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

mcdaviddawg

September 20th, 2010
10:11 am

It’s not a new qt we need, it’s a new coach.

Red Man Reaction

September 20th, 2010
10:12 am

I can take hearing crap from USCe once every 7 years or so…you guys are just like GT!

USC GAMEC0CK

September 20th, 2010
10:13 am

Reciever catches ball…no defensive back in the same zip code…the truth really hurts….

Touchdown Arkansas…stir it up and repeat all day long…end result….georgia loses again.

Furman

September 20th, 2010
10:14 am

19 points against SC
Uga 6
But yeah Tony Murray is great!

RxDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:14 am

“I really don’t think we are THAT far behind UF and UGA.”

Do you really lump UF and UGA together?

im4bama

September 20th, 2010
10:14 am

I’m ready for BBQ pig this Saturday. McEloy will have a bigger day than Mallet, again. The best offense in the leage is Bama’s.

Palladin

September 20th, 2010
10:14 am

@Captbob

You can see the highlights on Youtube. The play occurs with the game clock at about the 7 minute mark. The Auburn defender was approaching head-on and was airborne before the QB was down. He made contact with his shoulder pad — not with his helmet. It was a devastating lick, but it was a clean hit. I’m no Auburn fan, so I would not hesitate to call a foul if one existed.

Clemson played a helluva game. Too bad they lost.

UGA Insider

September 20th, 2010
10:15 am

Everyone needs to chill…UGA got beat by two better teams. Plain and simple. Arkansas is going to give Bama all they want this Saturday and SC is probably going to win the SEC East. UGA, like UT ,is not a top tier SEC program this season. Plain and simple. Why? I personally think team chemistry is bad as welll and poor coaching on the offensive side of the ball. Our defense has played well enough to beat both teams but the offense has stunk so there it is. Let’s get realistic UGA fans… we are going to win 5 or 6 games this season and that’s it.

Red Man Reaction

September 20th, 2010
10:16 am

Hey USC GAMEC0CK:

Thanks for reminding us that South Carolina has a football team, I typically forget 6 out of 7 years!

You guys are the GT of the SEC!

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
10:16 am

atlvol55 from what I saw in the 2 quarters I got to watch I think your starting 22 matched up well with the Gators..not many UGA fans taking UT lightly at all.

North Ave. Trade School fan

September 20th, 2010
10:17 am

A line above says one variation of the Georgia offense is called “the pistol”. The way the bulldog nation is in a tizzy over the start of the season, lets hope that “pistol” ain’t loaded.

USC GAMEC0CK

September 20th, 2010
10:18 am

all georgia folks should be pulling for USC to win the SEC east this year…who u gonna pull for?? florida??

seriously, how is that great big time defense you guys were flappin your jaws about??? i haven’t seen any defense the last 2 weeks…just a lot of hot air from grantham…USC would have fired him already…just saying

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
10:20 am

DawginLex,
Don’t worry about UF. We’ll be just fine. I’m sure all Gators take comfort in knowing that you will give us the nod against Kentucky in Gainesville. LOL!
By the way, Missy State is a 2 point favorite over your Dawgs this weekend.

Made famous by Hershel

September 20th, 2010
10:20 am

My Dawgs are disappointing thus far for sure.

Tell me

September 20th, 2010
10:20 am

UGA is very average team nationally, a lower tier team in the SEC. Can anyone name a starter besides AJ Green that could start for Bama or Florida? I don’t think there is one. How does this happen with all of the huge recruiting classes that UGA signs every year? Until these two questions are honestly answered, Georgia will continue to be a mid to lower tier team in the SEC.

Palladin

September 20th, 2010
10:20 am

@atlvol55

TN, Ole Miss and UGA are “way down”, but SC and Arky appear to be up. I wouldn’t make a call on Florida right now, they haven’t really played anyone yet.

You should just be proud of the effort your guys showed on Saturday. It will take a few years to get the Kiffin stink out of Knoxville.

Mobile Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:21 am

It’s a good time to be a Dawg if you’re satisfied with being mired in mediocrity. I need my kool aid and rose colored glasses this morning because I’m having a damned hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that some of you’re seeing.

Frankly I don’t see CMR turning this around, I just don’t think he has the backbone to make tough decisions. I hope McGarity does. I respect CMR, and even found myself feeling a little sorry for him Saturday, then suddenly I snapped back to my senses. He makes millions for the job he does, I can’t feel one bit sorry for him. We as fans and supporters have to take our heart and emotion out of the decision as to what it’s going to take to put a “Championship Team” on the field.

When I was in the corporate world I heard a Sr. VP making a speech to a group of first and second level Supervisors and Managers. A profound statement came out of that speech I will never forget. “You can’t lead without backbone. Backbone is THE one thing we can’t teach in Leadership classes. You either have it or you don’t.” We need coaching changes, personnel changes, etc. Everything under the sun has been covered on these blogs, we know what the problems are and so does CMR but he’s done nothing about it. I don’t want to see people fired that have to support a family, it’s a hard thing to do. I don’t envy CMR at all but he’s the CEO, he has to make tough, hard, emotional decisions. It comes with the territory.

And another thing coaches don’t blame players for poor performance, you recruited them, you coach them, if you don’t like what they do sit them on the bench. Don’t call them out in public ! ! !

Last but not least, if you are really a fan, please stop calling the coaches and players names, what good does that do?

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
10:21 am

early season polls give me a migraine. I think any legit poll would be taken sometime after the 2nd week of October.

That being said. Why does UF have to defend a top ten ranking? No one in the media seems to be questioning Oklahoma. Other than pounding FSU, they’ve struggled against powerhouses like Utah State, and Air Force.

Palladin

September 20th, 2010
10:22 am

@North Ave. Trade School fan

At least Georgia HAS an offensive “variation”.

;-)

86Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:23 am

RxDawg – if you read all the blog comments top to bottom (or at least skim quickly, as I just did) it’s pretty clear there’s only one poster blaming Murray and calling for Mason (and Gray at times) to take over as QB. This person seems to be changing their “name” with each post but the comments are all written relatively the same way. I’d say it’s probably a friend or relative or high school fan of Mason’s. TB could confirm the comments are coming from the same IP address, but I’m sure he won’t (I wouldn’t either if I were him, just let the idiot ramble, who really cares).

UGA Insider

September 20th, 2010
10:23 am

Also, Sweet Willie Martinez and Joe Cox gave got to be laughing their asses off because this time last season UGA was 2-0 in the SEC and now we are bottom dwellers. Even Vandy is 1-0. If anyone wants to get rid of their rooms at the Continuing Ed for the Vandy game by the way let me know.

GT Fan ...

September 20th, 2010
10:25 am

Fickle, Fickle, Fickle you GA fans are. I’m a diehard GT Fan, but I am starting feel a little sorry for you folks with this “the sky is falling” mentallity after a couple of losses.

Miss St, Colorado, UT, Vandy, Kentucky; these are GA’s next 5 opponents. GA will be 6-2 heading into the FL game, and how diffent the comments on a TB blog will be.

Be real people, GA has played to good, well-COACHED (I know most hate both of the coaches – Spurrier & Petrino) teams, with a NEW QB, no AJ Green, and new Defensive scheme. To lose the past 2 sucks for sure, but they are good teams. Lose the next 2 or any 2 of the next 5 and then you can rant all you want.

USC GAMEC0CK

September 20th, 2010
10:25 am

i was just kidding about firing grantham…please keep him around for the USC game next year in dog town…tha will be a great day in the history of USC…but first USC gots some serious busines to handle this year

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
10:26 am

3rdn8,
I think most folks are used to seeing UF score 40+ and just dominate the types of opponents they’ve played so far. If UGA was 3-0 with the same wins that UF has, Tony wouldn’t be so critical. Sometimes past success can haunt you.

Corninmypooh

September 20th, 2010
10:26 am

Jim Donnan said something very true this morning on 680 The Fan. Without AJ Green DC’s are stacking the box and forcing Georgia to throw to this current crop of WR’s, which is taking away the running game. The OL is essentially out manned at the point of attack, because our opponents don’t respect our passing game.

It’s not as bad as it seems. We had a chance to beat the #12 team in the nation had we been able to convert the 3rd & 4 late in the fourth quarter. Donnan also said we’ve got issues with our DB’s, which is also very true. They’re consistently getting smoked on play action fakes. I’m disappointed Lakatos has not figured out a way for these guys to remain disciplined in their reads. I also noticed that Cummings was once again playing the man and not the ball. He had no clue where the ball was on that long out pattern late in the 4th. The ghost of Willie is still rearing its ugly head.

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
10:27 am

GT Fan … classy post and good points.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 20th, 2010
10:28 am

Mobile,

You know I have no issue with the players being called out. We know its not the NFL, but the players need to learn to be accountable for the inept performances on the field. The coaches can call the right plays, but if the players lack the discipline to read tehre keys then the coaches need to let them know about it ANY way it takes to get it through to them.

Vegas

September 20th, 2010
10:29 am

Vegas has Miss st as a 2 point favorite. Wow. Could the dogs really go 0-3. LOL

GTBob

September 20th, 2010
10:29 am

What more did you expect from the ACC this past weekend? The three worst teams in the ACC played three ranked teams, including Alabama. Were they supposed to win those games? The only two winnable games on your list were NC State and Clemson. NC State did its job and Clemson, a middle of the road ACC team almost beat a highly ranked SEC team. Im starting to think the ACC should just schedule joke teams all the time like the SEC does.

Casey

September 20th, 2010
10:29 am

Murray will be fine? Really? Don’t think so.

Everybody said te same thing about Joe Cox after Georgia lost 2 gmes early on last season.

It wasn’t fine, it was a disaster.

Dawgs73

September 20th, 2010
10:29 am

It’s comical to me that it’s always recruiting, the talent level at UGA, the qb, the water boy, and everybody else’s fault but coaching. If you look at Alabama & Florida, their talent level (as evaluated by the recruiting agencies) is on par to a slight bit better than UGA’s yet they reload and we rebuild…kind of funny when you look at it objectively.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:30 am

How’s it going how2fish?

Summit Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:32 am

Boy! I hate to say this, but Spurrier is right……What happens to the best recruits that go to UGA when they get to campus???? We get them there then the coaches don’t know what to do with them!!

Casey

September 20th, 2010
10:33 am

We ain’t given the o-line the ball enough to know if they can win a game for us or not.

like to see us try the run for a change. stop passing the pigskin so much with a rs freshman qaurterback. not working out.

let’s get back to smashmouth, and let the o-line do what they like to do best, run the stupid ball.

Corninmypooh

September 20th, 2010
10:34 am

Casey you are wrong about Murray. His completion percentage is solid and he’s making good decisions. Bobo needs to put him in the shotgun more, so he can see the field better and release the ball sooner. It doesn’t help Murray to have AJ on the sidelines and a lousy running game behind you.

Mobile Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:34 am

Ok pooh. I’m willing to give CTG and company a little time. But, when and if your team is built around one player, even QB, you have problems. Would you agree? Our line is outmanned because they aren’t as physical, or as well coached as their adversary. They are also handicapped by play calling. Sometimes all your receivers are covered down field and you need a safety valve to dump it off to. I probably missed it but I didn’t see a single swing, or dump type pass Saturday.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 20th, 2010
10:34 am

Recruiting breaks down to this:

1) We are not correctly evaluating prospects at the high school level

or

2) The players upon arrival are not being coached up

Reality

September 20th, 2010
10:36 am

Why does everyone think Richt is some offensive genius? Our offense was mediocre during most of his 5 1/2 seasons calling the plays. The defense won us most of those ballgames. That ‘03 defense was one of the nastiest I’ve ever seen. We went 11-3 but with an average defense, we probably go 8-5.

Wake up people…Richt still has his hands in everything the offense does. It’s still his friggin’ offense. Bobo just calls the plays (granted, I don’t think he’s very good at it).

DG

September 20th, 2010
10:37 am

Tru Blu you are so funny I am crying. Please! Please keep posting. You are obviously a guy who is at all the practices, in the huddle and at coaches meetings. You are a tru insider. Hey! Let’s put in a more experienced QB, like Mason or Gray who was an elite 11 QB. hahahahahaha.

Mobile Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:37 am

Lowcountry, we will agree to disagree. I say run some extra stadium steps before church Sunday morning, and after practice, begin the game on the bench next week. So on until you get someone’s attention.

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
10:38 am

ga gator OK considering we are 0-2 in the SEC and “fans” are jumping off the bandwagon by the boat load.By the way you were 100% correct about Murray he is the real deal. we aren’t as bad as our record indicates but not as good as we need to me..the O-line to me is the biggest concern right now..I knew the new D and QB would have issues early on but they show improvement to me..not the O-line. And you how did you see the UT game ?

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:39 am

DG he must be making those comments because he really is Tru Blu instead of Tru Red.

V

September 20th, 2010
10:39 am

Enter your comments here

Abnerish

September 20th, 2010
10:39 am

Agreed GT Fan. If we lose in Starkville then Richt could lose control of this thing VERY fast. Go to Starkville, get the job done. Get back on the winning track and start to get some POSITIVE momentum. The season is very long and based on what I’ve seen, I’m not convinced there will be a 1 loss team in the SEC East. What I want to see is improvement, week over week. I think we saw some of that this week, especially in the 4th qtr.

joe

September 20th, 2010
10:40 am

LOL! All these retarded idiots blaming Aaron Murray for our losses, and suggesting we should play Huston Mason are beyond stupid. I’ve never seen such idiocy in my life. Hutson Mason is not ready to play, and he’s nowhere near the talent Murray is. Are you fools even watching the games. So Hutson Mason threw a TD against ULL. Who cares? My 16 year old niece could throw a TD against them. Hell, Aaron Murray and Blair Walsh are the only positives to this team.

We have a joke of an offensive line. We have a retarded offensive coordinator who is a pedestrian and predictable play caller. We have a defense that is not performing, and that’s putting it mildly. Aaron Murray deserves absolutely none of the blame for the two losses.

E-VOL

September 20th, 2010
10:40 am

The vols will beat Georgia—book it! Dooley’s got this team on the rise. Except for some lucky plays by florida and bad calls by the refs, UT would have beaten florida pretty easy. UT 30 Ga 21

Pete

September 20th, 2010
10:41 am

UGA strength and conditioning program is the worst in the SEC and I dare say may be the worst in the country.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
10:41 am

more about the polls.

How is Clemson unranked, and Oregon State is in the top 25?

I’ve watched both play, and would take Clemson every time. I’m a Mike Riley fan, but don’t think his team could stay on the field with Swinney’s. Plus Clemson has won twice as many games as OState

Ted Striker

September 20th, 2010
10:41 am

Murray has impressed me. The 2 losses are not on him.

RxDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:42 am

“GT Fan … classy post and good points.”

I concur. Although I wouldn’t state we will be 6-2 going into the Florida game. It’s possible, but it definitely isn’t certain.