Two ways of viewing UGA’s win over Vandy

Dogs celebrate in Nashville. (Frederick Breedon IV / Special)

Dogs celebrate in Nashville. (Frederick Breedon IV / Special)

I’m not sure I buy the comparisons between this Georgia team’s situation and the 2007 team, which used a win over Vandy as a springboard to beat Florida and run the table, or the 2006 team, which rose out of the Richt era’s previous low point to finish strong with three wins over ranked teams. After all, Matthew Stafford was the quarterback of those teams, and he had help from names like Kregg Lumpkin and Knowshon Moreno.

Joe Cox is no Matthew Stafford, even on his best day. And while Georgia always has a chance as long as A.J. Green is on the field, the rest of the supporting cast of characters still has a lot of developing to do.

But college football is a screwy game, so you never know. While there was no jumping up and down at midfield, the Dogs reportedly emerged from the Vandy win pumped and elated. And this year’s Florida team doesn’t look invincible. I mean, the Gators barely beat an Arkansas defense that Georgia repeatedly torched earlier this season.

It’s one of those heart and head things.

My head says this win was only over Vandy, and it took the Dogs quite a while to get rolling against the Commodores, so there’s not much reason to think the Florida game is going to be anything but the predicted slaughter. However, my heart can’t help harking back to other turnarounds and upsets UGA teams have pulled in the past, defying the odds. And, hey, we have a bye week before Jacksonville and they don’t.

Don’t get your hopes up, my head says.

But my heart says, it could happen. It really could.

POOCH KICKS

Other thoughts and questions arising from Georgia’s much needed win over Vanderbilt. …

In the passing game, Cox didn’t have a great day against Vandy, particularly in the first half, but he wasn’t helped by at least four balls dropped by Georgia receivers. You could tell Branden Smith heard footsteps and flinched on that screen pass he dropped early on. …

Green only caught three passes Saturday, but he showed a new dimension of his prodigious talent with that shifty run for 65 yards and a touchdown out of a screen pass. As Mark Richt noted after the game, good things happen for the Dogs when they manage to get the ball into A.J.’s hands. …

Orson Charles made a great catch in traffic inside the 10-yard line. I still think he’s going to have a big day at some point this season. …

It took three quarters for Georgia’s ground game to get going against the Commodores’ rushing defense, the one aspect of their defensive game that’s pretty suspect. Only 27 yards rushing in the first half? And the toss sweep continues to work poorly for the Dogs because of penetration allowed by the offensive line.

But there were hopeful flashes Saturday. Surprise starter Washaun Ealey had a really nice 33-yarder and averaged 5.5 yards per run, and while Caleb King didn’t get a lot of yardage on his handful of runs, he bolstered the pass protection and scored two touchdowns, including a nifty run to paydirt on a screen pass. …

I don’t think it was just coincidence that the Dogs were more effective on the ground when they had two tight ends and a fullback bolstering the spotty blocking of the offensive line. …

Perhaps one of the reasons the end-around to Smith keeps getting stuffed is that it’s so predictable when he enters the game. A fake out of that might catch someone off-guard down the road. …

The move out of the box and down to the sideline was probably one of Mike Bobo’s best calls of the season. Too often in the past, his playcalling has looked as if he was out of touch with what was happening on the field. That’s not as likely to happen with him talking face to face with his players. …

Overall, the special teams had their best day of the season. Prince Miller made some really nice moves on his punt returns of 55 and 40 yards; if he had any speed at all, at least one, if not both, of those could have been touchdowns. Drew Butler did a fine job punting, especially into the stiff wind, and Blair Walsh continued to be reliable. Kelin Johnson and A.J. Bryant noted on the “Fifth Quarter Show” that they saw more starters on the kickoff coverage team, and the results were pretty good.

On the debit side, that attempted punt return by Logan Gray was ugly and the block-in-the-back penalty on that play put the Dogs in a hole. And is there any SEC team more susceptible to the fake punt that the Dogs? …

Also, when Georgia got a second chance at a field goal in the first half after a Vandy defender was flagged for jumping over the line to block the first try, that gave the Dogs a first down with 11 seconds on the clock. It seemed like a good opportunity to take another shot at the end zone and still have time for a field goal attempt, but instead they just kicked again. Not very aggressive. …

What with the empty seats and folks who didn’t wear black, Vandy’s attempt at a “blackout” ended up looking more like a “grayout.” …

The inconsistency of officiating in the SEC is getting ludicrous. Rantavious Wooten was rightly flagged for spiking the ball after a big catch, but when a Vandy player sacked Cox and then threw his towel in the air in celebration, there was no flag.

And then there’s the fact that Florida and Alabama seem immune to such calls. Tim Tebow gets away with constant showboating with no flags, and likewise Bama’s defense against South Carolina Saturday night. …

Finally, for those of you who like to imbibe, here’s a new drinking game you might try. Tune in to “Dog Talk” after the game and take a drink every time Jeff Dantzler refers to cohost David Greene as “the lefthander.” By the end of the show, you’ll probably be unable to walk.

213 comments Add your comment

BamaOwnstheirHillbillies

October 19th, 2009
3:00 pm

Where is Cousin 45-19????

Hillbillie 23-6

October 19th, 2009
3:11 pm

Hey cousin 45-19….we playing alabama this week- better shut up

Tenn 45-19

October 19th, 2009
3:45 pm

Bama Boys-
I think I hear the phone ringing. It must be the NCAA coming to investigate you one more time. Google NCAA, so you can understand what it stands for. By the way, where is Mike DuBose these days?
I am not going to whine like the UGA fans. You guys are going to give us a big time whipping on Saturday, but it won’t be because of the refs. You’ve got a better team, which is something you will never hear UGA admit.
Utah Utes 31 Alabama Red Elephants 17- great game
45-19

Tenn 45-19

October 19th, 2009
4:10 pm

Bama Boys-
My memory is failing me. Help me out. Was it Mike DuBose who was caught doing the horizontal hokey pokey with his secretary and Mike Price who was caught in bed with the two strippers, or vice versa?
I can’t keep my Mikes straight.

Marie_the_Dawg_Girl

October 19th, 2009
7:43 pm

Y’all, we have to be realistic and steel ourselves to the outcome of the Florida game, which will be ugly. Florida would have to have their worst performance of the year for our boys to have a chance, and that just isn’t likely.

We do have enough talent to stay in the game, but as usual, the coaching just isn’t there. And you never know how many of our players will be in jail or suspended, sad to say.

Let’s all just stay focused on the one thing we fans can do, which is to come together to demand that Richt and his cronies be fired. All you have to do is look at Florida, Alabama, and LSU to know that we can do so much better.

Old Dawg

October 19th, 2009
8:58 pm

I really think the celebration is the worse rule in college football. I’m not a fan of taunting but what’s wrong with players celebrating as a team?

My primary objection to the rule is lack of consistency. I know that a lot of posters will say that I’m responding to the call against Georgia at the end of the LSU game but I was equally upset at the call against Washington last year, and it cost the Huskies the game.

And like a lot of folks, I really don’t understand why Tim Tebow is allowed to get away with his antics after touchdowns. I understand that the networks love to show his emotions, at the same time, the rules of the game apply to everyone and every team.

If they don’t, then the game is just a farce.

ugadawg21

October 19th, 2009
9:14 pm

I think we’ve got it against Florida this year. A few reasons:

1) Historically, the outcome of this matchup doesn’t correlate to the level of skill or talent of the two teams. See early 2000s when Florida was complete crap, and we had David Greene & co. and lost to Florida every time.

2) The bye weeks. Florida almost always has a bye week before the Georgia game. Not this year. Georgia NEVER has a bye week before the game. We do this year. The only time I ever remember us having a bye week before and Florida not having one was 2007. Remember what happened that year?

3) Our biggest weakness is our secondary. When we’ve been getting beat, it’s been on the long passes. Seems like I’ve spent half this season watching Bryan Evans and Prince Miller chase after wide receivers. But Florida has no long passing game to speak of.

4) Our offense is capable when we get clicking. Don’t forget: we scored over 50 points on Arkansas. Florida struggled to score 23, which probably would’ve been 17 or 20 without help from the refs.

Markel

October 19th, 2009
10:08 pm

ugadawg21, I think you may be a bit too optimistic, but we can cross our fingers and hope.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 19th, 2009
10:35 pm

Marie_the_Dawg_Girl,

What is “sad to say” is that there are people like you who claim to be fans of UGA. Your comments are both pathetic and hateful. It’s obvious you despise our coaches. Why don’t you pick another team to “support”; we would all be better off.

[...] On top of these blown calls, there’s the inconsistent manner in which unsportsmanlike conduct flags are being thrown in the SEC, as I noted in Sunday’s blog. [...]

Daron McClain

October 20th, 2009
1:47 pm

We here in Arkansas know who REALLY won the Florida game. If this Redding cat allows this cheating with Curles, he’s as guilty as they are. That’s right, I said cheating! But what do you expect, Florida has been the Golden Child of the NCAA this year. So, it’s not going to matter who actually beats them, Curles and Co. will just fix it. Goooood Luck Georgia, looks like your going to get hosed twice by these morons!

Marie_the_Dawg_Girl

October 21st, 2009
11:03 am

DawgVoiceofReason, I understand your pain and I do forgive you for your unkind remarks, bless your heart.

LunchBox King

October 22nd, 2009
7:59 pm

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