Collage 3
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Well that was a helluva game wasn't it? I mean I'd like to spend many, many, many paragraphs explaining why my keys to victory were spot on. How I nearly nailed the score (again). And even spend a little time talking about me being awesome in general.

But now's not the time. There are more important things to discuss, so let's get to our recap.


The Stats Say:

Alabama and Georgia played a nearly identical game offensively. We were almost dead even in passing, rushing, first downs, completions/attempts, total offense, net punting yards, etc. There are three glaring differences, though. We won the "battle" for penalties (nine for 71 yards) and won the "battle" for giving the ball away (two turnovers to their one).

Aside from bone-headed mistakes like ripping J.P. Wilson's head off or Stafford throwing off his back foot unnecessarily (again), we played a very solid and balanced offensive game. We had 40 rushes and 36 pass attempts. However, I wouldn't say that we should get used to that kind of run/pass balance. We are dedicated to the ground game, but early on the run wasn't really working for us and we were forced to throw the ball. At least we found something that was working and exposed it.


The Pros:

Stafford's Poise: I think we watched the maturation of the leader of this team. Stafford has shown flashes of brilliance since last year with his talent alone, but last night was a night that he will never forget as a player. When things were going wrong, he wanted the ball and he wanted to share it with his offensive playmakers. He wanted to be protected by that O-line, hand the ball off, and throw it downfield because he had the utmost confidence in our ability to win the game. That's not taking the world on your shoulders and making mistakes trying to get a win. That is managing the game as you see fit and getting the ball to the people who can score the points.


Stafford with time to throw.


WR Play: The blocking downfield was spot on again, and there was even a bit of meanness to those guys that we haven't seen in a while. Mo Mass absolutely rearranged Simeon Castille's insides on a block and I guarantee you that Castille didn't forget about that all night. On the "we should do this all the time" side of things, we caught the ball well, got some yards after catch (one great play by Sean Bailey in particular), and got open all night long. A solid effort by our WR corps.


In the bidness, we call this a "downfield shot."


RB and O-line Play: You might be wondering why I lumped these two groups together. Well, the main reason is because of one stat that isn't mentioned above: ZERO SACKS. The guys up front did a great job of containment and when Alabama did blitz, we picked it up to get Stafford enough time to try and make a play. Yes we did OK running the ball, but the most important thing to me is how we did not give up momentum by letting that Tide Defense gain some confidence. Great game by the youngsters.

Defensive Play: You know what I saw last night? Blitzing. You know how happy I was about that? Very. The stats say we never put J.P. Wilson on his ass for a sack, but I don't care. We got pressure and threw off the timing. There were plenty of balls thrown that were short and off target. I could've hoped for a little bit better of a game from our Secondary coverage-wise, but overall, we did a great job of bringing different looks and blitz packages to throw off Alabama's offensive momentum. Also, props to Asher Allen for playing a great game and having some crucial pass breakups.


The Cons:

TE Play: Not to call Tripp Chandler out or anything, but the guy has never been that inconsistent catching the ball. I don't have an official count of how many drops he had, but I think it was in the area of about three or four. It wasn't a good night for the senior, but he did have a crucial catch to keep the chains moving before the last missed FG. At least he redeemed himself some towards the end.

FG Play: I said in my preview that Coutu was automatic and that he can be counted on for the clutch kick. I absolutely still stand by that statement. However, last night was a rough one for the senior from Lawrenceville, GA. I don't know what got in his head and rattled his confidence, but don't expect it to become a trend. Even though UGA's beloved kicker (one in a long line of many) struggled some, he'll get through it. It's what the guy does. Besides, let's not forget that he did make two crucial field goals to help us never surrender the lead.

Stafford's Patience: Look, I said he had a great game and played like a leader. I still stand by that, but he has got to work on knowing when to step up, take the damn hit, and throw off his front foot instead of his back one. I know at least one of those two INTs last night happened because he could not put enough zip on the ball, so he has got to work on staying patient and true to his mechanics. There are better teams out there than Alabama. He's got to start stepping into his throws more. Period.


Overall:

This is a signature win. Quite possibly the one that will define our season. Our little UGA team that could went to T-town and put silence to the doubters. Last night's game was won with determination and an attitude of Us vs. Them. That's the kind of win that will rally this group and let them see the light at the end of the tunnel when they're struggling. It will also give them the confidence they need to face bigger and meaner opponents in SEC play.

Don't get me wrong. After nearly every big win, we have the tendency to over-hype ourselves and sleepwalk into the following games. I don't really see that happening this time around, though. I think this is the kind of win that gives a team focus and confidence. I think you saw the birth of a new attitude in Athens...one that really believes they can win championships.


Let's hope the next time we see this it's in the Georgia Dome.

The momentum train is loading now. Better hop on while you can. Next stop: Ole Miss.


Until next time kids.

Be safe.

*All pictures taken from Rivals.com.

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7 Comments:
Anonymous Jeff Keith said...
Nice Post. GO DAWGS!!!

Blogger Ally said...
I completely agree. Great analysis.
Not only was this a signature win for the team, but it was especially a signature win for MS and for the O-line.
I think now, it's on. They know they can win against a good, SEC, Saban-coached team. They know they can come back and win after blowing a lead and 1 couple of missed FG's.
This game was not only a confidence booster, but an eraser for the blown SCUm game.
Great post as usual. Go Dawgs!

Blogger Special K said...
Great post as usual.

I have a question... What is your stance on the play calling? I felt that we tried too many times to ram it down their throat. I couldn't understand lining us so often in such a tight offensive set when we're just too young and not quite strong enough to dominate a DLine in the SEC.

Anonymous JoJo said...
Great post you were spot on with just about everything. Don't know if you noticed but it wasn't just a blitz that was so effictive it was a delayed blitz that always seemed to come from the side with the non-eligible tight-end or from a back responcible line backer with no back to cover. BTW the Kicking game i thought was great yeah we missed 2 but both were into the wind and from 47+ and neither missed by much. Like tiger says i made it it just didn't go in.

Anonymous Chris in Oxford said...
Hey, great site and nice analysis. Glad I found you, I knew there must be some good Dawg blogs out there! Great win in Tuscaloosa - maybe there's hope this year yet!

Blogger Ludakit said...
Special K -- At first I thought we tried to run it too much. However, as I thought about it more, I think we were just running our offense. We are, and always have been, a school that uses the run to set up the pass. I don't know the exact stats, but I would venture to say we didn't run on crucial 3rd downs when we really needed to move the chains. That's something we struggled with playcalling-wise in the past. Besides, the dedication to the running game is what set up the deep ball to Mikey to win the game in OT. 'Bama set up like we were going to play it safe and it burned them.

Chris -- Thanks for the compliment. Good to have you here! If you have time, check out some of the Dawg links on the main page. There are some eally solid blogs out there for Dawg fans.

Blogger Paige said...
Definitely a great game, but I have to say that I absolutely HATE games like that! They are way to stressful for me these days. LOL I tend to throw things at the tv and this time I was stopped just in time from slamming my cell phone on the concrete floor.

I do love the game now that it is over. LOL I just prefer to win convincingly without overtime thankyouverymuch! No chance of a nervous breakdown then.