I just can’t believe that I’d say something like that after all of the blogs that I wrote with pretty heavy criticism about him. Honestly, though, I think he’s learned a lot this season about scheming properly and guessing correctly. I thought the adjustment that we made after the first quarter was amazing. I mean, we gave up 3 points the rest of the game, and kept handing them turnovers.
QB That sucked. He made some good throws to keep us in it. He also some bad throws to keep it closer than it had to be. Andre’ Woodson made a postgame comment about the wind affecting the ball, but the pregame guys said that it was 7 mph. UK did a good job of getting pressure on him early by stacking the middle and the left. They had Staff off-balance a fair amount and forced him into bad throws. Two interceptions, and it could have been 3 or 4, easily.
Receivers They get my vote for most-improved of the season. They still seem to be catching everything that comes their way.
O-line Had a rough start, and got man-handled a little bit. UK finally figured out what we’ve been doing, and Richt even said it after one of our games, essentially running behind the upper-classmen to the left. Alabama tried to do it to us, also, and Saban said something like that at halftime. What happened, we shut that shit down the second half, but kept them in it ’till overtime. I saw something on DawgSports that said that Scott Haverkamp was off the team. Any clue?
Running backs What can I say? Other than the two brain-dead fumbles… The first one, it looked like Knowsho ran into our own guy and the ball just flew out. I don’t really see what any UK defender did to make that happen. The second was a matter of a great defensive play and TB not switching hands to outside once he got past the first line. Trippy! Knowshon, that guy just has a new level of elusiveness that we haven’t had in a running back since I can remember. I mean, Huhhshul wasn’t elusive; he didn’t have to be. If you tried to tackle, he knocked your dick in the dirt, right Bill?
Offensive Coaching OK, fine, I understand the concept of wearing them down with the runs up the middle and trying to establish your presence up front. You can’t ever completely give it up. I was watching the game with a guy that has never seen a UGA game this season, and he was asking what UGA’s strengths are. I said the finesse running game and the deep ball. That’s exactly what UK was expecting, and we didn’t disappoint. We played a step behind for a while, and then our depth took over and we just won.
Dline Struggled a little bit getting in there, and then when CWM started mixing it up, we got some sacks. They came mostly on blitz plays. Good depth, and we just keep bringing different dudes every play. UK could not run. At all. 32 yds total.
Linebackers Really got into it with the blitzing. Ellerbee had lucky pass breakup that he had no business knocking away. Didn’t do a great job of coverage. Curran is a freaking stud. That guy’s everywhere, and he’s the big hitter we’ve been looking for.
Secondary Here we go again with Kelin. That guy, I swear. He makes some brain-dead looking plays, and then shows up and makes a huge play. Int, blocked punt. Otherwise, it was hit or miss. There were some coverage sacks, so hat’s off.
Coaching This has really improved through the season. CWM is understanding that pressure is good pass defense. He brings delayed blitzes, and those are effective. We are moving away from vanilla defense. We definitely look a lot smarter now, especially when the other team sees the “look” and audibles. We adjust on the fly, and we weren’t doing that. See my post UT rant. It was obvious that if gave one of the best QB’s in the SEC any time, he was going to light us up. “Bend-but-don’t-break” wasn’t going to work. So there, Big Head Joe Kines.
Special Teams I still can’t understand how we have one of the best legs in the SEC, and we can’t or won’t kick deep on kickoffs. The blocked punt was awesome and really was a momentum swinger. Coutu was money, and it’s a strange season for us where we’re not kicking about 3-4 field goals per game. This has got to be a low for Richt since he’s been at UGA. Kickoff return was actually great, considering the opening kickoff. We cooled, but we’re still a threat. Mikey Henderson left the game sometime in the 2nd quarter, for what, we don’t know.
Final GD UT gettin’ by. By the skin of their tooth. That field goal would’ve done it, UGA in the SECCG. I had some mixed feelings about whether I wanted to go to that game. We have nothing to gain, right? Wrong. We can beat LSU, and they know it. Besides UF, I don’t think there are too many teams that have any strong desire to play us.
I’m proud of this team. The coaching staff has undergone an incredible turnaround, and that’s the story behind the story that you don’t know unless you have been following these guys all year. The light seems to have been turned on, and those guys are on fire right now! I never would’ve thought that we’d be in contention for the SEC championship before the season, and least of all after that UT game. In the words of Richt about that UT game, “Never again.” But the real turnaround is very well descrived by Mark Bradley in the AJC about the fumble that Vandy had on their game-winning drive that led to our field goal at the end of regulation. The celebration wasn’t the Dawgs getting excited about beating Vandy as much as it was realizing that winning was as much or more about desire as it was talent and X’s and O’s.
I know you can’t do it every week. Look around this league, no one can. But sometimes, you have to just will yourself to a win.
“This has been the season when Georgia reminded everyone it’s still Georgia.”