Georgia football is back! After a slow first half, the Dawgs went on to win 48-7. There was a lot to unpack here. We will talk about this game until Tuesday and then move on.
I will not be one of the few hundred fans complaining about Bobo. Nor will I argue Coley was a better OC. That’s crazy! Look at Twitter complaints:
Yeah, the offense was out of sync. It looked off at times. But it’s week one, and Georgia had some depth issues at wide receiver and running back. If you have read my thoughts about this over the past two months, you were probably not surprised by the lack of depth at those positions. I’m trying to make y’all smarter, Georgia fans!
Do y’all remember last year’s Kent State, Samford, or Kentucky games? I am not going into hysterics over week one against UT-Martin. Now, are there things that need to be fixed? Absolutely. I think most, if not all, of the issues the offense had, will be corrected by the time we play Auburn (I would have picked South Carolina, but you know, they lost to UNC).
Here are the two significant issues that Georgia had offensively: Beck’s timing and awareness. Two, the offensive line lacks push in the run game. I know I was at the game and have yet to watch the TV (Streaming?) version of this game. But Beck missed a ton of wide-open receivers, not just overthrowing the ball. Beck did not see receivers streaking down the field wide-open. There were several instances where Beck did not see open receivers or threw it too late. That has to be corrected.
Another factor in the passing that worries me slightly is that most of the open receivers were on the left side of the field. I am no offensive guru, so I will not sit here and pretend to know Georgia’s check-down order. So, I can’t tell if that is a part of the check-down process or if he is blind on his left side or, to be fair, not comfortable going to the left side. The jury is still out on that.
Furthermore, Beck and the receivers looked to be on different pages at times. Beck threw a few balls behind receivers. I know it sounds terrible when you read it, but Beck’s final stat line was 21 of 31 attempts with 294 yards—an excellent first game as the starter. So if Beck and the receivers clean it up, this passing game will be deadly.
Now to the part that terrifies me. The offensive line could not get any push up front. It felt like it was tough sledding all game long. I don’t know who to blame as of writing this. I don’t know if it was UT-Martin scheming it up or our O-line was whipped up front. I cannot for the life of me understand why Georgia could not get the run game going. It felt highly inconsistent. This is why, for an entire half, Georgia was getting beat by Mizzou last year.
That time, it was fixed by scheme. This time, I have no idea. But to win in the SEC, you need to run the ball effectively. We all know that, and Georgia’s coaching staff knows it, too. I know this fall camp, many around the program said the offensive line was not doing so well run blocking in the first scrimmage. But by the second scrimmage, they were greatly improved. So, whatever needs to be done, hopefully, the O-line will perform better next week.
Defensively, it’s the standard. Kirby Smart is not going to trot out a sub-par defense. I would have liked to see the defense force some more turnovers. Smart touched on this in his post-game presser, but the defense had several opportunities to create turnovers. Starks had a fantastic game and had a significant chance of getting an interception. Look out if the defense can do better at creating turnovers.
Another area for improvement for the defense was the defensive line needing a better push. At times, UT-Martin could push the D-line a little. UT-Martin had 132 yards rushing total on 30 carries. That is 4.4 yards rushing per attempt. Many of those yards were made when the second and third-string D-line was in there. However, the starting D-line, at times, looked uninterested in stopping the run. It is not a primary concern yet, but something to watch.
Look, it was a 48-7 victory. I will not be one of those fans who nit-picks over a blowout. I will not do it, especially in the first game. But some things need to be cleaned up. It sounds like coach speak, but it is the truth. Georgia is one of the better teams in all of college football, if not the best. But this 2023 squad needs to find its personality. There will be growing pains. As fans, all we can hope is that it gets fixed by the time SEC play starts.
Sidebar: When you come to the most beautiful place on earth, check out the new South Stands concourse. It is immaculate. Feels like a completely different stadium on that side. The bathrooms are excellent. Well, the guy’s bathrooms are. Sorry, ladies, I didn’t want to get arrested, so I could not check out the women’s restroom. I am sure they are just as lovely.
I have a minor complaint if you will allow me. The bridge being a gate could be better. It takes away so much of the atmosphere. I miss seeing the sea of red at the top of that bridge! Also, Georgia has to do a better job if they are going to make it a concession area. They had like three grab-and-go stations. I realize that the concessions need to be mobile over there. It is a street, Monday- Friday. We could have some more over there. They also had Frank Sinkiwhich’s Heisman Trophy on display, which was super cool to see. It’s 81 years old! But if we are going to do “fun” things for the fans, can we please add more?
It just seemed like Georgia wanted to utilize the bridge to get an extra buck and did not give it a whole lot of thought. If you take away a tradition, you better replace it with another. It would be an easier pill to swallow if they did. However, five more home games are still left, so they have time to improve the experience.
Okay, thank you for allowing me to have my Andy Rooney segment. Kids, if you do not know who that is, use YouTube or put the phone down and talk to an elder. You will be surprised at how much you will learn!
I digress. All in all, do not hit the panic button. It’s still early. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “Do I have confidence in Kirby Smart?” The answer should be yes! So, all these early season issues will be fixed shortly. If not, FIRE BOBO! I’m joking. Everything will be fine.