UGA’s version of Thunder and Lightning comes into its own

Keith Marshall showed what he can do Saturday against the Owls. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Keith Marshall showed what he can do Saturday against the Owls. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

One of the things I took away from Saturday night’s record-breaking showing by the Bulldogs offense was that it’s going to be a lot of fun watching Georgia’s tailbacks this season, thanks to the power and shifty moves of Todd Gurley and the slashing speed of Keith Marshall.

Throw in the move-the-pile straight-head power of Boo Malcome and you’ve got a pretty complementary tailback-by-committee.

Gurley, who’d already wowed fans in the first couple of games, broke tackles on a couple of his long runs Saturday night and flashed some pretty spectacular open-field running (and speed) on the touchdown that put the Dawgs up 42-14. And Saturday night Marshall finally stepped up and showed what he can do when he gets a little space, particularly on the 28-yard burst that was part of that all-rushing drive that resulted in Georgia’s third score of the evening. Run. the. damn. ball. indeed.

I loved Mark Richt’s quote about the roommate tandem of Gurley and Marshall, who signed with Georgia because they wanted to play ball together. “It was probably … what they envisioned,” Richt said. “They are good friends, and they wanted to play together and wanted to complement each other with their abilities. I think that they’re probably thinking their plan is going pretty good so far.”

They’re not the only ones.

Some other random thoughts and observations from the win over FAU …

The absence of Jarvis Jones and — for much of the game — Cornelius Washington was felt most obviously in the first half in the amount of time the Owls’ quarterback had in the pocket and in the pinpoint short-passing game that racked up third-down conversions. Nice adjustments by Todd Grantham at halftime, though. … The Dawgs still are drawing too many flags and making too many turnovers. Fourteen of FAU’s points were directly attributable to a turnover. Both are trends that need to be shut down as Georgia enters the meat of its SEC schedule. … Most of the time the past season-plus, the Dawgs’ hurry-up offense has really been a hurry-up-and-wait offense where they get to the line quickly with no huddle and then turn to the sideline and look for a call. Saturday, there was less of that and more true hurry-up. That’s a trend I’d like to see continue. … If there’s one aspect of his game that Aaron Murray is still having trouble with after three games, it’s throwing to his backs. Just off the fingertips generally doesn’t work for them. … On the other hand, Murray had no trouble at all throwing the long ball Saturday night. His pump fake on the 67-yard touchdown pass to Michael Bennett was beautiful and the back-shoulder pass to Tavarres King for a 25-yard completion was perfectly thrown. … A video for “Dawg Bite,” the single by David Richt (the coach’s singing son) featuring Colt Ford, was shown on the big screen. My daughter pronounced it “cheesy but fun” and bought it on iTunes. A bigger hit on the video screen the first two home games has been the “Hairy Dawg, Stadium Defender” film in which the Georgia mascot takes down (literally) folks littering in Sanford Stadium. The clip actually drew applause from the crowd Saturday night!

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113 comments Add your comment

Dylan

September 16th, 2012
10:24 pm

jhooper

September 16th, 2012
10:25 pm

I enjoyed watching the backs really get at it this week. I just hope the defense comes ready to play a full game next week.

True Dawg

September 16th, 2012
10:26 pm

DCJohn

September 16th, 2012
10:27 pm

Offensive line just needs to get better and better each week and we’ll be fine. Ask Souf Carolina if they’re still unhappy about playing Arkansas.

True Dawg

September 16th, 2012
10:28 pm

Third… oh well. Go Dawgs! GATA

SEC_Champion

September 16th, 2012
10:33 pm

The two back kinda remind me of Cadallac Williams and Ronny Brown when they were at the most mserable village on the plains

swimdawg68

September 16th, 2012
10:47 pm

Defense still needs to play a “full” game. Our young backs look great. We are using the same concept of multiple backs, (similiar to Ala. and LSU). It certainly has paid off for them and will certainly pay off for us. By the way, I’ll take the Gurlry/Marshall twosome over the Lattimor singleton any day of the week besides Lattimore does not seem to be the “same” back he was last year before the injury

t2go

September 16th, 2012
10:53 pm

PLEASE RUN RUN RUN RUN THAT BALL DOWN THEIR THROATS!!!!!

Dawg Haus

September 16th, 2012
10:56 pm

I love that Hairy Dawg video. It reminds me of Terry Tate, Officer Linebacker. Pain train’s comin’!

Gary

September 16th, 2012
10:59 pm

They’re not “Thunder and Lightning”, they are “Shake and Bake”

Gater Hater

September 16th, 2012
11:11 pm

Has anyone noticed the weak nonaggressive tackling at times? Like they just want to wrap the guy up and get drug for 3 or 4 more yards, or D will actually drive the pile for + yardage instead of driving it backwards. Are they not taught to drive their legs on contact, or roll and slam the ball carrier? I noticed JJ give some sort of shoulder bump tackle to a few guys. I just want to see some better fundamentals. Hit them and knock them back….just saying

Gater Hater

September 16th, 2012
11:12 pm

@Dawg Haus, those Terry Tate comercials were pretty dang funny. The guy getting spear tackled for making personal phone calls etc…funny

Dawg Haus

September 16th, 2012
11:21 pm

I wish I had a Terry Tate in my office, Gater Hater. You kill the joe, you make some mo!

Top Row Dawg

September 17th, 2012
12:14 am

At one point last night we had five straight plays five straight1st downs and a touchdown on the 6th play. I know it just FAU, but it was still pretty neat to see.

pj

September 17th, 2012
12:31 am

Love the blawg as always bill. Hurley seems to have the same “it” that knowshon, Robert Edwards and Hearst had when they got the rock in their hands. Just something special about “Gurley Man”.
2 questions: will Richard Samuel get any meaningful offensive snaps? And can you remember the last time we had TWELVE guys who we could get the ball to and expect special things? Bennett, Wooten, TK, marlon, Conley, Gurley, Marshall, boo, lynch, Rome, malcolm Mitchell and b smith? TWELVE – with a 3 year starter distributing coming off a school record for yards… Me likey

JRW7

September 17th, 2012
12:42 am

Gurley and Marshall are DGD’S!!!

Spike

September 17th, 2012
7:16 am

The D needs to play a complete four quarter game! GATA, indeed.

Nathaniel Bumppo

September 17th, 2012
7:51 am

UGA is the only school with two scandals out of the fifteen worst scandals in the history of college sports. Add to that a Fulmer Cup and the title of #1 party school, and you’ve got a really shameful excuse for an athletic program.

Did I mention that your players are low class dummies who can barely read? But that’s what you get when 84% of them are “special admits” who barely graduated from high school and wouldn’t be admitted to any college based on their intelligence.

What a joke to pretend that these bozos are actually students.

Rainey

September 17th, 2012
8:06 am

Don’t worry Nathaniel Bumppo. We would be bitter too if we were Tech fans :)

Texas Dawg

September 17th, 2012
8:07 am

Good win!!!

It will be interesting to see if we can get it done against the big boys (Tenn-SC-Fla) with our running game.

Real easy to establish a running game against FAU……. I’m not drinking the kool aid just yet

WE run for over 200 on Tenn-SC-Fla then I’ll do backflips…..all this talk of NC and Sec Champs is way to premature………

dont think we would stand a chance against Bama or LSU right now……maybe if we get better as the season progesses…..be we beat up SC and Fla …..I mean really beat them good then I’ll drink the kool aid…..

Newman

September 17th, 2012
8:10 am

Run the damn ball!

Texas Dawg

September 17th, 2012
8:15 am

Don’t get me wrong….I love the dogs….but it seems that myself and lot’s of UGA fans just get set up for disappointment….in the last four or five seasons….

“UGA’s version of Thunder and Lightning comes into its own” That statement says it all…….we have put our backs in the same catagory as Cadallac Williams and Ronny Brown……………the later got it done against the big boys…….

Lets see if we can rush for 250 yards against Vandy?

Bogey

September 17th, 2012
8:16 am

Did anyone else cringe when Murray ran the ball with a 42-14 lead?

The Real JB

September 17th, 2012
8:24 am

Enjoy reading all your articles. HBTD

bubba4dawgs

September 17th, 2012
8:50 am

Yeah, Bogey! That was a stupid move! Imagine what Murray’s stats would be on cream puff games when he stays in for the whole game. Lemay’s going in did reveal however, his lack of playing time and how much work he needs in order to replace Murray. He’s definitely not ready!

I am pleased to see the balance in the DAWGS offense! They’re about 50/50 on pass and run! That helps keep a defense honest! BTW, didn’t the DAWGS have a running back last year wearing #1 I believe? Gee, I forget his name!

Stay off the Boo Boo Kool Aid

September 17th, 2012
9:04 am

Remember folks we played a high school team who are dead last in their mickey mouse conference. It wouldnt surprise me if we get our bubble busted this weekend by Vandy. We are primed for a huge let down and will really show the college football world that we are way overrated. Thunder and Lightning? So we now trying to be like Clemson of a couple of years ago? Wish we hd their offensive coordinator though because they are putting up some gawdy numbers.

E Burrell

September 17th, 2012
9:04 am

How would you like to be Richard Samuel. Talking about getting screwed. Our proud and honorable coaching staff will throw your ass out with the garbage. Mcclendon dosen’t give a damn about his players and they know that. Thats why they have no loyalty to UGA. Fine Christian head coach we have at UGA. How can any parent in their right mind want their kid go to UGA. DAMN GOOD DOG JUST GOT S T ON again. As a UGA grad I apologize to Richard Samuel and embrassed by the lack of character in Brian Mcclendon. Go Dawgs

AltamahaDawg

September 17th, 2012
9:14 am

Question: what do you think would happen if you walked up to Richard Samuel and appologized to him because his coaches don’t give a damn about him?

Think that would play as well in person, as it did convincing the reflection in your computer screen?

Dawg1

September 17th, 2012
9:17 am

I think the future is ‘bright’ for these two and UGA, but a little early to say that they have ‘come into their own’.

UGA Insider

September 17th, 2012
9:33 am

Can anyone tell be what the deal is with Ramik Wilson? His PT has been cut significantly. He was starting at the beginning of the season. Gilliard has not really impressed and I don’t get what’s going on there. Herrera is a big dawg as I said here before. Commings looked rusty but Vasser impressed. Defense just needs to come together.

UGA struggles against moving qb’s so I worry about Shaw and Driskell. They have some speed and we are getting gashed on the sprint-draw play.

UGA Insider

September 17th, 2012
9:37 am

I understand the anger regarding Samuels. I guess he is the 4th string RB and 4th fullback. I saw Ogletree in the game Sat night. I don’t know what’s going on there. LB is a ton of depth as well.

AltamahaDawg

September 17th, 2012
9:40 am

UGA defence struggles when we put freshmen DL in the game, don’t blitz, and telegraph our intentions just to purposely condition and test our fellows. Not to mention, hold out 3 of our best LBs.

Hopefully we would not be in that mode when playing actual conference opponents.

AltamahaDawg

September 17th, 2012
9:43 am

What does being a Christian have to do with the depth chart?

BigDawg

September 17th, 2012
10:27 am

E. Burrell,

First Samuel should not be playing anywhere but linebacker that is the position he is naturally gifted at— instinctive in being able to recognize and be at the point of attack. But in the coaches favor I have to remind you- Richard Samuel has a big part in this in that he came to Georgia wanting to play running back as he had success at the position in High School, but college is at a different level and HE is not a gifted running back so IMHO it has been a big waste of talent and it has hurt not only Richard Samuel’s development but Georgia’s as well.

As for Gurley and Boo Malcome they have proved their mettle and it looks like Marshall can be added to that list as well. The Dawgs D will be fine when we have all of our first teamers back and healthy. The O-line is still inconsistent and these guys miss assignments a little too much for my taste but hopefully they will start to jell and become a cohesive unit and when one guy misses his assignment someone else will pick up the slack.

Go Dawgs

LOYAL DAWG

September 17th, 2012
10:33 am

We all love RS and he truly is a DGD, but if we wanna win, the best players should play and be honest, is he better than TG? KM? Boo? This ain’t rec ball and we can’t be worried about how much he plays right now. There will come a point in the season where we need him for something and he will come through…and yes Richt is a Christian, so I’m sure he knows 1st Corinthians 12:12 about being one body, but many parts. We may not see RS on the field, but just like there are body parts you may not see and they may not get glory, I guarantee you need to have them.

Say What?

September 17th, 2012
10:40 am

Nathaniel Bumppo is an idiot, 1st class

DIT

September 17th, 2012
10:53 am

Dawgs, let’s just beat Vandy!

Desert Fox

September 17th, 2012
10:59 am

Bill, save the accolades for later. Until these two kids can burn SC, TN and FL’s defenses like Lattimore burned UGA’s the past 2 seasons then you can crown them T&L.

Dawg_days

September 17th, 2012
11:03 am

CSS TV is a joke. I couldnt get to the game so I paid $25 for it on ESPN Gameplan. It wasnt even in HD….
CSS missed a lot of plays while they were showing replays.
Other than that, glad our CSS TV experience for this year is done.

Russell Hall

September 17th, 2012
11:03 am

slobodan

September 17th, 2012
11:04 am

The most impressive thing about the dogs this year is the arsenal of weapons available in the passing game for the QB when he has protection.
Don’t expect much from the running game in the upcoming SEC games. Consistent run blocking does not appear to be a priority for the offense; and they recruit accordingly. The pass blocking is the priority.

Truthiness

September 17th, 2012
11:34 am

Vandy will give us all the game we want. But this year’s team has so far shown the stamina to ramp it up as the game gets longer. That seems to be a major difference from the teams of the last few years. Maybe it’s attitude, old fashion conditioning, or just a deeper bench, but let’s hope it doesn’t change as we start the SEC run.

Vampire Bill

September 17th, 2012
11:50 am

I agree Truth, What remains to be seen is if the dawgs can start to play consistant quality ball in the 1st quarter? If they can come out swinging and execute then we might have something. I like our half time adjustments but the coaches need to be able to make those same adjustments in real time on the sidelines.

bham dawg

September 17th, 2012
11:52 am

How often have georgia fans jumped on richt for being too loyal to players and playing them just because they are upperclassmen? You can’t have it both ways guys. This is D 1 football and the best player is going to play no matter age or loyalty to the program. Richard Samuel is a damn good dawg and one of the fan favorites but at best he is the 4th best option and tailback and 3rd best option at fullback.

Fridawg

September 17th, 2012
11:53 am

“Run. the. damn. ball. indeed.”

This is my favorite line of yours… ever! Loving the RB combo this year!

Mad Dog One

September 17th, 2012
11:55 am

@ Texas Dawg Old son if you want to hear the down side of any thing UGA does then you only have to hear ESPN or any national broadcast to hear how weak our secedual is, how slow we start on O., how slow we start on D, how many we have not playing, how we can’t play with ALA., LSU. or USCe, FLA.. As for me I like to hear some good talk about how our young men are doing so pass me the Kool-Aid and GO DOGS & GATA.

option smoption

September 17th, 2012
12:02 pm

Great win. Still wish Gurley was getting 60-70% of the touches instead of 33%. He’s obviously the stud of the three but we rotate our back every stinking series. At least give Gurley the most touches. So far Marshall is leading in number of touches for the year. Just my opinion. GO DAWGS!

bham dawg

September 17th, 2012
12:04 pm

Is vandy’s D any good this year? I find it hard to believe this is going to be a close game unless we have a total melt down on offense and turn it over 4 times. This is the only way vandy is in the game late.

bham dawg

September 17th, 2012
12:05 pm

@option smoption… i kind of agree with you but coming down the stretch of the season we will need at least 3 backs so its better to get them touches in games like these. Come south carolina, florida game if it is close Gurley will get the majority of the carries. JMO

ole yeller

September 17th, 2012
12:18 pm

I’v been telling you people the “O” line will be fine. Now, how about some love for the “O” line. Remember there is depth there to.