As the Dawgs close the book on their fourth game of the year, one thing is certain: they are a resilient bunch. In three straight games the Dawgs have been tested, and in all three they have proven their mettle by coming through with a victory.
Last night proved yet again just how cohesive this team is as a unit. They don't shake or rattle. They hold steady and make the plays that need to be made in order to secure the "W." That is a team that any fan can stand behind and be proud to call their own.
This game went without huge offensive numbers, but what's more important than what the Dawgs didn't do is what they did do. A look inside the numbers shows some nice improvement across the board and, as more SEC play approaches, this is a very good thing to see.
So, just a few game thoughts to add:
Bacarri Rambo did a nice job at free safety
Rambo took over for the much-maligned and much-burned Bryan Evans this week, doing a fine job as he hauled in an interception and managed to be around the ball more often than not.
Rambo is a redshirt freshman with loads of potential. He was a dual-threat quarterback in high school, but also has the speed and the build to play running back. He is just beginning to find his sea legs at the safety spot. but has the talent to succeed once he gets a feel for the position's responsibilities.
It's a welcome change for a Georgia secondary that saw a lot of wide receivers take advantage of Bryan Evan's inability to get into position and make a key play when it was needed.
We can hopefully look forward to seeing more of Rambo in the future as this secondary continues to make strides towards getting better.
Coach Bobo continues to insert Logan Gray at curious times
Logan Gray made another appearance on Saturday and, just like in the game against South Carolina, it served more as a momentum changer than a boost for the Georgia offense.
Gray entered the game on a critical red zone possession late in the third. Arizona State had just taken the lead and made it a 14-17 game in their favor. Gray comes in on a 2nd-and-10 keeper that loses yards and sets up a 3rd-and-long. The question there is, why bring him in there?
Joe Cox was already not at his best, and prior to that series was frustratingly ineffective getting the Dawgs down the field. Why insert Gray into the game at that point and break the rhythm that was established in getting them there in the first place? It just seemed like a bad call at a critical juncture.
It is understood that Gray is a weapon that we want to introduce at different times, but better decisions need to be made as to when and where he makes his appearance.
The offensive line was not getting a good push
Georgia had quite a few short-yardage situations where the offensive line simply didn't win the trench battle.
Early in the fourth, we were on the Arizona State goal line and simply did not win the trench battle against the Arizona State front four. We had to settle for a field goal on that possession. Later in the fourth, we were stopped on a 4th-and-1.
The latter attempt was a bit perplexing because we were well within Blair Walsh's range and could have kicked a field goal to make it 20-17. But we opted to go for it, a la Les Miles, and came up empty.
Give credit to the Sun Devils' defensive front for being able to hold the line. but as a Georgia fan it does make you wonder why we weren't winning that battle.
Welcome back, Justin Houston
One very welcome sight was the return of defensive end Justin Houston. He made his presence felt all night long while also recording a sack.
Georgia still wasn't able to get a consistent push from the defensive line, but it was definitely a big difference from previous weeks as they were able to mix it up a bit and force the Sun Devils into a lot of 3rd-and-longs.
Overall, the defense was stellar on the night and offered some encouragement that coach Martinez is starting to make the necessary changes in personnel to ensure the right guys are on the field.
As for the offense, after two straight weeks of good performances by Joe Cox, he has to get the benefit of the doubt for this poor outing. The weather was less than cooperative and obviously played a role in the offensive gaffes suffered by the Dawgs.
Credit must also go to the Sun Devils for playing the Dawgs tough on their own field. They were up to the challenge defensively and were not the least bit intimidated by their surroundings.
Now the Dawgs will ready themselves for LSU, who is sporting a No. 4 ranking despite the fact that they barely got past Mississippi State—the Dawgs are ranked No. 18.
Let's hope we see the offense and defense arrive at the same time for what is sure to be one heck of a game next Saturday.