Welcome to the Sunday Morning Hangover, where we cope with the joys and sorrows of yesterday. Here are ten items of note from Georgia’s season-opener against Appalachian State to get you through the morning.
Song of the Week:
Look, I get that this is a baseball song. But if a Taylor Swift song can be the official promotional song of the Alabama/Florida State game, then this can be used to set the tone after Georgia’s win over Appalachian State.
Was the Offense Offensive?
No, not really. Despite an unexpected change at quarterback, expectedly vanilla play-calling and lots of playing time for reserves, Georgia still racked up 368 total yards of offense and found the end zone four times.
The offensive line asserted its dominance (although that may have just been a weight differential) and the running backs made plays:
- Nick Chubb had 96 yards and two scores on 15 carries.
- Sony Michel racked up 87 yards and a touchdown on 16 touches.
- D’Andre Swift ran for 31 yards on six totes.
Most notably of course, Jake Fromm looked proficient under center after Jacob Eason’s departure, and a huge part of that was sound play by wide receivers. App State had no answer for Javon Wims in particular.
Was the Defense Defensible?
Absolutely. Were it not for a certain third-string quarterback who seemed to have money on App State covering the 14.5 point spread, this could have been a shutout. The Mountaineers scored a touchdown on a 21-yard drive following an interception and kicked a field goal after a 33-yard drive that started after an interception.
App State was held under 300 total yards and amassed just 12 first downs. Taylor Lamb did a little more on the ground than anyone would have liked, but Jaylin Moore was held under 40 yards on the ground and the passing game never picked up steam.
How Special was Special Teams Play?
I got a text from a buddy early in the game that read, “Two fair catches we didn’t drop, this is a new team.” Sadly, there’s some truth to that.
All in all Georgia special teams acquitted themselves quite nicely. Rodrigo Blankenship was perfect on his kicks and Cameron Nizialek was rock solid in the punt game. Most importantly, the Dawgs didn’t shoot themselves in the foot with a botched return or by surrendering a special teams touchdown.
Stat of the Game
Georgia ran the ball 44 times for 231 yards and three TDs. That’s what this Georgia offense is and that won’t change regardless of who’s playing quarterback. Remember that.
Something You Really Shouldn’t Read Into
Jake Fromm played well. Really well. But we shouldn’t assume that he wins the job over a healthy Eason. We don’t yet know Eason’s time table, but if he were back for Notre Dame (which I don’t expect), I suspect he would get the start.
Fromm finished the day 10 of 15 for 143 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs. Don’t pretend Jacob Eason isn’t capable of that level of production and don’t pretend he hasn’t performed well at times. Finally, don’t pretend this App State team was up to snuff with SEC defenses or the one Georgia will face next week.
Something You Really Should Read Into
Despite what I said above, if Eason misses more time and Fromm remains in control of the offense, it’s hard to picture a scenario in which the freshman loses the job. Imagine a scenario in which Georgia is 4-0 with wins over App State, Notre Dame, Samford and Mississippi State. Imagine that Fromm has been equally adequate in all four games. Think Eason gets his job back? I doubt it.
If improvement is measured by wins, can Georgia surpass last year’s total of eight? Can the Bulldogs still win the SEC East? Does Georgia have a shot at winning the SEC Championship? Is the College Football Playoff still in play?
After a 1-0 start and assuming a bowl game means Georgia just needs to go 7-5 over the next 12 games. Given the Dawgs schedule, that seems incredibly likely.
At this juncture, it’s hard to bet against the Bulldogs. Florida dropped a season-opener and is short-handed and we don’t know enough about other contenders (namely Tennessee and South Carolina) to demote the Dawgs from their place as preseason favorite in the division.
Could Georgia win the conference as a whole? It’s possible. Not likely, but still technically on the table.
And oddly enough, the College Football Playoff is just as much in play, because it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the SEC’s Champion is excluded.
What the Other Guys Did this Week
Here’s how a few future Georgia opponents fared this weekend.
- Notre Dame comfortably handled Temple, which was to be expected. The Fighting Irish run game was stout with 422 yards.
- South Carolina held on to beat NC State 35-28. If you subscribe to the theory that Will Muschamp in the Gamecocks are much-improved, this supports your theory. If you subscribe to the theory that the ACC is overrated and NC State is pretty meh, this supports your theory.
- Michigan is better than 75% of Florida (remember, those suspensions). Florida’s offense is exactly what we thought it was. Georgia fans have to feel good about that.
Next week’s game is really interesting with the quarterback situation unknown, but based on what we saw in week 1, this is going to be a battle of run offenses. I like the Dawgs in that scenario.
Georgia 24, Notre Dame 20
Y’all have a great day. Go to church and think about things other than Georgia football.