There will be plenty of time to say something about the defense. Things are very, very wrong right now, but the priority right now is to find a way to finish out the season successfully with the personnel and coaches we have.
I will say this: as poorly as the defense (and special teams) played on Saturday, I do credit the defense with coming up with the plays in the 4th quarter to hold Kentucky off the scoreboard before and after the Dawgs got back in front. That doesn’t excuse the performance the rest of the game, but when the alternative is a repeat of 2006, you take what you can get.
Last week I put much of the loss on the offense. Red zone ineptitude, killer turnovers, and missed opportunities contributed to a colossal meltdown. The job done by the offense this week against a decent defense deserves as much praise as they received criticism last week. Key points:
- 5-for-5 in the red zone. All touchdowns. Great to see.
- Stafford with zero interceptions for just the second time since the Arizona State game. At the scene of one of his toughest days two years ago, Stafford showed tremendous poise and playmaking ability to lead Georgia to the win.
- Massaquoi’s redemption. Someone who has played so hard all year didn’t deserve to be remembered for two fumbles. It’s only fitting then that MoMass earned redemption with a 77-yard reception to set up the winning score and cap off a career day.
- Line improv. Justin Anderson’s injury was the latest in a series of blows to the depleted offensive line. It wasn’t pretty, but the line with Josh Davis filling in held together well enough down the stretch.
BryantGreen. Georgia’s freshman phenom didn’t have a reception until the 4th quarter, but he made sure they counted. His first, a 42-yard strike, set up Moreno’s third TD run and put Georgia ahead 35-31. Green’s second and final catch will be one for the ages. If, and it’s an if, Stafford comes back for a senior season, I have to think part of the reason will be to play another season with Green.
- Moreno’s ownership of the red zone. Folks, that was why we hated to see Knowshon come out of the game. There is no player with a better nose for getting to the end zone. Moreno now has 15 rushing touchdowns on the season. In less than two years of action, Moreno has 29 career touchdowns – good enough to tie him with Frank Sinkwich for 4th on Georgia’s career rushing touchdown list. With four more rushing touchdowns this season, Moreno would tie Garrison Hearst’s single-season record of 19. Dare I say that if Knowshon returns for his junior year, Herschel Walker’s Georgia and SEC record of 49 career rushing touchdowns would be in play.
Defense or no, that kind of offense will be good enough to take Georgia the rest of the way. Can we get an encore on the Plains?