Georgia’s ‘missing’ defense finally shows up big-time

Florida's Jeff Driskel is sacked by Jarvis Jones and Jordan Jenkins. (Associated Press)

Florida's Jeff Driskel is sacked by Jarvis Jones and Jordan Jenkins. (Associated Press)

It took eight games for the Georgia defense that everyone expected to see this season to finally show up, but when they did Saturday in Jacksonville it was with a vengeance.

Led by a reasonably healthy Jarvis Jones, who racked up 13 tackles (five for loss), three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, the Dawgs’ D held the No. 2 ranked Gators to just three field goals. That made it possible for Georgia to win the game despite Aaron Murray having a nightmare first half in which he threw three picks.

Just think what the score could have been it hadn’t taken until the fourth quarter for Murray to get on track.

Lots of kudos to go around after what Mark Richt described with a bit of understatement as a “pretty big win.”

First of all, let’s hope someone gave a game ball to Shawn Williams, who provided the spark for a Georgia defense that had been underperforming up to now. Credit is also due to defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for calling a very aggressive game, with lots of strategic blitzes that played havoc with the Florida offense.

Georgia didn’t have a big day offensively, making only one of 10 third-down conversions, but that one was the touchdown that put the game away. A big thumbs-up to Mike Bobo for having the courage to put the game in Murray’s hands in the fourth quarter and let the Georgia quarterback keep throwing the ball despite his earlier miscues.

And let’s not forget Malcolm Mitchell, whose tough open-field running and breaking of a couple of tackles was responsible for that 45-yard touchdown pass, or tailback Todd Gurley, who never broke a long one but ground out 118 yards on 27 carries against a really tough Gators defense and scored on Georgia’s first drive.

It’s a great win for Georgia, giving the Dawgs two in a row in Jacksonville and putting them back in control of their own destiny in the SEC East.

It certainly wasn’t a pretty game, with a combined 24 flags and nine turnovers. But, thanks to the fiery play of the Bulldogs defense, six of those nine were committed by the Gators, with Georgia creating a couple of huge end zone take-aways — an interception to end the first half and Jones stripping the ball from Florida’s Jordan Reed as the Gator tight end was headed toward the goal line.

It was the kind of hard-earned slobberknocker victory that resonates through the ages, and it put to rest the idea that Richt’s teams can’t beat Top 10 teams.

Feels great, doesn’t it? But then you know what they say about Bulldogs and Saturday nights …

Feel free to share your own thoughts on the big win over the Gators.

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

108 comments Add your comment

Leroy

October 27th, 2012
9:12 pm

dale

October 27th, 2012
9:14 pm

Like I’ve been saying all week – Georgia, baby!

SatillaDawg

October 27th, 2012
9:16 pm

Dawgs are A W E S O M E!

Incredible win Bulldogs!

I’ll be smiling all year!

Glory, Glory to Old Georgia!

Dawg Haus

October 27th, 2012
9:19 pm

Thanks to all the haters and nay-sayers for making this one even sweeter. HOW ‘BOUT THEM DAWGS?!

Athenzdawg

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

Nows not a time to point out the negative. And there was a lot. Now is a time to celebrate goooooo dawgs!!!!!

Dawg Tired

October 27th, 2012
9:21 pm

It’s a miracle. We’ll probably return to normal next week against an Ole’ Miss team that is better than anyone predicted.

Macclenny_dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

Amazing when we get these guys motivated what they can do. Finally!!! Bobo still has a long way 2 go because the play calling sucked. Coaching wasn’t that good. But I will take a win over Gaytors any day!!! But still SICK OF RICHT!!!

Hunkerdown

October 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

Still pinching myself to make sure I am awake. When the D kept taking the ball away from the Gators and we were unable to capitalize much in first half I was worried missed opportunity would come back to haunt us. Way to many penalties and while the offense struggled most of the day give credit that we dialed up a big one late for a TD. Just glad that the defense played like they are capable for a change and in great part won the game today.

Outer Banks Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:26 pm

Nothing better than beating the Florida Gators! I love the intensity that the defense came out with, and I liked the inspired play of the offensive line tonight. They did a damn good job. Fans need to give Murray a break. Florida defense kept disguising the coverage and making him think he had man to man, but it wasn’t. Would’ve like to have seen him make a couple better decisions, but I’m sure he wasn’t trying to throw picks.

Gurley was a warrior, an I really liked him catching it outta the backfield. Rambo… Damn good game son. That was a helluva interception in the end zone, and a helluva safety blitz/sack. Big.

Malcolm Mitchell. Kid’s gonna be a star, but you can’t keep yapping after the whistle. Way to make amends….

Kudos to the TEAM, which won because they played with heart and fire and like a TEAM tonite! DGD’s!

Even coach Richt had some fire in his belly tonight. Big win for the program. 2 in a row vs Gators… 3-3 in last 6 meetings, and 49-40-1.

Finally… All you fans talking about Bama already … Shut the F up… We gotta get focused on Ole Miss

sogadog

October 27th, 2012
9:27 pm

Please pass the humble pie. I wont complain about CMR again.

That was an old fashioned UGA victory at the WLOCP. Reminds me of Dooley ball when we beat the Gators 10-9 in 83. I would love to hear Munson call this one.

Dawg Haus

October 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

Georgia’s defense did what the media said Florida’s defense would do. Todd Gurley did what the media said Mike Gillislee would do. Georgia capitalized on Gator turnovers the way the media said the Gators would do to Georgia. Loved every second of this!

Desert Fox

October 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

The D won this game in spite of AM and our kicking game. JJ is up there w/HW as GA’s hero for generations to come. Amazing game.

Have to hope the D doesn’t make this a one and out and return to its old ways. CTG needs to keep this type of pressure on MS and AU and players maintain this momentem. can honestly say if they win out they earned it w/this win vs FL. We’ll get smoked by AL most likely as AM proved today w/o his D coming to his aid he still cannot compete at the top level to win the big ones on his own. He definitely needs help and he had it today. GO DAWGS.

Biggdawg33

October 27th, 2012
9:39 pm

I have to confess: I was ready to jump on and scream FIRE BOBO, GET MURRAY OUT!

Now, thank you to whoever got Murray’s head out of his hind end. Thank you to whoever told MM to do what ever it takes to score.

Also, please make sure these same people with Big Shawn Williams get in every one’s ear for the next couple of weeks!!!!!!!

dawgs01

October 27th, 2012
9:40 pm

Bobo’s playcalling did not suck man whoever said that. murray did not execute the plays on the first pick the routes had the gators confused and you had three defenders on the tight end look back at the film king was wide open and so were the other receivers but murray will be kicking himself for that one when he threw in to triple coverage to the tight end. the second one the tight end run blocks which leaves a defender free to roam and he picks it off and again there were underneath routes open but on that first pick king was wide open yall will see on replay. Gurley ran great and you got to pass some and murray was just rattled the first half for some reason even though he had no pressure what so ever. o line played great so did the d line and the whole defense and the young backs played great. i dont know if it was gurley or marshal that picked up a blitzer on that drive were we scored late in the fourth but murray was about to sacked and probably stripped of the ball and either gurley or marshal saw it at the last second and stepped behind murray and picked it up right as he was about to get killed it was a great play. some fans want to put everything on the coaches but at some point the players have to execute and tonight everyone was on top of their game i thought coaches and players except for murray and he got his stuff together in the fourth and you got to give credit to bobo and richt bc i know some of you psycho fans were just waiting to say we should have played mason blah blah blah. well bobo stuck with him and in my heart i just knew murray would do something great and he did but you got to give a ton of credit to mitchell with the run. o line played great and i am so impressed with gurley bc his running was phenomenal tonight he was seeing all the cutbacks and without him getting those tough yds we could have got killed cause he and the oline moved the ball early bc murray was struggling early on and some freshmen rb would have folded but not gurley or marshall but i think gurley and marshall will do some special things at uga.

Hairy Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:41 pm

The defensive performance today was on point. Let’s hope we see this the rest of the year. It was a sight for sore eyes.

Outer Banks Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:45 pm

Where is SSI Gator now? Gator Bait? GT Bob(lol)?

It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

Ghost of Munson

October 27th, 2012
9:46 pm

Ole Lady Luck fell on our side tonight. With that many turnovers and penalties, the game could have gone either way. The Gators and Dawgs both played an emotional game with lots of mistakes. We were lucky to come out with the win. Like I said in 1980, “Run Malcolm!! (just like Lindsey). There will be a lot pf property destroyed tonight!” Go Dawgs!!

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:51 pm

Great to see the defense show up to play. This W goes to Grantham, big win for the Dawgs. The game played out pretty much like I expected. The only thing I would like to have seen different was in the first half, the running game was cranking, Gurley was gashing the Gator D. Then we decide to start throwing on first down, run on second down, throw on third, resulting in the picks. I just thought we should have continued to run more, throw less.

Tonights not the night to rant though. Beating Florida feels good.

Texas Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:53 pm

Go Dawg’s This is my granddaughters first GA/Fla. Great D play.

SC Dog fan

October 27th, 2012
9:57 pm

Slobber-knocker is right, Bill. Much of it was painful to watch, but boy what an outcome. BTW, one of those gator trolls who comes on here regularly to taunt the faithful, something like SIGATOR or GATOR1, etc., gave me a “snork” last week after I posted that Georgia had a chance against Florida. Hope the Miller-lite is still spewing out his nose tonight.

That70sGAdawg

October 27th, 2012
10:00 pm

The Defense was great, and their effort is very appreciated!!

SC Dog fan

October 27th, 2012
10:07 pm

Ghost of Munson: I had the same thought in the final seconds! Not a good night to be a property owner on St. Simons! Hell yeah!

coacht

October 27th, 2012
10:08 pm

love it gooooooo dawgs…sic em!

JRW7

October 27th, 2012
10:20 pm

DAWGS win!!! I’m still not a CMR fan, but I will eat crow anytime the DAWGS beat the Gators! Congratulations to CMR!

ELI DA TRUTH

October 27th, 2012
10:24 pm

And the rest is history…what happens now if ND oregon and Kstate go undefeated and we beat bama? Ghost of 2007???

DawginLex

October 27th, 2012
10:27 pm

Several of you tools need to leave these blogs permanently and bury your heads in shame for the things you said leading up to this game.

You know who you are

SSI Gator I hope you enjoyed yourself today nancy!!!!!!!

Bill

October 27th, 2012
10:38 pm

F Schultz
F Bill King
F Suck and Jerk Off of 680
F Dawg Hater Fans

Way to go, Dawgs!!!!! You did not listen to these HATERS!!!!!

Ed

October 27th, 2012
10:42 pm

I complained about Richt and this team and basically said Georgia had no chance in this game because Florida is a tough, physical football team and we don’t block or tackle good enough to beat a team like them. But I also said that if I’m proven wrong, no one will be happier about than me.

Well, you can’t wipe the smile off my face tonight. Never been happier to be wrong about something in my life.

How Bout Them Dawgs!!!

dawggirl

October 27th, 2012
10:47 pm

Wonderful defense, it was great to come out with the win. Celebratory drink for me.

Erk

October 27th, 2012
10:57 pm

Moot point now but did anyone else think Florida’s first field goal was no good? Look how good our defense can be when playing with fire & emotion.

Pcola-dawg

October 27th, 2012
11:00 pm

SSI we know you are reading. Go ahead and post. it will take the sting out once you start whining and crying!

Dawg Fud

October 27th, 2012
11:17 pm

Bill,

Why are you complimenting Mitchell? His mouth and his antics nearly cost us the game.

This team is totally undisciplined.

Stuart Townsend

October 27th, 2012
11:19 pm

GREAT WIN DOGS! Kudos to the whole team for a great effort!

My only wish for Christmas this year is that Drew Butler has a brother; we really need to work on our kicking game.

Thanks for coming through Dogs in a hard fought game.

OrlandoDawg

October 27th, 2012
11:29 pm

Reality Check

October 28th, 2012
12:04 am

Is this blog still working??

Cohutta Dawgman

October 28th, 2012
12:13 am

How Sweet it is! GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

Hugh

October 28th, 2012
12:35 am

Awesome win. I think a healthy Jarvis Jones made all the difference. The D played with intensity and yet had few missed assignments. Although it doesn’t show up in the stats guys like Jordan Jenkins contained Driskell very well. And Grantham turned the D loose with some very effective pressure. The OL played a heck of a game as did Todd Gurley. Where is it written on tablets from above that a QB can’t be the recipient of a good ass chewing. Mitchell got one – why not Murray? Not only does Murray not get ass chewings – no one even talks with him when he’s making terrible decisions and then hanging his head and pouting and whining. I never saw Richt speak with Jim when he was playing like a girl. I never even saw h talking with Bobo over the head phones. What gives?

DawgVoiceofReason

October 28th, 2012
12:38 am

Right on Cohutta!

It’s Great to Be a Gator Hater!!!

DawgVoiceofReason

October 28th, 2012
12:41 am

Hugh,

Hopefully it was just that the TV coverage didn’t show it. I certainly hope Coach Richt spoke to Murray on the sidelines. He obviously did at half time because the mistakes (except for the over the line penalty) stopped and he made the plays at the end when he absolutely HAD to.

Hugh

October 28th, 2012
1:49 am

Thanks voice of reason. You are right. I may have missed it. It seems to me that kid gloves aren’t working. And Murray may be getting his ass chewings off camera.

West Texas Dawg

October 28th, 2012
2:05 am

Great win!!
I wish there’s some coverage on Spurier’s take on this. That genius thought he already won the east after beating us.

Lagdawg

October 28th, 2012
3:48 am

Great win. Now, lets just keep the intensity for the rest of the season. Time to turn the focus to Ole Miss.

Truth Hurts

October 28th, 2012
3:54 am

Sorry, puppy fans–but you did not win. Florida gave the game away. Your offense looks awful, and the defense again and again showed themselves to be a bunch of showboats with no class, just like the fans.

Smile all you want, but Alabama or LSU, neither which you play on your cupcake schedule await. It won’t be too long before the puppies return to form and scurry home to mamma with their tails tucked between their legs.

You were VERY lucky last night and got a gift.

Bama Fan#2

October 28th, 2012
4:44 am

Tip of the hat to the DAWGS!!

JunkYard Dawg

October 28th, 2012
5:12 am

I know coach Russel and Munson were looking down with big smile at the way the team played together tonight. All three units did a great job keep it up you HAIRY DAWGS AND HUNKER DOWN ALL THE WAY TO THE ATL.

1969 Graduate

October 28th, 2012
5:22 am

How sweet it is!

Most of the credit for this great win goes to our defense, a defense that showed up in a very big way. Way to go, defense, way to go. It’s been a long time coming.

I thought the coaching was better than it sometimes has been, but not overly impressive. Our most impressive stats, other than the score, were what? Penalty yards! Stupid penalties are a discipline and coaching issue. And, there were still far too many predictable plays called by Bobo, even though he threw into the mix a somewhat better selection overall. And, it’s not Bobo’s fault, or Murray’s, when passes are dropped.

We were lucky to win this sloppy game, and fortunate that the Gators were sloppier than we were, but that takes nothing away from an effort where we really showed up, where the intensity was wonderful throughout the entire game, where individual players were just fabulous, where terrible mistakes were redeemed by brilliant plays, where it was fun, and a glorious day to be a Bulldog.

Thanks, Georgia Football Team, for a wonderful game.

That Ole Miss team is going to be gunning for us, of course, and they are in the perfect position to beat us if we go soft again. I think our coaches are perfectly capable of reverting to their sorry ways, so it’s got to be up to the team leaders to make sure the guys remember that the next game counts as much as this one, and probably counts a lot more for Ole Miss than it might look like it does for UGA. However, I’m sure the players and coaches know that our season ain’t over. Florida could still be the team playing in Atlanta, unless we refuse to go soft.

Coaches, the penalties, and Aaron’s terrible decisions, etc. didn’t kill us. We dodged a lot of bullets, and earned a lot of good luck, but that doesn’t mean you guys making the big bucks are earning your pay. According to me, this season needs to end up with only one loss, and you’ve already had that one. We’ve now seen what we suspected: Georgia, on a good day, can beat anyone. In order to win out, the coaches need to step it up. No more stupid penalties. Don’t count on Lady Luck against the remaining teams. Don’t go celebrating. No swimming pools. No bowling. Nothing counts until the season is over.

Go, Bulldawgs!

1969 Graduate

October 28th, 2012
5:34 am

Anybody ever notice that the Alabama coach chews people out for every screw up, even when the score is 30 points in Alabama’s favor late in the 4th quarter? He is always working on improving on every little detail, and always aware of the stupid errors, never accepting anything short of competent playing on every play, and a smart attitude between plays, always looking for perfection, and coming ever closer to it.

We need to be working to constantly improve! We need an outlook similar to that of the Alabama coaches and team. I hope our coaches will figure out that you don’t have to be a losing team to be in need of a lot of improvement.

Go, Dawgs!

Neutral

October 28th, 2012
6:41 am

Dang I miss all the negative Dawg fans. Fire CMR, fire Bobo, bench Murray, yada, yada, yada. Way to go Dawgs…..and a special thanks to the positive thinking fans who hung in there during the dry spell.

Neutral

October 28th, 2012
6:45 am

Oh I forgot to mention that in the last 10 regular season games the Dawgs and Murray have beaten 3 ranked teams including a #2
Way to go Dawgs!!!

flintriverdawg

October 28th, 2012
7:51 am

truth…………..truth be known………we took it from them…….it was not given……it was a war and we were ready……….fla could not answer to smashmouth football………..yes murray had a bad nite,but since itis a TEAM sport, we were able to put it away………have to admit, it was the most exciting GA game in a looong time…….the Bulldog Nation is proud of you guys!