I think I used the hashtag #Yikes at least 4-5 times while updating social media this afternoon. Every time that it appeared that Georgia would establish their dominance (based on the 53.5 point Vegas line offered this morning), they made a bone headed mistake that let supporters everywhere realize that this team still has a long way to go before they compete with the conference and country's elite.
Georgia knocked off Nicholls State, a team that went 3-8 in the FCS last season, 26-24. Three turnovers, including two that resulted in scores from inside ten yards were the Achilles heel for the Dawgs today. I will attempt to delve into the questions that I asked before the game yesterday to see what Georgia would answer and what questions would remain lingering before a road trip to Missouri. In short: a lot went unanswered.
The biggest issue for Georgia, outside of the whole "beating an inferior FCS opponent by 2 thing", had to be the lack of young talent that was able to see the field during what should have been garbage time. Georgia's starters were forced to play the entirety of the game, leaving even more questions about freshmen availability as the season progresses.
-With Sony Michel medically cleared to play, should we expect to see him on the field against a lesser opponent?
We did see Sony Michel in live action today and he did not look great, but he did not look uncomfortable. He took his first touch twelve yards for a first down on the screen pass from Jacob Eason, but was relatively quiet after that. He only mustered up 3 yards on 3 carries and a screen for -7 yards after that. The stat line is not necessarily too important here. Just getting Michel back for a full week of practice before Missouri will be huge to Georgia's offensive game plan.
-What do the Dawgs have in Elijah Holyfield?
Well, this was a bit of a surprise. For the second straight game, Elijah Holyfield did not see any action. He suffered an ankle injury during a scrimmage in fall camp and while he has been a full go at practice the past few weeks, the development of Brian Herrien may not make his need as immediate as was once thought. Herrien had another solid game with 8 carries for 47 yards. Through two games, he has 106 yards on 16 carries.
-What is the status of Isaiah Wynn and Chuks Amaechi after minor injuries against UNC?
-Amaechi and Wynn were both active and played the entire game today. Unfortunately, the offensive line got flat out beat by the Colonels front seven. Amaechi complemented a group of linebackers that seemed to be one of the few bright spots for Georgia today.
-Is Jacob Eason the guy moving forward?
-Everyone, including myself, thought that after last week, and especially after the first drive that this question could be answered with a resounding yes. But, in typical Georgia football fashion, it appears that the media and fanbase will be drug through the ringer once again. Eason did not play bad, but it did not appear that he was 100% comfortable out there, still. He was 11/20 for 204 yards a TD and an INT. Again, some of his inefficiencies came from a lack of continuity up front, but there really just is no excuse to be running your starters to take the final knee against an opponent like this.
-Will we see Mecole Hardman this week in significant action?
-Hardman was not seen at all again today. A lot came down to not being able to bring in depth players to gain experience, but many anticipated seeing him in special teams work. The development of Tyrique McGehee has slowed down his ascent up the depth charts. Still unknown as to when we may see the highly touted freshman.
You don't like hearing survive and advance, especially in cupcake week 2, but moving to 2-0 is exactly what Georgia needed to do this week. The development of bench players would have been a plus, but this game may require Kirby Smart, his staff, and this team to take a long, hard look in the mirror. A jump in the rankings could have provided a sense of hubris for this young squad, but an early reality check may be just what this team need moving forward.