Vandy game tough to use as a litmus test

Fred Munzenmaier scores. (Frederick Breedon IV / Special)

Fred Munzenmaier scores. (Frederick Breedon IV / Special)

The problem with a win by a struggling Georgia team over an opponent like Vanderbilt is that it’s difficult to know how much of the result was due to improved play on the part of the Dogs and how much to the Commodores just being lousy.

Still, there are positives that can be taken from the game — along with some nagging problems that haven’t gone away.

On the plus side, Georgia numerically had its best day in a long time running the ball. But 120 of Georgia’s 173 rushing yards came in the fourth quarter. One the one hand, you could say that the game already had been decided and Vandy was flagging somewhat by that point. On the other hand, it was a rare occurrence of the Dogs being able to put a game away by grinding it out even when the Commodores knew we were going to be pretty much doing nothing but running the ball. At the very least, the Dogs spent some time working on the running game against someone other than the scout team.

As for the tailback situation, as Mark Richt noted after the game, there’s still no one back who “can run everything we do … There’s some things that we think some guys do better than others.” In other words, there’s still no breakout performer, but I’d say it’s pretty obvious the bulk of the carries need to go to Washaun Ealey, who was the leading ground gainer mainly thanks to that 33-yarder, and Caleb King, who was superb in pass protection, had a couple of nice runs and looked good turning that screen pass into a 21-yard scoring play.  The Dogs also should continue to make an effort to get Carlton Thomas the ball in space. Richard Samuel looked pretty much the same: good for a couple of yards but no more.

It was also painfully obvious, especially in the first quarter, that Georgia’s offensive line still hasn’t mastered run-blocking. The penetration into the backfield they allow also makes it difficult for the Dogs to run the toss sweep or the end-around. At this point, you have to wonder if that’s ever going to improve this season. As noted yesterday, though, using two tight ends at times in the fourth quarter seemed to help quite a bit.

And I really liked the play of Fred Munzenmaier, who got to start at fullback because of an injury to Shaun Chapas. Munz had a nice 9-yard touchdown run and caught three passes (as many as A.J. Green) for 21 yards. Chapas should be able to play in Jacksonville, but considering how inconsistent he has been this season, here’s hoping Munzenmaier gets the start against Florida.

Joe Cox opened the game just 3-of-11 (mainly due to drops) and threw another pick, but he completed throws to 10 different players, plus the tight ends got back into the mix, which is definitely a positive. And overall Georgia racked up 399 yards of offense against an SEC defense ranked No. 22 nationally.

On the defensive side, Georgia’s pass rush continued to develop nicely, with three sacks of Vandy QB Larry Smith and numerous hurries. You do have to keep in mind, though, that Smith looked pretty hapless back there. And I wasn’t thrilled with the way Vandy was able to move downfield on the first drive of the second half and on the Dores’ last drive with backup quarterback Mackenzi Adams — though on the latter drive Georgia had its backups in and was in even more of a prevent defense than usual … and did get a fourth-down stop.

It was encouraging to see Reshad Jones get an interception. Some things never change, though. Bryan Evans again got burned on a long pass. It’s past time for Bacarri Rambo to be the starter at that safety spot.

And Prince Miller finally was given the chance to show he’s a much better punt returner than he is a cover back.

I guess the best thing that can be said about the win over Vandy is that the Dogs never trailed, pulled away at the end and got back into a positive frame of mind. Whether that does anything at all to reduce the odds of them getting embarrassed by Florida is impossible to say, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Did you see anything Saturday that makes you feel better about Georgia’s chances against the Gators? Or did Vandy’s ineptitude merely mask some of the Dogs’ continuing deficiencies?

154 comments Add your comment

Grandad

October 19th, 2009
10:44 am

I think if our DAWG fans can’t find anything to howl about, they stay under the porch.

L-Dawg

October 19th, 2009
10:50 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!

SO MUCH FUN CHEERING FOR MY TEAM AS OPPOSED TO BOOING/ENVYING ANOTHER!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

12 DAYS TIL WE GIVE TEBOW ANOTHER SKULL-THUMPING!

t dawg

October 19th, 2009
10:50 am

Where is Israel Troupe? Georgia only has 5 scholarship receivers and Troupe is one of them and he has yet to catch a pass how about giving him a chance?

Brad

October 19th, 2009
10:50 am

Rambo at corner? You meant safety. Putting starters on the kickoff team sure seemed to help the coverage.

Why was Wooten yanked after his dumb penalty? Yeah it was stupid but he made the catch and that’s more than I can say for Mike Moore.

coachKR

October 19th, 2009
10:53 am

Would be nice if we would block to our running plays and running plays that would key in on the different running backs strengths. I have not seen many well exectued blocks from the O line or the fullbacks this year. R Samuel had a good yards per carry avg against most of the teams we played, but he gets pulled after 5 or so carries. Run him between the tackles, run the nimble guys off tackle, but block somebody please!!!

Bill King

October 19th, 2009
10:53 am

Indeed, I did mean safety. Thanks for the catch.

JPW

October 19th, 2009
10:53 am

To any Bulldogs player who may be reading this, we’re behind you. Keep fighting. Go Dawgs!

Phil

October 19th, 2009
10:56 am

Saw nothing that gives me any glimmer of hope against Florida. Only reassures me of the fact that we will get blown out. Can’t run the ball. Joe Cox will throw 3 or 4 interceptions against Florida and push his interception totals ahead of his TD totals.

How many fake punts will Urban Meyer run against the Dogs? Why can’t anyone on the Dogs staff recognize that as soon as the other team’s punter recieves the snap that our guys turn tail and run back downfield?

WHY CAN’T ANYONE SEE THIS???????????

It’s been this way for several years now! Even Vandy knows this! Who the hell is in charge of our punt coverage?

Just one of many problems I know, but this one can be fixed easily.

Florida will beat us by 50.

Rural Meyer

October 19th, 2009
10:58 am

I tole mah younger brother, Urban, I sez, “Don’t worry, Urban.” I sez, “The Dawgs ain’t that good yet, and yore Gators ain’t as bad as they looked against Arkansas.”
– Rural Meyer

here's what's pathetic!!

October 19th, 2009
11:03 am

hello UGA fans … see below for another crazy rant from one of your own. Since this guy (who calls himself BuLLdawg) feels obligated to litter the GT blogs with his nonsense, I’ll just keep copying and pasting it on the DAWG blogs (where there may actually be someone who cares what has to say) … Enjoy ::

ACC has only 3 teams ranked, and the best is Miami of Florida who plays no one the rest of the year. Georgia Tech LOST to Miami of Florida 17-33.

CollegeBCS.com projects Virginia Tech in the BCS Bowl, and Georgia Tech relegated to the Gator Bowl.

Not that it matters, because no one from Georgia Tech will go. Georgia Tech is the very worst school in the Southeast in traveling well.

Jeff Schultz can write all he wants, and the facts will REMAIN the SAME. Georgia Tech is NOT going to a BCS Bowl. Miami of Florida plays NO ONE. There is NOT a team in the Top 25 remaining for Miami of Florida to play, not 1. There is not a team in the Top 50 remaining for Miami of Florida to play, not 1.

Never mind that Georgia Tech has an even softer easier schedule than Miami of Florida. Georgia Tech has games against NO ONE, except for UGA to end the season. By then, Miami of Florida will face off against hapless Boston College who has an even softer schedule than Miami of Florida and Georgia Tech.

ACC.

Bunch of junk.

Has been.

Is.

Will be.

Weak Forest, Maryland and Duke all 3 have the 3 softest schedules of any BCS school in America : SoS # 83, #84 and # 85 in the country. This is because there is NO top ACC team. Never has been. Never will be. And, certainly is NOT.

As the announcers said on the TV game of Georgia Tech Saturday night, it is BAD for the ACC that Virginia Tech lost.

10 AP Poll Number 10 Miami of Florida BEAT Georgia Tech 33-17.

13 AP Poll Number 13 Georgia Tech LOST to Miami of Florida no one there.

15 AP Poll Number 15 Virginia Tech blown out by Alabama, lost to Ga Tech, also not even a sell-out.

In the Atlantic Division, there is NO RANKED TEAM.

CUPCAKES PLAYING CUPCAKES.

Whichever Coastal team goes to the ACC Chumpionship Game, plays yet ANOTHER CUPCAKE.

Georgia Tech plays Georgia.

Georgia Tech knows NOTHING about the PASS, not on Offense, and NOT on Defense either.

114 Ga Tech # 114 Passing Offense.

108 Ga Tech # 108 Passing Efficiency Defense.

78 Ga Tech # 78 Total Defense misses Jon Tenuta against soft schedule.

68 Ga Tech # 68 Rushing Defense.

79 Ga Tech # 79 Kick-off Returning team.

72 Ga Tech # 72 Scoring Defense.

60 Ga Tech # 60 Net Punting.

86 Ga Tech # 86 Pass Defense.

70 Ga Tech # 70 Sacking opposing quarterbacks.

91 Ga Tech # 91 Tackling for a Loss.

ACC does NOT compete nationally. And, Jeff Schultz writes an article of how Georgia Tech is going to win a National Championship. That would be a 1st since Georgia Tech has NEVER EVER been Ranked Number 1 in the Final AP Poll.

I know you guys are down there in the slums of Atlanta where the crime and drugs are, but seriously put your pipe down, get outside and get some exercise and try to meet a girl or something normal because Georgia Tech is NOT winning any national championship since you cannot even play in the ACC Chumpionship Game. You play a weak schedule, have no good game left, just a LOSS to UGA. You beat 1 team who is RANKED in the BCS Rankings Top 25 and that team beat NO ONE in the BCS Rankings Top 25. You never see a pass, so you can’t defend the pass nor throw one yourself. You have a horrid defense, and not all this is against a really sorry soft schedule. National Championship when Tech has NEVER been # 1 in the Final AP Poll EVER, ha ha ha ha ha. Put the pipe down nerds, you jerks.

Sam

October 19th, 2009
11:09 am

I do not have confidence in UGA beating Florida. Just cannot see it happening. I will pull for my beloved Dawgs, but I am a realist.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

October 19th, 2009
11:10 am

Against Florida, the Dawgs should dust off Dooley’s old veer formation and use all those backs to juke it down the field against the Gators. In that package include a halfback pass. It will work and keep Florida off balance.

Will

October 19th, 2009
11:11 am

It’s nice to get a win but why do my Dawgs come out flat after every halftime break? What does Sweet Willie do to motivate these guys? I guess nothing because ahead 17-3 we let Vandy go 80 yards on a 5 minute drive that we just sit back and let them pick us apart. I’m glad we got the win but I am not going to let up about my wishing for a new DC.

gatorman

October 19th, 2009
11:15 am

I was at the game and wondered why CMR and the players did not come down to the pep band and fans and acknowledge their support?

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 19th, 2009
11:17 am

You fleabags sure are obsessed with us Techies.

Huh? is now “here’s what’s pathetic!!” (I wondered where he went)

That’s what’s pathetic.

I think the dawgs are back, that was an impressive smack down on Power House Vandy.

UGA 52 UF 3 (sic).

Saint Simons

October 19th, 2009
11:34 am

GT # 11 , UGA # 39 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Gator Fan

October 19th, 2009
11:35 am

If Green has a big day, and Special Teams gets some big returns, it could be close.

If we stop the run, contain your KR and double green(doubt it will help as he is crazy good) then it is a big Gator win. Would help to have spikes and the Dline back either.

here's what's pathetic!!

October 19th, 2009
11:37 am

to “RAMBLE ON!!!” … I’m actually a Tech fan. I know the postings from “Huh?” very well, but alas that is not me (thank god). I just figured that since “BuLLdawg” keeps posting his extended rants on the Tech blogs, I’d copy and paste them here … where someone may actually give a darn. GO JACKETS!!

dawgster

October 19th, 2009
11:40 am

Again RambleON!!! shows up with his usual idiotic comments that add nothing to the discussion….

Nate

October 19th, 2009
11:42 am

Good piece.

Two things:

1.) Why no mention of Dontavious Jackson? I know he is 5th on the depth chart, but lets be honest the UGA RB depth chart is like a collection of the dollar items at a swap meet. Why not give Jackson a chance…he didn’t look bad enough to be relegated to the bench on his three runs Saturday. Is he that much worse than what we have going so far???

2.) Richard Samuel just doesn’t have it as a running back…there is nothing special there. Washaun will probably emerge as the starter, and Caleb looks to be improving and Thomas is a solid change up threat…or will be. But we are crazy if we let Samuel rust on the bench. If I remember correctly, he was a 4 or 5 start recruit as a linebacker. Are we considering putting him back there, and if not…why not? He is an athletic talent who can play linebacker…just end the running back experiment.

Just my thoughts…thanks for reading.

the eternal question is....

October 19th, 2009
11:42 am

Why do jacket fans spend so much time surfing GA blogs?

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 19th, 2009
11:44 am

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 19th, 2009
11:46 am

the eternal answer is….

we miss you guys. 2 years ago, yall were all over our blogs.

It’s really more out of concern for ya’ll.

firemarkricht.net

October 19th, 2009
11:51 am

Congrats to the Dawgs for pulling out a victory this Saturday…especially to the players! You guys fought hard and rose to the challenge.

Rest up, practice hard, and dig deep for a big game against FLA.

To Richt and his coaching staff: you boys better get your act together ’cause I guarantee you that Urban hasn’t forgotten about 2007.

Go Dawgs!!!

Cuz

October 19th, 2009
12:05 pm

here’s what. Bill banned him on this site. His rants were long tedious and hateful. The only way he can get in here is you cutting and pasting. Please don’t do us the favor. The Tech blog needs to ban him also. Do what I do til that happens, scroll pass and don’t do him the favor of reading.

Sure we have a chance. The game still starts at 0-0 but it changes from there.

john

October 19th, 2009
12:10 pm

Well if Bill has ban power, then he needs to ban Ramble on from this blog. It would be nice to have a really good AJC blog to discuss UGA football without Ramble and all of her alternate hats coming along with their HS remarks. That’s the bad thing about blackberries — these HS kids can post from School. But by banning them, we can end this silly drivel.

Then those of you who like this kid, can go over to the GT blogs and kiss up to her. But I say clear her out of this blog so adults can discuss UGA football. Since we can’t have registration, selective banning is the next best thing.

Brad

October 19th, 2009
12:11 pm

Here’s what’s pathetic, when Ramble On and St Simons stop posting their idiocy on every single one of these blogs, then you can come over here with your riteous indignation and lecture us. Until then, shut up. Get the beam out of your own eye before you tell us about the splinter in ours.

E

October 19th, 2009
12:17 pm

Um,,,you made no mistake bill. It clearly says it’s time for Rambo to start at safety. BTW, I agree!!!

getthepicturenow

October 19th, 2009
12:24 pm

Nate, couldn’t agree more, i thought Dontavious looked just as good as anybody we’ve had go so far. and i think we should have put the red-shirt on Richard, the kid was just 16 or 17 last year?? i think washy gives us the most sizzle back there. but i LOVE Caleb’s pass protection.

Cuz

October 19th, 2009
12:32 pm

john, the AJC will only let someone be banned from a column if they use obscenities or racist remarks. Ramble does not use either. He is not that bad a guy when he takes off his bug costume. He wished my daughter well in her surgery, that counts in my book.

The Tech fans waited a long time for their chance for smack talk. Their blogs were filled for years with Dawg and so-called dawg fans bombarding them with the same drivel they throw at us. Paybacks are a female dog.

John

October 19th, 2009
12:44 pm

Richard Samuel runs with his eyes, if he doesn’t see the hole, he gets nothing, the great ones senses the hole before it opens up, and lets his blocks form before exploding through for a touchdown. Richard loves the contact, he loves to run into people, not around them. Put him at middle linebacker and I guarentee he’ll run straight into quarterbacks and runningbacks. Another point, the reason why the freshman and sophmores are doing so well….they haven’t been coached down by the coaches. How many times you see a player regress from freshman to senior year at UGA? then have to be replaced by freshmen their senior year.(Prince Miller & Bryan Evans both 5 star recruits)It’s the coaching plain and simple…

conicidence, i think not...

October 19th, 2009
12:44 pm

this year is staring to be eerily similar to 2007….

tebow is hurt.

dawgs struggle and get hammered by UT in knoxville…then struggle vs. Vandy.

we were in jacksonville telling all the women and children to stay away from the game because the result was going to be NC-17…..”keep them under 50″ was our motto.

guess what happened…….

however, unlike CMR, Urban makes sure that his boys are prepared for the big games. so don’t think we are going to sneak up on them.

Barkin'Dog

October 19th, 2009
1:03 pm

I stated before the Vandy game the young Dawgs would be focused and motivated, and would win with a 37-17 score (close, but I got the cigar). I expect more of the same at Jax. Will it be enough? I dunno… but, who thought Arky could keep it so close the whole game (and lead for quite a while).

Here’s what bothers me. I noticed Bobo on the sidelines and the players were jacked up. Then, after the game, Cox said Bobo was lighting a fire under the offense AND the defense and STs… that got everyone fired up! Where has that “fire” been all season, and last year?? It should be coming from the coaches. And CMR said the same after the game. So, let Boo stay on the sidelines if he’s the only one who is “Firing Up The Dawgs!!” … oh… and GATA!

Here's wishing...

October 19th, 2009
1:03 pm

Still wish we had a way to vote people off the blogs. You get a few jerks on both the UGA and Tech blogs, who do never have anything worthwhile to contribute. They not only make the other school mad, they embarrass their own school, although I seriously doubt any ever really went, much less graduated, from their schools. Then it excites others, who might be rational otherwise, to join in the trash talking. Would be nice to vote them off the island. But I guess that would mean less hits to the AJC sites, so we are not likely to see it anytime soon…

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 19th, 2009
1:03 pm

Dawgs73

October 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

Bill, you said it best that the Vandy game can not be used to truly gauges UGA’s progress. Vandy is HORRIBLE and they just came off a loss to Army.

Also, how in the he!! are we in the 8th week of the season and the brillant coaching staff has not determined who the # 1 running back should be.

VolNation

October 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

here’s what’s pathetic!!

This is kinda like a few years back, 2007, when UGA thought they should play for the National Championship despite not even playing for the SEC title (UT/LSU) did.

Hypocrite.

murfdawg

October 19th, 2009
1:08 pm

Bill,
As a good football fan, here’s a question for you. How many SEC teams have been ranked in the Final AP Top 25 every year from 2001-2008?

Richard Tardits

October 19th, 2009
1:15 pm

“Ees eet futbol?”

Shananeeeeeee Fananeeeeeeeeeee

October 19th, 2009
1:25 pm

You can’t use the Florida/Arkansas game as a litmus test either. That was Florida’s Mississippi State game from last year but this year they got the W. The Gator D will not give up more than 20 points for at least the rest of the regular season. So if the Dawgs want to beat them their defense is going to have to hold them to under 20 points. 6 Games = 4 Touchdowns Allowed, 52 Total Points Surrendered.

BS Patrol

October 19th, 2009
1:25 pm

RAMBLE!!!!
He’s been at least 100 other names. They even talk to each other! He’s not hard to spot though. That was him on that link you posted.

coachKR

October 19th, 2009
1:32 pm

You have to see the hole! You can’t sense it…. if your O-line can’t do a reach block, or down block, or just fall in front of a defender, then you will not get anything out of it. If you get better play up front, then all of the running backs will benefit. Richard is a great runningback, great linebacker too. I just want the O-LINE COACH to coach his squad. They have been lacking for several years!

Cuz

October 19th, 2009
1:42 pm

Here’s wishing, another problem you would have in voting off the island is that many, myself included, have their name used by others just to stir the pot. I was at the Mayo Clinic and my daughter was having surgery one day. At the end of the day, I got back to the hotel and checked the blogs. I was amazed to note that even though I had been nowhere close to a computer, I had posted insults at several people at least four times.

KJ

October 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

Vandy’s run defense is awful, 53 yards in 3 quarters is nothing to be excited about, the problems are still there.

When’s the last time they threw a deep ball to Green? Didn’t see it this game, OR last game.

“It’s past time for Bacarri Rambo to be the starter at that safety spot.”

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Actually, just start Rambo, Smith and Banks in the secondary, it certainly couldn’t hurt anything.

“Here’s what’s pathetic, when Ramble On and St Simons stop posting their idiocy on every single one of these blogs, then you can come over here with your riteous indignation and lecture us. Until then, shut up. Get the beam out of your own eye before you tell us about the splinter in ours.”

Also, this.

KJ

October 19th, 2009
1:51 pm

Cuz, you could just have an ignore feature that keys on the user’s IP, that way when Ramble On posts from her trailer, it doesn’t matter what handle she uses, I can summarily dismiss her, as every other guy has done throughout her life (sic).

Gman

October 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

I’m afraid RAMBLE ON!!! was one of the poor tech students who sustained an “ouchy” when the goal posts came down.

RednBlack

October 19th, 2009
2:17 pm

Success breeds success, it only takes one game to put everybody on the same page. Maybe it’s just what the dawg’s needed.

EW

October 19th, 2009
2:21 pm

To paraphrase a line from Dumb and Dumber:

Joe Cox to Tebow: “Hey uh Tim, I want to ask you a question… straight out, flat out… and I want you to give me an honest answer…what are the chances of a guy like me beating a guy like you in Jacksonville?”

Tebow: “Well Joe… that’s difficult to say… you really don’t..

Joe C: ” Hit me! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you Tim. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?”

Tim : Not good.

Joe C: [Gulps] You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

Tim: I’d say more like… one out of a million.

Joe C: So you’re telling me there’s a chance. Yeah!

Dr M

October 19th, 2009
2:24 pm

Even though I’m still concerned about our poor performance in the first half of the season and believe that we have a leadership problem somewhere, I’m very encouraged by the Vandy game. I think the fan base needs to be encouraging to the team unless and until we perform badly again. Florida looks beatable but they will certainly be up for UGA and we will need to have by far our best overall game to have a shot at them. Go Dawgs!

GaCracker

October 19th, 2009
2:44 pm

Well the Gators never lead the Hogs until the last 10 seconds. If Teijada could kick it might have been different. But the Dawgs beat the Hogs on the road and the Hogs almost beat the Gators in the swap. Why defenses don’t play the QB draw on third and 4 or less against the Gators is a big puzzle.
Just key to Tebow on every play and Florida has few other weapons. Their speedster is not as good as Harbin.