Observations from the armchair, Gator Bowl edition

Sigh.

A half-assed end to a half-assed game in a half-assed season…  I hate to say it, but what I felt more than anything else when the clock hit zero was a sense of relief.  2013 was a goddamned Bataan death march of a season and I hope I never see its like again.  It wasn’t the worst year Georgia has had under Richt, but at times it sure felt like it.

However, I’ll save the post mortems for the year, the players and the coaches for later, in the offseason.  Right now, it’s time to look at loss number five.  And I have to say I’m a little disappointed in you guys.  Amidst all the vitriol I saw in the game day comment thread, where’s the praise for how I called the game in my preview?

This wasn’t a game in which we saw suckitude from start to finish.  Instead, it was more a case of sucking just enough at just the right moments to lose a winnable game to a mediocre opponent.

As always, on to the bullet points.

  • Turnover margin for the win… er, loss.  Over the course of the second half of its regular season, Nebraska bled turnovers and didn’t force many.  So naturally, the ‘Huskers finish the day +1 in that department as the Dawgs gifted two beauties, both of which resulted in touchdowns.  That’s how you undo a game in which you outgain the opponent by more than 100 yards, run, I dunno, at least 20 more plays and dominate time of possession.  Nebraska’s second half drive chart is almost more comical than pathetic.  But in the end it was good enough.
  • There’s something really, really wrong with the passing game when Georgia doesn’t complete a pass to a wide receiver until there’s three minutes left in the first half.
  • Either we got fed a lot of swill during practice week about Todd Gurley’s improving health, or something happened just before game time, because he wasn’t anywhere near even 80%.  If he had been, we wouldn’t be bitching nearly so much right now, because he would have scored the winning touchdown the last time he touched the ball.  Despite his obvious laboring and despite that Nebraska’s defense was geared to stop the run, he was still magnificent, leading the team in rushing and receiving yardage and scoring Georgia’s only touchdown.
  • It wasn’t the worst I’ve seen the offensive line play, but it wasn’t the best, either.  Some of that can be explained by injuries, field conditions and some poor decision making by Mason.  But some, like the first sack of the game, was nothing but the same old, same old.  I saw nothing to make me reevaluate my opinion of Will Friend.
  • It wasn’t Hutson Mason’s finest hour.  There was a long stretch when it seemed like the only person in the entire stadium he trusted was Todd Gurley.  His best attribute is supposed to be his ability to lead his receivers with his throws, but that came and went all afternoon.  He got rattled in the pocket often, particularly in the red zone, which led him to miss seeing a wide open Michael Bennett a couple of times.  At least two of the sacks could be attributed to him holding the ball too long.  It’s clear he lacks Murray’s arm strength (remember that one completion on the sideline that came off a pass that seemed to hang in the air forever?) and that, along with Georgia lacking a deep threat at receiver, meant that Nebraska could clamp down on Georgia’s receivers and shovel defenders towards the line of scrimmage without much concern.  (I noticed several times that Nebraska deployed ten defenders within eight yards of the line of scrimmage.)   The interception was just a bad throw, which is going to happen sometimes.  What’s going to need real attention in the 2014 preseason is what felt like a lack of chemistry between Mason and his wideouts and between Mason and Bobo.
  • In his defense, Mason didn’t get a lot of support from guys dropping the ball on the last two series, but some of that can also be chalked up to receivers not being led with a pass in the way they used to expect from Murray.
  • I suspect Bobo knew what he had to work with before the game started. He had to stick with the run game, even though Nebraska was geared to stop it, because he needed it to sell play action to give Mason time to set up and throw. It wasn’t the most inspired playcalling we’ve seen from him, but it was at least serviceable.  Most of the red zone breakdowns, which were the difference in the game when you get down to it, could be chalked up to Mason’s inexperience and the inability of the offensive line to get much of a push run blocking.
  • Special teams were for the most part what we’ve come to know and love.  Marshall Morgan was money on field goals.  The coverage teams played well on both punts and kickoffs.  Erickson did a good job placing his kicks inside the 20 and, of course, fielded the snaps cleanly.  Green, sad to say, turned in Georgia’s only decent kickoff return of the season, aided by some good blocking for once.  But the ongoing shuffle at punt returner paid off with another crucial mistake that led to a Nebraska touchdown.
  • That was Leonard Floyd’s best game of the season.  He did an excellent job on edge plays, which in turn meant the defense did a good job shutting down the option stuff.  Jenkins looked good, too.  (If only his sack had been three inches deeper.)  It was the quietest game Ramik Wilson played this year, though.
  • Defensive line play wasn’t bad either.  Abdullah got his 100+ yards, but I can only think of one long run Nebraska had all day, when the quarterback broke contain and ran for 24.
  • I said yesterday that we’ve seen little improvement over the course of the season from the secondary and that continued.  True, Armstrong was 6-14 passing, but much of that was due to the fact that he’s not very polished throwing the ball.  Swann and Wiggins battled, at least, which is more than I can say for Corey Moore, who was back in his interested observer mode.  The suspensions really hurt.
  • As for the 99-yard touchdown pass… I barely had time to think “Georgia throws the ball in this situation” in response to Ed Cunningham’s idiotic observation about what to do there when Armstrong was dropping back and loading up to throw deep.  Then I barely had time to think “oh, shit” as the broadcast shifted downfield to show a badly beaten Shaq Wiggins waving his arms as the receiver gathered in the pass.  However, I did have plenty of time to formulate my thoughts as he ran for a touchdown after Mauger’s feeble attempt at a kill shot instead of a tackle failed.  ESPN’s best camera work of the day was capturing the look on Grantham’s face after the score.  I’d like to think he was cursing Lakatos in his head there, but that’s just the romantic in me.   In the end, call it another moment when you wish they’d have called a time out to remind every defender what he was supposed to do in that situation.
  • Grantham wasn’t the problem yesterday.  He called a pretty good game, with some timely blitzing.  The front seven was prepared for Nebraska’s run game.  Even the 99-yard debacle wasn’t the result of poor scheming; it was just two knuckleheads not doing what they were supposed to do.  The biggest fault I can lay at his feet is how discombobulated his defense looked after the two turnovers.  I’m really getting tired of watching Herrera pointing fingers and calling fellow defenders out for not being in the right place after the opponent scores on a fairly open play.
  • I don’t know what was a bigger joke, the field conditions or the personal foul thrown on Garrison Smith for tackling the quarterback on an option play.
  • And you knew that if there was helmet-to-helmet contact involving a Georgia receiver, targeting wouldn’t be called, right?

Adios, 2013 season.  You won’t be missed.

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228 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

228 responses to “Observations from the armchair, Gator Bowl edition

  1. Timphd

    The best news about this game for me is I was driving home from family visits and didn’t watch it live. It’s on DVR but I may decide to ignore it. Damn.

  2. The other Doug

    Great points.

    I’m really worried about Mason. His arm strength won’t put the fear of the deep ball in any decent teams secondary and he looked rattled at times.

    Nebraska’s QB had less throwing skills, but still made our secondary look bad.

    That 99 yard pass was the perfect example of the defense’s issues. FS bites on the run when his only job is to prevent the deep ball.

    Mason makes 2 good throws (finally) on the last to drives, but the receivers drop them. Sigh.

    I was surprised Bobo didn’t fake the run to Gurley on both of those short 4th down plays.

  3. Boz

    As I explained to my father during the final drive, my give a shit tank was on empty. An extremely disappointing year with what could have been a special team. Regression to the mean shall be the rally cry heading into the off season. Sure would be nice if the recruiting cycle ended well, but I would be a fool to hold my breath on that thought…

  4. Bulldawg165

    Say what you will about the BS targeting penalties that have been called on Georgia this year, but I agree with the no-call yesterday. The Nebraska guy didn’t launch and only made contact with our guy’s head because he ducked on the way to the ground. If the refs were always that sensible about it there wouldn’t be anyone complaining about targeting. Unfortunately, their sensibilities seem to only be intact when it’s a Georgia guy getting lit up.

    • D.N. Nation

      I am fine with the spirit of the targeting rule- ostensibly to keep players safe by cutting down on those sorts of hits- but you’re leaving the execution of the concept to morons with internal biases. Penn Wagers, Marc Curles, Tom Ritter, etc….they’re always going to think of us as “thUGA” because that’s who they are. These calls to “re-evaluate” the targeting rule are silly, because whatever results from that will still have to be executed by these lowlifes.

      So, really- If you want to make the targeting calls right, start by firing every single SEC official save maybe Matt Austin’s crew, and start fresh.

    • Say what you will about the BS targeting penalties that have been called on Georgia this year, but I agree with the no-call yesterday.

      I do too. I thought that PAC-12 crew was outstanding.
      ~~~

  5. roterhalsdawg

    My thoughts exactly on the Cunningham “observation” just before the 99 yard play…Man those clowns were so bad I was tempted to turn the sound off. On a related note, if I was a UGA opponent playcaller, I’d throw a bomb like that at least once a series.

  6. pdub1005

    Worst season under Richt. By a mile. The 6-7 year saw a Georgia team that was not all that talented or the talent was young. The injuries excuse 2 losses. The other stuff is same old, same old. Undisciplined play. Soft play. UGA is second tier in the SEC at best. It might be 3rd tier as Bama is on their own level. Unless some major fixes occur, we’re looking at 8-4 again, and hot seat returns.

    • How quickly a 3-1 September is forgotten. ;)

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Which means that the Dawgs were 5-4 after that. Everyone thought preseason that if they got through the first 4 games with only 1 loss Georgia would finish the regular season 11-1 and play in the SECCG and possibly the BCSNCG.

        • Which is why I wrote what I wrote, Mayor. 5-4 with a win over Florida beats 6-7 in my book every day. YMMV, of course.

          • Dawgshit

            No you did not. You were trying to defend a shitty season of pathetic coaching and playing. It’s plain and simple the team was and is a team that is not what UGA football is suppose to be about.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            You know Senator, this was still very close to being a pretty good–if not championship–season. If the 2 kids don’t tip the ball to the Auburn receiver and the idiot ref in the Vandy game doesn’t flag Ramik for an obviously clean hit the Dawgs are 10-2 in the regular season with wins over all our main rivals.

            • Four losses by five points or less, and you can point to a key bad play in every one of those, so, yeah, there’s something to that.

              It’s not the worst year under Richt, but it sure is the most frustrating.

              • Russ

                Agreed. I did learn to moderate my emotions better during this season. It was either that or break the TV.

                • sniffer

                  I learned to make up some new words this year, Russ, so I have that going for me…

                  • LOL!! I decided this year to holler “Praise God!” every time I had the urge to holler son-of-a-god-damn-bitch when they did something stupid. Saturday afternoon and night this year sounded like I was watching a Benny Hinn revival.

              • paul

                What I find frustrating is that at the end of the season we’re still talking about needing to call timeouts to remind defenders of their responsibilities. We can talk about ‘bad breaks’ when we tip a pass directly into the hands of a receiver that was otherwise out of position to make a play but in the end the real issue is situational awareness and mental toughness. And the Bulldogs have shown very little of either the last few years. Do we manage to pull games out through sheer physical superiority? Sure. Do we have heart? Absolutely. But we seem to seriously lack awareness in the moment and the mental toughness required to play sixty full minutes of focused football. And it appears to have been missing for a while unfortunately. The closest we’ve come recently was the Alabama game. And in the end we didn’t do what we needed to do when it mattered most. That’s been all too common a theme.

                • What I find frustrating is that at the end of the season we’re still talking about needing to call timeouts to remind defenders of their responsibilities.

                  I was being tongue in cheek with that.

                  Don’t disagree with most of the rest of what you say, though.

                  • Uninvited and it's understood

                    There technically was a timeout before that play due to the refs reviewing the spot on the fumbled snap.

                    Not adding anything to the coaching level discussion, just read this and thought I’d interject…

              • RD

                Probably the “most what if season I can remember” – best thing they never gave up.

              • JonDawg

                I 100% agree with this sentiment. Not the worst year , by far, 2009 holds that title proudly.. But the absolute MOST frustrating year I’ve witnessed under Richt.

        • RocketDawg

          How conveniently you forget the injuries to our top 2 RB’s and top 4 WR’s but don’t let the facts get in the way of your bitching and complaining. Do you honestly think we are 5-4 with EITHER Gurley or Marshall and ONE of JSW/Mitchell/Bennett/Conley completely healthy???

          • KingCantona

            Honestly, I believe, yes, we would have lost a game or two with those guys healthy simply because our defense was so porous that we would have had to have kept scoring and putting together perfect games on offense. And even the best offenses have off days.

          • Todd

            Georgia would have been the biggest fraud in the top 10 had Gurley stayed healthy.

      • pdub1005

        If the season were 4 games we wouldn’t be here. Alas, it was 13, and we lost 5. Mason looked so bad. That’s the worst part. Inept CB play is the new normal, but Mason looking like a scared boy was jarring.

        • fuelk2

          As bad as I hate to say this, Mason looked like a guy who had never played, which he is. So we’ll spend next year getting him up to speed only to watch him leave the program immediately thereafter. On the other hand, if we took our lumps with one of the younger guys….

          • WR

            I came away thinking that if/when Jacob Park watches that game, and knowing he’ll be an early enrollee, he’s going to be licking his lips with the thought of a decent shot at playing time in 2014.

        • To Mason’s credit, I thought he looked his best at the very end during crunch time though. Four drops from his two 5th year seniors overshadow the fact that he was on the money when it counted most. You could argue Lynch’s first drop was a little behind him, for sure, but even it was VERY catchable. I took that as a sign of encouragement about Mason, combined with his Tech performance…….he does seem like a guy who actually gets better in the clutch, and that is a nice trait to have.

          Granted, I’m not arguing that he looked really bad during parts of the game, but given the conditions and all, I thought he actually performed pretty well in the clutch, he was just let down by the guys who were supposed to catch.

          • RocketDawg

            Mason looked bad, Shockley look as bad or worse against Tech in ’04 to the point that Greene had to come into the game with a broken thumb and win it at the end. Shockley had as good of a season as any UGA QB in ’05. Yesterday means nothing.

            • Ron

              Yesterday means nothing because two future NFL QB’s complimented each other in 2004??? Odd comparison.

              Mason’s arm strength is the biggest takeaway from the game. It’s Joe Cox-like and we’re stuck with him until we drop those first two games. Richt will not give the ball to another QB until the season is lost. Mark it down..

            • Tlkdawg

              My thoughts exactly as I watched yesterday. In fact, Shockley never gave us any reason to believe in him before the 05 season. After an offseason of working as number 1, he was a different player. Our hope lies in having some semblance of competent defense and something more than the 120th best punt return squad

          • “Throwing in the Rain

            Here is how rain affects a quarterback’s throw:

            Rain makes the ball wet and heavier which will shorten the distance it travels, as well as the trajectory..
            Rain makes it harder to grip the ball, affecting the quarterback's **ability to impart spin and force to it.**
            Rain hitting the ball will shorten the distance it travels, as well as the trajectory.
            A wet uniform, as well as being cold, can affect the quarterback's ability to throw.
            Rain can also affect vision, making the target harder to determine.
            Mud and wet fields make footing less sure and can affect the force the quarterback imparts to the football."
            
            • Scorpio Jones, III

              While I appreciate and applaud your educational efforts I fear they are wasted…but I enjoyed it.

              • Thank you sir. I do get to play with Blutos new posting gear. ;-)

                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  I wonder if Mason has ever played in a quagmire like that…there is simply no way you can understand what it is or will be like till you do it. In Georgia the high school bosses are pretty quick to pull the plug on a game in a heavy rain.

      • Carolinadawg

        “How quickly a 3-1 September is forgotten.”

        As well it should, given how the rest of the season unfolded.

    • D.N. Nation

      “Unless some major fixes occur, we’re looking at 8-4 again, and hot seat returns.”

      I like to read “major fixes” as “getting a less ridiculous fanbase.”

      • G Marmalarde

        Just think what this season could have been without all the special teams snafus. If only that were a fixable problem instead of totally random bad luck. Shoot darn.

  7. DB

    Do you think Richt should have kicked the field goal with four+ minutes left?

    • David K

      Yes. Down by 5 and you have to make the stop either way (which our defense did).

      • David K

        And taking the foot off the gas before the half and settling for a field goal when there was at least a minute and a half left in the game was poor coaching as well. Don’t tell me we were trying to prevent Nebraska from having time left on the clock. You try to score TD’s. Bottom line.

      • Otto

        At the time I had little problem with going for it, the defense was making stops but bleeding yards and clock. I am usually a take the points kind of decision.

        I am most disappointed at the special teams turnover, nearly giving it away again, and the 4 field goals. Take a turnover back and go .500 with FGs to TDs, UGA wins

        Agreed, CTG didn’t cost us this game and the scoreboard does not reflect the defense.

    • joe

      More like 5 minutes and yes he should have. We still need to play defense and get the ball back. We kick the FG at that point then we are only 2 pts down. We get the ball back and now another FG wins…
      I was there watching in the endzone…
      Sigh.

    • DawgPhan

      it might have been the only time this season where the defense actually looked like they could get the ball back quickly…but of course I was on the couch, out of the arena and not the least bit of belief in the defense getting a stop…but taking points is taking points.

    • I didn’t have a problem going for it on fourth-and-two. Nebraska wasn’t doing anything on offense at that point, so the odds were good Georgia would get the ball back with time to score.

      • David K

        But wouldn’t you rather be going for a field goal at the end instead of needing to get a touchdown? It’s not like we were effective getting touchdowns. I think Richt was coaching as if he had Murray back there and the chances of us getting the touchdown are pretty solid (almost expected at this point). Mason and the offence were obviously struggling. Take the field goal and the best chance of getting the win.

        • It’s a bowl game. I think Richt’s trying to motivate his guys in that spot. Plus, he left Nebraska holed up in a spot where conservative playcalling is even more likely.

          I’m not saying kicking the FG there is a bad move. It’s certainly defensible. The only wild card is if something bad happens on the kickoff after the made FG that affects field position.

        • Down by 5 and you have to make the stop either way (which our defense did) … Mason and the offence were obviously struggling. Take the field goal and the best chance of getting the win.

          FWIW, I agree. Not only with the above, but with everything you’ve said about it. At the time, I said to the whole room it was a mistake, and that was well before the 4th down play was even run.

          To me, kicking the FG was so obviously the smart choice that I was somewhat taken aback.

          In addition to what’s been said already (which is plenty reason to kick it, IMO), Morgan had been money all year, and all the game. Not only had he made everything, he was hitting it well. That’s always a huge factor. We had more than a yard to go, so we couldn’t run (and Nebraska knew that). They had smothered us with their coverage almost the whole day.

          Even if we miss the FG, we still have 5 minutes left, plenty of time to get the ball back and score to win the game. Further, regardless of whether we score a TD or FG there, we STILL have to get a stop on defense to win. So taking pressure off the defense is not a factor.

          Lastly, we had not been able to punch in a TD all day. The 3 points there was as close to a given as it gets. THEN, if you get a stop, all you need is a short drive to set up a FG and win .. not a TD drive in poor conditions when you haven’t been successful all day.

          That said, I was not super upset with the call at the time. Just thought it was a bad call, and not the smart move at all. The 4th down call was excellent (so was the last one), and it should have been successful. But that’s part of the risk you take, especially in those conditions when it’s hard for receivers to cut and the ball is wet, which is yet another reason the FG makes more sense.

          Even so, that call didn’t lose the game. It could, and likely would, have won the game. But it didn’t lose it.
          ~~~

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            If Richt had kicked the FG and then they didn’t get the win, the same jacklegs would be on here crying about how ‘we would have likely won’ had they gone for it on 4th down. Oh well.

            Kicking FG’s and getting stops isn’t automatic. I’m sure there is an odds/stats site that can give you the break down on what strategy is more likely to work….I would be that going for it on 4-2 is twice if not three times as successful in that situation.

            • Atticus

              Agreed. And one point about the QBs, I agree the jury is still out. He looked like he could make some solid throws in the 2nd half of GT. But the wet ball and poor field conditions had to affect him. I recall DJ looking bad against GT in the rain and many of those jack legs said “we are in trouble next year” and DJ had a huge year. Not sure if he is DJ though. A healthy Mitchell and Gurley and hopefully better TE play could make a difference.

              Here’s a footnote to the stats after yesterday.

              122 in punt return average (out of 123), averaging 2.92 yes per return
              107th in KO returns averaging 18.6 yes per return

              We really need to use these as weapons.

              UGA only 1 of only 16 teams who had 2 or more punts blocked.

              109th in turnovers

    • I didn’t hate the call to go for it on 4th, but even at the time, I was saying I would kick it instead. But the playcall was there, Mason delivered a very catchable ball to a 5th year senior, hard to argue with the call even in hindsight.

    • Russ

      Nope. With our defense you can’t count on a stop. Better to try to score when we have the chance.

  8. tbia

    I thought Dawson had one good KO return this year.

  9. Smitty

    I hate to say it but this was another Mark Richt “Meh” special. Seen it too many times. Lifeless team, didn’t want to be there. Still should have won, but didn’t…….

  10. Jay Reminschneider

    JJ Green returning kicks was a bright spot yesterday.

    Glad the season is over. Happy talk will be hard to listen to this offseason.

  11. So the question is, will the D improve enough next year to offset the drop off in QB and O-line. Early indications say no.

    At one point during the game I seriously considered turning it off and taking a nap. Like, Boz, my give a shit tank had hit empty. A gimpy RB and a flustered QB did not hold my interest.

    UGA played the run better, but yet again we lose to a sub par team.

  12. AusDawg85

    Just a weird game, but hardly time to claim the sky is falling on the program. Watched the replay and just think the field conditions and conservative play calling with all the new personnel led more to Mason’s problems than his lack of talent. The OL was mediocre, and when Mason had plenty of time to throw, it looked more like it was due to max protection schemes with only had 2 – 3 receivers running patterns. The WR are probably as much to blame for not getting open as Mason not finding them.

    Examples of WTF moments:
    * Richt doesn’t take the FG with 4 minutes left to pull within 2. Just an odd decision especially when you then don’t give the ball to #3 to get the first.
    * Considering the day he had…Lynch is the one to drop the last pass? He was money all day.
    * Is there ANY Dawg fan, follower, hater, alien from another galaxy, etc. that didn’t fear we’d screw-up with Nebraska on their own 1-inch line?
    * McGowan bobbles a punt, so we put in…Davis? Worse, we then resolve to not field a punt ever again, so why not go for some punt blocks?
    * When did Quayvon Hicks transfer?
    * Great use of Bauta…for a play. Mason must have needed a fix to his equipment of something, cause that sure didn’t look like the planned use to substitute as had been hinted by Bobo earlier in the week.

    That wasn’t the 2013 OR 2014 team on the field, so I’m not going to read much into it. It wasn’t the SECCG or playoff, so didn’t have that much emotionally invested in the outcome anyway.

    • David K

      Richt doesn’t field the punt and set up a return because he’s afraid we’ll fumble and he doesn’t go after the punt because he’s afraid we’ll get a roughing penalty. Our sole purpose of the punt return team is to prevent a fake against us. The S. Carolina game from 3 years ago still keeps him up at night.

    • Worse, we then resolve to not field a punt ever again, so why not go for some punt blocks?

      Wondered that myself.

      • I’m not a Debbie Downer, but the reality of our luck this year combined with our special teams makes it pretty predictable what going for punt blocks would have resulted in………roughing the kicker, automatic first down, which would have swung the momentum similar to a turnover, so our D would have immediately come back out onto the field and folded, and Nebraska promptly scores another TD. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the exact sequence of events that would have occurred if we came after their punter.

        We were honestly better off not going for blocks or trying to field the punts. That’s what our special teams (minus Morgan) were reduced to by the end of the year.

        • D.N. Nation

          “our special teams makes it pretty predictable what going for punt blocks would have resulted in”

          We got called for “leaping” or whatever going for a punt block against Auburn this season, so yeah. With you on this one.

        • You go for a block you turn it over to the refs to make a call on what will inevitably be some sort of contact with the kicker. Refs don’t mind throwin a flag against ol UGA, since CMR prefers not to be in their ear every play like the cornhuskers coach.

          • D.N. Nation

            Or if he does, Penn Wagers nails him for 15 yards, like he’s a basketball ref calling a technical.

            • Roswell DAWG

              Penn Wagers is a homo. What a complete total waste he is; a preening prima donna, who thinks he has to insert himself into the game. Evidence: The look on his face when the replay official said Murray crossed the goal line near the end of the Auburn game. You could tell, he hates Georgia and Mark Richt so much, he was ready to cry when the official said it went our way. He disgusts me and he is such a terrible official; Slive ought to terminate him but apparently Magic Mike just had a lobotomy; that would be the only excuse I think he could offer.

      • Bright Idea

        That’s why our defense gives up so many 3rd down conversions. They know we can’t catch a punt so why trudge off and right back on the field?

    • adam

      That one Bauta play wasted everyone’s time and wasted a down. And we also called the worst trick play I’ve ever seen.

      • Oh yea, how was that called intentional grounding? He didn’t throw it far enough away?

        • Yeah ball has to cross the LOS, and it fell inches short. Ironically, just a couple of plays later, Mason threw it away and it didn’t look like it came anywhere near crossing the LOS, but he threw it well out of bounds so the refs let it slide. On the trick play, the ball landed right along the sideline and they enforced it. Ultimately was pretty inconsequential though, we would have ended up kicking a FG regardless.

          • tbia

            To top off the officials indecision on that play, they spotted the ball at the 13, which was neither the previous spot, or the point he threw the ball from.

            • Ha! I did not notice that it wasn’t spotted properly.

              • Coastal Dawg

                I question the refs call. Even though it didn’t cross the los, Douglas was being hit when he threw it. That should negate having to cross the line doesn’t it. I chalk that penalty up to it being on the Nebraska sideline.

    • Macallanlover

      Good post Aus. I too am not too upset about a disappointing performance in an exhibition game but I really hate some of what I saw and the long lasting bad taste that lingers after a season ending loss. Next to Vandy (which was bad but was definitely stolen by incompetent refs), that is the worst loss we have had in a long while due to bad, uninspired play. Conditions were bad, game was not an exciting opportunity for either side so it lacked passion and was boring, but come on. I don’t remember being less involved emotionally in a game since UCF, which had a similar result.

      Defense looked pretty good if you can overlook 2-3 plays but Nebraska’s ineptness clearly contributed directly to that. I just don’t see us being much better on defense next season in the secondary, although I really don’t see how we can be much worse. Something has to change or next year will see us missing out on Atlanta again.

      The biggest surprise was watching the offense that has been our savior for years lack any sense of a spark. I have grown so accustomed to feeling confident they could always ignite a comeback or explosion that it was a shock to not have that sense of expectation at any point in the game. Mason’s first two outings were impressive enough to make me look forward to his development as we prepare for 2014 in hopes he would be “Shockley-esque”. After yesterday, I really hope the QB competition is opened up for the spring. I am trying not to overreact to one game but that was a tremendous fall off for a player who had declared this was now his team and it shakes my belief in him. Yes, it was a wet ball he had to throw but he is 21 years old, surely this wasn’t his first venture into the rain. Add a greatly diminished Gurley, inconsistent line play, WRs that could not get any separation from an average group of DBs, multiple drops by usually reliable receivers, and you have an offense that rolled up 416 yards but only put up 12 points on six different trips into the red zone.

      It is a strange feeling to not be upset about a loss the day of, and after, a loss that should have been a W but to now be very worried about how we solve the puzzle of what we all witnessed yesterday.

      • AusDawg85

        Defense is a real mess. Grantham on the hot seat and a lot of NFL jobs are open right now, so where’s his focus this month vs. recruiting? Not enough talent on hand to fix this mess, and last pre-season’s hype proved to be just that…hype. It’s all CTC (or a new DC) will have to peddle this off-season. Richt’s gotta be concerned, but the die is cast and everyone probably expects the O to continue to be in a position to bail-out a weak D. Very bad position to be in. With the luck of the Barners, we could have a hell of a season next year, but c’mon…we’re Georgia and Ol’ Lady Luck left on a train headed south years ago and she ain’t coming back.

        I expect 2 conference losses next year, but still win the East to go to the SECCG…and lose, which puts us out of the playoffs. Then some idiots will think how grand it will be for another rematch with Nebraska in the Outback bowl to promote the trifecta. How awesome.

  13. adam

    Agree with all of your points, Bluto.

    We avoided attacking downfield. Bobo said that Mason told him he didn’t feel comfortable and that didn’t feel like he could get a good grip on the ball to throw it deep accurately. That could have exacerbated his arm strength issues but it definitely played a part in our terrible passing game. So, we didn’t even threaten Nebraska with downfield passes and they were able to load the box (like every team should do to us all the time) and blitz when they wanted to.

    It wasn’t Bobo’s worst game of the season – that was Vandy – but it definitely wasn’t a good one. And the drops made it look even worse.

    I just don’t understand why we want to keep Will Friend and Scott Lakatos employed. It makes no sense.

    Tray Matthews’s hamstring and JHC’s grades really hurt us yesterday.

    Gurley needs some time to heal up. We need him 100% for next.

    Lost in the miserable play is that our two senior OGs left with injuries yesterday. Kublanow may have actually been an improvement over the oft-struggling Dallas Lee. Dantzler wasn’t noticeably different from Burnette, IMO, good or bad. Theus also stopped Gurley cold in his tracks on one play. I just can’t even begin to understand why we employ Will Friend and yet the guy who engineered all those amazing Wisconsin offensive lines just came on the market.

    • SAtowndawg

      Neither the O line play nor recruiting has improved since Friend arrived — it may have gotten worse…we have no viable OT depth after Beard and Theus and no players waiting in the wings at that position…at Center, as is par for the course, we have an undersized player playing above his talents, and it seems we have about 8-10 guards who are either too weak, too slow or too out of shape to make a difference….hopefully Kubanlow can make a mark but the future does not look bright at this position

  14. 69Dawg

    I too have gotten to the I don’t GAS point any more. For years I was too emotionally involved with the play of UGA, to the point my wife was worried about my mental health. The first heart problem meant that I had to give up watching the live action for a year. I would watch the DVR if we won but would erase it if we didn’t. I worked my way back into live games but the edge was gone. I’m just to old and tired to GAS when it is obvious the Athletic Department doesn’t. The players are college kids so you can’t blame them if they have incompetent coaches or that the scheme is too complex on both sides of the ball. We find ourselves with yet another QB who has been in the program for 4 years and yet he can’t handle it. The defense is just too complex for the guys we have. I choose to believe the players are not as dumb as they appear to be game in and game out but that the complex scheme is just not teachable in the time allowed. Since the Athlete Department doesn’t really care about anything but money and has no desire to make UGA a Championship program, I’m out. I’d send back my diploma but I paid too much for it. Instead I would like to say good bye to Section 329 Row 8 of Sanford Stadium and all the good folks I’ve pissed off with my screams and yells for the last 25 years. It’s been real. Go Dawgs pass the Tylenol.

  15. Roswell DAWG

    Agree on the lifeless perspective. Particularly the O line…..when are they going to just take the opposing team and kick their ass for 60 Minutes? When?

    Does anyone else feel that maybe we should have game planned for a “hurry up” offense built around our new QB? Seems to me that HM played best against the Nerds when he was in that mode, which is what he excelled at in HS ( I know, I know this is COLLEGE, this is UGA, move on…….) but given that he seemed to prosper in that setup, why not try it? We had 30 days to refine it. Plus the hurry up is built around motion and surprise, which usually, and I use the term with consideration, usually, involves throws less than 20 yards, except when those receivers are so open downfield due to a blown coverage caused by confusion caused by the hurry up that a QB can usually hit them without the pressure of coverage being there.

    Plus the end of the first half was inexplicable. We had like 46 seconds and were on like the 26 and we can’t run 4-5 plays, minimum? Instead we play for a stupid field goal? I hold Richt and Bobo accountable for that. Where the heck is the killer instinct? Missing in action, as far as I can tell..

    One man’s opinion…

    • adam

      Bobo said that they knew Mason likes going fast and feels more comfortable going fast, but yesterday they had I try to get a dry ball in after just about every play and that slowed things down a lot.

  16. doofusdawg

    pretty much covers it. I would like to add that I hope to never see cmr counting players on punt team with his finger again. I could never imagine saban or sos stooping to that level.. oh well… we are what we are.

  17. Spike

    I was at the game. What a rotten experience. Cold. Wet. And we lost to a lesser team. Two points. First, on third and a mile,from the six inch line, we give up a 99 yard bomb. Of course. Our defenders get burned and can’t tackle. Second, on the fourth down play, with it RAINING and our recievers dropping passes, and the best running back in our backfield, and short yardage, we THROW it! It’s dropped and that’s that.

  18. joe

    Some thoughts…
    The Nebraska fans were very nice and also “meh” about the game.
    Very weird driving right up to the stadium and only stopping because of red lights.
    The weather only snowballed the GOS factor…mine was below zero and because my tix were a Christmas gift from my wife who attended with me…she wouldn’t let us leave at halftime…after the game she promised a better gift next year…
    I was honestly was relieved leaving the stadium…that the game and season were over.

    This time next year I will be retired from the Marines after 25+ years and hopefully doing something I want to do…hope the Bowl game we go to next season is much better.

    I think Bo Pellini needed this win more than Richt did and I would like to say he coached that way but…

  19. Mayor of Dawgtown

    A meaningless end to a meaningless season…….That said, I watched Michigan State beat a more-talented Baylor last night and some time during the second half it suddenly occurred to me–this is how Georgia used to play at the beginning of Mark Richt’s tenure in Athens. Solid special teams. Aggressive hard-nosed defense with DBs that actually covered receivers. An offensive line that dominated the opposition. What happened to Mark Richt? Has he grown complacent and willing to accept mediocrity? Does he just not GAS any more? If he doesn’t care enough to see that the Dawgs field a complete team any more he needs to just retire and let someone else who cares do the job.

    • RocketDawg

      If you watched Michigan St beat Baylor you were in an alternate universe, but judging by most of the crap you post you probably live in one anyway.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Correction: UCF not Michigan State. A bit hung over this AM when I wrote that. The observations were accurate though.

    • @gatriguy

      Nothing happened to Mark Richt. His early teams won because Donnan, for all this faults, could recognize next level talent and stockpiled a shit-ton of it and he had a DC that was very good. The rest of the SEC has gotten much better since then, and Richt has stayed the same.

  20. Rebar

    I actually thought the defense played better in this game except for the bomb. I don’t think Hutson was ready for prime time, didn’t see him step into a throw all day. Should make for an interesting Spring game to see the competition between Mason & Bauta. What a damn year!

  21. CrawforDawg

    “Continuity”…I can hardly wait. Let heaven and nature sing!

  22. 202dawg

    Am I the only one who thinks Bauta or Ramsey beats out Mason next season?

    • Ramsey is still learning how to quarterback in a pro-style offense. All I’ve heard about Bauta is that he works hard, which is the football equivalent of the girl with a nice personality. I wouldn’t count on either, at least by opening day.

      • 202dawg

        Mason is no Joe Cox, of course, but some of those flutter-balls scare the bejesus out of me. I’m praying Ramsey and Murray have mind-melded at some point and he picks it up fast…

        • You might have better luck with Park, who’s enrolling early.

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            Just as long as it is a real competition I’m fine with whoever comes out of it. Park is having a good showing at the All American bowl stuff FWIW.

          • gatorhater27

            I played high school at the same school Park went to (granted, that was many years ago, but I am familiar with the coaching staff there still), and I can assure you he is no where near ready to be an SEC qb. Hell, Straford’s Coach Stackley only discovered the forward pass a few seasons ago. Park’s performance in the state title game (6 turnovers) leads me to believe he is setting up for a redshirt season.

      • SAtowndawg

        will be interesting to see how the QBs behind Mason work out….we’ve passed on some other in state quarterbacks who will be playing at SEC schools in the near future while Bauta and Ramsey seem far away from being ready….I’m hoping Park may be the long term answer…seems as if this will be the first time in a while that we don’t have a “sure thing” at QB in the pipeline

  23. HVL Dawg

    This has nothing to do with us losing, but let’s talk about the Gator Bowl itself.

    First there was turf condition. When was the last time you’ve seen a college football game where the player’s jerseys were so muddy you couldn’t see the numbers? Actually it was sand- put there to make the sod better- for next year I guess.

    End zone paint. Really? The black end zone paint couldn’t cover the logo from the previous Jacksonville State game? And the paint was still so wet that it rubbed off onto player’s uniforms?

    Referee microphone. You boys had a backup plan and a technician for that. Right?

    At least the clock didn’t malfunction. Give ‘em credit there.

    The good folks managing Everbank Field hosed the Gator Bowl Committee by making the Gator Bowl look like the minor league bowl that it is. I think it should be a major embarrassment to the Gator Bowl Committee.

    Let’s no go there next year.

    • Ginny

      Agree with everything. We sat in the endzone and couldn’t believe how shoddy of a paint job they did with the logos. Poor Todd’s jersey was totally brown. Didn’t hear the calls all game thanks to the microphones. Just tragic all around. It looked as though everyone in that stadium was disinterested.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      You make a good point about JAX Mun Stadium/Everbank HVL.The same problems at that third-rate venue are present for the WLOCP, too. I’m not arguing home and away with FU in this thread. What I’m saying here is: Aren’t there better places in the northern half of Florida to play the WLOCP than at this stadium? Orlando, maybe? Tampa? Borrow FSU’s field for one weekend?

      • Bright Idea

        Have you been to the Tangerine Bowl stadium in Orlando lately? New artificial turf but otherwise a dump. When we win we don’t really care about the grass, paint, mike, or rain in Jax.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          OK. You convinced me. Home and away. The Swamp and Sanford are both great venues without the problems discussed by HVL above. Plus, they each have about 20,000 more seats than JAX.

  24. D.N. Nation

    Cobb County sunshine pumpking w/r/t Dear Hutson turned out to be just that? Whoda thunkit? Boggles the damn mind that some certain segments of the Dawgosphere ever entertained the notion of Mason spelling Murray on the reg, or even taking over the starting spot, but that’s ridiculous suburban Atlanta tribalism for you.

    May this start be his last. I’d hate to see us loaded at the skill positions with the QB unable to do a thing with it.

    Get healthy, Todd.

    Defense will be a train wreck once again in 2014. It is what it is.

  25. Athens Dog

    What a horrible year. Average at Georgia is not acceptable. It has been (administration) for too long. Changes are needed or we will be right back here next year bitching about the same things.

  26. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Maybe I’m an idiot, but this sure didn’t feel as bad as that stretch leading up to 2010. I don’t think the cycle exists anymore. Once you have a stretch like 2008-2010 where its obvious the program is slipping, even if you turn it around, your detractors are going to bring it up any time there is adversity.

    I’m all for declaring it over if we pull a 2012 Auburn on the heels of this bad boy…but I think you get a little grace when you have a stretch like they did from 2012 through the LSU game this year where you clearly have the program clicking an an elite/championship level.

    Anyway, part of that 5-4 being so gut wrenching is the way we won/lost the games…there wasn’t a loss that wasn’t a game that you felt they shouldn’t have won…and there weren’t any wins (UK and App State don’t count!) that you felt they shouldn’t have lost.

    As for the game, I thought Langley was going to play, but I didn’t hear his name called. Is that because they were throwing to Mauger’s side of the field all day?

  27. Joe

    Anyone know how Mark Richt does with relatively inexperienced first year quarterbacks like Mason will be in 2014?

    I can think of only three other similar situations of quarterbacks with similar inexperience:
    Matt Stafford
    Joe Cox
    Aaron Murray

    None of those year resulted in more than 8 wins.

    Why will 2014 be different?

    • D.N. Nation

      2014 UGA will have a better running game than the ’06/’09/’10 versions.

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        That David Greene guy not make the list? And while I don’t think there is real correlation here, it’s worth noting that Mason has more passing attempts heading into next season than either Shockley or Cox had heading into their senior years. (or Murray, Greene, or Stafford had prior to starting as FR, obviously).

        But don’t let me break up your developing meme with stats.

        • D.N. Nation

          To be fair, Greene’s first season didn’t result in more than 8 wins, either. It did, however, have the Hobnail Boot and a win over Trek and a general feeling of forward momentum.

        • The 2001 team with David Greene went 8-4, so his basic premise still holds.

        • Tlkdawg

          Greene was also 8-4, so his point is valid

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            Holy crap…

            #1- No it doesn’t change the win numbers…but he should be on the list, that was the point.
            #2- To validate the point, you have to decide on what ‘experience’ means. -Stafford had zero live snaps and only 9 months of practice at college.
            -Murray and Greene had zero live snaps in college before their first season under center but had been through two springs and a redshirt season each.

            I don’t really see how either of those three have an ‘experience’ level the same as Mason’s.

            -Cox had one start (in which he was pulled after throwing 10 passes) and the one finish against Colorado his Freshman year and only had spot duty in the two following seasons before taking over. Joe threw a total of 15 passes in the season prior to taking over. Joe had a total of 58 pass attempts for 432 yards and 5 TDs prior to his senior year.

            -Shockley had a redshirt season, and two seasons of playing roughly 10 snaps a game (2003 he barely played…I feel like he hurt his foot). He had zero starts and zero games where he was expected to be THE quarterback. He threw a total of 132 passes prior to his starting season for 962 yards, 10 TDs, and 3 rushing TDs.

            Mason has started 2 games and played 60% of another. He’s thrown 110 passes this season. He has a total of 157 pass attempts for 1324 yards, 8 tds through the air and 2 on the ground heading into next season.

            I would say that at this point, Mason is clearly more experienced than Cox. I’d think reasonable folks can disagree on how Mason and Shockley’s experience level compares…but those same people would have to also agree that this is the conversation…not some lame comparison to true freshmen or redshirt freshmen that have never seen the field.

            Again, I don’t think it is that relevant. I don’t think ‘Richt’s past success’ with DJ or with Joe Cox or with whoever will give us clues about what to expect with Mason…I think getting a couple starts (and maybe even experiencing some adversity) might be a good thing, but I’m reserving judgement.

    • Slaw Dawg

      While I’m not saying 2014 will necessarily be different, I will point out that none of these QBs was supported by the offensive backfield that UGA should have next year. Moreno wasn’t used until Stafford’s second year; Cox got inconsistent play from King and Ealey; and I’m sure we all remember plenty of valiant Carlton Thomas between the tackles in 2010. Also, Stafford and Murray had zero starts prior to their first seasons–at least Mason has had 2. So one would think we’re set up for more than 8 wins, but I ain’t taking a damn thing for granted with this program.

  28. Will Trane

    When will UGA wise up about Jacksonville. The place is the pits! We go down there ever year to play UF can get there wiht a $1 taxi fare. You would think this city with a pro team could have a domed stadium. And in north Florida you have to expect this kind of weather in late December and earlyu January.

    • @gatriguy

      Wow, it’s almost like a third-rate bowl game in a third-rate city can’t get their shit together.

  29. Will Trane

    How does the “Gator Bowl / TaxSlayer Bowl” make it to a New Year’s Day Bowl? Frankly, I’m damn tired of us going to the state of Florida to play in some wet / third rate facility. Plus the AD should nix the annual game with UF in Jax. Go to a home and home seires, after all that money would go into UGA and Athens every other year.

    • @gatriguy

      Jacksonville is a total shit-hole. The stadium, the city, the people, the flat hat bills, neck ink, and Gator shit everywhere. I’ve been of this opinion on this site since day 1 and stand by it. The nostalgic feelings for Jacksonville that the over-40 section of our fan base has is just that: nostalgia.

      • Agreed. It’s not even nostalgia. It’s the guys that would cry if they didn’t get to get drunk and play golf at St. Simons or wherever. That’s more important to them than the team having a legit disadvantage every year against our biggest rival.

        • Macallanlover

          Way to remain consistent, another totally stupid post from you. “legit disadvantage”…please name just one. I will give you 10 years because it is Mission Impossible. If you are going to waste bandwidth to post your negative tripe, at least come with some facts so you don’t waste everyone’s time. Your head must have been struck with the same rock that the Mayor’s did. Both of you want to move the game to a home and home, dumb as that is, it is your right to that opinion. But making up defenses of your position just makes you look totally stupid. But then, that may not be an illusion.

          • Wow. Seem to have touched a nerve. It’s not a disadvantage when one team has to drive for hours and stay in a hotel the night before and the other sleeps in their own beds and takes a short bus ride?

            As far as I know I’ve never typed a single word to you so not sure where the personal attacks come from. Guess you’re one of the partying golfers I mentioned.

            • Where are you getting this “drive for hours” crap from? The team flies directly out of Athens to Jax. The difference in travel time between the two schools is minimal.

              The reason you got a smackdown from Mac was because your comment was condescending. This is the one game that caters to South Georgia fans. Is that such a terrible thing?

              BTW, none of what you said really matters anyway, at least as long as the school makes more money in Jax than it does home-and-home.

              • Personally I’ll sleep in my own bed over in a hotel. But no offense, I’m the type that isn’t into being peed on and told it’s raining. At least IMHO it’s not a south GA outreach charity issue. It’s the older married guys that want to get drunk and play golf at the beach.

                And if you or whatshisface want to get onto me for sharing a different opinion, go for it. But being called an idiot and saying that every post I’ve made on this site is moronic seems a bit extreme. Particularly since the only person I can remember attacking personally in many posts was the Gamecock troll from a few months back.

                Your site so you can let me be personally attacked by someone with a differing opinion, but I’ll take being “condescended to” over attacked most days.

                • Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. You claim to be “peed on and told it’s raining” by me, but take offense at being “personally attacked by someone with a differing opinion”. Am I missing something here? And what exactly would you have me do about Mac’s personal attack on you?

                  • Actually I wasn’t singling you or anyone else out and I don’t expect you to do anything. I’m an adult and can handle someone disagreeing with my opinion. I just found it odd that someone I’ve never posted a single thing to or about goes off on me because I agreed with someone else’s post. I find it more than a bit disingenuous to have someone tell me I can have my own opinion and then have them accuse me of being an idiot. Especially when as I’ve said I’ve never directed a single post at said person. Like I said it’s your site and you’re entitled to your opinion probably more than mine. I just don’t go to your site to get into personal attacks over something that isn’t going to change a whit due to my opinion.

                    • Well, if I misunderstood what you wrote, I apologize. As for the rest of it, personal attacks are going to happen sometimes. Assuming that they’re simply a matter of insulting somebody’s intelligence or character, I’m all for self-policing. You called Mac out, which you have every right to do.

                      Generally, I’m only going to step in if the virtual bitch-slapping rises to the level of becoming a distraction/irritation to other readers here.

                      And I do appreciate you reading and opining here, by the way.

                    • Well. I apologize if you thought I was attacking you or that I expected you to intervene in some way. I was merely taken aback last night at having been called stupid etc. by someone I’ve never said a cross word to in years on this site. Of course the imbibing during the sugar bowl may have had something to do with that. I appreciate your site and it’s the only Dawg site I frequent since the ABH decided to effectively deep six their forums. Peace and hopefully we can disagree but remember that most of us want the best for the Dawgs even if we don’t always agree.

  30. Will Trane

    Mason’s arm and Murray’s legs. Think Mason could make that run against UT or the one to put the Dawgs up against Auburn. No, not a chance. Nebraska never worried about Mason running yesterday. 11 against 10. And then listen to the post game comments by the alleged HC at Georgia Southern.

  31. Will Trane

    Nebraska secondary, like Bobo said post game, are good at creating and getting into double coverage. They pretty much shut down the W/Rs, and Mason’s game experience with them caused him to be hesitate to throw into that coverage. Plus I was puzzled by the W/O LOS spacing. Frankly, I question Bobo’s game planning.

  32. D.N. Nation

    I like how Will has a separate thought every four minutes. Also, weren’t you quitting Georgia football for good?

  33. Will Trane

    If you think TG was shut down yesterday due to not being 100%, I doubt if next year’s opponents are going to look at it that way.No deep threat to stretch the field vertically with Mason and W/Os are going to damage TG or the other TBs runnning. Dawgs only had one TE, and his 5 years ended yesterday.

  34. Will Trane

    Either Will Friend will get OL players to get TG inside or outside should be a priority this spring and coming fall. Think they have get the FB set to onesdie or in motion behind the line to move DL and LB for TG to get to the edge. Or will we see more screens to TG. Think Keith Marsholl at UT.

  35. Will Trane

    I understand the total yard production from TG, but look at the drive chart and the plays inside the redzone. There were 6-7 drives inside the zone, and he scores on a screen. That is good, but it was not productive over the course of a game and a SEC schedule.

    • Gurley scores the game winner in the last minute if he’s healthy, Will.

      • D.N. Nation

        Will continually questioning Gurley’s….manhood….is the most bizarre thing he does on this blog. And that’s in a repertoire that includes demanding that the Chick-fil-A Bowl match up Aggy and us.

      • @gatriguy

        Maybe, maybe not. But we almost certainly win if we don’t fumble a punt or give up a “everyone saw it coming” 99 yard TD pass. The same problems we had yesterday we’ve had for 8 years. It is what it is. Richt either doesn’t know how to fix it or is ok with it.

  36. Skint

    Wouldn’t it have been great if we had signed Anthony Jennings. It is amazing how he has picked up the pro style system at LSU. We continue to use the “system” as an excuse, while LSU and Auburn plug guys in there and win. Unfortunately, we miss out on too many GA guys because of poor evaluations by the coaches. Will Friend is tops on this list. Time for change in Athens.

    • gatorhater27

      He picked it up so well that he went 7-19 for 82 yards yesterday.

      • Macallanlover

        Truth. Why should we have signed him…because he attended HS in Georgia? Million of people do Skint, just can’t sign all the boys and girls that graduate.

  37. LorenzoDawgriquez

    One more piece of continuity: O-Line coaches being Callaway or his 2 proteges for 13 years, and the corresponding continuity is our guards and tackles being very practiced at picking our sacked QB up from the ground. We haven’t recruited those positions well and our player development/improvement has been poor.

    • This is the heart of the matter. UGA has 15 guards on the roster and nary a damn tackle to be found. They take guards and make them play tackle, and the results are fairly predictable. Even the reasonable successes on the o-line have been guys playing out of position: Max Jean-Gilles, Clint Boling, Bean Anderson, Cordy Glenn… all guards that played tackle at some point (in some cases, primarily) under Richt.

      I don’t care whose girlfriend needs a scholarship, they need to get people in who can play the position. If they can’t do that, they are screwed from the start, and the o-line will continue to be ineffective.

    • @gatriguy

      It’s more on who we recruit on the OL. We go after rich, private school kids on the OL, then wonder why they get the shit kicked out of the them by tough, public school DLs. Garbage in, garbage out. You need hungry, tough guys on the OL, and that’s not who we go after.

  38. Will Trane

    Have an old browser and I am limited by input. Sorry about that. Like many today frustrated, angry, disappointed in an athletic department and coaching staff. Do not think this staff manages its schedule, games, and roster like it should. We have 2 former players lead their team to rankings and an opportunity to play in a NC.

  39. Russ

    Serious question – did we ever have a targeting call for us this year? I can’t remember one.

  40. Devil Dog

    Opposing receivers all to often wide open; feckless tackling attempts, especially in the open field; defenders waving their arms in confusion as if they’d been issued instructions in Mandarin; yielding 3rd down conversions as matter-of-factly as if it was a misdemeanor to do otherwise. How is it possible that something so disjointed, so ugly to watch, and so fundamentally broken can be expected to be repaired before Clemson comes calling? Our defense is, and has been, as underachieving as was Saddam Hussein’s military. And I see nothing to give me reason to think our players will be better prepared next season.

  41. sUGArdaddy

    A few things:

    It was a mess of a season. Crazy injuries, fumbling punt snaps and the worst plays at the worst times. I’ve missed 8 games live in 19 years and I ain’t never seen nuthin’ like it.

    When we had JHC and Tray together we were pretty good. Tray’s injury issues hurt us as much as the offensive skill guys. Still, I think we outscore everyone all year if everyone stays healthy.

    Old coaches like to say that you can bank on a loss for every freshman you start. We had some start full-time (Floyd, Mauger/Matthews, Langley/Wiggins) and some start part-time (Douglas/Green, Davis). You can identify crucial mistakes one of those guys made in each loss. And those are the ones we know about.

    They’ll get better. I was ready to give up on Rambo after 2010. He was terrible, played slow and looked lost. He was awesome in 2011. These young guys will get better. I still have questions for Grantham and Lakatos, but the youth killed us, especially at that position. Secondary is hard for young guys. Bama has no freshmen listed on their 2-deep in the secondary. Our experienced DBs are busy transferring and playing QB in a gypsy offense on Monday night in the BCSCG.

    Lastly, the game reminded me of the Music City Bowl. We lost to a mediocre BC team that we out-gained by 100 yards. David was average as grits. We missed a PAT, which made us trail by 4 late instead of 3. Yesterday was what it was. The first half we looked like a team playing against a rematch opponent we didn’t want to play in a stadium where we play every year in miserable weather. Bowl games aren’t very indicative of the coming season or future performances. They just aren’t. Wish we’d have won, but come off the ledge. Had Gurley scored or Artie caught the pass, we’d have the same issues. Got some DBs that need to grow up. Got a QB that’s learning his way (but these 2 starts are HUGE for him). Got some guys we gotta get healthy. Recruiting misses, dismissals, transfers and catastrophic injuries made us have to play some guys we never should have had to play, and those guys weren’t ready in the clutch.

  42. DawgByte

    I haven’t read all the comments here, so I’m sure 95% of what I’m about to cover is either extremely obvious or been said by someone else. Nevertheless I’m compelled to enumerate things that must change for Georgia to improve on 8-5 W/L mark.

    DEFENSE:
    1. The secondary is a train wreck. It’s like watching a 95 year old woman trying to defecate into a tornado. We either don’t have the talent, proper coaching or both. Richt loves to talk coaching continuity, but is Lakatos the best Georgia can do?
    2. Grantham needs to put away the complicated playbook and open up the tackling 101 manual. All our LBs and Secondary tackle WAY TOO HIGH, which allows opposing runners to gain far too many yards after initial contact. Grantham and every UGA defensive player needs to study how Mich. St. plays D. They have a clue, UGA does not! We need a QB at middle linebacker… preferably a smart corn fed boy from the Midwest, who can direct these numb nuts into the right positions.

    SPECIAL TEAMS:
    1. Hire a ST Coordinator. That won’t happen, so lets start out by deep 6’ing the return by committee philosophy. On punts stick with one reliable guy who can field balls. Second, on kick-offs get some guys back their with speed and again stick with them the whole season. This squad should not include Davis!

    OFFENSE:
    1. Georgia has a QB controversy and if it doesn’t it should. There’s no way this position should be handed to Mason without an open competition. Bauta, Ramsey and Park should be given every opportunity to win the role. I’m typically not big on playing two QB’s, but Bauta brings a serious running element that may cause problems for opposing DC’s, so if he doesn’t win the position battle outright, I would be in favor of him getting between 4-6 series a game.

    COACHING:
    1. Something is wrong with Richt… he doesn’t look good. His puffy face is a classic symptom of pain medication. The man needs to take care of his health and get off the meds, because he’s clearly not playing with a full deck.
    2. 2014 is Do or Die for Grantham. If this semi comatose defensive unit can’t stop 3rd and a mile and a half in 2014, then he needs to go!
    3. I’d like to see Lakatos replaced after signing day is over.

    • gatorhater27

      Accusing the coach of being on drugs…classy!!

      • DawgByte

        It has nothing to do with class, pal. I’m concerned for the man’s health and if you’ve seen any of his more recent press conferences you’d realize his speech patterns are off.

        Richt has already publicly stated he’s taking pain medication. Moreover, he has stated his intention was to slowly ween himself off, however one look at his swollen face and it’s clear something is amiss. Given the amount of time he spends on his feet it’s not entirely unusual for him to still be in considerable pain and in need of the medication. There’s clearly a story here we just aren’t fully apprised of, but have no doubt we will over the next 6 months.

        • gatorhater27

          That’s not true at all, but okay:

          In reality, Richt says that by halftime of Saturday’s game against Florida, “It was feeling pretty rough.”

          Part of the struggle here for Richt is that he says he doesn’t wish to take any kind of medication — beyond over the counter brands – to help him get through Saturdays.

          “I try not to take heavy meds,” he said. “I’ve been weaning myself off of the meds for quite some time now. You could probably pop a few more Advil in there or something like that and maybe take a little bit of the edge off. But I’ve just been trying not to do too much of any medication if I can help it.”

          Despite the stress of a Saturday, Richt is clear that this not a constant issue for him, and that “the last two days” after the Florida game, “it has felt great.”

          “It’s taken a little while,” Richt said, “but most of the time it feels really good. Every morning when I wake up it feels really good. Some days by the end of day it’s just really sore.”

          http://georgia.247sports.com/Article/Georgia-Bulldogs-coach-Mark-Richt-is-coaching-through-hip-pain-159130

        • That’s not right at all. Goodness. You have no clue why or what about CMR and his medication. It’s just ugly,lazy and poor form to make your statements like that. Selfish too! Gosh your Father should be made to run a ton of laps for you missing that lesson.

          • @gatriguy

            I don’t think Richt has a drug problem, but I’ve never seen a season age a coach like this one did Richt. He opened the season at Clemson looking refreshed, lean….he looked like he did in 2002. He ended the season looking exhausted, overweight, and like he didn’t know which end was up. It was truly remarkable watching him age every week.

            • Agree. I so felt for him, watching him yesterday.

              This has been a tough year for all of us, but tougher for him than anybody. During the game, and during other games this year, you could tell he is not a happy camper, that he didn’t like what he was seeing. He’s much more competitive than most people think.

              My hope is he will be motivated to seek answers. We’ll see.
              ~~~

              • You’re probably spot on. I was in a law suit that consumed me. Fought to a draw and dismissed. My sister in law and I missed seeing each other for that year.She later scolded my bride/her sister about how poorly I looked. Yep! Stress is a bitch ain’t it?

    • sUGArdaddy

      As for you QB deal there, Mason’s the guy. He played fine in a quagmire. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but the last thing this team needs is to mess w/ the QB position with all our strengths coming back. He needs to be the guy and let him go with it. The worst thing for him is to play next season looking over his shoulder. He needs reps and confidence.

      As for Richt, I go to all the games so I don’t notice, but my dad watches on TV and says he just doesn’t look happy. Of course, who could be happy watching that defense? Still, something seems wrong there. He’s saying the right things, but something’s not right. Don’t know if it’s health, he’s being hamstrung by McGarity’s frugality (i.e. we can’t fire Grantham because we don’t want to buy him out and hire a $1 mil.+ DC), family, or the stress of it all, or maybe the injuries. I hope he gets well and happy and wins all of them next year.

      • DawgByte

        You say Mason needs to be the guy. Why? Isn’t it wise to play the best player at each position? If Mason isn’t the best, then he shouldn’t be the guy. Competition is only going to make Mason a better player. Let him EARN the starting role.

        Lastly, many programs successfully employ two QB’s. In our case we may be looking at a situation where we have two remarkably contrasting styles that give us a competitive advantage. We’ll see how it plays out.

        • sUGArdaddy

          I think he’s earned it every day in practice already. The fact that they were ready to take the shirt off him in Atlanta last year was all you needed to know.

          I trust Richt and Bobo w/ QBs. Who wouldn’t? I just think we’ve got bigger problems to fix. Mason’s the guy, so get used to it for 12 months. He’s the best player we have there. I’ve seen us play 3 seasons with freshmen QBs under Richt and they looked this this:

          8-4 with a loss to BC
          9-4 with losses to Vandy & UK
          6-7 with…well, it seemed like losses to everyone

          I think we’ll use Faton, though. I think he can help us.

    • Roswell DAWG

      Don’t think he is on meds, dude. Although sometimes I bet he wishes he could be!

      Defense: I have been saying since Grantham’s second year, stop assuming your players actually can execute your high handed complex defense. When you have guys waving their arms around and shifting into position in the secondary as the ball is being snapped, well, you have a system with too many demands or players that can’t absorb it. Or both. Playing D is not about Grantham looking smarter than everyone – “Wow, that Todd Grantham, what a GENIUS!” – No it is about a group of 19-20 year old kids achieving their butts off and Grantham doesn’t apparently have the self awareness to understand he is a problem. I am fatigued with the same issues, the stupid tackling mistakes, the failure to wrap up, the horrible angles, etc etc etc these secondary players are taking and making. If you can’t communicate the basics at this level, you don’t deserve the position. Our team has too many of these examples to say it is just a player problem. Mark, put the fear of God in Grantham, and let him put the fear of God in his players – these stupid mistakes have to be eliminated. Period.

  43. NoAxeToGrind

    Just another meaningless discussion of another meaningless game…ad nauseum. In the words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make?” Just one sorry team with a sorry coach losing to another sorry team with an equally sorry coach. Next season, #14 under Richt. Hope springs eternal.

    • David K

      That’s some cynical shit there but damn if I don’t find myself feeling the same way sometimes.

  44. Mike Cooley

    What worries me most about Mason is not his arm strength. I admit that leaves a lot to be desired but you can play to whatever other strengths he has. What worries me is that he has been in the program all this time, supposedly knew the system like the back of his hand, and bitched to reporters about lack of playing time like he really thought he deserved it…yet now that we see him on the field he looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. That bothers me. Sadly I don’t think Ramsey will ever be much more than a back up. Too much ground to make up there coming from. wing T in high school. I agree with the Senator on Bauta. Park is probably the next best hope.

  45. Atticus

    23 losses in 5 years. 6-17 vs ranked teams. Impressive. Haven’t won an SEC title in 8 years. We seem to be the only SEC team to lose to the Big 10 in bowls (MSU and Nebraska)

    The #1 NFL draft pick QB (Stafford), the best QB ever in the SEC (stat wise, Murray), the best WR ever at UGA (AJ Green), two of the most talented LBs ever at UGA in Tree and Jarvis) and could be the #2 RB (Gurley) and they all come through and nothing. Atkins is a Pro Bowler. Blair Walsh made the pro bowl as well.

    All this, because the coach doesn’t bear down on every detail of the game especially recruiting numbers (started 5 true freshmen on defense, that should never, ever happen) and OL is very average and lack of priority for special teams (our return strategy is pathetic, we either put the Logan Gray/McGowan fair catch back or we haphazardly try a guy once or twice and never get anywhere like with Mitchell, Swann and Davis to just name a few…. and has hired two DCs that get no results. Just think where UGAs program would be right now if the defense was just above average, not even great. I understand youth on defense but Purifoy is young and he got better every game, how long does it take Damian Swann, years? Also lack of discipline, just think about what was happening at 4am before the game. This team has no discipline and no team leaders (outside of Murray maybe) but where are the defensive leaders to hold each other accountable? Make a list of every aspect of the game and solve the problems now. We saw how hope and change worked….

  46. Mike Cooley

    So who do you people want? Saban? He ain’t coming. And there is not another one. Thank God.

  47. Atticus

    I don’t want anyone else necessarily, just wish Richt would see what is so painfully obvious and correct the issues, hire the right coaches and demand excellence. He did correct some of the recruiting numbers with last year’s class, but that didn’t help this year, it will be a year or two before we have a full and experienced roster.

  48. Mauger’s feeble attempt at a kill shot instead of a tackle failed

    Amen to that brother. Godamighty that pissed me off. I don’t see how the coaches can keep from choking a guy to death for something like that. If you can get your damn helmet on his hips you can wrap your arms around his damn legs.

  49. Mike Cooley

    Yeah the would be kill shot from Mauger was nauseating. He had made a nice tackle earlier in the game which just made it even worse. I found myself thinking of Rashad Jones on that play.

  50. BulldogBen

    Hard to believe it but I’ve almost completely forgotten the feeling I had walking out of Sanford after the LSU game which, at the time, I had ranked as one of my Top 5 moments in there. College football is such an evil bitch.

    Also really having a hard time seeing how we can win 9 games next year. Mason has the potential but unless you’re a Manziel or a Jameis Winston, most QB’s don’t become great without experience. That’s something Mason won’t have the luxury of having.

    How long Oh Lord? How long must my people suffer?

    • sUGArdaddy

      “Mason has the potential but unless you’re a Manziel or a Jameis Winston, most QB’s don’t become great without experience, or getting to hand off to Todd Gurley. That’s something Mason will have the luxury of having.”

      Fixed that for you.

      Hutson will be fine. We couldn’t get open. Todd is hurt. Michel and Chubb are better than Green and Douglas right now, no disrespect to 2 DGDs that played valiant all year. Talent wins. Much of our talent was on crutches. Them’s the breaks. He’ll look a lot different throwing to a 4 receiver set that subs Mitchell and JSW for Wooten and McGowan. That red zone offense will look a lot different with Keith, Michel and Chubb coming in when Todd gets gassed. We were trying to win with smoke and mirrors and ran out of smoke.

      • Atticus

        What smoke do we come up with for defense and special teams?

        • BulldogBen

          This also assumes that Wesley, Mitchell, and Marshall all are back to what they were prior to injury which doesn’t always happen and how good is Mason going to be with 3 new O-linemen? That’s the biggest thing that is getting white washed here. Is there just an assumption that we’re going to go with the “next man up” philosophy? O line has been the most inconsistent squad year to year in the Richt Era.

          • sUGArdaddy

            You’re right about those guys, but I feel pretty good about everyone but Keith. But we’ll have more depth at RB with Turman, Michel and Chubb.

            The OL is a mystery, but it can’t get much worse. I believe in Theus. I think his surgery and inability to hit the weightroom hard hurt him this year. I also think Houston is a talent that needs to play more and also hit the weightroom (now that he can). I feel good about Kublanow and Beard. Boss will be back. It’s not a bad mix there.

            • Atticus

              It can be a good line, I agree, but not special. Why can’t we recruit the line at the level we recruit the skill positions?

          • roterhalsdawg

            Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line…….that’s where it all begins and ends and I cannot for the life of me understand the hair pulling inconsistency, the softness, the undisciplined play, the muddling by the offensive line year in and year out. Even in the NFL we got offensive linemen littered throughout the league (along with the many, many other players) but still we get what we get while they’re in Athens.

          • JonDawg

            Just to comment on the ” 3 new O-linemen” question, two of those potential starters (Kublanow, Dantzler) played a significant portion of the game, and the most blatant O line error I saw yesterday was when Gates whiffed big-time on an attempt at cut-blocking, so maybe not a huge difference in line play. The other sacks I would attribute to Mason holding the ball for way too long on several plays, which was kinda shocking because I watched him in Booby Dudd go through check-downs with a quickness. Would like to know what his issue was (wet ball, rain?) with progressions yesterday.

        • sUGArdaddy

          Beats me. But we’ll be better simply because we’re older. It’s just that simple. We were babies on Defense. I tried to convince myself it didn’t matter in August. It did. There’s lots of talent. They’ll progress. I’m not sure Grantham is the guy, but we’ll be improved next year simply because of experience. We’ve got 8 DBs that started games. Eight! Four of them were true freshmen. Two were true sophomores. They’ll get better. Floyd is going to be a beast and I’m very encouraged by our D-line (and Wilson).

          They’ll also NOT face Boyd, Shaw, Mettenberger, and Franklin. That’ll help the stats and look of things.

          Special Teams is something. I can’t figure it out. I’d be all for just putting a safe returner back there who we know will catch it. We apparently don’t have one. McGowan juggled more than his fair share. I’m hoping Terry can be that guy. We can’t possibly drop punt snaps any more than we did this year. Senator talks about regression to the mean, and it’s got to mean something for us.

          We’ll be around the ball more and get more picks. And we’ll have to have less flukey plays. It’s not possible to have more.

          • Atticus

            D-line could be stout. For the life of me I don’t understand the LB rotation and why we don’t rotate more. Those guys seemed slow in the 2nd half in several games especially in coverage and on the edge. Herrera and Wilson are good LBs but can’t run sideline to sideline like Tree, but are better up the middle. JHC needs to be at LB and not in coverage, in my opinion. And freaking teach them to tackle and wrap up instead of these fly shoulder tackles that seem to be so prevalent. Show them Thomas Davis clips, rinse and repeat.

      • Mike Cooley

        Nah you didn’t fix it you just rewrote history. The wall mart section of the fan base, the same ones who should be Finebaum callers, screamed about how much better Mason was than Murray before Murray got hurt. They had nothing to back this up other the their feelings of course. That and what thy heard somebody say. Mason may end up being good. I hope so for all our sakes. But he ain’t gonna be Murray or anything close.

        • Atticus

          That is why the rest of the team has to get much better. You win the way Bama does with Greg McIliroy and AJ McCarron. Gurley early and often, mixing in the throws. We need better TE play too.

        • sUGArdaddy

          He probably won’t have to be. The offenses in the conference will go down next year. I mean this in all seriousness…Hutson may very well be the All-Conference QB next year. Heck, he might be the PRESEASON SEC QB. Think about the QBs starting in the league in 2014:

          UGA – Hutson
          USCe – Dylan Thompson
          Mizzou – Maty Mauk
          Fla – Driskell
          UT – Worley
          Vandy – Robinette
          UK – Does it matter?

          Bama – Blake Sims
          LSU – Jennings (who threw for an astounding 37% and 82 yards in the Outback bowl)
          Auburn – Marshall
          A & M – Joeckel or Hill
          MSU – Prescott
          Ole Miss – Wallace
          Arkansas – Does it matter?

          Trust me, all of a sudden SEC defenses are going to look at lot better next year. The QB play will go way down, there will be a lot more picks. We played a bunch of QBs who don’t make bad throws, especially early. It’s a schedule and a league we can we win next year. Coach Hutson up. He’s a veteran playing with a lot of talent around him. Hand it to Todd, throw play action to MoneyMitch, catch that dadgum punts and see what happens.

        • JonDawg

          Work with several of those “Mason-ites”, and its gotten quiet all of the sudden, and their fickleness toward him amuses me. and while I believe he is more than likely our best shot at QB next year unless Park comes in and beats out both Bauta and Mason (not likely), it is utterly impossible for him to become the QB that Murray was for us. Unfortunate for him we had a line full of guards, suspect defense, and his first two years, a weak running game. He carried this team on his shoulders more times than a kid should be asked to, and he did it because he’s simply one of the best.

      • What makes you so certain Gurley won’t get hurt again?

        With our shit S&C Program and terirble Oline, him getting hurt again is almost a definite thing.

  51. Fourth and 15

    Joe T…Joe Cox…Joe Mason

  52. Tsdawg

    My feelings exactly Senator. Anything that could go wrong did along with just a few guys on defense that could not do what they have been coached to do. Think all Dawg fans unlucky 13 is gone and hopefully will be forgotten going into signing day and spring. I strongly believe defense will be better and if a couple guys step up on O-line, and ole lady luck does not screw us over again, next year we will all feel good about.

  53. GetRealDawg

    I was at the game. The receivers created no separation. Bennett is about 60% speed. I have no idea if Mason can chuck it or not, there was never an opening until the end of the game.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Dead on. The dude behind me kept yelling “Throw the Ball, Mason!!!!” I was thinking, “To who?” No. One. Was. Open.

  54. Mike Cooley

    I don’t think he sucks. I just know he’s not going to be as good as what we got used to from a quarterback. And I think a lot of people who didn’t appreciate Murray are about to.

  55. Beakerdawg

    2013 would have been different if:

    1) Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders decided not to participate in an illegal act and were still Dawgs – our starting CBs.
    2) SEC doesn’t expand – the Auburn game is in Athens.
    3) Targeting rules did not exist.
    4) 100 year flood hits Athens – incredible amount of key injuries.
    5) Special teams – actually there is nothing that would have changed this cluster.
    6) The UGA pot policy gave a mulligan to a first offense.

    I suffered in school through the Goff years. The annual trip to Jax was a battle of psychological warfare until recently.
    We run a program that is “cleaner” than the programs that are winning in the SEC. I hope this means that if/when we win that victory beer will taste sweeter. I would never want to run our program like auburn. They are hired mercenaries. They employ criminals to be the leader(QB) of their program. No thank you.
    2014 has the look of what 2013 ‘should have been’ except we are missing the most important component in football – QB…

    • sUGArdaddy

      Don’t give up on the kid yet. He got a lot of great experience these last two games. He’s no Murray, but he won’t have to be. I also think he’s got a little edge to him that Aaron didn’t, which may bode well for us in June and July and in critical game moments. I think he and Todd’s personality are going to mesh well.

      We might look a lot more like 2011 Alabama next year. Throw it 17 times. Complete 12 to 13 of them. Hand it to bell cows a lot and stop people (I know that sounds like a crazy idea). We’re not playing against 2013 teams, we’re playing against 2014 teams. And we were young, young, young.

  56. Mark

    I was at the game Senator. Mason looked a lot better in person than he did on TV. He found the open receiver more often than not. The problem was Nebraska’s DBs blanketed our WRs. They rarely got separation. The two positions that were open the most were the RB and TE. Both were leading receivers for a very good reason. On the TD to Gurley, Mason had to hold that ball a while for Gurley to get open too. The LB picked him up early. IMO, the kid played a very good game.

  57. @gatriguy

    Jacksonville is the third rail of the UGA fanbase.

  58. Mike

    We were at the game and unable to hear the radio play. Was Gurley hurt? It oftened seemed he wasn’t even in the game during critical times. Most of the fans around me kept asking why J.J. Greene was in the game instead of Gurley.