It’s Monday. Georgia football just played a game on Saturday, which means it is time to give out report cards. It is crazy the season is almost over. We are now three games away from this season wrapping up; it feels like yesterday we were talking about UT-Martin. Time has flown by. This upcoming game against Ole Miss is the last game inside Sanford Stadium for the rest of the year. Heartbreaking. So enjoy every single moment of this college football season. Alright, we all know how this goes and what I am about to say. We give a letter grade based on how well you played. Remember, we go off on the Fulton County Schools System grading scale. There are no D’s, only F’s. No team or player is left behind here at the Max Tolbert Football Academy. I don’t think I will give out any F’s today, but you never know.
“Did the offense score 30 points at home?” They did. “Then why give the offense a B-?” Here is why I am giving the offense a B-: Redzone and running game. Those two areas made this game closer than it should have been. Georgia getting bogged down in the red zone was more of my concern. The Dawgs cannot trade touchdowns for field goals. That is losing football, and while Georgia won against Mizou that way, it could come up and bite them in one of these games. It has been an issue all year, so I am unsure if it can be corrected. Hopefully, the red zone offense will be better next week against Ole Miss.
The running game was okay, but it was highly inconsistent and predictable. I know, the Dawgs rushed for over 100 yards, but they got beat up front. That is the second year in a row against these Tigers. I don’t know if they have the perfect players or a great game plan, but it has been a struggle to run the ball on these guys for two years in a row! The lack of push at the line of scrimmage does give me pause for concern. Look, the offensive line has played better as the season has moved along, but this was one of their worst performances since Auburn.
Also, no offense to Xavier Truss, but he is not a right tackle. Truss is a guard and a good one, but an SEC tackle, he is not. The play where the Dawgs run a tunnel screen with the wideout only works if your tackle can get up to the second level and seal that alley for the wideout. Truss missed it multiple times. Honestly, it is not Truss’s fault; it was the guy calling the plays, making a player do something he cannot do. So, that is a victory for the Bobo haters out there. But Truss needs to go back to left guard, and Amruis Mims needs to be back at right tackle. I hate calling guys out. Legitimately, I don’t particularly appreciate doing it, but it was very noticeable watching the game in person and on the TV copy.
The offense outside of those two areas was fine. Carson Beck had another solid game. Beck was 21 of 32 on pass attempts. Beck threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns. Georgia ran for 131 yards, but it was a struggle all game. They averaged 4 yards a carry for 33 attempts. Daijun Edwards was the leading rusher for the Dawgs with 77 yards on 16 carries. Overall, the offense gained 385 yards, just shy of 400 yards. It wasn’t a terrible day at the office; it could have been much better. Next week, I have a hunch that the offense will perform better.
“Max, they held an excellent Mizzou offense to 21 points; what are you talking about?” On the box score, it looks a heck of a lot better than what happened in that game. The defense allowed Mizzou to move the ball too much and gave up too many third-down conversions. Do not get me started on the defensive run fits, either. This game was probably as poor of a performance as the Dawgs’ defense has had since Auburn. Just not good at all. The defensive backs were about the only highlight from the game outside of Nazir Stackhouse’s INT run. So let’s give a round of applause for that, and let’s get into the negative.
The linebackers pursued multiple times against the run, and so did the D-line. Furthermore, the defensive ends kept getting turned inside on an outside side run. So what does that mean? Nobody could hold outside contain, and Mizzou ran for 5 yards or more. It was hard to watch at times. After watching the game on TV, Mizzou’s O-line was doing an excellent job at holding out the defensive line and not getting caught doing it. So, when watching, you could imagine my blood pressure was sky-high. But the refs did not call it one time, so that is the way you have got to play. But the outside run will be a significant concern when we play Bama in the SEC Championship. So please, Kirby Smart, Glen Shuchman, and Will Muschamp fix it! Pretty please!
Georgia also has got to get pressure on the QB! Last week against Florida, it looked like it was coming together. Saturday, it looked like they reverted to early September. There was zero pressure or havoc plays. Now, I know there was some, but I needed more. I don’t know if that was the game plan or what, but I would like to see some pressure. Georgia needs to create havoc this upcoming Saturday against Ole Miss, or it is going to be a long, long, long evening.
Special Teams: A
Peyton Woodring is my new favorite kicker! This guy looked like he forgot how to kick a football against South Carolina, and now Woodring is “Mr. Automatic.” Those two field goals late in the game were as clutch as possible. So, I know early in the season, I was hard on him; I want to give the guys his kudos because he has dramatically improved.
Mehki Mews and Dillion Bell returning kicks Saturday helped the Dawgs’ offense in scoring. Honestly, it was like a great point guard assisting his center to the basket. Great job by both of them, and shoutout to the punt and kickoff return units for holding their blocks! I thought a few times Mews and Bell were going to take one back. Hopefully, they will do it next Saturday—great game by the special teams as a whole. When a game is that close, it comes down to special teams and turnovers. The Dawgs won both of those against Mizzou.
Look, Georgia could have played better than I would have hoped. A lot of you reading this probably agree with me on that, as well. But let’s close this post out with some positivity. The Dawgs did not play well, but they won a game against the 12th-ranked team in the country. Mizzou is an excellent team, and if it were 2024, this team would be in the playoffs. They would be a hard out if it were 2024. So, we should all take some pride in that. This Dawgs team is flawed, but they are one of the best teams in college football. Every team that is contending for the title has significant flaws. It is just one of those years in college football. So, the Dawgs can win another title, but they need to play better if they want to win the whole thing for the third straight year.
The MVP of the game is Nazir Stackhouse. Not only did that interception flip the entire game, it was majestic to see the big man rumble down the sidelines. Plus, I don’t know when I could give out the game MVP to a defensive lineman, and I love the big boys up front. I am sure Naz is super stoked to learn a blogger gave him the game MVP. He gets nothing from it, just a pat on the back.
That will do it for this week’s report card! Now I have to watch Georgia Basketball play a game. This will be just as painful as watching paint dry!