1:00 left in second quarter, Georgia 24-7
Well, so much for the perfect first half out of the Georgia defense. Todd Grantham now has something to yell about.
After Georgia’s first turnover of the game – more on that in a moment – ULL capitalized right away, scoring on a 60-yard touchdown pass.
Ladarius Green, the tight end – the tight end! – got behind the coverage and was wide open down the right sideline. Bacarri Rambo was the nearest defender, as Green easily hauled in the pass and ran it in. Rambo then got an earful from Grantham on the sideline.
An all-around bad couple plays for the two biggest new things on Georgia’s team: Quarterback Aaron Murray also has the first interception of his career. But it wasn’t really his fault.
His third-down pass looked well-placed down the middle to Kris Durham, who had the ball in his hands but couldn’t haul it in. The ULL defender scooped it out of the air and fell on it at the 40.
2:27 left in second quarter, Georgia 24-0
Georgia's offense, after a brief bout of sluggishness, erupts again. Aaron Murray hits Kris Durham on a 42-yard play, then fullback Shaun Chappas takes it in from 12 yards out on a catch-and-run.
Durham has four catches for 78 yards, both careers. Hey, who needs A.J. Green? (As long as you're playing Louisiana-Lafayette.)
But seriously, at a minimum this is huge for Georgia if Durham emerges as a viable second option - assuming Green returns. (And based on what school president Michael Adams said, I'm assuming it. For now.)
Meantime, the Georgia defense STILL hasn't allowed a first down, and just picked up its second sack of the game. Justin Houston barreled in untouched from the left side and threw the quarterback to the ground.
Can't say enough about how active, energetic and smart this defense has looked today.
4:00 left in second quarter
OK, I know it's only Louisiana-Lafayette - and apologies to all ULL alums - but the early reviews on Georgia's new defense are resoundingly good.
The Bulldogs are flying around, applying pressure and stuffing the run. They still haven't given up a defensive first down, and have one turnover.
Meantime, the special teams has been stupendous, other than the opening kickoff.
Branden Smith had another long punt return, this time 24 yards, once again with a huge block, this time by Derek Owens. The freshman leveled a Rajin Cajun, then celebrated (while the play was still going on, which may draw him a word from the coaches. But hey, he’s a freshman.)
Drew Butler also had a 46-yard punt that stayed in the air longer than a Fidel Castro speech.
The offense, meantime, just had a very backward-moving drive. But Logan Gray had his first reception, on a quick hitch, and drew a nice round of applause.
But again, considering all the weapons out for this game, the fact the Bulldogs have 17 points, no matter who they're playing, is a positive sign.
11:00 left in second quarter, Georgia up 17-0
Georgia is now officially rolling, thanks to defense and special teams. And the offense not making any mistakes.
Blair Walsh just nailed a 52-yard field goal, set up by a long punt return by Branden Smith. Walsh is now 7-for-11 from 50 or more yards in his career. That right there deserves a wow.
The Georgia defense, meanwhile, still hasn’t allowed a first down. On the previous drive Akeem Dent had the sack, but it was essentially forced by Darryl Gamble, who was blitzing from the left side. The Rajin Cajun quarterback moved away, right into Dent.
Branden Smith returned the subsequent punt 31 yards down to the ULL 40, set up by a punishing block as Smith started his run.
14:55 left in second quarter, Georgia takes 14-0 lead
Kris Durham is officially your star of the game so far, at least on offense.
The senior, wearing a different number to honor teammate Quintin Banks, is honoring Banks quite well. Durham hauled in a six-yard pass in the corner of the end zone on third down, nicely placed by Aaron Murray.
It was Murray's first career touchdown. Georgia now leads 14-0, having notched touchdowns on their past two drives.
No matter the opposition, it's a great sign for the Bulldogs to get up like this without A.J. Green, Washaun Ealey and Tavarres King.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
1:00 left in second quarter, Georgia 24-7