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

Spelling Bee

September 20th, 2010
11:21 am

“Best post I’ve read in deacades.”

It would be nice if you had spent some of those decades learning to spell.

You’re a dawgtard, right?

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
11:23 am

yeah….it’s hard to feel too sorry for someone with $20 mil in the bank, but for some perverse reason, I do.

Edgar

September 20th, 2010
11:23 am

Casey–

Wish I could write poetry like your post. Jus thad a rhythm to it, how do you do it, remarkably gifted.

You Name Me....

September 20th, 2010
11:23 am

Your Right…. UGA O Line are a bunch of Sissys….. I mean Sissys…… They have been herald Great for 3 years and have yet to perform….

Bobo… or Booboo should be at Valdosta High School calling plays…………….

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
11:24 am

gdawginkalamazoo,
UF’s receivers are struggling to get free, too. Against SC, you guys played against two of the best cover corners in the country. Not so sure about Arkansas and La-La was not a great gauge for anyone.

Rush

September 20th, 2010
11:25 am

Casey:

In a world full of bloviators, your post stands out as perhaps the greatest blog post in sports history. I also loved it.

Just super duper.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:26 am

Other than Bama, everyone else will have at least two losses this year, so it aint over for UGA yet.

Beast from the East

September 20th, 2010
11:26 am

The blog’s been hijacked. You guys have a great day. I’m out.

Baron

September 20th, 2010
11:28 am

I liked what Casey wrote, the guy’s some kind of sports genius. I’ve never read anything that touched me on so many levels. It was just a phenomenal experience, reading that post, and I’ll always remember this moment. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank for so so much Casey for that moment.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
11:30 am

No matter how bad a weekend you had (sticking purely with football), it must have been a piece of cake compared to Houston’s football coach. He loses a Heisman caliber QB for the year (ACL), and then the backup QB (collar bone).

Life ain’t fair.

Gary

September 20th, 2010
11:30 am

This one is on Bobo. I thought we could beat this defense but they had our receivers covered. Offense still does not look prepared. It is only going to get worse. I say ARK is overrated and will loose 3 or 4 games before the year is done. Georgia on the other hand looks worse than I thought. I am not sure we can beat anybody in the SEC except Old Miss and we do not play them this year. They will have to play a lot better to beat Tenn, Florida, & Auburn. If Vandy of Kty show up ready to play we will struggle. Not sure about Miss St. Have not seen them play this year. Not sure about Tech either, still think they have a weak schedule but that damn rivalry game erases some of that. I still say we will loose to Colorado. Quarter back scrambles is not good offense. To many broken plays…

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
11:31 am

The saying that nice guys finish LAST, we are about to see it @ UGA
i have been saying for 5yrs Richt is a nice guy but he has to go
the dawgs have not beat a more talented or equally talented team in
5yrs, we have not sniffed a MNC during his watch, all the good
coaches no matter how you feel about the other coaches they have
won it all the first 3yrs of coaching in the SEC (we all know who
we are taking about) Richt has not done that, and don’t say we finished #2 that’s not winning it all HELL WE DID NOT EVEN WIN OUR CONFERENCE
THAT YEAR EITHER, what has CMR won since Donnan’s players have left?
ZERO. We should settle for being laught at by the other PROGRAMS IN
THE SEC? NO WE ARE GEORGIA BUT STARTING TO LOOK LIKE VANDERBILT, WHY?
RICHT NEEDS TO GO AND TAKE BOZO WITH HIM, GO GET THE BOISE STATE BALL
COACH AND PUT GEORGIA BACK WHERE WE BLONG, IN THE TOP TIER OF SEC
FOOTBALL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL PEROID!!!! WE SHOULD NOT SETTLE FOR
LESS, I FOR ONE WILL NOT SPEND ANOTHER DIME OF MY HARD EARNED MONEY
ON GEORGIA FOOTBALL UNTIL A PRODUCT BETTER THAN THIS IS PUT ON THE
FIELD!!!SCHLEBROCKED AGAIN BY COACH MARK RICHT!!! WOWSEY WOWSEY WOO
WOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hello

September 20th, 2010
11:33 am

The sad thing is UT could very well beat UGA…..they wont ever be good under Dooley.

King Gator

September 20th, 2010
11:33 am

F-UGA-LY DAWGS!! Will CMR and the staff all wear red panties to fire up the team and fan base? “RED OUT” or maybe more dancing and td celebrating? fuuuuuggggaaaalllllyyyyy!! Go Gators!

Jorge'

September 20th, 2010
11:33 am

Casey, thank you for provding a minute of clarity. In just 10 words, you put the whole matter as it really is. QB’s get the glory & the blame. if their team wins, they get the credit, and if their team loses, they step up and accept the blame. To do otherwise, is to abandon any modicum of leadfership sensibility. The buck falls where it stands. Murray, the 0-2 start falls squarely on his shoulders. What the team leaders decide to do next will determine if Georgia goes 1-11 or 10-2.

shankit

September 20th, 2010
11:36 am

You delusional fans are detrimental to the
recruiting process. Who would want to
come and play under a bunch of fans that
are ready to throw their freshman recruit
to the wolves?

Paul in RDU

September 20th, 2010
11:38 am

Pretty wild change in the spread on UGA-MSU.
It opened at UGA -3.0 and quickly moved to MSU -1.0

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:38 am

Show some class King. I would hate to lose and have jack asses have to eat some crow.

Old School

September 20th, 2010
11:39 am

If LSU had a half decent QB they would be a top 5 team.

G8R GRAD

September 20th, 2010
11:39 am

Good points all, TB.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:40 am

Paul, depending on which odds maker, it is still -3 to -1 in favor of State.

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
11:41 am

jorge’ are you kiddin me 10-2 i say we go 5-6 qiut blaming
murray, ALABAMA WON IT ALL WITH A FRESHMAN QB LAST YEAR, HE
WAS PREPARED AND HE MADE SOME MISTAKES BUT HIS TEAM OVERCAME
THOSE MISTAKES!!GEORGIA IS NOT PREPARED AND WE ARE SOFT, WE
HAVE STUDS THAT ARE NOT PREPARED OR CONDITIONED, LOOK @
CLEMSON & AUBURN GAME STUDS (WELL CONDITIONED & PREPARED)
BOTH TEAMS!!!!!!!!!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 20th, 2010
11:41 am

I have never heard one recruit say he did not go to said school b/c of the fanbases bloggers. Do you realize EVERY university has blogs and that if you are not in the top 5 right now each school has a section of the base that has issues with the respective school?

Preston

September 20th, 2010
11:41 am

Look Casey, even Vegas has lost hope in Aaron Murray, Vegas is picking lowly Miss St to beat Georgia so Georgia will go 0-3.

So true, an excllent team with loads of talent is 0-2, and their QB Aaron Murray is not winning enough games, for whatever reason.

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:41 am

Old School LSU has as good of talent as anyone in the country except at QB. Good post.

King Gator

September 20th, 2010
11:42 am

Good point, but not going to happen ga gator.. the them beating us and eating crow thing that is. Go Gators!

Delbert D.

September 20th, 2010
11:42 am

Rambo is playing very soft under Murray’s leadership; have him huddle with the offense so he can absorb the feeling of urgency. Georgia transformed an unranked team into #12 simply by losing to them. At 1-2, our 33.33% winning percentage projects to 48-96 over the next 12 years. Bobo should forget the play-action stuff and call action-figure plays instead. Hutson Mason passed for a TD on his first play, so he needs to be the starter….Parade All-America, and he threw only 5 interceptions in his last high school game…that means he doesn’t hold onto the ball too long. If we can throw interceptions long enough, we won’t have to worry about Butler’s short punts. Ealey should stop running the dive play on 3rd and 4 play-action…he takes it literally, and the rusher just steps right over him. On passing plays, the O-line should line up backwards and run to form a circle around Murray. Since the tight ends aren’t being used we should be allowed to play 12 guys on defense. Miss. State plays a 2 QB system, and we’ll never figure that out unless we know which one always runs and which one always passes. We should prepare for Colorado by sending AJ Green out to Boulder 3 days a week to get used to the altitude. Mason should go too because the 4th game is where Murray always breaks his leg.

It’s so simple. Why can’t the coaching staff figure this out?

Earl

September 20th, 2010
11:43 am

I liked Casey’s post. It was real good. Made lots of cents to me.

I Forgot to Snap the Ball

September 20th, 2010
11:43 am

Time for CMR to man up and kick some a**!!!

ga gator

September 20th, 2010
11:44 am

I would agree with you about them beating us. But lets show a little class, Like Paterno said about running backs spiking the ball, “Act like you been there before”. We’ve been here for awhile thats all I am sayin. OUT OF HERE!!!

Ex Blogger

September 20th, 2010
11:44 am

This is EXACTLY why I don’t blog much at all. How can you reason with anyone as stupid as Nick who obviously thinks he is right. Gray could not hold Cox’s jock last year much less Murray’s this year. Mason is talented but still has a ton to learn. He would lead the SEC in picks this year. Murray is by far our best chance to win. He lill be a statistical leader in the SEC very soon and he is no threat to leave college early because of his height (or lack thereof).

Nick

September 20th, 2010
7:45 am
Put Logan Gray in, or Hutson Mason, but get Murray off the field. Richt hasn’t started out 0-2 in the SEC in his entire career. Georgia needs a leader at the QB position who can help his teammates play harder and get a W.

Logan Gray was an Elite 11 QB coming out of High School. And Mason set the state of Georgia records for yards and td’s, and took Lassiter further than it had ever gone. It’s not like Murray is the only option.

G8R GRAD

September 20th, 2010
11:45 am

“WE ARE GEORGIA BUT STARTING TO LOOK LIKE VANDERBILT”

Could be worse, you could be Ole Miss!

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
11:45 am

HOW MANY FRESHMAN HAVE EVER PREPARED THEMSELVES FOR A SEC SEASON?
I’M JUST SAYING, ISN’T THAT THE COACHING STAFF’S JOB? JUST SAYIN

Diamond Player

September 20th, 2010
11:45 am

Go big or don’t play. Let Hutson Mason sling it, enough of the Murray chap, don’t need any more games under his realm, we know what he can do, lose, lose lose. Give the keys to Mason, let him see if he can’t drive the Bentley home.

17 of 20

September 20th, 2010
11:45 am

Georgia’s defensives backs remind me of the bullfighters in Spain. They get out of the way fast if the receiver catches the ball.

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
11:46 am

@ TIRED OF BEING NICE

point of correction. Alabama won it all last year with a 4th year junior. True, or RS freshmen QBs need lots of love and understanding. They’re learning the most difficult position in sports.

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
11:47 am

This just in: reports out of Athens are that 5 more players were arrested on Saturday night. Apparently they are all being charged with impersonating 5 star prospects.

PapaDawg

September 20th, 2010
11:48 am

Trash talk all you want but the Dawgs will be back and you talking against them ain’t gonna change nothing. College ball is a cycle. On top this year, not so good next year

Paul in RDU

September 20th, 2010
11:49 am

ga gator – My point on the spread for UGA-MSU is the way the line has moved from UGA being favored to MSU being favored – 4 to 5 points is a big move.

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
11:50 am

PICK YOUR PIOSION BOTH ARE TERRIBLE YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT!!!!!!
JUST SAYIN

Tony Blowhard

September 20th, 2010
11:50 am

Wait wait wait wait wait a frickin minute. The Oline is the problem? How can this be possible? This was all that was talked about the entire off season. THIS oline is the best!! This is what GA has been missing! The injuries killed them the last couple of years, now they’re all healthy and are gonna kick azz!!. Remember boys…THIS IS THE DREAM TEAM RIGHT? Or is that next year(famous and overused last words)

A Big Dog

September 20th, 2010
11:52 am

More Dawg arrests………..TECH JERK

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
11:53 am

PapaDawg, where have you been? When were you on top? Have you been in a coma the last 3 years? Are you saying you are down this year but calling your shot to win it all next year? Go figure- a Georgia fan talking about next year. You guys are unbeatable every offseason. Good grammar, too, “me talking against them ain’t gonna change nothing” but I’m still gonna do it. You know why? Because I hope nothing changes…. And Georgia continues to suck.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 20th, 2010
11:54 am

Delbert D, there you go you have a plan and I say let’s try it. What’s the worst that could happen? Go 0 for in the SEC?

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 20th, 2010
11:54 am

3rdn8 so blame murray not the coaches? that’s why everbody is handing our butts to us? SOUTH CAROLINA, ARKY, NOW MISS ST?

3rdn8

September 20th, 2010
11:54 am

this is starting to sound a lot like the AU-Bama forums. Time for a nap.

A Big Dog

September 20th, 2010
11:55 am

More Dawg arrests….MidTown Pole Smoker

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
11:55 am

Little Dog, that would be Bama jerk.

To Spike

September 20th, 2010
11:55 am

This team has fight. They fought back from a tough deficit. What they don’t have is an effective scheme offensively. When a TB is asked to block a defense end, there is something wrong schematically. Why slide protect on 20 yd deep routes, slide protection is for quick game. Terrible.

More Dawg arrests

September 20th, 2010
11:56 am

Wrong again little Dog. All bark and no bite- how bout them Dawgs? Who are we going to fire this week?