Observations from the armchair, Clemson-Georgia edition

What a frustrating game.  Here’s what I wrote on Thursday:

Clemson reminds me of a more talented Ole Miss team.  If you remember last year’s meeting, the Rebel Black Bears made a game of it in the first half by being very aggressive with their defensive line play and linebackers.  I expect to see a similar effort in the Clemson defensive game plan, hoping to plug the run game and disrupt Murray’s timing with frequent blitzing.  How well that works is hard to say.  I expect Georgia’s offensive line play has improved from the Ole Miss game.  But Clemson has a lot more firepower on offense, more overall depth and more experience in the secondary than Mississippi did.

And don’t get me started on how nervous I am about special teams play.

Add to that a motivated road crowd, Georgia losing its best receiver early in the game, Gurley missing much of the night… and the Dawgs lost by three to the eighth-ranked team in the country.  Argh.

In the end, a fumble off a sack and a complete whiff on a first and goal from the Clemson five were the difference.  Congrats to the Tigers for outlasting Georgia.

Bullet points?  Okay, on to the bullet points.

  • Holy mother of crap, Quayvon Hicks!  He did a little bit of everything – his blow up block was a major contribution to freeing up Gurley on that 75-yard TD run, he had his own monster run, and a great catch and run. As I tweeted last night, he hit for the cycle.  It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch what he does this season.
  • Saw some good things from Justin Scott-Wesley.  If Mitchell’s gone for a while, JSW is going to be needed.
  • Welcome back, Michael Bennett.  Your hands haven’t missed a beat.
  • Don’t know whether it’s on the coaches or Murray, but a delay of game call on the first play of the second half is inexcusable.
  • Special teams were a mixed bag, at best.  Barber was excellent on his punts and kickoffs.  Coverage teams played well.  Beless was flawless on his extra points. (Kicker controversy!) And the fake punt was huge.  But the return teams were incredibly passive.  And the botched snap was a killer, both on the scoreboard and in terms of momentum.
  • Marshall’s TD run was impressive, but I thought he wore down a little as the game went on.  The play calling didn’t help his stamina.
  • Gurley’s first touchdown was great, but I really loved how hard he ran on his second one.
  • Speaking of play calling, I’m sure Bobo’s gonna get targeted for some criticism.  How much he deserves is hard to say.  His quarterback came out struggling with his fundamentals.  His best receiver went out early in the game and never returned.  His All-American tailback missed half the game.  Yet his offense still racked up over 500 yards, had more passing yardage, more rushing yardage and more first downs than did Clemson. But his offense struggled for a stretch in the second and third quarters when Georgia had a chance to put some distance between itself and Clemson. Much of that was due, no doubt, to a wish to run the ball to eat up clock and keep Clemson from running as many plays as it hoped to – which worked to some extent, as the Tigers ran less than eighty plays – but it also played straight into Venables’ aggressive playcalling on defense. As a result, Murray got left in way too many third and long situations, which contributed to a pretty sorry third-down conversion rate.  And I bet Bobo wishes he could have back the third-down call giving Hicks the ball down near the goal line that got stuffed.
  • What’s with only two completions to the tight ends?
  • As for the defense, well, if you’re one of those people who said Georgia’s defense would be good at some point this season, but worried that it might not come together this early, give yourself a cookie.  I saw plenty of playmaking talent on the defensive side of the ball last night. Unfortunately, the talent didn’t always make the plays.  Plenty of missed tackles and bad angles.  Mathews didn’t wrap up a tackle that would have stopped a drive.  Toby Johnson should have had a huge sack, but let Boyd get away.  And it seemed like half the defense had a shot at Boyd on his slow developing touchdown run that tied the score after the turnover.  But I saw some good stuff out of Langley. Jordan Jenkins was his usual awesome self. Garrison Smith had a solid game. Leonard Floyd had some good moments, despite playing the star position much of the night.  Amarlo Herrera’s pass coverage has clearly improved from last year. (I just wish he could have held on to that pick.)
  • My biggest concern about the defense?  It got pushed around some by Clemson’s offensive line.  The Tigers’ running game was more effective last night than I thought it would be.  Grantham claims his 3-4 (and, yes, I know the Dawgs weren’t in their base much last night) doesn’t need a ginormous nose tackle to be effective, so if that’s the case, there are some folks who need to step up.
  • Not all the blame for the defense’s shortcomings should fall on the shoulders of wide-eyed rookies.  Sammie Watkins’ answer to Gurley’s TD run was the result of Norman being faked out of position and Swann’s poor attempt at tackling.
  • Oh, yeah, Norman reminds me – have I ever mentioned how much I hate the effing wheel route?
  • Aaron Murray had an Aaron Murray game.  Early on jitters that were reflected in bad mechanics and some poorly thrown balls that eventually disappeared as he got into a rhythm (he only had nine incompletions on the night).  A couple of great throws on the run, like the 35-yarder to Conley than ultimately went for naught, unfortunately.  The turnovers I can’t blame him too much for – the fumble came off a sack due to bad protection and the pick came on a play action move when he didn’t have much time to see the lineman drop in coverage, Venables’ best call of the night.
  • The biggest disappointment of the night, by far, was the offensive line.  And I have to say that after the beautiful way the right side of the line, along with Lynch and Hicks, parted the Clemson defense for Gurley’s first TD, I didn’t see it coming.  But the line struggled once Clemson committed more defenders to the line of scrimmage and varied its blitzing.  And it seemed like nobody who played left tackle could handle a speed rusher.  Gates was terrible on one rush that came so quickly I was surprised Murray didn’t fumble when sacked.  Houston did an equally poor job on one later in the game.  Left tackle wasn’t the only weak spot. Andrews looked overmatched much of the game and got whistled for some obvious holding calls.  Lee got beat on a couple of running plays that were blown up.  That Georgia gained 500+ yards last night should tell you how good its skill position talent is, because it sure wasn’t a reflection of the line play.

If I had to sum things up, I came in fretting about the secondary and left freaking out about the offensive line.  Clemson’s front is nowhere near in the same class as South Carolina’s.  Clowney’s stomach feels a whole lot better this morning, I suspect.  Georgia will be quite formidable in time, but time isn’t a luxury it has in September.  Color me concerned.

That’s a funny feeling to have, when you think about how much the offense did last night in a hostile environment.  But there’s a lot of looseness that needs to be cleaned up when you face top-ten opponents and not a lot of time to do it in.  Let’s hope the old saw about big improvement between week one and week two shows up with a vengeance.  Especially on the offensive line.


Filed under Georgia Football

211 responses to “Observations from the armchair, Clemson-Georgia edition

  1. D.N. Nation

    The Fire Bobo Brigade is giving the defense a billion miles of slack, IMO. We ate half a thousand yards in offense last night and outscored Bama’s offense (playing against a lousy VT team) by three touchdowns. There are individual plays that I’ll quibble with- not scoring from the five, and not trying to halve that third-and-long before our last punt- but the offense played well enough to win.

    We couldn’t tackle for crap, and the offensive line was drunk. Can’t fully put those on Bobo.

    Todd Gurley is the best back in the country.

    • D.N. Nation

      I’m sorry, Todd Gurley II.

      • gastr1

        The thing about Gurley that really stands out to me is that he can do what he does with minimal help from our sorry OL. His ability to take glancing blows, find creases, and fall forward are most impressive. He is a beast.

    • Bad M

      Sorry I’m jumping the comments. But I just need to say this. I know someone on the coaching staff at a rival team. He says the Ga signals are common knowledge among SEC teams and a few other schools and he laughed at the towel being held up. No one is going to believe me, but I don’t care. I really have no reason to lie. I just pray I can put a bug in someone’s ear eventually. Maybe someone can ask coach and he’ll think about it…ask at a fundraiser/touchdown club meeting/or anything. Coach needs to stop being naive and change things up. This has been going on for years.

    • Biggus Rickus

      It’s not so much giving the defense slack, and I have real concerns about Grantham as a coordinator. However, everyone more or less expected the offense to have to carry the team early in the season, and on a night when they needed to score 45, they scored 35. The play calling was pretty questionable after Georgia went up 21-14. Georgia needed to score and get some separation when it was 21-14, or later, they needed to get the lead back to 7. They had the chance to take control of the game while the defense was getting some stops, and they failed.

  2. The other Doug

    Great points. Here are some things that stick out to me:

    O line looked good early and late. The middle was awful. Was there something Clemson did to cause this? Dunno.

    The O line seemed to block better and get a push when Gurley was in.

    Early in the game Marshall was slow to the hole. A couple times Murray was waiting with the ball when he got there.

    Our tackling is awful. I know guys like Boyd and Watkins are special talents, but…..

    How big was that play by the Clemson player to grab that punt and return it?

    The running Marshall up the middle for nothing was reminiscent of the old Bobo. Right even eluded to it heading into the half.

    I hope somebody presses Richt, Bobo, or Murray for an explanation of the delay of game penalties. Murray is a 5th year senior.

    • Castleberry

      The running Marshall up the middle for nothing was reminiscent of the old Bobo.

      Agree. That was my only beef with the offense. Seems like we had more success running outside. I think Keith would have more success if he got a couple of shots to run outside the tackles.

      I’m bummed about the loss and thinking we will have to be positive in the turnover margin to beat SC.

      • Thatguy

        I’d love to see Marshall split out, and run the Jet Sweep to him, like Clem(p)son did with Watkins a couple times last night.

        • gastr1

          Shit, why not more passes out to him in the flat? We finally wised up and did that in the second series of the second half, and it gained 8 yards on first down. What better way to counter all that blitzing? Sheesh.

          • Merk

            What, are you suggesting we use the screen pass to counter the blitz? That is clearly stupid as it is known to be used to counter the blitz, so they would definitely be expecting that. Instead we should do a 3-5 step drop and get sacked, they wont see that coming.

            • gastr1

              Actually I’m not suggesting the screen, because they DID try screens, and they were disastrously bad efforts. Remember the one that got tipped and almost intercepted at the 10-yard line? If Gurley had gotten the ball it would have been a 50-yard gain, but Murray had to throw with two guys in his face, and one of them tipped the pass. The other one or two they tried were just like that, Murray trying to slip the ball bwteen onrushing linemen. The screen was too slow for the way they were selling out. What we should have done was quick outs to the flankers and/or a kick pass in the flat to Marshall. Didn’t do EITHER of those until the second half.

              • WF dawg

                This isn’t meant to sound like piling on Murray, who certainly makes a lot of throws as well as anyone, but the screen game is not his thing.

                • JC


                  After that almost disaster of a screen, I tried to think of a successful screen by Murray and came up empty. I KNOW there HAS to be one somewhere, but all I can remember are tipped passes and me pulling my hair out.

                • I’ve said for years that AM is not the greatest at putting the right touch on screens and short swing passes. Yes the one to Hicks was nice but he generally doesn’t seem to be able to hit guys in stride.

    • Merk

      For the delay, the excuse is that it was loud. Clearly a factor no one imagined would happen in a hostile environment. Seriously though, EVERY player on the O was at games last year. They know what a game sounds and feels like. No excuse for a delay of game.

  3. I essentially agree with all your points, Senator. As bad as we were, we still nearly had them. Playing without Mitchell at all and without Gurley in the first half really killed a lot of our Offensive firepower. Couple that with an O-line that fell apart in the middle part of the game and it really cost us. I thought the Defense actually did “ok”. Especially considering we played 7 true freshmen on Defense at night at an away game. Who actually does that in the SEC?? Those guys will be a hell of a unit as the season progresses.

    We have the tools to be a very very special team. But I don’t know if we know how to use those tools at a high efficiency. The penalties, a veteran O-line that played great in the 1st quarter and ok in the 4th quarter but terrible in the 2nd and 3rd, a botched field goal snap (why we didn’t go for it anyway *sigh*), Murray’s two delay of game penalties (and didn’t CMR have to call timeout to prevent a third??), etc…

    It was just too much. If we can tighten this crap up I think UGA fans will be very happy but as you mention time is not on our side. Who would have thought that we would be more worried about the O-line than the entire defense only 1 game into the season?

  4. Chuck

    Basically agree. Mostly I think we were woefully disorganized. To me, that explains the delay of game calls, and stretches of unimaginative calls and failure to adjust when their D adjusts. On defense, we were exposed a little, but we were supposed to be green. On a night like that, the O can’t shoot itself in the foot and expect us to win the game. Maybe that’s coaching, maybe it’s players, maybe some of both. We need to do better next week, and yes, I realize what an obvious statement that is. Just trying to beat Tony Barnhart to the punch.😉

    • The Lone Stranger

      You know, it is that appearance of disorganization that is most bizarre considering all the offseason happytalk about preparing to be full-speed for Game 1.

  5. SouthGaDawg

    +’s – Gurley and Hicks – man they are both super. Bennett and the receiving corps look really good also.
    -‘s – Bobo and Murray will catch a lot of flack (although we scored 35 pts. and had over 500 total yards) – NOT TO BLAME. The blame falls squarely on Grantham. He is a PRO coach, a scheme coach, not a sound collegiate coach. His teams have proven that they are consistently unsound fundamentally – it doesn’t matter if we have NFL prospects or true freshmen. We can’t line up correctly, have poor technique, and don’t tackle. I hope we can score 30+ a game this year because that is what it will take. #FireCTG

    • 30+ points just to be competitive.

    • Lrgk9

      Dude – that was a Top ten team. They are going to score points in their house on a Defense that is shorthanded due to kicking kleptomaniacs to the curb and Jrs to the NFL.

      Same ol Same ol Bobo and Murray issues. Next week we play a top ten team. The percentages are that 91% of the time our QB and OC will find a way to lose.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        So Grantham gets plenty of slack for injuries and suspensions, but Bobo and Murray get no slack for injuries (Gurley and Mitchell) and suspensions (Morgan).

        No great defense gives up 38 points to any offense at any time. Ever. EVER.

        • Bobo and Murray gets no slack because their mistakes are recurrent every year since AM started. It is so easy for the opposing defense to play them as they will just have to review films after films.

          • Brandon

            “It is so easy” and yet Bobo still managed 35 points and 544 yards against said top 10 team in their own stadium. Did they let him amass such impressive production just to make the game close and break your hear even more? You Bobophobes are completely irrational, I am tired of arguing with you all, let’s fire him and get an actual mediocre OC so that the score last night could be 38-10, would that make you feel better? What can men do against such reckless hate?

            • To be fair, Gurley when in the game accounted for a lot of those yards on account of his being a sheer badass. The play calling for a lot of the game was vanilla at best and Bobo/Richt’s inability or unwillingness to realize that Marshall is not the same kind of back as Gurley and you can’t run him up the middle when your line is getting pushed back was not good.

              The three Marshall runs up the gut on the goal line were a travesty. Venables made adjustments on the fly and Bobo stuck to his stubborn plan too long. That’s not to say that Grantham’s D could stop a fly or that he doesn’t deserve his share of blame.

        • Merk

          Morgan was not a game breaker, hell if anything we might not have been a FG away if he was in. He was almost good for 1 missed XP every game.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            Say what you will, Morgan is the starting FG kicker and he’s suspended. But what about Gurley and Mitchell, perhaps our two best players on offense? Bobo gets no love for those guys being out?

        • Coastal Dawg

          +1. They knew all summer JHC would not play so CTG had time to prepare and can’t use that as an excuse. Really, the frustrating thing I saw was poor tackling and not stopping the run. Both trends of the D for the D since CTG arrived. I am okay with giving up some mistakes. This is college and it happens. But sound fundamentals are the foundation of any good team.

          • Brandon

            Agree absolutely. I admit to not being an expert on the X’s and O’s of defense at a high level but I have a championship winning high school DC with longtime success in my family and every time I have watched a game with him under the CTG regime he has expressed his opinion that Grantham’s is asking too much of his kids, i.e. his schemes while they may be sound philosophically are too complicated to put his defense in a position to be consistently good at the collegiate level. He is not a vocal detractor of any coach, this is stuff that comes out in a family setting, but the man knows his football, especially on defense and it makes sense with our inconsistency even with a great level of experience and talent like last year and our total disorganization with a lack of experience in many places last night.

  6. Skeeter

    A couple of botches, bobbles and flubs could have gone the other way and we would have won (albeit ugly), despite our lines getting shoved around. It was no one thing, just a team-wide loss to a better prepared team in their tacky house. Again the suspensions and injuries put us in the hole and these marquee season openers don’t help. Repeats like a broken record.

  7. Merk

    And it seems like just yesterday we were all over joyous about having options at Oline…

    Is this going to be the year where every game someone has a Heisman game vs us?

    The real questions will come if we are 1-3 after Sept., I wonder how loud the Mason crowd will be then.

    • Likely, reminds me of the past several years. A Heisman candidate for the other teams. Next Saturday SC can have three candidates after the game, Clowney, M. Davis, Shaw.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Is Mason gonna play on D? that’s where we need help, not at QB. Maybe Mason can coach D ’cause THAT is where the problem is on defense.

  8. John Denver is full of shit...

    Go Dawgs!

    Tough way to start the season. Back to work and let’s get the Gamecocks next Saturday.

  9. Jeff Sanchez

    We’ve GOT to adjust to the crap OL play. We finally did in our second or third possession of the second half last night and got the ball moving again. Inexplicable that it tool so long.

    Next week – move the pocket – roll Murray to his right eery play with a run pass option until things open up.

    I still cant get over how BAD the OL was . Sweet baby Jesus.

    • LOOK OUT FOR CLOWNEY next Saturday.

    • DawgWalker07

      I don’t understand why we didn’t do quick slants or something if they’re bringing linebackers all the time. That means that space in the middle of the field is wide open. And the few times we DID do it we got good yardage out of it.

  10. Lrgk9

    1-10 against top ten…
    It’s about offensive errors, lack of cohesion, and not capitalizing. Unfortunately – its not a statistical aberration.

  11. SAtownDawg

    Never want to hear any hype on our OL again…all we heard is how much the line has matured and how improved they would be…first off, while your nickname may be Boss, it doesn’t make you one….Andrews is simply too small to be a quality starting center in this league, no matter how many starts he has and how tough he is…watch the game,him and Lee were getting blown up on any middle run we ran…add to that at least two holding calls on him that negated big plays and I believe its time to put Burnette there, as was originally planned years ago…while Houston is a great story, a guy who hadn’t been participating in summer workouts had no business getting reps at LT….Beard should have been there and roll Gates over to LG…we played only 6 OLs last night, even as we were getting whipped on the line…Friend needs to figure it out in a hurry and acknowledge that there may be better options

  12. Turd Ferguson

    The rational part of me knows that 1 loss is just that — 1 loss.

    But the less-rational part of me really can’t handle waiting 8 months for college football season, only to begin it by enduring a hugely disappointing loss like that. It may not make for ratings, but seriously, just open the season with a cupcake or two like the rest of ’em. We’d be 1-0; we might not have endured so many injuries; and I might not already want to put my face through a wall.

    • Chuck

      If you are going to have cupcakes – and we are – first game makes sense to me but you won’t learn much until you get hit in the mouth. There’s a part of me that thinks CMR is okay with losing early. Comeback seasons and redemption matter more to him, and you can’t go wire-to-wire and feel redeemed. Probably just me being paranoid.

    • TomReagan

      I didn’t realize this was the ladies’ comment section.

      • Turd Ferguson

        I bet you drive a big truck. I think they have pills for guys like you …

        • TomReagan

          I’d suggest you pop a few Prozac or something. You realize you were complaining about renewing one of the great Georgia rivalries, right? I’m sorry, but complaining about playing Clemson the first game of the year is an objectively wussy thing to do.

          • Turd Ferguson

            “Wussy”? That’s some grown man talk right there.

            Regardless of how “wussy” Tom Reagan thinks it is, it is *also* practically wise, given the system as it is. Especially for teams with conference schedules like ours. You might prefer a schedule that assuages whatever concerns you obviously have with your own masculinity; I prefer one that increases — or at least, doesn’t *decrease* — our chances of playing for a national championship. That is, until we have a team and coaching staff that can be trusted to win early games against quality opponents. If there’s *anything* that this team/staff has proven over the past several years, it’s that it cannot be in mid-season form at any point before mid-season.

            You want to renew the Georgia-Clemson rivalry? Fantastic. That’s obviously not the part I’m complaining about. (Maybe you also think reading comprehension is wussy?) Just schedule them later in the season.

            In the meantime, maybe try to figure out a way to get over this pathetic “you’re not a real man!” complex you’ve got.

            • TomReagan

              I believe you’re the one overreacting just a little bit to the thought of your manliness being questioned. Your argument is, after all, that we shouldn’t play any good team to open up the season, isn’t it? And you are offended when someone makes a throw away joke about hiding from any decent teams?

              And you know as well as i do that, on the scheduling front — if we aren’t playing Clemson in game one, we aren’t going to be playing them at all.

              The ‘hang up’ here is the obsession of winning a national championship at any cost and the willingness to throw away great rivalries in the process. There’s a hell of a lot more to Georgia football than national championships, and ‘your theories’ on the best way to get one of those isn’t exactly rock solid, anyway. We just played in the most high profile game the first weekend of the season, and ended up losing to a top 10 team on their field at night by 3. Guess what, we are nowhere near being eliminated from the national championship race. Whats more, national championship caliber teams have historically played in games like this: Bryant’s teams played lots of big out of conference games, FSU sure as heck did, Miami, Alabama does now, USC, Georgia during the Herschel and post-Herschel era — if you’ve got a national championship caliber team, you’re going to win 90% of these games whether they’re week one or week three.

  13. ASEF

    If we do pay players, does that mean our Sunday rants will now
    call for firing some of them?

    • Merk

      No it will be for firing the Admin for being too damn cheap to pay enough to get the good players that will go else where. We are cheap as crap for the single biggest money maker at the school.

  14. Ogeecheedawg

    Clemson is a quality team. In a hostile environment, we were playing with three freshmen on defense, with our best player suspended. On offense, our most dangerous receiver gets hurt early in the first quarter and never returns. Gurley gets hurt and misses half of the game. The OL wet the bed most of the time, and Murray was slow to get into a rhythm.

    Beat South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and Tech, and all is forgiven. [For bonus points, beat LSU and Vanderbilt] I assume that we can whip Missouri, Kentucky, North Texas and App State.

    • I did not see any improvement in Murray and Bobo despite being together the past 4-5 years. Same mistakes, same tendencies and that is why it is so easy for the defense to work against them. They just have to watch films over and over.

  15. McGarrity and the UGAAA admin. should stop being ambitious and it thirst for money by having big first games unless they loosen up a bit on suspensions. Their ugly head showed up again last night. Spurrier is right it is much easier to meet the Dawgs early in the season due to suspension.

  16. Putting aside the fact that CMR is ultimately responsible for everything:

    Can someone remind me which coach is ultimately responsible for the OLine?

    Or for starting the half with a delay of game penalty?

    Or for three runs up the gut on 1st and 5?

    Gaudy stats don’t make up for critical idiot moves and poor development of the offense.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Agree. Gaudy stats like POINTS and TOTAL YARDAGE are so over-rated. Like you, I prefer the less gaudy anecdotal evidence of delay of game miscues and specific drives that didn’t work.

    • gastr1

      Y’know, Muckbeast, it always comes down to this with the Richt-bashing: Yes, 100% of us want to win a national title. I expect 80+% of us would like to do it with a measure of integrity that reflects well on the university. If you get rid of Richt, as you clearly would like, who is the replacement? There’s only one Nick Saban and he ain’t leaving. No other coach in the country has done any better over the last 12 years than Richt has, with the possible exceptions of Saban, Meyer, and Miles. For 20 years prior to Richt we were MUCH worse and never even could stay on the field with top teams in the conference, much less the country.

      Short of a scandal or a terrible run of losing seasons, Richt is here for the next 10-15 years. You really should just accept that.

      • gastr1

        Also, please don’t mistake what I’m saying for attempting to shut down criticism. But making it sound as though we need a new coach has the effect of invalidating every other thing you say, IMO. Need a new OC, DC, QB, OL? I’m right there with you.

      • Nashville West

        Respectfully disagree with gastr1. There are guys named Petersen and Kelly on the left coast who did as well or better than CMR with a lot fewer “stars” in their recruiting classes.

        • Will (the other one)

          And now one’s in the NFL and the other has zero desire to leave Boise.

        • gastr1

          I don’t agree that either of them did better, objectively speaking, i.e., NCs, BCS bowl wins, overall record, etc. NCs, especially. We can argue that they did as much with less, but no, they did not do more.

          • gastr1

            Plus, Kelly coached for four years and got the Ducks on two years’ probation. That’s what I mean re: “a measure of integrity.” Personally, I rather take longer to win an NC than have to sell out with Cam Newton or Johnny Manziel.

        • ugafidelis

          How well did Oregon do against the SEC last time they met?

  17. S.E. Dawn

    Color me concerned too. If we don’t get someone that can hold a block at left tackle, J. Clowney is going to have a field day. And we seem to have running plays that have to develop slowly. Just seems we telegraph the run. I’d prefer hit the hole quickly type of running plays.

    • WF dawg

      Yeah, our timing was off on a number of those inside handoffs. Being a step late didn’t help what was already a difficult situation. Marshall seems so much better suited to run the toss sweep.

  18. @gatriguy

    Here’s what I wrote Thursday: if we’re +1 in turnovers, we in, if we’re even it’s a last possession game, if we’re -1 we lose. That pick was the biggest play of the game IMO. Credit Clemson, they ran that blitz knowing exactly what play was coming.

  19. Carlton Thomas

    A high school o-coordinator sees that their speedster running back can’t run between the tackles, and gets him the ball in space.

    A high school o-coordinator sees that his line is having trouble pass blocking, and moves his mobile quarterback into space.

    A high school o-coordinator sees top-flight talent at WR, and finds a way to put the ball in their hands.

    As bad as the protection was, my issue is that Murray tends to get sacked IN THE POCKET, yet he’s a mobile QB.

    We had 6 three and outs in a row. How much can Grantham do with three true freshmen and a walk-on? Talk about d-line depth all you want, but Herrera and Wilson were on the field ALL NIGHT. Give Grantham credit for being sneaky too – he got four time outs via “injuries” to Herrera, Jenkins, Wilson and Floyd.

    The worst part of the whole affair? I’ll bet you 500 yards Clemson finds a way to lose to NC State or Wake before we even get to October.

  20. AusDawg85

    My TV feed must have been different (although I still had to suffer through Musberger mangling names, gushing, missing plays and penalties, etc.) because I saw a young inexperienced D do a fairly decent job. Missing JHC hurt and Conner Norman is always going to be too slow, but we harassed Boyd enough to get several 3 & outs. But when your offense hands the ball over, and goes through that horrid stretch of 6 – 7 series in a row of ineptness what do you expect?

    If the mark of a “great” OC is measured by statistics, then you can keep Bobo. I’d prefer an OC that reacts and adjusts to the opposing D on the fly. CMB is only fair at best in this. Missing Gurley? C’mon…Marshall is a starter at any SEC school, but you’ve got to run him in space. I’m not sure how much we missed Mitchell as we didn’t take too many deep shots. OL collapsing? I don’t recall seeing Hicks kept in to help on the left side. Why not hit quick curls to Lynch (remember him?) to slow that Clemson push and back their 8 men out of the box? We lost the game when we had the 21 – 14 lead and did NOTHING. Honestly, I love Bobo but I have yet to see him help Murray until too late whenever the OL is underperforming. I’m sure at game speed it’s nearly impossible to tell when you should just let your players perform vs recognizing they need help, but he’s got to learn this nuance to truly be an exceptional OC.

    Senator, good thing we reserved the right last week to bitch about Bobo!

    • D.N. Nation

      “If the mark of a “great” OC is measured by statistics, then you can keep Bobo.”

      Stats are reflective of an offense’s success or failure. They’re simple facts.

      The offense wasn’t Jesus last night, but it was very good and incredibly good in stretches. And the stats reflect this.

      • AusDawg85

        Great stats get you to the 5 yard line. Great play-calling gets the score. But to be fair, all those OL holding penalties that just killed us can not be put on CMB. Players have got to play well or the whole team suffers.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          Forget the other stats – do you not feel that 35 points ought to be enough to ask? Since we’re making all sorts of excuses for the D, will you give CMB the 3 that the FG unit messed up? That would bring him to 38, which I’d say is a pretty respectable point total.

          • D.N. Nation

            “Forget the other stats – do you not feel that 35 points ought to be enough to ask?”

            Again, Alabama scored all of two offensive touchdowns yesterday against a MAC-level VT team.

          • AusDawg85

            I’ve made no excuses for the D, but we got about what we expected from them although I’m hugely disappointed that our run D still looks too soft. Do you put the points after Murray’s fumble on CTG? And if the offense had performed during that 2nd – 3rdQ stretch, we would either have had more than 38 points or simply not needed that many. This is not going to be a Junkyard Dawg defensive year.

    • Bob is MEDIOCRE at best.

  21. Harry your hands are freezing

    After all the hype, I wish Tray Matthews could have wrapped Boyd up on 4th down. I know he’s an elusive QB but man after all that preseason talk I just felt let down when that happened

  22. Scorpio Jones, III

    If we eliminate just a third of the bone-head mistakes, both offensively and defensively, we win going away…just a third of them.

    I picked the wrong hat…and I had expectations…it is my fault, I take the blame.
    For those of us who actually believed the bs about where we belong in the football pecking order, I feel for you.

    Just cause we all so desperately want it to be true, don’t make it true.

    The season starts over in Athens Saturday…Darth is licking his chops…lets stuff a chicken in his mouth…GATA.

  23. Mike Cooley

    I will confess to getting emotional and laying the loss on Bobo last night. I must have referred to him as I Has a Crayon about a dozen times during the second half. I was a little more reasonable this morning when I got to thinking about what I saw but I still think he was stupid or far too hard headed in the second and part of the third quarter when he seemed bound and determined that we were going to run Marshall up the middle over and over and over regardless of what the results were. It would have been sound strategy in keeping the Clemson O off the field had it been working. But it was not working. At all. Yet we kept right at it. Odd because Murray settled in and started playing well after some early stiffness that we have grown to expect from him. So the stubborn pounding the ball up the middle with Marshall makes even less sense. I kept waiting for us to start using the TEs. It was there. But we never did it. Not sure why. I really have no big beef with the D because we knew Clemson was gonna score and we knew we were starting a lot of new guys. I thought they did ok for the most part all things considered. But despite all the hype, Matthews looked like what he is. A true freshman that doesn’t really know what he’s doing yet. Herbs trivets obvious enjoyment of Murray’s and the teams struggles was hard to take. It seems like for them it’s anybody but UGA. The Clemson love was obvious from the first few minutes of Game Day.

    • I pretty much was typing a lot of the same things as you at the same time apparently. As far as the Clemson love, it WAS billed as “the ACC on ABC”. They know which side their bread is buttered on; hence the ten mins of BS showing the Clemson buses driving and Musburger gushing about how them touching the rock was the most exciting 25 secs in college football.

      • Nashville West

        Did anybody else watch the game with the sound turned off after the first 5 minutes? Burnt Hamburger and Kirkstreet need to go, just an over-the-hill hack and former bench warmer.

    • S.E. Dawn

      We’re saving the TE plays for SC.

  24. After a bit of time for reflection I don’t see it as a Fire Bobo or Grantham situation. To me it’s more of an overall philosophy problem in Mark Richt’s coaching staff: lack of adaptability and the ability to make changes on the fly both on the offensive and defensive sides.

    I’ll explain what I mean by this: on both sides of the ball the coaches seem to get locked into a gameplan going into a game and once it gets going they are either unable or unwilling to make changes on the fly if things aren’t working. Relying heavily on the run and a supposedly experienced o-line to keep Clemson’s offense off the field and protect the young defense most likely seemed like a good idea prior to the game.

    But once Gurley was nicked up and the o-line was getting pushed back like they were on skates, Bobo was unable or unwilling to adjust. Marshall is NOT interchangeable with Gurley! Yet the coaches treat him as if he is and run the same plays and we get the constant runs into a stacked middle that knows what’s coming. Gurley is enough of a load he can usually make chicken soup out of chicken shit, but not Marshall.

    Clemson’s Venables made adjustments to stop our predictable run game, allowing him to pressure Murray and protect the secondary that was supposed to be his weakness, and Bobo was more than happy to keep rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Obviously the o-line sucked but good coaches make adjustments when things aren’t working. What happened to the young Tiger secondary that was supposed to be their weakness? We couldn’t have tried a single pass play to the end zone instead of the seemingly innumerable Marshall runs up the middle into a stacked line? I don’t remember a single throw into the end zone last night.

    As far as Grantham and the defense goes, I don’t know what you can do about poor tackling and boneheaded plays, but the fact is Venables made adjustments and Grantham’s defenses continue to give up big plays and he doesn’t seem to know how to stop the bleeding.

    And yes, I’m aware that UGA put up enough points to win most games and the defense gave up too many points. But the fact is Chad Morris and Brent Venables coached circles around Bobo and Grantham. Clemson is not that great a team and WILL lose their normal game to a Tech or Wake Forest at some point if not more and this loss will look worse later in the year.

    • Barstool

      Last stanza nailed it – Venables beat Bobo, and Morris beat Grantham. Straight up. Granted, those are two excellent coordinators. They actually made adjustments through the game to straight up DISRUPT our gameplans, and we just stubbornly stuck to our guns and tried to out-talent them on offense. Ironically, where every single person agreed (even Clemson folk) we had an advantage (our WR>their secondary), we didn’t even dip our toes into that well that much.

      They see something that works and exploit the crap out of it until we prove we can somewhat stop it (e.g. swing pass), we see a play that works extremely well on the very first play of offense and don’t run it again until the 4th quarter (toss sweep). Sums it up.

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      Well put.

    • NRBQ

      For the record, Scott, there was an early pass to the left front zone. but it was back-shoulder, which is UGA’s most predictable pattern, and was intercepted but dropped.

  25. TomReagan

    I cannot fathom how any rational person could watch that game and come away from it calling for Bobo’s head while giving Grantham a total pass.

    It is beyond comical.

    • gastr1

      I agree. Boyd is good but the rest of that team is mediocre at best. And Boyd has his flaws. D didn’t do much late in the game when it really mattered.

  26. Mike Cooley

    Well I personally don’t know how much can be laid on Grantham if you just think a little. He had to play a lot of new guys and a slow walk on against a an offense that is very good. Those factors probably aren’t enough to lose it for us if the offense doesn’t go out there and go three and out for six straight series. I don’t know what Grantham was supposed to do about that.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Recruit and coach with a plan for progressively preparing for the future? Is Grantham the only guy that deals with turnover, suspensions, injuries, freshmen, etc?

    • AusDawg85

      +1. I think this is the rational conclusion. I’m not calling for Bobo’s head, but I’m not genuflecting at his great stats either.

  27. Cosmic Dawg

    SENATOR: “Much of that was due, no doubt, to a wish to run the ball to eat up clock and keep Clemson from running as many plays as it hoped to – which worked to some extent, as the Tigers ran less than eighty plays – but it also played straight into Venables’ aggressive playcalling on defense.”

    While you can count me in the camp that thinks 35 points should be enough to win a ball game, the philosophy the Senator outlines above is absolute insanity, I can only hope it’s not our plan on offense.

    Eating clock does not win football games. For the offense, scoring effing points wins football games. Preventing the other guy from “running more plays” does not win football games. Preventing him from scoring points wins football games. The number of plays DOES NOT MATTER.

    People think that running more plays makes great offenses, but they have their CAUSE and EFFECT reversed. Great offenses are efficient, and so they get more first downs and run more plays. You can go 3 and out really, really fast if that’s your goal.

    But coaches are looking at the stats from high-scoring offenses and thinking, “damn, they sure do score a lot of points when they run a lot of plays, we ought to try and run a lot of plays”. SMH. What ate more clock for Georgia and kept Clemson off the field last night – running Mitchell up the middle or efficient, sustained drives that moved the chains? Which of those better positioned us to win?

    There may be something to speeding up to keep a D off balance, or keeping your D off the field to rest, but that is about efficiency, not # of plays.


    • The bottom line weakness of our OC and DC is their inability to do adjustments soon enough when a play is not working particularly in offense.

      • I feel they are as intransigent as their HC in terms of needed changes.

      • NC Dawg

        agreed on that ^ point. Did you see the Ala-Va. Tech game? When ‘Bama gave up a long TD, it was Saban himself huddled with his players on the sidelines, giving minute instructions, threats, whatever. Have to say, I liked that.

    • I pretty much agree with all you said with the caveat that if Gurley hadn’t gotten dinged up or if Bobo doesn’t seem to think that he can run the same plays with Marshall that he can with Gurley, the strat might have worked. Gurley can make a crappy o-line look good: he hits the hole fast and runs thru tackles. Marshall is just not the same type of back yet instead of making adjustments to better use his skill set…ie…getting him the ball in space, Bobo insists on running him up the middle into a stacked line, often with slow developing plays.

      Again it all comes down to a failure to make adjustments. Injuries are gonna happen. Other good coaches are going to adjust to what you had planned to do. Great coaches make their own adjustments. Ours seem to be unable to.

  28. Rampdawg

    We win next week by 2 TDs. Mark my word

  29. Mike Cooley

    Also, I don’t know what part of us being minus 2 in turnovers was Granthams fault. Don’t get me wrong, the D made its share of mistakes and has work to do. But our offense pretty much disappeared for a long stretch last night and the D was on the field A LOT with Clemson having some pretty good field position. We did some really good things on offense last night. But if you are going to go three and out for six straight series you don’t get to blame a loss on your D. Especially with a minus 2 turnover margin.

  30. BC50

    Senator, do you think we should have run more screen plays to try to neutralize the Clemson blitzing?
    It looked like both screens were going to go for big gains if only they had actually been completed

    • I think during that dry stretch, Bobo should have ditched the slow developing run/pass plays and gone with more quick-hitting stuff. (Which is what he eventually did.)

      • Unfortunately Murray has never seemed to develop the touch to hit a guy in stride on a swing pass and half the time can’t even hit a screen pass.

        • I must have imagined that pass to Hicks, then.

          • That was a nice pass. It doesn’t erase the memory for me of many others where the receiver or back has had to come back to just catch the short ball and gotten blown up if it even got to them.

            I get it. You like Murray. I think he’s a good kid and a pretty good QB. I’m not calling for Mason and his o-line did him NO favors last night but an impartial observer would have to say in big games that he’s good for at least one sack fumble and INT, often at the worst possible times.

            Idk, maybe he’s just very unlucky but for a guy who will hold all sorts of records after this year, he just seems to get nervy and make crucial mistakes too often. If you could put David Greene’s head into his body the sky would be the limit.

            • I like Murray. I also think he has his flaws.

              But I think we’re overreacting to a narrow loss in a game most thought would be close in which AM lacked two of his big weapons for much of the time.

              • I like Murray too. I just am about ready for his era to end and another to begin. Maybe the next guy will suck and I’ll look back more fondly at him in the future but right now I feel like I’ve seen his ceiling and while it’s pretty high, it’s just not quite high enough.

              • Timphd

                Honestly, I think I must be the only one who saw Marshall get twisted like a pretzel and go out for a while. He was gimpy all night too. When I saw the play I screamed, thinking an ACL or similar. He went out for a while and didn’t show the same quickness afterward. So, in my mind Bobo lost his 3 top weapons for much of the game. That being said, the first and goal failure was the worst play calling I saw all night. Otherwise, Bobo isn’t the left or right tackle last I checked. The O line lost this game in my opinion.

              • Carolinadawg

                I have read this exact post, or a very close version of it, more times than I can count on here over the past 6 years or so. I have lost patience with this excuse-driven, “close is good enough” BS.

            • PlatoDawg

              If he had David Greene’s DC..he would have several titles by now.

      • BC50

        And it also didn’t help that we had about three first down plays get called back for penalties

      • TomReagan

        I think if we complete the screen to Conley with about 2:00 left in the half, we’re having a totally different discussion today. Not only did it look like it would’ve been a very, very good gain, but even if we just get a first down and get into a rhythm we may well have scored going into he half while getting it to start the second, which would’ve completely changed the complexion of the game.

        It was a great call and against the perfect defense for it.

      • NC Dawg

        problem was, it took us nearly two quarters to make the switch.

      • hailtogeorgia

        I thought the same thing. I wonder if Bobo didn’t have a little too much faith in his offensive line. In the stretch of the game after we went up 21-14 and their defense really started pinning their ears back, moving to quick-hitting plays seemed so logical. Yes, Bobo had some successful play calls that got negated because of holding penalties (which he ultimately cannot directly control), but when you continue to call slow developing plays against a defense that is overpowering your offensive line, you’re ASKING them to hold. While he can’t control it directly, he could’ve called plays that asked them to block for 1.5 seconds instead of 3-4 and prevented a lot of the penalties.

  31. Mike Cooley

    Good post Cosmic Dawg. It amazes me how people make it so much more complicated than it is. You don’t set out to beat people by running more plays than them and trying to just limit the other guys plays. If that what you are hanging your hat on you don’t have a very good team.

  32. Merk

    The real question is how far will we drop? Losing by 3 on the road in a top 10 match-up. I saw plenty of top 25 teams barely break 40 yesterday against cupcakes/crap team.

  33. shane#1

    What concerns me is getting beat on both sides of the ball. Clemson was more aggressive and more physical on the O and the D lines. Those speed rushers coming uphill so fast pretty much cut off the outside so Bobo tried the middle, pretty much hard to find a place to run when your line is getting whipped. Clemson ran when they wanted to. Unless the line play improves on both sides of the ball this is going to be a looooooong season.

  34. My thinking remains the same. This is & will be a team that is fun to watch. Check out the offensive stats. But, I do not see this team winning the SEC East. Still I look forward to watching it make a whole heap of exciting plays.
    Starting the season against a top ten team was stupid. But, I look forward to watching each & every game. GATA.

  35. Marshall

    The only major coaching gripe I have is not stopping the game when everyone in the stadium and everyone watching at home on TV knew that that guy was bobbling the pass as he went out of bounds. How you don’t stop the game there is beyond comprehension.

    The biggest player gripe (other than the left O line) I had was our punt coverage team being asleep at the wheel on that one play. I was at the game and haven’t seen a replay, but I was later told the bill did brush the Clemson guy. We were given the game on a silver platter and we blew it.

    And the last time I checked neither Bobo or Murray were blocking on the O line last night.

    And whoever that was that may possibly be on this thread who was sitting in the upper deck around the 40 yard line last night that started calling for “Richt” to take over play calling as early as the 2nd quarter, you suck and you’re an idiot! Ditto for all of the folks yelling for Hutson Mason. Get a clue, people.

    And I’m really at a loss as to all of the Grantham criticisms. I feel pretty darn good about our D moving ahead.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Through my understanding of the rules, UGa could not under those circumstances have fallen on that loose ball for a TD or even possession. So at least there is that heartache off the table!

  36. DawgByte

    I can see why the Bobo bashers are out in force. THREE straight runs up the MIDDLE inside Clemson’s five yard line? Are you f’ing kidding me, that’s Bobo vintage 2009… ZERO creativity in the red zone. How about taking at least one shot in the air… perhaps get Lynch involved?!

    When Bobo decided to play musical chairs with the offensive line, he should have kept Hicks in the game every single down to protect Murray – Bobo did no such thing. He also left Marshall to fend for himself back there too often instead of using Hicks to pave the way.

    What can one say about Murray that hasn’t been said 1,000 times before. Inconsistent is positive spin coming out of Clemson. He’s now 1-11 against Top 10 teams. Say “Adios” to any further discussion of the Heisman for Mr. Murray. The reality is, in big games Murray plays scared, rushes his throws, can’t properly feel pressure, doesn’t protect the ball and throws way too hard on short passes, which is a sign of being scared!

    I wish I could feel positive going into the South Carolina game, but I’m not. We’ve still got MAJOR issues on our offensive line. I’m sorry, but I’ve never been a fan of David Andrews. I think he’s WAY too small and weak to be a top flight Center in the SEC. Some will counter by saying he’s cerebral and QB’s the OL. Well that’s all fine and dandy until you consistently have your head served back to you on a silver platter, which is what happened to Andrews all night long. As soon as Kublanow can learn the playbook I think he should be given a shot. Kub’s is a beast. Moving along… how many more games is it going to take before Friend and Bobo figure out that Gates is not a LT??? He’s too slooooooooooooooooow to play LT. They tried Houston over there for a while, but he didn’t fair much better. Both Houston and Gates are not going to get much sleep knowing they’ve got to take on Mr. Clowney, who BTW will not play the way he did on Thursday.

    As has been pointed out our DL is undersized allowing Clemson to run up the middle. Be prepared for SOS to watch both the Clemson and Bama game film and salivate at using his big OL to run it right down our throats.

    This is an extremely disappointing loss, because on paper we held the edge in statistics and had we not turned the ball over 3 times, would have started the season 1-0. Given what the Clemson game exposed it’s not hard to imagine the Dawgs going 1-3 in the month of Sept. If that’s the case we’ll be lucky to go 8-4 and get an invitation to the Tampax Bowl. Yes, the glass is half empty in my world!

    • The reality is, in big games Murray plays scared, rushes his throws, can’t properly feel pressure, doesn’t protect the ball and throws way too hard on short passes, which is a sign of being scared!

      Oh, ‘fer Crissakes, he went 20-29 last night for 323 yards. He looked totally scared running out of the pocket directing Conley down field on that 35-yard completion. //sarcasm

      He was amped up early, but settled down. His line did an inconsistent job in pass protection.

      And I could give a shit about the Heisman.

      • DawgByte

        Somebody’s got to take the heat and the fact Murray’s 1-11 against Top 10 opponents puts a bullseye right between his eyes, whether you like it or not!

        • Don’t have a problem with the criticism. It’s the armchair psychoanalyzing that makes me roll my eyes.

          • DawgByte

            No psychoanalysis needed. Here are the facts… in 12 games Murray has started at QB against Top 10 teams, he does not perform at a level commiserate with either his skills or the team’s needs. The fact is, when playing top notch talent Murray allows his nerves to get the best of him. History has shown there are athletes that thrive on the big stage. A touchdown is needed to win a playoff game and the ball is on the 49’er 5 yard line with 2 minutes left to go in the game. Put Joe Montana in the huddle and what does he say? “We’re going to win this game, now lets go!” As a fan you sit back and watch a doctor perform brain surgery on the defense… “Touchdown, Niner’s win!” Put the ball in Michael Jordan or Larry Birds hands with 3 seconds on the clock and they’re going to make it happen. First time in UGA football history where the Dawgs are rated in the Top 5 and playing another Top 10 rated team and what does Murray do… plays exactly like Clowney described at SEC Media week – SCARED!

            To be fair this loss isn’t all on Murray. Bobo’s handling of the offense was less than stellar and the OL played at times like there were 5 true freshmen on the field instead of a bunch of veterans.

            It’s exhausting being a Georgia fan. In 30+ years of watching UGA football I’ve never seen an offense more stacked with playmakers or talent. Even if the D is inexperienced the offense should be able to score enough points to chalk a W in the win column. However, the opposite is the case. When we need to keep our wits about us, we flounder. It’s getting old.

            • So Aaron Murray’s problem is that he’s no Montana, Jordan or Bird? I can’t argue with that kind of penetrating analysis.

              You really ought to go back and watch a replay of the first half. The offensive line is barely hanging on in the face of Clemson’s pass rush and Murray dodges a few bullets on Georgia’s second and third scoring drives.

              Again, he had a 68% completion rate and threw for over 300 yards on a defense that was in his face all game. Some scared.

  37. MinnesotaDawg

    Disappointed, but not surprised about our OL play. It is this year as it has been for most of Richt’s tenure–very average, no matter what the experience, returning starters, etc. Gurley (and five years ago, Moreno) frequently cover up for the mediocrity in the run game. But it looks plain awful when we are predictable as an offense, as we were for long stretches last night. Clemson stuffed the box with defenders on first and second down while we repeatedly tried to pound the middle with Marshall, setting up third and long–when their defensive ends blew past our tackles.

    During the second and much of the third quarter, we did nothing on offense to keep Clemson’s D honest–such as of quick first down passes to the outside (their corners where giving us cushion). The repeated three-and-outs during this part of the game killed any chance to take control of the game and kept their crowd energized. A occasional screen pass would have helped to alleviate the pressure too, but apparently we are ONCE AGAIN unable to execute this basic play–which should be a staple in any pro-style attack. When we mixed things up later in the game, the look on Venerable’s face basically said “Oh, shit–we can’t stop them.” Then, of course, we pissed away any chance of winning with typical self-inflicted mistakes.

    That was Clemson. Unfortunately, South Carolina’s defensive talent and scheme is perfectly matched to shut us down (and possibly get Murray killed) if we don’t mix things up on first and second down.

  38. Will Trane

    This loss is huge. No point in jumping off because they will not get to a bridge. Amazed how many times in recent years they get inside the 10-15 and fail to put points up.. They never seem to want to put a team away and hammer them. Opposing team mind set about Dawgs is ‘hang close, hit the hard, and by the fourth quarter the game is yours”. Not one person last know after watching the 2nd half opening series knew they were going to win.From that point on Clemson begin to take charge and feel comfortable about winning, even though some heads-up olay could have put the dawgs back in. Drop those game to South Carolina and LSU and they will not see the top 25 this season or any major bowl. That was not another loss, but another continuancy in the coaching in recent years by CMR and staff. Every SEC team the Dawgs play this year are better other than Kentucky. The lack of urgency, determination, fire, and grit does not exist on this staff and team, and it is personified in Murray.. The game experience of this offensive unit was absent last night…they should have come out in the 2nd half and dominated the LOS. There was a very long spell in scoring for the Dawgs and controlling the ball. Once they fell behind Clemson had them. Perhaps the 2nd quarter was the beginnin of the turn for Clemson, because the O disappeared in that quarter and the third and did not show up until Clemson had put it away. One thing the Dawgs have to do is get some scoring from the kicking game and the D, and the D has to create more negative plays on 1st and 2nd.

  39. As far as the people saying that if you’re going to criticize Bobo then why not Grantham, I’d agree. I think they both got out coached and failed to make adjustments. The problem is that when it comes to football, to the average fan, myself included, it’s a lot easier to diagnose problems you see on the offensive side of the ball than it is the defensive.

    I can tell pretty easily that three straight Marshall runs into a stacked line is probably not a good idea from my couch. I can’t tell you if the defense should have been in a cover 2 or been playing bump and run or whatever on a particular play. All I can do is gnash my teeth at missed tackles and blown coverages.

    With the offense the average fan can at least delude themselves into thinking they see the intricacies whereas on defense I’m just left with a feeling of unease and hoping that Grantham will do something to stop the bleeding.

  40. Debby Balcer

    We lost two major pieces of our offense for a good part of the game and that hurt and we were still only a bad snap away from IT. Obama was lucky to start off with a cupcake. I know the team will be ready for next week I hope the fans are. Murray just started wearing contacts fir distance vision so that might be part of the issue with seeing the clock and getting the delay of game calls.

  41. Mike Cooley

    Senator I agree with your rebuttal to the Murray criticism. Part of me will be glad when he’s gone so we won’t have to listen to that stuff anymore. I don’t know if it is isolated to Murray or if it is something that has developed in our fan base that will crop up in other ways later but part of me will be relieved when he’s gone for that reason.

    That said, the two turnovers were back breakers. Even with Bobo insisting on pounding Marshall up the middle I think we would have eventually been ok without giving Clemson the ball those two times. I know there are mitigating circumstances eg Gates totally missed his block on the fumble and the pick play was hard to see but man it just always seems to happen. I hate the firmly cemented Murray narrative that they quote like scripture but when things like that happen it makes it hard to defend him. I keep harping on it but once we went minus two in turnovers I knew it would take a miracle. And as much as I hate it, those turnovers are on Murray.

    • The pick is his fault, although Venables deserves a lot of credit.

      The fumble? Eh, not so much. If you look at the replay, the rush happened fast. AM is trying to pull the ball in to protect it, but doesn’t have enough time.

      • I actually didn’t blame him for the fumble. But I was expecting it to happen at some point because it always seems to at least once in a big game. Maybe he’s just always had crappy lines or is extremely unlucky but you can pretty much pencil in at least one sack fumble or just fumble against a good team from Murray.

        • hailtogeorgia

          It does seem like he always has a crucial fumble in these games. I don’t blame him for the one in this game, but man, it gets old seeing it happen. I’m honestly surprised there weren’t two of them – he got drilled on another blindside sack and I was amazed he held onto the ball.

      • NC Dawg

        fumble was on the whiff by the O tackle.

    • I think the problem with fans getting on Murray is that we’ve seen so much of him. Familiarity breeds contempt and despite the fact that he plays great in a lot of games he does seem to get rattled and come up with backbreaking mistakes at the worst possible times in big games. Good kid and DGD, but I pretty much pencil him in for a sack fumble and a bad pick in every big game. I’m honestly just ready for some new blood next year. I’ve seen Murray at his peak and it’s just not quite high enough.

      • D.N. Nation

        I’m sure Hutson Mason’s will be higher. Because he was awesome in some G-Days.

          • I’m not saying Mason will be better…never have. Maybe in a few years I’ll look back fondly at the Murray era. I’m not one of the lunatic fringe that wants to bench Murray. I just want to see UGA win a championship. I could care less who wins it.

        • And does it always have to devolve into the straw man argument that if you dare be critical of Murray you’re one of the lunatic fringe that wants him benched for Mason or that you have something personal against Aaron Murray?

          Is he and the coaching staff simply above criticism or you’re not a “real” fan or stupid? Personally my definition of a fan is someone that wants their team to win, not a hero worshiper of all.

    • NC Dawg

      I admire and respect Aaron Murray. He’s not afraid out there. No way. But you do expect someone with that much experience, coaching and success to be able to take charge of key games at key times. I think that’s why so many people are frustrated. Stafford was just starting to learn how when he left. David Greene seemed to be able to do it and didn’t seem rattled. AM still seems to get rattled, DGD though he is.

  42. Nashville West

    Good News- SC offense is not the Clemson offense and Shaw is not Boyd.
    Bad News- SC defense is not the Clemson defense (oh crap)…

  43. charlottedawg

    Aaron Murray is the embodiment of Georgia football: always a day late and a dollar short when it counts.

  44. charlottedawg

    Thoughts on the game:
    Points of turnovers: Clemson 7, Georgia 0.
    Turnovers committed: Clemson 1 Georgia 3
    That and the botched field goal is the game.

    It was over when: Clemson established a running game and all the mental mistakes were made by Georgia none by Clemson. See field goal and turnovers. You can’t botch your opportunities and give a top 10 team in their house extra chances.

    Grantham- guy’s overrated period. If we want to blame Murray for not being able to beat good teams Grantham REALLY can’t beat good offenses. It’s his fourth year at Georgia and the guy still can’t drop s run up the middle. We should not be starting guys like Christian Robinson and especially not guys like Connor Norman. It is completely unacceptable to give up 500 something yards, I don’t want to hear the bs about being young and inexperienced

    • I count two turnovers – the fumble and the pick. What was the third one?

      And who would you start in Norman’s place? It’s not like he was the only guy in the secondary who made a mistake.

      BTW, it was Clemson who gave up 500 something yards last night.

      Good rant, otherwise.

    • S.E. Dawn

      I don’t think Grantham can gameplan for the spread offenses.

  45. Mike Cooley

    I’m equally frustrated with our inability to stop the run and the apparent lack of interest in rectifying that problem. I have nothing against Connor Norman personally. I’m sure he’s a great kid. But he doesn’t belong out there. He just doesn’t. But what is Grantham supposed to do about all the wet behind the ears dbs? They will probably be good at some point but all he can do is coach them. H can’t make them get it. But I’m right there with you on the lackadaisical attitude about run defense. That has to change.

  46. Will Trane

    I understand the stats, but inside Bama’s 10 and inside Clemson’s 10. Lost 3 years in a row to Spurrier. Recruits and players are not into stats, but wins and making plays when they should and when they count. Recruits see what happens in a game, and that game last night hurt. UT, UF, USC, and AU raid the state big time. Now add Clemson. and Ole Miss.

    • D.N. Nation

      “Recruits and players are not into stats, but wins…”

      “Recruits see what happens in a game…”

      “UT…and AU…”

      Stop day-drinking.

  47. Will Trane

    Fans are not interested in Murray’s yards passing, rating, number of completions, and etc. After the Clemson loss the conversation returned to the stat that he can not quarterback a team that consistently beats ranked teams. He may be a DGD, good guys, girls and moms love him, and etc, but he is not Hombre. Elwood Leonard would write this about him. NUrray can not cut it..

    • D.N. Nation

      “Fans are not interested in Murray’s yards passing, rating, number of completions, and etc.”

      Reasonable ones are.

      Stats are reflective of how good a player is. Murray had a good game Saturday night. He didn’t lose the game.

  48. Richt says nobody is about to jump over the bridge. May somebody just have to quit so the ordinary fans does not have to be subjected to offensive plays that fails over and over and over and still gets repeated and repeated and repeated. I thought the whole playbook is already available to Murray. Bobo is just extremely hard headed just like Richt.

    • I was actually surprised he is already pulling out the “don’t panic, no big deal” comments already. I’d expected him to wait til next Sunday to pull out his usual “we still have plenty of goals to play for” speech after another loss to Spurrier. He’s pretty predictable with his platitudes.

      • Um… he’s been right not to panic the last two seasons, hasn’t he?

      • hailtogeorgia

        What else would you have him say? Are you saying he’s wrong to tell folks not to panic? I was telling myself the same thing – we still have a lot to play for…a close loss on the road to a top 10 team to start the season is not the end of the world. If we come out next week and beat Carolina, we’re very quickly right back into the race, and in the driver’s seat in the East. I would’ve loved to go 4-0 to start the year, but the reasonable person in me expected us to go 3-1. If that 3-1 comes with the only loss being to Clemson, that’s all we can ask for.

  49. 69Dawg

    I didn’t read all of the comments but I have some observations.
    Aaron Murray is the second coming of Eric Zeir or Mike Bobo or Matt Stafford. He can get the stats but he can’t get the win. South Carolina will kill Aaron Murphy if we do not adjust to help the totally inadequate left tackle. I’m just surprised Clemson didn’t speed rush him all night because he was just a matador and way over matched.
    Andrews is not quit useless as a blocking center but close, he may have a future in wresting but not football.
    Will Coach Richt ever let the 1’s go against each other in the fall camp if we are opening with a highly ranked team??? Playing patty cake with the walk-ons give the 1s a fail sense of superiority and leads to what we have had lately, a bad start.
    Will Bobo ever stop having brain farts during a big game. The defense had made what for it was the big stop of the game by holding Clemson to a field goal and we fly down the field only to be treated to 3 count them 3 run right into an 11 man box. Maybe Bobo had stepped out to the rest room and left Inman in charge of the O until he could get back. That would be the only explanation that I could accept.;
    I see a 1-3 start and one more loss to UF in our future. Once again the Kool-Aid was poison.

  50. Bulldog Joe

    Better fix the blind side protection and quarterback contain problems or Saturday will get ugly quick.

  51. So here’s a comparison: Dabo vs. Richt. Both are basically figureheads and recruiters at this point. Dabo is a bit of a buffoon from my limited observations and is a good recruiter and cheerleader. Richt is a much more laid back philosophical seeming guy and also a good recruiter.

    Both guys delegate most of the ingame coaching to their coordinators presumably, and both guys impart their personality to their teams.

    Richt is obviously a far more accomplished coach in terms of actual coaching and would probably school ole Dabo if both were calling plays, but last night it looked like Dabo has done a better job of picking the guys he delegates to, and frankly while I find his cheerleaderism a bit cheesy, it seems to motivate his team better than Richt’s stoicism.

    Now I’m sure Richt is a much better Christian than Dabo, and he doesn’t come off like a hick, but after last night I’m not sure which guy is smarter.

    • I shouldn’t have said smarter actually. It’s not a matter of intelligence, more of philosophy. And while I’m not a Bobo basher fulltime, he got shown up by Chad Morris last night. And I’d take Venables over Grantham at this point I think.

  52. El Dawgo in El Paso

    35 Points on the road should be enough to get a win.

  53. NC Dawg

    It all came down to this: the other team loaded up at the line of scrimmage, and we didn’t adjust until too late. We had to outscore them; we didn’t.

  54. NC Dawg

    Damn it! Just heard Mitchell is out for the year with an ACL, sustained on a stupid chest bump.

  55. Baitstand

    I believe I’ll be happier next year when Murray is on the Bengals’ scout team and Bobo is the head coach at Western Kentucky.

    • That is best. College football has faster turnover of the guards which makes it more exciting in many ways. Every year Juniors or Seniors leave and Freshmen come in. Unfortunately, unimaginative and stale coaches stay. Opposing coaches get to know the typical offense and defense of old coaches and can easily guess more than less. That is why UGA coaches as an example have problems with new coordinators and are unable to respond fast and appropriately.

  56. Mike Cooley

    A few things. I would like to ask all the “Murray can’t win the big one” people what role Murray, or Murphy who I presume is his evil big game losing alter ego, had in the decision to run Marshall up the gut over and over. What role did he have in the poor blocking by the O line for a long stretch last night? What part of the botched snap on the field goal was Murphy’s fault? How much of Gurley’s injury did Murphy have a hand in? Because all of these things had something to do with the loss or put a better way, the absence of any or all of these issues might have made the difference. I would also like to ask which player on the defense is his counter part and is responsible for every single thing that went wrong on that side of the ball? Jenkins? Does he individually have a won loss record like Murphy? Does Murphy have a counter part on the D. if not why not? Just trying to figure out how all this works.

    • Flukebucket

      Fix the Oline or we may get to see how good the backup is before Murphy graduates

      • If UGA loses 1 or 2 more games, Murray should give way to Mason to give the latter a better experience for next year. If UGA loses to both SC and LSU, Murray should be magnanimous enough to allow the transition this year for next season. Breaking records will not enhance his position in the NFL draft, nor will it erase the negative perception thrown his way, except if UGA do not suffer more losses this season.

        • You mean like Joe Cox did in 2009?

          And why stop with AM? Why not have every senior step aside? What do Garrison Smith and Michael Bennett have left to play for then, anyway, right?

          I swear, some of you are losing your fucking minds. It was a three-point loss to a top ten team on the road. Get over it.

          • Joe Cox needed his year as Mason will have his next year. But later in the season, after the LSU game if the Dawgs gets knocked off contention for anything of significance in the season, Mason should eased into the games. Probably big chunks with the cupcakes say in the 2nd half, or 3rd and 4th quarters with our SEC brothers if games are under controlled.

  57. Bulldogs coach Mark Richt announced Sunday evening that his team’s top receiver, Malcolm Mitchell, will miss the remainder of the season after injuring the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while celebrating Todd Gurley’s 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of Saturday night’s 38-35 loss to Clemson.

  58. Normaltown Mike

    Well I haven’t seen it here yet, but the stat the jumps out to me is this:
    Aaron Murray is 1- 6 when the opponent scores 35 or more points on Georgia. How can we have a guy at the helm that can’t do better than 106 when the opponent scores 35 or more?

    In fact, he’s hardly better when an opponent scores 30 or more (4 – 10).

    Sure, he throws a bunch of TD’s and gets a bunch of yards, but when the opponent is marching up and down the field, scoring at will and piling up yards without remorse, you can’ count on AM.

    AJ McCarron doesn’t have a single loss when a team goes over 35 points on Bama. Not one!

    • dawgfan17

      I see what you did there and I like it. For anyone not paying attention look up how many teams have scored 35 or even 30 on Alabama.

      • dawgfan17

        I’ll give you a hint that with McCarron that number might rhyme with hero and McCarron did lose the only game where a team scored 29.

    • One big weakness of AM is unable to see defenders on long throws which he ends up throwing short. I think DC of other teams have noticed this which AM has been more successful on trick plays, but coordinators now prepare for it. Highlight : midfield interception in Bama and Klempzon.

      AM may have also achieved his max level last year and is on the plateau in performance.

  59. Just my observations … most, if not all, have already been stated.
    – The O-Line wet the bed.
    – Marshall is a great running back but he is not Gurley and Gurley is not Marshall. I think any backyard kid could draw up plays specific for each of them that work accordingly.
    – No reason for the delay of game penalties (gosh, Mom … it was loud out there)!
    – Arm tackling ain’t gonna get it done in the SEC … or ACC.
    – We got out-coached on both sides of the ball. Failure to adapt on our part.
    – If I had watched the game without knowing the score I would’ve thought we lost by 21 points.

    Sorry for all the pessimism … Color me extremely disappointed. I guess I was a sucker for all the sunshine pumping over the summer.

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