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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Dawg Tired

October 2nd, 2011
1:13 pm

Samuel needs to be trying to play linebacker even though it is fairly obvious that he could never knock a ball carrier backwards.

kybodawg

October 2nd, 2011
1:30 pm

what happens in the second half if were ahead is they play not to loose. were going to have to play 4 qts. but thet are getting into a bad habit of loosing intensity and the gata. if they dont want ot play hard let the guys on the bench play. we thought the world was going to end when ogletree and robinson went down. but look now with gilliard and herrea its one of our strongest positions. i a kid looks good in pratice(hutson mason) give them a chance

duronimo

October 2nd, 2011
1:32 pm

Well, just another in the long running series, “Let’s get a lead and sit on it.” The fans pay to see a whole game only to see 1/2 game … again. Apparently the coaches can’t see the opportunity a big lead affords. First you get to work your offense out against a real foe for 30 minutes. Secondly you get the chance to get more players involved building valuable game tested depth. I think the last full game I saw was the Hawaii game. Once again the secondary again had hands of stone and the quarterback, when you subtract the bad from the good, would have cost us the game against a good team.

Xenophon

October 2nd, 2011
1:39 pm

Another victory over a mediocre team. So what? What happens when we get to Jacksonville? We won’t be tested until then. So dream on…

Still@thebar

October 2nd, 2011
2:37 pm

Wouldn’t you hate to be my liver? I’m such a worthless POS, all I can do is hate on them Dawgs.

dap01

October 2nd, 2011
2:46 pm

CMR is going to let Mike Bobo cost him his job. Bobo is the worst offensive game manager in history. He calls the game like he is playing flag football.

Santa Cruz Bulldog

October 2nd, 2011
3:44 pm

Maybe Ray Drew will have a coming out party: just like Herschel did, aall those years ago, at UT!!

Dawg_Mike

October 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

Just curious what the statistics are for Figgins.
When we had Southerland and Chapas we actaully gave them the ball on 3rd or 4th and short. Heck, we even passed to them as a change up.
I may be wrong, but Figgins has been used only as a blocking back with one or two receptions.

look at the way Auburn uses Lutzenkirchen. enough said.

The speed limit is what...?

October 2nd, 2011
4:54 pm

Did Cornelius Washington have moist red panties in his lap when he was arrested today?

Just one more UGA thug who got caught. I’ll bet the homers are so proud of this jerk.

T-DAWG

October 2nd, 2011
5:09 pm

Congrats to the defense!!! However, Murrays’ play this year is becoming an “energy vampire”. He is going lose the SEC East this year all by himself.

Oops, Richt's punks messed up again

October 2nd, 2011
5:12 pm

Cornelius Washington – just another reason why UGA is known far and wide as The Cesspool of the South.

T-DAWG

October 2nd, 2011
5:14 pm

@Dawg Tired: I too am sick of Samuel carrying the rock and especially on 4th inches. It does not take a genious to know that he is never going to get any YACs so why would you give him the ball in that situation. We need a Saban as a coach who plays the best players, period!!

Book 'em, Danno

October 2nd, 2011
5:19 pm

Why did the AJC close the blog about C. Washington’s DUI/speeding arrest so fast? Inquiring minds would like to know. :-)

brian

October 2nd, 2011
5:28 pm

I’ll admit that State isn’t very good, but this is the best defense we have had in years! They will be tested for sure against Tyler Bray though, so we’ll see. I wish Hunter could play for Tennessee, he was a heck of a player. Also, I’m really impressed with Mitchell this season, he’s a really good receiver.

brian

October 2nd, 2011
5:29 pm

Georgia has had one arrest since the start of the offseason, while Auburn has had SIX. At least this year, people shouldn’t be talking about how UGA is a “bunch of thugs.”

brian

October 2nd, 2011
5:30 pm

Defense looked really solid this week, they’ve been really good against the run this year. Keep it up boys!

Ankle monitoring bracelets are just more bling at UGA

October 2nd, 2011
5:54 pm

UGA, where both the fans and the players are nothing but a sorry bunch of drunks.

And the descent into the hellish oblivion and irrelevancy continues, plummeting into depths never before reached by mankind. :-)

cmdawg99

October 2nd, 2011
6:28 pm

I’m not interesed in Murray getting every snap… Go Dawgs

SEC EAST COACHES ASSOCIATION

October 2nd, 2011
6:53 pm

we are officially rooting for the good Coach Richt to win at least 8 games, no more, this year. That would insure UGA signs him to a contract extension. Just like we like it.

GT83

October 2nd, 2011
6:55 pm

OLB Washington arrested for DUI. Suspended min of 2 games. Only 2 games? Man oh man, CMR, that’s really harsh. Pop Quiz: How many votes did UGA get in Coaches Poll for top 25?……Answer: 0. Hmmm….seems even all the other coaches have turned on poor CMR.

GT83

October 2nd, 2011
6:58 pm

Saw a TV poll during the game. Seems all you UGA fans actually believe you’re still going to win the SEC East. Amazing!!! Knew you all were delusional but never thought you were THAT wacked! Guess SC loosing to AU really blew your skirts up.

PT

October 2nd, 2011
7:00 pm

No, but you can play tight end for us Cam, Murray is our QB.

Eric C.

October 2nd, 2011
7:30 pm

His behind needs to be kicked off the team…we are sick of this crap!!! No control CMR!!! This is total BS!!!

Meanwhile.....

October 2nd, 2011
7:40 pm

TECH – #13 in AP and Coaches’ Polls.

UGA – They received 11, not #11 ranked, but 11 total votes in the AP Poll and ZERO in the Coaches’ Poll.

dawgster

October 2nd, 2011
7:55 pm

@GT83…Lets see…Georgia has beaten Tech 9 out of the past 10 years..Hmm?….Still believe we play you guys later this season…Will it be 10 out of 11 years…Don’t know, but alot of football to play yet for both teams…..Also, I believe the majority of true dawg fans realize we have a long ways to go but we are still in the hunt as it stands now for the SEC East just as many others are…but it won’t be decided by some poll or ingorant bloggers that post on here more often than not…It will be decided on the field just as our game with Tech will be, as it has for the past 9 out of 10 years…Now enjoy your success to date and worry about the games Tech has upcoming….Hopefully you will keep your ranking and make our game just that much bigger….go dawgs

Dr. Morpheus

October 2nd, 2011
8:06 pm

UGA has 2 losses to quality teams. Despite whiners and trolls on the blogs (who should be ignored since replying encourages them), we’re coming along, thank you. Tennessee has put numbers up against inferior opponents but not so much against Florida. Or defense should be more than adequate to stop them. The offense needs to step up and play consistently. If we continue to improve on offense, we’ll be OK. As for Tech, this isn’t a Tech blog…

Sharkman

October 2nd, 2011
8:22 pm

Great win DAWGS!!! 9-9 under Murray.

LHarding Dawg

October 2nd, 2011
8:26 pm

Georgia has the 7th. rated defense in America. A great defense with an average offense will win a lot of championships. Just ask Alabama.

Voyager Dawg

October 2nd, 2011
8:34 pm

I was glad to see the Special Teams rushing the punter. The kickoff coverage is great. The defense is really coming around. When they learn how to hold onto an interception, they are going to be awesome. Crowell is the real deal. He will get stronger as the year goes on. Carlton Thomas is looking good as well. May need to look at moving Samuel back to defense as they need to continue putting pressure on the opposing QB. It’s a shame about C. Washington. That sack at the beginning of the game was text book. He was putting pressure on the QB all day. When the offense performs consistently, things will come together. Loved to see the team defend the home field and it was great to hear the crowd come alive. Keep the faith and Go Dawgs!

Voyager Dawg

October 2nd, 2011
8:38 pm

One more thing. When you draw the defense offsides, why take a knee? Why not complete the play and see if you can get more than five yards. Worse case scenario is you just get the five. Best case you catch the defense flat footed and score.

Dawgfanchase

October 2nd, 2011
8:40 pm

Anyone have any idea when Alec Ogletree will be back??

UGA? RU Kidding

October 2nd, 2011
8:45 pm

Get all excited dawg fans. With every win, Mark Richt assures himself of a return next year.

Lakedawg

October 2nd, 2011
8:48 pm

Brillant coaching job by Dan Mullen, send his team out to stomp on G, run that same sprint out to QB getting him killed almost every play, run Ballard inside where they were getting manhandled. Outcoached by CMR and assistants completely.

Wheres old rolled tide today after Rokevious Watkins got his QB sacked, false starts, got beat all night by young Barn defense. He could brag a little on the Tide

Believe Dawgs will run table, but LSU will be to tough in SEC title game.

The Diesel

October 2nd, 2011
9:14 pm

Maybe Ol Bobo can coach Murray on the finer points of not staring down his primary receiver.Boy can’t even look the safety off.Walsh smiling after the missed FG let’s me know there is no competition with Bogotay.CMR needs to let Bogotay kick against UT and maybe this will wake ol Smiley Walsh up.

okfornow

October 2nd, 2011
9:27 pm

Brian’s comment – “At least this year, people shouldn’t be talking about how UGA is a “bunch of thugs.”
Well – Brian, the prez of UGA, the new athelitic director for UGA, and CMR have gotten sooo tired of being the laughing stock of the SEC (much less the country) for all the off-season arrest that they decided to do something about it – let’s just say the players are not suddenly more “saintly” – MUCH MUCH and MUCH just no-longer “appears” to happen any more. Hmm – now THAT is interesting.
I can hear it now – “but officer, I am a UGA football player” – officer responds as instructed – “oh – I’m so sorry – have a good day, son”.

dawgster

October 2nd, 2011
9:28 pm

Keep in mind Walsh did not flub the FG hold and he also was attempting a 48 yd kick, with the wind, but down on the field that can be tricky despite what it looks like from the stands…@the Diesel…not sure that smiling has anything to do with it…If Bogotay was the better kicker and was doing in practice, I’m sure he would be the guy…Walsh will be there when we need him, and deserves the benefit of the doubt…Amazing how easy you forget what he has done in his career for the dawgs…Not even going to comment on your absurd comments about Murray…Maybe you could stand back there and deliver when you O-line blocking breaks down and you are getting hammered…don’t know many QB’s that can overcome that…buit hey its easy to bash these young men sitting behind a computer, isn’t it?…..

aDAWGfromnearLEX

October 2nd, 2011
9:39 pm

Enter your comments here

aDAWGfromnearLEX

October 2nd, 2011
9:46 pm

TECHnikly speaking, things are not so bad, the Daws are on a winning streak, the jackets are white hot and CHECKERS has two BIG BUFORDS for four bucks!!

Pago Pago DAWG

October 2nd, 2011
9:55 pm

Somebody told us GT is actually ranked above the DAWGS, how could this be?

Dangerous

October 2nd, 2011
10:06 pm

Ga needs to dump the ball 4 to 5 yards on a crossing rt or on a slant rt on 1st more often. Need more 2nd and 5’s. Offense just can’t score like they should and hold onto the damn ball. How many times did Bama turn the ball over due to an ill advised throw…..NONE. QUIT TURNING THE BALL OVER!!!!!! If you turn the ball over 3 to 4 times a game and not score on your possessions you are going to either continue to squeak by or get your doors blown off.

The Diesel

October 2nd, 2011
10:36 pm

Dawgster,I will agree with you about the wind in Sanford/I am not forgetting what Walsh has done.As far as Murray,my comment was directed more toward Bobo who is the Qb coach as far as the staring the primary receiver down.Murray does it when he has time to throw.Maybe this will clear it up for you

Thomas Brown

October 3rd, 2011
5:11 am

Mississippi State letterman last year, sophomore jersey # 5 Nickoe Whitley is captured on photo doing number 1 on our famed Georgia Hedges during the football game Saturday, 1 October 2011. This player should be arrested, and suspended from further SEC play, making the 70-man Mississippi State traveling roster. Their University should see to this, themselves.

Jborodawg

October 3rd, 2011
9:36 am

“…daughter @ 9:28 pm…Walsh will be there when we need him, and deserves the benefit of the doubt…Amazing how easy you forget what he has done in his career for the dawgs…Not even going to comment on your absurd comments about Murray…buit hey its easy to bash these young men sitting behind a computer, isn’t it?…..”

Couldn’t agree more. And calling C.Washington a thug because he got a DUI is absurd. He made a mistake just like ALL of have at one time or another. He’ll pay the price and move on, as will the team; as have most of us after we’ve made a mistake. Yes, it’s unfortunate and maddening. But what’s done is done.

And, absurd comments about CMR and CMB (eg “the worst offensive coordinator in the history of college football”?). We win and they still get bashed. We won the durn game folks. If all you can do is find the negatives even in a win, the Dawgs don’t need you as a “fan”. The first half showed the potential is there and that CMB knows something about calling plays, and coaching. Yes, the O has some work to do. I believe they’ll put in the work and get better. I can almost guarantee that if we beat the Vowels, the usual Negative Nellies will be out in force, as per the usual. And the same ones will tell us what plays and players they “should” be using. Go figure.

BoZo N. Richt

October 4th, 2011
7:38 am

Florida has Charlie Weiss – - we have BoZo

Bama has Saban – - we have Richt

Nuf said.

BoZo N. Richt

October 4th, 2011
7:40 am

Here’s an idea, screen and short, high percentage passes to our backs out in space!!!!

And break out the RED BULL for the players AND coaches during half time