It’s the nature of this year’s Georgia team that for every performance or trend that gets fans excited there’s something disturbing to fret over. Here are the more notable ones from this week. …
The offensive line so far is only average. They did a pretty good job of protecting Joe Cox Saturday night, keeping ASU sackmeister Dexter Davis at bay, but Cox was hurried several times, including on the first of his interceptions when a blocker failed to pick up a stunt by one of the Sun Devil defenders. The run blocking was also poor, expecially in short yardage situations. Every time the Dogs needed just a yard, it seemed the line got no push at all. Yes, there’s been some reshuffling by coach Stacy Searels in the wake of the loss of Trinton Sturdivant in the opening game, but considering the collective experience and versatility of this bunch, you’d have expected the OL to be further along at this point. And the false starts just have to stop.
A.J. Green is phenomenal. As long as he’s on the field, Georgia fans should feel optimistic.
Joe Cox is running hot and cold. He made some great throws Saturday night, particularly to A.J. Green and Rantavious Wooten, but he also threw two boneheaded picks on the same skinny post pattern to the same defender and threw into double or triple coverage too many times. Cox is still a relative rookie and hopefully will learn from these mistakes.
Turnovers. Argh! This merits a separate discussion, but it’s a trend that can’t continue. The fact that Georgia is 3-1 after giving up three turnovers in each of its games is mind-boggling. How long can Georgia defy the odds?
These Dogs are comeback kids. This may explain why the turnovers haven’t proved fatal since the opener. Unlike last year’s Dogs, this team refuses to give up. They’ve come from behind in each of their three victories. That trait, combined with Georgia’s obvious talent, is a reason to be extremely hopeful.
But where did the running game go? Neither Caleb King nor Richard Samuel seems to want to lay claim to the job fulltime. King so far is the more productive runner, but he’s plagued by fumbles and dropped passes. Samuel showed what he can do with a big opening against Arkansas, but he doesn’t run hard consistently and still goes down to easily. I think King is our best bet, but he needs to step his game up a couple of notches.
Which defense will show up against LSU? Hopefully the one we saw Saturday night and not the one from the two previous games, since the Tigers are likely to come out throwing long after their success in that aspect of the game this past week. Georgia did get a lot more pressure on the QB against Arizona State, but they weren’t facing a first-rate offense. And while the pass defense was better this week, the rushing defense lapsed a bit. Still, progress was made. Now let’s see if Willie Martinez can dial up that kind of performance from his players two weeks in a row.
By the way, it was great to see Geno Atkins get a couple of big stops. It seems like starting Kade Weston over Atkins lit a fire under him.
Players I look forward to seeing in action more: Rantavious Wooten, who had a couple of clutch catches Saturday; Justin Houston, who gives the Dogs a legitimate pass rush; and Cornelius Washington, who shows the potential to complement Houston in that area.
What else did you see that makes you feel good or has you concerned?