Gators didn’t give the game to Georgia — Dawgs took it

Aaron Murray made some clutch runs. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Aaron Murray made some clutch runs. (Jason Getz / AJC)

A few more thoughts about Saturday’s Georgia victory over Florida. …

My wife and I dropped by a Halloween party late Saturday, and one of my neighbors asked if I thought Georgia deserved to win, pointing to the points the Dawgs got as a result of Florida turnovers in their own territory — as if the Gators giftwrapped the game.

To the contrary, those Florida turnovers were anything but unforced. The first fumble by Chris Rainey, recovered by Bacarri Rambo, was caused by the returning Alec Ogletree (who bounced back nicely from a rusty start early in the game). And Frankie Hammond’s fumble, recovered by Shawn Williams, was forced by Jarvis Jones, who had a career day against the Gators.

Yes, the Dogs most certainly deserved their hard-fought win. …

(Speaking of Jones, he’s one of the nominees in ESPN’s Capitol One Cup Impact Performance of the Week vote. You can vote for him here.)

One of the more impressive aspects of Georgia’s win in Jacksonville was that it was in spite of several key players having off days. Aaron Murray missed nine consecutive passes at one point, and some of them weren’t even close. At times, he looked like he was on a completely different page of the playbook from the receiver. Blair Walsh continued his meltdown (though, frankly, I think that might have ended up working in the Dogs’ favor by prompting Mark Richt to be a bit bolder in the red zone, telling Mike Bobo to operate under the assumption that he had four downs to work with). Isaiah Crowell was sporadically effective but again ended up spending more time on the sideline than should be the case with any starting tailback. And the normally reliable Drew Butler had his worst day ever punting.

Had those folks played up to par and had Georgia’s special teams not been abysmal, the game wouldn’t have been nearly as close. …

On the other hand, give credit to Murray for making some clutch runs and throwing some nice balls, too, particularly on the two fourth-down touchdowns — though credit is also due to receivers Michael Bennett and Tavarres King for going up and taking the ball a la A.J. Green, despite being closely covered. Murray had a couple of passes dropped, too. …

I praised Bobo in Saturday night’s report for some gutsy calls, and overall I thought he called a good game. There were a few times when great play calls were undone by Murray’s inaccuracy. But there were several times in the third quarter when Bobo again fell into trying to run diminutive Carlton Thomas up the middle, a low-percentage play against just about any SEC defense. And while Richard Samuel came through big-time for the Dogs when he got the call to go up the middle, I wish Bobo would give up on trying to use Samuel on the toss sweep. It nearly always results in a loss of yardage. That’s just not Samuel’s game. …

From the silly is-he-or-isn’t-he-going-to-start pregame warmup business with John Brantley to the trading of timeouts as Florida tried in vain to draw Georgia offsides on a third-down play in the fourth quarter, Will Muschamp’s attempts at mind games were unsuccessful. Speaking of the third-down defense, Georgia’s turnaround from last year in that aspect of the game this season has been spectacular. …

And, lastly, didn’t it feel great to see Georgia finally be able to get a couple of first downs when it needed to kill the clock to preserve a win?

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

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

789 comments Add your comment

WaycrossDawg

October 30th, 2011
10:53 pm

Concur – FIRST!

GATA

45ACP

October 30th, 2011
10:58 pm

Enter your comments here

Ginger

October 30th, 2011
10:59 pm

Yeah !!!! Go DAWGS

45ACP

October 30th, 2011
11:00 pm

22 rushing attempts with MINUS 19 yards. Nuff said.

91 Dawg

October 30th, 2011
11:01 pm

It was Gutsy to call a pass play at the end the resulted in a clutch pass and catch by Murray and Conley respectfully

Dream Team 2012

October 30th, 2011
11:02 pm

Rusty

October 30th, 2011
11:03 pm

I love it Bill. Go Dawgs!

UGA Alumnus

October 30th, 2011
11:04 pm

StevoDeG

October 30th, 2011
11:05 pm

Any word on why Crowell was out for such a long period of time? But hey, at least Samuel is actually starting to resemble a running back and not a man getting tackled by the wind

jaxdawg

October 30th, 2011
11:06 pm

Good job by the coaching staff, especially Grantham. Now all we need to do is not lose focus and lay an egg against Kentucky and Auburn

UGA Alumnus

October 30th, 2011
11:07 pm

Every Dawg fan out there owes themselves at least one little celebration dance in the middle of the living room at some point this week.

Seriously. CELEBRATE!!!

We WON!!!

GO DAWGS!!!

StevoDeG

October 30th, 2011
11:07 pm

And to clarify, I know he had a shin contusion, but I thought it weird that if he was out for an entire quarter, he came back in in the 4th. Seemed like they were playing it safe with him and then threw caution to the wind

jaxdawg

October 30th, 2011
11:08 pm

Crowell is beining to look like a big baby. He’s out of shape and can’t take a it. I hope we recruit another tailback this year.

dawgman

October 30th, 2011
11:11 pm

Great win! I am so impressed by the recruiting class we got last year. Conley stepping up last night and making a few great grabs, mitchell obviously is amazing, herrara at linebacker, Damian Swann at corner, and then of course crowell (though he needs to work a ton in the weight room this summer on his durability) are all showing flashes of being truely great. This class has the potential to be one of the greatest ever in history! GO DAWGS. To hell with Florida!

Tater Tot

October 30th, 2011
11:11 pm

Burma Shave the back of my legs

Up my thighs to my Easter Eggs

Across my chest and to my chin

Burma Shave makes me smooth again

WORD !!!!………………………..GO DAWGS !!!

JimDog85

October 30th, 2011
11:11 pm

What I really liked was the near safety when 2 Dawg defenders sent the FL running back flying backwards as he barely got our of the end zone. I thought the defense just played great and kept the heat on Brantley all night. I think both our kickers were reading their AJC.com headlines all off-season about how great they were. They thought they just had to show up and it would happen. Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way. And what’s the deal with Butler. As a freshman he consistently booted the ball 60 yards. Now he never does. Instead his punts are getting shorter and shorter. I think we miss Scott Lakatos more than anyone ever dreamed we would.

UGA Alumnus

October 30th, 2011
11:12 pm

@jaxdawg
October 30th, 2011
11:08 pm

Lay off it…

clawdawg

October 30th, 2011
11:15 pm

We beat Florida! I have not seen our defense play this dominant since the BVG days(2004). Matter of fact, I would put Jarvis Jones, Olgletree , Boykin, Rambo and Washington against the 2002 defense and draw alot of similarities. Just an outstanding day on defense. Defense wins big games! We didn’t execute on special teams and offense was sporadic. Bobo called a good game, just didnt get the execution. Maybe the time off hurt the timing? We have a legitimate chance to win the EAST, but here are some concerns moving forward:

Walsh : Whatever it is he is going to have to figure it out. He doesn’t seem like a head case, but he almost cost us the game. Someone needs to get in his face and get this kid straightened out.

Murray: Sophmore slump? shows signs of brilliance but i think he is thinking too much. Remember he is just a sophmore, maybe expectations are too high( ie DAVID GREENE he is not!)

I Crowell: can you please find a jockstrap and grow a pair? If you want to make it to the NFL you are going to have to toughen up. We need you! needs 25 carries a game. 5 star on the sideline does us no good.

jc

October 30th, 2011
11:17 pm

I can’t remember being as happy as I was last night after a GA victory…GA did what they had to do to win the game, unlike recent history. I just hope all real GA fans are happy tonight that we WON the game and not “nit-picking” every little thing like usual. With this defense playing like they are right now, I don’t see anyone beating us until (hopefully) the SEC CG.

Dawg Cop

October 30th, 2011
11:18 pm

Thank you Coach G..you showed your fire and the love for your players, like a true coach. I like Coach Richt but he showed his true colors calling out his coach and player to Vandy Coach Franklin (a true dirtbag) when he didn’t know the mike was on. Coach G you deserve a shot as a head coach in college or a def. coord. in the NFL and thanks for being the primary coaching reason why UGA finally beat Florida!

JT

October 30th, 2011
11:20 pm

Missing Scott Lakatos?? He’s still there. I think you mean Warren Belin who left for an NFL job.

UGA Alumnus

October 30th, 2011
11:21 pm

@Bill

“And, lastly, didn’t it feel great to see Georgia finally be able to get a couple of first downs when it needed to kill the clock to preserve a win?”

Man, did it feel good!

SatillaDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:21 pm

Special teams still suck, lots of missed tackles, Walsh has lost his mo-jo, Butler must be hanging around Walsh too much, Murray was hot and cold, defense was pretty awesome, and God bless Richard Samuel, Michael Bennet, Tavarres King and Jarvis Jones…..

But most of all…

WAY TO GO DAWGS! WE ARE SO VERY, VERY PROUD OF YOU!

coloradobulldog

October 30th, 2011
11:28 pm

JAxDawg, I guess you were not watching the game and missed how in the last drive that Crowell came off bench and had a key run to the outside. This was after they were loading the box on Samuel. If not for that run, UF would have gotten ball back in good field postion and time on the clock.

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:31 pm

If the game was a complete reversal, and Florida had won 24-20, UGA fans would be screaming about how they “gave” the game away….turnovers inside the 30, missed pass interference calls, three trips in the red zone in the first half with and only scoring 7 points.

Funny how since UGA won, now the fans want to talk about how they took it. Stay classy UGA.

RedDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:36 pm

Bill, you are my favorite writer! Schultz is the worse especially with his silly predictions. Bradley is vanilla
one thing, Charlton Thomas is actually a good back and Bobo failed miserably in creating ways to use him. Thomas can start for many teams.
one more thing, why Bobo started by throwing the ball!!!!
why dont we use Aron White more?

Reality Check

October 30th, 2011
11:37 pm

If you have to write a post defending the proposition that the Dawgs won the game, versus avoiding losing it, you’ve already defeated your own argument.

Georgia is terrible, and would not have won save for two key Florida fumbles, a key missed pass interference call against Georgia, and a Florida quarterback who couldn’t plant and throw accurately with his bad ankle in the second half.

Florida has beaten Georgia a couple times when it was probably the weaker team, so you’re certainly entitled to the victory. Just don’t try to rationalize it into something it wasn’t.

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:38 pm

Reality Check….dead on.

RedDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:39 pm

why dont we have a special team coach?

RedDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:40 pm

why Walsh couldn’t kick the ball to the End zone? while in previous times he did?

AFDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:41 pm

Crowell has been playing hurt — instead of complaining you should be thanking him for sucking it up and taking the field. Only he had the speed and moves to get out on the edge late in the game when we desperately needed those rushing yards. Gutsy performance — kudos to IC!

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:43 pm

AFDawg…if you really believe that, then you are punch drunk on Kool-Aid. Everybody in the country sees Crowell for what he is….a running back with God-given tools who COULD take over a football game. However, he has no heart.

RedDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:46 pm

Im very impressed by Herrera! he is a terrific LB and a true freshman. he will play in Sundays one day

UGAKev in Columbus GA

October 30th, 2011
11:47 pm

Funny, Georgia did take it. Everyone who watched the game knows that. It’s funny how your entire comment makes no sense. Just because a fan says they took the game means they are not classy??? The fact of the matter is Georgia did play a horrific game and still managed to win the game.

AFDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:48 pm

Georgia had a turnover deep in our territory too. Georgia also gave up easy points on special teams blunders and missed more field goals and gave up field position with shanked punts. All those things taken into consideration as a whole cancel eachother out. The primary reason Georgia won the game is because they totally shut down the Gators running game — plain and simple. Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you — you can’t be one dimensional on offense. They’ll also tell you defense wins games. Congrats to the Dawgs on a well deserved and hard fought win.

Reality Check

October 30th, 2011
11:49 pm

Both team were horrible. To paraphrase Doug Dickey from the 70s, you didn’t win. You avoided losing.

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:49 pm

UGAKev….no, only UGA fans who watched the game (or didn’t) know that. My comment makes sense…you just don’t want to hear it.

UGA fans ALWAYS explain how they should have won, or gave the game away, or should have won by more than they did (see Bill’s article above…he did the same thing).

td

October 30th, 2011
11:50 pm

Reality Check

October 30th, 2011
11:37 pm

Do you mean Fl sucked and the DAWGS won? I think it is a little more complicated when you try to do an analysis. Was Fl’s O that bad or do the DAWGS have a very good D? Charlie Weiss is on of the smartest OC’s in the game the past 20 years (he has a few SB rings as proof). Fl. has 5 star players at almost every position on the defensive side of the ball and CMB still found some weaknesses and UGA scored enough to win.

I do not care what their record is the team that UGA played Sat. was a very good football team and UGA BEAT them.

Gravy Train

October 30th, 2011
11:50 pm

Some so-called Bulldog fans wanted Muschump to replace CMR. Just look at what all of his yelling and screaming and cheast thumping gets him. A four game losing streak in the SEC. Florida is just as loaded with talent as any other SEC contender. They scored higher than Georgia in recruiting many times in recent years. They have a first class A – hole / defensive guru as a head coach and look at where they are. Down there with UT, Kentucky and Vandy. If being an A – hole were really a benefit to being a great coach, Nick Saban would never lose a game. PS: for all of the hire Kirby fools: Want to know how Kirby will look without Saban? Take a look at Muschump!

GO DAWGS and GO CMR!

Dawgboy

October 30th, 2011
11:51 pm

It’s in his head! Blair Walsh is too good for this to be happening. He is the perfect candidate for a sports psychologist. UGA should bring in the guy who helped John Smoltz of the Braves in the early 90’s.

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:52 pm

AFDawg….Florida had three possessions inside the 20 in the first half and scored 7 points. THey dropped a touchdown pass. They fumbled not once, but twice inside the 25. The refs missed a key PI penalty as well as the call when Brantley was shoved to the ground in the back. Florida also missed a field goal and had a couple of bad punts.

The bad play and mistakes happened for both UGA and Florida…however, ANYBODY that watched the game would see that Florida did more to lose than UGA did to win.

Reality

October 30th, 2011
11:53 pm

Dawgs win. If uga is terrible than florida is the worst team ever. Without uga special teams miscues we win by 20. IC is 18yrs old and a true freshman starter in the SEC, expect growing pains. A defender has just as much right to the football as the receiver, great no call. Long story short uga tied for first in the east, fla not even a winning football team in october. HA!

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:54 pm

td…so now you are taking the “the other team didn’t suck, we were that good approach” are you kidding me? Every time UGA has lost, it’s not due to the other team playing well, it’s that UGA gave it away.

UGAKev in Columbus GA

October 30th, 2011
11:55 pm

Reality Check, for your name to be that you defintely do not bring much reality in your argument. Georgias defense pounded on Brantley and he was sacked 6 times. He was in the game so there is no excuse for him. He threw for more yards than Murray. Georgia should of blew Florida out of the stadium. Florida should just feel fortunate we played as bad as we did and kept the game close.

Dr. Morpheus

October 30th, 2011
11:55 pm

No TO’s, no embarrassing outbursts, and how sweet it is! Jarvis Jones and Richard Samuel IV showed us once more why it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog. Here’s hoping we keep winning and get our shot at the West champ. If we get our special teams act together, our D can keep it close enough to give us a chance.

Reality

October 30th, 2011
11:56 pm

How bout the uga defense? They won the game for georgia. Uga d only gave up ten points. the other ten were specail teams miscues. 1 first down in the entire second half? JUNKYARD!

Funny

October 30th, 2011
11:56 pm

Reality…UGA tied for first in the East? What a strech. And when does “tied” mean anything? If the season ended right now in the so-called tie that you speak of, SC would play in the SEC CG.

AFDawg

October 30th, 2011
11:56 pm

Funny, Your psychological warfare isn’t going to work — we’ve all seen the injury reports. As banged up as he has been — it’s amazing he is closing in on 700 yards this year already. The kid isn’t built like Herschel Walker (and I know Herschel), he’ll continue to get bigger and stronger. As a true freshman, he’s been playing with guts. I guess you’re going to say Marcus Lattimore is a wuss for getting hurt. You’ve probably never played a single down of football in your life. You have no idea how beat up these guys get. No energy vampire omposters allowed on this blog. Now buzz off.

UGAKev in Columbus GA

October 30th, 2011
11:56 pm

Funny ,you are right in some instances. But this game is definitely not one of them

Reality Check

October 30th, 2011
11:58 pm

td, Florida is indeed loaded with five stars on defense. True. But alas, our starting secondary is 50% true freshmen. And that’s where you got most of your points and key first down catches.

Also, it doesn’t matter how smart Charley Weiss is when the quarterback’s ankle can’t handle planting and throwing after the first half.

We have the nation’s number one quarterback recruit and a big running back coming in next year. The difference between Florida and Georgia is that we”ll be back in the mix for our fourth national championship since 1996 soon enough–probably by the 2013 season. But you’ll still be Georgia.