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

patrick

October 16th, 2010
9:37 pm

Like I said……………SC and Fla and UGA will end up 5-3
.
SC beat UGA…UGA will beat Fla….Fla will beat SC….leaving a three way tie. The tie breaker would be division record…..UGA has only lost to one eastern team…if SC loses to Fla then they will have 2 eastern losses and UGA gets in to the SEC title game………….LIKE I HAVE BEEN SAYING

Okay

October 16th, 2010
9:40 pm

cream puff SEC teams are over, now comes Kentucky, Florida and Auburn.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 16th, 2010
9:42 pm

aint conVinceD,

Brilliant, NOT!!! USC lost! Some of us are sick of people like you, who whine and complain and then have the nerve to insult those of us who have the judgement not to call a game, or a season, before it’s over.

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.

Okay

October 16th, 2010
9:43 pm

Ga will lose to Auburn and Kentucky, might have it’s only chance to beat Florida for the foreseeable future, no way Ga ends up 5-3 in conference play.

Bippity Boppity Boo Boo

October 16th, 2010
9:45 pm

Missy State beating Fla. 10 – 7 4th qtr. Hell yeah……..

DawgVoiceofReason

October 16th, 2010
9:52 pm

What was the Evil Genius thinking?! He wastes a timeout and then puts his QB in a situation where he can lose the game. As another poster said, all he had to do was kick the field goal. This is his second coaching blunder that cost his team a game this season. He mishandled Garcia in the Auburn game and blew that one too. He is still “Evil” but maybe not so much the “genius”.

aint conVinceD

October 16th, 2010
9:55 pm

Im still not convinced that UGA will run the table in the SEC though…

powerhouse?

October 16th, 2010
9:56 pm

Make that TWO bad calls for Superior this year….subbing a freshman QB that threw two quick picks and not kicking a three pointer at the end today…
youth a blunder…middle age a struggle…old age a regret!

patrick

October 16th, 2010
9:57 pm

UGA easily ends up 5-3. UGA has beaten Aub 4 str8 games.

big_fort

October 16th, 2010
10:01 pm

It’s not about being a homer or drinking the kool-aid, it’s about being a true fan and not being a whiner and belly aching about every little thing. I’ll take a win any way we get them. Everywhere you turn you get the gloom and doom crew. Hey, you could be a Vandy or Tenn. fan. Imagine how they feel right now. Keep Goin Dawgs and welcome Uga VIII!!!

Jim Doanan as in Doans Pills

October 16th, 2010
10:06 pm

GATORS LOSE !!!!!

Zeb

October 16th, 2010
10:07 pm

And MS just beat the gators………..wow…….the look on Meyer’s face was priceless

Minnesota Dawg

October 16th, 2010
10:07 pm

What a great day to be a bulldawg fan! Flordia just got beat! Never give up my fellow fans!

BeeKiller

October 16th, 2010
10:10 pm

Florida only scored 7 against Miss State? Where are all of those Florida fans overhyping wonderboy Brantley now? See ya in Jacksonville. Looks like Urban will need to check himself into the hospital again.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 16th, 2010
10:11 pm

Another reason to celebrate today – Gators bite the dust!

Ree Roe

October 16th, 2010
10:12 pm

Guys, looks like were gonna win the SEC East after all.

lol @ Florida losing 3 in a row & South Carolina losing today.

-REEveal it to Roe!!!

kwgadawg

October 16th, 2010
10:19 pm

Where are the FL fans that always jump on our blog. WAY TO GO MISS ST.!!!

Zeb

October 16th, 2010
10:25 pm

And the Buckeye’s lofty perch lasted a week………..awesome weekend in college football.

houstonNuTT

October 16th, 2010
10:31 pm

The ohio state Buttguys lose !!!!!!!!

Hmmmmm

October 16th, 2010
10:35 pm

And that is why they play the games and also wht I watch! Great day of football.

JoeCool23

October 16th, 2010
10:36 pm

Wooptiy Doo. Mark Richt is a loser and so UGA will remain until he goes. I was hoping it would be this year but it looks like the whole inconsequential-ness thing of GA football will remain until the end of next year, maybe 2012. Sucks.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

October 16th, 2010
10:43 pm

Where are all of the FLORIDA fans that have been on here for weeks???

Hhhmmmmm……..

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!

Gratefuldawghead

October 16th, 2010
10:44 pm

JoeCool23…The DAWGS have 61 sell outs while Your Jackets haven’t sold out since the DAWGS played thier!!!!

Zeb

October 16th, 2010
10:44 pm

JoeCool…..I was never on the fire Richt bandwagon……but I still say BoBo needs to move on down the road.

CigarDawg

October 16th, 2010
10:47 pm

Get well, Bill. I struggled for a long time with the K-Stones and feel your pain, Brother.

Good win, but hardly one to call impressive. Today’s win is what we used to call normal, so let’s hope our young men will keep it in perspective and continue to build on it. KY put the screws to SC today, so next week won;t be a cake walk.

patrick

October 16th, 2010
10:56 pm

UGA fans needed Fla to win this game and beat SC and lose to UGA for a three way 5-3 tie for UGA to win the SEC. Now Tenn HAS to beat SC and UGA has to beat Fla for UGA to get in.

dawgster

October 16th, 2010
10:57 pm

aintConVinceD..what kind of fan are you…all you have done is post negative remarks ..if you are a dawg fan, please find another team to support, maybe the gators…woops…they just got beat by of all teams..Miss State..or maybe you could pull for SC…woops…they just got beat by Kentucky…how could this happen..”fire the coaches…Sir, this is Div 1 football in the SEC…no one is saying that the dawgs are a powerhouse this year, and yes we lost some games that we probably should have won…but give the team and players credit for their hard work and the improvement..no we want win the NC this year, but i see the team growing and getting better…it appears to me you only support this team when they are winning, not when they are losing…you know its ok to voice your concerns about the team and the players, thats your right, but at least give them some credit for the positive things they did in this convincing win..as far as i’m concerned i’m very proud of this team and the coaches and i know they will continue to work hard to turn our season around…go dawgs..

Dawgs Run This State!

October 16th, 2010
11:00 pm

Auburn has faced two good D’s this year… Miss St and and SC (avg 26 pts). If UGA’s D can keep it rolling (Grantham’s scheme is good… need to execute) we will win the east. We will flatten Fla on 10-30.

layinlow

October 16th, 2010
11:07 pm

I’m sad to say it but I’m still not buying that this team is going to go on a serious run. Kentucky beat SC tonight and we will have a tough time beating them in lexington. Furthermore I”m afraid Auburn is going to kill us this year in their home stadium. They are going to be fired up since we have run the table on them of late. I would put our chances against UF and GT at 50/50. This team could still end up with 7 loses so I just can’t bring myself to believe in them after some of the major flops we have seen this year. If we end up losing 7 games Richt’s seat should be really hot next season.

Alaska Dawg

October 16th, 2010
11:11 pm

It was good to see some solid Defense. It appears the team is starting to gel. It never fails to amaze me that true fans can not simply appreciate a strong win. It looks like the loss to Miss St is not as bad as it seemed after they beat UF today. Let’s take the games 1 at a time and see if we can run the table. Auburn looks really good and Florida, as we all know, simply owns us. Murray is the real deal and Durham made some great catches today. If Ealey continues to run that well and we can make play action a viable option we can play with anyone.

dawgster

October 16th, 2010
11:19 pm

goog comments..Alaska Dawg…i agree with you…it really surprises me that some so called dawg fans cannot give this team credit for a very good win….its the SEC…Every game we have left is winable, but we have to play our best…this team just can’t afford to make mistakes and hope to overcome them…i don’t think any true dawg supporter feels that we are some kind of powerhouse because we have won back to back games, but the team has improved and i like the attitude we have…we haven’t quit and thats all we can ask..i’m just glad that we have the chance to turn the season around based on the last two games…go dawgs…

layinlow

October 16th, 2010
11:21 pm

Alaska Dawg, many TRUE fans are sooo disappointed in this team because this season was set up perfect for them to go to Atlanta and represent the east in the SEC championship. UF is down this year and UT is in total rebuild and UGA fell flat on their collective faces. What happened to the great offensive line and running game? This team is a major disappointment and the fans have every right to be ticked off.

This team is not gonna run the table. Auburn will get their revenge this year and you can take that to the bank.

Cam - former Gator?

October 16th, 2010
11:41 pm

Can’t believe UF gave him up for Tebow.

alphaescape

October 16th, 2010
11:42 pm

it was surely a dawg day in athens. That quarterback at Kentucky though reminds me a bit of andre woodson. I think you approach that game the same way auburn played arkansas today…..beat them playing their own brand of football.
Like another poster already stated, put A.J, Durham, Charles and King in a 4 WR set with Chapas or Munzie to protect Murray twice a series and air it out in Lexington.

steve

October 16th, 2010
11:45 pm

Oh boy, UGA wins with a nice shutout, and UGA “fans” are still complaining. Nothing will ever satisfy you people.

CigarDawg

October 17th, 2010
12:02 am

steve,

Don’t get your panties in a wad because because some of us understand the game to a degree you don’t. Wins and losses are relative to the teams we play, so beating bad teams by small margins, or winning big against really bad opponents aren’t necessarily indicative of “quality” wins. It seems everyone agrees that today’s victory was “nice shutout” (your words), but there are always areas in which the team can improve. If the ‘Dawgs plan to win in the future, then picking apart wins like today’s is still a valuable exercise and leads to growth. Winners expect perfection and when they don’t achieve it, they analyze the weaknesses and seek to improve upon them. That’s why those of us who are winners in life expect the same kind of self-scrutiny from our ‘Dawgs as we apply to ourselves and people like you just strive to do as little as possible to get through to the next weekend, vacation or party.

Steve Visor Boy Spurrier

October 17th, 2010
12:26 am

Yes, I’m the old ball coach and as long as I’m coaching South Carolina I will find a way to choke my chickens. I could see this coming in August… it’s our standard MO.

Nice win Georgia and I like UGA VIII, he’s a looker.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

October 17th, 2010
12:26 am

KEEP AT IT DAWGS!!!!!!

John Galt

October 17th, 2010
12:37 am

Random observations-

- The shuffled O-line is much, much improved.
- Our offense, and Bobo’s play-calling, is much better with AJ on the field (I know, “Duh”)
- Aaron Murray is the real deal. I believe he will be a better college QB than Stafford.
- Ogletree is a beast.
- As of right now, we a re better than everybody on our remaining schedule but Auburn.
- Kentucky will NOT be a cakewalk
- We can and should beat Florida

BoBo da baby maker

October 17th, 2010
12:43 am

I just made some tonite !…. thanks honey……8=====>~~~~~~~((I))

ANT BANKS

October 17th, 2010
12:55 am

dawg fans, face it. y’all season is OVA!! fla, auburn, kentucky, and ga. tech are NOT locks for victories. and the way players are gettin’ arrested and suspended, ain’t not garuantee that we will have all of the pieces to compete anyway. can mark richt or bozo…i meant bobo and move on.

y’all kill me gettin’ excited about a blowout win over vandy, but miss st. and colorado had you over a barrell. lol

ANT BANKS

October 17th, 2010
12:57 am

UGA VIII looks no different than UGA VII OR VI kinda like the team looks no different than the dawgs from last year.

THE CATHOLIC HAMMER

October 17th, 2010
2:40 am

Let’s say UGA finishes at #8 in the SEC.

That doesn’t negate the fact they lost to COLORADO.

That being said, the bottom half of the SEC (from Florida, on down?) SUCKS.

Michigan State has more business being in the BCS Championship Game this year than the eventual SEC Champion.

John Galt

October 17th, 2010
3:04 am

When they said we were switching to the 3-4, I didn’t know they were talking about our record.

ca dawg

October 17th, 2010
4:32 am

i don’t see why people like the catholic hammer bother to come on here and post non sequiturs about the SEC. it’s kind of pathetic. anyway, i know it’s just vandy, but i’m pleased to see that:

1) our defensive front looks to be rounding into shape. our NT’s and ILB’s played very physical football today, and deserve a lot of credit.
2) we’re developing an identity on offense. we seem to be a team that throws to set up the run. murray really seems to have good chemistry with durham, aj, and tavarres king. i thought king looked great today. notice how much more quickly murray is getting rid of the ball. where are all those people who said murray was too short?
3) we’re running out of the shotgun more. i’d need to see stats to prove it, but my impression is that our YPC is much higher in the shotgun that out of the I formation. need to continue to run out of different formations and diversify offense. we can do this now that murray is clearly in command of what we’re doing.
4) ealey running with a nasty attitude. i wish he saw cutback lanes a little better, but he ran very physically between the tackles and broke several tackles today. he looked strong and quick when he had the ball, and he blocked well on passing downs.

i’ll think UK will be a much better litmus test in terms of where we are as a team, but the last two weeks have been encouraging. i hope we can keep building, getting better, and showing our 2011 and 2012 recruits that our program is as strong as ever.

Bigdawg

October 17th, 2010
7:15 am

We have won the last two games. Tennessee showed up with one of the worst team in years. Vandy is well Vandy. People are talking about us winning the SEC East if all the stars line up in our favor. We have one two games in a row. CMR will preach all week that we are coming together as a team. Georgia will go into KY with the swelled head syndrome and lose that game. Then as everyone points the finger at each other Florida will dismantle us. Urban has two weeks to prepare for us. Do you think Urban will alllow the Gators to lose 4 games in a row to UGA no less? It is time to put down the CMR Kool aid and face the real world. Maybe at the end of the season everyone will figure that emotion is part of football. The cool as a cucumber approach will never be effective in college football. CMR makes 3 million a year. I think for that kind of money we should demand results. Working people can not afford to attend games due to the cash generating racket at UGA. Pay CMR his 5 million buy out and get someone who wants to win and cares about Georgia.

Alabama Jack

October 17th, 2010
8:10 am

Bill – I sincerely hope you fully recover from you health problem, even if I don’t agree with most of your stuff. Also, just a reminder to dawgs everywhere that 5-2 is still better than 3-4

Gen Neyland

October 17th, 2010
8:36 am

The governor of Tennessee is waving the white flag. Y’all can now lay claim to all land between Knoxville and Nashville. This does not include our individually owned and operated moonshine stills. Those we’ll continue to fight for so come on and try to get ‘em…Congrats to all the winners and phooey on the whiners.

Texas Dawg

October 17th, 2010
8:41 am

PATRICK…Your a %$^%!@@

We didn’t need Fla to beat Miss ST….right now it’s about the Eastern Conference and not about the overaLL CONFERENCE RECORD. GA SC, both have a EAST conf loss…FLA has “no” EAST Conf….

If I’m not mistaken for GA to get to the confer Champ we have to beat Ken and Fla…then Fla must beat SC…we win out if we beat Fla and fla beats SC…FLA and GA both have one east conf loss and we win out!

It’s all for not if we don’t man up nest two games! Go DAWGS!

Texas Dawg

October 17th, 2010
8:42 am

Should I re-post with all those errors….need to lay off the JAck!