Jump to content

12 Takeaways Georgia vs South Carolina - The Difference Between Urgency & Panic

Graham Coffey

Our friends at Homefield Apparel are paying for you to read this post for free. We hope that you use this opportunity to see what DawgsCentral is all about… Deep dive analysis, providing context through inside knowledge of the UGA program, and posting the most up to date intel on UGA’s football team and recruiting efforts. This is a mature, intelligent college football community where people discuss the game without being disrespectful. If you are passionate about Georgia Football and you’ve been looking for a place to talk about the sport without sorting through political posts and immature insults then this is the place for you. Welcome home…

This post is presented for free by our friends at Homefield Apparel… Homefield has the best vintage UGA t-shirts and sweatshirts you can find. Get 20% OFF on your first order with CODE: DAWGSCENTRAL23

1) This piece is always about the mechanics of a football game, and we’re going to get into all of that, but first we’ve gotta talk about the immeasurable thing that happened on Saturday…

Georgia came into Saturday a nearly four touchdown favorite. They entered halftime down 14-3, looking constipated on offense and a bit out of sorts on defense. The stat sheet wasn’t necessarily bad at the break…

Beck: 13/18 for 98 YDS at halftime

Rattler: 16/18 for 152 YDS & 1 TD at halftime

The total yardage battle favored the Gamecocks 180-168. Neither team had a turnover. It just felt like something was amiss. For the last few years, Georgia has been the team that pushes piles, hits hard, and always falls forward. They entered Saturday on a 19 game winning streak after winning two-straight national titles. Throughout it all, they have always managed to be the aggressor. They have always “hunted” as Kirby Smart likes to say. On Saturday they came out and looked afraid of making a mistake. You can’t play football from a place of fear. If you do, you will get beat. 

Against UNC, the Gamecocks crossed over North Carolina’s 40 yard-line 11 times and scored 17 points. Advanced stats refer to every trip inside the opponent’s 40 as a “scoring opportunity.” In their opener, South Carolina averaged 1.55 points per a scoring opportunity. In the first half on Saturday they averaged 7 points per a scoring opportunity. Georgia was the team not finishing drives. The Bulldogs had 2 Red Zone trips in the first half and came away with a grand total of 3 points. That’s 1.5 points per a red zone visit. 

If you’ve been here awhile then you know that I put an added emphasis on Red Zone stats. How a team converts in the Red Zone is a vital sign that is a good indicator of an offense’s overall health. Georgia’s offense did not look healthy in the first half.


2) Down 11 points at halftime, Georgia suddenly looked like the team we’ve come to know over the last couple of years. They fired off the ball on the line of scrimmage. The defensive line flew around and pressured Spencer Rattler. The secondary started playing the ball and stopped looking like it was afraid of getting flagged for pass interference. 

In the end, Georgia did something it had not done since the 1999 Vanderbilt game… They won a game by double digits after trailing by double digits at halftime. 

Yesterday may or may not have freed UGA from the mental and emotional burden of expectations. We will not know until we see more games, but this win has the potential to instill the type of deep seated belief that every great Georgia team has had to pickup somewhere along the way. I don’t know if Georgia would have handled the Ohio State game quite the same way without being down at Missouri. You can’t really know what you are as a football team until the shit is hitting the proverbial fan and you have to find a way to reassert dominance. Yesterday’s second half was the first time all year that I have watched Georgia play and thought to myself, “these guys look like they’re having a lot of fun.” 

Each team is different. Yes, the UGA Football program has won back-to-back national titles… But the 2023 Georgia Bulldogs haven’t done a thing yet. Yesterday they did something that showed great character and poise. Kirby Smart said that he was extremely pleased when he came into his halftime locker room and his team was not bickering at each other. The Bulldogs were calm and talked about relying on their DNA traits. He even admitted that he was excited because he would find out what type of team he had in the second half. The immediacy and effectiveness with which Georgia answered that question in the 3rd quarter was impressive. 

Georgia came roaring out of the gate with a 6-play TD drive for 75 yards. They followed it with a three-and-out and a 9-play TD drive for 49 yards. By the 7:40 mark, dominance had been reasserted. Smart found out about his team, but I think we found out more about him. 


3) I sat in Nashville as Kirby Smart talked about fearing that “complacency” would spread through his football team after two-straight years that ended with UGA winning the last game of the college football season. He spoke about it in the same way a doctor might talk about an infectious disease that could wipe out a large percentage of the population. To fight it, he practiced his team harder than ever before during this year’s fall camp. He created a physical environment hell bent on testing this Georgia team. Despite all of that, they haven’t once looked like the aggressor in a football game until the first drive of the 3rd quarter on Saturday. I doubt that Smart knew this type of foundational test would come so quickly, but I do think he knew that it would come sooner or later for this group. He knew before last year’s Missouri game that his team was heading into a hornet’s nest and was going to find itself in a 4 quarter football game despite everyone in the country thinking the Dawgs were going to dominate the Tigers. 

I thought that UGA would come out for its SEC opener against the Gamecocks and flip an internal switch. I expected them to play fast and aggressively and push piles. I expected them to turn into a killing machine composed of blue-chip recruits. In reality, something more than the schedule turning to conference play had to happen to turn this group from hunted to hunters. 


4) Urgency is the opposite of complacency. I want to be clear about that word… Urgency. Living with urgency can be a great thing. It means you act swiftly and are opportunistic. It is not panic or anxiety. Those are another thing altogether. If panic sweeps through an organization then it often results in actions that are forced and damaging… Georgia never panicked on Saturday afternoon, even when it seemed like there was a lot to panic about. Instead of coming in at halftime and feeling the weight of expectations and getting progressively tighter as each passing minute on the clock ticked away, Georgia looked freed by the deficit. According to Smart’s own words, he challenged his team to play one moment at a time. At the end of the 3rd quarter, with Georgia leading 17-14, Smart was interviewed on the sidelines. He was asked what he said at the half to spark the positive response from his team. 

“One moment at a time. We lost too many moments in the first half, but we’re gonna get six possessions in this half.. And we’re gonna win… One moment at a time.”

The video of the interview, with the Redcoat Band playing “Krypton” in the background, was like a commercial for Georgia Football under Kirby Smart. 

After SEC media days I wrote about what I think is Kirby Smart’s greatest achievement. He has taken “The Process” that Nick Saban used at Alabama and he has retrofitted it for a generation with attention spans that last the length of a Tik-Tok Video. Impressions are quick and easy to come by these days, and he makes his team philosophy stick by constantly finding new ways to deliver it. Alabama was Georgia’s greatest tormentor. UGA has gone on a 32-1 run since the 2021 season started. Bama players openly admitted to dealing with anxiety before facing Tennessee last year. The weight and pressure of being on top has slowly eaten away at the program that UGA used to be chasing. Georgia was sitting in a situation yesterday where they should have felt the same. They were getting beat, and yes they had made some mistakes, but it wasn’t like the Dawgs had 3 first half turnovers to point to and say, “We just need to clean this up.” South Carolina’s first 22 played better than Georgia’s first 22 for 30 minutes, and somehow the result was that Georgia found themselves for the first time all season. They got looser instead of tighter, and the greatest thing about it was that Smart didn’t have to pull off a psychological tightrope act in the moment to make it happen. The software had been installed in all of Georgia’s players months and years ago. This was simply the moment where UGA’s 2023 team got the chance to prove to themselves that they had the mettle of their predecessors. They passed the test with flying colors, and I would bet that we will see a different looking UGA team from the very start next week.


5) Now let’s talk about the mechanics of this game… Georgia’s offense in the first half was not inefficient. They possessed the ball for over 17 minutes and they had 13 first downs. They were grinding away at the Gamecocks. UGA had an Offensive Success Rate of 43% in the 1st quarter and 56% in the 2nd quarter. That 1st quarter number is extremely solid. The 2nd quarter OSR of 56% is actually bordering on elite for a game against a P5 opponent. The problem was that UGA lacked explosiveness. Daijun Edwards had runs of 12 and 21 yards on the 13-play/71-yard drive in the 2nd quarter that ended in a missed FG and ate 6:03 off the clock. Those were the two longest plays of Georgia’s first half. Beck’s longest completions of the first half both came on the first drive. They were two 11-yard passes. One went to Cash Jones and the other to Rosemy-Jacksaint. At halftime, Beck had just 5.3 YDS… Georgia’s QB was just totally locked in on the middle of the field. Time after time, Georgia had deep routes and Beck was locked in on the short option… On the very first pass attempt of the game, Beck hit Jones for 11 yards on a short underneath route. Dillon Bell was totally uncovered on the right side of the formation. On the flea-flicker that Beck missed to Brock Bowers, he actually had a deeper option. Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint was streaking wide open behind the defense and for some reason, Carson either didn’t throw it or didn’t see it. He passed up an easier deeper throw for an easy touchdown and tossed a more difficult throw over the head of Bowers. Before halftime, UGA had a chance to try and answer the South Carolina TD with some quick points of their own. UGA got a first down after a couple throws and Beck hit Lovett on a Dig Route on the next play. Lovett was in the slot to the left of the formation running the Dig and Georgia had a Deep Post concept with the boundary WR next to Lovett. As Beck released the Dig Route the Post broke open. The wideout was inside his DB and the Safety was beaten, turning his back towards Beck and trying to spring downfield to recover. Carson never saw it.


6) At halftime, I was not sure if Georgia could change enough to fix the problem. In fairness to Beck, we do not know what his reads are on each play. The order of the reads might be such that he made the right throws by the book on a lot of those plays. I have been of the opinion that Beck has looked afraid to make mistakes so far as a starter. For a QB who was once seen as a reckless decision maker in practices, that might not be a bad thing. The only problem is that an offense has to be perfect every play if it wants to survive on short gains. One missed block or penalty or incompletion puts you behind the 8-ball. UGA had two long and efficient drives in the first half, but both stalled out when the field shrank. South Carolina was daring Georgia to throw downfield. There were defenders playing short zones everywhere and Beck does deserve some praise for navigating them with accurate throws and finding WR’s sitting in tight windows. Watching it happen, I felt like Beck might be on the verge of throwing an INT. At some point, someone was going to jump the short routes over the middle. The convenience for South Carolina’s defense was that being in the middle every play put them in an easy position to defend the run and the pass. Beck had 35 attempts on Saturday. The way they break down supports the observation…

Behind Line of Scrimmage: 11/11, 86 YDS, 7.8 YPA

0-9 Yards: 12/16, 93 YDS, 5.8 YPA

10-19 Yards: 3/3, 54 YDS, 18.0 YPA  

20+ Yards 1 of 3, 36 YDS, 12.0 YPA

Furthermore, Beck had just 7 attempts outside the numbers. He 5/7 for 21 YDS throwing outside the numbers on 0-9 yard throws. The only other throw to the boundary was the incompletion to Bowers on the flea flicker. I don’t know if this is a belief issue. Maybe Beck is afraid to unleash the ball on some of the out-breaking routes because he doesn’t want a route to get jumped. It is also possible that he just isn’t looking out there. Either way, UGA has to spread defenses out more. 


7) Bobo did two things at halftime to unclog the middle and stretch the field vertically. The first was that he came out in the 3rd quarter with more spread formations. The second was that he essentially forced Beck to go deep. Against South Carolina last year, UGA started the game with an array of swing passes to McIntosh, screens to McConkey, and other motion plays that forced LB’s to chase UGA skill players to the sideline. I said in my pregame analysis that the plan for Georgia needed to be isolating the LB’s and Safeties in man coverage and then exploiting them. UGA finally did that on the opening drive of the 2nd half. The two straight motion screens to Lovett put South Carolina into chase mode. Then Bobo called something vertical without any underneath routes. The throw to Thomas had the same motion to it as the two previous plays, but this time it was Mews in the orbit motion. SS #24 Jalen Kilgore bit up on the play. FS #21 Nick Emmanwori came downhill to defend Mews on the motion. Rara Thomas got a one-on-one look on a deep route towards the middle of the field and all of a sudden Beck was letting it fly. It changed everything. The route combo was so good that Beck could have also hit Bowers on a deep crosser. Both guys were open. It all happened because of the two screens before. Wouldn’t you know it, that opened up a chunk run off the right side from Milton for 15 yards. Two plays later, Edwards would score… Give credit to Bobo for adjusting and for finding a way to get UGA into an offensive rhythm. The play calling indicated that he understood his QB was struggling to air it out and he found a way to force that to happen. Give credit to Beck for coming out of the locker room down 11 and looking poised. His 2nd half numbers were pretty fantastic. He was 14/17 for 171 yards. That was 10 YDS per attempt in the 2nd half versus the 5.3 YPA in the first. 


😎 The first tantalizing thing about the lack of deep throws is that Carson Beck throws a beautiful deep ball. The shot to Thomas was gorgeous and he didn’t have Rara behind the defense. Thomas had inside leverage on the defender and Beck smartly threw a flat ball to the inside. He doesn’t need his WR to be the deepest man to hit long throws. The second tantalizing thing is that Thomas is a legitimate playmaker. Sandwiched between his 36-yard catch was a decent perimeter block to spring Lovett for a first down and a great perimeter block to spring Milton for a first down. Thomas only played 10 Receiving snaps on Saturday but he had 42 yards receiving on 2 catches and 3 targets. That is an elite 4.2 Yards Per Route Run. He is a game breaker, and UGA has to get him onto the field more. So far this year, Thomas has only been targeted 6 times for 5 catches but he is UGA’s second leading receiver with 132 YDS. The team leader is Bowers but his 17 TGT/13 REC have only netted UGA 135 YDS so far this year. Lovett is third with 110 YDS on 18 TGT/14 REC… The request to see more of Thomas isn’t a knock on UGA’s other pass catchers, but it is an acknowledgement that he offers a more vertical skillset than some of the others. Lovett’s 8 TGT/7 REC for 56 yards versus South Carolina were hard earned and important to moving the chains. Ditto for Bowers and the 9 TGT/7 REC that he chipped in despite dealing with a hamstring injury. He gutted it out for UGA in a major way. I think the whole offense can flow differently though if the order of some things is changed. Rosemy-Jacksaint had 6 TGT/6 REC for 71 YDS on Saturday. He is a chain mover that is the perfect zone coverage beater on short/intermediate routes. If UGA can establish Lovett and others in the swing/screen concepts earlier in games than Rosemy and Thomas can work simultaneously as a sort of high/low threat from both boundaries. That can occupy a ton of attention and help open up everything they want to do with Bowers, the run game, and others in the screen game. I think Bobo found something at halftime when he came out and started stretching the field in two directions, but it would be nice to see it happen sooner next time. By the end of the game, UGA had run 12 screens for 102 YDS (8.5 YPA). For reference, Beck’s YPA on non-screens was only 7.3 YPA. So, how does Georgia make that number go up? Using play-action seems to be the answer. Beck was 7 of 8 passing for 114 YDS on 10 play-action dropbacks. UGA ran play-action on 26.3% of pass plays, which is a relatively low number when you consider they ran it on 48.5% of pass plays last week against Ball State and UGA’s run game was much more of a legitimate threat versus South Carolina. More play-action equals more big plays…

My thoughts on UGA’s receiving corps is that this group is very, very good. They have to keep improving with perimeter blocking each week, but this is a deep group of pass catchers. If UGA can establish them properly early in games then all of them will have plenty of room to work after the catch. Beck’s accuracy is a very real thing. I think he can deliver balls in-stride that will let his targets run a long way, but Georgia has to break the zones they’re facing first. 


9) Is there a more under-appreciated player than Daijun Edwards? I can’t really think of a guy who has been more overlooked during this run than him. He had over 800 YDS rushing last year but many treated him like an afterthought. I think that will change for good after yesterday. The best treatment for a struggling OL is a good running back. His ability to lean and pick and patiently choose a crease before bursting forward is so valuable. It put a ton of life into UGA’s Zone Scheme runs yesterday because he picks the right holes every time. He had 6 Missed Tackles Forced and averaged 2.85 YDS After Contact Per Attempt. He ran the ball in 7 different gaps on Saturday. There were 5 gaps in which he had multiple attempts, and in every one of those gaps he had a carry of at least 5 yards. He had a carry of 8+ yards in 4 of those gaps and of 12+ yards in 3 of those gaps. UGA had its best inside rushing game of the season as well. There were 8 attempts for 56 YDS (7 YPC) between RG/RT. There were 7 carries for 50 yards off the right side with an inline TE blocking also (7.1 YPC). Yes, Bowers blocked well, but Oscar Delp was fantastic as an inline blocker on Saturday. This was the best blocking game of his career in my opinion. UGA also had 4 carries for 24 yards between C/LG. The run game came around in a real way, giving UGA 201 YDS rushing on 41 attempts. Georgia’s OL also blocked better in short yardage situations then they have in some time. The hole they opened for Bell on the TD run at the goal line was something we haven’t seen much in the last couple of years. I didn’t think the interior got off to a great start in the run game, but they got better as the game wore on and kept delivering body blows. They were also effective enough to let UGA possess the ball for 20 minutes in the 2nd half and rack up a massive play differential. After they got up, Georgia played keep away from Rattler. 


10) UGA’s OL only allowed pressure on Beck on 5 dropbacks, but that doesn’t exactly tell the full story. First off, Truss struggled a lot early on. He allowed 3 Pressures as a pass blocker. Mims and Earnest Greene had 1 each. When talking about Beck’s decision making and short throws in the first half, it needs to be acknowledged that his OL wasn’t exactly good. They were worse in obvious passing situations. UGA had 13 attempts in True Pass Sets… Truss, Van Pran and Greene all graded out poorly. Ratledge, Fairchild and Mims were very solid in those situations. The injury to Mims opens up an interesting conundrum for the lineup on the OL. Especially when Amairus comes back. Guess who UGA’s highest graded pass blocker was yesterday? That’s right, it was Dylan Fairchild (second highest was actually Daijun Edwards, which is another thing to remember when discussing the value he brings to this offense). The two lowest graded pass blockers on Saturday were Greene (51.3) and Truss (49.7). The intriguing thing is that Truss looked better as a Tackle than I think he’s ever looked as a Guard. He was the second highest graded OL in the run blocking snaps behind only Ratledge, and I already detailed above how well the run game clicked off the right side. Fairchild’s run blocking wasn’t great at LG but it wasn’t bad either. If he can get into a groove in that department with a week of preparation then there may not be a reason to move Truss back to LG. The question then becomes if Mims could play LT when he gets healthy. That’s all up in the air depending on the progression and development of Greene, but right now he’s not doing well when it is an obvious passing down. That has to get figured out to create the explosive pass plays the offense needs to reach its ceiling. The good news for UGA is that this OL room seems particularly deep. Lots of guys have played with the first team so far this year and yesterday was this group’s best game yet. Was it perfect? Far from it. Are they getting better? Yes. Did they improve as the game went on? Also yes. 


11) In many ways, Georgia’s defense deserved better yesterday. First of all, the Dawgs only allowed South Carolina to have 3 scoring opportunities. Two of them were TD’s. The third ended with a punt when Dumas-Johnson sacked Rattler on South Carolina’s only real drive of the second half. That all added up to 14 points for the Gamecocks. Against UNC, they had 11 scoring opportunities and just 17 points… Georgia on the other hand had 8 scoring opportunities yesterday, averaging 3 points per opportunity. The missed FG’s had a major impact on the feel and flow of this game, and UGA will have to figure that out… 

As for the defense, I hated the decision to blitz on 3rd & long on the first drive of the game. The screen was the perfect call against the blitz and USC deserves credit for that, but UGA a) should’ve made a tackle in the open field to force 4th down, and b) should’ve probably gotten a holding call in their favor on a questionable block thrown by a South Carolina lineman… The Bulldogs missed Javon Bullard a lot in this game. The speed he plays with, the way he tackles screens, and the ability he has to play the ball in the air were all things UGA needed in the first half. Here is a stat that I found telling when thinking about the secondary… 

  • Starks/Lassiter/T. Smith - 21 TGT/9 REC for 82 YDS and 1 TD allowed with 5 PBU’s & 1 INT, 12 Tackles and 5 STOP play tackles against pass catchers (158 combined coverage snaps)
  • Mondon/Dumas-Johnson - 4 TGT/2 REC for 18 YDS, 4 Tackles, 1 Missed Tackle and 2 STOP plays (62 combined coverage snaps)
  • Daniel-Sisavanh - 4 TGT/4 REC for 80 YDS, 0 Tackles against pass catchers, 2 Missed Tackles (53 coverage snaps)
  • Everette - 7 TGT/6 REC for 62 YDS & 1 PBU, 4 Tackles and 1 STOP plays (53 coverage snaps)

Digging into those stats, Starks was charged for the TD on the screen pass to Juice Wells, but that was more of a scheme/team tackling issue. Lassiter was credited with the 41-yard catch by O’Mega Blake in what was essentially garbage time when UGA was in a cover safe zone defense. Blake started on the other side of the formation, but it is fair to say that Lassiter was out of position on the play. Even with that catch to Blake, Lassiter only gave up 37 yards in the game. Take it away and he allowed just 2 REC on 6 TGT’s with negative receiving yardage given up. He proved he is an all-conference level #1 corner on Saturday. 

You can look at South Carolina’s receiving production and quickly see that Mondon and Dumas-Johnson performed admirably in coverage in a game where Spencer Rattler targeted his tight-end 7 different times. They did a good job of controlling the middle in coverage against an offense that had lived on those type of throws against UNC in Week 1. 

The weakness of UGA’s pass defense on Saturday appeared to be the two guys who were starting an SEC game for the first time, Everette and Daniel-Sisavanh. Rattler had a QB Rating of 118.8 on the throws where he targeted Daniel-Sisavanh and 103.6 when targeting Everette. Coming into the game, Xavier Legette was leading the SEC in receiving. It was obvious that UGA was going to have to shut him down. At halftime, he had already racked up 68 receiving yards. The play that sparked the TD drive from South Carolina before halftime was a 35 yard deep shot to Legette where he was matched up against Daniel-Sisavanh. He started the game out with some nice plays on Everette, making 2 receptions for 30 YDS against the redshirt freshman CB. 

South Carolina’s two TD drives had one thing in common… Legette was making chunk plays. UGA changed its strategy against him before the start of the 3rd quarter. Georgia’s #1 CB has played the left boundary for the last couple seasons, but Schumann and the rest of the defensive staff broke the pattern at halftime to deal with Legette. On the first 3rd down of the 3rd quarter, Legette lined up to the right boundary of Georgia’s defense. This time, Lassiter followed him. Georgia got off the field and would score a TD to take the lead on the next drive. Legette, who entered halftime with 68 yards, finished the game with 71 yards. UGA neutralized the threat and a Gamecocks offense that had 180 yards at halftime finished the game with just 309 yards. Georgia’s offense put up 290 yards in the second half. 

It was helped by the fact UGA’s defense kept getting off the field. Remember, Rattler was 16/18 for 168 YDS (9.3 YPA) at halftime. He ended the game 22/42 for 256 YDS. In the second half, he was just 6/24 (4.3 YPA) for 104 YDS. I was particularly impressed with how well Georgia’s coverage held up at the end of the game when South Carolina was clearly beaten and attempting to go bombs away on almost every play. Rattler finished the game completing just 3 of his last 17 attempts. By the time it was over, he was 2 of 5 for 58 YDS on attempts over 20 YDS downfield and just 6/14 for 113 YDS on throws from 10-19 YDS. UGA smothered South Carolina’s screen game after giving up the 17 yard TD on the first drive. Rattler threw 7 more passes behind the line of scrimmage and those 7 catches netted the Gamecocks only 7 yards.

A few things were clear about UGA’s secondary on Saturday… 

  • Georgia’s staff remains some of the best adjusters in college football. Both the offensive and defensive coaching staffs made tweaks that changed the game significantly.
  • UGA needs to get Bullard back into the lineup in a major way. Daniel-Sisvanh played hard and he made some nice plays at times, but he gave away a lot of cushion in some moments and wasn’t able to change directions fast enough to stay with some shiftier wideouts. His physicality is real, but he has to wrap up in the open field. UGA’s defense has been built on not missing tackles
  • Everette has to keep improving. He gave up 4 first downs on the 6 receptions he allowed. He deserves credit for solid tackling, but he will have to improve as a pure coverage corner. The buzz out of Georgia’s fall camp was that Julian Humphrey is probably the best pure cover after Lassiter. Is he worth a look? I don’t know.


12) In addition to the adjustments in the secondary, Georgia also started getting pressure in the second half. In the first half, blitzes weren’t getting home. The front four was struggling to penetrate as well. It felt like Rattler had plenty of time to freelance around the backfield and allow his receivers to create space. 

That same urgency we talked about earlier came oozing off the defensive front in the 3rd and 4th quarters. When it was done, Georgia had racked up 29 pressures on 24 different dropbacks. This was a consistent effort that made Rattler uncomfortable after halftime. A QB who had just 2 incompletions in the first half turned into a different player under the barrage of red jerseys. On 24 dropbacks where Georgia created pressure, Rattler was just 6/18 for 84 YDS (4.7 YPA) and 1 INT. He was sacked 3 times and had a QB Rating of 26.2… The front changed the game for the Bulldogs. 

Mykel Williams started to look like the player who was a Freshman All-American in 2022. He got to Rattler with 5 Pressures. 2 of them led to hits on the QB and another led to a sack. The one I might have been most impressed with was on a 4th down late. Williams started the play off the right side of the defense and wrapped all the way around the left edge to force the ball out of Rattler’s hands. He threw it just as Williams arrived with a full head of steam. A lot of players would have teed off on the QB but Williams stopped himself. The pass fell incomplete and UGA didn’t draw a flag for roughing Rattler. It was a smart play that not everyone would make. 

UGA picked up on a pattern they established last year when they started blitzing Mondon and Dumas-Johnson effectively in the second half. Smael had 4 Pressures on just 13 Pass Rush snaps and JDJ had 2 Pressures on just 3 Pass Rush snaps. That is a very high ROI for the investment of sending the ILB’s after the quarterback. Xavian Sorey also pitched in 2 Pressures on 11 Pass Rush snaps. 

In all, 12 different Bulldogs recorded a pressure. The one who stood out the most to me was Warren Brinson. He played 29 snaps in this game, with most of them coming in the second half. What was promising was his productivity against True Pass Sets (No misdirection/play-action/rollout on a play where the QB gets the ball out in >2 seconds). Brinson saw 12 TPS snaps and recorded 5 Pressures against them. That is some straight up havoc making. All offseason we’ve wondered how Georgia will replace its departed DT talent. The answer might be Brinson. It is rare for a DT to be that productive rushing the quarterback. 


BONUS: As mentioned above, UGAwill have to get better at converting in the Red Zone… Even if they do, their Special Teams performances will have to improve as well. Special Teams plays often swing momentum and give underdogs belief. The opening kickoff going out of bounds set a bad tone for the first drive of the game. Zirkel did a better job over the rest of the game, but that’s the type of play that should never happen. What is most worrisome is what UGA will do about its place kicker. Woodring missed two easy chip shots and was shaky on his other attempt. His PAT’s were too close for comfort at times as well. Leaving those 6 points on the field kept the game unnecessarily close. With the new clock rules and the way Georgia’s defense is constructed, it makes sense that the Bulldogs would like to embark on long drives at times. That plan can backfire quickly if those clock-killing drives aren’t converted into points. UGA only punted once prior to taking a ten-point lead in the 4th quarter. The first missed FG came at the end of a 13-play drive that ate 72 yards and killed over 6 minutes of clock. The second was on the heels of a 12-play drive of 64 yards that took up 5:45. Those long drives are great when they are converted. When they aren’t it gives the opponent a big lift. 


  • Fire 3


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

  • Create New...