Georgia-Carolina: Position Grades

ATHENS - Dawg Post grades each position's performance in Georgia's 45-42 loss to South Carolina.

Quarterback – C: Aaron Murray played well enough for most of the game. He had a personal best with four passing touchdowns and led the offense on seven scoring drives.

But his mistakes were costly. A troublesome exchange with running back Isaiah Crowell led to a fumble and eventual seven points given up. An interception was returned for a touchdown. And a fumble near the end of the game essentially ended Georgia's chances of coming back.

Murray is plenty talented. And he makes good decisions for the most part. But he must take care of the ball.

Running back – B+: Isaiah Crowell is a special talent. He showed that Saturday. He rushed for 118 yards on only 16 carries. And he gained 40 yards and a touchdown on two catches, proving his ability to be a dual threat.

Richard Samuel ran hard for 45 yards on 11 rushes. Brandon Boykin had 14 yards on two carries. Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King even got carries, so the offense was spread out.

Had Crowell not had trouble breathing with hurt ribs, he probably would have gotten 25 carries. That's what he needs in each game. If he sees the ball that much, this group should be just fine.

Also worth noting: Fullback Bruce Figgins had three catches for 36 yards. It's good to see his skills as a former tight end utilized.

Wide receiver – B: The game started slow for this unit—only Rantavious Wooten caught a pass in the first half. But some adjustments were made as the game went on. The offense went with shorter routes in the second half and the receivers benefitted.

Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Tavarres King and Marlon Brown got into the mix, combining for 12 catches in the final two quarters. Bennett especially made an impact, coming up with crucial grabs on a third and short and later for a touchdown.

Tight end – C: While this unit did not have a catch (South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said the defense paid a great deal of attention to Orson Charles all game), the unit did a decent job of blocking, according to Mark Richt.

Offensive line – C: The rushing attack looked much better—especially with Crowell on the field. The team averaged 4.9 yards per carry (including Aaron Murray's two sacks). Richard Samuel had a few carries where he could have broken a long one.

The line still struggled in pass protection. Murray was sacked twice and hurried repeatedly. While the unit played better than the week before, this is still the area where the need for improvement is greatest.

Defensive line – B: When Kwame Geathers was in the game, the defensive line looked great. South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore had a tough time going up the middle for most of the game. He got stronger as the game went on, finishing with 176 yards on 27 carries. He earned most of those yards though.

There was some dropoff with John Jenkins in the game, but it looks like he's coming along nicely. He played more snaps against the Gamecocks than he did in the season opener, which could be an indication the coaching staff is developing trust in the big man.

Abry Jones finished with five tackles. He's been solid this year. DeAngelo Tyson added three stops.

Linebacker – B: Once again, Christian Robinson and Jarvis Jones played at a high level. Those two combined for 14 tackles, a sack and two TFLs. But the unit's other two positions were mostly average for the game.

A collection of players played the other two inside and outside spots. Chase Vasser had three tackles. Mike Gilliard had three tackles. Cornelius Washington had one tackle and a pass breakup. Amarlo Herrera and Jeremy Sulek also saw action. Freshman Ray Drew was noticeably missing from the rotation.

Now with Robinson and Alec Ogletree lost to injury, this group must find some consistency outside of Jarvis Jones.

Cornerback – B+: The secondary held Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia to 11 completions and limited receiver Alshon Jeffery to five catches for 85 yards. Boykin had a pick (although it was at the end of the first half on a last second heave) and Sanders Commings had a sack.

This group did well, but Jeffrey's deep touchdown catch and successful slant route for a fourth down conversion hurt the overall grade.

Safety – B+: Bacarri Rambo's return to the secondary was a major success. The junior, fresh off a suspension in the season opener, had six tackles, an interception and two pass breakups.

Shawn Williams added six tackles of his own.

Special teams – B+: Drew Butler did what he always does, averaging 44 yards a punt. South Carolina's Ace Sanders managed only five punt return yards.

Blair Walsh was 2 of 3 on field goals, missing an easy 33-yard attempt. He did kick four of his seven kickoffs for a touchback, holding talented returner Bruce Ellington to 62 return yards.

Boykin had 187 yards in the kick return game (third most in school history), helping give the Bulldogs good field position for most of the game. Branden Smith averaged 16 yards per punt return.

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