UGA’s Murray fine; it’s the O-line I’m not sure about

Another crazy weekend: So what did we learn?

1. Georgia’s Aaron Murray is going to be fine. It’s the offensive line I’m not sure about: Georgia’s 31-24 loss to Arkansas proved once again that in the SEC, the difference between winning and losing is very small. Georgia made a good comeback to tie the game and put itself in a position to win. It had the ball on what should have been the final possession. The worst thing that should have happened is that Georgia didn’t score and the game went to overtime.

But on third down the running back whiffs on a pass block and the quarterback gets sacked. Arkansas gets the ball back and  a safety takes the wrong angle on a tackle and Arkansas breaks free for the winning touchdown. Two plays. Arkansas made them. Georgia didn’t. That’s it.

But here is the good news for Georgia. The Bulldogs have a quarterback. Everyone I talk to in this league likes the upside of Aaron Murray. He’s learning the position and is going to make mistakes. What I want to know is when is this veteran offensive line going to start blocking like one? Georgia ran the ball 41 times for 139 yards at home against an average defense from Arkansas. Yes, six sacks figured into that total. Still, that’s not good enough. Yes, it would have been helpful if A.J. Green had been there to stretch the field. But he was not there. He’s not going to be there Saturday in Starkville. Georgia just has  run the ball better than that.

2. Another tough weekend for the ACC: Georgia Tech took care of business within the league beating North Carolina on the road. But out of the conference it was second straight tough weekend for the ACC. The ACC went 1-4 in head to head meetings with other BCS teams: Clemson lost to Auburn, Duke lost to Alabama, Maryland lost to West Virginia, and Wake Forest was trounced by Stanford. The lone winner against BCS competition was N.C. State, which had a solid win over Big East team Cincinnati on Thursday night in Raleigh.

Florida State beat BYU (Mountain West) and Virginia Tech took care of East Carolina (Conference USA) to salvage something out of the weekend.

If you’re keeping score at home, and I know some of you are, the ACC is now 1-9 against non-conference BCS teams in the first three weeks of the season. In the first two weeks of the season the ACC lost to LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Kansas, and Southern California. Kudos to the ACC for scheduling those games. But you gotta do better than 1-9.

3. Clemson-Auburn was a game for grown men: Auburn’s 27-24 victory against Clemson in overtime was one of the hardest hitting games I’ve seen in a long time. Two guys got carted off with serious leg injuries. Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker took a shot to the back (it was a legal shot, I might add) and showed tremendous grit in playing throught the pain. Auburn showed a lot of maturity in coming back from a 17-3 halftime deficit to win. Clemson showed, with running backs Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington, that the Tigers are going to be a force in the ACC Atlantic. It was a good old-fashioned street fight and I loved every minute of it. Just sorry that it came down to the Clemson kid missing a field goal. That’s a tough way for anybody to lose.

4. Florida is not a Top 10 team: The Gators may be worthy of their No. 8 national ranking (in the coaches poll) before the season is over, but right now Urban Meyer just has an okay team that is just trying to find its way. The good news if you’re a Florida fan is that you have enough talent to line up, play ugly, and win every game on your schedule–except for the Oct. 2 trip to Tuscaloosa to play No. 1 Alabama. The toughest remaining games after that (LSU, South Carolina) are at home. One thing I did learn watching the Florida-Tennessee game in Knoxville on Saturday: Florida’s receivers are pretty average. I thought they would be better.

5. I’ll bet Houston Nutt wishes he had never heard of Jeremiah Masoli: All I know is that since Jeremiah Masoli was clearned to play at Ole Miss on Friday, Sept. 3, almost nothing has gone right for the Rebels and Houston Nutt. Ole Miss just got absolutely gashed on Saturday by Vanderbilt 28-14. The Rebels are 1-2 with Fresno State coming to Oxford this week. If they can’t win that one, they are probably looking at 4-8 at best. Masoli has played reasonably well in the first three games. But the defense, which was supposed to be the strength of this team, is simply not getting it done.

BONUS WHAT WE LEARNED

Tennessee is what we thought they were: When I looked at the Tennessee team Saturday afternoon at Florida, I saw a bunch of guys who should be playing at Middle Tennessee State. I’ll give the Volunteers credit for this: They played hard for 60 minutes against Florida and were still within striking distance of the Gators in the fourth quarter. They didn’t go in the tank when adversity hit like they did against Oregon.

But it’s been a long time since Tennessee was this thin in SEC caliber talent. Things don’t figure to get better any time soon. After UAB this week, Tennessee plays at LSU, at Georgia, Alabama at home, and at South Carolina in the span of five weeks. Even if Tennessee comes out of its first eight games at 2-6, the Volunteers should be competitive in their four November games with Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. The question is if Derek Dooley can hold this team together mentally. They may be so beat up physically when November gets here that it won’t matter. 

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Programming note: Among today’s guests on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” are new Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell, whose team knocked off Ole Miss on Saturday. Please join us starting at 10 a.m. on www.790thezone.com.

869 comments Add your comment

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

Coach O- the O must stand for “Out to Lunch” Did you not watch the Mississippi State-Auburn game? That QB is gonna run all over Georgia.

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

WE’VE BEEN SCHLEBROCKED AGAIN BY CMR WOOSEY WOOSEY WOO WOO!!!!!

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
12:36 pm

TIRED OF BEING NICE, ever get tired of being stupid and illiterate too?

G8R GRAD

September 20th, 2010
12:36 pm

BTW, Gen.:

Your Volls showed a lot of heart this weekend – stayed in it for the entire 60 min.
Good luck to y’all.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
12:38 pm

3rdn8, Who does John Kerry play for and what position?

Cleveland Brown

September 20th, 2010
12:38 pm

If UGA is a better team than 0-2, then why are they 0-2? (this ought to be good).

Coach O

September 20th, 2010
12:39 pm

@More Dawg arrests

Sure, I watched the game. State lost, didn’t they?

But then, that’s what State does. They lose. They’ll lose again next Saturday.

dagnabit

September 20th, 2010
12:40 pm

It looks like a bunch of girly men playing for the bulldogs this year. Maybe that’s their identity now.

Bud

September 20th, 2010
12:40 pm

What was Ark. time of possesion vs UGA’s. If you aint got the ball it’s hard to score and visa versa.

GaDawg

September 20th, 2010
12:41 pm

“A Murray is only mediocre in passing accuracy and arm strength.” Adog come on! Did you see that hail Mary pass fly 70 yards? I’m willing to bet you do not make it 40 yards.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
12:41 pm

gdawginkalamazoo

Kerry is not on any current roster, having been waived by the DNC. I did hear that he is recovering from a self-inflicted wound to the foot.

Cleveland Brown

September 20th, 2010
12:42 pm

A Big Dog – stick to the problems with your team because you’ve got ‘em pal. You sound like a crybaby.

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
12:42 pm

Keep telling yourself that, Coach O, and maybe you’ll start believing it by Saturday. Sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that the Dawgs can’t lose in Starkville. Just like the Dawgs couldn’t afford to lose to Arkansas at home?

SonofaDawg

September 20th, 2010
12:43 pm

Tiredofbeingnice, I fully, unequivically, and 100% agree with your posts. These fans need to stop being delusional and in denile. The coaches need to hold themselves accountable and not pass the buck to the players!

Bud

September 20th, 2010
12:43 pm

D E F E N C E !!!!!!!!!!!

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
12:44 pm

I once heard of someone in “denile”….crocs got him.

PapaDawg

September 20th, 2010
12:44 pm

You should know GT Geekie

MountainDawg

September 20th, 2010
12:45 pm

Murray needs a (few) more chances, but CMR also needs to take another look at starting Mason IF Murray doesn’t improve against MSU & CO. Also, they need to stop handing off to (overrated) Ealey on short yardage & use the talented FBs (Chapas & Munz). Bobo also needs to use the TEs & FBs more in the passing game. OL needs much better performance & the DBs aren’t cutting it. I’m hoping for a turn-around, but won’t be shocked if we have to fight to (barely) make the Music City Bowl. :(

John

September 20th, 2010
12:45 pm

Lou – You are an IDIOT!!! It takes more than a QB. I think Murray looks really good. There is no way a logical person can blame the 0-2 start on Murray. How about looking at the Defense????? and the O-line????

Poetic Justice

September 20th, 2010
12:45 pm

Now that your boys have pissed away the delusional dawgfans hopes (never more than marginal at best) for any sort of championships, this will finally be the year you beat Florida. LMFAO!!!!!!!

Relax

September 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

The dawgs will beat miss state easy! They just got blown out by an average lsu team. Dawgs roll in Starkville: 37-20—bank it!

Coach O

September 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

I’m not a fan of either of the Dogs. I just know when a team is over-matched. Georgia wins this dog fight because State’s truly that bad. What evidence do you have to argue otherwise? A close loss to Auburn? Really?

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

@more dawg arrests
that’s not what your girlfriend said last night!!

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
12:47 pm

Well we do have that Heisman Watch to look forward to this year.

Who are we going to put on the list next?

edumacated

September 20th, 2010
12:47 pm

Mr. Barnhart I have to disagree with you analyis of Murray. Is he terrible? No, but his upside is very limited. He does not have impressive enough speed to be considered dangerous outside of the pocket. He is short and it is not as easy for him to see over his O-line. He doesn’t seem to have good touch on his passes, as many of them are either late or high. He is a solid QB, but UGA needs a great talent. If you are tall and slow you better have a great arm and great vision like Mallet. If you are short then you had better have wheels like that dude from NC State. What does Murray have that makes him stand out?

Coach O

September 20th, 2010
12:50 pm

Georgia is playing the best QB that they have. The only question for Georgia fans is: Why is this the best QB that we have?

dawgfacedboy

September 20th, 2010
12:51 pm

The dawgs won’t win another game (Idaho St. not included) until they run the ball better. I’ll remember that assessment of UT when the dawgs play them.

10-12 in the East since ‘05 and 8-8 in their last 16 home games is plain unacceptable. Their are bigger problems in Athens besides the veteran O-line.

wtf?

September 20th, 2010
12:54 pm

what are you talking about nick?
too many interceptions?? he’s thrown 2?
stafford threw 13 his first season. i guess murray is the guy who left all of arkansas recievers wide open too.
stupid aaron murray, why cant you block better on the o-line either?

AlphaGator55

September 20th, 2010
12:54 pm

The Gators whole plan is to peak October 2…yeah that’s it. Gotta believe…!

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
12:55 pm

MountainDawg, LMAO! That list sounds like sh!t that should have been taken care of in the off season!

Just remember, as frustrated as we fans are I can’t imagine that the players are happy about the season so far.

DP

September 20th, 2010
12:57 pm

Enter your comments here

G8R GRAD

September 20th, 2010
12:57 pm

Alpha:

“Yeah, THAT’S the ticket!”

SonofaDawg

September 20th, 2010
12:57 pm

Mike Bob takes murray out of the shotgun and puts him back into the I-formation? LMAO! 3 and 4, Send all receivers downfield with no checkdown or TE? I guess Murray should have just thrown the ball up for grabs

Matt

September 20th, 2010
12:58 pm

all these people complaining about Murray don’t know anything about football. Yes, he held on to the ball a couple times, but he is definitely not the reason we lost the last 2 games.

I’m sure you guys will be singing his praise when the play-calling and defense come around.

dawgfacedboy

September 20th, 2010
12:58 pm

If you are calling for a QB change or are down on Murray you need to watch the game a little more. He just made his 3rd collegiate start. Stafford looked terrible as a freshman. We’d be 3-0 right now if our running game could be called anything close to effective.

I hear Ealey is studying to be a mattidor. All he needs out there in the pass blocking is a red cape and to yell “Ole’”!!!!

joe

September 20th, 2010
1:00 pm

Tony, I don’t think you saw the same UT/UF game I did. Take away the fake punt and UT may have won that game. Also, I remember last year when the UT qb struggled, only to look like a guy named Manning against UGA. Depleted depth or not, I wouldn’t right them off just yet…they may sneak up and bite somebody they aren’t supposed to beat in the next few weeks.

Cleveland Brown

September 20th, 2010
1:00 pm

Mark Richt has “manned up” to his max. What makes y’all think he’s got any more? Hell, he’s been there for a decade. Ain’t that long enough? Bobby Bowden said he wasn’t man enough. Time for a change or you’ll keep gettin’ more of the same. He’s actually going backwards.

dawgfacedboy

September 20th, 2010
1:02 pm

Sonofadawg- even the t.v. guys were dogging Bobo and that call. ” I don’t understand why on 3 and 4 you send everyone 15-20 yards downfield. Where’s the checkdown guy, where’s the guy in the flats?” Exactly!!!!!

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
1:02 pm

edumacated you even watch the games? Murray has scored 2 TD with his “wheels” so far and gotten us out of hot water by scrambling several times. Is he a world class sprinter..no but he seems pretty quick when he does run.And when has he had a hard time seeing over the line? Must be nice to see thru Murray’s eyes.I’ve seen him get knocked down but can’t remember a pass being batted down.

Mean Machine

September 20th, 2010
1:03 pm

Murray is the lone bright spot on this entire team. He’s holding onto the ball too long in some cases, but that’s because he knows the value of not turning it over. The WRs need to do a better job of getting open. The O-line flat out sucks! All this hype because they had experience. But if you’re a bad player and have experience playing badly, why are you supposed to be good simply because you’re older? The defense is an abomination! The coaching has been wretched! These last 2 weeks have shown a lack of preparation and motivation. I’m tired of watching it, it’s embarrassing! Why did this team wait 3 quarters to play football? That 4th qtr. showed what they’re capable of, yet this coaching staff doesn’t seem to have them ready to play each week. And that’s inexcusable! UGA should NEVER be in this position. At what point are we going to hold Richt accountable for this teams poor performance the last 5 years? Clearly this program is underachieving. 10-12 in the last 22 SEC games! Are you kidding me? That’s absurd! Maybe at Kentucky, that’s okay, but it should not be tolerated at UGA!

crackDaddy

September 20th, 2010
1:03 pm

Tom Dienhart just said CMR at “big crossroads”.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
1:03 pm

Murray is doing a great job so far. He can definitely throw well, he protects the ball pretty good too. To be the supposed weak link on the offense this year I would say he is far from that.

PapaDawg

September 20th, 2010
1:05 pm

Face it the Tide are the only ones looking strong again. Everybody have shown their weakness and are having growing pains including the Gators. We’ll just have to see which teams grow up the fastest.

JimminyDamnCricket

September 20th, 2010
1:06 pm

wtf? – Murray’s got plenty of time to catch Stafford’s INT record. He is actually a little behind, but after watching the first 2 real games, he will probably easily make it.

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
1:06 pm

crackDaddy who is Tom Dienhart and why on earth would I give a darn about what he has to say about anything?

wxwax

September 20th, 2010
1:09 pm

Clemson’s running game did indeed look good. That could be a problem for Tech.

Murray looks very good. As you’d expect from a young player, he holds onto the ball too long. With poor pass protection, that’s going to lead to trouble, as it did against Arkansas. But he throws a nice ball and seems composed. I like him.

Bryant

September 20th, 2010
1:09 pm

Ealy misses the block, very little effort, actually kind of cowardly. UGA very poor fundamentals. Second tier in SEC is long way from #1 in eary 2008. Kirby was Smart. RTR

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
1:11 pm

Hey prayers out to Coach Dantonio from Michigan State. Can’t believe that finish Saturday night. What a call. Either hero or goat. I do believe in all the years Dantonio has been at MSU I haven’t seen him actually smile until Saturday night.

NC Dawg

September 20th, 2010
1:11 pm

Bama was swimming around in the kiddie pool for many years. 6 and 7 win seasons were the norm. Suddenly, they are the best team in the country and things don’t look like they are going to change. Bama plays without its best RB and still wins. My guesstimation: it’s the coaching. The coaches get their players ready to play. I don’t like what I see at UGA. We seem to be stepping backwards and becoming a Florida State (6-7 wins).

We need a wakeup call. It starts with demoting Bobo. 3rd and 4: go for the short play for the first down…not the long ball. Bobo mentioned in the postgame that he was happy with the way we were catching the long ball. Great. How about getting the first downs on 3rd and 4 first.

Coach Richt: step up and get this team playing like a top 10 team again.

NiceWhiteRice

September 20th, 2010
1:13 pm

When the dogs start getting into the meat of their schedule, they will find that a little running quarterback is a liability. He ain’t seen pressure yet and somebody’s gonna drop a slobberknockin’ on him.