A few reasons Georgia Bulldogs fans should feel great (or not)

Isaiah Crowell showed some nifty moves again Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Isaiah Crowell showed some nifty moves again Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A few more reflections on why a Georgia Bulldogs fan should feel great after the win over Mississippi State …

Isaiah Crowell might have a long way to go in terms of SEC caliber stamina, and he’s also still looking for his first long touchdown run after Saturday’s apparent 49-yard scamper was ruled out of bounds. But he’s already shown he has the moves to be a big-time running back. His elusiveness on that erstwhile scoring run brought quite a few wows from the crowd. …

The defense continues to impress and improve, breaking up more passes in the past couple of weeks than a Bulldog fan can remember seeing in a long time. …

Brandon Boykin returning punts as well as kickoffs is a smart move on the part of the Georgia coaching staff. He had two nice returns Saturday and it’s a pretty safe bet he’s going to break another long one all the way sometime soon. …

One of the big reasons the D is looking so good lately is Sanders Commings, who against MSU had three tackles, returned a fumble, snagged an interception and broke up two other passes that he almost (and perhaps should have) intercepted, one of which he easily could have scored on. …

It was great seeing Christian Robinson back on the field calling the defensive signals in the two-minute defense and on third downs. …

And thanks to the losses Saturday by South Carolina and Florida, the Dawgs still have more to play for than just pride.

Too bad Cornelius Washington didn't confine his celebrating to the field Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin /AJC)

Too bad Cornelius Washington didn't confine his celebrating to the field Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin /AJC)

Of course, there are also a few reasons for Dogs fans still to feel a bit uneasy …

The continuing struggles of the field goal unit and the second-half disappearing act of the offense for the second straight week. …

The sneaking suspicion that Mark Richt continuing to show a lack of faith in his offense in short-yardage situations might be turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least Richt understood the boos after he opted to go for a field goal on fourth-and-short only to see the kick muffed. “If I was up in the stands, I wouldn’t have too thrilled about those couple of plays either,” he said.

Cornelius Washington’s celebrating of his best game as a Dog lasting a bit too long, resulting in him being suspended for the next two games just as he was really starting to click as a pass-rusher. …

CBS’ Gary Danielson saying that Saturday’s results leave Georgia “in the driver’s seat” in the SEC East. True or not, I’d much rather the Dogs continue operating under the radar of the national sports media for now. …

And after a glorious fall day in Athens, I wasn’t the only fan lamenting that the schedule will keep the Dogs away from Sanford Stadium for the next five weeks, meaning no more home games during the absolutely best month of football weather.

What has you feeling good or not so good about the Dawgs at this point in the season?

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332 comments Add your comment

Barack Dawg

October 3rd, 2011
11:01 am

Alabama Death Machine. I will enjoy watching LSU and their defense kick the hell out Richardson….or will Bama go up 24 – 0 on Auburn again and then choke. Things that make you go hmmmmm….

Barack Dawg

October 3rd, 2011
11:04 am

Jason – you lost to Bama, you will lose to LSU and if you don’t find Brantley back you will lose to Carolina – Lattimore is just like Richardson.

meh

October 3rd, 2011
11:07 am

I just can’t figure out what happened to Blair Walsh. he’s been automatic his whole career and now he can’t seem to kick the ball straight.

Alphare

October 3rd, 2011
11:12 am

Good things happen when you send your best players to the state of Alabama.

The past weekend shows you why.

MountainDawg

October 3rd, 2011
11:19 am

Let’s not put the cart before the horse. Yes, the defense has shown improvement & Crowell has played well. However, consistent pass blocking & late game scoring needs improvement. We have the (raw) talent to win out, BUT have to execute & avoid turn-overs…lest we lose 2-3+ more games.

East Repeat

October 3rd, 2011
11:22 am

TN will beat UGA. Tyler bray is good. Win on the road in the SEC (like SC did in Athens) and then we can talk.

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
11:29 am

“Any poll that ranks any SEC team other than Bama and LSU is a fraud. This conference from top to bottom is actually lousy. Two great teams and 10 practice squads. This has been true for the past 10 years with one or two exceptions.”

Riiiiiight. Any time the Yellow Jackets want to come to Gainesville as the Gators’ homecoming opponent, Jeremy Foley is waiting by his phone.

LOL

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
11:29 am

GT would win the SEC (L)East…

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2011
11:34 am

That UGA offense is not the best unit take real insider information does it? I’m still puzzled why people continue to insist that there is a any wisdom to “demoting” your OC (to a position coach of that I would argue is not without blame). This is the season that the defense is stabalizing and the offense can be evaluated after the season. Either keep him, or make a move in another direction, don’t do something stupid like demote him to a position coach and handcuff the entire hiring process. And how on God’s Green Earth is coach Richt going to step in week 6 and start calling the plays? You know, Richt HAS the ability to communicate to the booth right now IF it were a matter of him knowing a better play to go with . We all realize that, right?

Alphare

October 3rd, 2011
11:35 am

Gator,

FL actually really impressed me. That Brantley kid is unreal, looks like Tom Brady to me. He can pick most other SEC team apart.

FL will have an easy time against UGA if Brantley can play in that game.

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
11:39 am

“GT would win the SEC (L)East…”

GT Joe, I certainly give you credit for your bravado as a Yellow Jackets fan. Hopefully, for the team’s sake, Paul Johnson and the Jackets will be able to focus on the upcoming games against Clemson and Georgia.

If the Jackets beat the one team from the SEC Eastern Division which they are actually scheduled to play this season, we can certainly talk about them playing a full SEC schedule in 2012. Rumor would have it that there’s a fourteenth slot currently open . . . all Georgia Tech has to do is apply.

Until then, you might want to stop righting checks with your mouth that your favorite team can’t afford to cash.

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
11:44 am

Atlanta Gator: We’d love to play that “full SEC schedule”. Sign us up for vandy, ole miss, MSU, UK, TN, SC (Garcia is the worst QB in recent memory). I’ll take our chances with UGA, it’s a rivalry game coin flip. Florida doesn’t scare me either…

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
11:44 am

“FL actually really impressed me. That Brantley kid is unreal, looks like Tom Brady to me. He can pick most other SEC team apart.”

Not sure of you’re being sarcastic or not. IMHO, Brantley has a lot of potential as a college quarterback, but it’s tough to throw a football when you’re lying on your back. The Gators’ big problem is not their quarterback, it’s their offensive line. The Gators may win the SEC East with a 6-2 or 5-3 record this year, but they’re not going to be a real top-10 team until their O-line play radically improves.

Dwayne

October 3rd, 2011
11:47 am

gagator, your right, which is why BooBoo needs to be more creative.

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
11:47 am

SEC fans crack me up. Your league has A LOT of weak teams. Sure, you’ve had the national champs the last 5 years or whatever. Just means that the top team in your league is GREAT. Doesn’t say much for the other 11.

This year, it really is 2 great teams and the 10 dwarfs. Don’t get me wrong, those 2 teams are incredible though. I can see the SEC in the BCS title game again….a loss to GT though.

harold

October 3rd, 2011
11:49 am

GEORGIA HAS 4 CUPCAKES IN A ROW—OLE MISS—MSU—TENNESSEE AND VANDY. THEY SHOULD WIN ALL THESE WITH ONE HAND BEHIND THEIR BACK.

IF UGA WANTS KIRBY SMART THEY BETTER GET HIM NOW! KIRBY WILL BE AT OLE MISS I HEAR FROM SOME OF THE WEALTHY OLE MISS ALUMS!

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
11:49 am

“We’d love to play that ‘full SEC schedule’. Sign us up for vandy, ole miss, MSU, UK, TN, SC (Garcia is the worst QB in recent memory). I’ll take our chances with UGA, it’s a rivalry game coin flip.”

“We” clearly does not include the Georgia Tech athletic department.

Get back to me when your team actually beats your in-state SEC rival more than once in a decade. Until then, your SEC trash talk is just a lot of hot air from an obnoxious fan who never played the game.

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
11:52 am

“I can see the SEC in the BCS title game again….a loss to GT though.”

I apparently misunderstood your previous attempts at sarcastic humor. Based on the statement above, it’s now clear that you can’t be serious.

Dogs Smell

October 3rd, 2011
11:53 am

Whaw! ,
Lane Kiffin made a promise to never lose to Ga either and he kept that one. Funny you feel Ga will smack UT when uga hasnt smacked anyone this year but the High School team you played.

Alphare

October 3rd, 2011
11:54 am

Gator, no I am not sarcastic. Brantley is really impressive.

You mentioned offensive line weakness, but Gators have been recruiting well every year. They didn’t recruit good linemen because they used to play spread, but now with a pro-style, linemen are more important to their offense?

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2011
11:54 am

tsk tsk, picking a fight with Atlanta Gator..not smart. Entertaining for us though.

Dogs Smell

October 3rd, 2011
11:55 am

GT Joe ,
Are you saying that those other 11 teams of which 6 usually make a Bowl game and win 75 % of the time ? If so Yes those are better than those in your Conf!

SEC fans

October 3rd, 2011
11:56 am

@GT Joe

The top two ACC teams can’t beat their in-state rivals, who happen to be middle-tier SEC teams.

Does that also “crack you up”?

mdr

October 3rd, 2011
11:57 am

I disagree with Boykin on punt returns. Leave Smith back there or work someone else in. Boykin needs to get more reps on offense, and we don’t need to wear him out.

dawgfacedboy

October 3rd, 2011
12:03 pm

GT Joe- you’ve don the manly thing and beaten your chest in a year when the SEC as a whole is having a down year. UF and AUburn usually join Bama and LSU as perennial good teams. The fact that UGA has been down for the last 3 years is irrelevant. 8 of the 11 years Richt has been there UGA has been a darn good team.

Keep beating your chest while you play in the country’s best basketball conference.

mark

October 3rd, 2011
12:04 pm

Brantley is a scrub.

Dogs Smell

October 3rd, 2011
12:07 pm

harold ,
You dont seem to even have the education it would take to converse with anyone of wealth.Have you ever seen Athens on a weekday?

Honky Talkin'

October 3rd, 2011
12:10 pm

Another arrest? CMR has zero control of his players.

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
12:20 pm

“You mentioned offensive line weakness, but Gators have been recruiting well every year. They didn’t recruit good linemen because they used to play spread, but now with a pro-style, linemen are more important to their offense?”

Alphare, the Gators’ two best offensive linemen from 2010 are now starting for the 2011 Miami Dolphins (Mike Pouncey) and the 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers (Marcus Gilbert). Pouncey’s twin brother Maukice was our best O-lineman in 2009, and he is already in his second season as a starter with the Steelers. Three NFL rookie starters is a pretty serious talent loss on the offensive line. Yes, there is lots of young talent, but linemen take the longest to develop . . . .

After last weekend’s beating by Alabama, I suspect the young ones are ready to learn.

As for John Brantley, it appears that he is going to miss at least the LSU game, maybe more. I feel badly for the Brantley family. His uncle Scot Brantley was an All-American linebacker for the Gators in the late 1970s, but had his 1979 senior season ended by a brain injury (he later played for Tampa Bay). His father and namesake was the Gators’ starting QB in 1978, but also had his college career cut short by injury. The Brantleys are starting to look like the Kennedy family of Gators football.

WDE

October 3rd, 2011
12:21 pm

@harold we don’t want Kriby..they can have him.

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
12:32 pm

“you’ve don[e] the manly thing and beaten your chest in a year when the SEC as a whole is having a down year.”

I’m not ready to write off the 2011 SEC football season for teams other than Alabama and LSU. If the Gators can get through this Alabama-LSU-Auburn-Georgia stretch with at least two wins, they’ll have a more than respectable season. South Carolina is as likely as any team to win the East. Georgia may yet redeem themselves with improving play. Arkansas looked pretty darn resilient against Texas A&M this past weekend, and Auburn clearly is not ready to give up. Mississippi State is better than their record. Vanderbilt could be bowl eligible. Looks like the SEC has two serious BCS title contenders and at least five other solid bowl teams.

Alphare

October 3rd, 2011
12:44 pm

About Miss State, as Spurrier once put it, teams without much history tend to give up easily. I think that’s what’s going on with Miss State. The loss to Auburn takes its toll on the players, so is LSU.

Spurrier puts SC on a good path, Miss State can do the same with Mullen. But it will take time and patience as SC has gone thru.

Blackberry Cobbler

October 3rd, 2011
12:45 pm

Whaw!

October 2nd, 2011
10:54 pm
I agree that we are better than Alabama and Florida. Georgia really is a better team that most people give them credit for.

Really?! The way UGA played against Ole Miss and the second half against Missy State leaves a LOT to be desired. There are many questions and uncertainties on the offense side of the ball right now.

confused out west

October 3rd, 2011
12:50 pm

First of all, i want to congratulate the DAWGS on another positive step forward and SEC game won. I wont take anything away from a win and I am excited about how we look on defense.

With that said, I am very concerned about Murray’s play and attitude. When evidence as well as every voice on message boards and in the news saying he looks down receivers, throws into coverage often, simply misses receivers, and doesnt use his feet virtually anymore, it throws up serious red flags. I CAN NOT understand that when we are winning 21-3 and our QB throws a third interception for a pick-6, why Richt didnt put in Mason – at least to give him some experience. Everyone is worried about him transferring so why dont we EVER give him a chance in a real game when the situation reflects the need. It is very concerning that Richt doesnt understand a back up QB is not there to just come in when the starter is hurt. I certainly understand loyalty and the whole “dont switch horses” arguement but seriously – when do you use a quality backup with untested potential but a game like the MSU one and 3 picks by your starter??

Again – I am NOT saying Murray should not be our starter – BUT can anyone here tell me a well-thought-out reason for why Mason didnt play at all at MSU??

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
12:51 pm

Atlanta Gator: Tech SHOULD run the table this year. We’ll be favored in every game on our schedule. If we DON’T run the table, then we obviously had a letdown along the way.

The 10 dwarfs of the SEC was exposed by Boise State. UGA is no worse than any team in the SEC East, and there were beat down. At home.

Atlanta Gator

October 3rd, 2011
12:53 pm

“About Miss State, as Spurrier once put it, teams without much history tend to give up easily. I think that’s what’s going on with Miss State.”

Alphare, couldn’t agree more with the Evil Genius (and you). Teams that believe in themselves win games, even ones that they shouldn’t win on paper. Mullen is a darn good coach. Given time and talent, MSU could become a consistent top-half team in the SEC. If Spurrier had a quarterback who wasn’t a head case, the Gamec0cks would be contenders for a New Year’s day bowl game.

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
12:54 pm

Oh how the mighty have fallen. UGA gets ZERO votes in the Coaches Poll. Even DUKE received a vote. WOW.

I guess those 2 conference wins in the “vaunted” SEC don’t count for much, huh.

Ron Smith

October 3rd, 2011
12:55 pm

Congrats to Dawg fans!! Impressive 1st half and then the offense disappeared. Good luck in Knoxville
“It’s still great to be a Florida Gator”

Still@theBar

October 3rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Don’t you just Hope Derek Dooley hires Bobo after he loses his job this year? With Bobo coaching Brey he will go downhill too and maybe the new UGA coach will put Murray on the bench where he belongs.

WDE

October 3rd, 2011
1:10 pm

@GT Joe your 1-9 in the last ten vs according to you a mid tier SEC team you seem to forget that…about to be 1-10 by the way.

ga gator

October 3rd, 2011
1:11 pm

I think Mullen is an idiot and low class for allowing his team to dance on the G right before kickoff. I was a big motivator for UGA and looked like something FSU would pull.

Still@theBar

October 3rd, 2011
1:12 pm

WDE
You can’t count to well. you need to check your facts. I will give you a few minutes to correct your statement so you don’t look dumb.

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
1:12 pm

WDE: what does 1-9 have to do with this year? It’s 4-9 anyways…

We’ll be a touchdown favorite over the mutts this year, bookies don’t care about last year.

'94 UGA Grad

October 3rd, 2011
1:13 pm

Hey overzealous fans,

Let’s not get carried away here. While we have showed some signs of improvements, we are no where near the levels of say an Alabama or LSU and I for one am glad they are not on our schedule. Maybe in 2 years but not yet.

WDE

October 3rd, 2011
1:15 pm

To all the Gator fans, your bunch played a better team this week that’s the bottom line. I didn’t think anyone on the Gators gave any less than 100% they were just simply out manned by a Very good Bama team sorry about Brantley the young man played with heart.

Thomas Brown

October 3rd, 2011
1:18 pm

Oh, I see. Your team would come out of Knoxville and JAX with wins ?

Right.

WDE

October 3rd, 2011
1:19 pm

@Still@theBar why thank you for taking the time but in the last decade has Tech beaten UGA more than once? I show the record under CMR his 11 year at Athens at 9-1 vs Tech what am I missing?

WDE

October 3rd, 2011
1:20 pm

@GT Joe I think you were favored in 2009 too, how did that work out again?

WDE

October 3rd, 2011
1:22 pm

@ga gator I was watching the game at a Taco Mac and they never said what started that dust up before the kickoff started. Never had a clue until I saw it mentioned on the AJC.

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2011
1:23 pm

WDE: same way it worked out for ya’ll in 2008…