September 24, 2007

Grading the Tide: Georgia 26, Alabama 23


A turnover or two would have put this grade in D/F range. John Parker Wilson's accuracy was poor against the Bulldogs, but the fact that he didn't commit a turnover was one reason UA was able to stay close. Two of Wilson's misfires that were most costly came on the same drive, an overthrow of Matt Caddell in the endzone, followed by an overthrow of DJ Hall just before Alabama had to settle for a field goal entering the half. Surprisingly, Wilson faced a stronger pass rush Saturday than he did against Arkansas. But that required steady blitzing, and it is up to Wilson to burn the blitz often enough to back it off. That didn't happen Saturday.

Running backsB
Once again, Terry Grant carries a solid grade with a 7.2-yard rushing average, although it was Glen Coffee who led the team in carries (16). Grant's best run was a 30-yarder around the left end to the Georgia 1-yard line in the third quarter. Two Bulldogs had a good pursuit angle, but with the most impressive burst of speed Grant has shown yet, he outran the defense and nearly scored. At two positions - wide receiver and running back - the coaching staff has proven fearless about substituting non-starters into critical situations. Roy Upchurch's late appearance (two carries, 19 yards) was the latest evidence of that.

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