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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Georgia-Georgia Southern Game Blog

Updates to come at the end of each quarter. Please post your game comments here, too.

FOURTH QUARTER UPDATE: Georgia picked up its ninth penalty in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Again, you'd probably like to have seen a bit tighter ship being run here. Nothing terrible, but I don't think anyone will leave here feeling like the Dawgs are hitting on all cylinders.

Caleb King continued to impress as he and backup QB Joe Cox led a long drive for Georgia that ended with an A.J. Green touchdown. Considering Green's first catch landed him on the 2, I think my prediction actually looks pretty good.

Walsh hasn't had another FG attempt, but has been perfect on PATs. His FG, by the way, would've easily been good from 60.

Logan Gray, the third-string QB, was back deep for a punt return, but the ball was kicked out of bounds and he didn't have a chance at a return.

Five minutes left to play -- I'm heading down to the sideline for the rest. Don't forget to check and for my game story and additional features.

SCORE: 45-14 UGA.

SIDE NOTE: Meant to mention this at the outset of the game, but much as a commenter predicted earlier this week, the UGA promotions department replaced Baba O'Riley with Nickelback's cover of Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting as the pregame music. I'm now officially retracting my prediction of Georgia playing for a national title.

THIRD QUARTER UPDATE: Ramarcus Brown was the deep man on GaSo's kick off. Our long national nightmare is over -- we have an idea of what the return game will look like.

Knowshon added TD No. 3 on a drive that looked exactly how a Bulldogs' drive against the Eagles should look.

We got our first taste of Caleb King, and it was impressive. King rumbled through the line of scrimmage, showing some nice moves and picked up 27 yards on his third career carry. He picked up 9 more yards on his next carry, then Stafford finished off the drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Demiko Goodman.

Senior safety Andrew Williams was banged up on a long play by Georgia Southern that set up a TD. A serious injury to Williams would be a big problem since the Dawgs depth at safety is razor thin as it is. John Knox and the two starters are the only safeties who aren't true freshmen after Williams.

Stafford topped his career high in passing yards late in the quarter with 275 yards. On a third-and-5 late in the quarter, however, Stafford underthrew Green. Green went back for it, but couldn't come up with the ball under heavy contact. Not looking good for my 2-TD prediction for Green.

One sign of concern for the Dawgs' D -- GaSo has three nine-play drives and one six-play drive that ended in a TD. Against a clearly overmatched opponent, you'd probably like to see drives squashed a bit faster than that.

Score: 38-7 UGA.

SECOND QUARTER UPDATE: Despite Samuel's fumble on his first carry of his career, Richt went back to him again in the second quarter and he responded with 15 yards on his next two carries. Very good to see from a kid that young. More interesting, perhaps, is we haven't seen Caleb King hit the field yet.

More missed opportunities: Reshad Jones has played well so far, but took an easy INT away from Darryl Gamble. Typical getting-to-know-you issues of Week 1.

Matt Stafford has looked nearly perfect so far, completing long passes to A.J. Green, Kris Durham (a 61-yard TD!) and Tripp Chandler. His first-half numbers: 10-14-206 and 1 TD.

Ben Jones made it into the game. I commented earlier in the week that I thought it was dangerous to bring a true freshman off the bench to play center because of the possibility of problems during the exchange. Richt must have disagreed, because not only did Jones play, but he came in with Georgia backed up on its own 3-yard line. Shows a lot of faith in Jones.

On the other side of the coin, Bean Anderson jumped offside on a third-and-1. Stafford and Moreno managed to turn it into a score anyway.

Knowshon continues to impress. One thing you have to both love and hate about him, he doesn't shy from contact. He demolished an Eagles defender along the far sideline after a long pitch-and-catch from Stafford late in the quarter. It's fun to watch, but you hope he doesn't take too many unnecessary hits like that. Only 35 yards for Moreno in the half, but two TDs.

One other interesting note: We still don't know who's handling kickoffs, since GaSo hasn't scored. We'll find out to start the third quarter though.

SCORE: 24-0 Bulldogs.

INJURY UPDATE: Kenneth Harris has a right ankle injury, is questionable to return.

FIRST QUARTER UPDATE: Well, good news and bad news.

The good news is that a lot of Georgia's big question marks have already been answered. The big play of the quarter was A.J. Green's 36-yard catch to set up a touchdown. Green is going to be a star, no doubt, but I think it's going to happen sooner than later. Hate to jump to any big conclusions based on minimal info, but I think fans have every reason to think they've got their own Calvin Johnson in the near future.

Blair Walsh might have been the next most visible freshman on the field. He ended up earning the KO job and has done well with it so far. More importantly, he looked sharp booting a 52-yard field goal, which Richt said was the edge of his range.

The defense has gotten plenty of pressure so far, which is good news. Knowshon Moreno has looked good to no surprise, as has Matthew Stafford.

As I predicted, Asher Allen handled punt returns and had a nice run back on his first attempt.

Now the bad news: Georgia is hardly running away with things. Some silly mistakes have helped keep drives alive for Ga Southern. Worse, Jeff Owens went down with an injury. No updates yet, but I will post as soon as possible. That could be a major blow for the Dawgs if it is serious. Finally, while the rest of the freshmen have looked sharp so far, RB Richard Samuel fumbled on his first carry. It'll be interesting to see if Richt goes back to him quickly.


Brandon said...

Thanks for the updates! Hopefully Jeff is ok.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,
Couple of questions for you. How did the OL line look? How did the WRs do as far as not dropping balls? Thanks and go dawgs!!!!

Mark O

David Hale said...

No drops by the WRs (or at least, nothing they should've been expected to catch. The O-line had no trouble protecting or opening up running lanes, but there were a few penalties that were a good indication they hadn't played together long. All-in-all though, hard to argue with the results.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Glad to hear that the Wrs are getting more consistent. With time, the OL penalties will hopefully decrease. Go dawgs!!!!

Mark O