Anytime you put up a mere three points on offense in the first half of a football game — especially against the likes of Arkansas — you should expect to hear it from your fanbase. There were a lot of opinions thrown around on social media about Georgia's new offensive coordinator's performance, the redshirt freshman quarterback's performance, and nearly everybody else.
The only thing is, when you go back and review the tape, talk things through, and identify the mistakes, there weren't bad play calls or guys just getting beat all up and down the field. What you see is critical mental mistakes in the form of missed assignments. Though there were a few players that will likely just want to forget Saturday's game, we will start with them.
Saturday is one to throw in the closet if you are Owen Condon. There were mental mistakes, there were physical mistakes, and there were reps were he just flat out got beat. Not to mention, Warren McClendon played extremely well during his snaps.
The full film review will explain these things far better than I can in words, but one of the major mistakes I noticed was on a 2nd & 10, Monken has dialed up a shot to Kearis Jackson down the sideline and he's wide open, but Condon is getting beat around the edge for what should have been a sack.
I know, you're going to remember Saturday's game from Fitz for his touchdown catch, but that's not what caught my eye. Remember the 4th & 1 Georgia got stuffed on? Well, Fitzpatrick just flat out missed his guy. He was supposed to insert on the linebacker in the B-gap, and instead just pushed Owen Condon in the backside. All the while, his assignment was forcing Zamir White to bounce the football. That's a critical mistake on a critical down that cannot happen.
Apart from not getting out of bounds fast enough, getting out of bounds too fast, and holding onto the ball a bit too long, I thought Mathis was put in some bad spots. Though he did has a few misreads. It was a matter of identifying blitzes that slipped through the cracks early on Saturday.
I like Trey Hill a lot. I really believe in his ability as an interior offensive lineman. He makes this list here because he had far too many mental lapses on Saturday. The common eye can pick up on the bad snap, that's simple, but I noticed several times when he went to right guard, he flat out missed assignments. It was almost as if he thought he was still playing center in terms of his blocking assignments.
What Went Right
He's so back. Everything you heard about Zamir White heading into last season was about how big and physical he was, how nobody wanted to tackle him, how at 6'2, 230 pounds defenders second-guessed hitting him. That's not what made Zamir White the No. 1 running back coming out of high school. What made White so great was his ability to make people miss, and after two knee surgeries, last year that was missing.
Not anymore. I counted at least 6 missed tackles forced by Zamir White on Saturday, all by way of the jump cut. Which tells me he's back to feeling really good about his knees.
Of all the non-linemen, I thought Darnell Washington was hands down the best blocker on the perimeter. You're seeing defensive backs and edge defenders making business decisions. They simply don't want to be hit by this mammoth of a man, and he's just a freshman. Sure, they've got to find ways to get him the ball a bit more, but the blocking alone is impressive, to say the least.
Georgia had a really tough time running the football for the first 15 minutes of game time on Saturday, that was until Warren Ericson entered the game at left guard. He was immediately getting a push up front. Then he moved into the center position and took full command of the offensive line. There were fewer mental lapses, there were fewer blitzes that came through unscathed, and the offense seemed to just move better. I was thoroughly impressed with the way both he and Warren McClendon played.
McClendon just did everything well on Saturday. He didn't look like an all-American, he wasn't carrying people to the sidelines, he was just doing his job. I would be surprised if he didn't win the job at right tackle headed into week two.
Everything in this Monken offense has a purpose and a trick or three built off of it. There's so much misdirection put into these play calls that it's bound to score points eventually. Once they get things cleaned up assignment wise, this offense should begin to roll. That's not to mention that they haven't even gotten into the full bag of tricks that Monken has. They really only scratched the surface of their offensive identity on Saturday.
I loved the redzone possessions as well. There was a clear change in redzone philosophy with regards to what Georgia used to do inside the 20's.
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