Upon further review: South Carolina

I managed to get through the replay yesterday.  I can’t say I saw anything that changed my live perceptions of the game much, but there were a few things I caught from the broadcast worth noting:

  • Matt Millen’s right about one thing.  Jarvis Jones is Georgia’s best defender.  He was all over the place Saturday.  God help ’em if he’s the next linebacker to go down.
  • It looks like they’re using Bacarri Rambo a little differently this year.  He’s more responsible for pass coverage than he was last year and he looks a lot more comfortable doing it.
  • Justin Anderson is a guard playing tackle.  He was solid with his run blocking, but he had a rough time trying to handle the speed rush in pass protection.
  • Two really, really good receptions:  Crowell’s one-handed grab of Murray’s toss over a charging Devin Taylor and Michael Bennett’s amazing catch for the first down of that Murray low dart thrown between two defenders.
  • The offside call on the onside kick looked much closer on TV than it did live.  I can’t say the ref got it wrong, but it was close enough I’m surprised the flag got thrown in the first place.  I’m betting there was some pretty strong lobbying going on over on the SC sideline.
  • Jeez, they did a horrible job defending that fake punt.  No wonder Richt tossed everything but his underwear on the field watching it.
  • After watching the drive that wound up tying the score at 28-all, I’m willing to admit there’s a place for the no-huddle shotgun spread in the Georgia offensive arsenal, as long as Bobo is willing to admit that he needs to commit to throwing slants and screens while running it.
  • Another thing Bobo needs to admit is that there has to be a time and place for Murray to run the ball to keep defenses honest.  I’d rather see him take the risk of getting hit when he can see where he’s going and have a chance to move than sit back in that shotgun spread and get killed with blitzes.
  • One big reason they can’t give up on the good ‘ole I-formation is that Ogletree and Figgins were so good with their blocking.
  • Both tailbacks are good receiving options.
  • The defense handled the read option play that killed them last year.  What killed them this time was Lattimore bouncing outside after they lost contain.  Washington got sucked up in the blocking – a lot.
  • I hope they don’t wear Brandon Boykin out.
  • I really like Grantham’s creativity with blitzes.  It was a big reason the ‘Cocks struggled on third down plays all game.

In the end, it’s still a loss.  There was more good to take out of this one than the opener, but plenty of problems remain.  It’s nice that the schedule lightens up, but there’s zero margin for error.  That’s a tough row to hoe.

49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

49 responses to “Upon further review: South Carolina

  1. Senator, good summary. I can imagine that the team probably saw what was possible on Saturday with just a little focus on execution.

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  2. dean

    I didn’t much on the replay that I didn’t see during the game either. A couple of things I did notice was Carolina seemed to adjust at half time defensively to the holes in the middle. My brother-in-law (a Carolina fan) and I both noticed how open the middle was in the first half but Bobo didn’t take advantage. I was hoping he would during the 2nd half but the holes weren’t there.. And Murry made a terrible decision to force that throw into Charles that resulted in the pick 6.
    Like you Senator, I feel somewhat better about the season after this game but I’m by no means claiming a moral victory. I’m tired of losing, damn tired.

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    • Hogbody Spradlin

      With benefit of replay, I felt like the pick 6 was on the receiver. He had position as he was making his cut, which is when the ball was thrown, but didn’t make a sharp cut and slipped to boot.

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  3. Boss Dawg

    I agree with you senator on all of those points. I would submit that Murray has to start leading his receivers, no AJ and Durham wingspans on the field to save him from errant passes. Washington was killing me all day when he got sucked in and lost contain. He didn’t do it every time but enough that a back like Lattimore is going to make you pay when you do.

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  4. gastr1

    Murray running–It’s time to bring back the zone read option that they used to run with Stafford every now again. And the QB draw.

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    • Nate Dawg

      This. I thought the QB draw was coming on the 2 pt play and they looked spread out enough that it would have worked too. But no arguements here, I’m just glad they converted it.
      Best I’ve felt after a loss in a long time and I can’t believe I just said that. Feels so dirty just to even think that way.

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      • gastr1

        He is super-fast. That scramble he had for 20 yards or whatever that got us going after falling behind–when was it, at 14-13 in the third?–was remarkable–he had to make some lightning quick cuts to get into space. The guy is too good of a runner not let him do it now and then.

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    • Agreed gastr1, we need to take the reins off of Murray… He is as much a weapon on the ground as he is through the air. I not sure if the coaches are playing soft with him or if our backups aren’t capable if he goes down but the only time he runs is if the play breaks down.
      In my review, I would add that this team is trying to learn how to win and its not there yet. It is a young team (on the offensive side anyway), and they know they are going to screw up but right now they don’t know how bad its going to be and what’s worse they don’t have the belief they can overcome the adversity. Lady Luck is a bitch to us right now. I cannot think of many breaks that went our way, but the ones for Carolina were numerous… Dropped pick six by Boykin, offsides on the onsides, Fake punt by SC goes to the house (after we called a TO to discuss it, I assume), holding play on a great run by Samuel inside their red zone, then we throw the interception for a pick six, all American kicker missing in crucial times, & that’s just the first half. An experienced and confident team would have taken advantage of the slow start by SC… I mean they were ripe for defeat. Garcia couldn’t come anywhere near his receivers, we were stuffing Lattimore at the line, and we were gashing them in the running game but somehow we were behind at half time.

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  5. Turd Ferguson

    What was the deal with Orson Charles not getting a single reception? Going in, I would’ve thought that he’d be the crutch of the offense. Did SC’s defense just have him smothered or something?

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    • He was asked to block this week – and did a helluva job at it, too.

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      • gastr1

        Yeah, and as a TE it’s easy to get jammed on the line. Not sure they did this, but that is certainly why few TEs have ever been the #1 passing target even when they presented obvious mismatches.

        You know what I would like to see, though, is White in the game at TE and Charles split wide against a zone defensive set–have them both set up at TE and motion Charles out wide. They could run a quick stop route near the sideline, like they did with AJ so much, and I do believe Orson would run over any small d-backs that came at him one-on-one.

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  6. vincent

    the thing that’s so frustrating about watching this team is that u can clearly see the talent and potential: on both sides of the ball. But as last week illustrated winning and having the capability to win are very different things. the last three minutes of the game were very similar to the endings of LSU 09 and Ark UF 10: chance to win then a crucial mistake to lose it. however the difference between those games and last week was last week Georgia looked like the better team, by a good bit. you can’t say the same for those other 3 games. let’s hope this is a sign of better things to come not another mirage for false hope.

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  7. After the game, I felt completely different about the team than I did right before kickoff. I know people are upset about the turnovers, and Lattimore’s yards, but the feel of the game was hardly the same as the week before. A handful of fluky plays (turnovers are fluky… all research says so) was the difference between an ass-whipping and the 45-42 loss.

    I understand that the fan base is upset, and wants somebody to blame, but they did actually improve this week. The playcalling was dramatically better, especially as the game wore on. This team is very young at the skill positions. Mitchell and Bennett have shown they are the two best WR options, the best RB on the team is a true freshman, and our vaunted leader at QB is still just a redshirt sophomore.

    The defense showed improvement, despite a few busted plays. You take out the 68-yard fake punt, and they only gave up 327 yards and 17 points to the favorite in the division who also happen to have the best receiver and running back combination in college football.

    If the team looked flat, unprepared, and disinterested, then I would be on board with the myriad criticisms, but that is not what I saw on Saturday (much to my surprise, I might add). I’m back on the bus because I don’t think it is headed over the cliff anymore. I think it is not only possible, but likely that this team wins 9 or 10 games the rest of the way. And given how young and thin they are in spots, I think it is worth seeing how it plays out before making any more judgments on coaching futures.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Without the “flukey plays” UGA wins by about 24 points. I am sure that SOS and all the Dicks…er…Cocks players understand that, too.

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      • Xon

        Spurrier about said as much after the game, didn’t he?

        One nice thing about Spurrier (gah), he’s a straight-shooter. If he thinks you outplayed him, he’ll say so. And he said so.

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        • Gravidy

          He didn’t shoot very straight about his quarterback “controversy”, though, did he? Connor Shaw? Anyone? Bueller?

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        • Will (The Other One)

          I think that, and Garcia’s crapitude, were the biggest reasons he took a knee rather than go for half-a-hundred in Sanford for the 2nd time in his coaching career.

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          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Maybe the reason for taking a knee was not wanting his QB and RB to fumble a hand-off, then have a UGA defensive player pick it up and run it back for a game winning TD. I think that’s the more likely reason.

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  8. Griff

    I could only make myself watch certain parts of the replay, one being the offsides on the onside kick. The only thing I can think is that Rambo began running before the rest of the kickoff team which made him appear to be offsides…which he may have been but not by more than 6 inches. I think if they had all been running in line together it doesn’t get called.

    One of the more classic moments for both teams came when Carolina was about to kick off and both teams lined up on the wrong side. I’m surprised Penn Wagers didn’t give us a delay of game penalty. I still hate that guy.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      RE: The classic moment

      Reminds you that they are amateurs, despite all the pomp and circumstance we fans attach to the games.

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    • DawgWalker07

      What totally ticked me off was how Wagers had to corral Carolina out of their huddle after nearly every time out. I felt like that should have been like 2 delay of game penalties at least because they obviously didn’t give a crap that he was telling them to get back to the line.

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      • Cojones

        I saw one of those and questioned it as well. One time I just waited for the whistle, but didn’t see the down clock. It was an exceptionally long time between snaps.

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  9. Dawgy45

    I can’t help but to wonder how many yards could be subtracted from Lattimore’s total if Ogletree had been able to play.

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  10. Best scenario: If all goes well for The DAWGS this season, the team may find themselves still playing in the SEC championship but losing, and just like in 2007 playing in the Sugar Bowl in January and probably highly ranked in 2012.

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    • Xon

      Is we lose the SECCG, we’ll probably fall down to a new year’s day bowl. the Sugar Bowl often goes to the best team that didn’t make it to the conference championship game (like us in 07). So, out of LSU/Alabama/Arkansas in the SEC West, one of those three teams is probably going to end up with 9 or 10 wins and will be higher ranked than whoever wins the east.

      If it plays out like last year, that is. who knows for sure?

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  11. Will Trane

    Best moment. CMR throwing his headset and play sheet into the middle of Sanford Stadium. Good deal, Coach. You can say what you want, but I do not think that was for the public’s consumption. Think that was a head coach saying I’m pissed and this crap will stop. You have to be like a bulldog, Coach, grab them by the leg and chew on their ass for awhile. Or when they screw up a play, grab a face mask or two when they come to the sideline and get about 2″s away and let them have it. Shame and fear are motivators.

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    • Cojones

      He was frustrated because he had just warned them to look out for the fake punt and watched a lineman with the ball make them to appear not only deaf, but dumb as well.

      Shame and fear suck in a modern game world. Everyone tries to compare their coach’s methods to a D1 SEC coach in the arena. That is shortsighted and unnecessary. Richt will physically handle any player when necessary. One memory has him behind a 300+ player headed for a rumble on the field. Richt ran around him, confronted him and physically helped him back to the sideline. He knows how to handle these boy-men better than anyone else.

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  12. Reg

    Commings shut down Jeffery. Every time Commings went out, they threw to Jeffery, including the TD where Smith got burned.

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  13. ChicagoDawg

    C. Washington was getting picked on and for good reason. They were absolutely abusing him on run plays. Also, B. Boykin’s tackling effort on the fake punt was beyond bad. He looked like an NFL place kicker trying to tackle Devin Hester. No excuse for his not being able to make an open field tackle on a defensive lineman.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      I have yet to see a game where C. Wash does much of anything. Where was Ray Drew on Saturday?

      Also, where has the much-hyped Arthur Lynch been? Is he still with the team? Aron White only has 2 receptions so far, both for 14 yards.

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  14. Starbreaker

    If BSU was 2010 part 2, then USC was 2009 part 2. Felt very, very similar, and it’s sort of sad we’re at the point where getting back to 2009 is seen as encouraging!

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  15. wnc dawg

    -I’d like to agree with any positive comments about Bobo’s play calling. He made some adjustments on the screens and medium passing and actually stuck to what was working. He gave Ellis a lot more than he got. I haven’t seen the replay b/c I was traveling yesterday (now I’m back at work and have a minute. heh), but my thought during the game was he had to make those changes due to the tackles getting swallowed whole by SC’s two DE freaks.
    -On that note, the OL was better, but certainly didn’t look encouraging to me.
    -Watching Ingram turn up the sideline and move like that was jaw dropping. That was one massive man moving too fast for a body that size.
    -Lots of good things to take from the game, but it makes me sad to have to go back to the “players have to execute” discussions. I really think the team has a legit chance to make a good run and have a successful season, but the mistakes that we made were in the same vein of a lack of focus at key times as they have been for a while. That is so frustrating.
    -It was awesome to see us playing that hard and battling to the very end. Effort like that is a pleasure to root for. We just couldn’t get out of our own way and then ran out of gas on D.

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    • Cojones

      Reminded me a little of Monty Python movie where the black knight keeps losing appendages and continuing to fight. Except we were cutting our own appendages off.

      Everyone say something nice about the injured players before leaving the blog and let’em know that we care and hurt inside with their disappointment. Robinson played a great game and it hurts knowing your D Captain won’t be on the field, but we can hope he and Ogletree get back into the mix for a couple of SEC games.

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  16. Will Trane

    You do not have to be a good coach to have a successful coaching career. Just need a few play makers like Lattimore, Ingram, Jefferies, Sanders, and Clowney. You can even do it with a QB like Garcia. Only a Spurrier could take guys like that and piss around for three quarters and turn to the sidelines and say we can take this game. Six and half minutes left in a game and they trail us by 4 points. Those 5 guys took over the game. The play sets, throw that stuff away…just throw the ball to me…just pitch the ball to me…just let me fake run that play…just let me rush their passer. David Pollack met Clowney and Ingram…Ingram scored 2 TDs, one where our fastest guys could not track him down. Herschel Walker met Lattimore…he ran for 300+ yards to the past two games against us. And in the fourth quarter he simply dialed it up a notch. Turn around is fair play. But it sure hurts and does not have to be that way.

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  17. Chuck

    Justin Anderson is a guard playing tackle. He was solid with his run blocking, but he had a rough time trying to handle the speed rush in pass protection.
    One big reason they can’t give up on the good ‘ole I-formation is that Ogletree and Figgins were so good with their blocking.

    Okay, so you have a line that is good at run blocking, and fullbacks that are good at blocking and running (I have seen Figgins pancake a couple of guys), and – I forgot to copy and paste this – you have two backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, and one back who can run if he gets up a head of steam and finds a crease. So, what do these conditions say you should do with this offense?

    A: Line up in the I, run straight ahead or with a toss sweep, let a fullback clean up anyone the line misses in the process, mix in some play action passes to backs, set up solid pass plays. Rinse, repeat. It ain’t what you do it’s how well you do what you do, and the personnel we have says we can do this. We can also spread option some with screens and short passes, but the I will do as much to keep Murray alive as anything. And we need Murray. He has had a rough start, but hanging him out to dry, and hoping he can make the right decision before he gets leveled is not going to last the season.

    SIdenote: We have been suckers for fake punts and onside kicks since Goff, through Donnan and now through Mark Richt. The last coach who managed to embarrass teams without getting regularly embarrassed was Dooley. I wish I knew why we don’t care about it. CMR might have wanted to throw everything but his underwear out on the field, but as HC this is his fault.

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    • Sanford222View

      How is it his fault when we called timeout and reminded them to watch a fake?

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      • Chuck

        You have to practice it, and have a plan for it. Telling them to “watch for it” during the game isn’t the same thing as practice and planning. That said, that is a fairly small worry, but it is aggravating, so I thought I would toss it in there as well.

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  18. Uglydawg

    Someone explain to me what happens if Ga has one SEC loss to SC, SC has one SEC loss to FL and FL has one SEC loss to Ga.
    Who goes to ATL?
    I can see this happening, though GA STILL appears to be in the drivers seat becauses of the schedule.
    I can’t see SC finishing without two or even three losses. Florida should have a couple, esp if the Dawgs hang one on therm.
    It’s possible SC could improve, but it’s almost a given these young Dawgs will only get better.

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