ATHENS- The Georgia Bulldog fans exited the turn stiles on Saturday with hearts filled with hope after a 55-7 beat down of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. It was great to watch the Dawgs defense swarm the over matched Cajun offense. It was even more thrilling to see Todd Granthem tear Baccari Rambo a new one when he blew the coverage to allow ULL to score their only touchdown.
But, it was also ULL that we were playing. Other then the fact that Georgia can stomp an inferior team (which in the past years, we haven’t had many victories as dominant as this), what does Saturdays victory really mean for Bulldog Nation?
Aaron Murray threw the ball extremely well completing 17-26 passes for 3 TD’s and 1 INT (which DB Lance Kelley took out of one of our receivers hands). He threw the ball extremely well. What I was most impressed with was his poise under pressure. Right before half time, with 1:03 left on the clock, Murray led the Bulldogs down the field to score a TD before going into the locker room. The second play of that drive, Murray was swarmed by the Cajun pass rush but he was able to escape the pressure and complete a pass to Orson Charles for a 22 yard gain. The significance of this play was not just that he had the athletic ability to escape the rush, but that he had the wherewithal to continue to look down field. Murray did not have extremely gaudy numbers, but he made great plays escaping the blitz and made solid completions to help the Bulldogs get first downs.
The second take away from Saturday was Georgia’s new defensive scheme. Again, keep in mind, we played ULL, but we looked solid. The 1. ranked Bulldogs allowed 290 yards and 21 points to FCS (D-1 AA) Georgia Southern. This year against one of the better teams in the Sun Belt conference, which is an FBS school, the Dawgs allowed 128 yards and 7 points. If Rambo doesn’t have a brain fart, the Cajuns gain 68 yards of total offense and 0 points. I know it is one game, but the Dawgs destroyed a team that they were supposed to destroy and looked good doing it. Granthem’s 3-4 only allowed 14 rushing yards and forced 3 turnovers. And, he did all of this without showing South Carolina all the tricks in our bag. Georgia usually only rushed 4, which some people could confuse as a blitz because one of the linebacker rushed, but sending 4 guys is no different then what they did last year. But, what the 3-4 allows is to send that 4th guy from a variety of different positions. Rather then having 4 down lineman to look at, the defense has to look for one of the linebackers to be coming as well. But, when we did blitz, it was timely and effective.
All in all, I was pleased with the Bulldogs performance on Saturday. I am a little concerned with the play of the UGA offensive line in the running game, but I am not going to panic just yet. But, the two main question marks on the 2010 season looked good in game one. The real test is games two and three. Get a win in Columbia and this Georgia team could be something special.