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

SoCal Dawg

October 9th, 2010
7:43 pm

TN gave us the game but we took advantage of the gift. We looked like we wanted it. If CMR can’t get the job done he really needs to go, but I sure am pulling for him. Good win!
Go Dawgs!

tdog

October 9th, 2010
7:44 pm

We are 2 and 3 and we beat Tennessee! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

tdog

October 9th, 2010
7:45 pm

Excuse me 2 and 4 and we beat Tennessee! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

UGA

October 9th, 2010
7:53 pm

UGA won and Bama lost…take that all you Saban lovers and Richt haters!!!

wpww dawg

October 9th, 2010
7:55 pm

im just ready to see the new UGA!!!

Tman

October 9th, 2010
7:55 pm

Zeb you really dont know SEC football. Georgia and South Carolina could never meet in the SEC championship in Atlanta.

Kramer

October 9th, 2010
7:55 pm

Keep on complaining girls. Psst. We won.

Pedro

October 9th, 2010
7:56 pm

Tman

October 9th, 2010
7:56 pm

We beat Tennessee! Whoppee doo!

powerhouse?

October 9th, 2010
7:56 pm

Looks like Bobo did a good job. Congrats dogs.

wpww dawg

October 9th, 2010
7:57 pm

DEPORT PEDRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SatillaDawg

October 9th, 2010
7:59 pm

I think not, Pedro.

Tman

October 9th, 2010
8:03 pm

I dont know where people come up with” they wanted it more” Every team that suits up each Saturday wants it more. Execution by upperclassmen will always produce winning results. In college ball, you can have a great team every 3 to 4 years. The pros can have good teams longer. Georgia will beat Ky ,Florida , GT (I hate it) But Auburn will win

ryan

October 9th, 2010
8:05 pm

Great win but we don’t need to get ahead of our selves its along shot to the dome we need to take it one game at a time .

FRED

October 9th, 2010
8:06 pm

GREAT WIN. NOW DID I NOT TELL YOU YEARS AGO THAT SOUTH CAROLINA WITH SPURRIER WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME A BETTER PROGRAM WELL YOU HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN THIS YEAR. GOOD COACHING WILL ALWAYS RISE TO THE TOP.

deaddawgintheroad

October 9th, 2010
8:17 pm

So I guess you’all are going tell everyone that THUGA beat the top team in the country today.

aint con

October 9th, 2010
8:19 pm

Enter your comments here

aint conVinceD

October 9th, 2010
8:22 pm

Tenn gave UGA a lot of gifts today. SC beat Bama so Dawgs are done. This Season was OVA at Missy State which was pathetic.

Kwame Koon

October 9th, 2010
8:27 pm

Where are all the toothless Vols fans? Now that was a beat down! This was Aaron Murray’s coming out party… that kid’s got the goods!

Ramblin Man

October 9th, 2010
8:32 pm

Congrats to UGA. That was a nice win and Murray looked really good. Good luck for the rest of the season minus the last game in November.

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:35 pm

no squashedjacketunderbulldogpaw . We just don’t suck as bad as GT.

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:37 pm

The seeping GIANT has awakened!

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:43 pm

I don’t understand why Bobo keeps taking King out of the game when he is running strong and sticking Ealey in. I almost lost it in the game when he fumbled in the redzone, even though it went out of bounce. Ealey needs to be sat on the bench. If Saban, Myer, or Spurrier were his coach he would be turned into a cheerleader. He has proven to be costly this team. He needs to get it together.

VolinSuwanee

October 9th, 2010
8:45 pm

here i am with all my teeth and after posting a compliment to your team. BUT i should actually say it is NOT your team with the lack of class your post shows. But i should realize you can not read so i should not hold my compliment against you.

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:46 pm

We should take care of Vandy next week.

dawgfan

October 9th, 2010
8:48 pm

Time for a reality check: We’re still 2-4 and Tennessee is god awful.

AJ is the best reciever in the nation and its not even close. Please spare me any bunk about Julio Jones. AJ craps bigger than Julio Jones.

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

VolinSuwane, thank you for the compliment, I like the Tennessee fans, for the most part they are friendly and show class. I always liked Tennessee and I hope you guys get some more W’s.

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:52 pm

dawgfan, your on the money, I cannot believe how much he opens things up for our offence. He makes everything possible out there.

Hairy Perry

October 9th, 2010
8:54 pm

Goodnight Bulldogs, alot easier to enjoy watching other games after UGA steps up. It’s easier to sleep too.

chop block U

October 9th, 2010
9:07 pm

dog that was a bad hit…could have ruined the UT guys leg…

MR

October 9th, 2010
9:17 pm

We end 8-4. We just lost the early ones.

MR

October 9th, 2010
9:18 pm

Hairy Perry, we own them.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 9th, 2010
9:20 pm

Tman,

Your defeat has clouded your mind or your vision. Are we to conclude that UT can’t read or count? Zeb did NOT say UGA would meet South Carolina in the SEC championship. He said he would like to see them in the game.

TowDawg

October 9th, 2010
9:21 pm

We’re not the worst! We’re not the worst! We’re not the worst!

RxDawg

October 9th, 2010
9:21 pm

Well that was certainly more like it. We looked better, but in all fairness UT did look pretty bad. No one will win games with those kind of turnovers. We still have to develope a running game or the more talented teams we face will give us a lot of trouble. I think the key was changing up the O-line. Some of those upperclassmen deserved to be benched (unfortunately). We looked much more complete for it.

bugsquacher

October 9th, 2010
9:22 pm

Congrats Dawgs! but, lets dont lose our heads, the o-line still could mount a running game. We kicked field goals where TD’s should have been the norm. It was a win, but it was against an inferior, young Vols squad. We need to continue the Monday pads and working on improving tremendously. This season isnt over but its a HUGE uphill battle. Sleep well tonight Dawgs, but tomorrow, start focusing on GATA…….

go dawgs……

bugsquacher

October 9th, 2010
9:24 pm

If we dont improve we will finish 4-8. Maybe Vandy win, Maybe an Idaho State win, the rest are a toss up at the best….

bugsquacher

October 9th, 2010
9:25 pm

bottomline….. keep improving dawgs…..

RxDawg

October 9th, 2010
9:30 pm

Those of you trashing Rambo need to lay your focus on Jakar Hamilton. Rambo had problems at first, but he’s improved a lot since.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 9th, 2010
9:40 pm

I think were all excited about the win, but are still disapointed about how this season has turned out so far. I agree with you MR and like your enthusiasm. All of us need to stick by our team through the hardest of times and cheer them on when they need it most

dawginduluth

October 9th, 2010
9:45 pm

Richt will probably get a rainse this week. I hate for the Dawgs to have to lose to get rid of his sorry butt.

dawginduluth

October 9th, 2010
9:45 pm

Richt will probably get a rainse this week. I hate for the Dawgs to have to lose to get rid of his sorry butt.

Kenny

October 9th, 2010
9:46 pm

Murray looked outstanding. 2 passing Td’s, 2 rushing td’s, 0 Int’s, 0 fumbles. Timing was excellent, when Georgia needed him the most, he played big. Terrific runs, he even had a couple of td’s dropped by AJ & King, should have finished with 4 passing td’s, and 2 running td’s. Green looked awesome. Caleb was sound, breaking tackles, pass blocking, good ball protection.

Houston was a bear all day. Great pick tip by Cuff and catch by Rambo, we needed a spark in the 1st quarter, that was big. Boykin knocked down a pass to the end zone that was a great dive pass defended. Ealey’s gonna be fine. He just has a nose the goal-line when he gets near there, and loses awareness of the football, he’ll fix that. He had a couple of nice runs, and did a nice job in pass pro. Tight ends looked great. Charles had some nice plays, and Aron White looked incredible on the sideline play.

Defense looked sharp. Nice to hold the Tenn team to 14, instead of what, 45 last year with Willie’s defense.

Look at the SEC improvement for defense:
10 less gave up to Ark than 09′, 10 less gave up to SC than in 09′–held SC to 17 points less than Alabama, 30 less gave up to Tenn than in 09. That’s improvement.

Kenny

October 9th, 2010
9:48 pm

Tenn almost beat LSU, and we whooped up on Tenn.

RanDawg

October 9th, 2010
9:54 pm

-Is it just me or is Ealey running a little slower and just looking for a place to go down?…He’s not running with determination like he did last year.Also,with his spotty play lately,I don’t think he should be dancing around on the field during lulls in the action as if he hasn’t a worry in the world…
-Bobo’s play calling is a little better,but he called the same off tackle play 2 times in a row inside the 6-yard line…We got stuffed on the 2nd try–Surprise,Surprise!!

Alabama Jack

October 9th, 2010
10:03 pm

Congrats on your second and last SEC win of the year.

Lost dawg in bama

October 9th, 2010
10:03 pm

Great effort by the Dawgs; a couple of lapses on the defense but overall a really good showing. Remember this TN team took LSU to the wire; by the way is kicking Florida’s butt in Gainesville. Enjoy the win as I am; we COULD run the table. Auburn, Florida will be tough but keep the faith as all good dawgs should. First step to some good times ahead.

TowDawg

October 9th, 2010
10:13 pm

Shows what you know Alabama Jack. This was our FIRST SEC win! lol
And by the way, we won more SEC games today than you did!

BIGDAWG

October 9th, 2010
10:16 pm

To all the Tennessee trash talkers, HAHAHAHAHAHA

Roll Tide

October 9th, 2010
10:23 pm

It’s time to fire Saban. Enough is enough! Is this nightmare going to ever end?