To be the best, you’ve got to play the best.

Richt slowly seems to be shaking off his playing not to lose mentality as it pertains to Georgia’s return teams.  (I say slowly, because he still trotted out punt safe teams way too often last night.  But Rome admittedly wasn’t built in a day.)

Todd Gurley makes it easier to grow a pair.

Gurley first tied the game with a 100-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Richt now regrets not keeping Gurley on kick return, where he was early in his freshman year before they decided not to risk him on special teams.

“We cheesed up. We decided, ‘Well we can’t put him back there because something may happen or something like that,’ ” Richt said. “This year I was like, ‘We’re putting our best players on special teams.’ ”

Georgia amassed 171 return yards in the opener.  For context, Georgia’s return yardage for the entirety of the 2013 season was 538.

Consider that grounds for optimism.

About these ads

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

11 responses to “To be the best, you’ve got to play the best.

  1. Senator, we did go punt safe a few times, but they were in spots 4th and 5 or less where a fake could be executed. Dabo knew the game was starting to slip away as early as the 3rd quarter, and a fake would have been the way to change momentum. I thought we were aggressive in punt return, and McKenzie was a step away from taking his return to the house. Davis did a good job of catching the ball and getting up field for yardage when it was prudent. I didn’t have a problem with any of the special teams strategy last night.

    • gastr1

      Davis had one or two where he just needed a half-step past the first guy, too. It was encouraging.

    • I didn’t have a problem with any of the special teams strategy last night.

      I didn’t either. At least that I can remember. Haven’t watched the tape yet.
      ~~~

  2. 81Dog

    Fascinating to me to read the ABH this morning and see the players and Coach Pruitt shrug off the idea that they made any halftime adjustments. Basically said they did the same stuff all night, just did it better in the 2d half. That kind of nonchalant reaction to throttling a top 20 team gives me hope that UGA will avoid playing with a lack of focus in Columbia.

    And didn’t Mike Bobo seem a lot smarter in the 4th quarter than his critics thought he was at halftime?

    It’s very early, but it sure is starting nicely.

    • Ed Kilgore

      Noticed the same thing after reading countless fan comments here & elsewhere about Pruitt’s genius halftime adjustments & Bobo’s idiotic first-half rationing of Gurley. Could it be that overwhelming a gassed Clemson team in the fourth quarter was the plan all along? Might our coordinators and our head coach all be pulling in the same direction for a change?

      • Mudcats Impala...

        Per Jenkins….

        In the sweltering heat, Georgia’s players noticed Clemson players tiring. The Bulldogs made sure to take advantage.

        “That’s when we started to rev up some of the pressures. We knew that as the game progressed, they couldn’t hang with us,” Jenkins said. “Some of the offensive guys were saying their defensive guys were getting tired. I think Theus said that (Clemson defensive lineman Vic) Beasley was cramping, some of their defensive guys were giving out. That just made us want to keep fighting more to be the better defense on the field that day.”

        Georgia, on the other hand, didn’t fatigue. With the mass substitutions, players were fresh and ready to contribute at full speed when they were on the field.

        Richt said that constant personnel adjustments kept everyone fresh, a game plan his staff hasn’t always been brave enough to implement.

        • IAmAGurleyMan

          Can’t remember the last time it was the other team with conditioning problems.

          Senator – you think they should put Isaiah back there instead of Gurley, despite Gurley’s heroism running back kicks? Or should Isaiah just do punts?

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    The ESPN piece on Bobby Bowden is ah….interesting.

  4. Russ

    Special teams all around were much better.