It's pretty much general consensus that yesterday's game was one of the ugliest I have ever seen. However, as The Good Senator points out
, last year, a game that ugly results in a UGA loss. PWD also echoed the same sentiment to me yesterday as well.
As I pointed out last night
, it's a certainty as a Dawg fan that an ugly win is better than a pretty loss any day. It's tough for me to say that ASU's loss to UNLV was ugly as both teams were able to move the ball efficiently, which resulted in a rhythmic game as opposed to a spit-and-sputter type like we saw from UGA and USC yesterday.
So, let's get to the analysis part. You might feel a little pressure, but this won't hurt too bad:
The Stats Say:
Well, the stats are glaring, that's for sure, and they say a ton about the game yesterday. The worst one out of the group in my eyes is our total sack count, which is two, with only one being a true blitz sack. More on this later, but that is a damn poor stat for a Defensive Line as sick as ours.
In the "almost as bad" category, does the number "271" mean anything to you? It should to Willie Martinez and our Secondary, as 271 is the net passing yards we were carved up for throughout the course of the game. How does that happen, you ask? Just look above at that "sack" stat and I'm sure you'll be able to put two and two together.
The last of the glaring stats is the time of possession. UGA held the ball for 35:14, which is a good 10+ minutes more than South Carolina. To me, this is probably the stat that won the game, because if South Carolina has any more possessions, we're probably looking today for a way to salvage our season. If we did one thing right offensively, it was keep the ball away from the Old Ball Coach's Offense.
1) Clock Management -- This was just touched upon, but for all the misfires we had offensively yesterday, the one thing we did completely right was to control the clock as best we could. Was it uglier than homemade sin? Absolutely, but the idea to get the lead and milk the clock as much as we could was a great one and shouldn't be underestimated.
2) The Kicking Game -- Brian Mimbs and Blair Walsh did everything we could've asked of them and more yesterday. Mimbs came through HUGE with a 77 yard boomer late in the game to pin South Carolina inside the 20 (even though our Secondary gave most of it back on the ensuing play), and Blair Walsh nailed two FGs on the road in the SEC, which is something we can all be happy about.
3) Individual Performances -- Guys like Rennie Curran, Knowshon Moreno and A.J. Green should all be recognized for having bright-spot days in an otherwise dismal outing for the Dawgs. A.J. Green proved that he needs the ball thrown his way more often, Rennie Curran caused the fumbled that kept UGA's hopes for a win alive and Knowshon Moreno made yards out of nothing while running behind an Offensive Line that didn't create any holes.
4) Rushing Defense -- As bad as we were in the Secondary, we were exactly the opposite in stuffing the run. South Carolina only racked up 18 yards rushing over the course of the game, which is phenomenal. This kind of run defense will be key in upcoming games against Alabama, Tennessee and LSU. However, for next week, it won't do us much good at all.
5) Having Football Back on CBS -- It sure was nice to hear Uncle Verne and Gary Danielson doing their thing yesterday.
1) Our Passing Defense -- There's not much more to say other than what I've already covered, but when you have studs like Asher Allen, Prince Miller & Reshad Jones in the secondary, you shouldn't get carved up for that many yards in the passing game. If your top tacklers for the game are mostly in the Secondary, then you've either had a bad day stopping the run (which is not the case here) or a really bad day stopping the pass.
2) Our Offensive Line -- Let's not underscore South Carolina's Defense. They're good, don't get me wrong, but what I saw from our O-line yesterday is not going to get us very far this season. They allowed Stafford to be sacked four times and hurried at least two more times past that. One thing I've preached on for years now is Stafford's mechanics, and when he's hurried, they go to crap. When that happens, you have passes that are not always on the mark, such as what happened yesterday with most passes being behind receivers. In addition, our running game was not what it should have been and we couldn't man up enough to run effective screens to disguise our weaknesses. Stacey Searels is the man to fix this, but yesterday, we didn't look good at all.
3) Stafford's Progression -- He's still the only QB in the SEC I'd take running my offense because of his ability to check into the right play, but yesterday, he was way off on checking into his third and fourth reads when throwing the pass. There were a couple of times where we had some guys wide open and Stafford instead tried to force the ball into a guy that was double covered.
1) Every Part of Willie's Scheme -- I've waited all post for this one. Our lack of a pass rush is going to flat out kill us this year unless we start bringing the blitz NOW. Again, I'm never one to call for anybody's job, but Willie Martinez does this kind of stuff every year where we try to play a smart soft zone defense and we somehow seem to give up large chunks of passing yardage. I just hope that this past game serves as our wake up call as opposed to taking a loss or two before we start doing things differently. An effective blitz is the trademark of championship teams (such as LSU from 2003, UF from 2006 and LSU from 2007) and it was the trademark of our remarkable run so far. I'm not trying to criticize Mark Richt at all, but there needs to be a "come to Jesus" with Willie Martinez and it needs to happen soon. Oh, and if I see us rush three Defensive Linemen one more time, I'll scream.
2) My Prediction -- Man, I could not have been more wrong with any part of the game. The only thing I came close with was my prediction of the USC side of the score. Everything else was just ridiculous. I'll try to do better next time, but man, my optimism for a dominating performance was just completely blown out of the water.
3) Our Depth at Safety -- I'm not saying anything against Andrew Williams, but he was on the field WAY too much yesterday. To say that Quentin Banks can't get healthy soon enough is a huge understatement. We need someone with some game experience to get back there to provide us some depth, and soon. We are razor thin at that position.
4) Blitz Pickup -- We didn't do this at all yesterday and Stafford got nailed a couple of times because of it. I know that Munzenmaier missed a big blitz while running a route on a play action that got Stafford crushed. We've got to do better in this area, or you'll be seeing a lot of shotgun formations in the next few games for sure.
Well, all in all, it's a win. I know that all of my b*tching above makes it sound like we got our doors blown off, but the bright side is there wasn't a single mistake made yesterday that we can't correct with different scheming, better play calling and more conditioning. We still have a great, great, great team, but we've got a long ways to go if we're going to be talking about hoisting a crystal football at the end of the season.
Let's not forget as well that ASU just took a major loss last night against UNLV and they'll need to make a statement to prove that their loss was just a fluke because they were planning ahead for UGA. So, for the second week in a row, we'll be getting the best effort from the team we're going to play. Let's just hope we find a way to put Rudy Carpenter on his back this week.
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, UGA Football