ATHENS -- Getting over a crushing loss to Tennessee was hard enough for Georgia coach Mark Richt on…
Monday Morning Quarterback
The good: After allowing 134 yards and 10 points in the first quarter, Georgia's defense gave up just 143 yards and nine points in the final three quarters. The Vols' last nine points came on short drives. They had a 15-yard drive that ended in a James Wilhoit field goal and then had to go only 40 yards after the Bulldogs failed on a fake punt to score the game's decisive touchdown. Tennessee became the first team all season to score a touchdown on its first drive of the game. "It felt odd, especially when they came out and scored on the first drive," tailback Danny Ware said. "That caught us off guard. That usually doesn't happen."
The bad: The only question is where to start? First down seems like a logical place. The Bulldogs entered the game struggling on third down but did a better job there against Tennessee (connecting on 8 of 18 attempts). The offense's undoing was first down. On the 24 first downs that starting quarterback David Greene led, Georgia averaged 1.8 yards. Overall, the Bulldogs called 18 pass plays and nine rushes on first down. The choices were equally ineffective as Georgia averaged 3.1 yards per first-down rush and 3.1 on plays where a pass was called (including sacks and scrambles). "It was just a lack of execution really," Coach Mark Richt said. "Gosh, we had opportunities on just about everyone to have a positive play."
Notable: The biggest play of the game from Georgia's standpoint may have come early in the third quarter. The Bulldogs trailed 13-7 and had just forced a Gerald Riggs fumble to take possession of the ball at Tennessee's 13-yard line. On first down, Richt called for a pass to Reggie Brown. The Bulldogs executed the play almost perfectly, but Brown's left toe was on the back line of the end zone when he caught the ball. "When we lined up, I just knew we were going to score on that play," Richt said. To make matters worse, Georgia ended up no points on the drive after Andy Bailey missed a 29-yard field goal. "That play right there kind of showed what the whole game was like," quarterback David Greene said. "That's the same play we beat South Carolina with. One time his foot was in, one time, it was on the line."
Georgia fell to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll but only to No. 8 in the coaches poll. "The media likes to see more excitement on offense," Richt said. "I'm sure that's part of it."
Up next: Georgia plays Vanderbilt on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. The game will be the Bulldogs' next-to-last home game of the season and will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot.
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