Georgia’s 38-10 loss to Alabama resulted in some paltry grades a day later.
Last Monday, Georgia left guard Isaiah Wynn said the offensive line would pass its first true test against Alabama with “flying colors.” That prediction did not come true. Georgia’s rushing numbers make it appear it was able to find success against the run, given it ended the game with 193 yards – and would have had 200 if Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey didn’t lose 12 yards. Yet 83 of those came on one Nick Chubb run that went for a touchdown. Otherwise, it was a tough day to run the ball against a stout front, which didn't need to commit eight defenders down each time. This made things increasingly difficult in the passing game as Lambert and Ramsey had to throw in man coverage with two safeties over the top. But even then, receivers couldn’t get separation on the Alabama defensive backs and the quarterbacks made some questionable decisions. Lambert and Ramsey combined to go 11-of-31 for 106 yards and three interceptions. It was a putrid performance when Georgia had a golden opportunity to make a statement.
Since defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt arrived to Georgia, the secondary, while young and inexperienced, has done a fine job with at least containing receivers from breaking big plays. Alabama, on Saturday, took Georgia’s defensive backs to the woodshed. Receiver Calvin Ridley had a total of 125 yards in four games before burning the Bulldogs for 120 yards and a touchdown. Ridley had catches of 50 and 45 yards, with the 45-yarder going for his score. During the week, head coach Mark Richt mentioned how important defending Alabama’s play-action was. The Crimson Tide out-executed the Bulldogs in that area as well. For a defense looking to emerge as among the SEC’s best, Georgia failed to deliver.
Special teams: F
Marshall Morgan made a 27-yard field goal but that was the lone highlight in this phase of the game. Collin Barber had a punt blocked for a touchdown, in which no one accounted for Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick -- who came untouched off the edge to record the block. Freshman D'Andre Walker was flagged for three special teams personal foul penalties, although he may have been credited for one he didn’t commit (it looked like Roquan Smith was the guilty party). Reggie Davis averaged 18 yards per kickoff return and Isaiah McKenzie couldn’t get anything going as a punt returner.
Quite frankly, Georgia’s coaching staff didn’t have the players prepared for this game. The public approach, although discounted by some players, was that this was just another game. No, it wasn’t. It was an important matchup for multiple reasons. A Georgia win would have put itself in great position in the SEC East race. Georgia could have had a quality win in its quest to reach the College Football Playoff. Georgia could have established itself as the program to chase in the conference, given the fact Florida upset Mississippi later Saturday night. Recruits could have seen how Georgia is very much on the rise as a national power. But it was only Alabama that played the game with a sense of urgency from the start. Georgia never seemed to be in the game, even when it was 3-3 in the second quarter. That’s attributable to coaching, in the sense that Georgia’s focus wasn’t honed in the way it was for the Crimson Tide. The end result showed.