks so far into the season (including this game):

QB stats through first 5 games:

Jake Fromm: 66/91 passing, 924 yards, 10.15 yards per attempt, 9 touchdowns to 2 interceptions, -22 rushing yards.

Justin Fields: 15/19 passing, 147 yards, 7.73 yards per attempt, 2 passing touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns, 115 rushing yards.

In my opinion, I would not say it is time to unseat Fromm just quite yet. If anything, the Vanderbilt game should be a game where Kirby gives Fields more passing play chances – for this will not only prepare for the game against LSU, but it would go a long way in having necessary experience if something were to occur to Fromm. Then, selfishly at least, it could help quiet some of the crowd calling for Fromm’s job given Fromm is not really wowing anyone along the stat line. Also, if Kirby’s past is any indication and his teacher’s lessons prove influential, UGA may likely not unseat Fromm until Fromm is actually costing UGA a game.

As far as MVP for this week, it is truly hard to call for any MVP this week as everything seemed very by the committee overall. No receiver or running back took over, no independently dominant defender. It was very just uniformed play. If there were to be any defenders complimented, it may be just Deandre Baker for fairly shutting down any passing attempt his way.

Looking ahead:

UGA plays Vanderbilt at Sanford Stadium next week at 7 PM. The channel not nailed down quite yet though it is more likely to appear on SEC Network than ESPN after Vanderbilt’s most recent showing. Vanderbilt struggled rather embarrassingly to put away Tennessee State. The final score of the game was even 31-27. Georgia will likely completely out class Vanderbilt but after the fight Vanderbilt gave Notre Dame, let’s hope UGA does not overlook Vanderbilt on homecoming or it could be a troublesome affair.

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