For the third consecutive time Georgia has faced an elite passing offense, the Georgia defense got torn to shreds.
Dating back to the LSU game last December, the Georgia defense has been no match for the offenses in college football. On Saturday, Kyle Trask threw for a career-best 474 yards and 4 touchdowns. It was the most passing yards Georgia has given up in a game under Kirby Smart, besting the 417 yards Mac Jones threw for just three weeks ago.
The effort was just another harsh reminder that a great offense beats a great defense in college football these days.
“It was just a great gameplan,” Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes said of Florida. “They already knew some of our checks we were going to so kudos to them.”
What was different though from the Alabama game compared to the 44-28 loss to Florida was that Alabama’s receivers won a lot of one-on-one matchups. That was not the story on Saturday against the Gators.
Florida consistently fooled the Georgia defense and often had guys wide open for big plays.
“It was a lot of eye candy and motions that we didn’t handle well,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “When you let people score with nobody around or there, that’s not good. We had too many of those today, where they didn’t beat us, we gave it to them.”
Stokes — who did return an interception for a touchdown — said there was some miscommunication over the course of the game in the secondary. Maybe that can be chalked up to the injury absences in the secondary.
The Bulldogs were without Richard LeCounte following his traffic accident. In the second quarter, Georgia lost Lewis Cine for the game on a targeting penalty that also took all-world tight end Kyle Pitts out of the game for Florida.
But Smart didn’t believe that the breakdowns happened because Christopher Smith was in the game. Smart pointed out that it was guys who had played before who were having problems.
He mentioned both Tyrique Stevenson and Mark Webb by name for blunders they made during the game.
“What I can’t live with is leaving a guy wide open on a wheel route” Smart said. “Those were the breakdowns we had.”
Florida should also receive a ton of credit on passes to the running backs, specifically on wheel routes out of the backfield. On the day, Florida’s running backs finished with 10 catches for 213 yards. Those plays constantly put the likes of Monty Rice, who is dealing with a foot injury, in space and forced him to make a play.
Georgia also didn’t have much success pressuring Trask, as the Bulldogs had just a single sack. That is the fewest they’ve had in a game this season. And when Trask has time to throw and find the likes of Pitts or Kadarius Toney, he’s going to pick a defense apart, even one with as much talent as Georgia.
“They ran the same play twice and Tyrique Stevenson, who has the best ball skills on our team, is getting ready to jump up, and I know he’s going to pick it off,” Smart said. “I’ve seen him do it, and he trips and falls over 84, (Kyle) Pitts, and he catches it for a big play. Then they come back on the next series and hit a big play for a touchdown on Mark Webb where he doesn’t see his guy.
CAN’T GUARD KYLE PITTS
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 7, 2020
“It’s tough when you give those up.”
Smart did give credit to Trask and Florida coach Dan Mullen after the game. It was a great offensive gameplan on their part. But he also reinforced that Florida didn’t take the game from Georgia.
It was just a poor effort by the Georgia defense. That’s going to happen more often than not in today’s college football.
“We made too many silly mistakes on defense,” Smart said.
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