Up – Takeaways
One of the few qualms that could have been made about the 2022 Georgia defense was not getting more takeaways. The Dawgs defense on Saturday came up big in that category. The aforementioned 2nd quarter run featured three interceptions from the defense.
The first pick was a great reaction from free safety Malaki Starks who flew over from the middle of the field to pick off a long pass from Ball State QB Kadin Semonza. On the very next drive, Georgia got somewhat of an odd INT as Chaz Chambliss caught a ball that had careened off the back of the heel/ankle of the intended receiver. Chambliss was in the right place at the right time, but he also showed good reaction time and hands to catch the ball that was moving expeditiously off the deflection.
The third interception came later in the 2nd Q as Tykee Smith came down with a ball off a deflection from Daylen Everette. This one was an all-around good play for Georgia. Everette did his job getting a hand on the ball, and then Smith had the reaction to get the takeaway.
On a day when the offense was just solid, Georgia’s defense made a key imprint on the game. The defense came up with three INT’s in the span of four Ball State drives to help blow the game open. Not bad at all.
Down – Another Slow Start
While it did not end up costing them on Saturday (due to the emphatic 2nd quarter, plus the level of competition), Georgia got out to another sluggish start on offense. Georgia started out at midfield on their first drive, but the drive ultimately fizzled out in the red-zone and resulted in a missed FG (as also discussed earlier in the red-zone offense section).
Georgia then couldn’t get much going on their second drive, and it resulted in a punt. Sandwiched in between was a drive for Ball State where they were able to get a couple 1st downs in one of their more successful drives of the 1st half. It was not a good 1st quarter for Georgia.
Also, even though it wasn’t technically a slow start to the game, Georgia also did not have a good drive to open up the 3rd Quarter. That drive was the one that ended in the Beck INT, although the play seemed marred in confusion. Georgia seemed to think they had a free play due to an offsides (but they did not), and the interception was caught off a deflection. Not really anyone’s fault and hard to blame the offense, but it was not a great open to the 2nd half.
Again, all in all the slow start did not hurt Georgia in this one at all, but fans are definitely wanting more from the Dawgs early in games.
Even with the imperfections, it was another blowout win for Georgia. Up next, Georgia opens up SEC play against South Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 Eastern.