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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Third quarter blog

0:09 left in third quarter, Georgia leads 35-21

Georgia is back in command of this game, after a huge defensive play.

Georgia Tech fumbled a pitch on first down, and after the ball was knocked downfield a bit, Justin Houston picked it up and dove at the right pylon for the score.

That's a huge cushion for Georgia, which by the way hasn't had to punt in awhile. It was only stopped by its own errors in the third quarter.

0:40 left in third quarter, Georgia leads 28-21

Mark Richt decided to take a big risk, and it paid off.

Facing fourth and goal from inches away, but with the game tied, Richt decided a field goal wasn't sufficient. Just like he decided earlier in the game from the 4-yard line.

But this time the Bulldogs converted. Washaun Ealey took a pitch and broke through the right side, and the Bulldogs are back ahead.

We may look back on this sequence - the Tech fumble followed by the UGA scoring drive - as the pivotal part of the game. But that depends on whether the Bulldog defense can get some stops.

2:55 left in third quarter

The third quarter has officially turned into a fumble-fest, with a little Keystone Cops thrown in.

First, Caleb King fumbled the ball away at the Georgia Tech nine, yet another in a litany of red-zone fumbles for the Georgia tailbacks this season. King had just uncorked two very good runs.

Then, after the Georgia defense held (finally) to force a punt, Branden Smith muffed the catch, and Georgia Tech recovered at the UGA 34.

But just a few plays later, the Bulldogs knocked the ball loose, and after it was kicked upfield a few times, Akeem Dent recovered at the 36. The play was reviewed, and Dent's foot may have been out of bounds, but there wasn't enough to overturn.

That could end up being a huge swing for Georgia. Its defense is finally showing signs of being able to get a handle on the triple-option.

10:37 left in third quarter, Georgia Tech ties it at 21

Georgia still can't consistently stop the run, and now the pass is becoming a problem too.

The Yellow Jackets surprised the Bulldogs with a long pass play on their first play of the half, completing it 44 yards into Georgia territory. Then it was back to the run, including a fourth-down conversion. The following play saw Tech's Embry Peoples take a wide pitch and go 19 yards into the end zone.

OK, now it's time for Georgia to get a bit antsy. The offense is about to re-take the field, which is a good thing for the Bulldogs, but how long can Aaron Murray and company just keep answering? The Bulldog defense needs a stop.

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