Defense falters again, but thank goodness for Aaron Murray

Aaron Murray had a career night against Kentucky. (Garry Jones / AP)

Aaron Murray had a career night against Kentucky. (Garry Jones / AP)

On a night when Georgia seemed unable to stop the conference’s worst running attack for most of the game and had little success running the ball itself, quarterback Aaron Murray carried the team on his back and notched another Bulldogs victory.

Murray  gave a stellar passing display, completing 30 of 38 throws for 427 yards and four touchdowns.

Murray was masterful — he completed 15 of 19 for 243 yards in the first half — and yet the game that saw him take the Bulldogs’ career touchdown record could have been even bigger for him, with at least three passes dropped plus the QB missing a wide-open receiver on another play.

Two Georgia receivers broke the century mark, with Tavarres King catching nine passes for 188 yards and Malcolm Mitchell getting back in the offensive swing of things with nine receptions for 103 yards.

But, boy, was the rest of the game ugly for UGA.

Yes, as Mark Richt likes to point out, any SEC win is a good thing, but the Dogs’ performance Saturday against Kentucky left much that needs to be improved if Georgia is going to have any hope of keeping up with a red-hot Florida team in Jacksonville next week with the SEC East title on the line.

Helping out Murray’s success was Kentucky selling out against the run — Todd Gurley led Georgia rushers with 47 yards, while Keith Marshall and Boo Malcome had 23 yards apiece — and fielding some true freshmen in the Wildcat secondary. Murray won’t have that advantage next week facing the Gators.

The positive to take into next week, besides the showing of Murray and the eight Bulldogs who caught his passes at Commonwealth Stadium Saturday night, is the fact that the past two weeks of SEC play have worked out exactly as Georgia would have scripted it: South Carolina lost twice and the Bulldogs control their own destiny. If they beat Florida and win out, they take the SEC East again.

But that looks like a mighty tall order considering these disturbing trends: Todd Grantham’s defense had another first-half meltdown and allowed the lowly Wildcats to run for a hundred more yards than they usually get; Georgia’s own much-vaunted running game was mostly missing in action for the second consecutive game; the Dogs were flagged for eight penalties, including a couple of really stupid ones (an unnecessary late hit by Bacarri Rambo being the worst); and the Dogs’ kicking troubles continued, with one PAT missed and the field goal that gave Georgia a last-second first-half lead careening off a goal post before going through the uprights.

That’s a lot to fix in just one week.

Now, it’s your turn. What did you think of Georgia’s squeaker against the SEC’s worst team?

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

174 comments Add your comment

Ben

October 21st, 2012
12:07 am

Tyler19

October 21st, 2012
12:09 am

I wonder if its the play calling that is making our defense so bad. Same coaches as last year and only starter missing is Boykin. And there’s no doubt why our running game is depleted. It’s because of our offensive line. They aren’t opening up gaps and they are just plain out not playing physical enough.

AC

October 21st, 2012
12:10 am

Great job AM

Pville Dawg

October 21st, 2012
12:11 am

If we play like this against Florida we’re going to get reamed

Kyle

October 21st, 2012
12:11 am

We gotta learn the difference between wanting to win and not wanting to lose. If we figure that out before playing Florida next week we have a shot. If not… I don’t see things getting any better. Florida plays like they want to whip the man in front of them. I haven’t seen that from the Dawgs since Vandy.

Dawg Haus

October 21st, 2012
12:13 am

Your title says it all, Bill. The D turned in yet another underwhelming (and relatively pathetic) performance, but Murray stepped up and got it done. I’m not at all optimistic going into next week, but there’s always hope. Go Dawgs!

LakeDawg

October 21st, 2012
12:15 am

There is really nothing left to say. I won’t be going to JAX this year. I wouldn’t be able to handle the long ride back after another pitiful showing. The CMR era is wearing me down.

Lenny

October 21st, 2012
12:16 am

I was at the game. I’m not sure how it looked on TV, but it looked pretty pathetic in person. UK fans haven’t had anything to get excited about all year, but we gave them plenty tonight. Their fans were excited after they scored on the opening drive, but I had to point out that our defense really isn’t that special. That disappointed them. On the bright side, all fans in attendance will receive two free chicken tenders at Cane’s since Kentucky scored in the first quarter. You read that right – Kentucky is so bad that restaurants reward fans with free food when UK scores IN THE FIRST QUARTER. So, the silver lining to this cloud is that I’ll get some free chicken.

Rambo and Ogletree haven’t helped our defense. The O-Line has been mediocre at best. We are going to get slaughtered next week.

Matt

October 21st, 2012
12:16 am

I am really afraid that Florida will go Cornhusker on us. 0-10 against ranked opponents… looks like might be 0-11 unless D gets fixed.

Chris

October 21st, 2012
12:18 am

next week could be rough.

Dawg Haus

October 21st, 2012
12:18 am

At least you got some chicken out of this game, Lenny. All I got was a feeling of impending doom.

Lenny

October 21st, 2012
12:20 am

Our approach to special teams pretty much sums up the whole mentality of our coaching staff.
The mantra seems to be “Just don’t screw up, pretty please.”
Instead of putting a playmaker in at punt returner, we have another fair catch specialist (where’s Logan Gray when you need him?). Rather than play the risk/reward game of having someone explosive, we decide to throw in the towel and just play not to screw up. You don’t win championships when you play not to lose. Heck, sometimes you barely beat sorry teams like Kentucky when you just play not to lose instead of playing to win.

secfan

October 21st, 2012
12:30 am

Nice read. My prediction. We do beat Florida and win rest of games. Get whipped by Bama and go to bowl game. Next year, same thing. The common factor is getting our fanny totally whipped in at least one game each year. So goes the CMR era.

LakeDawg

October 21st, 2012
12:30 am

There is no other way to say it…UGA is just flat out horrible. Its painful to watch them. And for those who say the Dawgs aren’t horrible, teams like Vandy are horrible. I disagree. Vandy gets the most out of their talent. UGA doesn’t come close.

SC Dog fan

October 21st, 2012
12:41 am

Florida is not that great. They cashed in on a lot of luck today against SC. That’s all spent now. The fumbles will probably roll our way next week. Watch. Two solid drives and it’s a game.

SSIgator

October 21st, 2012
12:42 am

ssdd

October 21st, 2012
12:48 am

Typical Murray performance padding his stats against the sisters of the poor. Still waiting patiently for him to do something against a decent team. I expect next week to continue a three year trend. The battle at the line of scrimmage against UF is going to be ugly. 10-2 without a a single win over a credible opponent.

BullyDogDog

October 21st, 2012
12:49 am

LakeDawg,

We can win it. If you truly hated ga or didnt likm them, you woulndt be posting at 1 am….

UGA ROCKS

October 21st, 2012
12:50 am

STAY HOME NEXT WEEK SSDD IF YOU THINK THAT WAY. WE DONT NEED YOUR SUPPORT AT THE GAME..

6-1 NAYSAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHA. GO DAWGS!!

clownman

October 21st, 2012
12:50 am

My goodness SC Dog fan. I could not get to the QB cause of the chop blocks! The Gaterors beat us like we beat you! No turnovers and 4 Murray TDs and ya’ll might lose to Fla by 2 TDs!

SSIgator

October 21st, 2012
12:54 am

“Georgia pulls out 29-24 win in unexpected thriller against Kentucky”
_________________

The typical Twit Towers headline for one of his fantasy tales as the biggest UGA fan-boy ever to walk the earth. At least Bill is somewhat honest.

SC Dog fan

October 21st, 2012
12:55 am

Yes, those chop blocks were berry berry bad, clownman.

dawgsplusKirby

October 21st, 2012
12:55 am

Just wait till I’m HC, boys! There wont be a hole in the D’s I call cuz the studs will be fillin ‘em!

kyle

October 21st, 2012
12:56 am

I hope and pray that we get blown out in jax maybe that will lead to coaching change in Athens anyone that sees anything good about this game is an idiot

MACY

October 21st, 2012
12:58 am

Dawgs looked terrible on Defense tonight! #11? Please! Fla will run thru them like….uh…well….Kentucky!

SSIgator

October 21st, 2012
1:02 am

Bill King:

“But that looks like a mighty talk order”
______________

I would suspect that was a typo, but then again UGA does like to “talk” a lot.

ssdd

October 21st, 2012
1:04 am

I apologize for pointing out the obvious.

6-1 = wins over Buffalo, Mizzou, Florida Atlantic, Vandy, UT. and UK. Please note that three of the confernece wins are against teams without a win in the SEC and Vandy has one win in the conference over mighty mighty Auburn. Not to mention that a team with 2 losses in the conference turned UGA inside out.

Resume your delusional stance..

OleBallCoach

October 21st, 2012
1:05 am

u boyz whipped us today…We’ll regroup..Ya’ll take care of them Dogs, please.

UGA ROCKS

October 21st, 2012
1:05 am

SIT YOUR AZZ AT HOME NEXT WEEK KYLE. GA DOESN’T PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

6-1 NAYSAYERS. WE ARE IN THE HUNT BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UGA ROCKS

October 21st, 2012
1:06 am

SC SHOULD PLAY HARDER IF THEY WANT TO GET TO SEC CHAMP GAME.

PLAIN AND SIMPLE

ttee

October 21st, 2012
1:06 am

6-1. Good record IMHO. AAron is awesome. Resume your non-team delusional stance.

SSIgator

October 21st, 2012
1:08 am

Do not despair UGA fans, AltamahaDawg and his friend Nancy have called an emergency meeting of the Kool-Aid Club to script the proper response for your stellar win tonight. Stay tuned.

Phil

October 21st, 2012
1:10 am

Another beatdown coming against a ranked opponent in Jacksonville. We still end up with 9 or 10 wins, McGarity is happy and gives Richt another extension. The endless nightmare continues.

7576DAWG

October 21st, 2012
1:10 am

And Richt didn’t think we needed any coaching changes last year. If we have the same crew next year will be a disaster. Apparently Richt is satisfied with the way we are playing as a team. If not then there is something wrong with the players or if they are okay then there is something wrong with the coaching. You can’t have it both ways.
I hate to be 6-1 and not elated. Dawg fans should be happy and proud of that record instead of relieved that we have only lost one game.

ssdd

October 21st, 2012
1:14 am

“6-1 NAYSAYERS. WE ARE IN THE HUNT BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

In the hunt for third in the East, Thank goodness for Mizzou, UT, UK, and Vandy!

ttee

October 21st, 2012
1:22 am

Dimwit. Have you looked at the standings?

Tardits

October 21st, 2012
1:23 am

7576: Anything wrong with 6-1?

ssdd

October 21st, 2012
1:43 am

“7576: Anything wrong with 6-1?”

That the 1 is the result against the single decent team UGA faced.

baddawg

October 21st, 2012
1:45 am

UGA loves these pro size OL and DL but they are all slow, wimpy, and fat! Florida is going to have a field day against our OL and defense.

7576DAWG

October 21st, 2012
1:54 am

Tardits
There are a dozen teams right now who are 6-1 and are rated anywhere from 15TH best team to 50TH best team meaning they are not a legitimate BCS ,top 10 team team. I love the SEC because it stands for tough in the trenches football. I hate the Big -12 because they are for the most part a one dimensional Conference. They try and out score everybody they play. 56 to 48 is standard. I don’t want Georgia to develop the same mentality that it is okay to not play physical on defense or expect low scoring games.

Quit the kool aid

October 21st, 2012
2:57 am

I’m kool aid free, last cup was two weeks ago35-7, wake up guys, i love the dawgs but i also want to win a title one day. 30 plus years are we are no closer. two years with a new coach the gaytors are back. Saben built a power house. Sc has passed us……Texas Am looks good, but us, we are still hoping and wishing and losing!

TD

October 21st, 2012
5:14 am

oGLETREE is OverRD AT MLB …….?

boykin

October 21st, 2012
6:00 am

LOL. Ogletree is a beast!

TheDCDawg

October 21st, 2012
6:42 am

It’s time for a coaching change. Everyone had gotten too comfortable and as much as I like Mark as a person, he just can’t get us there. We have so much talent on this team and year after year we just can’t seem to put it together against the big teams and have unpredictable meltdowns with mediocre teams. It pains me to watch the lack of motivation and is time to bring in a new staff. How do you explain a South Carolina game like that one and to follow up after the bye week with a performance like this is awful. Worst of all, our continued acceptance of Bobo’s unimaginative offensive scheme. Everyone in the world can see us telegraph what is coming. Next is Grantham’s gaping whole defense! Just makes me angry to see UGA put up with this! Clean house after the season!

ZinoDawg

October 21st, 2012
6:46 am

Gators will crush us! We suck again!!!

Inlet Dawg

October 21st, 2012
7:15 am

Look to me that one coach coached like he knew his job is on the line and the other assumes that his is safe and that his “dream team”will pull it out.

John

October 21st, 2012
7:30 am

We have the talent to win. The question is, can we get it all together. I’m not optimistic but hopeful.

takeowndawg

October 21st, 2012
7:32 am

Since a win is still a great win, apparently to CMR, the END of such mediocrity should be evident but won’t be…… It has been said many times in the last five years, never has someone accomplished SO LITTLE with so much……Nice man, good recruiter…..but……. the State of Georgia and its premier University and fans deserve better. You know you are past your prime when many of the states best athletes opt to go to surrounding our SEC and ACC competitors rather than play for our STATE…….Will the AD pull the switch on CMR especially, since the worst we will do is 9 wins? Probably not, and we will be facing again a 7-8 win season next year as the current crop of players moves on………..Saddening……..

Minnesota Dawg

October 21st, 2012
7:41 am

It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog! Kentucky usually plays Georgia close. We will find out next week what we really are made of. We will find out whether the South Carolina game was a fluke. If we win, everyone will be talking about the DAWGS again!

steve

October 21st, 2012
8:02 am

The Dawg Defense should be one of the best in the country. It is filled with talented individuals with a good number having a good shot at the NFL. And they give up huge chunks of yardage to a 1-7 awful KY team. No excuses!! Poor coaching!