More pluses than minuses coming out of Dawgs’ impressive first win

A quarterback who can run ... it's been a while, hasn't it? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A quarterback who can run ... it's been a while, hasn't it? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A few more thoughts on Saturday’s season opener …

Yes, a bunch of folks left at halftime (why go to all that trouble and expense to watch just half a game?) and the steady stream of folks leaving early really picked up midway through the third quarter. But considering it was an early kickoff against a Sun Belt Conference opponent, the crowd was surprisingly into the game. I particularly liked the classy cheers for Logan Gray’s first reception and the fans behind the bench applauding Todd Grantham’s chewing out of Bacarri Rambo and the defense after Louisiana-Lafayette’s lone score. Grantham shows the kind of passion and demand for perfection that Georgia fans found conspicuously missing in recent seasons, and we appreciate it. …

On special teams, Drew Butler was superb and other highlights included Blair Walsh notching another field goal over 50 yards and new punt returner Branden Smith giving us a tantalizing taste of things to come. But the kickoff portion of the game still needs work: The Dogs gave up a 46-yard return on the opening kick. Once Walsh and his sore leg took over from Brandon Bogotay on kickoffs, he mostly went for very high, short kicks that were well covered. On a later kick, he put it into the end zone for a touchback, but with little hang time, which is Mark Richt’s main worry about letting Walsh kick it as far as he can. …

Speaking of Smith, he looked like a definite three-way threat Saturday, which should prove to be a big plus for the Dogs this season with his terrific speed. …

Several fans noted after the game that Georgia’s running game showed flashes of what it can do — with Caleb King and Carlton Thomas both breaking tackles — but certainly wasn’t as impressive as you might have expected against the Ragin’ Cajuns, even accounting for Washaun Ealey not playing. As I noted Saturday, the lack of preseason reps for the intact starting offensive line probably had something to do with that. Likewise, with those false start flags, which prompted Richt to note that his redshirt freshman QB showed more poise than some of his senior linemen. The big question: How long this season will it take the OL to get in sync? Fingers crossed that the answer is just a week. …

Aaron Murray seemed determined not to take a sack and a couple of times showed surprising ability to escape from the clutches of would-be tacklers. But, as Richt noted, he needs to realize he doesn’t have to scramble every time his receivers are covered. Still, that scrambling ability is something opposing defenses are going to have to take into account, which should work in Georgia’s favor. We haven’t had that since D.J. Shockley.

On one of those scrambles Saturday that resulted in a completion to Orson Charles, I liked the way the tight end came back to get open and help out his quarterback. …

I also was impressed with the way Sanders Commings managed to reverse direction after his interception and get a nice return out of it, and with the linebacker play in general, led by Akeem Dent’s six tackles. …

My favorite Richt quote from Saturday was when he said that the players suspended for the first game should return for South Carolina “unless something stupid happens between now and the ballgame.” A touch of sarcasm totally justified by the coach’s obvious frustration with recent events.

Feel free to share your highs and lows from the game. And everyone have a great Labor Day holiday!

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196 comments Add your comment

Shizu rules

September 5th, 2010
11:14 am

Gamec0k pete

please explain to us about the M. Lattimore show next week?

average 3.9 ypc
two GA back average 4.7 ypc

SC defense gives up over 400 yards?

GA two freshman qb’s with no came experience throw for as many yards as SC sr. qb

And as you put it we both played highschool teams? Stat wise if you want to play that game – who really looked better?

Gamec0ck Pete

September 5th, 2010
11:16 am

Southern Miss aint no highschool team bro.

Barack Dawg

September 5th, 2010
11:18 am

You gotta love Carolina.. Gamec0ck Pete — did you watch Lattimore? He had 54 yards on like 15 carries. Not impressive. Wait until he has to handle pass blocking. Your defense gave up 400+ yards of offense to USM. They would have been a lot closer if they had not turned the ball over in the red zone and put points up. Murray showed he can put the ball on the money. You better have some concerns and hope your team is not approaching UGA as lazily as you speak. I was glad to see everyone thought Garcia had a good game. Has he ever had 2 back to back? Things that make you go hmmm…..We will bring tums you bring your crow.

crack Baby

September 5th, 2010
11:20 am

Rod…….. Grantham was letting the F bombs fly and CMR thought it hurt the players feelings. This is why Richt will never win a MNC. CNR is a softee.

DAWG DRUNK

September 5th, 2010
11:30 am

Here’s the way it really is: Both Georgia and South Carolina played high school teams. Nobody knows a damn thing about how good either teams will be. If A.J. doesn’t play that’s worth 6 points or more to Carolina because Carolina will not have to double on the outside and can put one more in the box. It will come down to turnovers like it always does in this game.

Shizu rules

September 5th, 2010
11:31 am

Sorry I forgot S. Miss is a semi pro team
sorry about that

cadawg

September 5th, 2010
11:50 am

lattimore is the real deal with the ball in his hands–i agree–but how well does he understand the pass protection schemes? i know we get after richt and bobo for not playing freshman backs, but grantham is going to have some crazy stuff ready for SC, and it will be interesting to see if lattimore knows his protections.

SC looked good on thurs. night, and we looked good yesterday. getting aj and ealey back in the mix is obviously going to help– thomas’ pass protection was terrible yesterday. anyway should be a hell of a game. i like our chances if murray plays reasonably well…

Clawdawg

September 5th, 2010
11:56 am

Alot to be happy about. Murray’s play was as good or better than we could have expected. We are in good hands this year. Pass protection was excellent, run blocking from the o-line needs work. We are as talented at the skill posistions as anyone in the country. Our defense already looked 50% better than last year. Next week playing the “Chickens” will prove to be a showdown like every other year. SC has the priveledge of playing us early while the kinks are getting worked out. The soft bend and dont break days of “Willie” are over boys! SC is used to the old style, If Garcia runs out of the pocket like he did against Southern Miss, he will be knocked out of the game by the second quarter. I give credit to SC, they look like they are putting together the right peices to compete(Lattimore), but Granthams D is getting ready to take them to the woodshed! We are not Ole Miss, hell we are not even the GA they have grown accustom to. Look out Spurrier, Its your A” Mr Postman!

Clawdawg

September 5th, 2010
12:02 pm

By the way, I think Boykin is turning in to a shut down corner. Nice change from ” I cant make a roster in the NFL while starting at a top SEC football program “Bryan Evans”. What a joke. Glad those days are over.

Man Enough

September 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

My concern is about CMR chewing Murray about his running. Yes he needs to get down and avoid getting hit, but I’m concerned that Richt will have him too consevative after chewing his arse this week. Aside from that I am looking foward to the match up next week. Cant wait to see how our D will look in conference play. I think it will be the usual tight game in Columbia. I just hope Murray has the poise to lead us late in the hostile enviroment. Go Dawgs!!!!

once again we have o-line issues

September 5th, 2010
12:06 pm

well, here we are folks…..cue up the record that’s 10 years old.
once again we have o-line issues. who’s fault is that?

penalties….notice how the defensive penalties were down, but the offense still continued to make them. hmm…..maybe our problems aren’t completely solved yet.

some say we had problems running the ball because ooh la la was stacking the box. honestly, i think it’s because Caleb King runs like Lars Tate….great in the open field but in traffic he falls down just after crossing the line of scrimmage. Carlton Thomas is too small a back to go up the gut….but, coach bobo will send him there because he likes to outthink the opposing defense rather than doing what works.

all in all, a solid game. hope we can hold on to grantham, because he is our only shot at rising above the mark richt football and bible study country club.

Ed

September 5th, 2010
12:09 pm

Bill, Budweiser Bob, I can’t figure out why fans spend money for even one half of these joke games, much less for a whole game. They’re boring. The occasional Jax St. or Appy State shocker aside, they are guaranteed wins against overmatched opponents that don’t tell us much about the team. We lost the Clemson rivalry for this? If fans refused to spend their money on games like this they would disappear.

Jamaica Dawg

September 5th, 2010
12:19 pm

Huge shout outs to the “D” Grantham’s got Junkyard attitude back and it showed!! Sanders Commings’s interception better make top 10 ESPN plays!! Love that new attitude, focus and attention to detail on the “D”!! Defense wins championships, offense sells tickets!!

tbone

September 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

I don’t understand the negative comments. We looked good at all phases of the game & at every position. Put AJ & the 3 that were suspended & Sturdivant back in the mix & things look even better. We did not have to show much of our game plan on either Offense or Defense.
I still believe USCe & the Dawgs are for real & the loser this saturday will not be out of the running for the SEC East.

where are they now?

September 5th, 2010
12:25 pm

Fish bait, 17 out of 20, 17 INT’s, ATL Gator, and other cheeseballs:

What were you saying about Brantley and the numbers he was going to put up compared with the “midget”? I hope all of you clowns enjoy eating crow today. I think “mop up boy” has a lot of work to do!!!! I thought you all said the Gaytors were going to be better offensively without having to rely so much on Tebow. What a joke!!!

Gratefuldawghead

September 5th, 2010
12:29 pm

Nice to have a COACH on Defense!

76-DAWG

September 5th, 2010
12:33 pm

Ed
Apparently you did not graduate from UGA . Most people that went to school there get addicted to the sounds, smell, and overall atmosphere of football at Sanford stadium. You just have to be apart of that scene. Tailgating, seeing friends that you went to school with, getting your kids exposed to Georgia football and many other things gives alumni the chance to go back to UGA where they have such great memories.

Gratefuldawghead

September 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

We needed a good Scrimmage game before South Carolina!
Hunker Down DAWGS!

Jay

September 5th, 2010
12:45 pm

I’d take another Lars Tate anytime.

ryan

September 5th, 2010
12:47 pm

I think the UGA vs SC game is going to off the hook i hope it will be high scoring like the TCU vs Oregon State game game. Grantham has brought the junkyard dog back i hope Russ stays as the mascot .

Ben

September 5th, 2010
12:47 pm

Well said 76-Dawg.

Bill, I left at the start of the 4th because I simply couldn’t take the heat anymore. My legs and neck are ROASTED today. I find it funny that the media and NCAA are so concerned about heat exhaustion due to two-a-day practices but then will allow TV to dictate a Noon kickoff where the guys will play full out for 3 hours in 95 degree heat.

Also, I’d seen what I came to see: Grantham’s D and Murray. Although I wished I’d stayed to see Mason’s touchdown pass.

Heading to Columbia next week where I’m sure I won’t be so relaxed for the game.

Man Enough

September 5th, 2010
12:48 pm

Does anyone know what channel next weeks game will be on? My Direct Tv guide just says TBA on the ESPN channels. It does come up in a seach listed at like 8pm on SS. I know this game will be televised live. So far, I dont like the new SEC on ESPN. Before I usually knew ahead of time if/when and what channel it would be on.

Red Panties Rick

September 5th, 2010
12:52 pm

The new defensive coach, Grantham, curses. It upset me so much that I had to pull a pair of red panties out of my European styled handbag and daub my eyes.

Man Enough

September 5th, 2010
1:03 pm

76 Dawg, I can agree with you. I didn’t go to UGA, but ever since I went to my first game I have become addicted to going. I have friends that claim to be a bigger fan than me but then they turn arround and say that they would just rather sit at home and watch on tv. I love being a part of the atmosphere. I try to make it to at least one or two games a year and I never leave early. I’ve always figured that the fans that leave early were either season ticket holders and just dont care enough when playing the creampuffs or the drinking fans wanting to get back to their booze. Maybe as I get older and atend more games I too will leave early, but I cant imagine that right now. I will be at the Arkansas and Idaho St. games and I plan to stay to the very end. Even as badly as I think we will beat up Id. St.

John

September 5th, 2010
1:16 pm

Is this a joke? An impressive win?? They played a cupcake game and everyone wants to give them the national title, how sad these fans are.

jimmymack

September 5th, 2010
1:22 pm

good report ,next week is hunker down time.i’m looking foward to what the evil genius has instore.we are the deepest team i can remember and our defense was so fast and unpredictable it was a pleasure to watch no matter who was on the field. GO DAWG’S

BR

September 5th, 2010
1:27 pm

Budweiser Bob… at least we show up.

BR

September 5th, 2010
1:28 pm

Gratefuldawghead… I agree 100%!!! I love having someone who actually coaches the defense!!

LibDawg

September 5th, 2010
1:33 pm

John,

Who said anything about a national title?

We’re excited because the defensive play and QB are light years ahead of last year’s play. It doesn’t matter that the competition was easy.

I’ve read maybe one or two posts predicting an easy win against SC next week. Not one post has predicted anything more than that.

Comprehend much?

Rodney Dangerfield

September 5th, 2010
1:59 pm

UGA played LA LA and some of your fans are already touting National Championship runs and Heisman for your freshman QB! What a joke. I will check back in after you play a real team. The only thing this game showed you is that UGA doesn’t suck, like Ole Miss.

ryan

September 5th, 2010
2:02 pm

Hey john GT had a cupcake Florida had one as well fumbled 8 times Ole Miss played Jacksonville state and got embarrassed hater .

Dawgs Run This State!

September 5th, 2010
2:03 pm

None of the coaches looked satisfied… I like it. Offensive and defensive packages will be opened up more against the chickens next week. It’ll be fun.

jrmdvm1

September 5th, 2010
2:19 pm

Anyone else think that fewer defensive penalties ( late hits, etc. ) could be resulting from our players getting to be aggressive from the start of a play rather than reading, reacting, and then trying to make a big play?

papadawg

September 5th, 2010
2:26 pm

Now all we need is the Granthem Fire on offense!

Game analysis

September 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

Good news is that the dawgs played a team that is really, really bad. On top of being overmatched these guys were finding ways to lose. The bad news is that we all noticed that we weren’t really effective running the ball.

Out of all the blowouts I watched yesterday of SEC teams mauling lesser opponents the Georgia game was the only one where the O-line didn’t dominate the opposing defense. Oops make that Florida too which got stoned by Miami, OH defensive line. for 3 qtrs.

South Carolina’s front 7 is going to be much more formidable and we have to be able to run the ball against them. The Southern Miss team they beat up is a lot more talented then the 6th graders we were playing yesterday.

Judging by Florida even though its early the gators looked really, really bad. They looked like a team we could beat. bammer- well, that’s a whole different beast. They were playing a lesser team too but they just looked physically punishing all the way around. I would say the team that we fielded yesterday could play with anybody in the conference except bama.

GA Dawg in Iraq

September 5th, 2010
2:37 pm

GatorBait, that was about the classiest blog from a Flordia fan I have ever read, thanks. I wouldn’t bury the Gators just yet, but Brantly doesn’t look like a good fit for that offense. I hope that Murray can handle the ruckus crowd in Colombia. I think we win because of the Defense. Iraq is a tough place to be during football season, God bless you all, and God bless the Dawgs.

papadawg

September 5th, 2010
2:41 pm

We were suppose to eat them and beat them bad, we did. The last couple of years we struggled bad with these puff teams so yes I’m tickled red panties about the game

catfish252

September 5th, 2010
2:42 pm

Impressive first win? Let’s look at who they played, if they score next week like that on SC then I will be impressed. Certainly not over some cupcake on the schedule.

GA Dawg in Iraq

September 5th, 2010
2:43 pm

Ryan, gotta agree with you about Russ, that is one cool dude. He’s gotta stay!!!

Hayseed Dixie

September 5th, 2010
2:54 pm

@Bill King
“Yes, a bunch of folks left at halftime (why go to all that trouble and expense to watch just half a game?)”

I’m glad you called out your fanbase. They’ve been that way forever, it’s not unlike a NASCAR race. Many is the time I’ve been to a UGA game and I’m saying to myself “I’m a Tech fan, and I’m the only person in my section actually watching the game.”

The only thing UGA fans are more passionate about than other fans is getting s—faced. That’s a fact.

@Mark Richt
“unless something stupid happens between now and the ballgame.”

You know what, buddy? You’re the head friggin’ football coach, you jackwagon. The person most likely to prevent that crap from happening is staring at you in the mirror every morning. This isn’t just one or two wayward kids, this is institutional, my Fullmer winning friend.

Unbelievable.

Paul's Johnson

September 5th, 2010
3:00 pm

Mutt fans are so predictable. Irrational enthusiasm when they defeat a hopelessly over-matched opponent, and over the top gloom and doom when they lose.

papadawg

September 5th, 2010
3:01 pm

Yeah, Dawg fan are the only ones who get drunk. Crawl back under the rock you came from

andy in WR

September 5th, 2010
3:09 pm

Dear God,
You have to love chickens, never won anything in the SEC and were gonna be World Champions when Dr. Lou was there and when Darth Visor arrived–hello Super Bowl!! They give up over 400 yards to their opener and we need to tremble! If I lived in Columbia I would go buy me a UGA flag to fly next Sat!

SatillaDawg

September 5th, 2010
3:13 pm

It’s the greatest time of the year!

It’s fall. It’s cooler. Dawg Nation is wearing Red and Black.

And the Georgia Bulldawgs have notched their first victory!

Go DAWGS! Great start!

Man Enough

September 5th, 2010
3:23 pm

Haters, it’s good to know you have as much interest in UGA football as we do. It doesn’t matter what we say or what happens on the field and ya’ll are on here running off at the mouth. If we feel good about our team we are delusional, if we talk about were we need improvement we are doubters. And we are the pathetic ones??? What a bunch of LOSERS you are. I dont go looking in the Nerd blogs, Gaytor blogs, or whoever, but I’m sure the same type comments are on all. Ya’ll are a joke. Ya’ll say we live or die with our football, but yet you are the ones worrying about what’s going on in our blogs and with our team as much as we are. I dont give a rats a** whats going on with eveyone else’s team, I like to follow my own team. I dont have time to worry about what ya’ll are doing and dont care what is being said on your teams blogs. GET A LIFE!!!

Dawg'em out!

September 5th, 2010
3:26 pm

this game coming up will set the tone for the rest of the season….. GATA

SatillaDawg

September 5th, 2010
3:29 pm

God bless GA Dawg in Iraq, and all our troops.

We haven’t forgotten you.

Thank you, for all you do.

Go DAWGS!

GDawng in Yankee Land

September 5th, 2010
3:47 pm

Everybody take a deep breath! UGA played “East Lobotomy U.” thus it was not really a measure of the team. USC and Arky are the real test of whether this team has any moxie. By the way, same applies for USC and Arky fans; USC played “Creampuff State ” and Arky played “Cupcake Tech.”

Food for thought: I hit like like Hank Aaron when I practice with my daughters softball team.

Rod

September 5th, 2010
3:53 pm

Richt needs to let Murray do what comes natural to him. I’m affraid will think to much and not rely on his instincts as much as he should. Also, Richt needs to let grantham get his point across ever how he sees fit. He knows what he is doing and isn’t doing anything Saban wouldn’t do.

Dawg'em out!

September 5th, 2010
3:54 pm

lol@ gdawg in yankee land, like i said again. georgia will set the tone next with with the way hey prepare for sc this week and the mentality going into the game. should be a classic low scoring smashmouth game!