Observations from the end zone: Richt goes old school.

I’m back from one of the best road trips I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking.  If you consider yourself a fan of the blues, by all means take in Clarksdale, Mississippi some time.  It’s a small, friendly town.  I spent Friday night there with some friends and we had a blast.  One thing I learned is that every male resident of Clarksdale seems to go by a nickname.  We met or heard about Red, Razor Blade (who in turn had a host of acquaintances who went by other sharp object monikers) and Dollar Bill in the space of a short time.  For all I know, it may be a city ordinance.

Oxford and the Grove lived up to their reputations.  As for the latter, Michael Adams could learn a few things about how to pull off a satisfying tailgating experience for large crowds on campus.  I know… in another life, maybe.

Anyway, on to the game.

I have to say I’m a little surprised by how negative a reaction the Ole Miss game generated in yesterday’s message thread.  My reaction after leaving the game was that Mark Richt had done the time warp.  The game had the feel of so many wins from the 2002-4 era against lesser opponents.  It was clear early on that Georgia’s defense was going to have its way against the Rebels’ offense.  That had to appeal greatly to Richt’s conservative game-management nature and indeed that’s how the day played out.

Think about this for a minute:  Isaiah Crowell carried the ball thirty times yesterday.  That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the game.  Was it pretty?  Maybe not.  But I’ve learned that you never sneer at any SEC road game win.  (And if Walsh doesn’t miss those three field goals, it’s a 23-point win.  I doubt Richt was expecting the misses.)

It was certainly prettier than any road loss we saw in 2010.  And if Mark Richt is in the process of getting his groove back, he’s certainly got an attractive part of the schedule coming up to get the special teams kinks worked out.

As for a few specifics:

  • Aaron Murray looked sharp in the first half, although it would have been nice if his receivers had been sharp, too.  That deep ball he threw to Malcolm Mitchell was absolutely perfect.
  • I also thought Murray did a fine job reading the blitz and throwing the hot route.  Now if Bobo can just get him to stop locking in on receivers as he did occasionally yesterday…
  • One last Murray bullet point:  that scramble to pick up the first down on Georgia’s first TD drive was huge.
  • Amarlo Herrera turned in another solid game in his first start.
  • The coaches may not have wanted to give Crowell the ball 30 times.  Crowell may not have wanted the ball 30 times.  But Georgia’s offense sure looked better when he was in there.  And his presence helped sell our old friend, the play action pass.
  • Crowell kept playing even though he missed an obvious blitz pick up that led to a sack.
  • Yes, I know that Ole Miss’ QBs leave something to be desired and there was a touchdown off of a trick play pass.  But I was impressed with how much more comfortable Georgia’s secondary appears to be in week four.  There were some excellent pass break ups I saw in the second half.
  • Punt coverage is a problem (you didn’t need me to tell you that, I’m sure.)  The touchdown was set up in part by Butler outkicking the coverage, but there was no excuse for the downfield misses we saw.  On the other hand, Butler had two brilliant kicks that were as good as any I’ve seen from him.
  • Walsh may be in a field goal slump, but it’s not affecting the rest of his game.  Kickoffs and kickoff coverage continue to be very, very good.
  • I make fun of Houston Nutt as much as anyone, but give him credit for having his team ready yesterday.  I thought he coached as good a game as he could, given how undermanned his squad looked from a talent standpoint.
  • I really liked Richt’s decision to go for the late field goal as an opportunity to give Walsh a boost.  It’s not like Georgia needed the points by then.  But, boy, if Walsh had missed a fourth one…
  • To the young man behind me who was complaining that Richt didn’t go for more points when Georgia got the ball back at its 19 with less than a minute to go in the first half, even though the Dawgs were set to receive the opening kick of the second half:  dude, you’re a moron.
  • After the Ole Miss band played “Dixie” for the first time, I turned to my friend and asked if there were more black players on the field than in the stands.  We decided it was about even, but only because the players’ relatives were there watching.
  • Loved seeing the tight end involvement in the offense.  Both touchdown receptions were great.
  • I’m curious about the decision to start Chase Vassar in place of Cornelius Washington.  It didn’t exactly get off to a rousing start, either.
  • Speaking of time warps, didn’t the draw call to Crowell on third-and-long that jump-started the 99-yard drive bring to mind the draw play with Musa Smith that resulted in a similar gain in the ’02 Auburn game?
  • Richard Samuel may not be a great runner, but he’s turned out to be a damned effective receiver out of the backfield.

On to Mississippi State.  For those of you looking forward to Dan Mullen’s job interview, I hope you’ll be disappointed.

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119 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

119 responses to “Observations from the end zone: Richt goes old school.

  1. Biggus Rickus

    As far as I can tell everyone is still griping about the first two games, and until they beat someone better than Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss I guess they’ll keep right on griping.

    • Sanford222View

      Exactly. I had a friend comment that our D was great at imitations, wet tissue paper imitations yesterday. I said are you kidding? The D played great even though it was an inferior opponent. They only gave up 7 points and that was on a trick play. The only allowed about 200 yds!

      • Bevo

        The D has played relatively great this season:

        BSU: Kept us in the game far longer than we deserved to be in the game.

        S Car: Played very well. Gave up roughly the same # of points as the offense!! If offense had played 3/4 as well, would have won walking away.

        CC: Was not a football game.

        Ole Miss: Dominated the game, created turnovers, totally solid. Gave up only one touchdown drive, the “Trick Play Drive.”

        To our fans that have complained about the Georgia defense this season: dude, you’re a moron.

      • Biggus Rickus

        There was a point about midway through the 4th where the announcers pointed out Ole Miss had 41 yards in the second half. The defense is obviously better. Cut down on mistakes and this team can play with and beat about anyone. The next three weeks will be huge just to prove they can beat the bottom half of the conference. From there all they have to do is beat Florida, which is admittedly daunting given the recent history.

  2. Sanford222View

    Senator,

    I made the same comment regarding Samuel yesterday on Twitter. He looks so awkward when trying to hit a hole running the ball yet catches the ball so well out of the backfield. It baffles me.

    • Keese

      Samuel IV reminds me of Jasper Sanks on some carries when he’s already diving over his feet by the time he hits a gaping hole

    • Matt R

      You can obviously tell that the defense is getting some momentum, building upon itself. The offense still lacks that mental toughness and determination to smash people. However, our finesse game is there. We were hitting the seam passes in the zone like we were born to it. Our offense has got to stop thinking about what the defense is going to do to us and start thinking about what we are going to do to them. If we could just get some confidence, this team has the makings of the 2007 team. But that’s a long way to go.

    • WFdawg

      But in the credit where credit’s due department, Samuel showed great second effort on that 4th and 1 to get us a first down. That was one of his better plays in a Georgia uniform. Admittedly, that’s not saying a lot.

  3. Bevo

    I wouldn’t complain about this — or any — SEC win this season.

    The Georgia team that beat Ole Miss yesterday is the same Georgia team that got blown out by Boise St and coughed up a victory to South Carolina.

    A very imperfect team. A team that probably has a couple losses left on the schedule. Any SEC wins we get this season are great wins.

    I’m also happy to see we can still get a win against a bad SEC team despite some dumb plays. Also, in my opinion, the defense has played a solid season so far. I hope we have Robinson and Ogletree back in time for the scarier games.

  4. peacedog

    A couple of things:

    1. The second missed FG came after we elected not to go for it on 4th and maybe 1. We’ve got to go for it there.

    2. Offense was excellent in the first half (minus the drops) but not as effective in the second. There were more execution problems, and the OL seemed to wear down or something. That last part was disconcerting. I was expecting the run game to get *more* effective as the game went on, not less.

    3. Credit to Bobo for recognizing that the path to success = try to run as many plays as possible. Its why we’ve started no huddling. We seemed more comfortable doing it this week.

    4. After the onside kick when it was 24-13, the defense of the past few years would have *probably* allowed a TD. Credit to the D for really hunkering down there and saying “no more”. That was a huge stop. And a great day all around.

    5. Brandon Smith on PR is starting to remind me of Prince Miller. smith, like Miller, is electric if he has the ball with some space. But he sucks at the “field/fair catch/let it drop” decision. He probably should have conceeded the Ole Miss the ball on the 1 with that 5-fole stunt he pulled. He makes me nervous, wish we’d go to someone else (and we started sending two guys back there, I noticed).

    6. It looks to me like the word on the street was true; Crowell was not in proper shape to kick off the season (the ribts aren’t helping either). If that’s true, the other word is true (namely that he got “straightened out”). I don’t think it was a function of laziness so much as his being used to being the phenom and used to putting in a certain level of work to have success. I don’t say this to knock Crowell. On the contrary, he’s tremendous. Our best back since Moreno but may prove to be better than Knowshon. He’s got vision, the ability to cut, some explosiveness. I don’t think we’ve really seen Crowell at his absolute best yet (and may not this season). That’s tremendously exciting. My favorite run was something like a 7 or 8 yarder. But he got into the hole and then waited for a blocker to get engage in front of him, so he could pick up 3 more yards. What a talent.

    7. The Michael Bennett signing gets better with each play he’s in on.

    • With regard to #2, I noticed the offensive drop off, too. Part of it was due to going to a “let’s get the game over quickly” mode, but part felt like deflation that came from the Walsh misses.

      It’s to the defense’s credit that they looked stronger in the second half. I may be wrong about this, but I don’t think Ole Miss had fifty yards of offense in the second half. I’ll take that against any team.

      • Matt R

        And it seems that if we drop a pass, or miss a field goal, or have a penalty, then we just fold up and throw it in. Need more nastiness. A stronger determination that we are going to go get it now… I don’t know how to say it but we need some … tenacity(?), resolve(?), knock them on their asses and don’t F^&% up meanness.

      • peacedog

        Unofficially I have Ole Miss at 26 plays for 57 yards in the second half, before the game ending sack by Washington (which he deserves to have counted, but which I have elected not to care about at this particular moment). Close enough to count, since the bottom line is “The D pummeled Ole Miss in the second half even worse than it did in the first”.
        Oh, I counted (and then forgot the exact number). It was like 4 first downs.

        When was the last time UGA forced a major college opponent to go 14/30 for 5 yards an attempt? I can’t remember it. Ole Miss is not good, but the only thing that makes this look like less of a beatdown than the Vandy game is the score (50 or 60 yards less allow, 110+ more gained. Vandy collected 5 turnovers). I’m totally fine with that. I wish we had scored 40 – we deserved to score 40, but them’s the breaks.

        There were mistakes this week but I still feel like the team is coming together. The score doesn’t make this look like a big step forward, but I think perhaps it was a step forward none the less. Just go for the first on 4th and 1 next time coach. Oh, a few other things worth pointing out:

        1. The only reason I would really critique the OL is becuase they seemed significantly better in the first half. And it isn’t like that were *bad* in the second half.

        2. We gave up a few long passes here and there. But Commings had tight coverage on a couple in particular. We can live with that; he’ll start making those plays I think. It happened to Bruce Thorton once, and by the end of 2001 he was playing fantastic.

        3. It was nice to get Sacks. I agree with Grantham that the most important thing is pressuring the QB, and it’s a fundamental truth that even a great pass rush is going to do more chasing (and hopefully disrupting) than actual sacking.

    • Logan Gray

      #5 Punt returns…I wanna come back!!

  5. Keese

    -The defense still has issues at times keeping containment and setting the edge
    -Crowells last 15 carries vs first 15 were pretty drastic. He still needs to build up his endurance
    -Carlton Thomas had a great game and some nice blocks in pass pro
    -Murray was out of sync in the first quarter and warmed up pretty well by the second

    Glad the team came out with the win. But it’s like whack a mole with strengths/weaknesses from week to week. Here’s hoping they get everything on the same page the rest of the season. Go Dawgs

    • Dawgpa12

      I am interested in your comment about Murray being out of sync in the 1st? I never saw him out of sync. What I did see in the 1st was receivers dropping passes.

      • Normaltown Mike

        IMHO he seemed a little amped. he threw one to Orson that might’ve traveled through a brick wall if Orson hadn’t been in front of it. Another to Bennett was so high that it likely would’ve exited Vaught-Hemingway altogether if Bennett didn’t have the freakishly praying mantis like wing span.

        • JBJ

          The interception was thrown behind Orson and bounced off his shoulder pad. The big loss from the lateral pss to Crowell was another bad throw. I thought he played better in the second half. That has seemed to be his MO. He is too jacked up to start a game and then calms down as it wears on.

          • gastr1

            The interception hit Orson in the hands and then bounced off his shoulder pad. The pass was fine. Murray had at least five drops yesterday from about five different guys. Every pass wasn’t perfect, but for the most part Murray was more on than his receivers.

            • Normaltown Mike

              Tavarres King drop was criminal.

              • adam

                Israel’s just before halftime was worse. Would’ve easily gotten the first down and we would’ve had a chance to drive down and score again. Instead, we punt and they return it for a TD. Huge mistake by Troupe.

    • SouthGa Dawg

      If I’m Crowell’s position coach, I’m showing him over and over his first 10 carries vs his last 10 carries. Later in this season, making those last 10 look like the first 10 is what it is all about in the SEC. Crowell seems like the kind of guy that will get there.

    • Sanford222View

      I agree with your first point about containment. That is still an issue Grantham needs to address. Spurrier figured it out in the SC game. We stopped Lattimore pretty well up the middle but got torched by him going outside later in that game.

      I also saw Ole Miss have success attacking the edge yesterday. If Grantham can shore that up the defense will be very good going forward. Especially when Tree and Robinson return.

  6. Ginny

    This is why I keep coming back to this blog. Level-headed analysis. I agree with everything. I was very impressed with the defense, especially the secondary. The multiple pass break-ups resulted from players being in the right place at the right time and making a ton of effort, Keep in mind, we are still missing possibly the best defensive player on the team. I imagine the boost that Ogletree and Robinson give the defense when they return will be tremendous. Huge plays by the tight-ends and Crowell continues to impress. Walsh is in a slump. I don’t think it will last. All in all I don’t have a whole lot to complain about. Over/under on how much longer Nutt will have a job?

  7. Mayor of Dawgtown

    If the Dawgs had won the USCe game instead of losing on fluke plays (the UGA O clearly outplayed the Cocks’ D and the UGA D clearly outplayed the Cocks’ O) we would be 3-1 and leading the SEC East. I wonder if there would be any negative comments about the team then?

  8. TDuga

    That young man you refer to as a moron may have been me or one of the many around me grumbling with how the half ended. Correct me if I am wrong senator but didn’t we move the ball close to mid field with about 30 seconds left. In retrospect, and minus the bourbon in my system, Richt made the right call. I think most of the complaining was from the dissapointment with the way the half ended. You look at what Florida did to Kentucky in the first half and wonder if we will ever put inferiorteams away like that. Either way this team has the potential to be very good. Get Tree back and the D could become dominant.

    • If you were bitching about Bobo needing to wear a skirt (on a day when Georgia gained nearly 500 yards!), then it might have been you.

      Georgia got the ball out to its 35 when the half ended.

      If the defense wasn’t dominant yesterday – 182 yards total offense, 34 rushing yards, 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 3-14 on third downs, etc. – what would you call it?

      • Tduga1

        Nope. That was was not me.

        Dominating one of the worst offenses in football does not make you a dominant defense. I expect many defenses this year to look really good vs. Ole Miss.

        Our defense played great but I really believe they have the potential to be dominate against the better teams in this league.

        • DawgWalker07

          I took encouragement from the fact that even though Ole Miss is a terrible offense, we were actually in position to make plays. Which hasn’t happened in a while.

        • adam

          We held them to their lowest offensive output in 5 years. I’m sure many other teams will look dominant on defense against the Rebels, but we were still impressive. Let’s see if Bama and LSU hold them to new all-time lows (possible) before we diminish the performance of our defense.

      • PhillyDawg

        Senator, we had the ball at the 35 with 39 seconds on the clock, a timeout, and the clock stopped. We moved the ball all day on them, yet we decide to pull it down and go to half. We could have easily gotten into field goal range. It’s that lack of killer instinct that seems to engulf this team.

        • MinnesotaDawg

          +1. That was exactly the scenario. Perhaps at that point Richt was so confident in the defense that he didn’t feel like another 3 was worth the slight risk of a pick 6 or something. If that’s the case, I guess I disagree, as I rarely want to just give up a possession (especially once the ball was out to the 35 on first down and we were moving it so effectively). 39 seconds in college football is a pretty long time with the first down clock stops. Maybe CMR was just gunshy after the Ole Miss punt return. Yesterday, it was sort of an “oh, well” decision, but on another Saturday that approach might hurt a little more.

        • They went three-and-out on the previous drive.

          I don’t see anything wrong with Richt playing out the half there, given that the Dawgs were receiving to start the second half.

          • sUGArdaddy

            You’re dead on senator. Unfortunately, it’s this kind of wise clock management that most of our fans simply don’t get. Up 24-7, it’s wise to think: “let’s try to blow this thing open and put the nail in the coffin.” After a 3 and out and a disaster punt return TD, getting their fans back in the game, it is wise to think: “well, let’s just make sure we win this game.”. That meant taking it to the house and living with an 11 point lead and not letting another disaster make it a 6 point lead. That’s not coaching scared, that’s knowing your opponent. It was best to stop the bleeding at that point.

            • MinnesotaDawg

              Actually, that is exactly what “coaching scared” is in my book–making a strategic decision to shut down your offense in order to avoid the slight risk that another “disaster” might occur. And please don’t argue that such a risk was anything more than slight because they returned the previous punt. Hell, we could have kicked it out of bounds if it were truly scary and we were confident enough in our coverage not to do that in the 2nd half.

              Yes, I recognize it’s a strategy, other coaches do it, and justify with the rationale you suggest. I “get” it, as I’m sure other fans do as well, I just don’t agree with it in certain circumstances and Saturday was one of them.

              Let me ask this: Are you ever disappointed when an opposing coach sits on the ball at the end of the half when they’re past the 30 yard line? I can’t ever remember thinking, “Gee, I wish they would take some shots down the field.” Looking at it from this perspective might indicate the value of this approach.

              As to the Senator’s point that we would get the ball to start of the second half? That’s great, we’ll have an opportunity to score on that possession, but why does that excuse/justify giving away a first half possession? It’s like refusing a free lottery ticket with a 50% chance of winning because you’re going to get a paycheck tomorrow. Regardless of whether you take the ticket or not, you’re still going to get that check.

              • PatinDC

                +1
                My concern is if we don’t learn to make these quick scores at the half when we don’t need them, then we don’t have the confidence and experience to make them when we do need them. Would CMR have made the same coaching decision of that was FLA?

    • JBJ

      I watched Florida destroy Kentucky. Ole Miss and Kentucky appear to be the bottom of the SEC. I was looking for us to come out and dominate Ole Miss, which we did. The problem was that it did not translate to the scoreboard very well.

  9. TennesseeDawg

    At least Vassar showed up yesterday when he blew up one play then got up to get the TFL. Washington has down nothing.

    • Spence

      Washington has done a lot, including 1.5 sacks yesterday. I might have agreed with you before yesterday, but the kid had a really good game and kept getting in the backfield. In fact, I had been calling him the new Brandon Miller. But I’m dropping that label now.

  10. Castleberry

    I am also happy with the win. Nuttster seems to be at his best when no one gives him a chance, and I was worried about this game.

    I’m afraid there are a lot of morons piling on lately. The way our d is playing we had to get to the half. I haven’t added it up, but I’d be surprised if it’s a 20 point margin for points allowed between our d vs offense and st.

    One gripe. It seemed like we missed several chances to put them away. It was nice to see Walsh finally get one, but (on previous drives) I dont get going for fourth on our side of the field the settling for three with a struggling kicker on fourth and short.

  11. Normaltown Mike

    RE: Crowell endurance

    The game was in hand but by the 4th he was missing (or too tired to search for) huge cutbacks that would’ve netted bigger gains.

    He hits those early but you can see the game wearing on him late.

  12. GoonerDawg

    My main problem was the 48-yard field goal attempt on 4th and 1. That simply is a bad statistical decision, especially considering Walsh’s slump. Even if Walsh weren’t in a slump, it’s the wrong decision. Any team, regardless of it’s OL quality, is more likely to convert 4th and 1 than it is to convert a 48-yard FG attempt.

    This is one of Coach Richt’s biggest problems – he’s so conservative that he actually makes “conservative” decisions that are less safe than the “aggressive” decision.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Coach Richt does not consider metrics in his gameplanning and in-game decisions, which is of course idiotic. The game has passed him by, and Saturday’s game is an example of that and a harbinger of things to come.

    This team is going to get hammered by Florida, and will likely lose Auburn and GT. There is no place in CFB for teams that actively shut their offenses down. That is not a winning philosophy; it’s outdated and a recipe for losing games late that should have been wrapped up in the 3rd quarter.

    • Red Blackman

      For the record, Mr. Gooner Dawg, Blair Walsh was 14 of 17 from 40 to 49 yards prior to this season.

      Conversely, Georgia is 3 of 8 on 4th down conversion attempts.
      http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/natlRank.jsp?year=2011&rpt=IA_team4down&site=org&div=IA&dest=O

      Just wanted to clear that up.

      • GoonerDawg

        Across all levels of football, teams are more likely to convert 4th and 1 than they are to convert a 48-yard field goal. That doesn’t change because UGA was bad on 4th downs last year.

        Of course, Blair Walsh has not been himself this year, which also should have been a consideration.

        That was an obvious go for it situation, but Richt is so conservative that he often takes the riskier, less likely to succeed route because it seems safer, although it technically is not.

        • Hackerdog

          You’re suggesting that Richt should consider the tendencies of other teams above the tendencies of his own? Since Florida is better at 4th and short than at kicking a long field goal, we should disregard our own short yardage failures and excellent kicker? Strange logic there.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Florida HAS beaten the murderers’ row of FAU, UAB, Tennessee and Kentucky, so I can see why you’d think they’ll hammer Georgia. If they lose Demps or Rainey for any amount of time their offense will absolutely suck. As it stands, they’re incredibly one-dimensional. Their defense looks sound though.

      • gastr1

        Yesterday Florida had a test quite analogous to ours: on the road against a terrible team. We won 27-13, they won 48-10.

        • CLT Dawg

          we’ll get the blueprint on stopping UF next weekend…let’ just hope we can execute on it.

        • Biggus Rickus

          Blowing out bad teams means nothing. I would think Georgia’s mid-season “surge” against Tennessee and Vandy would have proven that to most Dawg fans.

  13. Red Blackman

    Georgia is now ranked 13th in the nation in total defense, 8th in the nation in passing defense, 42nd in the nation in rushing defense and 55th in scoring defense.

    The view from my own ass is looking better and better.

    • JBJ

      Thanks for those numbers. I can definitely see improvement in our passing D this year. I just wish our D line looked better out there.

    • Turd Ferguson

      After opening the season 0-2, we’ve since dominated the 88th best offense in the FCS, followed by the 118th best offense in the FBS. One could almost make a case that both of the SEC opponents we’ve faced so far looked just as bad (if not worse) against Vandy. You’ll have to pardon the rest of us for not being quite so rosy about “the view” just yet.

      • Biggus Rickus

        The defense mostly did well against South Carolina. Hell, they weren’t even awful against Boise.

      • Red Blackman

        Mr. Ferguson, I am an optimist. I calls them likes I sees them.

        The word of the day is ……..continuing improvement.

        Yes, I know that’s two words, but still.

        And yes, Mr. Ferguson, I certainly forgive the rest of you all. However, don’t expect me to welcome you all to my tailgate at the SEC Chumpionship game.

        • Turd Ferguson

          Mr. Blackman, I am a realist. I calls them like they are.

          • Red Blackman

            Well then, Mr. Ferguson, we rank in the top 15 in two pretty important defensive categories. That includes two games against top 10 teams. That, my friend, is how they are.

            The Dawgs are trending up.

            Think I’ll go shopping for a shiny new Ford truck……….

            • gastr1

              The problem with calling like you see them is you can opt for seeing one part of the picture…kind of how you always do, Red.

            • Turd Ferguson

              That upward trend comes against two of the worst offenses we’ve seen in years. If you want me to believe that you’ve unplugged your head from your sphincter, you’ll at least acknowledge this fact … and what it implies re: those stats.

              • Red Blackman

                Whatever, dude. If you can’t see significant improvement on the defensive side of the ball then maybe you’re the one with his head planted firmly in his ass.

                You’re being obdurate and contumacious, Mr. Ferguson.

                • Turd Ferguson

                  I’ve already said things look better on defense. On multiple occasions. Hell, I’m pretty sure I even said it after the Boise game. But to say “whatever” in response to the fact that we just played what is literally one of the 3 worst offenses in the entire country is ridiculous. Don’t be optimistic for no good reason.

                  • Hackerdog

                    So, RB says things look better on defense. You dismiss that statement by focusing on the two poor teams UGA has played. You choose to ignore the two very good teams UGA has played. And you wrap it up by admitting that things look better on defense.

                    Couldn’t you have saved time by agreeing right off the bat? Or do “realists” now simply argue against statements that they agree with?

      • Dawgfan Will

        The problem with qualifying our defensive success like you have is that you don’t do the same to the other teams ranked around us. Our rankings don’t take the sting out of our middling record, but they do point to the fact that we have a lot of promise. Florida is udefeated right now, but would they be if they had played our schedule so far? If we had played Florida’s schedule to a 4-0 record this year, our fanbase would be saying we still don’t know anything about our team. I agree that optimism should be cautious at this point, but when was the last time we were ranked in the top 20 nationally in anything?

  14. NRBQ

    Crowell’s diminishing statistics in the second half told as much about the O-line’s stamina as his own. The 5 starters each played all 82 downs. IC didn’t have the blocking late that was there early in the game.

  15. GShock

    I personally hate the 4th down try when we ran a long developing run with Richard Samuel. I knew he was going to get blown up. Can’t we utilize the quick handoff to Figgins like we did with Southerland?

    • MinnesotaDawg

      +1. The slow developing, predictable tailback dive is one of my least favorite plays on 3rd/4th and 1. Gives too much time for both LBs to react and DLs to shed their blocks. Of course, it’s better if you have the kind of back that always tends to get tackled going forward (like Moreno or Lattimore) or if you have a dominating OL. But, obviously, we don’t.

  16. opsomath

    Let’s stop dismissing this W because it was Ole Miss. The Akbars in this game were a cornered animal. Anyone who thinks we didn’t get their absolutely best shot must have been tuned into a different game. They played balls to the wall, trying high-risk strategies to get a shot against a superior team, and they had a chance but we snuffed it. I am cautiously optimistic going forward.

  17. As I said in my previous post, Murray still has to have a real coming out game against a strong and good team. Despite his numbers, other teams can produce the same high scores no matter how good the defense is. It seems that at times Walsh and Murray makes those errors on the same game. Not good in very close games decided by less than a touchdown.

  18. Will Trane

    Not sure about this game yet. Good, bad, and ugly. The entire offense looked a little tired in the fourth. Ole Miss substituted alot on D. 82 offensive plays. Amazed at the TOP in the 3rd and 4th quarters, and so few points. Not sure yet if that is how vanilla Bobo became. Need to build points at every scoring opportunity. Bobo is the most vertical OC in the SEC re creating gaps. Not sure the passing game was on even though the stats seemed ok. Crowell needs to look at his routes…flat. Like to see Crowell more in motion when he gets the ball. 30 carries on the road is heavy for a frosh. Have not looked at the play charts, but the O line could use some spreading out. How many snaps did each starter on the O line have?
    I have to think on this game and see if what I saw was good, bad, and ugly. Now how many SEC games has Ole Miss lost last year and this.

  19. timphd

    Jesus, you would think the Dawgs lost the game from some of the comments. Face it, Richt knew his defense had Ole Miss in hand and only a freak play (of which GA has allowed many, granted) was going to get them back in the game. My guess is he was focused on getting Walsh some confidence and, if you listen to Walsh’s comments it worked, to keep sending him out to kick. He also makes a valid point that if you want a first down, get it on the first three tries. Stop leaving yourself 4th and 1. Kick them off the line and get it before 4th down.

    The D has done exceptionally well since Boise. They have given up 17 (I don’t count the first and goal at the 5 against SC), 0, and 7 points in the last three games. I don’t care which SEC team you play on the road, holding them to 7 points, and that on a trick play, is good work. Give Bobo credit, we have all been screaming to have him run Crowell outside and he did. He threw the ball to guys out of the backfield with success. He utilized the tight ends. If not for drops they score at least one more TD. If I have a criticism it is the way the special teams keep getting burned. I do wish they had a special teams coach, not three or four guys coaching different facets. That said, I’m hoping for another win just like it against Miss State.

  20. 69Dawg

    I get so mad when I hear about the Offense going conservative. UGA in it’s whole history has always played conservative and let the Defense save the day. Erk Russell became a living legend by saving Vince’s conservative O . Why can’t both sides of the ball play a whole game and see how we do. The Defense played their butts off in the 2nd half so the GD Offense could take some time off. I have often advocated that the Offense be made to run a gauntlet of D players to let the D play catch up on their sorry butts.

  21. Todd

    Light years from Bama and LSU. Talent and coaching gap are huge.

    • Andrew

      True, Bama & LSU & South Carolina & Florida all have over 11 rushing td’s.

      Need to go lot more old school, and start scoring more rushing td’s like the top SEC teams do.

      Got to finsih the drill.

  22. W Cobb Dawg

    Have to agree with the Senator, the win was vintage CMR. Never underestimate CMR’s ability to make the game’s outcome appear closer than it should have! Even with a dominating D! I’ll take the win. Next week is another must win/vital SEC game for us.

  23. Andrew

    I like that running the ball. Especially to Crowell.

  24. Andrew

    Had a hard time on 3rd down conversions on offense again. 3-6 in 1st half, 5-12 in 2nd half. Offense lost steam inside the 40 4 times. Just couldn’t convert a 3rd down.

    Anyone know why?

    • Merk

      Crowell would be tired and need a 3-4 play break. We would drive 30-40 yrds and stall. While I would say Crowell needs to stay in, I also do not want him to fumble or get hurt trying to get one extra play in if he really needs a breather. CT is a decent back up, but he benefits from the D expecting more passes b/c Crowell is out and Samuel falls after 2 yrds. Hell if he was not 6 ft something every other carry of his would go for 1 yrd.

  25. cp

    Was it just me or does Crowell need to tone down the taunting of the other players a bit after a good run or a good hit? I think he is the real deal…but eventually we are going to get a really nice run when we need it to make or break a very imporntant drive erased becasause of this. I understand passion and the joy of success after much hard work. I also understand youth and that’s the kinds of things you get from true freshmen. However its our coaches’ job to suppress the “thugs-like behavior” and create robots out of these guys so that they perform as they should and react in these situations as they should. It happened several times this past saturaday and that is Crowell’s flaw. If it happens next saturday its the coaches’ fault! What say you?

    • Merk

      If you watch after Crowell got in one guys face, Richt immediately went over to him and had a few words with him in front of the ref. I think mostly to show the refs that Richt knew he was talking crap and was saying something to him about cutting it out.

  26. Merk

    Well I think we can all look to the bright side. Even if Richt fails horribly the rest of the year and gets fired, Mullen aint gonna be getting ne UGA offers. Damn OT vs La Tech at home. A loss to Miss St. may now be worse then losing to Ole Miss would have been. At least Ole Miss can claim that they have crap recruiting/talent and a retarded HC. Mullen is supposed to be a solid OC/HC, but he has yet to prove it.

  27. Will Trane

    Gates, Lee, Jones … 82 snaps. Like a lot of offensive snaps, but that is a lot of plays for O linemen without any game subsitution. Bet every muscle they had ached after that game. Many bloggers like to use those words stud, beast…these guys on the O line have put it in. Damn guys, keep up the work.

    Bobo has to find a way when these guys get in red zone or a little out to get it in quick Not to complain about special teams, but those guys have to start carrying more of the game Some timely and crucial calls went in our favor. Maybe the O line gets a little break this week and the special teams get a few more drills in.

  28. AusDawg85

    1st & bomb would fix this! (/joking). This is going to be the biggest problem all year. We are so thin and banged-up on the O-line…these guys will dictate how far we can go. The improving D will certainly help, and we should be setting-up some big PA plays the more Crowell develops. But late in the 4th Q down in the red zone, our O-Line guys are going to be gassed and aren’t very good a pass protection anyway. CMB is going to have to get more creative with play-calling to compensate for this.

  29. S.E. Dawg

    My wife and I were at the game. Decided to stay in Tupelo. I don’t know if it’s something in the water in Mississippi but almost every person we talked to was hoping that we beat the holy crap out of the rebels. One was even UM cop. Once inside the stadium Mississippi fans were very friendly, even shaking my hand as we were leaving. Good win and Go Dawgs.

  30. Hobnail_Boot

    Senator, you had a better Oxford/Grove experience than we did.

    I’d call our experience in the Grove “Southern polite”. That is, people hold you in contempt but smile at the same time. Not nearly as accommodating as their reputation, pre- or post-game. Not to say we had a bad experience, but we were we expecting more.

    Downtown Oxford is nice. V-H Stadium was underwhelming.

    I don’t know about you, but I did not see one single shred of evidence to the existence of the Rebel Black Bear. Did you?

  31. Löwenhardt

    UGA beat the worst team in the SEC with no quarterback and no offense. What does that prove? Absolutely nothing other then it was a win. By the way, did any of you see Alabama and LSU play? See any similarity between those teams and UGA?

  32. OKDawg

    “Walsh may be in a field goal slump, but it’s not affecting the rest of his game. Kickoffs and kickoff coverage continue to be very, very good.”

    Except for the KO out-of-bounds. That brought back some not-so-fond memories.

    • I thought that was done in tribute to Walsh’s main man, Jon Fabris, who was in attendance at the game.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Senator, what did you think of Carleton Thomas’ performance in Oxford? I think that if he is used right he can be a big contributor.

        • What’s really impressed me about CT so far is his pass blocking. He’s been absolutely fearless throwing his body in there and has been quite effective.

          As long as he can hang onto the ball, there should be a place for him on offense.

          • Todd

            CT gives everything he has, and that is all we can ask. I still don’t understand the logic of recruiting a kid like that and playing him at rb. Did the coaches really think he was going to be SEC calibur rb or more of a slot guy? He could be used so much better than how it is now. Then again, they thought Samuel was going to be a good rb. Wonder when he lost his ability to run without tripping on chalk lines? Samuel runs so straight up, it almost looks like he has a back brace on .

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