Buffalo running back James Potts is stopped by Georgia defensive end Garrison Smith (56), linebacker Christian Robinson (45) and linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012. Georgia won 45-23.Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia fans booed their football team Saturday afternoon, and tailback Isaiah Crowell isn't even with the Bulldogs anymore.
In Georgia's 45-23 defeat of Buffalo from the Mid-American Conference, the Bulldogs backers turned their ire toward a defense that expects to be among the best nationally but was ravaged early by the pesky Bills. Buffalo had first-half scoring drives of 75 and 94 yards, and a 47-yard march that resulted in a field goal seconds before halftime produced boos after the Bills went 42 yards in two plays.
"I heard the boos, but it wasn't really surprising to me given the expectations we have and the expectations the fans have for us," defensive end Abry Jones said. "It was them showing their anger with the way we were playing, and I can't stand here and say we didn't deserve to get booed. Our fans let us know that we're a lot better than this."
The Bulldogs allowed 277.2 yards a game last season, ranking fifth nationally, but they gave up 243 Saturday in the first two quarters alone. Georgia led just 24-16 at intermission before scoring the first 21 points of the second half, while Buffalo's first five possessions after intermission resulted in 18 plays for 19 yards.
Georgia has allowed 98 points in its last three games dating back to last season's SEC championship loss to LSU, when a hobbled Crowell drew the wrath of Georgia fans.
"I think we've got work to do," third-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "There were some inconsistencies that created explosive plays. I thought we played much better in the second half, because they didn't really get a first down until their last drive.
"We did some good things, but there were things in there that happened that we cannot do."
Grantham did not make any excuses for not having three starters, as cornerback Sanders Commings, safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree were suspended. When asked if he heard the booing, he said, "I don't worry about stuff like that. I just worry about trying to execute and getting off the field."
All-America linebacker Jarvis Jones led the Bulldogs with eight tackles, 2.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Cornerback Damian Swann also made eight tackles, while inside linebacker Michael Gilliard had seven.
Inside linebacker Christian Robinson, who had five tackles and shared a tackle for loss, hopes the booing started and ended Saturday.
"We can't focus on that, because that would just get in our head and get our focus off track," Robinson said. "People might get upset, but our job is to go out there, fix it and try and get better. I think we came out in the second half and solved some problems."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...