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

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

TampaDawg – Texas is 11 and UCLA 19 in SOS.

Sagarin’s web site says, “The SCHEDULE ratings represent what the rating would have to be for a hypothetical team to have a mathematical expectation of winning precisely 50% of their games against the schedule played by the team in question in the games that it has played so far.”

I need a translator for that.

WDE

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

Hey where is that 2010 Chump guy at ??

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:08 am

Sooo, why is Houston rated that high in the polls? The question is still not answered. They have one of the worst schedules there is.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

November 14th, 2011
11:11 am

Yes Alt you are exactly right.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:11 am

Delbert, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I like their SOS analysis, but some of that stuff boggles the mind.

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
11:12 am

LawDawg – Danielson is generally coherent in interviews with him and in his insights during the game. I’m not sure I would be at all coherent trying to overcome the gaffes and misinformation that Lundquist was producing. CBS needs to at least have someone ready to relieve Lundquist at halftime when he blows the game calls as bad as he did.

Delbert D.

November 14th, 2011
11:16 am

@DIT “You can rest assure that the NCAA committee is praying that UGA does not upset LSU.”

I hope praying is as far as they go to try to influence that game.

LawDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:18 am

Delbert – I have heard Danielson weekly with Chris Russo on Sirius. He is generally coherent, he just provides no useful insight and he has been consistently bad the last few years on CBS. His commentary on TV is simply boring.

I really wish before a game like this, they would watch the previous year’s game so that they could have some sort of a context to go to in their weaker moments if he is not actually going to break down Xs and Os (which I am not sure he is capable of anyway).

LawDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:19 am

Delbert – i will say that, at this point, I am not sure anyone could be effective with Verne as their partner. I used to love Verne, but he has gone downhill fast.

SSIgator

November 14th, 2011
11:19 am

DawginLex -

Thanks for thinking of me, but you do not need to include me on any list. I always get a good chuckle reading Bill King’s articles.

SSIgator

November 14th, 2011
11:23 am

Well, UGA finally, after eleven years, looks like they might make it to the SEC CG in Atlanta on their own ability without having to relie on another team to get them in. I guess if you wait long enough good things do happen.

BG

November 14th, 2011
11:26 am

How Bout Them DAWGS!

BG

November 14th, 2011
11:27 am

Don’t be a sore LOSER SSIgator.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:29 am

SSIgator

November 14th, 2011
11:23 am
Well, UGA finally, after eleven years,

—————————
Is your math that jacked up dude? They have won two of them in the last 10 years.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:30 am

They did it both times on their own record too whether you want to think so or not.

SSIgator

November 14th, 2011
11:35 am

TampaDawg -

Better check again.

SSIgator

November 14th, 2011
11:40 am

BG -

Not a sore loser at all. There was good news and bad news for UGA this past weekend. The good news is that they probably go to Atlanta. The bad news is they will be destroyed by LSU in the SEC CG on national tv and end up in a lower bowl than if they did not get to Atlanta. Kind of like 2007 when they went to the Sugar Bowl and played that monster school Hawaii.

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
11:45 am

Here’s a look at the combined records of the FBS opponents for all 12 SEC schools:
•Tennessee: 47-23 (.671)
•LSU: 46-26 (.639)
•Ole Miss: 46-26 (.639)
•Vanderbilt: 44-28 (.611)
•Alabama: 43-29 (.597)
•Auburn: 47-32 (.595)
•Mississippi State: 41-31 (.569)
•Kentucky: 41-32 (.562)
•South Carolina: 45-36 (.555)
•Florida: 43-37 (.538)
•Georgia: 38-33 (.535)
•Arkansas: 34-37 (.479)

Here’s a look at the combined records of those FBS teams each SEC school has beaten this season:
•LSU: 46-26 (.639)
•Alabama: 34-29 (.540)
•South Carolina: 31-32 (.492)
•Tennessee: 11-14 (.440)
•Georgia: 23-31 (.426)
•Auburn: 22-30 (.423)
•Arkansas: 26-36 (.419)
•Kentucky: 10-18 (.357)
•Mississippi State: 12-24 (.333)
•Ole Miss: 3-6 (.333)
•Vanderbilt: 9-18 (.333)
•Florida: 13-31 (.295)

From ESPN last week. Kinda throws those fake numbers posted earlier out the window.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
11:47 am

ssigator

You reek of jealously. You mean slaughtered by LSU worse than was Florida? I didn’t think that would be possible, still don’t

WDE

November 14th, 2011
11:50 am

@SSIgator wow not a sore loser? Really ? We might follow the gators lead and get blow away by LSU but I’m willing to take a chance if it means winning a championship..I mean isn’t that what every blow hard Bama and Gator fan tell us all the time its about championships..guess what if we beat UK it will be UGA playing for the SEC championship and even if we lose were still ahead of the gators..sitting home with their Tebow jerseys sticking pins in their Muschamp dolls..

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
11:50 am

It does not matter what kind of hoping UGA fans do, the facts are in the game that counts will have two SEC teams in it once Oklahoma beats OSU.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:51 am

Which part SSI, the part where in 2002, the Gators had already lost 2 conference games before the win over the Dawgs which meant the dawgs were already in control of the division, or the part in 2005 when the Gators were tied with UGA going into the game because UF couldn’t handle their own business either before or after the UGA game? Which one? That’s a losers argument and you know it.

Alabama Dog

November 14th, 2011
11:54 am

3 words: WHOOPED DAMN EAGLE!!!!!!! Domination in the FIRST DEGREE-Georgia guilty as charged!!!!

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
11:58 am

Here’s a look at the combined records of those FBS teams each SEC school has beaten this season:
•LSU: 46-26 (.639)
•Alabama: 34-29 (.540)
•South Carolina: 31-32 (.492)
•Tennessee: 11-14 (.440)
•Georgia: 23-31 (.426)**********************************************************

That number alone should shut up anyone who thinks the Georgia schedule has been tough.

AltamahaDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:59 am

I thought The funniest thing Danielson and Lundquist said (although much more subtle than the gaffs) was when they were talking about the “regular players” on the kickoff team, and said something like, “see there ya go..more regulars” when Kosta Vavlas was getting up after the tackle.

LawDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:59 am

Truth Detector: I may be dense, but what point are you making with that list?

GTBob

November 14th, 2011
12:01 pm

SSIgator is right though. Unless UGA pulls off the miracle victory they are going to be in a worse bowl game then they would have without going to the championship.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
12:03 pm

GTTroll

And what exactly do you base your statement on?

LawDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:08 pm

GTBob: If we finish the regular season 10-3 with a loss in the championship game, LSU = NC; BAMA = NC or Sugar Bowl; Arkansas = Sugar Bowl (if no BAMA in NC) or Cotton Bowl. No matter what, UGA is probably going to the Capital One Bowl (highest tie in other than Sugar and Cotton).

USC probably would have gotten that if they win the east, so what the heck are you talking about? That makes no sense.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:09 pm

So “The Truth Detector” is obviously not a math wiz:

Team ——— Wins
Ole Miss 2
Miss State 5
Tennessee 4
Vandy 5
Florida 5
NMSU 4 (yes, they are an FBS school)
Auburn 6
———————-
Total 31 wins

So either you need a math tutor or a Lie Detector. Even if you pull NMSU out of that mix, the numbers still don’t add up.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:10 pm

GT Bob, SSI gator is RARELY right, is a sore loser, and can’t make a point to save his life. Agreeing with him is not the smart thing to do.

WDE

November 14th, 2011
12:12 pm

@The Truth Detector our schedule was our schedule its how many folks you beat on your schedule that counts not who is on it . Again and slowly its how many opponents you beat on your schedule that counts not who is on your schedule that counts in the SEC..got it?

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
12:15 pm

LawDawg

UGA beating KY and winning the east is assuring no less that the Outback or Capital One. As it stands right now. Arkansas would get the one UGA didn’t (Outback or Cap1) Bama get s the sugar and LSU the NC

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:15 pm

With Houston in the top 10 in the BCS, I really don’t want to hear it about schedules honestly. Houston would be 5-5 playing in the SEC.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:16 pm

But again, where is “The ‘Truth’ Detector”? His stats got busted so he goes into hiding?

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
12:16 pm

If you guys learned to read, you would see that list came straight from ESPN LAST WEEK. I stated that. This is why many of you have jobs that require you to ask your Boss if you may use the restroom.

kybodawg

November 14th, 2011
12:17 pm

ga.s toughest recuriting this year will be the 6 juniors on d to stick around another year. come dawgs tebow, rilley, hernandez, spikes and co. all came back to play for a chance at nc.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:19 pm

And lastly on SSI, that is the first time I have ever heard of a team getting picked on for GOING to a BCS bowl. That may make sense in Gainesville, but no where else.

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
12:20 pm

3:00PM ETEmailPrintComments889
By Chris Low
Which SEC team has played the toughest schedule so far this season?

If you go by the combined records of FBS opponents, it would be Tennessee.

The Vols’ eight FBS opponents are a combined 47-23 (.671). Their schedule will only get tougher this weekend when they travel to Arkansas, which is 8-1 overall.

Counting the Hogs, that’s six teams the Vols will have faced to this point with two or fewer losses. Tennessee defeated Cincinnati the second week of the season, but has lost all five of its SEC games. Only one of those losses was by fewer than 10 points.

Speaking of Arkansas, the Hogs have faced the easiest schedule in the SEC, according to the combined records of their opponents. The Hogs’ FBS foes are a combined 34-37 (.479).

Of Arkansas’ eight FBS opponents to this point, four currently have losing records.

Nonetheless, Arkansas is one of only three SEC teams (along with Alabama and LSU) that has beaten three or more nationally-ranked opponents this season. The Hogs own wins over Texas A&M, Auburn and South Carolina. All three teams were ranked in the AP poll at the time of the game.

No. 1 LSU, coming off its 9-6 overtime win at Alabama, owns six victories over nationally-ranked foes, including two over top 5 teams.

With three weeks to play in the regular season, there are seven teams in the SEC still looking for their first win over a nationally ranked opponent – Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Florida, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt haven’t beaten any FBS teams this season that currently have winning records. The Gators are also at the bottom of the league in terms of who they’ve beaten.

Their five victories this season have come over teams with a combined 13-31 record (.295). The Gators started off the season with back-to-back games against Florida Atlantic and UAB, who are a combined 1-16 right now.

Here’s a look at the combined records of the FBS opponents for all 12 SEC schools:
•Tennessee: 47-23 (.671)
•LSU: 46-26 (.639)
•Ole Miss: 46-26 (.639)
•Vanderbilt: 44-28 (.611)
•Alabama: 43-29 (.597)
•Auburn: 47-32 (.595)
•Mississippi State: 41-31 (.569)
•Kentucky: 41-32 (.562)
•South Carolina: 45-36 (.555)
•Florida: 43-37 (.538)
•Georgia: 38-33 (.535)
•Arkansas: 34-37 (.479)

Here’s a look at the combined records of those FBS teams each SEC school has beaten this season:
•LSU: 46-26 (.639)
•Alabama: 34-29 (.540)
•South Carolina: 31-32 (.492)
•Tennessee: 11-14 (.440)
•Georgia: 23-31 (.426)
•Auburn: 22-30 (.423)
•Arkansas: 26-36 (.419)
•Kentucky: 10-18 (.357)
•Mississippi State: 12-24 (.333)
•Ole Miss: 3-6 (.333)
•Vanderbilt: 9-18 (.333)
•Florida: 13-31 (.295)

Here is the full article for those of you who will not read anything that is not “pro UGA” or know how to type in ESPN.com/blog/sec

SSIgator

November 14th, 2011
12:22 pm

TampaDawg -

Not a sore loser at all. I know UF has had a lousy team this year. Unlike UGA fans that now think they should play in the NC game. Enjoy continued mediocity with Richt & company with that occasional ten win season to beat your chest about. I guess they never will run out of KoolAid in Athens as long as he is there.

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
12:23 pm

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:16 pm
But again, where is “The ‘Truth’ Detector”? His stats got busted so he goes into hiding?

You want to call someone out on stats, and back in week 2 after UGA lost @ HOME to USC you were right there with your brothers wanting Richt out. Now you are probably on the bandwagon of giving him a contract extension. Take your child back to a USF game and when your brain is not so swollen you can attempt to come back on here and read an entire post before you start calling someone out.

KB

November 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

Assuming they do the expected and beat Kentucky and Tech, Georgia will be headed to Cap 1 , Cotton, Peach or Outback. If UGA can pull off the in Atlanta , it would be possible for the SEC to land 3 teams in BCS bowls if 2 of them are ranked in top 4. If LSU wins out and loses to Georgia, would they fall out of the top 4?

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

By the way, everyone else in the conference outside of Kentucky and maybe Ole Miss wants UGA to keep Richt and his disfunctional group on as coaches at UGA. With him at the helm and the UGA fanbase so wishy washy it makes those games much easier to win.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

Hey “Truth Detector” again, you LIED about UGAs FBS opponents record. So how are we supposed to believe all the other contrived garbage in your “Thomas Brown” like post. How about you just add the records up and see? It’s not that hard and it comes from a non-pro UGA site called ESPN.

50 arrests---had my stash hidden

November 14th, 2011
12:30 pm

Whew! Glad I had it hidden. Isaiah.

GTBob

November 14th, 2011
12:30 pm

If South Carolina beats Clemson then UGA will be in the Peach Bowl at best. Bama, LSU, and Arkansas will tie up the top three bowls. If South Carolina was going to the SEC championship then UGA would almost be assured a Cotton bowl.

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
12:31 pm

KB

November 14th, 2011
12:26 pm
Assuming they do the expected and beat Kentucky and Tech, Georgia will be headed to Cap 1 , Cotton, Peach or Outback. If UGA can pull off the in Atlanta , it would be possible for the SEC to land 3 teams in BCS bowls if 2 of them are ranked in top 4. If LSU wins out and loses to Georgia, would they fall out of the top 4?

No!.

LSU would have to lose to Arkansas and UGA, and they will not happen, if Arkansas beats LSU then UGA will face Bama only if LSU is beaten by more than 10 points and falls to No. 5 or lower.

Best Case scenario is that two out of the these three are in a BCS bowl: LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, and even Arkansas is unlikely. UGA would have to win the SEC title game against LSU or Alabama and that is not happening this year. You can check back in two years when Murray is a senior, Mitchell is a final year junior, and Crowell has flunked out of school or has been kicked out of school and is playing football at UNA to see if the CMR extension has worked out.

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:31 pm

@Lie Detector ..”You want to call someone out on stats, and back in week 2 after UGA lost @ HOME to USC you were right there with your brothers wanting Richt out. Now you are probably on the bandwagon of giving him a contract extension.”
———
Anyone who has seen me on here for the last 10 months knows that is ABSOLUTELY A LIE. I have NEVER called for CMR to get fired. EVER!!! I won’t read an entire post that has crap in it that’s just too easy to dispute based on easy to find (and add) facts. So go away you troll. My posts are pretty easy to find in the history on here where I have stuck up for CMR since day 1 and after the 0-2 start. Guess you’re too lazy to look that up too right?

50 arrests

November 14th, 2011
12:32 pm

But how much trash did we leave this time?

The Truth Detector

November 14th, 2011
12:33 pm

TampaDawg

November 14th, 2011
12:26 pm
Hey “Truth Detector” again, you LIED about UGAs FBS opponents record. So how are we supposed to believe all the other contrived garbage in your “Thomas Brown” like post. How about you just add the records up and see? It’s not that hard and it comes from a non-pro UGA site called ESPN.

Never call me a LIAR when you cannot READ. I credited the author, the link and the entire facts. I live in Tampa and I will be glad to meet you anywhere your redneck self wants to meet. You are clueless and it shows. You have no class, you have no argument and apparently you have no education to top it off. Grow up and be a man.