Clearly I expected the Georgia Bulldogs to take care of business today against the Troy Trojans. The Trojans are in the midst of a very, very rough year and were playing without starting QB Brandon Silver. Georgia was coming off a rough loss on the road and looking to get the bitter taste of a loss out of their collective mouths. A motivated team playing at home against a physically overmatched opponent ought to put up a bunch of points and not allow many in return.
But Hell's bells. Mark Richt's boys put up the most points ever in the Head Dawg's tenure in the Classic City, the most since a 1994 victory of Louisiana-Monroe. Other statistical notes:
- Three Bulldog quarterbacks scored touchdowns by air or ground.
- The Red and Black averaged 9.4 yards per rush on the way to 367 yards on the ground, the most under Mark Richt (eclipsing the 339 of the 2009 Tech "We run this state" game). Yet oddly only two Bulldogs (Michel and backup QB Faton Bauta scored rushing touchdowns).
- Three Bulldogs (Sony Michel, Todd Gurley, and Isaiah McKenzie) averaged better than 12 yards per carry.
- Ten Bulldogs caught a pass, though surprisingly one was not McKenzie, who nevertheless had 107 all-purpose yards and absolutely trucked a guy on Reggie Davis's 51 yard punt return late in the game.
- Defensively the Dawgs gave up a paltry 38 rushing yards on 26 attempts. When you run the ball and stop the run you often find yourself winning football games. When your rushing yards advantage approaches 10:1, that's PlayStation territory.
We're still waiting to find out the extent of Keith Marshall's third quarter injury, though his right knee did bend in a way in which knees customarily do not bend, and that sickens me to my core. He was sitting on the training table with his surgically-repaired right knee and right ankle iced, but otherwise appeared in good spirits, so maybe there's not too much to it. Let's hope for the best.
I was really surprised to see Nick Chubb late in the game with that big club on his left hand. For one I'm a little surprised the officials would let him play with it (not that Marc Curles and his crew have the slightest clue what the rules are anyway, but I digress). For another it just seemed a little unnecessary, even for a freshman you want to get reps before the meat of the SEC season.
Brice Ramsey was a pedestrian 4/8 passing for 66 yards thanks to at least one drop. But he did drop a nice one into Chris Conley and toss his first collegiate TD. I think Ramsey is our second string signal caller for the moment, and while I bear no ill will against Faton Bauta, I wouldn't mind watching Ramsey take some snaps in 2014 before starting in 2015 and 2016. That's getting a little ahead of ourselves, but when thinking about quarterback succession it pays to think ahead.
I'm not sure how much better the defense really got as Troy didn't offer much of a downfield passing challenge. But allowing 5.1 yards per pass play is never a bad thing.
Now it's onward to next week's home matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers, a game which will likely be a much more effective barometer of where the Bulldogs stand in the SEC firmament. But for now, it's great . . .to be . . . a Georgia Bulldog!