There aren’t many better ways to spend a Saturday in November

Branden Smith made himself useful on offense as well as special teams and defense Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Branden Smith made himself useful on offense as well as special teams and defense Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A few more thoughts on Georgia’s 55-7 victory over Idaho State …

As I detailed Saturday, I had my quibbles with the Dogs’ performance against the Bengals, despite it being an overwhelming (as expected) victory. My concerns chiefly were the rather “shaky” start, as Mark Richt termed it, and the fact that Georgia wasn’t able to run at will against a defense that its scout team ought to be able to beat easily.

But aside from those complaints engendered by my innate worrywart tendencies when it comes to Georgia football, I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday. The fall weather was glorious (OK, a bit chilly in the shade under the overhang where we sit at the stadium) and the turnout was better than I expected, at least for the first half. Once the 1980 national championship team had been recognized at halftime, many fans headed for the gates and someone broke out the beach balls in the crowd. By the fourth quarter we could clearly hear the cheerleaders’ cheers from the other end of the stadium, and those with yearning to shift seats could pretty much sit anywhere they wanted to. My brothers, who were sitting up in the upper upper North stands, came down and joined my wife and me in Section 104 for the rather listless last stanza (if you look at it by quarters, ISU won the last one, 7-0) when some of the more obscure team members among the 74 Dogs who played got into the game.

So what else, besides the final score, was there to delight in?

True freshman safety Alec Ogletree getting his first start in a game that saw him partially block a punt to set up the Dogs’ first touchdown. He’s going to be a beast…

Blair Walsh tying his career best with a 53-yard field goal kicked into a stiff wind. (The down side was that a pair of field goals was all the Dogs could manage in the first quarter … oops there goes the worrywart again). …

Branden Smith showing his three-way value with a fine punt return and three runs for 27 yards (which put him ahead of Washaun Ealey for the day) in addition to playing cornerback. …

Bruce Figgins catching his first touchdown pass since the 2007 season and the heartening way his teammates celebrated. …

And the realistic and yet still somewhat optimistic way most fans I talked to are looking at the Auburn game (which is mostly what we talked about during all except the second quarter). The odds are long, but this is Georgia-Auburn, after all, a series in which the visitor frequently wins and drastic underdogs have knocked off their highly ranked rivals before. Few were willing to say they think it will happen, but nearly all thought it could. …

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

131 comments Add your comment

Brian

November 8th, 2010
11:51 am

Spokesman, you have nothing to be proud of since your team could BARELY beat a 5 loss team. I would be worried about getting spanked by Auburn in the SECCG… if you even beat South Carolina. Life isn’t so great without Tebow is it?

Spokesman for the Gator Nation

November 8th, 2010
11:52 am

how2 we like the coolaid that Suntanned Helen Hunt look a like Preacher sells, just keep pouring it please. As bad as I would like Tech to beat you this year, I am worried that 5-7 would get him fired and that would be bad for the SEC East.

Spokesman for the Gator Nation

November 8th, 2010
11:52 am

Brian, it is a lot better than life without Hershel.

WarDamnEagle

November 8th, 2010
11:55 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQl82SML0wg

That is pretty funny Spokesman. Cant wait to play the Gators.

VININGSDAWG

November 8th, 2010
11:59 am

Auburn defense awful? Please folks, they have gthe best defensive player in the conference in Nick Fairley. They stop the run. They give up some yards on the pass but when the D shuts dwon the run and the other team gets behind, they will throw. Also with the kind of offense Auburn runs, they will give up points due to the quick scoring drives they get into.

I wouldn’t say the UGA defense is any better.

embarrassing dawgs

November 8th, 2010
12:06 pm

auburn will kill georgia ,aaron murray will throw 3 interceptions and fumble 2 times against auburn and our running backs will also fumble the ball.like georgia done from the start of the football season. give away points to the other team. our defense sucks ,will not stop cam newton.get ready for a beat down in farmville!

Dirty Dawg

November 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

I don’t, and neither do any of you, actually know what’ll happen this weekend in this game. What I do know is that we’ve beaten good Auburn teams down there when we weren’t supposed to. Dawg fans, just take your rain gear…you never know when they’ll come in handy.

As for the guy/gal that posted as ‘time on your hands’…if I were you I wouldn’t be bragging about Tech’s fine academic standards. I mean why don’t you tell us just why Tech has a deal with the Atlanta University group for your ball-players to take courses over there? And as for Jan Kemp’s ‘exposing’ Georgia’s use of the remedial program to help keep athletes eligible, it was a practice that every school in the SEC – and I suspect Tech too since I know plenty of dumb-a$$ people that have managed to complete their athletic eligibility at Tech but never came close to graduating. You see the only time Tech has had success on the football field is when coaches that they want to hire and/or keep insist that the ’standards’ be relaxed so they can recruit, and keep, kids that would make them competitive…there’s a short-armed guy down in Central Florida that comes to mind, along with the one you’ve got now. By the way, plenty of schools continued to use their remedial program for years after Georgia abandoned it, and nobody seemed to care much.

And to ‘embarrassing dawgs’, the main thing that’s embarrassing is for a, so-called, Georgia fan to use use the term ‘our’ in your comments and, of course the skinnin’ of your ignorance with the ‘like georgia ‘done’ comment. Do us all a favor, go pull for the last school you matriculated from – ’something’ county high school, no doubt.

drew dawg

November 8th, 2010
1:38 pm

I believe that my Dagws will pull off the upset at Jordan-Hare this weekend!

Alabama Dog

November 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

Dirty Dawg: Good point. That’s why they play the games! Am I the only one here that recalls the last time Georgia went to Auburn with a freshman QB? To refresh y’all’s memory, Auburn was ranked #5 in the country, and Stafford & company went down there and WON! It CAN happen, Dawg Fans!

Ceasar

November 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

IfUGA loses to auburn and teck. will CMR be fired?

wildbill

November 8th, 2010
1:46 pm

I want to see UGA bite an Auburn player this year. I have THE picture of UGA jumping up and almost getting the ‘jewel’ of an Auburn player just after he scored a TD. That would be the highlight of the game. I am not optimistic and see a dark cloud, like 35 points or more.

BoWeevil

November 8th, 2010
2:19 pm

The DawgsReality

10:26 am

“wanting to get rid of a .700 + winning percentage coach in the SEC is like throwing the baby out with the bath water”

Excuse me: CMR is a .662 + winning percentage in the SEC in the Coach Richt Era

Coach Richt is # 4 at .662 + winning percentage in the SEC in the Coach Richt Era

And, everyone knows Alabama has clearly passed CMR by as well.

.731 Win % 60-22 SEC FLA in the Coach Richt Era 2001- now
.707 Win % 58-24 SEC LSU in the Coach Richt Era 2001- now
.670 Win % 53-26 SEC AUB in the Coach Richt Era 2001- now
.662 Win % 55-28 SEC UGA in the Coach Richt Era 2001- now

Like I say Alabama, as everyone knows has passed CMR by as well nowadays

“We’re having a down year, it happens” you say The DawgsReality :

Pardon me, down YEAR ?

LAST FIVE (5) YEARS not 1 down year this year :

.785 Win % 33-09 SEC FLA in the 2nd half Coach Richt Era 2006- now
.675 Win % 27-13 SEC ALA in the 2nd half Coach Richt Era 2006- now
.667 Win % 26-13 SEC LSU in the 2nd half Coach Richt Era 2006- now
.589 Win % 23-16 SEC AUB in the 2nd half Coach Richt Era 2006- now
.575 Win % 23-17 SEC UGA in the 2nd half Coach Richt Era 2006- now

Since when is .575 your .700 ?

BoWeevil

November 8th, 2010
2:20 pm

CMR today is # 5 SEC coach in win % at his current school
UGA today is # 5 SEC in total wins all seasons long all opponents last 5 years
UGA today is # 5 SEC in SEC last 5 years

We’re # 5 in our own conference.

CMR is # 16 in the nation current coach win % all games
UGA is # 20 in the nation won/lost last 5 years

CMR is not a Spring Chicken. He has been here a DECADE. He had a good run with Jim Donnan’s Recruits and since has had NOTHING BUT BAD PRESS WITH HIS OWN.

Tale of 2 halves of the Coach Richt 10-Year Era.

As for 2011, there was NO REASON why we couldn’t have been 12-2 this season instead of 7-6.
We lose 14 seniors and 4 juniors after 2010 season.
2011 we also face a FAR TOUGHER SCHEDULE next year than this year too.

(1) We BLEW IT this year, 2010
(2) We BLEW IT last year, 2009
(3) We BLEW IT last five years 2006-2010.
(4) We have trended down The DawgReality, sir.
(5) 2011 is MORE OF THE SAME, obviously with tougher schedule and losing so much from 2010
(6) Our Recruiting has ALSO BEEN OFF, we lose a lot more than we bring in.
(7) Did I mention I am FED UP with all the ARRESTS / SUSPENSIONS
(8) And, especially with your EXCUSES being a CMR apologist as you are.

Stop the non-sense

November 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

True Dawg Fans don’t even read your articles anymore. We don’t want to hear you.

Minnesota Dawg

November 8th, 2010
3:12 pm

If Georgia’s offense matches Auburn’s, it should make for an exciting game. I see this one as an offensive game with lot’s of scores.

Minnesota Dawg

November 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

BoWeevil, you better find you another team to root for! You are mighty depressing!

Wes

November 8th, 2010
3:25 pm

Auburn will crush Georgia – we suck in big games. I agree with TexasDawg – we need new leadership. An absolute joke to have lost 5 games each of the last 2 years and we’re not done for 2010. How can any Georgia fan support this kind of garbage? TexasDawg, the Florida game was typical in how we play in big games now under CMR. We get behind early – sometimes big – then we rally to keep the score looking respectable. Richt thinks because his team rallies they really show character. How about sticking it to someone good in the 1st quarter? How about not letting the other team score on their opening drive? I watched this BS for the last 5 years and I’ve seen all I need to see. Wake up Georgia fans – the program should be elite! When you settle for mediocrity – you get CMR and BOBO!

Gen Neyland

November 8th, 2010
3:46 pm

At this point, I haven’t seen Auburn sit on their laurels yet this season after big or little wins. I don’t expect them to do so Saturday. Also, I haven’t noticed them looking ahead past anyone either. Credit Cheesestick for that. Grantham will have to have his guys dialed in and focused for 60 minutes or more cause if it gets into a shooting match, Auburn wins. Looking forward to the game…

RobbylookoutmntGA

November 8th, 2010
3:48 pm

I have to admit it! I am jealous of LSU and Les Miles! This team knows that the greatest thing about the game is that it is SEC College Football! They always play to win! Not to loose! They bring out all the stops (fake punts, field goals, toss-sweep reverses, etc.) to win the game. Being an underdog means nothing because THEY practice, plan, and play to win (not play to not lose)! Tiger stadium was the only place to be last Saturday night! They upset Alabama with no chance to win from most prognosticators!

If Mark Richt and Georgia want to beat Auburn on Saturday they need to get the playbook from LSU and go out and play Georgia football and dictate the game. Instead of focusing on Cam Newtow, let’s focus on solid play on both sides of the ball, no mistakes, and some FUN suprises ( a toss sweep reverse – we run sweeps in every game – is just one idea). We have as much talent pound for pound as Auburn and maybe more. We just need to execute and do what LSU does which is believe before the game that we can and will win the game if we execute OUR GAME PLAN and have fun in the process. There is not better venue in sports greater than an intense rival football game on a crisp fall Saturday in the SEC! Go DAWGS!!!

Alabama Dog

November 8th, 2010
4:04 pm

RobbylookoutmntGA: I must admit, I’m jealous of Les Miles, too! It seems LSU can overcome his coaching blunders & still win! It’s time for Richt to throw the ENTIRE playbook at Auburn! Hate to say it, but his job is probably hanging in the balance depending on Saturday’s outcome! The one thing Georgia has going for them is they’ve generally speaking, been a pretty good road team under Richt. Let’s hope Richt has one more miracle left in his bag!

Top Dawg

November 8th, 2010
10:15 pm

We will have to score at least 35 to win. That will put too much preasure on murray and he will commit 3 turnovers. We lose by 14. Unless Grantham can shut his mouth and lay off the choke signs to actually coach up the defense.

JacketBacker01

November 8th, 2010
10:50 pm

The key for Uga will be to come away with 7’s, not 3’s.

Dirty Dawg

November 9th, 2010
3:25 am

Sure I’m not happy with how things have gone this season, but I hope to hell I never show my a$$ like so many of those here that claim to be Bulldog fans. Our guy is as good as their guy – and I don’t care who you’re talking about – and we’ll all be singing his praises again before you know it.

The thing I’m looking forward to later this morning is Auburn’s response to the latest Cam Newton transgressions. The academic cheating while at UF – wonder who released that info and the timing of it? – wonder if Auburn will have another statement that ‘he’s still eligible to play at Auburn’? Sounds as if the young man has spent his entire ‘college’ career cutting corners and ‘getting by’ without really trying. And for those that think he’s got a prayer at even being invited to NY for that award ceremony, you just don’t understand PR.

BoWeevil

November 9th, 2010
5:10 am

BoWeevil

November 9th, 2010
5:28 am

Like we haven’t had anything but bad press the last 5 years and been LOSING in addition.

Bill King is a..............

November 9th, 2010
7:30 am

Yeah, there are better ways to spend a saturday afternoon in November, and thts using your, Bradley’s and Shultz’s articles for target practice. Its hunting season, rifles need to be sighted in.

11 Arrests 5 Wins

November 9th, 2010
7:51 am

Any arrests this week?

DawgNation

November 9th, 2010
8:15 am

Don’t worry. IF there are any the AJC will post it five minutes before the police report is made public.

Stalker

November 9th, 2010
9:33 am

Bill, which did you enjoy more, this past Saturday in Athens or the 30 yr Caddy Shack reunion? Seriously, I see that the gopher head still fits but does the body to the costume still fit after all these years? That would be amazing.

Class of '68

November 9th, 2010
10:16 am

That abomination last Saturday was no football game. May as well line men up against children.

5150 P.O.A.D

November 9th, 2010
8:41 pm

Yes there are great Saturdays to be spent in Athens. I think the last one was in 2008 on a rainy day and the UGA faithful sat in the RAIN and watched as Tech trashed the bushes in Sanford Stadium. Uga VII started to die that day and Kentucky just twisted the knife.
The Dawgs(according to History) should win this game.
Good Luck and hope the players get out of the game in good health.