Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What Does Georgia's Win Over Notre Dame REALLY Mean?

As everyone knows by now, Chicago and South Bend were overrun with Georgia fans this past weekend. It was really something. It showed not only the unbridled passion of the fanbase, but also how hungry we are for a winner. It's the consummate "this could be the year" mentality, and it was rewarded on Saturday night with a nail-biting (my index finger in particular was worn down to the nub) 20-19 win.

The question now is, will this end up being a seminal moment in the 2017 season and/or near future of the program, or was it just one of the highs in what will once again be a season of ups and downs?

One thing I would point to straight away is how much better this team responded to adversity, and performed when the pressure was truly at its greatest.

The defense made stops and forced turnovers when it was absolutely critical to do so, and the offense was able to score every time it seemed it was critical to do so, with the obvious final field goal drive being the key to victory.

We as fans tend to try to squeeze every bit out of what we see in each game. So, how much of the glass can we fill with this orange?

Is it overstating it to say that this Georgia team truly believes in itself, more so than last year? Well, we did pull out some last-second victories last season to go along with some last-second losses. Does the fact that this game was at Notre Dame instead of at Missouri mean much?

The thing about seminal moments is that it's pure conjecture to point them out as they occur. That is to say, it's much easier to go back and point them out in retrospect if the rest of the season turns into a great one. If Georgia goes 10-2 or 11-1 and wins the East, the Notre Dame game will doubtless be considered the springboard.

If this iteration of the Bulldogs is going to really go places, then the offense is obviously going to have to become more consistent, and make more plays when they present themselves. While they left 10 points minimum on the field Saturday, there were also the alarming number of 3-and-outs which really could have taken their toll on the defense.

The encouraging thing about Chaney's playcalling and play design (and there was plenty that was discouraging, too) is the sheer amount of looks and sets he employed throughout the game. Now, it's up to him to begin pruning that bush, so to speak. He's got to start altering some of those RPOs and WildDawgs, or scrap them completely.

My biggest takeaway right now is this. We have the defense to win these lower-scoring affairs right now, but Georgia is going to have to make sure to whoop up on the lesser opponents at every opportunity. If the defense is having to bow up and make key stops over and over, then sooner or later they're going to crack.