October 7, 2012

Post-game notebook



COLUMBIA, S.C. - For Georgia's defense, it was another verse in what's been an ugly song - an inability to stop the run.

Saturday's effort in the Bulldogs 35-7 loss to South Carolina was just another example.

Georgia came in surrendering 135 yards per contest, eighth in the SEC. After giving up 230 to the Gamecocks, look for that ranking to drop even more.

Credit Marcus Lattimore and quarterback Connor Shaw for inflicting most of the pain.

Lattimore was his usual outstanding self, topping the century mark against the Bulldogs for the third straight time with his 24-carry, 110-yard effort with Shaw adding 78 yards on 14 attempts.

"We didn't do as good a job tonight than we did in those first four games and make sure it does not happen again," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "We just didn't do a good job."

The Gamecocks were so effective that Shaw only had to throw the ball 10 times, but still completed six for 162 yards and two scores.

"Anytime you're facing a running team they're going to back some passes off of it, so you've always got to emphasize eye control because off the run is play-action pass," Grantham said. "When deep balls are thrown down the field that's an opportunity for us to make plays."

One of those opportunities came on South Carolina's first possession after Shaw completed a 42-yarder to Damiere Byrd, who appeared to take the ball away from safety Bacarri Rambo.

"Anytime the ball is in the air we've got a chance to make a play," said Grantham, when asked if he thought Rambo had the ball. "We'll work hard, those guys are gritty back there so we're going to make sure we give them plenty of opportunities to make some plays in practice."

So what's next for Grantham and his defense?

The Bulldog came into the year with nine starters off a defense which ranked fifth nationally, but six games into season seem to have few answers.

"We're always evaluating to make sure guys are doing what they are supposed to do. When things don't go well or go the way you want them to, you've always got to say 'why did it happen and what can I do to keep it from happening again?'" Grantham said. "So, we're going to make sure on the plays we weren't successful on. We're going to make sure we take a team approach and make ourselves better."

Notables

• Thanks to a 12-play, 75-yard TD-drive that consumed 4:22 late in the fourth quarter, Georgia avoided its first shutout since the 1995 Alabama game. Sophomore Ken Malcome accounted for 45 yards rushing on five carries on the scoring drive including a 3-yard TD run. However, tonight marked the first time since the 2009 LSU game in Athens that Georgia failed to score in the first half. That year, the 14th-ranked Bulldogs trailed fourth-ranked LSU 6-0 and lost 20-13. Georgia came in tonight leading the SEC in scoring offense at 48.2 points a game while USC ranked second in the league in scoring defense at 11.2 points.

• Win Streak Ends: Georgia (5-1, 3-1 SEC) saw its streak of consecutive wins in the regular season end at 15. Prior to tonight, the last time Georgia lost a regular season game was last year against then No. 12 South Carolina in Athens 45-42 on Sept. 10. Tonight, Georgia trailed 21-0 at the half which marked the largest halftime deficit since the 2008 Alabama game in Athens when the Crimson Tide led 31-0 en route to a 41-30 victory over the Bulldogs.

• Junior nose Kwame Geathers blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt by Adam Yates in the third quarter. It was the first field goal block by a Bulldog since the 2009 Independence Bowl when Geno Atkins had one against Texas A&M. Earlier this year against Florida Atlantic, Geathers blocked a point after.

This and that

Jarvis Jones' sack gives him 5.5 for the year and 19 for his career. … South Carolina got 7 points off 1 Bulldog turnover. Aaron Murray had a pass tipped that resulted in an interception (DeVonte Holloman) on Georgia's first drive at the SC30. It was Murray's fourth INT of the year and second straight week off a tipped pass. Bulldog opponents now have 43 points off 10 Georgia miscues this season. Murray finished tonight 11-for-31, 109 yards. … Georgia is now 3-10 in games when ESPN GameDay is on-site including 3-4 in an opponent's stadium. … Head coach Mark Richt said the Bulldogs escaped the contest injury free.