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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fleeting thoughts: After Tennessee

One win has a way of ramping up expectations – or making fans wistful for what could have been. I suspect it’s the latter for Georgia fans as they wake up Sunday morning and examine the new SEC East standings.

It’s a two-horse race between South Carolina (which is, well, South Carolina) and a very flawed Florida team. And if the Gamecocks hadn’t pulled off the Bama upset, Bulldog fans could look at the standings and say, ‘You know …’

Still, the important thing for Georgia is it got off the snide against Tennessee. Yeah, the Volunteers aren’t a very good team, but the Bulldogs did what they needed to do by routing them, and doing so wire-to-wire.

So coming off the win, here are –

(Non-Bulldog note No. 1: You think Alabama and other SEC fans were on the anti-Boise State bandwagon before? Now it’s going to be crazy. Notice that Oregon State – which Boise State defeated – got a big win at No. 9 Arizona, so the Broncos are sitting prettier than they were 24 hours ago.

If a one-loss team from the SEC or any BCS conference makes the national championship game, and an undefeated Boise State does not, there’s gonna be hell to pay nationally. And that ultimately could give us a plus-one system.)

In any event, as I was saying, it’s time now -

(Non-Bulldog note No. 2: Watching “Saturday Night Live” on DVR. This show has become hit or miss, and as far as I can tell through three episodes this season, every one has been a miss so far. And I like Jane Lynch a lot. … Give me Jon Hamm every week if possible.)

Sorry, now let’s get to -

(Non-Bulldog note No. 3: Les Miles … You have the clock management skills of MacGruber, and I’m pretty sure you handed in all your college term papers two weeks late, but you sure do make SEC football fun.)

Yeah OK, the post-Tennessee grades:

QUARTERBACK: What can you say about the kid? Precocious Aaron Murray has really become comfortable in the offense, and if it weren’t for Marcus Lattimore he’d be getting mention for SEC freshman of the year.… A.

RUNNING BACKS: Caleb King is the starter, there should be no question about that. He still doesn’t have much spurt past the secondary, but he’s hitting the holes (when they’re there) and is holding onto the ball. The same can’t be said for Washaun Ealey, but it said something that the coaches kept feeding him late in the game. Ealey remains in the plans, especially with Carlton Thomas hurt and the team reluctant to use Ken Malcome. … B-.

RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: A.J. Green formed a rapport with Green pretty quickly, huh? Well, Green is so good you get the feeling he’d make plays if Anne Murray were playing quarterback. The most positive thing for this unit out is that others are getting involved too: Tavarres King (three catches for 38 yards) is starting to fill the No. 2 role like he was expected to; and for the second straight game Aron White and Orson Charles each had two catches. Kris Durham came off the injured list to make a 17-yard catch, and even Rantavious Wooten caught a touchdown pass. … A-.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Did the shake-up work? Hard to tell. Murray was only sacked once, and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said it was the quarterback’s fault for holding onto the ball too long. But the Bulldogs only rushed for 86 yards through three quarters, with most of that coming from Murray on scrambles. When you have a quarterback who can escape the pocket, it would seem that the best strategy for the line is to find the best run-blocking unit. They haven’t yet. … C+.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Tauren Poole is no Lattimore, or at least the Georgia line didn’t allow him to be. Poole was held to 51 yards, and the Volunteers averaged an abysmal 0.3 yards per carry. Even accounting for 23-yard botched snap and the sack yardage, the average only increases to 2.95. Plus, Brandon Wood recorded a sack, the first for a member of the front three this season. Best game of the year for the Georgia line. … B+.

LINEBACKERS: If you’re in a college football fantasy league that counts defensive stat – and if you are, that’s sad – you want Akeem Dent, who’s a tackling machine. You also want Justin Houston, who had two more sacks. Overall, this unit did very well considering it was without two outside linebackers (Cornelius Washington and T.J. Stripling) … B.

SECONDARY: Only two glaring coverage breakdowns. I guess that’s progress. The defensive backs also had a few good individual plays – Brandon Boykin’s pass break-up to prevent a third Tennessee touchdown, the tip drill that led to an interception. The Volunteers came in averaging 196 passing yards, and had 260 on Saturday, although 81 of that came from backup Tyler Bray in garbage time. Given the struggles this season, chalk this up as something to build on, but by no means a great performance. … C.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Logan Gray had a long punt return called back because of an illegal block call against walk-on Blake Sailors – who a short time later recovered a muffed punt, setting up a touchdown. Blair Walsh hit both his field goal attempts. Drew Butler boomed his punts, and should have had a second ball downed inside the 20. Nothing to criticize here. … A.

COACHING: Whether or not it should’ve happened earlier, the decision to go more physical in practice seemed to pay off. If I wanted to risk the wrath of fans and say Bobo’s playcalling has seemed a lot smarter the last two games with Green in there, I’d say that. Whatever the case, Georgia pummeled an SEC opponent, and it could’ve been worse if it hadn’t called the dogs off. The coaches put the players in position to make plays, and with few exceptions they did.… B+.


Tommy said...

Where has this Gameplan been all year? I will say that I am super happy about the win but at that same time it upsets me more because it just shows what we were capable of accomplishing all year. The offensive changes, whether it be because AJ is back or because Bobo was forced into making adjustments....either way...the outcome is much better. We are actually taking shots down the field now! If it is because of AJ it just shows how bad his little jersey sale screwed us. I just hope we keep it up0 and take care of Vandy and Kentucky and head into the UF game ready to play. We need to beat them this year!

Anonymous said...

We've BEEN taking shots downfield all year. Prior to AJ returning they were called "sacks" because no one could get open downfield.

Willb said...

Let's hear it haters!! Ga wins big but I know you guys have all kinds of negatives here!!!! So lets here it!!!! You guys can find negatives in anything!!!

Bottom line to me ga just blew out tenn!!!! We played great this game and I'm looking forward to next weeks game. I know a lot of tenn fans who have been talking trash to me so it means a lot to me for us to beat tenn. It's a big rivalry game and we beat tenn!

But I'm sure we could go undefeated the rest of the season and you "fans" would only have negative things to say.

LADAWG said...

Great Game. Season started yesterday...Go Dawgs..BTW...Am I the only one having fun with TN fans on They are fit to be tied...and can't believe they got destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Season's ending will have the final say: FL,Aub,KY,Tech.

Tripp said...

Well, I guess the consolation prize is we can be spoilers for some folks. It's been a lousy season so far, but as long as they are improving, I think the future looks bright. If Alabama had Arron Murray yesterday, they'd have won that game, if you know what I mean. I see the Dawgs being close to putting it all together. Who knows, maybe AJ's guilty conscience will bring him back next year, as some, including him, are wondering.

CSA said...

I don't care how bad Tennessee is, it's always great to see us beat them in convincing fashion. That said, they really are a pretty young, bad team. Take this win for what it's worth, just a win that should give us some more swagger and confidence going into these upcoming games.

That said, I think it's still pretty evident we need some coaching changes, at the very least S&C.

Willb said...

Has anyone else noticed how great Aaron Murray has been playing? He hasn't had a bad game yet! I had high expectations of him but I didn't expect him to consistently be this good.

His worst game was against ark with a passer rating of 139! I think a lot of dawg fans need to take notice of this kid. If he can stay injury free he could take almost all the ga passing records. In his junior and senior year we might have the best qb in the nation! With his height I don't see him leaving early for the nil too.

I think Murray might be that qb that's gonna bring ga to the promise land! I'm telling you guys he's got that "it" factor that a lot of the good ones don't have. Christian lemay better be ready to redshirt and sit two years cause this kids great! The only thing that can stop him are injuries.

Bryan said...

willb.....we know all about aaron murray. we don't need you to tell us about the kid

Todd said...

What if Murray had played last year?

Can't believe Cox was a better QB - not to trash Joe Cox because the kid has heart and played hard. Murray is more talented and still should have played. Should have, what if - seems to be our teams' mottos as of late.

Willb said...

Todd I'm kinda glad he didn't play last year. Everyone expected cox to play great heading into the season so Murray wouldn't of gotten to play until some time in the middle of the season when we were pretty sure with what we had in cox. Even though cox played ok I thought he was going to be a little better. I expected the complete opposite of what he was. I expected minimal ints from cox. Obviously that didn't happen. If Murray would of got to play later in the season it would of just wasted one of his years of eligibility. When murrays a senior we will be glad we redshirted him. Also it's looking like Murray didn't need the experience last year. Another thing I believe Murray was injured last year anyways so none of this might matter.

CSA said...

How short y'alls memory is. Murray experienced elbow tendinitis and some injury issues that likely would have been aggravated if he had played last year. I know I'm feeling overly optimistic after just one win, and after our many failures our coaches certainly deserve some criticism. But most of y'all will find something to complain about regardless.

OldDawg55 said...

Excuse me, but the Bandwagon is becoming a little crowded with the Tenn win! We weren't losing that big earlier..but still losing! Learn to stay the course, "fans"..we've good young men out there. And, in case you didn't notice, the Vols have some young talent that's going to show up big in a year or two, so savor the win while we on to the rest of the season, Go Dawgs, GATA!!!

Anonymous said...

did u guys notice the hit Olgletree put on Da'rick?

Anonymous said...

We are 2 and 4. I will take any win over Tenn since they have been blowing us out for several years.

Please ask the defensive defensive coaches how Miz held Colo to zero points. Do we watch game film to see how we give up points and others hold the same team to nothing. DO we think our oppoents are watching tape of our earlier games?

Bobo still sucks. Our quarterback is not as good as some make him out to be. He has been very lucky with dropped interceptions. He should have played last year when it was clear we were not very good.

For you slow learners, this is a bad year and next year does not promise to be any better unless we get some new coaches. We are out coached by better coaches.

For people complaining that stating the truth affects recruiting, do you think maybe the recuits notice we are 2 and 4?

Prince_Lightfoot said...

"off the snide?" Really, Seth, didn't you write something like "a Yiddish reference will always get you into the mailbag" just last week?

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? He WILL be the SEC freshmen of the year.