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!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

241 comments Add your comment

dawgfan

November 27th, 2013
9:07 am

ARdawg, I think your problem is two fold. 1). You choose to read our posts, and 2) Those posts make you cry like a little girl because you have a mancrush on Richt and you know everything we’re saying is 1,000% true (hence why you make no effort to refute it). It seems like if you could just stop reading our posts we wouldn’t have to listen to your incessant whining about it that sounds like a broken record.

Just food for thought.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 27th, 2013
9:10 am

dawgpoop – Being 1000% true is mathematically impossible – just like giving 101% effort.

dawgfan

November 27th, 2013
9:10 am

The Kool Aiders do not sound like a broken record at all constantly whining about Richt critics. They in no way are saying the same things over and over and over again…

These cats are a gas man.

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:15 am

Flat
I said that a year ago and then I IIRC repeated it once here at the beginning of the year, a game or so after the the Clemson loss and only then when asked. You on the other hand post that tripe 5 times a day and have for the last 4-5 years. You don’t see a difference there?

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:18 am

Ah look how cute, dawgfan is moving from playing “Big team owner bidnezz man” into extrapolating what people think and playing Dr. Phil! Whatever will you be when you do, eventually grow up there Little man?

Dog4Life

November 27th, 2013
9:19 am

Flo-unfortunately Muschamp said what he had to say to rally the fan base–Smart on the other hand, has been bad-mouthing and trashing UGA on the recruiting rounds–so bad in some areas that many UGA alum are disgusted with him. I do not like Smart–below average player and w/o Saban below average coach. IMHO. Go Dawgs. Keep CMR, fire CTG and re-assign Bobo to recruiting coordinator; bring in a top quality Dc and OC and STC–you will see UGA improve immediately–let their athleticism do what it does best–play football.

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:20 am

dawgfan
LOL….now that’s funny. Trust me on this one, your posts refute themselves. They don’t need any assistance from me. They are over the top asinine and moronic of any posts on AJC and that is saying something

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 27th, 2013
9:24 am

All that matters, when you get down to it, is the “W”’s and “L”’s . It doesn’t matter if you play a crap schedule like Ohio State. That is how a below average Notre Dame played for the NC. last year.

I expect Michigan State to stick it to Ohio State soon and this mess with Jameis Winston might derail Fla State. Also I believe that Mizz-Who? could upset Bummer in the SEC champ game if Franklin (QB) is healthy.

Mizz-Who vs a one loss Bummer in the NC game – replay of the SEC champ game?

Dawg89

November 27th, 2013
9:24 am

Fellas, Bobo will not be fired. How could you fire him given the productivity of his offense recently? Who amongst us thinks that offense is the problem? I doubt Grantham will be forced out either. I suppose it is possible he could return to the NFL. I would be less surprised if Bobo took a HC job somewhere.

As for Mustcamp and Smart, they aren’t coming back to Athens to coach football. And, Bud Foster isn’t coming either. It is a bit surprising that people just throw out the same names year after year. I could see Foster being HC at VT when Beamer retires.

dawgfan

November 27th, 2013
9:31 am

You don’t need to refute that Richt has failed to win anything whatsoever in 8 years despite top 10 recruiting classes and All World QBs because that’s so idiotic and wrong?

By all means smart guy please point out where I’m wrong on that.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 27th, 2013
9:32 am

Dawg4Life – I said all along the Kirby Smart is Saban’s Go-fer. Saban is the DC. Smart is a good recruiter as long as he has Saban standing behind him.

Bobo has lapses where he is a bit to conservative but overall I am satisfied with him. Losing all your starting skill players except for Murray (now he’s gone) is difficult for anyone to overcome. I would keep Bobo.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 27th, 2013
9:33 am

dawgpoop – When are you ever right? You are a TROLL and TROLL’s are just wrong.

Bulldawg35

November 27th, 2013
9:40 am

Anybody know a radio station that is mostly talking about UGA football?????? I’m listening to the ref right now and their not talking about the dawgs! Can somebody help me?????

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
9:42 am

AR

Let us know when you post a thought provoking comment; sorry my comebacks to most of the kool-aid driven posts are whining to you; I guess they would be to someone who thinks this coaching staff is the best that has ever coached a football team

Bulldawg35

November 27th, 2013
9:42 am

Flo- ri- duh…

You should of went too the game…it turned out too be Murray’s last game! Your loss brah!

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
9:47 am

Flo-rid-duh

You say dawgfan is wrong; yet you, like AR, cannot present factual evidence refuting his statements or mine

instead you two and others comeback with statements of…….

whining
troll
not a fan
trolls are just wrong
your posts are moronic
etc

if the program is fixed tell us why

“the defense has turned the corner” remember

Bulldawg35

November 27th, 2013
9:47 am

Richt’s biggest problem is that he hired willie and Grantham as his DC’s. Richt fails as a coach on judging talent. Richt should of known that Grantham as DC was already an proven bust by looking at his time with the Cleveland browns.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
9:50 am

Muschamp is called a turncoat

yet none of you kool-aiders have nothing to say about Grantham putting the program in limbo by publicly looking for another job 2 straight years in a row

I guess thats just fine since he wears a UGA cap

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:53 am

AR

Let us know when you post a thought provoking comment; sorry my comebacks to most of the kool-aid driven posts are whining to you; I guess they would be to someone who thinks this coaching staff is the best that has ever coached a football team
=============================

“WAH….ARdawg won’t play nicely and keeps torpedoing my idiotic posts..WAH”
“Wah..he knows I am going to post the same tired crap 500 more times…WAH”
WAH…Mommy they won’t play my factual game…WAH”

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:54 am

“WAH….Those kool-aiders are a meany…WAH”

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:55 am

“WAH….FIRE SOMEBODY..I have to go poopie….WAH”

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
9:56 am

“WAH….Grantham was looking for an NFL job for two years…WAH”
“WAH…Mommy make Grantham stop…WAH”

dawgfan

November 27th, 2013
9:58 am

Richt is only 8-19 vs. Top 10 teams since the beginning of the 2008 season.

In what fairy tale fantasy land far far away is that statement so untrue that it doesn’t need to be refuted?

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 27th, 2013
9:59 am

Don’t think Grantham was “looking” for another job. It would have to come to him. How is that any different than what most other coaches would do? Bummer came looking for Saban who was under contract with Miami and it didn’t hold him back. Money talks and Saban walks. Saban is loyal to Saban.

Columbus Dawg

November 27th, 2013
10:03 am

I am not a Kool Aider, far from it. I have been very disgusted with Richt’s blunders many a time, and have been verbally reprimanded by true hand sitting Kool Aiders in Sanford Stadium for criticizing Richt. I am not a Murray basher either, and I am grateful for his play at QB for UGA. That being said, I think Mason is the best thing to happen to Georgia in a long time. I am also a realist, and I do think the entire coaching staff will return. What I do believe is that everyone wanted this year to be the year so badly after all the five yards short talk ect., and that the fan base wanted to believe so desperately that the defense would some how be better, even though nine starters were gone. Now the run D was better, much better, but a secondary full of freshman does not bode well in the SEC. I think Grantham will return unless offered a pretty decent NFL job, it would take that to match his current salary, but I also think much improvement coming on D in spite of Grantham. There is much talent in the secondary, and they will absolutely have to learn to stay in position in zone, and learn how to tackle. They do pretty well in man. The secondary coach needs to make them all try to tackle Gurley one on one until they learn how to wrap up. The front seven will be the beasts of the SEC in 2014, and L. Floyd will be close to what Jarvis wasin chasing down QB’s. Added weight will help him tremendously.

There is an article by Seth Emerson where M. Bennett talks about Mason’s no nonsense approach to football, and how he butted heads with Boss Andrews for not being lined up and ready to roll a couple of times versus Kentucky. It looks like Mason may have more leadership qualities than anyone on the coaching staff. One of the most disgusting things I have ever heard come out of a player’s mouth was the comments by Theus about not thinking that Auburn was for real until they hit the field and began kicking Georgia’s OL around. Mason is not going to put up with that kind of foolishness, and I think he will call out players not giving their all. I for one think that is the proper approach to accountability, not promising ice cream for doing their best like a bunch of preschoolers. It appears that Mason will run a faster offense, and it looks like he knows what his options are a little quicker than Murray when he gets the ball. He is taller, and sees the field better, and is able to read the opposition’s defensive aignments quicker. Many experts, includig Phil Steele said that UGA’s chances were going to be much better in 2014 than 2013, but so many in the fan base “wanted” 2013 to be the year. McGarity will demand that the specil teams get fixed, probably will just shift some responsibilities around to achieve improvement. I just think the energy should be spent getting behind Mason and the new Georgia Bulldogs!

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
10:15 am

dawgfan
Keep building that straw man and keep attacking it over and over. You’re like Rainman

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
10:17 am

wah

wah

mommy I not smart enough to have good comeback

mommy why cant I think of good comeback

its ok AR jr some people are just smarter than others

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 27th, 2013
10:19 am

Flat Tire – Facts are facts….. Dawgpoop is a TROLL. I can smell a TROLL for miles. Never said you are a TROLL. You have a right to your OPINION. So do I. I do agree with you on some things but getting rid Richt now is not one of them. You know I have said that Grantham was Richt’s 3rd or 4th choice. He has not impressed me so far but there have been extenuating circumstances. Last year several key players on defense were suspended at the beginning of the year and then they had injuries. This year more of the same. I’m willing to give him one last shot in 2014 as his team in 2011 was pretty good and they were in the top 20 in scoring defense last year. This will be Granthams final contract year in 2014 or is it in 2015? I would not extend his contract.

Bobo I would keep – no one’s perfect but he’s a top 5 recruiter and a good OC.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
10:21 am

Flo-ri-duh

Are seriously going to say Grantham wasnt looking for another job?

“Saban is loyal to Saban” and so Richt isnt loyal to Richt right?

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
10:28 am

Flo-rid-duh

This is where we continue to disagree

2011 The defense underperformed against every ranked opponent except a 5 loss Auburn team that eventually fell out of the AP and coaches poll that year. the scores in those games we lost 35 45 33 and 42 points

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
10:38 am

“WAH…Mommy make those mean kool-aiders stop mistreating me….WAH”

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
10:40 am

AR

let us know when you have something to back your points up instead discussing it with mommy

ARdawg

November 27th, 2013
10:40 am

That’s what you sound like Flat. Day after day after day. A little spoiled child that doesn’t get his way. You deserve nothing. Arm chair quarterbacking gives you ZERO to say in the processes of the Georgia Football coach. Get over yourself and try a mature approach to the problem

old dog

November 27th, 2013
10:42 am

Botton line……our defense blows one as long as a railroad track, and it will not get better as long as CTG is here. Bad teaching, bad system. Get an SEC d-coordinator!

UGA Insider

November 27th, 2013
10:42 am

This season has been crazy for sure and I don’t know which team will show up on Saturday… The team that beat LSU or the team that almost let UF beat them.

I like Mason and I like the energy he brings….

UGA 48
Tech 24

If we win this game we are headed to the Gator Bowl and that is big money so McGarity will be on CMR’s ass to win this game. If we end up in the Music City Bowl McGarity ears may pop off.

dawgfan

November 27th, 2013
10:44 am

Is ARdawg even making points? I’m aware of none.

UGA Insider

November 27th, 2013
10:45 am

UGA 48
Tech 24

McGarity is on CMR’s ass to win this game. A win means the Gator Bowl and a loss means the Music City Bowl. That’s why they were in Flowery Branch practicing yesterday. McGarity had it all set up so there would be NO excuses.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
10:48 am

AR

The mature approach to the problem???

those wah wah wah mommy posts you continue to post just about every week on here sure show a lot of maturity

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 27th, 2013
10:52 am

What should be posted when the head coach tells everyone “the defense has turned the corner” after playing one of the worst offenses in college football (Florida) and App St who has won only 4 games this year

then gets embarrassed by Auburn

dawgfan

November 27th, 2013
11:09 am

Richt’s strategy to deal with our defensive woes must be to play 4-7 and FCS teams every week. I think it would work if we could just get the schedule lined up right.

Northside Dawg

November 29th, 2013
1:04 pm

Freebird, the southern rock anthem that never ends, geez! Maybe the Redcoat Band did it in jest? Won’t Get Fooled Again blows that song away and would have been more appropriate since Baba O’Riley is always played to begin the game.