|Tavarres King and Georgia struggled to shake off a pesky Buffalo team. (Getty Images)|
GEORGIA WON. But not many Bulldog fans will be happy about the way they went about it, for the first 30 minutes at least--the nation's No. 5 defense in 2011 gave up first-half touchdown drives of 75 and 92 yards as the Bulls outgained the fifth-ranked Dawgs 241-188 through the first two quarters. Aaron Murray made sure things never got too close for comfort, throwing for 258 yards on 9.9 yards an attempt with three scores. True freshman Bulldog Todd Gurley stamped himself as a future star, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on just 8 carries and adding an impressive 100-yard kickoff return touchdown for good measure.
WHY GEORGIA WON. The usual run-of-the-mill advantages top-10 SEC teams have over 3-9 MAC teams: vastly superior depth and talent, home field a thousand miles away from their opponent's, etc.
It's hard to argue Georgia won due to any kind of superior execution, especially in the first half: despite his numbers Murray was sloppy early, sailing several passes high and long; the suspension-ridden Bulldog back seven struggled to both track down open receivers or Bull quarterback Alex Zordich on scrambles; and a Georgia defensive line that outweighed the Bull offensive front by approximately 12,000 pounds actually got pushed around a bit, to the tune of 112 yards for Bull tailback Branden Oliver and an average Bull rush of 44. yards--better than all but four teams managed against Georgia all of last season.
Yes, Murray eventually turned it on and yes, Georgia shut the Bulls out from halftime until the game was well out of hand. No matter: if the Bulldogs don't play much better on both sides of the ball at Missouri next week, their status as SEC East favorites and national contenders won't last long.
WHEN GEORGIA WON. Believe it or not, the game wasn't truly decided until Murray connected with Michael Bennett on a 12-yard touchdown with 12:58 to play, putting the Bulldogs up 38-16.
WHAT GEORGIA WON. A 1-0 record, a couple rounds of boos from the Georgia faithful, and likely a post-game chewing out from Mark Richt. With the exception of Gurley's coming-out party and Murray's continued consistency (after the first quarter, anyway), this was strictly a "get our win and get out" kind of performance.
WHAT BUFFALO LOST. Not a thing, really--in fact, the Bulls should now travel to UConn in three weeks with real hopes of claiming a BCS-conference scalp if their offense can execute as cleanly as they did Saturday.