OXFORD, Miss. -- There will be moments this season when Jacob Eason, because of his talent, size and fearlessness, will be able to rescue a flawed and wounded Georgia team, as he did last week against Missouri. And then there will be games like the one Saturday that remind us: 1) He's a freshman; 2) This team just isn't good enough in any area to overcome freshman quarterback mistakes.
The Dogs looked like anything but a top 25 team -- or remotely like an SEC contender -- Saturday against Ole Miss. They were boat-raced 31-0 in the first half, looked up to a 45-0 deficit in the third quarter and ultimately lost 45-14.
Yes, the new Georgia under Kirby Smart looked like the old Georgia under Mark Richt ... or worse. For my complete column on the game, click here.
But I wanted to write a little separate here on Eason. He was not good against Ole Miss. In the first quarter, he forced a ball into coverage and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdowns and dropped Georgia into a 10-0 hole. He completed only 16 of 36 passes for 137 yards with zero touchdowns. He made some bad reads and missed some open receivers. In his defense, Georgia receivers dropped at least three passes, including a would-be touchdown (Jayson Stanley).
Smart's post-game analysis of his freshman: "He didn’t run the offense efficiently. He’s got to get better. He’s got to command the huddle and communicate better. I think he grew up some, took some shots. It’s the first time he’s really been hit. He got rocked a couple of times. But he still fought."
Of Eason's interception, Smart said: "He saw the wrong coverage. He threw it to the wrong guy. And hey, you can throw it to the wrong guy. He’s gotten away with that some. But he threw behind him and to the wrong guy, which is lethal."
That said, Smart would be the first to tell you that when a team loses by such a lopsided scorer, it's not on one player, even the most important player. Eason was sacked three times and took a beating, The offensive line neither protected well nor run-blocked when it needed to most. The defense may be worse.
This just isn't a very good team right now. Down 31-0 at halftime and what did Georgia do to open the second half? Went offside . . . on the kickoff.
Next week is the Tennessee game. Is this about to get worse? Maybe.
Nick Chubb left Saturday's game in the second quarter with a sprained ankle and never returned. Smart said Chubb wanted to come back in and wasn't able to. But we'll never know if the lopsided score merely dissuaded Smart from putting Chubb back in.
Without Chubb or a running game, Georgia is a mediocre team. Even with Chubb, they may not be a very good one. The natural inclination in football is to look at a quarterback's poor numbers in situations like this and say, "It's his fault."
But anybody who believed Eason would be able to rescue a bad team this season wasn't being realistic. The Dogs have too many other areas that need fixing.
GAME COLUMN: New Georgia looks a lot like the old Georgia
Recen t ramblings
- Weekend Predictions: NCAA over Ole Miss but Ole Miss over Dogs
- Credit Georgia Tech for going after the right choice in Stansbury
- Overreaction Monday: Everybody wins! What can possibly go wrong?
- Falcons' 35 points, 528 yards should quiet criticism of Shanahan
- Falcons put on an offense show -- and, yes, win
- Falcons try to avoid going from 0-1 to off the rails
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs rebound, Jackets win, Falcons fall
- Coppollella acknowledges on Twitter starters have been disappointing
- Politicians need to understand: Sports has a hammer -- get used to it
- Overreaction Monday: Red zone, tackling and can anybody run block?
- As season opens, it's Mike Smith 1, Falcons 0
- Georgia exposed by opponent it should've easily handled
- Smart's limited media access accomplishing nothing
- Weekend Predictions: Falcons over their exes; Dogs, Jackets cover
- Mets sign Tebow but he looks more like 'Sideshow Tim' than player
- If Braves sign Tebow, it's about circus and revenue, not baseball
- Georgia worthy of high expectations -- but proceed with caution
- Digi-Blog puts a wrap on Georgia Tech's trip to Dublin
- Justin Thomas rescues Georgia Tech -- with his arm
- Short takes on Georgia Tech's opening win (or escape)
- Game day: In any country, Georgia Tech needs to be better
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets win (but Lilly pulls an upset)
- A solution to satellite camps: Hold them in Ireland
- Until there's football in Ireland, I had a more important mission
- Foreign land couldn't be worse for Georgia Tech than U.S. was last year
- Reading between the lines on Smart's "No News For You" news conference
- Weekend Predictions: It's 'Sack Schultz' time, suckers -- win prizes
- Falcons reminding all: These games don't count
- Predicting Georgia Tech's season: game-by-game (from AJC special section
- Keanu Neal injury 'minor' but Falcons can't afford any bad news
- (Full Q&A) Chipper Jones likes Braves' future but says moves needed
- (Blog) Chipper Jones: Braves need moves but he likes future (and being back home