Mark Richt, no mas?

When it comes to running up scores, Mark Richt is kind of the anti-Spurrier.  Sure, Georgia’s won its share of games by lopsided scores, but if Richt is rolling into the fourth quarter leading by a wide margin, usually that’s the time the offense ratchets down, as opposed to, say, throwing for a seventh touchdown with about a minute to go in a 35-point rout.

But in the first week of October, Georgia finds itself the highest ranked one-loss team in the country, with legitimate national title aspirations.  I doubt that’s escaped Richt’s attention.  With regard to that, though, Georgia isn’t in a control-its-destiny position like Alabama is.  Some things are going to have to happen down the road to make that a reality, and with a loss on the resume, that’s going to mean pollsters are going to be making subjective comparisons between the teams under consideration for the national title game.

Which leads me to a certain yardstick:  Oregon 59, Tennessee 14.  It may not be right, it may not be fair, but, let’s face it, if we reach a point when comparisons have to be made – by humans, of course, since the BCS computers can’t look at margin of victory – there are going to be those who will look at common opponents and draw a conclusion from the results of the two games.  Again, I doubt that’s something Richt doesn’t expect.

So here’s an idle thought for idle minds.  If Georgia enters the fourth quarter tomorrow with a comfortable lead (let’s say 48-28 for argument’s sake), does Richt tell Bobo to call off the dogs and run the ball for the rest of the game, or is Bobo left alone to allow Mason to run the regular offense and try to get another couple of scores?

Of course, it would be nice if the defense showed up and made this all a moot point, but if Georgia’s still working the kinks out on that side of the ball, that’s not likely.  Does Richt consider impressing the poll voters a necessary thing to do?  I don’t know, but I think at this point in his career, Mark Richt’s got an appreciation of how things go if you want to make a national title game appearance.

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97 Comments

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97 responses to “Mark Richt, no mas?

  1. Bill M

    A lot will disagree with on this due to the stuffiness of your readership but yes, you run up the score as much as possible because (a) its Tennessee and its a rivalry game. This isnt a a cupcake game and (b) like you said our defense is going to give up some points. Definitely more than 14 so yeah the more we have to do on offense to compensate.

    • Hackerdog

      If we run up the score, it will be to impress the pollsters and/or get players some work. The fact that we can now start using _IAR,B! in the Tennessee series (and we’re close with Florida) is good enough for me.

      • Hackerdog

        Of course, one other consideration is that Richt wants to get Murray some statistical padding for his Heisman campaign. His loyalty to his senior QB might justify some obnoxious behavior.

      • fetch

        I’m old and forgetful, so forgive me, what does _IAR,B! stand for again?

        • Nate Dawg

          Fill in the blank – in a row, bitches! If Dawgs win it’ll be “F” for four.
          I don’t see Richt running up the score under many circumstances at all. But if the Dawgs win 60-14 on ol Rocky Flop- be careful where you go in Rome, Ga cuz I’m possibly gonna be naked in the fronch yard.

        • Hackerdog

          in a row, baby! It’s how a Georgia fan tracks the Georgia Tech series. Currently, we are at four in a row, baby!

          It’s in the Senator’s lexicon.

    • The other Doug

      Sir, I have never been called stuffy. Good day to you and your generalizations!

    • Brandon

      I think we should try to break the Neyland stadium scoreboard if possible, just on principle. I hate those hillbillies.

    • Billy Mumphrey

      Oops, you must have thought this was a Dawgsports.com post. Drop 70 on the Hill Folk!!

      /They won’t though, especially considering their defensive coaching staff.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Why do you assume they’ll give up more than 14? Tennessee’s passing game is really bad. It’s entirely possible that Georgia’s shuts them down. But I’m against running up the score. If Georgia’s offense is clicking, they won’t need to do it anyway.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Stuffy?

      Poppycock old sport. You won’t find a more irreverant bunch of rabblerousers up to the usual brand of tomfoolery this side of a Marx Brothers movie.

  2. Mark

    The other thing to consider is that next year’s team will be in a very enviable position concerning the polls. We return almost the entire defense and most of the main players on offense… except for someone that is a HUGE contributor. With that in mind, does CMR let Mason get some good quality reps in an SEC match? Not only will help this year, but it also sets the table for next years run at the MNC.

    • Cousin Eddie

      I would love for Mason to get some true live action in a few games this year. The game will be much slower for him next year if he does more than hand off to Green and Douglas to run out the clock.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I’m for turning the O over to Mason at that juncture and saying: “Light up the scoreboard, let’s see what you can do.”

  3. fetch

    Well, for one, I would hope that the pollsters consider that game was at Autzen and this one is at Neyland. I would also hope they understand that this is a divisional game against a conference foe 5-6 games into the season (after having time to work kinks out). But, to answer your question, up big in the 4th quarter it would be nice to see Mason come in and have a couple TD drives. When even your backups come in and hang points on an opponet, it says alot.

  4. HVL Dawg

    Kentucky 2012

  5. Rusty

    I don’t think Richt RUTS for any reason whatsoever. He’s just not that kind of guy.

  6. Maybe I am too emotionally scarred from my Saturday’s in Neyland during the decade of the 90s, and I was there for every trip, but I just can’t do tabletop exercises on whether or not we throw in the 4th quarter. I hope you are correct and Richt and Bobo have the opportunity to wrestle with this decision tomorrow. However, I am wringing hands over whether or not there will be a let down after LSU or if the injuries will be major problem.

    • Connor

      Agreed. This game scares the hell out of me. I haven’t gotten to a place where I’m confident we will win conference road games, much less blow the other team out. Maybe I’m being pessimistic, but I feel like if we’re lucky this game goes like Missouri last year and we can feel ok about the final score. There are just so many intangibles stacked against us this week.

      • Dog in Fla

        No Más or the Thriller in Knoxviller

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Since you brought Missouri up, THAT’S a game people need to worry about. UT couldn’t score enough points to win the game against Georgia if the Dawgs put the managers and warterboys out there on D.

        • Connor

          Well, I am worried about Missouri, but we aren’t playing them tomorrow. I honestly can’t remember the last time UGA went into a fired up conference opponent’s home field and dominated from start to finish. Last year Auburn had quit, Missouri was much closer than the score, Kentucky was embarrassingly close and the less said about USCe the better. In 2011 I recall a pretty close game against UT and an absolute nail-biter against Vandy. There certainly weren’t any marquee road win in 2010. I guess I’ll just need to see UGA start hammering teams with a pulse at their place a few more times before I expect it. I’ll be thrilled to see it tomorrow, but until UGA is a bit more consistent on the road all the speculation about how bad the margin will be seems premature.

  7. Dawglicious

    If we’ve given up more than 20 points at that point, run it up. Hard.

  8. SCDawg

    Up 20 on the road, I think Mark Richt is going to run the ball. A quick pick six and Tenn. is right back in the game. He’ll hope our defense gets the pick 6 to put up those numbers. Or maybe after a turnover he’ll take a shot downfield, but otherwise my guess is richt goes conservative. I think his strategy is simply to get nothing but W’s the rest of the year and let everything else take care of itself. Maybe just not worth the risk reward in his mind.

    On the other hand, up 35-7 with 6 minutes left in the 4th, he may let Mason throw a few times downfield. But this is Neyland, and I remember 2007 (and 2009 for that matter). That 2007 game cost us a shot at the Natty.

  9. fuelk2

    I’d love to have the option and will be somewhat surprised if we do. With that said, there are a multitude of reasons to let Mason run the regular offense.

  10. mdcgtp

    Richt won’t run up the score. He never has and never will. Quite frankly, he is right to do so. For all the talk about running up the score, I can’t think of a single instance where it has ever been a factor in one team being selected over another. (Perhaps the big 12 conundrum in 2008, but thats it).

    Our BCS resume is going to be defined by beating UF (and how good they are), and beating the west team in the SEC. If we struggle tomorrow with UT, its probably not a great sign, but its also nowhere near the most relevant chapter in the book of our season.

    For us to be continue to be in MNC discussion, the conclusion from our game is either going to be one of two things:

    1)UGA struggled but got the W
    2)UGA cruised to a win over UT.

    that’s it. if we struggle with Vandy and Missouri as well, perhaps we are not as good as we think we are.

    Look at last year’s Auburn game as a model. I think he will almost certainly NOT try to embarass UT. We play them every year, and while they are probably going to be as bad in 2014 (or worse) than 2013, there is no reason to stir them up and make the game harder than it has to be.

    as for Mason and PT, it is far more important to get him game action for 2013 insurance than presumptions of 2014 national title contention.

  11. cave canem

    Let’s make sure we win the game before talking about margin of victory.

    • Who’s this “we” you’re referring to? I’m not coaching or playing tomorrow and I doubt those that are care about idle speculation on some blog.

    • The worry over UGA in this game is hilarious. We’re used to Tenn being good, and we’re used to Tenn being very good at home, but this isn’t the Tenn of even a year ago, let alone 5 years ago. This is a terrible team. If UGA comes ready to play, they’ll score 45+ with ease.

      • Slaw Dawg

        Far me it from me to be too much an optimist, but I agree. I think we’ll verify at least 2 things tomorrow: (1) our maligned D has given up points to some very good offenses this year; (2) UT does not have a very good offense. They are in the unenviable position (as Bill M says above) of being too good (or at least too much of a rep) to dismiss as a cupcake and too bad to hang with the Dawgs. I’m thinking something like last year’s Auburn game, without the goose egg.

        And, no, CMR won’t run up the score against his old friends. He won’t need to, and shouldn’t.

      • cave canem

        I am not finding this to be at all hilarious at the moment…17-10 is not funny in the slightest.

  12. We don’t run up the score because we still need to beat Florida and most likely Alabama and that should be a solid enough resume if we can pull that off. And Richt doesn’t run up the score. Just not his style.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      True. But CMR has plenty of experience with running up scores when he was with FSU and in the title hunt year-in and year-out. But of course he’s more practical now. He realizes an injury could cause a lot of trouble for this team down the road. This is the sec, not the pitiful acc of the 90’s and we have a lot of football games ahead of us before zeroing in on the mnc.

  13. I just don’t see Richt running it up on Willie and Jancek. Not his style. I agree he should do it, but I don’t see it playing out like that.

  14. sniffer

    I can see him opening up the playbook and running some ridiculous plays that, if they work, great. If they don’t go for scores, he still has given future opponents something to think about going forward.

  15. John Denver is full of shit...

    If we are up 3 scores in the 4th we should play like its nothing, nothing. /EVILRICHT

    Where do I park in Knoxville? Little help please.

    • Brandon

      I was towed twice on my last visit to Knoxville in 99, so I will defer to someone wiser, that place is an imperial wasteland.

  16. Dog in Fla

    Neyland Arena, Tennessee — Georgia coach Mark Richt expressed his frustration with those wanting him to r-u-n-n-u-p the score on Butch because Butch tried to hire Tony Ball away during a post-game interview with CBS’ Tracy Wolfson (Verne and Gary had already been evacuated), and he did it again during his post-game press conference.

    “That’s not us,” Richt said. “That’s not our program. That’s not what we do. We’ve never ever tolerated and we’ve never ever had it.”

  17. DugLite

    I have never understood putting in second string players and then not playing your offense that they practice day in and day out. If they cannot stop your second or third stringers then so be it. No tricks plays, just the offense that they hope to be starting in one day

  18. Vindexdawg

    In fervent hopes and trust that our guys are prepared to play tomorrow, to RUTS or not to RUTS would be a question of great relief to ponder, considering how this year’s UT compares to our team’s September opposition. On the issue itself, I can only reflect on how Phat Phil and Spurrier boasted about scoring 50 + in Sanford Stadium, and wish that their old schools’ programs could be paid back in kind. But it won’t, as long as CMR is at the helm. That’s just not what he does. And even though Willie Two Thumbs on the opposite sideline was one of the architects of the 2007 and 2009 blowouts in Neyland. Coach Richt is simply not going to embarrass his old friend and subordinate. I may not agree with him about it but I can certainly respect him for it.

  19. Richt doesn’t run up scores. Plain and simple.

    However, that doesn’t mean that CTG doesn’t pull the dogs off TN if we have a comfortable lead going into the 4th. Look at what he did last year at AU. He keep all the starters in the game just to preserve the shutout. I think the defense needs/wants a pick six so bad they can taste it. I’m hoping they get one this weekend and if CTG has his say, all the starters will finish the game out no matter the score.

  20. DawgPhan

    Just win baby. I suspect that Murray plays most of the game. The offense scores 40 or so and that CTG is the one trying to RUTS on defense. Lots of blitzes, lots of guys going for the pick and that sort of thing. There are several young pups on the defensive side of the ball that want to make a big play and they will get their chance in Neyland. I hope.

  21. Macallanlover

    I think UGA puts up 41-51 in this game, not because CMR will be running up the score but because we are that good on offense, 1st team, or 2nd team. No time outs to get another score, no trick plays, but we have every right to allow those competing for positions and playing time to run our offense….no apologies necessary.

    TN will score some points against our defense because the Dawg defense is vulnerable to even bad offenses until they show everyone otherwise. If the game does get out of hand early, I don’t think so, but CMR would just put the 2nd team in earlier, let them run a few series of plays all out, then run some clock. Hutson Mason has not thrown a single pass in competition since 2010, he has to be given some “real” reps. The man is going to be our starter next season, no one can criticize that.

    Dawgs 45-52 Viles 17-20

    • PatinDC

      I am curious as to what bad offense we have played this year?

      • Macallanlover

        Well, everyone has an opinion, but I didn’t think UNT’s offense was very good at all. Seven yards rushing, and couldn’t pass for enough to generate more than one scoring drive. Now their defense? Let’s just say I was envious at how they handled themselves. Had their offense been as talented, we wouldn’t have had the ball enough to score 45.

        • fetch

          I agree that their offense wasn’t that great, but we did hold them to 7 points.

          • Macallanlover

            True, we were solid against the run but they were still getting receivers open, QB just couldn’t hit them, or when he did, they had the dropsies. I admit we shut their run down, and surprisingly did the same to LSU. It is the pass defense that worries me the most, then containing mobile QBs. Tomorrow will be interesting/

  22. Scorpio Jones, III

    there are so many chips that have to fall between now and the end for us to have a shot at anything, while I agree in principle, there’s just too much work left to do, and too much work out of our hands. On the other hand the defense has a whole lot of work to do, if we get ahead, I doubt Grantham will stop the work, so the result may appear the one we want.

  23. Been thinking (and saying) the same thing.

    If both teams play to talent and coaching level, this is a 45-20 or so game. More if Mason can lead the 2nd team to a score or two.

    Also, it wasn’t as if Oregon piled on the points. They didn’t score in the 4th and pulled Mariota towards the end of the 3rd Q. Those that will compare the two games, and it will happen, won’t care about that any more than they cared that we gave two GFG TDs to North Texas.

  24. Allen

    Lou Holtz tells the story of a game he coached while at William and Mary. On the other sideline coaching West Virginia was his good friend Bobby Bowden. At the end of the game, after a West Virginia rout, Lou asked Bobby why he had RUTS. Bobby replied, “Lou it’s my job to score and your job to stop me. Did you want me to do your job too?”

    Here’s to hoping that Richt doesn’t do anyone else’s job on Saturday.

  25. Russ

    Nope not his style at all. Hopefully it will get out of hand early but I’m not counting on it. We’ll win easily but not necessarily impressively.

    I’d like to see it but it ain’t gonna happen.

  26. charlottedawg

    Just get the W and don’t look sloppy doing it, and no injuries please. Would also love for the defense to play well. There is also no way Richt runs up the score. If he doesn’t run up the score against Auburn the last couple of years there’s no way he’s going to try and embarrass his old buddies. That suits me just fine as I believe there are plenty of opportunities for us to stub our toes in the next 8 games if we’re not focused on the task at hand. Just win baby!

  27. Pingback: DawgsOnline » Tennessee to-do list

  28. Governor Milledge

    Since this post (and comments) are looking ahead to a MNC strategy, I want to give a PSA: google “Team Tix” and look over the options to get lined up for tickets *if* UGA makes it to Pasadena.

    The Team Tix basically work like options for the ticket… you pay $x, and you still have to pay face value on the ticket to receive em. I personally bought right after the Clemson game, but that’s how much I believe in the special team we have this year.

    I did not directly link to the website because didn’t want any appearance of impropriety, but it is an officially bowl-sanctioned website. FWIW, Notre Dame got over $1300 per Team Tik last year, with a higher face value tik… do the math

    • Macallanlover

      I just want to make sure my comment, and any comment at this stage of NCAA D1 CFB’s life, is always made with the eye on winning the East, and getting to the SECCG…..nothing more. It is the highest achievement in CFB that you can earn. I want that 13th SEC title, and I think this season, and the next, represent excellent opportunities (assuming we learn to play better defense.) I understand others have a different position but my comment on strategy for this week doesn’t include how to win a popularity contest. Not being snarky to you, or others, but I hope that is how Coach Richt and his staff/team approach these games.

      • Governor Milledge

        Duly noted. I’m on the same page too, with the mind that ‘if we take care of business, we still have a shot’. Can’t control anything beyond our performance on the field.

        However, the premise of this post was written regarding running up the score/”legitimate national title contenders”, and the comments equally reflect said sentiment. But I agree, we still need to take the “best long snappah” approach each week and not lose focus.

        All that being said, my post PSA for TeamTix. I personally wouldn’t want to be in a position to not be able to go should we take care of everything, week to week, and everything lines up for Pasadena.

        • Macallanlover

          You can always go my friend, it is just a matter of what you are will to give/sacrifice for the privilege to attend. Won’t say it is impossible to be shut out of a sporting event, but I have never encountered that. Now, advance planning for those who are willing to jump early is a less expensive proposition, albeit riskier. I have never been to a Rose Bowl game, that would be the one time I would make the effort. But that is way too far off, and too unlikely to occur, imo. But if it does, drinks are on me because sounds like we will both be in the area.

          • Governor Milledge

            Cheers to that!! I’ll bring some nice bourbon as well.

            I have 6 “options” to buy face value tickets at a total cost of $72… to me, not much of a gamble, but then again, you can’t buy it at that price right now either. If we make it, planning on selling a few of those to pay travel costs

  29. AusDawg85

    “…at this point in his career, Mark Richt’s got an appreciation of how things go…)

    Yes, indeed he does. He knows the WWL will not permit him to have a shot at the MNC (under any format) until he is in his final years coaching the Longhorns…then a 95 year old Munsberger will babble and swoon about how such a great man has finally earned his chance.

  30. stoopnagle

    I hear everyone, but I have to think he remembers sitting in front of a camera in December 2007 and having to state his case while Herbie drove the bus over his team’s chances of playing in the title game.

  31. Slaw Dawg

    Perhaps it’s worth saying that I’d love for Coach Richt to hang a zillion points on the Rocky Toppers because I just think they have it coming. While I don’t put them in the same category as the members of our Dawg Axis of Evil (Gators, Barners, NATS), I think they are deserving of a special degree of dislike almost at the level reserved for Clem’s Son. Part of this is personal, since I lived in Tennessee for 13 years, and while I love the state and the folks are generally purty friendly, it happened to coincide with the 90’s and I did a lotta suffering, lemme tell you. So here’s my short list of why it’s more than okay to hate Tennessee: (1) they wear urnge; (2) they own a frikkin 9 game winning streak over our beloved Dawgs, a record; (3) while I think they’re generally well behaved in their own house (I at least have never been mistreated there), they can be poor guests–well do I remember the taunts of “always third” from the 90’s; (4) they are, without a doubt, the worst whiners of all SEC fandom, esp. about their coaches, regardless of success rate–I don’t think they’ve parted ways with a coach on good terms since Gen’l Neyland himself, practically shoving Johnny Majors out the door, and directing over-the-top vitriol toward Phil Fulmer; (5) they hired Lane Kiffin; (6) have you seen their campus?; (7) they have a bizarre sense of championship entitlement that I could understand in a Bama fan but UT; (8) they recruit in our beloved state far too successfully. The fact that this game is worthy of the “rivalry” tag I think is reinforced by the fact that at least 3 of Munson’s greatest calls were generated from K’ville (not even including the Sean Jones pick 6) and the closeness of the series (18-20-2, I believe). Need I add the unseemly spectacle of Dawg fans dismantling our own goal posts in ’00?

    In short, the Tennessee Volunteers, or at least their fan base–many of whom I otherwise count as friends–are well deserving of a good, old-fashioned thrashing, a beating that will leave no doubt about who is Beast in the East, build a stronger wall around in state talent, ease the pain of the losses, esp. those of ’92, ’04 and ’07, and, just perhaps, help rid them of their pretensions.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      It is a real shame you don’t live in Tennessee now, Slaw…when I go to the grocery store, everybody changes lanes…it is freaking glorious. See, what’s happenin is the Kharmic Bitches are sticking it up the Vols’ collective ass for the way they treated Johnny Majors (Read The Great Punkin).

      Wish you were here. :)

      • Slaw Dawg

        Well, I do get there on business from time to time or to visit family in K’ville. Next time I go, I’ll just have to drop in multiple public places sporting my Dawg sweatshirt–assuming a good result tomorrow, of course!

    • Will (the other one)

      I agree. First game I had good seats too was the ’98 UT game. I was close enough to get flipped off by Vol players.

      I also remember us trying to run the clock out last year and turning what should’ve been a blowout into a close game.