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

Dawg'em out!

September 5th, 2010
3:57 pm

on another note, if dawgs comeout with the win. he gauntlet isnt over cause ark @ home is tough and at miss st. just got alot tougher imo too! one game a a time tough, let he big dawgs eat in sc!

HD27

September 5th, 2010
4:00 pm

Does anyone know why Gamble didn’t play…I hope he plays nxt week.

Harry the Hat

September 5th, 2010
4:17 pm

… getting your kids exposed to Georgia football…

Stop abusing your kids like that. Their minds are terrible things to waste.

Already way too many dawgtards in the unemployment lines. Working people are tired of paying for your booze and Twinkies. Spend more time acquiring some job skills and less time on the blogs.

You’ll thank me one day for that sage advice.

Really?

September 5th, 2010
4:21 pm

Harry, you haters spend more time in the blogs than UGA fans. Ya’ll haters are pathetic.

HD27

September 5th, 2010
4:26 pm

Does anyone know why gamble didn’t play?

Vance Duuley

September 5th, 2010
4:28 pm

Drunks, thugs, and morons. #1 Party School. Jim Harrick. Jan Kemp. Sleezebags Vince Dooley and Damon Evans. Perennial winner of the Fulmer/Richt Cup.

THERE’S A REASON UGA IS KNOWN AS THE CESSPOOL OF THE SOUTH.

Nick

September 5th, 2010
4:30 pm

Overall defnitely pleased with what I saw and I do think it will only get better. Disappointed in the OL as I really thought it would be the #1 strength of this team, and may very well end up that way, but I remember the last few of years, it took way too long for them to start playing well, and by then it was too late. I still say the only coach I thought Richt should have fired but didn’t was Searels. The O-Line has done nothing but underachieve and false start since his arrival. And still the KO teams are off to a slow start.

Other than that, I’m very excited about this season. The defense looks solid, as does both strings at QB. Our WR corps, including TE’s is going to be phenomenol. Can’t wait for Ealey to get back, as I think King feeds off of his presence.

Kicking game is unreal. I felt like Walsh should have won the Groza last yer. I’d love to see a Groza winner and a Guy winner on the same team. I know they’re both capable.

I hated seeing AJ out, and I hope that crap comes to a head this week.

Go Dawgs!

ryan

September 5th, 2010
4:35 pm

It not worth responding to these gutter snipes any more just think about the positives and worry about negatives latter .

smart like a Fox

September 5th, 2010
4:39 pm

hahaha…awesome win …way to go you guys

What??

September 5th, 2010
4:47 pm

1st time since Richt has been at UGA that we finally defeat a lesser team as we should against a lesser opponent.

DEFENSE was outstanding! In the hunt for big hits, fast at closing, and controlling the tempo. Now, lets see if they can do that in the SEC!

brick

September 5th, 2010
4:57 pm

Lamec0ck Pete, I realize you are happy for you 5* RB making a debue and averaged 3.8 ypc, you and the other lamec0cks have announced he has emerged. While UGA rbs averaged over 5 ypc and our fanbase is concerned about our running game. Those 2 facts alone put our series in prospective, UGA expects excellence while Lamec0ck fans announced they have “emerged”. One last question, when have the Lamec0cks ever been a real SEC team?

76-DAWG

September 5th, 2010
5:08 pm

The best coach I ever had let you know that you had screwed up by getting in your face and used every curse word in the book in just one broken sentence. That accomplished two things . First, it got your attention and second you found out real fast what not to do ever again.THAT’S OLD SCHOOL COACHING. When you are trying to get something over to an 18 to 23 year old sometimes it takes that. For those of you that got offended at Grantham’s rant it’s obvious you don’t have athletic sons or haven’t coached young men but trying to say this in a nice way ,JUST LET IT GO. We have been needing a passionate , give a damn coach , for our defense for a long time. It reminded me of ERK.

Delbert D.

September 5th, 2010
5:09 pm

SEC Week 1 Passer Ratings:

Russell_____Miss.St_____298.2
Newton_____Auburn_____246.6
McElroy____Alabama____230.7
Mallett_____Arkansas____225.8
Stnly/Msoli_Ole Miss____206.1
Jefferson____LSU_______153.7
Murray_____Georgia____147.5
Garcia_____S.Carolina__140.1
Hartline____Kentucky___135.5
Simms____Tennessee__135.4
Smith_____Vanderbilt___122.6
Brantley___Florida______111.2

Average 2009 Passer Ratings for QBs returning in 2010 for the SEC, ACC,
Big-12, Big Ten and PAC-10 is: 132.1

Compiled by me. Any errors are my fault, school web sites, or the newspaper.

Thunder City

September 5th, 2010
5:25 pm

Grantham’s the real deal. Went back and compared his 1st game to Saban’s at Bama, back in 2007.

Saban gave up 247 yards on defense, 76 against the rush to West Kent.

Grantham —- 150 total yards, —- 16 yards rushing.

Yep, turns out Grantham is better than Saban after all.

Saban’s debut at Alabama:
http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=272440333

High Wire

September 5th, 2010
5:32 pm

Hutson Mason had a 161 QB rating, Murray’s was 140′ish.

Mason’s a baller folks.

Goldie

September 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

Want to see bias in the polls?

Florida should drop out of the top 20.

Georgia should move into the top 10.

We’ll see.

Goldie

September 5th, 2010
5:51 pm

What did learn about the SEC in week 1?

Chris Low, Kirk Herbstreit, Mark Schlater, Mark Bradley, Tony Barnhart, all wrong about how good Florida and Brantley would be, and all wrong about how bad Murray and Georgia would be.

big_fort

September 5th, 2010
6:08 pm

It always amazes me how chicken fans like Gamec0ck Pete act like they really have the right to brag about anything.

Thunder City

September 5th, 2010
6:10 pm

Saban tried to hire Todd Grantham 2x to be his defensive coach.

Wanna compare Grantam’s debut at Georgia to Saban’s at Alabama?

Saban’s was against West Carolina, Grantham’s against La Lafeyette

Defensive stats
1st downs–
Grantham- 5
Saban–15

3rd down conv:
Saban- 7/17
Grantham- 3/16

Total Yards:
Saban- 247
Grantham- 128

Pass Yards:
Saban- 171
Grantham- 114

Rushing Yards:
Saban- 76
Grantham- 14

Forced TO’s:
Saban- 2
Grantham- 3

Saban’s debut at Alabama:
http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=272440333

Dawg 39

September 5th, 2010
6:17 pm

Right. A lot, a whole lot, more pluses tham minuses coming out of this game. D=GATA.

N.dog

September 5th, 2010
6:27 pm

Got to hand it to you, the defense did look good & appeared to have some intensity. Good luck with SC. Go Jackets.

Delusions of grandeur

September 5th, 2010
6:27 pm

Thunder city,

What an absurd statistical comparison. Are you really that stupid?

Todd Grantham is not Nick Saban. Period.

And Georgia is not Alabama. That team is a monster. If you get lucky enough to meet those guys in the seccg they will pound you so far into the Georgia Dome turf that your team will come out in China.

SickandTired

September 5th, 2010
6:46 pm

Truth

September 5th, 2010
6:47 pm

A win against some pitiful team can never be called “impressive” unless you are a deliusional doggie fan or sports writer. Try to win your division FIRST before ever using the adjective “impressive!”

carl patrick

September 5th, 2010
6:56 pm

GA Beat A High School Football Team And You Fans Think They Should Be Number 1 Same Every Year.

Gratefuldawghead

September 5th, 2010
7:12 pm

Scrimmage game is over time for the SEC…Hunker Down DAWGS!

Camden Mark

September 5th, 2010
7:22 pm

Gotta love Granthem. Man I got shivers watching him on the sideline, gave me flashbacks of the ‘ol bleeding chrome dome and a little of Van Gorder.We don’t need “nice” coachs we need fire breathers and I think we found one

Big Dawg

September 5th, 2010
7:25 pm

Great game and the team will speak for itself,no need in trying to explain why we won,we just, did and we were suppose to.
Look at the pitiful Gators,26 yards of total offense going into the 4th.
Look at Auburn’s pathetic defense,Ole Miss,or the weak LSU tigers,lol!!
How about the Volunteers who are suppose to suck so bad,throwing up 50 points? These moron sports writers are crazy,they are never right about who is the best and if Notre dame went 1-11 they would claim they deserved a bowl bid.

all I can say is…..Let the Big Dawg Eat!! we handled our game easier than ant other team in the SEC and thats a fact!Gooo Dawgs!

Big Dawg

September 5th, 2010
7:26 pm

NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Dawg

September 5th, 2010
7:38 pm

Did anyone forget we were without 5 starters?HELLO!!!!!!

Villa Rica Dawg

September 5th, 2010
7:40 pm

Somewhere Erk Russell is smiling. Saturday reminded me of the Junkyard Dawg defense for the first time in years.

rap dawg

September 5th, 2010
7:45 pm

The cess pool of the south?
Guess thats why GA is also reffered to as the empire state of the south?
there is no other city like ATL in the south,South carolina is the turd state,not GA.lowest sat’s in the world!!!!

little chipper cat dog

September 5th, 2010
7:46 pm

2002 repeat,but without the 1 loss

gators will lose

September 5th, 2010
7:49 pm

Did you guys see how Florida struggled?????? HA HA HA!
What kind of moron thinks they deserve a top 5 ranking,what a joke!
They suck!!!

Daisy dog

September 5th, 2010
7:51 pm

Now lets be nice~~~~~~NOT!!!!

No Respect

September 5th, 2010
8:04 pm

Truth, really? I remember hearing a few times over the last couple of years when the Gators beat the snott out of some cream puffs and all I heard was “WOW” did you how bad they beat them? I dont care who it is with a beat down like that. Heard comments like this from sportscasters and fans.

Without a broken pass coverage by Rambo, they would have been shutout and and only have about 50 yrds total offense. That is impressive!

Camden Mark

September 5th, 2010
8:15 pm

Gaters sans super man and the masked eye gouger not looking to good. As a matter of fact they were down right bad.

private plane watching

September 5th, 2010
8:24 pm

1 Question… did anyone get arrested during the game???

browndog

September 5th, 2010
8:29 pm

SC will be ready and the crowd will be in rare form. UGA will have to play much better to win.

lost and found

September 5th, 2010
8:29 pm

A pair of red women’s underwear and a $35 bike helmet… Email if u have them!

private plane watching

September 5th, 2010
8:30 pm

Enter your comments here

no spur for sc

September 5th, 2010
8:41 pm

Facts are SC played with 6 starters out. They could not run the nickle package. 70% of So. Miss yards were against 2cd and 3rd team late.

This is going to be a good game. I hope to see Green vs. Jeffreys. Two of the best in the country.

Notice the playmakers for SC. Many underclassmen.

smart like a Fox

September 5th, 2010
9:05 pm

we just beat the worst team in America. I don’t know what we have! That was the weakest of the cupcakes,and you people crow like we just beat BAMA…..the fact is the scout team is tougher.

LakeDawg57

September 5th, 2010
9:29 pm

Gator Bait thanks for showing the class of SEC FOOTBALL FAN. I was in Daytona with best friend which is a fla fan. We watch the dawgs and turned to fla game a few times. Three yrs ago went to fla game which fans were just so sick with the rudeness, never seen it that bad towards UGA. Most young punks, I ve been going since 70’s to games. Was used to owning fla, in my day. Still never disrespect the other team. I thought the dawgs looked good . Could be a team that could put it all togeather this yr and win the east. One game at a time. SC has allways played us tough. Very impressed with D fence and OFF with 3 key players missing. Hope all are back this week. We all can judge from this week. One more thing can WE ALL JUST GET ALONE. I have had some of my best days in Jacsonville party with fla fans and ga fans at Billys before and after game. We could all get along and we were losing with the better team then too. But last few yrs fla teams have just been better. Just like now Bama looks goods.But win or lose I’m still a UGA fan no matter where we fall. Also and anyone that thinks we should get rid of CMR is a fool where were you when we could get a SEC champs for 20 yrs he has two in 10 yrs. He has made the right move I think now with D. We will see if he needs it on OFF this yr if we can hold on to ball long enough to do something with it then other giving to other team. I think these young man are about to prove something next cple yrs. Just can’t wait to see Lamay and Marshall and company getting to the dawgs. Great things to come. Dawg fan start showing some respect as we win all these games this yr. We are going to win some big one’s

Rocky Mountain Dawg

September 5th, 2010
9:36 pm

We need AJ Green.
The NCAA wasted no time in passing down the action on the Bama player. Why has it taken so long, for them to make a decision on AJ? ; good or bad.
I agree with Richt on Murray not taking to many crazy chances and getting hurt. I do see him being the dual threat QB like the TCU QB in the future, but the team needs more QB depth, first.

Ed

September 5th, 2010
9:41 pm

76-Dawg, regarding the pregame rituals, I know the experience well. I also know the feeling of actually getting to the stadium and anticipating a rivalry game where the outcome is very much in doubt, which was often the case against Clemson. If you enjoy the overall experience and don’t care who Georgia actually plays that’s your business, but to me the game is still the main attraction and primarily what I spend money on.

Hogwash

September 5th, 2010
9:51 pm

Great job by the defense. Bobo and Searles need to get it going fast. Run blocking was pathetic and of course the playcalling sucked. Murray will have to improvise with the shabby offense that Bobo calls. They better improve quick because, SC looked really good in their game. The defense did a great job, but the true test will come against SC. TJ Stripling really showed a lot of speed coming off the corner. Would like to see more of him next week on more blitzes and maybe used as a rover. Lattimore is a big back for SC. We’re going to have to really do some big hitting from here on out.

Mobile Dawg

September 5th, 2010
10:07 pm

One game at a time.

DAWGMAN

September 5th, 2010
10:45 pm

That was some pretty smooth QB play. I feel relieved these guys are as talented and ‘coached up’ as they are.

col fot

September 5th, 2010
11:30 pm

Boise State 28, Virginia Tech 24. Boise St. to go undefeated and play for the national title. TCU will go undefeated also but will wind up in the Qrange Bowl. They only play 1 or 2 good teams, the rest is just too weak of a schedule. Boise St. will probably play the SEC champion and get embarassed.
Alabama will lose once, Florida 3 times, Georgia 3. Ohio St., which never plays anybody will get their @ss handed to them by Miami.