ATHENS — Georgia defeated Southern 48-6. I know: Big whoop. Everybody’s thinking about next week’s game against Alabama. But the Bulldogs got this one out of the way and have started the season 4-0 — which, by the way, was their record when the Crimson Tide came to Athens in 2008 (and bolted to a 31-0 lead before beating the Dogs 41-30).
Below are my three “Short Takes” on the game.
1. WHAT DOES THIS GAME MEAN? Well, nothing. Georgia struggled in run blocking and defensively in the first half (allowing consecutive Southern offensive possessions of 44 and 77 yards, leading to a missed field goal and a touchdown. But it would be a mistake to process that and extrapolate something along the lines of, “They’re not ready for Alabama!” I’m not saying the Bulldogs are or aren’t ready for Bama, but a game against Southern shouldn’t be used as a gauge for anything. At times Saturday, it looked like the players’ minds were elsewhere, which was to be expected after an overwhelming win over South Carolina the week before and possibly the biggest game of the regular season the week after (Alabama). What matters in Georgia’s season is everything that happens next.
2. LAMBERT SHARP AGAIN: Quarterback Greyson Lambert didn’t need to replicate his 24-for-25, three-touchdown performance in the South Carolina but he did more than enough in less than three quarters Saturday: 9-for-10 for 146 yards and two touchdowns. So in the last two games, Lambert is 33 for 35 for 476 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions, which computes to a quarterback efficiency rating of … I don’t know, but it’s something really good.
3. SOUTHERN? REALLY? Thousands of fans chose not to use their tickets, and that was due to the opponent more than the weather. Administrators and coaches from major conferences who schedule FCS opponents have no argument when they whine about empty seats for these games. Georgia paid $650,000 to Southern (and its band) to play this week after cutting a $1.2 million check to Louisiana-Monroe to open the season. They, like a lot of “Power 5” conference schools, like a couple of punching bags between conference games. But, to reiterate: Major college football would be better if games like this didn’t exist. (Worth noting: Southern is ranked 206th in Jeff Sagarin’s computer ratings this week.)
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