Halftime analysis: Seven thoughts

semerson@macon.comSeptember 22, 2012 

- Here are some observations after one half of action, with Georgia clinging to a 27-3 lead:

1. Until Vanderbilt's final drive of the half, which resulted in a 29-yard field goal, this was an absolute, unadulterated shellacking. Georgia has been dominant. I don't know if you could credit the whole James Franklin thing, or it all just finally coming together for Georgia. But the Bulldogs have looked as crisp as they have all season.

2. The defense may not be pitching a shutout, but it is is having a much better first half than any of the previous three games.

3. The offense had a 96-yard drive and has only had to punt twice - and one of those was negated by penalty. Aaron Murray completed his first 11 passes, for 111 yards and a touchdown. And once again Murray was spreading it around to a number of different receivers.

4. Todd Gurley continues to be impressive, to the point of dominant. Georgia coaches have been trying to make the tailback spot a three-headed competition, but Gurley got the start on Saturday and the majority of carries early on. He had every carry on the opening drive, including the touchdown. And if Gurley has been tackled by the first defender to touch him, I don't remember it off-hand.

5. Oh, but Keith Marshall isn't that bad either. That 52-yard touchdown run on the second drive showed why, but also showed how much the line has improved. There was a gaping hole up the middle, and Marshall burst through it, then used his speed to get past the secondary. Ken Malcome also reminded everyone not to forget him, as the sophomore went for a 22-yard run on the outside.

6. Vanderbilt absolutely killed itself with penalties, to a comical extent: Before the first quarter was over the Commodores were penalized eight times for 53 yards. The biggest was a 15-yard personal foul, roughing the punter, which extended a drive and resulted in a Georgia touchdown.

7. Jarvis Jones and his strained groin have looked just fine, thank you. He almost had a sack, but it was ruled a tackle-for-loss because the quarterback was running with the ball. In any case, it's a great sign for Georgia that its star linebacker doesn't appear slowed.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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