Report Card for Georgia game/Comments

No, I haven’t taken a second look at the game yet. This is just my assessment having watched it live yesterday.

QB - "D"

Was not impressed with Felipe’s decision making. Although Georgia did pressure him at time, for the most part he had enough time to execute the passing plays called but failed to connect with anyone. Seemed to hold the ball too long. Perhaps due to good coverage. With the exception of the 1 long TD, woefully underthrew other attempts downfield when it appeared our WR had some separation. And those interceptions…not good…plus, honestly, easily could have had one or two more picked.

Also, as a runner, he reminded me of Scott Bull…kind of a plodder…but without Scott’s commitment to the run.

WR - "C"

Honestly, hard to tell because of Frank’s inability/hesitation to get the ball to them AND the limited scheme of the offense. Made a few plays, but needed to make more. Not sure if their lack of separation was part of the reason passing game was disappointing. Trey Knox was a virtual no-show.

TE - "C+"

Limited action…Kern looked better than expected, Henry got his clock cleaned and was a non-factor after that. Don’t remember seeing Toll in the game, but he may have been in??

OL - "C-"

Couple of things here. First reaction was to give them a D…but to be fair, you’ve got to factor in who they were playing against. By any objective standard, Georgia has one of the top 5 front 7’s in all of college football if not THE best.

Second, I really have to split this into 2 grades; D- for run blocking, and B- for pass blocking. Yes, UGA did get some pressure on Franks. But for the most part, he usually had reasonable time to get a pass off, although he sometimes did not. Those times are not on the OL.

On the other hand, our RB had zero space to maneuver in the entire game. UGA dominated our OL totally in that department. So, factoring both aspects in, and then adjusting for the competition, C-.

RB - Incomplete

See “OL” above. It’s hard to grade this group with they were running into a concrete wall all game long. I got the sense Boyd was ready to pop one if he every got any daylight.

He didn’t.

Coaching (Offense) - "D"

Yes, I also know the OC was facing the same issues that our overall Offense was - namely, the UGA defense. Still, I have never been and am still NOT a fan of those 2 and 3 yard passes instead of runs. They were not effective. To my eyes, we did have WR open (usually) when we attempted to throw vertically instead of horizontally. Franks’ accuracy was not very good in several instances, and sometimes he just failed to throw to the right receiver. But overall, we didn’t try to go downfield enough.

It’s very early, and I’m assuming we will see more out of this offense as we play more…but so far, I’m not impressed.

Defensive LIne - "B"

NOTE: This is the first of a few defensive grades that will probably be a little higher than most may have given. And that’s because I’m factoring in severe fatigue in the second half due to the offense’s failure to stay on the field and give these guys any kind of rest. Eventually, our guys wore down - but again, if the offense was moving the ball and eating up any clock, it would have really helped the defense. I won’t downgrade the effort or initial results due to something the defense can’t control.

I thought our DL did an admirable job against an experienced and talented Georgia OL when they were fresh. Stopped the run effectively and got pressure on the passer in spots.

Linebackers - "C"

Much as I did for the OL, I have to split this into two categories. For run support, I give the backers a “B”. For pass coverage, a “D”.

We just don’t have a lot of speed to cover backs or TE’s, and once our pass rush faded in the second half, our backers were exposed. This is not a surprise, nor unexpected.

At the same time, in concert with the DL, I thought they did a very good job of filling gaps and controlling UGA’s running game until they ran out of gas.

DB/pass coverage - "B-"

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the coverage and play-making of our corners in this game. Most of the damage seemed to come over the middle, where the backers were exposed. But I saw several pass-break ups and then, of course, there was the interception.

I will also mention that the safeties made some nice plays in run support, and I remember Catelon delivering a nice hit on a pass play over the middle.

Coaching (Defense) - "B+"

Impressed by what I saw. Everyone knows we need more depth all around the team at this point. But the scheme appeared sound, effort was very good and results better than expected until they were gassed.

Special teams - "D-"

The only bright spot was the placements - most kickoffs out of the EZ and the FG. However, when we did not get the KO in the EZ, our poor coverage skills showed up again. Plus, we were abysmal on our own attempts to return. Between poor KO returns and punts they pinned us deep with, it seemed like we were always starting inside our own 10 every series for a while. On the other hand, our opportunities to pin them deep sailed into their EZ, setting them up on the 20.

And then…there was the blocked punt.

Coaching Overall - "C"

Things to like, things that must improve.

I thought the team displayed outstanding “want to” and buy in to the new coaching staff. I give Sam credit for that. They played hard, and that is the Number 1 thing I wanted to see.

However, there were a few situations in which some “new coach” mistakes were made. We were lining up for a FG with the clock running down. The coach - SOME coach - needs to call a timeout before we get a delay of game in that situation (pushed us back far enough we had to punt instead). Poor clock management.

A lot of penalties. Not as many as UGA, but too many (10). Of course, that is to be expected with a new staff AND no spring practice. But it still has to be cleaned up.

Overall, pretty much what I had expected. I had the game at 34-13, which it easily could have been…so right in line with expectations.

We won’t face a better overall defense (I hope!), but we will face more explosive offenses (beginning hext Saturday). I do think our offense will improve as the season goes along. But it will have to if we’re going to win any games. Ten points will not win many SEC games, regardless of how well our own defense plays.

One last comment… “2020 is to 41 as 2006 is to 1”…


I don’t disagree with much, if any, of your grading. It does appear to me that you probably graded the offense with negative thoughts and the defense with positive thoughts. Clearly, the defense played better overall than the offense did.

I don’t give Boyd the complete pass that you did. Yes, he got very little help from the OL, but a RB of his caliber should have been able to “manufacture” 40 or 50 yards with all those carries and touches. For sure, he didn’t live up to the number he is wearing, but very few RBs would have. A bounce here, a bounce there, a hard cut, etc. just weren’t there.

I actually thought Smith ran harder and smarter than Boyd today. Smith had 51 total yards on 9 touches, while Boyd had just 29 yards on 15 touches. Perhaps after running into his own linemen 5 or 6 straight times, Boyd let discouragement overcome hiim, while Smith was just happy to be on the field. I do look for Boyd to bounce back in a big way this week-end though.

Individually, I’d give an A to Burks as a receiver on the day. I would give him a D as a passer though. :grinning:

I’d wait to hear from the coaches regarding how much the receivers hurt Filepe’s performance by running poor routes before giving him a “D”.

Other than those couple of things, I pretty much agree with your overall offense and defense grades. I’m not discouraged with either unit after playing a great GA defense, but am looking for much offensive improvement this coming Saturday.

I wouldn’t say I “graded them with negative thoughts”; I’d simply say that I thought the defense played better than the offense. That said, I believe I did acknowledge that the challenge faced (against the UGA defense) was greater for the offense.

I remember the Auburn game in 2007 when we had a much, much better overall team than we do now, and DMac was limited to 43 yards on 17 carries. That Auburn defense was also very good…but I’m not sure they were as good as the UGA front we faced yesterday. So it happens…some games, there’s just no where to run.

Both you and I have the advantage of having seen Boyd run for the last 2 years, so we already know he is a very good back. That being the case, I’d tend to lay the problem more at the feet of the OL’s inability to penetrate and create gaps in the DL than I would put it on Boyd.

That’s my thinking. Of course, it’s just that…my thoughts. But I do think it wouldn’t have mattered too much who we had in the backfield yesterday…there just wasn’t anyplace to go.

At the same time, I will also admit that based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m not a big fan of this new scheme. While saying that, I know it’s early and we were facing a very difficult opponent. It may be that this offense “looks different” against lesser defenses. I hope so.

In my view the OL was absolutely awful; that was a clear “F”. However, this was against a team with 10 preseason SEC players, most of them on defense. Boyd, a pretty fair RB, had zero luck against the GA defense; I saw zero holes made by the line during the game. Grading Franks as a “D” just doesn’t seem right to me when he had no time to throw.

Still, our O played like I thought they would - not good, against a very good defense.

Disagree - as noted in my OP, the pass blocking was way, way better than the run blocking.

We only had 2 sacks given up…more than respectable against UGA’s front 7. Sure, Franks was rushed a few other times. But more often than not, he had adequate time to get the ball of (per play design) and either did not, made a bad (inaccurate) throw, or threw to the wrong receiver.

I’m not ready to condemn him after one game against a truly premier defense. But I will say I was not impressed and somewhat disappointed, even with the competition factored in. Hoping to see a better performance this week and in future games.

As for run blocking, we know what he have in Rakeem. If he can’t find anywhere to run, it’s because there weren’t any holes. Those UGA guys are like the old Fordham “Blocks of Granite” so I hope to see a better performance in future games. But I am a bit concerned.

Again, ALL of this is just MY thoughts. I didn’t break down tape, nor am I a coach. Just someone who has very closely watched Arkansas football for about 60 years. I try to be as objective and realistic as i can be.

Agree with your grades Wiz. the exception being I’d give the linebackers a higher grade. They aren’t super talented but they were well coached and tackled fairly well. in essence i think they played beyond their native speed and talent.

Anybody who thinks the Oline was Franks throwing problem needs to watch the replay.

I will say this, with regard to the folks at odds with me for my low “judgement” of QB Franks.

I watched Coach Pittman’s presser today, and he mentioned a factor I had admittedly not considered, and I believe it has merit.

Coach was discussing some of the sloppiness on offense that has to be cleaned up. He was talking about WR off the line that needed to be on the line - and vice versa; Tight ends lining up on the wrong side of the field. Two men in motion when there should have only been one, etc.

He went on to say that as a result, Franks…a senior QB…spent way too much of his time getting the team lined up correctly instead of reading the defense, which he should have been able to do had everyone done their own jobs correctly.

Again - not something I had considered, but can certainly see how that would affect a QB negatively…especially in his first game in a new offense…and especially against a defense as solid as UGA’s. Hopefully, we’ll iron out some of those mistakes this week, allowing Franks to pay full attention to the play called and defense in front of him.

Speaks a lot right there, just how much is on the QB’s shoulders in any offense, especially a new one.

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