It was not a great start for the Bulldogs, but they were able to pull away from Missouri for their first road and SEC win of the season.
The offense picked up the pace in the second half while the defense did enough to keep the Tigers' offense at bay. There were a lot of mistakes by the Bulldogs, and they will have to get those things corrected before they get into the meat of their SEC schedule. But the win on Saturday was one of the better wins this team has had in a long time.
Here are 10 things we learned about from the Bulldogs' win against the Tigers.
Let’s start with Jarvis Jones, who was on fire from the start of the game to finish.
It’s safe to say that he is one of the best players in the country regardless of position. With eight tackles, one sack and one interception, Jones did everything for the Bulldogs on defense and has clearly improved his game.
Can we say Heisman candidate?
The offensive MVP has to go to Aaron Murray, but he has to learn to calm himself down at the start of games.
Murray got off to a slow start and even threw a pick at the start of the second quarter deep in the Bulldogs' territory. But once he got his feet under him and was able to set the tempo, he finished the game with 242 yards and three touchdowns.
Sometimes it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, and while Murray may have rough starts to his games, he sure knows how to close them out.
Not having Malcolm Mitchell at wide receiver would hurt the group, right?
Think again, because the trio of Marlon Brown, Michael Bennett and Tavarres King could become the best trio of wide receivers in the SEC.
Brown led all receivers with 106 yards and two touchdowns while King had the other touchdown reception from Murray.
Bennett had a few drops but came up with some big catches to keep drives alive.
All three receivers bring something different, and they should continue to give opposing defensive backs fits this season.
Todd Gurley did not have the same numbers as he did in the Buffalo game, but he still was effective with the limited snaps he had.
Gurley led all rushers with 76 yards on 10 carries and one score. He also had two kickoff returns for 65 yards including one of 35 yards.
So here’s a question that has to be asked. Would this team be more effective if Gurley touched the ball 20-25 times a game?
Another running back that had a big game was Richard Samuel. He did not have any carries in the game, but came up with a huge tackle on Trey Barrow on a fake punt with 14 minutes left in the fourth.
There are certain players that can come up big in big-time games. Samuel has been that guy the last few years, and he’s going to be one of the guys that will always be remembered by Bulldogs fans for his consistent play on the field.
The one thing we’ve haven’t seen the last two games is the tight ends getting involved in the passing game.
Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome have a combined one catch for 15 yards this season, but have been consistent with their blocking.
The numbers for Lynch and Rome will pick up as the offense continues to develop. Until then, they will help the offensive line because they have some issues they need to address.
And speaking of the offensive line, that unit will be a work in progress at least the first half of the season.
The one player that has to improve is John Theus as he got called on a couple of false-start penalties and gave up a couple of sacks.
The line play was able to pick things up in the second half, but Georgia can’t afford to have too many slow starts this season. If that trend continues, the Bulldogs will lose games they should win.
For those who are wondering about if Marshall Morgan and Colin Barber are ready for the SEC, they will be just fine.
Morgan made both of his field goal attempts including a 52-yarder. Barber was accurate with his punts and kept putting the Tigers deep in their own territory.
Both players still have a lot of work to do, but they are on their way to having stellar careers in Athens.
Malcolm Mitchell made his debut at cornerback on Saturday night and did not disappoint.
The sophomore had two passes defended to go along with his six tackles. He went on record to say that he could have played better, but he was impressive considering he has not played cornerback in over two years dating back to his days at Valdosta High School in Valdosta, Ga.
He will play some offense this season, but expect Mitchell spend the majority of his time on defense.
The Bulldogs have shown they are becoming a resilient team.
They were able to pull away from Buffalo in the second half last week and they were able to same thing on Saturday against the Tigers. The Bulldogs are playing shorthanded, especially on defense, but they are finding ways to win.
That will come in handy when they get into the second half of their schedule because it’s only going to get tougher.