The goal for this 2011 Georgia Bulldog football team is to win the SEC East Division and have a chance to play for the SEC Championship in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 3
Even with the loss to Boise State, the dream of accomplishing that goal remains intact. However, the poor performance by the Bulldogs shows that there is a lot of work that needs to be done before the 4:30 kickoff next Saturday against South Carolina.
Before the game, the players were pumped up, the fans were fired up, but when it the whistle blew to start the game, Georgia talked the talk, but clearly didn’t walk the walk.
The Bulldogs lost to a very, very good Boise State team that will go 12-0 and be in contention for a BCS Championship this year. Chris Peterson is one of the best coaches in the nation, and his Broncos team just came and executed a nearly perfect game.
Last season the problem with Georgia was they didn’t finish games. In the Boise State game, they never really got started, so they didn’t have the opportunity to finish.
What went wrong?
There are too many things that went wrong in this game, but I will focus on just a couple of key things that affected the outcome of the game.
The Georgia offense scored three touchdowns on plays of 80, 36 and 51 yards. The furthest the offense ever took a snap on the Boise State side of the field was the 26 yard line.
The Boise State offense scored one touchdown in their first six possessions, but then went on to score four touchdowns in their next five.
The Georgia defensive line was unable to put pressure on Moore, which allowed him to play an almost perfect game. The senior quarterback threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns on 28-for-34 passing.
On the offensive side of the ball, Murray did not play that well especially on deep throws down the sideline. Orson Charles caught six of Murray’s 16 completions, and Tavarres King dropped a couple of balls that he should have caught.
Isaiah Crowell did well with what he got, but Richard Samuel never got going. The 6-foot-2, 243 pound junior ran seven times for 12 yards with a long of five yards.
Don’t even get me started on the playcalling of Mike Bobo. Why he thinks it’s a good idea to run a screen or draw on third and long continues to make me question why Richt allows him to call plays.
There is no doubt that the loss hurts, but as painful as this loss was, it will all be erased if the Bulldogs top the Gamecocks next weekend.
The Sept. 10 game has always been, and will continue to be the biggest game of the Georgia schedule this year. Even if the Bulldogs topped the Broncos, it would have all gone for nothing if they lost to South Carolina.
The loser of the South Carolina-Georgia game has never played in the SEC Championship game. And that trend will continue into the 2011 season.
South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have about the same level of talent on the field, but the Gators’ October schedule will play them out of the SEC East.
Florida will play Alabama, at LSU, at Auburn to start the October schedule before playing in Jacksonville against Georgia following a bye week.
LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the SEC, and Georgia and South Carolina do not face them in the regular season.
With all that being said, CAN Georgia beat South Carolina?
I know you might have doubts, I do as well.
South Carolina is a very good team, and they have the best running back-wide receiver duo in the nation in Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery. The question mark on the offensive side of the ball is Stephen Garcia, or whoever Steve Spurrier names the starting quarterback.
Like I said before, Georgia has a lot of work to do before the Bulldogs tee it up between the hedges.
The offensive line has to play better. The running game played well last week, but in third down situations, the offensive line did not give Murray the time he needed. Georgia was 2-for-13 on third down conversions and 1-for-4 on fourth down conversions.
South Carolina has one of the best defensive lines in the Southeastern Conference, so the Bulldogs’ offensive line will have their hands full next week.
One bright spot of the game, freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell made a couple of great plays that showcased the athleticism the coaches and players have raved about throughout fall camp.
Tavarres King is going to have to step up. The junior wide receiver that was supposed to help fill the void of A.J. Green’s departure, but only caught one ball and dropped a couple of balls that were thrown right to him.
On the defensive side of the ball, the line will have to get pressure on Stephen Garcia if they want to win. Also, they will have to wrap up Marcus Lattimore.
In the game against Boise State, Georgia had a difficult time bringing down running backs Doug Martin and D.J. Harper. Another key is going to be wrapping up Lattimore. Because if they aren’t able to, Lattimore might have another outstanding performance like his game last year against the Bulldogs.
Mike Bobo needs to call a better game to allow Murray to develop a rhythm with the offense which lacked in the game against Boise State.
On the defensive side of the ball, Grantham will need the defense to play better and put pressure on Garcia.
Georgia can certainly win this game, but they can’t afford another poor performance .