Well it happened. The world ended on Saturday. Nibiru appeared out of thin air and caused devastation beyond all measure....okay actually MSU just lost a football game. The sad truth that this team is still a work in progress came to light in a most nauseating way Saturday night in Athens, and while this was looked at by some as the end all be all, maybe this was just a loss. Lets dive into it best we can:
Well, in a true reversal of fates, this week I struggle to find much good in a whipping like MSU took this past Saturday. Hey, our kicker made another field goal. We caught most balls thrown our way, they just happened to be for 4 yards at a time. No one got injured.......I think you see how this is going. As someone who was there in person, the good I take out of a game like this is it was an SEC road game in one of the more historically tough places to play in the country. While the result was not what we desired as fans, maybe the good from this is we can refresh and more forward.
This game was a long shot for sure but was buried under a sea of optimism following the LSU game. But, imagine if the LSU game and UGA game were flipped on the schedule. I don't think too many people would have been that surprised if we had lost against a physical UGA team on the road. Then, imagine coming off that loss and then rolling LSU the way that we did. Two completely different perspectives for the same record, 3-1. So everyone breathe deep and loosen your grips on the ropes holding the life boats.
Where do I start? We were dominated within 4 plays and less than 3 minutes into the game. From the loss of yards on the first play from scrimmage to the flea flicker, the maroon Dawgs were finished. We never recovered.
This alarmed me as this falls both on the coaches and the leaders of the team both in captains and upper classmen. We were rattled, and the next 3 hours of football showed a team lacking poise and composure in any sense. This type of performance usually calls for one of those "players only meetings" to get everyone on the same page.
Was I shocked that UGA beat us as bad as they did Saturday? Somewhat, but they always had the means with the athletes they possess and home field advantage. Did I expect them to dominate for 60 minutes with no resistance? Absolutely not. The MSU style is one of grit and determination. We GRIND. Saturday, I watched a team perhaps a little full of themselves get outmatched and outclassed. Remember who you are Bulldogs and never lose that chip on your shoulder.
Now that my philosophical Bad is out of the way, I'll point to the big ugly. Our passing game STINKS. Fitz just does not look abundantly comfortable throwing the ball which resulted in both of his picks Saturday, The first being not seeing a safety right behind the WR he threw it to and the second being a pass behind his intended target and popped into the air. Our WRs struggled to get open which will happen from time to time but in big games, we needed our WRs to make plays and no one stepped up.
Our O-line was continuously over matched by both the "one of one battles lost" and scheme thrown at them as missed assignments were everywhere. Our run game can be amazing but without a decent pass game to take the pressure off of it, it becomes extremely predictable. It was becoming increasingly obvious when we were doing the Fitz runs and UGA bottled that up very quickly. Dan will need to pull out all of his tricks to fix this issue as every team in the SEC just got the blueprint on how to slow down Fitz and the A Train.
It is time for Donald Gray and Co. to step up and make some plays. Making one handed highlight reel catches at practice is great but I need you to move the chains for me right now.
Auburn will present another massive road test for the Dawgs with a tough defense. Hopefully, Dan is using the loss from Saturday as a high alert call to action for the team and we can come out with some fire in the Plains. I do not like Auburn at all and firmly trust in Dan and the Dawgs to rebound with a better performance this Saturday.