“Where Mark Richt keeps coming up with these quarterbacks is anyone’s guess.”

Brandon Larrabee catches something about Richt that I think deserves more attention than it generally gets:

… In his 12 seasons coaching in the SEC, only three times has Georgia not ranked in the top half of the SEC in passing efficiency — and only once more have they failed to place in the top third of the league. Two of those years can be explained as the Joe Cox interregnum (2009, when Georgia ranked seventh in the conference) and Matthew Stafford’s freshman season (2006, when the team ranked 10th). Aaron Murray has taken that trend to new heights; the 172.81 team passer rating in 2012 was the highest the Dawgs have hit with Richt at the helm, and Murray was the second-best passer in the country by that measure. But he’s part of a trend nonetheless.

Really, when you get down to it, one flop with a quarterback who’d spent significant time in the program in twelve years ain’t too shabby.  I wonder how many other programs can boast of a similar track record.  You’d have to think that bodes well for Georgia next year after Murray’s departure.

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66 Comments

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66 responses to ““Where Mark Richt keeps coming up with these quarterbacks is anyone’s guess.”

  1. RP

    We already have top QB recruits this year (Brice Ramsey) and next year (Jacob Park) with another 2015 guy from CA looking hard at Georgia. It’s safe to say at this point the top QB prospects from around the counrty recognize what Richt and Bobo have to offer.

    • Dawgbro42

      Ricky Town, the aforementioned CA QB with an offer, committed to Alabama earlier this week.

      Not a huge issue with Ramsey and Park on board.

  2. Rocket Dawg

    The only way Murray doesn’t match last year in yds/TD’s is if he doesn’t have to in order to win games. With the running game we have this year it may not be necessary to throw for 300/3TD every game (although with our receivers that could certainly happen).

  3. Gravidy

    It isn’t often that a sports blog sends me diving for a dictionary. Well done, Mr. Larrabee.

  4. Joe Schmoe

    It will be interesting to see how we get the back up QBs more playing time this year in preparation for Murray’s departure next season. Then it will be interesting to see if Ramsey can beat out Mason. Obviously, the staff has shown a desire to differ to the senior who has waiter his turn in the past, but I am of the mind that limiting QB transitions is better in the long term (i.e., rather than having consecutive years where we are breaking in a new starter, go ahead and let Ramsey start knowing he will likely be your starter for 3 years or so). I do however think that Mason is a lot more capable than Cox was.

    • greeneggboy

      Hopefully Mason is more capable than Cox. But I remember everyone saying how great Joe Cox was going to be when he got his chance. He was actually pretty highly rated out of high school (so was Logan Gray for that matter). When he finally got in the game, though, he threw like a girl and made bad decisions under pressure. Fingers crossed that isn’t the case with Mason because he is going to be the starter next year.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Hey!! Don’t trash Joe Cox. He was a DGD. Without Joe Cox’s outstanding performances in the Arizona State, South Carolina and Arkansas games that season the Dawgs lose all three. When your D can’t stop anybody and the other teams know it you have to take chances in the passing game ’cause you have to score 40 to win. The problem with the ’09 team was on D not at QB.

        • greeneggboy

          I agree that Willie’s D couldn’t takle to save their lives, but Joe Cox still sucked. Richt let his personal feelings for Joe Cox cloud his professional judgment that year, and I am not one to question CMR’s management. But the UGA coaching staff dropped the ball in QB recruiting between Stafford and Murray. Joe Cox was not a comperable interlude.

          • Dawgwalker07

            You know at one point stafford got benched in favor of cox Stanford’s freshmen year against Colorado and cox led the team to victory right? He obviously wasn’t a terrible waste of time. He didn’t have the arm that stafford or Murray have and I think he was asked to operate outside of his ability level to cover for our defense and that’s not his fault. The guy threw beautiful deep balls btw.

            • NRBQ

              Cox’s high school numbers were staggering. I, for one, was surprised by his suck age in college.

            • JonDawg

              My family and I attended that game, and it was one of the most frustrating games I had ever watched. We were losing like, 13-0 going into the 3rd qtr, and Stafford had been off the mark on just about every pass so far in the afternoon, when Richt sent Joe Cox in and he led us to two straight TD drives to win it. Joe had his awful moments (UK and UF 09 def comes to mind..) but the Mayor is right: Without Joe, we lose the two shootouts with Ark and USCe, because he was uncharacteristically sharp both of those matches, with a 80 yd td run by RSIV against Arky.. Wanna like Joe, but can’t bring yourself to? Think if Murray’s RS would’ve been burned (something I called for several times in 09, out of complete frustration), we would be heading into this season against some heavy competition , with an unproven Hutson Mason at the helm. Not a knock on Hutson, just a testament to one Dawg fan’s appreciation for one of the most loyal DGD’s to put on the jersey and step ‘tween the hedges.

              • The984

                Wasn’t Murray’s leg broken during the 2009 season?

                • JonDawg

                  It was broken very early his senior year of high school (ankle), but he was able to rehab quickly and lead his team throughout the playoffs that year. By the time college football season rolled around, he was completely healthy. Albeit young and inexperienced, but sometimes, just sometimes, enough talent can overcome those. Im glad we stuck with Joe, and kept Murrays redshirt, even if it caused us some embarrassment. It also helped get slick Willie gone, so that’s a plus too.. Had we beaten LSU, UK, and maybe another , and went 10-3, or 11-2, would Willie’s soft cover (10 yd cushions for all opposing receivers) defense had been looked over, yet again? Murray’s first year starting, he was stuck with a D making a transformation into a base 3-4, with personnel suited for a 4-3. Look at UT, Bama, and various other schools records when they changed philosophies. The tide got beat by UL-Lafeyette.. lol GT , who wasn’t changing, just lacks the personnel for their defense, got beat by middle tn state. Not always the Qb’s fault, and glad Richt and Co. understand that.

  5. JAX

    I thought Spurrier was the QB guru.

    • The Lone Stranger

      That’s what SOS would tell ya! Or do I have that wrong; Jadaveon Clowney is there to say so.

    • Sarcasm noted :)
      SOS has lived off his QB development reputation since the early UF days culminating with Wuerffel. After Wuerffel, he turned Doug Johnson into a head case and Jesse Palmer into a reality TV star now with an ESPN gig (otherwise, he would be selling insurance in Gainesville). The recent success at USCe has been driven by a ferocious defense combined with Marcus Lattimore, not by Spurrier as offensive genius.

      • James Stephenson

        It would be hard for any QB to prosper, truly become a better QB with Spurrier always threatening to yank you. A QB has to learn from his mistakes, not be worried about a future one.

  6. That 10+ yards per attempt stat quoted in the article is absolutely staggering. Usually, the only teams that have an eye-popping stat like that are triple-option teams. You don’t see that with teams that attempt almost 400 passes during a season. If we keep that stat alive and he continues to cut the interceptions, we’ll be very happy in January.

  7. David K

    Joe Cox’s year at the healm could have been a lot better. If our defense hadn’t been so shitty he wouldn’t have had to feel like he had to do everything. Plus you had the awful celebration call against AJ which contributed to LSU beating us, the complete defensive breakdown at home against Kentucky, and The Tennessee debacle. With a solid defense, Joe Cox could have had a much better season. He was a good leader with an accurate arm.

    • But there are reasons that Coxian is an entry in the Senator’s lexicon.

    • Macallanlover

      That horrendous blown call against LSU didn’t “contribute” to that theft, it is directly responsible. Without the mid-field start, LSU would have not had a run option and would have had to pass their way down the field. When expected, that wasn’t going to work…..especially with a longer field to drive. That official knew damn well what he was doing. AJ’s reaction on the score was textbook for how you should celebrate a big moment on the field, individually and as a team. NCAA teams could show it to incoming freshmen as a training clip. I will never acknowledge that as an LSU win.

      • That’s exactly right – AJ always did things with class. If I remember right, that crew didn’t get suspended or anything as a result of that call. Also, another legacy of Jon Fabris …

      • Debby Balcer

        +1 on the LSU call and the win stolen from us. I think the D let Cox down too.

        • Cox finished that season with 15 interceptions, second worst in the SEC. Before you blame that on Georgia’s D, remember his quote about the pick-six he threw in the SoCar game: “I knew we were going to throw the ball, and it was one of those things where I could work either side. I kind of saw Norwood and was like, hmmm, but I decided to throw it anyway and he made a good play.”

          This wasn’t the defense’s fault, either.

          Joe was a good kid, but he wasn’t patient enough to be a good quarterback. There’s a reason they started limiting his pass attempts in the second half of the season.

          • Brandon

            Cox was certainly weaker than Greene, Shockley, Stafford, and Murray, I don’t think any sane person would argue that point. I do think Cox would have had a better season and would be remembered more fondly if we hadn’t have had a god awful defense along with him. And we won that game your Norwood quote came from, 41-37, Willie’s D coughed up a lot of early points as usual, and Cox and Co. kept pace and pulled it out, we wouldn’t have one it without him. With Stafford or mature Murray it might have been 48-30 instead true, but with Todd Grantham instead of Willie Moe, it would have probably been 41-21 instead also.

          • mcTryre

            As if Cox’s game log answers questions about WHY he was throwing less as the season wore on. Outside of fantasy FB and EA NCAA, outcomes on the field are a product of numerous variables. Anyone paying close attention to the 2009 knows that the running game took more than half the season to get untracked. http://www.cfbstats.com/2009/team/257/rushing/offense/gamelog.html
            Further, whether you believe the rumors of Cox’s arm fatigue or injury, throws definitely looked different later in the season. Again, not suggesting Cox had a great year, but he’s far from the primary culprit for the 2009 offense’s failings much less the entire team (including again the worst D and special teams of the Richt Era). Frankly, your usually sharp unconventional widsom analysis would be better served in assessing, say,Greene’s or Stafford’s meltdowns in make-or-break games in 2004 and 2007 with stocked teams around them.

            • Please point to where I said Cox was the primary culprit of anything.

              What I said was that it’s a stretch to blame JC’s shortcomings – whatever you think they may be – on having to carry the defense.

      • DWH

        God, I’m still so bitter about that “celebration” call. Such a travesty. I wish y’all had not brought it up.

        • uglydawg

          The scab is scrapped off the wound again. It will never heal until every Dawg fan who watched that game is gone. The look on the a-hole ref’s face when AJ scored told it all. He was pissed off about the score..I’ll never believe it wasn’t a biased and unprofessional and unethical call.

    • Dboy

      +1, David K.

      That was the year the defense died

  8. Cosmic Dawg

    I have wondered if it might not be horrible to let Mason start the cupcake games this year – give him some practice in preparation for next year, give a nod to his patience (good PR, there), and just let Murray pop in for 3-5 drives, just to keep fresh. I think AM is big enough to be cool with that…is that crazy?

    • James Stephenson

      Maybe so, but it blows any chance at going to New York for the Heisman.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        True, and while I am rooting for AM, I also would like to see Mason with more experience under his belt and AM avoiding injuries against cupcakes. Maybe after LSU, if AM is only having an average year to that point, it would be an option.

  9. NC DAWG

    Trashing Joe Cox doesn’t do anything. I liked the guy, and I liked Joe T. The point is we had a lot of talented quarterbacks over the years.

    • Don’t trash Cox for making mistakes, trash the defense. Got it.

      • NC Dawg

        No, just don’t trash him, period. Nobody ever claimed he was Matthew Stafford or Aaron Murray. Just saying, the point of the post was Richt drawing good QBs to Athens, many or most of them who performed well. In fact, I was agreeing with your post. But there’s no need for somebody say that Cox threw like a girl.

      • mctyre

        Senator, I’m a longtime consumer of your blog and find you to be the most insightful and objective UGA blogger around. However, here you’ve (along sadly with the majority of the fan base) backed yourself into a silly corner about Cox. Certainly he threw alot of picks in 2010, but what exactly was that team’s gameplan in games against non-cupcakes? Ball control with Richard Samuel and Caleb King? Rugged defense and opportunistic special teams? The only thing that wasn’t a galactic FUBAR with that squad was the passing game. Defenses knew we had to throw alot and score alot to win and that essentially put the entire game on Joe Cox, a guy of modest athletic gifts who couldn’t see over the LOS or escape pressure. He still threw more TDs in SEC games that season than any other QB in the league. Clearly not a great QB season by UGA standards, but not worthy of opprobrium.

        • Cox clearly regressed as the season went on. And if you look at the game log I linked to, it’s clear the coaches recognized they had to do something different in the second half.

          Honestly, I don’t know how you can look at the Kentucky and Georgia Tech games and assert that Cox didn’t play a part in the team’s struggles in ’09.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Well, for one thing Georgia WON the Georgia-GA Tech game that year. They played a ball control running attack that game because, in large part, Cox was having shoulder problems. The UK-Georgia game is not good authority for criticizing Joe Cox either. That UK team was one of the best UK had since winning the SEC in the late 70s.The reason UGA lost that game was a fumble by Washaun Ealey as the O was going in for the tying TD late in the game. That old saying about QBs is true. They get too much credit when the team wins and too much blame when the team loses.

            • WE fumbled because Cox botched the handoff. JC was something like 12-30 and threw two crucial picks.

              That UK team finished 7-6, BTW, so I’m not sure if you’re damning with faint praise or what there.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                No, no, no! The call was a run left with a pitch from the QB to the back. Washaun ran too close to the QB as if it were a handoff. Cox turned and pitched the ball which hit Washaun in the chest. This was all hashed over post game and it came out that Washaun missed the play that was called.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                As to your second point, this game came during the last 4 years of Rich Brooks’ coaching career, a period when Kentucky had the best stretch of teams (went to 4 bowl games in a row) that it had since Bear Bryant was HC there. Kentucky teams during that period were competent, which you cannot say usually. In fact, in 2007 BCSNCG winner LSU lost to Kentucky under Brooks.

  10. NC Dawg

    Look at greeneggboy above. I don’t disagree with your rating of them. I just don’t like hitting college kids below the belt for the sake of being a snark. They were good kids, DGDs, just not very good QBs.

    • Cojones

      True. And the comments aren’t as denegrative toward players as Weis’s comment of “Look at that pile of shit!” nor Paul Johnson’s statement reported today to the effect of “Nobody’s going to ask our players for an autograph (so there is no worry about autograph-selling).”.

  11. D.N. Nation

    Cox sucked, the defense sucked, 2009 sucked. These three points aren’t arguable.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      8-5 is not a “suck” season. 8-5 is an “off” season. To some teams 8-5 is a great year. Plus, we had one game, LSU-Georgia, that was absolutely STOLEN by the refs.