Upon further review: Georgia-Missouri

I sat down and watched the replay last night.  It didn’t change my overall impression of what happened on Saturday. The injuries certainly led to a struggle, but ultimately weren’t the deciding factor in the game.  Georgia just made too many mistakes and didn’t force enough mistakes out of Missouri.  The particulars follow.

The good:

  • The defensive line.  The d-linemen played their collective asses off for most of the game.  Ray Drew, in particular, was a real force.  (Drew, by the way, is now second in the conference with five sacks, which is three more than Clowney’s garnered.  So maybe it’s time to lay off the disappointment by comparison.)  The line controlled the third quarter, which is why Missouri was held scoreless in a quarter for the first time all season and Georgia was able to fight its way back into the game.
  • Bobo’s playcalling.  Look what he had to work with:  two true freshmen at running back, a quarterback who got a little jittery as the pass protection broke down and no depth at receiver.  Despite it all, Georgia gained 160+ yards on the ground, the most Missouri’s given up all season.  He cobbled together the first scoring drive out of bits and pieces and his move to four receivers in the third quarter forced the Tigers to drop a player out of the box and opened up the field.  He did alright.
  • Marshall Morgan’s place kicking.  He’s been drama-free for the most part all season, and nailed everything he was given Saturday.  For once it was the other team’s kicker who raised the tension.
  • Punt returns.  Admittedly, it’s a low bar to cross, but Reggie Davis turned in the best performance of the season by any Georgia player returning punts.  It’s encouraging that he exercised better judgment on his catches and that he ran north-south when he caught the ball.
  • J.J. Green.  He can run; he can catch.  Not bad for somebody who was originally recruited for the defense.

The bad:

  • Receiving.  To some extent, this had to be expected.  At one point early in the first quarter, Georgia had three walk-ons on the field together, two of whom had never caught a pass in a college game before.  There were miscommunication issues.  Murray was off with some of his throws, again, understandable given the spotty pass protection.  But there were some crucial drops that really hurt.  And as good as Conley and Wooten were at times, there were also times when they struggled to get free from coverage.
  • Turnovers.  The last one didn’t matter, as the game was already out of hand, but, man, the first three were all killers.  Douglas’ fumble was probably the most forgivable of the three.  There was no excuse for the shoddy blocking by Lynch and Gates (and, yes, contrary to Lynch taking all the blame, it was both) that led to the sack/fumble/touchdown that proved to be the deciding score.  Murray’s pick proved again that the conventional wisdom – that you have to trick him into making mistakes – is correct, as he got baited by a defensive switch that he didn’t read properly.  The Dawgs could have survived one of these mistakes, but three, especially when the defense is incapable of generating turnovers of its own, were way too much to overcome.
  • Herrera’s roughing the passer penalty.  I’m obviously having a hard time getting past this one.  Jeez, it was dumb.  It negated a great play by Harvey-Clemons and let Missouri hold on to the ball for a few more crucial minutes at a time when Georgia really couldn’t afford that.
  • Kickoffs.  I don’t know whether to blame Morgan for inconsistency or the coaches if it’s a deliberate strategy, but somebody needs to realize that short kickoffs are riskier than blasting the ball into the endzone.
  • Punting.  Evidently with Barber, you can have a quick punt or you can have a long punt, but not both.  I was a little surprised that Missouri didn’t come harder with its pass rush.  At least Georgia didn’t give up any return yardage.
  • Red zone offense.  Sure, the inexperience didn’t help, but plenty of little things went wrong, too.
  • Pass coverage.  As I mentioned Sunday, the ILBs were exposed when Missouri ran a play to exploit them, which was quite often in the first half.  Swann grows less confident on a weekly basis.  And Wiggins showed me enough to make me think he’ll be a steady cornerback with more experience (and a little more strength), but he had his share of misses.  Basically, if the pass rush can’t generate pressure, Georgia’s defense is going to give up a completion.
  • Pass protection.  Occasionally, it was good.  But when it was bad, ugh.  Georgia doesn’t have a tackle who can handle speed rushers.  Unfortunately, Missouri has two.

The ugly:

  • Safety play.  I knew it was bad when I watched the game live, but the replay made me appreciate how atrocious it really was.  It’s amazing to see how little Mauger and Moore contribute.  Every touchdown had a breakdown from either or both.  Mauger’s a freshman, so I can understand if not excuse some of what I saw, but Moore’s been in the system, for what, three years now?  He was literally a passive observer on two of the touchdown passes and failed to make the last-line-on-defense tackle on Murphy’s touchdown run.  And don’t think that’s lost on their teammates.  Swann is playing like somebody who knows that he can’t count on safety support.  Also, in that last clip, watch Herrera’s body language after the play – I don’t think you have to be a mind reader to figure out what he’s telling Moore.  Honestly, injuries or not, I don’t see how Grantham can keep these guys on the field together.

The random:

  • It’s hard to get too upset with Murray’s day.  The first interception hurt and his mechanics weren’t always the best, but he played tough, made some great throws when it counted, got in a couple of heady runs and cobbled together a functional game on a day when he was missing many parts.
  • Sorry, but I don’t get Pinkel’s concern over the unfortunate play when Franklin injured his shoulder.  Yes, the tackle was completed after he got rid of the ball, but it was a fairly bang-bang play with a running quarterback who dumped the ball off in an unorthodox way with no receiver in the area.  I just didn’t find it particularly egregious.
  • That Missouri linebacker made a fabulous play in pass coverage, batting the ball away from Wooten in the red zone.  Color me jealous.
  • Something else that made me jealous was the fine job Mizzou’s receivers did with their blocking.  That’s another area Georgia’s hurting in with the injuries.
  • Bobo called plenty of screens.  I wished he’d have called even more.
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59 Comments

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59 responses to “Upon further review: Georgia-Missouri

  1. gastr1

    I think it’s rather remarkable that Murray didn’t have more INTs on the day given the receivers he’s working with. Rome’s tipped pass in the red zone early in the game illustrates what I’m talking about…all it takes is a receiver not touching but not catching a ball, turning the wrong way, or breaking off a route and you get an INT that is not the QB’s fault.

    If they get Gurley back we should see steady improvement from the offense because they showed an ability to at least make themselves successful with all these new players. Their having being on the same page this well in the first game of the post-MASH era should expand the playbook and allow for more confidence going forward.

    • AlphaDawg

      I’ve told everyone i’ve talked to the same thing about this game. Dropped catchable passes were the reason this is a L (IMHO). I quit counting at 5 Saturday and that was before the 2 point attempt. Once I saw the box score and Murrays completion percentage it cemented it for me. As bad as the back 7 was on D the receivers dropping catchable passes were worse. One other item, why was JJ sidelined for long stretch late in the game. Douglas is good but JJ brings big play ability that BD doesn’t have. One last item, I think we went away from the run too early in the 2nd half when it was still a one score game. Just my thoughts.

    • AlphaDawg

      Sorry Gas, meant to post that at the bottom.

  2. tbia

    I still want to know this: At the end of the first half, we got the ball back with 26 seconds or so. We lined up, the ball was set and put into play. Missouri had 2 players on the field, and the rest in a huddle on the sidelines.

    Why the hell didn’t we snap the ball and just run a sweep to our sideline? We would still be running.

    • Heathbar09

      I thought the exact same thing. The only reason I could think of was because the officials hadn’t whistled to start yet, but I didn’t see one near the ball and I didn’t hear a whistle before they ran they play. Should have been snapped and the thrown to whomever the far side receiver was.

  3. WarD Eagle

    From a third party view it appeared Franklin was lifted and driven into the ground. If I’m a mizzou homer, there’s no doubt that happened.

  4. The other Doug

    CTG needs to find a solution to the poor safety play. The video evidence is out there and every OC we face will be picking on them,

  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    I tend to agree with your synopsis, Boss. Just too many mistakes to overcome, maybe even with all the bullets in the gun. And I am going to say this yet again. I think, despite all the recruiting ranking crapasuey, that Missouri is a lot better team than many of us give them credit for being. Course I also understand it soothes my fevered brow to believe that.

    In some ways, as I ponder the meaning of life this morning, its kinda nice to worry a little about Vandy, as any good Georgia fan should.

    I have flushed my tinfoil chapeau. I am going back to basics.

    Anchor up they ass.

    • fuelk2

      Mizzou is a very experienced team on both sides of the ball (at least before the Franklin injury). That makes up for a lot of talent deficiencies, just as inexperience can make a talented player look slow.

  6. doofusdawg

    Somebody needs to ask ctg what happened to getting the ‘best eleven on the field’. That statement does not reconcile with his subsequent statements and actions whereby he defends himself by saying “that’s not his spot”.

    So which is it Todd.. spot on or spot off.

  7. ChicagoDawg

    Senator, I am not sure how you can conclude that injuries were not the deciding factor. As you note, so many of the problems were in the lack of consistent production at receiver and just poor play at safety — both of which are areas that have a combined 5 starters missing. Not to mention, the difference that Gurley and/or Marshall may have had on the game — Green’s abilities notwithstanding.

    To be sure, the defense is a hot mess. However, this roster is a shadow of its former self, sans Mitchell, Bennett, Scott-Wesley, Marshall, Gurley, Matthews and Norman for that matter. Injuries are decidedly THE greatest influencer of how the team is performing since the first half of UT. They can no longer depend on being able to entertain shoot-outs or play keep away to compensate for deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball. There were holes in this team before the injuries, but those holes will continue to get exploited at a higher frequency. Before the injuries they at least had the chance to be Texas A&M, win via video game style offense.

    • If Georgia’s only turnover had been the Douglas fumble, I think the Dawgs would have won the game. All the other mistakes were on experienced players.

      And not to get all Pinkel on you, but Missouri put the game away after Franklin went down. They also played most of the game with the top DB out.

      • ChicagoDawg

        Not being an apologist, but if half of the missing were on the field Saturday it is a different result. Perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t think that loss occurs otherwise.

        Injuries aside, this defense is entering Kevin Ramsey territory.

        • JAX

          I hope not, because Ramsey and his head coach got into a fist fight which resulted in some guy named Joe Kines taking over the defense.

          • Normaltown Mike

            some guy?

            He’s not just some guy…he’s second only to Ed Orgeron in the SEC Coaches “Hall of Great Voices”

          • The Kevin Ramsey reference was a bit hyperbolic and only meant for a cheap yuk. He actually replaced Kines and was succeeded by Gary Gibbs.

            Hyperbole aside, I went back to see how crazy my comparison to Ramsey was and I am sad to report that Ramsey’s squad averaged 25.83 ppg and current year to date the ’13 average is 37.5 ppg. So, apologies to KR.

            Yikes, this could turn out to be an historically bad, if not the worst, defense UGA has delivered. I get how the game has changed and the first half of the season was front loaded with some high powered offenses, but….. ugh.

        • Dog in Fla

          “Injuries aside, this defense is entering Kevin Ramsey territory.”

          Aside from a missed tackle here and a blown coverage there, the opportunity is nowhere for Kevin Ramsey hostile territory* although some say they just spotted it from the Missouri Breaks

          http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/georgias-worst-defensive-coordinator-in-the-last-15-years/

          * Kevin was recently spotted in Montgomery where he appeared to be hostile (or at least not happy) for his photo op

          http://bamastatesports.com/coaches.aspx?rc=289&path=football

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Correctomundo, Senator. When the Dawgs scored the TD that could have tied the game (missing the 2 pointer that would have done so) and Franklin was knocked out of the game I was certain that Georgia would win the game. The mistakes on O from that point forward were as big as the mistakes on D insofar as deciding the outcome IMHO.

  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    Somebody asks earlier where the upperclassmen in the secondary have gone….One of them is playing quarterback for Awbun, Jordan Love has disappeared into Division 1, and there are others…were not three DB’s involved in Marshall’s problem?

  9. HahiraDawg

    I haven’t seen the replay of the double pass score but I remember the defender (can’t remember who) is still communicating with the other db’s at the snap of the ball, by the time he looks in and then realized the receiver has the ball and THEN starts his rush, the second pass is virtually assured of getting off uncontested. The rush was therefore pathetic. Just be ready to play and that play shuts down.

    Also, when their best cornerback comes out and we call two consecutive runs then throw in the obvious passing down to a back? That is egregiously bad.

    Sure Mauk should have been tackled on his first play in, but we certainly weren’t in a defensive scheme that welcomed him to try and beat us with a pass. We weren’t prepared to shut down an obvious run.

    These are all bad coaching. We were out coached. Coaches vs. coaches should be on your list because we certainly lost that battle.

  10. Moore’s play on the WR pass was abhorrent. He bit from 20+ yards away on what appeared to be a WR screen, even though a WR was streaking down either sideline. Then, when he realized what was happening he turned and watched instead of hauling his ass to the endzone. That pass was in the air forever. If he had turned tail and ran, he might have gotten there in time to help Wiggins. I’ve seen players in intramurals make better reads and give better effort than he did on that play.

    If the safeties aren’t going to help in pass coverage or run support, why not bring an extra man in the box and blitz? Just throw the kitchen sink at the QB every play. Doing what they are doing is not working. Just do the opposite and see if that works.

    And, for the rest of the defense… if your compatriots do not know what they are supposed to do, let them sink or swim in their own ignorance. Do your job. That way, at least one or two will be doing what they are supposed to do. Let the coaches deal with the guys who still don’t get it. As it stands, it looks like a circus on every snap.

    • DWH

      Yeah not to kick the kid when he’s down, but there has to be a better healthy option at safety than him. That play looked like it was in slow motion and when he finally figured out what was going on he basically jogged to the ball. Dumbfounding. This year’s defense looks like a mirror image of last year’s AU squad: poor tackling, miscommunication, bad angles and players constantly out of position or not set properly. Oh and the freakishly low number of forced turnovers. I believe AU had one pick all last year as well, at least by the DBs. Funny, looked at their D this year? What changed?

  11. Sadly, I’ve come to expect at least one game a year where a team comes in more prepared, better coached and with lady luck on their side. Toss in one or two glaring weaknesses that everyone sees but our coaching is unable to correct, and you have the Mizzu game this year. Or the South Carolina game last year. Or the Tennessee game a few years before that. I could go on, but this is depressing me…

    • PatinDC

      I don’t think the loss to MZ is comparable to either of those two games. UGA was hanging tough until the end really. The USC and TN games you reference were abominations out of the gate. The injuries really did us in. It happens.

      • Fair enough, but I did see similarities in the way that the Mizzu offense just cut through us the first half of the game. From these untrained eyes, they just looked like the more polished unit on both sides of the ball. To your point however, unlike the other games I mentioned, we were not blown out of the water.

        Yes, the injuries did us in. Mizzu now has to deal with similar issues as they go through the SEC gauntlet. At least we got that.

  12. Otto

    My biggest complaints with the offense are the TEs and Hicks seemed to be under used. Hicks only had 1 carry. We’ve watched him run and catch.

    UGA may have put more yards than Mizzou gives up but by the metrics the defense held Mizzou to under their scoring average.

    I don’t think anyone can argue, that all 3 unit under performed to their potential.

    • David K

      Hicks took a hand-off on a 3rd and short and the Missouri LB absolutely destroyed him. I think he still picked up the first down but man that was a monster hit. Was surprised to see Quayvon get blown up like that.

      • Todd

        That was one hell of hit.

      • Otto

        He did, everyone knew who was likely get the ball, and he picked up the 1st. I’d like to see more handoffs to Hicks on 1st or 2nd, especially with Gurley and Marshal out. He may not be able to break it on the 2nd level like Green, Gurely or Marshall but he can pick up a solid 5-10 and it gives the other DC more to think about.

  13. Chris

    Anyone notice the back judge almost throw a flag on JHC for targeting on that hard hit over the middle? One of the announcers mentioned that it looked like the ref was going for his flag, but struggled to get it out in time, so it looked like he didn’t want to throw it late. I thought it was a solid hit to the chest, but could have been interpreted as close to leading with the crown of the helmet with the unfortunate new targeting rules. JHC has been one of the few shinning spots on the D.

    Also, that roughing the passer no-call on Murray’s INT is bullshit. If you are going to call it on Herrera (rightfully so), you have to call it both ways. Not that the pressure/late hit caused the INT, but fair is fair.

    • DWH

      I continue to be amazed by the lack of holding and block in the back calls enforced against the opponents. It’s really getting into conspiracy-level territory at this point. Of course, it always seems like the opponent gets one of those timely calls at just the right moments. Ugh, I still think the zebras have it out for us since thumbing our nose against them in the ’07 WLOCP.

  14. Chris

    Forgot the mention the thing that annoyed me the most during the game and again watching it after. It wasn’t the 2 timeouts for Special Teams, or the long kickoff return again.

    Richt declining an offsides penalty (one of many for Mizz) on a 7 yard run on 1st down in the 1st half. 2nd and 3 instead of 1st in 5? Next play was negative yards and now have 3rd and 4. Thank God Mizz went offsides with a hard count, but I was about to loss my cool with that bit of coaching. Richt essentially gave up a down for 2 yards.

  15. WillTrane

    Offense. MIzzou played zone coverage. 2 Ints. Are they good…let see how it goes for them with a key injury. But our scheme. We do not have a deep receiver or RB that can flex or stretch a zone. If Mitchell [both available], Gurley, Bennett, or Scott-Wesley been available…well, just how damn ugly would it have got for Mizzou. Clue. real freaking ugly. Not sure they could handle man coverage. The injuries at UT impacted Mizzou big time. They were prepared for the roster and scheme…limited. Not so at UT. Jancek and Martinez…that is why they are not at UGA anymore. Somebody like the AD had a whisper moment. Waiting to see how CMR and OC set the line splits and uses the backs if Gurley not available. All we have is “GOT & GOT”, both young frosh sitting in the minds and bodies of a frosh…think back to your own days at that age. There are some frosh and sophomores in Athens that can play…be patient with them…they are going to get bigger, faster, and stronger. The MIzzou coach will regret his comments about the D. Should have accepted his road win and kept quiet…that will come back next season. As I recall both FS were injured, but the DC is parking some players in the game because of their performance…just check out the roster, their stats, and their PT. Vandy will be a rough game, could be ugly, but if we win by 1 damn point…that is great…they have had 2 weeks to get ready for a young D and very injured squad going thru weekly game changes and reps…not easy at UGA.

  16. IveyLeaguer

    Question: Deas, of course, can’t play, and Kennar Johnson is out for the year.

    But whatever happened to Shaq Fluker? It’s like he fell off the face of the earth. In camp, he got most of the reps and looked like an answer at SS until he got injured late. But it was just a hamstring or something, IIRC.
    ~~~

  17. americusdawg

    Let me preface the comments below by stating that these are simply my observations and opinions. Whether they appear to be positive and/or negative, all are stated with full respect to all the Dawg players.

    Ray Drew keeps looking better and better every week. Leonard Floyd will be a serious play maker if the defensive coaches will let him chase down the quarterback every down. Like many, I was cussin’ Brendan Douglas’ fumble at the time … but I thought his performance before and afterwards was pretty good. Senator, emphatically agree with your statement, “… somebody needs to realize that short kickoffs are riskier than blasting the ball into the end zone” … jeesh is that such a hard thing to understand? Who knows if Swann is growing? He seems to be all over the place but hardly ever in the right place. I’m positive that Shaq Wiggins has the drive and determination to become a dependable cb … but at his published 5-10 / 165 … I now understand why he had trouble tackling the Mizzou receiver in the end zone on the “trick” play. BTW … Watching that play on TV, it appeared that the play was going in slow motion and I was envisioning players, coaches, fans, etc. gasping for air in knowing that nothing good was gonna come out of it. Missing the 2 pointer that would have tied the game was not on Murray. The replay clearly showed that Conley? just wrap up the ball. That appeared to be a set play and I imagine the receiver knew it was coming to him. I thought our pass protection was just sad for the most part of the game. No real contenders to defend the ends … even when we’d try to have a delayed double team, etc.

    I’ll end my rant on a positive note. How about Artie Lynch hurdling the Mizzou tackler?

    http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/229/files/2013/10/Lynch.gif