Appalachian State vs. Georgia: 10 Things We Learned from the Bulldogs Win

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor INovember 9, 2013

Appalachian State vs. Georgia: 10 Things We Learned from the Bulldogs Win

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    The Georgia Bulldogs took down Appalachian State with ease, which was expected.

    But it didn't look like it was going to be easy, as they were only leading 14-6 at halftime. But the Bulldogs outscored the Mountaineers 31-0 in the second half to come away with its sixth win of the year.

    While it was a good performance for the Bulldogs, they still have some things to work on before they taking on Auburn next Saturday.

    Here's 10 things we learned from the Bulldogs win vs. Appalachian State. 

Aaron Murray Should Run More

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    Aaron Murray had another solid game through the air, completing 19 of his 26 passes with 281 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

    But his best play came on the ground when he ran for 23 yards in the third quarter to set up a Todd Gurley touchdown. 

    That run gave the the Bulldogs the spark the team needed to put the game away in the second half. Murray always had the ability to run. If the Bulldogs want to win out, having Murray run a little more would not be a bad option. 

Todd Gurley Is Not 100 Percent Yet

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    Todd Gurley had a solid day, rushing for 75 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown. 

    However, he wasn't as explosive as he was at the start of the season, which is not a surprise because it's only his second game back after missing the last five weeks.

    The good thing is Gurley looked a lot better than he did against Florida last week, despite running for 100 yards. 

    Gurley would have had 100 yards rushing in the game on Saturday if he had five more carries. But the coaches want him well-rested because he will see the ball a lot against Auburn. 

    And by that time, he should be real close to being 100 percent. 

Michael Bennett Is Coming Along

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    Michael Bennett has had to fight through his share of injuries the last two seasons. But it looks like he is 100 percent, and it showed against the Mountaineers.

    Bennett led all receivers with five receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown. He was able to find the open holes, and he was also able to run after the catch.

    With the receiving corps depleted by injuries, Bennett will be an important player for the offense the rest of the season. 

Hutson Mason Is Ready

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    Hutson Mason got to play the entire fourth quarter, and the offense did not miss a beat. The junior quarterback went 11-of-16 for 160 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

    Mason knows the offense, and when he takes over next year, the offense should not drop in production.

    Yes, Mason did play against the FCS team. But he looked as sharp as Murray, and it would not be a surprise if he saw more snaps before the season is over.

Special Teams Can Make Plays

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    One good thing about the game is the special teams did not hurt the Bulldogs. 

    This time, the special teams came up big with the most notable play being the blocked field goal by Jordan Jenkins. 

    The only flaw was the Bulldogs went for a fake punt in the second quarter, but that led to no points for the Mountaineers as they missed the field goal on the ensuing series.

    As long as the Bulldogs don't make mental mistakes on special teams, they will be able to win the rest of their games this year. 

Leonard Floyd Can Be a Really Special Player

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    The defense has struggled all year long, but Leonard Floyd is not the reason.

    The freshman linebacker had a sack and a forced fumble in the win against Appalachian State.

    He now has 5.5 sacks which makes him one of the conference leaders in that category.

    Floyd is a long, rangy player who has great speed. His size makes it difficult for offensive linemen to block him, which is why he is starting to emerge as an elite pass-rusher. 

Ray Drew Has Become the Bulldogs' Best Defensive Player

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    If there is one player who has been the most consistent all year, Ray Drew would be that guy. 

    Drew had five tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack against the Mountaineers. He now has six sacks on the year which leads all Bulldog players.

    Drew plays with great leverage, and he was a big reason Appalachian State only scored six points. It took him a while to get to this point, but Drew is starting to make his mark with the Bulldogs, and the rest of the conference is starting to take notice.

Rantavious Wooten Can Make Plays

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    Because of guys like Bennett, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley and Justin Scott-Wesley, Rantavious Wooten never got the opportunity to make a name for himself.

    Wooten was able to have a good day against Appalachian State, catching four passes for 104 yards and one touchdown.

    Because of his speed, Wooten was able to stretch the field, which gave Bennett an opportunity to have a big day. 

    Wooten will likely have to do the same thing next week because it's unknown if Conley can play against Auburn or not. 

Bulldogs Can Play Defense

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    After giving up 20 points or more in the previous eight games, it's good to see the Bulldogs not give up a touchdown.

    It's understood it was against Appalachian State, but based on the way the defense has looked all year, there was no telling how they were going to do.

    They still have a lot to work on, especially in the secondary (145 passing yards in the first quarter). However, they did a lot of things right, which is something they needed to do if they want to turn the corner. 

The Bulldogs Are Ready for the Last Quarter of the Season

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    With three games left, the Bulldogs look like they are ready to take on the last quarter of the season. 

    With a strong performance against Appalachian State, where they tallied 568 yards of offense and only gave up 253 yards on defense, the Bulldogs needed a game like this to get ready for Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech.

    Does it mean they'll win the last three games? That remains to be seen. But if we have learned anything from watching this team play all season long, it should and will be a wild finish.