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Saturday, September 11, 2010

First quarter blog

End of quarter, South Carolina 7, Georgia 3

Georgia's defense at least finished the first quarter in a better fashion that it started it: Justin Houston with a 1-yard sack on first down. The teams head to the other side of the field to start the next 15 minutes.

I'll be curious to see how long South Carolina keeps handing off, which worked so well on the first drive. Steve Spurrier's nature is to call passes and try and pitch-and-catch down the field. I'm sure he loved the touchdown, but not the way they did it.

You already saw them go shotgun and empty back field to start the second drive.

And curious to see what adjustments Grantham is making. At the moment he may be praying Spurrier calls more passes, to give Houston and company some time to make some plays blitzing from the outside.

0:38 left in first quarter, South Carolina 7, Georgia 3

Georgia gets a field goal on its first drive. And incredibly, with 38 seconds left in the first quarter, each team has only had the ball once.

Good things from Georgia’s first drive:

- The offensive line is on its game this week. Aaron Murray had all the time in the world to pass.

- The run plays are there, and Washaun Ealey looks like he can get some yards this game.

- Tavarres King got open for a long third down catch.

Bad things:

- Georgia’s running game isn’t dominating the line the way South Carolina’s is.

- Murray was off a touch on a few passes. He also made a freshman mistake on first down in the red zone: Rolling right, he had wide space to run. Instead he stopped and tried to hit Orson Charles, but the throw was behind him.

So it’s back on Georgia’s defense to hold. Or create a turnover.

6:58 left in first quarter, South Carolina takes 7-0 lead

A very bad defensive start for Georgia. Bad in terms of physical play, and bad in terms of omens.

South Carolina takes the lead when Marcus Lattimore barreled into the end zone from 2 yards out. And I mean barreled. The freshman was met at the line but kept going.

Georgia’s defense was beaten physically throughout that drive, which was the longest-ever, time-wise, under Steve Spurrier. The 16 plays were the second-longest in Spurrier’s six years.

This after the Bulldogs couldn’t stop the drive on numerous third downs, and often after making contact with the ball-carrier.

Spurrier appears to be attacking the 3-4 by going up the gut, guessing correctly so far that there are enough holes, plus Lattimore can out-physical the linemen.

Todd Grantham has some adjustments to make, already.

Near the goal-line, Georgia was at first were saved on first down when diving tailback Brian Maddox couldn’t haul in what would’ve been a touchdown pass. Then a false start penalty moved South Carolina back another day.

But Alshon Jeffery took a short pass on the next play and darted up the middle. He was tackled by Christian Robinson and Bacarri Rambo at the 2, and the ball squirted out. Tori Gurley recovered it and went right into the end zone.

But a review (correctly, I think) ruled that Jeffery was down, and Georgia’s defense was bailed out. But just for one play, and South Carolina converted yet another third down.

9:27 left in first quarter, no score

Georgia’s defense needs to figure out a way to get off the field. But South Carolina is playing like its coached by Bear Bryant, not Steve Spurrier.

The Gamecocks are going heavy on the run, riding freshman Marcus Lattimore down the field. The big blow was a long run on a draw play on third-and-11, on the game’s first series.

The good news for the Bulldogs is they’re not giving up huge yardage. But the Gamecocks are getting too many yards on safe plays. Georgia needs to force a negative play at some point.

The very first play showed that Georgia will apply a lot more pressure than South Carolina faced last week. But Garcia was still able to scramble for a one-yard gain.


Crank It Lax said...

Not a good start... tackling is horrible... nobody is wrapping up on form tackles.

D_Dot said...

You hit the nail on the head. Thats got to be the worse tackling I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Was anybody else holding their breath on that throw across the middle in the red zone Murray threw.

Anonymous said...

The spot was BS!!!