Amid SEC East tumult, all that matters for Dogs is Kentucky

Aaron Murray needs to work on his slide move. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Aaron Murray needs to work on his slide move. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

In terms of the SEC, Saturday was pretty much perfect for the Dogs: Georgia won (big-time, in a shutout), and Eastern Division rivals South Carolina and Florida both lost.

So here we sit with the Gators on a three-game losing streak and tied for second place in the SEC East.

With Georgia.

All the Dogs have to do to secure a trip to Atlanta is win out … and have the Gamecocks lose two of their four remaining conference games (against Vandy, Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida).

After watching South Carolina self-destruct against Kentucky, you figure the latter part of that equation is not that far-fetched.

But Georgia winning out? I don’t even want to think about it.

I’m like Kevin Butler was on Saturday’s post-game call-in show when Jeff Dantzler wanted to look ahead at Florida.

Butler was having none of it. Kentucky is all that’s important to Georgia right now, he said.

And he’s right.

As thrilled as Georgia fans have been by the Dogs’ blow-out wins the past two weeks to snap up another Tennessee state crown, we can’t ignore the fact that neither team was a top-notch opponent. Yes, any SEC shutout is an achievement to be prized, but this UGA team hasn’t yet proved it can play that way on a consistent basis.

And Kentucky, as we saw against Carolina, is likely to be much more of a challenge than either the Vols or Commodores were.

Winning out would be fantastic. But that’s the pie-in-the-sky scenario. So far, this season hasn’t gone that way.

For now I’m more concerned with the Dogs not breaking their streak of consecutive bowl games. And as I said the other day, I think Kentucky is likely the make-or-break game in determining whether that streak reaches 14.

So I’m with Kevin. We’ll talk about Florida and what lies beyond after the game in Lexington.

A few more thoughts about Saturday’s win over Vandy. …

A.J. Green showed Saturday that as great as he is, he isn’t perfect. He dropped a pass. And a holding call on him negated a nice keeper by Aaron Murray. But his touchdown catch-run was great stuff, and the A.J. factor played out against the Dores just like many had expected in the preseason, with the extra attention devoted to No. 8 creating opportunities for Georgia’s other receivers. As I noted Saturday, Kris Durham stepped up big when Vandy had Green targeted, but kudos also need to go out to Tavarres King (four catches for 70 yards) and tight end Aron White (three for 50 yards). …

Murray continues to mature, with his use of the pump fake becoming particularly effective, and I’m really happy to have a Georgia quarterback who’s a threat to run. But I just wish he’d remember he’s not a tailback and slide more often at the end of those runs. The Dogs certainly don’t need him taking those big hits. …

Mike Bobo’s use of Carlton Thomas Saturday finally was right on the money: as a change-of-pace back. Four runs, two touchdowns. Whether that approach continues this week no doubt depends on how successful Washaun Ealey is at keeping the momentum going against Kentucky. …

Chief among the few complaints about Saturday’s game had to be the confusion on the sideline early on that resulted in two timeouts being burned at the start of the game because of not enough players or not the right personnel for the play called. Then there was the third timeout, called when Mark Richt couldn’t make up his mind whether to go for it on fourth down or kick a field goal. You can chalk the latter up to the heat of battle, but having to use those first two timeouts to get the right people on the field is pretty inexcusable more than halfway through the season. …

There’s still too much sputtering in the red zone. A 16-play drive that covers 86 yards and eats up nearly 7 minutes of clock should deliver more than 3 points. …

The student section’s “Bruuuuuce” cheer for Uga VIII Saturday raises the question of whether this mascot will be the first of the line to be known more by his registered name than “Uga.” It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. …

Overall, Saturday’s game was a pretty complete performance by Georgia and another big step back. Now, can they do it on the road?

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170 comments Add your comment

45ACP

October 17th, 2010
5:25 pm

Bill, hope you are feeling better.

Dylan

October 17th, 2010
5:32 pm

DawgNation

October 17th, 2010
5:35 pm

Same here Bill. Hope you are feeling better. I couldn’t agree more about concentrating on KY. They did to S.C what they did to us a year ago and nobody on the team or coaching staff needs to forget that. The defense will have its hands full and they need to prepare as pass coverage is still big problem.

45ACP

October 17th, 2010
5:35 pm

Dawgs are #1 in the Eastern Conference defense with 122 points allowed.

Dawg House

October 17th, 2010
5:36 pm

I’m nervous about KY, and also thrilled that we have the sense of playing for something again. Cannot wait til next Sat!!

Dawg Days

October 17th, 2010
5:36 pm

georgia87

October 17th, 2010
5:40 pm

This is the year the BCS burns to the ground. Everyone loses except Boise St. and TCU, leaving them in the championship game. No one in their right mind believes that they would survive the brutality of a conference schedule in the SEC, PAC 10, or Big 10. The BCS realizes it has created a monster and a minimum four team playoff is created through the bowls to make sure they have to play somebody before we give them the Crystal Football.

Leedawg

October 17th, 2010
5:45 pm

Jeff Dantzler wants to look ahead because he is an idiot (UGA basketball on radio is almost unlistenable because of him). He apparently doesn’t think much of KY’s Hartline (anyone see what he did to SC last night?). Dantzler and Buck Belue run neck and neck for worst broadcaster ever.

robbie

October 17th, 2010
5:55 pm

I have a good friend who is a die-hard Florida fan, and he is scared of the game against the Dawgs. He said he definantly thinks Georgia could really put it to them in a couple weeks. But I told him first Georgia has to take care of business in Lexington, its going to be a battle

Ed

October 17th, 2010
6:00 pm

1- Defense better than last year so far, gave up 10 less to Ark & SC than 09′, 30 less to Tenn than 09′, and 10 less to Vandy than 09′. Georgia is in the Top 20 in nation in defensive scoring. Forced 2 TO’s. Stopped the rush. Played pass deep first, short next.

2- Offense is clicking at 500 yards, 300 pass, 230 rushing, 40+ points. LSU couldn’t score on Tenn, Georgia put up 40. Ealey’s getting @5 ypc again, protecting the football, +50 explosion run was awesome. Green opens up things for Durham, King, White, Charles. O-Line clicking.

chickenman

October 17th, 2010
6:03 pm

Funny stuff watching florida fall last night. South Carolina is in the drivers seat with our dawgs looking for them to throw us a bone. Im just hoping that auburn keeps winning b.c. at this rate we could possibly host the #1 team in a month between the hedges so get those tickets now while you can.,, as for looking ahead.. haha we have 4 loses i doubt anyone is looking ahead. Just get ready for a interesting finish in the east. Will SC choke? Will UGA stun a few teams? Or will Florida take back the east? Very interesting because SC has a rough schd coming in ARK,Florida,Clemson are 3 teams that could very well stomp them. Lets hope we get a bone.

Ed

October 17th, 2010
6:03 pm

Grantham’s D & Murray both coming along faster than anyone thought.

D is top 20 in scoring, Murray is top 3 QB’s in SEC & has a +4 td to int ratio–Championship level.

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RomeDawg

October 17th, 2010
6:05 pm

Kentucky is LEGIT! Better not overlook them. We have to get AJ the ball atleast 10-12 times a game. Controlling the clock may be the key in “outlasting” Kentucky. They may be beat up after a tough 2 game stretch. And the biggest thing to come from the past two weeks for UGA is confidence. Don’t ever underestimate the power of confidence. And I think right the opposite for Florida. They don’t have a “Tebow” type leader to turn this tail spin around.

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robbie

October 17th, 2010
6:05 pm

chickenman,

we play at Auburn, but it would be good if they rose to #1 before we played them

KCDC

October 17th, 2010
6:07 pm

Whoa, Leedawg!!!! Both Belue and Dantzler are OUTSTANDING behind the mike!

gomdawg

October 17th, 2010
6:07 pm

NOW ONE GAME AT A TIME LETS BEAT KENTUCKY

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yuppers

October 17th, 2010
6:11 pm

This is what makes college football the greatest sport in the world. Anything can happen. Two weeks ago, who would ever of though that Georgia, fresh off their fourth straight lost, would still be in the hunt for the Eastern crown. I know the odds are long, but crazier things have happened in college football

Supes

October 17th, 2010
6:12 pm

maybe in years past we could “look ahead” but not right now, not with the way our season has been and how competitive KY has played esp. at home.

i hope UGA has blinders on and is focused on KY, how to stop their offensive attack. the game has potential to turn into a track meet as the wildcats D is average at best, and UGA has been improving offensively.

if FLA and SC lose, that’s great but it’ll be all for nothing if UGA doesn’t win this week against KY.

win against KY and you are keeping yourself alive in the SEC East. That’s all that UGA can control and should focus on.

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RAID

October 17th, 2010
6:17 pm

Yep, this weekend is make or break for the dawgs……I ca’nt get over thinking we are stepping into another snakepit this weekend……UK scores on everybody…..could have beat Auburn in a shootout, beat SC, but did’nt show up against Fla……So who knows which UK will show up…..But its up there and at night and UGA always has struggled in their environment……But I said yesterday that if we pull one out against UK we’ll beat Fla…….If not then who knows…..Get ready Bruce, show them cats what you’re made of!…….Go Dawgs

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run the ball

October 17th, 2010
6:20 pm

Let’s not get crazy. We beat two bad teams. Cam Newton will win the Heisman with his performance against our tackling challenged D.

Dan Mullen

October 17th, 2010
6:21 pm

Kentucky is no cupcake so you dawgs better not overlook them like you guys did against Mississippi State, Go Bulldogs

ugadawg2005

October 17th, 2010
6:22 pm

The Florida loss arguably hurt the Dawgs chances. If UGA won out, they would have a tiebreaker over Florida. Therefore, UGA’s best chance would have been for Florida to beat SC and all teams to finish 5-3. UGA would have won that tiebreaker. They now need USC to lose 2 games.

On the bright side of Florida losing, If USC loses 2 games and one of those is to Florida (assuming Florida beats Vandy), then UGA can win the SEC East by beating Florida and Kentucky regardless of what happens in Auburn. UGA would win that tiebreaker as well.

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Dan Mullen and the #24 ranked bulldogs

October 17th, 2010
6:28 pm

If we can beat florida then you guys should have a field day with their sorry offense but florida always spanks you guys

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1eyedJack

October 17th, 2010
6:34 pm

Remember those arguements on here between UGA and UF about which was the better QB, Murray or Brantley? I never got involved but what do you think?

Since Vince

October 17th, 2010
6:34 pm

Look people , get off the kool aid. UGA aint gonna win out. UGA is away for 3 straight games. Fla. will not lose 4 straight games. This season is OVA !!!!

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Blowing Smoke up my rear end

October 17th, 2010
6:39 pm

Well I wonder if I will wake up tomorrow morning and will be reading another” UGA player arrested”. Stay tuned !

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DawginOH

October 17th, 2010
7:14 pm

Even though I try to stay optimistic, that game in Starkville was the final nail in Georgia’s 2010 SEC coffin. But there’s nothing wrong with finishing strong and taking that momentum into 2011.

CHDawg

October 17th, 2010
7:15 pm

Bill,
I thought you were a little too negative–just slightly; it was 43-0, and we pulled our ones with about a qtr to go. Also, the play calling was excellent to outstanding in my view. It is OK to rag on Bobo when he makes bad calls, but we need to call ‘em like they happen–he called a great game Saturday. Otherwise, great comments. Finally, I watched the UK-Auburn game and the UK-SC game for both comebacks. They are absolutely for real–they don’t give up. Cobb is outstanding and Hartline is superb. We will be very fortunate to leave Lexington with a W.

Reality Dawg

October 17th, 2010
7:17 pm

Where has Snake Doc been hiding? I whipped him real good last week and he ain’t bothered to show up on this blog since.

Bottom line: we stink. All this optimism will come crashing down at some point in the next few weeks.

The GT Emperor

October 17th, 2010
7:27 pm

UGA is so weak. I will arrange interviews with 5 UGA grads this week, lead them to believe that we will employ them, only to break them down later with a…. “you’re not qualified… you went to UGA. We went with someone from Georgia Tech.”

Dawg Nation – the force is not with you!

Ed

October 17th, 2010
7:28 pm

Soputh Carolina’s defense is 12th in the SEC.

Kentucky exploited Spurrier’s achille’s hill. If Marcus is out, SC might not win another game.

Ed

October 17th, 2010
7:28 pm

SC 12th in pass defense, caught up with them. Play with fire, get burned.

Wait until that 12th ranked SEC pass defense meets aRKANSAS–FIREWORKS.

The GT Emperor

October 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

POWER… UNLIMITED POWER!!!!!!

Dawg 39

October 17th, 2010
7:39 pm

A word of caution. I had rather be going into Baton Rouge on Saturday night than into Ky.
Not sure any SEC team could play Ky. there this saturday & then play UF in Jax the next saturday (after they have had an open date) & win both games.(Most would lose both games). If the Dawgs or any team could win both then they rhey would deserve all of the credit they could possibly get.

45ACP

October 17th, 2010
7:53 pm

I guess the gt emperor is talking about his president Obama.???