Short takes on Georgia’s win over Georgia Tech

Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, here with defensive back Malkolm Parrish, saw his defense have a strong finish to the regular season. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

You can find my column on Georgia’s 13-7 win over Georgia Tech by clicking this link.

Below are my three “short takes” on the game

1 Mark Richt’s farewell? We don’t know that this was Mark Richt’s farewell as Georgia coach. We just know that not one Georgia official has dismissed that possibility, which seems strange. If the Bulldogs are keeping Richt, why wouldn’t athletic director Greg McGarity say that, just to put the team’s coaching staff and recruits at ease? If Georgia already has decided to fire Richt, why not announce that already? Or maybe McGarity just wanted to watch the team down the stretch before finalizing his decision. We’ll know the answer soon enough.

2. It’s about defense:  This is not meant to short-change the accomplishments of running back Sony Michel (149 yards, one touchdown) or quarterback Greyson Lambert (who was an efficient 18 for 25 for 224 yards). But Georgia’s win over Georgia Tech, and most of its success down the stretch, should be attributed to the Dogs’ defense. Jeremy Pruitt’s defensive unit had a number of shaky moments earlier in the season and he appeared to be at the center of the internal strife on the Dogs’ coaching staff. But the Dogs’ defense improved greatly down the stretch, allowing only three offensive touchdowns and four field goals over the last four games. I know there’s some question about Pruitt’s future. But if Georgia lets this guy go, it would be a big mistake.

3. The running game: All indications are that Georgia will start a true freshman quarterback next season, recruit Jacob Eason (who already has signed his financial papers, although that’s not a binding agreement). Starting a first-year quarterback usually results in some headaches but at least we know he’ll have some good running backs to hand off to. Michel looked strong Saturday, rushing for 149 yards, a 6.2 per-carry average and a 34-yard touchdown on fourth-and-1 on the first drive of the game. If Nick Chubb can rebound from his serious knee injury, he and Michel will form a strong duo next season.

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