(I’ll be back with a column on Georgia’s win over Georgia Southern shortly. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on today’s game.)
1. Georgia’s fortuitous scheduling: The Georgia Southern game was scheduled for Saturday because its option offense mirrors that of next week’s opponent, Georgia Tech. Smart. But the Bulldogs needed this game for another reason: Almost on cue, they come out flat, unfocused and sloppy. It wasn’t surprising, given the emotion of a four-game winning streak that culminated in last week’s SEC East-clinching rout at Auburn. But it’s still something that great teams shouldn’t do. That said, the Dogs woke up, starting with a late first-half touchdown drive, and went on a 31-0 run through the third quarter after Southern tied the game 7-7.
2. Passing game/Aaron Murray surviving nicely: Georgia has lost two starting wide receivers to injuries for the season, Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown. But the team’s depth at that position has been evident. Murray threw touchdown passes on four consecutive possessions to Malcolm Mitchell (24 yards), Chris Conley (13), Tavarres King (43) and Conley again (33). Two passes stood out — the 13-yarder to Conley when Murray threw to a spot, before Conley even made his break in the end zone, and the 43-yarder when he perfectly led King in the end zone.
3. Herschel: Your record is safe. Before the Georgia Southern game, there was an outside chance — OK, very outside chance — that Todd Gurley could break Herschel Walker’s freshman rushing record at Georgia. That’s not going to happen now, although Gurley did become the first Bulldogs’ first true freshman to rush over 1,000 since Walker. He finished with 68 yards and now has 1,041 on the season. That was partly the result of gaining only 27 yards in the first half. Had Gurley averaged 160.7 in Georgia’s final four games (including the SEC championship and a bowl game), he would’ve eclipsed Walker’s record of 1,616.
By Jeff Schultz
Recent ramblings from the digital jukebox