It’s safe to say that Georgia football fans are now officially spoiled. Despite the Bulldogs putting a 48-7 whipping on UT Martin in Week 1, the Bulldog Nation was abrasive and unhappy.
It’s not all the fault of the Georgia football fanbase. When you become accustomed to a certain level of success and play on the field, you expect to see that on a regular basis. Once that bar is raised, lowering it even a little is hard.
But a reality check may be needed here. The constant bristling to every play call and incessant whining surrounding every small mistake may be taking things too far.
And calling for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s job before the season’s first game is even over? C’Mon man.
Yes, there were things that were probably just as obvious to the coaches as they were the fans, and those issues will be addressed and worked on in practice. Georgia fans need to remember that this is not the 2021 or 2022 team. This is a new team, with a new offensive coordinator, and a new starting quarterback (as well as a host of other new faces).
Expecting the polished perfection that Georgia displayed against TCU in last year’s national championship game is not reasonable, and quite unfair to the players and coaches.
So here are five stats from the Week 1 game against UT Martin that should make Georgia fans feel at least a little better and will hopefully put things into perspective.
Georgia Football Week 1 Stat No. 1: Turnovers
The Bulldogs ran three green quarterbacks on the field in Week 1 — Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff, and Gunner Stockton — and they had zero interceptions collectively. That in itself is a sign of good coaching and smart players.
There were also no lost fumbles at all in the game by the Bulldogs, Brock Bowers drop that was recovered by a teammate notwithstanding.
Win the turnover battle, and you’ve got a leg up on winning the game every week.
Georgia Football Week 1 Stat No. 2: Weapons Galore
The three Georgia quarterbacks completed passes to eleven — count ’em — eleven different receivers for a total of 400 yards. Wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs all got in on the fun, including three catches for over 40 yards.
Of course, primary target Brock Bowers got his work in and led all receivers, but there were also catches by transfer newcomers Dominic Lovett and Rara Thomas. Any team would have had difficulty trying to keep up with all the weapons Georgia could throw at you.
Georgia Football Week 1 Stat No. 3: Balanced Attack
For those who want to jump on the Mike Bobo Hate Bandwagon, these stats may paint a more accurate picture than “Same old Bobo”. Georgia ran 39 passing plays and 30 running plays, pretty evenly distributed. They averaged 10.3 yards per catch, and 5.3 yards per rush, both excellent stats to have for a game.
It’s also important to remember that Kirby Smart and Mike Bobo most certainly didn’t open up the entire playbook for a Week 1 game against an FCS opponent. So Georgia made the most out of a little and put up 559 yards of offense.
Georgia Football Week 1 Stat No. 4: Pass Protection
The Georgia offensive line protected their quarterbacks against a stout and aggressive defensive line, giving up zero sacks on the day. Beck, Vandagriff, and Stockton all had ample time to go through their progressions without having to scramble.
Playing an entire game where your quarterbacks don’t even need to get up and dust themselves off from being knocked down after throwing a pass says a lot for how this offensive line should perform this season.
Georgia Football Week 1 Stat No. 5: Injuries
Just like the NFL Preseason, playing FCS or other “cupcake” opponents in the first week of the season brings with it the fear of unnecessary injuries. Georgia left the game against UT Martin relatively unscathed in the injury department.
The only in-game injury was to defensive back Tykee Smith who left the game with a knee injury. During media availability, Smith said it was just a minor tweak and that he was pulled from the game as a precautionary measure. He’ll be fine.
So there you have it. Five key stats that should mean a lot in a win that went roughly as expected. The coaches will iron out the issues, but for the first game with a lot of changes in the team, you shouldn’t be unhappy if you are a Georgia football fan.