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Sunday, September 5, 2010

What we learned Saturday

As you would expect from a 55-7 victory, it’s almost all positive:

- Aaron Murray can run. He may not always do so in the smartest fashion – witness his lucky touchdown scamper as the first half expired – but he’s got a set of legs.

We knew Murray had a pretty good arm, and for awhile now had heard reports from teammates and coaches that his command of the offense and the huddle was stellar. Now he looks like an above-average runner for a quarterback, adding a very nice dimension to the offense.

The one worry that emerged from Saturday was Murray was definitely prone to those freshman mistakes. Against Louisiana-Lafayette, you can get a few mulligans. Against SEC teams, those could be game-changing.

- They call it the 3-4 defense, but that’s almost a misnomer. There were always three guys in a stance on the line, but on almost every snap a big linebacker or two or three were lined up outside, poised to blitz. And then did.

Georgia’s three sacks were all by linebackers – two of them inside guys, Akeem Dent and Akeem Hebron. (It’s too bad Prince Akeem from “Coming to America,” played by Eddie Murphy, didn’t get any action, or he would’ve had a sack or two also.)

Both sacks by the inside backers were set up by initial pressure from the outside. And the Bulldogs were credited with a total of nine tackles-for-loss, dispersed among 11 different players. That’s not too shabby.

- Todd Grantham can get a wee bit fiery. The defensive coordinator’s tirade against Bacarri Rambo was a great first impression to Georgia fans who had groused about the former staff. Grantham’s honeymoon was extended even longer.

(And Rambo was tied for the team’s lead in tackles, with Dent.)

- Hutson Mason is the backup quarterback for the foreseeable future, and is at least not a green true freshman. But he’s still a true freshman, so let’s not start to think Georgia coaches won’t be nervous every time Aaron Murray takes off from the pocket.

- Other true freshmen who played, as expected, were Derek Owens (who had a big hit on special teams), T.J. Stripling (lining up at blitzing outside linebacker) and Zander Ogletree (who caught a pass). The suspended Alec Ogletree is still on track to play once he returns, while there’s an outside chance receiver Michael Bennett could still see time this year.

- Another first-year player, junior college Jakar Hamilton, had a great debut, starting at free safety and returning a pick for a touchdown. The only problem is Hamilton’s hometown in the program is listed as Edgeville, S.C. It’s actually Edgefield, which I know because I’ve been there. Hamilton said he’d get it fixed.

- Carlton Thomas will continue to get carries, even when Washaun Ealey returns. Thomas got nearly as many carries as Caleb King in the first half, and did more with them. I’ll be curious to see how they disperse the chances the following few weeks.

- Branden Smith will be a weapon once again, and apparently even more so than last year.

- Blair Walsh, Drew Butler and the return tandem of Smith and Brandon Boykin gives Georgia one of the best special teams in the nation.


Anonymous said...

Carlton Thomas didn't get "nearly as many" carries as Caleb King, he got MORE carries. They finished with the same ypc average. Caleb King left the game with an ankle injury.

Brad said...

With Thomas' performance (- the near fumble that I'm sure displeased Coach Richt), do you think there's any chance of seeing some dual running back sets? I had assumed the reason Caleb was higher on the depth chart because of his superior pass blocking ability and the fact that he's less prone to fumble. But with the depth we seem to have when you include Munzenmaier, is this another formation Richt and Bobo are considering?

Thanks for some quality reporting, Seth

Anonymous said...

Don't ignore the OLine's performance with the running game - there were not many holes for the runners. And a couple of good runs were called back/stopped when the OLine was flagged for false starts.

With Glenn and Jones missing so much of preseason maybe that's the problem.

When runners are tackled before they can even make it up to the line, that's generally for lack of blocking.

Your run game analysis is a little lazy here, Seth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Seth. I appreciate getting these kinds of summaries with your perspective of the performance.

I agree that the O-line wasn't as dominant as many expected (at least in the running game). This seems to be a theme the past couple of years... we think it's going to be a big strength right off the bat, but doesn't end up gelling right away. I'd be interested in Coach Searles' opinion of the performance. (Oh, wait, he doesn't really talk to the media.)

You're doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

Ankle injury, my butt.

Caleb King did NOTHING. He had 1 run where he was being tackled behind the line of srimmage and the defender let him go.

Other than that, they STUFFED Caleb King.

Anonymous said...

How about the Formation where you don't tell me how Great Caleb King is, only to see him do NOTHING yet again.

Dontavius Jackson would have done better than Caleb King in this game, if Tavarres King had not DUPED him into driving Tavarres' Truck for Tavarres, even though Branden Smith used Vance Cuff's Driver's License to buy the alcohol.

The formation that works, is to NOT tell me how Great Caleb King is. He has been here since 2007 and done NOTHING against any good run defense. The OL either. That is NOT an EXCUSE for Caleb King; God Knows he has a BUCKET FULL of EXCUSES of his own.

Anonymous said...

Anon, ur an angry elf, did Caleb king steal your breakfast and/or girlfriend? I think he might be a little over rated but still solid

I saw a lot of loaded boxes on run downs so I'm not too worried yet. Murray took advantage of it, and teams will think twice about bringing all that help if AJ is on the outside.

Anonymous said...

Wow it's the return of angry anonymous and his bashing of Caleb King. Shocker.

Interesting how you have the sentence fragment "The OL either".

Hm. Either the OL is great and the runner sucks or, according to you, the OL does nothing but it's Caleb's fault?

I'm pretty sure he had the exact same ypc as Carlton AND he scored.

You should start a petition to have him removed since he offends you so incredibly much. How about saving the anger for whoever it is in your actual life who caused you such damage?

Anonymous said...

I have to say I admire angry anonymous' consistency. I'm surprised he hasn't referenced the fact that Caleb King did nothing during his redhirt year yet.

The best part is when he qualifies Caleb as having done nothing against any GOOD run defense. That's his way of having a method to explain away/ignore Georgia Tech, Auburn, Arkansas...

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Trinton Sturdivant play on Saturday? He has been Mark Richt's crying towel for two years.
Trinton Sturdivant has become "isn't relavant".

Anonymous said...

Which is it ?

He's been here since 2007 when his was ranked the

# 1 Football Player in state of Georgia

(1) You suggest 1st that I am out to get him because he stole my girlfriend's breakfast

(2) Only THEN do you suggest that just maybe perhaps, Caleb King is oh let's say SLIGHTLY OVER-RATED

By the way :

You're an idiot if you think Aaron Murray can be our Quarterback and also carry the load running the football because our OL hasn't blocked yet against ANY good run defense.

What do you think happens Saturday vs Steve Spurrier ? He isn't going to FORCE Aaron Murray to beat him by loading the box and bull rushes on QB ?

To the other dimwit :

EXCUSE ME, SON, our offense SUCKS. It has sucked since 2001. It sucks still. We do not move the football, rely upon the pass way too much, and do not have any understanding of who are best players are at ANY position.

If you MISSED THAT MEMO, I will be MORE THAN HAPPY to oblige once again for little ole you.

The offensive line is easy to figure. They do well against poor run defenses and cannot do well against good run defenses. You have a problem GRASPING it. What does THAT tell YOU ?

Caleb King is an enigma.

Anonymous said...

What's up my enigma?

Enigma please!

Caleb, you are one crazy enigma!

meansonny said...

Dominate easy defenses and OL struggles against good defenses. Welcome to football.

That can be said for GT, Bama, and UF.

Another point for Master of the Obvious.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whiny, b*tchy fans we have become. You clowns don't deserve this team.