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.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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296 comments Add your comment

dawg67

October 2nd, 2011
9:04 am

I am sick of Crowell asking to be removed from the game every time he taks a big hit. His post game comment is a classic: “When I get tired or have an ache” I ask to come out. I understand it is a big jump from high school, Class AA to the SEC, and he has been hit more times in five games than his entire senior year at Carver Columjbus, but he is a 5 Star recruit and this is a “big boy” league. If he does not like the pounding you take as an SEC tailback, then maybe he should considering transfering to Agnes Scott and play flag football with the girls.

Dawg_Mike

October 2nd, 2011
9:27 am

I agree dawg67. While i believe IC has the talent he needs to Man up.
It would also help if he stopped trash talking after a good run.

Trav

October 2nd, 2011
9:28 am

Need to get rid of Bobo!

Dawg_Mike

October 2nd, 2011
9:28 am

ON a positive note, does anyone realize that our D has not been scored upon since the SC game ?

roy

October 2nd, 2011
9:47 am

Did anyone else see #5 from missy state urinate in the hedges during the early part of the3rd qtr???

chilidawg

October 2nd, 2011
9:51 am

Richard Samuel is not a tailback. Move him back to defense.

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
9:54 am

Good game D!

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
10:01 am

Other than the one long scoring drive we were on the short field all game and with 3 gifts inside the red zone which we failed to capitalize on. We have offensive problems a good freshman RB won’t remedy.

Richt/Bobo really should get back to the “cutting edge” of football. They can’t get out of their own way

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
10:04 am

I like Samuel DGD but, what I really don’t get is you have a RB 7 yards per carry on the day and you give the 4th and inches handoff to the most ineffective RB on the roster. Help me understand that

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
10:07 am

Samuel is invaluable as a RB if nothing else for his blocking ability and willingness to lay it on the line. He is a team player. Any of you blogging fools that feel the need to criticize him really should take a good look at your life

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

Dawg Mike

In all honesty, both Mississippi teams offenses are horrible. CC don’t really count but, the D won that game yeasterday and they are beginning to jell and looking really good. Special teams was even a bright spot. I wish we could get the offense and coaches on board

2-10 against ranked teams

October 2nd, 2011
10:16 am

OK, beat two perrenial bottom dwelling Mississippi teams, and all is right in the world, huh???

And talk about a good defense……see LSU and Alabama….now there are 2 good defenses.

As for Murray…..UGH!!! Since when did we let smurfs play QB??

2-10 against ranked teams

October 2nd, 2011
10:18 am

ARDawg: “Richt/Bobo really should get back to the “cutting edge” of football. They can’t get out of their own way”

…..they are cutting edge…..if today was 1999

midland Dog

October 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

ok, the Richard Samuels experiment #2 should be done. i like his heart, but he needs to be a linebacker!

midland Dog

October 2nd, 2011
10:20 am

And better get some reps for Mason! Give him at least a series in each game.

Lucy

October 2nd, 2011
10:33 am

Crowell = Ealey = King = thug

One year at most, then he flunks out or gets dismissed.

GaTruth

October 2nd, 2011
10:42 am

The Bobo formula is obvious which is why we get shut down in the second half. Tailback will be two yards behind QB and a yard to one side -handoff to the 1 or 2 hole whichever is opposite the side the RB lines up on. Stuffed EVERY time for second and 9. So much talent wasted by the least diverse play calling in D-1. Second half is when we should be blowing teams out. Enough is enough.

DrDawg

October 2nd, 2011
10:44 am

We have a 280 pound fullback and we can’t get a first down with inches to go?
We have the best freshman back in American and we install a rotation?
Does SC ROTATE Lattimore? We still have a terrible Offensive scheme.
Defense is very good.

GaTruth

October 2nd, 2011
10:47 am

One thing I love about this blog and all the Tech fans that are on here, I am constantly reminded of the huge and permanent chip they have on their shoulders about UGA.They could beat us 50-0 for 10 straight years and would still see themselves as the North Avenue Trade school filled with geeks and tweeks. While UGA grads become CEOs, entrepreneurs, and deal makers, tech grads are locked away behind computer screens wondering why their jobs are going to India – it’s the chip on your shoulder!

Oh, No Bobo

October 2nd, 2011
10:56 am

I would love to know Todd Granthams honest opinion of Mike Bobo and his play calling.

Also, Is Hutson Mason so sucky that they won’t let him run the offense for a couple of possessions after Aron throws his 3rd pick 6 of the year?

Raleigh

October 2nd, 2011
10:57 am

Put in bogotay for field goals, leave kick off duty to Walsh. he can still kick the crap out of it hw just can’t angle it anymore. I don’t understand why Crowell doesn’t want to stay in the game. Leave him in until he falls over because Richard Samuel doesn’t run he stomps around flat-footed. Murray needs to calm down, because there’s going to come a time when he needs to win the game. Defense looks great, knock on wood. Next week in knoxville might be a better test, however. Go dawgs!

social circle dawg

October 2nd, 2011
11:07 am

Aaron Murray makes me nervous. He’s turning into our very own Stephen Garcia. Yes, the coaches should decide when Crowell gets a spell. Samuel….I’m mystified with this guy….the dad gum coaches that are paid millions don’t even know what to do with him. Defense is carrying the team right now. Go Junkyard Dawgs!

NOBODYYOUKNOW

October 2nd, 2011
11:10 am

They’re looking better. But the two games I’m worried about are Fla. and Auburn. I still think they will manhandle Tech.

Oh, No Bobo

October 2nd, 2011
11:13 am

@Rusty,

I keep thinking, at least Murray isn’t Steven Garcia…. However, with all the Garcia interceptions and misses, has he thrown as many pick 6’s?

I like Murray, but Mason is supposed to be pretty good. I would like to see him in when the game is still win/loose. Also, I would love for it to be some type of wrist slap for Murray. He is supposed to be great at protecting the ball, but he isn’t doing a good job.

Terra Firma

October 2nd, 2011
11:17 am

Why didn’t the dawgs wear their Nike clown costumes and red panties?

Still@theBAR

October 2nd, 2011
11:20 am

Get your Tickets for the DOME dawgs. It will be fun. Nothing like finishing the season with 3 straight losses and still keeping Richt cause the Dawgs backed into the SEC CG in a weak SEC Least.

Tricia

October 2nd, 2011
11:21 am

When are we going to get rid of the ugly line of sick, inbred dogs like Russ. It was a huge embarrassment seeing him on the field with Missy State’s fine-looking dog.

And how many times did mangy Russ water the hedges yesterday?

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
11:23 am

3 INTs are enough to put Mason in for a few series. 2nd half against Ole Miss, flat. 2nd half against Missy St, flat. I am a Murray fan, I believe he is destined for some greatness and he proved himself last year. However, he is still learning and often there are lessons learned one can only learn from the bench after major mistakes or failure to spark the offense. Bobo’s playcalling isn’t helping him any but, Murray is still the leader on the field.

We have the biggest OL in football. Yeah they are not very good but, they are adequate and getting better. Murray last year did much better with much less. Aaron needs to get his head out of his pooh hole. I guess he’s looking for Walsh

Buy one get one free

October 2nd, 2011
11:25 am

Serious Dawg fans need to start organizing and demanding that Richt be fired. Otherwise, sports writers will be asking the same questions this time a year from now.

Richt represents mediocrity. Saban, Miles, Spurrier, and Chizik represent excellence and championships. Richt simply isn’t in their class, nor will he ever be. Richt would have to be incredibly lucky to win the division, and the odds against him winning the SEC championship would be at least 50:1.

Those are the simple facts, and there’s no amount of enthusiasm or cheerleading or Top 5 recruiting classes that can get around it.

As they say in poker, “Read ‘em and weep.”

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
11:26 am

Tech is the only game to play I mark as a win. 9-1 bugs the onus is on you

2-10 against ranked teams

October 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

I am a rational dawg fan….to categorize me as a Tech fan is ludicrous. Anyone who thinks Crowell is a bust/thug/whatever obviously has an ax to grind. He is the only bright spot on the offense….except he does a little too much smack talking and celebrating.

That said, anyone who thinks we are anything more than a second tier SEC team right now is drinking too much Kool-Aid. My name says it all. We’ve been that way since ‘08 when we were preseason #1……been a LONG slide down since…

Like lemmings to the sea

October 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

A few salient comments:

1. Four different SEC teams have won the last five BCS championships.

2. UGA was not one of those teams.

3. During that period, UGA did not win the SEC championship.

4. During that period, UGA did not even win its SEC division.

5. Red panties.

In other words, UGA has sunk into total irrelevancy both regionally and nationally.

So why is UGA paying Mark Richt millions of dollars a year?

Oh, No Bobo

October 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

@hot dawg

Have we seen Crowell and Samuel in the backfield together? I think that would give Richard more opportunity because the defense would be focused on Isiah.

I loved watching Alabama’s offense last night. That was formidable. What was that quick flash by the qb before he hands to Richardson? That was neat and keeps the defense pinned. They either hand to the guy running past the qb, or they give to Richardson. Their QB can’t pass, but with a running game like that, it didn’t matter.

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
11:30 am

2-10

The smack talk is prevalent throughout college football. Cut Crowell some slack. Every defense in the SEC is taking their best shot at him and he responds. Hopefully, he’ll soon learn the best response is gaining more yards as opposed to running that mouth

virginia dog

October 2nd, 2011
11:30 am

GUYS THIS IS A GOOD WIN! and I think Murray is the QB, but after that last pick he should have been sat down for the next series. After all we where not going to throw the ball again.
The troubling thing is the team is getting better but Murray is not. He has NO IDEA how to go through his progressions and check down to another receiver, He stares down his primary, hence all the ints. Also don’t you think it’s time for coach Richt to part with $200,000 of his salary for a full time special teams coach.

jack bull

October 2nd, 2011
11:31 am

The next person that says we need D Mullin as our coach needs to be taken out back.. give me our north/south offense over his east/west crap any day!

How many people actually think Murray could win us a game when it is on the line? not me. and if you listen to the coaches, particularly Bobo, he doesn’t either. i don’t like hearing the best thing his own position coach says is, “well, he’s in the film room a lot…” we all know about the INT’s, but how many fumbles does he have?

ARdawg

October 2nd, 2011
11:38 am

jack bull

IMHO it is a complete coaching deficiency. Our’s tend to throw talent to the wolves and then stick with them regardless with a “that’s our man attitude” to hide their deficiency as a coach. History is a good judge of this. Murray is good but, he’s still in a learning curve and has much to learn. I’m afraid he hasn’t learn squat from those picks yesterday.

ATL XMAN

October 2nd, 2011
11:48 am

murry is fine..14 td and 6 ints and he is still number 3 right now in the sec all while playing better teams than the 2 guys ahead of him. uga just has to shore up the off line a bit more and murrys numbers will be even better.

ATL XMAN

October 2nd, 2011
11:52 am

i think murry can win when the game is on the line. just give him time to throw the ball and he will hit his mark. he is gettng hit way too many times and that can take a toll on any qb. and keep this in mind as well that he is just a sophmore so he is gaining expereince with every game. i wouldnt trust hutson right now with the way the line is blocking and how crowell is still learning to pick up blitzes, to be very productive. murry has a whole year of experience over hutson which is very important.

ATL XMAN

October 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

no reason to sit him down after a pick..need to get him back out there and leave on a good note. dont want to shake his confidence for the tougher games ahead.

ATL XMAN

October 2nd, 2011
11:56 am

Name Team G QBRat Att Comp Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD Int Sack YdsL
Tyler Wilson Ark 5 152.4 172 111 64.5 1517 303.4 8.8 9 3 10 -65
Tyler Bray Tenn 4 176.1 143 98 68.5 1328 332.0 9.3 14 2 7 -56
Aaron Murray UGa 5 152.8 135 83 61.5 1100 220.0 8.1 13 6 13 -81
John Brantley Fla 5 152.6 102 66 64.7 942 188.4 9.2 5 3 3 -30
AJ McCarron Ala 5 134.5 120 75 62.5 919 183.8 7.7 4 2 5 -22
Barrett Trotter Aub 5 137.6 122 73 59.8 895 179.0 7.3 9 5 11 -58
Stephen Garcia SCar 5 107.7 118 61 51.7 844 168.8 7.2 4 9 6 -21
Chris Relf MSSt 5 113.4 131 77 58.8 814 162.8 6.2 4 5 9 -49
Jarrett Lee LSU 5 140.5 108 64 59.3 793 158.6 7.3 7 1 3 -24

Still@theBAR

October 2nd, 2011
11:59 am

MASON transfer before you have NO Football Career Left. Bobo is killing your chance to play.

Oh, No Bobo

October 2nd, 2011
11:59 am

jack bull

“he is in the film room alot” – maybe, he is sleeping?

Last week, posted that John Smoltz had a film of all his good throws put together by his sports psychologist, and he watched them over and over. Bobo needs the film guy to put together a cd of all the good plays that UGA has made, and he needs to watch them over and over and only practice and call those. Well, some accidental ones should be removed. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Murray? I don’t know. He needs to actually watch the pick 6’s over and over and never, ever, throw into those type of situations again. Does any QB in the nation have more points for the other team?

Jborodawg

October 2nd, 2011
12:00 pm

Good win! Yes, the D is looking good. The O looked great in the 1st half. But, fourth and inches with the biggest O line in the country, and can’t make it? I’m disappointed to say the least. Bobo called a good game…he can’t help it if Murray doesn’t make his reads…and throws INTs. He can’t help it if he calls a good play and the O doesn’t execute. They showed they’re plenty capable…in the 1st half…but for some reason lose the fire or something in the 2nd. I don’t blame Bobo as much as Will Friend. But then you look at the first half and know that even he’s doing something right.

I believe CMR, CMB, and CTG know more about the team and what it needs than any of us here on these blogs. I believe the major thing any of them are stumped about is Walsh. The rest, they can work on. And I congratulate CMR for hanging in there for/with Walsh. The only way to help him is to put him in there and show faith that he’ll come thru. Hopefully, Murray will learn from his mistakes; although it’s becoming questionable whether he can do so. Just too many INTs this season overall. Biggest O line in the country and we’re allowing so many sacks and hurries…leading to INTs. Is it because we’re “thin” and they have to play the whole game? But…you’d think they’d come out after halftime and be rested and only get worn down toward the end of the game. I just dunno. But, I believe the coaches see and know way more than we do…and that they’ll work to correct the problem areas.

Good win! Get ready for the Vowels! Goooooo Dawgs!!!

wreckmaniac

October 2nd, 2011
12:05 pm

Three wins in a row ? UGA should be ranked #1 by the end of the day. Are all of the UGA games played in Georgia this season ? This will improve their chances of being nat champs if they are.
Other than UGA being #1, Clemson , Alabama, and LSU are the best teams in the south. All other teams are just practice squads whose purpose is to prepare these three teams for the BCS.

ATL XMAN

October 2nd, 2011
12:07 pm

actually murry is killing his chance to play still@the bar. hutson is doing great right where he is. he will leave college football knowing more about the qb position than the cornerback/halfback tech has throwing it now. washington doesnt have a chance of playing football after his days at tech but hutson will, even if he just signs as a free agent

ATL XMAN

October 2nd, 2011
12:11 pm

clemson is no where near being one of the best teams in the south. they look like world beaters against the weak defenses in the acc but lsu , ala, ark, fla , uga and even ten and south carolina would give them a better challenge than va tech did.

Still@theBAR

October 2nd, 2011
12:15 pm

ATL xman sure keep believing that. Murray will never see an NFL game. MASON is better in the Games IMHO but Richt and Bobo have not given him a chance. Keep MURRAY the SEC is scared to face Bobo’s Brain and Murray’s abilities. AHHAHAHHAHAH

Still@theBAR

October 2nd, 2011
12:19 pm

xman…………….nice you mentioned all those SEC teams the Dawgs have Lost to, Will lose to, or Never have to play. Why don’t you explain HOW Murray would do against Clemson or How Clemson would do against AUBURN? Wait Clemson already beat Auburn. So when the dawgs lose to Auburn you can cross them off the list. When Clemson plays and beats USC we will know HOW BAD the DAWGS SUCK.

Jborodawg

October 2nd, 2011
12:44 pm

Gawd….do you guys realize what the score woulda been if those DBs had made those pics and not dropped em?! It shoulda been 38-3 at least! And against a team that had been averaging almost 500 yards a game!

CMR and CMB and Murray will straighten out the offense. The Vowels should be afraid, very afraid.