Observations from the 35 (the mellower version)

Nothing like a good night’s sleep to lower the anxiety level… from Defcon 5 to Defcon 4.  The problems I saw out there yesterday were so obvious that I doubt I have any profound insights to add to the general sense of dismay Dawgnation no doubt feels this morning, but here goes anyway:

  • It feels strange to describe an offense that gained almost 400 yards as a train wreck, but that’s how it felt yesterday.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Richt offense so completely dependent upon one player as what I witnessed yesterday – even Shockley got more from his supporting cast than that.  They lived and died with Aaron Murray.
  • And Murray is exactly what you get when you combine a redshirt freshman starting his third game with talent and (this word is quickly getting overused, but so be it) moxie.  There was simply no way Georgia clawed back into the game in the fourth quarter without him.  He’s only going to get better as he gets experience; he’s the biggest ray of hope we’ve got if Georgia’s ever going to get traction this season.
  • That being said, he had far from a perfect day.  His mechanics are inconsistent.  He had a number of passes sail on him (and, to be fair, was bailed out with some good catches on occasion).  Both of his long completions were underthrown.  And a few of the sacks were the result of his holding the ball too long.  All of that seems fixable, though.
  • I wish I could say the same about the offensive line, which, if anything, looks to have regressed from its less than stellar showing in Columbia.  Run blocking was still atrocious for most of the game, but the line also struggled with handling blitzes.
  • Washaun Ealey didn’t do the line any favors with his – and I use the term loosely – pass blocking.  He ought to be made to watch that last feeble attempt that resulted in a near decapitation of Murray over and over again until his eyes fall out.
  • The wideouts struggled all day with getting separation from a secondary that I will charitably call mediocre.
  • I don’t know what to say about Mike Bobo.  On the one hand, his players didn’t exactly give him a lot to work with much of the game.  On the other, he seemed reluctant to adapt his playcalling to conditions on the field.  Well into the third quarter he was still running just two formations:  the I and the wildcat.  Neither had much success against an Arkansas defense which clearly wasn’t worried about play action or Georgia trying to run wide.  He finally countered by running out of a three wideout set and got a decent gain from Ealey, but then followed up by shifting Marlon Brown into the fullback (!) slot… and having the play get stuffed.  There was also very little attempt made to counter the blitz with obvious calls like screens and slants.  And the less said about the final series when Georgia had a chance to go thirty yards and put the game on Blair Walsh’s leg for the win, the better.
  • Contrast that with Petrino, admittedly one of the best offensive minds in college football.  He quit trying to force the run when it wasn’t working and instead focused on taking what Georgia’s pass defense would give him.
  • What’s the deal with Ben Jones, Aaron Murray and the offsides snap?  There were several opportunities to take advantage of defensive players aggressively jumping into the neutral zone yesterday with a quick snap, yet that never happened.
  • The best way I can describe the defense is hit or miss with a vengeance.  Arkansas punted a bunch, couldn’t run the ball effectively (so much for that “we’re as good as South Carolina” mentality), but managed to pop the ball for a ridiculous number of long (fifteen-yard or better) gains.  Georgia, to its credit, played much more physically than it did in the previous week, but clearly was outfinessed.
  • Coach Garner, you’ve got to figure out a way to get Kwame Geathers on the field more.
  • Safety play is still substandard, particularly in pass coverage.  Rambo dropped a gift-wrapped interception and I presume was the guilty party who got burned on Arkansas’ first TD.  Hamilton’s benching in the second half was entirely deserved.  And where was Justin Houston’s help on the wheel route that he got burned on?
  • The pass rush was better than the sack total indicated.  Unfortunately, when it wasn’t there, Arkansas took full advantage.
  • Why the problems in the first half getting the correct number of defensive players on the field?
  • There are still a number of players who struggle with tackling.  I feel bad for Christian Robinson, who finds himself doing everything right in terms of getting himself in position on a play, getting his hands on the ball carrier, yet finding himself unable to wrap the play up.  Can’t say I feel the same for Vance Cuff, whose attempt to tackle via the shoulder bump was the single most embarrassing play of the day.
  • And there’s still a major problem with short to intermediate crossing routes, which the Hogs exploited much of the game.
  • Kudos to Akeem Dent, who showed a refreshing ability to defend the short pass.  I’m not sure I ever saw a Jancek-coached linebacker do that.
  • It’s not helping that Georgia’s special teams play has been anything but that.  Butler has had a noticeable drop off in these last two games; the final exchange of punts yesterday was crucial in letting Arkansas play for the win.  Nobody is letting Boykin get the opportunity to do any significant damage.  Kickoff coverage has improved from last year from insane to competent (which I’ll gladly take).  I’ve already expressed my displeasure with Georgia’s punt return game.

The overall impression I came away with yesterday was that of a talented team which has still failed to address the problems with focus, passion and determination which plagued it over the previous two seasons.  Some of the problem areas have shifted and some, like the defensive breakdowns we saw yesterday, are understandable to a degree.  But there’s no excuse for it taking Richt and his staff the better part of three and a half quarters to light a fire under this bunch.  And there’s even less of one letting things get away as they did in the end.

That’s what really hurt.  Yesterday wasn’t Columbia.  As disjointed as the Dawgs looked most of the day, and with all of those key players missing, they were still in position to win the game with one last solid effort.  Instead, they couldn’t close the deal.


Filed under Georgia Football

106 responses to “Observations from the 35 (the mellower version)

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    Help my memory here, how does Murray compare to David Greene in his first three games, in your opinion.

    I thought the “fire up gathering” was nice, too bad it did not happen before the game.

    Maybe I am over reacting to this, but I find Adams’ commenting to the media about any aspect of the football program as pretty scary.

    In politics they call this distancing yourself from the problem.

    What really adds to my depression is that I am not convinced we are ever going to have a coach who is demonstrably better than Mark Richt.

    Although we may surely try.

    I think we lack the institutional commitment to be what a significant proportion of the fan base seems to expect us to be.


  2. Section Z alum

    the comeback was a delight that magnified my frustration at the end of the game. i thought we were toast from the 2nd quarter. and richt’s comments about going for it on fourth in the first half made it seem like he had no faith we could stop ark from scoring. going for it on our own 30 had me screaming at the tv.

    when we have the ball deep in our own territory, can we please just muscle up and run? please?

    how in god’s name did we manage to get 12 men on the field?

    ahh. better.

    a silver lining for me was that our receivers caught what was thrown to them. tav king looked great.

    murray is gonna be a good one. and how much would the presence of aj made everything else open up?

    a few brain-farts aside, our d was making a conscious effort to wrap up.

    and despite the outcome, bob griese and spielman were absolutely great. an almost total absence of blather.


  3. Turd Ferguson

    It’s crazy how dramatically the narrative has changed.

    All off-season, the talk was about how our RS freshman QB was walking into an ideal situation: behind an outstanding offensive line, with the second best RB duo in the SEC, crazy TE depth, and the best WR in the country.

    Three games into the season, the offensive line is a joke, our RB duo has yet to play together in a game, our TEs are being under-utilized, and we won’t see Green ’til October. And consequently, as the Senator mentioned, our offense is completely dependent upon a RS freshman QB … who, by the way, is going to be one of the best we’ve ever had … if he survives this season.

    And for the record, Bobo’s call on the last 3rd-and-4 is going to stick with me for a while.


    • rbubp

      Man, no kidding. That image of the RS freshman standing there like a duck on the pond waiting to get pounded by a lineman given the matador treatment by Ealey…that was the game right there. Mistake by RSF QB–check. Mistake by RB–check. Mistake by OC–check check check.


  4. TennesseeDawg

    We have almost no pass rush even when we blitz. Mallet is highly immobile and we managed only one sack. Murray will be very good with time. Enjoy A.J. cause he’ll be gone next year and who can blame him.


    • rbubp

      And you can see that Mallet is so unathletic that forcing him to move at all negates his abilities entirely–he cannot throw on the run at all; even stepping up into the pocket is difficult.

      Other teams will figure out the importance of forcing him just right or left if they can’t get to him. Look for a lot of unbalanced pressure from Ark.’s opponents.

      I hate to say this but I think SC is better than Arkansas. I was disappointed by the loss yesterday because I think it was mostly caused by unforced mistakes on defense as opposed to getting beat by a better team. But I guess that’s exactly what we talked about in Year One of the CTG Experiment.


      • rbubp

        Should say unforced mistakes on both sides of the ball. But the offense did end up with enough points to win if the D played a tighter game.


  5. Offensively, I thought we would be better than this. The offensive line is a joke.

    Defensively, we are about where I expected us to be. I thought we would be much better at safety.

    I also thought there was a very real possibility that we could be 2-2 at the end of September.

    On the bright side…..the schedule gets easier from here.


    • Turd Ferguson

      “On the bright side…..the schedule gets easier from here.”

      You think so? Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky, Florida, and Auburn all looked better than us yesterday. Honestly, the only team on the schedule that I don’t expect to at least challenge us is Idaho State.


      • Mr. Ferguson,

        I understand your frustration, but do you really believe that those teams you mentioned above have competed against the same level of competition that we have?

        We are a work in progress. It will get better.


        • Turd Ferguson

          Tennessee’s supposed to be in much worse shape than us, and yet they were able to hang with two top-10 teams until well into the 3rd quarter of each game.

          Vandy was screwed by the refs against Northwestern, hung with LSU until the 4th, and then responded by embarrassing Ole Miss.

          Kentucky hasn’t played anyone particularly tough, but their offense has looked unstoppable, … and of course, they were able to beat us at home last year, when we WEREN’T such a “work in progress.”

          Florida may be much less potent on offense this year, but they’re still clearly a better team than we are.

          And Auburn just beat a Clemson team that looks as good as any in the SEC (except Alabama).

          I can certainly appreciate your optimism, but I’m sorry, it’s not my frustration that makes me think we’ll struggle against every team on our schedule except Idaho State. Maybe things will get better, but AT THIS POINT, I think there are more reasons for thinking that things WON’T get much better.


          • Cynical in Athens

            Anyone who is watching the garbage we have put on the field for the last season + 3 games and still believes that this program is the same one it was in 2005, is absolutely delusional.

            This is a BELOW MEDIOCRE program with kids who are not committed, an inept coaching staff that is having MAJOR INTERNAL problems and a fanbase that is continuing to believe that this is an elite program, while totally ignoring the ACTUAL RESULTS of the last 2+ years.

            UGA football is quickly becoming a conference-wide joke, and instead of being a “measuring-stick” game, is quickly becoming a “easy W.”

            I am not sure why there are so many apologists still out there, I guess it is a lot of the same idiots who continued to want to give Dennis Felton “just one more season,” but this program is at BELOW DONNAN levels in terms of performance.

            Even though Donnan’s teams were always very poorly prepared, at least he continued to recruit at a very high level. The current UGA staff is not even recruiting well anymore. It is the laziness on the recruiting trail, as well as in pre-game preparation that is destroying the program.

            I hope that McGarity will bring his former boss’s lack of tolerance for mediocrity with him, because this program needs an honest and thorough evaluation. This is not the program it was in 2005, and Mark Richt is NOT THE SAME COACH that he was in 2005.

            I highly doubt we compete in Starkville this week, but hope to be pleasantly surprised. Guess we will see.


            • CantStandYa

              I wouldn’t call UGA “below mediocre”, but right now they are not far from it. Agreed that teams probably don’t fear us anymore, but because of our talent level and success throughout the decade, I’m sure opposing coaches have an easy time getting their teams fired up for playing us, which only makes things tougher. I would imagine most SEC teams know they can beat us, but it still feels like a big game to them.

              But that’s not to say, this program is a joke. It’s not. None of us would be shocked to see the Dawgs rip through the remaining schedule, and finish 10-2, especially with the next few games being relative breathers. You people have to be patient. Most sensible fans predicted dropping the last two games before the season started, and that doesn’t mean UGA is “below mediocre”. It means Ark & SC are above average.

              We almost won the game yesterday, and if we had, the talk today would be significantly different, but, for good and bad, nearly four quarters of action would remain the same either way. So let’s try to remain positive people.


              • carolinadawg

                Holy crap! “None of us would be shocked to see the Dawgs rip through the remaining schedule, and finish 10-2” It would shock me. You can’t be serious.

                “remain positive” About what exactly?


            • carolinadawg

              Amen! McGarity needs to sit CMR down and tell him that either Bobo, Searels and McClendon go, or CMR goes. Its sad that its come to that, but it has.


              • Pumpdawg

                One thing I’ve never understood is why Bryan McClendon,an ex receiver,is coaching the running backs while Tony Ball,an ex running back,is coaching receivers.


          • Mr. Ferguson,

            First of all, may I call you Turd?

            Now, if you truly believe that Floriduh is a top 10 team, then your premise concerning Tennessee would be correct.

            As for Vandy…they beat Ole Piss. My response to that would be …..who hasn’t?

            Kentucky has two phenomenal players in Locke and Cobb. They should feast on cupcakes.

            Your premise that Clemtech looks as good as any SEC team outside of Bama is based on what? Clemtech ranks 90th in rushing defense. They rank 85th in total defense. They rank 72nd in pass efficiency defense. These stats were accumulated against North Texas, Presbyterian and Awbun. Perhaps you might reconsider your statement.

            I understand Georgia has some problems, but it ain’t as bad as you’re making it out to be. Our schedule, thanks to Mr. Red Panties, was top loaded with two very capable, very well coached teams. Every other team has had an opportunity to work the kinks out against cupcakes. We have played two top 15 teams in two weeks.

            Two words….growing pains.

            Stay the course Mr. Ferguson.


  6. ChicagoDawg

    I am trying to come up with the appropriate adjective to describe the OL and I am frustrated by the fact that none seem to be appropriate….horrific, putrid, pathetic, uninspired….all of these seem inadequate. Murray did hold onto the ball too long on a few occasions, however he was running for his life on others and the run blocking was an abortion.

    The most frustrating and troubling aspect of this team, which was the case for 3/4 of the season last year, is the fact that there is a lack of identity. There is nothing you can really hang your hat on. No stout running attack, no consistent aerial attack and the defense is still a work in progress (although I think over time it will be fine/consistent). It is painful to watch. There is not one thing you can point to and say, if nothing else (UGA will be able to do this _______ ) and that gives them a chance against anyone. You can’t even say that about special teams because that is not consistent across the board (evidence giving up the 1st down on the muffed punt snap, lack of return yards, and Butler’s declining productivity).

    Also, as for the failure to quick snap with the DL in the neutral zone, I would need to re-watch the DVR, but I believe they were in shotgun on all of those opportunities except for one. I know this because I was frustrated by their not doing it with Murray under center on the first opportunity, but the subsequent chances were out of shotgun.


    • ChicagoDawg

      So as to toture myself further, I choose to re-watch the game and Murray & Jones did have another opportunity to quick snap. The second chance was in the 4th quarter and was on the play that Murray got sacked and fumbled (which GA recovered). Whatever the case, it could have been a 5yd pickup with a replay of downs and resulted in a loss of downs, a sack and a near disasterous turnover.

      Also, Ealey had to complete whiff blocks on sacks in the 4th quarter. Horrible. However, it underscores the issues encountered when your RBs do not pass block. Many on message boards mock this issue when mentioned by the coaching staff, but yesterday provided the exhibit A outcome when RBs can’t block (I suspect King would have been in the game had he been able to go as he has clearly been the better pass blocker).


      • ChicagoDawg

        Correction: Ealey had TWO complete whiff blocks on sacks


        • CantStandYa

          With the critical fumble last week (which, granted was probably a fluke) and the missed blocks this week, Ealey has gotta be one sad fellow in the film room.

          Completely agree about a lack of identity, but is this any different than last year, when we were dependent on the arm of Joe Cox while the OL again struggled? At least we had AJ.
          Ugh, what are we going to do next year without him?


          • Cynical in Athens

            Why would Ealey be sad?

            The punk is just happy to know that he can outright DEFY HIS HEAD coach and still keep his scholarship.

            He is happy as a hog in slop, because he does not give a damn about the team.

            The problem is that CMR has recruited so poorly that he had to keep Ealey on the team, instead of doing the right thing and kicking the punk out of the program.

            CMR’s refusal to show any backbone in that situation will just be another brick in the wall of poor decisions that is going to lead to his demise.


  7. Brandon

    Yesterday’s loss was disappointing no question but honestly ask yourself whether we should be expected to win the game win you have the No. 12 team in the country quarterbacked by a 6’7” future pro wheel in to face your unranked squad with a freshman quarterback playing his third game. We could have won sure, but the line between winning and losing in our conference is razor thin. Again we played a tough team that is going to win a lot of games this year and were in it until the end. I’m not that down on this team. They showed a lot of guts to rally back and tie the game. We are going to be okay, here are my reasons for optimism:
    1. Aaron Murray is going to be a player, the kid is tough, talented, and appears to have the intangibles the coaches said he did. You give this some more experience and a good defense and we will be damn tough to beat. All this jumping on Bobo is ridiculous, we gained almost 400 yards yesterday, that’s not bad offense. Watch some tape of nearly any Chicago Bears game from 1986-1999 or Alabama under Mike Shula and you will see some bad offense. Anytime a play does not work you can complain about the play call, given 20/20 hindsight every one would do something different if they knew what they were going to do would fail, you win some you lose some, no one scores on every possession unless you hopelessly outclass your opponent talent wise (which was not the case yesterday). Even then you are always subject to human error stuffing out a play that would have worked if executed as called.

    2. I see some signs of improvement in the defense. We bowed up and stopped Arkansas’s excellent offense multiple times yesterday. We had some breakdowns but we knew that would happen changing to a new scheme and honestly these players on defense have not been coached worth a damn their whole careers until this year so you can’t get rid of years worth of bad habits in spring practice, fall camp, and a couple of games. I caught hell for saying this a few weeks ago but if we are still doing this kind of thing on defense at the end of next year we should fire Grantham but for now I’m pleased I’m seeing improvement. As I said in # 1 you give Aaron Murray a defense after he has some experience and we’ll go far.

    3. I don’t think people are giving South Carolina and Arkansas enough credit, we have had two tough outs so far in the conference. With the exception of Alabama (who no one is likely to beat absent multiple turnovers and special teams and defensive touchdowns), I think USCe and Arkansas are as good or better than any of the other traditional conference powers. Florida may get it on track and be better than them by the end of the year but I’m not so sure Florida would have beaten both, or even one of these teams if they had played them when we had to play them.

    4. Not having A.J hurt us bad in both of these games, face it we would have lost to both of these teams last year (and ASU too without him), would he have been the difference in one or both of these games this year? Possibly, getting him back will be huge.

    Finally, I agree with the Senator about the offensive line, it is a puzzle to me that they aren’t better than they are. I don’t buy into bad coaching, I still remember Searles stringing together a pretty good offensive line that year when he had four scholarship players and a midget who were eligible to play. The guy can coach fine, these defenses are really stacking the box against our line daring the freshman qb to beat them, it’s a smart move. Murray’s going to be good but he can’t quite carry the team all by himself, again having A.J. would have helped here. Also let no one ever again say that they don’t understand why Richt puts so much emphasis on his backs being able to block, you got a clear demonstration of why that was important on that last play yesterday. I really wish we had that kid who used to sleep in his car that played with David Greene back, what was his name? Tony Melton or something like that? That kid could block. Our team needs to keep their head up and keep working, our coaches just need to keep coaching and not listen to the naysayers and we are going to be fine. If you thought we were going to win the conference this year you were smoking something anyway. Ain’t nobody beatin’ Alabama this year. Again players keep working, coaches keep coaching, remember beating Florida covereth up a multitude of sins and THAT my friends is something to play for. It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!


  8. Sparrow

    I don’t think you could have done a better job describing what happened yesterday, relating it to the last couple years, and what we might be in for this year. More than anything else, I am confused about how to feel going forward. I am not a “fire Richt” guy and think even now, in spite of the last two games, that’s weak tea. I am more sympathetic to the “fire Bobo” camp, but even that doesn’t necessarily address the more systemic issues that seem to be afoot.

    That being said, I find those fans who say we should not criticize Richt, Bobo, etc. and that anyone who questions the direction of the program is not a real Dawg to be just as unreasonable. The notion that we will improve through the season (often a defense of people on this side of the issue) is only a minor comfort. We only have 12 to 14 games to play this year; finishing strong gets us exactly nothing in relation to a complete season.

    So where do we go from here? The list of issues is long and varied from things easily fixed to things for which the root cause is unknown and hard to define. I’d almost (not really) rather have a demonstrably bad coach or bad players, at least then we’d know what the solution is.


    • As to your “where do we go” question – I don’t see where we can do much more on the defensive side of the ball but wait for the sorting out to continue with what is very much a work in progress.

      On offense, Bobo had better realize very, very soon that he doesn’t have the offense he thought he’d have going into the season. Georgia Tech ’09 isn’t a winning strategy with the way this offensive line is playing right now. Murray is the key to the offense and Bobo had better start scheming accordingly.


      • Sparrow

        I certainly agree with you about the defense. To exercise a tired phrase, this is a “process” and I get that.

        Bobo is more of a worry for me. We’ve all been watching him now for a few years and I can’t really say what kind of a coordinator he is. I just can’t size him up. I personally would prefer someone who is more demonstrably cerebral, but that being said, I really just want someone who wins games. You’re spot on in your assessment of Murray as the centerpiece of the offense and maybe Bobo sees that too, but even if he does I don’t feel much better.

        Finally, our offensive line play is shameful. I don’t have a lot to add to that. This feels like a recurring problem and it’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth.


        • Ausdawg85

          The “process” excuse is interesting in comparing how Tiger Woods is using that expression and the challenges facing the Dawgs. Sure he can’t quit tinkering with his game, and he was also injured. But in the background, is there any question his “off the field” problems have resulted in his poor play? That’s not a “process” problem.

          Seems the best of UGA supporters offer similar excuses…injuries, changing schemes, etc. But stuff known, and likely unknown, has happened behind the scenes and is clearly affecting this team’s chemistry and play. “Fire CMR!” is totally ridiculous, but Coach Richt also really needs to demonstrate his ability to getting a handle on whatever is affecting this team over the past few years. It’s more than the “process”.

          In his own insufferable way, I think Corch sees this problem with his program and intends to address it now, not after a malaise or whatever it is sets in and adversely affects the status of the program (in a win-loss sense, not reputation which is already a question).

          I’m suggesting “evil Richt” may need to be more of a permanent fixture. And to be fair, I doubt anyone is looking in the mirror harder than CMR at how to identify and fix “it”…whatever “it” is.


      • S.E. Dawg

        I agree, but let’s not look so far ahead.


      • Quick question here: should Bobo be back in the booth upstairs?


      • 69Dawg

        I’m not a coach but how many times yesterday did Griese and the other guy say that the SCHEME did not include an outlet pass for the QB. This got me to thinking we do run a screen as a set play and occasionally the FB will roll out to the flat but do we do it consistently. No I don’t think so. We don’t have a clear dump off.

        AM is a RS FR and our O is a Pro type offense which needs to be run at peak efficiency. The QB must make reads of a set progression. If his first read is covered so on. Our WR are not getting separation sufficient for a FR to put it on the money. Even when they did and he threw he had trouble with being too high or too short. It would naturally take a FR longer to make these reads than say Stafford after his Fr year or Joe Cox a 5th year senior so we need to design a if all else fails dump off. What we have now is to just throw it away or run for your life.

        Can the great Offensive minds of this team actually design this safety value or are we so set in granite on the O side that there is no way we can add that to our plays. Having seen the plays designed for Logan and Brandon I’m going to say it is going to be a stretch.


        • merk

          We must remember that Bobo has NEVER called plays for a freshman. The closest he came was with Stafford, but at that point Stafford had played 11 games. I think Bobo is not a terrible play caller, but instead is just too used to QBs that know whats going on more so.


  9. Anyone else get the impression that Spurrier and Petrino figured out some of the keys our Defense uses to decide where to go as far as our deep coverage is concerned? Figured it out enough to the point that their offenses are throwing out false keys?

    I only saw one quarter of the SCar game (I was on an airplane) but saw the entirety of the Arkansas game live and in person. A disturbing number of serious offensive gains and TDs on the part of our opponents have come on pass plays where the receiver is 20-30 yds deep and NO ONE is anywhere near him. Not just a break in coverage, but a receiver nearly in a different state.

    It seems like this may be the defensive version of when Joe Cox was telegraphing play development with his foot work.

    Anyone got any opinions on this?

    It could just be poor discipline on the part of our secondary, but something tells me that if one of our guys were responsible due to lack of discipline or sheer ineptitude that they would have elected the way of pain and that Grantham and his crew would let the responsible parties know in no uncertain terms that they elected the way of pain by fouling up.


    • Spurrier didn’t beat Georgia’s D by throwing deep. He blasted them repeatedly with a very good power running back.

      Petrino is a savvy, experienced offensive mind, with a very good QB and receiving corps. He knows how to take advantage of an aggressive, inexperienced defense and it showed.

      As for your last point, you might want to take solace in that Hamilton’s playing time was seriously adjusted as yesterday’s game progressed.


      • merk

        Yea. Willie would have left him out there cause he was a Junior.

        I have been very disappointed in Hamilton.

        In the SC game I remember one play where Lattimore had broken through the LBs and Hamilton just stood there and let him run him over. Did not even lean into Lattimore. Yes he made the tackle, but he also gave up 2-3 more yards at least.
        I say put Ogletree out there. He must have been the #4 safety in the nation for a reason. If the kid can play let him play.
        I would be much happier knowing that Freshmen are out there skrewing up the scheme, but learning the right processes. Instead of watching Seniors with terrible habits try to learn it and fail. Then next year we replace those seniors with sophmores w/ little game exp and expect them not to suck for half the season.


        • wileycopy

          which leads to another philosophy handed down to me by own football coaches, if you screw up, do it at a 100mph and put someone in the dirt while you’re doing it.


  10. LRGK

    Well, if you look at the points and stats and 3 and outs – the defense is improving dramatically. A couple of dropped ints would have helped once again – we have got to take advantage when we can.

    The offensive play calling – sheesh. Why not move the pocket and roll out playactions and roll out options. We have a mobile QB for the first time since DJ – why aren’t we running what Crompton and UT ran last year? Its a ‘Mystery to Me’.

    For the best description of the OL woes – See MacDawg over on the Athens BH Bulldog forum – Bluto’s old stomping ground.


  11. hailtogeorgia

    Where were the routes over the middle? Orson wasn’t thrown to a single time yesterday (that I can remember) and Aron White was only targeted twice. There were hardly any throws over the middle.

    The 3rd and 4 call on our last drive was awful. Why are we trying to go deep? You only need to play for the last second field goal…get the first down, keep moving the chains, run the clock, and at the very least, allow yourself the chance to win in overtime (where you know time won’t be an issue and you’ll be in field goal range). Jesus Christ, Bobo.


    • Joe

      Fantastic Point.

      In OT we have Blair, in OT they had a Frosh Kicker. Monster advantage to us.


      • Brandon

        In OT we have an advantage at kicker but we don’t have an advantage for scoring touchdowns vs. Mallet and Co. Ealey needs to pick up that block and give Murray a chance to find someone downfield or check to someone running underneath.


        • Dawgpa

          That’s the problem. It was 3rd and 4 and there were no one running underneath. What in the world was Bozo thinking?


          • BMan

            What was Bobo thinking? Seems like he was thinking that on XBox he’d just dial up a fly pattern down the sideline, hit “z” and complete the pass. Nobody told him that his controller soesn’t work on the real-life players.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      After 10 seasons CMR still doesn’t know how to work a game clock. Another item to add to the huge (and growing) list of coaching screw-ups.

      WTF ever happened to expecting coaches to get BETTER at their jobs as the years pass. For god sakes, most of our coaches are in their prime years! All I see is a bunch f*#k-ups.


  12. Connor

    Is there a chance that Bobo was suffering from a concussion yesterday? The bridge of his nose was bleeding, and the TV people said it happened in pre-game. According to Seth Emerson, Bobo thinks it happened in the first quarter but “didn’t remember how.” As you and others have noted there were some odd calls on offense. Maybe he should move back to the box.


  13. ESPN headline:

    Arkansas Wins Without A.J. Green


  14. Will Trane

    No where on the horizon in any form or fashion. Coaches, players, sets, technique, game preparation, game adjustmens, and etc. Proof…last year and this year.

    Best comment this week and weekend. From Mike Adams. If we were employed at UGA in any athletic capacity, we would take to heart his read between the lines statement. “Get it done or be prepared to go somewhere else”. The man is serious about a first rate athletic program and academic university.

    Not one mens program in the past three years has really done anything…football. basketball, baseball…other than lose and go downhill. Those programs now reside at the bottom of the SEC.


  15. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I don’t want to get off topic but is there any doubt that if UGA had A.J. Green that would have been enough to push the Dawgs over the top and win the UGA-ARK game? I mention this because on the ESPN show THE SPORTS REPORTERS this morning they were discussing the NCAA’s overall disciplinary treatment of players in the context of the Reggie Bush situation (A.J.’s name wasn’t mentioned, at least not that I heard). Mike Lupika made the following comment: “The NCAA has got to stop this selective enforcement.” To which John Saunders replied: “Yeah, and there is no due process.” UGA had the bad fortune, as it has turned out, to have had to play 2 of the best teams in the SEC this year (because of the way the schedule shook out) early in the season with its best player on the bench. Did A.J. Green violate an NCAA rule? Yes. Is the rule F#cked up? Absolutely. My wife, of all people, recognized the disparity in letting Clemson QB Kyle Parker play college football when he got a $2 Million signing bonus yet A.J. Green sits out 4 games for selling a jersey that was his property.


    • Somehow Arkansas, also without A.J. Green, managed to win. In fact, as I look through yesterday’s scores, I notice that all of the teams that won yesterday did not have A.J. Green.

      Next week, all teams that win will do so without A.J. Green.

      The bigger issue is not the absence of Green, but the “presence” of the half-dozen busts at WR on the team.


      • Anon

        I believe Auburn has a lineman named AJ Green, so there.


      • Hackerdog

        Arkansas had their best player on the team. If their backup QB had played, would they have won? I don’t know. But it would have been harder.

        Given that it’s the players that play the game, not the mascots, losing your best player hurts.


  16. fetch

    I think we all may be missing one possibility. Bobo was bleeding from a head butt he suffered in pre-game, is it possible he had a concision clouding his thinking?


  17. Dog in Fla

    “near decapitation of Murray”

    If only Washaun could treat blitzers the same way he does parked cars, life would be easier for Aaron who will be a great quarterback if he can survive this season.


  18. ernie

    I do not believe in political corrective-ness as it applies to war and football strategy.

    Bobo is not a creative force on play calling. He is overly predictable to a fault, demonstrates inflexible play calling strives for artificially achieved balance (pass -run ratio), does not take advantage of what the defense allows, and fails to use the strengths of our play makers.

    It seems as if we paint with only 3 colors; we never utilize (or bluff) our full palette of offensive weapons. Why are we so limited with our set formations? We need to be more deceptive and assume more of a contrarian’s mindset.

    Running wide (fast pitch) can open up the middle.
    Passing short (including screens) can open up the long ball.

    You have a fleet of foot QB, who is comfortable on the run and posses a threat to run; yet, you stubbornly stick to a pro pass pocket mentality while your red-Fr QB is repetitively sacked. A few well placed bootlegs would open up the edge, set up more miss direction opportunities, and easily get the ball to our tight ends (which would be synergistic to our long ball game).

    How about our speed playmakers on reverses or fake reverses?
    How about some inside shovel passes (with our speed players in motion)??
    How about really opening up the playbook???

    Or in Bobo’s case, how about we open up another playbook altogether.


    • Dawgwalker07

      You know I don’t think I’ve actually heard Bobo discuss balance this season, so maybe that’s not his overarching objective.


  19. W Cobb Dawg

    Even if Rambo intercepted the pass, it would have been negated by a GA penalty. So there’s no reason to obsess about the drop.

    Geathers looked competent in limited duty, as did Abry Jones. ILB Robinson needs to add 15 lbs -preferably muscle.

    The very talented Murray isn’t a prototypical drop back passer, and it appeared he was too short to see over the line at times. Dawgs might want to roll him out on the pass/run option, or at least shift the pocket to improve visibility. But that would require proactive coaching – a concept unfamiliar to CMR/CMB.

    The coaching absolutely sucks. Offensive coaches are the suckiest sucks who ever sucked.


    • NCT

      From where I sat Murray did at least seem to do better from the shotgun when he had a clearer and quicker field of vision. But I can’t say for sure without watching the game again (for which endeavor I do not expect to have the stomach for a few days).


  20. gatriguy

    There is some serious whistling past the graveyard going on right now. Anyone that thinks Richt isn’t getting outcoached on a weekly basis is just not being honest with themselves. It’s Richt fans vs. UGA fans in the Bulldog Nation right now, and it’s going to get uglier.

    Two weeks in a row, if you switched the coaching staffs, UGA would have won. That’s the hallmark of bad coaching.


  21. Cynical in Athens

    We should just write off this season.

    McGarity should fire the entire coaching staff and kick A.J. off the team.

    Let’s rebuild NOW while we still have time.

    I don’t want to go through this again next season.


  22. We Drink This State

    “It’s Richt fans vs. UGA fans in the Bulldog Nation right now, and it’s going to get uglier. ”

    A month ago I wouldn’t have agreed with the quote from the post above. But now I just don’t know. We all knew the defense would be a work in progress. But unforeseen breakdowns in other areas make me wonder what is going on in Athens. This team should be better than this.


  23. goff-like

    Phil steele called UGA “best ol in the country”(excuse misprint-he meant to say county). CSS needs to get his “credit”.


  24. NRBQ

    More evidence of Bobo’s stupidity?

    The inexcusable, chicken-shit blaming of Murray for taking sacks, when the OC hung him out to dry with everybody-go-deep plays over and over.

    How about a few quick-drop, short passes over the middle, a rollout here or there, a QB draw when facing outside pressure, Mike?

    Shameless, immature, back-stabbing, pissant tactic.

    I’ve got both hands on the Demote Bobo Parade Float, and am about to hoist myself on board.


    • wileycopy

      good point…I think Bobo should’ve thought before he spoke. It takes multiple things going bad to produce a sack. Line, blocking backs, play calling, the receivers being open in time, all come into play before the boy from the D ever gets his hands on the QB. It represents multiple errors on the part of the entire offense for that play and should not be solely blamed on a QB.


  25. Will Trane

    Two rules about college sports. First never listen to those guys at ESPN. Watch the games in the mute set. Play if back, chart, and watch play development, personnel usage, and sets on both sides. It is more fun even if you get beat. Second they all have their ups and downs. Some are up longer than others (Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Nebraska) Now we know it is not the geography here. Most be the program, coaches, and players. And some are down longer than others (Vandy, Duke, Indiana). Now it must be the geography. They never have a program, coaches, and players. But some of us are trying to figure out how TCU and Boise State are in the top ten now on an annual basis, and UGA has dropped the past two seasons.

    Georgia had some basketball success, but no conference titles or National titles. But no consistency or rankings. Florida has. So does Kentucky. And Vandy. And the last time we looked their football teams were doing well. Lately our record against that football power Kentucky is not so stellar. And Vandy plays us tough ever year now. Mark Fox is a good coach and has moved the program. 2010 will let us know if it has arrived and will stay for more than a season or two.


    • Eric

      Funny you mention that ESPN/ABC crew. I was watching the Auburn/Clemson game last night, and right in the middle of Auburn’s drive to tie it up and again after it’s tied (which was a great game, by the way), Musberger starts randomly talking about Boise St. Seriously? You’ve got such a great game going on, you just have to start talking about BSU??


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The UGA football program and other sports as well started going downhill when DE became the AD. This year the UGA football team has 6 home games. Every other SEC team has at least 7 home games and some (Auburn is one) have 8 home games. UGA only has 3 SEC home games. Florida has 4 plus the WLOCP which, according to Spurrier, is another home game for them. Opening up on the road at another team’s stadium. (When was the last time FLA did that?) The Dawgs flying across country to play an OOC game then flying back and having to play Bama the following week. Is any one of these things individually going to sink the program? No. But a little of this and a little of that and after awhile these things add up and become a real liability. All that BS is about to stop because we finally have an AD who is not f*cked up. The job of the AD is to put his team in the best possible position to win rather than throw up obstacles, which is what has been happening for the last 5 years. We are reaping the whirlwind of having an idiot for an AD and we will just have to live through it. All will be fine with the passage of some time.Thank goodness for red panties.


      • Mike

        Paraphrasing the good Mayor

        “When was the last time Florida opened up the SEC schedule on the road?”

        You mean, not counting last Saturday?


        • BMan

          Don’t think the Mayor specifically implied Florida’s SEC schedule starting on the road, but their overall schedule. Moreover, I think he was venting about Damon Exans having the Dogs open up the season last year at Okie State, while Florida perenially opens against a directional school, or Citadel or some such. McGarity has referenced the “Florida model” of scheduling being one that benefits the program within a conference like the SEC. I think he’s right, and I believe the Mayor does as well. Damon Evans was “trying to build the UGA brand” nationally with the Okie States, Colorados and Oregons of the world on the schedule. I think the Dogs should play their conference schedule plus the Nerds and a couple of pay-day whoopin’ teams, and rely on the quality of the conference and a strong performance in a top tier bowl game to “build a national brand.” But that’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong.


          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            You are not wrong BMAN. You are absolutely right. You “build a brand” in football by winning championships.


  26. ugafan

    Senator, i wish you would do a blog specifically addressing the Oline. I want to know what’s happened with Coach Searles. He came to UGA as one of the best Coaches in the country & seemingly performed miracles his first season. Since then, his lines have progressively gotten worse or taken half a season to develop. I don’t understand it. It’s like UGA has become the place where great Coaches come to die.


  27. paul

    Either our O line was wildly overrated or they are wildly under performing. As for the defense, we all complained (myself included) about their lack of intensity and enthusiasm for a couple of years. Most of us (myself included) blamed Willie. It’s become clear that wasn’t entirely on Willie’s shoulders.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I do not want to beat up our players or be negative about our team. However, one thing that I always found interesting was the belief that players who were average at best would somehow get better and become stars as they got older. This group of offensive linemen has been touted as being great since they first arrived. Several of them either started or played a lot while they were still freshmen. The mantra always was “when they get older they’ll be great.” Well, they were never really that good. Now they are the same guys, only older, and they still aren’t really that good. If the mantra were correct Vandy could start everyone on their team as a freshman, play them all four years, and when they were seniors Vandy would win the SEC. It’s just another myth. You become good by replacing bad or mediocre players with good players, not by playing bad or mediocre players until they become good.


  28. Will Trane

    Is there a rule in college football that you have to have an OC? Remember in the little bowl last year CMR did not have a complete defensive staff. The D played OK. Would he consider that now with his offensive staff.

    Maybe at UGA not only is play calling overrated [per Buck Belue and Jim Donnan], but just maybe so is the coaching. Perhaps the AD can contract with Evans to drive the team over to Mississippi without the coaches but with some panies, jerseys and a store bought play book with sideline signs.

    My thought when Arkansas scored with 15 seconds reminded me of what happend to Fulmer at UT and Tuberville at AU when we did the same thing at the end. Somehow our defense can let an offense score with simply little or no effort on their part. Like LSU last year. Petrino looked like a genuis [bet that is what those ESPN guys said about Arkansas’ play calling]. We are trying to figure out how he never did that with the Cardinals or the Falcons. The next most puzzling calls to us were at SC. You would have thought SOS and company would have smoked us with big plays like Tech, LSU, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, and etc. have done in recent years to us. We think SOS remembered how Vince did his Gators in SOS’ senior year. How many long.quick scoring plays have the Dawgs given up in recent memory. They seem legion. Sherman was not the last to torch Georgia. But our offense, well it can find a little spark here and there. We would like to see a UGA offense that puts up points by the minute. We would like to hear some opposing coach say enough of them running up the score.


  29. Smitty

    Who is a leader on this team? Just asking.


    • 69Dawg

      Unfortunately it is the RS Fr on the O, I had thought that Ben Jones would be the leader but I guess anybody from ALA that eats grass just isn’t going to inspire the troops. Besides he can’t snap the damn ball when the DL has 3 guys offsides in your backfield.

      On the D we don’t have a Pollack or Rennie. Dent comes as close as anybody.


  30. thewhiteshark

    I can give the defense some time. It is a work in progress. I’ve seen things that have been encouraging and I’m not surprised that we’ve had some busted coverages.

    Bobo’s fixation on the play action has reached the point of bizarre. It’s so over used it isn’t freezing anyone. What it is doing is taking away the potential to give Murray multiple reads, making the o line have to hold blocks longer, adding a couple of seconds for Murray getting rid of the ball.

    But then, how many third and long play actions have we seen? Way too many. What about the shotgun? or the three step drop and let it go?

    Murray looks to be something special. I’d rather let him grow up and take some lumps. The conservative approach hasn’t exactly panned out. Bobo coaches like he is scared. That’s a bad problem.


  31. Will Trane

    Reading the blogs the past two weeks can be summarized in a few words. Like “Fire Bobo”…”Hire a new offensive coordinator”…”Let CMR call the plays again”.

    We all agree that there is no offense in the dawg house or between the hedges. And none of us are not going to pull for the dawgs and jump off bridges. We may start jumping over the hedges, though.

    We love baseball more than football. And the Diamond Dawgs suffered big time last season and before in a lot of ways. It is said that baseball is simple: you throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. In baseball it comes down to contact or hitting the ball where no one is. Simple game? But have you ever noticed the subtle things in baseball. Location of the pitch, speed and movement of the pitch, arm slot and pronation, missing a sign, hitting a cut off on time, stealing a sign as well as a base, calling the right pitch and location for a strike-out, grounder, or fly ball, finishing the inning and game, advancing a runner. It is a step process looking for a result in a certain spot.

    Football is a simple game. Block a defender. Create a running or passing lane. Speed of the ball and runners. Calling the right play for a first down to move the chains, control the clock and the ball, using all your outs (personnel) and maybe extending your inning at bat with a walk, a hit batsman, or a hit. A simple play at the right time is all it takes to get on the board.

    But for Mike Bobo it is a complicated process. Good managers know how to get a certain player into a play or location to make it happen or so they say now in Athens…we need to finish it.

    Execution is a two way street…players and coaches.
    Players make plays when they are put in the right location with the right technique and the right call. Every player does not have to be a star type player to do this. Great games are won by average players executing the right play on time. Ask Mallet what three scores look like with execution and the right call. It is the difference in getting on base or on the board.


  32. Jason

    Can Bobo just stop with the play action on every passing down?

    It was borderline ridiculous and to the point where I was surprised that he didn’t use the play fake on the Hail Mary.

    Bobo needs to go. He sucks. Plain and simple


  33. 69Dawg

    Someone or a couple of someones have talked about this O staff coaching scared. I think they are afraid to use AM in a roll out for fear he might get hurt but I’ll tell you one thing if they keep letting LB’s come free when we are trying to go play action then he won’t get hurt he will get killed. The staff by trying to “protect him” is setting him up for at least a concussion and at worst a broken body part.

    The problem with the DB’s and to a lesser extent the LB’s are that I’m not sure they are smart enough to take direction. Our D as has been stated by CTG depends on everybody doing their assignments and when it is determined where the ball is going swarming to the ball. Our guys like to ignore their assignments and look stupid in the process. I am not going to mention any names but we have heard bad eye reads for two games now. We have left more jock straps on the field than on the players. Our player are slow learners and I have started to call the D the Special Ed D. They have ADD and it is killing us.


  34. Julep

    On defense, it’s as if there’s an internal struggle between the old D that missed assignments and didn’t know how to tackle and a new D that’s properly aggressive and performs the fundamentals. It also seems to me that our new DC was ultimately outsmarted by both Spurrier and Petrino. I fear that frustrating fact may delay the full arrival of our new and better D. On offense, it’s a miracle we were even in the last 2 games, given the fact that the O line and Ealey have been major disappointments, nowhere near as good as advertised, thereby limiting Bobo’s options. For now, the reasonable part of my nature is willing to wait for the season to unfold before passing final judgment, and takes solace in remembering the 1979 season, in which an unbelievable home loss to Wake Forest and an 0-3 start en route to a 6-5 season set the stage for 4 years of greatness. But the worrier observes that the program’s hard times and inability to capitalize on VHT’s (thanks Mr. Steele) echo the Goff years.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      In fairness we do not know how good South Carolina and Arkansas are. They might be the best teams in the SEC. Let’s wait until the end of the season before predicting doom and gloom on the program.


  35. Will Trane

    There is a simple rule a coach told us one time. Violate this rule and rest assure you will lose consistenly. The rule: If you keep making the same mistake, gues what. You get the same mistake again. That is where we see the offense lately.

    Most of us saw good things the past two games from certain players and coaches. The best thing we could have saw was the scores reversed on the board.

    Here are some final thoughts. A player suspended for a violation misses an opening game. That player has figured in two key plays. Discipline and focus has nothing to do with age and skills. It is a mindset.

    CMR cut loose almost his entire defense at the very end of last season probably knowing that he would go into the bowl with no defensive staff. That is a huge decision for a program, a team, and a record of achievement. Was that being smart, foolish, aggressive or predictable? He and a few assistants took over the defense and did a very good job. Perhaps that isfurther proof maybe play calling and coaching is overrated. Just kidding.

    Here is a point to ponder about those actions last early December by CMR. Let’s say you want to revamp your entire system. Do you change the entire staff or do you do it in steps or by process. You change your entire defense so you can attack the same offensive schemes that have posed major problems to your program. You have a strong sense where it will go and the speed of its development. CMR seems quiet about his defense. But you will need an offense that compliments it. You start recruiting certain players for both systems because you have in mind what offense you are going to as well as a staff.


  36. Steve

    Andrea Adelson is Nostradamus.


  37. Cynical in Athens

    This season’s over. Why even bother anymore?

    Fire the coaches and let’s start rebuilding this program NOW.

    Who’s with me?


  38. Military Eye

    I can only put it this way…sweat equity. This team will work this year to get paid over the next three years…..its going to be costly. Georgia fans have asked for changes and now changes were made…it appears on both sides of the ball. This is a new team with a completely new philosophy. Players are scared, lost and learning. Which is a good thing.

    The coaches and competitition have their full attention now. You can actually see our deficiencies. They know what they need to do to get better….but it will take time.

    You want to beat Alabama, Florida, you better believe it is going to take some blood, sweat and tears…..all of which I finally see this team doing. They are out on a limb trying to give this fan base what they want. A fresh start, a new look and a team with true grit, determined to change, get better….even if it kills them.

    I personally have enjoyed what I have seen this year and last. I finally get to learn something about our coach as he gets a few good years of rough sledding. We will know in a year or two if he is a lifer. Which I am keenly interested in seeing. I think he is, as long as he keeps the heat on the players and pushes them as hard as I see each week. Despite the losses, they are going to be who they are…..regardless of the outcome. Which is refreshing and encouraging.

    Here’s hoping the players get their feet under them this year for a few good games, but either way. I hope they continue to work, learn, and grow. As long as I see that I will take it over the vanilla and rather lucky teams we have had over the last 5-6 years.


    • Macallanlover

      Very astute observation sir, “We will know in a year or two if he is a lifer.” Many are too quick to throw dirt on this good man’s grave, I feel he has a tougher inside than many see from the calm exterior that is often misleading. But you never really know until you have tasted adversity and seen the depth of the cliff. We are at that fork in the road now, how we perform over the next 2 and 1/2 months will give us the answer.

      CMR has enough goodwill to deserve the harshist critics hold their fire and give UGA a chance to prove themselves. No need in throwing the program under the bus publicly, save your “sky is falling” commentary for more private conversations amongst friends that know you are just letting off steam.


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