An SEC shutout is always something to be savored

Washaun Ealey had his best day of the season by far against Vandy. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Washaun Ealey had his best day of the season by far against Vandy. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

That’s how homecoming games are supposed to go.

Except, of course, I couldn’t be there.

It was kind of weird watching a game live from Sanford Stadium in my own living room due to my kidney stone trouble this week, but I couldn’t have asked for a much better outcome.

Despite a slow, balky start where you weren’t sure everyone in red was on the same page, Georgia finally got on track Saturday against outmanned Vanderbilt and ended up with an impressive blowout that also was a shutout — no mean feat in SEC play, no matter who the opponent is.

Offensively, the Dogs misfired occasionally, having to settle for field goals and a miss on three of their red zone trips, a tendency they need to get out of as we return to more serious opposition.

But the rushing offense managed to overcome the loss of suspended starting tailback Caleb King, with Washaun Ealey not only holding on to the ball but gaining 123 yards on 17 carries, with one touchdown. And little Carlton Thomas, returning from hamstring trouble, was surprisingly effective, gaining 40 yards on only four carries, including two impressive touchdown runs.

OK, it was against the conference’s 11th-ranked rushing defense, but the way the running game was whiffing earlier this season, that kind of success by Georgia was anything but a given.

Through the air, Aaron Murray didn’t look quite as impressive as he did last week against the Vols, but he still threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Early on, the Dores seemed to be keeping A.J. Green in check, but Kris Durham stepped up and made himself a big target, pulling in four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

One of them, when Murray threw to him despite triple coverage and Durham went up high and pulled the ball down, was a definitely highlight reel play.

And while three catches for 61 yards certainly wasn’t up to his usual standards, Green came up with another oh-my-gosh touchdown reception, with great moves after the catch.

Defensively, Georgia did a good job against Vandy’s option attack and finally managed to gain enough pressure against a mobile quarterback to shut him down. Vandy wound up only one for 11 on third down, and that’s a welcome turnaround for Todd Grantham’s defense.

And you gotta love any game with no Georgia turnovers!

Overall, Georgia outgained Vandy by a little over 400 yards Saturday and ended up winning a relative yawner — literally so for new mascot Uga VIII, who spent much of the day snoozing in his dog house.

Yep, just the way homecoming is supposed to go.

I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more, but in the meantime feel free to share what you liked or didn’t like about Saturday’s whomping of the Dores.

(And thanks to all the good wishes relayed to me via my brothers from the folks in Section 104!)

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141 comments Add your comment

BurbankDawg

October 16th, 2010
5:08 pm

GOOOOO DAWGS!!!
Welcome Uga VIII

jdawg998

October 16th, 2010
5:08 pm

Sleazy Lee Dawg

October 16th, 2010
5:09 pm

A great game, a few issues, a few misfires, a few dropped balls but overall I believe the real UGA is starting to come alive. Its nice to see the 3-4 produce some turnovers and our offense not turn it over. A proud day to be a UGA fan. Go dawgs!!!!

Dash Riptide

October 16th, 2010
5:10 pm

Good Grief

October 16th, 2010
5:12 pm

Ahem….. this was Vandy. This is how UGA is supposeed to win against teams like this and also the Missy States,Kentucky’s and SC’s. Should’ve hung over 50 on this team…Pathetic !

CHDawg

October 16th, 2010
5:13 pm

Great game, and particularly nice play calling/coaching on offense. Vandy started out with the standard SEC defense against CMB (8 in the box) that has worked so well for the last few years for opposing DCs, and much to their surprise Coach went right up the field to our arsenal of superb receivers…and he kept doing it, to the point where Vandy had to change their defensive strategy. Then, our running game opened up. We looked great. D looked great, but the safeties still look vulnerable to getting sucked in at times; we did get the breaks on turnovers. We narrowly missed two more TDs. Overall, this UGA team still has great potential. If the O line can keep improving on both run blocks and protection, we could become one of the most potent offenses anywhere. Murray has to learn when to slide, but his continued improvement will change the way defenders prepare for us. You know what happened was that SC and ARK were much better than normal, and the combination of too much running/predictability, A.J. being out, and just losing two big games in a row caused us to stumble. The next few weeks will show how good we really are, and I think we are in for a pleasant surprise. Outside of ISU, there are no easy games left. I wish they would use Gray on pitches out of motion with the TB lead blocking to give him the option of running or passing. We should be using him as a weapon imho.

DawgNation

October 16th, 2010
5:14 pm

Watch all the trolls from the Shultz blog flood here now their AH leader Jeff has left them to blabber alone.

Clean House

October 16th, 2010
5:18 pm

Still inept coaching . Used all 3 T/O’s in first 5 minutes of the game. Red Zone woes continues with 3’s instead of TD’s. Missed Chip shot field goal and had one to bounce off the upright. team still not focused. Now for the arrests over the weekend…….

aint conVinceD

October 16th, 2010
5:20 pm

This was Vandy people not Bama…… Get Real and quit drinking the kool aid !

bwell

October 16th, 2010
5:27 pm

I’m praying that you get better Bill, you are healed in Jesus name amen. Go dawgs!!!!!!!

CHDawg

October 16th, 2010
5:28 pm

aint,
combined wins of 84-14 against anybody is pretty good. Also, look at the fundamentals. Receivers are not only usually catching balls they should, they bring down some they shouldn’t. LSU beat Vandy 27-3, and we scored 43-0 and put in the 2s with a lot of game left…the Dawgs are getting much better, and the play calling was much less predictable today, too.

Clean House

October 16th, 2010
5:30 pm

I hate my life and I am very bitter!

aint conVinceD

October 16th, 2010
5:34 pm

CHdawg…… Im tired of hearing about great potential and other excuses. I dont want to hear about the labor pains I wanna see the Damn Baby and its long over due !

hunker down

October 16th, 2010
5:40 pm

Great win for the Dawgs and good confidence builder. Hope you get feeling better soon BK.

DirkDawggler

October 16th, 2010
5:45 pm

Bill…Toradol is your friend. I feel your pain…

aarh

October 16th, 2010
5:46 pm

Good Grief- It may be Vandy, but they beat them worse than anybody has all yr…including LSU. I’ll admit, it’s not the stiffest of competition, but they could have beaten them worse. They pulled A. Murray in the 3rd qt., & had the ball in great field position at the end of the game. They downed it instead of running up the score, but if they scored a TD there…it would have been 50-0. Stop hating & give credit where it’s due. Vandy may no be very good, but UGA at least does seem to be improving, & they still don’t have all there players back yet.

Dawg in OK

October 16th, 2010
5:47 pm

You guys who get on here complaining about everything need to go waste your time elsewhere. I am proud to be a Georgia fan and saw my team dominate the state of Tennessee the last two weeks – something I haven’t seen too frequently in the past few years. After such a depressing start to the year, it is good to see these guys play like a team that wants to win, is gaining confidence, and executes when it counts. Go Dawgs!

Dawg in OK

October 16th, 2010
5:51 pm

And Bill, hope you are well and back in the stands soon.

DIT

October 16th, 2010
5:52 pm

A win is a win. I’ll take it. Big challenge next week. Defense has to be ready! Go Dawgs

georgia87

October 16th, 2010
5:52 pm

We ride Bobo when the offense is bad…so, I though the play calling was pretty good today. A.J. drew two pass interference penalties that weren’t called. Defense played very well, except a couple of blown coverages. It was good to see them get people off the field on third down. This is the team we expected to see.

Yamadawg

October 16th, 2010
6:16 pm

Great job by the Dawgs! This is the kind of results we expect to see from this group!

Spike

October 16th, 2010
6:23 pm

It was Vandy. But I will take it.

DawgNation

October 16th, 2010
6:33 pm

Well it bets the He!! out of listening to all the haters during the week if we had lost this one.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

October 16th, 2010
6:42 pm

Yes, it was Vandy, but this Vandy team beat Ole Miss in Oxford earlier this year and put up 50 pts last week. And we SHUT THEM OUT.

You’d be surprised how far confidence will go, especially with some good teams coming up on our slate.

DawginOH

October 16th, 2010
6:43 pm

It’s good to see the Dawgs win big by getting back to fundamentals. This team is starting to show signs of life. Hope you get to feeling better soon, Bill. GO DAWGS!

Dawg Days

October 16th, 2010
6:44 pm

I don’t care who we beat – it was nice not to see so many stupid, idiotic, moronic penalties.

Dr Morpheus

October 16th, 2010
6:49 pm

Hope those stones are gone, Bill, so you can get back in the stands. Georgia has shown steady progress this year, causing me to move from cautiously pessimistic to cautiously optimistic. With Green back in the groove, our other offensive weapons become more and more effective. Should be interesting from here on out with a great opportunity to beat UF just over the horizon.

dog daze

October 16th, 2010
6:50 pm

dogs seem to have it cranked up.

Bill, did it seem like an okra seed?

atgotbling

October 16th, 2010
7:07 pm

Nice to see the dogs play well today. I thought Murray looked great today, it was his receivers that were struggling early in the game. Very pleased with the dogs defensive effort today, it was fun to watch. This track meet between Auburn and Ark. looks like a Big 12 game.

BobbyDawg

October 16th, 2010
7:19 pm

Our defense finally woke up ————- I hope.

Dave

October 16th, 2010
7:38 pm

I am so tired of you people being so negative, even when we win. Go somewhere else, shut your mouth, go pull for Tech. A win is a win. We are improving and I like what I see. You could henpeck every single game like you people want to. Don’t go to the UGA games. Don’t WATCH the UGA games. We won’t miss you. But don’t crawl back on the wagon if we start going like gang busters. Either support UGA or get the heck away. Make you’re call…..

Kramer

October 16th, 2010
7:39 pm

Amen Dave. Couldn’t have said it better. They’d moan and complain if we hung 100 on them.

1eyedJack

October 16th, 2010
7:44 pm

It’s amazing how much of a better play caller Coach Bobo is with AJ Green on the field.

Love it when they put Green, Durham, King and Charles on the field at the same time. Big matchup problems.

Defense seems to be starting to play without thinking too much.

Washaun Ealey…no fumbles.

Praise be to God…we have our QB….and a d@mn good Dawg!!

jack bull

October 16th, 2010
7:51 pm

i had some $$$ on the Auburn game, and won actually, BUT, you gotta wonder if the SEC wants a particular team to be undefeated at the end of the year so the conference will have someone to go for another NC. I don’t know how the replay booth misses TWO calls after they were that clear..somebody’s azz needs to be fired up there. that was just awful…

aint conVinceD

October 16th, 2010
7:58 pm

Im tired of the slow starts of Mark Richt coached teams. Some of you losers who are complacent and content with mediocrity needs to go pull for your pop warner league teams. With SC beating the crap out of Kentucky there is not much of a chance UGA can win the east now. Losing to Missy State and Colorado is unacceptable too.Our coaching in the first QTR was horrendous take off those rose colored glasses blind homers !

Kramer

October 16th, 2010
8:01 pm

aint conVinceD…go to bed and don’t forget to let your mommy read you a story…homer

Man Up

October 16th, 2010
8:05 pm

Nice win, guys. Saw where this was another sellout crowd. But I saw ump-teen empty seats in one of the endzone sections. What gives ?

Dave

October 16th, 2010
8:12 pm

aint conVinceD….I’m sure you’ve never played a down of football before….probably not even a college level sport before. You are the “Non coordinated, Sportstalk Radio Guy” from the Bud Light commercials. Bad things happen, teams go through troubled times… UGA just changed defensive coordinators, changed defensive schemes, changed QB’s….and you thought we should come out as world beaters…is that what you thought? Just like new coaches need 3-4 years to get their own recruits in, you gotta have patience. You would have fired Richt in 2001, the year before he won the first SEC chanpionship in 2002. People like you are a necessary evil in sports teams. But the true fans just shake out heads and laugh at you…. It doesn’t matter if we win or what the score is…..you complain.

tdog

October 16th, 2010
8:13 pm

We are 3 and 4 andwe beat Vandy WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

tdog

October 16th, 2010
8:14 pm

we are 3 and 4 and we beat Vandy WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Kramer

October 16th, 2010
8:16 pm

tdog = 13 year old virgin. Just sayin.

Dawgs Run This State!

October 16th, 2010
8:34 pm

The # of tech geeks trying to come up with bad things to say about the dawgs on this blog tells me they are scared about the fact that UGA is playing like UGA again. Go Dawgs!

SickandTired

October 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

Georgia is back baybeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now there is nothing between us and the SEC East Title. Win out and it’s ours. Then we knock us a #1 Ranked team in the SEC Championship game and it’s on to the Sugar Bowl for redemption. Give Mark Richt a 5 year extension and we’re ready to roll.

crap sandwich

October 16th, 2010
8:41 pm

Seems the move of Cummings to corner is helping the defense immensely. Noticed also that Ogletree is a beast at safety. These two are coming on strong. Also, Shawn Williams playing much better than Jakar Hamilton did. Seem to be utilizing the weapons much more on offense, good spreading around of the football. Yeah it was Vandy, but they executed on defense and offense much better in the past two games. I am just thankful for one game, just one game that we didn’t give up the usual long pass with no one in the area. Seemed we stayed at home with the assignments.

Minnesota Dawg

October 16th, 2010
9:02 pm

All you have to do in the SEC this year is to wait till the fat lady sings! Florida is losing to Miss. St. Alabama lost. South Carolina is in first. We play as it looks a rest of the season that looks like we could win each game. Auburn is tougher than we thought, but a little defense can beat them. Arkansas saw that today! So all that to say, everyone else struggles too and are two loses from their fans complaining about them too. Go dawgs.

Never going to Outback resturant again...

October 16th, 2010
9:09 pm

Bill, I’m glad you’re doing better. Now what impressed me, no turnovers, shut em out, glad to see Carlton do well, and was really glad to see Hudson and others going in about halfway or so,through the third quarter. Great game.

Minnesota Dawg

October 16th, 2010
9:20 pm

I was wrong, South Carolina is tied for first because Kentucky just beat them! Like I said, just be patient in the SEC! We are still in the mix!

Zeb

October 16th, 2010
9:22 pm

All Spurrier had to do was kick the field goal and take it to overtime………

aint conVinceD

October 16th, 2010
9:31 pm

Okay I was wrong about SC They choke as usual…… A glimmer of hope just a glimmer for UGA…

Sojourner

October 16th, 2010
9:33 pm

Big freaking deal. Thugs and punks beat student athletes.