Consider that Georgia hasn’t blocked a punt since 2012 - it blocked two Saturday in a game that wasn’t even four quarters long. That, alone, is reason to be optimistic about Georgia’s special teams play. Those two plays directly led to 16 points.
16 points. Wouldn’t you take 16 points in any game? On the flip side, how about giving away 16 points?
Louisiana at Monroe only managed 15.5 yards per kickoff return. Had the Bulldogs not blocked two punts that might be the special teams statistic of the game. You can take a look at Georgia’s return numbers if you want - I’m not worried about those. Georgia hardly used its most explosive special teamer on Saturday - Isaiah McKenzie. The Dawgs have shown what they can do in the return game with McKenzie, who has scored touchdowns on punt returns and a kickoff return.
ULM didn't have a single yard on punt returns. That’s pretty impressive as well. Why? Colin Barber, who I have been wondering about for some time here, might have played the best of any Bulldog on Saturday.
His punts were crisp, and he dropped two inside the ten-yard line. Impressive.
Barber also kicked off for the Bulldogs, and looked better than kicker Marshall Morgan did at that. Morgan didn’t attempt any field goals, but I think we know he can get the job done on that front.
Why does all of this matter? You have strong special teams to win the SEC.
Remember the last time Georgia played Alabama? Mark Richt’s Bulldogs were in that game because of special teams. Georgia totally outplayed the Tide on special teams that night. A blocked field goal for a touchdown; Artie Lynch’s fake punt pass for a first down that led to a touchdown.
If you want to beat the big boys you have to win special teams, and Georgia will give itself a chance to do just that each Saturday if they play the way they did on Saturday. It was a great start to the season.