How Georgia Bounces Back from the Nicholls State Disappointment

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Georgia got a rude awakening this past Saturday against Nicholls State.

The team looked like they were in a fog, and their performance was substandard. After an impressive win in the Georgia Dome in week one, this team didn’t look the same.

Georgia must bounce back stronger than ever, especially from last week. If the team cannot come together and play better, then the things they got lucky with, might not work this week. If this week’s game results in a loss, it might knock them right out championship contention far too early in the season.

However, this team isn’t down just yet. There are a series of things that must occur for Georgia to bounce back and win against Missouri.

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Offensive Line

The Bulldogs must fix their offensive line problems and open up some holes for Nick Chubb. It is crucial for the line to utilize Chubb, because this season Missouri has struggled against the run.

The offensive line never over-powered the defense against Nicholls State. They also had short-yardage trouble that carried over from Week 1. Another issue with the line was the fact that the outside blocking was horrible.

However, at the beginning of the game for the Bulldogs the offensive line was playing well. They blocked and allowed Chubb to get on the outside and score on a six-yard touchdown. Offensive Coordinator, Jim Chaney called this play and it was almost flawless. He had Jayson StanelyIssac NautaChristian Payne, and Greg Pyke all pick up a guy on the outside.

Although the first drive went extremely well, something went wrong for the Bulldogs after that. The offense adjusted by taking away the blockers on the outside.

Tyler Catalina, the starting left tackle, couldn’t get his outside blocking going. However, it wasn’t just him; everyone was being beat on the line.

When Sony Michel, Isaiah McKenzie, and Terry Godwin cannot get around the corner, there is something wrong. The tackle, on either side couldn’t hold their blocks long enough to let the play develop. With that much speed on the offense, the blocking should be there but it just wasn’t.

The blocking on the pass plays however, wasn’t horrible but wasn’t great either. Catalina and Dyshon Sims both got beat, which caused a sack and holding penalty. If the linemen could hold their blocks for just a half-second longer, plays could have developed more.

The blocking for the Bulldogs needs to be fixed if they are going to compete with Missouri’s defensive line. The Bulldogs need to get back to the basics and get holes opened up for Chubb, Michel, and company.

Offensive Play-Calling

The play calling for the Missouri game needs to be aggressive. The way that Chaney ran the offense against Nicholls was conservative. Conservative offenses is something Georgia has been dealing with for 15 years. It is time for a change.

When Eason got the starting job last week, it was assumed that the ball would be aired out more. That however, was not the case for the game. The offense ran the ball 18 times and threw it eight before halftime.

When Eason did pass, he passed the ball well, placing it in positions just for his receivers. The problem was that the receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball. There were three key passes dropped that could have led to scores or the drive continuing.

However, Eason didn’t look near as confident as he did against North Carolina.

Granted he is a true freshmen, and it showed on Saturday. He missed a few checks down field and missed Jeb Blazecvich wide open that could have turned into a touchdown.

The interesting part with the quarterbacks is that it seems Eason will utilize the throwing. While Lambert will be utilized when game management is crucial during the drive. It is a good mix to have, but once Eason grasps how to manage, its time to give him the reins.

Yes, Greyson Lambert is still at Georgia and can help out, but it is time to give the kid his chance.

Statement Defense

The defense has played well through the first two weeks.

However, they haven’t had any stand out performances by the defense. There have been individuals that have stand out, but as a whole the defense could use a boost.

Trent Thompson had a great game on Saturday and really made a statement. He stood up to the challenge and made sure people knew he was there.

Thompson broke through the line multiple times and got a lot of stops. He recorded a sack and had a total of 11 tackles for the day.

One problem was by the end of the game Nicholls knew they could use the pass to set up the run. Once Nicholls figured this out they ended up getting three first downs. Another issue was with the secondary. By the end of the ballgame, they were struggling against the run defense. They just lacked confidence and the ability to stretch the field.

The defense needs to get pressure on the quarterback more often and make them uncomfortable. The linebackers also need to make their presence known.

Georgia has plenty of talent on the defense, yet the execution isn’t there yet. Once Georgia executes and delivers this defense will be powerful.

Building Momentum 

Since this team under a first year head coach, it is crucial for them to have momentum. Especially coming into a SEC East game, it is important for the team to be confident.

However, the momentum is really going to help the Bulldogs by turning around last week mishaps.

They need to work twice as hard to prove to the fans and media that it was a fluke.

If Georgia can win on the road in Missouri, it could give them enough momentum to keep that confidence up. They will need to be confident going into Oxford next week to play a tough Ole Miss team.

UGA vs Mizzou Past

The last four years have been an up and down battle between the two teams. Georgia leads the series 4-1, yet the Tigers always make sure to give them trouble.

Last season, neither team could get much offense going, resulting in a Georgia win 9-6. The game was all defense.

Heading into this match-up, Georgia’s defense must come ready to cover the pass. Missouri’s quarterback, Drew Lock has a big arm and isn’t afraid to use it.

This isn’t like the past UGA vs. Missouri games. Both teams have new head coaches, and the teams are adjusting to the new programs. It will be crucial for Smart to come in and win big on the road.

Georgia Bulldogs Bounce Back

This will be the test for Georgia and Smart. If they can come into Missouri and win on the road, it will mean they have bounced back.

Georgia must utilize this game to their advantage, and if they don’t, this is going to be a long game. It will also result into sluggish momentum and an even longer season for the Bulldogs.

If Georgia wants to keep this campaign for 2016 up, they must bounce back and bounce back hard.


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