Rewinding the Georgia-Buffalo game

Georgia 45, Buffalo 23

For Georgia, the highlight was freshman Todd Gurley’s performance (100 yards rushing on eight carries, a 100-yard kickoff return, three touchdowns). The lowlight was the defense in the first half, when Buffalo gained 243 yards.

What we learned

1. Suspensions and injuries are a problem. Georgia previously announced that two of the four defensive players suspended from the Buffalo game, cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser, also will miss this week’s game at Missouri but has refused to say whether the other two, safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, will remain benched. The suspensions are compounded by injuries. Cornerback/wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell missed the opening game with a sprained ankle and seems doubtful this week. Also up in the air: the status of offensive tackle John Theus and tailback Ken Malcome, who suffered a sprained ankle and injured hand, respectively, against Buffalo. Wide receiver Marlon Brown sat out the opener with a strained hamstring but indicated he expects to play this week.

2. Coaches aren’t reluctant to play this year’s freshmen. Thirteen true freshmen played against Buffalo, the most to see action in a season opener in Mark Richt’s 12 years as UGA coach. (Previous high: 11 in 2008.) This speaks well of the 2012 signing class, which came aboard without a much-publicized nickname like the 2011 group’s “Dream Team” label. “I really do like this freshman class,” Richt said. “We’ve been impressed with them athletically, and they’re very coachable, teachable. A lot of it has been from a special teams point of view, but we want them to get scrimmage-down reps, too.”

3. Georgia has a designated “pooch” punter. While strong-legged freshman Collin Barber is Georgia’s primary punter, redshirt sophomore Adam Erickson has the job of short-range punter — that is, punting in or near the opponent’s territory when the objective is to pin the team close to the end zone. “He’s got a really good knack for it,” Richt said of Erickson, a walk-on from Athens. Erickson had three such opportunities against Buffalo, averaging 30 yards per punt and downing each inside the 20-yard line. Barber punted twice, averaging 51 yards.

Sound bite

“I’m, like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”

— Richt, recalling his initial reaction to Mitchell’s injury in Thursday’s walk-through practice

Loose ends

Freshman placekicker Marshall Morgan had a busy debut: two field-goal attempts (making one, missing one), six extra-point attempts (making all) and seven kickoffs (five for touchbacks). “Marshall kicked off extremely well,” Richt said. “I will say he kicked offf better than he has in practices.” … Former Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell directed a message to Gurley via Twitter: “Good job lil bra!! I see u!!!!!! be better than me.”

What’s next

Georgia plays at new SEC member Missouri (8-5, 5-4 Big 12 last season) at 7:45 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2, the first time since 1991 the Bulldogs open their conference schedule against anyone other than South Carolina. Missouri began this sason with a 62-10 win over FCS team Southeastern Louisiana.

– Tim Tucker, AJC

THE AJC’s COMPLETE COVERAGE OF GEORGIA’S SEASON OPENER:

103 comments Add your comment

Lake Dog

September 2nd, 2012
4:09 pm

Did Watts Dantzler not play against Buffalo? Long came n for Burnett and Dickson for Theus. Where was Dantzler?

Skint

September 2nd, 2012
4:23 pm

We cannot afford having Norman out there in SEC games. The kid looked like a Kirby Smart/Will Muschamp type player that will get you beat in big games. Our special teams with these walk ons will be exploited against SEC teams.

Ron Dawg

September 2nd, 2012
4:37 pm

Watts came in and played left tackle towards end of game. Got hurt on 2nd to last play of game but havent heard anything about it.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 2nd, 2012
4:42 pm

What we learned?

I didnt learn anything that I dont already know

This coaching staff continues to coach a sloppy team that embarrasses itself one week then comes out looking like the team it should be another week

With the result being a 10 win season beating no one and losing to someone that year

mdawg

September 2nd, 2012
4:46 pm

poor showing.

anything less than 12 wins equals a nightmare season

why do all of you say a 10 win season is good?

oldbird

September 2nd, 2012
4:49 pm

@ Flat Tire

I as bad as I hate to agree with you, I think your comment is spot on.

Destin Dawg

September 2nd, 2012
4:55 pm

Did Zach DeBell and Xzaviar Ward Play ??? we’ve got some O line men !!! hope we’re just saving IT for Missouri !! they are For REAL !! GO DAWGS !!

Pitbull

September 2nd, 2012
5:17 pm

I thought we played great and was glad a lot of players got to see action.

It will pay off for us over the course of the season.

We are going to be just fine. Hope number 71 is back for next Saturday.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 2nd, 2012
5:22 pm

Pitbull

Obviously the 90+ heat caused you to drink a little too much kool-aid yesterday

You might want to watch the replay of the game after the kool-aid has gotten out of your system

Gumps

September 2nd, 2012
5:23 pm

Oregon allowed Arkansas state to score over 30pts yesterday. Chip Kelly is such an awful coach. Fire chip Kelly, right?

1969 Graduate

September 2nd, 2012
5:24 pm

We had to watch a really good team – Alabama being a really good team, and the sort of team we might wish we had – to learn a whole lot. After all, shouldn’t we be comparing ourselves with one of the best teams around.

We learned that we don’t have the depth we need. When some of our top guys get suspended, or hurt, or tired we’re not deep enough to reload with equal or almost equal players at every position or almost every position.

We got killed in the SEC game last year largely because LSU was able to run in interchangeable replacements, and we were forced to use our best players until they were ’bout dead. We have plenty of high quality players for an excellent first team, in spite of how it might have looked on Saturday, but do we have the depth of the best teams?

We learned that we don’t have the coaching staff to prepare our players to play as a team from the first moments of the first game. Well, we learned it again, as if we haven’t learned it before. Alabama will improve as the season goes on, and so will we no doubt. Maybe we’ll end up better than them, but the fact is we have to be able to start off the season playing as well as well coached teams like Alabama.

We learned that we can scrimmage teams like Buffalo. Alabama learned they can soundly defeat teams like Michigan. We learned we can beat Buffalo with our first team. Alabama learned they can beat Michigan and make it look easy.

I hope we learned enough to adjust to real football against quality opponents. We might have to play in the big leagues soon.

Go, Georgia Bulldogs!

Gumps

September 2nd, 2012
5:25 pm

Wisconsin won by only 5 points over a FCS team yesterday. Fire Bret Bielema. He sucks.

Unrealistic Dawg

September 2nd, 2012
5:26 pm

If I can’t have saban I don’t want anything at all.

Gumps

September 2nd, 2012
5:27 pm

Boise state lost to MSU. Chris Peterson is an awful coach now.

Pj

September 2nd, 2012
5:28 pm

I have made excuses for Richt for the past 3 years, but after being at the game – and then watching how prepared a young Alabama defense was in their game… We have equal talent to anyone in the nation – but our coaching is good and not great. If Rambo and tree sit next Saturday, we are in trouble.

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:29 pm

Enter your comments here

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 2nd, 2012
5:30 pm

Oregon has beaten some top 10 teams lately

When has UGA beaten a top 10 program wait or a top 15 program

Yea I think it was 2008

Oh and Oregon was a nobody until about 10 yrs ago and they dont have a top 5 recruiting state like UGA has either

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:30 pm

I can’t believe the dawgs weren’t perfect yesterday. it was the first game of the season they should be flawless by now.

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:31 pm

Yeah and they let Arkansas state score 34……chip Kelly is such a terrible coach.

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:33 pm

Pj I know it’s fun to say that uga is as talented as Bama but that’s not true. Also I don’t think saban is entertaining offers from uga, so what now? You gonna make richt dress up like him?

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:36 pm

Pj were you expecting the dawgs to look like Bama yesterday?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 2nd, 2012
5:36 pm

#chickenlittle

Umm hate to break it to you but under the Richt era UGA has put 65 players in the NFL

Bama has only put 49 players in the NFL

Keep drinking the moonshine kool-aid bud

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:41 pm

Gawd here we go again with the kool aid talk….I swear that’s the most over used figure of speech on the Internet now.

Anyway, I’m a dawg fan who loves uga but gets really tired of the whiny element in our fan base. Looking at you flat tire.

I’m not comparing talent over the last decade in total, Bama was down for a number of those years and u know it. I’m talking right now, Bama has more talent and that’s the truth….they have by far the best coach too….so what do you propose? Fire richt and get whom? I don’t think saban is interested.

Rick James

September 2nd, 2012
5:42 pm

I was trying to get here before the Georgia Tech and Alabama trolls but I’m late..

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:47 pm

Maybe Wisconsin, Georgia, and Oregon can all trade coaches since none of them won by enough points yesterday.

#chickenlittle

September 2nd, 2012
5:51 pm

A year ago half of these so called dawg fans were wishing we had been the ones hiring muschamp….how’s that sound now?

Uncle Kirk

September 2nd, 2012
5:51 pm

Well there is a remedy for you heartache flat tire. Find another team to pull for, don’t watch the games, or shut the heck up…..wow, three remedies

sandiegodawg

September 2nd, 2012
5:56 pm

The MAC conference did well against their bigger conference foes yesterday. Perspective ppl. The biggest concern going into MO is stopping their QB on run plays. That will be the difference next Sat. Go get em Dawgs!

Buckhead Bulldog

September 2nd, 2012
6:02 pm

Good God! The DOGS wlil eat mizzous lunch…won’t even be close! Sic’ ‘em DOGS!!!!!

Marjoe Ricked

September 2nd, 2012
6:06 pm

It’s the coaching, stupid.

Destin Dawg

September 2nd, 2012
6:12 pm

want Spurrier ??? He looked old and tired.. relieved to win a close game against Vandy on a bad call… Want crazy Will Muschamp ??? Floriduh struggled with Bowling Green !!!!

Cohutta Dawgman

September 2nd, 2012
6:12 pm

Either get on the bus or Shut Up

ole yeller

September 2nd, 2012
6:15 pm

Except for a missed pass or two the “O” looked good. The O-line looked good as I thought they would. I was suprised at the “D” giving up soooo many points & yds against “UB”. Maybe they are better than we give them credit. But, I think UGA can do better, at least the jury is out on that. We will seeeeee this week-end at Missouri.

Rick James

September 2nd, 2012
6:21 pm

@Pj

September 2nd, 2012
5:28 pm

I have made excuses for Richt for the past 3 years, but after being at the game – and then watching how prepared a young Alabama defense was in their game… We have equal talent to anyone in the nation – but our coaching is good and not great. If Rambo and tree sit next Saturday, we are in trouble
——————————————————————————————————————————-
You sound like a guy who saw a woman in a dress like one that you bought your wife and you’re upset because it looks better on the other woman..It could be that the other woman is just better looking..Mark Richt is not Nick Saban and Georgia is not Alabama.Right now Alabama is better and may be the best team in the country.Right now let’s just worry about Missouri who looked good against an FCS team yesterday.Georgia’s guns will be blazing next week and will be ok..

Lonnie

September 2nd, 2012
6:44 pm

Here is the deal. We could be better. This is the purpose of a tuneup game. We tried different things and our defense was not everything we should be! Flat tire one of the reasons that Georgia has 65 players in pros (I think the # is 55) is that coach Richt develops players into pro material. One reason is that our offense is pro style in which our backs have to block and our line learns multiple schemes! In addition we cross train linemen. Glenn worked as a guard and then a tackle. This makes them more valuable. Yes I want to win a championship but part of coaching is helping the player reach their potential! Richt has continued to do that. It is also why players continue to come here and thrive! Yes we were too flat and Murray was off in timing! We should have run more and the secondary was not good but this is fixable and we will be fine!

Atlanta Dawg

September 2nd, 2012
6:52 pm

Flat Tire, A blocked punt, A KO return for a TD 485 yards offense, that was as vanilla as it gets, in sweltering heat against a team in Buffalo that may be a little better than expected and to their credit played with a lot of heart. Did the defense blow a couple of assignment, yes,so what.You win by 3 tds and only have 22 yards in penalties . But know nothing whiners like you only accentuate the negative. Its obvious from your posts that you’ve never played a down of college football on any level in that type of heat. Just a whiny A$$ that only sees doom and gloom , find another team loser.

what da ya got?

September 2nd, 2012
6:55 pm

At the end of the Missouri game on espn3 replay, the announcer said Georgia was beatable and the defense looked suspect.

Judge Dawg

September 2nd, 2012
7:05 pm

ESPN did not select Gurley’s performance as one of the bread players of the week. They have never liked UGA.

Dogs Smell

September 2nd, 2012
7:12 pm

Georgia , Here is a reality check for you. Yes Gurley looked good but it was against Buffalo. The quality teams blew out the smaller schools.Georgia did not. Im sure “The Homer” Nation is already searching for NC tickets. Missouri’s going to introduce you to the reality of your future.. Saturday Georgia loses by 12.

give me south georgia

September 2nd, 2012
7:13 pm

We played like we wanted to be somewhere else. Attitude is set by management; it always is.

|Goin through the motions
Just to make sh*t happen right
Never knowin’ where we’re goin
Just rollin’ like waves at night|

RHall55

September 2nd, 2012
7:18 pm

1969 Graduate may be right…. but let’s see UGA’s performance against Missouri…and I am not talking about a win or loss…I’m talking about performance….is this Team better than the Team that lost to Mich State in the Bowl Game last year…that could be a very good gauge…C’mon CMR, do your job and win!!

Baloo

September 2nd, 2012
7:19 pm

Just win, nothng else matters.

Athenzdawg

September 2nd, 2012
7:21 pm

I just noticed today watching the replay. Do you think the loss of Orson Charles and Aron White hurt our offense. There was not even any looks to the te and i thought Jay Rome was really impressive in practices and the Gday game this year. It seemed like Murray had no one to go to when he was trying to check down…..and I cant even say what happened to our defense but I hope it gets fixed before Saturday.

Baloo

September 2nd, 2012
7:23 pm

If Vanderbilt picks up that bloclk punt and returns it for a touchdown, Richt probably gets fired which means no contract extension. They didn’t and Richt did. All that matters is who has the most points at the end of game. Everything else is just for the talk shows blogs, etc.

Frank Lane

September 2nd, 2012
7:29 pm

Just get ready for a fired up opponent Saturday night. Want to win worse t han Missouri wants to win.

chazzo

September 2nd, 2012
7:31 pm

Georgia could have hung another two or three scores on them. Yeah the D was a little lackluster in the first half. I am not all that more impressed with Mizzou’s win over SW Louisiana than I am Georgia’s. Agreed, Georgia needs to smooth out some rough edges and tighten it up.

Big Wally

September 2nd, 2012
7:33 pm

It could be worse, just think about the state of college football in the state of Pennsylvania. Temple is now the dominant team in that state. Penn State got beat at home by a MAC team (they better start getting used to that) and Pittsburgh got beat by Y’town State.

[...] Rewind: looking back at the Georgia-Buffalo game [...]

Resident Georgia Fan

September 2nd, 2012
7:40 pm

I don’t ever, ever want to hear the name Crowell again. Don’t dar e mention it you lame a** idiots..

UGA Insider

September 2nd, 2012
7:42 pm

Bobo is cookin’ up sumpin special for Mizzou, expect a lot of no huddle, 3 step drops, multiple formations, misdirection, reverses, bootlegs, counters, traps, posts, skinny-posts, slants, bubble screens, outs, speed option, with fake punts, onside kicks, quick kicks, pooch kicks and a drop kick. And that’s just our first possession.