Notebook: Extremely satisfying day for Todd Grantham and Georgia’s defense

GEORGIA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

ATHENS – Georgia had the game well in hand early in the fourth quarter when Vanderbilt completed a 60-yard pass to reach the Bulldogs’ 3-yard line. Despite the 45-point lead, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had all his starters on the field.

It appeared the Commodores scored when an official signaled touchdown after quarterback Jordan Rodgers dove for the pylon. But Grantham stomped and protested for officials to look at a replay. Upon further review, it was ruled that Rodgers had lost control of the ball before he crossed the plane and it bounded out the side of the end zone. Touchback. Georgia ball.

The Bulldogs’ sideline rejoiced.

“They had their starters in there, too,” Grantham said with a mischievous grin. “We put our backups in there at the end and those guys did a good job, too. But I think anytime you can hold a team to no touchdowns in this league, that’s a big statement.”

It was a big statement, but Georgia’s defenders insist they weren’t trying to make one. They didn’t shut out Vandy entirely. In fact, the Commodores put together at least three long drives and finished with 337 yards offense. But the Bulldogs’ defense stiffened in the shadow of the goal post and on critical downs in particular. Vandy finished 2-of-14 on third down.

“We wanted a goose egg, but things happen,” said Georgia’s 355-pound nose guard John Jenkins. “It wasn’t a statement game by any means. It just goes to show we play hard and we play to win.”

Linebacker Amarlo Herrera led the way with 7 tackles and the Bulldogs totaled 3 sacks, included one by All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and two by his freshman backup Jordan Jenkins.

Suspensions update

Defensive stars Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo missed their fourth and what is expected to be final game due to disciplinary suspensions. However, coach Mark Richt again played coy about their availability.

“We’ll have to wait until pregame warmups [against Tennessee] to find out,” Richt said when asked about it after Saturday’s game. “We’ll have to wait to see next week.”

Fullback Alexander Ogletree also sat out his fourth consecutive game. Though he has dressed out for all of Georgia’s home games, a tweet he sent out this week infers that he is also suspended.

“All I got to say when next Monday come Me, @B_easy_uga9 [Alec] and @brambo18 [Rambo] are on a mission! #realtalk,” Zander wrote on his Twitter account.

Injury report

Georgia senior defensive end Abry Jones had to be helped off the field with 3:20 left in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. The injury came on the sixth play of a 10-play drive that ultimately ended in a missed Vanderbilt field goal.

“The only thing I can say is we don’t think it’s a super-serious thing,” said Richt, declining to discuss any other details.

Starting strong safety Shawn Williams left the field with trainers during pregame warmups with a foot or ankle injury but ended up starting as usual. Williams had to be helped off the field once late in the first quarter but managed to finish the game and record 4 tackles, including 1.5 for loss.

Lee gets start

Junior Dallas Lee got the start at left guard Saturday. Lee sprained his left ankle in the second quarter of the Florida Atlantic game on Sept. 15. He did not practice until late in the week but was able to make it back for his 10th career start and played until Georgia removed its starters in the fourth quarter.

“I wouldn’t call it 100 percent, but it was good enough to play and that’s all I’m worried about,” Lee said.

Vandy goes with Rodgers

There was much debate in Nashville about which quarterback should start for the Commodores, junior transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels, who led the way in their 58-0 win over Presbyterian, or senior Jordan Rodgers, who had started every game before that back to the Georgia game last season.

In the end, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin went with Rodgers and stayed with him until late in the fourth quarter.

“I didn’t feel like we’ve had anyone who has really taken hold of the quarterback position,” Franklin said. “We are treating this position like we treat other positions. We’re going to look at who practices well throughout the week and let them play on Saturday until some grabs hold of the position.”

Rodgers was 13-of-23 for 218 yards and no interceptions or touchdowns. Carta-Samuels was 1-of-2 for 13 yards.

Quarterback shuffle

Georgia had a bit of a quarterback change itself. The Bulldogs went with walkon Parker Welch ahead of redshirt freshman Christian LeMay in the fourth quarter.

“We had a competition this week and he won the competition to come in second,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.

Both players ended up playing. Welch was 1-of-2 and had a big 15-yard completion on third down. LeMay had one rush for five yards.

Busy night for Malcolm Mitchell

Malcolm Mitchell had a busy day for the Bulldogs. For the first time this season, the sophomore from Valdosta was featured as a true three-phase weapon. He started at cornerback on defense, played a few plays at wide receiver on offense and returned punts on special teams.

“This is what I envisioned,” said Mitchell, who played three offensive plays, returned three punts for 25 yards and recorded five tackles. “I’m happy to do it. I just want to keep doing it and see how it goes for me.”

Richt indicated Mitchell’s offensive work will go up considerably from this point on.

Etc. . . .

Tailback Todd Gurley went over 100 yards for the third time in his brief UGA career. He had a career-high 130 yards on 16 carries (8.1 average) and added two more touchdowns. He has seven on the season. . . . Fellow freshman tailback Keith Marshall also scored two TDs, including a 52-yarder last in the first quarter. He finished with 82 yards on 10 carries. . . . The Bulldogs now have seven runs of 25 yards or more this season. They had five all last season. . . .

When quarterback Aaron Murray completed 12 passes in a row to start the game it was third on Georgia’s all-time list. Quincy Carter and Eric Zeier had 15 each. . . . Split end Marlon Brown recorded the third 100-yard-plus receiving game of his career as he finished with 114 yards on five catches. Included was a 58-yard catch and run and a 6-yard touchdown.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF GEORGIA-VANDERBILT GAME:

Game story: No drama this time as Bulldogs rout Vandy 48-3

In the spotlight: Huge night for Aaron Murray

Mark Bradley column: Yeah, it was only Vandy. It also was utter domination by UGA

Quotes: What players,  coaches said after the game

Photo gallery: Scenes from Sanford Stadium

63 comments Add your comment

[...] Notes: Satisfying day for Grantham, Georgia’s defense [...]

[...] Notes: Satisfying day for Grantham, Georgia’s defense [...]

Eric C.

September 23rd, 2012
3:28 am

Wow, I was a little off on the call for a tough first half. This is the same Vandy team that has 19 returning starters and just about knocked off SC, right? Granted, that was in Nashville, but Vandy is far from a push-over. It is nice to see good kickoff coverage…just keep working on the extra point play.

UT struggled with Akron but still managed to rack up 633 yds…the Dawgs need to keep focused as Bray and Neal will be a tough challenge for the defense. With the offense operating on all cylinders, it would seem keeping the opponent under 400 yds is the goal now. Go Dawgs!!!

PsyLens

September 23rd, 2012
4:15 am

So now that Bobo has discovered that it’s legal to run the ball around the tackles, we found a little more breathing room, the O holds the ball longer and the D’s numbers get better … you don’t say?

Neutral

September 23rd, 2012
6:57 am

I love the way our guys are playing, but 2 issues are driving me crazy: we hit another upright on an extra point (3rd or 4th time this season we have hit the bar along with a miss and a snap over everyone’s head in this game). AND, what in the world is going on with fielding punts inside the ten? That 50+ yard punt that Mitchell tried to catch on the 2 (over his shoulder) was ridiculous!!! I’m proud of all other aspects of our team play, but good grief this stuff should be easy to fix!!!! Go Dawgs!!!

GT = 10 time loser to Mark Richt

September 23rd, 2012
7:51 am

Neutral, he’s just trying to keep the extra points interesting for the fans and it’s working.

uga student

September 23rd, 2012
8:02 am

It was a great win after what happened last year. Let’s ride that momentum into a great week of practice and take down those vols!

ATinSAV

September 23rd, 2012
8:29 am

Offense was in high gear last night, but I am still a little concerned with the run defense. Zac Stacy gashed us pretty good, averaging nearly 7 yards a carry for 83 yards. Had Vandy not been so far behind, they would have kept running him, and he easily would have had well over 100 yards against the Defense that everyone now seems ready to compare to Bama’s? Check Bama’s stats, they don’t let running backs gash them up the middle like this.

Cornelius Washington's Neck Brace

September 23rd, 2012
8:38 am

Some Things….too bad you cannot talk about your great coach…..Paul Johnson…..I know all you nerds thought he was going to ‘turn the tide’ against UGA after 45-42 and I feel sorry for GT fans to have to watch that horrible gimmick offense…..very boring….and, if you talk to people at GT you will find that GT athletes get preferential treatment as well……did Kenny Anderson really survive the tough academic rigors at GT for a year and a half? Did Stephon Marbury really survive for a year at GT? What about Shawn Jones – what type of engineer is he?

tell me again

September 23rd, 2012
8:38 am

At last, Tree, Rambo and Xander will be off suspensions and we will see the first string D on the field for the first time……I’m thinking that those boys will be ready to explode on the field. We are loaded on receivers, the young backs are growing up before our eyes and the O line is a work in process but holding up nicely so far. We have three games we must win to take the East and keep our ranking and the first one is next week. Overall you can’t argue with the offense which is averaging over 45 points a game. Has Bobo become a genius or is he still a dunce? Like I said last year, our offense was running with almost no running game – this year, with Boo, Gurley and Marshall, we have the total package to use in games. Still, although they look good so far, they are still true freshman and you have to wonder if they are not getting beat up. I think the Vandy game has been our best and most consistent effort so far — fast start, strong finish. As a matter of fact, we haven’t seen this team play like it did Saturday night in quite a while. So far, so good ~ the team is playing with a little attitude ~ something that has been lacking in Athens. Does anybody want Mettenberger over Murray now? Don’t think so. Does anybody want Crowell back? Don’t think so. I wish Houston would get back on the field – that situation stinks. Malcolm Mitchell is good but he got burned twice on long balls and Tyler Bray will test him. Was Bennett hurt? Didn’t see much of him. The meat of the schedule is before us – time to step up or sit down, but I like what I see so far. Young offense is growing up and the D is starting to get serious. GO DAWGS!

Hwalker

September 23rd, 2012
8:44 am

@ some things never change. UGA graduates more athletes than most colleges. Most players go on to productive lives. You have no base for your comments. Honey Boo Boo has more insight and intellect than you have displayed.

Something else never changes

September 23rd, 2012
8:51 am

And tha is Ga Tech being on Major NCAA Probation. What an embarrassment to the state of Georgia, that Tech cannot seem to stop cheating to keep their football players eligible.

Even Auburn and Bama wait a decade or so to get caught cheating, again, but no, not Ga Tech. Literally the whole past decade spent cheating, and serving time on NCAA Major Probation.

Forfeiting games, forfeiting a title, albeit a little acc title, hiding the trophy in a broom closet.

Will the embarrssment for the State of Georgia ever end?

GeorgiaDuck

September 23rd, 2012
9:00 am

Anyone realize that Gurley almost has half as many yards as Crowell did all of last last year and its only through 4 games!! It might be early but I can see another All-SEC Freshman running back.

Roman Dawg

September 23rd, 2012
9:06 am

@Something- No the embarrassment will never end so long as people like you are around. You’re just trying to stir up trouble.

I thought it was a good win for the dawgs last night, saw alot of things that I liked. Hopefully they will continue to get better and hopefully with the other starters back we will definitely play at a higher level. Would love to shut out UT, but even if that doesnt happen I would be happy with a 28 point win over them. I think we are going to have tougher games in Scar and Florida than we thought at the beginning of the season but I still think we will be the better team.

tell me again

September 23rd, 2012
9:09 am

I think they should remove the Tech football blog on the AJC. The Tech fans never use it for anything and besides, the only joy they have during football season is to come over here and attempt to appear like real football fans by talking trash. How can you be a real fan if you don’t have a team to cheer for? Hmmm. In any case, I wish to thank all of the Tech fans who come to OUR blog and continue to prove, over and over, just what low lifes they are and how envious they are of our athletic department. And you wonder why we look forward to your game every year so that we can kick your A** and rub your snotty noses in it all year long? Do yourselves a favor, stay on your blog and worry about YOUR team. You will be happier and you will not continue to prove to those of us here what a bucket load of classless, petty and useless asses you are. And as for you guys having all of these academically gifted athletes – the one I seem to remember best is a Tech QB that couldn’t count to four. Proof is in the pudding, I say. Pie may be square but three does not equal 4. Even our engineering school knows that.

Joey

September 23rd, 2012
9:11 am

True, GeorgiaDuck, and what is better than that, his closest competition will be his roommate, Marshall.

Did anybody else notice Marlon Brown accelerate on that short pass he turned into a long one last night. For a big guy 6′5″ 230, he can haul it.

We have twice as much speed on offense than the ‘07 and ‘08 teams did. And unlike those seasons, we have a D to go with an excellent O. Weapons galore – on both sides of the ball.

Also, I love the RB-by-committe that we have going on. That should really pay off late in the season.

Go Dawgs!

Destin Dawg

September 23rd, 2012
9:17 am

WOW !! even better than I expected…… S.C. and Fla,, looked good also… SEC East is probably better than the West this year ??? one game at at time… stay humble work hard…… and Go All the Way Dawgs !!

Bbv

September 23rd, 2012
9:21 am

I sure do miss Crowell. I miss him limping off the field every other play.

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Joey

September 23rd, 2012
9:35 am

Me too Bbv, and who doesn’t miss the trash-talking after a 3 yard gain?

WDE

September 23rd, 2012
9:37 am

Good win and total team effort last night. We have room for improvement certainly on both sides of the ball ,but those issues aside we still managed to eke our a 45 point win. Murray is really growing into the leader this team needs and his production is just getting better and better. Jarvis is just unreal and a true force to be reckoned with on the defense..Go Dogs !

dawggirl

September 23rd, 2012
9:59 am

“Malcolm Mitchell is good but he got burned twice on long balls and Tyler Bray will test him.”

tell me again – We won’t need to worry about this since Tree and Rambo are back next week. Mitchell will probably go back to almost 100% offense.

harold

September 23rd, 2012
10:05 am

A VERY WEAK AND POORLY COACHED TENNESSEE TEAM WILL GET “WAXED” WITH EASE BY UGA. UGA WOULD GET A BETTER GAME AGAINST LOVETT! THIS TENNESSEE TEAM IS A JOKE.

LOK FOR UGA TO SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN. THIS “HUGE LOSS” WILL RESULT IN DOOLEY BEING DONE AT TENNESSEE ( DEREK IS NOT VINCE & A HORRIBLE HIRE & COACH!)

UGA 55 TENNESSEE 3. ANOTHER PIECE OF CAKE. UGA PLAYERS SHOULD BE TREATED TO “MILLER LITES” DURING THE GAME INSTEAD OF GATORADE AS THEY WIN THIS GAME AT HALF SPEED & EASE!

Bulldog on the Bayou

September 23rd, 2012
10:09 am

‘Ol Lou Holtz is running his mouth about how South Carolina is going to whip the dawgs. Let the ESPN Everybody’s Stupid Prognosticating Nobody’s naysay the DAWGS as they always do – we will rise up and show them they need to respect the DAWG CHAWMP when we eat some chicken!!!!!!

Simpson

September 23rd, 2012
10:09 am

Agree with you, neutral, special teams is still a big concern in tight games. Mitchell will learn to make better decisions on punt returns and his talent will pay off in that phase during the heart of the schedule. And next week we get two of our best players back

Neutral

September 23rd, 2012
10:15 am

I love the way Gurley and Marshall scored and were cool and acted like they had been there before!!! No hotdog dancing or bringing attention to themselves. Love it……thanks guys, that’s what the vast majority of your fans respect and want. Go Dawgs!!!

Abe Baldwin

September 23rd, 2012
10:19 am

Most satisfying beat down since last year’s Auburn game.

Neutral

September 23rd, 2012
10:23 am

@Simpson,
If we can kick PATs like 50+ yard field goals then we will be OK. I’m not sure what is going on there with 5-6 screwed-up PAT attempts in just 4 games (even though several bounced through). I’m no expert on kicking, but I’m smart enough to know we need help in this area. Maybe Kevin Butler could drop by practice and say hi….hint, hint, nod, nod, wink, wink!!!!!

LoyalDog

September 23rd, 2012
10:35 am

It really helps the team to have two very reliable running backs in Keith Marshall and Todd Gurly. They both really help each other. They alson help the line and the line helps them. Me thinks that Coach finally has a full bunch of players that he really likes. This team is a team. Good attitudes and it starts with the running backs.

Y'all Crazy

September 23rd, 2012
10:45 am

LET IT GO GUYS!!! QUIT ARGUING WITH SOMEONE THAT IS JUST HERE TO START TROUBLE!!! I WOULD THINK THAT MOST OF YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE PLAYING RIGHT INTO A PERSON LIKE THATS HANDS!! Also….GO DAWGS!!!! 4-0!!!!!!

dw

September 23rd, 2012
11:03 am

Where is dr. p this glorious morning? Everyone of his points proved wrong yesterday. What a clown…

Neutral

September 23rd, 2012
11:09 am

Right on DW!!!! Dr.Pee is a total idiot, must be a GT fan!!!

Neutral

September 23rd, 2012
11:12 am

Speaking of GT, is the Miami team they played yesterday the same one that lost to Kansas State by 6-7 TDs just 2 weeks ago or was that Miami of Ohio? Just asking

joe jenkins

September 23rd, 2012
11:19 am

We played great last night ecspecially on offense. Mitchell is going to be a great corner…but right now he is getting tested and burned….I’m still waiting for somebody else to get pressure on the qb besides jarvis jones…I abry jones is not hurt to bad…For the tennessee game i think swann and commings should be the starting corners…branden smith and mitchell should back them up.I really wish chris sanders and nick marshall would have never messed up. I thought they would have been great. but i also thought corey moore was going to be an all american…but i was wrong about that..he is a caption..that means he is confident…but i guess he cant learn the playbook

dawg52

September 23rd, 2012
11:32 am

To: Some things never change……..you have nothing better to do than drag up trash on UGA that has NOTHING to do with present coach, or organization…..guess thats the thought process of one whom watches his buzz-bugs go down in flames to the worst Miami team in history……AT HOME!!!! GET THE HELL OFF THE BULLDOGS’ BLOG……go help your “wizard coach figure out who, besides himself of course, to blame this latest WRECK on……lolololololol

umyboyBlue17

September 23rd, 2012
11:49 am

like Chris C. alot however, he missed a block on a screen because he hesitated.

Wes H

September 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

I’d be fine with them getting whoever they can to play football. I watch Georgia games to see them win. I could care less about what kind of student they are.

Will

September 23rd, 2012
12:07 pm

Quincy completed 15 passes in a row? I can guess how he celebrated.

Jerry Seinfeld

September 23rd, 2012
12:22 pm

Georgia looked very good last night overall. Who wouldn’t be impressed with how the running backs and Murray played? Georgia did seem to struggle against the few option plays Vanderbilt ran, but hopefully Grantham will get that straightened out. Brown is finally playing the way everyone envisioned him playing when he came out of high school in Murray’s class. Tennessee is no pushover, but if Georgia can play a solid game like they did last night, they should be undefeated going into the South Carolina game. GO DAWGS!!

joe jenkins

September 23rd, 2012
12:45 pm

We really miss boykin more than we thought we would…Our best corner is commings and hasn’t even got to play corner yet…I just don’t know about MM…he seems like liability right now. Maybe move him back to offense full time….the defense will have to be on it this week because tenn can throw the ball.I still think we will lose to the chickens because their defense will dominate our o-line…they are bigger and faster in the trenches…It’s will be so sad to lose to them for the third year in a row…….i will start to lose confidence in richt if we do…because that means sc truly has our number and that is sad

Joey

September 23rd, 2012
1:08 pm

Damn, Joe, the game isn’t for 2 weeks and you’re already “so sad?” Has it occurred to you yet that Vandy handled SC’s o and D-lines pretty damn well? 17-13 was the score – 3 weeks ago – does that mean anything to you? Of course SC is good – hence the ranking. So are we and I’ll believe it when I see SC “dominate” our offense.

Also, if Grantham keeps running Mitchell out there, it must mean he’s better than the alternative. Probably rusty – hasn’t played corner since HS.

I think we know Grantham will put the best players on the field.

Yarddawg

September 23rd, 2012
1:24 pm

Would someone please find Harold and snatch that pipe out of his hands!

ATL Sports Fan

September 23rd, 2012
1:41 pm

One of the plays MM was burned on he slipped and still was able to catch back up with the receiver.

[...] Notes: Satisfying day for Grantham, Georgia’s defense [...]

Bazooka Joe

September 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

Joe, dont get too down about the scar game…. yes their D is probably the best we will play against all year (unless we are fortunate enough to play Bama in Atl.). However…. if we play our A game, they will not totally shut us down – will we score 40 ? no. I have not seen a lot of their games yet but when I did, their offense isnt anything special. So I guess what I am trying to say is we can shut their offense down better than they can shut ours down.

joe jenkins

September 23rd, 2012
2:38 pm

@joey…..how we beat teams has nothing to with how our game with the poultry will go. you know spurrier will out coach richt once again…and lattiomore will eat us alive. well anyways i’m dead scared of the vol’s will have to score 40 points to beat them..because our pass defense is awful. i think last night it was more about what vandy did to their selves on offense rather than what our defense did…..

Dumbo

September 23rd, 2012
3:25 pm

joe jenkins..damn, I thought Munson was dead til I read your wacky worry wart crap…it’s a miracle, Munson lives!!!!!!!!…nobody but Munson could depress UGA fans faster except for maybe you

Seadoggy

September 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Hey, Tell Me Again. I liked everything you said, except for the last sentence, in which you said, “Even our engineering school knows that.” My son had the grades and SAT score to attend Tech. We took him to the Atlanta campus for a visitation, and he did not like it or Atlanta at all. (I do not dislike Atlanta or Tech myself. My mother is an Atlanta native, and I root for Tech when they are playing anybody but UGA. It is just the right thing for a loyal Georgian to do.) However, at least ten members of my family have attended UGA (eight of them graduated), and he wanted to go there, too. He decided to attend the UGA School of Engineering when he found out about it. He has done very well at UGA, winning the J.G. Hollingsworth Award (given university-wide by the Math Dept.) for the best grade in third-semester Analytical Calculus). He has done very well in his engineering classes, consistently earning 4.0 GPAs, even in his upper-level engineering courses, and being twice awarded annual department scholarships for excellence in his engineering studies. He currently has two internships, one with a company that manufacturers high-tech microfiber products and another with the Nano Electrochemistry Lab at UGA, while taking a full load of difficult engineering courses. His mother and I are very proud of him and are certain that he has a very bright future in engineering. Needless to say, I do not take kindly your gratuitous remarks disparaging the UGA School of Engineering. Despite being relatively new, it is a excellent engineering school, and you owe my son, the rest of the students and faculty and the school itself an apology.

Dawg Heaven

September 23rd, 2012
3:49 pm

“When quarterback Aaron Murray completed 12 passes in a row to start the game it was third on Georgia’s all-time list. Quincy Carter and Eric Zeier had 15 each”

Fourth…Bobo leads the list with 19.

flo-ri-duh

September 23rd, 2012
4:05 pm

#1) injury to Abry Jones #2) blown coverages by Malcolm Mitchell #3) extra point attempts #4) short kick offs. Everything else looks good.