Both DJ Shockley and David Greene have been catching the ball with one hand in the shotgun formation. This may be a little picky, but getting two hands on that ball is always better than one. Both are talented and athletic, but in a clutch situation securing the ball with two hands is more sound football.
DJ Shockley nearly single-handedly got Clemson back into the game on a rollout near Georgia's endzone. Under pressure, Shockley scrambled into the endzone (barely avoiding a safety) and then threw a duck to the 20-yard line where it was nearly picked off by a Clemson defender.
Kicking the kickoff
Billy Bennett struggled at times with the kickoff. When he was able to put the ball near the corner of the field, Georgia's coverage was excellent. But three times in the game his kicks went sour. The opening kickoff went out of bounds; resulting in Clemson starting at their own 35 and the two other bad kicks resulted in Clemson starting at their own 38 and 45.
Clemson did have limited success with screens. Georgia's defensive front must be aware of screens because their ability will get them into the backfield a lot. Screens will be a challenge for this team later in the season.
Mark Richt made the mistake of going for it on a 4th down inside of Clemson's red zone. Instead of taking the 16-0 lead, Richt's decision back fired and Clemson stopped the Dawgs. It is understandable that Richt would want to put the game away, knowing that his defense could stop Clemson from driving the ball nearly 90 yards to score. But at the same time, the defense could have certainly held up a 16 point lead as well. Richt should have kicked the field goal, and admitted so after the game.
David Greene to Fred Gibson on Georgia's 3rd offensive play of the game turned out to be enough points for Georgia to win. Mark Richt has shown that he will use Gibson to test cornerbacks early in the game. Clemson's Justin Miller was beaten badly and Gibson streaked into the endzone to give Georgia the 7-0 lead. It gave this message to the Clemson defenders: If your best corner can't stop him no one on your team can. Greene was flawless, as usual.
David Pollack might be the best player in the country bar none. It's difficult to stay realistic about a player while constantly giving him praise. If Pollack makes mistakes, it's hard to see them. Clemson was forced to double team him most of the game. But when they didn't Pollack made them pay:
He blew up and option play in the red zone in the fourth quarter preventing Clemson from moving closer to a score. His play forced Whitehurst to stop and go the opposite direction. Whitehurst was sacked for a big loss.
Two plays later, Pollack ended any hope for Clemson when (again only using one player to defend against Pollack) the Tigers tried to cut-block him and he got right back up and picked off Whitehurst. Pollack tucked the ball and the game away.
Arnold Harrison started against Clemson at outside linebacker and made two big plays. The first came when he caused a fumble in the first quarter. Harrison's effort lead to a Georgia field goal. The other big play from Harrison came when Clemson was backed up in the shadow of its own endzone and he deflected Whitehurst's pass attempt.
Michael Cooper showed great speed and power running the ball. Cooper could be the go to back by the end of the season. He did not get down about playing at the end of the game; instead he seemed inspired to prove that he should be given the ball with the game on the line.
Ronnie Powell was Georgia's leading rusher with 17 carries for 57 yards. Powell is a good change up to Milton and Cooper's power. But he can not be expected to carry the load all season. Still, his performance against Clemson was impressive.
Hitting the mark
After Thomas Davis' hit on quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson's offense wilted. Before the hit Clemson moved the ball 50 yards on 14 plays. Two plays after the big hit, Clemson turned the ball over. After the Davis hit, Clemson managed only 10 yards its next 7 plays.
On the first drive Davis drilled Clemson running back Coleman. It's hard to imagine what he will be like back at linebacker where he can use his speed and power.
DJ Shockley may have made and ill-advised pass near the goal line, but he made several great runs, including the final points of the game on a 29-yard run. Shockley ended up as Georgia's third leading rusher with 47 yards.
Georgia was better than Clemson. Mark Richt's gameplan seemed very conservative in order to take advantage of that point. Georgia dominated the time of possession and ran the ball double the amount of times that it passed it.