September 23, 2012

'That was Walkerish'

Wide receiver Tavarres King couldn't sit still in his chair during Saturday's post-game interview session in the Georgia locker room.

Fidgeting from side to side, King stood up, then sat down before jumping up again, obviously still wired from the fifth-ranked Bulldogs' 48-3 thrashing of Vanderbilt.

"Man, this is crazy; this is scary," said King, a mile-long grin etched across his face. "I mean, we've got so many weapons. The focus we have day in and day out … it's just different around here."

The final numbers were certainly gaudy.

One week after gobbling up a school-record 713 yards in last week's 56-20 rout of Florida Atlantic, Georgia piled up 567 against Vanderbilt, 302 on the ground.

Of that total, 130 belonged to freshman running back Todd Gurley, who in four games now has 44 carries for 406 yards and six touchdowns, including Saturday night's impressive 29-yarder. On the play, the Tarboro, N.C. native stiff-armed a would-be tackler to the ground and broke several other tackles before rumbling into the end zone for his second touchdown and Georgia's final six points of the game.

"That was Herschel Walkerish," King said. "I've never seen anything like it. That was fun to watch."

Even Gurley was impressed and admitted he looked back at the video scoreboard to watch the replay at the conclusion of the run.

"Yeah, I tried to do that," Gurley smiled. "I was just trying to keep my balance, just like in the drills we do in practice. I'm just glad I was able to stay up and keep going to the end zone."

Fellow freshman Keith Marshall chipped in with 10 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Aaron Murray enjoyed another excellent game, completing 18 of 24 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

The senior also completed his first 12 passes in a row.

"Aaron just prepares like no one else we've had. Now, we've had some guys who worked hard - they all worked hard and prepared - but Aaron takes it to another level in how he prepare for the game," head coach Mark Richt said. "Because of that, he has a high comfort level that lets him check out of any play that doesn't look good. He can check from a run to a run, a run to a pass, a pass to a pass, change protections at the line of scrimmage … we rarely run a bad play because he studies so well and has certain keys where he kind of anticipates what is happening and just gets us out of bad situations."

His teammates have been the happy beneficiaries.

Senior wide receiver Marlon Brown came up big, catching five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, marking the second time in four games he's gone over the 100-yard mark.

"Our offensive is clicking right now … run game and pass game," Brown said. "It's crazy how good our offensive line is blocking. We may be young and inexperienced, but it doesn't seem like it."

For those keeping track, Georgia has scored over 40 points in its first four games to open the season. That's the first time that's happened in school history.

"It's a lot of fun," Brown said. "I can tell you that."

Rambo, Ogletree set to return?

Richt gave his standard answer after the game when asked if Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree would return to action next week against Tennessee.

However, at least a couple of Bulldogs seemed to let the cat out of the back.

"It's going to be great to finally have our whole team together next week," said Brown, a statement that was echoed by nose John Jenkins.

Ogletree and Rambo have missed the season's first four games, believed to be punishment for allegedly failing a drug test during spring break.

Richt, however, still isn't saying.

"We'll have to wait until pregame," Richt said. "I know that's a dumb answer, but we'll just have to wait and see next week."

Jones comes back strong

One week after sitting out last week's Florida Atlantic game with a sore groin, linebacker Jarvis Jones came back strong against the Commodores.

Jones collected seven tackles, one sack and had three tackles for loss as the Bulldogs allowed 337 total yards, but no touchdowns.

"I just think we were more focused, we communicated better and we just executed our plays," Jones said. "We prepared great during the week, made some corrections and Coach (defensive coordinator Todd Grantham) called a great game."

Although Jones said his groin wasn't an issue, he still didn't feel he was quite 100 percent.

"It took me a while to get my legs back under me after sitting out last week," he said. "But once I was able to do that, I played better."

Injury update

Starting defensive end Abry Jones left the game in the third quarter and did not return after having to be helped off the field.

Jones later tweeted that he suffered a sprained ankle, adding "I'm going to be OK."


• With its 48-3 victory, Georgia's 45-point win tonight matched the largest margin in the series history (45-0 in 1976 here) and tied the biggest in an SEC game under Coach Richt. The Bulldogs beat Kentucky 62-17 in 2004. Overall, Georgia leads the series with VU 53-18-2. Georgia improves to 4-0 for the first time since 2008 and the sixth time under Richt.

• The Bulldogs held Vanderbilt to three points and just 136 yards on 29 plays in the opening half and blanked the Commodores in the second half. In Georgia's previous three games, opponents scored 16, 10 and 14 points (Buffalo, Missouri and Florida Atlantic) in the first two quarters. The Commodores finished with just 3 points and 337 yards. Georgia shut out FAU in the 2nd half last week too.

This and that

Sophomore linebacker Amarlo Herrera had a team-high eight tackles … Next Week: Georgia (4-0, 2-0 SEC) plays host to Tennessee and at 3:30 p.m. (CBS). … Grantham and Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin shook hands after the game.

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