Surprise, surprise.

It’s time to begin the segue from Boise State to South Carolina.  The bridge for that is asking what came as a genuine surprise to the coaching staff Saturday night… and how much of that is fixable by next Saturday afternoon.

After watching a replay of the first half again, I think the unexpected boiled down to two things.  First, the staff was convinced that the offensive line would hold up better than it did against a Boise State front that Richt went out of his way to praise in the days leading up to the game.  There really isn’t much other way to explain both the playcalling and the decision to run most plays out of shotgun spread formations.

The second area was strength and conditioning.  Certainly the offensive line didn’t get much push when Georgia chose to run the ball between the tackles, but it’s the fall off on defense that was even more noticeable.  The Dawgs started off quite solidly, swarming to the ball, tackling well and showing decent pass coverage abilities early on.  Even if they weren’t able to sack Kellen Moore, they were able to force an end to some of the first quarter possessions by pressuring him.

That changed dramatically once both offenses went hurry-up, though.  Georgia’s defenders seemed to run out of gas as the second quarter wore on and it continued that way after the half.  (Again, Richt’s tactical decision to receive the opening kick really came back to bite him in the ass here.)

The good news is that there are ways to adjust for those concerns.  I’m not sure why there was a reluctance to play without using multiple tight end sets and without fullbacks for much of the night against BSU, but deploying more of those would be easy ways to shore up the line play and reduce the pressure on the tailbacks to pick up the blitz.  And just as obviously, Georgia can ditch the no-huddle offense and try to eat up more clock as it operates on offense.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

37 responses to “Surprise, surprise.

  1. waynebradley

    What you said in the last paragraph will also help the defense. Hurry up may be the current fad on offense, but if it isn’t moving the ball, it only hurts the defense and keeps them on the field longer.

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  2. Lrgk9

    The Offense really was lousy at the Time of Possession Stat. Put Waay too much pressure on the defense against a team the caliber of Boise.

    Why we don’t run the ball to the sidelines with sweeps and QB roll outs and make the DL chase till their tongues hang out is beyond me. Even just moving the pocket around would help. We have a mobile QB who is savvy and quick enough to pick up the changing angles – why not, as the Dread Prirate Leach says, be more balanced in using all the field and all the angles.

    Somebody said it and it hits the nail on the head – UGA’s offense lacks dynamics. That is exactly right – CMB’s offense is best defined negatively – ‘Non-dynamic.’

    Alas

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’m trying to keep in mind what the Boise game was not; it was not Tennesse shredding our defense with a mediocre offense, it was not Alabama hanging 30 in the first half, it was not Florida using us like a toy in 08 & 09, and it was not Mississippi State or Colorado. Boise was about 14 points better in play as well as score.

    I might feel different Sunday, but I’m not in mourning yet.

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    • heyberto

      I want so badly to feel as you do Hogbody, but here’s why I don’t. I would have been fine getting beat by that score if we had looked ok doing it.. I just felt like we beat ourselves as much as Boise beat us. The positive thing is it looks fixable, but the question is will we fix it or will we stick to a game plan that doesn’t work.

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    • Charles

      Agreed. I think all and all our edge in talent and Boise’s edge in coaching (sigh…) left us more evenly matched then most are willing to admit. Richt’s decision to take the ball in the first half probably gave them a score. Boise was the better team, no doubt. Experienced lines, excellent quarterback, decent running back – it might be time to give them their due nationally.

      We’ll learn more as the season unfolds, that’s for sure.

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      • heyberto

        I just felt like we could have been in the game a lot more than we were. Felt like we’d have a shot at winning the game if we had just not made mistakes and adjusted our game plan to take advantage of what worked on offense.

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    • Carolinadawg

      Most importantly, the Boise game was NOT a Georgia victory. The rest is excuses and rationalizations.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        You know, that’s over the top. Are you perfect?

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        • Carolinadawg

          I’m not talking about being perfect, I’m talking about the fact that we’ve been in the same place for over 3 years. If the Boise game had been the first game of the 2009 season, then I could understand saying “don’t panic, the seasons not over, all our issues are fixable, etc.”. The problem is, we’ve been saying that since 2008, and nothing has changed! It’s obvious this coaching staff can’t fix it. Period. Its utterly naive to sit here and preach patience and talk about all the positives. The negatives are huge and not getting any better. It’s time (past time really) to accept reality.

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          • RoyA

            I am so on your page and I am tired of the excuses and lack of adjustments. I never see any changes when we come out after half time; what are they doing during half???? I know what Irk Russell would be doing and saying.

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            • Puffdawg

              This has to be the worst attempt at undercover sabotage I’ve ever seen. Irk? Really? Go try to perpetuate turmoil somewhere else, Techie.

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  4. Lrgk9

    Boise had 24 first downs. We had 13.

    Way too many 3 and outs. Wore the D out by the second half.
    Withour penchant for being out of position on short zone reads – we can’t be tired and make up for the lack of coverage execution.

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  5. Jim

    “I’m not sure why there was a reluctance to play without using multiple tight end sets and without fullbacks for much of the night against BSU, but deploying more of those would be easy ways to shore up the line play and reduce the pressure on the tailbacks to pick up the blitz.”

    That is the $64,000 question. Why we put ourselves in the position we did, and then NOT adapt when it didn’t seem to work very well or adjust much after half time is beyond me. Our coaching staff’s lack of ability to adjust and adapt is a big part of our problem, right after lack of preparation, poor teaching of fundamentals to our players, a stubborn insistence on continuing things that clearly are not working, etc.

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  6. James Stephenson

    To be honest, I think Bobo read too much criticism of him over the summer. Jeebus, why we did not come out in two TEs sets and run the damn ball right at them all night and PA. I don’t know. I guess because people keep bitching about that Offense, but I honestly believe that offense would have kept the Defense a little fresher and given us a better chance.

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    • Xon

      This makes me laugh. (Not snarkily, sincerely). The fanbase criticisms of Bobo are all mutually contradictory and haphazard. Born of understandable frustration. Something ain’t working as far as producing wins is concerned, that’s for sure. So we’re right to be frustrated and *something* has to help explain the problem. But most fans are inept at knowing what that something actually is. (I include myself in this, not being “in the arena” and all.)

      He gets too cute, he doesn’t change it up enough, he’s too predictable, he’s too fancy, too much I, not enough I, too much spread, not enough spread, he should just pound the damn ball, he should adjust when that doesn’t work, etc.

      We’re as clueless as the coaches are. Of course, that’s still not a good thing for the coaches…

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      • Marshall

        I think you’ve really hit on something here, Xon. I’ve also noticed that the criticisms being leveled have been contradictory a good bit over the last few years. It’s that way because because Bobo seems to be a contradictory coach…hell, he’s a g.d. walking contradiction. We all know he’s had some amazing games as a playcaller. And we all know he’s been lukewarm crap on a plate many times, as well.

        I was talking to a guy yesterday about this and I finally blurted out–“I think he’s sick…like, mentally ill, or something.” They guy got a kick out of it, but I wasn’t really joking. I’m not saying I think Bobo needs to be in an institution or on happy pills, but he seems to be….”fragile” and at times, a basket case. I don’t know what his problem is. I’m not sure Richt does either.

        But at this point, I’m with several folks ( including bloggers, journalists, and former coaches) who think that Richt is going to have to either take over or get heavily involved with the calling of the plays if he want any chance at keeping his job. Which, maybe, he doesn’t…but that’s another story for another time…

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      • Chadwick

        I think this points to what I’ve felt has hurt the offense the last two years….the coaches have not established an identity, or put differently, they have no strengths. They try to be masters of everything, eventually being masters of nothing. I can’t point to a single thing it seems this offensive staff wants to have as a defining characteristic of their play. It’s easy to identify with some of our peers, but this coaching staff has created an enigma that is efficient at nothing.

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  7. SCDawg

    Having to kick to them to start the 2nd half effectively ended that game. But most of us wanted Richt to take the ball if he won the toss and be aggressive. Hard to do that when you get to false starts on the first possession, of course.

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  8. Tenn_Dawg

    Watching the offense last Saturday was like watching the first day of practice for the year. It was like it was the first time they played as a unit. Sure Boise started a bit slow too but you could see the timing coming back after the pre game gitters wore off. I guess we all know why Geathers was so dominate in the spring and fall camp too.

    I was bit surprised to see no toss sweeps or QB roll outs. Of course I saw that Boise started running sweeps/ deep pitches in the 2nd half which started gashing the Dawg D.

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  9. DawgPhan

    I dont know what plays they should have called or who didn’t do what they were supposed to do.

    What I do know is that given 8 months and 20-whatever practices this fall, we should have been able to run 4-5 plays in our sleep against anyone in the country. Making sure that we could run those plays perfectly, with crowd noise, with BSU bringing everyone or no one, that nothing was going to stand in the way of perfectly executing those plays. Getting to that level simply takes practice. Everyday, same thing till you get it right.

    Everything was going our way until we shot ourselves in the foot with dumb penalties…

    Stop me if you have heard this one…

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    • ZDawg

      Bobo as playcaller. Sometimes he’s too predictable, sometimes too fancy and over thinks. Goes to his playmakers too much/too little. I think all this fan criticism stems from an offensive identity crises. When we want to criticize something, there is almost always a legitimate counterpoint. Top it all of with the poison of all offensive poisons–failures in execution at crucial times. This makes our offense truly an enigma.

      As a side note, I don’t recall our offense looking to the sidelines for audibles. Did we do this last year and I was just too plastered to notice?

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      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        no. this is new. I guess my evaluation of Murray being a coach on the field was overstated and poorly considered. I incorrectly believed (with Murray anyway) that Quarterback was the one position that Richt and Bobo could coach up and that we’d see Murray have at least enough responsibility to call audibles at the LOS this year. Maybe, the coaches don’t want their fate to rest in the hands of a red shirt sophomore… not sure.

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  10. Darrren Rovelll

    For me, what was so disappointing about Saturday night was to see our offense run a shotgun spread formation with very little involvement of a lead blocker or the Tight Ends.

    Virtually everyone – media, fans, and coaches – acknowledged that our core group of tight ends and fullbacks is the strength of our offense and their involvment in the running and passing games is the key to success.

    Instead we watched Boise basically use what should have been our offensive game plan to drill us Saturday night.

    You have to be who you are … and we were not ourselves.

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    • ZDawg

      That seems spot on. At one point during the game, after being exasperated at our lack of short to intermediate passing attempts, I paused the DVR and asked my friend why we didn’t have plays like BSU was running. Particularly after a TE drag over the middle where there wasn’t a single UGA player on the screen.

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  11. CarolinaDawg

    I’ll tell you one thing that will make me happy this weekend. Silver. Britches. (Not that those unis were anywhere near as horrid as I thought they’d be or that they had a sliver of effect on the outcome of game) But it will be comforting to see the team at home and properly dressed.

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  12. Hard to be impressed with our S&C changes, but I wonder how much of the defense looking gas had to do with depth issues. No Rambo at safety, thin depth at linebacker, freshman subs in at corner. We really live on the razors edge at a lot of positions.

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  13. DawgPhan

    I am just going to pretend like last weekend was the pre-season. the real games start this weekend…

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  14. 2011-dante22000

    I didn’t boo , however this time UGA coaches worked for it. grantham and bobo are an overpriced models of the last bunch. This was as bad or worse than vandy running for a zillion yards on hc in goff days.richt(my guy), bobo and grantham(please include the asst. too)should be booed . this was a coaching clusterf#%k.

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  15. 69Dawg

    I have said on numerous occasions on here and elsewhere that Bobo has an evil twin that takes over at the most inopportune times. Apparently evil Bobo has taken over for good. Why would you run an offense that the other team see every week and could defend in it’s sleep when you are fully capable of running one that they never see and don’t match up well against? LSU did not try change the way they played to play OU. They beat them with their usual stuff, even with the second string QB. They and just about every other FB team in Div I has a personality and they stick with it. UGA is the schizoid of Div I, you never know which one you are going to see on O. Granted this could be useful if we used the right one against the right team but seldom seem to do that.

    The D has no depth and apparently a senior walk-on at 6’1” 209 is our second best ILB, God help us. SOS is going to kill us, Steve will never take a knee at the end, he will go for the kill. Peterson was nice enough to take a knee, I’ll remember that the next time they play.

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  16. Ron Burgundy

    Adjustment Ed? I believe an Adjustment is an old old wooden ship.

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  17. Blue Gill

    Had a guy text me from the game “Richt + Bobo = Donnan + Carter” It sent chills down my spine.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      To be fair, Donnan wouldn’t have abandoned play action running for zone reads from the shotgun when the former was clearly working and the latter was not.

      However, when it comes to merchandising, CMR is way better than Donnnan

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