Posted: 1:33 am Sunday, October 15th, 2017
By Jay Black
ATHENS – For about two and a half quarters, Georgia look to be the next in line during this college football guillotine weekend.
Top 10 teams seeing their heads and seasons cut off by opponents only armed with little more than a rock and something to fling it with.
Missouri might be 1-4 but they can certainly fling the football if you let them. And Georgia’s defense, for the first time all season, was letting somebody run past them.
It was 21-21 early in the second quarter. Some back up receiver with nine catches on the season was running about as wide open as a beagle in a pasture. A first string defense that had allowed three TDs all season had given up three touchdowns in about 20 minutes.
Warning bells and sirens all over Athens. Georgia was on upset alert.
Only problem with trying to pull off an upset is, the little guys can’t given up nearly 700 yards.
Oops. This upset scare turned into a 53-28 win. Good enough.
During the Georgia Bulldogs Tailgate Show, we heard from several callers before the game who were begging to see Jake Fromm throw it more. Only once this season had the freshman passed more than 15 times in a game.
Missouri dared the kid to beat them. They were selling out to stuff the run.
Earth to the Tigers. He can and he did.
“I’ve never really seen pressure get to him,” said senior nose tackle John Atkins. “He’s always just talking and happy.”
A shaky game for Georgia’s quarterback and the Dawgs could very well been in a bit of trouble. Instead Fromm and this offense answered every time. This was UGA’s most balanced performance of the season. Fromm throws for 326 yards, the Dawgs run for 370. Add it all up and good by kitties.
“The offense really saved us,” said Kirby Smart. “We had two huge deflating plays defensively and the offense answered the bell.”
Fromm and his group proved tonight that, when needed, Georgia can put on its track shoes and put up points as quick as anybody.
I have no problem watching UGA throw it 15 times and run for 400 yards. That’s an acceptable way to win a football game. But I know a lot of members of Bulldog Nation wanted and maybe needed to see this team prove it can win another way. Because the big boys in the border states aren’t letting UGA run at will.
You can check that box off.
To be fair, Missouri is not a good football team. Its defense is terrible. But in the history of this university, only one team has put up more than 696 yards in a game. That’s what you do when you face a bad defense.
UGA is the No. 4 team in the country and rising. The Dawgs will get everybody’s best shot from here on out. We also saw tonight that this is a football team that can get knocked to the canvas with a couple of crazy punches, get up, and then go pummel the other guy back into his corner.
Missouri had 200 yards in the first half. After three quarters it had 221. Defense tweaked, adjustments made, no more Tigers running deep. Game over.
“(Missouri) was just taking shots,” said Roquan Smith. “We just have to make those adjustments at halftime and did a little bit better in the second half.”
This was not a perfect football game and the Dawgs defense showed they aren’t invincible. The scoring average is going up. But Georgia got put on upset alert and won by 25.
If you TV worked this weekend, you know not everybody was so lucky. This is a good thing.
“What if we execute at the highest level?” asked Smart. “What if we keep the players in front of us? How good could we be?”
I’m pretty sure we still have not seen the best of this football team yet. Which is scary.
There will be more upset alerts coming. But UGA got tested by a weaker opponent and eventually crushed them. This is a good sign, especially with the Gators backed up against a wall, desperate for something good to happen.
The Dawgs are 7-0. They’ve won games close and they’ve blown out the others. They’ve been pushed and pushed back. There defense has dominated nearly everybody with a running game that’s doing the same.
Tonight we saw another side to this team and just in time.
Because the real season is about to start.