You forget how much fun it is to write one of these after writing four in a row when you lose. That being said, I'll get the negative stuff out of the way.
Georgia still has fumble issues. While we didn't lose any of them, we put the ball on the dirt two times yesterday that I counted (Boykin and Ealey) and both were in situations that would be huge momentum killers. I will say that looking at it glass half full, on Boykin's there was good hustle to cover it up. On Ealey's, the sideline was (thankfully) right there.
Deep pass coverage remains suspect. Tennessee took their shots, with both UT scores being a direct result of blown coverage. Not to say both weren't great athletic plays, but on both the receiver was uncovered on deep routes. Those two plays also resulted in over 1/3 of Tennessee's 260 total yards on the day (have to throw a kudo to Alec Ogletree to come from across the field to run Neal out of bounds on the 58 yard pass, though).
Blocking. Tennessee had two sacks, which I can live with. Thankfully, Murray made stuff happen with his feet to prevent at least two more. Plus, the sacks were the kind that gets your QB a ride off the field.
Tennessee's last sustained drive. Big fan of the goal line defense. Not a fan of Tennessee moving down the field in just under two minutes on passes of 22, 6, 8, 19, and 11 yards from Tyler Bray. Yes, the game was in hand. Yes, Georgia ended up holding them scoreless on the drive. However, that was a classic two minute drive that would have resulted in points. Think being up by two with 1:39 on the clock. Not good.
Now for the good. Aaron Murray, SEC Offensive player of the week, come on down. Another serviceable day throwing the ball (17/25/266/2/0). He got the ball to seven receivers. There was only one pass that he completely got away with one. Wait, he also was the second leading rusher for the Dawgs with 7 rushes for 59 yards and two TDs, including a DJ Shockley like escape from a sack that turned into a 5 yd score. If you are keeping score in Birmingham, that is 68% pass completion, 307 yards of total offense and 4TDs.
Rush Defense. Nine yards total rushing. 3 yards in the second half. Poole only had 51 yards on 15 rushes, only one over 10 and 3 over 5 yards. Very stout. Of course, those numbers were helped by...
Pass Rush. Solid stuff. Simms never got a rhythm. He also got to practice taking sacks with four. Even on the first TD pass, Simms pulled a Houdini to get free of the rush. I only counted three pass plays that Simms had more time than a couple of seconds to throw. Solid.
Creating turnovers. Hell. To. The. Yes. The Dawgs made stuff happen. Special kudos to Jordan Love for knocking the ball out of Gordon's hands (made up for allowing Gordon to go 30 yards before anyone wearing red got close) on that kickoff. The interception was a very heads up play by Bacari, as well.
Georgia's last drive. It didn't account for points. It didn't have anything spectacular happen. It did eat 7+ minutes off the clock on a strong running attack, against a defense that was sitting on the run. 10 plays, 54 yards, 7:27 of the clock on 10 straight rushes. Those are the kind of manhood robbing drives a team needs to put away opponents.
Coaching. Coach Richt climbing all over TKing for not paying attention to the formation and staying out, costing Georgia an illegal substitution penalty wasn't lost on me. This is right after King made a great 14 yard catch. King wasn't fired. Coach didn't coddle either. He basically reinforced the need to keep your head in the game. Very good to see. The offense play calling wasn't fancy, but it was enough to keep Wilcox's defense off balance. The QB run plays were called at the right time and we didn't see a stubborn insistence on running into a 9 man front. Hey, that's progress.
Playing 60 full minutes. I'll have more on this later, but it looked like a different team out there yesterday. Hustle, finishing blocks, finishing rushes and playing with pride for the 'G'. All of it.
Overall, a very strong performance. This is the team we had been hoping see the past four games. Actually, we did see this team in three of those games (South Carolina, Arkansas and Colorado), just not for the whole game. Yes, the Dawgs have a long way to go to be a great team, but this is the kind of game all of us needed. Coaches because it reinforces that the stuff they've been teaching will work. Players because they needed to see it would work and that they could do it. Fans because we wanted to believe. Media because they have something else to mention whenever they talk about Georgia, Greg McGarity, the University, Mark Richt, Matt Stafford, Athens, English Bulldogs or REM.