The bad news is that Georgia lost another “big” game Saturday, and in fact has only won one really big game in the past three seasons.
The good news: There are no more really “big” games left on their 2011 schedule.
A Bulldogs team that managed to hang 42 points on a South Carolina defense that’s considered the class of the SEC East ought to be favored in the remainder of that schedule.
Of course, a team as generous as Mark Richt’s Dogs were Saturday, giving away 21 points thanks to turnovers plus another 7 resulting from falling asleep on a fake punt, can always find a way to lose, so the 10-2 record that would salvage the season and save Richt’s job is far from certain.
Walking out of Sanford Stadium tonight, the initial impressions I took with me were a mixed bag: Georgia’s defense improved considerably from a week ago and essentially played well enough to win. … Let’s hope the turnover problems that plagued the Dogs a couple of seasons ago aren’t back, because as we saw against the Gamecocks, there’s no surer way to negate a good defensive performance. … Mike Bobo might be a slow learner, but he did apparently finally conclude that a short passing game is a better bet when your offensive line is inconsistent in protecting your quarterback. At times in the second half Saturday, it looked like Georgia had lifted a copy of Kellen Moore’s playbook. And it worked. … Isaiah Crowell is the real deal. And Bobo finally figured out that he needs to get the kid the ball with space to run. Sure, Crowell gave up a hurtful fumble, but he at least has the excuse of being a true freshman. What do we make of Aaron Murray still refusing to tuck the ball and safely take a sack? … In the first half, it seemed every time Crowell had two successive runs, he was replaced by Richard Samuel. Here’s hoping that wasn’t a conditioning thing. Finally, in the second half, Crowell got more of the reps he so badly needs to develop into the first-rate back he seems destined to become. … Two missed field goals in two games for Blair Walsh, and this week it wasn’t a long one like against Boise. Let’s hope this isn’t a trend. … If Richt really went for that onside kick late in the game rather than give his defense a chance for a stop with 2:15 left and three time outs still in his pocket because, as he said after the game, Christian Robinson was hurt and he didn’t think anyone else could get the D lined up right, the state of affairs at linebacker officially has reached red alert status.
So, yes, Georgia outplayed South Carolina, as Steve Spurrier said after the game. But at 0-2 that’s really sort of a tin-plated substitute for a silver lining.
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