My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Game Day Live Blog: UGA vs. ASU

FOURTH QUARTER UPDATE: Tripp Chandler left the game with a neck sprain. Add that to Battle, who missed the game with a neck sprain and Lomax who left with a neck sprain in the third quarter, and I'm putting the over/under for neck sprains this season at 103.

Stafford just pitched a pinpoint throw to Tavarres King down the right sideline for 41 yards. Guess A.J. isn't the only true freshman WR to make a name for himself tonight. The ASU fans are now leaving in droves. But hey, at least this is less embarrassing than UNLV.

The Georgia fans in the crowd are not happy about Mark Richt's decision to kick a field goal after Moreno was stopped inside the 1-yard line. The Dawgs' failures on the goal line are troubling. I'm curious why they haven't tried to use Green more in these situations. With his height, you'd think he'd be a prime short-yardage target in the end zone. I'm not saying every time down, but the threat after doing it once or twice might make things a lot easier for Knowshon. (By the way, I'm 345 words into my game story already. I'm impressed with myself.)

Tonight's attendance: 72,955. It's the biggest ASU crowd since Sept. 28, 1991. It's the 11th highest in ASU history. I'd guess about 10,000 of that was Georgia fans. I'd also estimate 9,000 of those fans are going to buy No. 8 jerseys this week. I'd also guess at least 6,000 of those fans will be annoying the heck out of the ASU folks at the local watering holes in about 30 minutes. A Blair Walsh FG puts the Dawgs up 27-10, 5:49 to go.

I'm checking out for now unless something major happens. I'll be adding updated postgame content on and for those of you still sober and awake late enough to read it, and I'll have updates here as well.

THIRD QUARTER UPDATE: Arizona State looked sharp through the air on its first drive and found the end zone on what was almost a must-score to swing the momentum.

Georgia, on the other hand, got off to an ugly start. On what would have been a nice run on a reverse by Green, Massaquoi got flagged for tripping. A delay of game penalty on third down and another on the punt brings the Dawgs' penalty count to nine for 80 yards so far.

Some first half numbers of note: Georgia had 21 passing plays, 18 running. The yardage difference: 194 through the air, just 49 on the ground. Renner's punt block was the first since Kelin Johnson against Kentucky last year. It was the 15th under Richt. Green is the first 100-yard receiver for Georgia since Kenneth Harris in 2006 against Mississippi State (hard to believe the No. 2 team in the country last year didn't have a single 100-yard receiver). His 150 first-half yards are the most by a Georgia receiver since Fred Gibson had 169 against Arkansas in 2004. In the red zone for the season, Georgia is 13-for-13 scoring with 12 TDs. And the Dawgs have outscored their opponents 79-17 in the first halves of their four games so far.

Justin Houston got a sack! Justin Houston got a sack! Stop the presses! Alert the media! The kid deserved it. He's been this close (imagine I'm holding my index finger and thumb awfully close together) so many times so far this season, it's good to see him finish the job. I'm not sure I'm ready to pronounce the pass-rush problems fixed -- ASU has a bad O line -- but this has been an encouraging game, particularly without Rod Battle available. Another nice sign for the defense -- the tackling has been really strong tonight. Haven't seen any badly missed tackles and there have been a few nice ones in space. (SIDE NOTE: I'm sorta watching Auburn-LSU, and boy is LSU's defense good.)

Know-shon! Finally broke a big one for 27 into ASU territory. We also saw the first bad snap between Stafford and freshman center Ben Jones but Chapas recovered. That's three fumbles for Georgia in the past two games, and the Dawgs have recovered all of them. Another note on the O line -- I could be wrong, but I don't think Kiante Tripp has been on the field yet. I really don't think his injury looked too serious -- he seemed fine in practice, and Richt said he would play -- so unless he reaggrevated it before the game, I think it's fairly curious he hasn't seen any action.

After starting 1-for-5, Stafford is 12-of-19 since. He had Massaquoi on a nice over-the-shoulder pass in the end zone, but Mass couldn't hold on. The legendary A.J. broke up what would have been an INT on the next pass -- one I can only assume Stafford threw because, like the rest of us, he figured A.J. could catch anything. Blair Walsh finished off the drive with a 29-yard field goal to put the Dawgs up 24-10.

Question for the readers: I think we need to come up with a good nickname for A.J. He's just too fun to watch to not have a great nickname to go along with it. Any suggestions? I think this might be my goal for this week -- a good A.J. moniker.

Walsh's kicking woes continue and ASU will start at the 38. I don't want to know what your Walsh nicknames might be. SIDE NOTE: It's still 95 degrees in Phoenix right now. Two straight misses breaks up a string of nine straight completions for Carpenter. Asher Allen picked off a Carpenter pass on third down but another killer holding penalty negated the big play. These penalties may not cost Georgia this game, but if it keeps up, it WILL cost them one sooner or later. Darryl Gamble and Andrew Gully (filling in for Lomax) combined for Georgia's third sack of the game on the next play. Geno Atkins had Carpenter tied up on third down but Carpenter got away -- throwing incomplete. Jarius Wynn went down on the play -- bringing the number of healthy UGA DEs to Dobbs, Gully and Houston. (By the way, just before that play, Richt was animated on the sideline encouraging the legion of Bulldogs fans to get loud.)

Kiante Tripp is on the field for Georgia's ensuing drive at left tackle. Cordy is at right guard and Boling at right tackle. Davis and Jones remain in their original positions. A.J. Green grabbed his first catch of the second half to start the drive -- a 9-yard gain.

Score through three: 24-10 Georgia. I'll have a much more brief fourth-quarter post because I need to have a full game story written as soon as things conclude, but I'll still add any important updates.

SECOND QUARTER UPDATE: Just as an FYI, I'm updating at least twice per quarter for those of you (anyone? anyone? Bueller?) who is keeping up.

Georgia starts the quarter with a first-and-goal on ASU's 9. Moreno decide to take it himself, leaping from the 4 and soaring into the end zone. I'm guessing this one won't have any problems getting onto "SportsCenter."
Georgia takes the lead 7-0 after a 91-yard, 10-play drive.

And the Blair Walsh kickoff saga continues. Following Georgia's touchdown, the Bulldogs' beleaguered kicker booted the ball out of bounds, giving the Sun Devils the ball at the 40. Meanwhile, the Dawgs' D looked sharp, including Justin Houston landing a big hit on Rudy Carpenter as he released the ball. Houston has been the epitome of almost getting the sack so far this year, but that hit was still impressive. Logan Gray becomes the third punt returner of the afternoon for Georgia (could they get to nine today?) but the kick was blocked by Zach Renner. Considering ASU's punter is an All-American, that's a huge special teams play. The drive stalled out, however, when the line couldn't create any running room and Moreno was leveled by Bolden on a third-down screen pass. He walked to the sideline and looked like he had the wind knocked out of him. Walsh has a leg, no doubt, but his 54-yard FG attempt hit the left upright. That's his second miss of the year, both well over 50 yards.

Quick Note: Zach Renner is not in Georgia's media guide, I've never spoken to him and after a quick Google search, the second item that comes up is a YouTube clip of someone with the same name figure skating in Chicago. Pretty sure it's not him. He's from Connecticut though, so I could see him knowing how to skate.

Another big play for Georgia. Marcus Dowtin caused a fumble at the ASU 46 while Jeremy Lomax recovered it. Georgia has forced three turnovers without losing one in the past three games. On third-and-1, Stafford faked to Knowshon and went deep to A.J. Green for a 29-yard completion. Green has 82 yards receiving already. Moreno finished off the drive with an easy run up the middle for his ninth touchdown of the season. In keeping with the theme, I'll put the over/under on Moreno rushing TDs this year at 23. Score: 14-0 Georgia. 5 plays, 46 yards on the drive.

Walsh actually boots one into the end zone and the coverage brings down ASU's runner at the 17. Side note: So far Georgia has run 16 times and thrown 14. The Dawgs have 42 yards on the ground and 115 through the air.

Jarius Wynn was flagged for roughing the passer after hitting Carpenter under the facemask. It's Georgia's third roughing penalty in the past three quarters -- something Curran told me was a result of the frustration over the lack of pressure they've been getting. Carpenter completed his next pass to Michael Jones for 22 yards along the sideline. It was Arizona State's biggest play of the game so far. Georgia followed that with an illegal substitution penatly bringing the Dawgs' tally for the game to four for 35 yards. Without adding too much detail, let me reiterate that Rennie Curran is SICK. Another big tackle in the backfield by Curran helps stall the Arizona State drive. Darryl Gamble was flagged for a personal foul penalty to give the Sun Devils new life, however -- five penalties for 50 yards. This was BS though. They flagged him for jumping over a player to block the kick, but it simply didn't happen. Of course, Rennie followed that up by making two big tackles in the three plays to force ASU into a FG attempt. SCORE: 14-3 Georgia.

On first down on Georgia's next drive, Stafford hits Green again for 23 yards -- that gives him 105 for the game and we're not even at halftime. Oh, and for an encore, Green made a terrific reception between defenders for 31 more... we're up to 136 yards. Stafford had Chapas wide open for a touchdown two plays later, but Chapas fell at the 4. So since that didn't work, might as well go back to A.J. Green. He catches a 14-yarder for a touchdown. His numbers on the drive: 68 yards, three catches, one touchdown, and 11 parents decided to name their babies A.J. SCORE: 21-3 Georgia.

FIRST QUARTER UPDATE: Ramarcus Brown has looked pretty solid this year at KR, and he returned the opening boot to the 44. He might have gone all the way had he not been stumbling across the 30. Michael Moore, Mo Massaquoi and A.J. Green started for Georgia, as it opened in a three-receiver set and went deep to Green on the first play -- an incompletion. Kenneth Harris made his return to the lineup and had the first pass thrown his way go behind him. Massaquoi dropped an easy catch on third down -- a nasty trend continued from last week.

First two plays for ASU summed up Georgia's defense. A run went nowhere and a pass goes for a first down after Carpenter has all day to throw the ball. Chris McGaha has been open on Carpenter's first two passing attempts. The Dawgs LBs and CBs did a great job of persuing on some short passes after that, however, and forced a punt by ASU. Prince Miller was deep to return, though he didn't have a chance when the kicked bounced out of bounds. That's punt returner No. 5 for Georgia this year. I'm guessing the over/under for the season is nine.

Knowshon got his first touch of the game and took it to the left side for 16 yards. By the way, the starting line, as predicted, was Vance, Chris Davis, Ben Jones, Boling and Bean Anderson from left to right. Caleb King got the second run of the game, and both he and Moreno have been on the field at the same time. Of course, a big run by King was negated by a Tripp Chandler hold. Over/under on penalties for this game, I'm also putting at nine. On a third-and-18, the line was smothered by the ASU pass rush, and Stafford was sacked to end the drive. The line didn't look good on that play, but it was an obvious passing down where ASU could pin its ears back and go after Stafford. I'm reserving judgment at this point.

The amazing Rennie Curran netted his third sack of the year. That guy is a beast. ASU has had two near-misses on catches along the sidelines. Both were great grabs by the Devils' receivers but came down out of bounds. Knowshon back to receive the punt -- I think we all saw this coming -- but the coverage was great and he went nowhere. My guess is we'll see him once per game the rest of the way, then in a "must have" situation late in close games.

First Moreno run of the drive goes nowhere. I'm one more of these plays away from saying it's time to really worry about the O line. Stafford completes a third-down pass to Green for 30 yards. Green was wide open, but couldn't add a whole lot after the catch. It's a matter of time before he breaks one for a long run after the grab though. Another pass to Green for a gain of 13 -- he's been targeted a lot so far after getting just one second-half reception a week ago. Stafford nearly hit him in the end zone on the next play, but threw it to the wrong shoulder and ASU's Omar Bolden made a nice play to bat the ball away. Stafford has done a good job of avoiding the big mistake this season, but he's also missed on some big plays, too, with minor errors like that. That said, the passing game looks way ahead of the running game so far -- which is probably a bigger indication that the O line is doing a far better job of pass protection than of opening up holes for Moreno and King. Also of note, at the end of the first quarter, we've yet to see Richard Samuel, but King has been a fixture.

PREGAME UPDATE: Greetings from (very) sunny Tempe, folks. We're about a half hour from kickoff. There are a handful of not very bright fans who have been sitting in the sun in the upper level of the stadium for well over an hour now. I also chatted with some brave Bulldogs fans who tried to sit in the ASU student section. Security had to relocate them to prevent a riot. I'm not making this up. I've seen pretty much nothing but red and black since I've been here, so cheers to the Georgia folks who really know how to travel.

Just an FYI to Telegraph and Ledger-Enquirer readers: We're on a particularly tight deadline tonight, so tomorrow's paper won't be quite as chock full of info as normal. You can find tons more game info here or at and

I'll have updates here throughout the game, so check back regularly.


ChicagoDawg said...



ChicagoDawg said...

And the place kicking woes continue.....ahem.

ChicagoDawg said...

Green is blowing up....mercy....a true thoroughbred

Fred said...

Good commentary. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Zach Renner - Give that dawg a bone!

Anonymous said...

leaping? tripping?

Anonymous said...

As for an AJ Green, hows about "Slim Pleasure", that has no sexual connotation I promise just seems to suit him

Anonymous said...

^^^^^Nickname that iw