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Post Leftover Western Kentucky comments

Wednesday September 6, 2006

I know this is stale now, but there are a few leftover comments from the game I wanted to get down. I am one of those who thinks that you can tell a great deal even against poor 1-AA competition – tackles are tackles, catches are catches, and so on. Some things you can’t evaluate fully, but many things can be.

Defense. The starting defense was scary good. Even against a 1-AA team it’s easy to see how good this defense can be, especially along the line. The best part about the defense might have been the depth. Georgia started subbing reserves from the third series, and some like Dewberry made an immediate impact.
Did the defense have its questions? Sure, but they were few. Allen and Miller were thrown to the fire and looked lost at times in the secondary, but they’ll be fine. The defense was occasionally open to counter plays that ran the ball outside. The blown coverage that led to the touchdown has to be addressed. There were probably lots more little things that the coaches will tweak, but you’ve got to be pleased with the play of the defense.

Offense. I’m not concerned about the low yardage. When your defense and special teams sets you up at midfield for most of the game, you’re not going to put up gaudy yardage. I’m not sure whether or not it’s a good sign that the Dawgs were able to coast without much production from their offensive stars: Thomas Brown and Mohamed Massaquoi. MoMass only had one reception, and Brown looked pretty ordinary at tailback (again). At the very least, can we please stop the platitudes about Thomas Brown being the strongest or best this or that? Run for 100 yards a couple of weeks in a row, and we can talk.

Quarterbacks. I disagree with Ching when he says that "I don’t feel comfortable saying (Tereshinski) played well or poorly". While it might be premature to gush over Stafford, I think it’s perfectly valid to question Tereshinski’s performance, and I think we can. It’s pretty clear that Joe T. has made improvements from even last season, but I wonder if that improvement will be enough.

To my eyes, Tereshinski had four really nice passes: the TD pass to Raley (on which he made a nice audible), the in-stride crossing pattern to Goodman, 30-yard pass down the sideline to Harris, and a perfect throw to Milner that was dropped. Other passes, including the incompletions and drops, were either behind the receiver, underthrown, or late. The late passes were of special concern. They allowed defenders to read the pass and get a jump to make a play. Other than Milner’s drop of a sure touchdown, I think that coaches and observers are being generous with the "dropped pass" label. For the most part, they just weren’t good passes or were made more difficult by timing or requiring an adjustment from the receiver.

The most important thing to remember is that Richt isn’t an idiot and can see the same things we do. It’s been pretty funny how many fans have twisted and turned the comments and events to fit their own fantasies of how the quarterback position should and will shake out. Does anyone honestly think that Richt is playing JT3 simply out of some sense of obligation and loyalty? This "token pat-on-the-back start" theory is as messed up as it comes. Can we just be rational and see that Richt is sticking with "just good enough" while he brings a young talent along? The "throw them to the fire" approach might be fine for Arkansas where you have to pull out all of the stops to save your career, but Richt is grooming a starter for the next several seasons, and he’s not going to screw that up by putting an unprepared freshman out there for more than he can handle.

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