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Sunday, September 5, 2010

What we learned Saturday

As you would expect from a 55-7 victory, it’s almost all positive:

- Aaron Murray can run. He may not always do so in the smartest fashion – witness his lucky touchdown scamper as the first half expired – but he’s got a set of legs.

We knew Murray had a pretty good arm, and for awhile now had heard reports from teammates and coaches that his command of the offense and the huddle was stellar. Now he looks like an above-average runner for a quarterback, adding a very nice dimension to the offense.

The one worry that emerged from Saturday was Murray was definitely prone to those freshman mistakes. Against Louisiana-Lafayette, you can get a few mulligans. Against SEC teams, those could be game-changing.

- They call it the 3-4 defense, but that’s almost a misnomer. There were always three guys in a stance on the line, but on almost every snap a big linebacker or two or three were lined up outside, poised to blitz. And then did.

Georgia’s three sacks were all by linebackers – two of them inside guys, Akeem Dent and Akeem Hebron. (It’s too bad Prince Akeem from “Coming to America,” played by Eddie Murphy, didn’t get any action, or he would’ve had a sack or two also.)

Both sacks by the inside backers were set up by initial pressure from the outside. And the Bulldogs were credited with a total of nine tackles-for-loss, dispersed among 11 different players. That’s not too shabby.

- Todd Grantham can get a wee bit fiery. The defensive coordinator’s tirade against Bacarri Rambo was a great first impression to Georgia fans who had groused about the former staff. Grantham’s honeymoon was extended even longer.

(And Rambo was tied for the team’s lead in tackles, with Dent.)

- Hutson Mason is the backup quarterback for the foreseeable future, and is at least not a green true freshman. But he’s still a true freshman, so let’s not start to think Georgia coaches won’t be nervous every time Aaron Murray takes off from the pocket.

- Other true freshmen who played, as expected, were Derek Owens (who had a big hit on special teams), T.J. Stripling (lining up at blitzing outside linebacker) and Zander Ogletree (who caught a pass). The suspended Alec Ogletree is still on track to play once he returns, while there’s an outside chance receiver Michael Bennett could still see time this year.

- Another first-year player, junior college Jakar Hamilton, had a great debut, starting at free safety and returning a pick for a touchdown. The only problem is Hamilton’s hometown in the program is listed as Edgeville, S.C. It’s actually Edgefield, which I know because I’ve been there. Hamilton said he’d get it fixed.

- Carlton Thomas will continue to get carries, even when Washaun Ealey returns. Thomas got nearly as many carries as Caleb King in the decisive first half, and did more with them. I’ll be curious to see how they disperse the chances the following few weeks.

- Branden Smith will be a weapon once again, and apparently even more so than last year.

- Blair Walsh, Drew Butler and the return tandem of Smith and Brandon Boykin gives Georgia one of the best special teams in the nation.


AthensHomerDawg said...

I thought Sanders Cummings int was the most impressive of the day. QB play was sharp and composed. Fran T. stated on 680The Fan that he didn't care for our qb because he didn't go "12 for 12 in practice against the 4th and 5th stringers". He didn't think much of Jay Cutler at one time either. Sit on Francis!

Anonymous said...

The motto of our inside line backing core should be: "kindly, don't come up the middle or I will have to thrash you".

rbubp said...

"Sexual Chocolate"

AwesomeDawg said...

Overall, a very impressive day for the Dawgs against a weak opponent. However, the O-line had zero push all day long. I hope this is due to the rash of injuries/illness throughout fall camp. They most certainly did not look like the nation's best O-line as many have reported. Saturday will tell us a ton about this squad. GATA Dawgs

JasonC said...

You and Strom Thurmond.