Sometimes, even when you learn from history, you can be doomed.

We all take our shots at him, but Mike Bobo is far from clueless, at least judging from this comment about Isaiah Crowell:

“I’d say he’s 20-25-carries-a-game guy and certain games it might be more,” Bobo said. “And then you’ve got about 15 or so for the other guy. You’d like to run it around 40 times a game, the way I see things. He might be able get 30 of them.”

Even better, it sounds like the coaches were ready to do that against South Carolina.  Unfortunately it turned out to be one on those situations where the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.

“As the game was going on, I thought he was running well,” Richt said. “But when I looked at the film, he really made some great runs. He did take a shot in the ribs and was having trouble breathing. I think his energy level and his excitement level got to where he’d raise his hand and want to come off. You say, ‘Stay in there,’ but you don’t know why he wants to come out to begin with. So when he wanted to come out, he came out.

“But I think he’ll stay in a little bit more than a couple of runs, although there were a couple of relatively long runs. It was relatively hot at that moment. I think his endurance will build as we go, too, and as he prepares and as the weather cools throughout the season.”

If you’re like me, you’ve seen a certain amount of chatter about how this year’s team can try to take some inspiration from how Georgia was able to turn its 2007 season around.  If a parallel develops between the two seasons, it won’t be without some potential irony.  The what-could-have-been part of that season was not feeding Knowshon Moreno the ball enough in the South Carolina loss.  That was by design.  You wonder how Bobo and Richt will feel if, knowing that they weren’t going to make the same mistake twice, Georgia still comes up just short of an SEC East title in 2011.

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21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

21 responses to “Sometimes, even when you learn from history, you can be doomed.

  1. JG Shellnutt

    Maybe we’ll beat Tennessee

    • TennesseeDawg

      Tennessee will beat Florida Saturday. You heard it here first.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        TD
        Your spending way too much time at GoVolsXtra. UT is a train wreck. Bray will get beat up and wish he would have spent more time in the weight room when he gets into SEC play. Montana and Cincy are a lot easier to pass on than Florida will be.

        • ETennDawg

          I hope youre right. My distaste for Bray has risen to Casey Clausen status in a very short time frame. I will never forget that day when UGA had the Auburn QB crying on the sidelines (late 90s I think). I wish the same for Bray come October.

          • AthensHomerDawg

            Do you remember the Bama game when the Georgia D had both of Bama’s QBs on the sidelines with their arms in slings. Priceless! Bray looks awful thin to me. I think AM’s arms are bigger than Brays legs. He is going to get hammered.
            Go Dawgs!

  2. Normaltown Mike

    RE: shades of 2007

    When Figgins caught that TD I really thought he was exercising the demons of his dropped TD pass from ’07 and we were on our way to victory.

    Oh well. At least Bobo didn’t avoid using a talented Freshman RB b/c of his youth as in ’07.

  3. Aligator

    As a group, Georgia fans are veterans at this point of existential crises over Mark Richt’s future as head coach, and of navigating the competing factions that come with them. On the heels of an 0-2 start, though, there’s no disagreement on the basic premise: The program is spiraling in the wrong direction, and have been for a long time.

    Since opening atop the preseason polls in 2008, the Bulldogs have progressively fallen out of the top 10, then out of the polls altogether, then below .500 for the first time in 15 years. They’ve lost nine of their last ten against ranked opponents. At this rate, they’re going to be bowl-less for the holidays this winter, at which point the time for debate will be long passed.

    Still, the other half of the equation is more elusive: How in the world did they get here? Richt is still the same guy who delivered two SEC championships and five top-10 finishes in six years from 2002-07. Recruiting is still good. (The latest recruiting class, arguably the most hyped of Richt’s tenure, is the fifth in six years ranked among Rivals’ top 10 incoming classes nationally.) The NFL remains very interested. (At least four Bulldogs have gone in the draft every single year since 2001, including six from the 2010 team earlier this year.) If it’s not talent, then what?

    Are we really going to be forced to start talking about things like “leadership”?

    … It was the team leadership through the last few years that most concerned Kelin Johnson, the defensive captain and vocal leader of the 2007 squad.

    “One of the hardest things is walking around this city and to be around these players and to see some of them taking things for granted, some of the guys who are just happy to put the ‘G’ on or to wear a Georgia football shirt downtown to pick up women,” Johnson said. “They want to put a ‘G’ on so people will recognize them. So what? The ‘G’ doesn’t make you. As soon as these players realize the ‘G’ doesn’t make the person, the person makes the ‘G,’ that’s how they know Georgia’s so much better than everybody else.”

    Well, maybe. One this side of the business, though, intangibles like “leadership” fall squarely into the category of Known Unknowns: They’re impossible to assess, and may not matter nearly as much as everyone says they do. Maybe, maybe not. Unfortunately, that also goes for the best guess by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chip Towers, who ties the beginning of the Bulldogs’ decline to Richt’s decision to give up play-calling day-to-day oversight of the offense circa 2007 — not because of the effect it had on the offense, but because of the effect it had on Richt, whatever that is:

    Think about that for a minute. For 11 years before Richt came to Georgia, he was quarterbacks coach and/or offensive coordinator at Florida State, which happened to finish in the Top 5 nationally every one of those years. For the majority of that time, he was game-planning and play-calling for the Seminoles. Then he comes to Georgia in December of 2000 and, after… calling the national championship game with FSU, he hits the recruiting trail for the Bulldogs and assumes the same offensive responsibilities at UGA in addition to being head coach.

    That goes on through the 2006 season, when he finally entrusts the Xs and Os to somebody else. It was an exhausting run, I’m sure.

    But again, more than not calling all the offensive shots, this represented a profound change in how Richt went about his business, both on a weekly and daily basis all the way down to game management. That must have had some sort of effect on the way things have gone.

    What that effect is, Towers can’t say. As he says, though, the offense itself hasn’t suffered at all in Richt’s absence — in fact, scoring, total offense and pass efficiency averages from 2008-10 were slightly better than the averages in the salad days, and are already on a similar pace through the first two games this year. Saturday’s 436-yard, 42-point outburst against South Carolina was UGA’s sixth 40-point effort in its last eight games.

    How did Mark Richt get into this hole? It’s the defense, stupid.Which is brings us to the old standby: The defense. Back in the days when no one could imagine the words “Mark Richt” and “hot seat” appearing in the same sentence, the go-to scapegoat was defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, who was promoted in 2005 to oversee a unit that had finished in the top 15 nationally in both scoring and total defense three years in a row under predecessor Brian Van Gorder. In Martinez’s first three years, the D finished in the top 20 on both counts all three years. Surprise: Those six seasons produced five outright or shared division titles, five top-10 finishes and two SEC championships.

    And in the three seasons hence? With virtually identical numbers from the offense, the Bulldogs have slid into the bottom half of the SEC statistically and have given up at least 35 points 13 times in a little over three years. That trend hasn’t reversed itself under Martinez’s replacement, Todd Grantham, whose second is off to an even worse start than his first. At the moment, there is no one on the defense who resembles a star or a consistent impact player.

    The good news for the moment is that the Bulldogs get an easy addition to the win column this weekend — we’ll go ahead that Coastal Carolina is no upset threat, because it’s all over but the torch-and-pitchfork raid on Richt’s house if it is — ahead of a make-or-break stretch against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Those three games will decide whether Richt still has a chance to lift himself out of the fire against rivals Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech down the stretch, and after Saturday, it’s a pretty strong bet the offense is up for the job.

    • AusDawg85

      Over this same time span, the only response CMR usually provides is “injuries and execution”. He softened practice to avoid injuries, and then toughened them up…and we still get them. Seemingly more than other teams. Where lies the blame for that? (I’m not convinced S&C stops injuries.) “Execution” is coaching and recruiting. 5 star players that make mental mistakes may not really be 5 star after all.

      Another intangible is our record with Florida. Spurrier had better teams. Richt had arguably equal teams, or even better in some years, worse in others, but the record does not reflect this. UGA fans chalk this up to “being in our team’s head”. How does that happen, and how does one exorcise those demons?

      I’m starting to come down on the side that while I don’t believe the problems are created by CMR, his style may simply no longer be able to fix the intangible problems affecting the team’s performance. Sometimes you just have to change it up ’cause what you’re doing ain’t a working.

      And if that’s the reason we part ways with Mark Richt, it will be a damn shame.

    • Bevo

      “How did Mark Richt get into this hole? It’s the defense, stupid. Which is brings us to the old standby: The defense.”

      “…and after Saturday, it’s a pretty strong bet the offense is up for the job.”

      Actually, it was not the defense, stupid. That goes for last Saturday and the Saturday before it. I’m amazed at how some of dumbass fans see the final score and decide the defense blew the game.

      Did you completely forget about the 24-or-so points that the OFFENSE and the Special Teams gave up vs South Carolina? Did you completely forget that the defense kept us in the game against Boise State while the offense put the defense in impossible situations with three-and-outs? Did you even watch either of the games? Unbelievable. I’m guessing you believe it was the defense’s fault that we lost 6-10 in the Liberty Bowl, too?

      Quite a bit of irony in the line “It’s the defense, stupid.”

    • gastr1

      Aligator, are you not going to credit where this came from?

    • Hackerdog

      Claiming that Grantham’s second season isn’t going as well as his first is mind-bogglingly ignorant.

      We’ve played two nationally ranked opponents (one in the top 5). So of course, the numbers may be skewed. Although, as others have pointed out, opponent’s scoring average is skewed because of turnovers and special teams blunders.

      One of the big complaints from last year (42% 3rd down conversion rate for opponents), is better this year (31%) even without any cupcakes.

      The defense just looks better than last year, so far. I hate to think how much better they would look without the injuries. But I still think we’re seeing improvement.

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Then again, maybe Bobo IS clueless. Sometimes you have to find a way to win even if your true freshman RB isn’t 100% every play in his second collegiate game. Never thought we’d see the day when “running back U” didn’t have a good backup RB to step in for a few plays. But we do have an excellent backup kicker and several walk-ons with schollys on the roster.

  5. Will Trane

    It has been posted and reported from the AD’s office that the Diamond Dogs, along with 5 other teams, are allowed to use other bats rather than Nike. It was apparent to many that some other bats performed better than Nike. Plus, when some kids come out of high school they have become accustomed to the feel and the swing of certain bats. Good to see the ADs work out this issue.
    Which sorta brings me to this. Two LBs go down with foot injuries. Did they use Nike footwear in the Dome? Are there other players with possible foot injuries that have not really surfaced yet from playing with Nike footwear and on that turf? Also are the RB’s using rib pads from Nike?

  6. Will Trane

    Senator, what is the issue with all these foot injuries.

    Smith…toe
    Samuel…heel contusion
    Robinson and Ogletree
    And any others

  7. Will Trane

    Amazed how long it took for them to figure out the bats from Nike. They saw that when we lost at the CWS. Just wonder what USC uses? Sometimes UGA moves just a damn too slow. And we are a major University. Beat those guys in Cobb County know the right bat? Did anybody even go there and ask why their programs are so good! Numbers do not lie sometimes. Those numbers about Nike are huge!
    Now if we could get some water from a nearby creek or river and sprinkle over their feet or footwear? Or maybe some prayers for early recovery of injuries.?

    • AthensHomerDawg

      …not a whole lot of water in the creek right now and from the looks of it you may want to rethink using it. Lot of developments didn’t make and some of that silt fence looks precarious to me. What say you Cojones? Weren’t you a water guy?

      • Cojones

        Didn’ read or blog yesterday purposefully.

        Water on the Nikes make them squishy such that opposing Ds can id where runners are. There is a danger in shorting the night lights built into them as well. I would recommend sustituting Icy-Hot because it increases the runners focus of getting wherever he is going to getting there faster. A spray-can shot in the butt doesn’t hurt in tight games. After urging of their teammates, novice football players can tell you it is no good for curing jock itch.

        If it’s water you need, Holy Water is cheap this year and should be applied over the player’s head(go to the Newman Center and ask for the nearest monk). Oconee water could be used, but would only permit ungodly growth of who-knows-what from the head down. Could also chemically separate the bottom of the shoes from the remaining shoe unless the players tie the laces around and under the bottom. However; Oconee water could be used to attack and eat out the crotch-itch of some players. It may be too slippery when applied to F’ing Scooter seat such that the player and his date could fall off. And that’s with the F’ing Scooter parked.

        Sorry for so long between answers to your question(s), but am contemplating not blogging anymore. Antagonizing buttheads, who, after snatching tape from our past wounds and applying tobacco spit for healing purposes, can only make their rants worse. Besides, you have to be a schizophrenic to blog from day to day nowadays what with blogging fuel aimed at our Coach’s demise out there one day and supportive evidence the next. It’s less fun to blog in this poisoned atmosphere especially when people cherry-pick negative data. It has distressingly approached the logic of Global Warming detractors who present no contrary answers to the problem and won’t digest the sensitivity of our program in their posts.

  8. Scott

    UGA only had 1 game where a RB carried the ball more than 20 times in 2010. In 2009, we did not have a single RB get more than 20 carries. Even when we have a talented RB, it seems we are reluctant to give him more than 20 carries. I doubt Crowell will ever get the proper amount of carries. We sub too much at that position.

    • Stoopnagle

      This. The only reason Knowshon got them is because Thomas Brown (DGD) was injured.

      Why do we continue to insist that one guy can’t carry the load?