Let me say this about that.

I haven’t had the stomach to watch a replay of Saturday’s game yet (rest assured, gentle readers, that I will, just for you), but I’ve read the comments here in response to my two posts of yesterday, read some astute comments from other bloggers and seen a few quotes, all of which made me want to respond with a few more observations.

  • Nobody’s talking about mediocrity here, guys.  I think it’s more than likely that Georgia wins its three remaining regular season games and probably gets a shot to mop up a Big Ten team in a New Years Day bowl game.  If Georgia finishes 11-2, that’s more than respectable.  But it doesn’t change the fact that the Dawgs were outscored 66-7 in two halves against Alabama and Florida, and I’ll bet right now there won’t be another team in the final top ten that will have a similar blot on its resume.
  • And I don’t need to be reminded about my history.  I’m not making the point about the disappearing act because I’ve forgotten what things were like for the program in the nineties.  But I am remembering what things were like a few years ago under this same head coach.  Something’s missing, like it or not.
  • All that being said, if Mark Richt thinks the lesson to be learned is that “When the season is over, history might prove they are the two very best teams in the country — at least two of the top five, anyway…”, this isn’t going to get better any time soon.  The two recent similar losses to Tennessee weren’t against dominant teams.  Nor was the close call against Vandy in 2006.  Richt needs to face the fact that for some reason his teams don’t show up on a random basis during the regular season to play four quarters of football.  And he’s being paid to figure out what that reason is.
  • When I say random, I mean exactly that.  It’s not just the quality of the opponent that varies; it’s the nature of what goes missing, too.  Saturday, it was the offense.  Against ‘Bama, it was more on both sides of the ball.  Such was also the case against UT in ’07.  But the UT ’06 debacle was primarily fueled by a defensive collapse that actually started at the very end of the first half.  There’s simply no consistent rhyme or reason as to why it happens.  It just does.
  • I can’t argue with a single point Michael Elkon makes in this post – except for the fact that Florida was +4 in turnover margin.
  • Sorry, but I’m not getting this home grown talent argument made by some of the commenters in my first post yesterday.  You think Percy Harvin is somewhat of a lesser player for Florida because he’s from Virginia?  Don’t be silly.   Every major program, from Southern Cal on down, chases talent from outside its home state.  Stafford didn’t play the way he did against Florida because he’s from Texas;  he did because he still relies on his arm strength more than anything else.
  • I’ll probably be chastised by KG and some of the other Gator bloggers for saying this, but I didn’t leave the game feeling that the Gators’ secondary was significantly better than what I had thought before the game.  (And, yes, I remember that Stafford threw three picks.)  Bobo (with some assistance from Stafford, probably) for some inexplicable reason elected not to challenge it as much as he should have. And could have.
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56 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

56 responses to “Let me say this about that.

  1. peacedog

    We had 290something yards passing, right? With respect to our Gator bretheren, we had lots of opportunities through the air and I don’t think your assessment of their secondary is far off. Their front 7 was impressive and they are improved on defense, no doubt about it. We had opportunities a plenty until the first second half interception (at which point we went tumbling down the rabbit hole).

  2. HVL Dawg

    I’m hearing a lot of nostolgia for the those tough bulldogs teams who fought hard till the end and cried in the locker room after losing 4 games a year.

    Four weeks ago Ally wanted Martinez’s head. Now she wants BoBo’s. And the natives are saying CMR gets paid to motivate better.

    This is exactly why coaches earn so much money. Fans aren’t satisfied with 10 wins.

  3. Jim

    People who believe in something usually try harder. If you do not believe in a scheme you might try at first but when you see it is not working, you just go through with the motions. It comes down to coaching.

  4. baltimore dawg

    senator, are you willing to speculate on this forum about what’s missing? i’m not trying to bait you; i just find that your thoughts on uga football make more sense than most. i mean, i have my own ideas on what’s missing, of course, but i don’t want to maintain a blog!

  5. This is exactly why coaches earn so much money. Fans aren’t satisfied with 10 wins.

    HVL, this isn’t about being satisfied with ten wins. I’d far rather be a Georgia fan right now than someone following Auburn, Tennessee or Michigan.

    Just answer these questions for me: is it unreasonable to question why the disappearing act we now see on a recurring basis keeps happening? Should we just shrug it off as part of what comes with the program now?

    One thing I noticed in the responses to my first post yesterday is that no commenter pointed to another major power with a track record similar to Georgia’s in this way, which I presume means that nobody could think of one. If that’s the case, I don’t know why it’s acceptable at Georgia.

  6. senator, are you willing to speculate on this forum about what’s missing?

    balt, believe me, I’ve been thinking about this since the game ended Saturday evening. I’m not sure I’m ready to speculate yet, but I’ll probably post something about it soon.

  7. UgaMatt

    For my .02, what changed is the heart of the players. From 01-05, we had some players that LOVED being COLLEGE football players. They had talent and the possibility of an NFL career, but Mel Kiper wasn’t touting them before they ever played a down. Instead of viewing their time at UGA as an NFL prep school, they played like these were the last years they were going to get to play a kids game and it meant a lot more to them.

    This team has worlds more talent than the ’02-’05 squads, but does anyone think this team would beat any of those? The heart, desire, pride, and love of being a Georgia Bulldog left with D.J. Shockley. We’re more talented now, but were better then.

  8. TimeForABenchin'

    Wow Senator. This blog is one of my morning stops and probably my favorite blog to read. But you are WAY off with your post game musing.

    You have yet to mention the fact that Know-show Moreno CONTINUES to take himself out of the game after he carries the ball on consecutive downs. We are bogging down in the redzone because for some reason, Knowshon isnt in the game. Almost every time he has a carry over 10 yards this year, he has taken himself out of the game.

    Stafford played the best football i have ever seen from him in the first quarter. He was on fire, in rhythm and flawless (5-5 i believe). Sure his play deteriorated in the 2nd half, but he was trying to make something happen. Knowshon was scared to death after Spikes leveled him on the first play of the game.

    He should have scored a TD in the redzone but instead of sprinting to the pylon, he STOPS and gets tackled for a loss. I would put this game more on Knowshon than Bobo and Stafford. We should have been up 9-7, or even 16-7 at halftime. Go rewatch the game.

    The meltdowns boil down to missed opportunities and mistakes.

    The thing is, danielson continuously commented about how the refs were hosing us. the tebow first down, the blatent defensive holding on Joe Haden’s pick, the Offensive pass interference on Murphy on his TD, etc…

  9. TimeForABenchin'

    Oh, and I didnt even mention the ball that hit Knowshon in the face in the endzone.

    And let’s not forget who blew the coverage on the TD pass to Harvin….BRYAN EVANS.

  10. brad

    I am with TimeForABenchin. What is the deal with ‘Shon? Is he hurt? He has had some really big runs and played great this season, but overall I get a different vibe from him than last year. Not so much bouncing up from the ground and running back to the huddle. Not as much bravado. We fed off that last year and it made the entire team better.

    I also agree with UgaMatt. From ’01-’05 we had some serious headhunters on defense that not only went for the kill shot, they made them. Pollock would get to the quarterback in 2 seconds and ruin the offense with a sack or a forced throw. We lay back and seemingly play NOT TO LOSE on D. Aaaaarrrrrggghhh.

  11. This one felt different than the cited asskickings (first quarter of Sugar Bowl ’06, second half UT ’06, first half UT ’07, first half Bama ’08) in that the defense wasn’t necessarily getting shredded up and down the field, and we were at least moving the ball with solid efficiency. But the turnovers/red zone nonsense stalled and killed any momentum, and that was that.

    I don’t happen to have any answers other than to note that we looked incredibly poorly coached, both in play calling and in attitude. Richt was equal parts confident/snarky before both the losses to Florida and Alabama, and I’m wondering if we just have a knack for getting too big for our britches.

    I’m not as upset at a potential 11-2, NYD bowl season as the AJC would like me to be, just FWIW.

  12. Tebow still throws like a girl

    I know that many other Georgia fans are trying to steer clear from saying things like this, for fear of sounding like a whiney brat, but … like it or not, you can’t win a football game without at least a little momentum, and some of those insane calls and no-calls cost us a helluva lot of momentum. Them’s the facts. Did we lose the game because of poor officiating? Nope. But did I nonetheless feel like I was watching a whole season’s worth of Pac-10 officiating all rolled into 1 game? Yep.

    And I agree with UgaMatt, at least, certainly with respect to our uber-talented QB. I’ve been a huge Matt Stafford homer for a while now, but one thing that’s always bothered me about him … the kid doesn’t seem to have any heart. I think Stafford’s the most talented QB in the game right now, but for once, I’d like to see him be as bothered (and inspired) by adversity as Tebow (as much as I can’t stand the guy, he certainly seems to be fulfilling the promise he made to Florida fans after the loss to Ole Miss). I went to high school with David Greene … that guy had heart. And from what I’ve seen so far out of Aaron Murray, he’s got it too. But Stafford … just go ahead and go pro already.

  13. Ally

    HVL,

    First of all don’t you EVER speak for me here or anywhere else. You don’t know me or what I want. You better get your facts straight before you EVER have the audacity to call me out.

    You’re damn right I’ve called for Martinez’s head and I’ve done so for 2 years now. NOTHING has changed, except that this desire is now stronger!

    I NEVER CALLED FOR BOBO’S HEAD! Where the hell did I say that? Show me. I never said one word about firing Bobo!!!!!!

    Apparently you’re either illiterate or just flat-out stupid. Take your pick. My vote is for the latter.

    If you want to take me on, quote me, or dare to speak for me I suggest you speak to me directly ant at the very least GET YOUR F@CKING FACTS STRAIGHT!

    Get on my blog & send me an email. I’ll be more than happy to give you a call and hash this out! I dare you.

  14. TFAB, with regard to your 10:06 comment, first of all, thanks for the praise.

    As for the meat of your comment, I thought Stafford, just like the rest of the offense, looked all-world between the twenties in the first half. But, like the rest of the offense, he bogged down in the red zone. He certainly wasn’t the entire reason for that – the end zone whiff by a wide open Chandler was a killer, no doubt – but he played a part.

    I haven’t seen the game on TV, but I’ll still stand on what I observed from the stands – Matt made some questionable reads and his footwork (which I watch a lot during the game) was inconsistent. Neither of those are new developments. After his brilliant play against LSU – maybe his best overall game in a Georgia uniform – I expected a lot more than I saw Saturday.

    I’m a little surprised at the Moreno criticism I’m starting to see here and elsewhere. I’m not exactly sure why the coaches’ decision to let him call when he comes out is suddenly an issue. He still carried the ball seventeen times in a game that was out of control with half of the third quarter left to play. And he’s still a ferocious blocker when it comes to defending the blitz (in fact, what killed one drive was King’s completely inept attempt to pick up a rusher who wound up sacking Stafford for a key loss).

    For all the criticism, keep in mind that Strong’s gameplan started with selling out to stop Moreno. Depsite being faced with eight defenders in the box most plays, KM was still getting about 4 yards per carry. There were things to exploit in the Gator defense, and it wasn’t KM’s responsibility to make those decisions.

  15. Heyberto

    This felt exactly like it was 2002 or 2003 again. Nothing went right. I know there are specific mistakes that can be pointed to, but I really got the feeling that after the first half the psychology of the game changed for the players. I thought last year went a long way to change that. While in 2004 we beat Florida, we were picked to, so we finally got throught that. 2007 was bigger because Florida was ‘supposed’ to win, and we took control. I really thought the psychological edge Florida had over us was broken, but this year’s effort really seemed to show we’re still having a hard time getting over Florida’s dominance. I hope I’m wrong. I never bought into the Jacksonville location issue, but maybe that’s part of the problem as well.

  16. HVL Dawg

    Ally- I’ll be right over to your blog. You can blast me on your own site.

    Senator- I think you have your finger on the issue. I don’t disagree with your diagnosis, but I’m a little cautious about what you might consider a solution. How would you like to be Notre Dame right now? Maybe I ‘m mediocre for accepting consistent top ten finishes.

  17. Jim from Duluth

    I wonder if the “something missing” is internal team leadership. In 2006 it didn’t seem to develop until late season, when a few guys called a meeting after we lost at UK and they tore one goalpost down. The result then was closing out by beating 3 straight ranked teams. Last year, we had 2 seniors on that OL who eventually took over. Remember Curran’s comments on leadership during the open week after the Bama game? I’m glad he’s trying to take on that role as a soph, but where were guys who should have been leading during the offseason?

    Jim

  18. Heyberto

    I can’t disagree with all of you but one other point I want to make… with all of our injuries that occurred early, did you really expect that Georgia would make it through this point of the schedule? I didn’t. Again, coming out flat against Florida seems to be more of the problem, but I think we could have done a lot better in key areas.

    So.. the age old littany. There’s always next year. Of course, I think Stafford and Moreno are both gone after this one, so where does that leave us?

  19. baltimore dawg

    i don’t intend this in a mean way, but i *hope* that km has been allowed to take himself out of games at will all season long because he has been suffering from a heretofore unpublicized nagging injury.

    but if they’re allowing a player to dictate the rotation in an attempt to keep fresh guys in there (and letting a player determine that), well, i don’t know. that sounds like a coaching permissiveness bordering on negligence.

  20. “I know that many other Georgia fans are trying to steer clear from saying things like this, for fear of sounding like a whiney brat, but … like it or not, you can’t win a football game without at least a little momentum, and some of those insane calls and no-calls cost us a helluva lot of momentum. Them’s the facts. Did we lose the game because of poor officiating? Nope. But did I nonetheless feel like I was watching a whole season’s worth of Pac-10 officiating all rolled into 1 game? Yep.”

    Yeah, I’ll go that way too. It was blatant negligence by the SEC brass to let Penn Wagers officiate this game, just as its blatant negligence by the SEC brass to let Penn Wagers officiate *any* Georgia game. It’s not just the laughably incorrect calls (the Tebow spot), ignorance of the friggin rules (that holding call in the UT game), and the fact that it takes him and his buddies 5 minutes to call a false start…what really makes Penn such an issue is that he comes damn near close to letting guys get hurt. You saw it in last year’s Florida game with the Stafford-takes-a-knee play, and you saw it again this year when Penn straight up refused to blow the whistle when Florida players had some straight-on cheap shots against out guys. It’s malicious, criminal stuff, and the man should not be around 18-22-year-olds. Careers could be at stake.

  21. ArchDawg

    I don’t think Knowshon is taking himself out of the game. Don’t the coaches do that? I understand why we do it at times (King reps and Knowshon breather), but it seems that he is coming out at some inopportune times.

    Tebow Throws, I’m starting to have some of those thoughts on Stafford as well. But then I remember the patchwork O-Line and inconsistent receiver play*, and he probably reverts to his Favreian mode because he doesn’t have a great deal of time or trust.

    *Caveat: MoMass is playing freakin’ awesome. And AJ Green is and will continue to be a stud. But he is a true freshman making the requisite mistakes. And they are our only receiving threats…the fact that they still make plays is just remarkable. You guys remember that graphic CBS threw up at the beginning of the game, about our receiving distribution, and the lack of TE production? That’s another MAJOR part of our offense that is missing.

  22. Auditdawg

    This one was certainly painful. I don’t why we seem to gradually be turning into the Ohio State of the SEC (talented team that doesn’t show up for big games). I don’t like the “Let’s fire Coach XXX” argument because of one bad game. The thing that is painful to see is our biggest rival has possibly the best coaching staff in America. In no way is Florida 39 points more talented than us. But they made us pay for every mistake we made, and that comes back to coaching, which IMO, is sorely lacking on the Red & Black sidelines lately.

  23. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    Richt was quoted as saying that KM wasn’t in prime condition because he didn’t get much work in preseason with the shoulder (?) injury and the fact that the staff simply didn’t want to overwork him. Now, Richt also said that he felt the LSU game showed signs of KM being able to go more closely to 100% of the time rather than having to be subbed out.

  24. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    By prime condition, I mean early in the season and that is why they’ve been letting him sub himself

  25. Auditdawg

    By my “I don’t like the “Let’s fire Coach XXX” argument because of one bad game.”, I meant to add that maybe it is time for a shakeup of the coaching staff. I respect Mark Richt for his loyalty to his staff, but it seems at times that our coordinators seem a bit overwhelmed by the moment and have trouble adjusting to what the other team is trying to do.

  26. Christian

    It is everything….it is nothing. I understand and empathize with all Dawgs this morning and don’t know if we’ll ever be able to pinpoint the exact problem.

    For me, the game went south after the onside kick.

    I thought back to the last onside kick I remembered being meaningful for us and it was the Chick Fil-A Bowl against VT. We did that down 21-6 and it was an “all in” kind of call – we were desperate and needed this to spark the team. It worked and we all know the result.

    In this game it was 7-3 in the 2nd Q, best case is we score and are up 10-7 with UF getting the ball back either with time remaining in the 2nd or to start the 3rd Q (thinking optimistically if it was a long scoring drive). Worst case, we give UF the ball with a short field and they score. (which they did).

    Regardless of its intentions- it reeked of the kind of desperation that was palpable during the CFA Bowl – but in that game we were in the 2nd Half down by 14+ points. This was 7-3 in the 2nd Q! In my mind, it told me that we were scared.

    After that onside kick failed, and UF scored, then we missed the FG, you could see it become one of those games described in all the comments above.

    Go Dawgs (even in defeat)-

    PS – As to the KM taking him out comments, one of my co-workers who is an NCSU graduate told me a story this morning from Jim Valvano’s days back in the 80’s: Sidney Lowe in his So. year told Valvano that he needed a breather near the end of a close game with UVA, Valvano called him over and said: “you can come out when you graduate”……

  27. Wolfman

    A smart player knows when he has enough energy to stay in the game, and when he needs to rest. It happens all the time…this really isn’t anything out of the ordinary. Moreno played pretty well, considering they were throwing their entire defense at him. I don’t understand where the criticism for him is coming either. He’s still heads above any other back I’ve seen in the SEC this year.

    I disagree with many of the readers on here about Stafford, but I don’t know how to put it. Some have complained about his lack of passion or heart or whatever, but I don’t buy it. I think back to the Bama game last year, or when he finally showed the first signs of maturity in the Auburn ’06 game. He wants to win. You can tell on his reaction to the botched wide-open pass to Chandler. I think he was pretty frustrated that he didn’t get to open his arm up until the game was out of hand, and the Gators were playing heavy pass defense every down.

    I think we should be careful here. I almost get the feeling I’m reading a Tennessee blog here. We can’t lose one, then call for the heads of everybody around. There are some things to be fixed, some simple, some complicated. The simple one is to clean up — clean up the red zone, clean up the turnovers, clean up penalties, and we’re leading the game at halftime.

    The complicated one is that culture. For me, this is only Richt’s 2nd year as full-time head coach, with no coordinator duties. And I think he has a track record (in those 1+ years) of being pretty flexible, and trying new solutions when things need to change. My opinion is that we got big heads after beating LSU, and forgot about that lesson in humility in September. My hope is that we take the lesson seriously, and don’t write it off as “the stats were even.” Man up, prove your worth, and make sure these next three games are done by halftime. I think CMR will make sure the lesson is learned.

  28. I think the surprise onside kick is a good risk, but not when you’re coming off a field goal. If you give up a short field and a touchdown, then you’re 4 points worse off then you were before.

    Ideally, I like that play when you go up by 10, you can give up the short field w/o costing you the lead and if it works, you can really put pressure on the defense. Basically we called it in the worst possible situation and I wasn’t surprised at all.

    It seems like we have a handful of plays, like that kick, the fake punt snap to the upback, and 44 flatback rooskie, that we are going to run once a year no matter what. If we don’t see them early in the year, I sit around waiting on them, so I totally expected to see one of them against UF.

  29. truck

    “I think we should be careful here. I almost get the feeling I’m reading a Tennessee blog here.”

    Agreed wholeheartedly; the situation is never as good or as bad as fans think it is.

    On that note however, it looks like Fulmer is out at UT.

  30. HVL Dawg

    I apologize to Ally for mistakenly thinking she was calling for Bobo’s head. Here’s a good story if anyoneone wants to read it:

    http://dixieugadawg.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/this-is-my-house/

    And I apologize to the Senator for having to clog his much appreciated blog with this BS.

  31. Pingback: Orange and Blue Hue » Blutarsky on the Secondary: A Retort

  32. baltimore dawg

    actually, i wasn’t criticizing km at all. i was criticizing an apparent coaching decision (*if* that’s the case–looks like it, but i happily admit that i don’t know) that cedes responsibility for deploying players to players. and i don’t think it’s at all common for players to sub for themselves. to the contrary, i have seen coaches instructing players to remain in the game until someone comes in to get you.

    it looks as if km has free reign to take himself out at will. that’s not km’s fault, and i’m not questioning his toughness. i’m questioning the wisdom of an arrangement that puts your best blocking runner on the sideline when you want to run a pass play on 2nd and 2 against a blitzing defesne in the red zone when you have the chance to seize early momentum in a game.

  33. i’m questioning the wisdom of an arrangement that puts your best blocking runner on the sideline when you want to run a pass play on 2nd and 2 against a blitzing defesne in the red zone when you have the chance to seize early momentum in a game.

    Bingo.

  34. Christian

    + 1 baltimore dawg

  35. drunken dawg

    Start. Rant.

    Some of the stupidity I’ve seen about Stafford having no heart, Richt not having a killer instinct, UGA getting blown out in big games. It’s mind boggling how stupid some of our fans are. By far the most hilarious is the ever-changing meaning of what an elite program is. There is no team in this country who doesn’t lose big games, who doesn’t get big losses hung on them, who doesn’t get beat by worse teams.

    Most people will say USC is the elite football program in the nation. Yet they don’t even have to deal with an SEC schedule and still manage to lose to the likes of Oregon, Oregon State, and Stanford in otherwise unblemished seasons. It’s a stupid double standard that happens when fans have tunnel-vision concerning their own team. You have to look at the football landscape in context and you will realize that this isn’t the end of the world and UGA doesn’t have some horrible flaw. They got beat by a great team. It happens. If we were losing to MSU and Kentucky regularly, THEN we would have a problem.

  36. sober dawg

    drunken dawg,

    Call it “stupidity” all you want, but if you think that Matthew Stafford is even in the same ballpark as Tim Tebow in terms of both leadership and heart, then you’re only deceiving yourself. And this is coming from someone who can’t stand Tim Tebow.

    Yes, he’s being protected by a piecemeal offensive line. And yes, he only now seems to have a couple of receivers that can actually make plays. But when you’re in the midst of having your ass handed to you by one of your biggest rivals, effectively putting an end to all of your team’s goals for the season, it ought to have more of an effect on you than it seems to have on Stafford.* I admire Tim Tebow for putting their loss to Ole Miss on his shoulders. I like seeing a guy get that bothered by a loss.

    At the end of the day, Tim Tebow loves being a Florida Gator, David Greene loved being a Georgia Bulldog, and Matthew Stafford loves being a quarterback. At least, that’s how it seems.

    *Incidently, this is part of the reason that I think he’ll make an outstanding pro quarterback. I expect pros to be nonchalant about losing. But I expect leaders of college football teams to be pacing back and forth along the sidelines, keeping the rest of the team fired up, encouraging the crowd to stay in the game, etc. This is part of what makes college football so great.

  37. Will Q

    You know, when Tebow had his moment in the press after Florida’s loss to Ole Miss, I scoffed at him. But now I grudgingly have to say that I admire him for it. I do wish that we had a leader on our team who understood how much the games mean to the fans who have invested their time for years, if not decades, and who take that responsibility to heart. We don’t play the game, but without us, there would be no reason to play the game.

    That said, I don’t necessarily agree with the comments about Stafford’s leadership, but there is one thing that will, to me, be the difference in whether he goes in the pantheon with Greene and Shockley, or is just a talented QB who played for us but never reached his potential. That one thing is whether he stays next year or not.

    He doesn’t owe us anything, but I hope that his pride in himself and the program he leads now will not give in to the call of the NFL after the missed opportunities of this season.

  38. Great point, sober dawg, and I agree completely.

  39. drunken dawg

    Ah yes the classic sports judgement. If you aren’t crying or screaming in rage you don’t care! If you aren’t grunting or growling you aren’t trying hard enough! It’s ridiculous to measure a player’s “heart” by how they act in a press conference. A player being visibly upset is a silly measure for their desire or heart.

    Some people cry, some people don’t. Some people start yelling, some people don’t. I choose to judge player’s by their play and visible effort. Even on those drives wear Stafford threw the INTs he was giving it his all. If anything I’d accuse him of trying TOO hard to carry this team when we are down big.

    And you suggest you want Stafford back? The guy who just loves being a quarterback? Logan Gray plays on special teams he must love being a Dawg, maybe he’ll even cry after he loses, then we’ll know we’ve got a winner for certain. Right?

  40. a redcoat

    agreed will q. if stafford stays next year he has a chance to leave with some rings and define a legacy. if not… he’ll be an unrealized talent. on top of that… if he’s a monster pro player, everyone will talk about how bad we because “we couldn’t even win a title with stafford and moreno.” that loss on saturday was a really, really painful one.

  41. sober dawg

    drunken dawg,

    I’m beginning to see the significance of your moniker.

    I think Stafford’s a great kid and a fantastic quarterback. But even when some of the guys on the team are asked to describe his leadership, they always (awkwardly) mention his lack of vocal input, emotion, etc. Did I say that he ought to be crying after a loss? Nope. That’s just your intentional misrepresentation of my point. All I suggested is that I expect the leader of a college football team to act like it … and Stafford does not.

    Does he “try hard” to make plays and score points? Sure. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

    And did I say that I wanted Stafford back? Nope. Once again, your own verbal diarrhea preceded your actually reading (not to mention understanding) what I wrote. Personally, if the leadership issue just comes down to Stafford’s personality, which is not likely to change, then I hope Stafford heads for the NFL immediately and I wish him only the best.

  42. sober dawg

    By the way, …

    My point, I think, can be made even more clear by looking at the mid-season adjustments Richt made to his very own coaching style last year. After the Tennessee loss, Richt noticed that something was missing from the team — call it “heart” — and he blamed himself. Thus, the emergence of a personality that has come to be known affectionately as “Evil Richt.”

    If you’re supposed to be a leader, it’s important for you to do more than just “try hard.” Richt noticed it and made the appropriate changes. I just wish it would’ve rubbed off a little bit more on Matt Stafford.

  43. drunken dawg

    I mistakenly included part of Will Q’s post with your own, it was in fact Will who suggested he wanted Stafford back.

    But you did say that you “like seeing a guy get that bothered by a loss.” So it seems to me, if you like seeing Tebow cry after a loss, you’d like to see the same thing out of Stafford after a game. Regardless, it’s unimportant.

    My point is this. I’ll give you an NFL example in the New York Giants. Last year people ridiculed Eli Manning. They said he wasn’t a leader, was apathetic, wasn’t into the game, etc. etc. Tiki Barber after retiring went as far as to say Eli’s leadership was laughable, that people would giggle when he tried to be a leader. Then he won a Super Bowl and now no one questions a damn thing about his leadership.

  44. SCDawg

    Have to disagree with the lack of heart comments. I just don’t see it. I’m not going to call out those guys like that. KM and MS do seem to be giving their all physically and mentally.

    I also don’t think losing this game had much to do with WM. We missed easy FG’s, open receivers, and blocks. Every time we had a chance to obtain or regain the momentum, we blew it, often in spectacular fashion. We gave FL the shortfield 4 times. And they made us pay for it every single time. No defense could be expected to do much about that.

    I will say from my seat in the endzone we had the middle of the field open a lot, but threw to the sidelines more than we shoudl have.

    I do think the onside kick was a miserable call and from my perspective in the stands it was executed even worse.

    This game hurts so much b/c it was FL, and it hurts even worse for everyone who was at that game and had to walk out and hear everything from FL fans. I’ve been to a lot of GA/FL games, and I’ve never heard anything like that before.

    I had real doubts about whether this was the year for GA. The road schedule looked too tough, and the injuries just killed us. I just never thought we’d be so non-competitive against our two best opponents this year.

  45. TexasDawg

    I have to agree with SCDawg at 5:09 about calling out players like MS & KM. I don’t think it’s fair or accurate.

    Calling KM out for being a “no show” in big games is completely ridiculous. When your running game goes out the window because of a huge early deficit, what do you expect?

    It was a horrendous flop and it was embarrassing. It came down to missed opportunities and badly timed mistakes. The blame for that…? I don’t even know.

  46. truck

    I think everyone should slow down on criticizing the team and/or coaches and contemplate this statement:

    I would rather lose with the Dawgs than win with the Gators.

    If you can get behind THAT kind of logic, you’re my kind of Dawg fan.

  47. That is the kind of logic Dawg fans should embrace in the coming years.

  48. kcdalton

    Anyone who hasn’t watched the replay of the game yet, please do so…and when you do, try to keep a running “Momento-meter” running in your head.

    We killed ourselves a number of times…

    But I also believe the refs did a lot of things to kill the Dawgs Mo throughout the game…

    Obviously, the non-1st down was H-U-G-E.

    And the pick that got brought back was a MONSTER, as well…that PF could have gone either way and the Gator started it…

    But think about what happened the play right before Knowshon’s fumbled pitch…the AJ Green reception that got reviewed for 6 minutes…that was a critical drive for the Dawgs and we just had a HUGE play…but they just shut the game down for about 6 minutes…I think it iced the offense down and killed the rhythm we had…jsut check it out…

    This was a momentum game all the way…

  49. ArchDawg

    There was a leadership issue. I say that because that was documented by the players themselves after the ‘Bama debacle. I’m not going to speculate on who should or shouldn’t be leading, but I will say that the QB does not have to be the vocal leader of a team. He has to be the leader in the huddle. And if Stafford hasn’t proved that he’s the leader in the huddle to you, then I don’t think you’ve been watching the games.

    Like I said earlier, I was having thoughts that perhaps we had reached our ceiling with Stafford, and then cooler thoughts prevailed as I realized the situation that we are in (and him as a QB); one phase of our offense is totally gone (the Tight End), and another major one (the O-line) had to be totally rebuilt from scratch, for starters.

    If you look at our team, too, it is actually pretty young (in regards to experience/injuries). And as funny as it sounds, this has turned into a rebuilding year for us. Perhaps that’s why we’ve lost the way we have this year: we are young in many positions, and more experienced, disciplined teams are going to hit us in the mouth and keep on going (UF, ‘Bama). And (too) many of our players are now just learning how to confront that.

  50. kcdalton

    And the Gators 2 biggest plays (1st INT and the TD pass over Asher Allen) were both illegal and should have been called back…

    But, like our Mommies and Daddies always told us, “Who ever said life’s fair?”

    We’ll get ‘em next year…I love the Dawgs…We’ll make out…at least we don’t have to wake up every Saturday in the fall and put on a friggin bright orange shirt, right?

  51. kcdalton, I think that’s the most rational thing I’ve heard in two days.

  52. Robert

    I’d rather be a losing Dawg than a winning Gator–any day of the week.

    We need to have 11 leaders on the field at all times. It’s not one player’s, or one coach’s fault. It’s a team game.

    We all need to stop pointing fingers, disband the mob, and put out the flaming torches.

    Look at where that has gotten Clemson, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, and Michigan as of late.

    FYI: Florida was 9-4 last year with a Heisman Trophy winner as their QB. I didn’t see anyone in Gainesville tying CUM to a stake.

    GATA Dawgs. Man up.

    Beat the hell out of Kentucky.

  53. sober dawg

    I wonder if it’s possible to say a single critical thing about any one member of the Georgia football program without being labeled as “playing the blame game,” “pointing fingers,” etc., and having one’s words manipulated to no end.

    Do I blame Stafford for Saturday’s loss? Absolutely not. Do I blame him for any of our losses? No. I’m just making an observation in the wake of a loss. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about more and more during this season, and it’s something that I think was clear on the field this past Saturday. Matthew Stafford is twice the quarterback and half the leader that David Greene was.

    And we can throw around as many cliches as we want — yes, “we need to have 11 leaders on the field at all times” — but the fact remains that, in a team setting, the majority of the team will look to just one or two guys for leadership. And prior to the start of the season, the unanimous pick (and I think they literally voted on this) was Stafford. So before the season even started, it was clear that the team was going to let him set the tone for each game.

    And during the 3rd quarter of Saturday’s game, Stafford was sitting on the bench doing the same thing I was doing on my couch: staring blankly … sipping a drink. This is the guy that the team unanimously chose as their leader … staring blankly … sipping a drink.

  54. KG

    Sen Blu,

    You have a right to your opinion on the Gator secondary. And being at the game might have given you viewpoints that we didn’t have on TV. I will say that our safety play has definite room for improvement but I expect that cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Joe Haden will both find themselves listed on one of the All-SEC teams by the years end. Combine that with a much improved performance by the linebackers and you have a combination for a top notch pass defense. I do expect Major Wright to lose his job next year but probably be shifted to strong safety (costing Ahmad Black HIS job). We still need more speed at safety.

    Statistically Florida is tied for second in the league with 13 interceptions and also in second place with passing TDs allowed (6). Despite the fact that the Gators have gotten big leads forcing teams to almost pass exclusively to score quickly, Florida is still in the middle of the pack in pass defense yards per game and has a pass defense rating of 101.05.

    Compare that to 2007 where Florida was last in pass defense with a rating of 128.75, had 11 Interceptions in the entire season and gave up 19 TDs.

    By contrast this year Georgia has given up 16 TDs, recorded 8 interceptions and has a pass defensive rating of 128.21. Actually they are on pace to have overall numbers very similar to last year’s Gator secondary. And personally our pass defense last year was atrocious.

  55. KG

    I would also like to add that the improvement against the pass has come despite the fact that this year’s pass rush has fallen far below expectations. Often Florida is forced to blitz its corners or linebackers to generate pressure. You would expect that to stunt any secondary improvement but so far it hasn’t.

  56. Scott White

    HVL Dawg,
    You apologized man, what else can you do. I thought her blog was a little over the top. The best part was her “friend” stepping up for her like you were picking on her when she was verbally (personally) assaulting you. I thought it was all pretty immature. She for sure over reacted, you admitted your mistake and she just wouldn’t let it go. I’m guessing I am next on her “hit list”. Wish me luck, man.