Don't Be Fooled By The Scoreboard, Georgia Dominated North Texas

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 21, 2013

It was ugly, it was sluggish and the scoreboard won't exactly impress voters who didn't watch the game.

But don't be fooled. Georgia dominated North Texas in two of the three phases of the game in Saturday's 45-21 win at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

Just how lopsided was it?

The Bulldogs out-gained the Mean Green 641-245, quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, and true freshman wide receiver Reggie Davis had two catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown went for a school record 98 yards and was the 100th career touchdown pass by Murray.

Despite the video-game statistics, Georgia found itself in a 21-21 tie early in the third quarter after the Mean Green scored on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, and Brelan Chancellor returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

Georgia got caught looking ahead to next week's showdown with LSU—at least on special teams—and found itself in a much more stressful game than it anticipated.

That happens.

In college football, momentum is fickle.

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 7: Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs warms up during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Just two weeks ago, it was clear that Georgia was the class of the SEC East after its 41-30 win over South Carolina in Athens. After a bye week, the perception will almost certainly shift to Georgia being inconsistent and a team that shouldn't be in the top 10.

Let's not go down that road.

Georgia's biggest issue—its defense—looked solid against a rather potent North Texas offense. Granted, Idaho, Ohio and Ball State—Mean Green's first three opponents of the season—aren't exactly juggernauts, but they came into the matchup averaging 465 yards per game.

Two special teams plays by North Texas made it close for a while, but in the end, the cream rose to the top, and should give Georgia some confidence moving forward.

That's not an excuse. Special teams are part of the equation and Georgia is certainly going to have to tighten up next week versus LSU to hang with the mighty Tigers. But for the first time all season, Georgia's defense came to play and brought Georgia one step closer to playing a complete game.

That's a step in the right direction for the Bulldogs.