View from the end zone, Georgia-Florida edition

There are no bad wins in this series, which is not the same thing as saying there aren’t ugly ones.  This one definitely qualified as such.  If you had told me before the game that Georgia’s special teams would turn in not merely their worst showing of the season, but perhaps the worst of Richt’s tenure, that Aaron Murray would miss on nine passes in a row, some in ways that describing them as bizarre hardly does justice, and that Georgia would spot Florida an early 17-3 lead, I would have predicted another lopsided loss and the death knell of Mark Richt’s career in Athens.

That everything is in a very different place right now is a tribute to how tenacious this year’s Georgia team is, as well as how unbelievably ordinary this year’s winless-in-October Florida team is.  Make no mistake; a good team would have taken that early two touchdown-lead and made it stand up.  But it’s also just as fair to say that there are any number of Georgia teams over the past two decades that would have allowed themselves to be crushed by such a crappy star, regardless of the quality of the Gators.  That this bunch didn’t is something that every Georgia fan should celebrate.

Here’s what I saw:

  • I didn’t realize Brantley’s bum ankle prevented him from taking many snaps under center, so I thought Weis elected to come out with five-receiver sets as a matter of strategy.  In any event, it worked well early, as the Gator offense must have racked up 150 yards of offense with five minutes to go in the first quarter.  But Grantham started making adjustments quickly and Weis evidently had little in the way of options to counter those.  Once Williams made it back on the field, allowing Commings to shift back to corner, that was it for Florida.
  • Hard to believe, but Florida’s offensive line is worse than Georgia’s.  So is their receiving corps (and that’s with Georgia’s being so depleted that a walk-on snagged a catch in the game).
  • From an emotional standpoint, it’s hard to underestimate how big the Bennett TD catch and the reversed call on the fumble were.  The former may go down as the play that saved Richt’s career.  The latter was the kind of call that Georgia never seems to get in this series.  In both cases, the momentum changes were palpable.
  • The other remarkable moment, emotionally speaking, was delivered by none other than the oft-maligned Richard Samuel IV on what turned out to be the last scoring drive of the day.  He electrified his teammates and the crowd, and took something out of the Florida defensive line.  What’s the opposite of an energy vampire?
  • As awful as Murray was in stretches – and that was pretty damned awful, to be honest – he still had his moments.  He ran tough and made some good throws, like the TD pass to King.  But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Georgia quarterback and his receivers not on the same page so many times in one game.
  • And blowing that perfectly designed, perfectly executed pass off the fake reverse by overthrowing a wide open Orson Charles was gut wrenching.  So was Figgins not catching the ball on 344-Fullback.
  • Bobo wasn’t perfect, but he had more good moments than bad.  Given that he was missing his best receiver, his best running back missed a good part of the game injured and he lost a starting offensive lineman midway through the game, he did okay.  He made a good adjustment with the running game by ditching the I-formation and running out of three-receiver sets that forced Florida out of stacking the middle of the field.
  • More importantly, he made the gutsiest call of the game, with the pass play to Conley as Georgia was trying to put the game away.  You could hear the collective holding of breath as Murray set up to throw, but it was a well designed play that took advantage of how Florida’s corners had played those passes earlier.
  • I can’t really add anything more about Jarvis Jones, except that his performance was even more impressive because he was held more than any other player on Georgia’s defense.
  • This just in:  when Jeff Demps is healthy, he’s really, really fast.
  • I’m guessing most are blaming the breakdowns in kickoff coverage on coaching, but I’m not sure they’ve got the best personnel deployed for the job.  I get Demps being able to run away from people, but Andre Dubose?  He’s fast, but he’s not that fast.
  • Two touchdown passes on fourth downs.  You saw that coming, right?
  • Walsh just seems to be falling apart.  The two field goal misses were bad, but not being able to kick a single touchback, even when he had a stiff wind at his back, was puzzling.  When Georgia took the lead, I joked to a friend that Georgia ought to try an onside kick.
  • Worse, whatever he’s got may be catching, based on Drew Butler’s performance in crunch time.
  • Ogletree looked like the foot wasn’t bothering him at all.  Loved the way he closed on Rainey from the backside on Rainey’s short gain in a third quarter series.

Two bigger picture points worth mentioning.  First, anyone who doesn’t think this game is special should have witnessed in person the last minute of the game and the fifteen minutes after it ended.  No doubt the stakes were huge in terms of Richt’s career and the SEC East race, but there’s always something wonderful about watching the orange-and-blue half of the stadium empty and Georgia’s players and coaches celebrate with the fan base.  There simply isn’t any thing else like it on the schedule.  And there never will be.

Second, and I don’t want to too much out of this point, the biggest shock of all to me was that it was Georgia which that played like the team with the mental edge.  They got down by two touchdowns because of bad special teams play, a defensive let down and an offense that couldn’t get out of its own way early, yet the Dawgs never lost their quit.  It was Florida that was the team with the stupid and costly penalties and that couldn’t find any answers as the lopsided time of possession caught up with the Gators as the second half progressed.  I’m not making any bold predictions here, but if you want to start changing the tone of this game, it has to start somewhere.  From an attitude standpoint, yesterday may wind up providing the spark that lets some equilibrium come back into the series.

But that’ll wait.  Right now, there’s plenty to savor, which is a helluva lot more than we could say this time last year.  Georgia’s in the thick of what is now a two-team race to win the SEC East.  Florida’s been eliminated from the conference race, in a nice reversal from the 2008 season.  This year’s Dawgs don’t approach greatness, true, but all we should care about is whether they’re special enough to get to Atlanta in a few weeks.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

154 responses to “View from the end zone, Georgia-Florida edition

  1. TCJ

    Great night. The walk out of the stadium was magical. My vocal chords are shredded today and I am pretty sure I busted a blood vessel with all the high-fiving. This win meant a lot to the Dawg fans at the game.

  2. I had brought some friends with me to watch the game who aren’t CFB fans, and my friend sitting across from me tells me he’s never seen go from looking as dejected to shocked as I did when that overturned fumble call was overturned. I remember sitting there, knowing it should be overturned, but thinking nothing but “great, another bad call that’s going to cost us the game.” I think I literally jumped up out of my chair in the bar when I saw them give us the ball.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Not sayin’ that the refs didn’t miss some holding, etc., but this was the first UGA conference game I have seen in a long time (and I see them all) where I did not feel that the refs were trying to job the Dawgs. A very fairly called game, IMHO.

      • 69Dawg

        That would be because Penn Wagers was not calling the game. We would have lost big if his crew of Merry Morons had been calling the game.

      • Keese

        Not much being mentioned that Florida committed 14 (? maybe 15) penalties in this game.

        In a really weird way, Florida looked like a Georgia team in Jax this year

        • Keese

          Florida leads the nation in penalties/gm I believe. Talk about a team losing some discipline. They are a train wreck that from what I can tell, will only get worse. Weis will be gone after next year then it’s a different O installation all over again.

          Muschamp is/was never a good hire for Fla imo. But I’m ok with that

          • James Stephenson

            And let this be a lesson for people who want a fire and brimstone coach. Will is the poster child. But fire and brimstone can make a team tight, which causes them to lose focus and discipline.

            Mark Richt could show a little more emotion sure, but I remember after Tenn in 2001 where my boss, an Alabama grad and fan told me, you guys have a good one. Why, because CMR was so damn calm during that final drive.

        • The Lone Stranger

          The worm is turning, after much hesitation!

  3. Paul

    Love the win, great night (and day) to be a Dawg.

    Got a nagging suspicion SCAR will escape Arky and Florida, and screw us a la UT 2007, which would be a bummer.

    • Dave

      Arkansas is going to kill them.

      • JasonC

        Arky is struggling in case you haven’t noticed.

        • BeerMoney

          Yes…in the first half, on the road. I think they will be okay too. UTK’s offense was about as awful as Kentuckey’s last night and Carolina really never put them away.

          • adam


            If Tennessee’s freshman QB hadn’t turned the ball over on 2 red zone drives (one of them from the 2) + killing another one and them settling for a FG (from the 4!), then they may’ve won.

          • Darrron Rovelll

            Actually Arky was EXTREMELY lucky to escape period. It was not just a bad 1st half – Vandy was leading 28-20 & on the Ark. 6 when Stacy fumbled. Not only did Sooey Pig return it for a TD, but they made 2-pt conversion to tie it up.

            Also for all of the hand-wringing and media aspersions about UGA’s lucky win versus Vandy – we were never behind in the 2nd half like Arkansas and need Vandy ineptitude to pull out the win.

        • Gary

          Arky is at home, they will be fine. UT handed that game to SC last night. How in the heck do you not score after getting a TO and taking it to the SC 2? Oh yeah, your true freshman QB throws an interception. He threw several ill conceived passes and gave the ball back to SC after his defense made plays and put him and the offense in a great chance to win. Wilson, Petrino, and the Arky offense will not let that happen to them.

        • Scott

          You are right. Arkansas has looked terrible the past two weeks. Vandy had them beat if not for that epic fumble. If I had real money on the Ark-SC game , I would go with South Carolina.

      • The Lone Stranger

        Agreed — I think the Hog defense is somewhat underrated. Fast LBers and some Ends that can rattle an already shaky Shaw.

    • Macallanlover

      Haven’t seen the line yet, but I am confident Arky will be the biggest bet I will make next weekend because SC is the most overrated team in the Top 20. Glad to see them rated in the Top 10, they wouldn’t make my top 20, but it will keep the line down. Arky will curb-stomp the Cocks.

    • Brandon

      I’m not sure that would be a bad thing. Let Sakerlina be LSU/or Bama’s sacrificial lamb, let us go 11-2 and beat the shit out an overrated Big 10 team in Orlando. Senator, the fumble wasn’t as close as it may have looked in the stadium, it would have been a total rook job if they haven’t have given it to us. It was nice to have a defense that could hold a lead our offense got us late in the game, that’s been missing during our period of woe.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Am I the only person in the world who thinks Georgia could play with Alabama and LSU? They’d probably make too many mistakes to win, but the defense and talent on offense should be enough to make it a game.

        • NC Dawg

          Yes, quite likely.

        • sUGArdaddy

          No sir. I’m with you. The last person saban or miles want tO see in that dome is Aaron Murray. He’s the only one capable of beating them.

        • Macallanlover

          Nope, said it yesterday in another thread. Our defense is capable of keeping us in any game, the only game they were whipped was by Boise, and only then with the disciplined Moore throwning 8-10 yard darts. I don’t think Bama or LSu could do that to us.

          I am not saying it wouldn’t be an upset, either of them should be favored, but UGA is the only team in the East who could give them a game. Our offense would have to be sharper, and we would need to live up to our pre-season STs rating….but we could play them. Especially since we would be given no chance, and all the talk would be about their opponent in the BCS game. That would help arouse the instincts in any athlete. I agree with sugar, the fans may not realize it, but both coaches know UGA would be the toughest test they could face in the SECCG.

      • James Stephenson

        Heck no. I would rather GA play in the Championship game. You never know when the ball is kicked off. Are LSU and Bama better teams, sure, but better teams lose all the time. So I say, let UGA play for the championship, you just never know.

  4. Red Blackman

    Damn, dude, I finally found my truck.

    Honey, if your reading this, I’ll be home later.


    • Keese

      Dang Red, I would’ve given you a ride in the police cruiser I stole Saturday night. Bikinis, costumes, cigars and a mega phone make for one fun night In Jax after a ga win

  5. Irishdawg

    Murray’s play yesterday was perplexing because he hit some gorgeous throws, then would miss in the most cringe inducing way possible. Walsh’s play is beyond explanation, and seriously, who is coaching special teams this year?

    Other than the atrocious special teams, the boys played with heart and balls. Limiting any BCS school to 32 yards of offense (-19 rushing) in a half is outstanding, more so when a starting linebacker is fresh off an injury and 2 starters have to sit out a half. I love our D, and if the offense would start to click like they show hints of doing, Georgia could be really dangerous.

    • MT

      I’ve heard a few people theorize that Malcolm Mitchell’s speed in comparison to the other receivers throw off AM’s timing… but the fact that MM was out for all but Monday last week makes this suspect.

      Some truly clutch passes with some truly horrid mis-throws

    • Dave

      We currently have no special teams coach. I’m guessing that will be the thing Richt’s rectifies this offseason (this post assumes we don’t lose to auburn and tech badly).

      • Normaltown Mike

        “We currently have no special teams coach’

        Then we need to hire somebody and fire him for how bad Saturday was!

        • It was a blessing in disquise. If CMR hadn’t lost confidence in Walsh, he would have kicked field goals on those fourth down plays. Georgia would have had eight less points and would have most likely lost the game.
          Good things can happen when you don’t try to live off of threes.

          • BMan

            I keep reading this, and understand the sentiment. But if Walsh didn’t have the yips and Richt used him in place of those two TDs, yes, we would have had 8 points less on those two drives, but we also would have had 6 points more on the two missed FGs, for a net of 2 points less overall. Just a small point of order.

            Don’t get me wrong, I am, in typical Dawg fashion, simultaneously grateful for Richt having the balls to go for it and miserable about the reasons why he was had to.

      • Spence

        Most teams don’t have a special teams coach.

        • Ginny

          Exactly. People act like Richt is totally behind the times. I think I read where only like 6 or 8 FBS teams have full-time special teams coaches.

          • Macallanlover

            You are right, but I wish CMR would take on that responsibility himself. Other HCs do that, and he is the one guy who can mandate any personnel moves necessary to make us better.

      • adam

        we can’t hire one without losing a position coach…

        • Reggie Cunningham

          As far as kick coverage on special teams go (which seems to be the problem), all you can really coach is stay in your lanes. The talent on the unit might be a depth problem.

          • Dawgfan Will

            That didn’t occur to me before, but considering our attrition this year, I could see that having an impact.

            • The Lone Stranger

              Dowtin could have at least been stuck there —- he seemed to get down-and-dirty on the specialty teams, just not as much as a LBer.

  6. baddawg

    a win is a win… it is what it is. that game might have been the most intense game I have ever witnessed in person!….. also, Walsh is having a tough time, but the 2nd missed field goal was a blessing in disguise. it set up the fumble that led to the 4th down td. I literally hugged every person around after that score!

  7. Mike

    We definitely aren’t the best team in the country. But, it’s nice to see the team fight and win a game. We have a good foundation and one the best defenses in the country with a LOT of guys returning next year if I’m not mistaken.
    All we can do is win out and let the chips fall where they may. If it’s not this year, then I’m counting on next year.

    Happy for the players. Happy for Coach Richt.

    • Dave

      yeah – we only lose Tyson and Boykin to graduation. Tyson has been playing really well, and we will feel that, but we do have some other good recruits there, and Jones will be even better next year at the other end. Boykin is a good to great player, but not dominant, and Smith/Commings will be very solid next year. I assume Jenkins, Rambo, Commings, Smith, Robinson, Williams, Washington, and Jones as Juniors will all come back as I doubt any would be drafted too high – maybe Jenkins, but that is a maybe. That leaves Jarvis Jones (Rshirt So). Not sure where he will fall in the draft. He may go due to his previous injury to mitigate risk, but if he does come back for another year to up his draft status, watch out man —- he almost unblockable now. Think another year. Having him and Washington next year would be insane.

      • gastr1

        Boykin has been really good. And he is big enough to play the run game, unlike Brandon Smith. I fear we may feel his loss more than Tyson. Who else do we have for next year at CB other than Commings and Smith? Not being snarky–I really don’t recall.

        • Spence

          Damian Swann, who has been playing a LOT as a true freshman.

        • The Lone Stranger

          Derek Owens (#20)-So., Mark Deas (#26)-RFr., Nick Marshall (?)-Fr., Corey Moore (?)-Fr., Chris Sanders (?)-Fr. REDSHIRTED w/ shoulder surgery.

      • Puffdawg

        Geathers is RSoph

    • Keese

      Mike, muschamp is not Florida’s guy. Just like Dooley is not Tennesse’s guy. Hate to say it but the talent is there but I just don’t see the coaching staff bringing it all together. The Fla team i saw was not one im used too. Not just in transition as much as one that is just not unified. Insert pot meet kettle quip

  8. Chuck

    Murray is talented – he throws that corner fade as well as anyone. It’s just a hunch, but I think he gets too tense, watches too much film, and over thinks things. If he’d relax just a little, I think he’d get his groove back.

    There’s no understanding our special teams play. Not even gonna try.

    But all things considered, spotting them at least 10 points, and keeping our head in the game and snatching victory from the Gator jaws is great, great, GREAT. Period.

    • I remember seeing a tweet from Joe Schad before the game, I can’t remember if he was quoting Murray or Bobo, that was along the lines of Murray watching game tape of last years game and Bobo told him to turn it off.

      I think we can all agree that Aaron Murray may be wound up a little tight, and his fervor for game tape can have a negative effect on him. Glad Bobo piped up, in essence telling him, ‘That was last year. This is now. Let’s go.’ Gave me goosebumps reading that.

  9. I think Bobo was better than good. He stuck with the run with Crowell until he spit the bit, then he jumped on RS IV. For all all those (including me) screaming for “stick with it until they prove they can stop it,” this was it.

    As far as the passing game went, he had a tremendously flawed instrument to work with in Murray. If Murray had hit the guys running free, we’d be celebrating the decided schematic advantage, but it’s not Bobo’s fault that he didn’t. And yet Bobo still had what it took to conceive and pull the trigger on the dagger call to maintain possession at the end. Very well done by him.

    Also, great job by Grantham and the D. In the fourth quarter, I was completely serene when the Gators had the ball.

    Special teams. Plumbing new depths. I’m not going to go all out about hiring a special teams coach, but there has to be accountability. Since Coach Richt has spread things across the staff, the chickens all come back to roost with him.

    • Fuelk2

      Indeed. When UF had the ball on offense in th second half, I felt about as nervous about them scoring as I did when we had the ball.

      • gastr1

        I miss Warren Belin. Whatever in hell he did last year with return units was beyond magic. Why didn’t anyone on staff take notes from that guy?

        • Keese

          No shit! I’ve said the same thing after Vandy.

          Last year we were young & had walk ons servicing special teams including kickoff return. We were also the best in the SEC last year (worse to first from 09 to 10). Belin had some magic.

      • The Lone Stranger

        ONE first down!!! Brilliant.

    • Brandon

      Bobo called a great game, but that won’t matter to those in the fan base, whom I have decided Bobo must have boinked their girlfriends during college. He’s going to be underappreciated until we run him off and get a truly bad OC then everybody will be like, shazam, Bobo wasn’t that bad, which will be small comfort at that point.

  10. Dawg Vent

    Wow, we only beat a mediocre UF team by 4 points? Lol. Give me a break. FIRE MARK RICHT!!!!!!!1!

  11. Hunkering Hank

    The defense is worlds better than last year. I think these Dawgs may end up being something special. Let’s don’t all assume what this team can’t do if they are given a chance. I say “given” a chance, because it would take a gift from Florida or Arkansas for it to happen. But the chance will also be earned because of the needed victories over our other SEC foes. Auburn looms large. Kentucky – shit. Go play basketball.

    I wasn’t at the game. I’ve got too much stuff happening to get down there. And, frankly, I’m tired of going down to watch my beloved Dawgs lose – and not just lose, but lose in the most awful way possible. This year was different – it came through the TV screen into my parents’ living room where I “lived” the game. My dad, who played basketball at UGA and is the biggest damn Dawg lover on Earth, was just flat happy. We both were. Just happy. I think it was a huge win. No fake juice. No bullshit endzone celebration scandal. Just the Dawgs giving me the feeling, somewhere in the third quarter, that even as bad as it had been, Florida would score no more and we would find a way to win it. Just like we used to. Let me say it again – like we used to.

    That said, I am still horrified that with a defense that good, we are still so vulnerable in so many ways. Our coaching is horrific nearly everywhere else. Right now Todd Grantham is the only guy kicking any ass on that staff. And make no mistake, he is kicking ass. I love what he did to that punk-ass Vandy coach. He didn’t give a shit about Charlie Weiss either. He wasn’t intimidated. For once, we outcoached Florida in a single phase of the game. Like Coach Grantham said, the defense played great – especially considering they were running a whole new gameplan beginning in the second quarter.

    Kiss it Muschamp. Suck it Gators. Love it Georgia.

    • gastr1

      I have a feeling that this win might get this team going the way the Michael Johnson catch versus Auburn did for the ’02 team. They were playing tight down the stretch, got that big comeback, then came out and blew the doors off of GTU, Arkansas, and Fla State.

      It would be good to see this team build enough confidence to really knock some tails around. There’s an opportunity to get that mojo going the next few weeks…

      • I kind’a feel that way too. I think these Dawgs are on the verge of a big breakout. New Mex St. will be a chance to work on special teams. Look for CMR to give Walsh a lot of chances to get it right in a no pressure (I hope) game.

    • Otto

      I think UGA could win the East next year 10-2 is likely. The defense will continue to improve. It all depends on how the OL looks.

      I agree with much of Hunkering Hank.

  12. HVL Dawg

    Muschamp is a loser. UF is the new Tennessee.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Add to that USCe isn’t for real but rather right now is living on luck and Spurrier’s wits. If we can get our act together we shoot to the top in the SEC East for the foreseeable future. UGA has the best shot at taking over the SEC East slot in the SECCG on an annual basis from what I am seeing. Now winning the SECCG–that’s going to be a test. But if we start going to it every year we’ll win our share and a chance at the BCSNC game in future years.

      • Keese

        “IF” the Dawgs make it to the SEC champ game, who would you rather face? LSU or Bama? I’d take LSU all day long

        • adam

          Les Miles is the trick play king. They’d for sure make us pay on at least one. Probably one on special teams.

          • BCDawg97

            Alabama. Shot at redemption for 08

            • slatedawg

              Agreed. And if we won, it would help us in recruiting battles and give some of these kids worshipping at the sabanic altar something to think about.

            • Dawgfan Will

              I agree as well. If we lost, well, we weren’t supposed to win anyway, were we? And if we won, damn that would be some sweet, sweet sugar falling from the sky.

  13. I was in the endzone where we went in for the last TD with RS. His energy was electrifying everyone. Everyone knew he was going to get the ball again up the gut and he did. Even the end of the game was electric as he blasted into the UF secondary to ice the game.

    Jarvis Jones. Four sacks. None bigger than the final one. Wow.

    Rainey dropped two passes that would have probably gone for TDs.

    Murray was great and awful. I felt like I was on a roller coaster every time he threw the ball.

    I can’t wait to see Conley and Mitchell line up together on the field.

    Special teams. What is there to say about the abomination that took the field Saturday afternoon. From Walsh, to the kickoff team, to Butler. I could not believe what I was witnessing.

    Everyone says Defense wins games. In this case, I would say so. We hemmed up the running game. Sacked and pressured Brantley all night. After the first quarter, there was little if any offense generated by UF.

    I kept hearing a rumor this weekend about some suspensions that will come down on Monday. I hope those turn out to be false.

  14. lobber10

    This season is reminding me a lot of 2007. I could actually envision us in the Sugar Bowl again if SC wins out, loses in the SEC ship and Bama LSU play for NC.

    • Paul

      I think a Bama/LSU rematch is a stretch…But anyways, only 2 teams from the same conference allowed in the 5 BCS games.

    • This season is reminding me a lot of 2003. We did beat up on the competition a lot more in 03, but in both cases the defense just kept us in every game–then by the time we got to the SECC game Georgia was so ravaged by injuries we just didn’t have the bodies to compete against the eventual MNC LSU. In 03 we blew out Auburn at home and struggled against Tech in Atlanta.

  15. W Cobb Dawg

    CTG & the D staff deserve a lot of the credit. They’ve brought passion, fight and capable coaching to this team. Kept the game close until the O could finally scrape together some points.

  16. Bob

    Walking out of that stadium last night was incredible. Watching Gators leaving en mass and teal seats show up by the thousands at around the 8 minute mark was wonderful. Looking at that scoreboard with 00:00 left was priceless.

  17. AusDawg85

    Give Grantham another $250k and asst HC title and give him responsibility for the special teams.

  18. orlandodawg

    fwiw, Andre Debose ran the fastest time in the state of Florida in the 100 and the 200 when he was in high school. He’s plenty fast. Our special teams still suck.

  19. Bevo

    “I’m guessing most are blaming the breakdowns in kickoff coverage on coaching, but I’m not sure they’ve got the best personnel deployed for the job.”

    Um, that’s not the job of the coaches as well?

  20. Go Dawgs!

    What a pleasant drive up I-10 West today…

  21. WFdawg

    I’m impressed that Grantham got the defense to comprehend and deploy a different scheme after the half, something they hadn’t worked on at all in preparation. I’ve been cautiously optimistic about the D so far, but I think I’m ready to throw that caution aside. Fellas, we got us a defense. And a D-Coordinator.

    • Bevo

      Cautiously optimistic? Are we watching the same team?

      D has been the only steady bright spot on the team! Starting when they held Boise to 10 pts in the first half after the offense put them in terrible position while racking up ZERO first downs in the first two quarters.

      This D has been legit since game 1. Grantham’s D is all we got going for us, brother, and it’s been that way since the Dome.

      • WF Dawg

        Cautious because Ole Miss, Miss St, and Tennessee aren’t good. And did you watch the Vandy game?

        • Bevo

          I hear ya on Vandy. But that was the worst the DEF has looked all season. But some (a lot) of that was a product of special teams errors. Just like in South Carolina, just like the Cocktail Party, etc. The DEF has been awesome other than parts of the Vandy game and Boise St (when the offense never showed up and left them out to dry) and have given me a lot to be bullish about since the beginning. I think that’s a pretty big deal. Grantham is earning his paycheck in my opinion.

          The three teams you mentioned are in fact bad football teams, but Tennessee was a very solid passing team against normal defenses. And our defense completely shut all three of them down, just like we did Florida.

          • WFdawg

            I’m totally with you now on the bullishness. After the last few years, though, I had been once bitten, twice shy. It’s a great feeling again not to mentally add 7 for the opponent every time we kick off.

  22. Smitty

    The defense was incredible other than Rambo’s blown coverage on 4th and 19. If Jarvis Jones played on Alabama or LSU he would be a household name this season. Hope he stays next year. I’m glad Richard Samuel has something special he can point to when his time is over at UGA, its been a winding road for him.

    • Krautdawg

      The blown coverage wasn’t Rambo. Reed ran up the seam, which is the ILB’s to cover. But I think we’ll all cut Ogletree a little slack during his first game back.

      • Fuelk2

        As good as Ogeltree is, Jordan Reed is a damn tough assignment for a LB.

        • Smitty

          Yep that is why there is safety help or there was supposed to be. On the replay he was just standing there with his hands in his pockets as the gator ran by.

      • Darrron Rovelll

        Wrong … Rambo was supposed to be the deep help but he came up to support the run when Brantley escaped the initial rush and stepped up in the pocket.

        He got caught in no-man’s land and Reed went right by him.

        • adam

          looked to me like he didn’t really escape the rush…

          they just tackled a blitzing LB (Christian Robinson, I think) and got away with some serious holding. That gave them time, prevented a sack, and created their big play.

        • He also “rubbed” Tree inadvertently which is why Reed got open. It was a blown assignment by Rambo, no doubt caused by Brantley stepping up in the pocket, but still. He did nothing on that play except get in Tree’s way, much less offer actual coverage help.

  23. D.N. Nation

    What I liked about this game- and was of course only able to appreciate miles away from the UGA bar in Washington DC I yelled myself speechless in- was that Georgia manned up and beat Florida after playing lousy. I’ve only been on board for the Richt years, so I only have 2004 and 2007. 2004 was a great senior team saying no more. 2007 was Stafford and Moreno teeing off on a green, and then still crummy, Gator D. Saturday afternoon was a Georgia team falling all over itself but still manning up- with the backups! I mean, Richard Samuel! Really!- and taking control.

    I mean, if we can do that…

    • The Lone Stranger

      And Chris Conley & Rhett McGOWAN!! One one critical series in the 4th quarter I noted the receivers deployed and it was Bennett/Conley/McGowan — and I can’t remember an out-and-out drop by any of the receivers throughout the game. Butchered routes, missed assignments, yes, but the sticky hands are evident

      • Scott

        +1. other than the two 4th down plays and Samuel’s running in the 4th quarter, that trio of freshman receivers was the most exciting memory of the game.

  24. Spike

    Didn’t Muschamp guarantee a Gator victory earlier this year?

  25. Macallanlover

    1. With Katherine nt manning the water bucket yesterday, who slipped the Red Bull into Samuel’s bottle? I mean seriously, it looked like someone plugged him into a 220 socket. Bet we see some more of that as he is gonna get high praise for that style of running. My Gawd! A Junior!

    2. On the other end of the spectrum, I can understand how Walsh can get like a golfer who has missed a couple of 3 foot putts and starts dickering around with his technique. That will get solved, and he can get his stroke back. What concerns me is his attitude during all this. Kid acts likes he doesn’t care, and won’t interact with teammates who comes to him to show support. Kickers may be a weird breed to some, but he better get his head right. I would just as soon have Bogatay trying than Walsh acting like he is above it all.

    • Keese

      Isn’t Walsh the reason we got Bogotay in the first place after his freshman year? If I was Walsh I’d take myself out of the game with Bogotay behind me. Not cost my teammates anymore missed opportunities. Let Walsh get his confidence back in a cupcake game or garbage time

      • Keese

        Better yet… Why dont they leave one kicker in until he misses then the other gets a shot. Why do the other players on the team have to compete but Walsh gets a free pass?

        • Macallanlover

          We got Bogatay specifically for kickoffs, which I am surprised he isn’t doing anyway. Walsh was always rock solid on FG’s until this fall so we wouldn’t have used a scholly on him unless he was a worthy backup. I wouldn’t go as far as make every kick a do or die, for any kicker, but I would spend a lot more time in practice with these two guys. I have never felt we had enough practice time, or emphasis, on STs under CMR. This weekend should embarrass him enough to make some changes.

          • Bevo

            I hope so. There have been ST warning signs all season yet the coaches have yet to resolve. ST meltdowns have almost cost us multiple games already. It’s on Richt to fix ASAP. However, that’s been the case for weeks so I actually am not too optimistic on that front.

            • Macallanlover

              True, but we hit an all-time low Saturday so the game with NM State should afford some time to work on this. We have had other breakdowns this year but FGs, punts, and coverage all in one game is a loud shout-out that something must be done. I will be optimistic about it, to not be makes the Auburn game a very scary contest. I want that one very badly, most important game left on the schedule….by far.

              • The Lone Stranger

                Bogotay ought to get a few FG tries in the NMSU game, just to examine his technique in a ‘real-time’ situation.

    • The kid needs to get it together or he is going to shank his way out of a paying job on Sundays.

      • Russ

        That’s what I was thinking. If you think Walsh doesn’t care, or isn’t trying, then I strongly disagree. It’s just mental, and he needs to figure out how to get out of it. I wonder if he’s got a coach like Kevin Butler or Rex Robinson? Hartman used to help our guys more than people imagined.

        • CPJ's fupa...

          I think Walsh’s problem’s are God’s way of telling Richt & Bobo to get more aggressive & creative in the red-zone…😉

  26. Our offense is still a continuing source of disappointment. I am thrilled we went for it on 4th down twice, but its a shame that’s what it takes for us to get any offense going.

    Thank god we have an amazing defense.

    Can we get a mirror image of CTG to be our new O-coordinator?

    I just pray to god that some school somewhere hires Bobo away to be their head coach. Because I just know CMR doesn’t have the balls to fire him.😦

    • NC Dawg

      I don’t get you. This was a well called offensive game for UGA. If you want to yell at or about somebody, figureout who coaches the kickoff team.

      • Bevo

        Bobo and Richt don’t take any responsibility for poor execution on offense all season (assuming their gameplans and playcalling have been sufficient)?

        • adam

          If Murray hits a few of those wide open guys and our receivers make a few more tough catches, then our offense in that game looks a hell of a lot better.

  27. NC Dawg

    Any word on injuries from the game? Crowell missing his usual fourth quarter; Sanuels had to be helped off the field at the whistle; and Murray took a lickin’.

  28. PatinDC

    The opposite of Energy Vampire is…Power Ranger!

  29. Richard Samuel will have his name written in Bulldog legend for all time.
    He’s officially a hero!
    Eddie Meatcleaver Weaver would be (is?) proud!

  30. BulldogBen

    Now that I’m starting to come out of the “sheer bliss” phase I’m looking at Murray’s performance. I just can’t seem to get a bead on this kid.

    For everything he does great there are some things that just leave me scratching my head. I feel like he’s Tony Romo-esque. He wants to win, he passes the eyeball test, can do great things, but can frustrate the hell out of you as well.

    • paul

      Personally, I’m beginning to think Murray just isn’t a big game quarterback. He’s extremely talented and can often make outstanding plays. He’s usually pretty smart with the ball (though he needs to learn to throw it away). Murray generally doesn’t make bad decisions. However, in big games he seems to get so tightly wound that he can’t get out of his own way. He never seems comfortable or relaxed.

  31. kckd

    I gonna have to disagree with the thought that UGA played like the team with the mental advantage. We had freaking nut up jobs all over the field and if UF had managed to put on one of those last possessions in the endzone, we’d all be talking about how we nut up again. Walsh missed two fgs, butler had the worst game of his career, Orson Charles was making stupid penalties in the first half. Murray couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at times with wideopen receivers all over the field. Figgins dropped TD. They definitely looked tentative at times. Luckily, the defense did not after they got over UF’s QB games at the beginning. But we damn sure had our share of players who nutted up.

    • Bevo

      Yep. The defense was immune and that’s the only reason we won.

    • Junkyard Dawg '00


      I think the point is that we pulled it out despite all of this “nutting up”. On the flip side, our D shut down a heroic effort by a senior QB, two of our TDs came on clutch throws and catches on fourth down plays, no less, and our back up Linebacker came in and ran it down their throats to win and ice the game. Half empty or Half full my friend. Going into it, and looking at it like 3-18 , as most did, I’d say the cup is full and possibly running over!

      • kckd

        I’m happy with the win. But I’m alright with still callign a spade a spade even if we did win. It was obvious we weren’t exactly cool, calm and collected out there. The defense gave the offense chance after chance to put the game away, they finally did with less than a minute left on the clock. Just to give you an idea of what went on after that final touchdown….

        We had to punt twice from our own endzone with Butler putting the defense in a treacherous spot each time.

        Murray missed an open Charles that would’ve secured a first down, allowed us to burn more clock and given Butler more space if we didn’t get the next first down. A pretty routine, fairly high pct. pass that he makes the majority of the time.

        We have a false start on Butler’s last punt back there that backs him up even further to the point he’s almost touching the backline. Finally, the defense gives the offense their third chance to put the game away and they do finally. But make no mistake, if the defense failed in a situation they were put in precariously, we’d all be talking about teh nut ups of the offense and special teams. They were present. The defense saved their ass.

        • Right, and the fact that we were able to make “nut ups” like this, yet still pull it out/and have Florida nut up in their own way is why people say we had the psych advantage for once. It was no longer “uh oh, we’re gonna find a way to lose again.” Nor was it “thank goodness we’re playing so well, that’s our only hope!” It was “ouch, that wasn’t pretty. But we still got ’em on D. Let’s stop ’em again and do better on the next possession!”

          We were like a team leaving runners on base with a one run lead, but a very excellent bullpen. It sucks leaving runners on base, but it doesn’t suck to have a lead and it doesn’t suck to have a great bullpen that is likely to hold on to that lead no matter what you do with those baserunners.

          GA can play C ball on O and F ball on ST and still win = the psych worm has turned.

        • Bevo

          kckd makes some good points here.

          We won because we were the better team (really b/c we have a strong defense) but not because we shrugged of the psych/nut-up factor.

          We failed the nut-up tests but we played a weak Gators team and crushed them with our dominant defense.

          Call a spade a spade. Still an awesome win either way.

  32. Can't Get Right

    Have Bogotay kick off for touchback, eliminating scary returns until we get kick-off coverage figured out. He can hammer the hell out of it. Why hasn’t CMR thought of that when Walsh just can’t get right?

  33. Pingback: Second Verse, Same As The First « Obi's Sister

  34. BuzMan

    Hopefully they finally figured out how to play to Samuel’s strengths. Don’t send him outside or give him some cutback runs….Put him behind a fullback and let him build some steam and knock some people out of his way. I love 4 yards and a cloud of dust because defenses hate it. A few quarters of that and defenses start trying to tackle differently or just plain get out of your way.

    • NRBQ

      I’ve waited all year to see what IC could do from back there, instead of lining up at Murray’s elbow.

  35. Scott

    Can someone hit the slow button but on rewind and identify the 11 guys we have on kick return coverage? No offense intended, but it seems composed of an inordinate amount of Caucasians. (Or maybe I just can’t get that vision of our pathetic kicker #57 chasing after demps- so all i see are white guys).

    Are we filling special teams with walk-ons and scrubs?

    • Macallanlover

      Talent is the decisive factor, not color, but our depth issue may be driving the personnel decision on STs. I thought it was scheme on the coverage, not color, or talent. You cannot run into the center and bunch up. When the returner bounced to the outside, all in white unis were at a disadvantage and no one, regardless of color, was going to catch Demps. Have to look at the coverage lanes and fix that, adding talent is a necessity too.

    • NRBQ

      Instant ST improvement?

      Leave Grantham’s first team in for kicks and punts.

  36. Will Trane

    There is a saying from coaches. “If you keep making the same mistake, well…you get the same mistake.

    Special teams is a major issue for CMR and staff. These teams are putting way too much pressure on the defense and the offense.

    Without looking at the film it is hard to say what it is. Personnel? Time devoted to it in practice? Speed and tackling ability of the players? Maintaing lane coverage, and etc.

    But the major problem is this. Blair Walsh. “Love and devotion” from a coach does not win games. Walsh needs to get the ball deep in the end zone. Does he have an injury? Do not think so because there are no reports of it. Is it a have confidence issue. Do not think so because some kicks are spot on. Does he have a consistency issue. Absolutely. I do not think he was the leg whip anymore. The speed of the ball seems slow. His field goal and kick off kicking is very bad at present.

    CMR and staff need to assign a coach or grad coach to him this week and look at some film very closely. Which brings me to this point about special teams and kick off coverage. I recall a few years ago after Green made a spectular catch in the end zone late in the LSU game to put the Dawgs on top. Remember that kick off coverage. Well, in the end it cost them a win.

    Here is my point. This is not a new issue under CMR. But it is an issue that love and devotion will not do one damn thing to resolve. You would think that CMR could understand that from his years at FSU with Bowden and the tight games they lost due to a field goal.

    My next comments are going to be on a QB that is not performing as good as he should. At one time I thought Murray held the ball too long. Saturday afternoon I begin to rethink that a little. Murray has all the makings of a Blair Walsh…a player in decline and afraid to be good.

    • Scott

      Good points. It may be the trend not to have a special teams coach, but clearly we need one. Our defense has improved too much to give it all away due to poor special teams.