Sunday, November 20, 2011

SEC Bound

Conquering Kentucky in a 19-10 victory puts Georgia representing the SEC East on December 3rd. This day marked a milestone for several seniors as they played Between the Hedges for one final game. The Dawgs will take on the No.1 ranked LSU Tigers in the 2011 SEC Championship! While that seat in the championship game may be clinched, Georgia will first have to face in-state rival Georgia Tech. Playing in Atlanta this year, Georgia will have to come focused and prepared to beat this year’s Yellow Jackets.

As for beating Kentucky, to say Georgia entered the game with a fairly sluggish offense would be an understatement. Aaron Murray operates so well for a young quarterback, but I saw what seemed to be a lot of miscommunication of plays on Saturday. I wasn’t quite sure I was watching the same team that beat Auburn just last week. Aaron Murray finished the game with 162 yards and 16-of-29 completions. Brandon Harton rushed for 101 yards on 23 carries while Orson Charles finished with 40 receiving yards. Thanks to four Blair Walsh field goals, the Dawgs were able to take a 12-10 lead into halftime.

Luckily, the defense answered the call. They were able to hold Kentucky enough to keep them from scoring in the 2nd half. Jarvis Jones had one of his best games--recording seven tackles. This Butkus Award semifinalist is brining the heat to David Pollack’s 2004 record of 14 sacks. Jones is currently at 12.5 for the season. Late in the fourth quarter, Jones forced a fumble that Christian Robinson would recover. The Bulldogs were able to successfully convert on a third-and-seven that would set up Marlon Brown to put six points on the board. This would bring the Dawgs to 19-10 and solidify their seat in the SEC Championship game!

Head Coach Mark Richt said, “Today was definitely a team victory,” and I could agree with him more. The mistakes were countless but a win is and win and the Dawgs are SEC Bound! Many critics would have never seen this situation playing out after such a rocky start to the season, but the Dawgs believed otherwise. This team has fought and earned their right to compete against the No.1 team in the nation! My hope is that we make it past Tech with a W and then focus on turning the SEC Championship into a ballgame.

As always, GOOOO Dawgs!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Domination of the Wartigers

It’s the South’s oldest rivalry and Bulldog fans will be bragging about this win for many days to come. The Georgia Bulldog’s defeated the Auburn “Wartigers” in a 45-7 massacre. For those of you who don’t know the meaning of a Wartiger, it’s very simple. It is a word that is derived from a mass of confused fans. A group whose indecisive nature in determining whether they have one mascot or two has earned them the new and improved mascot….the Wartigers!

Aaron Murray was on FIRE! He completed 14-of-18 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns. Murray even became the all-time leader in touchdown passes in a season. Not only did we see his accuracy and attack, but he seemed more confident than ever. Bottom line…he came to play! Georgia presented a double threat in Carlton Thomas and Isaiah Crowell. Both tailbacks ran for over 100 yards and showcased agility and determination. Thomas ran for 127 yards while Crowell finished with 132 yards on 24 carries.

The offense got off to a quick start and ran with it. The defense helped hold that lead by shutting down Auburn’s attempt to move the ball. There was no star on defense, but rather a combined force. I felt as if I were watching a solid unit. As always, there were missed opportunities that they let slip by, but overall I saw a lot of improvements that have been made.

Georgia played a smart ballgame. They moved the ball effectively, sometimes in a conveniently slow manner, and they even made necessary adjustments to pull away with the lead. This is the Georgia powerhouse that I have been missing!

With a mediocre Kentucky team left to beat, the Dawgs have earned their right to be playing in Atlanta come December. Not many people would have imagined that after such a rocky beginning the Dawgs would come back to be leading the East. I am glad to know that the Dawgs put up the most lopsided victory in this age old rivalry since 1946. After all, If you’re going to win….WIN BIG!

As always, GOOO DAWGS!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Comeback

When you’re down by 14 to your conference rival, it’s easy to get down. It’s easy to give up and be defeated; however, the easy road is never the road of champions. Finally, the Georgia Bulldog’s chose the path of winners. After many college years of watching my Dawgs give up to Florida, I witnessed the determination of champions in Georgia’s 24-20 win over the Florida Gators!

Was this a perfect win? No. At times it was sloppy, poorly executed and downright ugly, but a win in Jacksonville is a hard mental and physical battle to the end. The Bulldog’s can walk away from the 2011 season knowing they fought and deserved this W.

I’d rather highlight the defense this week since their comeback was stellar. Jarvis Jones had an amazing day with five tackles and a forced fumble. A total of six sacks were recorded. Jones is credited with four of those drills while Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams recovered fumbles, too. The line as a whole stood strong in the midst of battle and appeared to be a different team after the half.

The offense isn’t to be left out, but it wasn’t their best day by a stretch. QB Aaron Murray took some beatings, finished with 169 yards, and went 15-for-34 on passing. Isaiah Crowell led the team on the ground with 81 yards on 18 carries, and Tavarrres King led through the air with three catches for 44 yards and a TD. After trailing 17-3, Georgia scored on two fourth downs to tie the game in the 3rd quarter. Props to both Mark Richt and Mike Bobo for some really gutsy calls. This shows confidence in their players that some would say has been lacking in the past.

Florida wouldn’t keep the tie long when Andre Debose returned the kickoff 63 yards. Georgia’s defense knew crunch time was arriving and they held the Gator’s to a field goal making it 20-17. The Bulldog’s would answer with an impressive nine-play drive to take a 24-20 lead. Richard Samuels deserves major credit for his extreme effort to finish strong while running in the last TD. He came close to scoring again, but instead the clock would run out and he would be assisted off the field. Here’s to hoping he is not injured badly for his resilient exertion.

There isn’t much to be said of special teams. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t horrible, but it isn’t living up to the caliber that is the Georgia Bulldog’s. In my opinion, many improvements need to be made and it’s not all major things. A lot of the errors look to be a lack of preparation, miscommunication and a mental block that has to be overcome.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t in Jacksonville this year for the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party.” I missed the excitement of heading down to Jax, pre-gaming with crazy obnoxious fans, stomping of people’s “pet” gators, and everything that goes along with this historic rivalry. No doubt I will be back next year ready for another WIN!

The SEC East race is still alive and these days I watch South Carolina football just as religiously as my beloved Dawgs! As always, GO DAWGS!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Fight to the Finish

The University of Georgia Bulldogs may have beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 33-28, but it was a fight to the finish for the Dawgs…..on the field and “off.” While Georgia should have been celebrating a victory, there seemed to be a discrepancy taking place between the newly developed “rivals.” Who knows what really happened on the field. All I know is that passion is part of the game of football and sometimes it gets the best of everyone.

Aaron Murray passed for a career high 326 yards to help lead the Bulldogs to 5-2 for the season, 4-1 in the SEC. Since Mark Richt decided to keep Isaiah Crowell out of most of the game, Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett were able to step up and shine. Brown took in 2 touchdowns with 112 yards while Bennett finished with 7 catches for 89 yards. Richard Samuel ended up with 53 yards on 15 carries.

While the defense looked sloppy at times, they put up some major stops when it counted. Giving up 349 yard to Vandy wasn’t ideal, but they were able to step up when necessary. Leading the defense was Bacarri Rambo who had 8 tackles and 1 interception.

Blair Walsh was utilized a good bit. He attempted 6 field goals and successfully drilled 4 of those 6 to help in Georgia’s win. Drew Butler should be highly praised. Without his rapid ability to gather himself after a blocked punt with little time left, Vandy’s Udom Umoh would have made it far past the 20 yard line where Butler was able to stop him. That was a definite game changing play that brought fans to their feet and a glimmer of hope in Vandy’s eye. After an illegal substitution penalty, Vandy was able to get two plays off before the game ended in Georgia’s favor.

What ended in a Georgia victory could have easily been a defeat. Luckily, the Bulldogs were able to hold on long enough to claim a W that keeps them alive in the race for the SEC East. With South Carolina’s recent struggles, losing QB Stephen Garcia & a more recent injury to the knee of Marcus Lattimore, Georgia’s chances are as good as ever. They will have 2 weeks to rest and prepare for the infamous GA-FL game in Jacksonville - which always proves to be a rival game like NO other. Florida will be coming off a major losing streak, but the Gators are never to be underestimated when it comes to playing the Bulldogs! It tends to be a mental game just as much as it is physical….let’s hope we come prepared!

As always, GOOO Dawgs!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

100 Victories

Georgia’s 20-12 win over the SEC rival Tennessee made for an exciting Saturday in Knoxville! Mark Richt brought in his 100th win as the head coach for the University of Georgia Bulldogs! This was a much needed and well deserved win for a team that is trying to prove they are worthy of the SEC East!

The first half started off shaky with each team only snagging a pair of field goals. Blair Walsh drove 2 through the middle to assist Georgia, but there were so many missed opportunities right off the bat. Isaiah Crowell didn’t shine in the first half either but he really brought it later in the night. Despite an injured wrist, he scored 2 touchdowns to help lead the Bulldogs to a victory. Aaron Murray went 15-of-25 for 227 yards passing. Murray may have overshot several passes throughout the night, but he connected spot on with Malcolm Mitchell for a 73-yarder that would lead to one of Crowell’s scoring drives. Mitchell shows tremendous potential, especially for a freshman. He limped off the field for the night with what seemed to be a pulled hamstring after setting the Dawgs up down-field, but hopefully he will return quickly.

The self-destructing backward drive in the fourth quarter left fans stunned. What was going on? I will get a little defensive though of Richard Samuel….he seems to get a lot of crap for his 1-yard gain but come on people….he had nowhere to go. And people want to crawl Bobo constantly about his play calling but what would a better call have been at 2nd & 56? Any play at that point was going to get a penalty!

The defense fought hard in the fourth quarter without fading. They let one score slide in but were able to protect there lead enough to capture the W. Todd Grantham’s defense could still use some adjusting but overall they held Tennessee pretty well! Mike Gilliard led the Bulldogs defensively with 12 tackles and a sack.

Georgia stays alive in the SEC East race! This win was necessary for the momentum that the following 3 weeks will bring. With Vandy and a bi-week leading up to Florida, this win will hopefully give the Dawgs the drive they need to be better than ever.

As always, GOOO Dawgs!