“It was a great game… no, it wasn’t a great game.”

That was The Fifth Quarter Show’s A.J. Bryant’s Dickensian comment about last nights 20-17 win over Arizona State.

I know just how he feels.  This is a team that looked like for the first time all season it was getting its act together early in the game, marching out to a 14-3 lead, only to watch its offense wilt and allow an inferior opponent to take a 17-14 lead and then be given an opportunity to take a late lead as a result of a miscue.

Of course, from there it was no problem.  Three defensive stops, an A.J. Green field goal block (!) and a 36-yard completion to Green set up Blair Walsh’s game winning kick with two seconds left on the clock.

This team is driving me crazy.

Speaking of A.J. Bryant, it was on that show a couple of weeks ago that he and Kelin Johnson mentioned that Fabris favors directional kicking even in the face of its ineffectiveness because the man likes a challenge.  Unfortunately for Dawgnation, I think this team has taken on an identity.  It’s Fabris’.

Think about it.  Georgia is 3-1, despite having gone through a September slate of nothing but BCS conference opponents and having racked up a mind-boggling -9 turnover margin.  That’s close to impossible.

This team has no quit in it, and as someone who’s despaired over the occasional absence of any field presence that cropped up over the previous three seasons, I love those guys for that.  But they’re also squandering what looks like immense talent advantages – there’s no question about which team had better athletes overall last night – and leaving themselves in a position in every game to struggle to a win.

This team is talented enough to win any game on its remaining schedule.  But it’s also flaky enough to lose almost any of those games.  Sure, it’s impressive that Georgia stands at 3-1 right now, considering what it’s gone through.  But where do you think those Dawgs would be today if they had merely broken even on turnover margin in those four games?  Likely 4-0, with at least two easy wins and a top ten ranking.

A few specific observations from the 35 last night:

  • Spare me your arguments for Benn or Bryant or Jones.  Right now, A.J. Green is the best wide receiver in the country.  Arizona State tried every trick in the book to come up with something to stop him.  The end result?  Eight catches, 153 yards, one touchdown and a crucial catch to set up the game winner.  I’d almost call the blocked field goal icing on the cake, except that with the way things were going at the time, it was the clutch play of the night.  Just a spectacular performance.
  • The understatement of the night was uttered by Willie Martinez about Bacarri Rambo:  “I should have been playing him more.” No kidding.
  • Speaking of Martinez, he coached last night as if he’d been reading every message board comment and blog post anyone had ever made about him.  You wanted personnel changes?  Brother, he was moving players in and out of the game like he was being paid by player appearance.  He zoned.  He went man-to-man.  He stunted.  And granted, that was one crappy passing attack he went up against, but still, 204 yards yielded is 204 yards yielded.  And peel off the first two turnovers, it’s doubtful ASU scores 10 points.  So he lives to fight another week.
  • Anybody wonder how last night would have turned out if the Sun Devils’ starting kicker hadn’t been out with a groin injury?
  • The two players on defense that look like they’re coming on:  Justin Houston and Branden Smith.
  • How did the officials miss that face mask penalty?
  • I don’t know what Mark Richt was thinking on that fourth-and-one.  Skip the fact that ASU was stuffing Georgia’s power running game.  Given the way ASU’s offense was playing, how do you not take the three points in that situation?
  • Which reminds me – that was a pretty weak job we saw from the offensive line last night.  Back-to-back false starts, no push on short yardage plays and blitzers that were getting past the tackles – something tells me that Stacey Searels wakes up an unhappy man today.
  • Who would have thought that the key to Georgia’s season so far would be to hold the turnover margin under -3 in a game?
  • Mike Bobo, trust me:  everybody knows what you’re going to run when Branden Smith lines up as a wideout and when Logan Gray lines up at quarterback.
  • In the credit-where-credit-is-due department, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the kickoff team didn’t give up a single long return last night.
  • Joe Cox was one stubborn hombre last night.  And I don’t mean that as a compliment.  Both of those picks were ill advised throws that went right into where ASU ran its coverage.  And he’s lucky he didn’t get intercepted on another throw where Orson Charles was triple-covered.
  • On the other hand, he didn’t get much help from Caleb King, who dropped two perfectly set up screen passes.  I don’t know what you do about King, who also fumbled inexplicably, but had a couple of beautiful runs without the benefit of much blocking help from the offensive line.
  • And I don’t know what’s going on with Shaun Chapas, but his game was sure off last night.  Especially mystifying as the upback on kickoff returns, he’s lucky one of his moves didn’t result in a fumble.
  • When ASU took that 17-14 lead, that may have been the quietest I’ve ever heard a Sanford Stadium crowd get.
  • The third quarter/fourth quarter turnover implosion was awful, but it was set up by the general farting around on offense in the second quarter.  It was Bobo at his worst – after calling two brilliant scoring drives that had ASU on its heels defensively, he seemed to call plays at random as if to see what somebody could do, instead of sticking to what was working.  Just like the Oklahoma State game, in other words.
  • Did I mention A.J. Green?
About these ads

63 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

63 responses to ““It was a great game… no, it wasn’t a great game.”

  1. Batdawg

    Please tell me that “Dickensian comment” is a “Wire” reference.

    Oh, and AJ has entered the UGA Pantheon – 16 games into his career.

  2. Merk

    I find myself thinking how we should just bench every Senior on the team, every game. I wonder why we rely on seniors who refuse to do anything worth a crap so much. Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins were terrible last nite. THE FREAKING STARTING CENTER WAS OUT OF THE GAME. You damn well better get some kind of pressure. Did they? kinda… They piss me off almost as much as the rest of the seniors on Defense. Did I say Thank God for AJ and Rennie? Is Rennie our only LB? You know…that LB position that was so Deep in spring and fall that we might red-shirt several freshman LBs we had. Now we barely get crap from that pool of LBs.
    WTF is a 250lb running back doing making 6-10yrds a carry. Oh must be cause we were “Playing the Pass”… No wait, the recievers were defending themselves with all the drops they had. So we were not playing the pass, we were just being crappy. Yes we held a terrible team to 204 yrds somehow.
    If I am a coach I take every senior and tell them they are benched unless they prove they are better then the Fresh/sophmore player that is about to replace them. I’ll take 1-2 extra loses if it means that instead of watching Brian Evans look like a retard out there, Pugh, Rambo, Cummings, or someone else gets experience for next year. Rambo > Evans….always…no Freaking reason why Evans is out there except cause you do not want to ruin Evans chance to play in the NFL. Well you know what, I don’t give a crap if none of our seniors play in the NFL. If they cannot play now BENCH THEM.

    I think UGA needs to start up something new. All Freshmen start until the player who was starting proves they can consistently beat out that freshmen. I would be surpirsed if more then 2 of our seniors on D did that this year.
    At least next year we have a strong D class comming in. Maybe ole Willie will let some of the 5 star talent play.

  3. a-de

    Random observations:

    - Cox still seems to be underthrowing the ball consistently.

    -WTBC looked good. Him, AJ, T. King, Charles…if the O-line can get it together and give the running game some hope the offense could be scary good.

    -Agree on Huston, hope he keeps it up.

    -No further comment on the D until we face another team with a decent quarterback…

    • Hayden Thomas

      cox is underthrowing the ball consistently because he doesn’t have the arm strength to throw the ball any farther.

      • Doc

        And that is the only reason he had 375 yards and 5 td passes last week. Yeah, his arm has no business in the SEC. A real JTIII……right.

  4. Turd Ferguson

    This team stresses me out. I’m almost relieved that I won’t be able to watch the LSU game next weekend.

    A. J. Green is just stupid good. Especially against the Sun Devils. In his two games against ASU, he’s got 16 catches for something like 330 yards, a couple touchdowns, and a blocked FG.

  5. 1. Why was the flag picked up after the ASU linebacker ran into the umpire on the 4th -and -1?
    2. The ESPN U experience was godawful. Lousy crew calling the game (Athens “smack in the middle of Georgia”) and even worse commercials (purses and curling irons).
    3. Very bad no-call on the facemask.

    • dudetheplayer

      Oh man… I had almost forgotten about the commercials… I had to literally leave the room during commercial breaks by the second quarter because I thought I was going to lose my mind.

      Anybody catch the Bethune-Cookman/Norfolk St. match-up after our game? Bet that was a real thriller.

      ESPNU = garbage.

    • Bryant

      Did anyone else notice that the color guy referred to two of ASU’s penalties as “unfortunate”? Also, at the end of the game, he said something like, “…and unfortunately they couldn’t pull of the victory.”

  6. Russ

    The ESPN2 studio crew had a short comment on AJ Green after the game; the female host said that AJ was the best WR in the nation. One of the other studio hacks immediately retorted: “I’ll name you five right now” then failed to do so.

  7. baltimore dawg

    we are what we are, which is a hot mess with a stubbornness for winning when we don’t have much right to it. i guess we’ll see how many w’s that gets us this season.

    even with all of this team’s flaws, with a third of the season in the books, i think the biggest disappointment by a long way is the ol’s run-blocking, which has been almost uniformly weak (with the exception of the first series against osu, the only complete series i can recall where the ol dominated the line). the ol got embarrassed last night, frankly.

    i have no idea what may happen this season–i could believe that we clean up some mistakes, get a bit more of a pass rush, get hot, and win 10 games. i could also believe that we only win 4 or 5 more games and get blown out a few times along the way. but as i watch these games, i keep having the same thought: my god–what’s going to happen when we play a good team?

  8. Mike Bobo is a train wreck.

    How many more crappy weak side toss sweeps are we going to run? They get stuffed for a loss every time. Ugh. Once again, there he was calling plays at random. We have absolutely no identity on offense. Why are we such a pass happy team? Why don’t we let either of our RBs get a lather going?

    Joe Cox is a nice guy and a decent QB, but he isn’t going to consistently go 300+ yards and 5 TDs.

    Willie Martinez is still stubborn as hell, and he sucks. That ASU offense was HORRIBLE. Combined with the weather, that was probably our best chance for a shutout this year and we wasted it. Other than the pick 6, the turnovers are irrelevant. After ASU’s pick six, their D got a 3 and out. Why can’t we do that?

    Why does he so stubbornly think he will get plenty of pressure with his front 4. We aren’t. When he sent a 5th guy, we got pressure and they got nothing.

    We have so many amazing players that absolutely kill themselves they are playing so hard. Bad coaching is just wasting all that talent, effort, and heart.

    • D.N. Nation

      You’re adorable. I love how you didn’t spend last Sunday spewing your hate-hate-Bobo-hate-hate silliness all over Dawg boards. I wonder why.

      I’m willing to bet that you dumped this same exact post on Georgia Sports Blog and over at Hale’s place. Get a hobby.

      • Cut it out with the personal attacks.

        Grow up.

      • PNWDawg

        I thought the AJC was the place for this type of response. You’ve never ripped on our staff?

        • No doubt.

          Please note that I bet you will NEVER find a post from me slamming any of our players. Our players are not paid professionals. Our coaches are.

          Our players are giving their blood, sweat, tears, bone, muscle, ligaments, and everything else for UGA. Most of them love Georgia, love football, and will NEVER make a penny from it.

          Our coaches are making 6 or 7 figure salaries and are letting our great players down.

          We have coaches that stubbornly stick to things that don’t work, and who clearly refuse to step aside when they are obviously not up to the task.

          Our offense is not creative, innovative, or imaginative. Our defense is not dominant or scary. We haven’t pitched a shutout since when… 2006?

          We have amazing players. We have an amazing head coach. From there, it falls apart.

    • dudetheplayer

      The defense played pretty great last night, man. What game were you watching?

      • I was watching our defense get bailed out by a terrible ASU QB, atrocious ASU WRs who cannot catch, ASU shooting itself in the foot with penalties even worse than we do, and the rain throwing an assist.

        Our defense did not stop them. That was a horrible, horrible offense playing in the rain.

        • dudetheplayer

          ASU’s offense wasn’t blowing anyone away, true, but getting stuck on a short field multiple times and forcing three-and-outs is legit, no matter who you’re playing.

          I gotta give them at least some credit.

      • PNWDawg

        I got to agree with Muckbeast on this one. Although we held them in check (according to the numbers) I wasn’t too impressed. But they weren’t putrid.

        • That’s the thing about the score. There are a lot of games where the score doesn’t tell the truth about the defense.

          Sometimes the defense played a lot better than what the score shows, and sometimes they played a lot worse.

          Sometimes a defense actually plays great despite 20+ points scored by the other team.

          Sometimes a defense played like crap despise < 15 points scored by the other team.

          Our defense got saved countless times by wide open WRs dropping each passes, ASU Olineman commiting multiple penalties in a row, ASU's QB throwing the ball god knows where, or the rain simply screwing up ASU's offense.

  9. For the love of Christ, these were some crazy-bad refs. The multiple, obvious, holding penalties on BOTH teams they overlooked, the facemasks missed, the TOUCHDOWN IN THE ENDZONE…I could go on and on. Sitting in the front of the student section right were that catch WAS made, I can tell you that people on the field were pointing at a line from Green’s feet that started inbounds and dragged about 1/2 a foot over the line out of bounds. No conclusive proof my ….

  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Maybe this is the wrong place on the blog to talk about this, but something happened last night in the FL-KY game that should make us all appreciate UGA head coach, Mark Richt. With less than 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter of a game in which Florida was leading by 24 points Tim Tebow was sacked and sustained a head injury. He was apparently unconscious for some period of time, woozy on the sideline and had to be taken by ambulance to a the hospital. At the time I am writing this there has been no determination released about his availability to play the rest of the season and the possible effect this may have on his professional career. Football is a dangerous sport. Anybody who has ever played it readily understands the risks. We also understand that players do not need to be subjected to those risks unnecessarily. It had been widely reported in the media that Tebow was suffering from the flu. So what was he doing still in the game? The answer is “running up the score” against an already defeated opponent because of the megalomania of his coach, Urban Meyer. People like Meyer have no business being in the coaching profession. Parents entrust coaches with what is most precious to them–their sons and daughters– and have a right to expect the coach to give his players the some consideration he would have for his own children. Mark Richt does that. Urban Meyer does not. I will never forget the image of Mr. and Mrs. Tebow holding on to each other in the stands while their son lay motionless on the field. These are honest, upright people who serve as missionaries to to less fortunate. Their son, through his athletic ability, has risen to the pinnacle of college football. His future, his career, indeed his health and possibly his life had been risked by his trusted coach. And for what? To score one more touchdown, to pick up a few more votes in the polls, to satisfy his coach’s personal ambition. I don’t care how many national championships he wins in his career I would never let my son play for Urban Meyer. He views his players not as people, but as the equipment. And that is the fundamental difference between Urban Meyer and Mark Richt. I hope the lesson from this will not be lost on the parents of players contemplating attending the University of Florida. I hope, for his own sake, the lesson from this will not be lost on Urban Meyer–but I doubt he will learn from it.

    • DawgBiscuit

      The good Senator saw this coming a mile away:

      http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/florida-tennessee-its-just-business-except-for-the-part-thats-personal/

      While CUM is a piece of $#!+ and needed to learn that lesson, I have nothing but respect for Tim Tebow and wish him a speedy and full recovery.

      • Hackerdog

        I think Tebow’s been around Meyer too long and absorbed some of his douchebaggery.

        Calling Mel Kiper’s radio spot to challenge his opinion is reminiscent of Meyer’s ultimatum to Shane Matthews. I’m surprised Tebow didn’t tell him he would be sitting in seat 37F at the next game.

        Meyer kicking a field goal in the Miami game instead of allowing the clock to expire was classless. Tebow injecting himself into the story by defending the action after Randy Shannon complained in the media was equally classless.

        Obviously, I hope Tebow recovers and I admire his commitment to Christianity. And I know that Tebow’s only a kid, so I put most of the blame on Meyer for engendering the classless attitude prevalent in Gainesville. But Tebow isn’t completely blameless. By season’s end, I won’t be surprised to see Tebow on the sideline staring and pointing at the other team.

    • Stephen Hawking

      Unfotunately one reason Richt wouldn’t have starters in that kind of situation is that his team wouldn’t be in that kind of situation in the first place. Having a killer instinct isn’t one of his traits at UGA, seemingly happy to sit on a 10 point lead instead to avoid embarrasing his opponent.

    • heyberto

      Mr. Mayor, that is one great little piece of writing there, and reminds us all of what is truly important. The question comes up more often than not.. would you trade CMR for a more boisterous coach. A more brash coach. The perception being that he’s a little soft, and coaches like Urban Meyer are much more competitive. My answer is no. Despite some of our struggles, and some of my own head scratching over CMR’s decision sometimes, there is still no one else I’d rather have coaching Georgia Football. Spend any time with his players and you’ll see why he is so good for the program. Go to the Senior Gala, picture day, any of those and you’ll get a much better idea of the big picture. To hell with the Meyers and Kiffins. I’ll take a coach that acts with much more integrity than those guys do every day of the week.

    • Great post.

      This is one of the MANY reasons I am grateful that we have CMR as our head coach.

    • Left to Right

      I’ve been thinking much the same regarding Tebow being in there at that point in the game. I’m sure the college football MSM will cover for Myer, but the bottom line is that Tebow
      should have been on the sidelines. And responsibility for that falls on Myer.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      I’m not a big Urban Meyer fan, nor a college football expert. However, I’ve seen enough college football games in 53 years to know it isn’t unusual for the starting quarterback to be in through the third quarter of a 31-7 game. There are plenty of things to jump Corch about; this isn’t one of them.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        As always I value your opinion Hogbody, but I must respectfully disagree with you about this. Florida had a 24 point lead and the ball with a little over a quarter to go in the game. If Tebow was 100% I might say it was OK. But he was sick with the flu and had already played almost 3/4 of the game. I suspect by your name you are en ex-jock and will remember the old mantra about players being most susceptible to injury when playing injured or fatigued. This was a case of trying to run up the score, plain and simple, and it got a great player hurt (hopefully for him and his parents, not permanently).

  11. Whew!

    Joe Cox is going to have a lot of trouble this year if he doesn’t quit staring down his receivers.

    • Russ

      +10!

      As smart a player as he’s supposed to be, that’s a very fundamental flaw. I like Joe, but someone’s got to tell him to look off the defenders on occasion. Maybe he’s saving it up for the good teams. ;)

    • Will Q

      Can we pitch in and spring for one of those darkened helmet visors for him?

    • a now former redcoat

      drives me crazy too. plus, as a bonus, he needs to stop watching his receivers run their routes. that gives them enough time to

      a) get behind a safety

      b) stop and wait on the ball, thus getting destroyed when they get hit (see: AJ’s fumble earlier this season) and giving them no shot at YAC

      c) mainly, STOP BEING OPEN.

      the pick he through against arkansas was a perfect example of that. 2 seconds earlier and king would’ve gone through the secondary for like a 50 yard TD. instead went behind a safety and cox’s throw wasn’t intended to go over the secondary. either he threw it as a rope instead of a loft accidentally or he watched too damn long. if you’ve paid attention to him this season, you’d know it’s the latter.

      doesn’t make any sense to stare at one receiver and try to force a play when you could be looking around and finding someone who’s actually open. AJ in triple coverage might work, but he’s not a better option than tavarres king, orson, mike moore, or aron white if they’re open.

      go back and watch these games if you haven’t noticed this stuff. i’m shocked more people aren’t talking about it, because better teams are gonna be coming up soon and they’ll know where joe’s throwing it on pretty much every play and he doesn’t have the velocity to broadcast that kind of info all the time.

      hopefully the coaches will be working with him on that. timing, accuracy, and decision making are supposed to be his strengths, right? lets seem ‘em.

  12. Frank

    Senator, this team need not drive you crazy.

    I fear, Sir, that that ship has sailed.

    But, I would advise that passengers on those “special” ships are helped less by bourbon, more by Valium.

  13. cookinandsmilin

    In defense of CK on those screen passes that were dropped… Joe needs to take a little off on those throws… Touch is the word I’m looking for…

  14. Frank

    Dear Mayor of Dawgtown:

    This is not the wrong place for your comments, Sir.

    Your comparison of what we have to what “they” have in head coaches is insightful to a fault.

    And, I hope it is shared among the DawgNation. As a reminder.

  15. heyberto

    Not to get off track, but did anyone see this piece before the SC game by the Sun’s resident Douchebag sports commentator Pat Dooley?

    http://dooley.blogs.gatorsports.com/10263/done-dawgs/

    I think this guy is actually an alias for Terrance Moore.

  16. Prov

    I guess the season ticket holders got their money’s worth last night.

  17. brad

    If Coach Fab likes a challenge, let go find a job in this market.

  18. S.E. Dawg

    We probably get our asses handed to us in a fruit basket this weekend, but then again………..

  19. dudetheplayer

    Is anybody sold that Samuel makes a better RB than LB? For the life of me, I still can’t figure this one out. I’m rooting for the guy because he seems like a genuinely great kid, but as a RB, he clearly runs toward contact and is not good at all at making people miss. 25 yards on 11 carries just isn’t going to cut it (even with the poor O-line play).

    For someone who was so highly touted coming out of HS (I believe he a 5-star “athlete” according to Rivals), I really doubt we’re putting his abilities to good use (ditto for Kiante Tripp and Logan Gray).

    • Speaking of Logan Gray…

      Is there a reason we send him out on the field once per game like a sacrificial lamb to get slaughtered?

      We run the same play every time he comes out, and of course it gets stuffed every time. We might as well just take a knee instead of running the play.

      Did Logan Gray sleep with someone’s wife or something? (not serious) Are they trying to destroy his confidence for some reason? If he hasn’t earned more playing time in practice, that’s fine. But sending him out for ONE PLAY per game, just to get destroyed, doesn’t seem to serve much purpose.

      This is yet another example of Bobo’s total randomness in play calling.

      • kcits

        You think BoBo may be setting something up for later in the year? I remember last year, we ran that little WR screen til it about drove me batty. Then when it looked like LSU was going to blow it up, we faked it and went deep. Is it possible he’s trying to set something up with Logan in a later game?

        • Who knows. But considering the fact that so far, his use of Logan Gray has been to cause 3 and outs in at least 3 close games, it doesn’t sound like a very smart strategy. Those lost drives could have been difference makers, and we could be 0-4.

          • a now former redcoat

            every time logan has been on the field this year has been incredibly predictable. zone read. leave the game. what a great decision by bobo. he calls some good drives sometimes, but he makes some incredibly stupid errors at other times.

            • Left to Right

              But is there any doubt now that when Logan is put in next Bobo will call a pass play? We’ve been so predictable with Logan running the ball that it almost forces us to have him pass the next time he’s in.

        • For the record, I hate WR screens. They never work and Bobo runs them incessantly (hold over from Donnan, I suppose). I hate that play almost as much as that ridiculous stretch draw that Bobo cannot seem to lose from the playbook. Otherwise, go Dawgs.

  20. I think the quitest I ever heard the stadium was during that game but it was that moment the ball was in the air before AJ’s spectacular catch toward the end of the game.

  21. ERK VANRUSSELL

    offence is sporadic,defence sucks still but hey at least FAG 3:16 got drilled

    • Boz

      Seriously?

      PS-Your friends on the Dawgvent miss you.

    • dudetheplayer

      What a douche thing to post.

    • Doc

      You’re a loser and you’re ignorant ass needs to learn to spell.

      • ERK VANRUSSELL

        what words are incorrect? ill correct them if you do,and am i the only one who’s sick of the guy? give me a reason to care about tebow and dont give me the “good christian tough badass leader role model” BS

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Frankly, I am tired of Tebow too, but I hate to see any player get injured because his coach is a self-promoting asshole who doesn’t give a damn about his players and is willing to throw them to the wolves just to get a few more votes in a poll.

          • ERK VANRUSSELL

            thank you and im sorry if it seemed i wanted him hurt i just wish it couldve been rennie hittin him, p.s. Brantley is a douche so lets hope our defence can get a 85 chicago bears costume for halloween

  22. Can someone please tell me why we run that atrocious weak side toss sweep about 5 times a game, and it gets stuffed for a 2 yard loss every time?

  23. Russ

    Oh, and one thing I saw that really bugged me. Right after the offense imploded and gave ASU the lead, the players are dancing on the sidelines to that stupid music! I hope the coaches crawl some ass this week, and I couldn’t believe the coaches weren’t crawling on it last Saturday night!

    I’m beginning to wonder about the commitment of this team.