Statistically, Saturday night was the worst performance by the Georgian defense during Kirby Smart’s time as coach.
Mac Jones and his big receivers, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith, played a lens in the usually durable secondary. Jones threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns. Smith arrested two of them, while Waddle also had one.
The Bulldogs abandoned 564 attack yards. The last time Georgia gave up that many yards in a game came against Auburn in 2013.
Not Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa or Baker Mayfield or any of the other big quarterbacks Georgia has seen in recent years have done as well as Jones.
“I thought their quarterback played very well. “They have great skill players, we knew he was coming,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “We were able to contain them a little early. In the second half, we could not do it. We could not stop them. “
It was not just Jones who had an out-of-body performance against the top defense unit in the SEC. Smith and Waddle both had huge games. So did Najee Harris, who ran for more yards against Georgia – 152 – than they had given up to the Bulldogs in their first three games.
But by far the biggest, and most troubling, story since Saturday has been how Waddle and Smith played systematic games against the Georgian minor.
Smith finished with 11 catches for 167 yards. He had two touchdowns in the game, with the second being the last nail in the Bulldog coffin.
WOW … NFL catch. pic.twitter.com/e9f04nL3DJ
– GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 18, 2020
“When you play from person to person in these kids you have to be able to get the ball out and play games,” Smart said. “I thought DeVonta Smith played great for them tonight. He got a lot of 50-50 balls as well as Waddle. “
Waddle uploaded almost the same output as he had 161 yards. But it only took six catches to make it. Waddle’s third quarter touchdown, where he zoomed in on Tyson Campbell, gave Crimson Tide the lead forever.
GOODBYE JAYLEN WADDLE! 90 AUTOMATICS AT HOME! pic.twitter.com/SCaA6rYY9ε
– CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 18, 2020
“The men could not run with Waddle, so they reached out and grabbed him instead of holding their hands and stopping him,” Smart said. “That was huge.”
The numbers could have been even better for the two big receivers if Georgia had not committed many penalties against either of them. One of them – a penalty kick against Eric Stokes – turned what would have been a third-down attitude into a first and a goal. Harris scored in the game that followed for Alabama to push the Crimson Tide to a 34-24 lead.
“When we hurt, they were able to take advantage of every game,” said Richard LeCounte.
The Bulldogs also did not do a good enough job forcing Jones to make some wrong moves. In the opening of Alabama, Azeez Ojulari hit Jones as he threw it, forcing a wrong pass that was blocked by LeCounte.
But that was the only stop of the night for Georgia, as Alabama took three passes from Stitson Bennett.
It is easy for this defeat to bring a little extra weight to the Bulldogs, especially when the defense was legally one of the best units in the country to arrive this week.
LeCounte still feels confident about what the Bulldogs are attacking. And it is certain that Georgia will not face another offense as prevalent as Alabama in the regular season.
“We will return to the drawing board, where we are able to correct the point we lost tonight and finish our season. “We are good,” said LeCounte. “It simply came to our notice then. We are here to learn from our experience and improve, so that next time we will be good. “
Georgia’s Richard LeCounte back speaks of defense weaknesses against Alabama
Georgia’s defense has next week away before facing Kentucky on October 31st. Going forward, the defense more often than not will look like the first three games as opposed to Saturday night.
But the problem is that if Georgia wants to get where it is going, it will probably see Waddle, Smith, Harris and Jones again.
So the team will have a lot of work to do to literally move on from the worst defensive performance of Smart’s tenure.
“It’s a learning experience. They took us this first time. But we will continue to play ball out there.