Weekends are supposed to be for relaxing
I've had worst weekends, but this one wasn't fun. Georgia flops on a day it nets 543 yards of offense, only allows 211 on defense, and nearly covers a 38 point spread. The Falcons take the first half off and come up just short, not to mention a potentially alarming injury to Vick. The Braves are comatose. My pro fantasy teams are falling off cliffs. My college team has gotten off to a decent scoring start but finds itself in 6th and the top half of the league is looking to run away.
Obviously Vick wasn't 100% for that last drive. No offense to Vick, but I'm not so sure we shouldn't have just sent Schaub out. What killed me though were two plays in the first half. Michael Jenkins let a big play slide through his hands – something that might have sparked the Falcons and possibly turned the tide of the game. Instead, the went down 14-0. And then later in the second, on forth and maybe an inch from their own 26, Mora punted. I realize that's deep in your own territory. But the Falcons hadn't really stopped the Seahawks all day and weren't getting any pressure. I was absolutely certain Seattle would move down the field like a knife through butter and get points. Jerramy Stevens made a great diving grab – reeling in a tougher to catch ball than Jenkins had – to make it 21-0, and those two plays kind of mirrored the day. Seattle was crisp in execution, the Falcons were not.
As for the Dawgs – it was ugly and it was a tad bit disappointing. They only led 20-7 late in the third. The play until that point was often a bit listless. Georgia needed to run a little more often I think – the rushing stats are nice (29 for 280) but 7 carries and 66 yards came on the final drive of the game. The passing attack was on – when Shockley wasn't misfiring - so the balanced play calling isn't really a surprise and I'm not one of those people who played football in high school and thinks you have to hand it off 70% of the time to win.
But it's more than a little weird to see a team like ULM, even when it gets only 211 yards of offense, run 19 more plays and have the ball for 13 more minutes. One issue early in Richt's tenure was how bad the Dawgs were getting beat up in time of possession, even in lopsided winds. Things got a little better towards the ended of 01 when Veron Haynes became the go to guy, and 2002 continued to see some improvements. It's something Richt has corrected in his offensive game plan, so I don't think this is a return to old form; just an anomaly.
Shockley played pretty good but boy he sure missed a couple of open guys, leading to the dawgs squandering a couple of nice drives and only getting 3 points on two field goal attempts. I don't him to be perfect. I do think that to beat the better SEC teams, we are going to have to make some big plays in the air.
Milner's fumble, and the two misfires on those drives, put a damper on what could have been a very high scoring half. Still, Milner played pretty good and I hope the fumble doesn't hurt his confidence. Coutu's miss was quickly forgotten after his booming 58 yard make. Georgia may have found itself a good kicker, so hopefully the miss was just one of those things.
The Dawgs got a look at an offense that is similar to what Urban Meyer runs. How closely it mimicked Meyer's attack I can't say. A couple of times Georgia's ends badly bit on play fakes and opened up big running lanes. Against the Gators that's not going to cut it. Staying at home is going to be critical come the last weekend of October.
Still, they did win 44-7. Nobody is fretting nearly as much about the offense nearly as much if Shockley hits one of those two post routs, and Coutu makes the field goal. On to Mississippi State!