Three observations on Georgia’s win over Buffalo

Todd Gurley was one of the few brights spots in Georgia's win. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Todd Gurley was one of the few brights spots in Georgia's win. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

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

144 comments Add your comment

ylojkt

September 1st, 2012
5:02 pm

first
Dwags looked ugly

Dawgie Discipline

September 1st, 2012
5:03 pm

DEFENSE STUNK

53 arrests in four years

September 1st, 2012
5:15 pm

583 drunk leghumper fans were arrested by the State Patrol for DUI while weaving their way home to mobile home parks all over the state.

That doesn’t include the 318 who were arrested for illegal drugs and weapons charges.

:-)

buffalo billl

September 1st, 2012
5:17 pm

Only a 21 pt win over BUFFALO????????? And ranked in top ten???? U got to be kidding! Once again vastly overrated

rm

September 1st, 2012
5:17 pm

Stop freakin out people, it’s only the first game. They obviously have a lot to work on but they will get it going.

Cobb Dawg

September 1st, 2012
5:19 pm

If I were a Missouri fan, I’d be getting pretty excited right about now.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

September 1st, 2012
5:20 pm

5150 UOAD really represented Tech’s fanbase well, didn’t he? Looking forward to the game on November 17.

Vain Jangling

September 1st, 2012
5:21 pm

SUNY at Buffalo had a football team? The Dawgs were shocked, SHOCKED to learn. The ghost of Larry Munson is downing shots of absinthe and laudanum. Or, to sum it up in one word: lackadasical.

cooterdawg

September 1st, 2012
5:21 pm

Well we did not look all that great but a win is a win. I saw some good looking plays out of our running backs. Murray needs to get his head in the game and we are going to be ok. D if going to be ok lots of guys out. Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Limeydawg

September 1st, 2012
5:21 pm

Wow, way to fan the flames early, Jeff. Get the Dawg nation all riled up over the first game of the year. When was the last time the Dawgs had an opener when they fired on all cylinders?….One thing is always guaranteed about Mark Richt’s Dawgs, and that is that they typically underwhelm while finding a way to win. The defense will be fine (I’m still stunned at the contention that five missing starters don’t make a difference). Aaron will get past the shakiness. Todd Gurley….well, let the highlight reel speak for itself.
Lighten up, Jeff. It’s a long season.

Steve

September 1st, 2012
5:22 pm

Didn’t know GA Tech still had a football team.

hop

September 1st, 2012
5:24 pm

Murray continues to struggle and my fear is he will be back next year!

Dawgs were not focus today and the o/line is not very good!

this team is not a top ten team and will not win the SEC east!

Steve

September 1st, 2012
5:24 pm

Some UGA fans, and almost all UGA haters crack me up. UGA is sloppy in the 1st half but wins, and they get bashed. However if UGA had won 55-0, it would be “well duh, look who they played!” Can’t win either way. Make comments good or bad after next Saturday night.

Bama14

September 1st, 2012
5:24 pm

Offense looked pretty good, especially those freshman backs. Defense needs to clean it up, though. If Buffalo hit’em up like that, imagine what LSU or Arkansas will do. Oh, wait, you’re not playing them. My bad….

joe jenkins

September 1st, 2012
5:26 pm

limey why you so slimey….dawgs will go 7-5…..we are the most overated team in the nation….i love my dawgs…but i have had enough of richt …bobo and grantham

LagDawg

September 1st, 2012
5:26 pm

The usual very unprepared team. the only bright spot was Todd Gurley. He should be the starting RB hands down. The secondary is very suspect and Brandon Smith needs to be on the bench. To win the SEC, UGA will have to play a whole lot better than this. Tenn looked like a championship team and UGA looked like it was trying to find its way again. This continues to happen every season and it is time to put this to rest. We will see how each game goes but, it is time to bring someone in that can get this team to the level that they are supposed to be at. They look horrible and there is no excuse for it.

Steve

September 1st, 2012
5:26 pm

SC barely beat Vandy and UF is only up by 7 at halftime over Bowling Green so I guess one of them will win the SEC East huh “hop?” Moron.

cooterdawg

September 1st, 2012
5:27 pm

Bama14 we will be playing LSU or Arkansas in Atlanta but not uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

C-Dawg

September 1st, 2012
5:27 pm

yes bama 14… the NCAA let us make oue own schedule… lucky us… weee

Steve

September 1st, 2012
5:27 pm

Bama14, UGA has no control over who they play in the SEC. Try learning college football.

C-Dawg

September 1st, 2012
5:28 pm

go break the news that to your family that an A and an elephant will consume their remaining years while the rest of us enjoy that thing called living.

Monroe's First Reccoat

September 1st, 2012
5:28 pm

Wanted: Killer Instinct. Apply to HC mark Richt, Athens, Georgia. Immediate opening.

Return to Glory

September 1st, 2012
5:28 pm

Improve or fall flat, get the crap fixed before next Saturday of we will get spanked.

MariettaDawg

September 1st, 2012
5:30 pm

Our defense is going to have to step it up a notch (or three) to compete in upcoming SEC games.

Dallas Texan

September 1st, 2012
5:31 pm

This was a 22 point win over a team that won only three games last year. There are probably some high school teams in Texas that could beat Buffalo. This is surely can’t be the 6th rated team in the country. If you believe this is a top ten team then I want to sell you a magic rock I have for $10,000

SOUTHGADAWGG88

September 1st, 2012
5:32 pm

Good scrimmage,what are the updates on injuries?

C-Dawg

September 1st, 2012
5:32 pm

And we now are all convinced that Dallas Texan should be working for ESPN rather selling rocks over the internet… my oh my

John Holmes

September 1st, 2012
5:33 pm

Football is a game of inches!

David Granger

September 1st, 2012
5:35 pm

Three more points, Jeff, if I may?

1. Not only is Gurley the real deal, but it looks like Keith Marhsall is, too. Gurley fits our offense better, because he’s a power runner…and despite all the talk about how Georgia was going to work on strength for this season, the O-line did not look dominating.

2. Georgia continues to get hurt when we blitz. Buffalo picked up a couple of key first downs that kept drives alive when they caught our defense coming. This has been true for several years now, and I don’t know why. Maybe we blitz too wide, and leave the middle open…or maybe we telegraph it too much and the opposing QB hits the safety valve receiver out of the backfield. But we blitz WAY too much, especially when you weigh what we get out of it against what it costs us. We would be better off if we NEVER blitz on third and long.

3. And the old adage is proven yet again: When UGA is favored by 30 or more, bet against ‘em and take the points.

SOUTHGADAWGG88

September 1st, 2012
5:36 pm

The Gators are up 14-7 at the half over Bowling Green..Iowa is losing to Northern Iowa..let’s see the rest of the games before yapping about who’s good and who’s not.

Just a thought

September 1st, 2012
5:37 pm

Maybe it was a good thing we didn’t blow them out and then get big heads going into Columbia next week, at least now we know we have A LOT to work on before Mizzou! Also, it is just game one, Florida isn’t impressing at the moment but UT looked like a threat, going to be an interesting year in the east I think

phillip

September 1st, 2012
5:38 pm

Three Observations:
1. O – Line: New starters, new group, need experience to jell OR just not bery good
2. D – Line: Uninspired or played basic fronts with no big plays
3. D – Secondary: Inexperienced or lack of depth means players aren’t fresh.

It looked to me like we were playing to get through the game. No inspiration, nothing too special, except Wooten’s pass. Hope Theus isn’t down and out – ghost of Sturdivant.

dawgfan

September 1st, 2012
5:39 pm

Dallas Texan…..ppuuulllease, there is no high school team in Texas that could beat Buffalo, there is no high school team in the country that could beat them. Stupid statement. Heck no high school team from Texas could beat ANY D1 team. Just like there are no college teams that could beat any NFL teams, it just doesnt work that way.

SatillaDawg

September 1st, 2012
5:40 pm

Go Dawgs!

No need to worry. Give it to Gurley!

Defense needs some work, Todd.

I can live with it, CMR, but Mizzou ain’t Buffalo.

Glory, Glory to Old Georgia!

joe jenkins

September 1st, 2012
5:41 pm

looks like malon brown will finish out his career as a overated often injured 5 star bust…mitchell although a great player…looks like he is injury proned as well

Poopdawg

September 1st, 2012
5:41 pm

Anybody got an update on Theus?

Jerry Mathers as the Beaver

September 1st, 2012
5:41 pm

Good Grief another Mark Richt team that looks woefully unpreared and uninspired. It looks like I’m about to waste a lot of money on gas, motel,restaurant meals and especially tickets to drive to Missouri next week.

Dallas Texan

September 1st, 2012
5:42 pm

I also have a magic pencil box. $5,000 – real cheap

phillip

September 1st, 2012
5:42 pm

By the way, I don’t care who’s behind or not impressing in other games. It’s no excuse for our play or lack of play, and no real comparision. Dawgs seem to play up or down to competition, never cover (or rarely cover big spreads) and that is the Richt era. Richt’s tenure is a lot like Dooley’s, he just has 12+ games where Dooley has 10+ and, later in career, 11+. We can only hope that Gurley is his Hershel.

b/t/w – Gurley reminds me of Tim Worley. We could do a lot worse than that.

Dr J

September 1st, 2012
5:43 pm

Who cares how we won the game? We WON! Florida is struggling with Bowling Green right now. SC barely beat Vandy, etc. It’s the FIRST GAME. Give the guys a break. They played much better on defense in the 2nd half and our running game is going to be really good. Murray needs to hit more passes but at least he didn’t fumble, and he didn’t turn the ball over at all. We have some improving to do, but we’ll get those things cleaned up and we’ll beat Missouri next week!

Concerned

September 1st, 2012
5:44 pm

Spot on for these three assesments.

Please add to this that in the middle of the field our MLB was virtually no where to be found. Mike Gillard # 35 had a very poor game, and either they teach him to react quicker or there will need to be a re-evaluation of the personnel for this position.

Penn

September 1st, 2012
5:44 pm

Agree. Gurley was great. Defense, esp red zone defense, gave up 24 in red zone on 4 trips. Murray, he had a few long passes, and the rest was a bad day. But no int’s. Hutson Mason would have done better than Murray against the Buffalo Bisons today, no doubt. I think Murray was at 46% accuracy at halftime. He missed T King on 2 td’s. And threw too wide for Bennett on another td. Guy just isn’t accurate.

Mcdawg

September 1st, 2012
5:45 pm

Murray was terriblle, gillard was awful, John jenkins soft, secondary dissary. Barfing the kool aid

Mcdawg

September 1st, 2012
5:45 pm

Murray was terriblle, gillard was awful, John jenkins soft, secondary dissary. Barfing the kool aid

Dr J

September 1st, 2012
5:46 pm

The Bowling Green vs. Florida game is 14-14. Wow. In the 3rd.

ocala troll

September 1st, 2012
5:46 pm

missouri 31, dawgs 23

joe jenkins

September 1st, 2012
5:46 pm

hey just a thought….next time keep your thoughts to yourself…..the dawgs did have the talent to pitch a shut out…but the team wasn’t ready for the fight buffalo brought today…and that falls on richt

SCDAWG

September 1st, 2012
5:47 pm

Mitchell should be back fo saturday. I have a feeling O-Tree will be playing as well. BGSU is tied with the Gaytors. Remember we usually start of slow in the first game. BU scored only once in the second half.

college is forever

September 1st, 2012
5:49 pm

If Gurley is not the featured back from here on out Bobo should be fired. (Hell, he should have been fired five years ago but that’s beside the point.)

schultz for brains

September 1st, 2012
5:49 pm

u think franklin is lick’n his lips or what? He will run for 250 against that slow and gassed defense.