It’s a challenge.

Mark Richt knows that old definition of insanity, and he ain’t a-skeered of it a’tall.

“We’ve been really covering kicks extremely well all year long and then you get one like that, you might think it’s broken, but it’s really not broken. We’ve just got to go back to doing what we’ve been doing all year long and that’s placing the ball where we want it and getting guys down there covering and being in the right spots and making the play when they get there.”

After you stop banging your head against the wall, I’ve got a silver lining you can console yourself with:  check out the other SEC team that’s given up a long kickoff return this season.

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42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

42 responses to “It’s a challenge.

  1. Put Barber back in on kickoffs and have him boot in in the end zone each time. Problem solved??

    • Merk

      barber is also a walk on….making him infinitely more valuable than Morgan.

      Did not watch the game, but did Morgan look like he knows how to make an XP kick now? If you count misses and pole hits(50-50 chance of going in or bouncing out imo) he had at least 10 last year.

  2. Piper

    if you take out the long one from saturday (and my math is correct), we’re giving up an average of 19 yards per return, six yards better than what a touchback gets you. pretty good. now, you have to decide if the potential for a return is great enough to give up 6 yards every time you kick off. i guess cmr thinks it’s unlikely.

    http://www.cfbstats.com/2013/leader/911/team/defense/split01/category05/sort01.html

    • heytogoober

      Don’t confuse us with the facts … we want our damned outlier! Skewed data are the funnest data.

    • hailtogeorgia

      That’s good data – it’s also interesting that Saban doesn’t seem to have any issue with kicking the ball short to goad a return. The difference is that they just haven’t given up a long return.

      Looking at the numbers on returns/game, it’s pretty tough to draw too much of any conclusion as to one approach being better than another. If you can put it out of the end zone every time, you do hedge your risk of giving up a big play. Then again, when you look at what a team like Alabama has done, they’re clearly benefitting from NOT kicking it out of the endzone and actually covering the kick.

    • TomReagan

      Giving up 19 yards per return doesn’t mean your opponents average starting on the 19, it means that they start 19 yards from where they field it. That means it’s the 19 only in a best case scenario. If they field it at the 10, it would mean they start at the 29.

  3. paul

    Well I think this has been commented on quite a bit in your previous post. But our special teams suck. And they suck badly. Although we made a lot of other mistakes, you can make a pretty credible argument that special teams cost us the Clemson game. And they gave up two touchdowns to North Texas. North Texas. And that’s just THIS year. Special teams have become Richt’s most recent Willie Martinez situation. At some point he’s going to have to admit what been obvious to the rest of the world for years. And he will have to do something about it. I’m not sure what causes his stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality. But we’ve seen this before.

    • CitadelDawg

      The problem is the gaffes aren’t all of the same sort. For the snapping situation, which was the biggest problem, they’ve apparently switched snappers for now. That leaves just the kickoff problem, which has only turned out less-than-well once, although in that one instance it turned out terribly.

    • hailtogeorgia

      So what are you suggesting? That we hire a full time special teams coach?

      • paul

        I realize we are not getting a special teams coach. But there’s no way our special teams can be that bad if we’re spending more than fifteen or twenty minutes a week on them. I am simply asking that we acknowledge the problem and address it.

  4. Irishdawg

    To be fair, I thought that kickoff coverage was the ONE special teams thing we didn’t suck at until Saturday

  5. mdcgtp

    let me offer a few thoughts

    1)there were any of 2-3 blocks in the back that could have been called on the kick off return touchdown. Obviously, that is not the kick coverage strategy you hope for. I am also puzzled why we put Morgan back on kickoffs given how good a job the fill in was doing (erickson? barber). go to the main highlights go the the 25 second mark and see
    http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=332640061 . that said, the kick was down the middle and two guys (mauger and someone with a fortysomething number)

    2)the snap problems are well documented. I assume we can solve them. Heretofore making that assumption has made and ass of me ;-)

    3)Morgan did not hit the 54 yarder well. He never hits any kicks that even look like they are going between the uprights. You knew it was wide right from the moment he hit it. His kicks have high trajectories, but they are rarely accurate.

    4)they had 5 guys and we had 3 to block them on the punt. If the snap is true, I still think it is blocked.

    • tbia

      Re point 3…..I thought the snap on it was bad….little bit of a ground ball which threw the timing off.

    • paul

      As to point four, that’s still a special teams failure.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Re: #1, it was Reggie Carter (#45) who also seemingly whiffed on the attempted tackle up thru the middle on the KO TD. He’s a Fr. and he did not properly play the turf monster there and looked awful crumpling away from that NT return man!

  6. TomReagan

    I posted the following in the game thoughts thread. I think that Richt’s thinking is at least logically consistent on his punt return and kickoff tactics. Or, it could be consistent. Not sure if this is actually the thought process or not:

    This is only a suggestion to explain Richt’s thinking on the short kickoffs, and not an endorsement of it — but I think it’s entirely consistent for a coach so concerned with fumbles in the punt return game that he often instructs returners to fair catch under any circumstance to kick it short on kickoffs. If fumbling is such a huge risk in our punt returns, then it should be a huge risk for other teams’ kickoff returns, too. At least I believe that’s the logic behind it.

    I’ll also speculate that the fair-catch policy is less about muffed punt returns or fumbles during returns than it is about getting burned on fakes.

  7. Gene Simmons

    And, oh yeah, Lou Holtz was quick to point out that our ST woes relate to Jon Fabris no longer being with UGA. So there’s that.

  8. Chuck

    Kick the ball 8+ into the end zone, every time, all the time. With an offense like ours, I’ll take the chance we can make the 6 yds up. If we don’t fix anything else, fix this now. Blood pressure rising…

  9. PTC DAWG

    I amazed by how much fans know. Comments are just that, comments, but the fans that absolutely say we must do “this” crack me up.

    • paul

      Well if we weren’t so dang smart the Senator wouldn’t have much to do. Other than, you know, his job and stuff. We’re just venting. When we yell at the TV no one seems to take notice. At least here somebody will tell us we’re not very intelligent. It’s a start.

      • NRBQ

        My dog gets pretty upset when I’m screaming “Tied with a creme-filled cupcake in the third quarter?!”

        • Dog in Fla

          And now the screaming starts so I screamed the same thing. My dog who is also my food taster went into the galley and fetched this for me. He thought I was screaming at Andre about dinner

      • PTC DAWG

        You see where I said comments are just that, right?

        Carry on.

  10. SCDawg

    Maybe we’re spending all our time practicing fake punts and onside kicks?

  11. JRW7

    I still can’t believe that CMR still believes that there is no problems with his special teams!

  12. JRW7

    Just let Barber kick the ball deep into the end zone, problem solved CMR!

    • IveyLeaguer

      This is a no-brainer, IMHO. Most teams are kicking it deep and having great success, either with no-return, or losing yardage by not reaching the 25.

  13. Athens Townie

    Richt: “…placing the ball where we want it…”

    Yea, right in the back off the goddam end zone.

    Wtf are we doing with this kickoff cuteness?

  14. W Cobb Dawg

    I just don’t get it. Barber has done great with KOs and his onside kick against scu was a huge play in one of the biggest games we’ll play all year. The kid is an all-star on KOs. WTF are we replacing him for??

  15. cube

    Glad to see us back to our old ways. We were short kicking before short kicking was semi-cool (when a touchback only came out to the 20).

  16. DugLite

    The lexicon for “directional kicking” must be updates.