I’ll post my column on Georgia’s less-than-fulfilling 45-23 win over Buffalo soon. Until then, here’s a new feature will be doing after games this season: My three observations on the team’s performance (usually three things that are not the focus of the main game column):
1. Freshman Todd Gurley is the real deal. All of the talk about how great a player looks in practices and scrimmages doesn’t mean anything if he can’t produce in a game. Todd Gurley more than produced. The freshman had a 10-yard touchdown run on Georgia’s first possession, a 100-yard kickoff return later in the first quarter and a 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth. He finished with 100 yards on only eight carries and would’ve gained even more if he hadn’t left the game for a while with cramps. He ran with power, but also showed elusiveness and speed. If there were questions about whether the Bulldogs could replace the talents of Isaiah Crowell, the concerns were eased by the freshman.
2. The Bulldogs’ perceived strength (defense) has some issues. Georgia was missing five starters on defense — one because of injury (cornerback Malcolm Mitchell’s sprained ankle), two because of legal issues (cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser) and two because of reported failed drug tests (safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree). But that doesn’t excuse how soft the Dogs looked at times against Buffalo. The Bulls had touchdown drives of 75, 94 and 75 yards. They rushed for 147 yards in the first half alone (199 in the game). That had little to do with the absences and everything to do with a defensive front that should’ve dominated an inferior opponent.
3. Quarterback Aaron Murray needs to be better. Murray avoided turnovers, but he was off target for much of the game. He finished with 258 yards and three touchdowns, but completed only 15 of 26 attempts and twice overthrew Tavarres King for potential scores. In rare public criticism, even coach Mark Richt said of one of Murray’s overthrows, “You get a guy open on a post like that, you have to hit it.”
That’s all for now. I’ll be back shortly.
– Jeff Schultz