End of half, Georgia still leads 17-14
The Bulldogs have the lead by three, but it could've been more.
Blair Walsh missed a 41-yard field goal as the half ended. Thus ended a season-opening streak of eight made field goals for Walsh. The junior kicker had wondered if the thin air would affect him, and it may have. (Walsh heard that kicks tended to go longer but would also be erratic. His miss was wide right.)
The miss wasted Marcus Dowtin's interception with 1:40 left, which had given Georgia the ball at the Colorado 39.
Still, the good news for Georgia is its offense is finally clicking - thanks to you-know-who - and the defense has clamped up after a rough start.
Then again, we've heard that last part before. And it hasn't ended well for Georgia. Let's see if it does this time.
2:00 left in second quarter, Georgia still leads 17-14
Suddenly, Georgia looks the way it was supposed to before the season started: Potentially explosive with A.J. Green, and a solid running game, but prone to mistakes from a freshman quarterback.
OK, so all the talk that A.J. Green's return would change the entire complexion of the offense, make everything better, including the running game ... In this game, at least, it appears to be true.
Ever since Georgia has begun involving Green, it can't be stopped - until an interception.
Murray's pass on third down was picked off, in a nifty catch by a Colorado defender. Murray was hit as he threw it. The middle was open, and Green probably should have just run through it. But those are the kind of things a freshman quarterback does.
7:29 left in second quarter, Georgia now leads 17-14
Where to start ... Georgia has its first lead in four games, and 202 minutes. A.J. Green has two catches this season - both touchdowns.
For the first time in a month, you're actually feeling that Georgia is in control of a football game.
Green just hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Murray, running a perfect route down the middle, with Murray hitting him perfectly in stride in the end zone.
This came after Georgia's defense had two big stops. The first was negated by a personal foul penalty. But the Bulldogs held again, and Branden Smith returned the subsequent punt to the Colorado 39. One play later ... Murray to Green.
Momentum swung before the play, and now the lead has also.
11:08 left in second quarter, Georgia now within 14-10
A.J. Green just showed the viewing public why he was so sorely missed the first four games.
Georgia's star receiver made a one-handed catch - in the middle of a leap - then held on as he hit the ground in the end zone. Touchdown Georgia, and dare I say, the kind of play that could alter this game, maybe even the season.
Hyperbole, maybe. But when the player whose absence has been the story off the field for four games - while his team went 1-3 on it - makes a play like that, it could lift the entire team.
Pretty decent first catch of Green's season, eh? It'll be on Sportscenter, and should be on YouTube any minute.
Green hadn't even touched the ball until that drive, but Georgia made sure to change that right away, calling an end-around. Green gained 40 on the play.
Then Caleb King went for 32, after a nifty run. He nearly went down a few yards past the line of scrimmage, got up and then straddled the sideline down to the 8.
The keeper by Aaron Murray only gained five, but it was a pretty good adjustment by the freshman, who was nearly bottled up in the backfield. Two plays later, Murray hit Green, and it seems like a whole new ballgame.
13:15 left in second quarter, Colorado now leads 14-3
The bad start for Georgia's defense has carried into the second quarter, and now it finds itself down two possessions.
The touchdown was set up by a now-familiar sight: The Georgia defense giving up a big play. This time it was a 39-yard screen pass to Brian Lockridge.
Lockridge caught it in the flat - wide open - and ran down to the 2, where he was finally caught by Bacarri Rambo. About 10 yards before that Lockridge ran past Jakar Hamilton, who didn't get in position for even a leg tackle.
Oh, that play was on third down. Just in case you'd forgotten what's become Georgia's worst down, defensively. Colorado is now 4-for-5 on third downs.
Georgia's defense is getting manhandled and out-physicaled again. What has to be discouraging about this - beyond the fact that Colorado isn't supposed to be a good team - is that the Bulldog defense hasn't tightened up yet. It at least did that the previous three games, only to get beat again later in the game.
Now it's back up to the Georgia offense, which hasn't been on the field much. But when it has, A.J. Green has yet to touch the ball. I fully expect that to change on this third drive. Well, maybe.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
End of half, Georgia still leads 17-14