When it comes to the Dawgs, it looks like many have quickly moved on from thankful mode to gloom and doom.
Barnhart’s written tomorrow’s game off.
… Athletically, Georgia should be able to hang around but there is no evidence that the Bulldogs can handle a tough, physical football game for four quarters.
Begging to differ a little here, but Georgia’s problem this year hasn’t been playing tough physical football, it’s been staying tough mentally. And that’s something that you can take back to last year’s Tech game. Just ask Rennie Curran.
“Going into the game, we thought we had a good grasp on it, and if you look at the start of the game, we were doing fine,” Curran said.
“But once guys started to relax and weren’t wrapping up or a guy forgets the pitch or forgets the dive, that’s when they get those big yardage gains off of your mistakes.”
“Once guys started to relax” – notice it’s not “for some reason”. In other words, it didn’t come as any surprise. There’s your problem with this year’s edition, as well. So for everyone who wants to take heart in Miami’s vast improvement on defense from their game with Georgia Tech in 2008 to this year’s sole defeat of the Jackets, keep in mind one of Randy Shannon’s keys to Da U’s win:
“We knew last year when we played them they didn’t do their assignments, so they trusted the coaches, believed in what we were saying and they executed.”
How strongly do you feel that’s happening for Georgia and Martinez tomorrow?
And if you’re looking for a couple of doses of longer term pessimism, start with Mark Bradley’s piece about how winning tomorrow may not be such a great thing for a team that’s just scrambling to remain second-tier. Then you can move on to Stewart “Montana” Mandel, who’s not sure about the talent level at Georgia, but is convinced about the “plain old bad coaching”. Mandel also borrows Bradley’s drum to bang on:
… Richt is also dealing with much the same problem as recently deposed SEC coaches Phillip Fulmer and Tommy Tuberville: His competitors are catching up. Florida has separated itself considerably under Urban Meyer. Georgia Tech, which Richt beat each of his first seven seasons, is now a BCS contender. Tennessee — which has blown out the Dawgs two of the past three seasons — is quickly beefing up its talent level under Lane Kiffin. And Auburn, with whom Georgia wages a whole lot of recruiting battles, now employs its own renowned recruiter in Gene Chizik. Georgia may be considerably better next season, but so, too, could its primary rivals. I wouldn’t expect a quick fix in Athens.
One thing – Gene Chizik, “renowned recruiter”? When did that happen?