Now comes the hard part.

The national fawning over Georgia after its convincing win against Clemson has commenced.  In response, Mark Richt is saying the right things.

“I don’t know,” Richt said with a laugh. “I just think we’re really young in so many ways, and there are a few veterans that understand the deal. But I don’t know how good we are, quite frankly. We had a good performance, we had one good game, and even in that one game there were some things that need to be corrected. So I’m not gonna get too excited yet.”

I’m glad of that, but as a Dawg fan with a long memory, I remember the aftermath of games like the 2004 smoking of LSU and AJ Green’s coming out party against Arizona State.  Georgia doesn’t always handle success well under Richt.

It’s a must-win game for South Carolina and it’s in Columbia.  Very dangerous, in other words.  Hopefully the coaches will take part of the next two weeks to remind the players and themselves that early season press clippings are BS.  If that lesson takes, we may be looking at a special year.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “Now comes the hard part.

  1. heyberto

    “Your fastball was up. Your curveball was hanging. In the Show, they would have ripped you.”

    “Can’t you even let me enjoy the moment?”

    “The moment’s over.”

    Amen

  2. Chuck

    Sen.,

    Almost posted this comment on your previous post about the EG’s choice on playing Davis, but then you throw the obvious question out there: Can we deal with success? I’m a Richt supporter, but it’s not been a hallmark of his teams.

    If ECU were to beat Crackalacky, it may be the toughest and most imperative job of Richt’s career to get them ready without overconfidence for the Cocks. SOS is clearly in our heads and there is NO team (sorry F$U, sorry UT) that he has wanted to beat over his career more than UGA.

  3. But on the other hand, beat SC and we’re rollin.

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    ““We were hoping to be fresh in the end through conditioning but also through substitutions.”

    Translation from the original Greek. “It’s a process.”

    We adjusted some, sure. We made some plays, sure. We have some quality depth pretty much everywhere, and based on the very small sample we got coaches who know how to utilize the depth we have, which I realize is a significant improvement.

    But now its Monday morning and there is, as Homey said earlier, a wounded animal waiting on the asphalt at Williams-Brice.

    No matter what USCjr does against East Carolina, they will be more than ready to play us…they always are.

    The most encouraging thing I saw for the long haul was that the staff seems to understand the proper use of depth on both sides of the ball. Restraining Gurley was big, playing two complete offensive lines was big, the win over a decent team was big and I am happy.

    But please, let’s not get delusional, not succumb to the airborne bullshit.

    Clemson was one small step.

  5. Cojones

    Coupled with last year’s defeat, his ire has doubled. My preseason confidence of this game has waned, but coupled with an extra week of practice, we should be up to it. Figure it this way: If we aren’t crisp and don’t slice them like a cucumber in the second qtr, we will be in trouble; if we get down, we’ll see why there’s excitement about Isaiah Mac’, fake punts (revenge fakes) and trickeration..

  6. PansyTheDawg

    I am scared as the rest of you guys, but I think Richt will be able to manage this one. I bet he remembers those times as well. What worries most is if we survive SC’s best shot, then can he handle that level of success and expectations? I think he can, and Pruitt, with where he’s been in college football, will almost certainly know how to manage it. But I’ll have my doubts until I see it.

    • PansyTheDawg

      Also, we had quite a few offensive bloopers – glaring ones. There’s no denying that it wasn’t sound offensive football at times. The offensive players shouldn’t be able to deny that either. That should give them something upon which to focus. Also, the defense clearly still has a good bit of room for improvement.

  7. Will Trane

    Like I said last evening. Looked good at moments, but. How physical will the Oline be over the course of the season? How much did the sports class have Clemson over ranked. How much will Mason improve during the course of a season. Just a few.
    Perhaps Clemson’s D line was not that good. After all their best D player did not travel. Then a game injury. So they were down in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Too many lineman did not maitain their push and blocks. Maon has 3 games in his history of play. What do the numbers look like. Granted he is handicapped by suspensions and injuries. At UGA those are the norm, but not at other schools. Like Mason. But
    He has not faced a SEC defense or one on the road. So can the Dawgs stretch the game vertically. Run game is there but can they make a SEC run purely running the ball. How many times between now and the end of the season will we see those kind of rushing numbers. Can the offense sustain drives ove 65. Most of the scores and drives in 2nd half. came from inside Clemson’s side. Have to get Marshall into the plays and game.
    Take a que from Bobo. He saw he good run the ball in the 4th and that is where he put his offensive calls. And Pruitt’s players obliged him. Clemson has no running game.
    Liked the way D and special teams played. Liked the win. But it is very very early. And do not have them as # one, not even in the SEC. Pulling and supporting them like hell to get there. That was fun Saturday, but let’s not go over board.

  8. Macallanlover

    Yes, SC will be fighting for their SEC survival in two weeks and their intensity will not be changed by an y result against ECU. But our staff or players aren’t dumb enough to walk in there over confident. CMR will show them film of 2012 and the “roof collapse” game, they will work on communication with piped in noise simulations, they will talk about their goals and how not focusing for one play/series will cause some of them to be lost, etc., etc. And Todd Gurley, the man who has stepped into the leadership role in more ways than one (like being in the defensive huddle) will tell his teammates what why he has worked so hard to prepare for making this a special year.

    We will be ready, we could still get beaten, but if we lose it will not be for lack of preparation. Please, don’t all the haters come on here and even say that. It won’t, and can’t happen…especially with two weeks to get ready.

    During that time though we need to find out what stalled our offense so badly in the middle of the Clemson game. We had numerous chances to put that game away and failed. I understand that Clemson had a better DL than we will face in Columbia, but they weren’t playing with the intensity we will see with SC. Ward will stack the box, and bring mucho heat because they know our running game will crush them so they have no choice but to force Mason to beat them. Bobo will have to have some max protect packages and ways to get someone open quickly. A&M’s offense was perfect for that and it worked spectacularly, but we have time….and will get another chance to watch them to see how they have adjusted.

    Better get your popcorn, gonna be fun watching SOS fume on the sideline.

  9. Edawg

    Reggie carter needs to play more than ramik. All the fresh d makes me hate ctg even more for the seccg .thoughts?

  10. 69Dawg

    The SC team doesn’t scare me as much as the place and the coach. SOS will have two weeks to analyze our D. He will see that a good running back like Davis will pull our safeties up and open up the long pass. He will use the TEs and the wheel route. In short he will run all the garbage he always runs. The problem is he calls it so well. This game IMHO will be the greatest test of our D this season.

    • CannonDawg

      I agree with 69. Spurrier will strike us deep at just the right times, and likely with early success. You can bet that Stevie won’t be announcing, “We don’t have a strategic plan for Georgia.” It could very well be that we’ll need a late drive at the end to win. The place will be packed with the towel wavers and the noise of that silly Russian-like song they all jump around to. I’d like to think that they don’t have enough time to fix all that’s wrong with their defense, but I’m not betting the house on it. If we can grind on ‘em like we did Clemson, we should be okay. But I swear I’ll have a knot in my stomach until we can get out of there with a win.

  11. Jack Klompus

    Teams are never quite as bad or quite as good as you look after the first game. This definitely applies here.

    Hopefully the discipline and fire maintains the next two weeks. Maybe Pruitt et al has changed the culture. I guess we will see.

  12. ScoutDawg

    Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t have time for national media bullshit. These kids will be ready to play.

  13. Stoopnagle

    It could be that Clemson just sucks.

  14. JG Shellnutt

    Small sample size, so take it with a grain of salt…I like Jeremy Pruitt.
    Is anyone concerned about an offensive genius getting to scheme against a very young DC in Jeremy Pruitt?
    CTG, with all of his knowledge, could not stop the zone read with Lattimore 4 years ago.
    I don’t want to sell JP short, but high school to college to one year as DC now having to plan for SOS is spooky.

    • WF dawg

      I don’t think they’ll run a lot of zone read with Thompson back there. What I do think they’ll try is vertical passing to pick on our young secondary. Hope the pass rush is there. On that note, Floyd really looked good against CU.

  15. Folks, SC is in full panic mode this week. So many technical things to correct and coach, they don’t have the luxury of time to worry about us…yet. The 9 day gap will help them for Saturday, but SOS knows he can’t let them get caught looking ahead. He will have them back to fundamentals to re-evaluate what they’ve got on both sides of the ball vs. ECU. He needs momentum going into our game.

    If Spurrier took anything away from watching us Saturday, it’s a reminder that his D will have to still be strong in the 4th Q or we’ll roll them again. Best way for him to do that is with a ball control offense. Don’t think he can do it on the ground, but attacking our secondary and slowing our rush with quick screens, hitches, etc. is probably what Thompson can manage. Any trickeration will come from his ST as usual.

    Pruitt will have his work cut out for him…great chess match between an old SEC legend and perhaps a new one in the making. Bobo will need to be sure Mason is ready to lead if SC really sells-out to stop the run (I know I would). But then there is Gurley…he looks like #34 in the sense that even when you know he’s going to get the ball, he still gashes your D.

    I expect the first road game jitters and crowd to keep things close in the first half,then the Dawgs pull away again. Rinse, repeat, claim the Palmetto a State championship.

  16. WF dawg

    My concern is USC figuring out our snap indicator when we’re on offense, like Clowney did 2 years ago. Swann did it to CU on Saturday, and you could see how well he timed his blitz. The best thing would be to take the crowd out of it early. TAMU did and they had the stadium to themselves by the end.

  17. Slaw Dawg

    You think you’ve got a long memory? Geez, I’m still trying to get over losing to Ole Miss 17-21 just a week after blanking Bama 21-0, and that was in friggin’ 1976! I want our guys thinking about the SC that embarrassed them 2 years ago and not the inept stumblebums exposed by Kevin Sumlin last week.

  18. W Cobb Dawg

    This is almost too good a situation. We come off a huge win with essentially no wounds, and have plenty of time to prepare. And a couple of our injured players might even recover enough to give us more depth.

    Scu gets an all time whuppin, has another game Saturday night, has injuries – with potential for more injuries, and sos already pulled his QB (albeit briefly).

    Dawgs absolutely have to win this one. It’s the best setup we’ve ever had!

    • Mayor

      And the team USCe has to play this Saturday won its conference last season and won its opening game 52-7. East Carolina isn’t chopped liver. SOS can’t focus on UGA this week.

  19. diving duck

    The dawg’s dominant fourth quarter is driving the hype. However, going into the fourth quarter it was still a one score game. Senator, you mentioned in your review the fourth quarter may have been the most impressive of Richt’s run. Richt was right there is still a lot of sloppy mistakes to clean up before the dawgs are elite for four quarters.

  20. I remember the aftermath of games like the 2004 smoking of LSU … Georgia doesn’t always handle success well under Richt.

    That Tennessee game in 2004 is on Richt. At the time, he lacked SEC experience and didn’t see Fulmer and Tennessee coming, he didn’t have a sufficient appreciation for what Tennessee was bringing to Athens. Fulmer’s back was against the wall, and they had a bye week to prepare.

    The rest of them, and there’ve been quite a few, the culture was involved, to one extent or another.

    Richt is seasoned now, and I believe he’s fully aware of the danger. We still have to see how he handles the hype and psychology involved, because that’s one of this main jobs. But the culture problem is gone now, or so it appears. So his task is much simpler now than its been since that 2004 mistake.

    It’s a must-win game for South Carolina and it’s in Columbia. Very dangerous, in other words. Hopefully the coaches will take part of the next two weeks to remind the players and themselves that early season press clippings are BS. If that lesson takes, we may be looking at a special year.

    Well said.

    But it’s noteworthy that SC, right now, is a much better looking team than Tennessee was in 2004.
    ~~~

  21. I agree that we left some things out there and that can be a bad thing it can also be bad for the bad guys, too. Sure, it was one game but I’ll take our chances against anyone if we can play and coach something like that. I’ve been more “show me first” this season than any other but the last time I felt like that was in the dome for the 2002 SECC. Like a turning point…