Second-quarter blitz makes up for Dogs’ sluggish start

A.J. Green had two touchdown catches in Dogs' win over Idaho State. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A.J. Green had two touchdown catches in Dogs' win over Idaho State. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It might seem churlish to come out of a 55-7 win complaining, but this was after all Idaho State that Georgia was playing Saturday and while a 35-point blitz in the second quarter put the game out of reach early, the Dogs quite frequently were not operating at peak efficiency.

Aaron Murray struggled in the first quarter for the second week in a row, completing only five of 11 passes for 39 yards as Georgia ended up having to settle for two Blair Walsh field goals in the first 15 minutes. While the official line put forth by the Georgia broadcast team was that Murray was throwing into a stiff wind to start the game, the plain fact is that several of those throws were off target from the start, particularly a couple he threw into the dirt.

And Georgia’s running game hardly overwhelmed the relatively small ISU defense, with Carlton Thomas the leading rusher with 64 yards on 14 carries. The main culprit was the offensive line, with the run-blocking leaving much to be desired. The pass protection wasn’t that great, either, with the Bengals managing to sack Murray on two consecutive plays in the first quarter, prompting a smattering of boos from the generally laid-back crowd.

It was the Dogs’ special teams and defense that got things going, with a partially blocked punt providing a short field for the Georgia offense on its first scoring drive of the second quarter. That was followed by Bacarri Rambo intercepting an ISU pass and running it back for a touchdown and then Brandon Boykin snagging another pick to set up a one-play, 3-yard drive for yet another score with a pass to A.J. Green to make it 27-0.

Murray finally got hot on the next drive with a couple of nice passes to Orson Charles and then a throw to Green, who did some nifty open-field running for another touchdown. Marlon Brown made a couple of key receptions on Georgia’s next possession, which ended up with a rare throw to tight end Bruce Figgins in the end zone, and the Dogs led 41-0 at halftime.

Mark Richt only played his offensive starters one series in the second half, but again it was special teams play that got things going with a long punt return by Branden Smith giving the Dogs another short field that resulted in a score by Shaun Chapas.

Vance Cuff returned another interception 30 yards to cap off Georgia’s scoring with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

Hutson Mason played quarterback the rest of the game and might have led the Dogs to more points but was the victim of several dropped passes and a couple of stuffed runs. As Georgia threatened to score again late in the game, Richt emptied the bench and then Mason had to fall on his own fumble on third-and-5, resulting in a missed field goal attempt by backup kicker Brandon Bogotay.

Defensively, the Dogs generally looked good, keeping the ISU quarterbacks running for their lives and throwing lots of desperation passes out of bounds, but the much coveted shutout was lost in the fourth quarter when Cuff let Tavoy Moore get past him for a 25-yard touchdown catch.

So, OK, maybe I am being churlish by emphasizing the negatives coming out of a big, relatively easy win. But, like I said, this was Idaho State, and the Dogs’ inability to just run it down their throats was disappointing, as was the sluggish start.

I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more thoughts on the game, but for now feel free to share your thoughts about Georgia’s performance Saturday.

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138 comments Add your comment

1eyedJack

November 6th, 2010
5:58 pm

I thought it was Derrick Owens who gave up the TD.

45ACP

November 6th, 2010
5:58 pm

The offense struggles…the Dawgs should have been able to run on them all day.

Supes

November 6th, 2010
6:01 pm

If they play like this against Auburn next week (esp. the first quarter) they’ll be toast by halftime.

Matson did not look good at all…granted he had a bunch of subs in there, would have been nice to see him play with the first teamers for a drive or two.

martin the calvinist

November 6th, 2010
6:02 pm

Disappointed with the slow start as well, but we did beat them pretty good and we rested starters, so not all bad. Just glad we won. I just hope there truly is one more victory left on our regular season schedule…….

1eyedJack

November 6th, 2010
6:02 pm

I’m the man. Good to see Orson Charles and Marlon Brown involved in the game plan. It was good to get Brandon Smith involved right away to remove any doubts. Everybody got to play. Suit up the water girl.

Now it’s time to gear up the run defense these next two games. Cam Newton will be a load to stop.

I do agree that the running game was and has been disappointing. We’re going to need that to control the clock. Go Dawgs!!!

P. Bull Terrier

November 6th, 2010
6:08 pm

It felt more windy at the game than it may have looked on TV, so the broadcast team may have been right about the reason for Murray’s slow start. As soon as the teams switched sides at the start of the second quarter and Murray was throwing with the wind, his accuracy immediately improved.

I don’t think they would have beat Auburn or Ga Tech the way they played today, but let’s hope they’ll look a little more interested when the opponent offers more of a challenge.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 6th, 2010
6:10 pm

Aub has one of the worst secondaries in the SEC.I’d rather see Murray throw it 40+

SatillaDawg

November 6th, 2010
6:10 pm

DAWGS BURY SPUDS!

HOT DIGGITY DAWG!

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State

November 6th, 2010
6:11 pm

Cuff got toasted today on that TD by the Bengals, Carlton Thomas got tackled by the grass at least 5 times.

Hopefully Mike BooBoo realizes that AM needs to get the ball to AJ more, lookin’ like the Dawgs will lose to Barners before they spank that tech arse once again, making it 9 out of 10.

Rcgator

November 6th, 2010
6:15 pm

OK, the plan is coming together…just win out and you have a chance to play for the SEC Championship in Atlanta…wait, you were supposed to win out starting last week!!!!

Gatorbait

November 6th, 2010
6:20 pm

Rcgator

That wasn’t nice, but I loved it.

Red

November 6th, 2010
6:21 pm

I think Murray has done a fantastic job this year, but his touch has seemed “off” for the last two games. I have the sinking feeling that he may be battling an injury (maybe the shoulder injury that hindered him last year)? It just seems odd that his touch would suddenly look so “off”. His footwork looks okay and he’s making his reads…hope I’m wrong.

Bill

November 6th, 2010
6:29 pm

Bill King is anti-Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So obvious!!!!!!!! What a loser!!!!!!!!

Michael

November 6th, 2010
6:31 pm

Hutson actually had a beautiful fake in the fourth quarter. As for the rest of the game, well, Aaron looked AWFUL in the first quarter, just like last week. And, just when I thought our offensive line was doing better when we beat Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky, they reverted to early season awfulness the past two games.

Mountain Dawg

November 6th, 2010
6:38 pm

Cuff’s nickname should be ‘Crispy’ since he gets burned every game. What a joke.

The secret to running the ball:

November 6th, 2010
6:47 pm

1. Recruit big, strong offensive linemen
2. Recruit one big strong running back
3. Recruit one frighteningly fast running back
5. Get them on a modern strength and conditioning program
4. ???
5. Profit

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 6th, 2010
7:00 pm

Did mighty Saban get outcoached?

ryan

November 6th, 2010
7:02 pm

Bama about to loose to LSU no repeat for the Tide they have to cheer for the Dawgs as much as they hate to for any chance to go to the Dome .

45ACP

November 6th, 2010
7:10 pm

Saturday night in Baton Rouge! Great game. Glad LSU won!

J

November 6th, 2010
7:22 pm

Remember the whipping Alabama gave us ,30 to 0 halftime score? Well, next weekend could be worse if we continue to come out flat, continue to not be able to block, not be able to run …….. I dread next weekend !

RxDawg

November 6th, 2010
7:32 pm

Eh, I thought they did fine. Really they looked less vanilla then I thought they would. Upset Auburn?

ryan

November 6th, 2010
7:34 pm

I know we are probably not going to beat Auburn at there house but remember we have nothing to loose and they could get caught looking ahead that is what happened to Florida in the second half .

embarrassing dawgs

November 6th, 2010
7:58 pm

georgia is going to get a butt wipping by auburn. if georgia loses by 30 or 40 points MARK RICHT got to be FIRED . jim donnan was fired for 2- 8-4 records in1999 and 2000,so mark richt has in 2009 and 2010 records of 8-5 and 6-6 if he beats georgia tech. should be fired.

daddydog

November 6th, 2010
8:05 pm

Bill; did the older Murray play?

joseph

November 6th, 2010
8:07 pm

uga looks like a poorly coached team.

DAWG with bag over head again

November 6th, 2010
8:08 pm

A slow start next week will be deadly for us. I expect we’ll be down by 30 in the second quarter given our coaching staff’s inability to prepare our team for a big game. Reference, any FL game and the last AL home game, and a couple of games against TN.

Candela Ross

November 6th, 2010
8:13 pm

Idaho State. Wow. Big win, for sure. I’m so impressed.

Think Auburn now and be afraid, very afraid.

Candela Ross

November 6th, 2010
8:15 pm

“uga looks like a poorly coached team.”

You’re correct.

Daniel

November 6th, 2010
8:21 pm

UGA will lose to two teams that lost to Kansas.

AltamahaDawg

November 6th, 2010
8:21 pm

The gatech bookstore manager must be pulling his hair out. Just when he had stocked up on Bama gear, they go and lose. At least the gator gear is starting to sell again.

Ramsey

November 6th, 2010
8:29 pm

I admit it, I thought Georgia would get beat, since this is year 1 for the 3-4, like Saban got beat by La Monroe in year 1 with the 3-4 at Alabama 21-14 and gave up 280 yards.

Grantham only gave up 7 points, and just 150 yards, clearly better than the La Monroe egg Saban laid his first year installing the 3-4 at Alabama in 2007.

Scottie

November 6th, 2010
8:30 pm

Got a simple solution.

Put Hutson Mason in for the first quarter, then let Murray play the rest of the game.

I agree Bill, Mason’s passes were all sharp, and that scramble was spectacular. You can’t sack Hutson Mason, and he has poise, and tremendous confidence.

Daniel

November 6th, 2010
8:35 pm

Yeah you’re right Ramsey. Except that Idaho St is a bad 1-AA school and La Monroe is a 1-A school. But other than that you’re dead on.

T-DAWG

November 6th, 2010
8:39 pm

WOW, you have to love the way LSU is coached and plays football!! They may have the worst offense in the SEC but they play hardnosed defense and their coach is not afraid to make the big call(s) to help win games. On Vance Cuff, I am not sure how the fastest player on the team and someone who has been in the program for 4 or 5 years has such awful technique and is always 2-5 yards away from the receiver.

wildbill

November 6th, 2010
8:45 pm

Whats up with Murray? Besides a slow start, he looked off. First quarter, 6-0, dang it, get your arses in gear dawgs! Auburn will chew us up unless things get better FAST!

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Les Miles

November 6th, 2010
8:58 pm

change your mind about me yet…3-3 vs Florida, 4-2 vs Bama, 4-2 vs Auburn, 3-1 vs Tennessee, and a championship ring from this century…just sayin…

bass stringerfish

November 6th, 2010
9:00 pm

Come on folks. Have you ever played against a team like Idaho State? Really? That first quarter was the best those poor boys could do…our guys just used brut stength to hold them off, finally get in the game and then handle things. In effect we beat them in one quarter. Don’t you guys think we’d have won 75-7 if we kept the first team in and threw the ball? Great warm up to Auburn. That game will be closer than you think. Not sure it’ll be a win, but it will be our bowl game regardless of what happens this year.

Dogdawg

November 6th, 2010
9:03 pm

Upset auburn ? What a joke.We haven’t been prepared for any game this year,its gonna be 28 zip first quarter when Cam gets ahold of us! CMR ain’t gonna get this team ready for a big game its up to the players and seniors if we have any chance at all.Murray got off to a slow start because he’s coaching himself and thank God that boy is a talent and we got AJ or we woulda been blown out with our coaching staff.Just think what a year this would have been had we had a good head coach like Dan Mullen and his staff getting our team ready for these big games with FL TN down.We coulda marched to Atlanta undefeated easy with our talent,But here we sit with coach valium 5 and 5 likely to be 5 and 7 and stuck with him another year cause he had some sucess with some really great players early and hes a really NICE guy! Makes me sick!

Dwayne from calhoun

November 6th, 2010
9:05 pm

UGA fans cry when we lose and cry when we win!! what gives nothing!

Dwayne from calhoun

November 6th, 2010
9:10 pm

IF UGA beats auburn people will b*tch that we win by 3 points or 7 and would say “Oh that was poor coaching”. Come on get real I dont see texas or alabama killing everybody this year! Are they getting out coached too?

Lindsey

November 6th, 2010
9:12 pm

So happy for the win, GO DAWGS!!!

Way to go Richt

November 6th, 2010
9:20 pm

Okay Richt, you’ve had your latest cupcake, and now you’re ready to stink again against Auburn. Be sure to make’em look extra good Richt, and I’m sure you will.
Keep on stinking, and keep on collecting the 2,2 mil. At least Goff and Donnan where not paid a top ten salary to fail, although your failure is right down there with theirs. You give new meaning to clueless Richt.

check please

November 6th, 2010
9:21 pm

This was Idaho State. Next week we face CB4 Newton and 6 in the first quarter aint gonna get it. AJ Green needs to be quiet or the farmers are going to really kill us.

UGADawg83

November 6th, 2010
9:26 pm

Bill, did you observe this on first hand or watch from the comfort of your couch as usual.

UGA Haters Suck

November 6th, 2010
9:30 pm

@ Ramsey, Daniel -

Idaho State is Division 1 – Big Sky Conference. Look it up.

Our win against UT was more impressive statistically that the wins against LM or Idaho State.

Bring something to the table when you post here, morons.

Steve Spurrier

November 6th, 2010
9:33 pm

I wish I was on a golf course right now.

Bob Stoopes

November 6th, 2010
9:35 pm

Me, too, Steve. But at least I’m playing on the road. Your excuse?

Cam Newton

November 6th, 2010
9:37 pm

Hey guys, after whupping UT-Chattanooga I went car shopping. What do y’all think holds more resale value: BMW or Mercedes?

Surprised

November 6th, 2010
9:39 pm