Florida-Georgia recap: at least the weather was good.

Some bullet points and a conclusion:

  • I posted last week before the game that Urban Meyer’s game plan for Georgia was an easy one – simply play it straight, don’t take unnecessary chances and let the Dawgs beat themselves.  And in essence, that’s what Florida did.  On offense, Tebow was efficient throwing the ball, he led the team in rushing and Hernandez and Cooper led the Gators in receiving.  On defense, Florida was patient and eventually took advantage of Georgia’s weakness in the passing game to turn the game for good with timely sacks and four interceptions.
  • After reading Martinez’ quotes in this post at David Hale’s blog last week, I pretty much knew that Willie was prepared to dish up another heaping helping of More of The Same and he didn’t disappoint with a soft zone that had to bring smiles to the faces of Tim Tebow and Steve Addazio.  Still, I don’t think anyone in the stadium was prepared for the ease with which Florida scored on its first two possessions.
  • Bryan Evans started and played on those first two possessions.  He got bailed out by Brandon James’ spectacular drop, but that was about it.  Bacarri Rambo came in for Florida’s third possession and the Gators were forced into a three-and-out.  Which of course meant that Martinez put Evans back out for the next series, resulting in another Florida score.  I gave up keeping track after that, because it obviously didn’t matter, but Evans caught my eye when he rushed at full speed past Tebow on his second touchdown run.  I’ve got no idea where he was going on that play.
  • That pick-six will go down as the easiest score of Brandon Spikes’ career.  And by “career” I don’t just mean college – throw in high school and the pros.  And if he played Pee Wee football, that, too.
  • Everyone no doubt has his or her key moment of the game.  Mine was Dunlap’s sack of Cox during that disastrous series late in the second quarter.  Joe’s stats before the sack:  6 of 9 passing for 101 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.  Afterwards:  5 of 11 passing for 64 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs.
  • The dumbest play of the game was easily Mike Gilliard’s personal foul on the kickoff after Georgia had scored to narrow the game to 14-10.  But let’s not forget that it was set up by the ridiculous sideline celebration which got the juices flowing and Fabris’ inevitable decision to directionally kick (by the way, Walsh continues to lead the SEC in touchbacks, with 12).
  • All of the interceptions came off ill advised throws.  You can argue that the first was the result of a terrific effort by A.J. Jones, but you also have to admit that Florida should have had at least one more pick, but for Orson Charles’ fine effort to break up a pass thrown into triple coverage.
  • For a fifth-year senior, Joe Cox doesn’t play like a fifth-year senior.  He still stares down receivers and holds the ball too long.  The real killer on that Charles’ pass breakup was that Cox had A.J. Green wide open down the right sideline for a big gain.
  • Washaun Ealey had seventeen carries and is slowly evolving into the featured back.  He deserves it.  He’s better at hitting the hole than King and is able to shift downfield better than Samuel.
  • Blocking on kickoff returns was absolutely pathetic.  Boykin made something out of nothing on his 37-yarder, but there were always at least three or four Gator defenders that arrived without being slowed.
  • The saddest thing about the game was that the good work on the offensive line in the first half largely went for nought, undermined by a rash of untimely penalties in the first half and the plague of interceptions in the second half.  Georgia ran the ball effectively in the first and second quarters – something I wasn’t expecting – and it set up the play action game that made Bobo look smart and Cox look comfortable.  Amazing how that works.

Ultimately it was another game like so many others we’ve seen this year.  You look at some of the good things this team is capable of doing at times and you wonder how it struggles so much.  But then you step back and notice its inability to remain focused and composed for an entire game and wonder how Georgia has managed to win four games with that schedule.

With the four remaining games left on the slate – Tennessee Tech is a likely win, Kentucky (which lost at home to Mississippi State) is a probable one, Auburn is a tossup (turnovers will be the key factor and that doesn’t bode well for Georgia) and Georgia Tech is a likely loss (again, because turnovers won’t allow the Dawgs to keep up on the scoreboard with the Jackets) – it looks like Georgia will limp into a minor bowl game.  Somehow, I don’t think that’s what anyone had in mind at the beginning of the season.  There’s an awful lot of talent being wasted in Athens these days.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Florida-Georgia recap: at least the weather was good.

  1. baltimore dawg

    i may be mis-remembering the play, or be wrong about the play you’re referring to when evans ran past tebow, but i seem to recall a play in which evans took the pitch man and no one took tebow. that could or could not be evans’ fault, depending on the defensive alignment and call, but it sure as hell says volumes about how bad our defense is that our players, scheme, game planning, etc. appeared so indifferent to putting up resistance to the premier player in college football.

  2. Section Z alum

    martinez stuns me. please do something different.

    agree that washaun looks like a player. we have lots of talent, in fact. please use them better.

    for my media rant of the week – no, his name is not “reggie” curran.

    watched the carolina/ut game. brad nessler and todd blackledge are the best announcing pair going. no wankery. no talk of the football player throwing the football down the football field.

  3. Batdawg

    The big play for me –

    We are driving right late in the first half down 10-17. King gets a big first down on Florida’s side of the field, and it’s brought back by a Cordy Glenn hold.

    We punt on that possession, Florida takes it downfield and Tebow scores on a draw where’s he’s untouched and breaking Walker’s record, putting Florida up two TDs.

    Ballgame.

  4. Left to Right

    Re. Cox:

    Why is Pete Carroll able to lose a QB to the first round of the draft, plug in a true freshman QB, and (last week not withstanding) be successful, while Richt loses a QB to the first round of the draft, plugs in a 5th year senior, and has him look completely baffled.

    Either Richt and Bobo have done a poor job of coaching over the last 4 2/3 years, or Cox is one of the dumbest QBs UGA has ever had.

    • Hackerdog

      I agree that Cox has regressed during the year, but having one of the worst rushing offenses in college football will do that for you.

      Cox is not a spread QB that can stand back and wing it all over the field 40 or 50 times a game. He needs play action.

      I think Greene, Shockley, and Stafford give Richt and Bobo some credibility in coaching QBs, but I think Bobo just doesn’t have many options right now. Even if we could get our running game going (like the first half of the UF game) we can’t put up points at the rate our defense gives them up. That means playing from behind, which means throwing. And Cox looks shell shocked right now.

      • Will (the other one)

        An interesting question though, as bad as our run game has been, why aren’t we in shotgun throwing 40x a game?
        Cox was ranked higher than any QB Texas Tech gets…

        • Hackerdog

          Ask Tony Franklin how easy it is to just take players who were recruited and coached to run a pro-style offense and just start flinging the ball around.

          Our best bet is to try short routes and screens in lieu of a running game, and we’re doing that to some extent.

  5. Jason

    The fact that Bryan Evans is still getting meaningful playing time shouldn’t shock anyone when you consider the state of our defense under that quixotic assclown Willie Martinez. He continues to put out strategies that are sub-par at best. And the worst part is, I don’t think Richt will let him go. Personally I think it will take Damon laying down the gauntlet to him.

    • I agree, except that “laying down the gauntlet” probably won’t do it. Richt seems like the type that will go down with the ship before he will feel like he’s selling out a friend. Martinez will have to save his friend by reading the writing on the wall and resigning himself. Not saying that will happen either, just saying…

  6. JaxDawg

    Actually, the weather was unseasonably hot, even for Jacksonville. It’s been a while since I’ve been that hot during a game (sat on the east/uga side). I suppose Richt feels that set us back.

    Look, I cannot begin to list the number of times coaches have made difficult changes only to see their decision to do so confirmed, as the existing talent suddenly becomes all-world.

    Just look around this league – Shula to Saban, Zook to Meyer, Donnan to Richt and BVG, etc, etc -all new coaches that brought to light the tremendous talent at each school.

    Guys, we have mucho-talent. Sick talent. We have 3 seniors of the dline that should be playing on Sunday and tremendous athletes at Lber and in the secondary. Heck, I even believe Evans could be coached up as his mistakes look to be technique, not talent driven.

    Remember that the longer you let a problem linger the more it festers. Conversely, how many times have we seen AD’s and Head Coaches play patient with assistants and subordinates that clearly aren’t working out? Fulmer anyone? It’s like that stock you bought after hours of research only to find yourself down 35% but you still “hold on” waiting for an eventual rebound that never comes. Why? B/c it’s human nature to not admit mistakes – especially in the workplace. We see this mistake made over and over again. There is no reason that TN let Fulmer hang around when everyone and their bloodhound knew that run was over. The staff was stale. If not for the fact that he was a TN boy with a NC ring, the decision would have come sooner.

    That’s not to say that Richt should exercise patience but WM and staff are clearly not the answer. How much more damage and festering do we need to see? The proof is in the pudding folks. The trend, in this case, is not our friend. It points DOWN. Correct the problem in a smart, methodical way and move on. If Richt does not, this program will continue to regress to a point where Richt cannot salvage it and ultimately he will lose his job. Then we’ll be forced into making an even more risky decision with hiring a new Head Coach and entire staff.

    Do you want to start completely over? I don’t. But if Richt poisons the well too much then we won’t have a choice. Meanwhile, Tech, FL, Bama, TN, LSU, and even AU will continue to pull away.

    We cannot risk that.

  7. Bryant Denny

    I’m a Bama fan and Georgia is probably my second favorite team (well, maybe the least disliked of the other 11). I also like Richt. So I kinda, sorta want the Dawgs to do well.

    But, dang. This team looks awful. Kinda like 2003 Bama awful.

    If you’re gonna play that kind of defense, you need a running game to keep your defense off the field. Simple as that. Joe Cox seems like a nice kid, but you have to keep him playing in his box, where he’s comfortable. I know the Senator will show me where is efficiency ranking is higher than so and so’s :) , but you can’t let him kill you with turnovers.

    As a fan, I get upset about losses (I may get to experience that this weekend), but I feel a whole lot better if my team competes. Like the 2006 OT loss to Georgia. You guys had the better team, but we competed hard to the end. I walked out of the stadium with head held high. You guys are not even competing against Florida.

    You’ve got the players. You’ve got a good head coach. Looks like you need some new coordinators. I hope this doesn’t turn out like Tuberville’s situation at Auburn.

    Good luck,

    BD

    • I’m not happy with the picks, that’s for sure. Here’s the weird stat of the day, though. If you check out the top 100 QBs by passer rating (Cox is ranked 53rd, by the way), there are two kids on that list with more INTs than Joe. One is Jevan Snead, which explains a lot about Ole Miss’ season. The other kid? 8-0 Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi. Figure that one out.

  8. Bryant Denny

    Yeah, that’s a pretty weird stat. However, they’re a heartbeat or two away from being 4-4. They’ve lived life on the edge.

    Another thing would be the timing of the turnovers. Like one of Bama’s most recent QBs, Cox’s seem to come at the most inconvenient times…and he has no defense to help him out.

    I really hate to see Richt go through this and I hope he can pull it out. Are you indicating that if the money walks he’s a goner? Will new coordinators save him?

    BD

  9. Derek

    First, Evans was playing the pitchman on the second Tebow TD run. He was very, very late which was why he flashed in front of Tebow. If he takes Tebow, its an easy pitch and still a TD for the Gators.

    Second, while the Gillard play was dumb, he is a freshmen and that is what you get sometimes with those. However, we forced a 3 and 16 on that drive and inexplicably blitzed allowing a short pass to Hernandez to go for a first down. Easily the dumbest coaching decision of the game and ending the momentum we had gained in our 10-0 run. They should have rushed 3, dropped 8, forced the dump off and made them punt. Down 14-10 at that point and 10 minutes left in the second, who knows what happens if we get the ball with good field position? Instead they kick a 56 yarder, we have a disasterous drive with 4 minutes left, punt and they add a TD at the end of the half. Instead of 14-10, 14-13 or possibly even 14-17 at the half its 24-10. That decision to blitz may have cost us the chance to make it a 4 quarter game.

    Third, I think its time to throw Murray out there and roll with him. Now that we have a little bit of a running game going to protect him and he can move around and throw as well which buys him some time, I think he has to give us at least as much a chance to win as Cox. I think Joe has lost whatever confidence he had in himself and he should move to his coaching career immediately and start coaching up Aaron for the last five games. I would not be at all shocked to see #11 out there Saturday.

    • … Evans was playing the pitchman on the second Tebow TD run. He was very, very late which was why he flashed in front of Tebow. If he takes Tebow, its an easy pitch and still a TD for the Gators.

      I’ll take your word for it, since I haven’t seen the replay yet. But if you think Tebow was giving the ball up in that situation…

      • Derek

        The CBS commentators were saying that after the play that Tebow was telling the RB that he wanted to pitch it to him, but couldn’t. Can’t assess the sincerity there but apparently he did tell the RB that.

  10. Dog in Fla

    “There’s an awful lot of talent being wasted in Athens these days.”

    Who knows how much longer that’s going to continue being the case because Urban don’t need no stinking helo. He’s always on the job thinking ahead.

    With that in mind, was it my imagination or did anyone else notice that during the post-game handshakes, in addition to Mark, Urban sought out Jeff Owens and Orson Charles to shake hands with them, the guys from the state of Florida who got away from Urban to Athens?
    Or maybe Jeff and Orson sought out Urban?
    Doubt it.
    Or would Urban use those guys as examples to Florida recruits he wants so that they wouldn’t go to Georgia?
    Of course not.
    That’s against the rules isn’t it?
    Don’t know, consult with rules expert Lane to find out.
    Or maybe it just the usual bad dream in Jacksonville? Yes but just wait until the next rebuilding year next season when a new QB and a new DL are being broken in.
    Same coaching staff of course. Why change horses in the middle of the stream because as Mark always says this is the same coaching staff using the very same schemes that coached us to a #2 ranking (thanks, Hawaii) a long long time ago.

  11. BirdDAWG

    It was Cunningham who flew by, untouched, RT Josh Davis on the disasterous sack – not Dunlap on LT Boling, who I thought did a pretty good job on him.

    • That’s the second sack – the one when Georgia got the ball back down 24-10.

      I’m talking about the first sack, which occurred one drive earlier, when the score was still 17-10. If Georgia could have driven the ball down the field and eaten up most of the 4:47 remaining then, even if it had settled for a field goal, that would have sent them to the locker room down by four at worst, with some momentum and a chance to do more damage on the first series of the second half.

      Instead, they went three-and-out and punted. Florida scored and things never got closer again.

  12. benjamin

    That was a TE screen to Hernandez and Ga did a great job reacting to the play. The TE just carried a couple defenders (don’t know who) 3 or 4 yrds for the first down.

  13. DirkDawggler

    Someone once said, “I you put an unlimited number of monkeys in a room with unlimited typewriters and time, sooner or later one of ‘em will bang out the entire works of William Shakespeare.”

    Fabris, I believe, once said, “If you keep using directional kicking, sooner or later something good will happen for us.”

    I say bullshit to both.

  14. Hobnail_Boot

    I knew we were gonna get blown out when I saw Evans starting. Mind you, it’s not because Evans isn’t an SEC-caliber starter, but because our staff fails to realize that he isn’t an SEC-caliber starter.