I’m shocked, shocked to find that relying on the kicker is going on in here.

Michael Elkon and I exchanged a few observations on Twitter yesterday as the debacle unfolded.  I was kind of amused to see that he was more angry about the outcome than I was (he’s got more invested in MSU than I do, but then, again, Beyond Crompton resonates more with me than with him).  That being said, it’s hard to argue with his logic here:

… I feel no such compunction this morning after referring to Georgia’s decisions in the first overtime against Michigan State as “the dumbest playcalling of all-time,” an episode of “epic stupidity,” and Georgia “voluntarily castrating themselves.” Mark Richt’s course of action was just that bad. College football implemented its new overtime rules in 1996 and over that 15-year time period, I cannot recall any team getting the ball in the bottom half of an inning and settling for a field goal without making any attempt to get the ball any closer than 25 yards out. And the funny thing is that there have been plenty of college coaches who did not have kickers who finished dead-last in their conferences in field goal percentage and those coaches have all said to themselves “you know what, a 42-yard field goal is not a gimme for a college coach; maybe I should try to get 15 yards or so so that the odds of making this field goal go up significantly.”

Richt’s decision just reeked of timidity. He was so scared of a turnover that he chose to put Blair Walsh in a difficult position. Coaches do this all the time, knowing on a conscious or subconscious level* that if a kicker misses, the fans and media will usually blame the kicker instead of the coach. In this instance, Richt should and probably will get the vast majority of the criticism. Walsh missed 12 kicks this year on 31 attempts. Georgia lost 22 turnovers in 945 plays. In essence, Richt was so concerned about the 2.3 percent chance of a turnover on a given play that he chose the 38.7 percent chance of Walsh missing a field goal. I may have been a liberal arts major in college who dropped Statistics 402 within a week, but even I can figure out that Richt’s decision was obviously bone-headed by a wide margin.

As I’ve already mentioned, the odds for a successful Walsh field goal improve dramatically once Georgia moves inside the 23, but Michael’s point is still well taken.  Richt was way too passive at that point, and it backfired on him dramatically.

But that takes me to his bigger point:  “Mark Richt made an indefensible decision in the overtime period against Michigan State.  How much weight should we give to that mistake in evaluating Richt?”

Judging from some of the comments I’ve seen, there are some folks who think the answer to that question is plenty.  You can shoot me, but I’m not nearly so convinced.  Deferring to the field goal is what Mark Richt does and what he’s done since he set foot in Athens.  He’s a conservative game manager, come hell or high water.

He’s also the head coach, come hell or high water.  Which means the issue isn’t about changing his tactics/approach to the game – because that’s not in the cards, folks, no matter how much you may wish otherwise – but rather, it’s about what other steps he takes to offset the downside to his game management skills.

Elkon says as much with this:

Richt’s shockingly [Ed. note:  not really] conservative disposition during the end-game of the Outback Bowl was and remains indefensible, but the passage of time reminds me of one truism: we all overrate the importance of late game decisions when evaluating a coach. When it comes to determining whether a program wins or loses, late game strategery is the easiest factor for fans to judge. We can put percentages on various courses of action, such as the odds of a turnover versus missing a 42-yard field goal. Additionally, because late game play-calling is the last impression that we have of a team for a week (or, in this case, for eight months), it sticks out in the memory and the recency effect takes over. However, this factor isn’t nearly as important as the other things that a head coach does.

Recruiting is much more important and Richt has done a very good job in that department such that we can have the sense that Georgia had too much talent to go down the way it did yesterday. Managing a staff is more important and Georgia fans are pretty much united in their affection for Todd Grantham (and well they should be in light of the defense’s performance this year). As the demises of Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno have shown this year, the CEO functions performed by a head coach are also critical. Dawg fans should have no concerns about Richt making the right decision if he were confronted with a potentially incriminating e-mail or a (alleged) pedophile assistant coach. Making timid decisions at the end of a close game is annoying, but in the grand scheme of things, it is only a small portion of the pie chart when evaluating a head coach.

And that’s the issue we really ought to be addressing.  If we have to hold our noses and take the dumb moment in a tight game as part of the price, what should we hold Richt accountable for such that the program can succeed in spite of that?  I’d argue the following:

  • Consistently excellent recruiting.  As we’ve seen, talent doesn’t always overcome, but I’d rather take my chances with it than without it.  Georgia needs the highly skilled talent and the overall depth that comes with top classes year after year.
  • A top-notch defensive staff.  It’s the one area of the program that Richt doesn’t directly involve himself with, and it has to be there to carry the weight.  It’s one of the sure ways to offset Richt’s innate conservatism on offense.
  • Competent special teams.  If you’re going to rely on your field goal kicker to save your bacon on occasion, best make sure he’s capable of doing that.  Good punting and coverage teams allow Richt to play the field position game that’s part of his conservatism.
  • Dominant offensive line play.  This one almost goes without saying.
  • Emphasis on fundamentals.  If your team is fundamentally sound, there’s that much less of a chance it will beat itself.

Georgia’s problem over the past five years is that it hasn’t always been strong enough in these other areas.

152 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

152 responses to “I’m shocked, shocked to find that relying on the kicker is going on in here.

  1. DawgPhan

    I think that the kicking issues this season have to be one of the strangest parts of this season. But this just seemed like a season where kicking FGs was not in the cards. Around the country missing FGs was the meme this season. On the way to work this AM I thought, this is how Bama fans must have felt after the first LSU game…at least they get a rematch.

  2. Derek

    Given that Murray had 3 to’s and we couldn’t run and that a sack aggravates things, I’m not convinced that the decision was that bad. The guy barely missed the kick btw. To suggest that we only had to worry about a to is to ignore that almost a third of our plays ended with negative yardage.

    • Hackerdog

      The question isn’t whether an attempt to get closer was guaranteed to work. It obviously wasn’t. The question is whether an attempt to get closer was a better choice than centering the ball, while intentionally losing 3 yards in the process. I would rather lose 3 yards running off the right tackle in an attempt to move closer than lose 3 yards by taking a knee.

      • Spence

        Until yesterday, most if not all of BW’s misses came from the right hash. The staff had to know that and wanted it centered.

        • Hackerdog

          Yes. But, on first down, Thomas ran around the left end, resulting in the ball being on the left hash for the second down play. A run to the right side of the line would probably have resulted in the ball being centered on third down closer than the 26 yard line. And it might even have resulted in a first down.

          The fact is that there’s just no dressing up that decision. It’s like the 2001 Auburn game when Richt called a run play with 16 seconds left and no timeouts. It was dumb. Richt learned his lesson on clock management after that game. Let’s hope he learns his lesson on OT strategy and long field goals after this one.

    • Max protect. Two-man route. Fly on one side. In-cut or comeback on the other. Look at the latter route first. If not open, throw to the former at the back pylon where the defender can’t get it. What’s the downside of a playcall like that? No sight adjustments that caused the picks. Minimal risk of a sack because you have eight blockers.

      Remember how UGA scored their first TD? Max-protect, two-man route.

  3. Sooooo, Richt is good at everything a coach needs to do except in-game decision-making. And to compensate, the team needs to play above the level at which they are coached.

    If we are content with this, then we need to re-evaluate our expectations of the program’s success. We cannot expect consistent excellence with a coach that can’t coach ‘em up in a game. We must settle for competing for a division title every few years and halfway decent bowl trips instead of anything like national title talk, SEC championships, or 12-0 seasons.

    • Sooooo, Richt is good at everything a coach needs to do except in-game decision-making. And to compensate, the team needs to play above the level at which they are coached.

      You really think that’s what I meant? You need to read my post again, brother.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Whether or not you intended in your post to say what Trey said above that is, in fact, what you really said. Freudian slip perhaps? Just sayin.’

        • Please show me where I said “Richt is good at everything a coach needs to do except in-game decision-making”.

          My last observation was, in fact, the opposite: “Georgia’s problem over the past five years is that it hasn’t always been strong enough in these other areas.”

          Perhaps you should hone your reading comprehension skills. Just sayin’.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            “If we have to hold our noses and take the dumb moment in a tight game as part of the price….” Perhaps you should think through what message you really intend to send before you put something in writing. Just sayin.’

            • Look, I’m not going to get in a semantics pissing match with you here, but if you interpret that to mean I think Richt has been doing a bang-up job in every other department but game management, either you can’t understand what I wrote, or you’ve got an agenda that won’t let you understand what I wrote. You’ve never struck me as dumb, so I’m betting on the latter.

              Not only that, Mayor, but how long have you been reading this blog? Have you ever seen me write anything close to that?

              • Junkyard Dawg '00

                I believe the important issue that should ring loudest and was touched upon within some of these comments in regards to Richt is that he is the Head Coach (CEO if you prefer) of our Football team and he has many functions to handle in that role. But, the most important function is to be a great role model to these kids, and I believe he stands second to no one in that role, IMO. Obviously, winning is important too… But not as all-important as its made out to be these days. Look, UGA is winning games. Some years at a real good clip, but you can’t win them all. Vince Dooley didn’t win every game. I’m too young to have watched and followed any of the games before the mid eighties but I am certain he made bad decisions, in-game and out, but look at the success he had in the early 80′s. And if you would have gauged it by the ’78 and ’79 season, you would have not foreseen it happening either.
                I played sports all the way through High School and the most important lessons I learned from my coaches were the ones that involved life lessons and not the X’ and O’s. Yes, strive to win every game! Make changes when necessary but don’t lose sight of what college, is suppose to be about. Penn State is the horrible result of what happens when you do.

              • Derek Dooley

                I have no agenda. I just point out what I can clearly read in English. I did not take what you wrote to mean that you do not believe the 5 bullet point items you gave at the end of your post, which BTW I agree with. I did take what you wrote to mean that in addition to those 5 bullet points you acknowledge that with CMR sometimes “we have to hold our noses and take the dumb moment in a tight game as part of the price” of having the guy as HC of the Georgia Bulldogs football team. There’s nothing wrong with that observation. I actually think it is one of the more cogent things you have ever said on this blog. Why are you being so defensive? Senator, “Methinks that thou protest to much.” Lighten up, man.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Please excuse the error in the “nom d’ plume” above. The above was authored by me, not SOD, whom I sometimes play on the intertubes.

                • Mayor, I’ll leave you to read Trey’s response to mine, and call it a day here.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    See Trey’s refinement of what he meant, below, which I think clarifies his interpretation of your post and what he was trying to say. I’ll also call it a day here.

      • I wasn’t trying to shoehorn you into a Richt apologist. I completely agree with everything you said. My comment was more tongue-in-cheek as to where we find ourselves as a fanbase. And, I agree that Richt has not been “good” at everything else the last several years. Perhaps I should have said “must be good at everything…” to be more accurate.

        But, honestly, I’m not so sure that being good at everything else will be enough to get Georgia another SEC championship ring. Unless they stock the team with NFLers like Alabama or LSU, they will not be able to out-talent anybody.

        I think the team has Richt’s personality. He has often said they need to learn to finish. But, when the coach’s idea of finishing is to stop playing and drain the clock, is it really a shock when the team stops playing and hopes time runs out before they lose? Not to me. Not to a lot of Georgia fans at this point. The only real shocker this year was that it only bit ‘em in the ass once and not at Vandy or Tennessee.

        • Sorry I misunderstood.

          You know what gives me some hope that Richt can rise above his poor game management skills, even in today’s SEC? Two words: Les Miles.

          • I keep wanting to correlate Miles to Richt, but I just can’t help but feeling they are more opposite than they are alike. Miles coaches like there are 65 minutes on the clock. Richt desperately wants there to be 45. And, it’s not so much Miles’s game management that is awful, as it is his clock management. Miles seems to push the right buttons when it matters, and he plays to win the game. With the exception of the Florida game (where was that same balls-out playcalling in the bowl game? Losing to Florida would have been muuuuuch worse, but he was playing to win there.), I feel Richt plays not to lose.

            Going forward, I hope Richt can have the type of success Miles has had at LSU, but he will need a serious upgrade in talent if that’s the case. I think the UGA defensive staff is equal, especially given the talent disparity. The o-line has to get better, the special teams need to be less “special,” and the QB has to stop giving the ball away. If they can do those things, then UGA can be elite again, despite Richt’s propensity to mismanage his team into losses. If not, then we will get more of the same.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              The only good thing that may come out of what happened in the Outback Bowl is that now everybody sees, finally, what I have been preaching for over 2 years. The emperor has no clothes. CMR is a terrible game day coach. Now that the cat is finally out of the bag what are we gonna do about it? THAT is the subject that should be in the front of everybody’s mind.

              • gastr1

                What are “we” gonna do about it?? You’re the Mayor. What are you proposing–Occupy Butts-Mehre?

              • Puffdawg

                You were also preaching last January we fire Richt and sign Mullen to a 5 yr $3M contract. Thank God you are not in charge of making critical decisions like this.

  4. Scott W.

    How much longer do we have to be understanding? This bullshit is getting tiresome. All in all I can’t say I’m surprised one bit, I just hope this serves as a learning opportunity.

    • I’m not saying we have to be understanding. I’m saying that if we have to live with it, Richt had better make sure the rest of what he’s responsible for is beyond reproach. And that hasn’t been the case the past five years.

      • 69Dawg

        Mark is like a juggler who just can’t keep all the balls in the air. He will do great with 3 but drop the 4th, then he gets the 4 thing going but drops another one.

      • Keese

        Did everyone forget that earlier in the game Richt went for it on 4th and short up the middle instead of playing conservative and going for the easy points?

        Let’s just imagine for a second a plausible scenario:

        Walsh has been booming the hell out of 60 yarders and making everone over the last month. Richt feels confident Walsh is back to his old self.

        Murray on the other hand has cooled off and also thrown two interceptions and given up one fumble. Running game is non-existant and the RB’s have had fumbling problems in the past.

        Richt is making a gut check call either way. This is NOT the worst in game decision I’ve seen Richt make before. The 3rd down kick instead of 4th down was b/c of possible bad snap still have a second try.

        • AusDawg85

          This is probably closer to the truth, but still searches for an answer as to how our offensive brain-trust can’t find a solution given all the weapons at their disposal. CT did go wide and got a couple of yards, not stuffed. We did seem to have better speed to get to the perimeter. Aaron is pretty good when we roll the pocket and would know to get down (this time). A fade to the corner with MM or TK (who is having a career day) is a better shot than worrying about a fumbled snap on a 3rd down kick.

          But the real truth is the game was lost on many miscue’s and play calls much earlier in the game, setting us up for failure, not victory.

  5. DCDAWG

    Aside from what happened in OT, I’m convinced that the fate of our team rested with our O-line play. Way too many sacks and absolutely no push from this veteran unit. True, Bobo called many run plays up the middle. Some can blame him but at some point, our O-line needs to step up and take control. I can’t blame a coach for trying to run the ball at an SEC school. Others have said that we should have continued to air out the ball like we did in the first half. That’s a fair point but what if we went 3 and out? Our biggest threat was King and he wasn’t clicking the way he was in the first half with Murray.

    • Raleigh St. Clair

      I can blame coaches for insisting on trying to run the ball at an SEC school when those coaches have consistently failed to recruit and develop SEC OLs. In fact, I blame our coaches for that very thing, among others.

      Fools Gold.

      • DCDAWG

        We have two linemen that are going to the NFL on this squad. I suspect that’s more than MSU.

        • fuelk2

          Cordy will play guard in the NFL. He would not be an NFL tackle. I suspect the other player you refer to is Ben Jones. I guess we’ll just have to see about him. My sense is that he’s lived on the reputation he built as a freshman.

        • Raleigh St. Clair

          What does that have to do with fielding an SEC OL? So 2 players may go pro for an undetermined amount of time.

          Did that really matter all that much when the other 3 were being pushed around like rag dolls? Did it matter all that much when there were no replacements on the sideline? Does it really matter all that much when 2 guards are manning the tackle positions?

          • Hackerdog

            You think that a player going pro is independent of the coaching he receives in college?

            • Raleigh St. Clair

              Not at all, but I do mnow that SEC OLs consist of 5 OL, and that it doesn’t mater a lick that 2 of them are going pro if the other 3 are totally ineffective as was the case against MSU and at other times this season.

              I also know that having two potential pros doesn’t mean a whole lot if the OL consists of 4 Gs and 1 C.

              • Hackerdog

                Isn’t Alabama playing a guard at left tackle? I think it can work.

                • Raleigh St. Clair

                  Is he better than Bean? I think I know the answer. And if you, for one second, think UGA’s recruitment and development of OL is even close to being on par with Alabama’s, then you simple are not interested in having an honest conversation about the team you follow.

                  • Hackerdog

                    I am being honest. You posted earlier that having a guard playing tackle is a negative mark on a program. Alabama is doing exactly that with good results. Actually, Cordy Glenn is a guard playing tackle with pretty good results. If you now want to switch your position, at least be honest enough to drop one argument and make a new one, rather than trying to argue against straw men.

                    • Joe

                      You are dishonest and disingenuous. Our OL is a joke compared to Alabama’s, and it’s not even debatable.

                    • Hackerdog

                      You lack reading comprehension. I never stated that our line was comparable to Alabama’s. I was responding to a point RSC made that playing a guard at tackle was the mark of poor coaching. Alabama is playing a guard at tackle. And Alabama has one of the better lines in the country. That fact undercuts his point that poor OL play is explainable by playing a guard at tackle.

                      Honestly.

              • Cojones

                I imagine all teams want all their linemen to be better than anyone else. Do you know of O lines that are putting more in the NFL (possibly) than were present on our line? Yep, they all have to play together as a unit to be successful. Yep, they were successful in more games than they weren’t. Yep , they weren’t as good in the games that had highly-ranked Ds across from them. Are you finally coming around to giving MSU credit for being a good defense as advertised?

                • Joe

                  What you mean to say is that they were good against the weak ass teams on our schedule, and downright awful against the 4 good teams we played. The fact is we didn’t beat a good team this year, not one.

                  • Cojones

                    Gee, I thought we played and beat 3 bowl teams. You might say they weren’t “good”, but that would be because we made’em that way when we played them. Who else beat Auburn worse than we did? Where in hell have you been? Never mind, I know.

  6. Cousin Eddie

    Offensive minded coaches typically want to play Offense. Richt will never win a MNC with a conservative win by three offensive. Like it or not ESPN rules college football and they want ratings, which means Offense.
    Not saying that a MNC is the think that Richt must have but he brought it up with his knocking on the door statement. I am not saying get rid of Richt. Hell I don’t know what I am saying, getting home from a game at 1:47 AM does that, especially after one that was given away.
    I think Richt must reflect back on this season as a failure to some extent and make the needed changes whether they be to his conservative nature, playcalling, staff, personell, recruiting or choice of lucky socks. This program is still not where expectations are.

    • DawgPhan

      Ummm ESPN wants points because points = ratings? Did you happen to see who is in the title game and their previous matchup?

      • Cousin Eddie

        I think they both rank in the top 20 in scoring. Yes, the previous game was a low scoring affair but that is not typical for either offense. The offenses are usally around 35 pts each . While both are defensive teams they have pretty powerful offenses too.
        The saying goes ” Defense wins games but offense sells tickets”
        I was talking in generallities not specifics though.

        • DawgPhan

          Except that all day yesterday ESPN was bashing the pass happy offenses and sad defenses.

          Drive for show, putt for dough.

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    “Georgia needs the highly skilled talent and the overall depth that comes with top classes year after year.”

    Ya think?

  8. Zdawg

    Conservative playcalling is an unmistakable aspect of Richts coaching style. That being said, the failure to field and dominant offensive line throughout his tenue is by far the most glaring fault with this coach. Once again, this will bite us in the ass next year. The rest is just nit picking.

  9. Raleigh St. Clair

    There seems to be some confusion about the difference between conservatism and rampan stupidity. Richt’s decision wasn’t conservative. In fact, it was incredibly risky.

    Richt’s approach is timid and it shows as much in the beginning and middle of games as it does in the end.

    The moments of aggression are fleeting and they disappear as soon as an “aggressive” call doesn’t work out.

    Also, we’ve had a dominant OL maybe twice under Richt. The STs have been subpar more often than not of late. And, to top it off, the recruiting has returned to underwhelming after the brief supernova of the Dream Team.

    Luckily, we have another soft schedule next year. The wins will be nice till we get trucked again in the SECCG.

    The coach that Richt is, isn’t good enough to beat the big boys in the new SEC.

    • 4.0 Point Stance

      “Richt’s decision wasn’t conservative. In fact, it was incredibly risky.”

      This is an excellent point. The issue is one of appearances, though; the deeper question is why it is so ingrained that certain decisions are the “safe, conservative” ones to make even in the presence of empirical evidence to the contrary.

      • Raleigh St. Clair

        That is a surprising among coaches across football.

        For example, CNNSI has highlighted the incredibly bad time management that happens all of the time in the NFL.

        Unforunately for UGA fans, CMR takes it to seemingly new extremes all the time. The propensity to go away from gameplans that have been working in the name of being safe being the most glaring example.

        The FG strategy on Monday was just unbelievable. Hard to fathom.

        • Cojones

          Except he gets blamed for risky and conservative plays as well. If you all could just red what is written here, you can see the justifications for pontificating wildly abound. You each negate each other’s arguments with your differing “insights”. It makes me wonder if fans are up to the task for criticizing in any manner that can help the team. WHAAATT? You’re not criticizing to help the team? Ok, some of you are, but pray tell, how will it benefit the team? That is why we are blogging on a fan’s blog, isn’t it?

          By the way, Senator, I’m one of those reading comprehension problems because I took your words the same way that the Mayor did. But what the hell, that just makes my comprehension skills right in line with my idea expression skills. See what I mean?

  10. gastr1

    “Richt’s decision wasn’t conservative. In fact, it was incredibly risky.”

    Gotta agree with that.

    • Zdawg

      Yes, which means there is a difference between playing conservative and playing not to lose (aka, scared).

      • Raleigh St. Clair

        Exactly. It may seem like a small distinction, but it is an important one.

        Richt, in the name of risk minimization, often manages games in a way that increases the chances of his team losing.

        It’s mind boggling and stupid.

        • Cojones

          I’ll bet you can prove that about every coach in football by telling how he should have done this instead of that. Yessir, this is one mindnumbing blog about coaching and what ain’t. There is justification for us all to be the greatest coaches after-the-fact than anyone would ever believe. Or shouldn’t.

          Just shows that mind boggling and stupid can be interbred if you get enough nonthinkers and idiots together. I think there is a PhD’s-worth material in psychology waiting on these blogs for someone.

          • gastr1

            Cojones, you may be right in regard to the vast majority of fan posts criticizing coaching, but the decision to take a knee to kick a 42-yard FG is so risky/stupid that virtually no other coach does it.

            Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Looks to me like the fans found their nut on this one.

      • 69Dawg

        +1 Nail meet hammer. He plays scared not smart. Your kicker can’t get his head straight and you want to trust him? Now that’s just stupid. Mark is afraid he will offend somebody, therefore he does nothing to offend anybody. He is a mild mannered guy swimming with sharks, guess who will get eaten.

  11. hailtogeorgia

    What completely baffled me was not just the approach (two plays and then line it up) but the actual play calling. Why run Carlton Thomas to the left, just to run the stupid little Murray kneel down to center it back up to the right? If you’re going to do that, just run it up the middle with your backs and at least try to get SOME yards. It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Cojones

      You think that Carlton might have gone left to outrun the line for some open field? What would your next play be since running up the middle wasn’t working and since others on here have criticized that as well? If your QB is trying to center up, I don’t think he intentionally let MSU’s D keep him from making a few yards? Can’t someone realize that the line play was precarious at this time and they were shooting the gaps ? Can’t someone make a statement that brings the “in the arena” facts into play at this time of the game? I find this to be the most offensive and egregious facts left out of our discourse. Otherwise, you seem like a frustrated coach with the simplistic answers you are giving to incomplete plays you are making. You don’t take “in-the-arena” facts into consideration when making calls that, on the face of it, appear stupid.

  12. Dog in Fla

    McGarity, who learned some math but mostly applied physics while on the tennis team, will have Mark take an online Math is Hard re-education course for help in solving field goal attempt problems even though Mark already knows how to count to 3,000,000

    http://library.thinkquest.org/J002235/hard.html

  13. PNWDawg

    Poor call by Richt. I just believe this loss falls on the team in its entirety. (I’ll give Boykin a pass, though.)

  14. MinnesotaDawg

    Such questions once again lead to the overarching one: What kind of program do we really want Georgia to be? How ambitious are we as Georgia fans and supporters? Do we really expect excellence from our players and coaches? Are we content with being pretty good and occasionally competing for a conference championship (if the chips fall our way)? I have my views regarding this question and you have yours.

    As much as I like Richt in many respects, it’s become increasingly difficult to simply accept those timid, frequently questionable, and sometimes gutless strategic decisions because they appear to be a permanent part of his coaching makeup–and not something he will grow out of through experience or encouragement. He is who he is. The tease of this year’s “take-the-bull-by-the-horns” approach that won us the Florida game is the exception, and apparently we learned nothing from the rewards that resulted from this attitude.

    Do Georgia fans have any confidence in our coaches in tight, late game situations? The results against teams with equal talent suggest that they shouldn’t. Under Richt, it seems that we must be willing to suffer at least one or two self-inflicted, painful losses each year as a direct result of strategic blunders. This might be a suitable (if excruciating) trade-off if all other aspects of the program were excellent or consistently very good. Unfortunately they are not at this point. As a result, we will likely continue to be a good but not great football program, and our “success” will depend upon the mediocrity or ineptitude of our competition and not our own excellence. The window provided by the current troubles of UT, AU, and UF provide an historical opportunity for special Georgia football seasons, but I fear we aren’t capable of taking advantage.

    • Under Richt, it seems that we must be willing to suffer at least one or two self-inflicted, painful losses each year as a direct result of strategic blunders. This might be a suitable (if excruciating) trade-off if all other aspects of the program were excellent or consistently very good. Unfortunately they are not at this point. As a result, we will likely continue to be a good but not great football program, and our “success” will depend upon the mediocrity or ineptitude of our competition and not our own excellence.

      Exactly my point. The question is whether Richt can do enough in the other areas I’ve outlined to overcome his game management shortcomings.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      Very well said! CMR will continue to be the HC of our beloved football program for the foreseeable future. And during his time at Georgia we will continue to witness losses due to his shortcomings. I have accepted this fact. What this program will remain to be is an average regional football. This program lacks an offensive identity. CMR and CMB want to run the ball, but they are incapable of producing an offensive line or RB to allow this to happen. You must have either an incredible O-line or a stellar RB. Currently this program has neither. Until this staff finds its offensive playing personality, we will continue to struggle against equal and/or superior teams. As Dawg fans, we can only hope for continued soft schedules and for our rivals to continue to decline. Here’s to the 2012 season. Go Dawgs!

      • Puffdawg

        Glad you kept the moniker now aren’t you!

        BTW you could have read this exact same comment thread on an LSU board as recent as two years ago. Case in point…

        http://forums.tigerfan.com/sidelines/101241-fire-les-miles-now-let-shep-start-qb.html

        Also, please read this article and let’s all step away from the ledge.

      • Cojones

        Is this the former “Born Again Dawg”? If not, did you send the $10 you bet me and I requested you send it to Bobo to pay off your lost bet on the FU game? Would you mind sending proof or at least try to rescue your name from the Bet-Hedger bin? Otherwise, the other name suggested by Puffdawg (“Septic Dawg”) might stick.

  15. Mayor of Dawgtown

    This is merely the latest in a long line of coaching in-game f#ck-ups that have happened in the CMR era. They almost always are on the offensive side of the ball, too. It actually drives me bonkers. The guy does everything else right but seems to make the worst possible decision at the worst possible time that causes the team to lose games that it should win. The 2010 season was really the best example. At least 2 games (Arkansas and Colorado) were clearly lost because of bad offensive strategy at the end. I would argue that the same was true of the 2010 Florida game, as well, although that is less clear. I actually like Bobo as a coach, but not as OC with CMR as HC. If CMR is going to continue to be CMR he needs to get an OC that will shore up his weakness, not capitulate to it. That said, this is not the end of the world. We had a 10 win team in 2011 and most of the team will come back in 2012. We have a favorable schedule in 2012. I am optimistic about the future and every other Dawg fan should be, too. Will CMR learn from this? Unfortunately, history leads me to say this: Probably not.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Hey, that sounds like a certain QB I know — doesn’t the quarterback position presumably, since that is CMR’s forté, reflect the demeanor of the head coach at least to some degree?

  16. Dubs Dawgs

    Had alot of respect for the Senator before his last couple posts. Seems to be quite the Dick

  17. simpl_matter

    I was there, 50 yrd line, three rows back (best seats ever, FTW and the outcome), Richt’s call in the first overtime made sense to me. Our team was flat, other than the designated towel-wavers, we had nothing going. MSU’s sideline, on the other hand, was jacked. Their side of the stadium was going nuts. The point of using two more plays to gain a few critical yards is taken but, we could have just as easily lost yards on each attempt. I would have liked to see one pass attempt to the back of the endzone but, Murray might have given the series away with another INT. We had no run game, piss-poor protection, and Murray was not inspiring confidence. There were no good options.

    • Raleigh St. Clair

      Maybe so, but there were options that were more logical and more likely to be successful.

      Despite the momentum shift, the D had held.

      Yet, our coach decided to take course of action that guaranteed our kicker had to attempt a kick he was very likely to miss.

      Our coach could have at least tried to make it easier on the kicker.

      Was it possible to fail? Yep. Of course that likelihood didn’t seem to bother coach on the 43-yard attempt on 3rd down.

      It was never the right decision and no rationalization will make it so.

      • Scott W.

        +1 Exactly
        Even if they had run one more play and had to kick from the same spot, at least we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  18. fuelk2

    I know everyone is upset about the way the first OT played out, but I’m still more upset about the decision to run up the gut three times after getting a first down on the last possession in regulation (excluding the kneel down).

    I loved the throw to Conley in the UF game to seal the win, and our defense was dominating in the second half of that game. Why wouldn’t you try to seal the win in regulation here as well. The defense was clearly gassed and Ogeltree had just made a huge play to bail us out. So we make a decision to put them right back out there? I don’t get it.

    Also, I know the strategy was to make them use their TOs. The flaw in that thinking is assuming they needed any TOs to score a TD. There were almost two minutes left! That’s an enternity in college football.

    Really, everything from about the 3:00 mark in the 4th on was a total failure by our coaches.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      Absolutely. Both of these major coaching decisions were atrocious. That they happened one after another simply highlights Richt’s cluelessness when in comes to late-game management/strategy.

    • Zdawg

      That 3:00 mark series of playcalls was gutless (not even an OUTSIDE run???) and I knew if we were going to pull that game out, it would be in spite of the fact that we are playing tight and MSU was playing with nothing to lose. At that point I actually lost lost interest in watching the game. Man, I’m pissed today.

    • Derek

      Why do I sense that if msu had gotten the ball with 3 to’s and 3:00 to play and we had lost that you’d be the genius saying exactly the opposite today?

      You have to make the best decision you can at the time. Btw: the drive prior had ended in a pick by #6 so how you come to the “all is lost if we punt” conclusion I’ll never know.

      • Zdawg

        I actually don’t have a problem with playing agressive even if it does result in sometimes critical mistakes. All wasn’t lost when we punted, that is true. And it could of worked. But it didn’t and I wasn’t happy about it. Then I post on a blog second guessing. Thats the way it works doesn’t it?

      • fuelk2

        Did you watch how they went right down the field on us before the INT? Because they had 43 yards on five plays. I wasn’t confident that we could pull out another highlight reel play on D to stop them. Maybe that’s just me, but that’s how I reached that conclusion. It’s not like we were clamping down on them like we did in the first half.

        And while I understand assuming that people second guess everything (because many of our fans do), that’s not me. I wasn’t crazy about passing up the FG early in the game (and I liked taking those point last year against UCF), but I don’t second guess a reasonable call to go for it there to try to set the tone.

        I absolutely do second guess giving up on the offense completely and forcing a worn out defense to go back on the field.

        • The Lone Stranger

          And maybe that is another coaching point to pick there. Because the 4th down playcall on that first series seemed to me to be almost a carbon copy of what Bobo/Richt executed on the 1st down play in OT, before the infamous “centering play.” Only for the play in OT a 160 lb. player was sent into the grinder of an 8-man front. Counterintuitive on various levels.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        The sad thing is that Coach Richt or Coach Bobo is telling the other the exact same thing today: “Gosh Coach….we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t with these fans and the media, aren’t we? Yep, we just need to ignore it and keep on doing what we’re doing. Don’t forget are the Eastern Division champs–and you don’t become champs without great coaches!”

        And another opportunity to correct idiotic late-game strategy goes by the board. Look for it again next September!

  19. There you have it. The balance game of RICHT has also translated to a BALANCED SEASON – 2 losses on the front end and 2 at his rear end.

  20. BUT LET US TURN THIS NEGATIVE END TO A POSITIVE ONE. We all remember that 2008 BAMA team that bulldozed those hapless Dawgs. They lost to FU in the SECCG and then to Utah in the SUGAR bowl and then won the BCSCG the following season. There you are folks, something to look forward to in 2012.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      The difference being that our offensive coaching staff is simply not capable of putting together a complete unit and/or game plan. Until our coaching staff sees the light, or changes are made, we will continue to see a team lacking an identity on offense. This will equate to our Dawgs being a middle of the pack program. So, we have that to look forward to. Go Dawgs!

      • I just do not like to admit at times particularly around other SEC fans. But you are actually RIGHT ON.

      • Puffdawg

        Calling a team who went 7-1 in the SEC – and one who is the only team all season which held a halftime lead on the current consensus # 1 team in the country – “middle of the pack” is a tad drastic, don’t you think?

      • Cojones

        You are now being a hypocrit, Skeptic. A Bet-Hedging hypocrit.

  21. However, I just cannot help but listen to those critics of Murray who says that the guy has not won a game against a good solid team in his last 2 years. I still feel that Mason should have been given some snaps in the 3rd quarter after the first INT of Murray for a change of pace against a defense that seem to be gaining momentum, just like what could have been done in the SECCG.

  22. When winning a game is at stake, the feeling of players nor their family watching from the stand cannot stand in the way of changing key players including the QB. Murray still has 2 more years to prove himself anyway.

  23. Will Trane

    What is a “highly skilled talent” ? What is “competent”? They have skilled players. How many do you need? Look at the QB position. Murray has skills and talent. He just does not know how to use them. Why? Look at his position coach and OC. Plus, look at his maturity. Throws an 82 yarder to King, who came to play, and then proceeds to imitate the “ariplane” move of a former Auburn Qb and current Panthers’ QB. This kid can not get out of the box. Bench his skills and talent when he fumbles and throws another pick 6. But he has to have some confidence in his receivers and offensive line. There were none in the LSU and MSU games. Somebody needs to get the QB and receivers on the same page. Bennett is some where in space in the LSU and MSU game. But the 2 year starter has not progressed as much as he thinks during that time.
    Game management was not an Outback Bowl issue. It has been an issue for awhile. Along with Murray, Bobo and Richt are in the box. There is a difference in conservative play calling and just plain dumb play calling. Why do you run Thomas to the short side of the field. Then run your QB back to the wide side on the next play to center-up the ball. And your formation tell everyone that is what you are doing. Why in hell do you not have a trick play off that set. Your “better”coaches and OC in particular spend hours in the off season doing that. But not at UGA. The AD gives them a pass and an extension for more “conservative” play calling. Or maybe, just maybe some good game plan and game management.
    You go into the game against a mature team, hunger for a bowl win, a coaching staff tired of losing in a bowl…in other words a team ready to play and to win…why,then depend on field goal special team which has been an issue all season, suspect or non-existent running game, and very poor run blocking…none of those were there all year inspite of 10 wins. Empty the back field, use your speed at TE and WRs, shorten the passing game, move the chains and gain down and distance. Why hell no…let’s just run that I formation inside zone play…at least the old Ball Coach did one time, but he an All American TB, some lineman [in particularly tackles], and a line coach.
    It is all about coaching!

  24. Corbindawg

    I think way too much focus is put on the OT. No running game, not able to get but just 3 points of MSU turnovers, and the defense letting Cousins zip down the field with 1:55 left and no timeouts should all be points for scorn.

    Richt told his former elite kicker, who was a finalist for the Groza award two years ago (and who nailed a 47 yard FG later) and has the leg to hit from 53 and 56 as he has done this season, “Go out and do your job.”

  25. The second half play calling by BOBO is essentially the mirror image of the SECCG, no imagination and no guts. I now believe that he really suffers from “PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS”.

  26. Scott

    I don’t know if this is old news but Buck Belue stated on the radio today that according to his sources Richt took over the play calling for the 3 overtimes.

  27. W Cobb Dawg

    CMR doesn’t hesitate to put the defense in tough positions. But when it comes to confidence in the offense, forget it. His timidity speaks volumes about our offensive coaching. The offensive coaches are his ole buddies, former players, hangers-on, etc. Whereas the defensive coaches are paid pros who are held to a much higher standard.

  28. I wonder how many DAWG fans are still willing to sacrifice and let go of Richt and BOBO and probably suffer de-committment by recruits, a few more losses in the next two years but a possible BCSMNC.

  29. We will know soon how good McGarrity really is.

  30. Scott

    Unlike everyone else, my anger is centered on Isiah Crowell. He gets my goat for the loss. Call me a jerk if you want but I don’t believe Crpwell was genuinely hurt to the point of being unable to play. I have stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt with regard to his injuries. I think he was sulking about being back at no. 3 on the depth chart, which is why he took himself out of the bowl game. Recall that a month ago, with the SEC title game at stake, he pulled that stunt where he faked an ankle injury and refused to practice during the week because some scout team player tackled him hard. He also sat out bowl week practices with sniffles and with no mention of any lingering ankle problem. Bobo was asked about Crowell’s ankle injury post-game: “He’s had some bumps and bruises and that’s part of it,” OC Mike Bobo said. “We’ve got to become more consistent at that position. We’ve got some talent there, we just have to do a better job.” I took from his reply that Bobo would not confirm there was a legitimate re-injuring of the ankle.

    Anyway, nothing would make me happier than for Crowell to leave the program before signing day. I think Richt put up with him this year because we had to with so little depth. Hopefully, that won’t be the case next year. Crowell is worthless and the least deserving player I can remember to wear a UGA uniform.

    • SCDawg

      You’d think Crowell gave MSU our playbook before the game the way some fans have turned on him. Look, he is 18-19, and clearly not tough enough yet to play a whole season of big time CFB, physically or mentally.

      I really hope Crowell develops that toughness, because he is a pretty good freshman RB who had a good year behind an offensive line that was less than outstanding in some games. While I don’t have a problem with fans criticizing his performance or attitude and saying he needs to get better, tougher, stronger, whatever, maybe we shouldn’t be calling him “worthless” and arguing that he should leave the team.

      • Scott

        This is the kind of brat we recruited. From his last high school game as reported in the AJC:

        Calhoun coach Hal Lamb told the Chattanooga Times: “We did an unbelievable job on him (Crowell). We kept hitting him and hitting him. That was our goal and he got frustrated. Our kids never quit and I truly believe in our football team. A lot of people didn’t expect us to win tonight. I’m so proud of our football team. We as a football team believed we could win.”

        Crowell was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting the Calhoun crowd following a 50-yard TD run that was called back due to a penalty. He was also observed yelling and complaining on the field and on the sideline throughout the game, according to the AJC’s Chip Towers. “Calhoun did a great job on defense and tackled really well Friday night. They didn’t allow any of the explosive runs he is accustomed to,” Carver coach Dell McGee told the AJC on Monday. “Isaiah’s a very competitive person and he wears his emotions on the outside sometimes. He’s got to mature in that regard because it’s definitely going to get tougher on the next level.”

        • SCDawg

          Maybe you should have posted this last February when he was holding up that bulldog puppy? Seriously, people change. In order for Crowell to be successful, he’ll have to get tougher mentally and physically. Richt has not hesitated to push guys out the door and let them leave over the last couple of years. Is there something that makes you think he won’t do the same with Crowell?

          I agree with the comment below. At least root for the kid to improve.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Dude, if you aren’t cheering for any kid that wears silver britches, then I just don’t get you as a Dawg fan. He’s one if ours.

      I hope he turns it around, gets stronger, wins 2 heismans after turning down millions after his junior year, and says at his speech, “I’m so thankful that my teammates, coaches and the bulldog nation believed in me after I was an immature freshmen. Being at UGA was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

      I know it’s crazy talk to actually love our players and coaches and, you know, cheer for them to succeed.

      • gastr1

        Have you not ever, even once, felt that a player on the team was perhaps not worth the trouble? I increasingly with Scott, and it isn’t that I don’t want Crowell to succeed on the field, in life, etc., but that this drama is a distraction the team doesn’t need and if this is how it’s going to be, perhaps he should move on.

  31. Dubs Dawgs

    I understand everyone blaming everyone and there should be plenty to go around BUT I feel the real problem is Murray, yes the playcalling can hinder him at times but lets be real the kid hasnt stepped up and won a BIG game since hes been here! Ive been aboard the Murray train for 2 years now and its wearing thin on me. I know hes only played 2 seasons but at some point you should see that Next Step or turning of the corner so to speak and I just dont. I wouldnt mind Mason(if he stays) or Lemay get a long hard look this spring. Thoughts gentlemen?

    Go Dawgs

    • Junkyard Dawg '00

      I would hope, although I certainly don’t know, that open competition between players is a given every spring. I agree that Murray doesn’t play lights out and It is very frustrating to see him making the same mistakes- ie running the ball on a 3 and long only to fumble while running into three players and never realistically coming close to a first down… Same thing happened in the SECCG and it not only gave the other team momentum it seemed to deflate our Defensive Momentum. So, like you, I wouldn’t mind looking at Mason (if he stays) and LeMay in the spring. I will always want to see the best players out on the field. That being said, I still believe Murray has what it takes. I’ve seen the charge of Paralysis by Analysis on Bobo and I think some of that may actually apply to Murray (not sure I agree w/ Bobo). But another year, not to mention two more, will only help. I don’t put any stock into the declarations that he can’t win the big one or any nonsense like that. He has shown plenty of upside and if the coaches believe patience is required with AM then I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

      • adam

        LeMay and Mason are coached by the same guy. The only way they’d be better is of they were smarter, more talented, and/or more mature.

        I’m not confident they’re any of those things. Murray is a reflection of his coaches. I like Richt, but the offense needs an identity (and maybe an identity change). Upgrade the OC (possibly bring in a new OC/QB coach) or let Richt coach QBs and let someone else call the plays.

        The timid side of our coaches is the *most* frustrating thing.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The offensive braintrust is dangerously inbred. It really needs an infusion from outside. CMR has never been a HC anywhere else than UGA but at least he was an assistant at FSU and other schools for years before coming here. Bobo has been at UGA for how long now? And where else? If you have to keep Bobo as OC at least bring in a new QB coach to get some new offensive ideas.

  32. Brent

    LSU won all their games this year with conservative approach. Les Miles didn’t take arisks, he trusted his defense, and special teams, and running game. It works.

    Richt’s in the top 10 in active win % among coaches with 5 or more years head coaching experience.

    Richt ain’t the problem.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Yeah, it’s whoever decided to “center the ball” on 2nd down in OT and then trot out a kid who missed a dozen FG’s this season to attempt a FG from 42 yards on 3rd down. Cuz you wouldn’t want to bobble the snap and miss that baby! All the pressure of an Outback Bowl game where the D stole the ball from the opponent in the first phase so you already have “house money”. Sure, you could attempt 3 deep passes that have a low probability of being returned for 6. But why do that?

      I’m guessing it was Van Halanger who made that decision, the piker!

  33. A great MOTTO for RICHT and his Offensive Coaching staff should be “THERE IS NO GLORY WITHOUT GUTS”.

  34. One reason why Les Miles is named as Mad Hatter is just because of those crazy and gutsy play he calls.

  35. Carolinadawg

    ” “Mark Richt made an indefensible decision in the overtime period against Michigan State.  How much weight should we give to that mistake in evaluating Richt?”…there are some folks who think the answer to that question is plenty…. but I’m not nearly so convinced.” 

    No sh*t Senator. You wouldn’t seriously criticize Richt if he murdered your whole family.

    As someone posted above, as long s CMR is our coach, the best we can hope for is 10 – 11 wins and an occasional appearance in the SEC championship game. Thats our ceiling and we’ll never seriously challenge for more.

    • sUGArdaddy

      That’s what they used to say about Tom Osborne in Lincoln.

      Good Lord, our fans are such babies. We lost a game against a good team starving for a bowl win. In fact, we lost a game to a Boise team with a billion 5th yr seniors and the winningest QB in history. They went 12-1. We gave away a game to the best South Carolina team in their 120 years of football. Yes, that really was their greatest team ever, the only one with 11 wins. And they had their horse when we played them. And we lost a game in which we dropped 2 cinch TDs against the best team I’ve ever seen us play in the seccg, and I’ve seen us play about 250 live.

      We did all this with a sophomore QB, a true freshman tailback, smoke and mirrors on the o-line, our best wr out in the heart of the season, our top inside LB out for about 8 games, and a kicker that had a horrific season. In the meantime, we reeled off 10 straight wins, beat all 4 rivals for the first time in 30 years. 30 years!!!! We won a couple games with me playing tailback.

      Do you know how many teams went through the regular season with only 2 losses? Not many. Know how many won 10 straight? I think 3. I know, Richt doesn’t know what he’s doing.

      Cmon Dawg fans. Get a grip. We made progress this year in a major way. Get on the bus and hope for another infusion of talent and that Richt learns from his mistakes.

      Btw, I told my wife that we wanted Blair to have a storybook ending the second we centered the ball. I don’t know if it was that bad of a call. I’m sure Richt would say it is now. You live and learn. I think he made that decision because it was a bowl game and the kid was a senior. That’s not a bad thing. That’s why the kids love him…because he loves them. Lesson learned.

      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        Amen Brother. Future looks bright. Some here can’t let themselves see it, but then again that’s their problem. I guess it’d be a pretty boring blog without their viewpoint though.

      • Macallanlover

        Excellent sugar. It was a bowl/exhibition game. Richt made teh worst decision since Auburn 01 on the goalline. If Walsh makes the kick none of these discussions are being held.

        Among all the play calling, offensive strategy, and too nice to win posts folks seem to forget: every game we played this year we had lousy, lousy OL play. Until it gets fixed, we will stgruggle. We might have won every game we played if we could have run the ball effectivley, and been able to pass off play action. We stunk it up on the OL, and this wasn’t the first year.

      • OKDawg

        Good post, sUGAr, and I agree with your theory about why Richt put the game on Walsh’s foot. I believe he wanted him to walk off the hero after his tough year.

    • I have always thought about this possibility but just afraid to say as it may end up being true. He may end up be one of the winningest coach in college football without wining a Nat. Champ. Luck also seems to be against him. In 2007 when UGA had a chance to go against LSU in the SECCG but a few point loss to USCe, and Tenn winning by missed FG by Vandy prevented the chance.

    • Hackerdog

      Given that the last 6 SEC champions have played for the national championship, is an occasional SEC championship appearance really such a bad thing?

  36. WF dawg

    About the last MSU drive in regulation: We had had reasonable success rushing 4+ most of the day to pressure Cousins, but for some reason on that drive we appeared consistently to rush only 3 and drop the others into coverage. Why?

    • Hackerdog

      We were in prevent defense. We rush 3 and drop 8 with the hope that we can force the offense into short completions in the middle of the field and they will run out of time before they can score a touchdown.

      I haven’t seen a rigorous study on the statistics, but I have the sense that the prevent defense fails about as often as it succeeds. Of course, it’s not like we were getting any pressure on Cousins when we were rushing 4.

  37. 79dawg

    All the arm-chair quarterbacks should consider this:

    Last year, we kick the field goal on the first drive of the game on 4th and 1, and those are the only points we get. Richt gets killed for not going for it.

    This year, on the second drive of the game, we go for it on 4th and 1 and get stuffed. Obviously, its hard to say how the game plays out if we have 3 more points the rest of the way, but all else being equal, there’s no overtime and Richt and Bobo aren’t getting crucified for “playing it safe” and being “too conservative.”

    Maybe we played tight at the end of the game because at the beginning of the game, we played loose and it cost us 3 points. Obviously, I don’t know if that was what was going through the coaching staff’s mind in the fourth quarter/overtime or not, but it is certainly plausible and in that light (I believe), an entirely rational way to try and pull out a victory.

    • Cojones

      And a way to play “Be Damned if you do and be damned if you don’t” to some of this fan crowd. We have to have increased the recidivism rate for wayward fans beyond all bounds since that well-played game by a bunch of hard workers on the field. I’m with you guys that have suggested you want to watch someone else. Please go before your tender little weeping hearts founder under the W/L system in college football. Go Dawgs!; and I mean that in the worst sort of way for those “fans” who can’t stand the heat of competition. Go far, far away, Dawgs.

  38. Buster

    Every Dawg fan with a pulse knows Coach Richt’s decision to go ultra-conservative in the first overtime was pathetic, but Michael Elkon has the math wrong. Through the regular season, the SECCG, and regulation play against Michigan State, Blair Walsh was 10 for 14 from 30 to 39 yards and 4 for 9 from 40 to 49 yards. With a third down on the Michigan State 25 yard-line, after two no-risk plays resulting in a slight loss, the probability of Walsh making the 42 yard field goal was 44.4%. Conversely, with a first down on the Michigan State 25 yard-line, had Coach Richt found some swagger with three aggressive running (or pass) plays and assumed the turnover risk, the probability of Blair Walsh then making a 36 yard field goal was 66.6% (.977 x .977 x .977 x .714). Where was a Tech graduate assistant when we needed him?

    • WF dawg

      Given the narrow margin by which the kick missed, I really think it would have been good from 36. Heck, maybe even from 40.