Daily Archives: September 4, 2011

Metaphor for the early season

I didn’t catch this at the game last night, thank Gawd:

Sophomore inside linebacker Alec Ogletree left the game in the second quarter with a right foot injury. Ogletree moved to the position after starting four games at safety as a freshman in 2010 and was expected to be a leading contributor this season.

The absence left the Bulldogs short on depth, with walk-on senior Jeremy Sulek receiving most of the snaps to fill in…

It’s obvious now why the coaches felt comfortable about moving Richard Samuel back to offense where his presence (seven carries for twelve yards) was so clearly needed.

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Harbor no illusions.

Richt’s right about one thing:

“And you know, a game like this there’s no question we know more about our football team than if we had played somebody that we would have beat by 40. So hopefully that will translate to us having a better idea of how to play in these types of games, and help us to see where our weaknesses are.”

Better what we saw last night than the false optimism that came out of last season’s opener.  At least this time around, these coaches and players should come out of it with an early grasp of what’s lacking.

Speaking of weaknesses, nothing scares me more right now about the South Carolina game than the right side of Georgia’s offensive line.

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Observations from the Dome: the morning after

There was much that sucked last night, obviously.  But as somebody trying to keep track of what was going on, let me just say that nothing sucked bigger than those jerseys.  I’m not talking about aesthetics; the numbers were difficult to pick up, especially at the other end of the field.  And not having the players’ names on their backs made that even worse.  Back to the drawing board, Nike.

Given that, I’m sure there was plenty I missed that I’ll try to pick up when I watch the DVR of the game.  Feel free to fill me in with your comments.

  • I thought the reason Richt elected to take the opening kick after winning the coin toss was that Bobo had scripted and honed, if not a good opening series, at least an excellent first play.  Two Bean Anderson false start penalties later, I realized I’d been had.  And not deferring really came back to bite Richt in the ass when the Broncos went on their mid-game run.
  • I suspect that Herschel Walker would make a better running back than Richard Samuel right now.
  • Did Tavarres King play last night?  How ’bout Cornelius Washington?
  • Bobo’s game plan was bizarre, to say the least.  It seemed like for much of the game, the offense played away from its strengths – speed and size advantages – and instead played right into the best part of Boise State’s defense, its line, which was everything it was billed to be.
  • I’m not sure how critical to be about Grantham.  Once Boise got going, he didn’t seem to be able to come up with an answer to the space all that shifting and movement opened up in the intermediate passing game.  And it seems like he still hasn’t figured out how to defend the veer/option stuff Florida hurt him with last year.  On the other hand, the defense clearly looked gassed by the end of the first half because the offense did so little to keep the D off the field.  The pass rush was almost non-existent.  But Boise had little success running the ball up the middle.  Call it mixed results.  I expect more from one of the highest paid coordinators in the game, though.
  • I finally thought of one area of improvement over last year, by the way:  Georgia’s third-and-long defense was much better.  Unfortunately, those situations were few and far between.
  • Early impression of the new S&C regime?  Meh.
  • Meh is also a pretty apt description of Murray’s game.  Yeah, his line did him few favors and his receiving corps pretty much boiled down to two-and-a-half players, but his throwing in the first half was erratic and for a player who claims the game has slowed down for him, he sure missed finding his share of open receivers.  And he seems beyond reluctant to take off and run, even when presented with a clear opportunity to do so.
  • Good game, Jarvis Jones.
  • Welcome, Malcolm Mitchell.  Gee, you’re fast.
  • Almost forgot to mention it, but Alec Ogletree’s injury didn’t help matters.
  • Lots of slipping and sliding on those cleats, especially early.
  • It was hard to judge Crowell last night, given that he didn’t get much help from his offensive coordinator or his offensive line.  But between him and Samuel, he’s clearly the better option running the ball.
  • Special teams weren’t worthy of the lofty preseason respect, for the most part.  Boykin didn’t have much in the way of blocking.  Walsh pulled his one long field goal attempt.  The punt return team gave up a long one (aided by what looked like a block in the back to spring the return man).  On the other hand, kickoff coverage was pretty consistent and Butler looked good.

Overall, I think I’d sum up my impressions with one simple thought:  nine months of preparation for that?  It was pretty clear which group of coaches made better use of their preseason preparation.  In short, it was a very underwhelming start to what may turn out to be Mark Richt’s swan song in Athens.

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Groundhog Day

Honestly, can anyone point to a single area of improvement from last season to tonight?  I can’t think of one.

Granted, it’s too early to give up on the season, but that was a very disappointing show we saw in the Dome.

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