Thomas Davis, you’ll always be a DGD and I’ll always love you, but the clock ran out because a pass was tipped and caught in bounds, not because Richt elected to forego spiking the ball.
Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics
I live in another state and I see hundreds of people a day who know I’m a Dawg. I can’t believe how many people have told me, “if you had just spiked the ball…..” ! like if the same thing happened on 2nd down would have made all the difference.
Like the Senator said, “Bless their hearts.” In fact, that needs to be a lexicon entry for the only appropriate response to people who say we should have spiked the ball.
It’s amazing how freaking hard that is to apparently understand. For the love…it wasn’t designed to go to Conley!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course the defender wants you to spike it.
What is gained by spiking it? If the ball isn’t tipped, you still only get two shots at the endzone. Georgia got in the play they wanted, got the coverage they wanted against the personnel they wanted. What would spiking it have accomplished? Taking a deep breath? While Bama defenders held theirs? You still only have forty seconds to call a play, get lined up, and hike it. It’s not like they would have gone to a TV timeout.
I was calling for the fake spike while I was jumping up and down in my hotel room. Act like you are going to clock it, then throw the fade against a surprised D. I saw Dan Marino do it once 20+ years ago for a TD, and I have wondered why it isn’t used more. Either way, they got what they wanted… man coverage on our best receiver. If the defender doesn’t make an amazing play just to tip it, then the pass goes into the endzone, and Mitchell can make a play on the ball. It’s not like Drew Brees who threw the ball short intentionally. Come off it, people.
I loved that fake spike, and I too wonder why it isn’t seen more often.
Don’t get all the “spike the ball” debate. It’s not a slam dunk either way. After spiking the ball and calling a play, the exact same result could have happened. It came down to the deflection, and to it falling exactly into Conley’s hands.
I can’t find this clip either, but Peyton Manning ~2001 called a fake spike, did the motion to the ground, and the ref blew it dead (thinking he had actually spiked it) before he pulled up and threw a 15 yd TD.
Refs get awfully trigger happy in those situations, since they want to preserve the seconds on the clock too
I really think the misunderstanding for most people is more about the pass to Conley which they confuse with spiking because it allowed the clock to run out. Had the ball fallen incomplete near Conley, or not been tipped at all, the whole discussion of spiking would never have been heard because another play would have followed. “Spike or not spike” is a very interesting discussion when discussed without the emotion of the result…all due to the tip, not the spike decision.
This is the point I was about to make. Without the spike, you had two plays…until the ball was tipped and caught.
I think TD knows why the clock ran out. He didn’t say it ran out because we didn’t spike. He saying that if we would have spiked it we wouldn’t have had to rush like we did which caused some confusion lining up. We could have gotten under control and taken 2 quality shots at the end zone versus 1 rushed, high adrenaline shot. I have no problem with what he said. I agree with him.
You’re right, no adrenaline on play after spike.
Thanks Spence, I need that.
There’s still adrenaline. You’re just a lot more under control. Look I understand both sides of the argument. I just wish we would have spiked it. When you rush things it’s easier to make mistakes. That’s common sense right? BTW Bobo said publicly that he thinks they should have spiked it. If you spike it you have time to tell your receivers that of the ball is tipped and comes to you short of the goal line you just knock it down. When things are happening that fast there’s not as much time for players to think out each scenario. We’re you not yelling spike it! when it happened live? I was
Just curious – do you think they would have huddled after spiking, or simply stayed in no-huddle getting a play called in? If the latter, exactly when would you have told the receivers not to catch the ball short of the end zone?
He said in hindsight he wished we’d spiked it. In hindsight, we all wish we’d spiked it because the play didn’t work. The debate isn’t about hindsight though, it’s about whether it was a reasonable decision at the time. Bobo isn’t saying he made a bad call.
Bless your heart.
Because balls never get tipped or sacks never happen or interceptions never get made after spiking the ball. It’s scientific fact.
Having 40 seconds to call a play always results in touchdowns. I wish we’d have known that all season.
IT WAS TIPPED BECAUSE OF A GREAT DEFENSIVE PLAY — NOT BECAUSE IT WAS RUSHED.
Okay. I’m done. I do feel better now.
Also check this out on another UGA Blog breaking down Gurley’s pass blocking technique on that last play. I learned something here I didn’t know to look for on how Gurley could have done a better job blocking that leaping LB.
The first thing I noticed on the replay was Gurley’s lazy block, though no doubt he was spent, too. If he cuts him there, we might win the game.
I’m not going to get down on a Freshman back not perfectly picking up an outside blitz in that kind of atmosphere. Like many have pointed out, even some of the non-FR seemed somewhat out of touch in the final seconds. Anyway, as you watch the WR routes develop on that fateful pass I don’t see how that attempt ever finds its way to Mitchell (absent the LOS tip of course).
I think the trajectory was changed as well but its hard to tell since it was tipped so close to the line of scrimmage. MM was heading to the back corner but stopped with the tip. That’s what makes me think the path changed.
This is the crucial part – Mosley was not blitzing. He watched Murray’s eyes and wind-up, timing/locating his jump into the passing lane.
Just about every play, you have two options – blast one side for failing to execute or praise the other for executing.
Mosley made a great play – great awareness + great athleticism – against a good play call. Sucks, but that’s the way I see it.
Then, as I understand the technique of it, Gurley was in no-man’s land. With no true and verifiable blitz I don’t think he can be expected to go out and engage Mosley. This ending will haunt for years (or until the Dawgs exorcise it).
If the ball isn’t caught on that play, don’t the Dawgs get two shots at the end zone?
Senator, don’t cloud the issue with facts.
We would have gotten at least 1 more. Probably 2. Maybe if you spike it and let Gurley catch his breath then he would have made a better block. Maybe Conley would have had time to realize he should knock the ball down in that situation. Shit like this happens when you rush things
Gurley didn’t run the ball once that drive. I don’t know enough about football to know if Gurley was in the right place, but it wasn’t because he was so gassed he couldn’t run forward 5 feet.
Actually, he did. He picked up the first down before Murray threw the ball that was almost intercepted.
You’re right. He still wasn’t too tired from one run in 20 minutes to move 6 feet.
Gurley’s strong suit this season hasn’t been pass blocking, breathless or otherwise. As for “Shit like this happens when you rush things”, I take it you’re not a fan of the no-huddle high-speed offense that Oregon runs.
I’m not really sure what my opinion of Oregon’s offense has to do with it. We dont run the same offense oregon does. What I am a fan of I spiking the ball with 15 seconds left and no timeouts. Maybe the coaches couldn’t have told Conley to drop it in that situation but maybe with 40 seconds to gather his thoughts, he could have figured it out on his own. Maybe Gurley makes a better block. Maybe not. It’s all speculation at this point. I’m just a fan of spiking it there. I’m not saying its why we lost. We clearly lost because we have up 350 yds rushing. I think slowing it down would have been the thing to do. From reading other posts it seems like most everybody else was yelling spike it at the time too. If Bobo could do it again he would spike it too
Again, Re: Gurley’s block
He was perfectly positioned to pick up a blitz. Mosley wasn’t blitzing! He was trying to tip/block the pass the entire way. The only way Gurley beats that would be to aggressively attack the defender. That’s not standard blocking technique for RBs, for a bunch of obvious reasons. Plus, it would have required Gurley to think, “Hmm. This Mosley fellow isn’t blitzing because he recognizes the throw is coming out too quickly. Instead, he’s trying to tip the pass. I’m going to have to adjust my normal blocking routine to compensate for that.”
Pro backs usually don’t have that level of situational awareness and recognition.
The actual discussion should be not catching the ball. It was a reaction, nothing could’ve been done about it. Clocking the ball while the opponent was back on their heels would’ve have not turned out favorably either. With the ball being tipped, knocking it to the ground is the play that needs to be made and would be with a professional 75% of the time. Saying it should’ve been clocked is the go to play for Sunday morning quarterbacks. Heartbreak suspends lucid thought.
No not for Sunday morning QB’s. I was yelling spike it at the precise moment it happened.
So was I. But this whole debate was made moot the moment Conley instinctively caught the ball.
Ok, then you are a Saturday night QB. Better?
Yes that’s much better. One forms his opinion on what’s unfolding in front of him during the game with time still on the clock. The other forms his opinion based on how the events actually played out after the decision was already made and then had a night to sleep on it. See the difference? My point is everybody I know was yelling spike it as it was happening. It’s not like I woke up Sunday and formed this opinion. No need to try to be a smart ass.
We had just came 60 or so yards in about 40 seconds without spiking it, why stop the momentum at the goal line?
This “to spike or not to spike” debate is interesting on the scrimmage from the 8-yard line … BUT … another thing I noticed upon re-viewing was what I consider the major snafu in strategy.
To wit: after T.King makes that brilliant snag down the seam with 29 secs. left, that is when the Dawgs should have grounded the ball. It was a first down and nothing would have been sacrificed by wasting a down there. What ultimately was wasted were at least 8 seconds. Rewatch the broadcast and you notice TK sort of feigning an injury for 3-4 ticks while the squad comes up to the LOS. You can also gather that the Bama portion of the crowd understands this because a wave of boos rises up.
However, after TK gets to his feet and takes his position Murray lines everyone up and 9-10 secs. bleeds off the clock! This was a killer but I have seen no one reference this gaffe.
I know, Monday Morning QB and the rest, but with those 10 ticks in their back pockets perhaps the Dawgs would not have pulled that Freakout! act at the end. Damn.
King wasn’t feigning. He got clocked on that play. And he did not take his position. He left the field. As a matter of fact, he had to. If he hadn’t, the 10-second run off rule would have been in effect.
The Dawgs couldn’t do anything until King left the field of play.
But, at that point, why doesn’t AM spike the ball! Watch the tape. UGa loses nearly ten seconds in that sequence.
And while we’re being smartasses, where do you get your 75% pro knock down statistic? I’d love to see that data base.
It’s a random ass guess. Just like, UGA would’ve won if they clocked the ball.
My biggest problem with the criticism of Georgia’s decision not to spike the ball is this “you get two shots at the end zone” bit. With respect to Thomas Davis and all others who have trotted out that argument, we still would have gotten two shots at the end zone if the ball had been incomplete. The tipped pass counts as one. Had it been merely incomplete, Georgia would have had the ball with 5 seconds left and another shot at the end zone.
Look, I was calling for the team to clock the ball, too. I was jumping up and down and making the arm motion in the stands, just in case Aaron Murray was looking to me for what to do in the second row of the upper deck. That’s because I didn’t realize that Georgia already had a play called, and one that probably could have worked.
If Georgia had spiked the ball, you do get a chance to call a play in the huddle. But there’s still not enough time for coaches to talk to their players and calmly walk them through the implications of the play with clock, etc. and make sure nobody catches a ball inbounds if something goes wrong and there’s a ball available to be caught inbounds. So, you’d have to count on Murray doing that, and he’s not going to anticipate a ball being in bounds but not in the end zone because he doesn’t intend to throw one there. So, really, there’s no advantage to be gained for Georgia in spiking the ball. The only advantage is for Alabama which can suddenly put in its goal line defense instead of the package it had in the game. UGA had a play called, they got the ball off with plenty of time for two plays, and the Alabama defensive end made a great, game-changing play. Georgia lost. It’s only a mistake because it didn’t work.
It was a debatable call but a case can be made for both sides of the argument, it was a gamble, it didn’t work…
Rather than appreciating a calculated risk for what it is, most people conclude, it didn’t work, so therefore it was a bad decision…
The outcome itself cannot be the correct judge of the call. But aggressive play calls will always be billed as either brilliant or a blunder based on the outcome. What do you think everyone would be saying about the decision had Georgia scored on that play?
Not spiking actually gave us a chance at 3 shots. At the risk of threadjacking, if you want to see it in pictures, click on my name above and it’ll take you to a post with screenshots breaking it down. Spiking means we have to get 3 plays off in about 11
10-11 seconds, which is tough.
There would have been at least 13 seconds left. That’s with a two second runoff. Plenty of time for three plays from the bench. No disputing this fact.
Ball should have been clocked immediately following the long catch by TK down the seam when there were 30 seconds left.
TK was hurt on the play so the clock stopped and Georgia was ready with the slant to Artie which put us goal-to-go. I was pretty happy with the sequence, weren’t you? Again, stopping play allows Alabama a chance to regroup as well.
The big gainer to Lynch does somewhat mollify the strength of the “spike hypothesis” in hindsight, yes.
Some people are just plain ignorant.. For those people who keep arguing “we should’ve spike the ball”, this above post should be required reading. It simply cannot be put anymore clearly on why the decision was made. I’m upset at the loss just as everyone else, was screaming “spike the ball”, as was everyone else in our living room… But we are not offensive coordinators. We all agreed afterward that was our best shot, to keep up the attack while they were on their heels. Sucks the way it ended, but the call was the right one. Bobo knew exactly what mismatch he had (Bama’s nickel cover package, three down linemen) backed into their redzone. Bama’s “redzone” D, is tops in the nation, guys. Our offense moved down the field in 45 seconds on the best D in the nation ,had a couple close breaks, put ourselves in position to win the game, and ultimately came up short. Give these guys credit, they played their asses off. 20 different plays could’ve swung that game either way, What killed us was 350+ rushing yards. Our improved defensive recruiting will certainly help with that aspect, if given the opportunity next year..
I think many people didn’t watch the game closely. They just saw the sportscenter highlights and don’t completely understand what happened
Also check this out on another UGA Blog breaking down Gurley’s pass blocking technique on that last play. I learned something here I didn’t know to look for on how Gurley could have done a better job blocking that leaping LB.
I am in favor of the call to not spike the ball. Bama just executed better on one more down than we did.
Also, I am not blaming Gurley for the loss, btw. The Bama LB made a nice play. Could we have executed better there? Sure but you could say that about both teams on many plays in that game that were just as crucial as the last play.
I posted this because I thought it was interesting and I learned something from it.
Go Dogs! Whip the Huskers!
Mosley’s motion takes him laterally past Gurley and upfield of Murray. Again, he’s not blitzing. If he had come straight at Gurley, he’s in full contact at the point the ball passes over his head. Again, I think the only way Gurley counteracts this is to somehow recognize Mosley’s intention and aggressively attack the LB in the open field – which is not how I see most RBs block. They tend to get square so they can move laterally rather than committing their balance forward. Faulting Gurley’s mechanics on this seems a bridge too far for me. He could have altered the play, sure, but Murray could have as well by looking left quickly before coming back right. I don’t make that point to fault Murray, just to give some comparison. Any number of things could have been done in a slightly different manner, thus changing the outcome of the play. But none of them rise to the level of failed execution, at least in my opinion.
If the ball was Spiked UGA may have run a better organized play (even if the play call is the same) and the ball may not have been tipped.
Yes if it isn’t caught UGA gets a snap with 3 seconds on the clock. I also disagree with the paly call on 3rd and 18 on the 2nd to last possesion, going for 30+ when we need 18.
What was disorganized about the play? The only way to prevent what happened is for Georgia’s offensive players to maintain their blocks and keep the Alabama defenders from getting their hands up. How is that going to be impacted in any way by taking a deep breath before the play?
Where was the passing lane to complete the pass?
… over the top on a fade route. The Alabama defender got off of a block and got his arms up. I’m not sure how that unfolds differently 40 seconds later.
I don’t know. Let’s say you just ran a mile and at the end of that mile you have to make a hard 40 yd sprint. Do you think you would perform better in the 40 yd sprint if you went right into it after the mile run or would you perform better after a couple of deep breaths? I’d rather take a breath and gather myself for 40 seconds or so.
Hey, if you’re OK with allowing the defense which had to run that mile backwards and still has to run that 40 yard sprint backwards a chance to catch its breath, too, be my guest. Georgia had every advantage, though, snapping the ball and going for the play.
If the play was so well executed and planned in practice, why was the QB looking for the spike from the sideline?
I posted the other day that Murray did not get a clean passing lane. If you had watched, you could have seen the missed block. Viewers never seem to understand gaps, lanes, angles, space, technique, instead some “bell cow” posts “should have spiked the ball” and every cow following the bell gets the same view…the butt end of the bell cow.
Also if you watch, Murray checks to the sideline to see if Bobo wants to spike and the play. I have not watched the four preceding plays and the personnel packages coming down the field. After those 2 sideline passes Bama gives the middle [trust me Saban will get his corners straighten out on sideline coverage because you know damn well ND took note of that], Bobo and Murray + company torched Bama down the field. All those plays lead Bobo to keep the pace and the rhythm of the offense intact. If I’m a player on the field I would not wanted to be stopped…heck you are rocking and rolling now…just punch it it…as long as everybody executes…and on all the other plays that is what is happening. Murray was on fire with his passes…damn you stop that man.
Personnel package…spike the ball…Dawgs change…do you not think Smart and Saban are not going to get their D package in and refocused. Why hell yes.
What people need to focus on was how good was the game plan going into the game against Saban and the secondary. Murray had two bad passes the entire game. But the passing game plan and the personnel packages going in can not be questioned. It was very good.
Defense. I have talked with some high school coaches and one comment they had was why was Jarvis Jones caught up inside so much and trailed so many plays. How about somebody looking at that.
Cogent strategical analysis, Mr. Trane. What did you make of AM not grounding the ball after the completion to TK down the seam with 30 secs. to go?
Another thought…spike the ball, and Saban not only substitutes, but once UGA is set, he probably calls a time-out to further give his D a breather and discuss how to defend. Why give him that advantage? And I’m damn sure CMR knew this would be the likely result if we spiked it.
It is absolutely amazing how many posters on this blog, including our imperious leader, are in complete denial on this issue. Almost every football expert, save the ones trying to curry favor like Tony Barnhart, have agreed that it was a mistake for Georgia not to clock the ball. Bobo himself even admitted after the game that he should have had Murray clock the call. Of course CMR won’t admit it for obvious reasons. That mistake probably cost UGA the game, the SEC Championship and the BCS National Championship–we’ll never know for sure. I, for one, am willing to put it behind us and move on because bitching about it won’t change anything. But for crying out loud don’t continue to argue that it was the RIGHT thing to do–nobody learns from their mistakes that way. Coaching blunders are part of the game. Lord knows UGA has had more than its share of those. At least we can hope that they can learn from their mistakes and don’t make the same ones again.
Why was it a mistake?
What cost Georgia the game was porous run defense.
BTW, Chris Brown disagrees with you. He’s a lot more knowledgeable about tactics and strategy than you and me put together… okay, maybe that’s not saying much. ;)
Porous run defense gets back to S&C I don’t think it was coaching in terms of technique or schemes called. Bama’s S&C is elite, UGA’s maybe good and improving but is not at Bama’s level.
That & we have about 60 guys on our roster to Bama’s 85. Our D has no real depth.
Yep. This was the first game since his injury that I thought the Dawgs really missed Abry Jones.
Yep. We lost the game because of roster management issues…we lost the game because of poor run defense…we lost the game because of a blown coverage in the secondary…we lost the game because of a host of reasons that we could pick apart all day. The problem is, in spite of all those things, we still could have WON the game at the end except for an end of game coaching decision that, whether any of you are willing to admit it or not, robbed the team of at least the chance to win.
Sigh. You just refuse to read Chris Brown’s post, eh? That’s alright. I’ll quote the relevant point for you.
“Again, it’s not that not spiking was absolutely correct, but the anger is better directed elsewhere, and the decision not to spike is totally defensible.”
Did you mean the part where Chris Brown said: “I believe spiking would have been fine and maybe even advisable”…..? Picking at this scab does no good for UGA, the team or the coaching staff. Personally I believe we all should try to put this behind us. I would not have even brought the subject up again had not Thomas Davis (a DGD) been shouted down on this blog for speaking the truth.
Free Thomas Davis!
BTW, why didn’t you finish the sentence? “… but what I don’t think a spike would have been is necessarily outcome determinative.”
That hardly sounds like electing not to spike was a mistake.
Can you name a worse one in terms of impact?
Mayor, I don’t accept your premise, so what’s the point?
Methinks that you protest too much Bluto. Let’s just all shut up about this and move on. IMHO it was a mistake for this thread to have been put up today in the first place. Bobo and CMR know they f#cked up and I’m sure are sick over it. You can bet your sweet ass the team does. The nauseating continuation of this post-mortem of the worst coaching screwup in University of Georgia history, at least in terms of what it cost us, is neither desirable or necessary at this point.
An 85-comment thread, most of which is in disagreement with you… “the worst coaching screwup in University of Georgia history”… and I’m the one protesting too much here? Riiiiight.
Well, then you don’t accept reality, but there is nothing new about that.:)
I agree with you that it doesn’t do any good to ruminate on the non-spike. I just disagree with you that it was a no-brainer that cost UGA the chance to win.
These “spike the ball” characters obviously wanted Bama to have a defenvive package substitution, I dunno, something more *appropriate* for the occasion, such as their goal line defense, maybe? Which also happens to be statistically *tops* in the nation… Yeah, thats what we should have done.. Wouldn’t have said this three years ago, but thank God we have Bobo calling our O, and not some of you hindsight genuises. The Senator brings to light what ive based pretty much ALL my discusisons at work on, when talking with other Dawgs or Bama fans. 20 plays could’ve changed that game, either way. 350+ rushing yards was the back-breaker. Limit that to *just* 200 yards? We probably win by 10. It was one hell of a game, and I am brimming with pride for our players and coaches. We’ll get em next year, after four of those Bama linemen are playing on Sundays. Lets go thrash Nebraska GO DAWGS!
Disagree completely. We had the momentum, had Bama on their heels, and had a one on one with Malcom Mitchell for the win. There was one fluke thing that happened. I think it was still the right call not to spike the ball.
I can give you 350 reason why we lost, and none of them have anything to do with spiking or not spiking the ball.
Mayor, I have always agreed to disagree with you when you typically (not always, but most of the time) support the coaches after a sickening loss. This time I disagree with you again. I’ve said it already and I’ll say it until I die; I firmly believe that going for it was absolutely, positvely, the best call that I have seen our coaching staff make in recent history. The reason all the “experts” say spiking it was the best thing is because they are looking at it from hindsight. If you asked them all right now, they would also probably say that faking the punt was wrong, and (Ala) going for two was wrong. Keep the faith man. It’s all good. Bland my ass… That crap was good to go… GATA!
Come on. It was obviously a mistake. Just like playing my powerball numbers was obviously a mistake. I should have picked the winning numbers. If I could do it over, I would definitely pick the winning numbers.
Anyone who disagrees is just being stupid. ;)
I’m sure I was the only person in the city of Atlanta to hear this, but “Slash” on 92.9 said that despite what the coaches called, Murray should have spiked it (because leaders do that) and that Georgia should not have called the “sideline out” pattern on that play.
The play wasn’t supposed to go to the out route. It was supposed to go to the back corner of the endzone. The pass was tipped. Where have you been buddy?
Which may get back to the pattern of low batted balls throughout the course of the season…?
I’m regurgitating (and I mean that literally) what “Slash” said.
Cuz he’s on the radio…and might have even watched the biggest game of the college football season.
When you buck CW and fail, you open yourself up to criticism.
If you bet on CW and fail, you’re less likely to be criticized.
I like the aggressive call, but I totally understand the second-guessing.
The play almost worked, even with the tipped pass. If you look at the replay, both Bama defenders (Lester and I think Smith) near Conley slipped trying to cut back to the ball and were on the ground when Conley caught it. If he stays on his feet, I’m not sure he could have been stopped short of the end zone. There was no “tackle” made on the play. Conley lost his footing, and the rest is history.
Isn’t the point here (taken from Thomas’s quote), that your opinion is changed if it is a completion? That speaks volumes toward MM QBs who blog here and act as if they think this is a mistake because they would have gone a different tact. He is saying that the reasoning is based on what occurred during the play, not from reasoning tactically before the play. Big difference.
Reading these responses along with their reasoning has pointed out a few fuzzy thinkers who try to assign responsibility of blame based on Mosely’s superb play. No wonder we had such clashes about the coaches and players this last year. Some were just conjuring up blame and patting themselves on their own egotistical unthinking butts.
Some of you should review Richt’s presser when he returned to the podium to address Chuck (and obviously some of you) by saying if you think that way you are just crazy. No one could have said it better for this situational folderol.
Game was lost because we couldn’t stop their run game. They had the ball for 15 minutes more than we did. Get over the spike or no spike, game wasn’t lost on that one play.
” I didn’t kill him. It was the bullets and the fall that killed him. All I did was pull the trigger.” Tom Cruise, speaking as the character Vincent in the motion picture “Collateral.”
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