Here are some notes thoughts at the half, with Georgia leading Southern 20-6.
Nick Chubb came up big in the passing game.
Early on Georgia’s second drive of the game, set up at the Southern 27-yard line thanks to a blocked punt by Malkom Parrish, the Bulldogs made the Jaguars pay with a screen to Nick Chubb. With the Jaguars loading the box to bring pressure against the run, Chubb slipped out of the backfield and took an easy screen 25 yards to the house. That will be something Georgia can turn to against better opponents as well in order to soften boxes up front. Sony Michel already excels in the screen game, so if Chubb can start breaking some big plays in this department, the Bulldogs will be that much better moving forward.
I only needed to watch the first kickoff to know that Southern senior Willie Quinn is a legitimate return threat.
He started to his right, stopped on a dime, cut back and ended up going for 27 yards to start Southern’s first drive out on its own 28. Of course, the Jaguars did nothing from there. On subsequent kickoffs, Georgia did its part to keep Quinn from doing any damage. Freshman defensive back Rashad Roundtree tattooed Quinn on Southern’s second kickoff return and Marshall Morgan launched two touchbacks on his third and fourth kicks. Quinn’s a tough one to defend, as head coach Mark Richt said this week. And late in the first half, Quinn was able to reel off another long return.
Richt said discipline and technique were areas of emphasis this week.
Discipline, sure, considering Georgia only committed one penalty in the first half, which was Jordan Jenkins jumping offsides and negating what would have been a Sterling Bailey interception off a deflected pass. Technique was a different story. The Georgia run defense has been sharp up front this season but missed way too many tackles in the first half against Southern. It was not a good fundamental first half for the defense by any means.
Sticking with the defense, Georgia allowed a team of Southern’s caliber to convert way too many third-down opportunities.
The Jaguars were 4-of-10 in this category, but at one point were 4-of-7. And the eighth third-down attempt, which was stopped, didn’t matter because the Jaguars picked up the first down on fourth-and-8. Later in the second half, Southern quarterback Austin Howard had Quinn wide open over the middle of the field and threw behind him. Perhaps Georgia’s good start in the first quarter caused it to ease up a bit, allowing for the Southern surge in the second.
Will Chubb's streak of 100-yard games continue?
Southern loaded the box and had surprising success in stopping him. At the half, Chubb managed only 31 yards on nine carries. Chubb entered the game riding a streak of 11 consecutive games with 100 yards. Herschel Walker has the program record with 13. Chubb said he doesn’t care about statistics and things of that nature but you can bet he would have liked to have found more running room than what was available in the first half. But this game is only 20-6 at halftime. So Chubb will most certainly continue to play when the third quarter opens.