After three quarters of the usual one yard and a cloud of dust, Georgia finally found some semblance of a running game in the fourth quarter, even if it was against the next-to-worst rushing defense in the conference.
With Mike Bobo on the sideline conferring with Mark Richt and quarterback Joe Cox instead of up in the booth, the Dogs’ offense initially picked up where it left off last week, looking sluggish as the linemen seemed to spend a lot of time down on the ground.
But once the brilliant A.J. Green at last got to touch the ball, taking a simple screen pass and zig-zagging his way downfield 65 yards for a touchdown, the Georgia offense seemed to wake up and at least looked at least adequate for the rest of the game.
It was encouraging to see Caleb King make a welcome return, winding up with two touchdowns, which hopefully will bolster his confidence.
And in the fourth quarter, mostly in sets with two tight ends to bolster the blocking, Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas provided the punch needed for Georgia to put the game away with a drive that was all on the ground. That included a gutsy fourth-and-5 run for a first down by Thomas, followed by a 9-yard rumble by Fred Munzenmaier for the score.
The Georgia defense, which spent much of the day pressuring and battering Vandy QB Larry Smith, also looked more effective, except for the Commodores’ opening drive of the second half, when they quickly drove downfield for a score, narrowing Georgia’s lead at the time to seven points.
So Georgia beat Vandy. Not anything to get especially excited about, but at least the Dogs looked competent most of the game and managed to get a conference win.
As Richt said after the game, they started out slow but finished strong.
One small step for a team that badly needed it.