A statement game from Mark Richt’s Dawgs

Michael Bennett's touchdown catch was a highlight on a great day for the Dogs. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Michael Bennett's touchdown catch was a highlight on a great day for the Dogs. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

So much for questioning the Vegas odds wizards installing a double-digit point spread for Georgia over a ranked SEC rival.

The Dogs didn’t just cover the spread, they buried it deeper than Jimmy Hoffa as they demolished Auburn convincingly and set themselves up with a chance to clinch the SEC East title next week.

Georgia’s’ blowout win over the defending national champion was the sweetest moment Between the Hedges since the 2007 Blackout win over the Tigers, and the home crowd deserves some of the credit for making Sanford Stadium as noisy as it’s been since then.

They had a lot to cheer about, though.

The offense and defense both played lights-out ball Saturday. How about 528 yards of offense with two running backs topping 100 yards and little Carlton Thomas averaging 8.5 yards per run. Four touchdown passes for Aaron Murray as he passed Matthew Stafford for the UGA season record and tied him on the career list. The much maligned Georgia offensive line moving the pile time after time, opening gaping holes for the backs and protecting Murray. The Dogs converting on 12 of 15 third downs while holding the Tigers to just three of 11. Ten tackles for loss and five sacks from Todd Grantham’s defense, with Bacarri Rambo making a terrific return for a pick 6.

Aside from a couple of fumbles by the returning Isaiah Crowell, there wasn’t much to gripe about and a lot of highlights in the game for Georgia fans. But I think my favorite was that impressive touchdown catch where Michael Bennett laid out for a score reminiscent of A.J. Green.

And all of it on national TV, to boot.

Yeah, this was definitely a statement game for Mark Richt’s remarkable, resilient comeback kids.

How ’bout them Dawgs!

Feel free to share your own views of Georgia’s dominating performance in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

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So much for questioning the Vegas odds wizards installing a double-digit point spread for Georgia over a ranked SEC rival.

The Dogs didn’t just cover the spread, they buried it deeper than Jimmy Hoffa as they demolished Auburn convincingly and set themselves up with a chance to clinch the SEC East title next week.

The Dogs’ blowout win over the defending national champion was the sweetest moment Between the Hedges since the 2007 Blackout win over the Tigers, and the home crowd deserves some of the credit for making Sanford Stadium as noisy as it’s been since then.

The offense and defense both played lights-out ball Saturday. How about 528 yards of offense with two running backs topping 100 yards and little Carlton Thomas averaging 8.5 yards per run. Four touchdown passes for Aaron Murray as he passed Mathew Stafford for the UGA season record and tied him on the career list. The much maligned Georgia offensive line moving the pile time after time, opening gaping holes for the backs and protecting Murray. The Dogs converting of 12 of 15 third downs while holding the Tigers to just three of 11. Ten tackles for loss and five sacks from Todd Grantham’s defense, with Bacarri Rambo making a terrific return for a pick 6.

Aside from a couple of fumbles by Isaiah Crowell, there wasn’t much to gripe and about and a lot of highlights in the game for Georgia fans. But I think my favorite was that touchdown catch where Michael Bennett laid out with reminiscent of A.J. Green.

And all of it on national TV, to boot.

Yeah, this was definitely a statement game for Mark Richt’s comeback kids.

Feel free to share your own views of Georgia’s dominating performance in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry

139 comments Add your comment

Hell Yea!

November 12th, 2011
8:54 pm

Jdawg

November 12th, 2011
8:54 pm

That was one of the best wins! Total domination. Keep it up Dawgs!

Yo

November 12th, 2011
8:55 pm

digitaldawg

November 12th, 2011
8:55 pm

Atlanta here we come! We can give anyone in the nation a good game if we play the way we played today. Good day to be a DAWG!

@matador

November 12th, 2011
8:56 pm

where’s the Richt Haters?

Tre

November 12th, 2011
8:56 pm

scottie dawg

November 12th, 2011
8:57 pm

Most impressive part for me – UGA ran the ball on 26 consecutive plays on their last 4 drives of the game. Auburn had 9 guys stacked up in the box and couldn’t stop the run. The O-line hasn’t looked that dominant in a very long time.

Auburn Hater

November 12th, 2011
9:00 pm

Payback Auburn for last year 45-7

rrich

November 12th, 2011
9:01 pm

loved it GO DAWGS

midland Dog

November 12th, 2011
9:01 pm

great payback to those freaking cheaters!!!! total domination!! what receivers! Murray is coming of age!

San Diego Dawg

November 12th, 2011
9:05 pm

I continue to be wrong and I am glad for it.

Soccerdawg

November 12th, 2011
9:06 pm

Why can’t Gwinnett synch the lights on 316?

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 12th, 2011
9:08 pm

Bring on Arkansas. You heard it right. I am picking
Arkansas to upset LSU and go to the title game.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 12th, 2011
9:11 pm

I think Miss State will give Bama all they want tonight Alabama’s
QB is not that impressive and Miss State will load up the line to stop the run. This will be a low scoring game – say 17-10 Bama.

Sailordawg

November 12th, 2011
9:12 pm

that was an awesome win today, I agree there are really no richt haters tonight…great day to be a bulldog….. I feel that IC is seeing the light of how to play tailback in the SEC especially when you have some hogs for a OL…

Bill

November 12th, 2011
9:15 pm

So, Bill King, how will you hate now? King and Schultz, this has go to be your worst nightmare!!!!! You are two idiots!!!!! Way to go, UGA players! Do not let these two haters affect you!!!!!

Riddle: What do King, Schultz and Auburn Tigers have in cmmon? All are LOSERS!!!!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 12th, 2011
9:17 pm

NICE game from the SKIRT wearing MURRAY.

OkieDawg

November 12th, 2011
9:17 pm

Rock the heck on. Where are all the weenie Tech haters now?

CHDawg

November 12th, 2011
9:19 pm

I was pleased with all three of the suspended Dawgs’ play. Even Malcome finally got to tote the rock in the last series behind the 18 year old O line. It took 7 seven War Eagles to stop him on his first run; we have some talent at TB. IC and CT looked fantastic….maybe we should suspend a few players every week. Harton looked good, too. The O line has looked great the last two weeks, and Murray has been nearly flawless. They scored 108 points, mostly in just four quarters of the last eight. UGA is clicking on all cylinders and really developing confidence and momentum. Go Dawgs!

OkieDawg

November 12th, 2011
9:19 pm

Dawgs were a heluva lot classier than were the Buzzards last year.

GTBob

November 12th, 2011
9:20 pm

What was the statement? We are better then Utah St?

OkieDawg

November 12th, 2011
9:21 pm

GTBob, head back to the closet with your porn rags, no time for fools like you on this discussion.

OkieDawg

November 12th, 2011
9:26 pm

The hardest thing about today was having to pull for the Gators. Felt kinda like having to swallow ones vomit. I hate that.

edumacated

November 12th, 2011
9:28 pm

I still think Richt is a bum. He should pay back his contract for the last 3 years because he basically took the time off, let his team fall to disrepair, got scared about losing his job, and finally started coaching up to his abilities again.
Go dawgs!

Soccerdawg

November 12th, 2011
9:33 pm

Still sitting in 316 parking lot in Gwinnett. Can’t they do better?

dogdawg

November 12th, 2011
9:33 pm

I must admit I was wrong about Coach Mark Ritch.He has proven that he cares for UGA and has done an excellent job of turning around this program.Coach Todd Gratham was an EXCELLENT choice for DC.I admit I was wrong and am now once again a CMR fan ,GO DAWGS SIC UM WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!

Harold

November 12th, 2011
9:33 pm

GO DAWGS!!

Dawgs looked great, and continue to improve. It speaks very highly of your O-line when you can run 5′nothing running backs (when the opponent is expecting it) and still gain that kind of yardage! Great job O!!!

Oh yeah, where is Thomas Brown? Got that win over a top 25 team you asked for. NEXT…

Didn't GT just lose Thursday?

November 12th, 2011
9:37 pm

GTBob, I see that you are upset because GT lost and their hopes of playing for a championship is long over. Just accept it UGA is better the GT and you just hate that you have nothing to brag about.

Big Wally

November 12th, 2011
9:37 pm

And to think I thought the dawgs should have hired Muschamp. Bwahahahaha.

GTBob

November 12th, 2011
9:39 pm

Just accept it UGA is better the GT and you just hate that you have nothing to brag about.

That is left to be seen. GT played a much tougher opponent this week. It’s hard to say how tough UGA is because they haven’t played a half decent team in a long time.

UGA>GT

November 12th, 2011
9:43 pm

Sad, sad little tech fans. You’d think that a team that got beat so often wouldn’t talk so much. I’ve never been on a Florida blog running my mouth – probably need to win a few more first. Too bad getting beat ALL THE TIME doesn’t seem to affect the techies.

Go Oregon!

THWGT

November 12th, 2011
9:45 pm

Kudos Dawgs! I’m thankful for the win and appreciate Richt, Bobo and company for their class and leadership.

Bo

November 12th, 2011
9:45 pm

Stupid GT fans! Barns will kicked your ass!

jim

November 12th, 2011
9:48 pm

@GT Bob…Dawgs still don’t have a half decent team left on the schedule…guess we’ll wait til SECCG.

Nautidawg

November 12th, 2011
9:49 pm

Thanks for the motivation Farley .. Wish u were here.

savannahdawg

November 12th, 2011
9:53 pm

small blog without all the haters and their whining each week. awesome game. go dawgs!!

pdawg

November 12th, 2011
9:53 pm

Go dawgs!!!! congrats on a very impressive win

Whaw!

November 12th, 2011
9:53 pm

GT is not half decent. GT will be lucky to score at all on our defense. They cannot throw the ball, and they won’t be able to run the ball on the biggest front 7 they’ve seen in their lifetime. The rout will be ON in two more weeks in Booby (Paul Johnson)- Dodd Stadium. hahaha

Bk

November 12th, 2011
9:53 pm

Nice win. Statement game. Solid on both sides of the ball. Georgia is peaking at te right time.
SEC championship will be tough but now we served notice. Way to go coach richt. Congrats!

WOW....Now a Whopping 3-10 against ranked teams

November 12th, 2011
9:57 pm

Just damn……win a SEC division that’s about as good as a MAC conference…..get rolled by LSU or Ark in the SEC champ game…..

Mark Richt stays and we’re doomed to another 10 years of mediocrity…..just damn

Cuz

November 12th, 2011
9:59 pm

Great win for a team that never gave up on themselves or their coaches when they started 0-2. 8-2 looks pretty good from here. HBTD!

Cuz

November 12th, 2011
10:01 pm

I will take that mediocrity WOW. I guess you like fair weather.

My guess really is that you are not a fan at all.

1969 Graduate

November 12th, 2011
10:02 pm

I’m so glad the Bulldogs won.

Auburn didn’t look nearly as good as I’d thought they might. Was that because they had an off game? Or, are the Bulldogs really improving as much as they look like they might be?

While I doubt the Auburn team is a world beater, it did look like our Dawgs have greatly improved. There were a good many impressive plays made by our guys, plays that wouldn’t have happened early in the season.

It’s really nice to see Georgia players having such a good time.

I suspect we would have a good chance against any team playing as well as we played today!

Kentucky looms. We shouldn’t overlook them, and I don’t think we will.

I cheered for South Carolina, and was glad to see them play so well, and beat Florida. I thought going into it that USC was a better team, if they showed up, and they sure did. I can’t cheer for Florida (unless they’re playing Ohio State or somebody like that). Besides, I wanted some pressure on Georgia, and Georgia responded to it.

No reason to slack off, right?

Perfect? Of course not, but I can’t even complain much about Bobo, and that’s saying something.

Go, Georgia Bulldogs.

GTBob

November 12th, 2011
10:08 pm

Was that because they had an off game?

No, it’s because Auburn is not a good football team. It wasn’t an off game. That is about as good as they are.

WOW....Now a Whopping 3-10 against ranked teams

November 12th, 2011
10:19 pm

Cuz……your right….beat 8 straight unranked, down right awful teams after losing to 2 first rate teams….then beat a 23rd ranked Auburn……and now all is right with the Dawg world….right????

Amazing how low our standards for UGA have become…..sigh!

Chris

November 12th, 2011
10:28 pm

GTBob – you lost to two of the sloppiest teams in the sorry ACC, deal with it. Your conference is completely irrelevant in the football world and still you are here? How many ACC national titles with BCS? Um…what conference has won year-after-year? BINGO! GO AWAY, you make no sense and GT just isn’t UGA, period!

CigarDawg

November 12th, 2011
10:28 pm

This is the game I have been waiting to see all season: 4 quarters of focused effort from all phases of the game.

Make no mistake, my Kool-aid drinking brethren, today in no way exonerates Richt for his failure to take us to the big dance and bring home the crystal. In fact, it actually bolsters the argument that he will never get us there and should be replaced.

We are now looking at a season that could be marred only by Richt’s complete inability to prepare the Dawgs to play this way from Game 1 each season. It is still within the realm of possibility for UGA to win the SEC outright, albeit a remote possibility. However, due to Richt’s failure to view the Boise St and SC games as crucial “must-wins”, we will still be overlooked for the Big Game. In a year where the SEC-East was weaker than it has been in Richt’s entire time here and UGA’s schedule was the weakest it has been in 20 years or more, we will once gain be looking in from the outside.

What we saw today was what we could have been seeing all year- the men are the same and their abilities are the same as they were on day 1. Our coaching staff simply is unable to instill the belief and discipline necessary to get our Dawgs to play every game like they did today . Why does it take 10 games for the Dawgs to gel as a unit when they have all the tools necessary to do it all along? I submit it is because we have a head coach who is so content with himself that he simply cannot be bothered to obsess over the details of every aspect of the program (special teams, anyone?). Compare him to Saban, Miles, and Meyer and the efforts and results they are able to wring from their teams week-in and week-out.

Great win today, but it’s too little and too late. If we win out the rest of the season, the SECCG and the Sugar Bowl, how many of you will be able to resist wondering how great it would have been if CMR had reminded his players to watch out for a fake punt against SC, or made sure they could cover kickoff returns and onside kicks?

You all might see Richt as an angel, but the devil – and the MNC – are in the details and he just doesn’t seem to understand that.

Dawg Nation

November 12th, 2011
10:30 pm

Bill, Looks to me like maybe SEC West leaders were lucky to not have to play UGA this year. They barely have played USC.

The Real Phil

November 12th, 2011
10:31 pm

What will you rocket scientists say when UGA runs Tech off their own field?

Helmand Dawg

November 12th, 2011
10:35 pm

I am one of CMR’s biggest critics when we underachieve but I’ll give the man his due tonight. We executed and played good assignment football. We didn’t miss blocks on offense and were in position to make plays on defense. We looked like we actually watched film. These are the kind of things that champions do. Yes Auburn is down but how many times in the past have they come into Athens and put one on us. The Dawgs should play with this much passion and focus every game. GATA