A movie, a metaphor, a football game

There’s plenty of post-game analysis around and about the Georgia territory of the blogosphere:  Kyle’s, Groo’s and Quinton’s, for starters.  It’s time for me to add my two cents, using everyone’s favorite format.

The good

That would be the offense, of course.  520 yards gained on only 57 touches – and Georgia needed every inch of them.  You have to praise the play calling, red zone execution, the receivers – but most of all, Stafford and Moreno.  Given the brickbats thrown their way after the Florida game about not caring/lack of effort, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them mail it in yesterday.  Instead, they essentially carried the team to the win yesterday.  Moreno’s job was especially tough, given the spotty support he received from an increasingly crippled (hard to believe it could get worse, but it did) o-line’s run blocking.  But Matt deserves a lot of credit, first of all for his judgment (no interceptions!) and second for his execution.  You just have to hope there’s more where that came from for the upcoming weeks.

The bad

The bad

The Raycom broadcast team was baaaad.  Dave Neal is an idiot – maybe you can confuse A. J. Green and A. J. Bryant once, but the number of times Neal did that is an indication of a less than first class mind.  Dave Archer is the most bland, least insightful color (there’s a joke of a term) guy out there.  It would have been OK to have flat out acknowledged that Georgia’s defense was playing terribly for much of the game.  Camera work was fairly shoddy at times, to boot.  I’m not sure why people are going to miss these guys after this season.  As long as ESPN doesn’t move Pam Ward to SEC broadcasts, it’ll be an improvement.

The ugly

The ugly

It’s stunning to see how much Georgia’s defense has regressed in the past three games.  That was the 99th ranked team in total offense in the nation the Dawgs faced yesterday.  That was a freshman quarterback making his second career start the Dawgs faced yesterday.  And Georgia managed to make them look dominant for almost the entire game.  The defensive line was manhandled in the running game; that’s the most I’ve ever seen Rennie Curran have to take on offensive linemen in a game (not a battle he’s going to win consistently, either).  UK ran 76 plays and controlled the clock for almost 10 minutes more than Georgia.  Generally you can’t do that unless you’re doing a good job on third downs.  Guess what?  Kentucky, which entered the game dead last in the SEC in third down conversions, converting less than 30%, managed to convert half of its third and fourth down conversions yesterday.  Kudos should also go to Willie Martinez, who mixed in a significant amount of soft zone coverage against a quarterback who averaged a mere 5.3 yards per passing attempt, for reasons that I’m unable to fathom.  The topper to the day, though, had to be the inevitable hands to the face penalty that kept UK’s final drive alive – on a fourth down play, no less.  The defense does deserve a little credit for managing stops on Kentucky’s last three series.  And Dobbs’ interception was terrific.  Still, these guys are in a deep, dark hole.  They also face running quarterbacks in the next two weeks.

The calling this train wreck ugly would be an insult to ugliness

The "calling this train wreck ugly would be an insult to ugliness"

Late in the fourth quarter, a very disturbing thought crept into my mind:  what if Blair Walsh would have been called on to kick a field goal to send the game into overtime?  I wasn’t thinking so much of Walsh’s play in the Florida game (although that didn’t help, admittedly) as I was the overall special teams play earlier in the game.  There wasn’t a single redeeming moment from the special teams yesterday.  Shockingly bad play from every component directly led to three UK touchdowns as a result of short fields.  These guys ought to be buying the dinners for Stafford, Moreno and the receivers for a week.  At least.

Obviously, much of the team was still engulfed in a miasma of funk from the Florida blow out.  But that’s just an explanation for the bad play, not an excuse.  This team still hasn’t played a complete game this year and time is starting to run out.  They ran on an exceeding thin margin yesterday and barely escaped.  You hope they learn and get back to playing the kind of football they’re more than capable of, but after you read some of the quotes that have become fairly typical from the coaches and the players after a game like this, you have to wonder if they will.

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16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

16 responses to “A movie, a metaphor, a football game

  1. Turd Ferguson

    1. 5-10 yard out route.

    2. QB option.

    3. Smith or Dixon up the middle.

    If Kentucky had just run these three plays and no others, they’d’ve probably won. They ran ‘em a lot, and they pretty much always worked. I correctly predicted Kentucky’s play-call so many times, my wife thought I was actually watching a replay of the game on the DVR.

    If I can do it, why can’t Willie? I mean, it’s not like it’s his job or anything …

  2. dean

    I don’t know if it’s my computer but the last picture isn’t showing up.

    After the first couple of drives I thought we were going to blow them out. I should have known better. Why oh why did we not stay with the man coverage and 8 in the box? Make the freshman QB beat you with his arm. Seems simple enough to me. Plus I still don’t understand the 10 yard cushions we continue to give receivers.

  3. Joe

    I think people will miss the JP crew for just the reasons you mentioned. It’s campy fun. Ten years from now, you will look back on this game and remember that Dave Neal called the best WR in SEC history “A.J. Bryant” about a dozen times.

    You do not get that with sound byte smoothers from ESPN. Unless its Lou Holtz, of course.

  4. baltimore dawg

    i’d be less irritated by rhetoric like this coming from the coaches (in the quotations you link to and others) if i could believe that a more realistic critique was taking place behind meeting room doors. but after three years of increasingly sloppy play on defense and special teams in particular, i can’t believe that’s happening.

  5. It’s worse than Kevin Ramsey’s defense. No, seriously: http://gatriguy.blogspot.com

  6. DirkDawggler

    “Miasma of Funk.” I think I’ve found the perfect name for my next rock band.

    Please…no more deep throws on first down.

  7. Batdawg

    My favorite comment yesterday?

    From Dave Archer, as the camera is still on Martinez on the sideline:

    “Willie Martinez loooooves to bring the heat”

    LOL!

  8. #1 Alabama- 17
    Kentucky- 14

    FWIW.

  9. Ally

    Joe: “JD Stokely” ring any bells? Holthz and Neal were cut from the same cloth.

    Bat: I nearly threw up I was laughing so hard when he said that! I damn near broke the tv when I later heard him say that CWM was a great defensive mind.

  10. Carruthers

    Are we sure the J in AJ doesn’t stand for Bryant?

  11. peacedog

    Senator, I think Curran had to take on OL more in the LSU game, but that’s quite a compliment either way (for the other guys).

    DN, that’s not lost on me. However, the ease with which they moved the ball is alarming. The yardage wasn’t huge because they had some convient short fields (not the D’s fault, though UK didn’t get a ton of points from the fumble thankfully) and a zillion yards in kick returns and these things are not the D’s fault. However, I kinda feel like the kick return yards just took the place of UK offensive yards. That may have been more problematic as it would likely have taken more time off the clock and reduced our margin for error on Offense even further (And it was already close).

    I’m not an unabashed CWM hater or anything. I don’t think he’s incapable of coaching, a bad DC per se, or anything like that. But there are problems, and I think some of them are coaching related right now. And while I’m one of the people who thinks the defensive talent as a whole hasn’t been what it was in the DVG era, I think it’s not just a matter of that (it does seem we’vew had some recruiting misses, which is just part of the sport).

  12. Christian

    First off, that was one of the best offensive games I’ve seen the Dawgs play in some time. Those were huge drives in the second half and kudos go to all involved.

    That said – peacedog is right about there not being as much talent as in years past (or as we thought at the start of the season), but there is no acceptable excuse for what was presented defensively out there on Saturday in Lexington.

    To me, it was the tackling, or lack thereof, that was so disturbing. If you go back and watch some of Cobb’s runs, there were always guys who had a chance to stop/contain him – but they missed him, or didn’t hold on to him…..

    We can’t get to the bye week quick enough and yes, I’ll be the first one to say that I’m nervous about next weekend in Auburn.

    Go Dawgs!!

  13. Derek

    The frequency with which both of our lines get pushed around is both alaming and disturbing. However, I believe much of it is personnel related not scheme related. No one suggests that Searels is anything but a genuis but his guys get tossed around like rag dolls all the time. We get stuffed for no gain as many times a ball game as we get gashed up the middle on a run play. If we didn’t have tremendous offensive skilled position players we might be under .500.

    One of the constant drones of dissatisfied UGA fans is “zone” defense. The advantage of having a QB who is a threat to run the ball is that the defense takes a huge risk in playing man coverage. Why? It is because in man coverage the DB’s will have their backs towards the line of scrimmage running with the receivers when the QB takes off leading to big gains. The only time it is safe to play man is when the running qb has to throw: 3rd and long and when the offense is playing from behind. That is not to say that you don’t mix some man in other spots, but one has to know its limitations.

    It also bewilders me that no one complains when man coverage fails as it often does and miserably. The long pass from Tebow to #9 against Asher was man coverage. Last years end around throw back td by UT for a TD was against man coverage. In fact, we get beat a lot (see Bryan Evans) playing man coverage yet people only complain about the 6 yard pass in the flat against zone. Why? Who knows? But it does remind me of a quote from a old football coach who said: “if you listen to the fans, it won’t be long before your sittin’ with ‘em.”

  14. MartinezDawg

    The defense needs improvement mainly in tackling and pre-snap alignment. Every one can see that. However, as everyone piles on, here is a statistic that everyone should take note of: Over the last 3 weeks, LSU, UF, and KY, the Dawgs defense has only given up 10 meaningful 2nd-half points (outcome not already decided) on drives starting on the opponent’s side of the field. That’s 10 points total over the 3 weeks. Seven of those points was the pass from Tebow that should have been flagged for jersey-grabbing. Yes the defense needs to be able to protect the endzone every now and then. But it’s not like teams are driving it down our throat in the 2nd half. Turnovers and special teams are killing us, not the defense.

  15. cousinwalter

    The defense could not stop anything up the middle to save there life. It was awful. We have NO PASS RUSH and I can’t remember the last time I saw a Georgia DB break up a pass.

  16. You’re dead right about the broadcast. I wasted precious MB of my download limit watching it online. Should have just listened to the radio cast.