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

tide roll

September 6th, 2010
12:47 am

Yeah. Way to bang it in in the red zone. Richt and Bobo will never learn. Tennesse’s offensive line is already more physical than yours. Also, even the Kool-aid drinkers have to be utterly dumbfounded as to why Richt and Bobo didn’t go after Cam Newton. They effectively handed Auburn a physical freak of nature. It ranks up there with the two georgia boys who make up the entire left side of the No. 1 team in the nation’s offensive line. James Carpenter and Chance Warmack. Remind me to send Richt and Bobo a Christmas Card.

uga-brave

September 6th, 2010
1:32 am

turn grantham lose every week. aint it great to have a intense guy on the sidelines.

sorry if he offended some of your ears. it is about time.

this aint a church picnic. absolute attack mode on defense and the war daddies love it.

Lifelong Dawg

September 6th, 2010
5:39 am

@ Man Enough – Good point about the anti-UGA posters on this blog. I wouldn’t bother checking the blogs for their schools; there is nothing on them. They’re too busy obsessing over the Dawgs on the UGA blogs. Maybe the AJC should create an anti-UGA blog so these guys can have their own space to post snide, nasty comments about Georgia without being interrupted by UGA supporters. Of course, they would just ignore that forum and continue to be a burr under the saddle of Georgia fans. Pathetic…

dap01

September 6th, 2010
8:17 am

Vance Dauley: You and your mom should know about the cess pool of the south.

Saint Simons

September 6th, 2010
8:38 am

Congrads uga for winning the fulmer cup!!!!!!! U bunch of THUGS

GTfanfrom1951

September 6th, 2010
8:39 am

UGA fan are happy about beating the 115 team in the country……

Red Panties Rick

September 6th, 2010
8:52 am

Hanging decorative red panties around the TV set and lamps opens up a festive display of color before any UGA ballgame…..

12-2

September 6th, 2010
9:04 am

Caleb King STARTING again ?

Who said this Offensive Line was the BEST IN THE NATION ?

Like I said earlier, you don’t have to be in South Beach to get extra benefits.

Aaron Murray is a better quarterback than Matthew Stafford, David Greene, and even a better quarterback than even Joe Cox – Altamahawdawg

Are we still the 6th WORST football team in The SEC in the Polls ?

I see we are still playing Walk-Ons on Kick-Off Coverage who miss their tackles and do not contain their lanes, which is surprising by itself, given that with all the players KICKED-OFF and who just QUIT this gig that we have FIVE (5) Walk-Ons who are on SCHOLARSHIP.

Sunbelt Conference Louisiana Lafayette shut down STARTING TAILBACK for the 6th Game in a Row, Caleb King. Who would have guessed it ? Wahh, I don’t feel good. Coach take me out. Except for the lone run where Louisiana Lafayette defender had him tackled for a loss but let him go, Caleb King was a BUST.

Do ANY of you really believe that Aaron Murray can pick up our Running Game, covering for the lack of ability to block for the run and lack of a Running Back outside of Arrested / Suspended Washaun Ealey ? God Almighty, who was it that designed those running plays ? And, where was Dontavius Jackson, who also would have been far better than Caleb King ? Oh, that’s right quick off of being DUPED by Tavarres King to drive Tavarres’ Pick-Up Truck around Athens for the sole purpose of Tavarres getting DRUNK in it with 6 of his buddies all with alcohol purchased by Branden Smith who had his Driver’s License suspended for THAT because he had Vance Cuff’s DL on his person, Dontavius Jackson also QUIT this gig.

12-2

September 6th, 2010
9:10 am

Was studying the recruits in the STATE OF GEORGIA on Offense again, and notice just how great we are doing in-state on Offense.

Again.

NOT.

How can Coach Richt be FRUSTRATED, Bill King ?

He just TOOK THE JOB AWAY FROM MIKE BOBO, as was OBVIOUS to EVERYONE, as Offensive Coordinator. Why have Mike Bobo, if you are going to do HIS JOB and your own too ? Anyway, I thought it was the fault of the Police that we won the Fulmer’s Cup NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. None of those guys should have been arrested. It is all they could say all day long, this guy and this other guy etc out of the game.

12-2

September 6th, 2010
9:18 am

Dual-Threat, yeah right Bill King. He can either run around back there and get hammered by SEC Defenders, throw off-balance and should have had 2 of those intercepted but were not, or get hammered with our season shot as a direct result downfield. Bill King, did you even watch Coach Richt ? What do you think Steve Spurrier’s game plan will be ? Run Blitz, force him to do that and you liked it.

12-2

September 6th, 2010
9:31 am

What ? Are we supposed to disagree with them Lifelong Dawg ? I don’t see you disagreeing with them, either.

12-2

September 6th, 2010
9:36 am

Coached up on offense ?

I guess you missed the half a dozen penalties ?

Missed that despite the defense handing them the ball, they could not even run on a Sun Belt opponent, and not even a good one at that.

Who is our receiver ? We bounced the ball in front of wide open Orson Charles. We threw 2 balls which should have been intercepted. Our Offensive Coordinator / Head Coach was running around like a chicken with his head cut-off every play with Aaron Murray making plays when NO ONE ELSE would.

Against the Sun Belt bottom-dweller.

12-2

September 6th, 2010
9:37 am

Coached up on offense ?

I guess you missed the half a dozen penalties ?

Missed that despite the defense handing them the ball, they could not even run on a Sun Belt opponent, and not even a good 1 at that.

Who is our receiver ? We bounced the ball in front of wide open Orson Charles. We threw 2 balls which should have been intercepted. Our Offensive Coordinator / Head Coach was running around like a chicken with his head cut-off every play with Aaron Murray making plays when NO ONE ELSE would.

Against Sun Belt bottom-dweller.

angryweez

September 6th, 2010
9:42 am

Let’s not carried away, folks. GA played the Rajun Cajuns from the Sun Belt. Not exactly a big test.

Pago Pago Dawg

September 6th, 2010
9:46 am

What ever happened to Sterling Boyd? That fine RB from Texas…

AltamahaDawg

September 6th, 2010
10:02 am

I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the KO team. Mostly that Bill didnt touch on it. If you look at each one, the 2 that were not good: one was flat and then poorly tackled and one that seemed to just be be a mis-kick that was just short. The last bunch of them that were high and landed inside the 5 were covered pretty well. I think thats what Coach was trying to say last week about some fans not understanding. He wasn’t calling anyone dumb (although some folks in here insisted they were guilty), just that its a combination of factors.

AltamahaDawg

September 6th, 2010
10:16 am

I wonder if SSI watched that fiasco with all his many gator buddies? All both of them.

Delbert D.

September 6th, 2010
10:48 am

I’ve never understood why people would leave early. After suffering through 4 months without college football, I don’t want to miss a minute.

davidinloganville

September 6th, 2010
10:54 am

ed
would you like to double the ticket price and min donation to drop a home game every other year, that’s what you give up with a home and home series instead of a game against a cup cake.

davidinloganville

September 6th, 2010
10:56 am

sc plays over their head against Georgia every year due to the fact that half their players come from the state of Georgia, that’s also why they tank every year after losing to Georgia.

davidinloganville

September 6th, 2010
10:58 am

Delbert D-

what was the qb rating for the “robot” against that 1-AA team over at the north avenue trade school?

DDT

September 6th, 2010
11:10 am

There will be a chickin pluckin in SC this weekend if anyone wants to attend.

BK

September 6th, 2010
11:41 am

Caleb King looked slow….too slow for this opponent. He continues to lack any resemblance of a burst. I’d bump him to 3 on the depth chart after this game. He gives up and gets tackled way too easily, not withstanding the TD, which was nice.

chazzo

September 6th, 2010
12:40 pm

I think Murray showed some great qualities in the way he directed things and looked off the D. He seems to possess some of the intangibles of a great QB. I fully expect, however, that he will have two or three turnovers against SC. I hope not, but I won’t be surprised or write him off if it happens.

We haven’t seen a QB since Greene who could consistently march a team down field for long, extended drives. I would love to see that again. Man, Greene used to eat up time and yards and exhaust opposing Ds.

italian_29

September 6th, 2010
3:16 pm

12-2, or the blogger formerly know as buLLdawg, time to take your meds.

Bill King

September 6th, 2010
4:33 pm

Altamaha:

Take another look. I did write about the kickoffs:

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. …

Bill King

September 6th, 2010
4:36 pm

12-2:

Count again. Georgia had five penalties against Louisiana-Lafayette, four on offense and one on special teams.

WE (HIT AND) RUN THIS STATE

September 6th, 2010
5:00 pm

Our Dawgs looked good. We should have all these people back next week from jail and be at full strength. Who cares if our players, hit and flee, drink and drive, etc. , they are just kids. How many of you did not do the same thing at one time? We are going to win out and go 12-0 and beat Bama in the SEC championship. Go Dawgs!!!!

tony

September 6th, 2010
7:30 pm

To all the dawgs haters…… next week Louisiana Lafayette will play the team(Arkansas State) that scored 26 points against Auburn. Louisiana Lafayetta beat Arkansas State 21-18 last season. If it weren’t for Rambo missed assignment the dawgs would have gotten that shut out. Stay Toon Haters.

45ACP

September 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

The Bulldog Hotline is an embarassment. WSB loses the signal and reverts to prerecorded/other shows? Come on. After the endless commercials there is about 15 minutes of actual conversation about the Dawgs.

45ACP

September 6th, 2010
8:55 pm

em·bar·rassed, damn it.

bugsquacher

September 6th, 2010
9:50 pm

go dawgs….great defense

Gratefuldawghead

September 6th, 2010
9:56 pm

Dawgs getting fired up for South Carolina…Techies waiting on The GEORGIA game!

AltamahaDawg

September 7th, 2010
7:22 am

My Bad Bill. And I agree with all that, except that I don’t know that we can really say kicking it inside the 3 Yd line is exactly short. Short of the endzone, but the term “short”, conjures up visions of 2008.

And the bigger point about somebody moaning about the penalties is that they ignore the 30 yrds. I would say that cutting that number in half was a pretty good start. Although certainly the false starts on the line is frustating.

C.L. Dillard

September 7th, 2010
8:43 am

Is it just me or what lattimore doesnt look that good. For one he runs high, Secondly he looks like he was a little scared or diva-ish on the sidelines. He will wish next week that he attended Running back U. But we dont need ya.

UGGA DAWG23

September 7th, 2010
8:45 am

Man ur so rite on point.

McDawg

September 7th, 2010
10:07 am

not good news about the running game

DawginLex

September 7th, 2010
10:24 am

We may go 9-3 with Murray but it will be great by the end of the year to listen to the excuses coming out of Gainesville about Brantley.

Talk about a square peg in a round hole. And no TT to bail him out like in 2006.

Just like I said. Murray will be a better QB than Brantley and Meyer will be wishing more than ever that he had him.

droopydawg

September 7th, 2010
11:42 am

I don’t know the stats, but we seemed to play nearly penalty-free, which is a massive improvement, and we got 3 takeaways to nearly match last season’s total haul.

Overall, we looked great in all the ways we looked terrible last year. Grantham is starting to remind me of BVG with his fiery demeanor and aggressive scheming. Could be a great year, will be a fun year.

Brenda Starr

September 7th, 2010
12:17 pm

Since dawgtards seem to love living in the past, how about remembering the Jan Kemp trial, which exposed UGA and Vince Dooley for the jokes that they were. My favorite quote from the trial was this one:

O. Hale Almand Jr., a lawyer for the defense, offered a justification for the favorable treatment accorded the athletes, citing a hypothetical player. “We may not make a university student out of him,” he told the jury, “but if we can teach him to read and write, maybe he can work at the post office rather than as a garbageman when he gets through with his athletic career.”

The best thing about the trial was that it completely killed Vince Dooley’s shot at Congress, since he was exposed as a fraud and a cheat during the trial. Make no mistake – Dooley knew everything that was going on.

Nothing has changed in the almost three decades since the trial. If anything, the abuses are even worse. Exhibit #1: Jim Harrick and son.

Today the players are even more illiterate and felonious and, well, just plain stupid, as evidenced by their arrest records and record number of penalties. Even Vince Dooley couldn’t have controlled this mob, much less Mark Richt. And now even the AD is a drunk debaucherer.

There’s a reason why UGA is known as The Cesspool of the South.

smart like a Fox

September 7th, 2010
2:49 pm

this just in….our win was so impressive that we moved ahead of Tech in the polls ….go dogs

Taylor

September 7th, 2010
3:02 pm

Good to see not too many trolls on here today. Brenda Starr, try to stay on topic.

BULLDOG BITE

September 7th, 2010
3:37 pm

Spurrierrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …………………..YOU THINK VISORS ARE COOL?????????!!!!!!!!!

meh

September 7th, 2010
4:01 pm

Coach Grantham really let him have it. It was great to see. GATA!!

Joey

September 7th, 2010
7:56 pm

UGA #1 in the SEC in:
1) Offensive Scoring
2) Turnover margin
3) Defensive yards
4) KO Returns
5) Time of Possession

Not too shabby.

Joey

September 7th, 2010
8:07 pm

Georgia ranked in the top 6 in the nation in:
1) offensive scoring
2) defensive points allowed
3) defensive total yards
4) turnover margin
5) scoring margin