Before Georgia football could kickoff, some interesting things were happening during the Alabama, Florida matchup. In short, neither the Gators nor the Tide looked great on either side of the ball.
Georgia fans should be excited. While the Dawgs haven’t gotten over the hump against Bama, Georgia has an advantage if they continue to play like this.
The more considerable advantage will be against Florida because Georgia will have revenge if the Gators play like this.
I’m not saying that the performance from Alabama or Florida was so bad the Dawgs will blow either team out. No, I’m saying if Georgia continues to improve each week and stay healthy, then the Dawgs have a great shot.
At first, Alabama was able to march down the field and score their first three drives. The first one took some work, but still, they overpowered the defense and went up 21-3.
Usually, when Alabama does that, it’s over, and they run away with it, but that wasn’t the case.
Then something happened to Alabama’s offense, and they went stagnant. Florida held the Tide to 10 points in the final three quarters — three whole points, yes you read that correctly.
Is Florida’s defense that good? Did Alabama have an off game, or is the offense just not that good?
Then Florida was able to score 26 points to get within two points of the Tide. Head coach Dan Mullen went for the tie, and Alabama’s defense didn’t let it happen, but they got extremely close.
It didn’t look like I was watching Alabama or Florida, but two middle-caliber SEC teams duel it out.
Alabama’s defense struggled in open-field tackling. Florida’s defense held Alabama to just 91 yards on the ground. However, their offense couldn’t successfully score through the air.
Florida had 258 yards on the ground against Alabama, which to me is mind-blowing. They had seven more first downs, went 5-of-12 on third downs, and still, Alabama found a way to win.
Alabama’s ability to have Bryce Young go 22-of-35 for 233 yards through the air helped them win this game.
This game is mind-boggling because Alabama got smacked in the mouth, and they look vulnerable. Florida did some good, but they also don’t look like the No.11 team in the country either.
After that game, Alabama shouldn’t be No.1 in the country.
The Tide got to Emory Jones once for a sack and had just seven tackles for loss. To me, that is uncharacteristic of them. Florida sacked Young twice and recorded seven tackles for loss as well.
These are two teams that are known for getting in the backfield and making plays. The Gators’ defense had an extremely aggressive secondary, and that worked at times. They weren’t consistent though, no part of Florida’s defense was.
However, I’m just baffled at the fact both teams struggled to tackle. Neither team looked prepared. No one from either camp will say that because, well, it was a good game, but at the end of the day, Alabama should have run away with this, and instead, they got punched in the mouth.
How does this affect the Dawgs? Well, Georgia needs to continue to do what they’ve been doing because having an effective offense against the Gators on third down is helpful. Alabama went 7-of-13 on third downs, and that helped them win.
Georgia converts almost 50% of their third downs this season, so improving that will only help in the long run. However, now that JT Daniels is healthy and will hopefully stay that way, that experience will only grow and help the Dawgs move forward.
Alabama won, yes, but we all know Georgia loves to run the ball and needs to run the ball to control the game. Running the ball is doable against Florida. However, to beat Florida, they’ll have to get more than 96 rushing yards. Georgia just needs to make sure that offensive line blocks.
The Dawgs’ defense needs to keep doing what they have been doing in putting pressure on the quarterback and utilizing that front seven. Georgia has 13 sacks on the season and 19 tackles for loss.
While Florida’s offensive line is good, and they can protect Jones, the horizontal speed the Dawgs have is untouchable. From Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall and I’ll even put in Jordan Davis — there are too many guys that can fly across the field and make a play.
If Georgia corrects their tackling issues from Saturday’s game against South Carolina, it’ll be on in Jacksonville. Georgia must finish games as strong as they start them. Teams like Florida and Alabama will take advantage of the sloppiness, so no more of that after the third game.
Refocus Dawgs because paradise is in your sights if you keep the main thing the main thing and chop wood all the way through Jacksonville and into Atlanta. This goal is possible if you keep the fire and pedal to the floor all four quarters.
There is a lot of football left in the season before the cocktail party and the SEC Championship in December, but those two teams are vulnerable, and now there is tape to prove it. Georgia doesn’t need to look ahead at all, but they have videos that can help stop Florida and Alabama.