My full column on Georgia’s 20-13 win over Auburn will be posted soon on MyAJC.com and Dawgnation,com.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the column
Below are my three “short takes” on the game:
1. It’s about the defense: Georgia offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been beaten up quite a bit this season, and deservedly so. But the Bulldogs’ defense has been a disappointment because there were high expectations for that side of the ball. Lately, however, Jeremy Pruitt’s unit has been on. Auburn drove 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive but did not make it into the end zone the rest of the game. The Tigers rushed for 161 yards on 19 carries in the first half (8.5 per carry) but were held to 52 yards on 18 attempts (2.9 per) in the second. The Dogs were shredded for 76 points in back to back losses to Alabama and Tennessee. But in the four games that have followed, they’ve held Missouri to two field goals, Kentucky to one field goal, Auburn to 13 points and even Florida had only two legitimate touchdown drives in a 27-3 win. We’ll probably never really know what happened behind the scenes between Pruitt and Schottenheimer and/or other members of the coaching staff in the aftermath of the Florida game. But Pruitt is a guy Georgia can’t let get away.
2. Take It Easy There, coach: A lot of bad things have happened to Georgia this season. But this had the potential to be the low point. Linebackers coach Mike Ekeler got so excited about his team’s defensive stand in the third quarter that he slapped defensive back Rico McGraw on the helmet so hard that it knocked the player dizzy. Ekeler didn’t want to be quoted on the incident when approached by the AJC’s Seth Emerson after the game but it was evident he felt bad. Coach Mark Richt said he wasn’t aware of the incident. McGraw missed at least one defensive series but came back into the game later.
3. Let’s just forget that ever happened: This didn’t decide the game but Georgia had one of the worst series of plays ever early in the fourth quarter. With the game tied 10-10, the Dogs had a first down at the Auburn 44 and theoretically could have been driving for a go-ahead score. Then, this happened: Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was called for offensive pass interference; quarterback Greyson Lambert threw an incompletion; Georgia was called for a false start; Georgia was called for holding; Brendan Douglas ran for one yard; Georgia was called for delay of game. That made it third-and-41 from the 25. So when Douglas rushed for 20 yards on third down, it was window dressing.
•Recent ramblings • Simmons gone, and Braves’ offseason already looking like last one • Weekend Predictions: It’s not a good time to invest in Georgia • Former Georgia player Faloughi at center of Missouri protests • Overreaction Monday: Kyle Shanahan, have you met Roddy White? • Latest Falcons’ embarrassment is on Dan Quinn • Short takes: This Falcons’ loss is on Dan Quinn • Weekend Predictions: Dogs in middle of Dysfunction Junction • Georgia’s finish, Eason status shouldn’t tilt Richt decision • Richt should take over Georgia’s struggling offense • Overreaction Monday: Loss-loss-loss means chaos all around • Mark Richt has failed too many big moments — it’s time for a change at Georgia • Falcons may be 6-2 but they don’t look the part • Short takes: Sloppy Falcons gift-wrap game for mediocre Bucs • Matt Ryan: ‘It comes down to me being better’ • Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs • Georgia’s quarterback problems fall at Mark Richt’s feet • Budenholzer can coach but can he build a champion? • Overreaction Monday: Ryan’s off, Tech’s alive and Georgia… • Georgia Tech has unforgettable moment in otherwise forgettable season • Short takes on Georgia Tech’s miracle win over Florida State • Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, ACC miserable • (Full column) Rick Pitino should lose job, culpable for Louisville mess • Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits • Overreaction Monday: Would Richt give Ramsey another look? • Misery like this shouldn’t happen at Georgia Tech • Short takes: Tech’s run of bowls, non-losing ACC seasons will end • Falcons flash some of their ugly past in loss to Saints • Short takes: Falcons still plagued by poor pass rush, turnovers • Weekend Predictions: Spurrier, Cubs, Playboy…and Georgia can still win SEC East! • Spurrier changed face of SEC, and then he walked out the back door • Health would be Spurrier’s only good excuse for retiring in middle of season • Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs — and claims of, ‘I didn’t know’ ring hollow • Overreaction Monday: Chubb’s loss isn’t Georgia’s only problem • There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia’s season • Short takes: After loss, Georgia is trailing even Kentucky in SEC East • It’s too late to save season but Sefolosha deserved to hear words, ‘Not guilty’ • Weekend Predictions: No fantasy, Chihuahuas will rebound (I think) • Braves may have a plan but it will be a while before masses buy in • Here’s your Depressed Braves Fan viewing guide to the postseason • Overeaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt