ATHENS — I’ll be back shortly with my column on Georgia’s 66-0 drumming of Troy. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game:
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column on MyAJC.com.
1. WHAT THIS PROVES: Well, not much. Beating a winless team from a non-power conference (Sun Belt) that your athletic department paid $900,000 to for the experience of getting pummeled generally doesn’t register much in the polls. But it does count for something that Georgia buried Troy early and never let up. That’s not a common occurrence in the Mark Richt era. The Bulldogs have sometimes played down to the level of their competition, at least in the first half. Not Saturday. There was no obvious hangover from the loss to South Carolina. Georgia scored on its first seven possessions (six touchdowns, one field goal), as well as getting a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown by Isaiah McKenzie, to lead 52-0 two minutes into the third quarter.
2. THE OTHER RUNNING BACK: Todd Gurley, who (all together now) didn’t get the ball on first down in the red zone at South Carolina, opened the game with four straight carries, one going for 48 yards. But the tailback of the day was one of his backups, Sony Michel. The freshman, technically No. 3 on the depth chart behind Gurley and Keith Marshall, ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns on only seven carries in the first half (a per-carry average of 19.7.). Michel has a great burst of speed and has shown an ability to make the first would-be tackler miss. With staying healthy being an issue for Gurley in his first two seasons, having Michel, Marshall and Nick Chubb to rotate in is a nice luxury.
3. SECONDARY IMPROVEMENT: Again, triumphs in this game shouldn’t be overstated. That said, Georgia’s secondary, the soft spot of this defense, rebounded nicely after some early hiccups. Troy converted three third-down situations on its opening drive: personal foul by J.J. Green (ejected) on a catch that was ruled out of bounds on third-and-nine; 25-yard completion on third-and-six; 19-yard completion on third-and-seven. But the coverage looked significantly less chaotic thereafter. In theory, the defense should improve as the season goes on.
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