Dogs had too many weapons for Vols

Blake Sailors has his helmet yanked off after covering a Tennessee fumble. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Blake Sailors has his helmet yanked off after covering a Tennessee fumble. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

That felt good, didn’t it?

The Georgia team that fans had expected to see this season finally showed up Saturday Between the Hedges after being largely missing for four weeks, and put a big-time hurt on Tennessee, thanks to the usually stellar play of A.J. Green, the continuing development of Aaron Murray as a legitimate dual-threat QB, and the Dogs finally flipping the turnover ratio on a major opponent.

Not that we should let ourselves get too giddy about this win. The Derek Dooley-led Volunteers team that Georgia beat Saturday was thoroughly mediocre.

But, hey, after losing to mediocre teams the past two weeks, having a game go the way it appeared like it should go on paper is a major turnaround for a UGA program that was beginning to look lost in the wilderness.

Basically, the die was cast in the first half, which was a game of turnovers, with the Big Orange handing it over on an interception and two fumbles, and the Dogs for once playing Johnny-on-the-spot, snagging the take-aways and scoring when they got the chance.

It wasn’t a perfect game for Georgia, by any means. While the defense played much improved, stifling an opponent’s first drive for the first time in a month and making some big third-down stops, the Dogs still showed themselves vulnerable to big plays, most notably in the second quarter when Justin Houston failed to wrap up a sack of UT’s Matt Simms and the quarterback scrambled away and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass.

But there definitely was improvement all-round, as the 41-14 score would indicate. The revamped offensive line still got jammed up too often and let blitzing defenders get to Murray occasionally, but generally the pass protection was excellent as Murray completed 17 of 25 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

Murray also ran for two scores and was actually Georgia’s most effective runner, ending the day with 41 yards on seven attempts after sacks were subtracted. He averaged 5.9 yards per run. His first ground score came on a beautiful 35-yard run after Tennessee completely bit on a play-action fake, and the other saw Murray scramble out of a sack on third and goal at the 7 and manage to hit the goal line pylon with the ball as he was forced out (a video review by the officials finally ruling it a touchdown after Georgia had gone ahead and kicked a field goal on what it thought was fourth down).

Speaking of the running game, Caleb King, who ran 13 times for 58 yards, solidified his position as Georgia’s first tailback, with some tough cut-back runs. Washaun Ealey was less effective, looking tentative early on and fumbling again down near the goal line, though this time it went out of bounds. He had 33 yards on 12 runs.

A.J. was, of course, A.J., snagging a nifty 33-yard pass on the Dogs’ third scoring drive and bowling over a defender to cross the goal line on the next drive, after special teams player Blake Sailors had recovered a fumbled punt.

Overall, it was the sort of day this Georgia team (and its fan base) badly needed.

I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more thoughts on the game, but now let’s hear what you thought of the Dogs’ first conference win of the year.

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189 comments Add your comment

SatillaDawg

October 9th, 2010
5:11 pm

That’s more like it!

GO YOU HAIRY DAWGS!

paint

October 9th, 2010
5:12 pm

defensive coaches are still learning from their own own head dc…growing pains

THE TRUTH

October 9th, 2010
5:19 pm

Great showing from the dawgs today. I’ve got to be honest though. I am 34 years old, and that might be the worst Tennessee team I have ever seen. Hopefully we can build on this win, i think Vandy might put up more of a fight than the Vols. Can’t believe I just said that.

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 9th, 2010
5:20 pm

Maybe we can get some confidence going

ARdawg

October 9th, 2010
5:21 pm

For some reason even after the win, I still have a burr in my azz. I can live with it.

GO DAWGS

georgia87

October 9th, 2010
5:22 pm

Aaron Murray is big-time. I’d like to see us work out of the I-formation more than the stretch run that has no lead blocking and generally gets, well, stretched. It was good to see the tight ends back in the passing game. Caleb King showed the best vision I’ve seen in him since he got to UGA. Much better run defense. The next time we cover a wheel route will be the first time. Good to see the kids play with a lot of heart after this last run. That is good coaching.

J

October 9th, 2010
5:27 pm

Damn right that felt good !!!! And it will all week, Seeing how I live just south of Chattanooga TN around A LOT of Tennessee fans. GO DOGS !!!!

Dawg Tired

October 9th, 2010
5:28 pm

While I agree with THE TRUTH’s observation about how bad this UT team is, what does that say about LSU? How is LSU the 12th best team in the country when they clearly should have lost to this very same UT team in Baton Rouge?

Aladawg

October 9th, 2010
5:30 pm

Hey Barbara what do you think about the DAWGS kicking your little boy’s butt.

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wag

October 9th, 2010
5:35 pm

I agree, I think Vandy will be a little better than that next week. Great win!!!!!!!!!!

wag

October 9th, 2010
5:36 pm

Murray for heisman

1eyedJack

October 9th, 2010
5:38 pm

I’ll take it!

Cuz

October 9th, 2010
5:39 pm

Well at least the curse of the new shirt has worn off Bill.

Minnesota Dawg

October 9th, 2010
5:40 pm

Listen folks, if Alabama wins today against South Carolina and LSU beats Florida tonight . .. . maybe!

Jimmy

October 9th, 2010
5:41 pm

It was a great win.
It doesn’t matter who the opponent was either.
They team responded with an aggressive game.
Please CMR, keep hitting on Mondays!

crap sandwich

October 9th, 2010
5:42 pm

Good win, still have to question the Red Zone efforts, but this felt good. Still feel we can improve and must improve. Keep up the tough practices. We did show a toughness we have not shown all season.

Bill

October 9th, 2010
5:43 pm

Does Vandy have more talent than Tennessee?

Cuz

October 9th, 2010
5:43 pm

Yeah we sure have a long way to go. I am just hoping that this is a step in that direction.

Cuz

October 9th, 2010
5:44 pm

Bill, I think that answer is yes.

Zeb

October 9th, 2010
5:53 pm

Cuz……how ya holdin up my friend? Good to see the dawgs have a breakout game. South Carolina is giving bama fits

Bill

October 9th, 2010
5:54 pm

I think they do, too, Cuz. I just have a hard time understanding that. Is that Kiffin residue?

Renewed Optimism

October 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

Murray and skill players on offense were solid, O-line still seems out of sync and not physical – run game should have been better. D-line and LB’s were better, but D-backfield still seems lost. Red zone offensive play calling still needs work or better blocking. Regardless if we can continue to hang 40+ on teams we have a chance to win. Hate to look back, but not having AJ for the first four cost us wins. Keep the faith – GO DAWGS!

KJ

October 9th, 2010
6:06 pm

Game wasnt as impressive as the score. still fumbling, just lucky they didnt lose them. still bad playcalling, run up the gut on second and long, playaction on third and long. another injury. spotty run blocking. all that HAS to be resolved, if they want to compete against the good teams.

HOUDAWG

October 9th, 2010
6:06 pm

Finally ……. a nice win. Going in , woulda been happy with a 1-point W. Hindsight , glad we kicked some butt ….. shows the true potential of this team.

Bigwheat

October 9th, 2010
6:10 pm

Until Ealey can learn to block, he needs to be riding the bench.

Man Enough Is Enough

October 9th, 2010
6:14 pm

I’m already hearing so many saying we are back……..Really??? We did play better today, but against who? I’m not trying to bring down the Dawg Nation, but I’m just not convinced after 1 win against a troubled team that we are back. We still have troubles with the D backs, Rambo in particular. Tenn. helped us to look better with turn overs, a bad snap and wanting to run the ball against a team that has been burned big in the air. Until I see some consistancy and a solid performance against a real opponent, I’m not going to get too excited. I was pleased to see us play a full game for once. Looks like we are headed in the right direction, just not drinking the Kool Aid yet. Keep GATA! And I sure hope Richt stays with the full pad practices.

hunker down

October 9th, 2010
6:15 pm

With ten arrest this year please don’t scare me saying dogs and weapons in the same sentence.

Dawg'em out!

October 9th, 2010
6:20 pm

do it again next week! GATA!

Tom Dawg

October 9th, 2010
6:26 pm

I disagree Bill. Caleb King didn’t solidify his position, he just had a few more yards than Ealey this week. Richt needs to put both of them on the practice squad. Aaron Murray’s the best running back that we have and thats not good.Ealey needs to just go back to Stillmore and get a job at the chicken plant.

Yamadawg

October 9th, 2010
6:30 pm

When did it become OK to grab a player’s facemask, twisting the head and yanking the helmet off of his head? UT did it twice and the ref’s could not have missed it. Is it alright to maim a player if they are down?

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 9th, 2010
6:35 pm

Is Saban the god getting outcoached?

Minnesota Dawg

October 9th, 2010
6:35 pm

Hey Georgia allowed less points than Alabama has on South Carolina.

Thumper

October 9th, 2010
6:35 pm

Dam……..Spurrier is kickin Saban’s arse!!

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 9th, 2010
6:36 pm

LSU is going to beat FLA too.

Man Enough Is Enough

October 9th, 2010
6:44 pm

What the he** happened to Bama?

Zeb

October 9th, 2010
6:49 pm

I don’t see bama winnin this one……..and I don’t see Fla beating Carolina……..If we can’t make it to Atlanta, I’d love to see S. Carolina

Royal D

October 9th, 2010
6:49 pm

At this point, a win is a win. We’ll take it! Hopefully, the Dogs can build on this and get some momentum goin! For the first time this year, we can finally say HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!!!! Even if its against TN, we needed this.

Man Enough Is Enough

October 9th, 2010
6:54 pm

If LSU wins the west this year, they are the luckiest team ever.

Royal D

October 9th, 2010
6:57 pm

The Bama loss is not good. This just means Spurrier finally has himself a juggernaut of a team. Pains me to say that, but at least we dont have to worry about SC till next September. Still, Bama had their chances to turn it around.

Bulldarg

October 9th, 2010
6:58 pm

It matters not. Steve Superior is your Overlord.

Bulldarg

October 9th, 2010
6:59 pm

‘.If we can’t make it to Atlanta”
When we DON’T make it to Atlanta.
FTFY.

GR82BAG8R

October 9th, 2010
7:02 pm

Ok…I admit it…I was wrong….I predicted Georgia 37 Tennessee 13.
I underestimated both teams.

T-DAWG

October 9th, 2010
7:03 pm

When is Rambo going to cover someone? I know this is his firsst yeaar starting but come on!! Alec Ogletree is a true freshman but we need to get him more playing time to take over that postion. It doesn’t take a skill player to cover a UT receiver 40 yards down the field. You just need to play assignment football. The OL is still a work in progress but we do not have a big time back to make them look better like Moreno made the average OL look good for 3 years. This slide has been in the works for at least 3 years. Still a DAWG at the end of the day but just pointing out the obvious.

TX Dawg

October 9th, 2010
7:04 pm

It’s great to be a GA Bulldog!

JJ142

October 9th, 2010
7:12 pm

So Da’Rick had one catch for minus three yards, so technically Nash nance had a better game? He won’t be saying that much.

Lumpkin Street Larry

October 9th, 2010
7:14 pm

It was just nice seeing some spirit back between the hedges. Losing is bad enough without having to look flat, bored and tired doing it. CMR has remounted and reloaded, and I am breathing a bit easier. All the casual naysayers can crawl back under their rocks.

VolinSuwanee

October 9th, 2010
7:28 pm

On this Saturday there was no doubt UGA was the better team and played like it. No SEC team in recent history has been forced to play the quantity of true freshmen, R freshman and sophomores as UT is playing. Only hope Dooley keeps them together and the team does not splinter and starts to point fingers. Dooley will recruit well and bring in good football players and more importantly good kids. It is tough to say but i like where the Vol program is and where we are headed.

dagnabit

October 9th, 2010
7:40 pm

So georgia finally won a game. What’s that make it now. 1-4! No question. Georgia’s on it way!

Bill

October 9th, 2010
7:42 pm

No significant problems????????????
Defensive players who are afraid of contact. Not a significant problem?????? Creditability issue, for sure.