Seriously, WTF just happened? Were we trying to give a national audience a different view of Georgia? Surely we weren't trying to show how good a Steve Spurrier coached offense can be. We couldn't have been actually handing the game to them on a blitz-free silver platter, right?
Wrong. Let's get to it.What we did wrong:
Nearly everything if you want the $.02 version, but broken down more, we did two things exactly the opposite this weekend as opposed to last.
- We didn't blitz. At all.
- No blocking offensively. None.
On defense we looked as incompetent as I've ever seen us look. I said in the preview that for us to be successful against that particular system, we had to play aggressive football
. Blake Mitchell ate our zone for dinner last night and I'm sure he loved every single minute of it. Aside from a couple of instances where USC's O-line missed an assignment, Mitchell had all night to throw and it showed.
Scheme-wise it was exactly the opposite of ALL THE GAMES WE'VE WON RECENTLY. Seriously, this frustrates me the most. I'm not sure if Martinez thinks he's smarter than the offenses he's playing against, but when he thinks we should win we play safe football (every loss last year and last night as well), but when he believes we're going to get our ass stomped in the ground, he runs a jailbreak up front (OSU, Auburn, Georgia Tech). That is the epitome of bass ackwards thinking.PWD nailed it with this gem
:Who has two thumbs and doesn't blitz?
It should be noted that I have no problem with Willie Martinez's Secondary Coaching. He has made a point to take our guys and use their talent to force more turnovers. Since he has become the DC, we are getting more interceptions and usually at crucial times. That is good.
What is NOT good is the D-line and LB scheme that he runs. Our D-line is young and very green. The only reason they looked so good last week is because we backed them up with LBs while they were rushing the QB. It was an absolute madhouse up front for OSU, and this time around it looked more like a 4 on 5 game of "Patty Cake." Ridiculous.
Hopefully, Richt will go knee-deep in someone's defensive coordinating ass and ask them why in the hell we didn't blitz last night...at all. Until that happens, I'd expect more of the same, and that's unfortunate.The Offense:
It's called "downfield blocking." It's very helpful in creating holes and getting Yards After Catch. I know you guys know what I'm talking about because it happened last week. A lot. However, what I saw on Saturday was half-assed attempts by our guys against a much quicker USC Defense. I can specifically remember instances where Mo Mass and Brannan Southerland (of all people) dropped easy blocks that could have garnered first downs at critical points. How bad was it? I was HAMMERED out of my mind watching this on television and I still remember it clearly today. So yeah, it was real bad.
What else went wrong? Stafford's progression. Chandler played a good game in that he found places and opportunities to get open when nothing was there, but he never got a look. Our offensive scheme relies heavily on TE production and there were opportunities last night, but he never got a look. Stafford has a couple of things to work on this week and the most blatant one was his ineptitude to check down receivers. He also have a very poor night throwing the ball on time and on point. He was constantly over, under, and behind receivers. I'm not a QB and damn sure not a QB coach, so Bobo will have to work with him on that.Special Teams:
Coutu did almost all of what he was asked. I would've loved for him to have made that first field goal so we're not going for it on 4th down last night, but the kid kicked it about as well as he could. I know he's probably beating himself up pretty good right now, so there's no reason to kick him when he's down (pun intended).
However, on kickoffs we need some more leg. He's not going to kick it out of the back of the endzone and even if he does, it's not a bad thing right now. We can't tackle on kickoffs or punts for some reason, so I say that he needs to just crank that bitch up to 11 and let it fly. It can't hurt.
Mimbs was called on a lot last night and I felt he delivered pretty well given what he was asked. He made a very acrobatic catch and kick early on the game that saved us a quick score by USC and tons of momentum. If I could give out helmet stickers, he'd get one for that. We do need to take a look at that long-snapper though, and see what's going on with whoever that is. Not a good effort for two weeks now.The Intangibles:
This would be the fans. Due to some reasons not discussed here, I did go to Athens yesterday to see some friends, but was planning on returning back to Atlanta to watch the game. When I arrived in Athens at around 11:30, most tailgates were just getting put up. I mention that because the tailgating atmosphere is one of my judges for how well we're going to play that night. As soon as I saw the Dawg crowd not into it, I became even more worried.
On TV we did not sound loud at all. Hell, I couldn't even hear the Redcoats. It was a bad showing on television, but I have no idea what the atmosphere was like at the actual game. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just didn't get the impression that we were in it.To Sum It Up:
USC wanted it more. Plain and simple. They might as well have worn hard hats to the stadium, because they came to work hard and grind it out, no matter the circumstances. We, on the other hand, worked about as hard as Nick Burns, the IT guy on all the SNL skits
."Willie Martinez Version 2.0 doesn't blitz. MOVE!"
In all seriousness, we played without any heart or aggression. There was no GATA mentality on our offense or defense. We were weak on both sides and it showed. USC wanted to win this game more than we did and the only reason it was close is because we are still the better, more athletic team. We just need to take this beating for what it is, learn what we did wrong, correct it, and whip some cupcake ass next weekend. It will be interesting to see if the team responds positively to the loss, or if they will let it get them down.
All is not lost for the SEC crown, but it's a long shot based on history. All SEC games are now must-win and we need USC to pull one more upset, but get beat twice. If we win out and USC loses 2 games, we're in. Sounds tougher than it really is, but we are as talented as we think we are. We just gotta step it up on the "heart" department.
I'll leave you with this quote from Richt:
"There were coaching decisions that could have changed the outcome of the game," Richt said. "But we're all in this together. I'm not pointing fingers. We had opportunities and didn't take them. Now, we have to regroup and make sure we get better if we want to win this league right now."
Thoughts? Disagreements? I'm a dumbass? Let me know.
One last thing. I got some positive feedback on "The List," so a new one will be posted up late Monday/early Tuesday.
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, Game Recaps, UGA Football