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!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Winning Streak Continues

Georgia snagged a very important conference win Saturday in a 24-10 victory over Mississippi State. I was right…the “Bulldogs” won. I am just happy it was my Dawgs and not MSU. Dan Mullen’s Bulldog’s fell to 0-3 in the SEC while Georgia picks it up to 2-1.

Despite the interceptions thrown, Aaron Murray led the way for the Georgia offense with 160 yards on 13-of-25 passing. The offense put up 315 yards total. Orson Charles connected with Murray early on a 21-yard TD that was set up by a 30 yard punt-return by Brandon Boykin. Soon to follow, Malcom Mitchell would snag a receiving touchdown and later Carlton Thomas would rush for one, too. Isaiah Crowell continues to be the hot topic around Athens. For the 3rd time in his career, he passed the 100-yard mark and led the rushing with 104 yards on 22 carries.

A win on the scoreboard and with the stats, Georgia held MSU’s offense to 213 yards. The defense showcased strength and agility in a forceful manner. One thing is for certain, there was no poor defensive play calling. Todd Grantham guided his line and they came ready to perform. Junior Mike Gilliard led with 9 stops with Bacarri Rambo, Brandon Boykin and Amarlo Herrera each put up 6.

Sanders Commings had a great day and was a great asset. It was good to see him back at his normal cornerback position after he has been bouncing around defensively. Commings intercepted the ball prior to Thomas’s touchdown and set up the drive to make it happen. Late in the 3rd, Commings recovered a fumble that was forced by Boykin to set Blair Walsh up for a successful 28-yard field goal. This would be the final score of the day and seal the 24-10 victory for Georgia.

Next week’s prayer: NO “ROCKY TOP” music. First, I hate the song. Second, the songs usually means that Tennessee has scored and we don’t want much or any of that. If the defensive will stick the their display of excellence from this weekend then we will be great. Adjustments always have to be made but overall…THIS is a Bulldog team that can win all their remaining games. I am confident of that!

As always, GOOO Dawgs!!!