What are your overall thoughts on the teams performance so far this year?
I'm disappointed by the teams performance against Darth Visor and South Carolina. Georgia improved on some of the things that I thought we needed to be successful (penalties and turnover margin- except we have a huge turnover in the most critical point of the game). Right now at 1-1 we are still very much in the race for the SEC East but a loss this week to the coward Bobby Petrino and the Arkansas Razorbacks and things get ugly quick.
Based on the performance in Week 1 and 2, what area(s) does the team need to improve on the most?
The lines of scrimmage have been our weak points so far. The defensive lines inability to stop the run and the inside linebackers inability to make tackles killed us last week. We were in position to make a lot of plays last week on defense but against the run we just didn't complete the play. On the offensive side of the ball the Offensive Line continues to be a HUGE disappointment. We had a lot of injuries in training camp so they didn't get a lot of time to practice together but with the experience we had we should be doing a much better job opening holes for our backs.
The biggest reason that we lost last week (besides the untimely Washaun Ealey inside the 5 yard line that would have given us a possibility to tie the game with a TD and a 2-pt conversion) was the inability to get the Gamecocks and Lattimore off the field.
Which player(s) needs to step up their performance in the coming weeks?
They aren't players but OC Mike Bobo and OLC Stacey Searles need to step up on the offensive end. They need to get the OL fixed and they need to open up the playbook more for Aaron Murray. Murray outplayed Garcia last week but Garcia had Lattimore and the South Carolina OL so we lost the game.
On the defensive side of the football ILB Akeem Dent and Christian Robinson need to step up or we need to be getting Marcus Dowtin in the game more and Darryl Gamble needs to be playing more ILB instead of OLB. Bacarri Rambo is our leading tackler after two games and has shown a knack to get to the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage but at times on Saturday he looked very tentative (which could date back to the hit he made on an Auburn receiver that jarred the football from him and helped lead Georgia to victory but also left Rambo knocked out) in certain situations. He is one of the leaders of the defense and he needs to play like he's on fire.
Any receiver and all of the Tight Ends. We have some of the most talented TEs in the country and they just aren't making catches right now. Is that because of the play calling, the lack of success of the OL or because they aren't getting open? Orson Charles, Aron White and Bruce Figgins need to step up this week because they should be running free through the Arkansas secondary this weekend. White and Figgins have combined so far for 0 catches this year. On the receivers side we need somebody (Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten, Marlon Brown) to step up beside Kris Durham while A.J. is out.
Which player has surprised you the most so far this season with their performance?
I like what I've seen out of former QB Logan Gray. He's tied for 2nd in receptions for the team with 4 and has made a couple of good catches. Considering how long he's been a WR his performance has been impressive. The other offensive player was the man who beat out Logan Gray at QB, Aaron Murray. Murray is 31 of 47 for 352 yards 3 TD and 1 INT so far. He's shown a lot of poise. Now we get to see what happens when the play book gets opened a little bit.
On the defensive side of the football the only correct answer is Justin Houston. Dude is a beast. He had 3 sacks against South Carolina's mobile QB Stephen Garcia. He could have a field day against Ryan Mallet on Saturday as Mallet does not move well in the pocket. The more he gets to Mallet on Saturday the better the chance Georgia has to beat the Hogs.
What are the major question marks headed into Week 3?
The biggest question marks from last week (the lines of scrimmage) shouldn't be an issue heading into the Arkansas game. Arkansas is not going to suddenly go I-formation and try to cram the football down our throats. The bigger questions this week is how we face up to a prolific passing attack. Last year we beat Arkansas because their defense was pathetic and Mallet and the passing game folded in the 4th quarter. It won't be as easy this year. The other question is how much is Bobo going to take the reigns off of Aaron Murray and how successful will he be against a defense that was the worst in the SEC just a year ago and has not been tested against a legitimate college football team yet this year.
Another question mark is CB. Branden Smith is questionable so that means that Georgia will need somebody to step up and play nickel alongside Brandon Boykin and Vance Cuff. My guess is that it will be Sanders Commings and possibly true freshmen Derek Owens and Alec Ogletree. Against Arkansas the nickel back will be pivotal on Saturday.
What needs to happen in order to secure a victory in Week 3?
Continue the progression that has been made in terms of penalties and turnovers.Get consistent pressure on Arkansas and Mallet in the passing game and force them to make negative plays or turn the ball over. Find the offensive line and grind out a victory behind the legs of Caleb King (who sat out last week with an ankle injury) and Washaun Ealey.