Explain to me how they finished 6-6, again?

From Jerry Hinnen’s Liberty Bowl preview:

… Because while UCF might have several awfully solid players, Georgia has several All-Americans. Houston led the SEC in sacks, finished second in tackles-for-loss, and was a finalist for multiple national awards; Murray might be the only freshman quarterback in the country to have had an even more impressive season than Godfrey, posting an incredible 24-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio; and Green might be the most purely talented college receiver since Larry Fitzgerald. And even aside from their headlining stars, Georgia can boast an offensive line packed with both experience and future NFL players like senior tackle Clint Boling; dangerous skill position weapons like tight end Orson Charles and running back Washaun Ealey; maybe the nation’s best pair of specialists in punter Drew Butler and cannon-legged kicker Blair Walsh; kickoff returner Brandon Boykin, who’s taken four kicks to the house the past two seasons; two steady senior linebackers in Akeem Dent and Darryl Gamble; etc.

All of that talent means it’s something of a mystery how Georgia ever wound up at .500, though plain old bad luck in the form of poorly-timed fumbles and critical defensive breakdowns in close games — the Dawgs went 0-3 in games decided by 7 points or fewer — probably had something to do with it. Their average per-play margin of +1.2 (6.4 gained per snap, 5.2 allowed) ranked first by a wide margin in the SEC East and fourth in the conference behind the leagues’ two BCS teams and Alabama. In short, this is a team that’s been much better than their place in the SEC standings (or their Liberty berth) would indicate, and if they play to that same standard, they should have enough to overpower the less-talented Knights.

Sadly, it’s not going to surprise me if the Dawgs struggle to win tomorrow.  Even though they shouldn’t.

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61 Comments

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61 responses to “Explain to me how they finished 6-6, again?

  1. JaxDawg

    We’ll see alot of folks create all kinds of excuses in response to your post Senator, but the bottom line is coaching.

    I’ve never seen Mark Richt do less with more, just as I’ve never seen Dan Mullen do more with less. I’m not suggesting that Mullen knows more about college football or has more experience, it’s that he is able to get more out of his players. Same can be said of both staffs.

    We’ll see what next year holds but I can guaran-f*cking-tee you that it’s Richt put up or shut up year.

    • Hackerdog

      Coaching may play a part. But you can’t seriously believe that Richt, or Bobo, or any other coach works with the running backs on promoting fumbling.

      I think when the answer is hard, like it is here, people just want the easy answer of, “It’s Richt’s fault.”

  2. Go Dawgs!

    I’m fully prepared to be trailing at halftime. It’s just the Georgia way. But we’ll win the game.

  3. gatriguy

    How did they finish 6-6? Game management, pure and simple. A decade into the job, and Richt still coaches as if he has no clue as to how a game is developing.

  4. Dawgfan17

    I don’t think I have ever seen a team that had every key play go against it. USCe, fumble inside 5 with the chance to tie it, Arkansas, chance to win it with less than a minute, punt, Arkansas quick TD game over. Miss State, see USCe game, Colorado chance to kick game winning fg, can’t make simple exchange between qb and rb, fumble game over, UF big comeback to get it to OT, Int, game over. That is 5 games with a good chance of winning in the 4th quarter and UGA failed to make the plays they needed to. Next year will be very similar to this year. We will have about 6 games we win pretty handily and have no problems with. There will also be about 6 games where a key play here or there will decide the game. Make those plays in 4 of the 6 games and we are a ten win team again and back in the hunt for the SECCG. Don’t make those few key plays and it will be back to another crappy bowl and I seriously doubt Richt would survive again. Hopefully a year more experience for Murray will lead to a few of those needed plays in the 4th quarter(and OT) and a second year in the 3-4 will lead to a few more.

    • Brandon

      Solid perspective. Look at Auburn, they are the same way, a lot of easy wins and a lot of close ones where a key play or two decided the outcome. They came up heads in their close games like we came up tails in ours. The line between winning and losing is very slim, if we could stop hemorraging points in big games we could reduce or number of close games from 6 to 2-4, that drastically improves your odds of having a good season.

    • Macallanlover

      I agree with you, and feel we will win but struggle with another mobile QB….we always have. Be careful about pointing out how close we came to having a 9-3 season and how there may have been some player accountability involved. It was the entire team that fell short, not just the players, and not just the coaches. We need a bounce-back year, but I just don’t see us having a real big year in 2011. Looks like 8-4 or 9-3 to me, plus or minue one is certainly possible. All of that will keep the pot stirred on CMR.

      • gastr1

        A fair number of rather weak players on defense results in losses because of the inability to stop matchups being exploited in key situations.

        • Macallanlover

          And that is what concerns me the most; it isn’t that we are losing so much talent on defense from this year, it is the lack of seeing the next group being any better. I knew we were losing a lot from last year with 3 physical DL guys leaving, and a MLB that was a tackling machine sideline to sideline, so I expected the problems with getting “out-physicaled”. And with a new coordinator and alignment, you expected some mistakes/confusion, but man we were terrible all year….and it didn’t matter if the opponents were running it or throwing it.

          Granted, it was own ignorance of what we would do, but I expected an aggressive, swarming defense that attacked on every play. Like a jet fighter with two missles on every wing, I expected one of the ILBs to attack, with a speed rush, the guard opposite of which way the NG slanted on every play. I felt the two OLBs to blitz often and disrupt wide plays. And I certainly didn’t see how we could not improve our pass coverage with DBs. We still gave the safe 5-8 cushion on short throws, while managing to get beat deep when the receiver turned it up field.

          I am not being silly and calling for CTG’s head, I understand we should get better with experience in the new system. What worries me is it didn’t seem to be a season where we made a lot of mistakes by being out of position, we just sat back and read while we waited for the play to come to us. That just isn’t going to work. I hope I am wrong, but this off-season I hope a post-mortem is done on what we did that needs overhauling before next year. We play many of those same offenses again, plus add Boise’s voodoo magic in for good measure.

  5. Will Trane

    Talented. Yeah. Mentally and physically prepared and dedicated for the full 60 minute ride. Nope. They just do not have that “let’s beat the hell out of this team and find another.” Or, “I want to hammer somebody”.

    Not these guys, they want to do the least they can do, and then hunt for an excuse why they lost, got beat on a play, or fumbled. Provided they are not trying to hide some school or traffic violation. Nope. These guys play like 5th graders on a rec field.

    They need to mature mentally and physically. Have pride and determination in their craft.

    • Joe

      Good point,
      When are we going to come out and hammer another team from start to finish? I remember the Miami vs Texas in 1990? or 91? Miami’s attitude was, we hate it here, lets whip the crap out of this team and get out of here as fast as possible.

    • Dawgwalker07

      I agree with you to an extent, but there’s definitely one player who hasn’t been making excuses. Aaron Murray (Per ESPN):

      “I’ve never been into individual numbers or records,” Murray said. “The thing that will stick with me about this season is that we didn’t win enough games. I came here to win championships. That’s how you’re measured.”

      If that attitude spreads to even half the team, we’ll be in a lot better shape.

    • JaxDawg

      ie, coaching and motivation. It’s stale in Athens and change is inevitable.

    • 69Dawg

      +1 Will Watching UGA play the last two years has been painful. Even when we win we look like it was an accident. A team that depends on an offense that needs great execution is doomed when minor things go wrong. We can not win/outscore our opponents with a lousy defense and forget the stats our Defense was lousy. FINISH THE DRILL my butt defensively we did not finish any close games (except Tech). Our D looked lost the entire year yet other teams changed schemes and looked ok. Mississippi State changed and they kicked butt. We’ll see what happens next year at UF when they change both Offensive and defensive schemes, what to bet by the time we play them they kick our butts again.

  6. Brandon

    Crappy defense, turnovers in key situations.

  7. hailtogeorgia

    Well, according to Marcus in the other thread, it was because of Aaron Murray.

    • Macallanlover

      Any chance Lemay’s dad/brother/uncle is named Marcus?

      • hailtogeorgia

        You know, I was really considering that sort of thing. If you read what he was writing, it was so preposterous I was beginning to think he had to have some sort of agenda. I mean how can anyone be blaming this season on Murray?

  8. Ant123

    Dawgfan17 you make a lot of sense.

  9. David

    I keep reading that Glenn, and Boling along with Sturdivant are NFL prospects, the best guards in the draft, etc. Never once at any time in their careers have I felt like we could get behind that line and have them dominate a game. They never got a consistent push in any meaningful games. Maybe they’re good pass blockers, although it never seemed taht was the case either. The bottom line is we’re soft up front on both sides of the ball. We get dominated in the trenches and that’s why we lose. Being loaded at the skill positions doesn’t mean squat if you can’t establish control of the line. Hopefully the changes in the S&C program will pay off because that’s the weakness of this team.

    • Russ

      They never got a push in a non-meaningful game. I remember failing to punch it in against ULAF in the first game.

    • JaxDawg

      Illustration number FING ONE: watch three Gator defenders slash through our “NFL” oline and force Murray to hurry the pass which equaled the interception.

      NICE WEAK ASS OLINE. Big soft p*ssies.

      • That’s the play that makes me wonder what Sturdivant is thinking about.

      • Castleberry

        Outstanding – I don’t know what’s worse – that all three guys on a three man rush got through or that they got to Murray before Verne could even call it a three man rush.

        • Castleberry

          or – if you’re from the excuse making school of thought…

          If Florida had been called for a PF on either cheap shot they put on TKing 4:14 or 4:20 in the video – they would have started their OT out of field goal range.

          • mike

            That clip showed the reason we were 6-6, because there was/is in my perspective, one guy that cared this season and it’s Aaron Murray. I love that guy. If Stafford had half his heart we would have been national champs during his time there.

  10. Normaltown Mike

    “dangerous skill position weapons like tight end Orson Charles and running back Washaun Ealey”

    Is he watching tape from 2009?

    I’ll grant you that Ealey was dangerous, but to Georgia, not our opponents. What’s more, Orson was far less successful this year than last, reflecting how poor our OL, rushing and play action game operated this year.

    “two steady senior linebackers in Akeem Dent and Darryl Gamble”

    Steady? Ok. If you expect your LB’s to play like Brandon Miller and Adrian Holingshed, then “steady” will do. But this is one of the positions that Georgia should have playmakers year in and year out. For several yrs, somebody at Butts-Mehre lost the ability to analyze prep Safeties and LB’s b/c our production at the position has disappeared. I hope the coaching changes on D will change this. I really really really hope it was the old coaches and not our “Recruiting Coordinator” that fumbled the evaluation at these positions.

    • hailtogeorgia

      What’s more, Orson was far less successful this year than last, reflecting how poor our OL, rushing and play action game operated this year.

      Que? 2009: 23 rec, 374 yds, 16.3 avg, 44 long, 3 TD
      2010: 24 rec, 403 yds, 16.8 avg, 36 long, 2 TD

      • JBJ

        Yea don’t let statistics get in the way. This is what I was getting at with the Bobo comment about Murray. That statistics just don’t support the statements.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Ok, I’ll play “Gotcha”.

        From Georgiadogs.com: In 2009 Orson: “Appeared in 12 games making three starts with 23 receptions for 374 yards and two touchdowns.” Per ESPN, had only one game in 2009 (UT) where he “Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.”

        The QB throwing to OC in ’09, was 185/331 for 2584 55.9% 24 TD 15 INT and a QB rating of 136.33

        In 2010 OC started 12 games and the QB throwing to him in 2010 was 188/304 for 2851 yards 61.8% 24 TD to 6 INT’s and a QB rating of 162.72.

        Also, had 2 games (UK and ARK) where he failed to make a stat in 2010.

        Duplicating numbers from a promising freshman year (mostly as a reserve) for a Sophomore starter is not improvement. As I said, his numbers are symptoms of other problems on offense, not b/c he stinks.

        Look at it like this: If Tebow starts every game for Denver next year and he completes 54% of his passes for a QB rating of 100.7, he’ll be tarred and feathered, even though he’s getting nice press for those same numbers as a rookie starter.

        • hailtogeorgia

          We’ll agree to disagree. He wasn’t mostly as a reserve last year. He may have been a reserve on paper, but he was the go to guy. Look at White’s stats.

    • Dawgwalker07

      “For several yrs, somebody at Butts-Mehre lost the ability to analyze prep Safeties and LB’s b/c our production at the position has disappeared.”

      You do realize that Akeem Dent had 122 tackles this year right? (Which, for the record, is MORE than Rennie had last year when he had 116). Additionally, Rambo had 76 tackles, 3 ints, and 3 forced fumbles.

      I agree that up until this year our lb and safety production had been lacking outside of Curran, but I think it’s safe to say that trend reversed this year.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Somebody has to make a tackle (ask Keith Brooking).

        Akeem’s a nice player. I just believe we should expect more. Certain positions are plentiful in the south. LB and Safety are 2. The current group doesn’t measure up to the level of play of most of our starters for the past 12 yrs (I’m not counting Houston as a LB).

        • Dawgwalker07

          I understand that someone has to make the tackle but my point is that perhaps we haven’t had poor player recruiting but poor Player development. Before this year would anyone have guessed Dent was going to have this type of a season? I think that’s more of a testament to coaching than anything. Yes our current batch hasn’t been what we have had, but I’m willing to put the responsibility for that on some coaches who are no longer affiliated with the program.

          Sorry if that sounds redundant. It’s hard to type on my phone in a car repair shop waiting room without having my brain go numb.

  11. GreenDawg

    This quote sounds like a big indictment against the defense. Look at the players he mentions. Houston is first and is undoubtedly a star. After that it is all offensive players(save the kickers) until he gets to Dent and Gamble, who he says are “steady”. Far from spectacular. This defense simply lacks big playmakers. Maybe that’s a Willie hangover and more will surface next year. We sorely need it.

  12. Bad M

    1) Teach the corners to stop biting on the play action. They shouldn’t be playing the run. Safeties, I’ll give you, but corners?!
    2) Let Boykin or Smith return some punts. They will break a couple and that will change a game.
    3) Design some play-action RUNS Or Zone Reads for Murray. He can run (use this asset for more than just busted plays) and this will open up the middle for the RB’s.
    4) MOST important. Figure out what is
    going on with 3rd and long def! That’s the ball game right there.

    4)

    • hailtogeorgia

      1) I’m much more worried about the safeties biting on the play action than I am the cornerbacks.
      2) Smith does return punts. In fact, he’s our leading punt returner. He missed several games due to concussions, which is why you didn’t see more of him.
      3) We use plenty of play-action fakes. If you look at many of our runs, Murray regularly assumes a passing position after handing the ball off for just this reason. There was some zone read stuff used, but with an offensive line playing like ours was, it’s a bit more difficult than you might think.
      4) Agreed.

      • Bad M

        1) If you watch the tape, the corners are the ones biting on the play action during some of the big game losing plays. Just no reason for it. Safeties have to make that call, so yes they will make mistakes. Corners need to just play their man.
        2) I’m saying, stop putting Logan back there. Smith can fair catch. If not, teach him. But he’d have half a dozen more 20-30 yard returns and more 1 or 2 more TD’s if given every punt. That’s at least one more field goal a game.
        3) I don’t mean play action passes. We were sick with that. Let him run the ball. Not often. Just enough. That way the Def can’t crash in on the RB. The DE will have to keep outside containment just in case Murray runs it, opening up the inside. That’s why the spread has been successful. It gives the def another guy to account for. He’s fast. Let him be fast.

        • Mark Richt

          1) Depends on cvg. In cover 2, corners are responsible for run support on the edges.
          2) No arguments there.
          3) Agreed again. I wish we’d do more PA rollout. You can either run 2 or 3 receivers to flood that side. If pass not open, tuck it for 3 yds. Murray excels on the edge, IMO.

          • Macallanlover

            Will always wonder how much impact ZM’s departure had on limiting Murray’s running this season. We had a QB battle after Spring, but entered summer camp with a strong need to make sure AM stayed healthy.

  13. jermaine's dye

    We are becoming the Ghost of Bloated Florida State Entitlement Attitude Bowl Season Past…

  14. Russ

    We’ll definitely struggle, and if UCF is clicking and we’re not, we can get beat. Simple as that.

    I’d love to lay 40-50 on them, and we may. However, I’m more worried they’ll do the same to us.

  15. The Watergirl

    I have always been a fan of Richt, but if we lose 3 out of 5: Drew, Jenkins, Crowell, Wright, or Rome and it is a another dud recruiting season how can we expect better than 8-4 next season??
    Richt always talks about SEC championships while other schools are talking about winning NC, and I have always thought with the resources UGA has we set out goals way to low!!
    Top 5 recruiting class and top 10 in final poll or goodbye Richt and staff!
    Throw every dime we have at Peterson and get a guy who can energize the program!!

    • Russ

      I have no problem with setting the goal as the SECCG. The road to the MNC passes through Atlanta.

      I get your point, though. I’m just pointing out the counter argument that says focus on a step at a time, which is winning the SEC East, then the SECCG, then the BCS CG.

  16. JBJ

    Here is an interesting point I was thinking about. I know it has only been a few weeks since Joe T was placed at S&C coach. However, I am wondering if we will see an improvement in the attitude of the team? From what I have read, Joe T is a real fiery guy. I wonder if he is already starting to impact the mentality of the team. I know it is still early, but could be something to watch out for tomorrow.

  17. JaxDawg

    It’s the coaching, stupid.

  18. Robert K Burnham

    Coaching !!

  19. Robert K Burnham

    Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if we lose this game, and if we do, it will be because of lousy coaching and poor preparation , not the play of the players.
    I hope I am wrong . A fish rots from the head .

  20. 69Dawg

    The troubling thing about this team and the last few years is that we keep hearing from the players that they need to focus, we lost focus well I can tell you that that is coaching. Nothing brings things into focus more than a coaches foot up your butt. I think Mark Richt is a good man and I also think that he is a total wuss when it comes to effective discipline. I know he suspends players for everything under the sun but it doesn’t seem to be working out too well for him (11 preseason arrests 3 more during the season, academic suspensions for bowl game.). I have said it before and I will say it again use the military model for discipline. If a player screws up punish the whole team. You want accountability watch how fast the group gets tired of punishment and how quick the offender gets the ramifications explained to him by the team enforcers. It’s almost too simple a system for educators to understand but it works well and it works fast. Starting after the bowl the new rules should be put in force. I guarantee that any player that causes his team punishment will be asking the ACCPD to keep him in jail rather than face the team.

  21. M

    The coaches DID NOT fumble the dad-burn ball.

  22. adam

    Yet we were never hesitant to let Shock run it on reads and draws in 2005. Didnt have a real backup QB then either.