Overall I thought the QB play was fine. Lambert held onto the ball too long early in the game resulting in a couple snaps, but he clearly got better as the game went on. He made some nice throws, a couple for third down conversions, and he didn't turn the ball over. He looked more like Lambert 2.0 than the Lambert we saw last year. No matter what Eason did, I'm sure the coaches were pleased with Lambert's performance.
Eason had himself a good game as well. The true freshman showcased the arm we wanted to see, but he's still clearly in the learning curve. He threw off balance a couple times and underthrew a couple deep passes, although they turned into pass interference call. He over threw an open Jayson Stanley early in the game, but it looked like the offense ran more effective when Eason was back there. The bomb to McKenzie was a great throw in a crucial point in the game. After watching both, it's clear to me that Eason should be the starter moving forward,
I went on record saying Chubb would go for 125 yards and two scores. I'm so glad he made me look like a fool. It's mind boggling to me that Chubb could rush for 222 yards and two scores just 10 months after that brutal injury. Georgia fans need to get the "Chubb for Heisman" train going. The guys cant be stopped.
While Chubb got the attention, fullback Christian Payne should get a ton of credit. Not only did he block his many more often than not, but he dominated defenders all day. He was terrific blocking on the toss sweeps, and did his job all night. Very impressive night for the forgotten fullback.
Herrian had himself a great first day as Bulldog. He ran hard all night, and scored the first touchdown of his short career. It will be interesting to see how many carries he gets next week with Holyfield coming back. Chubb should leave the game early, so most of the carries will go to Douglass, Holyfield, or Herrien.
Left tackle Tyler Catalina had a rough start to his Bulldog career, but I've seen worse from Bulldog left tackles over the years. He whiffed a couple times, but he will learn. As a new guy coming in, he still has plenty to learn. He needs to get better if Georgia wants to play for a championship this year, but I didn't think he played as bad as most did. I thought the rest of the line blocked well, particularly Kublanow and Wynn. Saw multiple plays where they just dominated the guy in front of them, opening big holes for the backs.
I knew Charlie Woerner would play this year, but I didn't think he would start the opening game. He, along with fellow freshman Isaac Nauta and junior Jeb Blazevich all blocked very well all game. There were plenty of two and three tight end sets on Saturday, and I'm expecting more of that throughout the season. Look for the tight ends to catch more passes this Saturday.
This group has got to get open more. McKenzie had an excellent game and showed his explosiveness. Godwin had a quiet game, but had a nice shifty move on his first game. He needs to step up and be a go-to guy from here on. Both Jayson Stanley and Michael Chigbu did an excellent job of blocking on the edge. Not a bad game for this group, but they have got to get more separation if this offense wants to continue improving.
I thought this group was solid. It looked early in the game that Trent Thompson and Daquan Hawkins were the only two down lineman in the game, but then freshman David Marshall came in a good bit. Thompson was double teamed on passing plays so it was tough for him to get pressure, but he did a nice job of stopping running hole and getting into the backfield. He didn't light up the stat sheet, but Thompson was impact-full for sure. Hawkins made an impact as well. They stopped a very good back in Elijah Hood, and kept UNC from establishing a strong passing game. Freshman Michail Carter, Julian Rochester, and Tyler Clark also got playing time on Saturday.
Linebackers: Maybe the deepest position group on the team, the linebackers made plays on Saturday. Natrez Patrick did'n make and big plays, but he quietly had a nice game. Roqan Smith was the guy who really stood out. He was all over the field, and snuffed out the screen pass for a safety. Smith has a chance to be a nationally know linebacker at the end of the year.
The outside linebackers made an impact, but I need to see more D'Andre Walker out there. Lo Carter got some pressure finally, but he still needs to finally get there and make a sack. He had a good game though and looks like he will have a nice season. Pressure is nice and is forces the opposing QB into a bad throw, but at some point you've got to get to the quarterback. I'm expecting Davin Bellamy to have better games this season.
Tough to really ask for more out of this group. UNC had no passing game all night. Although UNC QB Trubisky looked like a deer in headlights all game, the secondary did a nice job in coverage. Malcolm Parrish had a few nice tackles and a fantastic pass breakup to save a touchdown. He might be small but that dude plays HARD. He can hit with anyone at that size, and is improving his cover skills.
New corner Maurice Smith had a nice game as well in his Bulldog debut. He broke up multiple passes, but he did get sucked in on the run a few plays and let the back get to the edge, leading to big yards. He showed good cover skills, but needs to get better in run support.
The safeties had a quiet game in my mind, but sometimes that's not a bad thing.
McKenzie was great as a returner, but that was the only bright spot for the Bulldogs on special teams. I still can't fathom why Georgia can't get a kicker who can kick it through the end-zone on kickoffs. Placekicker William Ham missed his first field goal attempt wide, but hit a ugly line drive kick in good on his second attempt. Punting was terrible. Something needs to happen in the kicking game quick. There will be close games later this year, and this could cost Georgia a game or two own the road.
Overall, this was a solid game for the Bulldogs. I was expecting a little more out of UNC, but I was impressed with Georgia's defense as well as 27. Smart has brought the Alabama style of football to Athens and it's working pretty well. Run the ball and play good defense. That could be the key to getting the Bulldog back to Atlanta in December.