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

Who Cares...

October 17th, 2010
8:50 am

BIG WIN FOR THE DAWGS! Who cares, it was only Vandy. Their only future victories will come from beating Idaho State (big deal) and maybe Tech. Urban will whip some Florida ass to make sure he rebounds. At Kentucky in the evening. Will lose to Auburn. Probably beat Tech but still will have a losing season. I love the fact that such a big deal is made out of playing such a weak football team and the fact that only one player, AJ, seems to make this team confident. Aaron is a good kid and a good QB and can only improve the team, and it should revolve around him. Heisman threat yes, but only if he has a complete team around him. I have lived in this state long enough to get a good laugh out of a Georgia loss, and I expect at least a few more before the end of the season ya’ll!

yarddawg

October 17th, 2010
9:00 am

Well Bill looks like were gonna be playing Auburn twice this year……lol

The Ghost of Wally Butts

October 17th, 2010
9:52 am

Well, then again, watching the Dawgs play on the field (and get arrested off the field) this year is kinda like passing a kidney stone anyway.

Buck N. Kincaid

October 17th, 2010
9:53 am

What a great weekend of college ball, and we hope you enjoy talking about it on other stations, cause we are the voice of the Thrashers baby! Come on over to our show and enjoy our non-stop 90 second ice hockey commercials and hear us schmooze with the Thrashers GM. Let’s talk ice hocky baby!

I-DOG

October 17th, 2010
10:17 am

This is the strangest SEC season I have witnessed. UGA is actually back in the SEC hunt with four losses? We would have to improve a lot to even have a chance to run the table, but to even have a mathmatical chance to win the SEC with four losses at the halfway mark… that is strange indeed. I can’t imagine UGA playing in the SEC title game and barely being bowl eligible. With South Carolina still having Vandy, TN, Arkansas, and Florida to play, they could easily lose a couple of those.

Obviously, an extreme longshot for all the stars to line up and even for UGA to win their games against, KY, FL, and Auburn, but if you had told me that UGA would be 3-4 and in the SEC title hunt and that Florida would lose 3 games in a row, I wouldn’t have believed you. Given this disaster of a season, it is nice to see something to play for.

tt

October 17th, 2010
10:43 am

I may be wrong..BUT IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE DAWGS TO STILL GET TO ATLANTA?

What if SC LOSSES TO FLA AND ARK

GA BEATS FLA

and GA BEATS EITHER KENT OR AUBURN OR BOTH……….

WE WOULD BE TIE FLA AND WIN W THE HEAD TO HEAD…..

Is that possible? Could the Dawgs put it together to have a shot at a rematch w Auburn or an overratted LSU?!!!!

What a finish that would be!!!!

tt

October 17th, 2010
10:44 am

“…….tied w Florida”..but you knew that.

TrueDawg

October 17th, 2010
10:49 am

I know this is stretching it, but……UGA wins out, SC loses to Fl and Ark, we beat Bama in Atlanta!!! All the Richt haters eat crow!!!

I-DOG

October 17th, 2010
10:55 am

Glad to see UGA played so well yesterday, even against a lesser opponenet. I thought the offense played very well, especially with Caleb King out with yet another UGA “brain” injury. I thought the play calling and the red zone play calling were much better. Bobo called up 2 plays that resulted in AJ having the ball in his hands in the end zone, but he just couldn’t hang on. As a play caller, you can’t ask for a better oppurtunity than to have your All Star getting the chance to make those plays in the endozone. We used the TE well too.

On D, I see a lot of improvement from the last 2 years with Martinez. Many of us thought it would take a while for the Dawgs D to adjust to the 3-4 and be coached up by the new staff. Other than the South Carolina and Colorado games, I thought the D played pretty well this year (compared to the last 2 years where we were having 30 and 40 hung on us routinely). Now, I’m not saying that it is where I want it to be, but we seem to be improving there just about every week and really the D has played well enough to win in every game this season.

Before you bash me about how bad our D has been this year…consider that we were are giving up 17 points a game this year and at the same point in the season last year that number was 33. Yes, we played some tougher teams last year, but we played Vandy, TN, ARK, and S Carolina, so 4 of the 7 opponents were identical and we cut the total number of points nearly in half. Consider the shutout yesteday against lowly Vandy and how many points did lowly Vandy score on our Dawgs last year? 34!

We have a long way to go, but I like where the defense is heading. We will learn more next week.

tt

October 17th, 2010
10:56 am

My math was wrong we need to win out!………Could be a three way tie between FLA SC and GA…dont know what would happen then..????????

If we got that far we would be on an emotional wave.ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN!!!!!!!

TrueDawg

October 17th, 2010
11:05 am

SC would have to have 4 conf losses since they beat us. If we beat Fl we would have tie breaker over them if both have 3 losses……a (very) long shot, I know. But this is shaping up to be a crazy season, anythings possible.

Highly unlikely there will be a SEC NC. No way LSU and Aub go undefeated. Probably a Boise vs TCU NC game…..ugh!!!

Mirk Racht

October 17th, 2010
11:05 am

I’ve never understood how anyone – even an alumnus – could support and take pride in UGA’s football team. When you look at their history for the past forty years, how can anyone ignore Jan Kemp and the “remedial studies” scam, the Jim Harrick fiasco, the DUIs in the athletic office, the DUIs and other arrests of players, the #1 party school tag (i.e., the most drunk students), the suspensions and outright dismissals, the Fulmer Cup, and on and on?

As disgraceful and humiliating as it is, I don’t see many alums and fans demanding an end to this sordid activity. It sets UGA apart as the kind of school most people abhor, and it’s become an embarrassment to the whole state of Georgia.

Will it never end? Apparently not while Mark Richt is at UGA. Richt is perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States. But even with all the cheating and lawlessness that he ignores, he still can’t win the SEC.

So you’re paying him to be BCS champions, but he can’t even win his SEC division. So why do you pay him millions of dollars a year?

Just asking.

Cuz

October 17th, 2010
11:17 am

The SEC East is one big cluster flub.

Cuz

October 17th, 2010
11:21 am

Racht, did some future UGA grad give you a wedgie in middle school.

Jim Harrick was a basketball coach, not football but thanks for playing.

Jim Doanan as in Doans pills

October 17th, 2010
11:24 am

Miss. State did UGA no favor by beating Fla. SC now has to lose two conference games. Fla. has already lost three and so has UGA. UGA needed a three way tie with SC,and Fla. at 5 – 3 records to represent the SEC east in Atlanta. Now UGA needs to win out and SC to lose two sec games to go to Atlanta. Hypothetically at 5 – 3 records there would be no tie breaker in the head to head match ups. The next determining factor would East division wins vs losses. UGA now has one East loss to SC. SC has one East to Kentucky and hopefully would have lost to the gators. UGA would have needed to beat the gators and thus wins the head to head to represent the East in Atlanta. I believe that would have been one hypothetical scenario for the Dawgs to reach Atlanta.

Since Vince

October 17th, 2010
11:30 am

Wont matter anyway , Dawgs Will NOt give the Gators their fourth straight loss. This season is OVA and once again in a few weeks the bubble of now will burst.

Too little and too late

October 17th, 2010
11:31 am

UGA is out of the running for anything. We still have a tough, KY O to deal with and their spread O scares me to death. We cannot stop anyone that runs wide on us. That game is gonna be one of these 44-42 deals with the winner holding the ball at the end. Could be a FG and Walsh scares me. He is over rated.

Auburn is similar to KY and their QB is also gonna be very, very rough to deal with and they have two or three very decent backs to go along with Newton. KY and Auburn are very similar.

Florida owns us. I am a UGA grad and I will admit that Florida owns UGA like an ugly whipping boy. Until we win going into Jax and then taking care of biz in Jax on a regular basis, this UGA program is not where it should be. UGa fans ……….. get real. Richt has had 10 years to do that and we really have not done anything in about 4 or 5 years. GA is a very fertile state for HS football talent too.

GT is also gonna be rough ………..they run that triple O thing and again, UGA is weak oh, so weak vs a spread tyep of O.

I still say Richt and ealey and King and yes, Green can all leave Athens at year’s end.

Go Dogs.

UGA class of 71 & 73

UGA graduate, fan, and parent

October 17th, 2010
11:42 am

Mirk Racht: Get a life…you keep posting basically the same negative message about UGA….you just change your name each time and always end with “just asking.” You might possibly be the type of obsessive character who could go postal on someone. What is your obsession with UGA? Are you a Tech fan(but I know many tech fans and most are not mentally unbalanced.) Did you get denied admission to UGA? Did your child get denied admission to UGA? Are you in love with a UGA girl who blew you off? Did you flunk out of UGA? Whatever it is, you obviously have been insulted by UGA and have a vendetta against UGA. Granted, UGA football is down this year, Mark Richt might be loosing popularity, the Evans incident was unfortunate, and there have been too many arrests of players this year, but only a mentally instable person would characterize it as disgraceful, humiliating, sordid, and all the other things you bring up. Jan Kemp is in the past and has been handled, as has the Jim Harrick episode. All schools have had their share of negative incidents over the years and UGA is no different. Certainly, some things need to change, but UGA is not an embarrassment to the state of Georgia, and most people do not abhor it. Thousands of students apply to UGA each fall and thousands more would love to be able to attend UGA. My own children attend UGA and neither are the drunk party-obsessed students you always describe. Both worked very hard to gain admission to UGA. Although my son is at the game every weekend but my daughter is a very serious graduate student who chooses to study every Saturday during the game. You obviously know very little about UGA students. You only spit out the most negative publicized things about UGA and fail to acknowledge the accomplishments of students at UGA. Maybe the AJC needs to investigate you because you seem to be mentally unbalanced and are a little scarey.

ChipperDoodle

October 17th, 2010
11:44 am

If you haven’t read this, do. Pete Fiutak puts his finger on something that has p*ssed me off for at least two years. You have to get to the end to see his point. Mike Slive needs this stapled to his forehead. Officiating is bad enough, with a couple of teams in the SEC always getting preferential calls and some being called for picking their noses, but the replay booth is a joke sometimes. Can any officiating crew call holding on any team playing Georgia? Colorado scored on that pass play with two GA defenders being pulled to the turf. I see holds constantly and they are not calling them in GA’s favor. EVER. Old habits die hard, I guess.
http://cfn.scout.com/2/1012609.html

GT fan ...

October 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

You nutballs are frigin’ hilarious! When GT or another team outside the “mighty SEC” beats VANDY it’s “oh, they’re an SEC bottom-feeder, they suck” But when GA beats them, and shuts them out, VANDY somehow becomes a bit of a powerhouse, and GA is back baby! “Here come the Dawgs!” We just beat …. VANDERBILT!!! Woof-woof.

“An SEC shutout is always something to be savored” – Bill King …. Ha-ha, one of the funniest lines ever!

tulevol

October 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

I can’t believe the SEC east this year. UGA fans, you should still want Richt and company gone. If they could coach, you all could be talking about a National Championship, instead of the best 3-4 team in the SEC east. You guys have some real talent that has been wasted this year.

tdog

October 17th, 2010
12:25 pm

It is becomming a strange year for all of college football. No dominant team. SEC looks weak too. All is wide open.

Hairy Dawg

October 17th, 2010
12:28 pm

Check out the standings fellow dawgs, if we win out, we could easily be in the SEC championship game!!!
Never give up and go Dawgs!!!

Top Dawg

October 17th, 2010
12:50 pm

The inconsistency is a shame.

1eyedJack

October 17th, 2010
12:59 pm

This could give “The Fat Lady” a nervous breakdown, wondering who to sing for.

wildbill

October 17th, 2010
1:17 pm

3 timeouts in the first 5 minutes. I guess there was no pre-game meeting to smooth up the game plan. Maybe somebody forgot and left it in the locker room. Lets hope we do our homework before we go to Kentucky. Go DAWGS, you too Bruce.

Delbert D.

October 17th, 2010
1:32 pm

“patrick” said this last night: “Now Tenn HAS to beat SC and UGA has to beat Fla for UGA to get in.”

Right. Georgia also has to beat Kentucky and beat Auburn (who has beaten the 3 SEC opponents that Georgia lost to.

Hopefully the team won’t think like patrick and they’ll focus on the next game on the schedule.

The more that we win,the angrier that I ....

October 17th, 2010
2:24 pm

The more games that UGA wins, the more the LOST possibilities rear up. Just a travesty how the off the field junk ( King, Eaey and Green,et al ) so adeversely impacted the psyche of this edition of UGA football. I hope that two of these punks are kicked out of school come January. They had their chance to make a name and they blew it.

I know that if UGA plays MSU and Arkansasand yes, SC, that we would handle them each 7 or 8 out of 9 tries. The same is oh so true of Colorado. With each of these losses, we simply blew them all. Ealey fumbled in the SC game and the MSU game ( like KY in 09 ) and that cost UGA a TD and momentum. Walsh blew a very, very easy chip shot FG Colorado game.

Now …………we ARE faced ith the HARD part of our 2010 schedule and we are too deeply buired with un necessary losses to be able to salvage anything ……….so the more that we win, the angrier I become with the what ifs. dang it.

UGA class of 71 & 73

boohoo

October 17th, 2010
2:35 pm

Which is the head and which is the ass both look the same like all you pathetic ga fans. Hottest team in the country

Reality Check

October 17th, 2010
2:42 pm

A great two wins by the Dawg Nation. enjoy it with losses to UK, UF, Auburn and GT you will have a fine 4-8 record. You can have fun watching a real team in the state play in the ACC championship game and a bowl game. CMR is doing a great job, hopefully you will keep him for another five years. I hear the Longest Yard 3 is coming out next year and will be filming from the Clarke County jail.

Dirty Dawg

October 17th, 2010
3:00 pm

Hey folks, it’s not ‘what might have been’, but ‘what can still be’. We beat a couple of undermanned teams from Tennessee…just when we needed ‘em. Now we’ve got a Kentucky team that ‘beat’ a SC team that it shouldn’t have, and that I think can be had next Saturday night. Then we play a pretty bad – or at best mediocre – Florida in a game that very well could give Urban another ‘episode’…I swear he looked like he was grabbing his chest at times last night. Other than ‘it’s Florida’ would somebody tell me why we can’t beat ‘em. They can’t run the ball, they can’t pass the ball and they can’t play defense…so tell me. Fact is, these last two games we stopped beating ourselves and look what happened.

Now as for Auburn, damn…what I want to know is how that kid got away from the Gators…and can you imagine what Paul Johnson could have done with him. Regardless, we’ll ‘hold that Tiger’ when we get to it, but meanwhile this crazy season has almost come full circle and with a win or two these next couple of weeks and we’ll find ourselves right back in the picture.

Cliff

October 17th, 2010
4:25 pm

I’ve never understood how anyone – even an alumnus – could support and take pride in UGA’s football team. When you look at their history for the past forty years, how can anyone ignore Jan Kemp and the “remedial studies” scam, the Jim Harrick fiasco, the DUIs in the athletic office, the DUIs and other arrests of players, the #1 party school tag (i.e., the most drunk students), the suspensions and outright dismissals, the Fulmer Cup, and on and on?

As disgraceful and humiliating as it is, I don’t see many alums and fans demanding an end to this sordid activity. It sets UGA apart as the kind of school most people abhor, and it’s become an embarrassment to the whole state of Georgia.

Will it never end? Apparently not while Mark Richt is at UGA. Richt is perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States. But even with all the cheating and lawlessness that he ignores, he still can’t win the SEC.

Bulldog Bob

October 17th, 2010
5:18 pm

My family I enjoyed the whole gameday experience. Thank you Georgia Bulldogs! All three facets of the game we executed pretty good.

Hairy Perry

October 17th, 2010
5:21 pm

Cliff,

Since you are a Tech fan any way. Think about this. What is worse, being a team that has had these less than respectable occurances, and that I give you, or being the team that can’t figure out how to get more than 2 or 3 wins against that same team. We know your a frustrated Tech fan. You hate UGA with a passion, even if we had the most squeeky clean program in college football you would think of something else to spew. Tech fans remind me so much of these hateful liberals you see on the news, like Jeneane Garafilo, Bill Marr and the like. The truth is the sleeping Giant appears to have come out of his slumber,and all that growling and woofing has got you a little concerned. GO DAWGS!

Hairy Perry

October 17th, 2010
5:26 pm

Enter your comments here

Hairy Perry

October 17th, 2010
5:31 pm

Uga should beat the wildcats saturday. Kentucky took their foot off the gas, and without Lattimore
South Carolina plays more like South Carolina.

Delbert D.

October 17th, 2010
5:59 pm

The Jan Kemp thing again. She is no longer with us, so why not let that one go. It was almost 30 years ago. Changes have been made to the academics at Georgia.

The current state of the Georgia program is what is relevant, not ghosts from the past. If you want to criticize the current coaching staff, fine. Those guys weren’t around in 1981. But why would you if you are not interested in the program? Some posters on ajc blogs make Ahmadinejad look like the picture of reason, if not sanity by comparison.

Delbert D.

October 17th, 2010
6:04 pm

Oh, and as most of the regulars on the ajc blogs know, I am a Tech fan first, but I follow Georgia closely and have since I attended many games when I was a kid (*long* time ago.)

Delbert D.

October 17th, 2010
6:13 pm

Kentucky’s QB passed for 349 yards and 4 TDs against South Carolina without the threat of Derrick Locke, their starting running back and leading rusher (574 yards & 7 TDs in the 1st 6 games). He is expected to start next Saturday.

bigdawg88

October 17th, 2010
8:38 pm

@Too little and too late ,
You need to watch the games again. Teams hurt us by running UP THE MIDDLE, not around the ends. Vandy tried that crap and got stuffed. I will say that the defense was playing good technique on their option plays. I’m more worried about Locke running between the tackles, not running around the end.
Carolina broke down when Lattimore went out because they couldn’t run and hold onto the ball. They should have just put it up and run up the score instead, but them’s the breaks.
I see KY trying more of that wildcat with the Locke and Cobb (I think that’s his name), like last year…. Now THAT scares me, but hopefully our offense can keep them off the field enough.

AltamahaDawg

October 17th, 2010
11:48 pm

“Could be a FG and Walsh scares me. He is over rated. ”

In what way, specifically?