In ESPN’s prime-time spotlight, the Boise St. Broncos defeated the Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 35 – 21. This game shows that a potential long season is ahead for Georgia after two consecutive sub-par seasons coming into this year; this could mean that coach Richt is on the hot seat as the season progresses. On paper, it seems as if Georgia dominated the game, as they threw for more yards per completion and ran for more yards per carry, as well as more yards overall, than the Broncos. However, it is easy to see why Georgia lost when you look at their 3rd down efficiency (2/13), penalties (7 for 50 yards), and time of possession (26:14 vs. 33:46).
The QBs in the game were comparable, both throwing for over 230 yards and one interception. The big difference was the completion percentage, where Kellen Moore’s was over 80%, while Murray’s sat just over 50%. The difference between these two numbers can be attributed to the play of the Offensive Lines, with Moore’s being the bright spot of Boise’s game, while Georgia’s looking weak and tired at best. Murray faced very little time in the pocket, and as a result was forced to make a lot of quick decisions. Moore on the other hand appeared as if he could have taken a nap in the pocket without ever being touched, especially after half time. Another problem arose for Murray in that his receivers, especially Orson Charles, could not stay on their feet. At least twice a wide-open receiver slipped on a route that could have resulted in big yardage, if not touchdowns. The one good aspect of Georgia’s offense is the potential big-play punch of Brandon Boykin, who’s only run opportunity resulted in an 80 yard touchdown. Unfortunately, Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo did not call Boykin’s number again on the offensive side of the ball.
Georgia was lacking as well on the defensive side of the ball, providing huge windows for Kellen Moore to throw the ball through. The zone defense that they use has been incredibly ineffective since they instituted it with new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Grantham is the same guy who has boasted about his new “aggressive” defense, though almost no signs of pressure appeared from Georgia, and they rarely ever rushed more than four. The one bright spot of Georgia’s defense was that they held Boise RB Doug Martin to less than 2.5 yards per carry (Martin averaged 6.3 yards per carry last season). Overall, Georgia’s defense plays a slow almost lazy style of football, and they almost gave up in the second half. They are going to have to play a faster, more aggressive SEC type defense in order to be able to compete again.
Now Georgia has to look ahead to their game against SEC rival South Carolina. Based on the way they played Boise, they are by no means ready to play this game. However, if they play aggressive and reduce the holes in the secondary, they can keep the game close, and South Carolina is beatable (East Carolina was beating them going into the half). Other than the game against Florida on October 29th, this may be the two toughest games the Bulldogs play.