Georgia Football: Grading the Dawgs performance against Tech

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 25: Haynes King #10 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is wrapped up by Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins #93, C.J. Allen #33 and Raylen Wilson #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the third quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 25: Haynes King #10 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is wrapped up by Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins #93, C.J. Allen #33 and Raylen Wilson #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the third quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Georgia football played its last regular season game on September 2023 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Dawgs won 31-23. Even though the scoreboard said it was an 8-point game, it felt like a blowout. It is Monday, and we all know what time it is! It is time for report cards. This is the final regular season report of the year, so enjoy it.

Even though we are well past the season’s midpoint, we will have a “mid-term” report after the SEC Championship. We will average all the games played and give out letter grades for each phase. Once the season ends, hopefully on January 9th, we will give out the final report card on the 2023 Georgia football team.

Anyway, let’s get into the report cards. Remember, the grading scale is based on the Fulton County Schools Systems grading scale. There are no Ds, only Fs. No team or player is left behind here at the Max Tolbert Football Academy. F’s will be hard to come by this week, so I don’t think I will be handing those out today.

Offense: B+

We saw a very vanilla offense on Saturday night. Carson Beck only threw 20 times and completed 13—the Dawgs average about 34 passing attempts per game. But Tech folks will tell you that they had a shot against Georgia. I will not write about what Georgia has shown on film all year and how they did none of that against Tech because it is pointless. But the passing attempts stat and Georgia having four healthy scratches need to tell you all you need to know.

The reason Georgia won this game is Kendall Milton’s performance. Milton ran for 18 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. This was another excellent performance by Milton, who broke his career high of 154 yards set two weeks ago against Ole Miss. The Dawgs ran for 262 yards. The Dawgs could do whatever they wanted offensively, even with four key contributors out.

The only reason why I gave the Dawgs a B+ for this performance is because of the turnovers. The fumble by Daijun Edwards on the first play for the Dawgs on offense and the funky interception in the red zone late in the fourth quarter was why this game was even within reach for Tech. The Dawgs could have been up by three scores and put the game way when the interception happened.

Usually, the Dawgs do not turnover the ball the next game when they turn it over multiple times the previous week. Hopefully, that trend stays the same for the Dawgs against Alabama in the SEC Championship.

Defense: C+

The Dawgs’ defense played its worst game of the season against Tech. However, Buster Faulkner and Tech’s offensive staff deserve credit. They threw everything at the Dawgs’ defense and did a great job exposing this team’s one weakness. However, Georgia allowing 200 yards rushing is not acceptable.

I do not know if bad run fits or eye discipline, but whatever it is, it must be fixed. The good news for Georgia fans is that Jalen Milroe differs from Haynes King and is known for his legs. It may look better on Saturday.

The Dawgs’ one positive was their passing defense. The Dawgs defended the passing game well, limiting the Jackets to only 158 yards passing. There was one wide-open Tech receiver all game, and King overthrew him by 10 yards. I continue to say this, but the Dawgs defensive backs are the best in the country. There is no group of defensive backs out there who even come close to them.

Overall, the Dawgs’ defense did not play well. But I think the players and coaches know this, too, and will do whatever is necessary to correct it before playing Alabama, and that is all that matters.

Special Teams: A- 

Peyton Woodring had another good game kicking the ball. The guy struggled early in the year but has been money ever since. Jared Zirkel has done a great job kicking the ball off recently. Against Tech, Zirkel did not allow a single return, and all the kickoffs were touchbacks. Brett Thornson only punted once, and the streak of not giving up a single yard in punt returns still holds for another week. It is nuts that Georgia has not given up a yard on punt returns in the regular season; that is almost unheard of.

Mehki Mews did return the ball well, which is why the Dawgs got an A. But can he please catch the ball? Every return, he scares me because I think he will muff the punt. Please focus on catching the ball and let the offense go to work! Also, there were two opportunities to let the ball go out of bounds on kickoff, and Mews fielded the ball. You have better awareness. But I am just a lazy bum sitting on the sofa, so what do I know?

Overall: C

It was not a pretty game. Both teams played weird and sloppy, and the game had no rhythm. But the Dawgs moved on and got the win. At the end of the day, that is all that matters. Georgia has another year of bragging rights over Tech. The MVP of the game goes to Kendall Milton. Milton carried the Dawgs to victory Saturday; he will go down as one of the best DGDs ever. I would not be shocked next week if I were writing about Kendall Milton being the MVP for the SEC Championship. The guy is on a hot streak and is playing the way most Georgia fans thought he could play when he first stepped foot in Athens. Hopefully, on Monday, I will write about another victory in the SEC Championship, and if Georgia does win, I will only give out an A+ in every phase.

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