A lot of wild things happened in Saturday’s game against South Carolina - many of which were so aberrational that we really can't make any generalizations or pattern observations (100 yard kick-off return, kick-off fumble on our ten yard line, etc.) But there was enough consistency in certain areas that we can make a few early observations.
Joe Cox CAN play. Will he be a Heisman candidate? No. But he definitely showed enough talent, poise, confidence, pass accuracy, decision making and leadership to make me confident that he can execute and successfully lead the Bulldogs. Even with the lackluster performance in the OSU game, he is averaging 181 passing ypg and is ranked #7 in the SEC. The only question remaining is WILL he play and lead this well in every game?
Richard Samuel CAN run. Is he another Knowson Moreno? No. Herschels and Knowshons come around about every quarter century. But Samuel has already shown himself to be an extremely powerful RB with the strength to power up the middle, the speed to turn the corner, great ball handling and the ability and determination to bulldawg those extra yards after contact. He is averaging 4.34 ypc and 76 ypg - #8 in the SEC.
A J Green CAN catch. Not much more needs to be said about this. We saw it and he statistically proved it last year (THE best WR in the SEC). We didn't see much of it in the OSU game; but the ball wasn't thrown his way much in the OSU game. Against SC, the A J that we loved last year made his presence known. He caught virtually everything he was able to touch. And on many receptions, he gained significant yards after catch. Against SC, he caught 6 receptions for 86 yards averaging 14.33 ypr. Notwithstanding (and because of) the OSU game, he is already ranked #9 in ypg (69) and #3 in total receptions (10) in the SEC.
Mike Bobo IS learning. The OSU game was a great example of how not to coordinate an offense. Against SC, Bobo got back to basic smash mouth Bulldawg football. He ran the ball and opened up the defense for a few key passes. Then he went back to the run. He adjusted through the game. If he keeps this up, he will give the UGA offense the opportunity to have a great year.
Willie Martinez CANNOT coach. Last year he had injuries to blame. Not this year. Over the past two games, we see a clear pattern on defense. Georgia can shut down the run. But Willie's pass defense philosophy seems to be "go out there guys and try to prevent as many receptions as possible". Man on man (which only happened a few times), UGA did a fair job of defending the pass. In the zone, they might as well have been sitting on the bench.
From the OSU game, Coach Spurrier saw the strength of the UGA run defense and the weakness in their pass defense. He coached an outstanding pass offense to Georgia's weakness. Through the entire game, we saw SC chew up the Bulldog pass defense while Willie stood on the sidelines and watched (or played solitaire on his I-Phone). No adjustment; no answer.
Georgia is presently ranked #10 in rushing defense and #12 in passing defense in the SEC. Georgia has the size, speed and talent to consistently and effectively shut down run offenses. It has the talent in the backfield to prevent the kind of pass defense humiliation that it has experienced the last two games. But that talent needs to be coached; and defensive game plans need to be coordinated. WILLIE NEEDS TO GO.
Chalk up UGA's OSU loss to jitters in new key players starting their first game against a (formerly) top ten team on the road. Georgia saw a lot Saturday to be proud of and confident in. They still have adjusting and tweeking to do. But I'm seeing the making of a 10-2 season - THIS year.