ed.- bumped from the fanposts.
I'm reading a lot about how Bama folded in the second half and the 31-10 points differential is held up as evidence. While I think the coaches should use that to their advantage, the reality is a bit different. The 3rd quarter ... OK, we got our asses handed to us there. Three 3-and-outs on offense and we couldn't stop a runny nose on defense or special teams. And yes, Anders was clearly blocked in the back on the punt return for TD, but there were 9 other guys who could've made a play. For the record, I don't count Fitzgerald, who like Tiffin, has been habitually and spectacularly steamrolled on returns this year. The good news is that Coach says the special teams breakdowns are correctable and hey, who am I to argue???
Which brings us to the 4th quarter ... where we reasserted our dominance, despite the pair of scores. We opened the quarter with a 5-minute, 7-play drive ending in a FG. Georgia then got the ball and proceeded to move all of 16 yards, eventually turning the ball over on downs. 5 plays and 3+ minutes later, Coffee break in the endzone. In other words, after 11 minutes of the 4th quarter, UGA had 1 possession where they couldn't get past midfield and their D couldn't stop us from tacking on another 10 points. And looked at from a broader perspective, as we lined up to kickoff, the score 41-17, Bama had dominated 41 of the 56 minutes played to that point. All Georgia could hang its hat on was the 3rd quarter. That's it.
At which point ... and for the first time in the game ... our D understandably went into prevent, giving up a pair of meaningless TDs. And those didn't have to happen, despite our "soft" D. Two plays are the difference between 41-17 and 41-30. If you watch the end of the 4th, Georgia has a 3rd and 5 at the Bama 35, with 3:29 left to play. AJ Green runs a simple hook on the left sideline, Stafford telegraphs it, and Kareem steps in front for an easy pick. At least that's the way it should've played out. The ball inexplicably goes right through KJ's hands, giving Georgia new life. 2 plays later Stafford hits Harris for a TD. If Kareem makes that pick, he has a chance to take it to the house. Worst case scenario is he's taken down around midfield and our offense comes back on the field to run the clock out.
That TD, of course, was followed by Nick Walker's brainfart on the onsides, which led to another TD. It's kind of a good news/bad news thing. The bad news is that we gave up TDs. The good news is we gave up TDs, in part because we were in a prevent D, which we were in because it was a blowout. If it's a closer game, I have to imagine we're not in that D. Also, both of these misplays ... especially Walker's ... are either correctable, or given a tight game, the kind of plays that we'll hopefully make because we have to.