Good afternoon, Dawgs! I guess Vandy came out a little bit tight, not quite right because when your coach flaps his gums about respect, attitude, culture and stuff it does tends to add more pressure to an already pressure-packed situation. All part of the process, I suppose. A ton of credit goes out to our fans who showed up, packed the place and were loud. This had a tangible effect, as the Commodores false started themselves into a punting situation right off the bat. On Georgia's first possession, we literally moved the ball like a hot knife through butter, and at exactly the 9:54 mark in the first quarter it was apparent that we were going to score some points; not necessarily at will, but pretty darn close.1. The scripted first drive of the game was a pleasure to behold, culminating in Todd Gurley's 4 yard touchdown. The rest of the evening was pure fun. 538 yards of total UGA offense later, I'm still smiling. It could've been 700 again for the second week in a row.
2. As MaconDawg alluded to, Aaron Murray was in control from the opening whistle until he was rested at the end of the 3rd quarter. He's always exuded leadership, but he's truly the Captain of his Ship well into his Junior Season. My only worry was when Murray took off around right tackle on what appeared to be a designed run, scampered about 8 or 10 yards, and got popped. I know he's a tough kid, but I did cringe a bit. It's an unnecessary risk, IMO.
3. Our running backs - they're pretty darn good. Keith Marshall's 52-yard scamper was a tough run in the beginning, pure speed in the end. In the Game Thread, Todd Gurley was compared to for Oklahoma All-American Adrian Peterson. This isn't a far-fetched sentiment. With a similar build and power, Gurley is tough to bring down, and he's going to over raze most safeties that are hung out to dry once he gets past the linebackers. My favorite touchdown of the entire evening was his dazzling 29-yard run, which capped off Georgia's scoring for the evening. ESPN isolated Chris Burnette on that play, as he pulled from his right guard position, sealing off his linebacker and jamming the pursuit. That one run had it all: power, balance, and speed. Don't sleep on "Boo" Malcome. His carries were limited, but he did the most with them...
4. ...we've got more quality depth at this position than I can remember. Richard Samuel IV, when running vertically, is still an asset. Having all these physical and fresh backs will pay dividend late in a ball game this year when it's needed. Book it. Our backs are picking up blocking assignments. What an improvement since the Buffalo game.
5. Marlon Brown had a night. Five receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown - Murray's beautifully thrown short-out in the corner of the end zone. Brown is running great routes and seemed to be consistently open by 5 yards or more.
6. Pistol formations! Bobo gets all the credit in the world for exploring this technique and utilizing it. So full of win. I don't know enough about the "science" of it, but it seems that you have to have the right personnel to make it work effectively in the first place. It would seem that we do. This will be fun to watch evolve...
7. Jarvis Jones should be a verb. For example, "I can't wait to JarvisJones next week," or, "Jawja is gonna JarvisJones all up in yer backfield." And to think he's still not quite 100%. When he bull rushes, he always pushes his man, who may outweigh him by 50 pounds or more, backwards. He's relentless. I wonder how many false starts (and negative yardage) he's induced this season so far. Imma gonna say about 3/4 of a mile.
8. When Jarvis moves on to the NFL next season, we may not miss a beat. Jordan Jenkins is the Heir Apparent and will be an All-American sooner than later. Amarlo Herrera has really impressed me, too. He nearly had another pick and he's only a sophomore.
9. One of the best moments last night was when Mark Richt gave Bacarri Rambo a hug on the sideline. You could sense the relief in both men. Alec Ogletree should return next week as well. These two guys will go a long way in improving certain aspects of our middle defense; namely those pesky slant patterns. The defense is now back to full speed/depth/maliciousness. I hope the chemistry is there...
10. It wasn't until late in the game when Vandy returned a kickoff for positive yardage - anything beyond the 25 yard line. Our kickoff coverage was outstanding as we generally kept their starting field position somewhere just north of the 15 yard line.
11. Our punt returners are scaring me...I don't see any reason for optimi...wha...wait...what who? Rhett McGowan, you're being paged. I liked what I saw: Sure hands, quick, some vision and a north-south path towards the opponents goal line. Think he'll start against the Vols next Saturday?
12. I still think our corners are a little bit suspect. As athletic as Malcolm Mitchell is, he's still learning on the job. There were but a few moments of concern last night, but concern nevertheless.
13. We could've scored 60 while padding some stats. This game wasn't as close as the final score indicated. And it gives me great pleasure to type this.
14. We've got to avoid a let down against the Vols next week. Let 2004 be a cautionary tale. Remember, we had just pasted LSU the prior week and played flat against a Tennessee team that took us down in our own house. With South Carolina looming the week after next, I'll call this for what it is: A Trap Game.
15. It is now official: Notre Dame is the greatest football team of the Century of the Year of This Week. You cannot control Lou Holtz, you can only hope to contain him.
- We aren't getting any National love this morning, unless I've missed something. Whatevs...
- I thought the LSU - Auburn game would be close for a while, but geez... LSU's offense had better improve, fast.
- Anyone who hired
in the first place deserves what they get. I do feel for the Arkansas players, but this program is in shambles. Mizzou needs to capitalize on some border recruiting now.
- Florida State seizes control over Clemson late. It doesn't matter. No ACC team will play for a National Championship this season. They've lost their street cred.
A lot happened last night, but we've got ourselves a football team, folks.
Editor's Note: I just read this sad news concerning an Auburn student assistant coach. Deepest condolences to his family and to Auburn.