Observations from the 35: Georgia-Tennessee Tech

On a picture perfect day,  Georgia settled in and, for once, dominated an opponent it should have dominated.

It would be churlish on my part to do a good-bad-ugly breakdown for a game that went 38-0, so I’ll just settle for a few bullet points.

  • The non-football stuff. The weather couldn’t have been better.  The crowd was larger than many people thought it might be and was generally supportive, if not rabidly enthusiastic (to be fair, it wasn’t that kind of game).  And with a 1:00 PM start and no TV, it was like doing the time warp and watching a game as if it was in the eighties – efficiently pleasant.
  • The shutout. Yeah, it was Tennessee Tech and that was a pitiful offensive line that the Dawg defense went up against yesterday.  But any time the other team doesn’t cross midfield, you’re doing something right.  Six sacks, fifteen tackles for loss, negative rushing yardage on the day – that’s a Grade A performance in my book.  And Martinez had the good sense not to crow about it.  Bring that level of excellence this Saturday, and we’ll talk.
  • Logan Gray. I don’t know whether it’s the player or the coaching, but, man, that was one underwhelming performance yesterday.  Everything – and I do mean everything – about the interception was horrid, except that it came on a part of the field where it didn’t leave the defense in a hole.  But for Gray to look less than impressive against a less than impressive opponent isn’t a good thing.  You look at schools like Cincinnati which can trot a backup out after the starter goes down and can’t help but wonder what’s the problem in Athens.  There’s a reason why Cox is the starter.  And next year looks a little scarier, to be honest.
  • The penalties. You can’t blame this one on the coaches.  Eleven penalties in a game that was in control from the first series?  Five false start penalties?  That’s a focus problem, big time.
  • The tight ends. I heart Orson and Aron.  They’re only going to improve, especially as they become better blockers.
  • Washaun Ealey. Given the limits of the offensive line’s ability to run block, he’s clearly Georgia’s best option at running back.  It’s not that Caleb King is a bad back, but his style is such that he tends to wait for the blocking to develop, which is not part of the standard equipment right now.  Ealey is much more decisive hitting the hole, which is what fits best.
  • Turnover margin. If you wind up going -1 in a game like that, it’s hopeless.  I had to look, and, yes, Georgia is still 119th nationally in TO margin.  And dead last in takeaways.  But, hey, at least Joe Cox ended his interception streak!


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21 responses to “Observations from the 35: Georgia-Tennessee Tech

  1. I may need to have my hearing checked, but was Joe Cox booed when he was introduced pregame?
    Why did TTU have all those funny names for their defensive positions?


  2. Turd Ferguson

    According to David Hale, …

    “Quarterback Joe Cox said one of the Golden Eagles’ defensive lineman would bark similar cadence to his snap count, and it was causing Georgia’s linemen to flinch with regularity.

    ‘It was tough to get used to, and I think they figured we’re pushing them back every time we do this, so let’s keep doing it,’ Cox said.”

    So, basically, the equivalent of someone saying a bunch of random numbers while you’re trying to do a simple math problem in your head. And that’s all it takes to draw several false start penalties. We should be better than that.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Is there a defensive penalty for that? Is there an offensive penalty for overly deceptive snap counts?


      • JasonC

        I know there is a penalty if the center is moving the ball to simulate a snap in order to draw the defense offside, but I am unsure about making noise to do the same from either sides of the ball.


        • Ausdawg85

          Can’t quote the book, but I’m almost sure there is a penalty…and it might even be full 15 yard unsportsmanlike call. You have to assume the refs would give warnings, and I wonder if their D-line had calls of their own too. Otherwise, how would they know not to jump? And why could Cox not counter-act? I mean, fool me once, shame on you, fool us all 5 times…?


    • D.N. Nation

      “And that’s all it takes to draw several false start penalties. We should be better than that.”

      We’re pretty sure that ’03 Georgia is the Gold Standard for defensive awesomeness under Richt, right? Woo Pollack Thurman Davis Blue VanGorder VanGorder VanGorder, right?

      Because MTSU did the opposite to us that year (as in, flip the lines) and we jumped offsides about a billion times. It happens.


  3. Joe B.

    Clearly, Logan Gray is not going to be a starting QB for us.

    Why they are not letting Murray get his freshman mistakes out of the way this season is mindboggling.

    Let him play, make his mistakes and be done with it. Now we are going to have to watch him make his freshman mistakes next year, surrounded by an incredibly talented offense.


    • Brandon

      If we don’t get rid of Willie, what we do on offense is irrelevant.


    • Brandon

      And from listening to Richt yesterday after the game he was in full “Save Willie” talking points mode…we didn’t put our defense in a bad position…players execute…blah…blah…I watched the Bama game yesterday and I’ll have to say if we could have switched defenses with them from the start of the year, our two teams records would probably be switched as well.


    • SCDawg

      Maybe Logan hasn’t played b/c he is not good enough, as we’ve seen the last two games. Maybe Murray isn’t yet, either.

      Also, unlike Stafford, Murray is not the prototypical QB prospect and he won’t leave for the NFL after being 3 years removed from HS, like Stafford could. He could play as a RS FR, all the way to a RS senior.

      So, should we burn his RS? Not sure we should in a year in which he had an injured throwing arm and was still recovering from a broken leg in HS.


  4. hodgie


    It is a penalty to do what they were doing. Also, it is extremely difficult not to jump offsides in that situation. I played OL in HS and college and it is not as easy as it seems to stay onsides if the DL is simulating your count.


    • 69Dawg

      So this is another example of the SEC refs not enforcing the rules as written. It’s like the UF/LSU game where the center jerked his head sharply to the left just before he snapped the shotgun snap and LSU’s D got called for offsides a couple of time until the nose tackle knocked the snot out of the center when he did it and the Lineman then called procedure and guess what the center never did it again. CUM will cheat and push the rules until caught and fined then he makes nice with the powers that be.


  5. dawg85

    With so many young developing skill players and most of the offensive line coming back UGA has the potential to field a pretty good offense next year — if we can find a QB– apparently Murray or Mettenberger at this point. I thought Gray would be better than he has been. I sure hate to see his athleticism wasted — I’d still look for ways to get him the ball in space. At least Bobo doesn’t have to fight with the defense over him. I would have liked to see Murray play too but David Greene played well coming off a redshirt year so we’ll see.


  6. daryl

    kick-off coverage still blows. i think they averaged over 25 yds on their returns. i couldn’t get the game in my area. were their return men that good?


    • a former redcoat

      no they weren’t. but when they caught the ball, we had no one even close. guys just weren’t getting downfield fast enough


  7. hodgie

    69 dawg,

    Yes it is. I was absolutely baffle as to why they weren’t calling the penalty you speak of against UF. Then, when LSU would hit him it was a penalty?! WTF? If its a penalty, then its a penalty. If its not, then its not. It almost seems like refs,umps, officials, at all levels,are giving too much leniency in the rules of sports. Its almost like they won’t call something if they don’t think an “advantage” is gained. I do not agree with this because if you start doing things like this, then it is hard to draw the line on when to stop.


  8. Jon Deal

    I grew up in GA and am a huge fan. Attended UC 86-87 and have followed them as an alumni and cincy resident. I do not think they have ever had a top 50 recruiting class. They develop players and have a system where back ups come in and perform. If a player screws up Brian Kelly is in their face. I really like CMR, but wonder about his loyalty to willie. It just does not make sense! Everybody but him can see it. I hope that change alone can help us.


  9. HottCheesE

    I agree with you observations, good senator, especially about Logan Gray. I guess this explains why we have not seen more of him this year. Ealey and King had room to run all day, but man did Samuel look average. The kid really just likes contact. It seems like he goes out of his way to try and run over defenders instead of finding extra yards around them. On a separate note (non football stuff); Because I live in California, I had to watch the game on espn360. I had the pleasure of listening to Buck Belue providing color commentary. He is a condescending pompous jerky jerk face. At the start of the game he made several references to the empty seats at Sanford saying, essentially, that at least the true UGA fans showed up and the band-wagoners need not jump on when the Dawgs right the ship. Maybe, in these tough economic times, us bandwagon UGA fans are saving our pennies to watch the beat down of Auburn? Or live in California? Another comment was that the armchair QB blogger types would still be calling for CWM to be fired even after the great defensive effort against TTU. “They will all say, Oh, but it was just TTU, but let me tell you CWM has put together a fine defense today.” Well, Buck, you arrogant, elitist, has been, it was just TTU. If CWM could put a game together like that against ANY team in the SEC, then no one would be calling for him to be fired. And I’m not so sure it was a solid defensive effort. Our DT’s were 3 yards deep in the backfield before their QB could finish the ike in hike. It is kinda hard to know how well the other 9 played, because they really did not have to do anything while Atkins, Tyson and Owens were having a field day. One final observation; Brandon Smith is faster that Usain Bolt. There, I said it. You were thinking it, but I said it.


  10. dean

    And with a 1:00 PM start and no TV…
    Yet we still had the man in the red hat delaying the game after timeouts and between quarters. Not quite like the good ol’ days.

    Everyone may be right about Logan. However I don’t think the coaches have done him any favors, with his development, continuing to put him on special teams. Maybe that’s the coaches way of saying he’s not going to be the QB of the future? I don’t know but it’s mind boggling to have your backup QB covering kickoffs and fair catching punts.

    Was I the only one who immediately started looking for the flag when Prince busted loose on the PR. It’s a shame I’ve become this jaded.