I appreciate the man’s calm and class, and, honestly, it’s probably what the team needs from its head coach right now, but it’s hard not to get frustrated when I read a quote like this from Mark Richt:
“You’d be surprised,” Richt said, “but the same things we did when we were finishing in the top 10 and all of that kind of good stuff — we’re doing those very same things… ”
With all due respect, if that’s truly the case, maybe that’s the problem.
Paul makes a good case that Georgia enjoys a sizeable advantage in talent over this week’s opponent, only to risk squandering it by not deploying it fully. That’s my biggest concern about Saturday night.
I’ve watched all three of Mississippi State’s games this season. The MSU defense isn’t the most talented bunch in the conference (which is not to say they’re talentless), but it’s feisty and aggressive. If MSU’s coaches go into this game taking the lessons we’ve all drawn from the past two weeks to heart, they’re going to jam the middle, take away the tight ends and take their chances with the deep ball. If Bobo plays three-quarters of the game from the I and Wildcat, forcing the run into the teeth of the defense, running every pass play out of play action, he’ll be playing right into their hands. And we’ll get exactly the kind of game we fear – an ugly, low scoring affair that risks seeing an inferior team steal a win.
And I don’t have a lot of confidence that he’ll do anything differently. Or that he’ll be pushed to do so. Not when I read this:
- Richt disputed accounts that said Georgia sent all of its receivers on deep routes on the late-game 3rd-and-4 play that resulted in a Murray sack and forced Georgia to punt to Arkansas, which scored the game-winning TD three plays later.
“I did watch the TV copy myself, and I know the commentators were saying … there was no outlet, there was no short route, that there ought to be,” Richt said. “I don’t know what he saw, but there were actually two routes that were about a five- or six-yard depth and a couple of them that would be deeper routes.”
Even if that were the case (and I’m sure going to go back and watch a replay), notice that he fails to mention the real flaw in the play design: expecting Washaun Ealey to block a charging defensive end long enough to allow Murray to read the coverage and get a pass downfield.
Ealey stalls Bequette for a second. It’s sufficient time to allow Murray to get a short throw off, except that’s not how the play was designed. He’s clearly looking for something to develop downfield and gets caught taking too much time. Now maybe that’s on Murray, maybe not. Watching the replay, it sure doesn’t look like a play designed to get the four yards needed for the first down. And the thing is, given how the rest of the day went with regard to pass protection from the line and Ealey, why wouldn’t Bobo call something designed for a quick hit and modest gain?
There’s no question in my mind that Georgia has the talent to go on a run starting in Starkville and carry some decent momentum into Jacksonville against a Florida team that hasn’t exactly looked like a world beater so far. But there’s also no question that a coaching staff which seems uncertain about how to deploy that talent to the best of their ability – that whole rein-Murray-in approach for the South Carolina game looks counterproductive now, doesn’t it? – runs the risk of allowing a season that’s not yet beyond redemption to go off the rails with another loss or two before they ever get to the Cocktail Party.