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

Einstein

October 1st, 2011
11:32 pm

Bama will win the SEC West. They’ll beat LSU because they’re just tougher than LSU. LSU is good, and they’re fast too, but Alabama just seems too physical for anybody to handle and they’re so disciplined. LSU is good, but they’re not Bama good.

01HAWK

October 1st, 2011
11:33 pm

All the HYPE about FLORIDA………………………………..Was just that…………………HYPE.

SABAN did not like hearing WEIS was such an OFFENSIVE GURU.

BAMA SPANKED THAT @#&

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
11:35 pm

UGA has the easiest back into the SEC CG of any team. UGA doesn’t play a hard schedule at all. USC and Florida had a harder path to Atlanta. Do you really think the dawgs have ANYTHING for a good West team? UGA can’t hang with bama, lsu or arkansas.

kerryb

October 1st, 2011
11:35 pm

Still@theBAR, They just allowed only 53 yards rushing to a team that was 20th in the country in running the football. They allowed only 34 yards last week. This Defense is shutting down a teams rushing completely right now.

It'slastcallStill@theBargoHome!please!

October 1st, 2011
11:36 pm

Enter your comments here

kerryb

October 1st, 2011
11:37 pm

Still@theBAR, I think UGA can hang with LSU mainly because of the defense. I don’t think anyone can hang with Alabama right now.

Tampa Dawg

October 1st, 2011
11:38 pm

Hairy Perry, you don’t live here in FL and hear all their arrogant BS. So with all the respect to a Dawg Fan… Stay out of it!

And jeez, how many times is Coach Willie gonna scream at the refs. Can you say Anger Management Classes?

Road Runner

October 1st, 2011
11:39 pm

Still@theBar is a little closet Tech fan that hates Georgia football! SHOCKER!

Hairy Perry

October 1st, 2011
11:41 pm

Tampa Dawg,

I lived in Jacksonville Florida! Quit acting like a punk!

Hairy Perry

October 1st, 2011
11:43 pm

Tampa Dawg,

Florida wips our @ss every year! Like I said don’t be like a Yechy!

Dawg 39

October 1st, 2011
11:45 pm

So far every win has been because we played an inferior team.. REALLY??? The only game that the Dawgs have played that they were outplayed & outcoached in was BSU.
Maybe after Tenn. they will begin to get a little credit. Meanwhile check the Offensive stats as well as the Defensive stats even though we have yet to play anyone that really counts. BS. GATA.

Hairy Perry

October 1st, 2011
11:45 pm

Goodnight Dogs!

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
11:46 pm

Ooops, my Mama’s ringing the cell. Gotta make like a tree and leave. And I’ll leave you guys with this thought–Russthe Dawg is my Daddy!

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
11:46 pm

And SHOCKER Dawg fans think they are great and can beat a west team in the CG in the Dome. Murray is All SEC. The UGA D has shut down some real powerhouse offenses.
Ole Miss is 27 to 21 against Fresno State. Hold on now ole miss you have to help UGA’s SOS.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 1st, 2011
11:50 pm

SEC East is up for grabs now! The Dawgs have a good a shot as any.

BTW, anyone (besides Miss. St.) still want Dan Mullen as their head coach? Seems like I saw quite a few folks saying he should replace Coach Richt not too long ago.

Even the Evil Genius doesn’t look like quite the genius when he has a QB like Garcia.

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
11:52 pm

I’m telling you–RUSS is MY DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Still@theBAR

October 1st, 2011
11:55 pm

and Barbra Dooley is my mom.

Still@theQueerBar

October 1st, 2011
11:55 pm

Been here all night. Hatin’ on the ‘Dawgs and servicin’ every man in sight!

Still@theQueerBar

October 1st, 2011
11:59 pm

I’m plumcum drunk!

dawgster

October 2nd, 2011
12:04 am

Not sure what Gary Danielson is smoking or drinking, but to think the dawgs are in the drivers seat is kind of funny…Yes the dawgs got alot of help today and if they take care of business things could work out for them…but…this team has an extremely long ways to go, especially on offense…The playcalling, while better, is still puzzling at times and we do not have that killer instinct….I’m proud of the win and it looks like we got ourselves right back in the SEC East race, but Tenn will be a huge challenge in my opinion…Our O-lione has got to improve…absolutely no reason we can’t move the pile a few inches to get a first down….I know many of you get on Coach Richt for not going for it, myself too, but to be honest our O-line has not proven that we have that ability when its needed….The dawgs have a lot of talent and weapons, but it isn’t on the O-line…whether its coaching or lack of talent, or unfortunate injuries, if we want to be the team that I saw crush the gators tonight then we better make that a priority from this point on with our recruiting…..

Also, its quite apparent that the SEC West is much stronger than the East…I see know one in the East that can hang with or defeat Bama nor LSU…but hey thats why we play the game on the field, not in these blogs….go dawgs and great win today….

dawgster

October 2nd, 2011
12:11 am

@Still@theBar….your comments are always amuzing….don’t believe that most dawg fans think our team is great….yes we are proud for a SEC win, but for us that actually know the game, I think realize that we are a long ways from being great….You want to turn every comment made by someone on here about the dawgs into something negative, and thats your agenda….Not sure why someone can’t post a comment about their team without you throwing insults to them…Is your life really that sad and miserable……..

01HAWK

October 2nd, 2011
12:13 am

HEY POLLACK…………………………………….WHAT DEFENSE. Florida has all of these speed guys and DEMPS was knocked out of the game by the BAMA KICKER.

DEMPS AND BRANTLEY GOT KNOCKED THE HECK OUT

ESPN college football analyst David Pollack said he thinks Florida has a good chance to stop the run based on its strong front seven on defense.

“The defensive line is the best part of their team,” Pollack said. “I call them the baby d. (Ronald) Powell, (Dominique) Easley and (Sharrif) Floyd, with (Jaye) Howard and (Omar) Hunter, they are more deep and talented in that area than they have been in years past.”

On offense, Pollack said the game will rest on the shoulders of quarterback John Brantley. He said he expects Alabama coach Nick Saban to devise a scheme to take Florida’s speedy playmakers Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps away.

Wooky

October 2nd, 2011
12:18 am

Souf Carolina gonna lose to Razrbacks. Flarda gonna lose to LSU. When them dawgs gonna do bout bobo.

Jordan

October 2nd, 2011
12:35 am

mrs.bobo

October 2nd, 2011
12:38 am

my goodness what a fun game.

Eaassyy

October 2nd, 2011
12:38 am

still@thebar is a TEK FAN. everybody knows that.

Only trouble is he only posts on Dawg blogs b/c he is utterly obsessed with all things DAWG related. Obsessed with how we have owned his pathetic bunch of losers the past decade and obsessed with how his paycheck depends on how many dawg alumni come support his sorry establishment.

Beat GA and win a bowl game in the same season more than once a decade. Then come and here and act like you’ve been there.

Eaassyy

October 2nd, 2011
12:40 am

keep pounding that chets @the bar. come noveember you’ll be pounding yourself to highlights of 08.

THE ONE TIME IN A DECADE YOU LUCKED OUT AND BEAT UGA.

as ST SIMONS SAYS: HAHAHHAHAHA

Desert Fox

October 2nd, 2011
12:44 am

There’s good reason to grumble over missed opportunities to score and poor play in two games amounting to only 6 points in 4 qtrs of play. Those blown opportunities are points that are being squandered and points they will need to have in order to win their upcoming SEC games. Its going to get tougher and against AU and FL, TN as well, you better not give up those scoring opportunites and have to make 3rd and 4th downs otherwise they’ll be on the short end of the stick. The D has saved their bacon in 2 games now against lesser teams but that’ll all change in TN, etc., unless they break this habit of giving up on Off to end their games. There are no saviors on Offense but they better step up in the coming weeks as the Def may not play this well week after week in the SEC.

Eaassyy

October 2nd, 2011
12:44 am

how pathetic it must be to so obsessed will all things UGA that you comment over 21 times on a recap of our game (@thebar). do you need more attention?

mrs.bobo

October 2nd, 2011
12:44 am

No wonder Mike asked me not to read these postings.

DAWGS forever

October 2nd, 2011
12:45 am

It’s raining medioctrity from the sky, it’s raining mediocrity from the sky. Oh my!

DAWGS forever

October 2nd, 2011
12:46 am

Auburn and Tech look like our toughest challenges to go. With that said… ole cliche one game at a time. Time to take out the vowels Vanna. Giveme a Go DAWGS!

mrs.bobo

October 2nd, 2011
12:50 am

It will be good to see Allison and Derek next weekend.

Coastal Dawg

October 2nd, 2011
1:05 am

Bill, please print my comments and get them out of the filter for whatever reason. Nothing out of the way in that post or any of my others.

HOUDAWG

October 2nd, 2011
1:32 am

Hey George ….. you idiot troller …… pretty easy to assume you’re GT punk. Wow ….. GT beat NC State ….. what a HUGE win ! Vandy would roll double-digit win on that team …….. Kiss IT !!

KaliDogg

October 2nd, 2011
2:59 am

I wonder, if I’m a UGA player, if I’d ever listen to anything Mark Richt says. Or Mike Boo Boo.

Yeah, right, guys. Hutson Mason is just soooo darn impressive that he’s certainly earned more playing time. Right. Now we know that for what it was. Just some smoke to “motivate” Aaron Murray. Great. He’s now motivated to overthrow guys by 8 yards instead of 5. Good job, guys. Still staring down his receivers. Throwing into double coverage.

I honestly don’t get it. Since when is playing time handed out based on who the coach wants to see play rather than who’s the best player for that moment, for the UGA bulldogs?

Oh, right. Since now.

Murray’s playing like a freshman, in high school. But, it “didn’t matter” because the defense played so well? See if it matters against teams that can actually play the game.

All I can say is, here we go again.

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Pierce CO Dawg

October 2nd, 2011
6:18 am

What happened to the GATORS. All you gator fans have got silent! I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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Rockdawg

October 2nd, 2011
7:53 am

like I have said many times before.. A Murray is a terrible qb and I wish these sports announcer’s would quit calling him the best in SEC.. If thats true then the entire league’s QB’s suck… Murray have given the other teams 28 points this year.. Really u could say 35… Please CMR.. Listen to me… U got lucky yesterday… Lets see some Mason.. As long a as Murray feels secure in his position he will not get better.. However u in the hotseat can’t…. Bobo is a idiot, and “THE SHORTBUS” DEFINITELY WAS BACK IN ATHENS ” at Half time.. Murray cont to be the star of the shortbus week in and out.. Bobo u suck…

Rockdawg

October 2nd, 2011
7:56 am

Grantham definitely got off the shortbus … Bobo u retard… I challenge u to play Mason

john mceachern

October 2nd, 2011
8:07 am

for those saying Mullen would be “interviewing” for the Georgia job, please note. Richt didn’t hire him!

DawgNation

October 2nd, 2011
8:43 am

I would really hate to read these blogs if Georgia had lost. Come to think of it I really hate to read these blogs in any case considering the maturity and intelligence levels of some here.

chris

October 2nd, 2011
8:53 am

Defense wins Championships…….If our Offense can continue to put high 20″s on the board I feel good about our chances with the way our defense is coming around. Getting the “W” is all that counts so be glad we aren’t playing our best and winning by double digits.