The thing about old men is this -- sometimes it takes a while for them to get going. And sometimes you wonder if they ever will.
Let’s face it; the Dawgs stunk in the first half against Missouri in their first SEC game.
Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson said Georgia played “old man football” after watching the Dawgs' win last weekend. This weekend, the Dawgs were playing like actual geezers (I’ve fallen and I can’t get up football).
35 yards and no points in the first quarter. 148 yards and nine points in the first half.
The Dawgs were beginning to look like another overrated edition. No clutch plays, missed chances and stupid penalties. Especially when the Tigers took a 17-9 lead with 11:48 to go in the third quarter.
But the thing about old men is they eventually figure it out.
The Dawgs won this thing 41-20 because of the final 27 minutes.
Old Men 32, Young Whipper Snappers 3.
“I feel old right now,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt. “My back is killing me.”
That happens. But a big win sure eases all bones.
“Sometimes it takes a little while to break things down,” said Richt.
Yes it did. But after Missouri went up 12, the Dawgs scored on five of their next seven possessions.
As for the Tigers: Field goal, failed fake punt, punt, interception, fumble, turnover on downs, final buzzer. Three points. 164 yards, with a chunk coming in garbage time.
Call it the SEC welcoming committee. Missouri just didn’t have the horses to play all four quarters.
“They are a good football team,” said Richt. And they are. They gave the Dawgs all they wanted and played better defense that most expected.
They also showed the Dawgs some of their flaws. Inexperienced offensive line, careless penalties, no go–to receiver.
That is why many Georgia fans are slow to embrace this team as an SEC championship contender.
But the strengths are some of the best in the country.
Jarvis Jones and his defense. Jones forced two turnovers, while the unit held stud QB James Franklin to his lowest rushing total since 2010 (25 yards, 20 carries).
Franklin did throw for 269 yards, but it was against a group that was missing four defensive starters, many that will help stopping the pass.
Maybe its true that the Dawgs caught a break in the schedule. If they would have played this bad at Columbia, South Carolina instead of Columbia, Missouri it might have been another loss. But the game was at the Midwest Bureau of the SEC, not the Palmetto State.
So Dawgs fans can take comfort in this, after watching Georgia struggle to finish games in recent years, they certainly put this one away.
“We did a much better job of finishing this time around,” said Richt.
That’s a sign of a contender.
Or maybe it was the real sign that Christian Robinson was holding up after the game
“Grown Man Football.”