Dogs’ defense gets another slow start but offense moves at top speed

Todd Gurley had another big game. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Todd Gurley had another big game. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Georgia’s defense once again got off to a slow start against a lesser opponent Saturday night, playing indifferently early on against Florida Atlantic, with the game tied 14-14 before the Dawgs finally started to clamp down.

The defense, which was missing a banged-up Jarvis Jones, played much better in the second half and, fortunately the UGA offense showed up ready to play against the Owls, with a school-record 713 net yards on offense as true freshman backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall both broke the century mark, with Gurley running for 111 yards on 10 carries while Marshall got 104 on his 10 rushes. Ken Malcome also showed some tough running on seven carries for 46 yards.

Aaron Murray had a productive night, completing 14 of 19 passes for a career-high 342 yards and two touchdowns. He did misfire on a couple of passes (both to Gurley) and threw an interception in the end zone, but fortunately the defense was back on track by then and on the very next play Georgia’s Amarlo Herrera returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown.

One of Murray’s favorite receivers was Michael Bennett, who had an impressive 110 yards on four catches. But there also were nice catches on big plays by Marlon Brown, Tavarres King and tight end Artie Lynch. Oh, and Malcolm Mitchell switched over from defense briefly and snagged a 49-yarder.

The most distinctive thing about Georgia’s offense Saturday night was its quick-strike capability, with the average scoring drive lasting just under 2 minutes. No wonder the Owls had a 2-1 advantage in time of possession at halftime.

Anyway, the Dawgs roared back in the second half and actually had the 42-point spread covered until backup QB Christian LeMay had an interception returned for a TD late in garbage time.

In other words, the end result was what Georgia fans expected. Sure, the tendency of the Dawgs defense to take a while to get serious in these nonconference games is something Todd Grantham hopefully will address, but with Mike Bobo’s offense having another big game, at least it hasn’t really cost the Dawgs so far.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

76 comments Add your comment

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dawgdmd

September 16th, 2012
1:04 am

@spencaman

September 16th, 2012
1:08 am

Don’t like that our defense takes a while to get rolling. It could cost us is SEC play

westtexasdawg

September 16th, 2012
1:09 am

Great game! Wish the defense shows up from first quarter against Vandy

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Whopper Dawg

September 16th, 2012
1:24 am

That is a great point on the explosiveness of the offense.While, outstanding on the surface, and it is good to have that ability, there is an underlying concern.

And that is, we rarely sustain a long drive and sometimes you need to be able to do that. And what happens to us when we face a D that we cannot out talent (BAMA, LSU), and that makes you drive the field? We fail,

And that is the number illusion behind blowbo. Pad stats against lesser talented teams. Run into a good DC and watch the O bog down.

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drbasic1

September 16th, 2012
1:51 am

@burgerking dawg

i think your wrong. Try supporting and quit condemning. Offense averaging over 40 a game, padding? Time will tell but Georgia always plays to the level of competition.

Beware oF the Kool Aid

September 16th, 2012
2:05 am

Highschool team was able to score 20 points…….. pathetic! Lemay throws a pick six and Murray throws an int in the endzone. If we play bama or LSU it would be so ugly in their favor. Jury is still out on Todd Grantham who was a second or third choice. Should have easily scored 70 points on this team.

Beware oF the Kool Aid

September 16th, 2012
2:16 am

Gators,USCe and Tenn are going to eat our lunch.

Joe

September 16th, 2012
2:24 am

Was Richard Samuel hurt tonight? He did not play much if not at all.

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Malinda

September 16th, 2012
3:22 am

Great to be back in Sanford stadium104 !!

Dog in Nam

September 16th, 2012
4:52 am

Hey Beware of Koolaide, Whopper Dawg…..and bashers for bashing’s sake in general….you guys are really showing your low football IQ and true colors now…outrageously stupid to think we were “padding stats” tonight…..so stupid….and Whopper, it’s damn hard to sustain drives, I guess you mean to have it take more downs in order to score….that would be very hard with a yds per play average we had in run and pass tonight….We were playing to the level?….maybe, maybe not, but, don’t show such ignorance by not showing props to Coach G….I like Coach Saban and Coach Miles….and neither of them disrespect Coach G the way you basher’s do, nor are they ignorant enough to not be able to declare Coach G’s management success as stellar already….but you wouldn’t know Kool Aide….you must be a Tech fan or some such crap, cause you don’t have to drink Koolaide to see the glaring truths about this team….it is loaded with bigtime playmakers on both sides of the ball, more so than any other teams out there….loaded to the gills with Sunday playmakers….no one with any sense denies that….why would you…the offense tonight was a thing of powerful beauty and the defense has already shown us it’s capabilities and will be there when needed and much more….really embarrassing to have “fans” like you two

dawg39

September 16th, 2012
5:39 am

Dog In Nam; You are correct & right on the money. Thank You.
713 total yards. I Blame Bobo.
SEC # 6 all time in 1 game total yards. I Blame Bobo.
Starting Off the season with 40 plus points in each of the first 3 games. I Blame Bobo.
The Dawgs are a fun team to watch,& Is a team that it is great to be a fan of.
In my opinion, the Dawgs are on the way to having an ultra successful season. GATA..

Nauti-Dawg

September 16th, 2012
6:45 am

what is GATA?

Nauti-Dawg

September 16th, 2012
6:58 am

713 yards – I blame Russ. We finally give him deserved UGA status and see what happens. A Championship year and we may have to stick to Dawgs with brown spots.

1969 Graduate

September 16th, 2012
7:05 am

We’re moving along, getting the all important W.

We’re moving along, and look like a team which knows it has a lot to learn, and much to improve upon.

We’re doing everything we have to do to advance the cause.

Heck, It looks like even Mike Bobo may be improving. ‘Bout time.

Compared to perfection, compared to Alabama, we’ve got a long way to go. Compared to our one National Championship Team, we’re in decent enough shape; those boys pulled a lot of chestnuts out of the fire. Are we of that caliber? No, we’re not. Are we moving in the right direction? Mostly, I think we are? Could we blow it? Absolutely.

There are a lot of ifs and maybes and who knows, but am I having fun yet? You bet I am. It sure is great to be a Georgia Bulldog

Keep up the good work, University of Georgia Football Team.

Go, Dawgs!

Lake Dawg

September 16th, 2012
7:16 am

Well said,Dawg in Nam. Bobo is a very good OC, and the numbers prove it. He’s also a Loyal Dawg, which is more than you can say for all the negative nabobs on this blog.

Frank Lane

September 16th, 2012
7:30 am

Were was Samuel?

GATA= Get After That @ss

September 16th, 2012
7:46 am

Northern Sympathizer

September 16th, 2012
8:28 am

Solid win the dogs. Offense was outstanding. Defense needs to work on following assignments and play more disciplined. Right now, it is hard to see who is best between UGA, SC, UF. Bama though is clearly overwhelming.

Just Sayin

September 16th, 2012
8:38 am

I bet at least 95+% of readers agree with Dawg in Nam…….probably closer to 99%. The negative bloggers are either fans of the enemy or they just flat out “don’t have a clue”!!!

RiffRaff

September 16th, 2012
8:39 am

Not sure how good this team is. Didn’t take command of this game the way they should. The D still looks lost for two quarters. Too many big plays given up the past three games.

RiffRaff

September 16th, 2012
8:39 am

Not sure how good this team is. Didn’t take command of this game the way they should. The D still looks lost for two quarters. Too many big plays given up the past three games.

Riff Raff

September 16th, 2012
8:54 am

Homer. Slow start by Defense. Owls have no real defense which made our offense look great.

This team will show its true colors which we really haven’t seen yet. I just hope they’re true Red and Black and not “yellow”.

tas

September 16th, 2012
9:12 am

Great game and Murry had a great game…. But in a big game he scares me to death.. Why didn’t he throw the ball away on the interception or why didn’t he throw earlier the fullback is wide open. Also Bobo where’s giving the fullback just a little bit…. At the goal let him have the ball. I worry!!! Also the D has holes….. We’ll see……

Vince

September 16th, 2012
9:30 am

But guess what happens when you score every time in two minutes—Your defense goes right back on the field with no rest—gassed.

Wally world dawg

September 16th, 2012
9:31 am

Offense looked great with the exception of the 2 ints. Then again the O should have looked good considering it was FAU. Defense was very disappointing in first half which concerns me. We havent improved on D that much since the first game even without Jarvis and some others. We need to quit this Atlanta talk, Miami talk and Heisman talk too because we still have a lot of work to do.

'94 UGA Alumni

September 16th, 2012
10:07 am

Boy do we need Jarvis, ‘Tree, and Rambo to come back. Having all 3 superstars back will make a huge difference.

gwh

September 16th, 2012
10:15 am

what i have seen this year has convinced me that any team in the nation could beat this fickled D and can compete with this moody O of georgia’s. hope we keep the competition guessing long enough to get in some serious body blows (ie; mizzou). thats what it takes in football, body blows that just wind a good team and leave them flinching and limping. thats saban style for sure. i’m very impressed with the coaching not letting the team run itself, thats how a great team goes amuck. anyway seems lots of great teams are starting slow against the second tier groups, so much for soft scheduling (

Andy

September 16th, 2012
10:20 am

Have to love the Dawg fans. They been calling for Bobo,s head for several years . Now he puts up big numbers on a cup cake team and he’s bigger than the second coming of Christ. Let UGA have a bad game or a lost and the Doggie fans will be jumping off his band wagon like rats off a sinking ship and demanding Richt fire him..

Andy

September 16th, 2012
10:23 am

Should be a loss

Strat Cat Dawg

September 16th, 2012
10:35 am

One game is one game: The consensus of expert opinion is Bobo is an outstanding OC.

Jorge O'leary

September 16th, 2012
10:45 am

Yawn. U played cupcake u. Your defense will cost you 2 to 3 losses in the sec.

Minnesota Dawg

September 16th, 2012
10:46 am

I think it’s normal for good teams to slack off when playing a lesser opponent. They usually rise to the challenge when playing a good opponent. Check out all the other good teams in the country and you will see what I’m talking about. Good teams always find a way to win. Go dawgs!

Mr. Dawg

September 16th, 2012
10:54 am

It shouldn’t be difficult to understand why the Bulldogs weren’t up for this game in the beginning, Certainly anyone would prefer they get off to a better start. But the end result is what it should be and that’s all the really matters. I don’t care who the opponent is. 713 total yards of offense is big time.

GT is 4th rate high school team

September 16th, 2012
10:55 am

713 Yards is Bobo’s fault.

Roman Dawg

September 16th, 2012
11:04 am

Can’t stand all the bashers. We all saw what this defense is capable of against Mizzou last weekend. They got a slow start this weekend because obviously they were taking it slow. It was still a nice game to be at and I enjoyed it. A part of me thinks that the other conferences and stuff are starting to get a little bit stronger. I understand that this was a small team and it should have been a cupcake game but if I was a player on a small team I would be getting pumped up to show my stuff against a bigger team. We also saw that UGA can drive the ball on a defense that is out for blood just as Mizzou was last week. I think we will know how this georgia team is after this weeks upcoming game against Vandy. Regardless, Go dawgs!

Wally world dawg

September 16th, 2012
11:05 am

@ Mr. Dawg…. FAU aint BIG TIME….. Lets be real!

gomez

September 16th, 2012
11:10 am

UGA 28 – FAU 14 at the half
LSU 28 – Idaho 14 at the half

UGA total yards 713 – FAU 318
LSU total yards 472 – Idaho 213

UGA TOP 26:04 – FAU 33:56
LSU TOP 26:53 – Idaho 33:07

Week one halftime scores-
LSU – 24 – North Texas 7 at the half
UGS 24 – Buffalo 16 at the half

I’m not forgiving the UGA D for starting slow but these payday teams can play for a half against a good team. Wasn’t Oklahoma tied at the half 7-7 with UTEP in week 1?

Wally world dawg

September 16th, 2012
11:13 am

@ gomez SECCG LSU 42 UGA 10…nuff said. Big boys play hard and breaks their opponents will.

AltamahaDawg

September 16th, 2012
11:16 am

Yea, if we start those third stringer freshman and refuse to blitz it might cost us a SEC game indeed.

AltamahaDawg

September 16th, 2012
11:20 am

Once again we are talking about TWO series early, then a second half shut out. With one armed tied behind thier back.

DOGGIE IN NC

September 16th, 2012
11:21 am

Andy, let’s see – the offense scores as it should against this team, even after taking the 4th quarter off, and DAWG NATION is not suppose to be happy. Hmmm…. you are the same dip stick who would be slamming them if they had only scored 35 points. GET OFF OUR BLOG FOOL!
GO DOGGIES!

Not so fast

September 16th, 2012
11:41 am

Famous quotes from our coaching staff……..“I didn’t like the turnovers,” Richt said. “There were too many balls on the ground. We’re still not fielding punts and kicks like we should. We have a lot to fix.” …. “I was concerned,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “They were legitimately taking that ball and moving it down the field. Their quarterback was very confident, they were throwing and catching the ball and their running backs were good.”….”Everything wasn’t rosy for Georgia’s offense either. Murray threw an interception in the end zone, backup quarterback Christian LeMay threw a “pick-six” interception and the Bulldogs fumbled three times for the second week in a row, losing two this time. Also, the Bulldogs were penalized eight times after being flagged 12 times a week earlier.”……… — Bobo on the negatives for the offense

“I was pretty upset about that interception. I felt like I had probably one of my most complete games I’ve had since I’ve been here, and that kind of stunk to finish the game like that.” Yes Mr. Bobo it does stink. Dawgs got a ways to go folks…… Wake up and take of the rose colored glasses.

Rush

September 16th, 2012
11:43 am

Did anyone else notice what the Gators did to a good Tenn. team? I think J’ville just got a little more important.

Not so fast

September 16th, 2012
11:47 am

People ….. we played a High School team last night. We still had too many stupid mistakes.

Bill King

September 16th, 2012
12:23 pm

Malinda:
It was great to have you back!