Offensive line play a big factor as Aaron Murray hits his stride

Aaron Murray has his best game as a Bulldog. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Aaron Murray has his best game as a Bulldog. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

As we look ahead to the chance to clinch the SEC East against Kentucky, here are a few more thoughts on Georgia’s big win over Auburn. …

The Dogs’ offensive line had its most consistent game in ages and at times looked dominating. One of the results is that Aaron Murray appears to have more confidence in them, isn’t rushing passes as much as earlier in the season and consequently is much more accurate. Yeah, Murray was sacked three times, but he still looked extremely comfortable in the pocket and had probably his best day as a Bulldog against the Tigers.

Kudos also to Mike Bobo, who must have noticed a susceptibility on the part of the Auburn defense to the “back shoulder” pass, in which, with the ball in the air, the receiver suddenly stops running or even comes back to get a deliberately underthrown pass, leaving the defender out of the play. Murray threw three of those perfectly Saturday, two for big gains to set up scores and one for a touchdown. …

Yes, it seems Vandy’s success on the ground was an aberration. Todd Grantham’s run defense is for real. Having already held two SEC offenses to negative rushing yardage, against Auburn the Dogs let the conference’s second-leading running attack get only 51 yards, with minus-12 in the first half. Auburn has a lot of problems, but one thing they’ve been able to do this season is run — until they met the Dogs. …

Mark Richt thought special teams player Quintavious Harrow’s big hit to stop an Auburn kickoff return dead was the most impressive play of the game, but Brandon Boykin’s similar fourth quarter hit on a Tiger screen pass had fans in the crowd imitating the “here comes the boom!” video we’d seen just moments before. …

When’s the last time you heard a Sanford Stadium crowd cheer the arrival on the field of the third-string tailback? Brandon Harton won a lot of fans with his performance a week earlier against New Mexico State and got to carry the all four times for 15 yards against Auburn. And you knew Georgia’s domination was complete when even Ken Malcome got into the game. He got 10 yards on three carries and made a first down right before the end of the game. …

At halftime, I said I was afraid that with a 35-7 lead Bobo would go all conservative. He did, but this time it worked since the Dogs were pretty much able to line up and ram it down Auburn’s throat, with Murray only throwing two passes in the second half. Again, credit the tremendous improvement in the play of the offensive line. …

I mentioned Saturday the loudness of the Sanford Stadium crowd. It was great to see the opposing team’s quarterback having to walk over to each player to give them the call and then still have to call a time out. It happened twice! …

Rotating the placekickers seems to be working well and I was glad to see Brandon Bogotay get the call when it came time for Georgia’s lone field goal attempt. Now let’s hope they can just figure out what has suddenly happened to normally reliable Drew Butler, who shanked his lone punt for just 17 yards. Net punting is one of the weakest aspects of Georgia’s game, with the Dogs ranking 107th in the nation. …

The Auburn game was a great performance all-around, easily the Dogs’ most complete of the season, but not perfect. What is there to work on? Well, besides the punting game and Isaiah Crowell’s two fumbles, Murray still could do better getting rid of the ball to avoid taking a sack or a big hit (one of which made him do a complete flip). The Dogs still are vulnerable to gadget plays like the touchdown pass from the tight end. And there were too many penalties (eight) against Auburn.

But those were all minor points on a day when Georgia looked every bit like a team that should be playing in Atlanta on Dec. 3. First, though, there’s Kentucky. Let’s hope we see the Dogs come out for the final home game of the season with the same sort of determination that has turned this season around from its unfortunate start.

Go Dogs!

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296 comments Add your comment

papadawg

November 14th, 2011
9:33 am

Forget the SEC Championship for now. I want to win the next TWO games

Dawg_Mike

November 14th, 2011
9:35 am

Anyone see the AU sideline whooping it up this year like last ?

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
9:36 am

Lundquist is well past his prime. He makes a lot of mistakes on player identification and ball position on the field. I think he would be better if he watch the game on monitor rather than on the field. He really stumbled in confusing Carlton Thomas with Brandon Harton. His comments on a list of SEC quarterbacks for something or another on an obscure stat “there are a lot of great names on there” got a well, I don’t know about that” from Danielson.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
9:42 am

Lundquist’s mistakes sound more alcohol induced. I find them very annoying. It’s almost every time he opens his mouth, he gets something wrong

ole yeller

November 14th, 2011
9:45 am

I have said all season the “O” linemen we have are STUDS. I would like for injury’s to have been kinder to the “O” linemen, but that part of the game. “O” line coach “F” deserve a lot of credit for getting the “O” line ready to play every game. Give conditioning coach “T” some love for the great job he is doing. Better shape, better players. PLEASE, no more negitive comments about our coching staff. WE don’t have problems like Penn ST., Ohio St., and Southern Ca. to name a few.

robodawg

November 14th, 2011
9:46 am

Impressive win. Besides Kentucky, a great performance against Tech will really put an exclamation point on this season. Any year you beat Florida, Auburn and Tech is a great season.

wins-by-a-link

November 14th, 2011
9:49 am

One victory over a losing team does not make a champion, Georgia looked good in beating Auburn but the fact remains that Ga has not beaten a good team, We’ve all known that the Dogs had talent, But had not been able to put things together in one game, It all came together against Auburn. Georgia should win out, Kentucky will not put up much resistance and Tech’s offense will not be able to match Ga’s speed on defense. The big question will be answered in the Ga. Dome.

JB

November 14th, 2011
9:51 am

wins by a link…………..We can only play who they tell us to play. We”ll see how far we’ve come this year in the Dome playing the LSU Packers.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
9:52 am

Vern was stumblin alright. The Thomas/Harton bobble was just a laugher ..

As for the competition, people can’t say “oh, well the teams they played just suck” after saying things earlier in the year like “Georgia is a lock for 5 or 6 losses” .. The team is really really good and the defense is as good as anyone’s.

Truth Dectector= tek symphathiser

November 14th, 2011
9:52 am

Truth…. you are a tek fan.. stop tying to pretend you are not… why else would you be on this blog… we will find out how good the Dawgs really are soon enough….. your pontification adds up to nothing but envy of a program you don’t like…

JB

November 14th, 2011
9:53 am

Been told Johnson has ordered 300 pounds of fish and 30 gallons of oil for after the Georgia game…

Thank God for Reggie Ball

November 14th, 2011
9:53 am

Thomas Broooowwwwwnnnn…….
come out and plaaaaayyyyy…..

Truth Dectector= tek symphathiser

November 14th, 2011
9:55 am

GT Bob…. LSU has a weak offense…. based on what? The only teams they didn’t blow out were Alabama and Miss. State… they put over 30 on Oregon… you are not only ill-informed you instinct for the game is pitiful…

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
9:55 am

robodawg, don’t forget to throw in UT in that mix. What was the last year they beat UF, AU, GT, and UT?

JB

November 14th, 2011
9:57 am

Tech does give me pause……………They can really suck…or play inspired like vs Clemson

Dawg_Mike

November 14th, 2011
9:59 am

Anyone see Fairley hit Cutler in the back after he was down yesterday ? Once a thug…….

Thank God for Reggie Ball

November 14th, 2011
9:59 am

people forget:

we played Tennessee with Tyler Bray, Bama and LSU didnt
we played Florida with John Brantley, LSU didnt and Bama only did for 1 1/2 quarters
we played South Carolina with Marcus Lattimore, Arkansas didnt
our out of conference schedule featured Boise State and Georgia Tech: the only western team with a comparable OOCS is LSU

DIT

November 14th, 2011
10:02 am

I don’t understand? Where is Mr. 2010 BCS CHAMPS at?

How about those other Barners? Hmmm…. Can’t say I blame them. I mean such a bad UGA team beat them according to the Barners.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
10:02 am

Some of you @zz clown trolls seem to think the teams on Georgia’s schedule didn’t play anyone else. Guess what? They did. The teams Georgia has beaten might be bad, might not. They do play other teams in the SEC. Georgia is beating the same SEC teams that LSU and Alabama and Arkansas are beating. If we didn’t, we just be another one of them. Give the schedule a rest, it is NOT an issue. Where were all you critics when Georgia was playing the most difficult schedule for the last 3-4 years. That;s right, the same place you are now, with your head stuck inside your anus

DIT

November 14th, 2011
10:05 am

Of course the tekies are going to talk about schedule(even though their schedule is easier than UGA’s) and coming soon….. “We are smarter than you.” AND “I Love Moral Victories against UGA.”
God Bless em!

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:05 am

There might be a large groundswell movement for a playoff system when the BCS selections are made. Based on the current standings, if Georgia, Oklahoma St. and Alabama win out, Georgia meets LSU in the SEC CG. If Georgia wins, Alabama like meets Oklahoma St. in the BCS CG. That points out a fundamental flaw in the BCS: a team can play for the BCS Championship even though they didn’t win their conference.

DIT

November 14th, 2011
10:10 am

@Delbert D.
You can rest assure that the NCAA committee is praying that UGA does not upset LSU. They are sweating it now now. If Bama ends up going to the NC game, dookie will hit the fan!

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:10 am

likely, not like

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
10:12 am

Either that or a rematch of LSU/Bama. If Bama wins by a FG, what has been settled?

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:15 am

DIT – If that is what it takes to bust the BCS, so be it. Expect more animous against the NCAA from Congress. How can college football have a playoff system in all divisions but the highest? How can a cartel that has proved to be corrupt be allowed to stage their own show in lieu of a playoff?

Joey

November 14th, 2011
10:16 am

Maybe the reason a bunch of SEC teams have bad records, is because they play a bunch of SEC teams ?

DIT

November 14th, 2011
10:17 am

Got that right ARdawg! It could get ugly. I for one agreed with the decision a few years back of UGA not being in the NC game because they were not in the SEC CG. Were the the best or 2nd best team that year? I absolutely thought so and they would have beat LSU in the SEC CG that year. Les Miles knew that. However, it just did not make sense for a team not to qualify for their league CG, but qualify for the NC game.
Just my opinion

DIT

November 14th, 2011
10:20 am

@Delbert D. – I agree, However money, as we all know, run college football. The fear is a playoff system would cause the loss of revenue for the respective sponsors of each bowl.
For me, big deal, we need a playoff system using all those bowls. The question is do you have a playoff with the top 8,12 or 16 teams?

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:22 am

Joey – Look again at the 9:24 post on strength of schedule. Kansas, Texas Tech and Baylor are in the top 10, along with Auburn and Tennessee. Expect Auburn to move up after they play ‘Bama.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:22 am

DIT

November 14th, 2011
10:05 am
Of course the tekies are going to talk about schedule(even though their schedule is easier than UGA’s) and coming soon….. “We are smarter than you.” AND “I Love Moral Victories against UGA.”
God Bless em!

———————–
LOL, you already have GT Joe coming on here saying that since GT is 1-2 the last three years with CPJ against UGA and with the two UGA victories being close, that CPJ owns UGA

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:24 am

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:22 am
Joey – Look again at the 9:24 post on strength of schedule. Kansas, Texas Tech and Baylor are in the top 10, along with Auburn and Tennessee. Expect Auburn to move up after they play ‘Bama.
———————————
Still trying to figure out how the Big 12 gets so much love in the S.o.S. debate. They often get knocked around come bowl season and in OOC games they don’t have the best record there either. I think it’s a way to start trying to bring down the SEC. Nothing else seems to be working.

Whaw!

November 14th, 2011
10:26 am

Funny, to start the season, the O-line was a question. Look at em now. Dominating the line of scrimmage. They’ve been doing this for a while now though.

AltamahaDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:30 am

Anyone care to inform me what I “think” or what I “believe” or how I am beating my chest with all those non-existent post?

harold

November 14th, 2011
10:31 am

I STILL CONTEND UGA WOULD BE FOURTH IN THE SEC WEST—–BEHIND LSU—BAMA—AND ARKANSAS. IN THE LAST SEVEN GAMES UGA HAS ONLY PLAYED ONE TEAM WITH A WINNING RECORD.

RICHT SAVES HIS JOB UNLESS HE LOSES TO KENTUCKY AND GEORGIA TECH! BUT UGA FOOTBALL IS NO WHERE NEAR LSU OR BAMA!

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:34 am

DIT – One more incident like the Fiesta Bowl graft, and maybe the feds will investigate the BCS in RICO (racketeering) charges. You can’t use the bowls for a playoff; there isn’t enough time. Playoffs would need to start the week after conference championship games. with a field of 4 sixteen team (or more) conferences, the conference CG would be the 1st round in the 1st week in December. The great 8 would be the 2nd week in Dec., and the final 4 and National Championship game would be the 1st and 2nd week in January.

Let the bowls play games with the teams that didn’t make the playoffs. There can still be a Rose Bowl parade, and that is more interesting than most of the bowl games as it is. Who gets excited by #8 Big Ten vs. #7 PAC-12 or whoever in these meaningless games of 6-6 teams.

GTBob

November 14th, 2011
10:34 am

LSU has a weak offense…. based on what?

Based on being ranked behind Duke in total offense.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
10:36 am

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
10:40 am

harold
BY CURRENT CONFERENCE RECORDS AND OVERALL YOU WOULD BE CORRECT. GEORGIA WOULD BE FORTH BEHIND THOSE TEAMS BASED ON CURRENT RECORDS. YOUR REASONING THAT ONLY UGA HAS PLAYED BUT ONE TEAM WITH A WINNING RECORD IS BASELESS. WHO DO YOU THINK THOSE THREE TEAMS HAVE BEEN PLAYING?

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:42 am

Altamaha, I may have missed something, but with all the troll banter on here the week before each game, beat your chest all you want, it’s deserved.

how2fish

November 14th, 2011
10:44 am

Well I have to admit I never thought we would win as convincingly as we did. I thought Vegas had lost its collective mind with a 12+ point spread..good thing I don’t bet. Great game all around on D and O ,with a much improved effort on special teams as well…now lets not let down vs UK ! Oh and harold and the rest of the trolls telling us we aren’t in the same class as LSU and Bama…we are hoping to get the chance to prove you wrong..stick around this could be a lot of fun..

I-DOG

November 14th, 2011
10:46 am

It can’t be understated how much this home game meant for recruiting purposes for 12 and 13 classes. I bet we will land at LEAST one additional high profile player because of the atmosphere and the way the team played.

Bill, I’d have to say that the offensive line was domimant. Certainly light years ahead of anything we have seen in a couple of years.

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:46 am

TampaDawg – It must be the stronger OOC schedules and the fact that the Big 12 plays every team in the conference.

It also is about winning. How does Houston rate a #11 BCS rank (Harris #10, Coaches #10, computers #13) with a strength of schedule of #123?

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:53 am

harold, there isn’t much difference between Arkansas’ schedule and UGA’s with the exception being the win over SC which was done with no Lattimore and no Garcia (although Garcia was no stud but he was more experienced in big SEC games than Conner Shaw). Bama is good but outside of Richardson, their offense is mediocre.

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
10:56 am

Other their close games against UCLA (38-34) and La. Tech (35-34), Houston has averaged 59.25 ppg. That included a conference win against UTEP (49-42). Does this team really look like number 10 in the country?

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:56 am

exactly Delbert. Houston? And OK State has no mentionable OOC schedule, Oklahoma has only really played an FSU team that has been exposed, AGAIN, and I would hardly consider UCLA and BYU to be great OOC teams for Texas.

GTBob

November 14th, 2011
10:56 am

Houston is rated that high because they are that high in the polls and haven’t lost a game. A bigger mystery to me is Auburn at 24. That have been blown out by 4 different teams now but are one of the top 25? SOS doesn’t mean much when you get blown out all the time. The BCS is starting to look as stupid as RPI in basketball.

kerryb

November 14th, 2011
11:01 am

Some posters want to post that we have no chance against LSU. for comparison lets look at two of the better common opponents that LSU and UGA had this year. On 9/15 LSU played Miss St and beat them 19-6 Miss St had 193 total yards 52 rushing, 141 passing. LSU had 361 total yards 148 rushing 213 passing. UGA played Miss St 2 weeks later and won 24-10. Miss St had 213 total yards 56 rushing and 157 passing. UGA had 315 total yards 155 rushing and 160 passing. Very similar victories. On 10/22 LSU played Auburn and beat them 45-10. Auburn had 248 total yards 87 rushing and 161 passing. LSU had 393 total yards 174 rushing and 219 passing. 3 weeks later UGA played Auburn and won 45-7. AU had 195 total yards 51 rushing and 144 passing. UGA had 528 total yards 304 rushing and 224 passing. Another very similar victory with UGA’s being a little more decisive yardage wise. So I think UGA can match with LSU pretty well. I think UGA will have the more balanced offense than Alabama had and just as good of a defense that Alabama has.

LawDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:02 am

Great analysis of the game, Bill.

The OL played BY FAR their best game of the season. They were moving bodies off the point of attack and really manhandling the Auburn DL. They even pass blocked effectively and you can see what a difference that made for Murray. Really, really good play from a unit that has been justifiably maligned all season.

Also, there is NO WAY you can put the second fumble on Crowell. He was getting tackled before Murray even handed the ball off. There is nothing he could have done on that one.

AltamahaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:03 am

TD, you didn’t miss anything. I haven’t beat my chest one time this entire year about a win as I don’t have anything to do with it one way or the other, other than what I consider standard fan support. However, the person(s) that was directed to knows exactly what I meant by that.

LawDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:06 am

By the way, did anyone else think that Verne Lundquist suffered a stroke right before the game? Both he and Danielson were significantly worse than normal (hard to believe, I know), but they kept saying crazy things. Verne suggested that Crowell might be hurt, which was why he was not playing (while he was on the field), referred to Murray as “White” at least twice, Verne referred to Carlton Thomas as “5-7, 163 yards and no…that is Hartson….my mistake, as Thomas carried the ball). I cannot remember all of them, but I actually started to feel bad for him in the second half.

Danielson just does not seem to understand football, so he was par for the course.