Georgia Football: 4 Problems the Bulldogs Must Fix During the Bye Week
The Georgia Bulldogs have the week off before they take on the meat of their SEC schedule.
They would've liked to have gone into the bye week 2-0, but a 1-1 start to the year is not bad, especially when that one loss is against a non-conference opponent and the win is against a team that you haven’t defeated the last three seasons.
The bye week could not have come at a better time. It gives the Bulldogs an opportunity to take a long, hard look at what they need to improve on moving forward.
And by the way things have looked the last two games, there is plenty of things the Bulldogs can get corrected.
Here are 4 problems the Bulldogs need to fix during the bye week.
The Play of the Defense
The one thing that has stood out is the play of the defense.
It’s understood that they are young and are still finding their way, but they have to improve in order for the Bulldogs to win the SEC East.
In the Clemson game, the Bulldogs gave up 467 yards and 38 points. In the South Carolina game, the Bulldogs gave up 454 yards and 30 points.
The biggest thing they need to do is tackle better and get better angles of pursuit. If defensive coordinator Todd Grantham can get his players to get back to basics during the bye week, the Bulldogs defense should have a better showing when they face teams like LSU, Tennessee and Florida.
Special Teams Errors
But before they make sure the defense is making progress, the special teams have to be on the same page.
From a mishandled snap on the field goal team against Clemson to a bobbled handle of the long snap of a punt in the South Carolina game, mishaps cost the Bulldogs points and can’t happen moving forward.
Special teams should be the stress for the bye week as well as preparing for North Texas. Having good special teams plays can make or break a ball game. It’s been something that has plagued the Bulldogs the last few seasons. If they don’t improve in that area, it could cost them again this year.
Consistency on the Offensive Line
In the last two games, the offensive line has been getting different looks when it comes to the starting lineup. In the first game, the starting offensive line was Kenarious Gates, Dallas Lee, David Andrews, Chris Burnette and Kolton Houston. In the South Carolina game, the starting line was Gates, Houston, Andrews, Burnette and John Theus.
Because of the depth and experience at offensive line, making changes is not a huge deal. But in order to have stability and continuity on offense, the Bulldogs need to get a starting five set for the rest of the year.
Having a game like North Texas can help see which five players will be the starting lineup going forward because if the Bulldogs get a big lead, they can put in players like Mark Beard and Watts Dantzler and see if they are viable options.
The one thing the Bulldogs have to watch for is the penalties, which is also something that has killed this team the last few seasons.
Penalties were one of the reasons the Bulldogs came up short against Clemson, as they committed nine penalties for 84 yards.
The Bulldogs improved on that mark in the South Carolina game, committing five penalties for 16 yards.
Physical penalties such as holding and pass interference can be tolerated. But false start and delay of game penalties are mental errors and can’t happen consistently if the Bulldogs want to stay on top of the division.
Can the Problems Be Fixed?
The coaches can make the changes in the lineup, work the players to death in practice and motivate them as much as they can to play elite football week in and week out.
But it’s up to the players to get the mistakes fixed. They have to be responsible for their mishaps and have to learn from their mistakes.
With the win against South Carolina, the Bulldogs are in good position to win the SEC East if they win six of their next seven SEC games. But they have to play better football going forward. Every team they play will bring their best to the table when they play against them. It will be up to the Bulldogs to do the same.