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

Mobile Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:42 am

Lowcountry, I agree, players aren’t being coached up. Have you ever noticed that when people start a job, or join a group, or whatever, they seem to take on the traits of the environment they are placed in. A.K.A. the comments, what happens to all these top ten recruiting classes when they go to Athens. Does anyone notice the pattern here?

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:42 am

how2fish, I actually saw some positives on Offense unlike many Gators do. I think Brantley really looked in control for the first time. The D line totally dominated the Vol O-line. We are still young (playing more true freshmen than anyone in SEC), so we will continue to improve. What has me more concerned is the lack of shots taken down field. Brantley has a canon and I only saw 1 bad throw that he made. I just hope we can play Bama tough, which I think we will because of Urban’s off season program that they go through. Bama is just too tough though. They remind me of an NFL team.

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
10:44 am

Vegas your an idiot we were 2.5 point underdogs to SC because we were the visitors, ARK at no.12 in the nation was 3 point underdogs because they were the visitors. And now we are 2 point underdogs to Miss St as we are again the visitors…news flash in the SEC when 2 teams are pretty equal Vegas gives the home team 2-3 points..so what they are saying is that to them UGA has been well matched in each of those games..as they are this week.

Corninmypooh

September 20th, 2010
10:45 am

Mobile Dawg – I agree with everything you said. However, I don’t think our offense is built around one player. We have multiple weapons, but for some unknown reason we’re not using them to our advantage. We’re not using Orson Charles enough, we’re not using Marlon Brown enough, we’re not using our RB’s out of the backfield enough. In short, our offense is not functioning properly.

I think Grantham is doing an excellent job of making adjustments. We just do not have the skilled players yet to do what he wants to do. I am however mystified by the DL rotation. Kwame Geathers is playing very well. Garner seems to have completely given up on Bean Anderson, which is troubling. As good as Tyson is, he’s way undersized to clog up the middle. Opposing teams are controlling our DL with relative ease. This area needs fixing.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:45 am

E-VOL you are on drugs. Except for 2 blown coverages by our safeties, you got your asses handed to you. How many yards did the former SEC leading rusher get?

Ace

September 20th, 2010
10:45 am

UGA, a program in decline. Haven’t looked good in 3 years.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:46 am

How2, I for one believe that if the game would’ve gone to OT that UGA would have prevailed. They didn’t quit when the fans started leaving and that is important.

Abnerish

September 20th, 2010
10:47 am

I can’t wait to get Caleb King back. We all know that he would’ve been in there on those 3rd down whiffs instead of Washaun, and the coaches have said that Caleb is the better blocker of the two. Now that Ealey can see what his poor blocking can mean to the team’s success, maybe he’ll take it a little more seriously and improve at it. Plus, why is the OL getting blamed for the 3 sacks, when 2 were a direct result of Ealey not picking up the blitzing defender and the other was on Murray for holding the ball too long? I thought the OL did a pretty good job of opening holes for Ealey and Thomas and their ypc proves that out. Frankly, I wish we would’ve committed to the run on the final drive because I thought we had their defense worn down.

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
10:47 am

E-VOL,
On the rise? How soon we forget the Oregon game. Lucky plays and bad calls by the refs? Can you provide some examples?

modawg

September 20th, 2010
10:47 am

I won’t blame the O line as long as the play calling sucks. Everyone in the Stadium knew the dawgs were going to try to run up the middle. Can’t tell me they don’t have plays to take advantage of the defense loading up the middle. My worry is Murray’s passes being off target. He’s got to be more accurate. BoBo needs to be thinking at least one play ahead. Looks like he is lost and just has them run up the middle until he can catch up and send in another play.

how2fish

September 20th, 2010
10:48 am

ga gator Bama for sure looks great so far..some of the Bama fans seem to think they are a little soft in the secondary..I don’t see it but if they are they will know this week Mallet is a stud and he has a cannon of a arm. I didn’t see much of your game but the Vols were holding their own the parts I did see but were clearly over matched.

joe

September 20th, 2010
10:48 am

“Butler, Boykin, Smith, King, Ealey, Charles, O-Line, all looked like ALL-Stars under Joe Cox’s leadership. They look terrible under Aaron Murray’s leadership. The team has had 9 arrests since murray took over as leader off-the-field. Where’s the respect for Aaron Murray’s leadership?”

LOL! You are beyond retarded. What the hell does Aaron Murray have to do with how a punter and two defense players perform? What does leadership have to do with how any player performs. That is up to the player himself.

Here are the facts dumb@ss. Our offensive line sucks. Plain and simple. They are just a bunch of fat weaklings.Our offensive coordinator sucks even worse. A 10 year old could figure him out. None of our receivers outside of Green can get open either.

TazzDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:48 am

Nick – You have no clue what you’re talking bout! I can’t remember when I have ever heard more mindless drivel from one person.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:48 am

Let’s let him go back to his bed East. He is halucinating.

RxDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:48 am

3rdn8, it’s probably because Clemson isn’t playing Boise St soon and thus the TV folks won’t get another national top 25 matcup to play.

I am not going to be the head coach at Alabama. I am the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

September 20th, 2010
10:48 am

Agree with Tony on all points. Even our victory in week one, I wasn’t thrilled with our O-Line. We should have run for 300 yards vs Ark and SC. I am not able to lay blame on coaching, preperation, execution or what. We have talented backs with an experienced line, yet we can’t run the ball.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 20th, 2010
10:49 am

Yeah the issue at hand is that it doesn’t seem to be, well if we fix this one issue things may get better. The program seems to have issues at multiple levels. By firing CWM it bought CMR time with the faithful, but as a whole the program still does not seem to have alot of things going for it.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
10:49 am

No….

I’m a little soft in the secondary….Bama’s secondary is a little confused.

Herschel

September 20th, 2010
10:50 am

You guys are idiots. Murry is a RS freshman. He is gonna be the real deal. Bobo’s play calling makes everyone look bad and the O line looks terrible.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:50 am

How2, Dooley can coach and had them well prepared and we continued our usual first quarter funk. If we don’t get that taken care of, we will get beat by somebody other than just Bama. I blame it on the play calling.

joe

September 20th, 2010
10:51 am

“My worry is Murray’s passes being off target.”

modawg, you do realize Murray is completing 62% of his passes, in spite of numerous dropped passes. So a few of his passes were off target. That can be said about every QB.

Dawg H8R

September 20th, 2010
10:51 am

I thought the offensive line was the strong suit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the best in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought Murray was “green”!!!!!! How can you be happy with an inexperienced QB that ain’t good in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!! If he were as good as you guys advertised he would’ve starting last year!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike “Redneck assed” Bobo, whose a part of this family, should be a FEED& SEED salesman.
But you guys fire MARTINEZ, who must not be Christian/Redneck enough!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark “The Last Crusade” Richt is a product of talent!!!!!! And criminals (Free Shoes University Criminoles)!!!!!!!!! If your offenses looked Sh!tty with David Greene and Knoshown (girls name) Moreno
then WHY FIRE MARTINEZ!!!!!!!! Now you guys want to add another redneck in Kirby Smart!!!!!!

Why don’t you guys in the south do something different, THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A football coach doesn’t have to be a Christian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He doesn’t have to attend The Masters or a Nascar event to be an effective coach AND good man!!!!!!!!

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
10:51 am

@ RXDawg

I hate to think the AP poll is influenced by future TV ratings, but think you’re on to something.

Just like the amazing USU-Michigan showdown we had to endure (for the entire season) a few years back.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
10:52 am

make that OSU-Michigan

RxDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:52 am

Corninmypooh, Justin Anderson is out due to injury. Turf Toe reaggrivated I believe.

Mobile Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:52 am

Corn, I agree 100% with your comments. Exactly, we’re not a one dimensional offensive team, but everyone is making the case that things would be different if Green were there. Well of course they probably would, but news flash, he’s not. We all know why we’re not a good offensive team. They are never allowed to get into sync.

Tyson is undersized for the position he’s in, that led to the injury he sustained, trying to stand up to and stop the push up the middle. Question from me is what will be done? Will CMR straighten out the mess he’s created? Will CTG get the chance to recruit the players he needs? If there is a change in HC’s the whole bunch will probably go. If CMR doesn’t act, I believe that to be a possibility.

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
10:52 am

ga gator,
I agree about the playcalling. At least we only took a quarter to figure it out this week. Maybe we can get it down to a series or two before the season is over.

30 years and counting

September 20th, 2010
10:52 am

Anyone remember how all of these dog fans were crowing about how “3rd or 4th choice” Grantham was the dc they wanted all along? Whatever happened to those guys?

oklahomadawg

September 20th, 2010
10:52 am

Dont blame the young QB for the sacks ( or the O-line ). A lot of the blame has to go on the play calls. Where the hell is the safety valve, Maybe have the TE release 5 yds over the middle. Or a bubble screen or drag the flanker in front of the LB’s …You cant send all the receivers 20plus yds down field and not have a safety valve to flip it to (esp on 3rd and 4 at the end of the game).

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:53 am

Dawg H8R, when was the last time someone out of the south won the NC. STFU.

Einsteindawg

September 20th, 2010
10:53 am

Nice article Tony. Maybe UGA’s problem is that our coaches are trying to run a “too complicated” offense/defense/special teams. Unless we extend scholarships only to Wesleyan High players, maybe it’s time to simplify things. I don’t see anything complicated about Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State programs…they just execute better.

RxDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:53 am

3rdn8, I’ve noticed it before. Especialy when it’s early in the season.

Corninmypooh

September 20th, 2010
10:53 am

For those people who think Richt is not intense enough… check out the replay of CMR bringing the entire team together to start the 4th Qtr. He was in their face and the team responded by shutting down Mallet and scoring two TD’s in the final Qtr. I’m not worried about the D as much as I am about the offensive play calling. Bobo’s 3rd and 4 call killed us. There’s NO excuse for not having someone available underneath. There’s NO execuse for not having a receiver running a short route.

PapaDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:55 am

Man was I wrong. I thought going into the season that our running game would be strong, QB and Defense a question mark. Our backs need to man up and find the holes. It’s not always the oline fault

observer

September 20th, 2010
10:55 am

OK, according to uga fans, they have lost two games to “inferior teams” because (take your pick)1)the coaches are no good, 2)the QB is no good, 3)the offensive line is no good, 4)the DB’s are out of position,5)the RB can’t block. I would say 1)they didn’t lose to inferior teams. They lost to teams that were better than them, and 2)uga fans always overrate their coaches, their “talent”, and their team. If you were more realistic about what you have instead of paying too much attention to recruiting rankings maybe you wouldn’t be so surprised you lost to two teams who are simply better. After all, other than uga fans, no one else had any high opinion of this team. That’s why both SC and ARK were higher ranked teams, and uga is ranked nowhere.

SonofaDawg

September 20th, 2010
10:56 am

Too many excuses! Itis painfully obvious Bozo has no plays, Richt is too soft, the defense is learning a defensive scheme. I don’t care about not having Green. UGA should be 3-0 with or without him. We all looked at the same game and both losses were the result of bad offensive play calling!

BULLDAWG BILL

September 20th, 2010
10:56 am

Bobo’s play selection is very poor and predictable. He is the weakest link in the coaching staff with Searles following closely behind. Bobo has not had a well rounded coaching education having spent all his time at UGA under Richt. He was a pretty good QB, but he needs a more varied education he could get by working for other teams with a good OC or HC that will teach him things in addition to what he has learned at UGA. Searles is a real question mark for me. He was an outstanding player, was coached by outstanding coaches, and worked as a coach for a team that demanded great O. line performance. His line at UGA has NEVER been dominating. They have had some success at pass blocking, but can’t open the big hole for the RB’s when they need it. The O line is big enough, but don’t seem strong enough. Or is it technique? No matter, it isn’t getting the job done and Searles is the man responsible for the line and the running game.

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
10:57 am

pooh,
I still disagree with you guys. It’s the o-line and the D. 380 yards, 3 TD’s and no picks will get you beat almost anywhere. On the play you are talking about, didn’t UGA send out just 3 receivers? That would leave 7 blockers and they did not get the job done.

Corninmypooh

September 20th, 2010
10:57 am

30 years and counting -

I still believe Grantham was the correct hire and I’m just as enthusiastic today as I was in August. I think he’s an outstanding coach and just needs the type of players that fit his scheme. He’s still working with Willie’s boys and adjusting to the type of offensive schemes run in our conference. Our D will improve before the year is through. Look at Al Groh’s defense, talk about your proverbial cup cake. Now that was a BAD hire.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
10:57 am

First off I would like to thank Coach Richt, Coach Bobo, Coach Searles and Coach Grantham this morning. My season anxiety disorder has been in full remission since Saturday afternoon. Typically it takes until mid to late October if that early. But after Saturday I have it no more. No matter how the season goes from here I have no worries. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

That said, it appears that UT, KY and Vandy will be tough games this year. Miss State I don’t know. Florida will kill us again. Idaho State looks like a breather. GT will rush for 500 yards and beat us by 30.

What is with the TV shots of AJ on the sideline. That’s just wrong. IF he isn’t playing why show the kid. HE isn’t part of the team right now and won’t be for another week. We didn’t lose because we didn’t have AJ. Durham has more than picked up that slack and should be the #1 WR on this team for the year.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
10:58 am

PapaDawg you are 100% correct. I sit up in the second level in the East End Zone and often times I noticed that it would be open to the outside, but the runningbacks would continue to stay towards the middle. Don’t know if they are coached to do that or are uncomfortable about taking it outside.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
10:58 am

I hate to be critical of coaches calling plays. I don’t have enough information (player fatigue, injuries, etc…) to make an informed critique. But….I was really surprised at the UGA play selection….especially in the 4th qtr. There were no checkdown receivers for the QB to hit. It was either “World Champion, or stuff on a rock” type of routes.

Mobile Dawg

September 20th, 2010
10:59 am

Corn, I liked what I saw as far as the fourth quarter gathering goes. But I still have to ask, why it’s necessary. The problems IMO, go to the core of the program, the culture that’s been established in Athens. The team responded, then was let down by poor strategy, play calling, after they did their job. How deflating do you think that was, at that time?

Curious

September 20th, 2010
10:59 am

What is the line on the Miss St game?

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:00 am

Curious, MS State by 2.

PapaDawg

September 20th, 2010
11:00 am

Ga Gator difference is between good back and our backs. I just don’t think our backs are SEC quality

oklahomadawg

September 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Its time for Coach Bozo to go….NOW

We score against SC on our 1st possession in the first and 2nd half, thats all, 6 pts.

We score our only TD (until late forth qtr )on our 1st possession in the first half

Are’nt those plays scripted most of the time ( before the game w/ all the off coaches ).

My piont is Coach BOZO isnt/cant/capable of making adjustments during the game

SonofaDawg

September 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Einstein, how is running a basic I-formation complicated? Once again, too many excuses! Defense is one thing because of new scheme and DC but the offense? 5 plays

1) toss sweep right or left
2) run up the middle
3) WR screen
4) play action pass
5)run off tackle

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Gdawg,

New drinking game-

Everytime AJ Green has his name called you take a shot. Now the question is, how long can you maintain sobriety? I think his name was mentioned 50 times during the telecast.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Papa, they are at least as good as ours, but Demps and Gillisee quickly cut it outside once they get to the LB’s.