Dogs managed big win despite patchy defensive effort

Maybe Mark Richt should let Sanders Commings have a few plays as a receiver. (Associated Press)

Maybe Mark Richt should let Sanders Commings have a few plays as a receiver. (Associated Press)

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

If you’re in a glass-half-full mood, you can take encouragement from the fact that the Dogs managed to notch a big SEC win on the road against a resurgent Wildcats team without really putting it all together and playing a complete game. If you’re of the glass-half-empty mind-set, you’re bothered by such things as the way the defense still had trouble stopping third-and-long conversions, continuing pass coverage problems in the secondary and the minor slump that Blair Walsh seems to be having. …

Walsh might be suffering a sudden lack of confidence or concentration (missing a PAT??!!) but Drew Butler seems to have returned to last-season form. His punting was awesome in Lexington and, along with the take-aways, helped the Dogs win the field-position battle. …

For the most part, you couldn’t really complain about Mike Bobo’s playcalling against the Cats, since it was pretty obvious Georgia was in a run-first mode and was only going to put the ball up when it had to. But, really, that third-quarter three–and-out when Washaun Ealey was on the sideline was depressing: Two Carlton Thomas runs for not much and an incomplete pass. In general, when Ealey wasn’t the ball carrier, the Dogs’ ground game didn’t do much. Hopefully the return of Caleb King to the mix next week will mean the Dogs’ offense doesn’t have to take a series off just because Ealey is taking a rest. …

Justin Houston has become a major weapon for Todd Grantham’s defense, what with the sacks, forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble and batting down a pass in addition to all the times he hurried Mike Hartline. And in the Dogs’ secondary, Sanders Commings is getting better each week. That interception in the end zone was a catch worthy of A.J. Green.

But it looks like the light still hasn’t come on for poor Vance Cuff. And while we’re on the subject of pass coverage, Grantham still hasn’t solved the problem of what happens when the blitz doesn’t reach the QB in time and receivers are left wide open. At times it looked like Georgia was afraid to play man-to-man, but the zone clearly wasn’t working. …

The most obvious aspects of Ealey’s play against Kentucky were the record-setting five touchdowns and lack of any fumbles. But also impressive was the second-effort that allowed him to muscle in some of those scores. …

Green had, for him, a quiet game with six catches for 86 yards and no touchdowns. But that screen pass where he broke some tackles with really tough running to get it down to the UK 10-yard line was vintage A.J. …

Aaron Murray wasn’t called on to do a whole lot except hand off or pitch the ball for much of the game, but when he did throw, he completed 75 percent and had no turnovers. And Georgia as a team again had no turnovers. If that is the case in Jacksonville, the Gators will be in trouble. …

Lastly, this was the first CSS coverage of a game I’ve seen in a long time and I hope it’ll be a very long time before I see another. Between play-by-play announcer Matt Stewart and “analyst” Chris Doering prattling on about anything other than what was happening on the field, those interminable cutesy sideline features by Allison Williams that often overran plays, and the lousy directing and camera-work that at times missed the action, it was one of the most irritating football broadcasts I can recall. It’ll be good to see the Dogs back on CBS next week, even if Verne Lundquist is several seasons past it. …

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162 comments Add your comment

JRabDawg

October 24th, 2010
4:00 pm

Red

October 24th, 2010
4:02 pm

Am I First???

Red

October 24th, 2010
4:02 pm

Dddddooouuuuu! Second! Dag nabit! :-)

Red-N-Black

October 24th, 2010
4:04 pm

Bill – you are complaining about the Dawgs stopping the second best scoring offense in the SEC –
Really? For the most part I agree with a lot of what you say but you are most definitely off base here. Tell me again how we got those turnovers? I already know “the defense” and they were responsible for the short fields but yet you are worried by their play??????? Whatever.

ca dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:06 pm

i’m a glass half-full kind of guy, so let’s enjoy the win while recognizing that we’ve got to play better on saturday if we want to beat the gators, because they won’t turn it over 4 times. on the other hand, it doesn’t look as if we’ll do that either. i believe our cumulative turnover margin against florida for the ‘08 and ‘09 games is -8. if we’re even on turnovers this saturday, i like our chances.

let’s also give credit where it is due: kentucky has moved the ball against nearly everyone it has played this year (with or without locke). i hope branden smith is back for the florida game.

btw, did i see ogletree on the field with the offense in the first quarter? does anyone know what the thinking was with that? i’m guessing it was a red herring–just to give meyer something to think about–but i was pretty perplexed.

daddydog

October 24th, 2010
4:06 pm

Beat FL and Tech and a lot will be forgiven. Win out and large majority will be happy.

tide roll

October 24th, 2010
4:07 pm

Bill can you imagine if Uga had signed Cam Newton? They would kick Florida’s a—! It’s inconceivable to me that Bobo blew this . The kid grew up an hour from Athens. Now he’s done the same thing with C. J. Uzomah. Astounding!

Mississippi Dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:07 pm

Who gave Vance Cuff a scholarship? I know we won, but he does not deserve to wear the uniform. Go Dawgs!!!!!

74 Dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:07 pm

Going to Jax for the first time in about 35 years. Where do folks dressed in red and black get ready for the game now and where can you tailgate? Any tips? How are the rules on “public consumption”? Can’t wait to see J Houston get after Brantley. Go Dawgs!

Scott

October 24th, 2010
4:08 pm

We are a top program and we should pay for a top OC. Good game dogs.

Frank Lane

October 24th, 2010
4:09 pm

The broadcast was so bad that I who have never been in front of the camera would have been better. I felt that I was also watching the Kentucky announcers rather than an impartial crew. Just awful, but better than no broadcast.

Red

October 24th, 2010
4:11 pm

So, let’s say next week the Dawgs do not force any turnovers their way, the Dawgs’ kickoff return is average (i.e. no big plays from Boykin), and our secondary continues to have problems, AND Bobo is back to his old predictable play-calling. Do you think the Dawgs will have a chance in Jacksonville? I think Bill King has some valid concerns. I believe Coach Richt, based on the transcript of his interview, is also concerned.

Bobo and Grantham have a lot of homework to do this week.

tide roll

October 24th, 2010
4:30 pm

Richt should be ashamed. Kiante Tripp would have been a first rounder if he stays at offensive tackle. Bean Anderson too. They should file a class action . No wonder you lose to Colorado with personnel decisions like those involving Tripp and Anderson. Georgia needs more sophisticated coaches. The program deserves it. Uga fans: What do you get when you mix Mike Bobo and Stacey Searels? Answer: Cam Newton at Auburn and Ben Jones at Center.

RO GA Dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:37 pm

Bill, another nice post and glad that you are back full time. I am wondering how focused the FLA coaching staff has been during their bye week. Reports have Urban attending a volleyball game at GA Tech Saturday afternoon which is a nice family move for him but makes me ask if he is as focused as the Gator fans would like.

Billy Jack...has a sharp eye

October 24th, 2010
4:37 pm

Calm down Bill….I loved your blog until you threw Allison under the bus…She is the hottest sideline reporter in football…IMHO

We’ll be okay next week if don’t have turnovers…it scares me that the Gators have had a bye week..but it is what it is…

Destin Dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:41 pm

tide roll… why do you care ???? Don’t they have newspapers in LA…. get a life…. go Dawgs !!!!

GTDog

October 24th, 2010
4:43 pm

Is that the same Ben Jones who’s the reigning SEC Lineman of the Week tide roll…just checking?

Henry D.

October 24th, 2010
4:46 pm

I have to agree about the telecast. These guys were paying absolutely no attention to what was going on on the field half the time. And Doering kept referring to the Gator’s or Florida, and here is what Flori.. I mean Georgia needs to do.

But, the good news is we could see the game.

Destin Dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:46 pm

we should play gators home/home or Atl./Jax…. it’s a home game for them and a road game for us.. ask the bookies +-7 points or more… I don’t like the week off either.. we should be the under Dawgs… but that’s OK IF Bobo and Richt open up with TE’s/WR’s.. and AJ…. Go Dawgs !!

76-DAWG

October 24th, 2010
4:48 pm

I still stay that against a good team like Auburn you need to establish the passing game and let the running game feed off of it. If UGA tries to establish the run and then throw every once in awhile Auburn will stop them cold. You are not going to stop Newton and UGA needs to keep up with them and hope something good happens in the fourth quarter. UGA doesn’t need to be so far behind in the fourth quarter that if they get a break it want matter.
Bobo has played so little to make sure UGA at least can try a field goal if they don’t get a touchdown, that Walsh hasn’t kicked enough to develop a confidence that he can make anything and thus he has missed three tries in the last three weeks that should have been a chip shot for him.
The only other thing that is obviously a liability is the play of Cuff. Most of the long plays against UGA happen toward Cuff.

Det. Dan Starks

October 24th, 2010
4:49 pm

tide roll, nobody asked you for your opinion.

patrick

October 24th, 2010
4:50 pm

i agree with the poster that said the turnovers didnt just materialize out of thin air….our D (ranked 19th nationally) had something to do with it.

Macclenny_dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:51 pm

Bill,
There are 3 things that concern me heading to Jax to face the hated GAYTORS!! Pass coverage on 3rd down. Kentucky was 10 for 16 and that is with us knowing they were going to pass to catch up!! There should have been some interceptions knowing they were passing 3 out of 4 times!! The linebackers need to back up and protect that 10-20 yard area we seem to get beat on!! Next is play calling there still is know killer instinct from the coaches. We get a lead and we are content to just try to run the ball. They have to get a little more creative this week. Do NOT run the ball like we always do on 2nd down after throwing incomplete on 1st!!! Murray must stay out of 3rd and long against a very good Florida defense!!! Last, what is wrong with Walsh? He has missed 2 field goals the last two games and made 1 that bounced off the crossbar!!! He missed an extra point also!! He has to get his confidence back!!! Keep winning the turnover battle and we should beat Fl.
Go DAWGS beat the GAYTORS!!!

German Shepherd Dawg

October 24th, 2010
4:52 pm

tide roll,

Don’t you have something better to do?

What’s wrong with Ben Jones?

Revel in memories of last year .

DawgNation

October 24th, 2010
4:53 pm

tide roll,
You long haired bugger eating moron. In the first place Cam Newton NEVER wanted to go to UGA. He choice FL and had his legal troubles there causing him to go to Texas Jr College to get his head straighten out and then signed with Auburn. If you can not get past you own self absorbed believe that you are right and the world is wrong then please take your dribble to another teams blog and let them bask in your knowledge. Second Ben Jones is fine with me and most every other real Bulldog fan. If you are truly a tide fan then they must have banished you from their world because of your stupidity. Go to GT blogs and let them enjoy your UGA hating.

Mike

October 24th, 2010
4:54 pm

don’t hate on Verne Lundquist! if I could have it my way I’d want him calling games until the day I die.

and I’m 20…so you think the old man would annoy me. Nothing makes a Saturday like SEC football on CBS, with that catchy tune, and Verne and Gary giving their always entertaining commentary.

Which is why I cannot wait until Saturday! Go Dawgs!!

CentralFLDawg

October 24th, 2010
4:59 pm

I don’t think anyone has commented…we showed nothing on offense for FL to prepare for

patrick

October 24th, 2010
4:59 pm

All Verne needs is another shot of Jack Daniels and he will be OK.

buzzDawg

October 24th, 2010
5:04 pm

I couldn’t get the game on tv so I listened to the Dawgs’ radio broadcast for the first time since Munson’s retirement. Can’t say it was bad – I could tell what was going on – but the comparison with Larry made it seem so.

CHDawg

October 24th, 2010
5:13 pm

You know I try to always be positive, but I wasn’t happy with this game. The turnovers were largely dumb errors by UK, rather than great plays by UGA. We would have lost that game had the turnovers not happened; and they outgained us dramatically. The play calling was very much like the first four games. We did protect the ball, and we did get the turnovers, and we had great special teams play! Overall, though, UF had the week off to heal and prepare, and hate on them if you will, but they do have enough talent to populate a mediocre NFL team. They usually bring their A game to Jax, so our playing and play calling will have to improve immensely for us to have a chance. Auburn is even better than UF. BTW, as we were chewing the fat last summer, I made two predictions: Auburn would win the west, and 2010 was the year of the Dawg–we would be much better than people thought. In my defense, though, I did say it all depended on the O line–if they were dominant, we would be dominant. The O line has been my biggest disappointment. They have a lot of size and talent, but they just haven’t taken control like I hoped they would. This game was one of their best for run blocking, though. Go Dawgs, and pitch the ball to Gray with the TB as a lead blocker on a rollout option! Gray can throw it to AJ or run it and put pressure on the Gator D.

extrapoint

October 24th, 2010
5:25 pm

Last season and before, Bobo would have abandoned the run and started throwing passes all over the field to achieve a balance offense, even when every team which has played Kentucky has had success running against them. A team which can run against nine in the box, as the Kentucky coach stated, has something going for them. Also, I liked the way Ealey didn’t just plow into the designated hole in the line, but had the ability to look and see where the best opportunity existed. Some teams you just don’t want too play late in the season and Georgia may very well be one of them.

UGA preseason number one 2008

October 24th, 2010
5:26 pm

I tell ya what, UGA looks real good right now beatin up on bottom tier SEC teams.

UGA preseason number one 2008

October 24th, 2010
5:27 pm

“Bill can you imagine if Uga had signed Cam Newton?”

No, but I can imagine what he’d do at Auburn. Oh wait, that’s right, HE’S AT AUBURN!

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

chazzo

October 24th, 2010
5:28 pm

That’s a pretty honest assessment.

azdawg

October 24th, 2010
5:28 pm

Have to agree w/RED above. I’m concerned too w/the def play giving up 31 points to KY and I don’t care if they lead the nation in passing O. The soft zone stunk and combine that w/the play of cuff and FL is licking their chops when he’s in there. FL will be healthy and gets back key players. You play that soft crap vs FL and it’ll be another cake walk for them. GA will need an enormous effort to hurry Brantley and not allow him to get into any rhythm. If GA can’t run the ball effectively and take the pressure off of our QB it’ll be tough day in JAX.

I don’t care what FL’s record is they will be rested and ready. Meyer does not want to lose 4 in a row. The dawgs must not show up w/same D as they did vs KY if they want to win this game.

long-time dawg

October 24th, 2010
5:30 pm

Byes really don’t mean that much unless you need to get players who are injured ready to play, or–in the gator’s case–out of jail.

extrapoint

October 24th, 2010
5:35 pm

If you remember last year, Florida’s offense was a dud coming into the Georgia game. However, just like my golf game where I can play some holes with my eyes closed and make a birdie, Tebow was like this with Georgia. Also, this is the first year we will fly instead of taking the noon day bus, this could have our team in a much better frame of mine.
Which every quarterback they use, pressure him. The Kentucky coach said our pass rush was the best they have seen. Use it!

extrapoint

October 24th, 2010
5:43 pm

On the play where Earley crossed the goal line and was smashed side ways by the linebacker, did anyone see the number of the Georgia player who did a smack down on a Kentucky player out to the right of the play. It might have been a tight end. That’s the type of line play we want. Until the whistle blows, smack someone wearing a diffent jersey.

UGADawg83

October 24th, 2010
5:47 pm

Gee Bill if you would actually GO to a game you wouldn’t have to gripe about announcers.

Bobdog

October 24th, 2010
6:04 pm

Some KY fans told me this morning that, given their success on 3rd and long, they wanted to just skip 1st and 2nd downs. I am frustrated with why we haven’t been able to stop anybody on 3rd and long. Does anybody know what the problem is? Is it the safeties?

Dawg14

October 24th, 2010
6:09 pm

Enter your comments here

1eyedJack

October 24th, 2010
6:13 pm

UGADawg83, he’s passing a kidney stone. I’m just happy with the win.

Dawg14

October 24th, 2010
6:13 pm

Love how the Dawgs are playing now! Only problem I have is I wish they would use AJ more for down the field throws. He gets that quick wideout screen a ton, which works and such but got to put those hands to use deep sometimes.

Destin Dawg

October 24th, 2010
6:23 pm

Yes, turn “em loose.. got to use AJ and the TE’s to beat Fla. and have a chance against Awlbarn… GO Dawgs !!!

kyle

October 24th, 2010
6:30 pm

Our defense should be able to contain the Florida rushing attack, but I’m worried about the pass defense, our 3rd and long defense last night was mind blowing. We would annihilate their offense on first and second down on every single possession, then they got into 3rd and long and Mike Hartline suddenly looked liked Peyton Manning. We might of been able to get away with that against Kentucky, but it will kill us against Florida

Roberto

October 24th, 2010
6:39 pm

I like the KY coach’s pregame comment: ” I don’t GA is going to lose another game this year.”

Concur.

Eaassyy

October 24th, 2010
6:41 pm

First and foremost, Tide (T)Roll is a moron. He was on a blog the other day claiming that Auburn changed to the spread offense in order to accommodate Cam’s strength and style of play. Auburn was running the spread well before Cam arrived from Florida (another spread offense; notice a trend TR???) Consistent mindless drivel is all you are good for Tide Roll. Go Troll elsewhere.

Moving on to the defense. Third and eight might as well be second and one for our defense. Some credit needs to given to Kentucky’s receivers though. They are a talented bunch and made some incredible catches on those third and long situations.

O line looks strong. Florida’s D is the best we’ve faced thus far. Solid play from the O line is a must to win in Jacksonville. Go Dawgs.

Billy Jack @ 1eyed Jack

October 24th, 2010
6:46 pm

Beer drinkers don’t get kidney stones…..just sayin….

ken

October 24th, 2010
6:58 pm

I’ve been told insiders say Grantham is clueless, and that it was a big mistake to hire him. Does anyone know if this is true? It seems like if nothing else, he is way overpaid.

tbone

October 24th, 2010
6:58 pm

Go Dawgies…….beat Fla.!!!!!