Bulldogs quietly make a statement

But what Saturday at Death Valley was, well, it was one of the more impressively managed games you'll see.

CLEMSON, S.C. - The offensive line had problems.

The secondary suffered from a few breakdowns.

The defense was on the field way too much.

Yeah, Clemson sure had its problems Saturday.


It wasn't overly memorable, what with some missed quarterback reads and dropped passes and sacks.

But what Saturday at Death Valley was, well, it was one of the more impressively managed games you'll see.

When one considers the injuries, youth, inexperience, heat, lack of depth, and amid a sun almost as bright as the orange-filled stands, Georgia's 30-0 victory over Clemson was a testament to organization and planning.

Before half of the first quarter was gone, Georgia had played about 16 or so defensive players. It seemed as though the Bulldogs shuffled in people every snap.

There were no major bouts with cramps, but nobody threw up. Well, not for Georgia and not from the heat. One imagines a few recycled lunches from those in orange.

Good grief, the last time a Bowden was shut out came when Terry was fired by Ruler of All That is Auburn, Bobby Lowder.

On the field, this particular Bowden watched an offense that had moments, found some gaps, picked up a few yards and then went boom.

And before newspapers were delivered onto doorsteps this morning, folks in the Palmetto State began pondering the names of the next Clemson coach.

Wow. A Bowden offense that bore no resemblance to, well, a Bowden offense.

As inept as Clemson was, as overrated as the Tigers seem to be, a Georgia team that was simply hoping to eke out a win and avoid injuries appears to quietly have made a statement.

Granted, all analysis and postering and blathering at this point is covered by the "it's early, only the first game" admonition.

But, well, Georgia certainly appears to have reached the level of simply reloading. That's all it looked like the Bulldogs - and this mighty stellar staff - have done.

Was this team really missing potential starters like Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter? And starting rover Kentrell Curry?

Was this offensive line really only barely old enough to shave? And did this young unit only give up one more sack than last year's veteran group?

Thomas Davis was playing out of position? Derrick White was ready for that many snaps?

Ryan Schnetzer's a walk-on guard? Tra Battle's a true freshman walk-on safety? All that youth in the secondary and nobody got burned once?

And all these new combinations and Georgia had no turnovers and only one fumble?

I thought if the offensive line played like this and the secondary survived like this after three or four games, Georgia had the chance to turn in a special season.


All the talk of stepping up? This group seemed to jump up, on both sides and in all phases.

Sure, there's plenty of work to do. The offensive line needs to improve, and the offense in general needs more sharpness.

But as defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder said, Georgia has players. And as Bruce Thornton and David Pollack say, the coaches put the players in position to make plays.

It's not that simple, of course. Georgia's sort of making it seem so, and that could lead to a mighty interesting season for residents of The Nation.

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