I promise to be fair and biased.
Pic of the day, week, year, and season (should the wheels come off the train that is rolling):
Yes, that would be your illegitimate father Charles Johnson hitting Rick Clausen in a fashion that made Ike Turner proud. (Editor's Note: I do not condone domestic violence. I had another joke I could place here, but I decided against it. Political Correctness blows.)
Special thanks to GeorgiaDogs.com
for the picture.
At this time I would like to flash back to the previous post and talk about how I am a genius. Don't worry about going back and forth with the scroll button, I'll do all the work for you right here.
1. Protect D.J.
-- We did a fan-fucking-tast-ic job of this on Saturday. Our O-Line finally played like they have been wanting to all season. If you'll remember, Kirk Herbstreit picked UT to win this game because of the play of UT's front four. I believe they're still a fantastic unit and one of the best in the nation, but our big boys just won the battle up front. We didn't float the pocket like I thought we would, but I believe that's probably because we didn't have to. We just flat out played old school SEC football where the game was won in the trenches. Give props to the big boys up front. They gave D.J. enough time to shred the defense. More on our offensive play shortly.
2. Pressure their QB
-- Look above. We didn't do it enough I don't think, but Willie Martinez's strategy is GTBB or Get The Ball Back. Man did we ever. Big props to Demario Minter for making his first career INT the biggest of the season so far. Our defense just flat out owned UT the whole game, not allowing them to get into any sort of groove. We played championship ball yesterday. Let's hope we can do that more often.
3. Run the ball effectively
-- We did just that...to an extent. Early on we had nothing going in the running game but D.J. was creating opportunities with his arm. His legs also played a big role, but I'd like to see less of him scrambling and more of him finding the open receivers. Florida's defense is smaller than UT's but they're faster and D.J. scrambling isn't going to do much. Our O-Line gave great protection, but had problems creating lanes for our backs. Again, Danny Ware showed us his stength and heart. We ran the ball effectively in the fourth quarter, but my personal opinion on that was UT just gave up. They were emotionally drained after giving up that beautiful punt return for a TD, and they were just out of gas and knew they had been dominated. Overall, good job in the running game, but we weren't dominant. Also, big props to Brennan Southerland who not only scored a rushing TD but got the call as a reward for a HUGE third down conversion earlier in that drive. Good job by the new guy who Kirby Smart (running backs coach) said was "Born to play fullback." He was flat out J.T. Wall'ish out there.
4. Kicking game has got to bring it
-- Ely-Kelso did just that. BEAUTIFUL special teams play yesterday all the way from a quick and successful FG attempt, to a punt inside UT's 1-yard line, to a gorgeous (and now historic) punt return for a TD that had NO FLAGS. Special teams play was oh-so-sweet yesterday.
5. RED ZONE IMPROVEMENT
-- There will be more on this in just a second, but overall, we improved in red zone defense drastically as well as some improvement on red zone offense. Minter's INT was HUGE. I'm still blown away by our defensive play and when UT did make a trip to the red zone, they were a little conservative. Big props to our guys in this area.
Also I'd like to point out the final score: 27-14
The predicted score: 24-17.
O.K. You've heard the good. Now, the not-so-good.
1. Not putting teams away early
-- We had a lot of chances to take UT out of this ball game early on and just couldn't capitalize. Our receivers had a couple of big dropped passes (think: Sean Bailey) that we could've really used to get out in front early. All that being said, I like Richt's determination to take deep-ball shots at the UT defense even when some of them didn't pan out. The first down after the interception BOMB to Kenneth Harris was not only necessary for the Dawg Nation to get back into the game, but also for D.J. who probably needed a good confidence booster after one mental mistake.
2. Speaking of mental mistakes
-- Poor D.J. played an outstanding game except for two mistakes. One, being the INT that led to a UT touchdown and the other being the fumble that led to, well not really much, but still not good. The first one was just D.J. letting the defense read his body language (I've said before that he telegraphs a bit too much out there when he knows who he's throwing to before he takes the snap), and the second one was just not protecting the ball. Both are easily corrected and no harm, no foul. He'll run a little this week for it, but the game film will be what corrects the mistakes.
3. The officiating
-- WORST OFFICIALS EVER. Seriously, it wasn't the penalties as much (UT got the worst of those) as it was the no-call Leonard Pope TD (he was in I SWEAR) and the Mo Mass catch off the sideline that was ruled incomplete. Let's not even get into touchdown that really wasn't at the end of the game for UT. You know it's bad when the officials won't review a play because they feel sorry for you. Something like that hurts us in the polls though after the sports writers look at the score, read a few highlights, and then vote. What good is instant replay if you don't fucking use it except for the home team? UT has the worst officiated games ever (think: Florida last year), and I'm still pissed about the lack of ability to use perfectly good technology. Dumbass Zebras.
Now the ugly.
Overall, a BLAST to watch in Athens. I got calls from Dawg friends all over, including those chilling out in Nashvegas and one William Owens. Quote from Big Willy Style: "I knew you were going to send out some crazy ass text message, so I thought I'd beat you to the punch." If UGA football is religion, then Saturday's game was a revival that brought good souls together.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves and start buying into the SEC Championship, Nat'l Championship talk just yet. We've got a quality team in Vanderbilt (Editor's note: I just giggled when I said that because it's something I never thought I'd say.)
coming up and we need to maintain focus. It's nice to be in the driver's seat in the SEC and with Florida having a tough road game at LSU this Saturday, we could be the only no loss team in the SEC come Sunday morning with the closest team already having two losses. However, we've got to stay focused, take this one game at a time, and stay healthy. I'll do a pre-breakdown of UGA vs. Vandy around Thursday so be looking for it if you give a shit.
All-in-all, let me put it to you like this:
I love UGA football and find it to be one of the only things I enjoy no matter the outcome. What I saw Saturday was the beginning of uncharted territory for a team in the Mark Richt era. Team unity is at an all-time high and I think they realize that this is the year we could win it all, but it's on their shoulders. Without a "superstar" among the group, people will continually doubt us and question our fortitude. We will continually answer with a cry of "Why not us?" and proceed to do what we do best, and that's put up more notches in a season that I predicted at the first of the year to be the season every Dawg fan since 1980 has dreamed of. We're one of a few teams that can only be beaten if we do it ourselves. With players coming out arm-in-arm, eight wide, 10 rows deep before a game to show unity, we made a statement about this team.
Anyone remember when the New England Patriots were introduced as a team instead of individually before beating the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI?
Yeah, it's like that.
Until next time kids.