UGASports - UGA film study: video analysis of the victory over Austin Peay
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UGA film study: video analysis of the victory over Austin Peay

Andrew Thomas, Ahkil Crumpton, Issac Nauta among shining stars of UGA opening week game film.

The first week of the Georgia football season followed the anticipated script. It was brutally hot, Sanford Stadium was packed, Georgia dominated the scoreboard, and Kirby Smart scoffed about his team playing soft.

Here is some of what Smart will see on the UGA game film.

Mecole Hardman breaks the banner to open the 2018 UGA football season
Mecole Hardman breaks the banner to open the 2018 UGA football season

First, a pre-game film note: the new Georgia entrance from Sanford Stadium's renovated west end zone is impressive. This will surely be featured in hype videos and recruiting pitches.

The first offensive play lineup: Jake Fromm and D'Andre Swift behind center, Riley Ridley, Ahkil Crumpton, Isaac Nauta, and Tyler Simmons out wide, and the offensive line of Andrew Thomas, Solomon Kindley, Lamont Gaillard, Ben Cleveland, and Isaiah Wilson. The O-line weighs 1,638 pounds (an average of 328 pounds/man). By comparison, the 2014 offensive line was 1,489 total pounds (averaging 298 pounds/man).

The opening play is a read-option. Jake Fromm should have pulled the ball and run-or- thrown to Crumpton in space. But again, it was the very first play and likely a scripted Swift carry.

Ahkil Crumpton was the MVP of the opening drive. His agility is a well-known attribute. His toughness in blocking is one reason why Kirby Smart has raved about him in fall camp.

There are not enough positive adjectives for Andrew Thomas. On the first impressive Georgia rush, he was pushing his man like a shopping cart.

Georgia's first touchdown was an easy match-up decision. Riley Ridley is in man coverage with the defender five yards off of the ball: plant the foot, accurate pass, and YAC it up to the endzone.

Seeing No. 3 miss a tackle is a weird sight (miss you, Roquan). Tyson Campbell impressed the coaches to earn a starting spot as a true freshman. He showed good awareness but poor tackling on the opening drive. Campbell's physicality is better than we expected, though his execution must be refined. Plays like this won’t keep Deebo Samuel in check at South Carolina.

Austin Peay created their own turnover here. But, Natrez Patrick bull-rushed the running back to allow more Dawgs to crowd the football. We've all seen fumbles bounce around, making it even more impressive that D'Andre Walker snagged it with one hand.

Off the turnover, Georgia once again runs behind Andrew Thomas. He seals his side of the lane with only three steps. D'Andre Swift is quick to retrieve the football to avoid any semblance of excessive celebration. Kirby Smart must love seeing that recognition.

This play was designed to go between LT and LG. Elijah Holyfield scampered away from the linebacker, across the blocking scheme, and broke four tackles en route to the Georgia touchdown.

Holyfield's ESPN graphic proves that his arms likely have different zip codes.
Holyfield's ESPN graphic proves that his arms likely have different zip codes.

Larry Munson would have had fun calling James Cook plays. The freshman has great vision and balance. Jim Chaney must continue to find ways to get the ball in his hands. Watch the video in the tweet above.

Brenton Cox and Richard LeCounte both show off great pursuit on this third down loss. LeCounte is not even in the picture to begin the play. His closing speed from the secondary will be key in stopping playmakers in space.

Everyone saw Demetris Robertson's speed. Equally as impressive was Justin Fields’ recognition. He makes eye contact with D-Rob at the beginning of the play. Nauta and Woerner nail their blocks. The rest is a footrace.

Justin Fields' first touchdown pass is an easy read to Isaac Nauta. The safety is playing deep, so Nauta has plenty of space after the receivers clear out the box. Had the safety come down, I like Nauta's chances down the seam for a similar result.

Kirby Smart has talked about how Julian Rochester needs to become more dominant. The big fella is also so agile now at 296 pounds, that he worked his way across the field through blockers to prevent a first down.

If you're one of those fans who needs to complain about the referees: here you go. Richard LeCounte gets held. Monty Rice makes the no-call irrelevant.

Summary

Overall, Andrew Thomas is the stand-out player of Week One. Later this week, we’ll have a look at South Carolina’s win over Coastal Carolina to serve as a scouting report for Week Two.