Georgia football: 3 areas of improvement Dawgs need to handle

(Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images) /

Georgia football and Tennessee went head to head on Saturday with the Bulldogs coming out on top. Here are three takeaways that, if it goes unfixed, could cause some issues.

It’s Sunday afternoon, and that means another week of Georgia football has come and gone. The Dawgs looked good in the win against the Volunteers in Tennessee and can now put their focus on South Carolina.

Before I get into my three takeaways of the game, here’s a quick overview of what Georgia was able to do Saturday night statistically. I think it’s essential to have the numbers fresh in mind before going any further.

On offense, Georgia was able to move the chains for 26 first downs. They converted 5 of 11 opportunities on third-down and failed on their only fourth-down attempt.

I know ”failed” is a harsh word but if you saw the play, you know just how ugly it was. They failed on that one.

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The Bulldogs were able to rack up 526 total yards in the game, 288 through the air and 238 on the ground.

They averaged 5.8 yards per carry and almost 10 yards each pass completion.

Defensively, Georgia gave up 343 total yards. The Volunteers completed 15 of 33 passing attempts for 273 yards and got held to just 70 on the ground.

They picked up just 2.4 yards per carry, very impressive by the Georgia defense. The Dawgs also won the time of possession battle, 36:28 to 23:32.

Jake Fromm connected on 24 of 29 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown. Brian Herrien was Georgia’s leading rusher with 88 yards and a score of his own on 11 carries.

He averaged eight yards per carry and ripped one-off for 40 yards. Running back D’Andre Swift was the leading receiver with four receptions good for 72 yards.

Before I go any further, I realize this is a website that supports the Georgia Bulldogs. Maybe, I should have picked three positives results from the game.

There was definitely plenty to choose from, in my opinion. However, three areas really grabbed my attention during the game. These are three issues I believe need to addressing before playing a few tougher SEC teams.

What’s up with the slow starts?

First of all, a win is a win.

The Dawgs whopped on Tennessee and that should be all that matters. That being said, this is college football. There are these things called polls.

That means, not only does Georgia need to win, they need to be impressive in every aspect of the game.

This victory was a big one on the road for Georgia, regardless of what Tennessee’s record is. Neyland Stadium can be intimidating.

No, they don’t have any fancy lights like Georgia does, but still, Tennessee can be a difficult place to win.

I wouldn’t necessarily call each of them difficult matchups, but after six weeks, three games on our schedule grabbed my attention. The game against Murray State. At home against Notre Dame, and Saturday’s matchup in Tennessee.

Each of these three games has something in common

Against Murray State, Georgia was up 10-7 at the end of the first quarter. Against the Fighting Irish, both teams still had a 0 on the scoreboard.

Last night in Knoxville, Georgia led 10-7. On Saturday night, Tennessee started a freshman at quarterback. I’ll be honest; the kid looked sharp in the first quarter.

I think the Bulldogs need to be getting off to a quicker start. We have a few games coming up against teams that might not be as easy to run away from in the second half. Notre Dame has an above-average defense, but it was by no means the toughest squad the Dawgs offense will face this season.

If Georgia could get off to a quicker start, especially when receiving the kickoff following half time, I think it would be more impressive when the College Football Playoff Committee starts making a vote.

Too many penalties.

I mentioned at the beginning of the article that Georgia had 11 penalties, costing them 107 yards. This number startled me, especially when you factor in the Dawgs were coming off their bye week.

There was no excuse for that.

For the record, yes, the referee didn’t correctly stretch and pulled a calf in the first half. Things were ugly after he got replaced.

There were a couple of bad calls. Still, Georgia could have played better. There were six flags against the offense and five against the defense.

Some games are coming up on the schedule where the Dawgs will need every yard they can get. One hundred seven yards is a big chunk of grass to be giving away.

Why didn’t Zeus run the ball more?

Yes, the Dawgs are deep at the running back position. Brian Herrien averaged eight yards per carry.

I may or may not have issues with Swift being the leading receiver in the game with some of our wideouts, but still, his 72 receiving yards were impressive.

All of that said, Zamir White still ran the ball for an average of 8.1 yards per carry. He only ran the ball seven times.

I’m all for a game plan and sticking to your guns, but when someone is that productive with the ball, you have to make adjustments. Especially when you run the ball on fourth-down and fail to pick up the one yard that was needed.

If Georgia can find a way to take more advantage of whichever running back has the best game, they’ll have better luck with Fromm taking shots downfield, something Georgia needs.

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As I said earlier, I was happy with the win. There were several areas where Georgia was very impressive. These are just three areas where I think there’s plenty of improvements to be made.