The majority of the 73,614 people in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Saturday were dressed in red and black, and many of them went home disappointed as their Georgia Bulldogs were soundly beaten by the 5th ranked Boise State Broncos, 35-21. The Chick-fil-A Classic marked the opening game of the college football season. Heisman Trophy hopeful Kellen Moore threw for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns . His performance gave us a snapshot of what the Broncos can accomplish if they run the table this year winning all of their games. They have a legitimate shot at getting to the Bowl Championship Series National Championship game in January 2012 in the New Orleans Superdome.
Now to the Dawgs - Coach Mark Richt, staff, and players now must regroup for their Southeastern Conference and home opener in Athens against Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks, who are the defending SEC East champions. With the likes of Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffrey, and Jadeveon Clowney, the Gamecocks will serve as more than just a formidable foe. What concerned me most about the Dogs' loss to Boise State was their lack of a run game.
The much-heralded freshman Isaiah Crowell from Columbus had 15 carries in 60 yards (an average of 4 yards per carry). Richard Samuel, who started the game, ran the ball 7 times for 12 yards. As a result, QB Aaron Murray had to put the ball in the air 29 times. He was 16 of 29 for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was also sacked an alarming 6 times. Among the bright spots for UGA, Tight End Orson Charles caught 6 passes for a total of 109 yards and 1 touchdown. Valdosta's Malcolm Mitchell caught 3 passes for a total of 64 yards and 1 touchdown, and Fayetteville's Brandon Boykin, who scored the team's opening touchdown (an 80-yard TD on the end around). The Bulldogs also lost one of the top defensive players, former Newnan High product Alec Ogletree, and their starting left guard ex Greenville High star Kenarious Gates to injuries. Ogletree will be lost for 6 weeks to a broken foot, and Gates suffered a leg injury. Coach Richt says Gates could be available to play against the Gamecocks.
If you listen to the Dogs' comments (seen here: Brandon Boykin and Malcolm Mitchell) after the Boise State game, you will hear that the team is putting the bad loss behind them and is now focusing on South Carolina.
However, if the Dawgs' performance against the Gamecocks resembles anything like it did against Boise State, those boos we heard from the partisan crowd last Saturday are going to grow louder and louder. That will not be a good sign for the BULLDOG Nation.