Monday, October 5, 2009

What Georgia Is, And What Georgia Is Not

Almost halfway through the 2009 season, it's relatively safe to identify trends and arrive at certain conclusions. Here are a few...

Georgia is a pretty good team that cannot overcome opponents and refs alike. You always hear "Great teams overcome bad calls and bad situations." Exactly. Georgia is not a great team. The bogus unsportsmanlike penalty called after scoring the go-ahead TD Saturday against LSU is a microcosm. A great team would have still stopped LSU around the 35 yd line on the handicapped kickoff, and would have slowed down LSU enough to at least force them to try a desperation 60 yd field goal as time expired.

Georgia's offensive line is a dichotomy insofar as its pass-blocking is above average, and its run-blocking is below average. Without hashing out the x's and o's, the skills and techniques for each varies quite a bit. You've also got to credit some of the D-Lines the Dawgs have faced for making things difficult in the running game, no doubt. Nonetheless, Georgia's inability to consistently create space to run the ball is probably the number one reason for the offense's inconsistent play. Very few offenses are going to have many sustained drives when they're looking at 2nd and 10's and 3rd and 9's all day long. (Note: this is not intended to grand absolution to other players or coaches)

By and large, Georgia is most talented where they are least experienced. There are a few exceptions (Rennie Curran is both talented and experienced, for example), but you see it all over. CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia's best corner right now, made a great interception, and then foolishly tried to run it out of the end zone amidst traffic. That's something he probably doesn't do, except that he's only started a few games in his career, and still has that mentality that he has to score a TD every time he has the ball.

Finally, Joe Cox is Joe Cox. A few bad balls notwithstanding (missing AJ Green for what was a sure TD early on was flat-out awful), he's more than serviceable when he's got options down field. It's difficult for any QB to consistently pick up 3rd and longs, but more so for one that does not have a particularly strong arm or innate play-making abilities.

Make no mistake, there is still plenty to play for this season (TECHNICALLY SPEAKING the Dawgs still control their own destiny in the SEC). But, Georgia is no longer a team that can afford to trust experience over talent. There's not been anywhere near enough consistency, and certainly not enough plays being made by most of the experienced guys. Slowly but surely (we're seeing this happen already), more young players must be given a chance to learn on the job. At this point, it's better to have someone who can make a game-changing play for the good, even if he might make a game-changing play for the bad.

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