Saturday night’s alright with Todd Gurley, ‘Free Bird’ and Goooooldberg!

Todd Gurley looks to be nearly back at full speed. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Todd Gurley looks to be nearly back at full speed. (Jason Getz / AJC)

A few more observations from Saturday night’s bittersweet win over Kentucky and a couple of early thoughts on this week’s game against the erstwhile Golden Tornado …

Shaking off the disappointment over the loss for the rest of the season of Aaron Murray, it was impressive enough that 11 different Bulldogs caught passes Saturday night and nine different players ran the ball. But I especially liked it that, besides placekicker Marshall Morgan, six different Dogs scored against the Wildcats: Rhett McGowan, Todd Gurley (twice), Artie Lynch (twice), Hutson Mason, J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas. Gurley seems to be nearly back at full speed, which is the best news the Bulldog offense has had in weeks. …

The awfulness of Kentucky made it a bit difficult to judge just how much improved the Georgia defense was, but they did manage to hold the Cats to 211 yards of offense, and as Todd Grantham pointed out, 69 of those yards came on one run for a touchdown and the final Kentucky drive for a TD was against Bulldog reserves.

Georgia's defense, with Amarlo Herrera, Jordan Jenkins and Ramik Wilson, had its best game of the season. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Georgia's defense, with Amarlo Herrera, Jordan Jenkins and Ramik Wilson, had its best game of the season. (Jason Getz / AJC)

As usual, Ramik Wilson was everywhere, making nine tackles, but I was really glad to see senior Garrison Smith have a big night in his last game Between the Hedges, making seven stops (including three tackles for loss), two sacks and two forced fumbles. And Josh Harvey-Clemons bounced back nicely from his didn’t-bat-it-down moment against Auburn by making five tackles (two for loss) and getting two fumble recoveries, one of which he forced.

On the other hand, let’s hope whoever was out of position on that long running touchdown by the Wildcats gets it figured out this week before facing Georgia Tech, whose triple-option thrives on such errors. …

This is the sort of night it was for the visitors: In the third quarter with the Wildcats facing a fourth-and-2, Georgia’s defense was again late getting its signal and looked completely disorganized (will that situation ever get cleared up?), only to have Kentucky benevolently call timeout. And then, when play resumed, the Cats got called for a false start. So, on fourth-and-7, the Dogs blitzed, the Wildcats fumbled, and Harvey-Clemons recovered the ball. …

Another thing that impressed me Saturday night was Mike Bobo’s aggressive playcalling, especially in the first half. With Georgia taking the ball rather than deferring their choice to the second half for the first time in six opportunities this season when winning the coin toss, the Dogs came out throwing (after getting great field position thanks to a 41-yard kickoff return by Sheldon Dawson), including the big pass to Gurley, who seems to have become Georgia’s most dangerous receiver.

Hutson Mason after replacing an injured Aaron Murray at quarterback. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Hutson Mason after replacing an injured Aaron Murray at quarterback. (Jason Getz / AJC)

And then, when Kentucky had the ball after Murray’s injury, Georgia used its timeouts to save clock late in the first half for another quick scoring drive led by his replacement, Mason. Well done! …

The choice of pre-game honorary captain for the Dogs brought back fond memories of my son’s junior high days as a pro wrasslin’ fan: Bill Goooooldberg!

Several relatively recent former Dogs were on the sideline and were shown on the video screen to applause, with the biggest ovation for A.J. Green, now of the Cincinnati Bengals. …

Just wondering: Could ESPNU have bunched more TV timeouts together in the first half? …

You know the running bit about somebody at a concert always hollering “Play ‘Free Bird,’” no matter who the act is? Well, the Redcoat Band finally did play “Free Bird” in its Southern rock-themed halftime show. And it sounded pretty great. …

One Bulldog did manage to take the field in a black jersey Saturday night: Russ

The fans at Sanford Stadium say it all ... (Jason Getz / AJC)

The fans at Sanford Stadium say it all ... (Jason Getz / AJC)

And kudos to UGA students for their spirit this past week. They not only were the main boosters of the fan Blackout, they also showed up early and, even more impressively, stayed late. With the game well in hand and the scrubs on the field in the fourth quarter, the stands had largely thinned out — but the student section was still packed tight. Go students! …

Looking ahead, I feel pretty good about Georgia’s offensive chances against the Yellow Jackets with Mason at QB. Basically, I feel good about Georgia’s offensive chances against anyone as long as Gurley and Michael Bennett are in the lineup.

My main concerns about the game at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field (a venue that falls far short of its grandiose appellation) are the defense staying in their gaps and playing assignment football, Grantham calling an aggressive game that disrupts the Tech exchange or pitch in the backfield (where the Jackets have been known to put the ball on the ground a few times) and, most importantly, (let’s all say it together) no special teams mishaps!

We’ll take a closer look at the game with Tech later in the week, but feel free to offer your own thoughts on the upcoming matchup.

Get well soon, Aaron!

Go Dogs! Wreck Tech!

JUNKYARD MAIL CALL

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

241 comments Add your comment

Macclenny_dawg

November 24th, 2013
9:50 pm

I think the offense is in good hands with Mason as long as Bobo isn’t scared to stay aggressive. If these coaches would stay aggressive know telling where we might be!!! Go Dawgs!!!

jeeperscrow

November 24th, 2013
10:03 pm

Need someone for next season who can actually kick the ball through the end zone. Morgan is GREAT for field goals, but terrible at kicking the ball off. Need a special teams coach. Need Grantham gone.

Duke of Earl

November 24th, 2013
10:10 pm

“And Josh Harvey-Clemons bounced back nicely from his didn’t-bat-it-down moment against Auburn…”

That clown should have been put on a bus taking him back home to his mama.

Pago Pago DAWG

November 24th, 2013
10:24 pm

I think we’re looking at another pre-season Top Ten..

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it!

November 24th, 2013
10:25 pm

2013: The Season where the dawgs realized how STUPID it is to be against roster management or “oversigning” as you call it.

Injuries took your team from contender to losing to Vandy. Sign some players, get some depth if you want to run with the big boys.

Castle pine canine

November 24th, 2013
10:34 pm

After. Nick Fairley, the cheap shot from mongo,that outrageous gator helmet twist,that joker from Alabama in the championship game, some uncalled late body slam from an unsuspecting Kentucky Defensive lineman took away the final days of our Great Aaron Murray! All hail the SEC referees, (we call leaping,but not roughing) a new level is incompetence is eastablised. Regardless of the injury to Murray, on your own minds, or on video, compare the Ray Drew run into with the Aaron Murray body slam,or those uncalled listed above,and tell me that there is no bias against the dogs by the SEC referees!

Castle pine canine

November 24th, 2013
10:38 pm

My favorite thing about Alabama is when they come back 3 or 4 years later and strip them of wins and titles because of repeated cheating! It will happen again as soon as Saban leaves for USC! But then again, there is not much else to do but cheat and go to games! RTR

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it!

November 24th, 2013
10:38 pm

Is next year the year…
Not if you’re playing 20 walk-ons.
Delusional idiots
33 years.

Boykin

November 24th, 2013
11:05 pm

GO DAWGS!!! Too bad Murray suffered terrible injury in last HOME Game!!! He will be ready for combines, though!!!

Hutson will get his 1st WIN vs Tech!!!!

RED DOG 77

November 24th, 2013
11:48 pm

Bill, I believe the situation you refer to with the Wildcats facing fourth and 2. and our D looking puzzeled and out of position was due to Kentucky having sent in substitutes late, thus the official stood over the ball and gave us enough time to substitute as well………..that’s the rule………while I’ve seen confusion with the Dthis season………….this particular situation, to me was understandable. I would challenge you or anyone else to be patent with this young group of BULLDOG defenders, as I believe they will make us very proud during the next few years…………..RED

RED DOG 77

November 24th, 2013
11:58 pm

Oh yea, I for one am not the least bit worried about Georgia Tech this year…………I see our D rising to the task, and Hutson Mason enjoying his first start…………….Dogs dominate………as the always do.

RED DOG 77

November 24th, 2013
11:59 pm

as we always do

Finebaum

November 25th, 2013
12:22 am

uhoh..as we always do…..rise to the task… heir apparent………nother satisfied 8-3 9-2 7-6 RichtDawg!

Cuz

November 25th, 2013
12:28 am

Taking my last vacation day so I don’t miss the annual beat down of the bugs. Someone get a can of Raid.

Boykin

November 25th, 2013
12:29 am

on a side note…My boy Knowshon balled last night!!!!!!!!!!! Sic em!

7576DAWG

November 25th, 2013
12:58 am

What impressed you the most was Bobo’s aggressive play calling in the first half. I want to know why we haven’t been doing that every game? If we had done that in the Vanderbilt and Auburn games we would have won both games. I praised Bobo last year for the changes he made and success he had in becoming a decent Offensive Coordinator for the first time.
With the Offensive studs we had this year he should have set up the run by aggressively throwing the ball from the first series. We knew the Offense was going to have to take up the slack of the Defense because they were so young and inexperienced and Bobo’s stubbornness of always establishing the run first cost us 2 of the losses for sure and maybe a third. Very disappointed that Bobo missed his opportunity to show he will adjust to his strengths. Definitely, regressed this year.

Hairy Dawg

November 25th, 2013
12:58 am

As much as I dont like Tidey Trolls on our site. He right that we got to get rid of Adams-Morehead rules that keeps us from signing enough good players each year when some turns out stinkys that needs be cut from team.

But enough on that as it time to smash bugs. They will be paying for Murray being hurt as Dawgs show how much Murray means to team and hope he get well. We make pestky bugs show how bad they play gimmickey football against real men like Dawgs. They more like a high school team from low class ACC and not able competes with Dawgs that have NFL talents and skills of players. There reason all real football player go to Dawgs for owning state and not sorry bugs.

dawgfan

November 25th, 2013
6:50 am

Nothing like a big win over Kentucky to get the Kool Aid flowing like a river again.

RHall55

November 25th, 2013
7:26 am

BEWARE!!! Watch the demise of the OL in the next years….Will Friend has done such a poor job of losing out on NFL talent…lack of recruiting size combined w/ athleticism will be the DAWGS demise in the future….just watch!!! Then watch the OL in the next (4) years….this group coming in may be the best group of OL Alabama has ever recruited!!!

gsuga

November 25th, 2013
7:44 am

Lack of aggressive play calling has killed us in the past. Noting in one article they were considering putting more emphasis on passes to Gurley seems to be taking away from the run. Defenses scout the fact that we pass more and we never use the fb except three times a year to run the ball. We do not have a running qb to include them as other teams use them as runners. I have never understood the lack of using the fb as an option.other than the SC game and the Clemson game. That gives more pressure on the defenses.

bubba4dawgs

November 25th, 2013
7:45 am

It all starts with the OL and DL and I’m not seeing that shape up in the recruiting department. We do well getting rb’s, qb’s and receivers. We need the total package not a half team.

Good luck to Murray! God bless him! We’ve not seen a sounder more complete dawg at Georgia in quite a while. I wish him well with hopes of seeing him play on Sunday. One of the NFL teams will do well to get him!

Dawgs need to hunker down and take care of the bugs in Atlanta! Finish off strong! Come out aggressive and stay that way all thru the game, mixing Gurley with runs and passes. GO DAWGS!!

gsuga

November 25th, 2013
7:49 am

Wow, Lack of aggressiveness in play calling has killed us in the past. It amazes me that we only used the fb pass maybe three times all year and one article stated using Gurley more in the passing game. Using the fb in the running game will be a positive to set up passing to the fb. It really seems a waste not to use the FB to run the ball more especially if he is 265.

Debriefer

November 25th, 2013
7:59 am

If only every regular season game could be versus Kentucky. Georgia would finally stand a real shot at making a NC game.

Circus World News

November 25th, 2013
8:12 am

BREAKING NEWS: Mark Richt has just accepted a position with Ringling Brothers Circus as Head Clownmaster. His experience in coaching clowns and morons in Athens will put him in good stead to coach clowns in the real world.

DawgOne

November 25th, 2013
8:17 am

Please tell me Bobo and Grantham will be going to the circus with Richt. They’re the biggest clowns of all.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 25th, 2013
8:22 am

If this coaching staff took a more aggressive approach we might do better than 3 or more losses almost every year

Still waiting on “Cutting Edge Football” to show up in Athens

AltamahaDawg

November 25th, 2013
8:28 am

I’ll say this: as somebody who has been critical of the students participation in the past. They held up their end of the deal this year. And specifically this weekend, have added a lot of interest to the games.

Their choral rendition of Journey, and the orchestrated shaker visual during “in the air” was very entertaining. They have been on time, loud, and stayed till the end all year long. Way to go, students.

I think they finally figured out the where to place the band, and sit the students. or, stand.

dawgfan

November 25th, 2013
8:41 am

If we are even remotely serious about anything other than jersey color and halftime shows, we should be talking about who our next DC will be. Will Muschamp is about to be on the market. Richt should be fired if he doesn’t go after him. I think he should be fired anyway, but if he refuses to go after Muschamp he’s an even bigger joke.

Thanks.

Bulldawg35

November 25th, 2013
8:46 am

I think UGA is going to really struggle in this game….without Murray their is no telling what’s going to happen. My eyes cringe at the sight our defense trying too stop that dumb triple option! I’m not going to say tech wins….because I hate that team so damn bad!

Bulldawg35

November 25th, 2013
8:47 am

I think this game will decide if Grantham stays or not! If we lose I think Grantham will be fired!

dawgfan

November 25th, 2013
8:54 am

If Grantham stays it tells me that Richt is not serious about winning big.

Oh wait never mind. I already knew that. Grantham stays I guess. I look forward to giving up 40 ppg to every single top 10 team that we play over the coming years. It should be fun.

Awesome.

Dawg Fud

November 25th, 2013
8:55 am

(Not so) Special Teams are abysmal.

WAKE UP COACH RICHT!!

Dawg Fud

November 25th, 2013
8:57 am

If Grantham remains in the DC job I have serious reservations about the compentency of both Richt AND McGarity.

dawgfan

November 25th, 2013
9:00 am

I seriously don’t think he’s going anywhere. Too many excuses for Richt to hang his hat on.

Mobile Dawg

November 25th, 2013
9:07 am

The entire staff is coming back next year, it will be Richt’s last year, he leaves on his own accord. What will happen to Mike Bobo? Will he be retained in some capacity by the new HC?

Dawg Fud

November 25th, 2013
9:09 am

Prediction: Mike Bobo hired as the Virginia Head Coach

Mobile Dawg

November 25th, 2013
9:12 am

That would work Dawg Fud. Bobo has moments that he shines and moments that you just think “what”? Would like to keep him here as some type of continuity between the old and the new but if he has opportunities to expand that’s good also.

Mobile Dawg

November 25th, 2013
9:14 am

Hey Flat, the Dawgs came out just as I expected. Hungry! They played a great game give or take a couple of plays. Really to bad about Murray, he truly deserved a better fate, but if there is a bright spot Mason gets a little time to adjust prior the NC run next year.

Dawg Fud

November 25th, 2013
9:16 am

I was born and raised in VA….UVA is a good job is you can harness the talent. London in over his head. There is a boatload of in-state talent (not like GA, FLA, TX, CA, PA) but very good.

Bobo would be successful there. Beamer ain’t going to be at VA Tech forever. That is a winnable division in the ACC.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 25th, 2013
9:17 am

Mobile

where and why are you coming to the conclusion that next year is Richts last year?

Frankly I dont see Richt going anywhere for several more seasons

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 25th, 2013
9:19 am

UVA is a nice area to live

Thomas Jefferson thought so too

Mobile Dawg

November 25th, 2013
9:30 am

Flat, Dooley is from the Mobile area, I have a business associate that’s very close to the Dooley’s. Per him Richt is contemplating getting out but doesn’t want to feel like he’s being run off. If the entire staff comes back intact next year mark it down. Richt is a proud man with a considerable ego that doesn’t like to be bruised.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 25th, 2013
9:39 am

Mobile

I understand

Well if that is true I hope Richt decides to go for it and leave the conservative playbook at home

We might win the SEC championship if he does

Bulldawg35

November 25th, 2013
9:47 am

If Richt losses this one…then I hope Richt will retire! I hate tech! Don’t lose to tech Richt! That got donnan fired!

sc_dawg

November 25th, 2013
9:50 am

Another year of terrible coaching and that results in yet another mediocre season , headed to another mediocre bowl game against another mediocre team. Seems to be a pattern here. We have become a mediocre program who know one respects. This is a reflection of the coaches and nothing will change until they’re gone…

dawgfan

November 25th, 2013
9:50 am

I don’t think the Richt retirement talk is far fetched at all. He’s not in to it anymore. You can see it in his eyes. You can here it in his voice. Lord knows you can tell from the product being put on the field that he hasn’t been putting his all in to it. The next two seasons are going to be very mediocre with new QBs and the usual dreadful defense. Look for Richt to bow out after that.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 25th, 2013
10:00 am

Dawgpoop – Keep on dreaming!

RICHT WILL BE HC AT UGA LONG AFTER YOUR NINTENDO poops!

One more time kids

November 25th, 2013
10:01 am

The higher up ADM crowd, the Regents, the Professors all the way down to GA AD, desire a “competitive” football team. Frankly, this “new” attitude toward football dates back to the late 80s with UGA President Terry Knapp. His vision, which today is STILL the vision, is to make UGA more akin ACADEMICALLY to UNC and UVA. They do not want to be Alabama or UT. even Florida has moved away from SEC king of football. Vanderbilt is NOW GA’s and Florida’s rival, sadly.

UGA alum, class of 71&73

MNC? NOT even remotely on the brains of the Vory Tower ADM folks.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 25th, 2013
10:03 am

Tech might as well forfeit……… can we start the running clock now?

Kentucky suspended several players for the last game and as they were already the doormat of the SEC – a beat down was no surprise.

The big difference between Murray & Mason will be Murray’s strength and ability to throw deep. Mason is dink and dunk.

Spike

November 25th, 2013
10:05 am

One should be careful what one asks for. One just might get it.