Bothered by third-and-Willie? So’s your coach.

From Richt’s comments at SEC Media Days:

… Where we didn’t play good last year is third-and-long. I can’t tell you how many times we got people to that moment of truth where you want them, and teams were getting those third downs converted, and we ended up staying on the field another down or another series.

If we can get off the field when we get them in the third-and-long, we’re going to be a whole lot better team.

Better late than never, I say.  If Richt’s focus on this problem generates the same kind of results that last year’s offseason approach to turnover margin did, this team’s got a chance to be pretty good.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

23 responses to “Bothered by third-and-Willie? So’s your coach.

  1. Spence

    This year has to be better, right? Right? RIGHT?!?

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Reducing the turnover margin from 2009 had to make the 2010 team better, right? Right? RIGHT?!?

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      • Yep. That’s one reason why I’ve gone from optimist to pessimist on the Georgia Bulldogs. At some point, you are what you do (lose or win).

        Georgia hasn’t gone out on the field and beaten a clearly superior, highly talented team — arguably — since Auburn in 2006.

        I know, I know… 2007. We were in the Sugar Bowl! Almost went to SEC game. And what about the Blackout Game? But we beat Florida that season!

        Well, we also got manhandled by Tennessee and couldn’t score a TD against USCjr. And none of our victories during that run came against truly solid teams.

        In my count, we’ve gone at least four seasons without a huge win over a superior and talented team. Meanwhile, we’ve lost to plenty of inferior ones.

        I sure hope they prove me wrong over and over again, but until they do… Townie is a pessimist.

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        • Sep

          You are right about old news but we do have a new D.C. and I think he needs a pass for a year. We recruited a need and inspired others so I’m more optimistic.

          Let our DC have a year please.

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          • Junkyard Dawg '00

            DC is important. But JJ (and the players) is the Key. Gathers is the crux. We are going to dominate on one side of the ball. Optimism is warranted. Get behind this team people.! What better time to live in but now. We (the fans) have a real impact. Believe it and live it… The 2nd of September is near. Embrace it.

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          • No indictments of Grantham have been made. I’d give actually Grantham this season and another before a full evaluation is made.

            I’m only saying that — after four years — I don’t have confidence anymore that our coaches and team has what it takes to win big time games against quality opponents. The big problem is, I’m not sure they have that confidence either. I guess we’ll find out in September.

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  2. WH

    We got burned on the run play as much as the pass while sitting on 3rd & 8+. If we can shut down the run (say “Hello” to our shiny new D Line), not only do we get more 3rd-n-Long situations, but we can sell out to the blitz and get to the QB more.

    At least, that’s what I’m hoping (and praying) for.

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  3. Krautdawg

    “If Richt’s focus on this problem generates the same kind of results that last year’s offseason approach to turnover margin did” — so you’re saying that we’ll only give up 3rd-and-long in crucial late-game situations?

    I’ll return to my cubicle now.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Senator, I thought you said that turnovers were just random and not under control of the coaching staff. So the staff shouldn’t get credit for the “return to the mean” in turnover margin. Right?

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      • Fumble recoveries are random, Mayor.

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        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I respect your opinion but I must disagree. Fumbles may be somewhat random but fumble recoveries are about hustle and who wants the football more–which is all about coaching. So we find ourselves on opposite sides on this issue. I gives props to CMR and the UGA coaching staff for cutting into the turnover margin. Apparently you do not–in spite of your statement above: “If Richt’s focus on this problem generates the same kind of results that last year’s offseason approach to turnover margin did, this team’s got a chance to be pretty good.”

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          • Macallanlover

            The Senator is right Mayor, hustle and tecnique are controlled by the coach but the way a ball bounces, or whether it occurs near the sideline is totally random. I found myself wanting to whine about the number of bad bounces we have had over the past few seasons but realized, that was beyond our control. We are due my friend.

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            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Not wanting to argue Mac but when Florida had those fumbles in the WLOCP last year and the Dawgs players kept trying to pick up the ball in a crowd and run with it, but kept booting the ball until it would either go out of bounds or get fallen on by a Gator player, did you think that was random? Had a Georgia player just fallen on the ball and recovered one of those fumbles UGA would have won the game. That actually happened in the Tech game too and several times during the 2009 season as well. Tell me that is not about coaching. While a fumble may be random either not aggressively trying to get the ball or improperly attempting to go after it is not random. That’s just bad coaching.

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              • Macallanlover

                Had they picked those balls up cleanly (often the result of a good/lucky bounce) you would have been thrilled. Sometimes it is best to fall on the ball, sometimes not. You cannot say it is always best to simply dive on the ball, unreasonable to say players should be taught to just do one thing.

                What you are doing is similar to those who constantly criticize playcalling when what they are really complaining about is due to not liking the result. I cannot argue that in hindsight I wish they had fallen on those fumbles because they didn’t gain possession but that was not coaching. Posters are trying to say there are always going to be funny bounces, or players not making good decisions, or not executing. I remember several fumbles we caused near the sidelines and the ball immediately bounced directly out of bounds. Just breaks of the game. I want us to force the ball out more often, they we will get our share.

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          • peacedog

            They are not about hustle and wanting the football. They’re about luck. The numbers don’t lie and don’t leave any room for any other interpretation.

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            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I guess when Joker Phillips was on Talkin’ Football tonight at the SEC Media Days and said he wanted “an attacking defense that caused turnovers” he really meant a lucky defense that just got good bounces.

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              • MyrtleDawg

                No. A good defense causes fumbles. A lucky defense recovers them.

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                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Add to that: “a lucky defense that falls on the ball instead of trying to pick the ball up and booting it out of bounds–repeatedly.”

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                • adam

                  well… there are also interceptions. an attacking defense that causes turnovers could mean one that gets picks.

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  4. ScoutDawg

    Quit hating you nerds in Dawgs clothing.

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  5. I sure hate reading negative remarks all of the time. Especially since I am beginning to get excited about the start of the season. Anyway, “It Is time to turn the Dawgs loose & let the Big Dawg eat”.. GATA (& THEY WILL).

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  6. Spike

    Mator… I hear ya ! You are exactly right! Just fall on the damn ball instead of trying to pick it up and run with it. More often than not when they try that they end up losing the ball.

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