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. 

Please follow me on Twitter:

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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

WonderDawg

September 20th, 2010
9:08 am

Right, CharlotteGator. Who wants to play UF (other than Bama)? They will be butt-kickers by the end of the season.

CharlotteGator

September 20th, 2010
9:09 am

UGA fans,

I was hoping Tony would at least mention it, but since he didn’t, I just wanted to ask? Did you take anything from Bobo or Grantham’s comments “calling out players”? Are you bothered by it?

Personally, I thought they were throwing players under the bus a little and would not have been pleased if it were my team’s coordinators. It seemed more like blameshifting than some of the sly ‘motivation’ coaches are known for. I may be reading into it and wanted to ask.

And so you know, I’m not very excited with Addazio’s performances this year (or last) so I can somewhat commiserate with you.

Tru Blu

September 20th, 2010
9:10 am

When you’re losing, it always comes down to leadership. If you look close enough, Georgia has some leadership issues. The team isn’t buying in to what Richt’s saying. The team isn’t buying in to Murray’s leadership and what Murray’s saying or doing. These are the 2 leaders on this team, and if you’re 0-2, you look to your leadership to figure out what’s going on.

Richt rewarded Murray with the No. 1 starting position in the Spring, even though everybody on the team knew he didn’t deserve it. That decision is still being felt, loudly, in September. The team wanted Mett, and if not Mett, Gray. Richt went with Murray. Thing shave gone downhill since–off the field, and on the field.

T3

September 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Tony didnt list the (CONFERENCES) when he listed the ACC losses.

But, notice how Tony does list the (CONFERENCES) in the FSU win over BYU, and the VT win over ECU, as if to suggest a kind of…”Yeh, well those were wins, but only against Mountain West and Conference USA teams” to suggest a kind of denigration of those two wins.

You see, THIS is just part of the BUILT-IN bias Tony has.

It illiustrates the kind of credibility gaps that he displays.

The SEC’s OOC schedule (outside of Bama & Tenn) has been a complete joke for the past several years, especially Florida.

Ace

September 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Change to mascot from the bulldogs to the possums.

UGA Possums – Play dead at home, get killed on the road.

PTC DAWG

September 20th, 2010
9:12 am

Internet Coaches crack me up.

WonderDawg

September 20th, 2010
9:12 am

You just watch, Myer will make that the toughest game Bama will play all year, including the BCSCG. That’s what great coaches do.

Tru Blu

September 20th, 2010
9:13 am

if everybody on the team is getting worse, you have to make a change in your leadership. 0-2 is a signal, Georgia has severe leadership issues. Severe.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
9:13 am

@ Ace

funny!

RambleOn84

September 20th, 2010
9:13 am

T3,
UGA has played pretty good non-conference opponents recently as well.

Miles

September 20th, 2010
9:14 am

UT is bad…their QB is horrible, i.e., the worst in the SEC…

Cleveland Brown

September 20th, 2010
9:14 am

Best game of the weekend was Clemson at Auburn. Lots of slobberknockin’ hits adn a hell of a game to boot (pun).

Tru Blu

September 20th, 2010
9:15 am

Georgia would be 3-0 if Logan Gray had started the 1st 3 games.

T3

September 20th, 2010
9:15 am

BTW.

Last time an SEC team played a Moutain West team.
Utah laid a beatdown on a 11-1 Bama team.

Last time an SEC team played a Big East team,
WV thumped the 2006 SEC Champions.

Kerryb

September 20th, 2010
9:16 am

TruBlu, time to stop talking about your drunken girl groper. He’s gone. We have Murray and he looked pretty good to me. He had us close at the end with no one helping him much. I can’t believe how quick you fair weather fans start jumping aff the Murray band wagon when it’s the rest of the team that’s the problem. Murray had no help from his OL,RB’s or his Offensive Coordinator. When he gets the experience and things get better you will jump back on his bandwagon. Why don’t you idiots go root for Tech.

UGAfaninFL

September 20th, 2010
9:16 am

TruBlu, you sir, are an idiot! Who are you, and how are you ‘in the know’ as far as whether the team supports Murray vs. anyone else? BTW, it’s ORSON, not Olson. You don’t have the first clue as to what kind of leadership Murray posseses, and how much the team wants to follow him. I’ve followed him since HS, and you won’t find a more selfless, determined, competitive, and hard working kid. You seem to know what’s in the players’ mind…why don’t you go ask Orson, who played with him in HS? Go back to your trailer

Dixie Redcoat Band

September 20th, 2010
9:16 am

We’ll be just fine, UGA has always had Top Ten recruiting classes for years and years.

DooleyNoted

September 20th, 2010
9:17 am

Dooley is the right man for the job. Keep building. Go Vols!

Kerryb

September 20th, 2010
9:17 am

Tru Blu, I guess you didn’t watch that Florida game last year when Logan Gray came in and wet his pants against the Florida rush.

Are you serious?

September 20th, 2010
9:18 am

T3,

Guess who UF plays every single year out of conference? Here’s a hint, it’s the last game of the year and apparently is included in your ‘joke’ scheduling comment as a team from a pathetic conference. Nice.

Bubba Hawkins

September 20th, 2010
9:18 am

We threw to the tight end one time yesterday. I can’t remember another time we have done that this season. We have four excellent tight ends.Use them for something besides blocking.

We never throw screen passes to the running backs. That is a very productive play that can go for big yards. BOZO has zero imagination. Too conservative in the red zone. He needs to resign. Touchdowns win games not feildgoals.

Our receivers never get as open as the arkansas receivers were yesterday on those three TD receptions. Looks like coach willie is still with us.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
9:18 am

@ Wonderdawg

I wouldn’t argue your point about the UF-Bama game. I think it will wind up being much closer than the prognosticators are currently projecting.

Bama fans seem to think we now “own” the Gators. I don’t see it that way. I see a UF team that was 12-0, and ran into a perfect storm last December. Perfect storms don’t happen very often.

Are you serious?

September 20th, 2010
9:19 am

T3,

And since we’re playing “BTW”, the last Big East team that the SEC played was USF two weeks ago. Nice try again.

Not So Fast

September 20th, 2010
9:19 am

Tru Blu, the only thing SEVERE is your cognitive dysfunction. How about telling us how many handles you’ve used on this thread to diss Murray ? Lou, Nick, and a couple others ? Go away.

Red Man Reaction

September 20th, 2010
9:20 am

Hey Tru Blu,

If you love Mett so much, go follow him at his new school.

ol' balls coach

September 20th, 2010
9:20 am

Red Man got it right. Murray was the only bright spot Sat – kid is tough and leaves it all on the field. I assumed the O-line and Ealey can’t block, but if it is a question of buy-in then bench thier a** and get some people in to help Murray. As for the DB’s – just start over – can’t cover, won’t hit. Ultimately leadership from staff is poor. This team has no fire, and it begins with Richt. I guess it is as he did a few years ago with Fla. game- he has to remind himself to be passionate – I don’t get it.

WonderDawg

September 20th, 2010
9:21 am

T3, you silly dufus, read my 8:50 post, then tell me who has played a tougher OOC schedule than that?

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
9:22 am

re: the Vols

UT seems to be a bit thin on talent this year. I don’t think they’re thin in coaching talent. I thought Dooley and staff did an outstanding job getting their team ready for UF. Playing that hard for sixty minutes…..coming right after the Oregon disaster, made for a great coaching fete.

Cleveland Brown

September 20th, 2010
9:23 am

If I were AJ Green, my ass would be hiring an agent and a trainer and start getting ready for next years draft.

inthecellar

September 20th, 2010
9:23 am

Dixie Redcoat Band

September 20th, 2010
9:16 am
Yeah like the 180lb five foot nothing running backs! That has put georgia in the cellar. Maybe the dawgs can have Kentucky and Vandy as rival games since the dawgs can not hang with the rest of the east.

Bama Fan #2

September 20th, 2010
9:23 am

The AU/Clemson game was fun to watch and to bad the tigers from SC had to lose. Alabama
destroyed Duke but the defense sucked in the 2nd quarter and Saban was about to have a
stroke on the sidelines. Tony the comment about the vols having players that should be
playing at MTSU is dead on!! RTR

Say What ?

September 20th, 2010
9:24 am

Hey 3rdn8, is “great coaching fete” anything like athlete’s foot ?

5IML

September 20th, 2010
9:24 am

3rd,

The SECCG was not a perfect storm. Without Mullen, Harvin, and Murphy, BAMA was better than Florida. This year, from early appearances, BAMA is better than Florida but, we’ll see in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, relive the glory of the Duke game (lol) as we prepare for the Hogs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UaawRCeAJw&feature=player_embedded

Tombo

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

The reason Murray looks indecisive is that BooBoo keeps calling 20 yard deep routes with no outlets. With the crappy line blocking, Murray doesn’t have the time for the routes to develop.
Also, AJ’s out, so why not work in the tight ends on your gameplan? Adds an extra blocker and the dawgs have 3 tight ends that create mismatches. They were a non-factor in that game.
The issue is the coordinator…not the qb.

travy

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

gators have the pieces to win ugly every week. tight secondary, big play potential, deep def front 7 and a qb who doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions. i can see them losing to bama twice and possibly another sec game, then winning a bcs bowl as the sec runner up.

it’s been a rough beginning but i’m very optimistic about the gator future.

Go Vols

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

Not bashing UF, but here are ten teams better than you

Bama, Oregon, Ohio State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Boise State, TCU, Stanford, Texas, Miami

TB... Do you answer questions?

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

Since everyone is pointing fingers after the GA loss… what did you think of the playcalling? Personally, i didn’t think the line played that badly. They ran their defensive ends really hard to the outside causing Murray to step up. Two problems I saw… Didn’t use the TEs underneath as outlets and the playcalling had too many deep routes that took too long to develop.

The only misdirection play was very successful since ARK was overpersuring, and but the only true attempt at a screen was lousy, a middle screen when everyone knew their DTs were staying at home since the ends were pushing so fast upfield. I certainly am not a “Donnan Bubble Screen” believer, but a screen into the flats seemed fairly wide open.

Tru Blu

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

0-2 with Murray against SC & Ark, 2-0 with Joe Cox. Guys arn’t making plays for Murray. I havn’t seen a Georgia team just quit like this, 2 games in a row. Nobody made plays except Durham. Nobody but Richt was on the Murray bandwagon in the first place, so no one’s getting off now.

From Bobo’s comments and the O-Line’s comments, it’s pretty they arn’t on the Murray bandwagon either.

Murray’s interceptions and sacks have proven what everyone saw in the Spring was real. The guy just can’t get the ball to his playmakers, and Murray can’t stop trying to be the hero. That’s not his role.

Pretty bad when Murray can’t even inspire Charles to play well. Murray is a very, very, very poor leader.

0-2 in the SEC, Georgia has a leadership problem.

Dazed and Confused

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

Fans are bashing Murray for a lack of leadership. Leadership has to start with Richt. who becomes dazed and confused when things do not go his way. He is inconsistent in administering discipline. King gets a slap on the wrist while the less talented player gets six games for the same offense, so he will quit the team and free up a scholarship. Richt and Adams jump through their butts, trying to get Green into the AR game when he should have been running stadium steps until something registers in his entitled little brain. Adams picked Richt and Evans to be his lackeys. Until there is leadership at the top, there won’t be leadership on the football field–only individuals looking toward the NFL and behaving as they please and losing football games in the process.

CharlotteGator

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

3rdn8,

Agree with you. Very excited but very nervous about this year’s matchup. I think this will be the most even matchup between the two schools in the last couple of years. 2 years ago, I don’t think Bama had the horses on offense and even Bama fans thought they were a year away. Last year, there was no way UF was gonna beat Bama after a year of Bama looking to that game. I was in the Dome for both, and last year’s Bama squad looked possessed. I saw a UF squad play like that after the GatorStomp and when a team is in a mode like that, there’s not much that can be done. I expect this year to be a good game, but being in Tuscaloosa will be VERY difficult for these Gators to overcome.

bamafan

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

Where is the summertime blogger who said Ealey was better than Ingram? Where are you? Ingram runs better and more importantly blocks better. Where is your vaunted offensive line on which you planned to rely this year? I watched the entire game for obvious reasons…….Mallett is good but not God………and the Arky defense is still suspect. UGA should have put up 2 more TD’s on that defense……..and a 31 yd punt from an All-American??? Come on guys, the play calling is horrible (we have always hated our offensive coordinators at Bama until the current one arrived in 2008)……..Coach Richt’s cool and calm demeanor was refreshing when he was winning – now it looks like he has lost touch………If UGA can find themselves, they should finish 9-3, but they must find themselves NOW!

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
9:25 am

UGAfaninFL good points…..we had a chance to tie the game on the last play..so we were still in the game..Murray showed a lot of heart as did the whole team in the 3rd and most of the 4th quarter…to come back from 14 points down. If we had pulled off the win most of the folks would be over blowing our chances to win the East just like they are over blowing our chances for the rest of the season now..this kid is a gamer NOW. The D is getting better but like we said all summer you can’t install a new D and not expect some breakdowns and you can’t start a RS freshman QB and not have some issues..and we were right.And I’d like to give a shout out to the Vols and CDD they played a better team very tough no shame in their performance at all.

Kerryb

September 20th, 2010
9:26 am

It looks like Richt worries more about looking cool on the sidelines than showing some fire for his team. Murray made that great run into the corner of the end zone to tie the game back up. All the coaches and players jumped up and got excited around Richt. Richt just stood there showing no emotion at all. Hey Richt, maybe your team would show more fire if you would. Young players feed off the emotion of their coaches. Doesn’t that tell you something about UGA players not showing much fire and passion. Their coach doesn’t.

ACC Fan

September 20th, 2010
9:27 am

Concerning the ACC -Virginia played USC a good game losing out there 17-14 and Clemson gave Auburn all they could handle at Auburn.

UGAfaninFL

September 20th, 2010
9:28 am

Tru Blu = Hutson Mason’s Mama

sleeze

September 20th, 2010
9:28 am

Tony, that Clemson-Auburn was one of the best games I’ve seen. And it was brutal. Can’t take anything away from either team. That was a man’s game..

WonderDawg

September 20th, 2010
9:28 am

Go Vols, you’ve got to be kidding. Oregon could hang with UF, and Texas would be tough, but the rest aren’t even close. Jeez.

Long Gator

September 20th, 2010
9:29 am

UGA BULLDOGS :

2-6 last 8 SEC games.

10-11 last 21 SEC EAST games.

Winner of 2010 Fullmer cup.

congratulations UGA. Get ready for the annual beatdown in Jacksonville.

Alphare

September 20th, 2010
9:29 am

UGA is not a very good team right now. It’s not just defense giving big yard, what about your offense? You don’t have much a running game, and your QB is a first year starter.

What is your bright spot? I don’t know and I cannot name one. If AJGreen is in a game, I am sure I will name him as the bright spot, but he is not with the team because he was thinking selling jerseys rather than playing football.

There are good things that you cannot keep, raw stuff that you cannot develop, mediocrity you cannot overcome. So, you lose games.

CharlotteGator

September 20th, 2010
9:31 am

Go Vols,

Good post. Solid list, but I think the last three (Stanford, Texas, and Miami) are arguable. I admittedly have UF at the bottom of the top 10 and don’t have much of a problem with the other schools on your list. I might give you Stanford, but their D leaves a little to be desired. Also have watched Texas and not very impressed. They’re quickly approaching Boise territory and only playing 1-2 ranked teams a year. Definitely would disagree on Miami. Haven’t seen anything from them that’s frightening and we beat that team two years ago when UF’s squad was even younger. Of course, this is all just conjecture and my opinion.