Man enough? The question was brought up by Georgia Alum and
former Auburn coach Pat Dye. Georgia answered the question and then some in a big time win over an Alabama team that had played better and better every
The question itself got way more airtime than it deserved.
Some even suggested that the question of whether Georgia was "man enough"
was a key to the victory against a good Alabama team on Saturday. While bulletin
board material can make victories a little sweeter and losses a little more
bitter, rarely does it have any effect on the outcome of a game. The credit for
this win doesn't go to a coach who has been out of the spotlight a little too
long. It goes to the Georgia team that played its best game of the season when
it mattered the most.
Alabama would challenge the line of scrimmage on both sides of
the ball like no other team had this year, and the conventional wisdom was that
Alabama would be too strong for Georgia down the stretch. It turned out the
other way around. Georgia was able to run when they needed to and stop the run
when they had to.
That was the difference in this game. Alabama was beaten by
what they do best. That's the mark of a good Georgia team, which showed its
first signs of being able to click on all cylinders.
While the win over Alabama proved that Georgia deserved its
lofty ranking, this is the SEC, and the team that rests on its last big win will
lose the next week. Georgia players and coaches don't need to be reminded of
the importance of this game against Tennessee, and I'm not going to waste your
time either… you already know!
So, here are some random thoughts
- David Pollack gets my phantom vote for SEC Defensive Player of the Year to this point. He is unblockable in rush defense, pass defense, and special teams. He chipped in this week with a blocked field goal in a 2 point Georgia win.
- JT Wall showed up for this game as well. On Musa Smith's first long run of 22 yards in the first quarter, he had Brooks Daniels on a sled and took him for about a 15 yard ride. Many recruitniks that remember Daniels committing to Georgia only to sign with Albert Means, Mac Tyler, Harold James, Mo Mitchell, and company had to take special interest in seeing Wall on Daniels.
- Tony Milton got his first meaningful action of the season, and he looked good doing it. He ran hard and protected the ball well in traffic. He looks to be a serviceable back up to Musa Smith.
- Speaking of Smith, he has looked better and better every week.
- Alabama's option pass is one of the most dangerous weapons in the nation. They picked up 25 yards on their first attempt, and nearly hit a wide open Clint Mitchell later in the game. A good pass rush from the end helped negate this to some extent.
- Knowing you can get 5 yards a carry out of your running game is a splendid luxury. It allows you to take a shot or 3 down field when you see Fred Gibson in single coverage without having to worry about facing 3rd and 10. Keep taking shots downfield with Fred Gibson and good things will almost always happen.
- Terrence Edwards played maybe his best game as a Georgia Bulldog. This wasn't wracking up stats against out manned competition; this was coming up with big catches in the biggest game of the year thus far. Most importantly, Edwards hauled in a beautiful deep ball from David Greene to stake Georgia to a 12 point lead.
- Gibson and Edwards have already been mentioned, but Damien Gary climbed the ladder to make 2 gorgeous catches in this game. I found it ironic that in the same series, the 5-11 Gary went high over the middle for his catch, while the 6-4 Gibson went down low. All in all Georgia's talented corp. of wide receivers had their best game.
- Leadership: Georgia fell behind on the road in a game that they had been dominating for the most part, yet they stood their ground and were able to remain poised. This was a character win for Georgia. A lesser team would have failed as soon as Charlie Peprah took the bobbled pass out of Gibson's hands and went for the go ahead touchdown.
- Man Enough? I'd say so. But Georgia didn't win because some old coach asked the question. They won because they were man enough all along.
Some other games of interest:
- Winners, Auburn and Georgia. How much gas will Tennessee and Arkansas have in the tank for their road games against divisional foes. Auburn is coming off of a bye week, which may or may not be a good thing. Word is Daniel Cobb is now healthy enough to start again.
- Losers, Georgia Tech and Rex Grossman. Georgia Tech losing at home to Wake Forest after and inspired win on the road against North Carolina. Rex Grossman throws 4 interceptions including the game winner in a 17-14 annual road loss to an SEC West foe. Grossman's Heisman shot went out the window, but Florida still controls its