These Dawgs looked damned serious about their business Saturday against the supposedly new look Vanderbilt Commodores. Prior to the game, I opined that we probably would not be treated to an Auburn 2011 thorough annihilation. I was expecting something more along the lines of 34-13. Those who expected Auburn 2011 Redux were spot on as the Dawgs whipped Vanderbilt 48-3 and played as close to mistake-free as we have seen since, well, Auburn 2011.
Here are my top takeaways from the game (in no particular order):
- Aaron Murray started 12 of 12 and finished 18 -24 for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. This marks two weeks in a row where he started off hot as he hit his first 6 against FAU. We need this trend to continue. From what I can recall of his 6 incompletions Saturday night, one was a drop, one was a throw away, two were batted at the LOS and one was just over the outstretched arms of Rantavious Wooten who had 2 steps on his man and would have had a long TD if the ball had been thrown 18 inches shorter. My point? Murray was extremely sharp. I would like to see him avoid the balls batted down at the LOS but that also requires some OL help.
- Our running game was explosive and dominant. This was a combination of excellent run blocking and hard, determined running by Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall and Ken Malcome. I continue to be impressed with Gurley's balance. He has power and vision and a quick burst into open space but he also knows how to control his body into and out of contact to maintain his balance and either continue downfield on his feet or at worst, go down falling forward for another yard or three. His 34 yard touchdown run included 4 broken tackles with the last one being a grown-ass-man stiff arm to the turf of the Vandy safety. Of the previous UGA greats, I think he reminds me of Rodney Hampton more than the others. Oh, and I haven't seen him tap his helmet like some of our previous "feature" backs were fond of doing after a couple of carries. What do you think?
- Jarvis Jones continues to be a beast. He plays with the most desire I have seen in silver britches since Rennie Curran. The thing that astounds me about Jarvis’s play is when the ball is run
to the side opposite him and how often he ends up in the pile. Often, I
watch him off the LOS penetrating a few yards deep but then I see the
ball going the other way so I take my eyes off Jarvis to watch the ball
then a few seconds later after a gang tackle, I see Jarvis getting up
from the bottom and I think, “How the hell did he get there?” It’s like
he is one of those vampires in the stupid True Blood series that run so
fast they are nearly invisible. But then, if you see the replay or a
highlight reel with Jarvis circled, you see him recognize the play and
just haul ass like his hair is on fire and take the perfect angle to get
there. His motor makes the great David Pollack look like a slacker.
Every HS and middle school football player could learn reams of football
knowledge just by watching Jarvis GATA and never quit on a play.
- Marlon Brown's hands are like catchers mitts made of memory foam. He is sucking every ball into those strong paws like the 5 Star stud we have been waiting on. He has had consecutive monster games against Vandy, combining for 9 catches 235 yards and 3 TDs. That is 26 yards per catch. He makes for a great target opposite the deep threat of Tavarres King and the sure-handed Michael Bennett. Now, how dangerous will this group be with Malcom Mitchell getting more reps on offense... assuming that happens.
- The Grantham-Franklin Flap... is now officially a dead horse as Grantham sent his charges out there to thoroughly dismantle the Vanderbilt offense. Keeping them out of the end zone was an excellent feat even if we did catch a break when Rodgers lost the handle on the ball creating a touchback.
- I hope Coach Richt has about 10 more games this season of a "personal" nature. We seem to respond well when the games are "personal." GATA.