Short takes: Slow start but Murray wakes up offense

This late first-half touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell was first of four straight by Aaron Murray. (AP photo)

This touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell was first of four straight by Aaron Murray. (AP photo)

(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.

Todd Gurley was held toi 27 rushing yards in first half, an example of Georgia's early struggles. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Todd Gurley was held to 27 rushing yards in first half, an example of Georgia's slow start. (Brant Sanderlin)

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

Live: Georgia hopes for easy day against Georgia Southern

Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets, Falcons and the lust triangles

Falcons’ flaws aren’t worse than any other NFL team

College hoop kings provide rare thrills for Atlanta

Falcons’ startling admission: Ray Edwards was a blunder

Will SEC get team to BCS championship (answer below) (with video)

Short takes: Murray, Georgia defense and angry Auburn fans

Georgia wins SEC East, and looks like threat to Alabama

Weekend Predictions: Election went blue but weekend will be all red

Richt is coaching through pain (because he fell off a swing … honest)

Falcons’ Dirk Koetter may be candidate at Kentucky

71 comments Add your comment

Dawgify

November 17th, 2012
4:44 pm

Dawgify

November 17th, 2012
4:45 pm

Is that yardage number on Gurley correct? I thought he just broke a thousand.

Greg

November 17th, 2012
4:46 pm

Georgia did what they were supposed to do. Won big 45-14. Now they’ll regroup, fix the mistakes made today, and they’ll get ready for Tech and shut Tech down.

Jeff Schultz

November 17th, 2012
4:47 pm

Dawgify — transposed 2 numbers. Correction: 1041

Cdpridg

November 17th, 2012
4:48 pm

How bout those Dawgies!!!!

Dawgify

November 17th, 2012
4:51 pm

See the correction now. Happy for the win today. Bring on Tech!

Greg

November 17th, 2012
4:56 pm

Tech’s defense is bad. Really bad. Duke has already put up 17 points on them.

Vampire Bill

November 17th, 2012
4:57 pm

Want the shutout against Tek. I like Grantham’s shut out intensity. Should be a great beatdown next weekend. GO DAWGS

1969 Graduate

November 17th, 2012
5:03 pm

Watched it on the computer on ESPN3. Picture wasn’t great. Team seemed flat, but still very competent. Great passes. Mostly shut down the team from the ‘Boro.

I always have some concern about the NATS. They have been known to play way over their heads against good UGA teams. Our team knows that I’m sure, and I don’t think we will be looking for a too easy victory.

Nice to have another notch on Uga’s collar. BTW, that’s one handsome Dawg.

Go, University of Georgia Bulldogs!

ARdawg

November 17th, 2012
5:06 pm

Secure victory, no serious injury. Tech, bring it

Greg

November 17th, 2012
5:13 pm

UGA’s defense hasn’t given up more than 14 points in the past 4 games.

RMikel58

November 17th, 2012
5:24 pm

Was a nice win but the turn around came just before half when Ga Southern had an illegal chop block for 15 yds and then missed a score tying FG. Georgias Defense played 2 strong quarters and 1 mediocre quarter and sorry 1st quarter.
They got ahead and sat on the lead and stopped playing all together. If i was Grantham id be all over those guys.
Arm tackling like they did earlier in the year and hugging their running backs instead of hard hitting with intensity.
Its 4 quarters guys and not 2. Play with Ga. Tech like that next week and you may save Paul Johnsons job. They were even smaller than the dawgs and was gaining 5 yards a carry.
Tech can pass alot better than Ga. Southern and are alot better and they would love nothing better than knocking #5 Georgia out of the top 10.
You boys are starting to get sloppy on defense again and i hope TG makes you run laps and push ups til you drop. Totally unacceptable and even Jarvis played at half speed.
This is serious business and no matter what the score is ., you dont quit til the clock runs out in the 4th quarter.

Blain

November 17th, 2012
5:29 pm

It’s been evident for years why Coach Johnson (AKA: Coach Turkey Neck/Coach Gobbler/Coach Moobs) refuses to throw his old program Georgia Southern a bone and put them on the schedule…. Southern would beat the ever living crap out of the bugs.

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
5:35 pm

Great win over GA Southern. Wins like these really get you noticed at the Capital One Bowl…where we should end up…AGAIN!

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
5:37 pm

Mark Richt: 3-15 against ranked teams, since 2009! Obviously, this win against a DIV II team–Georgia’s bread and butter–won’t improve that record. Neither will a loss against Alabama in the GA Dome!

Discount DoubleDawg

November 17th, 2012
5:38 pm

Big Jim- what is Richt’s record against tech?

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
5:40 pm

Who cares. Wins over tech don’t get you into BCS Bowls!! Camden County could best tech!

Discount DoubleDawg

November 17th, 2012
5:41 pm

BigJim, be a man- who is YOUR team?

kingdaddy

November 17th, 2012
5:41 pm

Congrats Dawgs. Ga. Southern played a good game but was out-gunned. Hope you saved some for Tech…

RunninWithTheDawgs

November 17th, 2012
5:44 pm

Dawgs went from lazy to sloppy to pretty good to awesome. If they do this against the bugs or Bama we’re in trouble. GO DAWGS !

kingdaddy

November 17th, 2012
5:46 pm

All you Techie trolls need to come on over to the “Darkside” and pull for the Dawgs, lol…

ARdawg

November 17th, 2012
5:47 pm

It’s GREAT to be a Georgia Bulldog!

Pj

November 17th, 2012
5:47 pm

Uga just had a tune up against one of fcs best teams – an exact play book for the Dawgs to take into next Saturday – this was perfect. The bugs have no chance.

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
5:47 pm

My team is the Dawgs, Just think a 3-15 record against ranked opponents SUCKS! It’s pitiful! We can do better. And we should demand better! Aren’t you tired of seeing the Dawgs play every dang year in the Capital One Bowl, for God sake? Or the Outback Bowl?! I sure as heck am!

ARdawg

November 17th, 2012
5:48 pm

Dawgs did what they had to do. Wasn’t all pretty but much of it was

SatillaDawg

November 17th, 2012
5:48 pm

Go Dawgs!

Tech, then Bama!

Sic ‘Em!

Discount DoubleDawg

November 17th, 2012
5:51 pm

BigJim is a closet tech fan… which I guess sort of makes sense

Cdpridg

November 17th, 2012
5:59 pm

BigJim/techie……get!!!!! Dukie bout to hand you your hindside…bwahahaha!!!

BobDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:02 pm

LITTLEJIM – needs to vent/cry and get it all out… I bet he has never been to those bowls as I have had a good time at them with lots of golf…. All we can keep on doing is knocking on the door and that we are….

BobDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:03 pm

Let’s see we beat UF who has beaten LSWho and TAMU who has beaten Alabama and we beat Ole Miss who is giving LSWho all they can stand right now… Mettenberger is melting down as we speak

BobDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:06 pm

Granthem kept it very vanilla in the 1st half… Once we started shooting the gaps in the 2nd half it was all over…

BobDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:06 pm

Granthem kept it very vanilla in the 1st half… Once we started shooting the gaps in the 2nd half it was all over…

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
6:06 pm

Way to go. Call me names. That’s great and really shows your maturity level. Dawgs are great against unranked SEC teams, as well as the DIV II opponent of the week. Against the quality, ranked teams, they simply have not taken care of business. If a blowout against GA Southern and another trip to the Capital One Bowl excites you, BobDawg, you must admire and really love mediocrity. I, sir, would like to win another National Championship!

BobDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:07 pm

Anybody know how Rambo’s ankle is doing???

Kevin

November 17th, 2012
6:07 pm

To be fair to Herschel Walker, Todd Gurley would’ve needed to reach 1617 yards TODAY to have the record. Herschel’s freshman total was for 11 games and didn’t include his 150 yards in the Sugar Bowl. Not quite the same if anybody gets to 1617 in 12, 13, or 14 games and we treat it like it’s the same thing.
At the same time, I love Gurley and I’m glad he chose UGA. He’s a beast and that was obvious after a few carries against Buffalo.

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
6:08 pm

All of you who think the Dawgs record the last 3-4 years is simply outstanding are nothing but Mark Richt apologists! Bet you really thought Ray Goff and Jim Donnan did good jobs too.

RunninWithTheDawgs

November 17th, 2012
6:13 pm

BJ sounds like a Richt/ BoBo hater. That’s ok. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. About 90% of Bulldog Nation are Richt/BoBo advocates. There are a lot of old timers here that remember a few years when you didn’t even know if we were gonna have a winning record or not. Richt has a 90%+ winning record since he started here and that’s good enough for me. People that have to be pulling for a national champ team every year could drop the Dawgs and become Alabama fans. Long live the memory of IRK RUSSELL. GO DAWGS !

HendoDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:14 pm

BigJim, go mix yourself a drink or grab a coke if you don’t drink. I understand your problem with “another” Capital One Bowl. However, let’s play these last two games out and see where the chips fall. Bama in the dome is definitely winnable. I’m not gonna pull the cheeseball “bank on it”, but they are not the juggernaut we all thought earlier this season. Remember, we have seen our share of Sugar Bowls during the Richt era. By no stretch am I a Richt homer, but I do appreciate/respect him bringing UGA football back to a relevant part of the NCAAF landscape. Go Dawgs!

BigJim

November 17th, 2012
6:17 pm

HendoDawg, I agree with you. Hoping for a Dawgs romp over Bama!! That will certainly put Dawgs in a BCS Bowl!!

Discount DoubleDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:19 pm

littleJIM- who is your team?

I'm a Georgia fan. It's a license to be stupid.

November 17th, 2012
6:24 pm

NOBODY IS BETTER AT PADDING THEIR STATS AGAINST INFERIOR OPPONENTS LIKE AARON MURRAY! GUESS WHAT…BAMA AIN’T INFERIOR…

HendoDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:24 pm

Amen brother…would love to play ND in a BCS Bowl! Teo vs. Jones…sweet! Think I’ll go grab aforementioned drink. Have a good one. Go Rebs’…Go Dawgs!!!

I'm a Georgia fan. It's a license to be stupid.

November 17th, 2012
6:25 pm

HENDO…WHEN DID GEORGIA BECOME RELEVENT? TODAY?

Lonnie

November 17th, 2012
6:27 pm

Big Jim we get your point!!!!!! But to everyone else congrats big dawgs. Let’s ramble the wrecks!!!!

Discount DoubleDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:28 pm

tech trolls have just lost it… I remember when they were smart and had something to offer on a message board… It now makes sense why so may highschool seniors are rejected from Georgia and accepted at tech.

HendoDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:30 pm

Hey Stupid, Bama ain’t “Bama” this year either. Let me make this simple for you stupid, GA vs. Ole Miss…blowout GA win. LSU vs. Ole Miss…are you watching? Bama vs. LSU…dumbo pulls out a squeaker. Again, Bama ain’t “Bama” this year. Catch you in the dome. Roll Dawgs!!!

Stinger2

November 17th, 2012
6:35 pm

Reading some the UGA fans comments makes one wonder why play the game against GT? No chance for GT to win, it will be a rout, we will hang 50 on their defense, etc. o.k. boys, let them line up and play anyway. Miracles do happen about every 10 to 12 years.

kingdaddy

November 17th, 2012
6:40 pm

Big Jim
I’m not buying your claim as a Dawg fan, but that doesn’t really matter. Wheather you are a poor Dawg-fan or just another Bulldog hater, your words speak for themselves. Plenty of UGA haters on these blogs jealous of a 10-1 team irregardless of who they played. What I’ll never understand is the number of posters who claim to be Doggies but aren’t. Mostly a Nerd-Game…Its quite funny in a pathetic sort of way…

HendoDawg

November 17th, 2012
6:47 pm

P.S. Stupid – relevant with an a, not e. Need that in a sentence? When Stupid learns how to spell, he will become relevant on these blogs. Go Dawgs!

RunninWithTheDawgs

November 17th, 2012
6:47 pm

This GT game scares me. If Derek Dooley can figure out how to run up and down the field on the Dawgs I’m sure Paul Johnson can. I don’t think their defense can hold us but they’re gonna put some points on the board. GO DAWGS !