Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Wreck in the Rearview Mirror

On Monday the accolades continued for Marcus Lattimore. Co-SEC offensive Player of the Week and SEC Freshman of the Week...well deserved. But for Dawg fans it was just another look at the train wreck behind us. While I sure hope the team is still giving that mirror more than a casual glance, I'd really like for fans to be able to put it behind them. But if you're like me it's hard not to keep looking. 

Lattimore is a hoss. Plain and simple. Without Bama on the schedule, I think it's fair to say he's the best back we see this season. And while I thought it would favor us seeing him sooner rather than later, if you're gonna get smacked in the mouth it may be best that it's in the first (meaningful) game. I don't know. We'll see.

If you can stomach the redux, Year2 has an analysis up of the Georgia/South Carolina game. With just one SEC game in the books, Carolina is all we have to measure ourselves up against the SEC East. And that's why I found the third question of particular interest:
It's worth noting though that South Carolina wasn't head-and-shoulders better than Georgia. The same Georgia whose offense produced five three-and-outs and a four-play drive. The same Georgia whose defense looked lost at times in its brand new scheme and couldn't tackle Lattimore. The same Georgia who started a freshman quarterback without his best receiver.
Ouch. Truth tastes like salt in the wound. Yet also begs the question, did Georgia do more to lose the game or did Carolina do more to win it? Perhaps the next point sheds the truest light.
Lattimore is the piece that puts this team over the top of previous Gamecocks teams, though the completeness of the receiving groups helps too. If your front seven can tackle him well enough that you don't have to give up something in your pass defenses, then you're well on your way to beating South Carolina. 
So as giddy as the Visor was after the game, there's quite a load riding on this freshman's shoulders. Georgia's defense certainly did plenty to help the kid along towards a valiant performance, but Lattimore's target is significantly bigger going forward. And if there's one thing we know for sure, the head cock trusts his new tailback a helluva lot more than his quarterback.

So, if we can survive this weekend's test against the league's best arm, the schedule becomes somewhat less daunting until Jacksonville. Don't misread that, after watching our running game fail us and our tackling slip into full bore Willie mode...I'm not coming anywhere close to chalking up wins against Miss State, Tennessee or Kentucky. 

But experienced college football fans all understand that teams in late October rarely equal the ones that began the season around Labor Day. And with a young QB and a new defensive scheme, the upside for these Dawgs is especially great.


Anonymous said...

Lattimore carried the ball 37 times against UGA. I predict that an injury is just around the corner for this freshman.

Kevin said...

Before the game I was saying how AJ is just one player and won't ultimately 'win or lose' the game for us....

but if any one player could be attributed to an entire team's win, i would say lattimore is that man

UGA69Dawg said...

The picture of Lattimore says it all. The safeties are trying to tackle him as the D line is chasing him having let him run free into our back field. Yea lets keep blaming those safties for our problem.