Say what you will…

Martinez had the defense ready to play today.

I don’t care how much anyone wants to argue that the MSU offense isn’t the greatest unit out there, that was an impressive performance by the Dawg D in the first half.  Those kids could have easily folded after the barrage of turnovers and special teams screw ups – hey, it’s happened before – but they sucked it up and kept the Spartans out of the end zone.

Kudos in particular to Byrd and Ellerbe, who turned in their best performances of the season, and to the interior defensive line.  Six sacks and Javon Ringer kept under control is pretty much how the coaching staff drew it up.

It’s something to build on for next year, I hope.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Say what you will…

  1. the Coondawg

    Giving the enemy the ball on the short field is what really killed the Dawgs this year. The “D” bowed it’s back and dominated this game. Y’all don’t be hatin’ on CWM, he did pretty good with all the injuries.
    Get everyone healthy next year and I think we will see the Junkyard Dawgs back in true form.

  2. drunk dawg

    CWM did not do “pretty good with all the injuries.” He did “historically bad with all the injuries”.

    Just saying.

  3. the Coondawg

    Your drunk, missing most of our linebackers, no defensive ends. Jones playing with a broken hand, Ellerbee hurt half the season, Owens…ect… He did pretty good.

  4. dean

    It was nice to see the defense playing mad. They looked like they had something to prove, which they did. The offense was another story in the first half. At least they got it together in time to get the win. Although I would’ve liked to seen MoMass get a few more catches. But it’s always good to end the season with win.

  5. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    Congrats to the D. They played their ass off. Congrats to the O for a fine second half. Congrats and thanks to the seniors. A win is always better than a loss. But we did what we were supposed to do to a 2nd tier Big 10 team. When the staff gets the team to show up consistenly in the games that matter and without a month to prepare, when we play more like 02-05 than 06-08, when a defensive performance like this becomes the rule rather than the exception, then some of us can get more excited.

  6. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    Also, do you think Reshad Jones noted the irony that he didn’t fall down from the shoulder bump that someone put on him as he returned the interception at the end of the game?

  7. Yep. Could have easily been another Terrible Georgia Half(TM). Thanks be to the D.

    (And Stafford, too, for making a pretty sick tackle after the INT)

  8. JasonC

    Great job by Willie and the defense. They were put in really bad situations by the offense and STs in the first half and Mich St still had decent starting point in the second half and we still shut them down and made Ringer a non-factor. They had a few bungles that made me think we were reverting to late-season form, but they overcame them and kept fighting.

  9. heytogoober

    Props to the D … woof!

  10. The D played great. Props to CWM.

    But I take issue with “he did pretty good” considering injuries or any other factor. He did not go “pretty good.” This was a historically bad season for the Bulldogs defensively. That is a fact regardless of any injury problems. We should not have given up the points we gave up. UGA is a powerhouse right now, with multiple top recruiting years in a row. Our backups should be plenty good enough to avoid giving up 30, 40 + points so many times.

    So give Willie his props, and praise him for this game. But don’t engage in false historical revisionism about how bad this season was.

  11. brad

    Bryan Carver! Hilarious! I told my son the exact same thing! He didn’t get taken out by the shoulder tackle!

  12. LawDawg

    It is amazing the difference in tackling this game vs. Ga. Tech.

  13. Christian

    Bryan Carver +1 – saw the same thing and laughed.

  14. Robert

    I second that, Senator. Six sacks…sweet.

    Hats off to the defense for keeping us in this one. Two field goals off of two turnovers early is always a plus.

    Congrats to the seniors. Another 10-win season in the books. Congrats to the coaches for keeping the team focused in the second half.

    Can’t wait for G-Day! Go Dawgs!

  15. This game was a perfect example of why great defense is so important. Even when we were down, I felt confident we would win. Our defense was playing so great, I knew it was only a matter of time before our offense got on track with some scores.

    Hopefully this is not a fluke against a weak offense. Hopefully this is the beginning of our team getting back on the right track.

  16. Boz

    I loved the no huddle offense out of the gates… I would have loved to see more of that, but I suppose when you’re turning the ball over at about the same pace as the Gamecocks, you need to stick to the basics.

    Congrats to the defense! The were disciplined and played with a chip on their shoulder. That’s something to build on for next season, and there are many lessons to be learned from this past season. I hope our coaches can recapture the focus that was lost during the 2008 season.

  17. Brandon

    Yesterday, Martinez’s plan A worked, the trouble usually arises when plan A does not work, usually there is no plan B.

  18. NostraDAWGus

    The defensive performance against Mich State should be treated no differently than Felton’s hoops run in the SEC tourney.

    Take it, enjoy it, revel in it.

    But it does not erase the stain of the season as a whole.

  19. Duly noted, Boz. But we didn’t have the turnovers out of the faux-spread that we ran at the beginning of the game. We (again) got bogged down in the red zone. We look like we have so much fun b/w the 20s, then the red zone comes and we start second-guessing what got us there in the first place. I for one was horrified that Richt/Bobo didn’t trust our offense to put up points at the end of the first. I don’t care how many turnovers we had, we had a fairly short field and at least two (mostly) NFL-ready offensive studs. At least 30 yards for a field goal try. Why run a 2-min drill to perfection with 14:00 in the 1st Q and not with 2:06 left in the 2nd?

    At least we hunkered down in the second. It was a helluva game to attend, and the Stafford-Knowshon TD toss was NFL-caliber for sure. Great to go out on if they do decide.

  20. Ally

    How do you spell redemption? W-I-L-L-I-E

    No, it doesn’t erase the season as a whole, but it was AWESOME to see 4 full quarters of GATA again. We haven’t seen that since last year at the Sugar and I was beginning to think this current crew on the field just couldn’t do it.

    Major thanks, appreciation, recognition, and a big ass fruit basket w/ an apology to Willie Martinez today.

    Great to see our Defensive players end the year with some redemption!

  21. Ally

    And Bryan Carve – as usual +1 for both comments!

  22. HackerDog

    Bamadog,

    The first half ended the way it should have. I know the announcers were befuddled about why we weren’t trying the hurry-up offense. But the fact was that the MSU defense was keyed on Moreno and Stafford was playing poorly. There was no chance that we could have moved the chains three or four times to score. Good for Richt deciding to run out the clock.

  23. HackerDog

    Our red zone problems weren’t new to yesterday and I don’t think they depend on play calling.

    Good teams in the red zone are teams that can run between the tackles. Because of the injuries to the offensive line this year, we couldn’t do that. Even when Moreno had big days running, it was outside running that gained the big yards. Those plays become much more difficult in the red zone.

    I am optimistic that next year will be a banner year for the offensive line. I don’t think King or Samuel will have any problems between the tackles. With some healthy tight ends, I think our red zone offense will be just fine next year.