Georgia football winners and losers after stunning South Carolina defeat
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Georgia football winners and losers after South Carolina defeat
Loser: The entire Georgia offense: We could make a number of points here about how every position group wasn’t good enough during Saturday’s loss to South Carolina. Instead, we’ll just share what Smart said about each unit on offense.
On quarterback Jake Fromm: “I believe in Jake Fromm. Jake Fromm is a leader of men. He gives tremendous effort week in and week out. He tried to throw the ball away and didn’t get enough on it to get it of bounds and the kid picked it off. We fumbled the snap. That rarely happens with our guys. It happened today. I can’t tell you exactly why it happened.”
On the running backs: “We had some rushing yards in there but it wasn’t the dominant performance, it wasn’t controlling the line of scrimmage that we like to have. Give South Carolina some credit. They played really physical, they rotated guys up front and did a better job against our run game than most people have as anybody who has done in the past.”
On the offensive line: “They were able to control our run game, played really physical up front, they played a lot of guys, they outplayed us up front. That played a big part in the game.”
On the pass catchers: “If you had to say one thing they did well they got their hands on our guys, and there was not a lot of (berth?) and separation. There were a couple of those that were frustrating. They were playing man to man, they pressed, they pressed George, they pressed Tyler, they pressed Cager.”
Those are a lot of words to reflect how the Georgia offense as a whole was not good enough. It wasn’t just Fromm or the offensive line. The offense as a whole did not play well, which is how you run 95 plays and end up with only 17 points.
Winner: Demetris Robertson: If there was one offensive player who managed to do something positive on Saturday, it was Robertson. He finished the game with 5 catches for 51 yards, but when Lawrence Cager left the game with a shoulder injury, Robertson emerged as a key red zone and third down option.
On Georgia’s game-tying drive, Robertson came up with a huge catch on third down to keep the drive alive.
1st Down!! pic.twitter.com/tBlyb0p65p
— Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) October 12, 2019
He then followed it up with the game-tying touchdown, making another sweet grab in the back of the endzone.
— Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) October 12, 2019
It hasn’t been the easiest of times for Robertson in his time at Georgia but his performance on that final drive should be an encouraging personal note for him going forward. Georgia is going to have to turn more and more to the junior wide receiver, given how much the wide receiver group struggled as a whole.
Loser: Kirby Smart: The fourth-year head coach has opened himself up to a lot of criticism given how he’s managed games. The first concerns were raised after the Notre Dame game, when Smart elected to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down.
Then on Saturday, Smart and the Georgia team made a mess of a potential game-winning field goal situation at the end of regulation. Georgia had the ball on the 38-yard line with 8 seconds left. The Bulldogs did not have a timeout, meaning the Bulldogs would need something quick to get a few more yards for Rodrigo Blankenship to attempt a field goal. Or, Georgia could put Blankenship out there to attempt a 55-yard field goal.
Blankenship is one of the nation’s top kickers and he’d already made a 50-yard field goal on Georgia’s opening drive of the game. But Blankenship had a 53-yard attempt blocked right before halftime, and that was no doubt on Smart’s mind. So the Bulldogs ran a play, resulting in an incomplete pass. To make things worse, Georgia lined up in an illegal formation, pushing Georgia back another five yards. This certainly took Blankenship off the table.
Georgia instead had to settle for a Hail Mary attempt from Jake Fromm that fell that never even got downfield.
Even if the presnap penalty is out of Smart’s control, it is another example where critics can point to questionable decision making in a tight game. It’s a hard thing to get better at when so much of it is out of your control, but it’s apparent that this is an issue for Smart.
Winner: The Georgia sports curse: I’ve quoted this passage in this space before, but in the movie Friday Night Lights, Billy Bob Thornton’s character is asked by his quarterback if he believes in curses. His response is perfect and something I’ve longed believed on the validity of curses.
“I believe that, uh, our only curses are the ones that are self-imposed. You know what I’m sayin,” Thornton asks his quarterback. “We, all of us, dig our own holes.”
After this weekend, I’m actually starting to believe a higher power might be involved in bringing misery to Georgia sports fans. The three most popular teams in the state of Georgia are the Atlanta Braves, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta Falcons. All three of those teams lost in uniquely painful ways over the past week.
In a win or go home against the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday, the Braves gave up 10 runs in the first inning. The Braves’ season was over before it even had a chance to respond.
We don’t need to relitigate Georgia’s stunning loss on Saturday, we’ve already performed that autopsy.
As for the Falcons, they fell behind 27-10 to the Arizona Cardinals, only to strom back and tie the game at 27. The Falcons then seemed to be on the verge of tying the game again after scoring a touchdown with 1:53 remaining. But Matt Bryant, who is the NFL’s third-most accurate extra point kicker since the NFL moved the extra point back in 2015, shanked the game-tying extra point.
Sure this might seem like a random series of unfortunate events. But consider this, as pointed out by the SEC Network’s Mike Reiter, the last four times the Braves have seen their season end in the postseason, the Georgia football team has lost its very next game.
Some wondered if Atlanta United winning the MLS Cup last year would lift the curse. Clearly much stronger powers are at play when it comes to Georgia sports.
Loser: James Coley: We mentioned above that it was a tough day for the Georgia offense. Some of the blame has to fall on the plate of James Coley.
Coley has been on Georgia’s staff since Smart took over in 2016 but this is his first season calling plays for the Bulldogs. And after that performance, some Georgia football fans are done with Coley.
Being Georgia’s offensive coordinator is never a popular position. Even if they’ll never say it, many were happy to hear Jim Chaney left for Tennessee. Many never thought Mike Bobo was good enough, even as the Georgia offense became one of the best offensive teams in the country.
After Georgia’s worst performance of the season, Coley has to make some changes. The Georgia offense has to do a better job of helping its wide receivers get open. The offensive line has to find some stability and cohesion. Coley even has to help Fromm, as good as he might be.
We’re going to find out about Georgia this week and what type of team it has as it faces Kentucky. The Bulldogs should dominate Kentucky. But we all said that Georgia was going to do that against South Carolina before laying an egg.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- South Carolina’s AD apologizes for damage to UGA’s treasured hedges
- Georgia football plummets in AP and Coaches Polls after loss to South Carolina
- Georgia football favored to bounce back impressively against Kentucky
- WATCH: Kirby Smart explains not trying field goal at end of regulation
- Opinion: UGA’s shocking loss makes the remaining season impossible to predict
- Georgia football-Kentucky Week 8 game time, TV network announced
- Kirby Smart: Georgia football injuries added up in loss to South Carolina
- ESPN analyst: Georgia loss a College Football Playoff ‘dagger,’ but can be overcome
Dawgs on Twitter
Thank you to all🖤
— Isaiah Wilson ⚡️ (@_LayZay_) October 13, 2019
In 2012, we lost to South Carolina, on October 6th (WK 6), and still made it SECCG only to miss the National Championship by 5 yards.
— Arthur Lynch (@alynch1788) October 12, 2019
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) October 13, 2019
I honestly think we should’ve let my dawg kick it at the end of regulation with 8 sec left on the clock.. from his spot.. pre penalty.. Sheesh.. 😩This one hurt. But y’all know me! Go Dawgs 4L! ✊🏾
— Tavarres King (@Tkunodos) October 12, 2019
Dawgs on Twitter
This is Nelly. She had her first bath and her first big walk today. Would like you to know she did very well with both. 13/10 pic.twitter.com/xvUEqQ5CqU
— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) October 11, 2019