Dawgs Breeze To 55-7 Win Over Idaho State

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Idaho State Bengals Vs. Georgia Bulldogs Final Score: 55-7 Dawgs, Or Thank Goodness That's Over With

The Georgia Bulldogs enjoyed their week off after a tough loss to the Florida Gators, beating the spread by five points against Idaho State. The Dawgs outgained the Bengals by almost 300 yards. Georgia’s defense outscored ISU’s offense, with Baccari Rambo and Vance Cuff each running back a pick six. Brandon Boykin almost made it three, getting dragged down inside the Bengals’ ten.

It took Georgia’s offense a while to show up, with Blair Walsh kicking a pair of field goals to give the Dawgs only a 6-0 lead at the end of the first. QB Hutson Mason took over for Aaron Murray, completing three of eight for oh who cares. Speedy WR Tavoy Moore, about whom we tried to warn you, put up the Bengals’ lone score in the fourth quarter.

The Bengals slip to 1-8, while 5-5 Georgia needs a win next week over the Auburn Tigers or later this month over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to keep its 13-year bowl streak going.

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Georgia Bulldogs vs. Idaho State Bengals: When ISU Has The Ball, It's Time To Let Justin Houston Loose

BY THE NUMBERS
Idaho State's offense: Averaging 167.0 yards per game passing (86th in Division I-AA), 63.8 yards rushing (115th).
Georgia's defense: Allowing 208.8 yards per game passing (56th in I-A), 113.9 yards rushing (18th).

REASONS TO BE EXCITED
Idaho State hasn't just put up bad offensive numbers, they've put them up against FCS competition. Their leading rusher, Corey White, has all of 268 net yards on the season, and the Bengals are currently averaging a mere 2.2 yards per rush. Unlike last week, the Dawg defense won't have to worry about a mobile QB, either; Russel Hill, who took over early in the Bengals' game against Montana and who has started the two games since, has -137 net yards on 36 carries this year. After seeing that fact, it becomes somewhat less surprising that ISU is third from the bottom in DI-AA in sacks allowed, with 35 in just eight games. Think Justin Houston might be licking his chops at the chance to pad his SEC-leading sack numbers?

REASONS TO BE WORRIED
Hill may have spent an inordinate amount of time this season getting buried in the turf, but when he gets time to throw, he's actually not bad. Since apparently taking over the starting job from Kyle Morris during the Bengals' loss to Montana, Hill has gone 40-of-79 for 514 yards, three TDs and two picks, and is a big part of the reason ISU has played its last opponents within three points apiece (including taking Montana State to OT) after not coming within two touchdowns of its first five non-NAIA foes. The Bengals also lead DI-AA in punting -- one presumes they've given David Harrington plenty of practice -- and has its number-two punt returner, Tavoy Moore, who's averaging just a fraction over 20 yards per return. Whatever else happens Saturday, the Dawgs can't necessarily count on winning the field-position battle.

KEY MATCHUP
Georgia's secondary vs. Idaho State WRs Rodrick Rumble and Tavoy Moore. 
The Bulldogs' pass defense had yet another up-and-down outing in Jacksonville last week, mixing some nice coverages with plenty of blown opportunities (none more glaring than the play where Sanders Commings had a great shot at a sideline interception but instead let Jeff Demps make a catch that set the Gators up with first-and-goal inside the 2). Nobody's going to mistake Idaho State's QB for Ryan Mallett, but he's been able to make a few big plays happen over the past couple weeks, and Georgia's secondary can't afford to sit back and relax in soft coverage just because they assume their QB pressure is going to take care of things on the front end.

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Georgia Bulldogs vs. Idaho State Bengals: When Georgia Has The Ball, Aaron Murray Will Have A Field Day

BY THE NUMBERS
Georgia's offense: Averaging 237.8 yards per game passing (46th nationally), 150.7 yards rushing (63rd).
Idaho State's defense: Allowing 246.0 yards per game passing (107th in Division I-AA), 165.0 yards rushing (76th).

REASONS TO BE EXCITED
Reason #1 to be excited? It's Idaho State. The Bengals have won a single game all season long -- an opening-day win over NAIA Montana-Western -- and have lost the rest by an average of 17 points; they've lost their last seven games against FBS teams by an average of six touchdowns. Biggest weakness on a defense allowing 411 yards and 29 points per game against weak competition: a pass defense that's letting even DI-AA quarterbacks bomb away at them with alarming efficiency (partly because the defensive front has only picked up 10 sacks all season long). If Hutson Mason isn't flinging passes all over the place midway through the third quarter, he's being punished for something.

REASONS TO BE WORRIED
Other than a possible emotional hangover from the heartbreaking loss in Jacksonville? Not much. Given the disparity in size and athleticism between Georgia's players and ISU's, the only thing keeping the Dawgs from massive offensive stats this Saturday is their own sloppiness. (That and Mark Richt's inherent conservatism in games like this; he'll start clearing the bench before even the merest hint of a running-up-the-score accusation has a chance to surface against his team.)

KEY MATCHUP
Georgia QB Aaron Murray vs. Georgia QB Aaron Murray. 
Huh? Well, Murray finally displayed signs of being, you know, a freshman against Florida's brutal secondary last week, mixing moments of heroism (three TDs, a career-high 313 passing yards) with moments that made you want to cover your eyes (three picks, which doubled his season total and effectively killed Georgia's only scoring shot in OT). If those mistakes and what-might-have-beens are still nagging at him Saturday, he might look rusty. But if he's determined to put that behind him and make a statement that he's the man to lead Georgia through a critical late-season stretch run to bowl eligibility, he'll have a big, big day against a defense that was powerless to stop Portland State's passing attack a few weeks ago.

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