Georgia football: The silver linings in sloppy win over Kent State

Georgia football played its sloppiest game of the season but still brought home the W.

Let’s rewind back to SEC Media Days. Kirby Smart said he had been asked “50 times” about complacency after winning a national title. In response, he said, “we will not be hunted.” Through the first three games of the season, Smart’s promise that “any hunting will come from us” looked to be correct.

However, Georgia football would see their first bit of adversity in their fourth game against Kent State. Self-inflicted wounds would keep the game closer than it should have been. After not turning the ball over through the first three games Georgia football would turn the ball over three times. It was four turnovers if you subscribe to what Smart said about allowing Kent State to convert on a fake punt.

How Georgia football’s offense did:

When Georgia’s offense wasn’t playing like Yosemite Sam, they were scoring. Georgia football didn’t punt one time Saturday. They either scored or turned the ball over. There was no in-between. This helped Georgia maintain its lead over the SEC in points per possession.

Georgia football actually had its best day on the ground against Kent State. They ran for 257 yards on 41 carries averaging over six yards a carry. This was the second straight week that they rushed for over 200 yards. The Bulldogs also cashed in four rushing touchdowns.

For the third time in four games, Georgia football was able to move the ball for over 500 total yards. They were able to create 527 total yards of offense. They were also able to put up 30 points for the fourth straight game. However, they came short of another 40-point game by one point.

How Georgia football’s defense did:

Georgia football was giving up 84 rushing yards a game before Saturday. They gave up 93 rushing yards to Kent State, the Golden Flashes’ lowest rushing output of the season. Kent State was averaging 221 rushing yards a game. In fact, they ran for over 140 yards on Washington and Oklahoma.

Georgia held Kent State to just 281 total yards, the fewest for the Golden Flashes all season. Coming into their game with Georgia, Kent State was averaging 397 total yards a game. Georgia also held the Golden Flashes to their lowest third-down conversion rate of the season, holding them to just 27.3 percent.

Giving the Georgia football fans some perspective:

At the end of the day, just five plays separated Georgia football from its standard against Kent State.

  • Ladd McConkey’s muffed fair catch on a punt
  • Ladd McConkey’s fumble in the first quarter
  • Stetson Bennett’s interception
  • Kamari Lassister not having proper leverage on a wide receiver screen
  • Dan Jackson lost eye discipline and allowed a fake punt to convert a first down

Now, this isn’t an attempt to blame the game on these individuals. It is simply pointing out that Georgia football is not as far off its standard as some may think. Some of Georgia’s youth and inexperience showed more than it did in the first three games. That’s it, it is not time to start thinking like the negative Georgia fans of the past.

Yes, the game was sloppy. Yes, it wasn’t Georgia football’s best performance of the season. However, there is no reason to panic over this game. It was a one-time thing that Kirby Smart will get corrected this week in practice. This is a teachable moment that will not be wasted.

What Georgia football can do to fix it:

Coach Smart will get the guys right and have them ready to take on the Missouri Tigers Saturday night. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see Georgia football make a statement on the road against their SEC East rival. Expect to see more of the machine that mowed down Oregon and South Carolina.

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