End of half, Georgia leads 27-7
The first half has ended and, except for one play, it's been all Georgia.
The stat sheet isn't particularly lopsided, except for turnovers (Tennessee 3, Georgia none) and sacks (Georgia with three, and it would've been four, but Justin Houston couldn't grab Matt Sims, who then threw the Vols' lone score.)
The final minute of action illustrated where we are in this game: The Bulldogs called a timeout so Tennessee had to punt from midfield. Then the Bulldogs didn't drop a man back to return, or try to rush the punter. Basically, they called timeout just to see if Tennessee had any more mistakes left in it.
It didn't, at least for that play. But there are 30 minutes left.
1:55 left in first half, Georgia leads 27-7
The frustration has officially been taken out on Tennessee.
Taking advantage of more Volunteer mistakes, Georgia tacks on a Blair Walsh field goal and leads by 20. It could have been more, but A.J. Green couldn't quite haul in a pass while diving in the end zone.
Georgia's drive started at the Tennessee 21, thanks to (in order) a muffed Vol snap that backed its offense to its own 3, a short punt, and a late hit call on Logan Gray's punt return.
So the Bulldogs are back in control, having in less than a half equaled their highest point total from any of the previous four games. (Last week's 29-27 loss at Colorado.)
Tennessee has three turnovers, which is a big reason the game is so lopsided. But don't short the Bulldogs, who are getting good games from Aaron Murray, A.J. Green, and - finally - some playmaking on defense.
6:41 left in second quarter, Georgia increases lead to 24-7
When in doubt, pass it to A.J.
After a couple not-so-fortuitous occurences, Georgia was backed up to its 22 for a very long second-and-goal. No matter. Georgia went for broke anyway, and Aaron Murray found A.J. Green over the middle, who made the catch around the 5 and ran the rest of the way despite a defender being draped on him.
Cordy Glenn's chop block call, a 15-yard penalty, was the reason the Bulldogs were all the way back - wiping out a play that saw Washaun Ealey fumble inside the 5 once again.
This time the fumble went out of bounds. But Ealey was quickly yanked, and you could hear a lot of muttering from the stands here.
7:28 left in second quarter
Blake Sailors had a nice way of redeeming himself. The special teams ... er ... specialist recovered a muffed punt in the air at the Tennessee 37.
It was Sailors' block-in-the-back that negated Logan Gray's nice punt return to midfield.
The fumble recovery was a big lift for Georgia, whose offense was starting to sputter, after its second straight three-and-out.
As is customary after such turnovers, Georgia went for the big strike on the next play - and succeeded. Tight end Aron White got wide open down the right sideline, as Tennessee's secondary bought a play fake by Aaron Murray, who hit White for a 30-yard gain. (White gained nearly 10 of those yards down the sideline as the Volunteers couldn't bring him down.)
12:58 left in second quarter, Georgia now leads 17-7
Don't crown the Bulldogs in this one just yet.
Tennessee gets a big third-down play, with Matt Sims escaping another sack from Justin Houston, then heaved a touchdown pass - which Bacarri Rambo barely missed at least tipping.
So, yet another big play given up by the Georgia defense. Todd Grantham reacted by yelling, and Mark Richt reacted by shaking his head and looking at the ground. It was a nice play by Sims, though.
I still think Tennessee's offense is a bit limited in how it would be able to respond from being down this much. But it would behoove the Georgia offense to put up and answer here, or at least a long-ish drive, given the up-and-down tendencies of the Georgia defense.
UPDATE: Three-and-out from the Georgia offense - but the Bulldog defense forces a three-and-out after a 51-yard Drew Butler punt. That'll work too.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
End of half, Georgia leads 27-7