Observations from the armchair, Georgia Tech edition

Yeah, I wasn’t there yesterday – my first missed Tech game since 1999.  My usual ticket sources dried up, I was hearing ridiculous sums for scalped tickets and there were rumors about a bunch of counterfeit tickets being offered, so I bagged it.  Needless to say, was I pissed when I saw the opening shot of BDS with all the open seats.  Jeebus.

But the broadcast did little to diminish my enjoyment of the day’s proceedings (although Jones and Cunningham did their best to distract).  If that was what looking forward gets you, I can’t wait to see how the Dawgs look fully focused.

Here are some things I saw:

  • I got a kick out of the opening shot of the South Asian students cheering.  Football, the new melting pot – although I wonder how those kids explain things to the folks back home.
  • As I expected, Al Groh came out running the Kentucky game plan, a five-man line and plenty of run blitzing.  One of the game keys was that Bobo made him pay for that by quickly going to the passing game.
  • Orson Charles led all receivers with five catches.  He could have had twenty, if Bobo had called ‘em.  Tech had no answer.
  • Garrison Smith had a great game.  Tech gambled frequently with double teams on Jenkins and Geathers and Smith made them pay for that.
  • Christian Robinson, on the other hand, not so much.  Silly offside penalty and some big missed tackles hurt.  Gilliard, surprisingly, whiffed a couple of times, too.
  • Murray and King finally looked like they were on the same page.  But, damn, Tavarres, what was the story on backing off that first down at the end of the first half?
  • Loved Richt’s aggressiveness at the end of the first half.  Getting that score and Boykin’s run back to start the second half really were what sealed Georgia’s control of the game.
  • And if the only decision by Richt I can grumble about was going for a long field goal to go up by 24 instead of punting, that’s a damned good day.  Richt did an especially good job with clock management at the end of the first half.
  • Two signs that it was Georgia’s day:  Johnson’s icing the kicker move blowing up in his face and Charles’ fumble on the first drive of the second half bouncing right back to him.
  • The play you’d like to have back was Murray’s overthrow of a wide open Tavarres King mid-third quarter.  If he hits the receiver in stride, King is still running.
  • SEC refs can’t catch holding and pass interference to save their lives, but by Gawd, they’re all over an excited kid spiking the ball after a big play.
  • Nice run, Zander Ogletree.
  • And good for you, Ken Malcome.
  • The first three touchdown catches came off defensive breakdowns of various shapes and sizes, but the last catch by Aron White was due to a brilliant throw from his quarterback.  The look on Al Groh’s face after that play told it all.
  • Don’t know what I enjoyed more – Johnson calling dive plays late in the third quarter with his team down by 21 or Tech’s passing game.
  • The triple option didn’t seem to slow Ogletree and Jones down much.  And you knew Jarvis was going to get a sack before it was all over.

Ten out of the last eleven.  These are the glory years for COFH.  Long may they run.

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62 Comments

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62 responses to “Observations from the armchair, Georgia Tech edition

  1. SouthGa Dawg

    Ed Cunningham is the worst color announcer in history. I was yearning for the days of Bob Davie – that is sad. I think having to work with Pam Ward for a couple of years really damaged Cunningham.

    • Russ

      I was almost yearning for “Davie – Jones Locker” after having to hear Cunningham a couple of times this year. He’s a complete idiot.

      • Brandon

        Cunningham is awful, absolutely awful, he does not watch the game. What irritates me most is he so cocksure about his ridiculous opinions.

    • SouthGa Dawg

      I was though concerned with the missed tackles on the big FB. We’ll call it “a lack of focus with the game in hand.” We can;t miss those tackles vs LSU.

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        What was Cunningham’s problem? So having Murray in the game up 21 and still trying to score wasn’t a good call but having him in only up 14 was the right call because they scored?

        The whole point of trying to score was to get it to 4 scores so that you wouldn’t have to have him in the rest of the game, numb nuts. Either the game is completely in hand or it isn’t.

        Also, I don’t know if anyone heard, but DeAngelo Tyson rolled his ankle. Terrible call having him in on the second play of the game instead of resting him.

        He decided before the game that his theme would be ‘should they play with the SEC championship game next week’, which is just stupid considering this game affects the post-season bowl process, too. Numb nuts.

        • BMan

          The whole broadcast was weak. Instead of doing filler pieces on the rivalry, they did canned Atlanta pieces filled with every Chamber of Commerce stereotype that would run during a bowl game. Peachtree Street, peanuts, the Carter Center…just dreadful. That being said, Ed Cunningham needs to take a big gulp of STFU. He was terrible during the UGA-UT game and even worse here.

  2. Amen, Senator. Long may they run.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    When are the nerds going to rename it to “Historic Mark Richt Field”

    • CoachSpurlock

      +1! Love it!

    • ChicagoDawg

      McGarity needs to start a building fund to put a 3rd deck on that bitch. It could be his signature building project as AD. It is a sad day when the program has good fans like the Senator watching home games from a recliner.

  4. X-Dawg

    I knew the announcing was for crap when they began the broadcast by calling Bobby Dodd Stadium “one of the jewels of the South”. That’s quality there.

  5. The Original Cynical in Athens

    I have only missed 2 Gtu games since ’98. Been to nearly every SEC stadium, along with Clemson, Georgia Southern and Chattanooga. I sat in the student section at LSU, in the players’ parents section of Bama and the Florida side of the Cocktail Party.

    Never, ever in all of my football attending have I witnessed such poor fan behavior as yesterday. If any Gtu fan ever says anything to you again about “class” and sidewalk alums, and all the rest of their usual drivel, just laugh at them.

    Usually the win over Gtu is just sort of something that happens and is never particularly rewarding. After yesterday, I remember why this game will always be our biggest and most important rivalry, and I am glad that Coach Richt treats it as such.

    • baltimore dawg

      i haven’t lived in ga for 25 years, and i still struggle with tolerating the existence of the average tech fan.

  6. baltimore dawg

    the most encouraging thing about bobo’s game (actually the last several games) was his willingness to take what the defense was giving up without needlessly (and absurdly) pressing a game plan that just wasn’t there for the taking. the absence of this quality in the past has been the one legit criticism of bobo, in my opinion, and he seems to have overcome his need to stay the course regardless of what’s happening on the field.

    christian robinson, i hate to say b/c he’s a damn good dawg, has been weak all season, actually. i think he stays pretty banged up, but he’s just not in the same class as the other lbs.

    • OKDawg

      Agree with you on Bobo. Seems he learned a valuable lesson from the Boise State game, and it has paid dividends.

      • Cojones

        Yeah, and I’m sure he appreciates your valuable critiques so late in our season. Yall really taught him some football, didn’t you? Your arrogance knows no bounds and the criticism he has endured from internet nobodies is monumental. I’m sure you may be somebodies in your workplace, but I would like to hear of your football critique credentials on here. You both sound callous and stupid today.

        I’m sure Bobo has learned from all games he has coached. His knowledge of UGA O surpasses everyone in this nation except Richt, but hell you wanted another head coach as well if I remember correctly. Player performance accounted for those first two losses, not coaching mistakes. Unfortunately, you guys will never learn that you have missed the lessons of the first games. Instead of conceeding that you were wrong all along, you insult other fan’s intelligence with your feckless coaching abilities.

        • ChicagoDawg

          Down goes Frazier!! Down goes Frazier!!

          Go have a beer and relax Cajones. Youv’e earned it after that curb stomp.

        • OKDawg

          Relax, friend. I have wanted Richt to fight through this and turn things around all season. I couldn’t be happier with how he weathered the storm. I am a big supporter of his and have been even through the tough times. My comment on Bobo was that it appears that he has changed up his strategy over the course of this season. Keep taking what they give you. The Senator and many others have noticed the same. And I’m not alone in pointing out that Bobo’s strategy against BSU played into the strength of their defense and he made few adjustments. Now, he seems to approach things differently and the results show. Of course he didn’t that lesson from me or anyone else. He learned it on his own, and I applaud his game-calling following that first game. Was that an arrogant enough response for you? ;)

        • heyberto

          First off, let me say that I’m not one that thinks or thought that Bobo should go. When he’s on, the man is on. But what led me to criticize him was what appeared to be an inability to adapt mid-game. A stubborn adherence to a game plan that doesn’t appear to be working. I don’t get how anyone thinks things will be better if Bobo is gone. He’s a disciple of Richt, so whether they boot him or Richt takes it over.. how’s it going to be any different? he’s a disciple of Richt.

          What’s become apparent to me is that if you support Richt (which I do) then you have to take what you get with Bobo and how he calls plays. That appears to include adherence to an overall scheme of play that’s predetermined in an effort to get personnel in a comfort zone with said scheme. That’s the bad that we’ll have to take with the good, and that may not be a bad trade off so long as we’ve got a stout defense.

        • Faulkner

          Bobo played to BSU strengths in the first game. Look at our play formations when we scored. It is OK to critique him if you do so rationally and with evidence to support your claim.

          • Cojones

            Also look at the players not executing plays that could have made a big difference. The players were nervous and stunned in a big loud arena. Shit happens, but you don’t blame that on the O Coach or anyone else. I do not accept any such arguments against Bobo’s game planning nor what he has taught players. The players have taken responsibility which is a lot more than can be said for those who have chosen a path to “excellence” by corroding the players efforts by attacking their coach.

  7. brad

    2 more things I loved: Christian Robinson and Shawn Williams teaming up to destroy a GT player on an interception return.
    Shawn Williams’ interception. Great catch.

    • Cojones

      Gilliard is still a favorite hitter and he uncleated a guy at the line. He overplayed sometimes and overran the play, but he always gets his tackles and his pound of flesh when he’s in the game. They are all fun to watch, aren’t they?

  8. timphd

    Just watched the replay. I loved Richt going on 4th and 1 in UGA territory, and pushing for a score at the end of the first half. I don’t know when the transition occurred for him, but he is now playing to win. Team seems to love it too. Go Dawgs! Beat LSU!

    • Turd Ferguson

      Near the end of the first half against Auburn (I think it was the Auburn game), the commentators were joking about how “greedy” Richt was to call a timeout and try to get a few more points before halftime. I remember thinking, “Would this even be a discussion with any other coach in this league?”

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        UGA faces a double standard it seems with TV commentators, the SEC front office, the SEC refs, the NCAA, everyone. The ball spiking incident that drew the flag–I’ve seen other SEC teams do that and worse this season with no penalty called.

  9. David

    I think the play you’d like back more was the first play after the first interception. Murray underthrew Mitchell wide open down the middle. He would have caught it at the 5 and could have literally walked into the endzone before a Techie would’ve tackled him.

  10. Bill M

    Didnt slow Jarvis down? he looked terrible against the triple option. Dude had about 10 missed assignments. Definitely not his element and am glad they are the only option team we play this year (not counting LSU)

  11. Marshall

    Well you picked a good one to miss back in ’99. Still to this day, the single worst UGA football experience I’ve ever had in 30 years and almost 200 games in attendance. I’ll never forget that one…

    I swore off the flats after 2007. From 1983-2007 I went 8-1 and felt like I was pushing my luck. Not to mention the fact that I hate that goddamn place.

    You hit on everything, Senator. I was especially proud of Ken Malcolme. If you count King and Ealey as our 1st and 2nd stringers after spring ball, then you could say that our 6th string tailback helped win the game for us with some tough-ass, hard-nosed running. We are fortunate to have some real depth at that position with the injuries and other issues we’ve faced.

    • Cojones

      That never-changing stadium takes old farts’s memories back quite a ways. It’s the “jewel” because it’s an antique.

  12. Chadwick

    Senator,

    They really didn’t do that great of a job against the TO, especially in the first half. I saw several players out of position on the pitch and it gave the rb the corner. What our boys didn’t do was allow a ten yard game to turn into a fifty yard td as in 2008.

    Robinson didn’t have a good day. He was caught taking the wrong back and completely getting lost on the mis-direction dive play Johnson has incorporated into their attack. He saw it happening as the camera would catch his head snapping around to see the RB fly past him on his right. It happened enough to be something that will have to get attention this week. LSU runs a delay by the QB on the option after an inside fake. If Robinson bites Jefferson will make him pay.

    My quibbles above are isolated, though, and the whole team played a whale of a game yesterday. They also have some in game experience to help stymie what they’ll see from LSU’s option attack. It’s turned out to be a nice scout team scrimmage for what’s coming up on Saturday.

    I hate GT.

  13. tbia

    I continue to question how Tech can EVER prepare for a good tight end, since they have zero on the roster to practice against.

    I am sure though, that is just part of fish fry’s master plan.

  14. Ben

    I don’t think boo is really ready to carry the load yet, but he definitely deserves to get a few carries. Despite the fact that Carlton up the middle has worked a couple times this year, he is STiLL not effective in my estimation. KM at least moved the pile in the right direction when he was in.

  15. shane#1

    Glad for the win and glad no one else was injured by the cut blocking. Is winning a ballgame worth ending a kids career? That stuff needs to be outlawed. Murray was on except for the usual inexplicable derp. I believe that Murray will be more and more consistent because of his hard work. When he reaches that level, look out SEC.

  16. Spence

    Senator, I was one of the folks duped into buying fake tickets, which is a solid $110 I’ll never get back. The only good thing I’ll ever say about Tech is that they at least kept some tickets in reserve for people who bought fakes. Looks like all of their tickets are $75 each, and may explain why their stadium is so empty. That and their football team.

  17. Cojones

    The upcoming game with LSU should give us how much this team has gelled this year. Even with two years under our belt in the 3-4 D, there will be confusing plays, depending upon the imagination of offensive coaches. I expect this game will be no different, but can’t get the nagging thought out of my head that this group of players are better than their group of players. Overall, I feel we are better on offense, but the opponent’s D has a lot to say about how that offense performs and it works both ways. Our D can stop their O.

    This LSU team is no different from some good ones we defeated in the recent past except for uber-hype from ESPN. It sounds like our players haven’t bought into it and I propose we follow our team’s confidence in approaching this game. And remember that in a couple of months, some of these guys become alums. Then they can come on here and put the nonbelievers down.

  18. Irwin R. Fletcher

    17-4 over the last 21, too. It’s all about ‘perceptions’, right Coach Johnson?

    If someone knows how to edit Wikipedia, will you please go and edit off the Jackets 2009 championship they had to give back?

    • I know, ESPN still gave them credit for that too. Which reminds me, who in God’s great heaven hired the information staff for the game yesterday? ESPN was very bad with information – both this season and historical (who knew Rex Robinson was Drew Butler’s dad?) – and should be downright embarrassing for the “sports leader”.

    • gastr1

      Press the “edit page” bar at the top, man. It ain’t rocket science.

  19. Grafton

    I’m so tired of hearing the pundits talking about how Alabama just proved to the country that they are the #2 team in the country by whipping AU 42-14. I guess they all forgot about us whipping AU 45-7. I college football but I hate the politics involved.

    • scooter329

      Yeah, along similar lines I read Stewart “Montana” Mandel’s weekend wrap…of course he said nothing about our game…obviously that huge game between a #15 Michigan and unranked Ohio State deserved a page’s worth of coverage…

      He did have the SECCG in his mini previews for the upcoming weekend: gave us “all due credit for winning 10 in a row but we haven’t played any current top 25 teams since South Carolina”. I’m pretty sure both Auburn and GT were in the top 25 before we kicked their respective asses but of course that doesn’t count…

  20. JasonC

    To one of your last points, after I watched the highlights, I thought Murray wasn’t that spectacular, Tech’s secondary was so freakin’ awful. The receivers were wide open on almost every key pass and TD he threw. However, Murray did have a great game and just made them pay for their inability to play with the Dogs.

    • adam

      Conley’s TD was on a beautiful route. He’s gonna be a great one before he leaves Athens.

      • gastr1

        What a crop of receivers we have here…Mitchell, the burner; Bennett, the hands guy in the clutch; Conley, the big man for the end zone and short yardage plays. Truly a terrific bunch.

  21. classic city blood

    I didn’t see Herrera play any? Could be my own oversight. I thought Boykin set the tone with his return to open the second half. I also agree that Cunningham was AWFUL! At least we get ol’ Verne back this week. GO DAWGS!!

    • Chopdawg

      Don’t know how this’ll work next Sat’dy…but try going online to find the UGA-network radio broadcast (WRGA-AM worked yesterday). Then, if you can, pause the TV feed just a few seconds, get the TV timed to the radio, & mute the TV. XM Radio has worked for this as well, but XM only had the Tech broadcast yesterday.

      I’ve attended five games this fall, but Neal (Hondo) Williamson finally shamed me into not coming to any more games, what with his fussing about fans leaving the stadium early (even if you pay big money to buy tickets & park, and have to drive 3+ hours one-way, Hondo thinks you should stay to the end). So, I’ve learned how to manipulate the broadcast media! It’s fun.

    • The Lone Stranger

      To my eyes, UGa appeared to be using Ogletree in the role of ILB, and it was wise as he busted through their line repeatedly with disruptive run-blitzes and basic mayhem.

  22. W Cobb Dawg

    The defense doesn’t disappoint – shows up to play hard every week. I thought Bobo called a fine game, though I’m not a fan of CMB. At the risk of incurring the wrath of fellow commenters, I’ll say I still don’t get our running game strategy. Last week we run a 170 lb RB up the middle til he’s nearly killed. This week we don’t see the kid at all.

    • Hayduke

      I agree about the running game. We did however finally hand the ball off to one of our very athletic FBs for a nice gain. I imagine that we would have had use of Crowell in a few more games this years had we been running our FBs 10-15 times a game between the tackles. Definitely beats slamming one of the elves in there.

  23. I have to disagree with the clock management at the end of the first half. Tech had first and goal inside our 10 and we let the clock run for 40 seconds. They scored on the next play. We were able to drive the ball down and get a field goal. If we had more time, then we could have worked for a TD. It’s nitpicking, but I didn’t understand why they didn’t use the timeouts at that point with 2+ minutes in the game and Tech could only run 4 plays before we got the ball back.

  24. Jim from Duluth

    From row 41 of that @$#%& north end zone upper deck ..

    The 5-man front is the only thing Groh’s defense had in common with what Kentucky used to slow us down. UK did a good job matching up underneath while at the same time bracketing our receivers going upfield, therefore making life miserable for Murray. It looked like Tech was trying to play man to man .. Murray, Orson and our corps of WRs happily made them pay for it.

    With the exception of Tech’s poor bowl outings under PJ, this was easily his worst-coached game on north ave. He picked a great time for it, imo.

    Jim