The year of woulda, coulda, shoulda

I’m starting to see stories about how close and crazy Georgia’s season’s been cropping up.  And those stories certainly have their share of validity to them.  The Dawgs played in seven games that were decided by a touchdown or less, six of those by no more than five points.

When you play in that many games that are nailbiters, it’s not hard to find a key play here or there that would have dramatically changed the season in one form or fashion, and that’s no exception with the 2013 edition of Georgia football.  From the horse collar tackle that saved Clemson seven points (that was the drive that culminated in the bad snap for the field goal) through Pig Howard’s fumble in overtime that saved Georgia’s bacon (see what I did there?) in Knoxville to the unforgettable Hail Mary that killed the Dawgs against Auburn, you can point to a number of them.  2013 was definitely dramatic.

But it’s not unique.  In fact, it reminds me a lot of the 2006 season in that regard.  Georgia played eight games that year in which the final margin was seven points or fewer, including six of the last seven games played.  The regular season record was even 8-4.  As for crucial injuries, 2006 was the year that Andy Bailey had to step in to cover Brandon Coutu, something you could easily argue cost the Dawgs two games, as Georgia missed two field goals and an extra point in the loss to Kentucky and a late field goal against Vanderbilt.

Bottom line is that there are those seasons where the line between great and okay is pretty fine.  Some years the luck doesn’t bounce your way and some years it does.

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44 Comments

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44 responses to “The year of woulda, coulda, shoulda

  1. Tim

    Call me crazy but thus is one of my favorite Dawgs teams of all my life. Results weren’t awesome but the drama was spectacular. Loved the teams heart and fight and Murray and Gurley are high on my list of favorite players ever. A few plays and calls here and there and this is a magical season. In the end not magical but certainly entertaining and unforgetable.

  2. gastr1

    I do think Marshall Morgan deserves a good bit of attention for being a real difference-maker in so many tight games. He’s just been money from anywhere on the field this year.

  3. Spence

    I don’t consider it luck not bouncing our way. Our defense grossly underperformed (8 games over 30 points) and if it had been marginally better we would not have been in many of those nailbiters.

    • Slaw Dawg

      Right, except I’d add awful ST breakdowns to that. We wouldn’t have had to worry about luck bouncing one way or the other in the Vandy and AU games had we played decent ST in the first and consistent D in both. ST problems even factored into the Clemson loss. While I certainly admire this team’s heart, many of the challenges they had to overcome were of their own making.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      +1. The reverse to all this thread’s BS is also true. UGA easily could have lost the UT, South Carolina, Florida and Tech games. The UT game outcome was 100% good luck for the Dawgs. The Dawgs easily could have been 4-8 this season. We were just as lucky in some games as unlucky in others.

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    There’s another part of that coulda woulda shoulda thing….like my grandpa used to say…”if you coulda, you woulda”

    It’s a great life being a Georgia Bulldawg.

  5. Keese

    Pretty hair thin line on one or two plays costing georgia a BCS champ through the years also

  6. Russ

    I agree with the others. Despite the record it’s still been one of my favorite teams. Tremendous heart.

    But yeah, the defense did under perform even counting the new guys. Let’s hope for big improvement next season.

  7. Beakerdawg

    How long do we have to say coulda, woulda…. at the end of every year? Especially when you see how they conduct their football affairs in the border state to the west and the border state to our south. If Jameis was a bulldog at the start of fall practice, he wouldn’t have been a bulldog by the Clampson game but instead he’d be a Kansas Jr College standout, waiting on his money from the plains and then have Verne slobber all over his redemption story. I appreciate that we do things the right way but I think that we are long overdue for a damn break from the football gods (or at least for those of us that attended UGA from ’90-’95, why did Hastings fumble…)

    • sUGArdaddy

      Good Lord, Beaker, I was talking to a friend about that final drive vs. UT in ’92 just last night.

      Our day will come.

  8. Keese

    I think Grantham will have his guys in good shape next season. Hes no dummy…and commands his players effort and attention which is the most any coach can ask for. I see his competitive (and prideful) side of his personality making sure the guys are playing much better next season. And the fact the new players will know his system much better. Jury still out til end of next season for me

    • Macallanlover

      UGA’s defense was so sub-par the last two years CTG will have to have a very good year to attract any offers, pro or college. Although feeling he has been given plenty of time/talent to deliver and should be released, I will support his “getting it together” next year to allow us the chance to take advantage of another strong offensive unit….starting with just finding a way to get players at least lined up in advance of the snap.

  9. Scrambledawg

    I was at that 2006 game in Lexington. As tough as Murray is, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone (at least a UGA QB. Brodie Croyle and Pennington might beg to differ) bludgeoned the way Stafford was in that game. I truly though, especially coupled with the Vandy loss, that we were seeing the end of days as I was walking out of Commonwealth.

    • Cory Phillips in 2000 again in Lexington took quite a beating and was key in the win there against the Pilsbury Throw Boy. But his play against the Nerds in a loss that year was remarkable. I don’t see how he got up after several of those blind side hits. He still holds a Georgia record for most passes and completions in a game.

    • AlphaDawg

      Colt Brennan comes to mind.

    • Macallanlover

      Was there to Scramble, first time I have ever experienced the goal post act before. Didn’t think we were ever going to lose that game….until we did (same experience at CO). Stafford did take quite a few licks.

  10. anon

    too bad we have a coach and a program that relies on “luck”…too bad for the fans and players that is. not a bad gig for a coach that makes millions a year

    • Beer Money

      Yeah since of course Alabama has had absolutely no luck involved in getting to the MNC game. None whatsoever, right?

  11. Bright Idea

    Hearing Coach Richt say we would practice only 10 times for the bowl instead of the allowed 15 really makes me wonder about a lot of things. What else do they have to do?

    • You mean besides prepare for finals?

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Or have five fewer opportunities to add to the KIA list?

    • Skeptic Dawg

      This is where Richt finds himself lacking in comparison to his peers. Richt strives for the perfect work/life balance, often times foregoing essential details (ST’s, O-line, in-game signals, how to handle crowd noise etc) and falling short in preparation. We have seen far too many Georgia teams show up unprepared throughout the Richt era. This is what I find maddening. With the litany of AD and University placed restrictions the Dawgs have to overcome annually, Richt places further restrictions on this program by not fully utilizing the allowed practice time. GATA.

      • Since you deplore the number of other times Richt’s teams show up unprepared, presumably with all allotted practices under their belts, I’m curious how much difference you think those four or five practices will make.

        • @gatriguy

          Well, Richt’s biggest bowl disappointment was the WVU Sugar Bowl, where by his own admission, the team got fat over the break. If nothing else, he could use the extra practices to work on conditioning.

          • They can do that anyway, without the practices.

          • Macallanlover

            The WVU Sugar was far, far from a worst performance in a bowl. Isn’t even in the same universe with UCF and BC. The players were prepared for WVU, they just didn’t take the coaches seriously. Third straight game in Atlanta was part of the problem, WVU was amped. And that was a very decent WVU, unlike the other two eggs we laid.

        • Skeptic Dawg

          Given the secondary shortcomings, defensive alignment issues, the inconsistent O-line play, and ST failures I would believe any and all additional practice time would be welcomed with open arms. This is when and where preparation for 2014 begins. 4 or 5 additional practices could possibly go a very long way toward a younger player nailing down his assignments, or refining his technique. Do you think that Spurrier, Saban or Miles would forego any additional practice time?

  12. Irwin R Fletcher

    The 2006 Tennessee game…I don’t think I’ve ever been at a game where more energy was sucked out of the stadium than that one. The only game that comes close is the 2012 SEC Championship game.

  13. stoopnagle

    Oh, hey, lookie what I found right here:

    It’s a 3 game win streak versus Florida!

    I’m gonna keep it!

  14. Will Trane

    This a well respected team. Disappointed? No. Think the coaches and players did great considering the schedule and injury impact to roster management, game plans, and game management. They are fun to watch. They deserve our respect because I think this team has a lot pride, determination, and courage.

  15. D.N. Nation

    The combination of Andy Bailey and Daniel Inman was too much for ’06 Georgia to overcome.

    Add Bryan Evans and Jeremy Thomas and you have a true Four Horsemen of the Dawg Suckpocalypse.

  16. This is why I love believing in parallel universes. Somewhere out there the Dawgs win a National Championship every year and I am there to enjoy it with them.

  17. Mayor of Dawgtown

    You cited near the end of your post for this thread to the link to Auburn’s 2013 season as evidence of good luck playing a deciding role in one’s season. In fact, the better link for that would be to Auburn’s 2010 season where the WarTigersPlainsmen won 5 games by 3 points or less, including the BCSNCG.

  18. Bulldog Joe

    If the comparative 2006 season is any indication, the bowl game should be a relative breeze.

    Georgia only had to overcome an 18 point second half deficit in that one.

  19. My woulda,shoulda,moment is still The 4th down targeting call against Remik in the Vanderbilt game. Just sooo wrong and so devastating to the outcome of the game. I predict the Doors pay the same price in Athens in 14 that they paid in 12. Big numbers …big pain.