ATHENS – With an ugly 19-10 win vs. Kentucky on Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs clinched the SEC East title, their first since 2005. It was by no easy feat that the Dawgs pulled this off. They began the season a horrid 0-2, but managed to win their next 9 games, and, with some Arkansas help, they overtook South Carolina. The nine-game winning streak is the longest for Georgia since the 1982 Vince Dooley team that went 11-0. Now, back to Saturday’s game. Georgia’s offense, unlike their last two games, was almost totally unproductive. The run game did produce 155 yards and had a 100 yard rusher, but their run game did not produce, and Isaiah Crowell left after just two carries with an apparent ankle injury. Aaron Murray played a generally efficient game with a 55% completion percentage. However, he only threw for 162 yards and one touchdown, which are both microscopic compared to the Heisman-like stats he posted over the last two weeks. Murray’s passing TD was the only TD produced on offense for Georgia. The other 12 points all came on Blair Walsh field goals. Fortunately for Georgia, Walsh was 4-for-4 on kicks, which was huge for the struggling kicker.
The real saving grace of the day was that tough Georgia defense. Whatever Todd Grantham did, he needs to stay and keep doing it. Georgia allowed just 165 yards of total offense, and only 23 on the ground. This is a continuing trend of defensive dominance for the Dawgs. Georgia has had its fair share of takeaways and added 2 more interceptions on Saturday, which brings its team total to 16 for the season. Jarvis Jones, the SEC leader in sacks with 10, also added another 2.5 sacks.
Next week Georgia heads into the heart of the Atlanta to play rival Georgia Tech. This game has no implications for the SEC championship game, which is guaranteed to include the Bulldogs. However, pride goes back a long way in this rivalry and it’s always a physical football game. Georgia’s defense will have to be on the top of its game against the run happy, no throwing, option offense of Tech. Georgia has had some trouble against the option in years past, but this years’ defense is much improved.