Dominating Dogs defense makes up for lackluster offense

The Dogs' John Jenkins slams Ladarius Perkins to the ground on a day when the Georgia defense dominated. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

The Dogs' John Jenkins slams Ladarius Perkins to the ground on a day when the Georgia defense dominated. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s beginning to look like if you want to see the Georgia Bulldogs offense in action, you better catch the first half, because judging by the past two games they’re taking off most of the third and fourth quarters.

Fortunately, for the Dogs, their defense is playing a full four quarters and Saturday against Mississippi State the D turned in a dominating performance, holding the Maroon Bulldogs to a measly 56 yards on the ground, with an average of only 1.6 yards per carry, and letting Dan Mullen’s vaunted spread option convert only 27 percent of its third-down tries. Georgia also had five sacks on the day.

The only thing the D didn’t do was score, and they likely could have if they’d held on to several almost-interceptions that were dropped. As it was, they did manage to snag two picks.

Still, there’s one overwhelming conclusion that you have to take from a game where Georgia threw three interceptions (one a pick 6), had almost no offense in the third quarter, muffed two field goal attempts and yet still won the game by 14 points:

Mississippi State isn’t very good.

The Georgia offense actually looked pretty decent in the first half, though it only really needed to launch one long, sustained drive, getting the ball in good field positions a couple of other times through a nice Brandon Boykin punt return and another shanked MSU punt.

Isaiah Crowell had 104 yards on 22 carries, most of it in the first half and had another very impressive, weaving touchdown run canceled when it was ruled he had stepped on the sideline.

Aaron Murray completed 13 of 25 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, again mostly in the first half. But besides having three picks on the day, Murray and the Georgia offense were largely ineffective after halftime. At least some of the blame had to go to the offensive line, which had a very lackluster day.

Crowell was spelled a good bit by Carlton Thomas (surprisingly effective) and Richard Samuel (mostly not), and the freshman back seemed more comfortable running out of the spread formation that Georgia used more extensively in the first half than the tight I-formation the Dogs hunkered down in for most of the last two quarters.

The frustration of the second half for Georgia fans was summed up by a third-and-inches play in the third quarter when the Dogs went with Samuel and somehow came up short. And then when Georgia again got the ball at the MSU 14, couldn’t get 10 yards, and rather than go for a fourth-and-short play brought in the still-troubled field goal unit, which couldn’t even get the kick off. Boos were heard coming from the Georgia stands.

Thank goodness one of Georgia’s units played up to its capabilities.

Still, it seems churlish to grumble too much after the Dogs won another conference game. Yes, the offense and special teams have a long way to go, but the Georgia defense seems to be for real.

And that’s definitely worth celebrating.

Feel free to share your own views of Georgia’s win over MSU.

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296 comments Add your comment

zulucanibal

October 1st, 2011
7:09 pm

What happend to our G on the goal lines? did i miss something>??

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
7:14 pm

Murray will be fine. I believe he can win us a championship.

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
7:16 pm

In the meantime, SC fans better hope “I stay drunk!” Garcia can win the game for them. They’re down 16-13 with 1:38 to go. If they lose, UGA and SC are tied for first in the East and with Florida playing Bama tonight, all bets could be off and we get extra motivation because we’re still right in this thing with just as good a shot as anyone.

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
7:35 pm

oops, SC lost. hahaha. Looks like we’re tied now (both have one loss in the SEC). I know SC has the tiebreaker, but they will lose one more SEC game. I just hope our team can avoid losing so that we can go to the SEC title. GO BAMA! BEAT UF!

SatillaDawg

October 1st, 2011
7:35 pm

War Eagle!

Dawgs are back in the hunt!

Go Dawgs!

ADMan

October 1st, 2011
7:39 pm

George….you’re either a moma’s boy or a tool….one things for sure your definitely a cry baby.

Supes

October 1st, 2011
7:42 pm

It’s time for Aaron Murray to STEP UP and show and prove that he was worthy of being thought of as a TOP 3 QB rated out of high school. He had what….50 scholarship offers, was this highly sought after QB….what exactly has he shown in college to merit all the accolades coming in???

Some of the mistakes he makes, INT.’s, over and under throws, and fumbles are characteristic of a red shirt freshman and or backup QB – yet he’s the starter and number 1 on the depth chart.

If Aaron Murray doesn’t step up his game and clean up his mistakes….we are not beating Tenn, or FLA, or dare say GT.

On the other hand…very good to see the Defense raise their game up and improve…the only thing I’d like to see is making more plays on the ball when they have chances to intercept. We should have had double today’s total if we could have just held on to the ball.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the win…but there’s a lot of reasons for concern going forward.

hot dawg

October 1st, 2011
7:44 pm

Coach grantham is earning his money…..good job d….and i give richard samuel one more game to avg 3yrds a carry before i throw him under the bus but he sure is close.. crowell is not in sec condition yet but all the talent is there…..i seen richard samuel break one tackle today!!!!but it was called back…….so its still 0 tackles broken on the year……..

Furman Bishop

October 1st, 2011
7:45 pm

Even if FL gets creamed by Alabama tonight, Fl will win the division again. Richt will probably bumble to at least 8 and 4 and McGarity won’t do a damn thing to make UGA relevant again. Bobo will be back, after all, he is Vince’s son-in-law, so I hear. Don’t look for any better in 2012.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
7:48 pm

The Refs must really like UGA. They helped Auburn win the game against USC. USC had 1 second to kick the FG. Mutts slowly backing into the SEC CG and getting KILLED by a REAL SEC team.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
7:50 pm

MURRAY is All SEC right Dawg fans? isn’t that what you have been telling us this whole year? UGA’s 3rd qtr was Pathetic again and the 4th qtr was not much better.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

AUBURN didn’t recover that TD it went out of bounds and never should have had a TD. Please let the mutts back into the SEC CG game with 4 losses and get KILLED by Bama or LSU. Dawgs will lose to the GATORS and the JACKETS.

dmr

October 1st, 2011
8:00 pm

Georgia’s defense has played pretty good, even in defeat. They are not the dominant force of say an Alabama, LSU, or even a Florida…YET! Georgia’s defense may make it possible for Georgia’s offense to simply manage the game and not lose it.

Aaron Murray is still LOCKING IN on targets and letting it fly with a “no matter what” type attitude. He threw only 8 interceptions last year, but is well on his way to surpassing that number this season. The offense MUST LEARN to take care of the ball. This inability to get a yard or an INCH has got to be addressed and soon.

I was VERY disappointed that Richt chose not to CONTINUE TO BUILD QUALITY DEPTH. With 8:30 left and a 24 – 3 lead, I really wanted to see Hutson Mason get some playing time to give him more live experience. Murray is still getting hit at a pretty alarming rate and Mason needs to get some prep time when it is available just in case.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:01 pm

DAWGS going to WATCH your demise? Bama Florida kicking off in a few seconds.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:03 pm

dmr Murray Only had 8 INT’s last year? UGA only won 6 games and didn’t beat a team with a winning record. Funny that that record is still just chugging right along.

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
8:12 pm

GT fans, no matter what, losing to you can’t keep us out of the SEC title game. HAHAHAHA…not like you’ll win anyway. ((((9-1))))

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:15 pm

Einstein………………..winning the Weak SEC Least means nothing when you have to have other teams lose more than you can win. Tech will smoke the MUTTS.

JADAWG

October 1st, 2011
8:15 pm

Mullen was simply outcoached and his team outplayed. Keep working hard dawgs and learn to play for 60 minutes.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:17 pm

Dawgs you think you got something for the GATORS? DID you see Brantley’s first play without a penalty? TD pass. Dawgs don’t want none of a good team.

bwkdawg

October 1st, 2011
8:29 pm

I’m defenantly worried about murry he’s going to loose us some game if he keeps taking chances. It’s kind of crazy because he makes us alot of plays and sometimes he looks great, and other times………..

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
8:34 pm

Cant go for 4th and 1 against UCF inside the red zone

Cant go for 4th and 1 against Miss St inside the red zone

Anyone wonder why Richt is 3-11 against top 10 teams

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
8:37 pm

Richt states

Im not interested in running our best player 30 carries game

WOW

Any wonder why this team struggles to put teams away and also win the big games

T-DAWG

October 1st, 2011
8:38 pm

Why are we running Samuels on 4th and short? He is a very ineffective runner, does not run under his pads, is never moving forward and making extra yards, does not break tackles. Should I go on? I know we may not want Crowell to take a beating getting one yard but I he is always moving forward getting extra yards I think he would be the logical choice to get 1 yard or a QB sneak. If “Boo” get himself together, he should be the short yardage back.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

Weis is going to EAT Grantham on and Off the field. look what he is doing to BAMA.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:48 pm

Clem&Sons v VT is as boring as the Auburn v USC game…………

Clueless

October 1st, 2011
8:50 pm

4th and short at MSU 5yd line and up by 18. Grow a pair and go for it. Yet another poor decision.

trueUGAfan

October 1st, 2011
8:55 pm

The nerve of some you fans….3 consecutive wins, and you still cry like little “britches”….UGA play their schedule just like everyone else play theirs. If you guys are looking for every player and coach to be perfect on every single play, I’m here to tell you “not gone happen”…had the DAWGS won by 50, u still would be britching about some…if you are a dawg fan, now is the time to get behind our team show support and stop britching about wins…#cowardsbehindmessageboard

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
8:57 pm

Still@theBAR

Weiss will hand Billy Bob from the trailer park in Starke FL the head set and will let him call the plays while Weiss walks up to the box seats; sits down eats the buffet and socializes with the FL fans because Bobo will have so many 3 and outs our defense will be on the field too long like the Boise St game.

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
8:57 pm

Totally agree TrueUGAfan…trust me, I’m Einstein

Still@theBar, I can tell that you are…because your talking like your drunk! GT will NEVER beat UGA again! HAHAHAHA

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
8:58 pm

Weis will start to eat doughnuts when our defense gets after Brantley and stops Rainey and Demps. Trust me, this defense is capable. Stay thirsty my friends.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
8:59 pm

Flat……………..it is Weis…………..1 s not 2 i believe.

MarineDog

October 1st, 2011
9:00 pm

I noticed a couple of times in the first half that Richt appeared to making the calls. Maybe that’s why there’s a drop off in the second half.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
9:00 pm

Einstein you are NOT. wait is Russ’ nickname Einstein? If so then you are einstien for sure.

ADMan

October 1st, 2011
9:03 pm

Still@theBAR…Better order a double….your going to need it.Your gay-tors are gonna fold like a tent…..I’m laughing already!…Didn’t take Bama long to take control of the game…better start making up your excuses…..LOLLOLLOL

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
9:04 pm

trueUGAfan

Cannot score in the 2nd half two consective games in a row against 3 loss teams is nothing to pound your chest about

Not going for it on 4th and 1 against Miss St with an 18 pt lead sends your team the message we arent good enough just like 4th and 1 against UCF

A coach that has the caliber RB in Crowell and Richt says he is not concerned about giving him the ball 30 times

WOW

Yea we won; we won 3 in a row against sorry teams, this type of thinking is why we lost to Boise period and why

Richt is 3-11 vs top 10 teams and why we will not win the big games

almostdoggone

October 1st, 2011
9:09 pm

nice defense today….special teams better ….more of the same on offense…play calling has to change…give Mason a chance because Murray is really just average right now.

MarineDog

October 1st, 2011
9:10 pm

The funny thing about some of the posters on here predicted that they would lose to MS last week and that they would lost to Ms State this week. Well neither one happen and yet some of these same people are now saying that UGA should have won bigger. Wouldn’t it just be easier to just admit that you were wrong. The games are played on the field and not on these blogs. Losing 2 games with 10 games left does not mean the season is lost.

SC lost today and Bama just went up on Fl. If Fl loses, then there’s a 3-way tie in the east. The east has not been decided yet my friends.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
9:10 pm

ADMan I am far from a Gator fan. I Hate the DAWGS cause y’all think you have something. IF….big IF the Mutts make it to the SEC CG you will be crying and shaking. What was USC last year? 8-4 min the CG and all you dawgs laughed? The dawgs could be that or worse and be the SEC Least representative.

ADMan

October 1st, 2011
9:12 pm

Still@theBAR….Have you slit your wrist yet?….Bama just scored again…and the nights still young….Gay-tors are going down hard tonight and I’m gonna laugh my arce off…LOLLOLLOL

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
9:12 pm

Looks like Dabo Sweeny at Clemson understands what the hot seat means

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
9:16 pm

MarineDog

Please got back and find where I said we would lose to Ole Miss or Miss St

You might want to be prepared you’ll be up all night trying to find something you wont find

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
9:16 pm

ADMan

October 1st, 2011
9:17 pm

Just what we thought Still@theBAR…..you can dish it out but you can’t take it….why don’t you turn the game off and turn on Sponge Bob …He’s more your speed

MarineDog

October 1st, 2011
9:19 pm

Flat Tire,

Please go back and find where I said Flat Tire said that.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
9:25 pm

ADMan you need the Gators to lose cause it will help the mutts back into the SEC CG. the Dawgs can’t do it on their own. I am not a Gator or a Bama fan. Good Friend is a Bama season ticket holder. dawgs could be 8-6 at the seasons end with 3 straight loses. Will Richt keep his job even if he gets to the SEC CG?

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
9:26 pm

ole miss is about to get killed by Fresno St. I am sure that will really help the dawgs SOS.

UGA? RU Kidding

October 1st, 2011
9:26 pm

Don’t wet your pants with excitement yet FAD Man; if, by luck and the simple draw of an easy schedule the hush puppies get into the SEC Championship game, either bama or LSU will beat the dawgs and their genetic freak of a mascot into the ground.

trueUGAfan

October 1st, 2011
9:30 pm

@ flat95, have you heard of running the clock and getting the win over with… See you want our guys to be like other guys when all guys want to is win…see you want all the stats and 50 point blowouts, and I just want a W…it’s not UGA fault that our last 3 opponents were subpar, had UGA lost, you would be singing a different song, but they didn’t so u gotta find something to britch about…style points are no longer in style, when not necessary…

And let’s throw your body our there to get pounded on for 30 snaps a game…do I think IC can carry it 30 times a game yes, do I think he should when it’s not necessary NO…if he blows his knee ou on the 30th carry, in a meaningless rep, you would rip CMR a new one for having him in the game…#stopbritching

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
9:44 pm

Can you believe that call against BAMA? That was a fumble for a TD.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 1st, 2011
9:45 pm

trueUGAfan

Get something straight

I dont care about 50 point blowouts

But when we stil have 2 full Qtrs to play and your up by only 18 points and you are 4th and inches inside the redzone and have an opportunity to put the team away come on

Just like UCF a conference USA team in a meaningless bowl game 4th and inches and you cant go for it

This is a pattern of mediocrity and why we have become a joke

Are we here to win or lets play good enough and hope we can run the clock out every game

Concerning Crowel

Again Im not concerned about Crowel running him 30 carries.

Did I say run him when the game is out of reach and meaningless NOOOOOO

But when your coach makes comments like that and comments like he did before the Boise game, of well if we lose its ok the season is not over

My question is this does this coach want to play for NC’s or just hope to win 10 games