Getting their mojo back

In a way it’s silly to talk about this Saturday’s game as the key to the season – with the 0-2 start, the Dawgs pretty much guaranteed that every remaining game would be a key – but after reading the comments in this article about last year’s loss to Mississippi State, I’m fairly certain the game is huge in one aspect.  These Dawgs need to feel confident about themselves and their ability to play physical ball.

And that’s definitely not how they left Starkville last year.

… Afterwards, head coach Mark Richt admitted it was the most adversity he had faced at Georgia, and then-senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said the loss was “like death.”

That’s what it felt in the locker room, according to White.

“The locker room after the game was probably the most pitiful scene that you could think of,” White said. “Everyone was just down on ourselves. People bickering. Nobody hopefully points fingers, but you get on the bus and guys start talking. We were just in a bad place.

“That really was something that might’ve been a turning point in our season, and that’s not something that we want to have happen again. We definitely were in a rut last year, and that game really could define our season.”

Maybe that explains the Colorado game.

This is even more disconcerting.

… Several players also said they were stunned at how they were beaten physically by Mississippi State in that game last year.

“I know I came here to Georgia because I knew they were a physical team and we had lots of tradition. But then Mississippi State definitely showed us we were not as physical as we should have been,” linebacker Chase Vasser said. “So I feel like this year we concentrate on being physical and play every play.  Because last year there were some games that we just took off and they gashed us.”  [Emphasis added.]

Yeesh.  Every time I think I’ve got a feel for how far the 2010 squad had their heads up their asses, I read stuff like this and realize it was worse than we thought.  So do they have a handle on it now?

57 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

57 responses to “Getting their mojo back

  1. mwo

    Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward resolution.

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  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Off topic, but what’s the difference between yeesh and sheesh? 😉

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  3. gastr1

    Your last line is exactly why some of us are a little troubled by 14-point wins over terrible teams that we outgain by 300 yards. Did we take plays off? YES.

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    • Red Blackman

      Relax, gas, and have a sip of Red Blackman’s Kool Aid and Everclear.

      And, since I like you, I’m gonna include some brown colored glasses. The view from one’s own ass can provide some solace in these times of doubt.

      You’re very welcome, don’t mention it.

      See you in section 600.

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  4. Haywood Jablome

    Funny Chase Vasser made a comment concerning physical play when just last week the place kick holder body slammed him to the ground on the botched extra point.

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  5. JBJ

    Statements like this make you believe CMR lost this team over the last couple of years. The big question now is has he won them all back? Has he made the changes to S&C that are going to get results?

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  6. FisheriesDawg

    I wonder how they felt about getting physically dominated even worse against Boise three weeks ago, then? At least Mississippi is a real state.

    Is it worse to get humiliated by a middling SEC team or a top mid-major in a talent poor area?

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    • Spence

      I don’t think they were physically dominated. Bsu had to start firing short passes quickly before they pulled ahead. No, we did not dominate them either.

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    • Macallanlover

      Time for the remaining UGA fans to wake up to Boise, Danny Sheridan said he would have Boise versus either Bama or LSU as a tossup. Yeah, I might take the SEC Champ in that matchup, but it does indicate that Boise is no “top mid-major” to people who have put their program under the microscope. Boise’s depth would keep them out of an SEC Championship but in a single game, with time to prepare, this particular Boise team is excellent and can play anyone. They are a Top 5 team to me, regardless of how talent-poor Idaho may be.

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      • James Stephenson

        With a ton of 5th year seniors. Which is how teams like BSU make it to a championship game. They get good players, coach em up and keep em for 4-5 years. There is no lightning in a bottle for those types of teams. See Auburn caught the lightning, but they also had a bunch of good younger players on the team.

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      • FisheriesDawg

        Danny Sheridan also claims to know who Auburn’s bagman is, but I digress.

        Regardless of how good they are, can you give me a good reason for why Georgia should have been dominated physically by Boise State? Do they have magic pixie dust that makes their players faster and stronger than anyone else out there?

        P.S.: I’d take LSU +10 against Boise in the MNC game. I’d probably take it in Boise as well. They’re very good, but we made them look a lot better than they really are.

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        • Macallanlover

          I didn’t say I wouldn’t bet the SEc Champ in the BCS game with a month’s rest either, and I think you know that from reading my remarks. I simply said the stubborn band of UGA fans who refuse to give boise respect need to wake up and smell the coffee. It sounds ignorant to continue to treat them like they are Southern Miss, ECU, Middle TN, etc.

          And I don’ think we got physically dominated, we simply got beat by a better team. That team has 18 5th year Seniors who are well coached and play very disciplined football, led by a very talented QB who makes few mistakes. Damn near everyone is going to be beat by them, so throwing an irrelevant shot at Sheridan is an attempt to deflect because facts simply aren’t on your side. Boise isn’t the only team our OL cannot block.

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  7. Ginny

    Eh I don’t believe this any more than I believe the preseason “we’re practicing harder than we ever have before” talk. I think they’re just trying to satisfy the masses by giving them an excuse that’s fixable and more or less points fingers at previous players and not their head coach.

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  8. Texas Baller

    The energy vampire posters, tee-shirts and bracelets will guarantee this squad never hits such lows again!

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  9. Go Dawgs!

    Players should shut their mouths with this kind of garbage and just accept that they were beaten last year because they weren’t as good as they thought they were, and work harder to get better. This kind of garbage flows from the idea that they wear the Georgia uniform, and therefore must be just like the good teams that wore the uniform in the past. If they’re beaten, well, it must be because they weren’t trying. That’s an excuse you can pull once a career. Not every game. Mississippi State beat Georgia physically last year because the Georgia players were soft and unprepared. Just like UCF. And, as Fisheries pointed out, good team or not, Boise beat Georgia physically, too. I’m just sick of the excuses. I would stand up and cheer at my desk if I saw one of our players just say, “we failed to win last year, we were beaten physically, and it’s burned inside ever since. I’ll be damned if I let it happen again.” That’s all ya gotta say. Don’t cheapen what your opponent did to you by saying you were taking plays off.

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    • Krautdawg

      Agree. If you try to beat preparation & intensity with talent, you may win, but it’s never pretty. Hell, in most SEC games, matchups and scheme will minimize your talent edge too. The solution: time to get our men angry! Someone run in that huddle and tell Vasser that Mullen insulted his grandmother!

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  10. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    Perhaps Vasser is referring to Justin Houston with his “taking plays off” comment. The online scouting reports I read regarding Houston before the NFL draft said he sometimes took plays off. My guess is that the reason Houston publicly said last week that Richt should go was because he believes the Georgia coaching staff passed that assessment along to NFL scouts, or at least concurred with it, and it subsequently hurt Houston’s draft position.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      Well, Houston should focus his butthurt somewhere else. He was great, but I could see from the upper deck that he was taking plays off. I’m not surprised that an NFL scout that knows more about football than I do can see the same thing on film.

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    • If you read his quote carefully, he’s not saying that players were taking plays off, but that they were taking games off. That indicates a much deeper problem than the one you describe.

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      • No One Knows You're a Dawg

        I agree; I guess I just can’t get my head around the idea of defensive players taking entire games off. I could see them “coming out flat” and after a quarter or two realizing they were going to have to exert more effort, but I would have hoped they wouldn’t have started flat and then just stayed flat, especially on defense.

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      • OKDawg

        The potential reality behind this quote is staggering to consider. It left me speechless with my jaw between my feet.

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  11. Darrren Rovelll

    The game against Miss St. IS the biggest game of the year for CMR and the team. Boise St. was big & USC was big, but as has been mentioned often – they would not define the season. This game will define it.

    A loss gives you two losses in the conference and probably knocks you out of the division title race. A loss puts the back under .500 and leaves CMR chasing the rest of the way. A loss at home this weekend, means that you have must win road games for rest of the month of October.

    I do not think this team or coaching staff will survive the season (possibly even the month of Ocober) and they could be “dead-men walking” when they return for Homecoming in November.

    But a win puts you above .500 for the first time since 9/4/10. A win Saturday would add substance to the claims that this team has egitmately improved over last year, because Miss St. was considered by many to be better than almost every team in the East (despite being picked 4th in the West.) A win gives you some momentum when you head to Knoxville. Make no mistake, even @ 3-2, UGA still will be desperate when it heads on the road for the rest of October. A desperate team that is 2-3 could still sweep the state of Tennessee because they are winnable games, but I would rather not find out how this team will play on the road in an under .500 situation. I think a 3-2 team can will go to Knoxville & Nashville and spend their bye week gameplanning for Florida as a 5-2 team with a chance to win the division.

    Unfortunately, I fear that a 2-3 team will still be under .500 when it makes the trip to Jacksonville.

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    • JaxDawg

      The fact that the other bulldogs are our biggest game, or at least that someone has that impression, underscores just how pitiful we are and how far we have fallen.

      Too many GA fans have slowly lowered their standards as to what this team and program should be, to the point where they actually take solice in a win over a joke of an Ole Miss team and to the level that beating the other bulldogs is an accomplishment!

      And the fact that so many lack the perspective to see this is absolutely maddening. We should NEVER revel in beating either of these teams – it should come as natural as breathing.

      It’s not that my standards and expectations for Georgia football are too high, it’s that so many fail to see us for what we are – a sleeping giant.

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      • Darrren Rovelll

        I agree with most of your sentiments, but the facts about this game, this season and this team are unchanged.

        Unfortunately, we are still a long way from being dominant.

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      • Dog in Fla

        Yes but at least we’ve offended no one*. After windexing the bunker periscope to recon for the other bulldogs, here we are taking some time for ourselves before the big game

        * “You’ve been very Mark Richt through this entire expansion process to date, trying to achieve victory without offending anyone.”

        http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/09/with_texas_am_in_the_house_sec.html#incart_hbx

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        • JaxDawg

          That’s pretty funny DIF, but I fail to see how it’s relevant. It’s not that I disagree with Mark Richt’s personality – every coach has his own style and as long as it produces a winner the supporters will be fine. It’s obvious now that if Richt behaved and treated the fanbase like Jim Donnan used to, he would likely be gone by now or at least had an ultimatum delivered for this season. Coach Richt’s really lucked out when our former AD pulled his shinanigans as it bought Richt time with a new AD, possibly more than he would have had otherwise.

          I believe that in relatively short time, Mark Richt the respected man will quit coaching and spend his remaining years serving our Lord, which is about as honorable a task as one could choose. Best to him.

          No bring on the man to awaken the sleeping Giant (substitute a Georgia “G”).

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      • MinnesotaDawg

        +1. Yes.

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  12. Spike

    Let’s face it. Some of our players are just a bunch of pathetic candy asses.

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  13. 69Dawg

    Last year was the first time in my 45 year history of watching the Dawgs that I did not want to watch even the victories. The 2010 team was just bad. Why, I don’t know but they were. UGA for whatever reason has always looked somewhat disorganized on O. While other teams actually get receivers open we usually have to throw to guys who are covered. While other teams break tackles and bust the big one, we with some exception tend to go down easy.

    UGA has always depended on it’s defense to save it’s bacon. Heck Erk became a legend saving Dooley’s sorry O. When Goff and Donnan couldn’t find their own Erk they were very average to bad teams. Mark had his Erk to start with but after BVG left he failed in his biggest teat as a coach. It was his job to find his next Erk. If he was going to keep us on top he had to have his Erk, instead he settled on his pal. When we look back on Mark’s time this will be his Waterloo, not Bobo. If he had sought out a TG type coach when BVG left we would have still been flying high. Even if we right the ship and he goes on into the future his failure in this regard was the worst thing for UGA.

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  14. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I don’t want to be redundant ’cause I say this pretty much every time this comes up but the meme of Donnan being a lousy coach who lost a lot is wrong. Donnan’s winning percentage for the last 4 years he was HC of the Dawgs was .733, about the same as Dooley’s and Richt’s career winning percentages. The Dawgs had become UK under Ray Goff and Donnan turned the program around setting the stage for the successes of the Richt administration. Donnan got fired because he was such a dick that everyone hated him and when President Mike Adams ordered Donnan to fire Donnan’s son as QB coach and hire somebody with impressive knowledge and experience to replace him (a reasonable request IMHO), Donnan refused. Donnan had an 8-4 record his last season at UGA and had a 10 win and a 9 win season during his short tenure as UGA HC back when they only played 11 games in a season.

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    • Darrren Rovelll

      I tend to disagree with the circumstances of Donnan’s firing. If I remember correctly, Adams, sensing fan/booster frustration with losing to our three biggest rivals two years in a row (& SC) , asked Dooley & Donnan if they could guarantee that the team would improve on its overall performance including its record against UF, Auburn & GT. When neither the AD or the coach could offer such a guarantee, Adams decided to fire Donnan.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        That was the “for public consumption” version.

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        • Cojones

          Major, I thought you represented the public. Don’t you consider you are the public as well? Two “Harrumps” and a “I mispeak myself” will keep your political flag flying;whereas, if the other version is “for private consumption” then it has our ears bent in your direction, cause we ain’t the public. Or is it that we just aren’t read by the public here? Some say that’s the case for the “recruitin'” public.

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    • shane#1

      All true, but Donnan’s biggest problem was that he did not do the head coach’s job, which is to glad hand the guys with the big pockets and bring back the checks. Let’s face it, if a coach wants to keep his job he brings home the bacon from all those Bulldog Club meetings.Maybe at Bama it’s just win Baby, at UGA it’s “Hey Coach, picture?”

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  15. Todd

    I think Q got JD’s money. Plus, he couldn’t beat the real teams. You can be the biggest dick in the world when you win, but you can’t pull it off as a loser. Everybody brings up Dooley, but the only thing Dooley ever had was directly related to Erk and the best college running back in history. The SEC didn’t have as many good teams during the Dooley years.
    I haven’t seen a Richt coached team look like legit national champions. If anybody doesn’t think that Georgia is way, way , way behind LSU and Alabama, then they are fools. It ain’t even close.

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    • Rocketdawg

      You obviously weren’t around for the 2002, 2005 or 2007 seasons then. All 3 of those years could have been (and really 2002 SHOULD have been) a shot at the MNC. Shockley stays healthy in ’05 and we have another “undefeated in the SEC doesn’t get a shot at the MNC” situation and in ’07 everyone had warts, but we were playing as well as anyone at the end of that season.

      Nice selective memory.

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      • Texas Baller

        2002 – Miami & Ohio St undefeated. UGA with a loss.NOT DESERVING.
        2005 – Two losses, Texas & USC undefeated – Can’t beat WV in displaced SUGAR Bowl – NOT DESERVING.
        2007 – Didn’t win eastern division of conference – NOT DESERVING.

        Really good – yes. Deserving of being in the big dance – No way.
        Dilusional as usual.

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        • Dawgfan Will

          So it’s a sliding scale that actually has nothing to do with number of wins then? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure several teams have won it with one loss and LSU has won it with two.

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          • Puffdawg

            Exactly. You have to look at it relative to other SEC teams who have won the big one (if that’s the benchmark for coaching success). I would agree none of those UGA teams were “deserving,” but then neither were 06/08 UF nor 07 LSU.

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    • Nate Dawg

      201 wins. I’m pretty sure Erk wasn’t there for all of them and even The Goal Line Stalker left before he had to. So let’s give credit where it’s due, somebody was steering the ship. I also disagree with the SEC not having as many good teams – I’ve pretty much been of the opinion that SEC football has always been the best, and I didn’t even need espn to tell me that to confirm it. Or the best at least since the late ’70’s on the whole.
      By the way, nothing I said was meant to detract anything AT ALL from the accomplishments and leadership of Erk or Walker.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Todd you are on to something about Dooley. The SEC had only ten teams when Dooley coached. Arkansas and South Carolina were not in the SEC back then and now those are two of the better programs. You are also right about Erk being the real force behind Georgia football then. However you failed to mention Joel Eaves, the AD who hired Dooley and was there for most of Dooley’s tenure as HC. Eaves protected Dooley and IMHO was in large part responsible for Dooley’s success. Eaves was a genius at scheduling. In those days UGA had an SEC schedule of Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Florida and Auburn every year with a 6th SEC slot rotating among Mississippi State, Bama, LSU and Tennessee. So there were years when UGA got to play Vandy, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the same year and the only difficult SEC games were Florida (which was not as good as today and was beaten by UGA with regularity) and Auburn (which split with UGA pretty evenly over Dooley’s career). So you see, the schedule had an awful lot to do with the UGA success during Dooley’s coaching career. BTW there are those who think that “the SEC office sets the SEC schedule” and the ADs of the member universities have no input. Technically that is true but….some ADs have a way (I don’t know how) of always getting what is best for their teams out of the SEC office (See Foley, Jeremy). Joel Eaves was one of those. He, along with Erk, made Dooley. If Eaves had been AD and Erk the DC during Ray Goff’s tenure I have no doubt that Goff would have been successful.

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  16. shane#1

    Talk about physical, in High School we were playing Hahira and they were some mean SOBs. Well I came in low on a RB on a dive play and wound up twisted like a pretzel on the bottom of the pile. Those guys were trying to break every bone in my body. Then, right in front of my nose I saw bare skin. Well I spit out my mouthpiece and bit like an Alligator! I picked up and moved that whole pile. You would be suprised at the super human strength you have when you bite your own ass.

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