Georgia's Run to the Dome

ATHENS - Dawg Post's look back at Georgia's run to the SEC Championship.

September 10, 2011
South Carolina 45, Georgia 42

Moment of the game:
Gamecocks defensive lineman Melvin Ingram scooped up a fumble and scored a touchdown with just over three minutes remaining in the game to give South Carolina a 45-35 lead. Freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney forced the fumble by sacking Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

The touchdown was Ingram's second of the game - he scored earlier on a fake punt, running 68 yards to the end zone.

Player of the game:
Isaiah Crowell had his breakout performance against South Carolina in only his second career game. He had 118 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Crowell showed a combination of power and acceleration, averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

He was also explosive in the passing game, catching two passes for 40 yards and scoring his second touchdown of the game.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "Isaiah Crowell is special. They are going to need to get him the ball a lot more often. He did not lose a yard. It's not like you get points for being the better team and losing."

Mark Richt throws his head sets after South Carolina scores a touchdown on a fake punt. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

September 24, 2011
Georgia 27, Ole Miss 13

Moment of the Game
With Georgia leading 10-0 in the second quarter and faced with a third and nine deep in its own territory, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called a running play. Tailback Isaiah Crowell rushed for 29 yards, ending the run with a show of emotion. The drive eventually ended with a touchdown catch by Orson Charles as the Bulldogs pulled ahead 17-0.

Player of the Game
Crowell finished with 147 yards rushing on 30 carries. His long was the 29-yard rush to convert that important first down, but it wasn't the only time he carried on third down. The game showed that Crowell could and would be used in any situation on any down or distance.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "Today was a game of good and bad. The good was Isaiah Crowell, the Georgia defense and the win. The bad was the Georgia special teams, which they are really going to start dealing with sometime soon. What's going to separate Georgia from everyone here in the future is Isaiah."

Aaron Murray leaves the field after scoring three touchdowns during Georgia's win over Ole Miss. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

October 1, 2011
Georgia 24, Mississippi State 10

Moment of the game:
Tight end Orson Charles hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Murray less than four minutes into the game. The score set the tone for the contest, as Georgia jumped to a 14-3 lead by the end of the first quarter and was never in danger of losing the contest.

Player of the game:
Junior linebacker Mike Gilliard had the best game of his career with Alec Ogletree sidelined and Christian Robinson limited with foot injuries. Gilliard had nine tackles, further proving his case for being an every down type player moving forward.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "This defense is only allowing a touchdown or so a game. That is impressive. I think people are putting some blame on Aaron, but Georgia is a bit limited in passing because they seem to be limited to three-step drops, and that's not Georgia. From here on out they are going to play a little better. I say that, but there is no one on this schedule who Georgia should be shaking in their boots about. From here on out they should be able to scratch out 28 points a game, and I think that's going to make it difficult to loose.'

Richard Samuel takes off for ten yards during Georgia's 24-10 win over Mississippi State. (Sam Bennett/Dawg Post)

October 8, 2011
Georgia 20, Tennessee 12

Moment of the game:
Facing a 13-6 deficit early in the third quarter, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray hit tailback Marlin Lane with a completion on third down. Lane was initially short of the first down marker, but appeared to spin out of the tackle by Georgia linebacker Mike Gilliard. He raced the rest of the way for an apparent touchdown.

While the Tennessee faithful were celebrating the game-tying score, replays showed Lane's knee was down and an official review overturned the call.

The reversal brought to an end to Tennessee's momentum. Instead of tying the game, the Volunteers were forced to punt. They didn't score again until late in the fourth quarter, losing 20-12.

Player of the game:
Junior Mike Gilliard led the team in tackles for the fourth straight contest. He recorded a career-best 12 tackles against Tennessee and had one forced fumble, one sack, a pass breakup and a tackle for a loss.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "It was classic Georgia-Tennesse, and this time Georgia came out on top. This win was a huge win for Mark Richt and company. Georgia held Tennessee to -20 yards... how does that happen to Tennessee? Georgia's defense is very good. Aaron Murray took a bunch or grief this week. No intercepts and a long of 70 yards - he played well. Georgia's defensive front is... I am starting to think they are dominant. They don't even have Alec Ogletree out there; think about when they have Alec Ogletree out there. Mitchell tweeked his hamstring, but he's a killer. I know Georgia and South Carolina are tied right now in the SEC, but I like Georgia's chances."

Aaron Murray connects on a 71-yard pass to Malcom Mitchell during Georgia's 20-12 win over Tennessee. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

October 15, 2011
Georgia 33, Vanderbilt 28

Moment of the game:
The Commodores blocked a punt with under a minute left in the game. With the Bulldogs winning 33-28, punter Drew Butler managed to disrupt a potential scoop and score. Vanderbilt had a chance to win late, but the defense held tight on two pass attempts as the clock expired.

Player of the game:
Junior wide receiver Marlon Brown, playing in his home state, finished with four catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The game marked his first-ever 100-yard game and the scoring output was a career-high.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "The biggest thing people are going to wonder about it what happened right after the game, and I was right in the middle of it. It was nuts... this game was a nutty game. Georgia has a real problem with its special teams. Vanderbilt always plays well against Georgia in Nashville, but they also always loose to Georgia in Nashville... Drew Butler has got to be given credit for having the wherewithal to make that tackle. You don't think punters matter? Well Drew Butler is very important. If, and that's a big if the way these guys are playing right now, they wind up in Atlanta they can thank Drew Butler for that."

Drew Butler prevents a game-winning touchdown in the final moments of the game during Georgia's 33-28 win over Vanderbilt. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

October 29, 2011
Georgia 24, Florida 20

Moment of the game: With Georgia trailing 17-3 late in the first half, coach Mark Richt elected to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal. Quarterback Aaron Murray hit redshirt freshman receiver Michael Bennett in the end zone to pull the Bulldogs within one score and create momentum heading into the locker room at halftime.

Player of the game:
Sophomore outside linebacker Jarvis Jones finished with four sacks for -27 yards and five total tackles. The four sacks tied for second most in a game in school history.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "The win was about mental toughness. They have not come back from a 14-point deficit against Florida in more than 35 years. Its starting to become clear that Jarvis Jones is the best player on this team. John Brantley could barely move - it wasn't a fair fight for him. The special teams were really bad. There was no moment in that game where something positive happened for them on special teams. Also, it's like Georgia is not allowed to start out doing well in this game. Georgia has to hope Arkansas beats South Carolina because I don't think Florida can beat them in Columbia."

Orson Charles overlooks one of his victims during Georgia's 24-20 win over Florida. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

November 12, 2011
Georgia 45, Auburn 7

Moment of the game:
Safety Bacarri Rambo's 24-yard scramble after intercepting Tigers quarterback Clint Moseley pushed the crowd in Sanford Stadium to it's cheering apex. The noise left Rambo in shock as his teammates drew a flag for excessive celebration.

The score, which ended with Rambo diving toward the end zone to evade would-be tacklers with the ball extended in one hand, put the Bulldogs up 28-7 over the Tigers and effectively ended the game.

Player of the game:
Quarterback Aaron Murray finished 18 of 18 with 224 yards and four touchdowns. Murray set the school record with 27 touchdown passes in a season, with all four of his scores coming in the first half.

Legge's Thoughts after the game: "I've watched Georgia and Auburn for the last 25 years, and this is as bad as one team has beaten the other in a long, long time. This is a win for the ages. It sets up what's starting to look like an LSU-Georgia championship game. I have got to say - and whoever comes from the West will be favored - I don't know how excited I would be to play Georgia right now. Aaron Murray didn't play great at the start of the season, but he scored four touchdowns tonight. Michael Bennett is a baller. This team is scary right now. Georgia had 304 yards rushing tonight - that's crazy. This was a dominant performance. This is the second weekend in a row where the offense was scary. They don't even have to run screens any more - they are just assaulting you down the field. I haven't even started talking about the defense yet. Auburn didn't even have 200 yards of total offense. People won't shut up about a Gus Malzahn offense, and tonight Todd Grantham's defense took that offense and shoved it into the dirt."

Bacarri Rambo dives for a touchdown after an interception during Georgia's 45-7 win over Auburn. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

November 19, 2011
Georgia 19, Kentucky 10

Moment of the game:
What looked like a simple pass and catch to clinch the SEC Eastern Division was actually much more complicated than it first appeared.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray connected with Marlon Brown on a 7-yard touchdown pass to take a 19-10 lead and ended Kentucky's bid to spoil Georgia's trip to play for the conference championship.

"You know what's funny about the whole play?" Brown asked, laughing. "Actually I ran the wrong route. I caught the ball, but I ran the wrong route."

Player of the game:
Senior kicker Blair Walsh, who had struggled with accuracy for most of the season, went 4 of 4 on field goals, with a long of 39 yards. In the process, Walsh became the NCAA's active career leader in total points with 393.

Legge's Thoughts after the game:"This was about as ugly as Georgia has played in a while, but they still won. Drew Butler was lights out. They tried to replicate a run game with Brandon Harton, but they just couldn't do it. It just shows they need a run game, and that when you get down to the fourth-stright guy you've got problems. But you don't want to get too tied down to that. Some people were ready to run Mark Richt out of here not even three months ago. Now they will go play in the biggest game in college football that weekend - the SEC Championship. This turn around was not an accident. It took years. To me the recruiting class of 2011 was as big as anything else. I think you see with John Jenkins, Jarvis Jones, Isaiah Crowell and Malcom Mitchell - its just a different level of kid. Four or of 11 is not that bad to get to the championship considering they went for a long time with nothing at all. Today was about winning a championship."

Christian Robinson recovers a fumbles in the first half of Georgia's 19-10 win over Kentucky. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

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