“If football games were 15 minutes long, Georgia would have been the best team in the country.”

It’s hard to argue with much in Paul Myerberg’s post-mortem of Georgia’s 2011 season.

The Bulldogs allowed only 27 points in the first quarter all season: Boise State, Florida and Auburn scored one touchdown apiece; Mississippi State and Kentucky added a field goal; and the rest, the other nine teams, were held scoreless. In the first half of games, Georgia outscored its 14 opponents by a score of 275-111. Against Auburn on Nov. 12, the Bulldogs put together the program’s most dominating first half of SEC play since… when?

But it was a different story in the second half…

His look forward is pretty much spot on, as well.

… So why is Georgia’s succession plan for these five former standouts so vital? Because everything else is in place to make a B.C.S. run. The offense is ready to take another step forward if the new-look line gels in time for September. The defense gets better with every snap it takes in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 system. If Richt can seamlessly insert a handful of new starters into the mix, the only thing Georgia will be missing is a killer instinct.  [Emphasis added.]

Not exactly a minor detail, that.

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37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

37 responses to ““If football games were 15 minutes long, Georgia would have been the best team in the country.”

  1. Spike

    And that has been true for a while.

    • Keese

      Back in the early 2000’s it seemed the other way around. Georgia would lag then make half time adjustments and get back into the game

  2. have yet to see a richt-led uga team that did have a killer instinct!

    • Ben

      Richt-led? I’m thirty-one, and I can remember at least three coaches who’ve come through, and none of their teams have a ‘killer instinct’. The only killer we have had at UGA for as long as I can remember us Yoculan, and I don’t see her changing Richt’s mentality.

      • Joe

        She was honestly one of the greatest coaches of any sport in any decade ever.

        A true killer second only to Michale Jordan, although she had 4 more rings to her credit!

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Can Suzanne coach the offense? Maybe we could just get her to show up on gameday and call the plays?

  3. TennesseeDawg

    If we ever see our QB slide again to set up a 40+ yard field goal, the entire stand better empty on to the field with tar and feathers in hand.

  4. Haywood Jablome

    Having a killer instinct is a.k.a. not wanting to embarrass the competition. As long as Richt is in charge, I expect nothing to change.

  5. Joe

    Sure beats 2009 when we were seemingly down 14 after 10 minutes against everyone.

  6. AthensHomerDawg

    You have to admit it! The whole Auburn game was fun to watch. . Bobo purposely took his foot off the gas-throwing only two passes in 2nd half and invited Auburn to load the box to defend the run. And yet they could not stop us. No not on that day. Destiny was to have its way. PAYBACK is a Bitch some times ….. and a sweet lover other times! Oh Auburn was singing the blues at that point! Turn the sound up!!!!!!

  7. Again it is because of BOBO. It proves that he has a very short concentration and unable to finish the day. On the second half, the amount of information to be analyze from the opposing defenses overwhelms him to paralysis.

  8. Macallanlover

    I don’t care about ever seeing a team rolling up points with starters in the 4th quarter when up by 28+. That isn’t impressive, and has nothing to do with “killer instinct”. But good football is not changing what is working in the middle of the 3rd Qtr, because you are up by 10 and don’t want to make a mistake. Big difference. We put the game in the deep freeze too early last season, and we didn’t have the OL to control the clock. We ended up not scoring enough, and making the defense stay on the field far too long. Games like Vandy and Miss State looked way too close simply because of bad strategy. That is on the coaches, not the conditioning.

    Once you get to a comfortable margin, say 21+ in the 4th Qtr, or 28+ late in the third, it s time to put backups in and get them some “real” game experience by running the offense and defense the starters ran earlier. We need to get experienced backups and anything you do at that point is fair game. I don’t want to call time out, or run the hurry-up offense, but let the backups play football.

    • Krautdawg

      Agree. You don´t need to win by 30, but you do need an offense that can move the chains reliably. What was it Saban praised most about his offense after winning this year’s BCS? “They controlled the clock” were his words, I believe.

      For me, our ranking of 119th in sustained drives is the most important issue to fix next year. No matter who our D-coordinator is; if a competent O coordinator has 15 or 16 drives to work with, he’ll start finding exploitable opportunities (especially if our starting 11 have played every snap!).

    • MinnesotaDawg

      +1. Right on.

  9. charlottedawg

    It boils down to making plays when they matter, Georgia wins at least12 games if nothing else changes except adding a competent special teams and taking better care of the football. Off the top of my head we blow out USC, Mich. and Miss St., Ole Miss, and Florida and at least hang w/ LSU if we just add decent special teams and don’t score points for them. Georgia gets even better if they hold onto a couple sure tds or pick 6s. That is what it’ll take for Georgia to go from good to elite.

  10. SnakeDog4

    Becoming a better 2nd half team comes down to 3 things:

    1- Strategy- got to get better at 2nd half adjustments, got to go away form tendencies more often, coaching has really been far too conservative here
    2- Conditioning- team just looked tired in 3rd and 4th quarters, whole approach needs to be re-vamped
    3- Poise/Player Execution- players must do a better tactical job of carrying out the strategy. Can’t have running backs fumbling, receivers and secondary dropping passes, missed blocks/tackles, offensive turnovers.

    If i had to narrow it one thing, I’d say QB td to int ratio is the one thing to watch in 2nd half and in 4th quarter, especially against good teams like LSU. Stafford, Cox, and Murray have all struggled here.

  11. paul

    Our defenses under Erk had the killer instinct. Grantham is trying to get back to that. I’m not sure our offense has ever had the killer instinct. At least not in my lifetime. Dooley preferred to grind you to death. Who knew what Goff was trying to do? Donnan just wanted to score more points than the other guy. Richt wants to control both the ball and the pace of the game. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the personnel to do so.

  12. SnakeDog4

    3rd quarter has been real issue for UGA QB for 5 years.

    UGA QB’s finished in SEC in 3rd quarter interceptions:
    2007- LAST (4) stafford
    2008- LAST (4) stafford
    2009- 11TH (4) cox
    2010- 3RD (1) murray
    2011- LAST (5) murray

    • Normaltown Mike

      That makes perfect sense.

      Our only losing season under CMR was the one where our QB was top 3 in the key category of 3rd Quarter interceptions.

      Thanks for playing though.

  13. D.N. Nation

    Couple things:

    – He got the Florida game all wrong. It was Georgia who made a comeback, not the Gators.
    – In no way, shape, or form was Miss. State ever even remotely kinda sorta 10% threatening in the second half of that game.

    • In no way, shape, or form was Miss. State ever even remotely kinda sorta 10% threatening in the second half of that game.

      Amen, brother. They basically dared Relf to beat them with his arm and once he proved incapable of doing that it was complete shutdown mode. Murray’s pick-6 is the only thing that even made that score look somewhat respectable for MSU.

  14. cousin eddie

    I have wondered after the auburn game why the team can’t play that inspired more often. I know they had revenge on their minds and it is hard to get that fired up every weekend but they totally dominated a fair to decent auburn team that day but yet didn’t dominate teams again until LSU in the first half.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I will see your “explain the Auburn game” and raise you a “explain the 3rd quarter of the Hillbilly game” when we were rolling along nicely and then all of the sudden we were 3rd and 105 back on our side of the field.

      • Macallanlover

        I just watched the replay of the TN game 2 weeks ago and you are right about that drive, it would have been the knock-out punch the way our defense was playing. At the game it just shocked you to see the back, to back, to back, to back penalties. I have never seen anything quite like that before. One of the early calls was a very bad call, but other than that the calls were correct. Definitely changed the tenor of the game. UT was not a game where we can blame “taking your foot off the pedal” on.

        That 4th down conversion by Sims that led to their touchdown was just terrible defense on our part and the only reason that game looked close. I was struck again by the decision by Richt to go for it on 4th and 1 on the opening drive, even after the timeout SOD took to prepare. Set the tone and I felt confident from that point forward. We were “in it to win it”.

  15. SnakeDog4

    Competition, at every position, with an eye on 2nd half performance, would probably fix the problem. If a guy knows he’s going to be benched, he’ll concentrate more closely. I’d rotate at every position, to help conditioning, and hold players accountable to 2nd half performance (for example, you get benched next 1/2 if you play poorly in 2nd half.

  16. W Cobb Dawg

    CMR is a paradox. On defense he’s been willing to hand over the keys to DC’s who’ve successfully run formations as different as the 4-3 and 3-4. But on offense he’s as stubborn as any coach in the game with the I-formation, 2 WR, prototypical drop back passer set – and a playbook that hasn’t changed since his days at FSU. Our offensive coaches are going to call the exact same plays as previous years. The only difference is if AM can execute better, or the OL can block better, or the RBs can run better than last year. But the playcalling is going to be the same.

    • NRBQ

      Actually, 2011 saw a very different philosophy regarding the I-formation.

      None of us foresaw the heavy dependence on the shotgun before the season, especially the weird no-huddle-but-not-a-hurry-up style.

      I’m not sure what percentage of single-back (H-back) plays were run, but it was a shit-load. The one big game where coaches ran mostly classic I-formation was vs UF, and it was the key for the win.

  17. Cojones

    And not one word specifically mentioning D to make it a Team problem. Many of you have to adjust your blinders before I will read anything worthwhile into generally negative comments about the O. Your logic isn’t based in an overview. It is focused negatively on one area only so it doesn’t qualify as anything new concerning what can be done (in your OPINION) to help the team.

    None of us have any idea what is happening with the player dynamics during any game. You can’t because you aren’t on the bench, you are not on the staff and you don’t see or know squat what players and coaches are faced with during a game. You just throw out some negative bumble based on your poorly informed opinion and expect others to read and hear the “insight ” each possesses. Hardly. Just the opposite. I get a better opinion of the team and a bad opinion of the opinionaters.

    The coaches and players are around each other throughout the year; they practise together; they are aware of each other’s strengths and faults: who the leaders and followers are; how each player plays the game. That leads to the correct players positioned to play at differing times in a game; no matter what the score and no matter the situation, they are played as the game dictates since the coaches are aware of the strengths they can bring to the game at that moment. And there is not a soul on this earth who can second guess the coaches giving the correct plan and the players playing the game correctly.

    Pick on STs, folks. We don’t have a clue to this puzzle called “Playing SEC Football” when it comes to game time and playing. If you seriously think you do, your ego is writing checks that your ass will have to cash later. Senator, I challenge you to have a Game Plan contest before games that’s whittled down to the most viable by popular blogger’s belief and put it against what is called in games. Then we can afford to take the OPINIONATED game plan apart using the game played on the field as the standard. Then let the chips and the egos fall where they lay. But right now, this opinionated nonsense doesn’t add anything as to team insight or what to build on.

    Some posters live in the world of reality when they mention substituting players in the game when it is well in hand. Everyone just differs as to what “well in hand” means. Some idiots would have us leave our best players in the entire game, burn them out and cause career injuries just to satisfy what they claim is a “Killer Instinct” mentality. Pome de Rue. Pot stirred. Have at it, geniuses.

  18. OKDawg

    Can a tiger change his stripes?

  19. shane#1

    To have a killer instinct you have to have some killers. Two quotes from Bear Bryant. He was once low rating his team and an assistant told him that Bama had some good boys. “That’s the problem” said the Bear, “they are all good Boys. I want ya’ll to find me some mean son’s of bitches that I have to bail out of jail on Friday so that they can play Saturday.” Another time Bear was walking behind his backup O lines when they were down in their stance and kicking each man in the butt. An assistant got Bear to the side and asked why he was kicking the players. “I am looking for the son of a bitch mean enough to kick me back, and when I find him he’s gonna start.” replied Bear. UGA’s killers run afoul of the scooter patrol and the keystone cops and are suspended or kicked out. Stanfill and WScott would not last a year in Athens today.

    • Cojones

      Why wouldn’t Bill and Jake last a year in Athens today? They weren’t anywhere as stupid and naive as many players who get arrested nowadays. Jake missed bedcheck and all other grievances for both were rumored or confirmed 45 years later.

  20. shane#1

    Damn spell check, red lines ya’ll and lets WScott go. Must be made by Yankees.

  21. Jake Scott would not last a year in Athens because when you go to Stegman Coliseum and you see the iron fence at the point where the fly buttresses meet the roof, those are there for a reason. As legend has it those fences are there because Jake Scott drove a motorcycle over the entire length of Stegman support arch(up one side and down the other). If the campus law enforcement idiots caught someone doing that today they would throw them under the jail. They would make sure that story made the front page of the AJC but I’d call it killer instinct because it shows a certain fearlessness that the Dawgs can use. But no,I don’t think stays on the team more than one year now.

    • shane#1

      Amen brother. Not to mention the bars they cleaned out. By cleaned out I mean whipping ass from one end of the bar to the other. I would not want a defensive player on my team that wasn’t at least capable of cleaning out a bar. Actually clearing a bar would be a plus. jdrip- That ain’t a legend. Jake said he did it. Riding a bike across Stegman beats the hell out of exiting an alley.