Upon further review, Aaron Murray edition

Watched the Tennessee replay yesterday, and nothing shocking jumped out at me.  But there are a few items worth a follow-up mention:

  • No doubt some of it was due to the level of opposition, but that was the best effort I’ve seen out of the defensive line this season.  Sure, UT’s rushing yardage included sacks and the botched snap, but the flip side of the coin is that it also include a bunch of yards on third and long draw plays.  Bottom line is that even though the Vols wanted to run the ball, Tauren Poole wasn’t a factor.
  • Those of you who think the secondary is a lost cause need to go back and watch Boykin’s play on Saturday.  Another name you didn’t hear much from on Saturday was Gerald Jones, who killed the Dawgs last year in Knoxville.  A lot of that was due to Boykin’s coverage.
  • Justin Houston should have drawn at least three holding calls – and that’s just the blatant stuff I saw.  He was dominant, and now leads the conference in sacks.
  • If anything, I didn’t do Aaron Murray’s game sufficient justice.  One thing I know I didn’t mention was how good he’s gotten at carrying out his play fakes.  He’s really becoming a nightmare to defend on roll outs because of that and because of the threat he poses running the ball.

Which leads me into an overall observation about the offense – yes, the offensive line didn’t have a dominant day run blocking.  But a lot of that is due to Tennessee selling out against the run with blitzes, in much the same way as Mississippi State gambled with greater success a couple of weeks ago.  The reasons it didn’t work are (1) A.J. Green’s presence (duh) drew over the top coverage from a safety and (2) Bobo got away from I-formation power football playcalling on first down.

This gets back to something I mentioned a week or so ago.  We all anticipated that defenses would load up the box to stop the run and force Aaron Murray to be the player to beat them.  Six games in, it’s apparent he can do that:  he’s third in the conference in total offense, third in passing yards per game and fifth in passer rating.  (And note that he’s the only top ten quarterback in the SEC who doesn’t have a “JR” or “SR” after his name.)  But up until last Saturday, it was still a good strategy, in that coordinators were daring Mike Bobo to use Murray to beat their defenses and Bobo wasn’t taking the bait, at least not enough.

That was the difference on Saturday for the offense.  The Dawgs played less in the I (at least until late in the game, when they were salting things away with the run) than they had earlier in the season.  Bobo seemed more willing to throw on any down, as well.  At some point, if he keeps it up, defenses will have to respect that more, which should open up the running game and make the o-line’s job easier.

One more thing about Murray you should look at is his game-by-game passer rating.  Think having A.J. back makes a difference?

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “Upon further review, Aaron Murray edition

  1. Puffdawg

    It was pretty apparent our coaches finally figured out that other teams daring Aaron Murray to beat them was not strictly limited to passing. We still cannot run the ball in the traditional sense, but I think that might be ok if we continue to get Murray outside of the pocket. Eventually that will open up the traditional run game. I think Bobo and Richt were absolutely petrified of Murray getting hurt, but if you aren’t winning games because of that, what difference does it make that he’s healthy. Glad to see Bobo finally grasp that the bread and butter of this offense is going to be Murray on the move. Hopefully he stays with that.

    • SCDawg

      I thought that, if we get Murry hurt against USC or Ark, we’d be no better than 2-4 right now.

      I hope Bobo stays with what’s working right now, too.

      • Puffdawg

        Frankly, I didn’t mind Bobo’s approach early on against SC and even against Ark. He was trying to protect Murray, which was fine, but when it became apparent that gameplan wasn’t going to work, they still failed to utilize Murray’s biggest strength, which is mobility (and passing accuracy on the run). When SC and Arky stacked the box, our response was a traditional play action pass in the pocket, which was suited well to a David Greene or Matt Stafford, but not Murray. Hopefully Bobo has now gotten the memo.

        • SCDawg

          I agree whole heartedly. I am also really going to enjoy watching Murray the next few years. He really does throw well on the run.

  2. joe

    It would be awesome if AJ for some unknown reason decided to stay in Athens but we know that won’t happen.
    Something the announcers said was that TK was playing better because of AJ. I beg to differ, TK has always been a pretty good WR.
    Lastly the runs he had were all him. Both the TD’s were him improvising.

  3. Zdawg

    I really wonder how much last year’s Tech game played into the psychology of the game plan this year. It seems as if it took us four games to figure out we couldn’t run at will against stacked SEC defenses, and as usual, the coaching staff was slow to recognize this and even more hesitant to put more on Murray’s shoulders.

    We have to move forward knowing that:

    -The run blocking of last years Tech game was an aberration, and not an indication of what our line is capable of this year

    -Arron Murray can be counted on to execute the brunt of the playbook.

    Bobo better keep that playbook open wide, because the predictable unimaginative stuff ain’t gonna cut it.

  4. Puffdawg

    I’m not sure where to comment on this exactly, but that Al Golden suggestion to replace Richt sure isn’t looking so hot now is it? Not that it ever did in the first place…

  5. JoeE

    The secondary may not be a complete lost cause, but I’m starting to worry that Rambo is. What happened with him?

  6. Big Dawg

    You know, we seem to match up against UF favorably so far, at least statistically:

    UF
    2010 OVERALL FBS RANKINGS
    PASSING YARDS 183.0 87th Overall
    RUSHING YARDS 140.7 76th Overall
    POINTS FOR 31.0 47th Overall
    POINTS AGAINST 20.2 37th Overall

    UGA
    2010 OVERALL FBS RANKINGS
    PASSING YARDS 233.2 49th Overall
    RUSHING YARDS 136.8 77th Overall
    POINTS FOR 27.5 64th Overall
    POINTS AGAINST 20.3 38th Overall

    • NRBQ

      They’ve played LSU, Kentucky and Alabama.

      • Ausdawg85

        We’ve played Arky (>Kentucky), Usc (>Bama…!) and a team from La, which is sort of the same thing. Of course, FLA has the better record and all, but statistics don’t lie!

        Plus, if we beat the gators, then it’ll be because Brantley is hurt…which he’s not if they win. I mean look at what just happened….4 broken ribs, a broken thumb and a busted shoulder and he played the whole game without even wincing. That’s just how they roll in the swamp.

        • AmpedDawg

          I’ve had a broken thumb when I was a kid and I had two broken ribs as an adult. I have serious reservations about whether or not he could have played in that condition. I’m not the toughest SOB that ever walked, but I saw Brantley take some shots that would have made most grown men with broken ribs wince at least. And to be able to throw the ball at all with a broken thumb…well, that’s tough to say the least. I call BS on the injury report.

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    I saw what could be a troublesome thing during the replays….Murray and a trainer working on some sort of sleeve on his right arm…is that the one he hurt last year?….did not seem to affect his throwing later on.

    • SCDawg

      I didn’t see that. He did have some work done on his arm in a previous game (Miss State?) and I was worried he’d hurt it.

    • 69Dawg

      I saw it and replayed it. It was not a special sleeve it was the black part of the red jersey and it had been ripped by the UT guy that grabbed him on the scoring run. The manager was just cutting the rest of it off.

  8. thewhiteshark

    I was glad to see Bobo do something different this week. Hope it keeps up. I know he was afraid to put the offense on Murray, but trying to keep Murray out of trouble failed miserably.

  9. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Senator, I completely agree with you about the holding no-calls on Houston but the worst no-call came during a play where a UT player grabbed Blake Sailor’s (UGA #5) facemask and literally spun it around completely on his head yanking it off in the process. A replay showed one official standing in plain sight of the infraction yet there was no call. The officials immediately had a meeting on the field but then broke up without doing anything. Sailors was lucky to not have a broken neck. The UT team is full of thugs and criminals and the refs just will not call the game evenhandedly when UGA is playing.

    • thewhiteshark

      That was indeed a bad no call.

    • First off, I agree with you on it being a bad no call. However, I do have to ask the question: At what point do you become the boy that cried wolf too much here? I feel like every Monday you come here and bitch and moan about some calls that didn’t go our way and how that’s indicative of the conspiracy against us or the thuggishness of the other teams.

      In all fairness, I could go back and watch the game tape and point out just as many missed holding calls/PI’s/numerous other calls that should have gone against us that didn’t. It’s just the way the game is. As long as human beings are calling these games there’s always going be some missed calls for both teams. It doesn’t always mean it’s a conspiracy against UGA.

      Unless Penn Wagers is involved, of course. Then, it’s full blown hatred.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        AD I appreciate your point of view but I also think that even you would agree that the times I have called out the refs the beef was always legitimate. I have not made a big deal out of the following previously but I will now since you brought it up. In the UGA-ARK game, during the most critical play of the game, UGA on offense is 3rd and 4 with 1:05 to go in the game, the ARK right DE rushes the UGA QB (Ealey missed a block) and hit the QB helmet to helmet, knocking Murray’s helmet off. No call. If a flag is thrown UGA gets a first down on about the ARK 35 and can run the clock out and easily win the game with a field goal. In the UGA-Miss State game, Ealey is going in for an apparent tying TD when he is hit (also helmet to helmet) by 2 MSU defenders and his helmet comes off. He fumbles into the endzone and the ball is recovered by MSU. The call originally was that he was down before he fumbled. After several minutes the call gets reversed by the TV ref and the ball is awarded to MSU at the 20. Trouble is, NCAA rules provide that (1) If the ball is blown dead before the recovery (which it was ) UGA gets the ball on the one and (2) the play is dead as soon as Ealey’s (the ball carrier’s) helmet comes off. That is why the whistle was blown in the first place. These 2 blown calls resulted in 2 losses UGA should never have suffered. I know for a fact (don’t ask me how) that UGA lodged official complaints with the SEC about both. Yeah, I might be crying “wolf” but the problem is there have always been wolves when I did.

    • Dawg N Suds

      The refs were discussing whether to flag the Georgia player for taking his helmet off on the field.

  10. Will Trane

    Arkansas was his best game. He had no support. Look at the average, total yards, Arkansas had three weeks to look at him and the sets, no King, but the great blocker Ealey, and no Green.

    Never understand what people mean by loading up the box. Even if you put all 11 on the LOS you can not physically put them all at the point of attack. You can seal the running lane and make the rest run to that point and that is why a back must get his (or her butt) in the running lane and it does not have to be the size of a freight car or a cotton picker.

    Think about the LOS, you put your QB under center. Tell me what he does on a running play in the power I. Now look at the spread and tell me the steps and view of the LOS of the QB plus if the RB is in motion down the line.

    Murray is not a big QB (compared to Newton, Garcia, Relf, and etc) but I think he can run. Hell Jeff Mullen of MSU thought that when he recruited him for the Florida spread. The spread is the offense for Murray. Why? because he can throw on the run, from inside the left or right hash. Go back and key for one pass…that will tell you his strength.

    What a waste of a talented QB by Bobo. Murray would be great at Boise…not as good a runner as theirs but a better passer.

    Watch the sets Spurrier used against Bama and Smart? Do you see how they set the QB and the RB.

    Also, do not be surprised if MSU takes down a few West teams here out. Bama is not the class of the West by any means. And yes Richardson and Ingram can be shut down, like I said last week. Maybe a young HS RB might want to rethink what he thinks he is seeing (much less hearing).

  11. Go Dawgs!

    SEC Freshman of the Week. Congrats, AM.

  12. Pingback: Fool Me Once… « Year of the Dawg

  13. Russ The Temporary Mascot

    Aaron, you are a damn good dawg.

    Russ.