Dawgs Smother the Dores
Cover Photo: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
By: Joshua Grosh (Twitter @GeorgiaTwoFace)
ATLANTA, GA— 1-0 – a very rare statement in the SEC East at this moment. Dawgs took care of the Dores in Nashville in a sneaky dominating fashion. In a game that was never in doubt, the second half truly frustrated many Dawg fans. After the first quarter, Georgia only scored 9 points to Vanderbilt’s 6 in what became a defensive slug fest. Yet, in the midst of this, let’s not ignore the hard work that Georgia did – especially on defense. Georgia did not, at any point look vulnerable to Vanderbilt. Yes, Vanderbilt did have a somewhat steady rushing game, but they had one of the best running backs in the SEC. So, please follow me here.
Georgia dominated Vanderbilt’s offense in-game. In fact, I will go so far as to say that Vanderbilt’s momentum at any given point in this game would be attributed to mistakes by Georgia – not by Vanderbilt’s work. There was only one Vanderbilt drive, all game, where they gained more than 20 yards without at least one Georgia penalties – two of the three drives came with 2 major Georgia penalties each to keep Vanderbilt’s only scoring drives alive. The defensive line lived in the backfield and had an experienced QB forgetting about downfield passing and looking to dump it off as fast as possible or just get rid of it as fast as possible. To give everyone a matter of perspective, if you combined all the total yards in the drives outside of those two drives in particular, Vanderbilt only gained 67 yards. Georgia gave up 115 yards in penalties and Vanderbilt gained 125 yards during those penalty drives (which combined had 50 yards in penalties in them). Vanderbilt did not by any means stand a chance in this game unless Georgia gave it to them. This defense will be scary – once they clean up the mistakes. Now, for the offense.
As I am sure, by now you’re frothing at the mouth at how the offense played. Our run game was stellar for the most part. Georgia only had two drives with 4 plays or less, and one of those was a kneel down at the end of the half and the other a play where Kearis Jackson got injured and fumbled. It wasn’t an explosive offense but it was an efficient and grinding offense. Georgia tore the heart out of Vanderbilt for the most part, and fell apart the closer it got to the red zone. As Georgia goes forth, they must become more creative. Employ more toss plays or misdirections at these short lines. I understand the faith in our outstanding offensive line, but bashing out head against the wall is not the answer either. The passing game was a hit or miss. To be fair, Georgia had two stellar passing plays that were taken back due to boneheaded penalties. Fromm didn’t exactly impress either though the first half it showed a lot of variety and the deep shot hope that Georgia desperately needs. It just seemed, after UGA got up, the offense became uninterested. To give more prospective, after the final touchdown drive, Georgia went one-dimensional on the next drive with four passes in a row (little variety), and then only throwing 3 times the next three drives which comprised a total of 19 plays (little variety again). That lack of balance made the offense seem more predictable to Vanderbilt and it showed as Vanderbilt stonewalled Georgia on the 4th down conversion attempt. Georgia needs to find a more healthy balance at times in order to keep the defense honest – even when you’re just trying to sit on a lead which it felt painfully apparent that Georgia was .
Overall, Georgia looks a lot like last season though still seeming to try to find its passing offense which may stem from completely new passing weapons and need to work on timing. The next two games are going to be necessary to hopefully shake off the rust and work on some timing.
Deandre Swift – 16 carries, 147 yards, 9.2 yards per carry.
Azeez Ojulari – 6 tackles, 2 solo tackles, .5 sacks, .5 tackles for loss.
UGA opens it’s home slate at 4 P.M. against Murray State, a FCS school, who is coming off a 59-20 win over Pikeville. Georgia is likely to blow them well out of the water during this unveiling of the new Dooley Field moniker. Georgia will have a chance to work out some wrinkles in its passing offense and give a lot of reps to backups who may become invaluable down the stretch.