Black is black.

First off, let’s get the easy part of this post out of the way:  congrats to Alabama fans.  Your team showed up prepared and ready to execute from the opening kick.  As a Georgia fan, it was both depressing and impressive to watch the domination that took place in the first half.

As for the rest of this sad story, let’s face it – this is a recurring pattern with these Dawgs under Richt.  There’s a game or two every season where for some inexplicable reason the team, coaches and players both, simply fails to show up for a half and looks completely out of its element.  That it was last night was unfortunate, both in terms of the timing (hello, GameDay!) and the quality of the opponent, but not unexpected.

And of course we’re offered the “they didn’t quit in the second half” story after the game, which strikes me as the functional equivalent of the game show host handing out the consolation prize of the terrific board game version of the TV show while we watch the winner cavort with the pretty female sidekick and the $100,000 check.  Nice, but hardly satisfying.

I’m not going to waste any time breaking down the ginormous sized egg that was laid last night.  I’ve no doubt that others will do a more than capable job of doing that.  I will simply say that if these Dawgs are consistent with what they’ve shown us in past years, at some point in time Richt will get them rebooted mentally and emotionally and they will play up to the level of their talent.  That being said, the catch is that it’s hard to say how long that may take; in both of the last two seasons, it didn’t happen overnight.

At least Florida lost, too.

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33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

33 responses to “Black is black.

  1. 3 takes on yesterday -

    Florida, and yes Georgia, are not as good as some thought.

    Alabama is much better than most thought.

    The SEC LEast is wide open.

  2. Mergz, you may be right, but I’m too numb to do any big picture analyzing right now.

    Unless “argh” counts as analysis…

  3. Bill

    Fire Willie Martinez Now! The worst first half of football I’ve ever seen. The worst first half deficit in Sanford since 1999 against Auburn. And we’re the number 3 team in the nation?

    Last year we’re embarrassed by a bad Tennessee team who ate our defense for lunch. The year before, we’re humiliated at home by a UT who devoured our defense. Every year there’s always at least one BEATING defensively by an opponent before he makes serious changes.

    We will NEVER win a national title with him as DC. It will not happen. And when is Coach Richt going to figure that out? We don’t belong in the top 15.

  4. Blutarsky-

    I hear ya brother.

  5. Joe

    Wvu, 2005
    Ufk, 2006
    Ufk, 2007
    Ua, 2008

    Inexplicable losses to inferior opponents by huge margins.

    The good news is that we are still in the driver’s seat in the SEC East. We need to simply forget about last night’s game and focus on Ufk.

    Did Kade Weston play last night?

  6. Jim

    I agree about WM. He has had three years and is still out coached and can not seem to make adjustments on the fly. You would think with the number of games our defense has looked silly he would be able to identify the problem and adjust. The coaches would bench a player who played this way and give them a speech about accountablity. And frankly, Bobo needs to show improvement. It seems that ex-NFL coaches seem to be better at this than coaches whose only experience is coaching at the college level.

  7. peacedog

    Ua 2008 inferior? I dunno about that. . .

    Senator, I think people will place an inordinate amount of attention on the black jerseys here “they weren’t ready” (etc). I’d only point out that they could be nothing more than a symptom (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they went away for a long time or forever;I don’t really care either way truth be told. Putting them away won’t solve anything either).

  8. squarebush

    Did you really just call Alabama an inferior opponent?

    Did you watch the game last night? If so, then you saw how that “inferior” opponent manhandled the Dawgs, especially in the first half.

  9. NebraskaDawg

    Simply put, The Dawgs (including coaches and fans) got caught up in the hype surrounding the game and were not prepared. Bama was focused and it showed.

  10. Brandon

    It is not so much a pattern under Richt as it is a pattern under Martinez as DC. I had an eerie flashback to the West Virginia Sugar Bowl game last night and Bill brought up a couple other times it has happened. One common thread is that in these types of games, we get no pressure whatsoever. In last year’s Tennessee game
    Eric Ainge probably didn’t even have to wash his uniform. Martinez is generally a good defensive mind but if his plan A does not work then we are screwed. He stubbornly sticks to it until we are beat into the dirt. Hopefully somebody can get through to him that you cannot let a veteran quarterback just sit back there unmolested, no matter how many guys you have in coverage they cannot cover fast recievers forever because the offensive player has the advantage of knowing where they are going, whereas a defensive player must react. On the flip side Alabama has a great team and we all must remember that, it would have been tough no matter what we did. What I am saying is PLEASE have a plan B Willie! One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and by that measure our defensive performance in the first half last night definately insane. And Florida did lose. Great blog by the way and GO DAWGS!

  11. Joe

    I also saw the 2005 Wvu squad and last year’s Ufk squad manhandle the Dawgs.

    Bama has a nice little team, but take away the bogus penalty on the first drive. Take away the absolute fluke play AJ Green makes. Have UGA’s All-SEC punter play an average game. Things would be much different.

    Everyone knows that John Parker Wilson is a career scrub who played way, way, way over his head last night.

    It stinks that UGA laid another egg, but they will get a chance for a rematch vs. LSU in the SEC championship game.

  12. NebraskaDawg

    What are you guys complaining about. You all know Richt’s not getting rid of Martinez. The guy is going to have to quit or get promoted to a HC job and both of those aren’t happening. Both of our lines stink and we ain’t winning anything till both lines improve.

  13. baltimore dawg

    when a team that loses to ul-monroe at home less than a year ago completely dominates a program that has been steadily building for almost a decade, that’s a disparity in coaching, not talent.

    the recurring pattern is the inability to maintain toughness and intensity.

    and, yeah, i’m actually glad that we can dispense with the black jersey nonsense for a good, long while.

  14. Christian

    First off – Go Dawgs! I root for the Dawgs through good times and bad – we’ve had a good run come to a close and it is time to start a new one.

    As to the game last night, my first analysis: Blurg.

    My second analysis: let’s keep the black shirts safe and sound where they belong: on Ebay.

    My third analysis: I’m not sure who – or how much of the blame needs to be passed around:

    CMR, from all accounts, kicked this game up several notches with the jerseys (his idea not the seniors), the back and forth with the coaches & players from Bama (Saban, S&C, Aranias), which caused the overall vibe to go way too high and we were tight.

    CWM doesn’t trust his DB’s to cover man to man, which after the first few series, should have been evident needed to take place as JPW was on his game finding the wide-open zone options. Brandon says it very well, there never seems to be an obvious plan B. There’s staying the course and then there’s plain ol’ stubbornness.

    CMB – I can say that the QB sweep call, down by so many points, was the worse play call that I can remember from a Bulldog OC (I’ve been a fan since 1986). Of course the circumstances dictated a lot of his calls, but a weak performance here as well.

    This is a tough loss to swallow for many reasons listed above. I was so psyched that we had a bye week this week and now I’m not so sure it is a good thing. I’m trying hard to not be a sky is falling fan, but I can’t see 11-1 in our future. I’m just not confident that this team can come out and win the remaining 7 games like I thought at 7:44P last night.

    If you generously grant UT, Vandy, UK & Georgia Tech as “likely” wins – that leaves LSU, UF & AU and after our performance tonight…..I’ll be hoping more than knowing.

    Go Dawgs!!

  15. montgomeryaldawg

    don’t blame it on the jerseys, I’m more than ok to put them away for a long time, however, that ain’t the problem. JPD will NEVER have another night like that again against GA, if given the chance in the SEC CG. Penalties, dumb stupid play, that killed us. It didn’t help that we had players, typical of the whole year so far, falling out everywhere, Sturdivant, Owens, Banks, Lomax, Battle, Ellerbe, Chandler, Southerland, WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! We will recover, we always have under MR. And there will be a different team, a grown up O-line (like last year’s maturity after the Tenn. game) and less injuries for the SEC CG. We can and will beat them if we play them again, and I think it more likely that we get to Atl than them, LSU will beat them.

  16. Mike 1stLt.,USMC

    Another huge let down from these Georgia Bulldogs. I’m very disappointed.

    Hopefully, Georgia will stay in the Top 10 in both polls. I would think they are still a top 10 team and should be ranked ahead of Southern Cal and Florida.

  17. Chris

    We have a reputation as a heavily penalized team. Alabama does not. Some no calls or calls that we should get at home, we don’t get because we have a “young line” or “aggressive defenders.” We laid an egg in the 1st half, it’s true. However, a magical hands to the face and a non-called offsides on the magical gift from the heavens dropped pass/interception makes this game two scores closer. Oh, and I believe we only lost by two scores.

  18. Jim

    These are not random events. These games are the result of better coaches taking advantage of our weaknesses and our inability to seem to correct them. Any team can watch this game and the last two Tenn games and know where to throw the ball. We do not change. How many years must we give WM. I watched Richt last night and he knows. He may not do anything about it but he must be getting tired of being embarassed. I think he is the best head coach we have had but unless he makes some hard choices, he will never win a NC. Dooley had Erk to save his ass but Richt does not have an Erk.

  19. SRQDawgs15

    Chris, I’m glad you noticed that offsides on the pass to Green too. I live in Florida and even had UF fans saying that the roughing/hands to the face was a weak call at best and that they saw the offsides. Another thing I don’t get is why we get called for pass interference/defensive holding so often while other teams continue to get away with it against us in the same game. I think a lot can be said for the way our boys played in the 2nd half, but it was just a little too much. If we get that fumble early instead of a penalty and/or Green turns that ball up field and off to the races without the fluke “fumble” (even though they were offsides) we still win despite what everyone is saying on these boards. I was glad the fans stayed at the game and continued to cheer and not boo, although it doesn’t look like the same could be said for a lot of the people commenting here. We still control our own destiny and we looked better than UF did against an inferior team. I think they lose to LSU and us, and we can win out or lose one more to LSU. Either way, the East is still ours to win and we will see either Bama or LSU in ATL. This year went from maybe having 3 undefeated teams to maybe another 2 loss champion in 1 weekend. Keep your heads up and don’t give up on these Dawgs.
    Go Dawgs!

  20. Robert

    At least the East is wide open. At least Florida lost. And USC. And Wisconsin. There are the positives.

    If all three of those teams had taken care of their business too, we would be in a world of hurt. But they didn’t.

    There’s a lot of negatives we can take away from this game. That is probably an understatement of huge preportions, but what else can you say?

    Alabama came out and punched us in the mouth, HARD. We came out flat, just like some big games in the past, but we have to get over it. I know everyone thinks about the WV Sugar Bowl, but what about the Virginia Tech game? We got stomped in the first half of that one and came back strong in the second half to get the W. Right?

    It happened. How we deal with it is what we should be talking about from here on out.

    We still control our own destiny. We still have a lot of games to play. We are not out of it!

    Remember, NOBODY thought we would go undefeated with our schedule. So we have a loss, that doesn’t mean we can’t win 7 or 8* more.

    I just want to say ‘Thanks.’ to all of the Dawgs that stuck around until the game was over. The players needed our support. I know they appreciated it.

    I still believe.

    Go Dawgs! Win the East! Chin up! Man up! GATA!

  21. carolinadawg

    We need a serious talent upgrade at cornerback and defensive end. Asher is great, but he’s the only top-flight cb we have. And our lack of pressure on the opposing qb is killing us. I hope we have some recruits coming in next year to address those situations.

  22. Brandon

    One more thing, I think from now on Blacking Out should be achievement-based, for example only teams that beat Florida earn the right to blackout (once) GO DAWGS!

  23. CLTDawg

    I too was really impressed that our fans didn’t ALL leave after the first half last night. I thought for sure the fans would mutiny on the team, but the stadium was still full for the 2nd half.

    On another note, I spent the 2nd half sitting between recruits Marlon Brown (#1 WR) and Brandon Smith (#1 CB) (snuck down – no idea who they were until they said their names).

    Needless to say, they were a bit shocked after the first half. However, they were impressed with the campus, the fans and the way we fought back in the 2nd half. Both said they felt certain that if they choose to come to UGA they would see the field as freshmen. These 2 kids couldn’t have been any nicer, and I was very impressed with their demeanor and outlook on things. Both would be great additions.

  24. Dsmith

    At halftime last night I told my wife we needed to save up a little money. “I think Doug is going to need a new microwave after tonight.”

  25. Fortunately, I was both a) at someone’s tailgate and b) too weakened by a head cold to lift any major appliances.

    The fact that it happened against a legitimately fantastic team was, to some extent, a mitigating factor as well. I mean, we should never be down 31-0 to anybody, but being down 31-0 to #8 Alabama is a lot more explainable than being down 31-0 to, oh, I don’t know, a 4-5 Auburn team in 1999.

    Awful game, but we’ve got two weeks to get folks healthy, the East is still wide-open . . . I’m appreciative of the Dawg fans here and elsewhere who appear to have recognized that the world has not, in fact, ended.

  26. Rusty

    I’m not blaming the Ref’s,because we just got whooped,period.
    But the sad fact is ,I do not believe we will get the benefit of the doubt on these close calls.Call it paranoia if you want,but the officials still are keeping the “celebration” in the forefront of their minds…even paranoids have enemies.

  27. Daniel

    I don’t want to sound all Pollyanna, but we got embarrassed worse (and by a worse team) at UT last year.

    We still very nearly control out own destiny to the MNC, all we’re missing is a Penn State loss that seems pretty likely. There can only be one undefeated Big 12 team, and 0 from the Pac-10, and right now we are the class of the once beatens. No doubt it will require improvement similar to last year, which seems pretty farfetched to expect two years in a row, but it’s certainly possible.

    I can’t get on Willie Martinez too bad – he was outmanned at the line and UA took advantage perfectly. In the end we were outgained by two yards.

  28. Doc

    Carolina, blame the coaches not the players. It’s the job of the coaches to put the players in position to succeed. That was not the case last night.

  29. 69Dawg

    We are the old FSU with better opponents. We have been perceived by the SEC refs as a thug team (see the celebration and lack of remorse) We will get zero slack from any crew working our games. So if it even looks a little like a Personal Foul it will be called. If our DB’s are too rough on the WR’s it will be called. We are not good enough to beat good teams while giving them 100+ yards. This will take a long time to fix. Aggressive D is one thing, stupid penalties caused by our history with the refs is another. We might as well get use to it.

    We recruit small fast DB’s they get beat by tall fast WR’s, is this a mystery to anybody?? CWM is the DB’s coach and our technique appears to be Grab and Hold and hope we don’t get it called. When our DB’s get beat we just tackle the WR, hey 15 is better than a TD. In short he is not that great a DB coach. No need to get into his DC gig.

    Bobo is still an OJT at OC and he has his ups and downs. The QB sweep even if Mat checked to it should not have been on the table. It could have ended his season and ours. I think it might serve as a farewell play when it comes time to declare for the draft. Bobo is not teaching him anything now he does not already know and Bobo might get him killed. I hope I’m wrong but I think we will not see Mat next year.

  30. dean

    There’s a game or two every season where for some inexplicable reason the team, coaches and players both, simply fails to show up for a half and looks completely out of its element.

    While I don’t disagree with this it seems this is a wide spread problem across the college football landscape, not just a Mark Richt or UGA problem. I’m not making excuses just sayin’. Nevertheless it’s damn frustrating.

    Furthermore I think UA could’ve played with anybody last night. It was eeirly similar to the 2nd half of the ’06 UT game. We got next to no pressure on JPW and he made us pay for it just as Ainge did. Not to mention the defense was on the field for about 27 of the 30 minutes in the first half. But basically our sloppy play just caught up to us.

    Hopefully this game will serve as a wake up call to the players and they’ll get it back together during the bye week.

  31. Jim

    Stafford is not going pro. He is not that good. David Green said that the third string QB in the pros does not get snaps as they play the first string against the first string. So, he can play at GA next year and get more practice or go pro and ride the bench while he gets rusty and never developing any better. I do agree this staff is not teaching him to go to his second and third choice (if there is one). Also, he throws into more double and triple coverage than any quaterback I can remember. Where are the other receivers? At times this seems like a high school offense.

  32. kckd

    Regarding Willie Martinez? Who do you guys want to hire in his place?

    Before you choose, make sure that the person over the past few years hasn’t had two or three games where you look at the score and say WTH?

    My point: hold the guy you covet to the same standard.

    I’ve heard Muschamp’s name a lot, but what happened to him at the blackout last year? Oh yeah, we won that one so we don’t hold it against him.

  33. R. Farquahar

    I read with amusement Joe’s comments about “inexplicable losses to inferior teams” and that one of those losses came at the hands of Alabama’s “nice little team”.
    Wow, Joe. The losses aren’t inexplicable at all. You got your butts kicked by superior teams. They may or may not be superior on paper and they obviously aren’t superior in your mind, but they played better and were coached better on those particular days.
    Joe, your arrogance is a reflection of your team’s mentality. Nothing is as satisfying as seeing a bunch of swaggering thugs receive a complete beat down.
    Say “Hi” to Stafford for me, if he’s not still too befuddled.