We’ve only seen a couple of games so far but I, not unlike more than a few Georgia fans I’m sure, have a few questions about this team and what’s happened thus far into the season.
I know it’s early yet, and the team is still gelling, and there is that whole new offensive coordinator to be broken in and what-not, but I still have a few head-scratchers that I just have to get off my noggin because I like to share my thoughts from time-to-time.
So…humor me, okay?
1. Exactly how long is Greyson Lambert’s leash?
After watching Lambert throw the ball against Louisiana-Monroe, I was hardly blown away. I mean, he didn’t make any boneheaded mistakes or cost us points, but he wasn’t exactly impressing me with what he was doing either.
Of course, Georgia won the game, and he showed he could be somewhat competent in the pocket, so I was good with him. However, that was before what I saw him do against Vanderbilt.
Now, the coaching staff has often said the competition between him and Brice Ramsey was extremely close coming out of fall practice. So close you likely could have flipped a coin, but Lambert showed just enough extra to win the job.
That said, at some point during that Vanderbilt game, I was thinking Lambert could have several seats if that was what he was going to be bringing from this point on. He was bad. Even when he had time to throw, he was just not getting it done—at all. And what I did see from him on Saturday didn’t exactly inspire confidence for what’s to come, in a road contest, against Tennessee or Auburn.
You noticed I skipped over South Carolina, right? That’s because Lambert, typically, does well with the home field advantage. On the road, however, he hasn’t ever won a game—not one. Not ever.
Just placing that out there for whatever it’s worth.
2. Where on earth is Malcolm Mitchell?
I’ve read more about Malcolm Mitchell’s writing skills than I have his pass-catching this season. I mean, after all that chatter about his finally being ready to go and poised to return to his old playmaking self, I was looking for
something really special.
In contrast, he’s caught the ball seven times for a total of 88-yards. Not bad, by any stretch, but when you consider the leading receiver is the running back (Sony Michel), and Mitchell is meant to be the passing game’s primary target, it does make you wonder what’s going on.
True enough, the lack of consistency from the quarterback position is playing a significant role—Lambert is hardly the type to throw bombs like the other No. 11 once did—but if the Dawgs are going to be a threat to throw it deep, they’re going to have to get Mitchell more involved that he has been thus far.
3. What exactly is the running back rotation?
In the first game, it seemed every back had an opportunity. Nick Chubb was the main attraction, naturally, with 16 carries. But Sony Michel and Keith Marshall were also heavily involved (with six and 10 carries respectively).
I felt the coaching staff did a great job getting them all a decent amount of touches in what became a rain shortened contest.
This past Saturday left me scratching my head. Particularly when Michel was allowed to stay in on a crucial 3rd and goal—when a score might have placed the Dawgs in a much more favorable position on the scoreboard—as Chubb looked on from the sideline.
After the fact, there’s been talk of Chubb having injured his ankle, but even Chubb says that was on the final carry of the game, and hardly would have kept him from continuing to play.
So what gives?
Do the Dawgs have so much star talent they haven’t truly settled on a rotation or is there an issue with wanting to divide the carries so evenly they’re willing to overlook situational circumstances? Never mind that last point, that’s just ludicrous, I would hope that’s not the case.
Still, to have Marshall go from a stunning debut (10 carries, 73 yards, and 2 TD’s) to five carries in week two is perplexing. Especially when there were plenty of reasons to have let him have a few more and let Michel see a few less.
4. Special Teams is…woof.
Every year I hear how much better we’ve gotten on special teams, yet every year there seems to be one glaring hole we have yet to fill, and don’t rediscover until it’s biting us on our collective arse.
The pooch kick—which turned into a turnover against Vanderbilt—was enough to make me throw my remote at the wall (glad I didn’t, but the thought crossed my mind, and I certainly let loose a trail of not-nice expletives when it happened), and was exactly the sort of madness that always seems to plague Mark Richt’s teams.
There’s always that one special teams play that goes sideways. The one that could’ve, and should’ve, been avoided if Georgia had just played smarter or executed better.
With South Carolina looming, and the Ol’ Ball Coach looking for any edge he can get, I certainly don’t like knowing the Dawgs haven’t completely shored up that unit just yet.
And, don’t even get me started on Marshall Morgan. What in the…?!
I went into last season feeling a bit hesitant about him because of the crazy inconsistency of 2013. However, he turned it around and came out looking like an absolute All-American. At times, he was the most consistent player on offense—kicking field goals at-will.
However, after watching him bumble through the Vanderbilt game, I’m hoping he hasn’t fallen back into old patterns again. That would be very bad.
5. Who’s calling the plays?
Mark Richt said the conservative play calling Saturday had a lot to do with him. He made the calls, not Brian Schottenheimer.
“Some of the things, if there was kind of — like the decision to run the ball three times deep in our territory and not throw it, that was my decision. He honored what I wanted to get done at that time.I was trying to chew as much time as possible and hope we knock it out of there.”
After going up 24-6, it appeared as if the UGA offense shifted into a mode that was even more conservative. Richt says that was idea, too.
“Even towards the end when we’re trying to use as much clock as possible, huddle instead of going no huddle, a lot of those were my calls,” Richt said. (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
Okay…well…are ya gonna keep doing that or what?
Look, you’re paying this guy a ton of money to stand on the sidelines and call the plays. If you don’t trust him to do the job the right way, why on earth did you hire him to do it?
I’m not about to bash Richt, that’s not my style (plus I actually like the guy), but if he trusted Schottenheimer enough to make him the offensive coordinator, then he needs to let him coordinate.
Time to take the training wheels off and let Schotty earn that paycheck by doing what he was brought here to do—call the shots.