Ah, hell: observations from the 35, South Carolina edition

I walked out of the Georgia Dome a week ago angry.  Last night I walked out frustrated.  Is that how we measure improvement with this Georgia team now?  If you’re Mark Richt, I doubt it matters.  It shouldn’t matter, anyway.

It’s good, of course, that the Dawgs looked immensely better prepared against South Carolina than they did against Boise State.  Steve Spurrier isn’t going to be mocking Todd Grantham about how to defend the read option.  Mike Bobo shocked the hell out of me with some terrific adjustments in the second half.  And the onside kick was a beautiful, beautiful call.

But as that onside kick demonstrated, preparation isn’t everything.  There’s the little matter of execution.  And that’s why Georgia wakes up 0-2 this morning.

On to the specifics I saw on a bright, sunny afternoon.

  • No worries on the crowd, which was supportive and loud when it was supposed to be.  (The back-and-forth nature of the game certainly helped.)  There was a complete absence of negativity in the section around me, which is rare.  The strange moment came after the Murray fumble put the Gamecocks up by ten late and Georgia responded with its last score – the Dawg fans were leaving in a steady stream and the South Carolina fans had begun their celebration.  Suddenly everybody had to pay attention to the game again.
  • Mike Bobo probably doesn’t want to hear this from me, but the offense looks so much more comfortable operating out of the I-formation than it does out of the spread shotgun set.  The biggest difference is the blocking.  Both Figgins and Ogletree were very good in that department.
  • Speaking of the “I”, me loves that pass play to Figgins out of the backfield.  It’s like stealing.
  • There are a lot of things you can point to as the difference in the game, but Georgia botching a short field goal attempt and South Carolina nailing a 49-yarder was as big there as it was unexpected.
  • The officiating crew sucked, but it was more a matter of benign neglect than it was active malice on Wagers’ part.  I think they got every major call of the game correct, even though some were close.  But there was a ton of holding and blocking in the back that was ignored throughout the game.
  • I’m willing to chalk up the level of Richard Samuel’s involvement in the offense to making sure that Isaiah Crowell was given the opportunity to become acclimated to the pace and power of D-1 football, but I think it’s fair to say he’s up to speed now.  He should be getting 25 touches a game from here on out, or Bobo’s cheating himself.
  • Bean Anderson played much, much better yesterday.  Maybe there was something to those jerseys.
  • I can see why Geathers starts ahead of Jenkins.  His technique is much more consistent.  That late big run by Lattimore that went up the middle was the result of Jenkins getting turned out of the play.  The good news is that should be correctable over time.
  • By the way, in case anybody didn’t notice, Lattimore is one helluva running back.
  • When’s the last time Georgia had a return duo as dynamic as Boykin and Smith?  Boykin’s not a threat to break something every time he has the ball.  But he is a threat every time he gets some blocking.
  • Walsh wasn’t perfect on field goals, but he was awesome on kickoffs.  Touchbacks, kicks that were high enough to support the coverage and that gorgeous onside kick – it was the entire package out there.
  • That Melvin Ingram TD run on the fake punt felt like it took forever.  (That call, in response to the onside kick, was pure Spurrier.)
  • This just in:  Alshon Jeffery is huge.
  • It’s not that Aaron Murray has regressed this season, but he hasn’t gotten better.  He’s holding the ball too long too often.  It’s why South Carolina killed him when Georgia got in the shotgun set.  The game-killing fumble resulted from Ellis Johnson sending the house from a 10-man defensive front – no way every defender gets blocked on a play like that, yet Murray didn’t adjust and then made matters worse by trying to make something happen after Clowney got his hands on him.
  • The other problem Murray has is inconsistent mechanics, some of which is no doubt the result of the crap getting beat out of him in the shotgun set.  He delivered some beautiful throws, including the last TD pass to King when he had the time and, more importantly, took the time to set his feet properly.
  • Kudos to Bobo for the play design on that scoring drive over the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth that wound up tying the score at 28.  Quick passes out of no-huddle let the offense get into an effective rhythm (and maybe didn’t give Murray a chance to think too much).  It also didn’t give the defense the time to get to Murray.  If you’re married to the shotgun spread, Mike, more of that, please.
  • Georgia ran the wheel route!  And it would have worked, too, if Murray had made a better throw over the defender who was beat.
  • I’m surprised at the criticism I saw in the after-game comments about the tackling.  From where I sat yesterday, it’s much improved over the debacle of last year.  Of course, maybe that’s small praise, now that I think about it.

I don’t want to say that I’m imbued with a sense of optimism as I type this, but I can’t say there aren’t grounds for hope, at least, based on what I saw yesterday.  Georgia’s got plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball and on special teams.  Coaching wasn’t as dogmatic as it had been in the opener; maybe that’s born of desperation, but so what?  If they can harness all that, there’s plenty of winning ball to be played yet, especially with the way the schedule lightens up over the next five weeks.

Indeed, I thought Georgia was the more talented team last night, although not the better one in the end.  And that, too, may be the result of desperation.  The Dawgs, say what you will about ‘em, don’t have any quit, as that last touchdown showed.  But sometimes – too many times yesterday – there’s a fine line between not quitting and recklessness.  That’s why Georgia lost a game which it should have won comfortably.  And that’s why I can’t take much comfort from the good things I saw from the boys in red and black yesterday.

Ironically, what I did take as a source of optimism yesterday was South Carolina’s play.  If that’s the best team in the East, then the East really is a mess this season.  On defense, they blitz effectively, but nothing else really stood out.  Georgia was able to run on them out of the “I” and took advantage of the open spaces that were left open in the passing game when SC blitzed.  Teams that are more coherent with their offense **cough**Bobby Petrino**cough** are going to shred the ‘Cocks.  And on offense, they’ve got two supreme talents in Lattimore and Jeffery, a competent offensive line and not much more.  For all the crap being thrown in Grantham’s direction last night and this morning, Garcia was very meh yesterday.  I don’t think he completed 50% of his passes.  And the receivers outside of Jeffery won’t scare anybody.  This isn’t a team that looks dominant by any means.

So, yeah, if that’s the best the East has to offer, Georgia’s not out of it yet if the Dawgs can get their act together.  You may feel that’s unlikely, but it’s not impossible.

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91 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

91 responses to “Ah, hell: observations from the 35, South Carolina edition

  1. Marshall

    I’m with you, Senator. Definitely some causes for optimism. One disagreement–I think Murray has regressed. I truly felt like he cost us the game.

    Super impressed w/ defense, special teams, and playcalling.

    And as you said last night, that wasn’t coaching, schemes, or playcalling–it was lack of execution. You can lay the fake punt on the coaches but not the other 21 points.

    This can still be a really good team!

    • Dave

      If you see mental mistakes one game out of twelve, I would say you can’t lay it on the coaches. When you see it almost every game for years, I think you have some more fundamental questions to answer than just chalking it up to stupid mistakes on the part of 18-22 yr old men. The one thing we all talked about was the desire to see a complete game. We have yet to come close. Was this better than being completely dominated by Boise? Absolutely. Is that improvement? Yes, by a lot. Is it close to our best? For our sake, I hope not.

      • Matt R

        But the guys really have to start putting it together from the standpoint of being mentally ready for anything that comes. That’s coaching, but it’s like the point being made that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. This team just needs to believe in itself. Coaches cannot give that to the players. They’ve got to ‘knock the lid off’ again.

        There were times in the ball game that we looked like a machine(!). And then we dork it up for one play and see what happens. I hope we look back at this game, later in the year, and say, we just let that one get away and/or we would have won that ballgame if we played then like we are playing now.

        Flashes of brilliance interspersed with collapses of epic proportions.

        Also, remember, your biggest improvements come from game 1 to game 2.

  2. Dax

    IF we weren’t offsides on the onside kick we go up two scores at the half and get the ball first to start the 3rd quarter. Self inflicting wounds killed us. Bright spots I take away from the game are Boykin left it all out on the field yesterday, great effort, Crowell ran strong(I know, I know the fumble), Mitchell looks like our next big playmaker at receiver, and how about the catch Michael Bennett made. Trying to stay positive as hard as that is to be right now.

  3. simpl_matter

    I agree, what I saw yesterday gave me lots of hope. I think we gel and only get tougher on both sides of the ball. Tempering my hopes to climb back into the East race is SC’s remaining schedule. Their draw may be even easier than ours.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I’m not so sure about that. USCe has to play Miss State, Auburn and Arkansas from the other side. They get Miss State and Arkansas away.

  4. zdub

    I agree with the last bit, Senator. We were the better team, but once again those horrible turnovers at crucial times did us in. Don’t commit those and we would be leading the East. Some people put that on the coaches, but I know they’ve taught Murray to tuck the ball when being sacked. He tried to be a hero and this morning’s he’s the goat.

    Murray started slow but once they changed the plays he was lights out. He hasn’t gotten better from last year, but he still could, especially with weaker opponents coming up (but don’t sleep on Ole Miss).

    Crowell played great. Safe to say he should start now as we won’t see a D that good in the next couple of weeks. Needs to continue improving with his blocking, but hell we’re 0-2, let the kid learn by doing and in the next few years he’ll be completely prepared. But maybe those weaker Ds are a chance for Samuel to learn how to lower his pads when he runs. He looked like he was running on hot coals yesterday, just straight up most of the time. That will lead to fumbles later when teams see it on film and plan for it. Still, he caught some passes and ran hard, so I’ll give him some credit.

    The Oline looked better, but still average. Loved the run blocking but whenever we’re in a passing down I cringe knowing that Murray will more than likely be put on his ass.

    The D gave up 24. Didn’t play great, but didn’t play badly. Need to make stops when the game is on the line and they did not do that. I’m willing to give Grantham the rest of the year to do better with that (and 3rd and long), but I’m not too confident that he will.

    Special teams is indeed special in a good way. Boykin needs blockers and he’ll go. Only complaint is Smith and the muffed punt that could have been a huge turnover. If you’re going to let the ball hit the ground just give up on it, Branden. You’re already at a disadvantage if you don’t catch it in the air, so just let it go.

    And another thing I noticed was that the team really fed off of its own energy yesterday. They didn’t look nearly as gassed as they did against Boise. I saw some tired guys, sure, but they continued playing at a high level which I love seeing. Gutting it out in the 4th quarter will help us win big games down the road.

    • Dave

      The D gave up 17, not 24. You could theoretically say 20, but I count a 4 yard drive as 7, not 3.

    • Dave

      Also, our defense still collapsed late in the game when we need them the most. Gassed or not, this has been the trend. Our offense has sparked late more than once (see Ark last year), but the defense isn’t holding up.

      • Cojones

        Overall, D had a really good game. The letdown at the last was nearly all on Lattimore who made it count. Yeah, we were battling tired, but that was the game winner we are talking about. Overall, there is no general criticism of the D. The line was 100% better than in the Boise game.

        • Cojones

          And I did mean to give a “Great play, Dawg” to Rambo. Saw some licks put on by the D and one was on Lattimore(I think it was Commings). The D player had a staggering headache as he went to the sidelines.

          • Cojones

            zdub-Guess we broke even on our bet last night. I’m interested in what you see for your odds before we get to the rest of our SEC games. I was worried about Miss St as you are, but not from what I saw with Aub yesterday. I really think that this team from last night can beat all of them. We will see. Didn’t disagree with anything you and the Senator said in your mini-reviews. You both are getting me pumped beyond my good feeling of this team. Hope we are correct.

  5. heyberto

    Fantastic analysis Senator. I definitely feel more optimistic about our season and didn’t think I could walk away from a loss to SC feeling that way. I heard a lot of people in my section griping about Richt as we left, and I just couldn’t understand that after this game. If Murray doesn’t fumble and we score on that drive, Richt is a hero. I guess I just don’t have patience for those who can’t evaluate what they’re seeing. These are people who want change for the sake of change, and I’m not convinced that the upheaval associated with a coaching change is worth it…..at least not yet.

    • LineBacker

      People are going to complain about Richt, even if we had shut them down the whole game and hung 50 on them. Trust me, an acquaintance of mine on Facebook was going overboard the whole time, even when we were in the lead and looking pretty darn good. As for me, I’m still behind CMR and if yesterday was an indication of the changes being made, I’m looking at things as the “glass half full”.

      • heyberto

        Yeah, I’m in the same place, generally speaking. I don’t mean to suggest that It’s not ok to criticize Richt, or want him gone.. I just don’t think those people were really watching what was happening, or just chose to disregard it. That just irks me because it seems to come out of their own ignorance.

    • Cojones

      Welcome back, heyberto. Good calls and “Me too” with the Senator.

  6. baltimore dawg

    jarvis jones is a hell of a player. a bigger rennie who’s better in pass coverage. he made or was in on several tackles from the back side where all the play side defenders were covered up. that’s great effort.

    on the other hand, he also over-ran a lot of running plays to the middle of the line and consistently allowed lattimore to break the run back outside of him.

    how many sec games can the eventual eastern division champ lose, do you think? i think we’ll likely lose at least 2 more sec games.

    • Cojones

      I felt earlier that Miss St would be the only game to fear, but after their game with “Horseshoe Aub”, think we can beat all of them. Who are the likely two in your book?

      • baltimore dawg

        auburn and florida. but since we simply don’t know how to win right now, msu and ut seem highly losable to me also. but maybe we’ll get a bit better.

  7. Dave

    Very well said – in complete agreement. I would add Jarvis Jones looks like one of our best defenders, if not the best.

  8. Vincent

    Good analysis. From this eternal pessimist here are my thoughts:

    The Good News: Georgia looked like the more talented, motivated , and frankly better team

    Bad News: they found a way to lose anyway

    To use a line from my father in law, this shouldn’t have even been close. But that’s what happens when you gift wrap 28 points to a team. I hope that the huge mental errors are simply due to inexperience NOT from a team that simply can’t focus for a full 60 minutes of football or that has simply forgotten how to win. There’s enough talent and desire out there to beat anyone, I’ll say this for the guys: they don’t quit; but there still is the pattern from over the last few years of mental mistakes at the worst possible times. It’s almost like they could be a great team if they just got out of their own way.

    We’ll see which way the team goes from here but i will say as the resident pessimist i’m ironically more encouraged here at 0-2 then when we were 0-1.

    In addition:

    Uniforms looked awesome!
    Isaiah Crowell looked even better
    Nike Pro Combat is the devil in two weeks they’ve manged to butcher three of the most iconic uniforms in CFB: us, Michigan, and Notre Dame
    Need to stop trend of losing close games
    Need to stop trend of losing to ranked opponents
    Need to stop trend of defense not being able to get stops when we NEED them

    • Silver Creek Doug

      Meatchicken and Notre Lame are Adidas schools.

      No Pro Combat there…

      • Vincent

        stop letting stupid things like facts get in the way of a good narrative ;) but yes i forgot that Adidas sponsors those schools. so i’ll broaden my statement to f&*k all alternate uniforms

    • Cojones

      I had 3tds and 1fg for a total of 24 gifted points. No doubt UGA was the better team and that everyone in the SEC will play us as that team. They couldn’t miss how great this team can be, this year and next.

      • Vincent

        i didn’t count the missed field goal. I had the 21 points off turnovers and the special teams debacle but either way tomato tomahto.

  9. Spence

    Good points, all of them. I don’t know if I can forgive Bobo for abandoning the I on those third and shorts in the first quarter.

    Bobo is turning into that friend that gets WAY too drunk everytime you go out. You could forgive him if it were once in a while but you kinda just know it will happen everytime, and everytime something stupid and bad is going to go down. That said, Bobo did a nice(r) job later in the game when they started stacking the box.

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Aaron Murray is a little excitable, a la Joe Cox. I didn’t play much football, but I thought a cool headed QB might have eaten the ball on the climactic fumble, maybe knowing the defense hadn’t stopped him for a while, and maybe also knowing that he’s a small critter who isn’t going to get away from anyone. The emotion is what gets him in an unstoppable zone sometimes, but he’s going to have to learn to fold the hand too.

    I don’t know what to say about the coaching. Pre-game I said I’d know better today. My first thought post game was that when there’s consistent problems in an organization, there’s something more than bad karma at work, and that winners find ways to win games like that. I was more anti Richt last night than last Saturday. But you guys and the rest of the world are talking me out of it.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Murray definitely should have covered up and just taken the sack. Sometimes you just have to eat the ball.

  11. The Life of Reilly

    So Carolina must lose TWO games amongst (Vandy, Auburn, UK, at Miss State, at UT, at Arky, UF) with UGA not losing ANY of these games (at Ole Miss, Miss State, at UT, at Vandy, UF, Auburn, UK). And if UGA does lose just one of those games Carolina must lose an additional game. Sorry Senator, UGA is out of the SEC east race before the season even got going. 8 months of waiting and the main goals of the season are over in 14 days.

    • TennesseeDawg

      Arky will beat uSC. Auburn, Florida, MSU and even Tennessee could beat uSC on a given Saturday. Not completely out of the question.

    • GeorgetownDawg

      The loser of the UGA/SC game has never won the East. And we can pretty much count on turning the ball over 4 times to UF – we have the past three years.

    • You’d make a helluva coach, friend. Two games in and give up.

      For the record, based on what I saw yesterday, I think SC loses three conference games. Of course, if Georgia doesn’t step it up, that won’t matter.

      • The Life of Reilly

        I’m not trying to be a coach. I’m a consumer and currently this product is not living up to its promise.

        • Well, then perhaps it’s time for you to buy another product.

          • The Life of Reilly

            I am looking to buy another product, it is called a Non-Richt coached UGA program.

            • Maybe the Dawgs won’t disappoint you by winning too many games this season.

              • The Life of Reilly

                Cute and predictable response. The old ad hominem attack. Sorry to mess up your response but If we win out I will be elated, but the only thing that will disappoint me this season now is if this season finishes like the last two and Richt still has his job.

                • Hogbody Spradlin

                  That’s not an ad hominem. That’s reductio ad absurdum, and spot on too.

                  • The Life of Reilly

                    Really? What is the absurd consequence that is being brought out here?

                    • NCT

                      It wasn’t ad hominem, because the Senator’s response did not attack your person but went directly to the point you raised about desiring Richt’s dismissal. He reduced your proposition (a Richtless UGA is desirable) to its absurd consequence: for Richt to be dismissed, UGA has to lose sufficiently, which in most Bulldog quarters is not desirable. Hogbody is a clever dude.

                    • The Life of Reilly

                      I don’t know why there isn’t a “reply” link underneath NCT’s reply, but I will respond here by saying that there wasn’t an element of an attack of my person as a UGA fan by the Senator in his response to me.

                    • The Life of Reilly

                      Damn, I mis-typed. I meant to say that you can’t deny that there WAS an element of an attack on my person as a UGA fan based on the Senator’s response to me.

                    • NCT

                      I can; I do. But I also recognize that losing football games is bad enough, and the “sport” of poking back and forth among fellow fans isn’t a lot of fun for me. Latin and logic and rhetoric are fun, though, which is why I was weak when I should’ve stayed out if it. People need to get through these times the best way they can, I suppose, even if I think they’re doing it wrong. Cheers.

                    • The Life of Reilly

                      NCT, I understand. I don’t intend to engage in the sport of picking fights with fellow fans. I believe that when the program is 14 and 14 in the last 28 games fuses get short. I fear that the fanbase is hurdling towards another Ray Goff like rift but in this case it will be worse because Richt is much more liked than Goff was. And if I learned anything about Goff was that the program wasted years debating whether to fire him and it took years to recover when swift action would have at the least brought the fanbase back together quicker under a new coach.

          • Carolinadawg

            Inappropriate, Senator.

          • JaxDawg

            that’s bullshit Senator and you know it. Saying that someone should change teams if they’re not satisfied with the play is way way way beneath an astute guy like you.

      • The Life of Reilly

        Also, you know the season is in trouble when you are already trying to find losses on the other team’s schedule in week two. Wow, UGA’s fate is already out of their hands at it is week two. In good years we usually have to wait till the UF loss to get to this point.

        • simpl_matter

          “In good years…”

          IMO, good years are measured by realistically assessing the team on the field and the growth/effort that team achieves over the season. I want to see a team that’s growing and getting better, I saw that last night. It can still be a good year.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      I’m with Blutarsky. Reilly speaks with too much certainty.

  12. TennesseeDawg

    I agree. Murray hasn’t seemed to progress. He still uses some sandlot throws and has done a poor job making adjustments at the line. No excuse for that fumble. We definatly need more of the “I”. Figgins is a weapon both blocking and receiving we are not using enough. Crowell does a great job waiting for the hole to develop then blasting thru it at full speed. uSC is not unbeatable and in the strange SEC East anything is still possible.

  13. The Life of Reilly

    Also, this growing spin coming out of this game that is trying to save Richt’s job is really pathetic. Did the team look better prepared and play with more energy this week compared to last? Yes, but that isn’t the only measurable for Richt. At the end of the year, the only thing that matters is wins and losses not improvements from one week to the next.

    • Don’t know if that comment is directed towards me, but if it is, you need to read my post more carefully. I sure don’t look on yesterday’s loss as a job saver.

      • The Life of Reilly

        It isn’t. I noticed that some people in this thread of indicated that last night’s play has made them reconsider their once anti-richt stance.

        • Cojones

          There wasn’t anything anti-Richt about last night’s game. Your anti-Richt spin has too many holes in it for you not to have written that reply before the game. I’ll put you down as a “harpy” or dead-horse beater.

  14. Sick but Still Faithful

    I think somebody is holding the reins back on Murray a lot of the time. Like zdub said he ‘started slow but then was lights out.’ Yes he screwed up with that late fumble, but when he was hot, he was red hot. And he ran tough as nails.

    He started the same way last year. Slow and questionable the first couple or three games, but once he was set free he excelled. I think our Staff is trying to micro-manage now. Unless I’m mistaken I hardly ever remember seeing a MR coached offense look to the sideline for the call. I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet. I do think that Murray has the potential to be great, but you can tell a big difference in the play of comfortable Murray and uncomfortable Murray.

  15. Zdawg

    Reilly, the cocks can lose two of those games. No margin of error for the dawns tho. We are going to need some luck.

    I really thought we blew our chance to win in the first half when settling for three field goal attempts. Garcia was out of sync and a touchdown would of put pressure on him.

  16. Sanford222view

    I feel much better this Sunday than last. This game is on the players. More specifically Murray. That pick six was a horrible throw. The receiver was open and Murray threw it several feet behind him. Then his carelessness with the ball on the last fumble. He couldn’t even complete a screen pass to Crowell in the first quarter. He missed another pass over the middle to an open receiver in the first half by throwing behind the receiver. I am not sure if he has really regressed or not but he has not improved.

    Other than the turnovers the team played much better on both sides of the ball and the game plan and play calling were much improved. Hard to blame the defense when 28 points are scored when they weren’t even on the field. Overall my outlook on the season is greatly improved from a week ago.

    • Fuelk2

      Not sure if it’s the beating he is taking or what, but his throws were all over the place yesterday. If TK hadn’t boxed out his man on the 2 point conversion, it would’ve been picked. Murray is really going to have to get it together.

      • Texas Baller

        Fuelk – same as previous year. Inconsistent. Dying quails. At times, Joe Cox-esque. We all should be hopeful he is progressing in the maturation process – but signs are not good right now. Murray UNPROVEN in big games thus far – he desperately needs a big win for UGA and himself.

  17. JBJ

    I agree wholeheartedly. The team I saw yesterday gave me hope. They fought the whole game and to see the fans abandon them with 3 timeouts and driving was disheartening. I felt so bad for CMR at the end of that game. My takeaways…

    1. Crowell is a certified badass. If we had Ealy or King to offset his carries instead of Samuel, then we would have won.

    2. Jarvis Jones is a monster. Played sideline to sideline and brought the pain.

    3. Murray has got to make better decisions under pressure, because he’s going to see a ton of it this year.

    4. The offensive line run blocks much better than it pass blocks.

    5. The onside kick with 2+ minutes and 3 timeouts boggled my mind and was the most glaring coaching error in my opinion.

    6. Boykin is fantastic. Offense, defense, special teams, and intensity. Great game.

    This team is breaking my heart. They could of, should of, would of. They can still salvage this season from what I saw yesterday. I’ll be there next Saturday to show my support. Don’t give up on them.

    • It’s funny, because I never would have thought this before the season started, but it’s starting to look like #3 may be the key to Richt’s survival this season.

      Oh, and on #5, Richt said he made the decision because of Robinson’s injury. Can’t say I blame him if that’s the case.

      • AusDawg85

        I haven’t seen CMR’s comments, but going for the onside kick was the RIGHT call. Gives you TWO chances to win…get the kick, or hold on 3 & out anyway. Since we only needed a FG to tie, field position after holding them to a punt would have been less of a problem.

        But I’m still scratching my head why we didn’t call TO on 3rd down, get rested, set, and make a MUST stop. Just crazy and another WTF moment for me with CMR.

  18. JasonC

    Senator, thanks for the thoughts. I appreciate your level head. I can’t say the same for a lot of the Dog fans, they are the only thing more disappointing than the team.

    • JasonC, I agree with you. I also agree with the analysis (the entire Blog) made by the Senator. Now it will be interesting to see which team actually continues to get better as the season progresses. I believe that it will be the Dawgs, but it all May depend on Murray playing better. We will see.

  19. DawgByte

    The bane of Mark Richt’s existence over the last three years is our defense’s inability to make plays in key third down situations. The lamecocks were able to convert important 3rd an 4th down plays. After an article I read earlier in the week on Coaches Countdown, it’s clear this program has not recovered from the lose of Brian Van Gorder.

    IMO we need to do the following on Defense:

    1. Start Chase Vasser
    2. Move Jarvis Jones to the middle
    3. Move Cornelius Washington to the other side

  20. S.E. Dawg

    I like the improvement I saw yesterday. I believe once these younger guys are able to get a little deeper into the playbook we’ll be okay. I hope we get away from looking to the sideline for the play, I think it’s more of a distraction to the players.

  21. Will Trane

    I have not watched a replays of the game. During the game I thouhgt our shotgun offense was unstoppable by Carolina. They never stopped it. We stopped ourself. We ran 67 plays. Still too low. In the 2nd half the offense being to play with more speed and confidence. Plus their red-zone presence became know. Think they wen in there 5 times. Good for the last half and scoring production.

    Now, Todd Grantham and staff. Where are you guys at. Carolina ran 67 plays against you. And when it counts you can not get off the field when your offense is moving. Here is where you rank.nationally. Rushing defense, 94th. Passing defense, 53. Passing efficiency defense, 82nd. Scoring defense 111th. Total defense, 77th. Your LB are making a lot tackles, that is by design and that is good. But where are they making them in a play. Too far past the LOS. When the DE/DT were turned in yesterday for Lattimore to get to the edge…that was tough to watch. Not consistent in shutting down the inside play. In a few weeks MSU comes in with the best running team in the nation and leader Ballard. But Lattimore rang up almost 160. Our D line has to step it up. Looks a lot like last season. 3 Int’s this year, but we should have more. The loss of Ogletree hurts. LBs have to get into the run game quicker.
    QB play. Put up good numbers, but this position has to stop giving up negative plays and turn overs. Plus the turnovers have directly to points. Murray’s ranking is respectable, but his play is inconsistent for the SEC. Played to good D teams. Let’s see if this does not pickup. Has to on the road at Ole Miss. Need to break bad habits by then. Coaches have to watch the TEs inside routes. There coverage issues there. Murray says it is a tight window. If so why do run it unless it is quicker and sacks/ints do stay an issue with it.
    Carolina, you have some play makers and play makers when it counts. Signs of a team doing what it can to put up a “W”. Ingram, the guy has just one assisted tackle but the scoreboard thinks you are world class. Question for you. Is that the first time you lined up there this season on punt returns and kickoffs. If so, someone in coaches box should have saw that real quickly. You did good on special teams and kick offs. But if I am Georgia I plan to use that onside kick in the next game. I want opposing teams to spend time on that in practice, because I want them to have less time on my shotgun sets which are goin to pickup each week in tempo and players involved.
    Can not take any injuries in the next game and be lax about the play. Need a lot of plays from a lot of players. Good time to get the tempo up. Plus need more competition at QB. Looks too comfortable.

    • Xon

      The only team in the country that has played two top 12 teams (with very good offenses) to start the season has raw defensive numbers that rank near the bottom in the country. That is not even remotely shocking. In the meantime, we have held both opponents to significantly fewer yards and points than they are used to getting (they’re averages this year will be significantly higher than what we gave up), and so when we start playing the cupcakes on our schedule like everyone else has been doing already, the rankings will even themselves out.

      Of course, our scoring D is hurt by 28 giveaway points yesterday. That sucks, as misleading as it is. Stats are never perfect measures.

    • AusDawg85

      I was really shocked CTG did not adjust Jones and the DE’s to hold the edge. Our nose and middle LB’s held the run up the middle, but that wall-off by the SC tackles letting Lattimore to the outside was nifty…the first 20 times for over 100 yards. At some point, maybe we stop peaking inside and hold the edge?

  22. jrmdawg

    I remember going to Georgia games in the 80’s. Watching the “Junkyard Dawgs” led by Freddie Gilbert & Co. was like watching football poetry. I”m no expert, but the difference between our defense then and now (really the whole team if you get down to it) seems to be attitude. That “kick ass and take names” attitude just isn’t there. There is plenty of heart and talent on this Georgia team. I’m not one of those that is screaming for Mark Richt’s head, he’s a fine man and a good coach and deserves a lot more respect and consideration than he’s getting right now. However, our program needs its’ swagger back. The teams that win….they have it.

  23. Patrick

    Boykin had some nice returns, but he’s not off the hook. Dropping the first half pick-6 was a killer, as was the whiffed tackle on punt fake.

  24. Will Trane

    Some bloggers think those interior guys were lights out. They did play good. Arby Jones was very good on one serious, but I do not know what happened before or after. But here are the numbers. Geathers one assisted tackle. Jenkins one solo tackle. Jones had 3 assisted and 3 solos for a total of 6. For a game Jones had good numbers. But if team start turning those ends like SC’s line did yesterday, Lattimore will not be the last to have over a 100 yards against us.
    From here out Murray has to step up his game…seeing the field, timing , and checks. Otherwise Bray at UT is going to leave him. Like to see some sets where he can get the ball off a little quicker. And as Croweel gets better that should help his game. Plus if the receivers continue to play better in the shotgun that should help his game, but he has to protect the ball.

    • AusDawg85

      Geathers and Jenkins are supposed to occupy 2 – 3 blockers so the LB’s make the plays. They had a solid game, though pushed around a little more on passing plays.

  25. Coondawg

    If we play the rest of the season like we did yesterday, minus the turnovers, there’s not a team that can beat us until December. See y’all and the Dawgs in the Dome in December.

    • GeorgetownDawg

      “…minus the turnovers.”

      We turned the ball over at the worst possible times last season (MSU, Colorado, USC, UF, etc.) and we are doing it again this year. Over the past three years, we have turned the ball over to UF 12 times to their 1, with their one coming on an intercepted deep pass that was the equivalent of a punt. Yesterday’s miscues are becoming the norm, not the exception.

      • Cojones

        And players are responsible for holding onto the ball, etc.. Everyone has been blaming coaching for those loses. I’m with you in that I don’t consider those coaching errors at all, just tough breaks when playing hard and imperfect. Snakebit!

  26. Mike

    I agree with the Senator that if USCe is the class of the SEC East, it is a wide open race. If they are, then as he says, UGA still has a good shot of winning the East as any other East team because I think USCe could easily lose two to three SEC games.

    In that regard, the Florida/Tennessee game this weekend will be interesting, to say the least. Either of those teams could be contenders too, based on the results of the first two weeks. I think UT has a very competent passing offense, from what I saw last night. Their main weaknesses are the running game and the overall defense.

    Like last year, Florida struggles in the red zone and the offense is still very run dependent. Brantley is playing with more confidence and courage than he did last year, but I think he is no better than a serviceable, competent QB. The Florida defense can be tough, especially against the run. I will be interested to see how the young Florida secondary holds up to Bray.

    Should be an interesting season.

    • Brian

      Agree about Murray-he seemed to be forcing throws way too much. And, please coach Bobo, show him how to take a frigging sack!

    • Cojones

      And a fun season for us as well! Wait a minute, you pissers, I don’t have my bumbershoot up yet!

  27. Uglydawg

    Coachning was much better. But..I still have a beef, but just one…Georgia missed a chance to bury SC in the first quarter. Came down the field with IC getting great yards, and came up to a third and two on SC’s sixteen yard line….and we threw the damn all. Then missed the FG….Two plays to make two yards and we end up with zip on the drive. It reminded me of the CF game last year…..But that’s it, the rest was just ironic luck for the elf. I doubt he did, but he should have gone to church this morning and dropped a couple thousand in the plate..Play SC five times and the Dawgs win four easily!….Very realistic chance to run the table…and yes, SC should lose two at least. If they lose to FL, and UGA beats FL, it’s a likely scenario that UGA goes to ATL..Dawgs DO look better! As Munson would say, “Old Lady Luck left us yesterday”. But she’ll be back, that fickle slut!

  28. AusDawg85

    I agree we should not be calling-out players, etc. But looking at the replay more closely, let’s just say the right side of the line (ahem…tackle position…ahem) probably does not grade out very well. Some real technique problems. Pushing forward out of the I was OK, but just got beat bad on speed rushes. I think this also contributed to how much Samuel will remain in the mix…his size is better for blocking when we are in shotgun or the spread. Isiah chips at best, but sure is not the kind of protection AM needs when we get into long route pass plays.

    Which goes to what was fun to watch yesterday…we stayed in the I when we saw it was working, and ran a beautiful series from the shotgun with all quick, short passes. Why we tried anything else is….annoying.

  29. JW

    AGREE ON MURRAY. YOU JUST CAN’T THROW INT’S AND COMMIT FUMBLES IN A GAME LIKE THIS. ESPECIALLY TURNING BOTH INTO INSTAND SCORES. LOSING FOCUS ON THE CROWELL HANDOFF BECAUSE OF HIS RIBS HURTING FROM PLAY BEFORE. NEED BETTER CONSISTENT PLAY AT THE QB POSITION. 3 COMPLETIONS IN FIRST HALF, JUST KEPT OVERTHROWING OPEN RECEIVERS. KILLED A LOT OF DRIVES.

  30. Murray still needs a coming out game against a good and ranked team.

  31. 69Dawg

    I alone have identified our problem. Sadly when Munson retired he took Ole Lady Luck with him. We haven’t had any since he has gone.