Random questions; random thoughts

Things that are buzzing around my brain this morning that I can’t figure out:

  1. If the offense is having that much trouble game planning around A.J. Green’s absence, what’s going to happen next year? I don’t get the excuse making about why the tight ends aren’t more involved in the offense.  I’m betting there’s at least one college offensive coordinator out there right now that manages to throw to his tight ends successfully without having an All-American wideout.
  2. Will a Georgia defense ever be able to stop a crossing route consistently? The more things change, etc.  I know it’s a risk when you play more man coverage underneath like they’re doing now, but somebody’s got to react more quickly to limit the damage once the pass is completed.  The safety play in pass coverage has been abysmal for the most part.  And judging from Mississippi State’s situational stats, Mullen has some clue about what to dial up when it’s third-and-long.
  3. How ’bout that play action. You want to see something ugly?  Check out opposing quarterbacks’ passer ratings on third-and-short.  That’s not a misprint.  Sure, it’s obviously based on a small sample size, but it’s another sign that Georgia’s inexperience with the new approach on defense can be exploited.
  4. Will Mississippi State be able to run effectively Saturday night? Even with Marcus Lattimore’s coming out party, a close look at Georgia’s run defense stats shows that these Dawgs have been pretty stout against the run.  MSU wants to run and does a pretty good job of it on first and second downs.  Georgia needs to watch out for QB Chris Relf, who has the most rushing attempts on the team.  And the draw play, which South Carolina and Arkansas used with some success.
  5. Is the offensive line starting to come around? Josh Davis claims that he sensed the line was starting to jell in the fourth quarter against Arkansas, but who really knows?  And what I can’t really figure out here is why Searels is having so much of a struggle getting his guys to play.  This is a coach with an excellent reputation – remember, all you folks who believe that Nick Saban is the gold standard, whom Richt battled with to hire Searels in the first place when he left LSU – who hasn’t been able to get good play out of his charges on a consistent basis over this season or the last.  I don’t get it.
  6. If it’s consistency that you want… The weirdest looking set of stats that Georgia has compiled over the first three games are the split stats for average offensive yards per play.  Come rain, come shine, on the road, at home, conference opponent, non-conference opponent, it doesn’t matter.  These Dawgs are getting their five-and-a-half yards, damnit.
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55 Comments

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55 responses to “Random questions; random thoughts

  1. Go Dawgs!

    I have been wondering about point #1 all season long. AJ’s not coming back, and if this is what the offense is like without him, we’re screwed, because Kris Durham is fresh out of eligibility. We’ve always had a standout receiver or two, like Terrance Edwards or Fred Gibson, and then a strong supporting cast. Neither of them are as good as AJ, obviously, but the point is, after he’s gone, who is it going to be? Better get to recruiting, and HARD.

    I’ll buy that the O-Line jelled in the 4th Quarter against Arkansas. They played well on the two scoring drives, and the kill shot to Aaron Murray came off of Washaun’s block, not a lineman. The question isn’t whether they jelled in that quarter, though, it’s whether they can STAY jelled.

  2. Bad M

    There’s the downside with getting blitz happy. Man coverage is easy to beat with the slant, especially when the LB’s are rushing. Yet another reason fan commentators don’t know what they are talking about. You can’t just do one thing without it having consequences else where.
    You would think without AJ, a young QB with a need to checkdown, and the talent and depth we have there would be more throws to the TE’s.

    • ugafan

      “You can’t just do one thing without it having consequences else where.”

      You don’t say. Tell us more about how Defense works Master!

      Signed, a “fan commentator”

      PS- “else where” is spelled “elsewhere” genius.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        whoa…kinda harsh. Hey Friday is almost here and then gameday. Whoops! ………game day. ;-)

      • BadM

        Look dipwad, first you need to start using puncuation and capitalization before you start to critisize a random space that gets typed while typing on a phone. Secondly, if you were so stupid as to think the answer to the D was to blitz more, then yes you need the obvious lessons. I’ll try to speak with small words.

  3. Boz

    PS – the Dawgs are dogs going to MSU. When was the last time MSU was favored against us, or another SEC team (not named Vandy) for that matter?

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    “These Dawgs are getting their five-and-a-half yards, damnit.”
    Making that 3rd and 4 even more painful.

  5. Russ

    Agree on #1. I think the other guys have talent at SE, but we’re not spreading it around enough. As for the TEs, not having AJ is a weak excuse in my book. It seems like there are plenty of other teams w/out AJ that still get their TEs involved. We have to figure that out.

    As for the pass coverage, I was very pleased to see one of our LBs cover the crossing pattern very nicely, and almost had a pick out of it. He did that a couple of times. So we’ve got that going for us.

  6. JaxDawg

    I recall Tony Taylor making some nice pics on cross routes from his LB’er spot. What did he do that was so productive?

  7. ugafan

    I’m with you Senator, i don’t get why Searles’ line is has struggled so much. Before the start of last season, Searles & Richt had a major falling out over Dave Van Halanger. Since then, things haven’t been the same for his line.

    I’m beginning to wonder if Searles has just given up pushing hard for excellence like he did his first few years. You can’t blame him. Since Richt refuses to make his buddy Van Hal accountable, then there’s no point in fighting for something that will never happen.

    • SCDawg

      What was the falling out about? I hear a lot of third and fourth hand complaints about strength and conditioning under Van Halanger, but I never really know what to make of it b/c the complaints lack any real detail: except for S&C sucks, our guys don’t pass the “look” test, etc.

      • ugafan

        The falling out was about the weak S&C program. Searles was fed up with the volunteer workout system, his out of shape, weak players, etc. Searles proved it by outrunning his line among other things. So he took over the workouts for his line, but Van Hal got pissed that his authority was challenged. Richt took Van Hal’s side & told Searles to back off, that he would have no input in his line’s strength & conditioning (none of the asst coaches do now), and that there would be no changes in the s&c program. That’s just a summary of a lot of problems w/ Van Hal.

        • Prov

          Interesting. Link? Or did you hear it from a friend of your wife’s cousin’s husband’s pizza delivery boy? Just wondering cause that is one hell of a story if it is true.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.”
          -Herschel Walker

        • Dawgwalker07

          Sometimes I feel like a lot, and I mean a lot, of uga’s problems could be fixed with a revamped s&c program.

      • Bulldog Bry

        I’d like to know as well. I keep hearing how awful he is “because we have so many injuries”, but I’m not sure that satisfies me.

        • Reptillicide

          Unsubstantiated dawgvent rumors started by losers in their basement.

          • SCDawg

            That’s what I worry about.

            I’ve maybe posted this before, but I heard that when Donnan took over he learned the O-lineman did more aerobic conditioning than strength training; thus they were getting pushed around phsyically under Goff. I also heard that when Richt took over from Donnan, the S&C program was a joke, and Van Halanger was a big improvement over Donnan’s guy.

            Now I hear our S&C program is bad. I don’t know how much credence to attach to any of it.

            • Russ

              I heard when Richt was hired, he had a quiet meeting with Donnan for a brief “handover”. Donnan told him that he left 3 envelopes in the desk, and when things got tough, to open the 1st envelope for advice. If it continued, open the 2nd on, and then finally the 3rd one. So, after the first crisis of faith, Richt opened the first envelope, where it said “Hold a press conference and blame the previous staff.” Richt did that, promising changes, and everything settled down. After the next crisis of faith, he opened the second envelope. “Fire your staff.” So he let Willie and others go. Any guess as to what’s in the 3rd envelope?

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                CMR hasn’t fired all the staff yet so the third envelope is irrelevant, for now. Van Halanger looks like a likely next candidate to go if the story is true. Since the subject has come up, the Dawgs (especially the O line and some of the D line) just do not look like they are in shape. Backs and receivers look OK, though.

          • W Cobb Dawg

            I’d agree, except there’s the nastly little problem of the teams performance. Don’t see any reason why Van Hal should be exempt from responsibility, along with all the other coaches. The fact that he’s another one of CMR’s close buddies doesn’t help.

  8. Chuck

    So I have a question for all true DAWG fans, not those who are half hearted DAWG fans but true fans. Is it time for Mark Richt tenure at Georgia to end? And, if so who replaces him. I have listen to sports talk radio and everyone opinion is that it is time that he goes. My thought process is that it is not time for him to go. Yes things must change and I am frustrated as the rest of the DAWG nation. As I have posted before I believe it comes down to recruiting the wrong players. But I want to know what the true fan thinks. I have heard everyone from Muschamp to Curby should be given the job, but what have they done that makes them the right person for the job, and before anyone comments take a good look at what happen to our friends up North to their program (TENN.). Do we want to take a chance on that happening to us? Senator I would especially like to hear your thoughts and maybe a post of your opinion. Mine is that we stay with what we have, and allow him to correct the problem. I strongly believe that we have a great coach but he has some serious issues to resolve.

    • JaxDawg

      I’ve repeatedly said that he likely has this year and next to fix the issues and improve the record. His contract expires in 2012 so you can probably throw that year in as well.

      It’s not a stretch to say that if our record doesn’t demonstrably improve and if the stupid off-field stuff continues by then McGarity will replace him.

      What worries me about Richt is that the man that creates the mess is rarely the one that repairs it. History has shown that it is very difficult to rebound while in the same gig.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        In 1969 and 1970 CVD was 5-5 and 5-5-1 respectively. He also was 5-6 in 1977. If UGA had canned CVD after the’70 season or after the ’77 season, we never would have won the MNC in 1980 or had that run in the early 80s all the nuts now point to as supposedly what the norm should be. The places that win long term are the schools with stable coaching situations. The schools that lose look like a revolving door. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • Jim

      Yes. It was time after the SC and Ark games last year. Who is going to replace him and take us to the promised land? I don’t know, but I do know who ISN’T going to take us to the promised land, and his name is Mark Richt.

      • Dawgwalker07

        I’m trying to understand your argument.

        It was time for cmr to go after we won two games last year? I’m assuming you mean bc the defense was terrible. But richt replaced the defensive staff…so why are sc and arky of last year the games that decided cmr should get the ax?

        • Puffdawg

          Because he said so.

        • Jim

          Yes, the defenses were horrible in both games. My bigger issue was how flat and completely unprepared to play the team was in both games – looking bad and falling way behind early. At that point I realized our underachieving in 2008 wasn’t a fluke.

          • King Jericho

            We were so flat that we only were able to muster a combined 93 points in those 2 games. How unexciting.

            The defense has changed since, yes.

    • hassan

      Muschamp and Smart are not proven commodities. Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it [Read: Ray Goff].

      It’s easy to sit around and say that Richt should go and we need somebody better. So…who is better that we could get? Emphasis is on the “we could get piece”, so no pie in the sky candidates please.

      I am hoping that we see some immediate turn around starting with Ms. Sippy State and this becomes a non-issue because I am hard pressed to think of more than one or two candidates that I’d like to see…and they are long shots to take the job.

      We’ve had some great years under Richt and I would like to see the current state of affairs be a temporary dip and not a trend.

      • Chuck

        I totally agree regarding Muschamp and Smart both are great coordinators but head coachs? Smart is up under Saben and Muschamp coaches in the BIG 12. How does that prove anything? Maybe Mike Leach, no we need to give Mark Richt the oppertunity to correct the problems his is entitled that much.

    • It’s pointless to speculate on something like this in mid-season. (Actually, since I’m not McGarity or anyone he answers to, it’s pretty much pointless at any time.) Besides, I’d kinda like to see how all the coaching changes play out before I rush to judgment.

      • Chuck

        I agree that is the point that I am trying to convey. We should be supporting our coach. I do not like what is going on at all, fill like a kid on Christmas and did not get anything he wanted but clothing. I love this time of year and the two losses has put me in the tank, But we owe it to our coach to see if he can right the ship.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      FYI-
      ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2010/01/25/winners-and-losers-on-college-footballs-coaching-carousel/

    • Carolinadawg

      No, its not time for Richt to go…but it is time for Richt to get rid of Bobo, Searles and McClendon.

  9. Kris

    Chuck,

    I am a true Dawg Fan, ’05 alumni, not to far removed. I think it is time for Richt to go because for the past 2-3 years the team has began to get out coached and out uscled consistently. Watch the games that we lose and the teams that we are playing are stronger and better prepared almost every game. I appreciate Richt as a person but I feel that the league has passed him by. Here are 3 candidates that I think would be a great fit. After these 3 get knocked I can probably come up with 3 more.

    1. Chris Peterson – Boise St.- He loses 20 of 22 starters this year and he is consistently in the NC hunt with Boise St….Seriously Boise St?!?!?!? They play on a blue field.
    2. Kyle Whittingham – Utah – I am not sure if he would be willing to leave Utah now that they are going into the Pac-10 but money talks. His team beat Alabama in a Sugar Bowl a couple of years ago the same year that Alabama was up 31 points on us at halftime. He also comes from Urban Meyer’s staff and as much as we all hate Meyer he wins more NC’s than our coach.
    3. Jim Harbaugh – Stanford – He has Stanford in place to win the Pac – 10 and they have competed with the big boys of the conference the past couple of years with far less talent.

    Those are just my thoughts, I would like to hear what everybody else has to say.

    • hassan

      Which of the above would take the job if offered? I place the odds at less than 50 -50.

      Remember all the grief we took in the DC search? Finding a HC will be 10 times worse.

    • Peterson didn’t lose 20 of 22 starters; BSU returned 20 of 22. Kinda changes your narrative, doesn’t it?

      • Russ

        Those ex-Boise State coaches always turn out so well. Just ask Colorado about that. They were also burned by the previous “darling team” coach from Northwestern.

        I agree it’s tough to right a ship, but Richt has taken a big first step with overhauling half of his staff. I still think the D will finish with a major improvement. If the Offense holds us back, I suspect there may be changes there this off season as well.

        • Will (the other one)

          If there is a big change to the offense, I’m hoping we sweep into to Stillwater and hire Okie St’s OC away.
          He was previously at Houston, and they put up ridiculous yards/points.

  10. Kris

    Oh and I agree with #1 I have been saying that the entire year as well.

  11. crap sandwich

    More:

    6. Why have the development of our other WR’s been so slow? specifically Marlon Brown, Troupe when many other schools start Freshman at these positions.

    7. Why does it appear the Dawgs are lethargic, unmotivated, with a lack of Focus? Watch Michigan State-Notre Dame last week, seemed all the opposite of us.

    8. How is it that Alabama lost 10 on Defense but it doesn’t seem to matter? We lose Green for four games and the Offense tanked. Doesn’t seem to bother Alabama to lose 10, but if Georgia loses 1, the world falls apart.

    9. Why do our coaches blame the players, Murray, OL, Secondary, but the staff never questions their own coaching and discipline of these players? In fact the staff points the fingers at the players and the fans are pointing the finger at the coaches. I trust the fans.

    10. How bad will it get?

    • As for #9, I would suggest that three assistant coaches getting fired by a man who is notorious for his loyalty to staff is a pretty good indication that somebody was questioning the staff.

  12. Jeff Head

    I’m willing to give the defense a pass for now. Young guys learning a new system under new coaches. 17 pts in Columbia should equal a W. I have a huge problem with our offense. As you point out, we avg 5.5 yds/play. Misleading because Bobo is just good enough to get our athletes in position to make a play some of the time. We cannot run the ball- this season or last until final few games. That makes everything else much more difficult and play action is a joke when even the wives watching know we cannot run successfully. After Ark, Bobo said we did not throw to the tight ends b/c we needed them to block. OK, so why not put Figgins in (or Lynch)? Bigger, better blockers should equal more ability to run. Bobo calls plays, especially pass plays, as if AJ was on the field. Spurrier dinks and dunks you to death with a good tight end and we used to. Not anymore. SC was giving short pass all day- see So. Miss. passing for 341 against them. Bobo would not take it, even though I have no recollection of their corners knocking a ball down or even coming close. Ark loaded the box and Bobo continues with play action. My feeling is that if we had someone who could or would adjust to what the other team is giving we would now be 2-1 or 3-0. There was a guest post on Leather Helmet this week comparing Bobo to Randy Sanders. Very similar numbers, very similar lack of production. We can debate Searels and O-line all we want but bottom line is the O-coordinator has responsibility to make what you have work. Bobo is not getting the job done and as much as I admire Coach Richt, it ultimately falls on him to fix things. No excuse for the way things are going on offense, despite AJ’s absence.

  13. Once again I read Buck’s Blog & agree with it.
    40% disagree & that astounds me. I just don’t understand. Everything he has said this week is right on in my opinion. I certainly continue to disagree with all of the ones who disagree. So far he speaks for me & what I see on the field.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      If we listened to Buck, we’d still have Goff as coach, Kevin Ramsey as DC, and/or we’d be directional kicking. In Buck’s world, coaches are never held accountable.

  14. 69Dawg

    Our O line as experienced as it is looks lost sometimes. I know for a fact that the better D lines we have faced the last 3 years have destroyed our O line. Ala, UF, and UT. When we needed 1 or 2 yards on the goal last year and Bobo insisted on running the FB up the gut the OL failed again and again. This is a combination of strength and technique. Our guys are really not that good at run blocking better DL’s because they are not taught run blocking techniques. They are taught to pass protect. The same problem exists in the NFL great passing teams lines typically can’t run block worth a dang. We have recruited pass protectors and trained pass protectors so we have good pass protectors. We don’t have road graders unless the D line we’re against is smaller and weaker (see Tech) or we finally just wear then out (see A&M).

    We don’t really have a cohesive offensive philosophy. If you can’t run early in the game but you consider yourself a play action O you are fooling yourself. 8 in the box will stop the run but it can also stop the pass if the O tries to go long (Bobo’s favorite thing to do). If the eight rush quick the QB turns to face a sack. With this QB we should go into the shot gun with a RB back and go from there.

    Another thing Aaron is not that tall so having him step up into the pocket is really dumb. We should have him rolling with the TE on every play. If the OLB takes the TE he gets time if the OLB rushes bang the ball to the TE. I guess when you are paid large money it helps if you make the things you do seem like rocket science but it’s not.

    Speaking of not staying the same, it was pointed out that Ala sent some O coaches to Nevada this past spring to learn the Pistol and they have now incorporated it.
    Ala goes into the Pistol now along with a shot gun. UGA has not changed a thing about their playbook since CMR arrived. They claim they are (Grays package) but it never happens. DC’s consider us post MS & KM as a bi week.

  15. Scott W.

    Ok, in the post he credits Bobo for studying football for thirty years. Since he was six? That calls in Buck’s tendency to lean on hyperbole, so it should also temper the believability of what he has to say about Mike Bobo.

    • Dog in Fla

      “Since he was six?”

      That explains the problem. CMB waited too long after he was born before he started studying football.

  16. shane#1

    The UGA football program is still making money hand over fist. Even if season ticket sales and donations decrease there is still that big fat TV contract and the SEC bowl money. There is no need to fire Richt before his contract expires in 2012 and hand him a buyout check. We are talking two years here people! UGA has a talent base for the future. The Dawgs have even redshirted some O linemen the past couple of years. It’s been a while since that has happened! So if things get worse and the AD starts working on a short list there will be two years to make a good hire and a traumatic firing will not be necessary. Should that be buy out? I want no problem from the spelling police.

  17. Will Trane

    It is good to see you guys focus on plays and sets.
    And the color of field turf. We do not like Boise State’s color either (blue or orange in football). But we do like the orange in the Orioles. And at the first of their season we thought that they could begin a move. Since Brian Roberts and Buck Showwalter came in…well they have kept a .622 pace since 08/01/10. So we have been right about those guys. We think they are almost set to move on the Red Sox and Yankees [old teams] and the Rays [losing money and have a salary/roster issue at end of season...some players are leaving]. Sorry to degress.

    See our other post on Boise and their roster. But OSU [that Pac 10 OSU] plays them this week on the blue turf. OSU painted part of their practice turf blue re game preparation. What does that say. Probably you need every edge against the Broncos. Does Behr, Glidden, or etc call the plays for OSU. What you need is a D and offense to keep pace.

    We have talked about the offense, running backs (see Belue’s comments about the RBs in his post today) enough for awhile. Also see our comments about the “full roster we have talked about this season”.

    We also discussed with some people and in our comments the schedule. So today there is a post about AD McGarity and a 7 game home schedule. Unfortunatley our prior AD (and we will be polite here and not share our thoughts for 5 years on that position…ok, one, judgement & decision making have impact on and off the field). You can not send a team across the country for a night game with ASU and you have Bama the following week; you can not send your team to Okie State (we have alum friends there) and play Carolina; you can not go into MSU on a Saturday night and go to the Rockies and play another team at night the following weekend.
    Some may think that is what you call building a national program. Say what, stupid. How about just a solid schedule and program with games in your neck of the woods.

    Like we told a local newspaper sports editor that had a half page about a QB at Nebraska a few years ago. Does some local paper in Nebraska have an article about a Dawgs QB…what for…fans and supporters want to see, hear, and read what pertains to them.

    Hopefully AD McGarity will get the 7 home schedule in place with an offense that can score and create some excitement (that way half of your friends and fans don’t march out in the 3rd quarter).

  18. shane#1

    Will Trane, Evans was trying to give the program some street creds so Holtz, Rome, May, and the like wouldn’t be spouting off on tv about how UGA wouldn’t be number one because “they never leave the Southeast.” Evans did not realize that the schedule would not bring that gang into the fold as fast as consistant wins over UF and SEC championships. The fact that the Gators never leave the Southeast and play a patsy OOC schedule seems never to have bothered the talking heads. I am sure that if UGA makes a strong run in the next couple of years the “weak schedule” will again become a talking point.