This game felt a lot like watching the Seahawks in 2013-14.
Georgia, determined to run the ball and utilise a point guard quarterback, started slowly. They gave up some cheap points on a fumbled punt and had to right-the-ship with a 10-minute scoring drive.
As the game progressed they took control, built their lead and appeared set to pull away from Notre Dame. Then they gave up a touchdown and things became unnecessarily close at the end — but they held on.
Overall though it wasn’t a particularly fun game to watch. In fact for long stretches it was dull. Frustrating penalties, injuries, six fumbles and a lack of big names making plays.
D’Andre Swift just about did enough to impress. He drove for the hard yards, had the burst to turn the corner and looked sharp for 98 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. In the second half Jake Fromm found some rhythm and succeeded with a series of fades and back-shoulder throws to move the ball. He’s not a dynamic, big armed gun-slinger but he can manage games well enough — while making just enough plays — to be an effective quarterback at this level.
Aside from that there’s not much to say. I was really keen to watch Isaiah Wilson the Georgia right tackle and he didn’t start due to a lingering injury but came into the game after half time. He didn’t look 100% but, along with Andrew Thomas, kept Notre Dame’s edge rushers quiet. The overall performance of the Georgia offense improved in the second half. Julian Okwara was anonymous, adding to my scepticism that he’s worth a high pick.
Notes from elsewhere…
— Alabama has started with the usual milquetoast schedule. In their latest easy win (against Southern Miss), Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs showed off their speed and YAC ability. Ruggs had 148 yards on four catches and two touchdowns. Jeudy also had a pair of scores to go with 96 yards on six catches. Najee Harris had another 110 yards while Tua Tagovailoa threw for five touchdowns. Trevon Diggs — a genuine top-15 talent — tracked the ball brilliantly yet again to make an interception. Alabama faces Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Arkansas before their first real test against LSU.
— Joe Burrow scored six touchdowns for LSU against Vanderbilt and continues to build his profile as a legit NFL prospect. He’s looked incredibly on point so far this year. He needs to keep it rolling for a LSU team who are a similar to Georgia in terms of talent and make-up. If he extends his early-season form into a SEC run he could easily be on the NFL radar by the new year.
— Speaking of milquetoast starts to a season, here’s Ohio State and their latest blowout against Miami Ohio. Jeffrey Okudah had an interception as he builds towards going in the top-15. J.K. Dobbins was rested a bit today and only had 52 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Dobbins is elusive, gets to the edge quickly, accelerates through space and breaks tackles. He’s tough to bring down and a special athlete. K.J. Hill had two catches for 78 yards and a big touchdown. Binjimen Victor had three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Chase Young had two more sacks taking his total to seven in four games.
— Of all the top teams, Clemson might have the weakest schedule this year. The took apart Charlotte with the big names receiving a lot of rest time. Tee Higgins had one touchdown catch for 58 yards and that was his day done. Travis Etienne had 11 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown.
— What’s happened to Jim Harbaugh? In the early San Francisco years you could make a case for him being the best coach in football at the time. Then a collapse for the Niners and now five years into his spell at Michigan, things just aren’t working. They were torn apart by Wisconsin. Jonathan Taylor — a legit top-45 prospect — ran for 203 yards on 23 carries (adding two touchdowns). Taylor is typically physical and robust but has a sneaky turn of speed when he finds an opening. Tight end Jake Ferguson — a terrific athlete and possibly high-ish pick — had three catches for 28 yards.
— I think I’ve seen enough of Kenny Willekes now to judge he isn’t a top draft prospect. His production is great at Michigan State with a ton of TFL’s and sacks. Yet on tape there’s just nothing especially great about his athletic profile. Very little burst, struggles to change direction in space. He gives a full-on effort every week but he’s not a high draft pick. He’s not twitchy enough for Seattle. I watched the game against Northwestern and he only had a couple of quarterback hurries.
— Javon Kinlaw had another sack for South Carolina against Missouri. That’s four in four games. He’s really boosting his draft stock this year and should be one of the first defensive tackles taken in the draft.
— Steven Montez continued his switch between fantastic and frustrating. He led Colorado to a significant win against Arizona State, completing 23/30 passing for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He was practically flawless in the game. He did it all despite Laviska Shenault having yet another quiet game. His only impact was one catch for 23 yards. Apparently he left the game with a concussion. Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin ran for 83 yards on 20 carries and had two touchdowns.
— I’ve not seen the Washington game against BYU but I noticed tight end Hunter Bryant had four catches for 49 yards including a 22-yarder. He continues to keep making explosive plays.
— I have Auburn vs Texas A&M on record to watch later but top draft prospect Derrick Brown had two sacks and three TFL’s in the game. He also deflected two passes. He’s a stud.
— In quarterback watch, Justin Herbert completed 19/24 for 259 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Stanford. The Oregon O-line struggled in the game. Jordan Love helped Utah State defeat San Diego State, completing 30/47 for 293 yards and no touchdowns.
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