2013 in review

I go through an annual ritual each August – one last viewing of the prior year’s Georgia games I’ve saved on DVR, before I clear the decks for the new season.  Having just finished that, I thought I’d share a few final observations about 2013:

  • Highest of the highs.  Plenty to choose from here, but it’s hard to beat the last five minutes of the LSU game.  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Sanford Stadium rock louder.
  • Lowest of the lows.  Auburn’s the easy call, but I’d pick the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt.  I know Georgia was beat up and I know the officiating sucked to high heaven, but no Georgia team should blow a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter to Vanderbilt.  Ever.  Sheer torture watching that unravel.
  • Most valuable player.  Aaron Murray, and it ain’t close.
  • Least valuable player.  You could name anyone in the secondary and you could find a 2013 moment to prove your choice.
  • Most pleasant surprise.  Marshall Morgan turned out to be a rock on special teams.  After his freshman year, who’da thunk it?
  • Least pleasant surprise.  John Theus.  After starting as a freshman, how many five-star recruits lose their starting job midway through their sophomore season?
  • Best drive of the season.  The last drive against South Carolina was enjoyable, especially when the OBC took off the headset, but the drive to end the Florida game was more crucial, given the score.  As a bonus, it took a dumb Florida penalty to close it out.
  • Worst drive of the season.  Pick any one that ended in a blocked punt for an opponent’s score.
  • Best coordinator.  He wasn’t perfect, but Mike Bobo certainly had his share of moments, particularly given the personnel losses.
  • Worst coordinator.  He wasn’t perfect, but Todd Grantham… ah, the hell with that.
  • Most impressive part of the season.  Maybe I didn’t appreciate it as much when I saw it live, but the offense put on a friggin’ show in the first half against Florida – over 200 yards in the first quarter alone.  And that was with key receivers out, Marshall out and Gurley clearly struggling with his conditioning.  If Murray and Wooten had been a little more on the same page, it would have been 31-3 at halftime.  It was the offensive line’s shining moment, for sure.  (Don’t ask me what happened in the second half, though.)

Anything you guys want to add, do so in the comments.

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74 Comments

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74 responses to “2013 in review

  1. Granthams replacement

    2013 is best described as a roller coaster, 4 plays away from 12-1 and 4 more plays away from 4-8.

  2. Do you record the entire games, or the condensed rebroadcast? I’m not sure my DVR has room for that many games, at least not in HD.

    Great recap of the season tho. Anyone who was in that stadium against LSU has to agree that was the highest of highs. It didn’t surprise me that Richt broke down after the game because I was fighting back tears myself when the final whistle blew. It was one of those moments that had that magical feeling to it, another “blow the lid off the program” moment. Then to go from that, to what we all had to live through the rest of the season…….it all kinda blurred into one big lowest of the lows. Here’s to hoping the injury bug swarm lands in someone else’s fields this year.

  3. AthensHomerDawg

    Least pleasant surprise. John Theus.
    …and if Ivy is correct he lost it to a guy who was not very good at playing tackle. Bucs agree and they signed him as a free agent to play guard. Outside of the bizarre ST play the lackluster OL play at any point during a game continues to surprise me. The 4th quarter against LSU and uSC was the tops though!

  4. Spike

    Least Valuable.. Swann. Not even close.

    • For the first half of the season, I wouldn’t argue. But after that fumble at Vandy, which I think was his lowpoint of the season, something turned for him. I don’t know if it was that he got to play the Star some after that or what, but he was actually very solid from that point forward. Not saying he was a shut-down corner or anything, but he was solid.

      • Cojones

        Nice observation. Look at the whole, not just a bad piece of his life on the gridiron. He consistently started after the coaches saw all his work, not just the Grantham-confused parts. Swann is a guy you have to believe in since he was used incorrectly by Grantham when injuries came and continued on the best he could. I think we may love him this year since Pruitt has placed his stamp on his abilities. Saw him playing his heart out against much taller receivers in game after game, play after play, when he was innundated with responsibilities at a new position and tried to direct a confused D. Through it all, Swann didn’t let himself be victimized by Grantham.

  5. uglydawg

    Best run….Gurley taking it all the way to put GT away in overtime.

    • Bulldog Joe

      Also in the running for best play call.

      Tech showed blitz on the right side and Mason ran Gurley to the left.

      It’s right up there with the 4th quarter South Carolina goal line pass to Hicks.

    • My sentiments exactly. Reading the post, I immediately thought of that as the drive I most remember. I know it was OT and we started from the 25. It was only one play. But I remember it the best.

  6. 202dawg

    NSTR, but the LSU game very nearly converted a Clemson friend (first time ever in Sanford) to a Dawg. Doubt he’ll get as much pleasure the next time he visits (and rightly so).

  7. JG Shellnutt

    Coincidentally, I’ve been doing that too. Not in order, either. I get the bad ones out of the way and finish with my favorites. The last 3, have been SC, LSU, and then last night Florida.
    We had 250 yards in the 1st quarter. Second half was a different story. We let them back in it and then had trouble rallying. I love him to pieces, but Artie Lynch nearly cost us the game single handedly. The lateral out into the flats that he missed, ended up being a turnover for FLA deep in our territory. Also, he let the corner sack for safety in our own endzone.
    Fun stuff. Going through all the games is a nice refresher and good prep for the next season.
    I still have not watched the SECCG against Alabama. Living through that one in the dome was too tough to re-watch it, ever. It still sits on my DVR, convinced that one day I’ll want to take a stroll down amnesia lane.

  8. joe

    I think the lowest to me was Scott wesley pulling up on punt coverage to become the 3rd torn acl in the first half against ufk. That game was the pits, and I remember thinking that our team was just trying to get out of there without getting hurt. The mental fragility that we saw in 06 was back, but murray saved us.

    I have managed to clear mizzou from my mind, but suspect were I to watch that game again, it would be the low. Getting handled at home by a mediocre big 12 team is unacceptable.

    • 202dawg

      Pig Howard helped too, bless his heart

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        In my pre-season meeting with the Kharmic Bitches, the ladies pointed out Pig losing the skin when I was whining (loudly) about Awbun…as far as them ladies are concerned, the season was a wash.

  9. Lowest of Lows…Mizzou in Athens. With all of the injuries you knew that the defense would have to step up and carry the load. There were multiple opportunities for the D to make crucial stops and finally be the hero, especially when Mauk entered the game. This should have been Grantham’s shining moment, yet it turned out to be the beginning of the end. Additionally, this game was quite possibly the worst game of the season for the O-line. All in all, this game summarized the Dawgs in 2013…poor defense coupled with a completely inadequate O-line (specifically Theus and Houston).

  10. AthensHomerDawg

    Here ya go Cojones fast forward to 0:35
    Special treat: There is a Pike involved at the end of the video and he may even be a lawyer but I’m not sure.

    • Cojones

      Muchas gracias, hijo. Notice where Swann is on the last play;hint, next to Zach as one of the players who made him throw it earlier than he wanted.

      • Cojones

        The crowd noise captured has me in the stadium for the Clemson game already. Holy jumpin’ Dawg riots!

  11. Bulldog Joe

    Worst coordinator: Georgia’s special teams coordinator.

    Wait…

  12. D.N. Nation

    That last drive against Florida showed where the two programs are right now. Georgia, despite being banged up and pooping the bed for the second half, methodically marched down the field to eat the majority of the fourth quarter clock.

    While Florida tried to get a litany of cheapshots in after the whistle and committed a dumb penalty to ice the game.

  13. @gatriguy

    I don’t know that we’ll see another season quite like 2013 for a long, long time. The offense that took the field at he beginning of the Clemson game, even in spite of the inconsistent OL, was absolutely relentless and maybe really could have overcome the defense. Then the floodgates opened with the injuries.

    The lowest of lows for me was the second half of Florida. I never though a win over them would feel unsatisfying, but that one surely did. That should have been OUR turn to put up a 47-7 down there and instead, we almost gave it away.

    I’d also throw Mizzou in there just because that solidified my thoughts on Grantham and that the D was going to have to start over under a new coordinator.

    • D.N. Nation

      Wins are wins, and beggars can’t be choosers, but it would’ve been nice if in the two times under Richt we’ve been obviously on our way to whooping Florida’s ass (2004 and 2013), we actually kept it up in the second half rather than having to hold on.

  14. Bulldog Joe

    Lowest of the lows: The Tennessee game. A win, but you knew our championship hopes were done right there.

  15. Spell Check

    I don’t know that I could re-watch 2013. Seeing the potential of that team go up in smoke with every star that limped off of the field… seeing that stupid towel “hiding” Grantham’s signals… blah.

  16. Will Trane

    LSU game…preview of the lapses in play of Harvey-Clemons and Matthews. The busted coverage of that 40+ TD pass from Mettenberg. And it ends for both at Auburn from another ex-UGA QB hail mary TD pass down the middle of the field by these 2. One good thing for both of them…they are not on the same field together anymore.
    You have to wonder what TG failed to see in the LSU game that he did not change or correct, or even be aware of at Auburn.
    In my long history of watching the Dawgs I thought the bowl lose to former GT coach was the worst, but the Vandy loss pushed in to 2nd on my list. Some say the reason we lost is because the coaches and players were already on the bus. No doubt. It will take a lot of blow-out wins over Vandy to get over that game. Was not Harvey-Clemons a factor in that game, too.
    Marshall Morgan…suspended for 2 games…takes the discipline. focuses, and delivers…57 yarder against LSU looked as good as Butler’s against Clemson…is there another in the making.

    • LSU game…preview of the lapses in play of Harvey-Clemons and Matthews … And it ends for both at Auburn … One good thing for both of them…they are not on the same field together anymore.

      The best thing to me is they are not in Athens. Outstanding point about their previous play. Auburn wasn’t the first time, by any means.
      ~~~

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Harvey-Clemmons and Matthews had excellent, superb speed and athletic ability, and as often as they were completely out of position, they needed both. I don’t know that I am glad they are gone, but if they could not finish the drill in Athens, so be it.

        • Scorpio, I believe that their talent will be sorely missed this season. I can’t speak to their work eithic nor attitude, but Richt decided neither player was welcome back. It will be interesting to watch their replacements in 2014.

          • Skep, I feel OK about losing them. JJ Green is replacing JHC, and he is a player. That’s at least a scratch, maybe a plus. I think Parrish is backing up Green, but IDK for sure. That’s an increase in speed. We’ll get to more plays, and maybe not be pulled out of our gaps all the time. Add in some good fundamentals and it’s a plus, IMO.

            Wiggins won’t be missed and Matthews was never worth a crap, anyway.
            ~~~

            • We will have to agree to disagree on this one. If there were more qualified talent on the roster those kid would have played last year. The loss of TM and JHC will hurt the secondary and the team. I realize they struggled under CTG, but under CJP I believe they would have excelled. Now the team is forced to play inferior players due to two knuckleheads.

  17. Jack Klompus

    Two biggest plays that turned their respective games:
    Artie’s drop in the UF game and Ramik’s non personal foul hit. Fortunately, we were able to keep the ship somewhat righted for the UF game and pull it out.

    • Jack Klompus

      I guess all of those were negative plays…but, one of the coolest plays I saw was Leonard Floyd’s sack of Mettenberger at the end of the LSU game. They way he blew through the OLine and it was wide open from there.

  18. Jack Klompus

    Vandy game for Ramik’s hit

  19. DeputyDawg

    Lowest of the Low: Entire family together on a farm for the head matriarch’s funeral. Four generations from all over the country turn on the Georgia game to give us at least one bright hope in the saddest weekend ever. Eldest surviving relative is the biggest UGA fan I know.

    …lose to Vanderbilt.

    A lot of sadness. ALOT.

  20. Cojones

    Damn, Senator. Believe I’m in a lather from watchin’ and readin’. Felt like I just walked through open kennels at Partners for Pets with five pounds of treats tied to all my clothing . This bunch of puppies needs to be turned loose for the coming year.

  21. Good recap, Senator. I agree with a lot of the commenters. We should have thumped Florida last year with the way we played. Defense played hard, and the offense did its thing until Lynch lost his head. His two games in Jacksonville this year weren’t his most shining moments in a Georgia uniform. DGD, regardless.

    • Moe Pritchett

      that’s almost like telling your wife that for the past 20 years she has been a fine, good, loving wife, all except for that time she got drunk at the SUnday School social and took off her shirt and hopped a Harley when those bikers drove by…but other than that, she needs to be up for Mother of the Year.

      • Artie played a lot of good football for us and was the best tight end in the SEC this year, but that mishandled lateral was a game changer. He could have probably run to the river untouched if he catches the ball. The drops he had in the bowl game were absolutely painful especially to see his reaction after the game.

    • His two games in Jacksonville this year weren’t his most shining moments in a Georgia uniform.

      No, they weren’t.
      ~~~

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I re-watched the Carolina game last night, Lynch really did a good job when called on to block Clowney, from what I could tell. Doesn’t negate what you’re saying, just an observation.

      • Artie played well in that game. He caught the first TD pass and played well against Clowney. Everyone talks about we ran away from Clowney, but Mr. Super Freak himself didn’t run anything down from the back side. At the end of the game, he had a chance to tackle Gurley for no gain and wanted no part of him.

  22. Macallanlover

    Fans, particularly Dawg fans I guess, always focus on the negatives, or at least overshadow so many of the great contributions players made. You are right about Lynch, but those two plays will stay forever….like Terrence Edwards’ missed pass against FU, or Blair Walsh’s FG miss against Michigan State, or Murray’s OT interception against FU and the under throw INT against Bama in the SECCG. Hard to maintain a sense of balance until many years have passed and given us perspective. Only Dawg I never have a negative memory of is Herschel….until he was bought by The Donald.

    • Jack Klompus

      It wasn’t an under throw. It was tipped.

      • I think he’s referencing the INT at the end of the first half, the one where Murray got his clock cleaned during the return. People remember the hit on Murray, but forget that Conley had them burned deep, Murray just underthrew it. Played a heckuva game overall, but that was definitely a negative play on Murray. Fast forward to the 58:00 mark.

        • Macallanlover

          I was indeed, the worst pass I ever saw Murray throw when he was able to set his feet and step into the throw.

    • Cojones

      Mac, did you see the big giveaway that Flaviar has? Seems it’s a Limited Edition Macallan 1824 Ruby Scotch. Want us all to enter it for you and the winner invites you for drinks: – or mails it to you ? Give us the details and we can be your obedient servants.

      • Macallanlover

        Never heard of it. A ruby scotch, hard to imagine such a thing. I have been disappointed when Macallan gets away from their base formula of sherry=wood casks. I don’t even consider the oak cask bottles to be Macallan. But 1824 is very interesting. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • Dog in Fla

      otoh Artie had a great catch and run to put us in a position for the deflection in the first place

    • D.N. Nation

      “You are right about Lynch, but those two plays will stay forever….like Terrence Edwards’ missed pass against FU”

      Kind of a big gap in those three plays. Lynch’s two drops 1) Made a game that the Dawgs would win closer than it should’ve been and 2) Sealed a forgettable bowl game in a forgettable season. Edwards’ drop, bless him, might’ve cost UGA a chance at a MNC.

      • Edwards’ drop did cost us a shot at the national title assuming we win the game in overtime and win out. We were solidly #3 in front of Ohio State at the time (can’t remember who we were behind). We would have been elevated to #2. Who knows what happens in Arizona if all of that happens?

  23. Irishdawg

    The whole year was brutal. Seeing the Dawgs, Falcons, and Braves-all potentially championship caliber teams-completely undone by injuries made the whole year into an exercise in frustration. It was encouraging to see the level of heart and mental toughness Georgia displayed, but Murray’s injury made me wish I was one of those guys that doesn’t give a shit about sports.

  24. Cojones

    The good thing about another season is that it helps put the old ones into their perspective.

  25. Moe Pritchett

    upside to 13′ is my focalpoints….like watchin 22 do this…..

    • Cojones

      Mighty fine play. I counted 5 misses by the Jello Team. Douglas has the old farts remembering how FBs made headlines. Yeah, I know now he was a RB, but he made me relive some nice old memories.

      • Dog in Fla

        Paul Johnson weeps when he sees 22 do stuff like that

      • Douglas has the old farts remembering how FBs made headlines. Yeah, I know now he was a RB, but he made me relive some nice old memories.

        I STILL think he’d make a great fullback. And maybe get to the NFL at that position. I’ve been wondering if things keep going well at RB, that maybe they’ll move him in 2015 or 2016. That would give him a shot at the NFL.
        ~~~

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Why not? Verron Haynes played both. He has the distinction of being right behind Herschel in yards per carry. I’d say two of Munson’s greatest uT calls involved both of them. ;-)

  26. Enjoyed the post, Senator. IMHO, the year was primarily a combination of key injuries and sloppy play. As big as those injuries were, we can’t omit the excess of sloppy play that has been our trademark since the early Richt days.

    Eliminate that, and it’s a different season, even WITH the injuries. Though we played several good games overall, solid play was never there for us to depend on when we lost those key offensive pieces.

    Solid doesn’t mean totally mistake-free, even the LSU game had some serious blunders. But what we’ve done is consistently make mistakes that either keep opponents in the game unnecessarily or get you beat. Several of you have mentioned some of those games – Mizzou, Florida, Auburn, etc.. You could even make a heckuva case that all 5 losses could have been prevented by playing solid ball.

    Also, it seems like almost all the sloppy play involved the defense, ST’s, OL/TE. Our RB, QB, and WR units were pretty solid, I thought. Every team makes mistakes. But we have been a team that makes far more than our inherent share. If we want to win again, we have to become a team that makes no more than their fair share of mistakes.

    And to that end, I’m thinking we have made progress. Certainly, becoming fundamentally sound on defense is the major first step. Perhaps sound ST’s will follow – it should. We should be OK at QB, RB, & WR. That leaves the OL/TE units as a concern. And they don’t have to be great. Just solid.

    We’re a team that has to learn how to win, just like the 2002 team did. And part of that process is learning how to not beat yourself. Sounds so simple, and it is. But you have to be fundamentally sound, or you never get to first base in that regard.

    And we have been unsound for a long time now. What success we’ve had since 2005, except for the latter third of 2007, has come primarily because of the talent and firepower we’ve had on offense, and a star player or two on defense.

    Because of what’s happened so far this year, we have a chance now to put it all together, fundamentally, as a team. And that’s when your talent can really shine. So 2013, among other things, is a reminder and a sort of ragbag of what we’ve been since we last had a sound defense.
    ~~~

  27. stuckinred

    I guess Brendan didn’t cost us 2 games with fumbles?

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Asking a freshman to come in when your dynamic duo is wounded is putting a lot of pressure on some young man. His uSC, Tennessee and Florida runs were pretty big difference makers.

      • True dat. Plus didn’t he catch the long swing pass to set up the tying TD in the tenn game. So ease up on the freshmen…a?
        My fave plays: Gurly long pass vs fla. Murray long run vs tenn. What guts! I wish he cuda scored!

  28. Ed Kilgore

    2013 was a season of prolonged agony, but you know what? We were competitive deep into the 4th quarter in every game.

    My wife, the season ticket holder of the family, actually turned off the TV at halftime of the 2012 South Carolina game. No chance of that last year.