ATHENS — Well, that was ugly. On stage for another big moment on national television, Georgia was humiliated on its home field by Alabama 38-10. It was 2008 all over again. For my column on the game and how this has happened far too often in the coach Mark Richt era, click this link.
Following are my three “short takes” on the game.
1. The Quarterback Problem: We knew it might be an issue before the season. We’re certain of it now. Taking nothing away from Alabama’s defense, which was great, but starting quarterback Greyson Lambert was largely ineffective against the Crimson Tide, beginning on the first snap of the game when he underthrew a wide open Malcolm Mitchell. The only Georgia quarterback worse than Lambert (10 for 24 with an interception) was Brice Ramsey (1 for 6 with two interceptions, a pick-six and two sacks). Coach Mark Richt said afterward, “We have to re-evaluate everything.” But he only has three options: Lambert, Ramsey or third-string Faton Bauta. My guess: Ramsey was so bad that Lambert will start next week at Tennessee.
2. Pruitt’s defense takes a hit: Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State’s former DC and an assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama, isn’t used to his defenses not coming through in games like this. But they didn’t. The Bulldogs gave up too many big plays, including a 50-yard pass from Jake Coker to Calvin Ridley that set up a first-quarter field goal, and a 30-yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry and a 45-yard touchdown catch by Ridley in the second quarter. Afterward, Pruitt admitted his young players didn’t handle things well and had never “played a game of this magnitude.” True. But how ominous is that going into next week at Tennessee, or against Florida or Auburn?
3. Is SEC East Gatorland Again? Richt was right about one thing: Georgia can still win the SEC East. But the Bulldogs team everybody watched Saturday is capable of losing to any of their next four opponents, who all are from the East: At Tennessee next week, home against Missouri, at Jacksonville against Florida and, yes, even home against Kentucky (which won at South Carolina and made Florida sweat. The Gators looked strong against Ole Miss Saturday and this could be their season in the division if the Dogs’ hangover from Saturday lingers. Another Alabama vs. Florida SEC title game might be on the horizon.
•Recent ramblings Dawgnation: Richt and Georgia fall off stage again when it matters most Dawgnation: Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions AJC: Weekend Predictions: Nothing sinister here – Dogs over Bama Dawgnation: Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt for games like this AJC: Nationals are a more attractive mess than the Braves AJC: Overreaction Monday: Georgia may be 4-0 but season starts now Dawgnation: Georgia now can prepare for opponent that matters most: Alabama Dawgnation: Short takes on Georgia’s win over Southern AJC: Weekend Predictions: Lilly takes the lead and likes Falcons MyAJC: Falcons’ fourth-quarter fizzles absent so far under Dan Quinn AJC: Braves have been more adept at building off field than on it AJC: Overreaction Monday: Are things as they seem with Falcons, Dogs, Jackets? Dawgnation: Georgia chases away Spurrier demons with dominating performance Dawgnation: Short takes: Lambert says, ‘I just had to go through a rough patch’ Dawgnation: Georgia can’t blow game, Tech can’t blow chance AJC: Weekend Predictions: Tech over Irish, Georgia over South Carolina (but not by 17) Dawgnation: Tech has something Georgia would like — comfort at quarterback position MyAJC: An impressive opening by Dan Quinn’s new Falcons AJC: Short takes: Gruden praises Falcons’ defense after win Dawgnation: Georgia looks like a shaky 2-0 with its passing game Dawgnation: Short takes: Another Georgia win but QB issues continue AJC: Weekend Predictions: I can’t block this Falcons’ upset from my brain AJC: Poll: I say 9 wins for Falcons, national media mixed, what say you? MyAJC: Falcons’ late roster scramble not a good sign AJC: Fredi Gonzalez needs to make more of his losing hand Dawgnation: Lambert good but didn’t do enough to cement starting job Dawgnation: Lambert, lightning and the joy of Keith Marshall MyAJC: Kennesaw State’s little startup off to a dazzling start AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets roll, Spurrier escapes, Petrino goes down AJC: Falcons won Julio Jones trade but would like to forget 2012 draft Dawgnation: Greyson Lambert’s big test won’t come in opener, it will be later AJC: Hello, football: Thoughts on UGA, Tech, Kennesaw, both GSUs Dawgnation: It’s Lambert over Ramsey for now, but assume nothing for future at Georgia AJC: Falcons were never going to let Julio Jones get away