I gave up; you did, too.

“That wasn’t the total plan coming in,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We were going to try to be balanced. But I just felt like after the first series, even though we gave up a couple of pressures, I felt like we could get open in their secondary. We just kind of opened it up from there.”

Every Georgia Tech game marks an anniversary of sorts.  I started GTP after the 2006 win over the Jackets.  Every win has been enjoyable, but there’s something more deeply satisfying about today’s.

For one thing, it caps a remarkable year.  After an 0-2 start, this team beat every longstanding rival on the schedule, something it hadn’t done in 30 years, and in the process, nullified the loss to South Carolina.  Georgia is going to the SECCG to face the most formidable team in the country.  I don’t argue that the Dawgs will likely open as a substantial underdog, but I’m not writing them off, either.

And that’s because Mark Richt and his coaching staff have come full circle.  In some ways, that’s even more remarkable than the 10-2 record.  The odds on a major program recovering from a sustained slump under the same head coach are fairly long.  But Richt has done just that.  Georgia dominated its in state rival in a way it hadn’t done in several years and it did so in large part by outcoaching the Yellow Jackets staff.

The quote from Bobo above is indicative of how far they’ve come.  Last year’s game wound up being a nail biter partly because he couldn’t keep his foot on the gas.  That wasn’t a problem this go ’round – all the more remarkable because he didn’t have a full deck to play with.

And Grantham continues to prove that he’s as good making halftime adjustments as any Georgia defensive coordinator in memory.  Against a triple option that gained almost 200 yards in the first half, Georgia came out in the second half and did this with Tech on its first four possessions: three plays, interception; four plays, punt; one play, interception; 13 plays, turnover on downs.

I can’t say I know exactly what sort of progress Greg McGarity was looking for going into this season.  From my selfish standpoint, I was looking for a team that was prepared to compete for a full sixty minutes.  I was also looking for a team that was prepared.  It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but I can’t argue with where this team finds itself tonight.  And so I find myself ready to believe again.  And, boy, is that a good feeling to rediscover.

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59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

59 responses to “I gave up; you did, too.

  1. WF dawg

    I saw this quote and knew you’d be on it, Senator. We surely have come a long way from Sept. 3.

  2. Zero Point Zero

    Damn damn damn! It feels good to win.

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    I gave up too! The Auburn game did it for me. It was a nice feeling today to watch this staff hammer away at Tech on both sides of the ball. Never to fear a loss. Way to Hunker Down Dawgs!

  4. Wow

    Stat of the game:
    Time of possession-
    UGA 29 1/2 mins, GT 30 1/2 mins
    Who’d’ve thought we’d split T.O.P. even with these guys? Especially after the run game got dumped on the first drive. Remarkable play calling and fantastic coaching all around.

  5. Bulldog Joe

    …and thanks for the mulligan, fish fry.

    • Zero Point Zero

      A D-Bag move that back fired. Could not have been better. What will that sycophant Bradley have to say about that coaching move? Right there with the let me score move last year. Can’t wait for the spin.

      • BMan

        The way Bradley writes about it, you’d think that Tech won the game in Athens last year. He’s basically giving Jowls McBoobs a pass by saying that he just needs more talent at QB and on defense.

        Yeah, you just described 90 percent of the ACC with that one Bradley. What he won’t write is that Johnson seems too disinterested in defense to recruit it seriously, and that he will always just get the scrappy players with less talent for most of his offense. No player with serious next-level talent is going to want to play in that offense…at any position. Can’t make it as a QB in that offense. RBs never pass block or catch passes in his system. Receivers don’t get enough looks and linemen are smaller and taught primarily to cut block. And I’m sure Johnson’s a real salesman in the living room too.

        • gastr1

          Everything you said there. Paul Johnson is like the kid who claims he’s a genius in math but whines that anything other than addition problems with single digits doesn’t count. He is the ABSOLUTE NUMBER 1 FUCKING EXPERT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD at one minutely important thing, and that is ALL that matters to him and all that should to anyone else. PERFECT fit for that school and its jackass fans.

          FUCK YOU, Georgia Tech, and your idiot fans/Paul Johnson/Mark Bradley/The AJC/Furman Fucking Bisher/Reggie Ball/Calvin Johnson’s Momma/George Godsey/that other George, the lyin’ one/Dave No Braine/Eddie Lee Ivery/Booby Dodd/who the hell else can I name?

          There. feel better now.

  6. Fuelk2

    Somebody’s going to get a nice little contract extension.

  7. Senator, how was leaving the Joke by Coke this afternoon? I have to imagine pretty satisfying.

  8. NRBQ

    C’mon, guys.

    Take it easy on the Yeller Smellers.

    Nahhhhh! Just funnin’!

    Anybody been over to StingTalk to see how the McDonald’s employee is enjoying his evening?

  9. Dave

    spot on, Senator…well said, as usual.

  10. Brandon

    “The odds on a major program recovering from a sustained slump under the same head coach are fairly long.” The reason we were able to do it was that our problem was not that complicated, we had a horrendous, godawful defensive coordinator and that defensive coordinator spent 5 years wrecking what had been one of the most consistently solid defenses in Division I under BVG and turning it into a situation where we were hard pressed to stop anyone, notable (Urban Meyer/Tim Tebow gang) or unnotable (Jonathan Crompton and Co.). Over time, taking ass whippings from other teams due to being PLACED out of position by said defensive coordinator, led our players into a) either not listening to their coaches or b) not giving full effort. Because of the rapid deterioration of the defense, our offense started being asked to score on nearly every possession in order to win, this is very difficult, especially in our league, this mentality led at times to players putting too much pressure on themselves and playing tight or trying to do much in order to stay ahead, which is a formula for mistakes, penalties, and turnovers. When Richt replaced Martinez with Grantham this process slowly started to reverse itself, players slowly gained confidence in what he was telling them to do, which led to more effort, with experience came better results. With all due respect to the Senator we gave up 34 points last year, this year 17, would it not have seemed like Bobo “took his foot off the gas” today if Tech had been scoring touchdowns on every possession in the second half, I think it would. We played much much better on defense this year and that was the key to the game.

    • Brandon

      None of that is to take any credit away from the offense, they played well today, just like they played well last year in this game, this year they had some defensive backup though and that made for an easier win.

    • Spence

      From the AJC. Look, the D is better, but other things are different:

      “The Bulldogs held a slim 14-10 advantage after Tech scored a touchdown with 1:13 left in the first half. But rather than rest on their laurels and count on getting the ball to start the third quarter, Richt told Bobo to keep his foot on the gas.

      “I told Mike to be aggressive,” Richt said, and Bobo complied.”

      • Brandon

        A good call considering we couldn’t really count on being able to run the ball in the second half so we needed points, but that kind of thing can and will blow up in your face just as easily as not and then all the machos telling you to go for it will be on you like stink on s**t saying you should have taken a knee. We get nothing anyway if PJ doesn’t call time out, I think the fact we were able to hold them in check defensively in the second half and not get worn down was the real difference from past years.

  11. Faulkner

    I was in the car on the way back from family time in TN. Anyone know where I can catch the repay?

    • Brandon

      Online at espn, it was still up a few hours ago.

    • Keese

      You can watch any full game replay of any Georgia football game this year at secdigitalnetwork.com just click on full games. You can also watch other full games of other sec teams

  12. Bryant Denny

    Congrats, Dawgs. For the record, I picked y’all 10-2. I never gave up. :)

  13. The General

    ESPN3.com has the replay if you have the right service provider.

  14. Keese

    Senator, might I add on tidbit of information to your post. I’m not sure when was the last time this has happened but Georgia has beat the spread 8-4 this year, which is pretty remarkable. Vegas can’t pin the Dawgs this year…in a good way. Traditionally it’s been the other way around

  15. Chrisfrmatl

    Senator, can we please enter “The Genius” into the lexicon when referring to Paul Johnson??

  16. Charles

    By contrast, I never gave up. I figured, “here’s the most successful coach in the history of our program (through 130 or however many games), and he simply didn’t forget to coach overnight.” Really, when you think about it, Alabama and Auburn’s success in the late decade has been a flash in the pan. No matter how much the media (and certain quarters of our fan base) kiss his ass, Saban is still good for a couple of losses per year. Yeah, I said it… the guy’s human. To say nothing of the fact that he’s a peevish asshole, with questionable roster management practices. Sure, he wins. But, for the most part, so does our guy. And with better APR scores and mentorship.

    At some point, Richt will win a national championship. That would shock some of my Facebook buddies, who endlessly piss and moan about “excellence” or whatever, when really they haven’t sniffed “excellence” a day in their personal lives. Fundamentally, I guess it all comes down to the fact that Richt is so mild-mannered that he’s kind of a Rorschach test for our fans. “He has a calm demeanor, so he’s obviously not as competitive as I am… doesn’t give as much of a damn as I do RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE.” “His faith is stronger than mine, so he clearly doesn’t have the killer instinct that I do RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE BULLSHIT RABBLE.”

    I’m not giving up on this guy. I think he’s an excellent coach, a great molder of young men, and someone of incredible character. We’re damn lucky to have him. You can tell yourself I’m wrong because I’m not as much of a fan as you, or whatever. But, the win-loss column doesn’t lie (especially when taken in context of our program’s history). And better yet, bright(er) days are ahead. I’m sorry I’m not sorry that some of you folks were miserable asses at the time that the program needed our support the most.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I’m down with this. Including using the hamburgler sound to mock our fair weather fanbase.

    • Dawgfan Will

      Seconded. I never gave up, but I was deathly afraid that the less ptient parts of our fanbase would run off the best coach we’ve ever had.

  17. Bevo

    Good post and fair points. I have to agree. Thanks for starting GTP and for keeping up the good work.

  18. Agree 99%.

    The part I disagree with is that we did in fact take our foot off the gas.

    Most of the 2nd half was hyper conservative on offense with barely any effort to drive or score.

  19. OKDawg

    As I watched the Dawgs handle Tech today and reflected on the course of this season, I thought Larry Munson is smiling down from heaven now over BDS.

    Richt deserves a lot of credit, as do Bobo, Grantham, and our players. The turnaround has been remarkable and a joy to watch.

    As always, It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

  20. Cosmic Dawg

    Senator,
    I did give up a little after the Boise game, but I think it was correct to give up a little after the Boise game, because it was a disaster in every way – we’re not smarter or more loyal now than we were after Boise – the coaching and playing is better – a LOT better.

    But I remember the way everybody was feeling after Sakerlina, and although we were disappointed with the loss, we got the 60 minutes of fight you mentioned. And that’s when I really got excited about this team – I’ll always root hard for the ‘Dawgs, but when they’re giving it their all, it is right to match their heart with your enthusiasm. Just like when last year’s team was mailing it in to UCF, it was right to respond with our own lackluster performance.
    .

  21. Macallanlover

    Good comments, Senator. I had felt we would go 1-1, perhaps 0-2, but would be favored the rest of the way. With no major injuries at critical times, we had a good shot at 10-2, and winning the East. I felt 9-3 was just as likely but didn’t know where we might slip. Now that doesn’t make me smart because I was proven right, but I recall many conversations where folks felt that way back in the summer.

    Perhaps the biggest difference between the way I felt and the many of you above is I didn’t feel like Boise was that bad a loss. They were a senior laden team with a proven, very talented QB. We were very young, and held our own in the first half. The loss of Ogletree, and them getting in a short-passing rhythm allowed them to win. But a 2 TD loss wasn’t awful to me, plus it was out of conference. Then we played SC out of the park in a game I felt we ould win, but gift-wrapped it away. What I am trying to say is, why would everyone have given up on what was an expected start to a schedule that was front loaded. We are one team in the country that doesn’t have a “bad loss”, and no one has manhandled us. Not many teams in the country that can say that….and we are much better now.

    Like you, I think LSU is deserving of the top ranking, and feel they are a better team than us, especially in OL and ST performance. If we put together an A game nest Saturday, not only will we be competitive, with the right bounce, or big play, we might just pull it off, I am not conceding anything either. But my happiness doesn’t depend on us shocking the CFB world, I like what I see with this team, and this staff, and I really like what is coming back. Mark Richt will be my choice for HC as long as he wants to stay….no, I never gave up, and he never has either.

    • Coastal Dawg

      It wasn’t the loss to Boise as much as the way we lost. I admit I was shking my head and starting to lose faith in Coach Richt’s ability to fix the problems. As we all hashed out on this blog, it was more of the same from the past 2 years. I felt better after the SC game and at the begining of the winning streak. Honestly though, I couldn’t breathe easy until we won the GA-FL game. As I told co-workers here in Jax, “I am sick over this, but we have to beat the Gators to save Mark Richt’s job.” As much as I loved beating the gators, the real joy that night was the relief and happiness for Mark Richt.

      Everything since then has reinforced that the team is improving, playing full 60 minutes, coming prepared to play as a disciplined team reflective of good coaching. The Mark Richt of the first 5 years is indeed back. I feel as good about our program as I did on January 2, 2008.

  22. Hayduke

    Hey… we finally handed the ball off to the fullback!
    Fucking ‘Tree for a great run!
    Can we please do this again?Please??

  23. Jim

    “I was looking for a team that was prepared to compete for a full sixty minutes.  I was also looking for a team that was prepared”

    Amen to that. I too am ready to believe again – nothing like walking right up to the ledge, looking over, and stepping back to fight another day. Couldn’t agree with your post more senator

  24. IndyDawg

    NO Georgia coach has enjoyed a 10-1 run versus Tech, ever, other than Mark Richt. He’s undefeated at BDS. From now on, I’m referring to that place as Mark Richt Field. I hope he stays long enough to double down on that record.

  25. JaxDawg

    It all starts with Defense fellas.

  26. H-Town Dawg

    While the ESPiN pundits are busily asking “who has Georgia played” and making other attempts to discredit the Dawgs what they SHOULD be talking about is that this Dawg team is actually one of those “a year away” type teams. Think about the youth on this club. Think about the constant shuffling of the lineups every week. Think about a team whose leading rusher and leading receiver are true freshmen, both of whom have missed games for injuries and other things. Think about a team with only a couple of seniors on defense – first or second unit. Think about a team where only freshmen are available as backups on the offensive line. These are the kinds of things the pundits should be talking about when they discuss the Dawgs. Which reminds me that Mark May can kiss my ass!

    GO DAWGS!!

  27. LowDawg

    thank you Senator, GTP my go to site for all that is DawgNation.
    I will be in Atlanta – cheering for a team that I never thought would get there. CMR has done the un-doable. Living in South Carolina I am laughing my ass off at the chickens who have the winningest team in history and still sitting on their asses this Saturday!!

  28. Siskey

    Lets just take it one game at a time. I am super proud of Richt, Bobo, Gratham and the team this year. I will think about next year after the Bowl game. Lets give LSU a good game, see who comes back for their Senior year and then start thinking about next year.
    Go Dawgs!