On Saturday afternoon UGA VIII debuted and watched the Georgia Bulldogs absolutely annihilate the Vanderbilt Commodores 43-0. The last time Georgia shut out an SEC opponent was against South Carolina (18-0) in 2006. The last time Vandy had been held scoreless came in 2003 when the Commodores fell to Tennessee 48-0.
Aaron Murray once again showed that he is no longer a freshman as he completed 15 of 24 for 287 yards, 2 TD and no picks. The backfield had a strong day as Washaun Ealey rushed for 123 yards, 1 TD and NO fumbles and Carlton Thomas added 2 TDs. The duo of Kris Durham and A.J. Green added 7 receptions and 2 of those went for scores. Georgia outgained Vandy in the game 547 to 140. The best sign for the defense was holding Vandy to 1 of 11 on third down and winning the turnover battle 2 to 0. It should be noted that Georgia called off the Dawgs in this game or it could have been much, much worse.
Has Georgia turned the corner?
Georgia seems to have breathed new life into their program by destroying the SEC East's (some are calling it the SEC Least this year) bottom feeders. Can Georgia take these two games and translate them into a win at Kentucky on Saturday. I think Georgia can win on Saturday and could win big (but on that same note, this team has shown that they can also find a miraculous way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory). The biggest key for this team on Saturday against Kentucky is to keep their heads up, remain confident and don't beat themselves (like they've done in all 4 of their losses).
Is The SEC EAST Still Within Reach?
Is it within reach? Yes. Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? No. First of all South Carolina would have to lose two games (which is possible as they still have Florida and Arkansas on the schedule). Secondly, Georgia would have to win out in the SEC which means beating Kentucky, Florida and Auburn. I honestly think Georgia can win all 3 of those games but I also thought they could beat South Carolina, Arkansas, Miss State and lowly Colorado.
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- Georgia is ranked 20th Nationally in Scoring Defense at 17.4 ppg (2009 ranking was 63rd at 25.9 ppg)
- Georgia is ranked 18th Nationally in Rushing Defense at 105 ypg (this is baffling after seemingly not being able to stop South Carolina, Miss State or Colorado on the ground)
- Georgia is ranked 13th Nationally in Opponent Kickoff Returns yielding only 18.5 yard per attempt (2009 ranking was 117th at 25.7 ypa)
- Georgia is ranked 27th Nationally in Penalty Yardage at 44 yards/game (2009 ranking was 106th at 67.5 ypg)
- Georgia is ranked 30th in Turnover Margin at +0.57 per game (2009 ranking was 118th at -1.23 per game)
- Kris Durham leads the SEC in Yards Per Reception at 20.59 yards/catch
- Justin Houston leads the SEC in sacks with 7
- Freshman Safety Alec Ogletree continues to get more playing time and I think he's been very impressive in the time he's been on the field. He made a couple of strong one-on-one tackles against Vandy late in the game.
- Sophomore CB Sanders Commings leads the team in interceptions with 2 and continues to get more playing time with the absence of Branden Smith. I have been impressed with what i've seen of Commings at the CB spot recently. He's bigger than most of our other CBs and seems to have a physical presence to him that fits in Todd Grantham's defense.
- Aaron Murray just continues to impress. He has 16 TD (12 passing and 4 rushing) and only 3 interceptions and just seems to be getting better every week. Maybe he's getting better every week because he's playing Tennessee and Vanderbilt but he just seems to have that something that should translate into a fantastic college quarterback in the years to come.
- Kris Durham and A.J. Green both continue to amaze me with some of the catches they've made this year. They are one of the best 1-2 receiver combos in college football.
- The Tight Ends seem to be getting the football more over the last couple of games. Aron White has at least 2 catches in each of the last 3 games and Orson Charles made two catches against Tennessee and Colorado before being held to 1 against Vanderbilt. The TEs are a huge part of this offense and are two of the best receiving TEs in the country. They need to be utilized more to open up Durham, Green and King on the outside and to open up holes for the running game.