Revisiting Martinez, B.C. (Before Crompton)

In his Georgia-Arkansas preview, Matt Hinton writes,

… Ryan Mallett and his nuclear arm unloaded on the Bulldog secondary for 408 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions last year in Fayetteville, including eight completions that covered at least 20 yards on a 41-point night for the Razorback offense. It was arguably the worst defensive effort in Mark Richt’s nine-year tenure at UGA, the moment the dam holding back anti-Martinez sentiment was permanently breached…

Ehhhh, I’m not so sure about that last bit.

Don’t get me wrong – Martinez’ career trajectory had been on a sadly downward arc for some time before the Arkansas game.  Georgia fans had seen a number of cracks in that dam Hinton alludes to (although it seemed for a brief stint in the second half of the 2007 season that some repair work had been effective).  But it’s hard to see last year’s game in Fayetteville as The Moment.  First of all, Mallett was insanely accurate with his tosses in the first half; I’m not sure any SEC secondary would have had much success defending some of those throws.  Secondly, it’s kind of forgotten in the scoring barrage, but Georgia’s defense finally got some traction against Mallett and the Arkansas passing attack in the fourth quarter (he went 2-11 passing for only 18 yards and was sacked once).

So, no, I think there was still something standing, holding back the waters, until Georgia visited Knoxville a few weeks later.  That’s when Willie lost Dawgnation for good.  (And, I suspect, lost his head coach, too.)

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Revisiting Martinez, B.C. (Before Crompton)

  1. baltimore dawg

    honestly, i think wm had lost the confidence of a whole lot of fans well before that ut game. i mean, people started talking about willie’s inadequacies after auburn 05 and then quite regularly after the sugar bowl debacle.

    but i think it’s definitely true that richt came to final awareness during that ut game. i’ll never forget the look on his face: it was a picture of grim resignation to what had to be done (at that time, i still wasn’t sure that he’s be able to do it, though).

    • BMan

      Agree completely. I wrote on this blog after last year’s UT mess that the look on Richt’s face on the sideline wasn’t one lacking emotion, but one where he realized he was going to have to fire a very good friend. So while the fans had already started writing Willie off well before Tennessee or Arkansas last year, he became Fredo to Richt in Knoxville.

      Personally, I never cared for how he jumped into the arms of defenders and damn near wrapped his legs around them after a big stop.

  2. Brandon

    He lost me after the WV game…wait a minute I think Steve Slaton just went around the end again…TD.

  3. dean

    So, no, I think there was still something standing, holding back the waters, until Georgia visited Knoxville a few weeks later. That’s when Willie lost Dawgnation for good. (And, I suspect, lost his head coach, too.)

    I agree. However it seemed like the dam with his players had busted by the end of the ’08 season.

  4. rbubp

    I feel that last year there was a lot of talk about renewed commitment to fundamentals and redemption after the Georgia Tech disaster in ’08; many were ready to at least try to believe in that. I agree with the Senator, however, that Tennessee was the game where it was apparent that even a bad offense, with a bad QB, was going to have a great day against us and that change was inevitable.

  5. Julie

    I wonder how many times CTG would have seen that bootleg before Crompton was carried off on a stretcher?

  6. 69Dawg

    I think UT was the cherry on top of the Willie’s farewell cake. But the many games where we failed to show up for at least one half was the thing that killed him to me. The turnovers didn’t help the D but we seem to concede a TD rather than hold them to a FG.

  7. Normaltown Mike

    The dam had already burst by UT, we just didn’t know it.

    Seeing a catfish shred our D made us aware we were under water.

    http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2009/09/16/five-reasons-why-starting-a-giant-catfish-at-quarterback-for-tennessee-is-the-right-call/

  8. Xon

    Hinton’s claim is nuanced and doesn’t have to do with when YOU or YOU or I felt the “last straw” with Martinez. He is talking about a giant river of anti-Martinez sentiment that already existed, but which hadn’t yet been unleashed to have an actual effect on the world. Things are already very bad before that final breech actually happens. I agree with you, Senator, that it was Crompton’s SEC Player of the Week performance against us that made it clear that either Martinez would have to go or Richt would lose the fan base.

    Or, it may just be the moment when Richt finally realized “I no longer have a defense that I can even remotely count on to bail us out. We have to score 40 points a game. We are late 1990s Kentucky.” Ultimately, the moment the worm turned for RICHT is what is most significant to sealing WM’s fate, right?

    Now I just saw another wide open pass in the flat, and now a shallow crossing route where we apparently do not have a single linebacker on the field….and it’s all blended together. I can’t tell if I’m at UT 06, UT 07, or UT 09. Just the same three plays, over and over and over. And we have no answer. Ack, find my power animal.

  9. D.N. Nation

    Since we’re going with Willie’s Greatest Hits, may I nominate Colorado ’06? Granted, they only gave up 13, but that game was the first blatant this-crummy-team-only-runs-one-play-and-we-don’t-see-it-coming instance I can remember.

  10. WOW-SC really ?

    I think what bothers me , we still tackle like those badly coached teams. Was i expecting too much ? UGA gave up a mile after first contact. I hope ark. does throw alot.

  11. Jace Walden

    Before Crompton (B.C.) needs to be added to the lexicon. I’m not good with coming up with witty definitions though.

    Before Crompton, adj.: Period of time from 2004-2009 characterized by the slow, but consistent erosion of defensive fundamentals (i.e. tackling, being within 20 yards of an eligible receiver). Eventually led to the 10/10/2009 fiasco.

  12. Brandon

    Here’s a fun little exercise in speculation, go back the last 5 years (the Willie regime) and impose the following rule, since BVG never allowed an opponent to score more than 30 points other than the 2003 National Champion LSU Tigers assume we had held all teams who scored 30 to 29 points (* Unless the team went on to win the NC in which case let them keep their total, that means UF keeps their 49 in 08′). Here’s the records:

    2005: 13-1
    2006: 10-3
    2007: 11-2
    2008: 13-1
    2009: 8-5

    This flips only 5 games (Aub & WV 05′; UT 06′; Bama & GT 08′) but I tell you what I’d have felt a hell of a lot better about some of those seasons than I did where this the case. Also take a look at some of the margin changes this makes: Ark 09′ becomes more of a laugher 52-29, Tenn and UF aren’t as big of blowouts both would have come in at 29-17. Sure this is merely rank speculation but I think its pretty reasonable based on what the BVG standard was and fair to Willie considering it gives him the benefit of the doubt in many games in which it looked like we hadn’t even practiced at the beginning of the game and promptly gave up several touchdown drives in the first half before settling down not to mention that people like Vandy, UK, and Troy have no business even scoring 20 against us as bad as we outclass them with athletes on a year in year out basis. I’ve thought about this before and as long as we’re “revisiting Martinez” I thought I’d throw this out there. I think we all just need to be patient, if CTG returns us to BVG level D we’ll be okay, believe it or not we’ve had the offense to succeed big time the last five years, if you’ll notice the recalculated records show that we would have had the best years in 2005, 2007, and 2008 which not so coincidently are years in which we started a QB who had a significant amount of game experience before the season started.

  13. Derek

    Brandon, I appreciate the research, but if we were to only spot opponents 30 points in those select games, you would have to figure Georgia would’ve turned in more W’s than you see there, considering Georgia would’ve had more opportunities to score or run the clock.

  14. shane#1

    I agree Senator, it was the UT game that tore it between Willie and me. I was not a Willie basher and I thought CMR had the right to choose his assistants. How ever, the inability to make adjustments and defend a simple play action rollout just floored me. CTG has done as much to change my mind about Willie as the UT game did. What I see from this D is a lack of fundamentals, pure and simple. Had CTG been able to spend more time on teaching the 3-4 system instead of teaching juniors and seniors the basics of footwork and tackling maybe the D would be lights out by now.

  15. W Cobb Dawg

    I’m wondering if Martinez, Fabris and Jancek weren’t part of a much larger problem with Dawgs coaching that still hasn’t been fixed. Until last Saturday, I had hoped the progression of teams exposing our various problems had become a thing of the past. This year’s scu game seems hauntingly familiar to the osu game of last year.