Saturday, October 1, 2011
Final: Georgia 24, Mississippi State 10
By Edward Aschoff
It was a sloppy one in Athens, Ga., but it's finally over.
Georgia overcame three Aaron Murray interceptions and just 315 yards of total offense to beat Mississippi State 24-10. It wasn't pretty by any means, but Georgia has a three-game winning streak and is now 2-1 in the SEC, and that's all that matters for this Bulldogs team right now.
Murray has seen much better days in his career, as he passed for 160 yards and two touchdowns to go with his three picks. He found tight end Orson Charles and freshman standout Malcolm Mitchell for his two touchdowns.
Isaiah Crowell and Mitchell continue to really be the bright young stars of this Georgia offense. Crowell carried the ball 22 times for 104 yards, while Mitchell caught five passes for a game-high 60 yards. You have to give Mississippi State props for its run defense in the second half. Crowell had 90 yards at halftime, but only 14 in the second half.
As for Mississippi State's offense, well, this pack of Bulldogs didn't score an offensive touchdown. The Bulldogs talked about fixing the little things and cleaning up the mistakes, but Mississippi State failed to do much of that as the Bulldogs managed just 213 total yards and just 56 rushing yards.
When you have Vick Ballard and Chris Relf in your backfield that is just unacceptable. Ballard carried the ball just eight times for 23 yards, while Relf had 31 yards rushing. Relf also passed for 157 yards, but had two interceptions.
Mississippi State's lone touchdown came on a 72-yard interception return by Darius Slay in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.
For Georgia, the momentum continues for a team left for dead after the first two weeks. For Mississippi State, an 0-3 start will create a major mental roadblock for a team that some had pegged as a dark horse in the West. The offensive problems are mounting for Mississippi State and we still haven't seen much of Chad Bumphis on offense. It's like he has disappeared. He is a player that has to be more involved in the offense, but he has to make more of an effort to be. He had just two catches for 15 yards and one carry for no yards against Georgia. When you are your team's best offensive athlete you have to get more than three touches. You have to find a way.
Georgia still has some things to clean up on both sides of the ball, but this winning streak is only a good thing for a team looking to make it back to Atlanta for the SEC title game.