SHORT TAKES: Georgia shows its talent and its ugly side

Todd Gurley takes off for 51-yard TD run, one of his three scores in first half. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Todd Gurley takes off for 51-yard TD run, one of his three first-half scores. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

(I’ll be back with the column off today’s Georgia game soon. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on today’s game against Tennessee.)

1. Hold off on “great defense” declarations: Yes, Georgia has that potential. But on a day when the Bulldogs got two of their better players, safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, back from suspensions, the defense had its worst game of the season. Granted, turnovers led to three Tennessee touchdowns (20 points). But the Dogs gave up far too many big plays, and few would’ve predicted the Volunteers would have 477 yards in offense.

2. Hey Herschel, look at the freshmen! We’ve addressed before that replacing Isaiah Crowell might be a concern. If that concern hadn’t been completely obliterated after the first four games, it certainly was against Tennessee. With former Georgia great Herschel Walker in attendance, Todd Gurley had first-half touchdown runs of 2, 1, and 51 yards (although he dropped a kickoff return out of bounds at the Dogs’ 1 to lead to a Tennessee touchdown). Keith Marshall blasted off for TD runs of 75 and 72 yards, and through three quarters rushed for 167 on nine carries (although he also had a fumble that led to a Vols score). So if Gurley and Marshall can just stop dropping the ball, the running game will be fine.

• 3. There’s a lot of to clean up: The Dogs will walk away with this win and be happy. They’re 3-0 in the SEC for the first time since 2005, which is the last season they won the conference title. But they can’t play sloppy on offense and special teams and loose on defense like they did Saturday and expect to win at South Carolina next week and against Florida in Jacksonville in four weeks. As talented as the Dogs are, there was enough ugliness Saturday to bring everybody back down to earth.

By Jeff Schultz

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245 comments Add your comment

Jon

September 29th, 2012
7:31 pm

Wooot! Go Dogs!

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:32 pm

Jimmy Crack

September 29th, 2012
7:33 pm

At least no injuries that I saw.

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:33 pm

I’ll Take it in a shoot out…. We will SHOW UP next week in Columbia…Bandwagon fans can get off the bus…Don’t spill my MAKERS on your way off!!!

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:33 pm

UGA’s D will play better next week. USC cannot pass like Bray, so you will not see only 6 guys in the box on D. You will see 8 and things will be different. Corners will not be playing 15 yards off the receivers. Safeties will not be 25 yards deep. I didn’t enjoy watching our passive defense. But the coach’s had a reason for doing it.

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:34 pm

UT’s offense scored 24 points on drives of more than 25 yards.

JSS

September 29th, 2012
7:35 pm

They’ll still find a way to get that extra three pages of gibberish before they discover you;’ve post this blog!!! SMDH, D-1 robots!

Mike

September 29th, 2012
7:35 pm

SC not looking so “great” vs. Kentucky. Apparently both are looking ahed to next week.

Can’t blow every one out. That was a great win.

Day Old Fries

September 29th, 2012
7:36 pm

Gators vs Tide 12/1/12 Georgia Dome

The Nature Boy

September 29th, 2012
7:37 pm

i needed the dawgs to cover…..they did not

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:37 pm

With all of the problems we had on D, UGA only gave up 14 points in the 2nd half. Grantham played bend don’t break.

Brando thinks USC can pass like UT. Funny stuff.

Why did the great USC have so much trouble with Vandy?

RG3

September 29th, 2012
7:38 pm

Bobo/Richt’s conservative playcalling almost lost it for them. Those called runs led to stalled drives which kept the defense on the field way to long and tired them out. Add in the TOs and they are very fortunate to escape.

01HAWK

September 29th, 2012
7:38 pm

BAMA vs. SOUTH CAROLINA………………………..SEC TITLE GAME…………….BOOK IT

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:38 pm

No one got hurt, I think and it is all Fixable…. No Worries, Mates….

Mike

September 29th, 2012
7:39 pm

SC can’t throw the ball anywhere near the way Tennessee can. Stop their running game, and we win the ballgame. Easy. SC’s defense is good, but they haven’t seen a RB yet like Gurley OR Marshall. Next week is a complete toss up.

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

UGA was on a roll, up by 17

1) Mitchell doesn’t field a punt and it rolls for 20 yards.
2) Murry fumbles.
3) Gurley misplays a kick off.
4) Theuis misses a block and Marshall fumbles.

If we eliminate those plays, we roll. UGA is a good team. Not sure if we can beat AL or LSU, but we can win the East.

Mike

September 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

It’ll be Georgia in the SEC title game. Gurley and Marshall will make sure of that. Nobody can stop that run game. Georgia vs. SEC West winner. Most likely Alabama.

01HAWK

September 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

TENN would not score but 10-14 points vs. BAMA……………….BAMA will whip that TENN FANNY

Ga Today

September 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

I’ll take it, we got work to do, but a win is a win and next week is make or break. Good game Dawgs, good to see we can shoot it out and bail out the defense because last year they did the same for you. Watch the film, make adjustments, get ready and come out next week and GATA!

Ga Today

September 29th, 2012
7:41 pm

Oh, who won the tech game?

01HAWK

September 29th, 2012
7:42 pm

UGA drops to # 10 in the polls. They can have no more ugly wins.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

September 29th, 2012
7:42 pm

South carolinas qb has been breaking records i do have some concerns.

Jim Jack

September 29th, 2012
7:42 pm

FIRE GRANTHAM!!!!!!

dawg555

September 29th, 2012
7:42 pm

“UGA’s D will play better next week. USC cannot pass like Bray, so you will not see only 6 guys in the box on D. You will see 8 and things will be different. Corners will not be playing 15 yards off the receivers. Safeties will not be 25 yards deep. I didn’t enjoy watching our passive defense. But the coach’s had a reason for doing it.”

Truth teller tells the truth. It will be an entirely different defense next week.

Go Dawgs!

Pj

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

So happy with a win, no matter how we got it. This is the best offense in uga history – look at the stats – it’s true. No turnovers and we can go to sc and win it. We fumble 3 times and we lose.

CHDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

A whole lot to be excited about, folks! We definitely have some things to work on, but sometimes you have games like that. We don’t appear to have any serious injuries, and we played a real tough game. I tried to point out that TN is better than many think! Cut the special teams mistakes, turnovers, and play tougher D. Still, hanging 51 on any SEC team, and especially a TN is an accomplishment. In the end, the D made the big plays, and CMB played it safe again! The D has to play better. Go Dawgs. Great win…ugly, but a great win they can celebrate.

Neutral

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Fire Bobo, Dooley and bench Marshall and Gurley. Now I feel like one of those stupid bloggers!!!

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

@RG3 “Bobo/Richt’s conservative playcalling almost lost it for them. ”

About 600 yards of offense and 51 points, all from the offense and you want to criticize the play calling. Idiot.

oldfart

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

It’s a W with no style points. At least they won’t go into the SC game with a big head. I would suggest to Coach Grantham that they desist with the dancing after a routine tackle in the 1st Quarter. They will need that energy in the 4th.

Mike

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Middle Tennessee State wrecked Tech today. No room for Tech to talk. Yes our defense struggled today, but we have the potential. We’ll get things fixed and take it to SC next Saturday. You guys will get blown out by Clemson.

Neutral

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Where’s GT Bob when we need him?

DeatsvilleDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:44 pm

How Bout Them Damn Hairy Dawgs!!! Way to hang tough!! Great teams find a way to win!

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:44 pm

@im Jack

FIRE GRANTHAM!!!!!!

im Jack has anyone told you recently that you are a dumb azz?

oldfart

September 29th, 2012
7:44 pm

Enter your comments here

Mike

September 29th, 2012
7:45 pm

I don’t think UGA falls at all in the polls. Putting up 51 points is impressive. It’s not like we didn’t win the game.

kya

September 29th, 2012
7:45 pm

Georgia’s defense didn’t play a great game, but against a strong Vols offense they made plays late in the game when it counted and survived. Thats all that matters. I think we needed a close game to show us our flaws. Coaches will address this in practice and be ready for Carolina

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:45 pm

Poor Field Position and 4 minutes in the 2nd quarter turned this into a shootout… Not the play calling idiots… Like I said above… if your jumping off the bandwagon….. get OFF NOW…. but don’t spill my Makers as it always tastes sweeter after wins….

Josh Smith for 3

September 29th, 2012
7:46 pm

Kentucky is arguably the worst team in the SEC next to Arkansas. SC will probably be crushing Kentucky within the next half hour, but if they struggle then you know it’s because they’re looking forward to next weekend.

ATinSAV

September 29th, 2012
7:46 pm

That Defense was horrible and the special teams continue to make costly mistakes that should have been corrected after week one. I am not sure this defense will ever come around. They continue to get pushed around by the likes of FAU, Buffalo and now TN. The run defense is soft at best and the pass coverage is non existent. Looks like the offense might have to carry this team.

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:46 pm

like Gary D. said…you have to survive these and good teams do….

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:46 pm

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

September 29th, 2012
7:42 pm

South carolinas qb has been breaking records i do have some concerns.

Yeah, just watch that Vandy game. If not for an ignored pass interference by carolina on the last play and Vandy ties that game.

Mike

September 29th, 2012
7:46 pm

I don’t think SC will be able to handle Georgia’s rushing attack next week.

SC is trailing Kentucky 3-0 after the 1st quarter. Could SC struggle with Kentucky?

Neutral

September 29th, 2012
7:47 pm

Tough, tough game. Bray and those receivers are incredible so I’ll take the win and it was great conditioning for our defense. I sincerely don’t think SC’s offense is better than TN, but their defense is tough. It will be a great game and I think we will win by a bigger margin than today. Go Dawgs!!!

t2go

September 29th, 2012
7:47 pm

Sheesh! Glad that one is in the books! Our D was gassed! Couldn’t stop the run. Glad we won…may have been a good thing to be humbled before heading to Columbia. CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY GAME!!!

Truth teller

September 29th, 2012
7:48 pm

USC does not have a big time passing QB or the set of receivers that UT has. UT’s offense is pretty good, their line played well even though we played very passive for most of the game. If we don’t give them 21 points off of turnovers, we roll.

01HAWK

September 29th, 2012
7:49 pm

AP poll coming out tomorrow

1. BAMA
2. OREGON
3. LSU
4. FL ST
5. SOUTH CAROLINA
6. TEXAS
7. K STATE
8. UGA
9. NOTRE DAME
10. FLORIDA

Give up 44 points versus an unranked team.

CHDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:49 pm

Neutral, that is a great point and I was trying to make it, too. Anytime you come through a tough game like that with no injuries, it makes you better. Tn has a great passing game and a very strong line. They were ahead of Florida until late in the 3rd quarter, and that was there only loss.

GB's Hamburgers

September 29th, 2012
7:49 pm

The defense was not good. What would have been the outcome if they hadn’t dropped so many? Murray was just marginally better than he has been in other “big” games where he made crucial mistakes. But he hung in there. The freshmen runners were super.

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
7:49 pm

Remember how bad we looked the week Vasser and Cummings came back?? Then we dropped the hammer on SC…. give us another week to get Tree and Rambo back in the swing and all is good….

Bob

September 29th, 2012
7:49 pm

Great win by our Dawgs…the only complaint is a four hour game. Shame on CBS for imitating ESPN.