Upon further review: is the hot seat meme on the hot seat?

I never bought into the preseason line of thought that said Mark Richt had to win a certain number of games to keep his job.  For one thing (and to his credit), McGarity refused to judge Richt on that basis.

What I did think Richt would have to do in order for the program to show enough improvement was to re-instill a sense of effort and urgency, things which had been lacking noticeably over the past few seasons.  Given the level of Georgia’s talent and the schedule advantage the Dawgs have over the rest of their SEC East rivals, I thought that if Richt could recover some of the mojo from earlier in his head coaching career, his team would be in the thick of things contending for the top of the division.

And halfway through the regular season, that’s exactly where we find Georgia.  The misgivings from the 0-2 start (which really arose from how unprepared the team looked against Boise State) have given way to cautious optimism based on several factors which were on prominent display Saturday night in Knoxville.

  • Pass defense.  Continuing a trend in its conference games, Georgia’s defense forced Tennessee, the SEC’s top passing offense coming in, to its lowest passer rating of the season.  And that was without Cornelius Washington.  The secondary’s confidence grows palpably, and with good reason.  It’s only given up one passing touchdown during the winning streak, on that fluky play at Ole Miss.
  • Linebacking play.  They certainly benefited from the improvement on the defensive line, but it’s not hard to be impressed with the way that Georgia has generated depth at this position.  Herrera has been fabulous for a true freshman and Gilliard continued his steady play in Knoxville.  Vasser looked good on run defense, too.  And then there’s Jarvis Jones, who’s been the absolute rock that this defense is based on.
  • Defensive line.  Did anyone notice that Jenkins got the start Saturday night?  The reason you may not have is that his play and Geathers’ have become interchangeable.  Georgia’s success stopping the run starts with those two.
  • Offensive line.  Yeah, the depth situation remains scary.  But the emergence of Dallas Lee has made it a little less so.  Two red zone rushing touchdowns were a good sign.
  • Receivers.  No worries with the tight ends.  It was interesting to see how much the early offensive game plan keyed on King, but some of that was dictated by the Vols’ defensive strategy.  Malcolm Mitchell, quite simply, is a revelation.  With the development of a legitimate deep threat, this bunch can contribute.
  • Running backs.  I’m truly amazed by the criticism of Crowell that he’s somehow not tough enough.   He’s fourth in the conference in rushing, despite that offensive line.  And he had a rough night, relatively speaking.  But despite facing a defense that was keyed to stop him (if you doubt that, watch Georgia’s very first offensive play of the game) and getting banged up in the process, he still managed to score those two big third-quarter TDs, displaying both power and speed.  Carlton Thomas is one of the most improved players on the team and has become a legitimate contributor on offense.  The fullbacks are doing exactly what they need to do, block their asses off.
  • Aaron Murray.  Yes, he needs to refine his touch on the deep pass.  (Damn, that throw to Mitchell was on the money, though.)  But look at the rest of what he brought to the table against UT.  He only threw one bad ball all night, he displayed good touch on the short and intermediate throws and he had several key runs.  He seems to be learning that he doesn’t have to carry the team all by his lonesome.  That’ll make him a better quarterback.
  • Special teams.  Butler had another terrific game.  Walsh seems to be regrouping on his field goal kicking, but didn’t have his usual distance on kickoffs (surely those aren’t related).  Kickoff coverage wasn’t the greatest, but overall, Georgia didn’t cost itself in this department.  That’s an improvement over the past few weeks.
  • Coaching.  The final margin may not reflect it, but I thought that was the best coached game Georgia’s turned in this season.  Richt set the tone early with those fourth down calls on the opening drive.  Grantham’s halftime adjustments were VanGorder-like (Tennessee had eleven total yards in the decisive third quarter).  And Bobo did a good job both in taking what the Vol defense was giving him – had they hit a couple more of those downfield shots, the game would have turned into a rout – and in managing his personnel, particularly with Crowell being dinged up.

And so they march on to Nashville.  The Dawgs aren’t out of the woods yet by any means, but at least they’ve got a shot.  Assuming they get by Vanderbilt, the bye week comes at a good time to get several key players some much-needed time to heal.  This could be a formidable bunch that steps on the field to face Florida.  Now if Richt can only get them to realize that…


Filed under Georgia Football

102 responses to “Upon further review: is the hot seat meme on the hot seat?

  1. The other Doug

    How warm would Richt’s seat be if had to play Bama and LSU from the West? A big part of our success is the schedule.

    • You still gotta play the hand you’re dealt. Last year’s team couldn’t do that.

      • Irwin Fletcher

        Well…according to the Sagarin rankings, UGA has played the 13th toughest schedule and has a predictor rating of 10th meaning that on a neutral field, the scoring system would favor us to beat every team in the nation except 9 others. So….there’s that.

        And a note…just because Florida can’t beat LSU or Bama doesn’t mean we should start to pile on. My guess is that Florida is still one of the top 25 teams in the nation despite the fact that voters in the AP poll want to penalize them for playing the toughest opponents. I’d temper the Muschamp sucks talk…he’s beaten every team he’s supposed to have beaten.

        • D.N. Nation

          And a note…just because Florida can’t beat LSU or Bama doesn’t mean we should start to pile on.

          It’s not necessarily that they can’t beat LSU/Bama, it’s that they’ve been obliterated in both games. Obviously we’ll know a little more if the Barn’s scoring in bunches against the Gators.

          As for Florida’s schedule difficulty, crocodile tears. Jerm Foley hasn’t scheduled an OOC opponent worth a sh*t since the Zooker matched up against the U. Twas about time Florida was faced with a murderers’ row.

          • Irwin Fletcher

            Right…but a pyramid is a funny thing. If there is 1 team that can fit at the apex and 2 teams right below them, 3 teams can fit below them, and 5 below that row, and 7 below that row. Be careful to jump to conclusions on what row the Gators are on and what row the Dawgs are on based upon 1.5 games with experienced QBs against LSU and Bama’s defense.

            Being in the same class as LSU/Bama and being a good team in 2011 are mutually exclusive.

            West Va., Penn State, Oregon, Arkansas…those are all pretty good teams in the eyes of the voters and they all had their tits lit by Bama/LSU. What if each one had to play LSU/Bama back to back? Would they be worse? Would they just not have as good a record? Maybe they would have as good a shine after getting beaten bad 2xs in a row?

            • D.N. Nation

              Allow me to quote myself:

              Obviously we’ll know a little more if the Barn’s scoring in bunches against the Gators.

              • Irwin Fletcher

                We’ll know a lot about a lot of things in the future….cars might fly, the Cubs might beat Miami in the World Series, etc. etc.

                My point remains that we already know a decent amount based upon their first 4.5 games with Brantley yet are ignoring that in favor of what we have just witnessed in an excuse to pile on in the present. I worry about the karma…karma!!!!

                I remain hopeful that we will continue to have a reason to pile on in the future.

      • The other Doug

        I agree that you “gotta play the hand you’re dealt”, but I’m looking for improvement not wins. I like the direction of the defense a lot. I’m starting to see a lot of solid players and a smart scheme. The offense is the big question mark for me. That side of the ball is hurky jerky. Sometimes I’m impressed and sometimes it’s “WTF?”. If we had played Bama and LSU there would be a lot more “WTF?”.

        • Puffdawg

          I suspect the offense is also a big question mark for Bobo and company on the consistency front seeing as 4 of the top 7 playmakers are freshmen (Crowell, Mitchell, Bennett, Conley) and a fifth, Murray, is a sophomore QB who has experienced a bit of a soph slump. I’d say the future is bright.

          We’d probably have some WTF moments against the Patriots and Green Bay as well. Not sure what you are getting at there.

        • If we had played Bama and LSU there would be a lot more “WTF?”.

          You could say that about almost every other team in D-1.

    • DawgPhan

      So now the tune has changed to counting losses in games that we arent even scheduled to play. Hoping that the cynics have to continue grasping for straws this season.

    • Brandon

      Hey we lost to Miss State, Colorado, and some other real toughies last year. Good teams beat the teams they are supposed to beat, its refreshing to see us doing that these last several weeks. Watching this year’s team I can’t help but think how much guys like Joe Cox would have benefited from having a defense, if Joe hadn’t have had to score on every drive the term, coxian might not even be in our lexicon, and the guy threw the deep as well and as consistently as any QB we’ve had under Richt. Alas, Joe is just one of a long line of people screwed over by Willie Mo’s ineffectiveness.

    • Marvin

      Yeah but UGA has had years where their schedule was much tougher than SEC foes. No one gave us any sympathy during those seasons. I don’t feel bad about our somewhat easier schedule than, say, Florida. We will soon add Alabama (next year) and I think LSU the following with the Tide still being on our schedule in 2013. I just hope we can take advantage of our schedule and what looks to be a weaker Gator team.

  2. robbag

    When Mitchell caught that long pass I jumped out of my chair and shouted “By Gawd he’s just a freshman”! I thought the pass to him was just a little overthrown also but Mitchell has that extra ability to accelerate that maybe King doesn’t.

    • Keese

      If anything Murrays pass was underthrown he had to slow down to catch it. It was a long heave by Murray no doubt.

      I disagree with all the positives being given to Murray. He didn’t lose the game but he sure as hell didn’t help put UT away. His throwing is erratic and he’s missing so many reads downfield to open receivers. If he was playing up to the level he’s capable of, the offense would be close to unstoppable and the UT game wouldn’t have been close! Not to mention how much better the pass pro was in the UT game and he still was missing throws and reads all night!

  3. Beware the Ides of Vanderbilt!

    Win the next two games and Coach Mark Richt can feel comfortable signing a new annual lease on the old homestead.

  4. Nate

    Also, the ‘Cocks’ next four games: @MissSt, @Tenn, @Ark, vs Fla. Does anyone think they’ll make it out of that run unscathed? We take care of business against Vandy, and play up to our potential against the Gators and we might just get another chance to play in the dome.

    • stoopnagle

      It does look like 3-1 to me now that we broke UT’s QB. I suppose we didn’t want Barbara to run out of excuses for her baby.

      • Biggus Rickus

        I have contended since last year hat Simms is not that bad. He’s not as good as Bray, but he’s not a shitty QB. They can give SC a game if they haven’t really found a consistent QB in Shaw. And I doubt they have.

    • bean eater

      As elated as I was to see that Bray was out, I wish it hadn’t happened. I would like for him to have been healthy vs USCe. Here’s hoping USCe finds a way to lose…

      • Bevo

        Same here. With Bray, Tenn might have been able to give them a game.

        • Matt R

          It ain’t like Chris Simms was meatloaf against us tho. He scored the only touchdown the defense has given up since the trick play at Mississippi. So, what I’m saying, is … they gotta play the game. I’m not particularly sold on Connor Shaw because, if he were the real deal, don’t you think SOS would have put him in ahead of Garcia????

  5. Jim

    Good post senator.

    While i hope we win out and give LSU or Bama a game in Atlanta, if that happens, we will spend a lot of time wondering what could have been had we come out prepared for Boise or not given away the SC game. That could be the difference b/t a BCS bowl and not for the Dawgs this year.

    While I am glad we *appear* to finally be on an upward trajectory again, the lack of preparedness against Boise is still very troubling to me. Boise is a very good team – no doubt about it – but 3 penalties in the first 4 plays (after we chose to receive) is not the sign of a team prepared to play.

    • I agree with you about the BSU game. We keep hearing little things dribbling out about the lack of preparedness – they mentioned during the broadcast that Richt admitted they weren’t prepared for the crowd noise in the Dome – for which there really is little to no excuse.

      That being said, I am encouraged by what I saw from these coaches Saturday night.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        It is always nice to see folks who really seem to want to keep their jobs:)

      • Irwin Fletcher

        I’d temper the ‘unprepared’ talk a bit. Boise is rock solid. I think the crowd noise issue is a legitimate gripe with the staff. But we were up 7-0. And should have gone into the half tied 7-7 but for the silly interception.

        Crowell had the hammy issue in camp.
        Rambo is suspended, C. Thomas is suspended…those two have been huge contributors.
        Ogletree gets hurt.
        King has some drops.
        We miss picking up a 4th and 1, etc. etc.

        I’m not saying the coaches get a pass for the lack of execution or the player suspensions…they most certainly don’t…but let’s not get too carried away with this idea that somehow the only thing that lost the game to Boise was a lack of preparation. It was execution, gameplan, player discipline, injuries, basically all the things that will get you beat against a good to great team.

        • Um… I kinda thought execution and game plan are part of preparation.

          • Irwin Fletcher

            I understand your point and agree that execution/game plan/preparation are all interconnected (disagree with the semantics of your comment…I think it is better said that preparation is part of game plan and necessary for proper execution..no matter), but my point is I think you can’t just draw the conclusion that ‘we didn’t prepare’ and therefore didn’t win.

            I just think that is a lazy conclusion and don’t want it to turn into common wisdom b/c Dawg fans should be smarter than that.

          • Matt R

            Execution is a funny thing. Game Plans are just that, and sometimes they are bad and you have to change them while you are in the middle of combat. Execution however, well, you don’t know if that is going to work until you actually get out there. Mike Tyson said it best, “Everybody has a plan, till I hit ’em’.
            Yeah, we had a plan. But executing against scout team and the real thing. And remember, they had a plan too.

            I think the difference in that game against Boise State was, they expected to win it, we just thought we could. And there is a difference.

      • Jim

        i heard the same comment about boise crowd noise during the broadcast and just shook my head. wrong in so many ways.

        agree on the encouraging signs from the staff.

  6. Nate Dawg

    Man that first play of the game – was that David Greene? The best part was listening to the crowd blow-up with excitement, only to see the Dawgs roll out and pick up the first down. Awesome.
    And we won the game, in Knoxville, despite having a 4th & 57. That makes me grin.

    • stoopnagle

      Richt is 4-2 in Knoxville.

      Contrast that with our program’s history vs Tennessee and it says a lot about Richt and about the state of UT football.

    • Go Dawgs!

      I had these two Tennessee punks sitting in front of me Saturday night that looked like N’Sync rejects. On that first play, when Crowell got stopped at the line (with no football, mind you), they started jumping around and crowing like apes and started giving it to all the Georgia fans around. Then Aaron threw the football. Oh man. We shut those guys up throughout the night. It was a lot of fun to make them look stupid.

      • ScooBoo

        It sounded like half the stadium thought the same thing. On t.v. all you heard was “BOOM” and then silence as Murray rolled out of the pocket.

  7. Georgia’s played 3 straight SEC games. They were favored in all three. They won all 3. And they covered the spread in all 3. Not only did they cover, they covered by at least 7 points in all 3. When was the last time you saw that? I presume they’ll be favored again this week.

  8. Matt R

    This team is getting its groove though. We ain’t at the 2007 level yet, but I could see it happening. If we get that confident feeling like we had when we played Auburn in 07, we might be in Atlanta.

  9. BulldogBen

    I haven’t watched the replay of the game yet but I seem to recall 2 passes where Murray had a receiver at least a step and a half out in front of the defender and he overthrew him. Got to improve there. Also, the 4th and Forever situation was awful. I also thought Bobo got too conservative in the 4th. But hey, always better to complain about stuff after a win than after a loss.

    That said, I thought I’d feel better after this win but for whatever reason I’ve already got an impending sense of dread heading to Jacksonville. Sorry, I just can’t shake it.

    • Dawgy45

      No need to apologize; we understand.

    • Russ

      Yeah, Murray did overthrow King twice. Then he underthrew Mitchell. I wonder if Mitchell is that much faster than King?

      Also, what happened to the passes to Figgins and Samuel, and to the TEs?

      Still, great overall performance, and the defense is stout. We should have a great chance in all our remaining games with the defense playing like they are. We just need to keep Crowell and the OL healthy.

      • gastr1

        Murray has got to fix this issue with overthrowing people at the start of the game. There’s a pattern there.

      • Ray

        You know, I thought the same thing about King and Mitchell. Overthrow King, under throw Mitchell…..but a it is Murray’s job to adjust and he needs to do a better job in the future. Still excited about how our offense has come around.

        • Matt R

          What about that sweep around left end for the first down! Caught em jammed up in the middle. It was a great call.

          • Matt R

            I meant on the fourth and 1 on the first drive. (Should have explained that a little better… classic case of mouth going faster than brain!)

  10. JasonC

    The MLBs could be a big strength next year with ‘Tree, Robinson, Gilliard and Herrera. The only problem I saw was on the 2 FG drives, when we got eaten up on drags and crossing routes underneath (go figure).

    If Marlon Brown (or someone else) can step into King’s role next year, we will be fine at WR.

    One thing we will need next year (and need this year) is some OTs. We’re playing with a center and 4 Guards.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Uh, T. King is a Junior, so I’ll be hoping he continues to step into King’s role.

      This team not only has the potential to go on a very nice run, but the potential to be incredibly stout next year. Deangelo and Boykin are all you lose on defense. Virtually every skill player is back on offense, and #22 is going to make a very good fullback along with Zander blocking for Isaiah and Keith Marshall.

      We’ve got a shot. I don’t care if we win 15-13 this Saturday, just win. Don’t get anyone injured and get to the off week. Get ‘Tree back. Get CornWash back. Get Mitchell back. Get IC healthy and head to the banks of the St. John’s River and let’s see if we can do this thing.

      At least it’s starting to get fun again.

      • Harrogate

        “At least it’s starting to get fun again.” Bingo

      • Cojones

        Glad to see the score reference before this game . Vandy has not only played us stout each year, but also have beaten us when they were underdogs. Wouldn’t be surprised that they rise up for us. Makes me think that fans are as guilty of feeling entitled as the players that are sometimes accused.

        • That “Vandy plays Georgia tough every year” meme is really more of an urban legend, driven by the results in ’06 and ’07. If you average out the scores from the last nine meetings, it rounds off to this: Georgia 32, Vanderbilt 12.

          That being said, I don’t think this team slacks off this Saturday.

          • If Vandy scores more than 10 points I’ll be very surprised. They are the second worse 1A offense we will play all season. New Mexico State is even well ahead of them offensively. The only team we play with a worse offense will be Kentucky. Vandy is ranked in the bottom ten in the country in every key offensive stat except scoring, they are ranked 98th there because their defense has scored 3 TD. Take those points away and their offense is in the bottom ten in every category.

      • JasonC

        Sorry, my bad.

  11. goalinestalker

    For the record UF has not left the state for an out of conference game since 1990 and they were worked by Syracuse.

  12. AusDawg85

    Classic Mark Richt moment during the “hold on every snap” series. He stayed relatively calm, and did not appear to haul any player over to read them the riot act. Compare this to how Boom, Satan, SOS, Kelly, Patterson, etc. would likely react.

  13. Skeptic Dawg

    While 4-2 is an improvement, and the D is playing at a considerably higher level this season, can we really get excited? This team lost to the only formidable opponents they have seen. Yes, the Dawgs rolled Coastal and won the Mississippie State title, now they have won in Knoxville. But what does all of this mean? I am not sure. I believe they have yet to play a complete game this season. Florida, Auburn and GT will tell the final story of the 2011 Dawgs.

    • I didn’t say excited. I said cautiously optimistic. And yeah, I think that’s justified.

      • goalinestalker

        I’m pretty sure with the turn over of players in the program this season, it means these players have buy in period. In 07 we lost to UT and USC still finished #2 in the nation.This team could have easily rolled over on CMR but they haven’t. Grantham may be the best hire ever for CMR, IMO. If they win in Nashville then the swing game is def WLOCP.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Don’t the Dawgs have exactly the same record after 6 games this season that they had after 6 games in 2007?

          • adam

            If we want a repeat of 07, we’ll need a scary game against Vandy and then a thrashing of the Gators.

            I’d take the scary game against Vandy if it guaranteed that we’d destroy Florida.

      • Matt R

        There is an article over at CFN from Russell Mitchell that says that we are basically all schedule. He says we are exactly where we should be and that we haven’t done anything relevant at all.

        I wonder….

    • fuelk2

      In all honesty, I don’t think the competition steps up considerably from here. UF and Auburn are at least as flawed as we are.

      GT looks great for the moment and playing them is like playing a different sport for our defense. At this point, though, I don’t really care at all about GT. Win the SEC games and then we’ll worry about that.

      • Tech’s opponents are 13-18 this season with 5 of those wins coming against 1AA schools. Their only win over a winning team is UNC. So yes they have done well against who they have played but trade schedules with us and there is a good chance the records are reversed.

    • Puffdawg

      Bluto, could we hurry up and finalize the term for downgrading a team after losing to UGA. Skeptic needs a word to describe Tennessee.

      Thanks from the both of us.

      **BTW my favorite suggestion was “dawgraded.” I think commentor WH was responsible for that with a little help from Ausdawg.

    • Ray

      Just go away or change it up a little bit. Your act is getting a little old. Why don’t you tell us all, with your infinite wisdom, who you want as our head coach since you are so set on giving the boot to Richt?

    • Cosmic Dawg From The Mothership

      I am also a little skeptical, but seriously – what was the best case scenario for the last month, SD? Exactly what happened!! What it means is…enjoy it!

      Even if we lose TWO more games this year we’ll end up 8-4, not what we’re hoping, but at least a season you can live with…

    • Biggus Rickus

      I was going to type a reply that was thoughtful, but I’m tired of this shit. Enjoy the season or don’t. I’m not going to focus on every negative aspect of Georgia football. The team looks improved and nobody on the schedule is daunting. I look forward to the rest of the year.

  14. JBJ

    If we can’t get a win in Jax this year against this Gator team, then CMR better start packing.

    If we get to Tech without another loss, then whatever the outcome of that game CMR is still our coach.

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      Could not agree with you more, sir.

    • Zdawg

      Agreed. First Richt has to show sustained improvement and victories over teams that we should beat. We should not be playing down to the level of competition and so far so good.

      Second coaching hurtle: Show that you can motivate a team that will be VERY tight in Jacksonville. Sorry its come to this coach, but beat the Gators and then I’ll start enjoying this again. Lose to the Gators and we’ll need to look for a coach that can show up in that game.

  15. Bright Idea

    Sat 6 rows up behind the bench. Grantham coaches his tail off when defense is on sideline and I noticed him showing Garner the plan on several occasions. Still so much youth on this team causing inconsistent play. Why refs kept flags in pocket then called 4 straight beats me.

  16. Macallanlover

    I felt the passes Murray really missed on, except the underthrow on the deep pass, were all influenced by the 3 picks against MSU. He overthrew, or led the receivers too much to the safe side on all incompletions except for one play where the defender was ahead of the crossing route and he threw that behind him, I think deliberately. Not being critical, the Hillbillies did not need a pick to get them all riled up, I am very grateful the turnovers disappeared.

    The UT fans really expected to win that game, I don’t know what that was based on, but I was surprised. We were clearly the better team in all phases coming into that game, and showed it (well, STs weren’t as decisive an edge as I would have thought.)

    After the Boise exploitation of our inability to defend the short pass, I am baffled how we remain that vulnerable 5 games later. CTG better fix that before Jax for sure, the thoughts of Demps and Time to DIe getting the ball in space all afternoon is making me fear that matchup for the first time in a few years. I don’t know how much getting Tree back will help, the vulnerability isn’t just over the middle, we cannot get to the flats quickly enough either.

    • The first half issues with defending the short pass were largely the result of making sure the run was shut down and controlling Rogers. Once UT abandoned the run, the short pass coverage tightened up noticeably.

      Keep in mind that UT didn’t have a passing TD in the game.

      • Macallanlover

        True, the 2nd half, specifically the 3rd Qtr, was much improved on coverage of shores. But my concerns about spotting Demps and Rainey a few yards coming over the middle remain. We have to have LBs that make the QB flinch throwing that pass becaused we are somewhere nearby. Holding them to no passing TDs was very impressive. The game was not nearly as close as the final score, we could have easily put 10 more up. While I wish we had, I cannot blame CMR with taking a W in KnoxVegas; it was obvious our defense was in control, and AM was just one weekd removed from 3 INTs.

  17. Will Trane

    What is the bitch about the Dawgs schedule. Damn, it looks pretty tough to me. Boise on the road, UT on the road followed by Vandy and Florida. These latter two do not sit in the “W” column yet folks. Those willl be tough games. Then Carolina. I still think they are the team to beat regardless of their schedule. They are loaded with players and depth. Auburn and Tech will be tough. Let’s play them one at a time and see where they stand.
    Sorry, but the unit I am not jacked-up about is those TEs. Think they can block better and cut down those holding penalties. Next the WRs need to keep up their progress and start getting to the ball. Good to see both of those Valdosta Wildcats playing great this season for the Dawgs. Was not the Winnersville Classic on ESPN this past Friday night not a tremendous game.
    CMR and Bobo did a good job of putting in some 4th down plays for UT. But why is there only ten pages in the playbook so far. In the Boise game the Dawgs showed they could stretch the field vertically. Guess UT did not take notice of that in their preparation. I guess game preparation for Boise translated into UT Saturday night. AM had good touches in the 2nd but was a little out front in the 1st half.
    2nd half MSU and 1st half UT…8 quarters…3 field goals…9 points. Not good! Coach where is the playbook? And it almost got too tight in the 4th.
    I hope somebody is working on those holding penalties this week. That is almost as bad as not protecting the QB.

    • Cojones

      I would like to see the stats by qtr for Murray’s throws. Maybe they are not afraid of his long throws, especially early in the game. He has thrown high and long initially in every game. In the Boise game we excused it as nervousness. Does that continue for him each game, does he need to warm up longer, does he not have a lead-for-speed pass for each receiver? Tavarres worked hard and got open by 4-5yds only to be missed by 5 more yds each time.

  18. Connor

    I was glad we won, but my biggest takeaway was how upset I would have been if we’d lost. That probably makes me a bad fan, but there it is. Tennessee isn’t that good. They’ll play their next two games against the two best teams in the country w/o their quarterback, and in 14 days we’ll wonder why we thought beating them was a big deal. No one left on the schedule should scare a good team. At the same time, what is the liklihood that this is the first UGA team to beat UF, AU and UT all in the same year since… I don’t know, ’83?
    It’s difficult to distinguish average teams squeeking by from good teams doing what they have to do against an inferior opponent. After the last few years, I’ve still got my doubts about this team. Will be happy to be wrong.

  19. Cojones

    Yes, Senator. Reading the comments on here and other posts that emphasize players’s mistakes and circumstances not controlled by coaches, I would opine that the hot seat meme is on the hot seat.

  20. W Cobb Dawg

    It’s far better to have a top NG in the 3-4, like Geathers and Jenkins this year, than it was to have a top pass rusher like Houston last year. CMB is taking baby steps toward moving the pocket around and better using AM’s mobility – the roll out & option pass to the TE worked fine. I think Friend is starting to mold a better OL too. I have confidence CTG and his D staff can deliver top 20 results. I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to say the same about the O coaches.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Jones and Washington are as good at rushing the passer this year as Houston was last year, IMHO.

  21. Kyle

    Like you said in the post Senator, we put enough pressure on Bray to get him out of rhythm and force several bad throws, but the pass rush left something to be desired. Ray Drew got some snaps, but he was playing with his hand on the ground and didn’t look comfortable doing that. Chase Vasser was solid against the run but was overpowered by the TN offensive line.

    Going forward, is Cornelius Washington truly that integral to the pass rush?

  22. JasonC

    I guess the seat was hotter in Arizona… but it’s a dry heat.