Upon further review: the offense

The good news is that Georgia’s skill position talent looks even better than it did last season.

The bad news is that the offensive line’s pass blocking doesn’t.  And that’s a problem.

Aaron Murray has been sacked 86 times in his career. The Georgia senior quarterback has started (and played the vast majority of) 42 games, and in just seven of those has he NOT been sacked. Six times, he has been sacked at least four times.

The latest came Saturday, when Clemson, not exactly known for its defense, sent Murray to the ground four times. Once, he fumbled after being nailed from the blind side. It was a miracle he didn’t fumble a couple drives earlier on a similar play.

Now can some of that be laid at Murray’s feet for holding the ball too long on occasion?  No doubt.  But let’s be honest here.  Judging from what I saw against Clemson, the Dawgs don’t have an offensive tackle who can consistently pass protect.  Gates is far better suited for playing one of the guard positions, Theus, for some reason, lacks the confidence of his coaches and Houston is a feel-good story who managed to get beat badly by speed rushes at left and right tackle.  (I probably don’t need to remind you that Clemson’s defense is far from what Georgia’s going to see this week or what the linemen will have to deal with when they face LSU and Florida.)

I worried about the weight loss stories we saw this offseason.  And I’ve been concerned about Andrews’ size from the get go.  But I at least hoped that being smaller would also mean the o-line was more nimble.  Such does not appear to be the case.

If it makes you happy to be a Murray detractor, have at it.  I saw a quarterback who faced constant pressure and did a pretty good job in spite of it.  What I’m wondering at this point is, with all the criticism being flung in Murray’s and Bobo’s direction, why Will Friend is getting a pass.  Some of you angrier folks, feel free to speak up and explain what I’m missing here.


Filed under Georgia Football

158 responses to “Upon further review: the offense

  1. DawgPhan

    Arggg bobo grumble grumble murray hurumph richt grumble big game aarrrgggghhh bobo

    • Carlton Thomas

      Pretty awesome that we won’t let Running Backs play when they can’t pass block, but don’t hold O-linemen to the same standard.

      The inverse of that policy would be benching O-linemen until they exhibit competency running the Tackle Eligible play…

  2. DawgPhan

    Houston whiffed bad and we are lucky that Murray didnt fumble on the previous blind side shot where gates whiffed. These plays dont happen in a vacuum and the line play definitely resulted in some bad mechanics for murray in the second and third quarters.

    Still missing it’s 2 biggest weapons for most of the game the offense still kicked butt.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    Usually you go smaller on the O-line when you want to utilize more pulling and trapping in the run game and quick short to intermediate passing (like Oregon). Doesn’t work as well in a typical NFL pro style offense.

  4. I keep seeing people say that we were missing his two biggest weapons for most of the game. I disagree about MM. Yes it would be great to have him, but we have so many talented receivers I just don’t buy that. The falloff from Gurley to Marshall is much steeper. Even then I take exception to people claiming “most of the game”. Gurley was out for roughly one quarter.

    The bad snap, interception, and fumble were the key plays in my mind. One of those three things can be blamed on Murray. We lost a scoring opportunity because of it, but the defense stopped Clemson.

    I’m not sure how much control Murray has to audible. Does anyone know if Murray had the option to audible out of the straight dive up the middle?

    • Mitchell is the only deep threat. That’s why his loss was so big. UGA wins by 10 with him healthy, and it’s not because he’s Calvin Johnson. Venables started to gamble (and it worked) by dropping a safety into the box and speed rushing his guys. If Mitchell were on the outside he stretches the field, meaning the one-on-one coverage is beaten. UGA couldn’t use the 9 route (the go route) as they normally would because Mitchell was the guy to run that route.

      • gastr1

        Mitchell shouldn’t have been the only deep threat. We have plenty of speed in the WRs; Conley, Scott-Wesley, Wooten. Mitchell has a history of injuries, too. I don’t understand why losing him would suddenly eliminate any deep game at all.

        • Scott-Wesley will be, but he’s a converted sprinter who is learning. I think Rumph could be if/when he gets healthy due to his size. Conley and Wooten are much better when they are facing the QB, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see Conley get some of those deep looks this week, provided Murray and Bobo doesn’t keep holding the Oline back…..

        • He’s the best at getting off of the line and he’s the fastest. He scares teams over the top. Conley and Co. don’t. As stated below, JSW will be that guy soon, but he’s not technical enough to get off of the line.

          • WF dawg

            I have seen growth in JSW, though, from when he first arrived. That encourages me about his prospects moving forward. Seems like we’re doing a nice job of developing WRs.

        • 69Dawg

          The deep threat is eliminated by the QB having to run for his life on every damn play. When will we learn that UGA has not had a good OL in the last 10 years. We suck at recruiting them and we suck at coaching them up. Now we have a total brain fart and think that smaller is better as having our butts handed to us by Alabama. Pass the Tylenol.

          • Miguel

            Yep, tough to throw a deep ball when you’ve got 2-3 seconds to get it off. I don’t really understand why we didn’t see more slants, draw plays, quick hits to the TEs over the middle, throws out to the flats, wheel routes, etc. Is there a reason? Something I’m missing?

          • Lorenzo Dawgriguez

            Agree. We have had Neal Callaway and two of his main acolytes. Might be time to go in a different direction next time.

          • disney cube

            The OL was terrible b/c of MM’s injury.

    • Turd Ferguson

      “The falloff from Gurley to Marshall is much steeper.”

      This is a little off-topic, but I just don’t know about that. The falloff from Gurley to Marshall does seem to be steep … as long as they’re both being asked to do the same things. But back when they were recruited, I remember the talk being that Gurley was more of a power back, better between the tackles, and that Marshall was more of a Reggie Bush-type, better in open space.

      Now 15-or-so games into their college careers, I can’t help but think either (a) that Bobo either doesn’t realize this, or doesn’t care, or (b) that Marshall, perhaps like Richard Samuel, is a talent that we just cannot figure out how to utilize. And something tells me that if Marshall were at pretty much any other program, he’d be doing significantly better than he’s doing here (even if he had to share carries there, too).

      • tbia

        Hmmm……seems that on Marshall’s highlight reel from last year, most of his long runs come between the tackles. But go with your Bobo doesnt know a damn thing meme. It seems to work.

        • Turd Ferguson

          Actually, I’ve always been sort of ambivalent about Bobo. I’m nowhere close to jumping on the “Fire Bobo!” bandwagon; but I’m also not in love with the guy. And in this instance, I believe I’m echoing a concern that even many of his supporters expressed after the Clemson game.

          And for the record, this hair-trigger “Yeah, I guess Bobo just doesn’t know a damn thing!” response among some of you really needs to stop. (At this point, it’s every bit as memetic.) Last time I checked, it *is* possible to raise questions about another’s decision-making without thinking that he “doesn’t know a damn thing,” or ought to be fired, or whatever. So until someone tells me that these comment sections are *only* to be used for smiling and nodding along with whatever the coaching staff decides, I’ll continue raising concerns whenever the hell I want to.

        • I’m tired of the Keith Marshall bashing. I doubt that he has any say on what plays are run. I’m not a football mastermind but I think that I’m smart enough to know that Gurley and Marshall are not interchangeable. Maybe most of his long runs from last year did come between the tackles. And maybe (almost guaranteed) the opposing teams picked up on that from watching film. Whatever the case, I think most savvy coaches utilize their players in ways that give the player and the team the best chance to succeed. Looking forward to a more positive outcome this Saturday in Athens!

      • Russ

        I agree with Turd. I don’t think we’re using Marshall fully. He can run between the tackles but I think he’s much more dangerous outside.

    • The bad snap, interception, and fumble were the key plays in my mind. One of those three things can be blamed on Murray. We lost a scoring opportunity because of it, but the defense stopped Clemson.

      So why was that a key play and, say, the dropped interception by Herrera wasn’t?

      • Dboy

        The holding call on Anderews on the long Gurley run of our next to last drive was the nail in the coffin of mishaps

        • IveyLeaguer

          True, but if Andrews doesn’t hold his man Gurley, most likely, gets stopped for no gain. If Andrews blocks his man, though, the play stands and who knows what happens.

          Andrews had a terrible night, BTW. And absolute nightmare for him. His play hurt us badly. He literally got chewed up and spit out. Had he held his own, we MAY could have survived the tackles getting beat much of the night. But getting beat at both L and R tackle, and center too, is just too much.

          As bad as all that is, we still could have won the game had we played sound, otherwise, on offense. But, once again, we couldn’t do that. We couldn’t come out in an opening game against a good team, and play sound on offense. It wasn’t as bad as in recent years, but it was sloppy enough to get us beat.

          Clemson didn’t have any trouble doing it. Boise State didn’t in 2011. OKST did it well enough in 2009. But we haven’t been able to do it since we last beat Boise State. And that was 2005.

      • Herrera did his job by stopping the pass, just because he didn’t get the pick and take it for six is not key. Turning over the ball in Clemson territory right after a huge momentum swing was key. If you don’t agree, ok.

  5. DawgPhan

    You dont buy that Mitchell is our biggest weapon receiving and that Gurley is our biggest weapon rushing?

    • TennesseeDawg

      MM is a very good player but we are deep at WR and can get by with what we got. TG is another story, we need him to be successful

      • gastr1

        Well, and the OC needs to devise better ways of taking advantage of what Marshall does. As was pointed out here by many, it’s really aggravating to see one of the fastest guys anywhere continually run between the tackles.

      • DawgPhan

        depth at the position is not the topic. You either agree that Mitchell is the best receiver we have or you dont. That is the point that was being debated….and I use that loosely because there is no debate. He was the best WR we had going into the game. No one would argue that.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          They are arguing two things – not if he’s the best, but how MUCH better Mitchell is than the others. I’d say that gulf is not huge – I would have flipped a coin between Bennett, Conley, and Mitchell before the game.

          Theyre also asking why, with a deep WR corps, he’s being discussed as the only deep threat.

  6. The offensive line blew that game. Without a doubt. First and goal from the 5 and they get no push. Getting blown up by Clemson (the Gates whiff should have landed him on the bench) is inexcusable. Murray is going to get the blame because that’s what he does. When he plays poorly and they win (UF), he gets ripped. When he plays well enough to win and they lose, he gets ripped. But as you said, the OL was a cluster fuck Saturday night. Just terrible.

    As for the defense, I wasn’t unhappy in the least. If you thought UGA was going to hold Clemson to less than 35 points with three true freshman starters, a very average safety playing due to suspension and another safety out with injuries, that’s a you problem. UGA needed 40 to win that game, and everyone knew it. The OL (terrible, dumb penalties mixed with inept pass blocking) kept them under 40.

    • Sanford222View

      +1 …and I blame the OL just as much for the Murray fumble as Murray. Protecting the ball when you are hit from the blind side isn’t always that easy. The OL is my biggest concern from the game. Murray and Gurley lead the O to over 500 yards in spite of them in my opinion.

      The INT wasn’t as bad as it seemed either. That was a great call by the the Clemson DC on that play. If Murray holds the ball for one count longer he likely sees the DE ( I think) drop back into coverage and throws that behind him. The play might score then.

      Clemson deserved to win that game. They played a cleaner game plain and simple. I think Georgia has a better team and wins if it plays its best game. The Dogs didn’t and thus the loss. The good news is if the Dogs can find a way to win this weekend all the seasons goals are back on the table. One loss on the road by 3 to a Top 10 team likely won’t keep the Dogs out of the BCSCG if they can run the table from here. The bad news is the OL has to get much better for that to happen. I think our D will continue to improve as the young talent matures game to game and will hold its own. The ease at which Clemson ran the ball is still troublesome and needs to be addressed as well.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        “Clemson deserved to win that game.” FWIW Georgia had almost 100 more yards of total offense than Clemson.

        • RocketDawg

          We also out gained UF in 2008 and got blown out….what is your point? Clemson did deserve to win the game because they won the turnover battle and that is usually the deciding factor in a game with two evenly matched teams.

          • Clemson won the game bc their coordinators made ingame adjustments, particularly on the defensive side, and ours either didn’t or took a lot longer to do so. Injuries are going to happen, things aren’t going to go the way you drew them up earlier in the week. Truly good coaches make changes on the fly and ours couldn’t or wouldn’t for large parts of the game IMO. Three runs up the middle with Marshall at the goal line into a stacked line when your o-line has been getting pushed around all night is just horrid.

            What happened to Clemson’s young secondary being their weakest point? I understand that going into the game against a high tempo offense it probably seemed like a good idea to protect the defense with a supposedly veteran offensive line and Gurley to chew up yards on the ground. But once Gurley got nicked up and the line was on roller skates, you have to change plans.

            And I don’t buy the fact that MM being hurt was the deciding factor. Between his playing defense to start last year and nagging injuries throughout his career, UGA has won plenty of games without him.

            • Dboy

              “Clemson won the game bc their coordinators made ingame adjustments, particularly on the defensive side, and ours either didn’t or took a lot longer to do so”
              The turnover battle was key as per usual. But Clemson also thoroughly won the battle in the trenches. Their Dline owned our Oline, with the exception of a few exceptional runs by Gurley. And their Oline was more competent than ours. We got pressure on Boyd at times, but he avoided turnovers and negative plays, for the most part. No blindside sacks. To me, the most impressive thing about Boyd is making no gains out of sure sacks and avoiding turnovers.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      No more excuses for Grantham anymore, sorry. He’s apparently the only 4th year DC in the country who deals with freshmen, suspensions (ONE suspension) and injuries. Recruiting, conditioning, making sure we’ve got competent kids two and three deep going into your 4th season are part of the job description.

      A program that wants to consistently be in the top ten or fifteen does not figure out new and inventive excuses for why they can’t stop other teams from scoring. Last year it was because we had too much talent.

      I agree with you about the offensive line, but we are griping about Bobo’s inability to get his squad to perform to their very highest potential, to move from a “B” to an “A”. On the other side of the ball, we are simply talking about a failure to perform, period. 38 points is an abomination for a UGA defense.

      If Grantham had gotten his veterans to perform lights out last year, we would probably be coming off a NC and we’d forgive him for a re-stocking year, injuries, whatever. But his issues are systemic, I’m afraid.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        One of the Grantham problems appears to be that he has so many defenses and they are so complex that it is difficult for the players to all be on the same page at the same time. All you need is one guy to get the defensive call wrong and you have a bust that leads to a big gainer or a TD for the other team. This pro stuff is great for pros, but in college they have a limited amount of time to learn it.

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    New offensive line…still looking for the gelatin…very, very loud crowd, impossible at times…you can pick them out on the replay…to hear audibles or snap counts…or each other…not a recipe for success.

    And yet again, take away one third(any third) of the mistakes and we win going away.

    Great offensive line play is a complex thing…

    • gastr1

      The thing is, there are things that can be done to negate the rush. WE know what they are. WHY did it take us so long to run a few plays that would negate the speed rushes? Passes in the flat to Marshall? Quick slants to Bennett over the middle? How about an out to a WR–why did we not see that all night? Even the screens we did try were too much in the center of the field and were disrupted because of that.

      • CrawforDawg

        Perhaps it’s because we would have been out of “balance” as an offense.

      • 69Dawg

        It’s simple really Aaron God bless him can’t throw a good screen pass to save his life. He is tooo damn short to see the RB in the middle of all of the DL guys rushing him. He also can’t throw a good wheel route. The two passes that could take the heat off he can’t execute. Don’t believe me watch it this week. He can’t do it and that’s why Bobo doesn’t call them more than 2 or 3 times a game even if the OL is a mess. Aaron is very likely to throw a pick 6 on the screen.

        • The Lone Stranger

          You know, I meant to touch on this yesterday but I think the limitations of AM’s height have had effects in important ways. Like you said, on the screens it’s obvious. I also believe that on the costly INT deep in Clemson territory he was blocked out by three of his OLinemen. Can’t change your height, but need to compensate somehow better.

        • I’ve said this for a year at least. AM does not generally do well on the short passes, be they screens or just throws into the flats. He doesn’t seem to be able to put the right amount of touch on the ball. Either they are batted down or the back or receiver has to slow up or even come back to make a tough catch and gets blown up. And yes the pass to Hicks was nice, but from my memory at least that more the exception than the rule.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        This. Instead, we call plays as if we’re in an alternate universe, where our OL is dominant (Marshall up the gut on 1st and 2nd down, 1st and goal on the 5 and three rushes into the teeth of the D, 3rd and long p/a passes, etc.)

    • cube

      Does Clemson get to take away one third (any third) of their mistakes too? Or just us?

  8. D Basham

    My immediate reaction after the game: If #61 is our best option at C, then we are in deep trouble.

    • SAtowndawg

      Completely agree….I find it hard to believe there isn’t a better option….Friend really should be getting the majority of blame here as the OL looks like it regressed

  9. @gatriguy

    To me, it’s the play action out of the I that is Murray’s undoing. All three picks against Florida last year and this one against Clemson, and countless more. When he gets the ball out quickly, he looks like Tom Brady. When he turns his back to the defense, he looks like Quincy Carter.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      When he has time to survey the field, he’s one of the best in the country. Part of that is play design, part of that is execution by the line, and part of that is defensive play calling. I’d love to see his stats when teams rush 3 and drop 8. They’re probably sick.

    • Seriously, you can’t think of any occasions when Murray’s been successful with play action?

      If so, that’s kind of a big problem, seeing as p/a is a staple of the offense. Maybe you should let Bobo know.

      • @gatriguy

        No, not saying that. I know he’s been successful with it. I also know that most of his f ups come after he’s turned his back to the line, then locks on. I simply think he’s better out if the shotgun, or split the difference, the pistol where he can get turned back around quicker, than out of the I. But feel free to disagree.

        • Georgia isn’t going to drop play action. It’s part of Richt’s offensive DNA.

          • @gatriguy

            Senator, your missing my point. It’s not the p/a I think it’s the problem. You can carve people up with p/a from the shotgun, or the pistol, or a single back set.

            To me, it’s the length of time that your back is turned out of the I that is problematic for Murray. And everyone else has figured that out too, which is why we see zone blitzes out the wazoo in those situations.

            Again, just my opinion. But I’m certainly not suggesting we ditch p/a from the playbook.

          • 69Dawg

            Senator if you don’t think Aaron is better in the shotgun than doing play action you haven’t been paying attention. With Gurley we should run the damn Pistol 90% of the time.

            • @gatriguy

              Yeah, completely agree. There is a reason why very few NFL teams use the deep p/a out of the I anymore. Most of their’s is single back off a stretch play or with a bootleg. Taking you eyes off the defense for that length of time is just a bad idea. This is why Spurrier’s p/a off the draw play is so successful: the qb reads the defense almost the whole time. But alas, we’re UGA, 15 years behind the times always.

  10. Always Someone Else's Fault

    I thnk Clemson’s defense is better than people think, but we’ll see how that plays out over the season. UNC had two possessions end inside the 5 with 3 points to show for it, and USCe was handed 14 points by UNC’s defense. I honestly felt UNC did more to lose that game more than USCe did to win it, but it’s hard to give maximum effort when you’re watching a team hand you a game and you know your game the next weekend is 1 of 3 that’s going to make or break your season.

    I think Georgia has the tools to beat USCe.

  11. Turd Ferguson

    I can see it now. Our pathetic OL will let Clowney do whatever he wants on Saturday. And this will give ESPN — and everyone else, for that matter — their storyline for the week to follow: “He may have looked out of shape in week 1, but CLOWNEY’S BAACCKKK!!!1!1!”

  12. Normaltown Mike

    Maybe we move Hicks to OL and Andrews to FB?

  13. paul

    I’ve been one to criticize Aaron Murray in the past. Even though he clearly didn’t have his best game, I can’t really lay this loss at his feet. Overall, I am getting tired of losing games despite having demonstrably better physical talent on the field, which I believe we did. Once again, we got out coached and out played by a team that we should have beat. It’s disheartening. I am not optimistic about our chances this weekend. I sure hope the Dawgs prove me wrong.

    • D Basham

      Agreed. To put it even more bluntly: Do you think it’s more likely that Spurrier will outcoach Richt, or vice versa? I hate him, but I think SOS is the better coach.

      • paul

        Spurrier is an excellent coach. However, I have no doubt Richt is capable of out coaching him. While he is ultimately responsible, CMR doesn’t make all the calls personally. I don’t think for one minute that Dabo and his crew are better coaches than our guys day in and day out. But they did what they needed to do last Saturday night. As has too often been the case of late, in my opinion at least, we seemed to have struggled to make in game adjustments swiftly.

        • @gatriguy

          Please tell me in which of the 9 Richt-Spurrier match-ups you feel Richt has outcoached Spurrier?

          I will be ecstatic if we win in Saturday, but I can’t think if a single reason not to think Spurrier won’t outcoach Grantham and Ward won’t outcoach Bobo. It will take USC pulling a UGA for us to win.

  14. The Marshall issue came from the fact that we never opened even a small crease for him to run between the tackles. There were times where the d-line was on him quickly after getting the ball.

    The game on offense came down to the fact that we didn’t get points on 1st and goal on the 5 especially that we didn’t score a TD on that drive.

    • 69Dawg

      I hate to even say this but Marshall is beginning to run a lot like Richard Samuel. He is way faster but he seems to just fall down a lot. Heck even Richard Could run when the OL decided to block. Gurley on the other hand has vision and balance and a good stiff arm. Marshall is all speed.

      • My point is that it’s not like Marshall had any opportunity to get started much less to get to the 2nd level. While he was in the game, the line so poorly blocked that he had no chance. Does Marshall need to have better balance? Yes. Is he Richard Samuel? I don’t think so.

      • timphd

        Did you not see Marshall’s TD run? He carried guys on his back into the end zone. I know I am the only one, but I think he got hurt on a later carry and lost some zip after that. Haven’t heard any more about him being hurt but on the play his leg got bent back double and he hobbled off the field. That’s when JJ Green got a couple of carries and before Gurley came back in.

        • Marshall might look great behind last year’s Bama line, but with this group he’s not the back to run up the middle. Gurley just outmans people because he’s a beast.

          Also what the hell was up with how slow developing a lot of the running plays we ran? Your line is getting pushed back and you’re gonna give the defenders more time to get into the backfield?

          • Also what the hell was up with how slow developing a lot of the running plays we ran?

            Now you’re on to something. Clemson’s getting penetration on most plays and the response is to give them even more time to get to the ball? Strange.

            Part of me wonders if the coaches were legitimately surprised at how the o-line was getting whipped on pass protection and run blitzes.

            • paul

              As I pointed out above, we seemed to have struggled to make in game adjustments swiftly. Was it a simple inability to recognize what was happening or just disbelief that we kept getting beat at the point of attack? I don’t know. Either way, we did not adjust until it was too late.

              • Dboy

                Thier Dline owned our Oline all night. I think our offensive coaches were just in denial. See 3 runs up the gut in a row for no gain on the Clemson 5 yard line. How much money do you think Bobo would pay to have a redo on one of those plays?

  15. fuelk2

    I’m baffled over the fact that Theus has failed to ascend to our starting LT. Gates is a DGD and would be an effective guard (would love to see Burnette or Lee at C), but he’s not an SEC LT. I guess getting outbid on Tunsil was a bigger deal than I first realized.

    • Dog in Fla

      “I guess getting outbid on Tunsil was a bigger deal than I first realized.”

      Dam it, something about that keeps eating at me

    • WF dawg

      I haven’t heard much about how Tunsil fared in Week 1, but getting much production out of true frosh LTs (not named Trinton Sturdivant) is tough. I’m afraid our prospects for improving over Gates at LT this year rise and fall with the development of Theus. Now would be a great time for him to emerge.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        I watched him pretty closely last Thursday–looking for those grapes to be sour. Even though Ole Miss has two senior, experienced offensive tackles returning this year, Tunsil still ended up playing about half the snaps at tackle. Unfortunately for Dawg fans, he looked very, very good. Hard to judge after seeing one game and I doubt Vandy’s d-line is a great measuring stick for an SEC OL–but after seeing the performance of our tackles on Saturday, I’m guessing Tunsil would be starting for us.

        • Tunsil looked better than most of our guys did the other night. Granted he was up against Vandy but yeah, putting all our eggs in that basket and coming up with nothing could bite us in the ass for years.

  16. Who has two thumbs and isn’t willing to give Will Friend a pass? Me.

    I’m digging through some numbers, but one thing that stood out to me from Saturday is all of Gurley’s big runs came out of power I. Having Hicks to lead and Lynch/Rome in a three point stance gave us that push on those plays (save the 3rd and goal when Clemson had 11 in the box).

    Friend SHOULD be on the hot seat if that trend keeps up.

    I’m shocked we didn’t do more to move Murray out of the pocket. I’ve only watched the game three times, but he stood in and delivered the ball when he knew he was going to get hit time and again. He went 20/29. He only threw three really terrible passes, and I’m not including the INT, as that was a perfectly called and played defensive set designed for that exact play.

  17. DawgPhan

    Love that the offensive review thread has 40 replies and the defensive review thread has 14. And the defensive thread went up first…guessing that the good senator knew that was going to happen.

    • Dog in Fla

      “And we go to Happyville, instead of to Pain City”?

      (h/t T. Ruggles Pynchon, G.’s Rainbow)

    • dudetheplayer

      The defense played about as well as most of us thought they would play. Tajh Boyd is a great QB and the Watkins kid is great as well. Clemson has maybe the best offense we’ll see all year, and we unfortunately had to face them the first game of the year while not being at full strength (no JHC). The run defense and missed tackles are a bummer, obviously, but we weren’t going to play lights out in this one.

      The offense to me is so disappointing (and getting most of the attention) not because of Bobo or Murray (they are who they are at this point, both good and bad), but because our supposedly veteran offensive line played a TERRIBLE game, particularly in pass protection. How many years in the last decade have we had to deal with sub-par offensive line play? It’s inexplicable at this point. We have skill position talent out the wazoo, but it might not mean a damn thing if the line continues to play like they did on Saturday night. And that will be a damn shame.

      • Normaltown Mike

        35 points and a missed FG = disappointing

        38 points and DB’s on roller skates = a bummer

        Got it.

        • dudetheplayer

          I think you missed the point of what i was trying to say there, Mike. I’m not trying to give the defense a free pass, I just expected the offense to be much better and certainly much further along than our defense early in the season. The pre-game consensus was that we were going to have to win a shoot-out one way or the other. Nobody expected us to completely shut Clemson’s offense down. And a bad performance by the offensive line was largely responsible for us not achieving that goal. That, to me, is the most disappointing aspect considering all the happy talk we were hearing about “the depth and experience” we had returning on that unit.


  18. WF dawg

    Who has watched the replay and knows whether we would have gotten the call if Richt had challenged the completion where the CU receiver was bobbling the pass as he went out of bounds? Inquiring minds want to know.

  19. tludlam

    The line play is worrisome. The most predictable aspect of the night was rust on Houston. Hate it that so much was asked of him due to scheduling decisions made years ago. We definitely lost a difference maker, but if Murray hits Bennett in stride rather than on the shoelaces, Bennett is a difference maker too. Even before the first snap, Murray looked dazed and unconfident. Unlike in the SEC CG, the visual evidence at Clemson supports the common generalization of him having a big-game voodoo spell.

    What worries me the most is this loss may take the wind out of our fans’ sails, diminishing the crowd advantage we should have this weekend. Both Palmetto State teams maximized the crowd edge against us. I really hope our fans can turn their disappointment from last week into vocal rage come 4:30 on Saturday.


    • @gatriguy

      I’m afraid most of our crowd on Saturday is going to be too gunshy to be loud. Everyone will be waiting for something to go wrong. This is the biggest home game in a long, long time (probably since 08 Alabama, but I’d say it’s even bigger than that, probably the 2000 UT game.)

  20. Hogbody Spradlin

    We’re doomed, DOOMED I tells ya!

  21. BulldogBen

    So many thoughts but Special teams, O-line, suspensions, and attention to detail. They are memes that are the “mark” of Richt’s career at UGA.

    Bottom line, if they lose Saturday, any National Title hopes are gone and most likely the East and the “5 yards to a National Title” window will grow ever larger in folklore.

    I am crumbling psychologically right now. I know it’s early and irrational…………..but here we are…….

    • D.N. Nation

      With this schedule and a green defense, a national championship was asking too much. 10-2/9-3 was more reasonable, and most pundits had us there.

      We’ll see how attainable that goal is after Saturday night.

  22. MinnesotaDawg

    Yeah, the offensive line is as mediocre as ever. Disappointing, but not surprising. So now what? It’s too damn late to recruit better linemen, and it’s pointless for fans and the coaches to just hope that they’ll get better. The only thing that I see helping is for the offensive coaches to help the OL and Murray out by being far less predictable when it comes to play calling.

    As a disclaimer, I do think Bobo is an overall good coach–however, he has play calling lapses in games that are indefensible. Either from laziness, stubbornness, or stupidity, he will stick to a predictable pattern or scheme of play calling that isn’t working against a defensive set that seems to know what’s coming. You can do this if you’ve got a kick-ass O-line (e.g. Alabama the last four years). But, WE DON’T. It makes our already mediocre offensive line look terrible, and leads to third and long disasters against good SEC defensive lines (e.g. South Carolina). Instead of pretending that we have a good O-line, let’s acknowledge that we don’t and scheme play call accordingly. I’m convinced that this is our only chance on Saturday. With our skill players, we can still be a dynamic offense against the SEC’s best defenses….or fans and coaches can collectively shrug and say “Didn’t execute well….offensive line breakdowns…hope for better next week…”

      • Dboy

        “however, he has play calling lapses in games that are indefensible. Either from laziness, stubbornness, or stupidity”

        I will take stubborness for 1000 Alex

        • Dboy

          I think Bobo want to stick to his gameplan, even when it isn’t working so well. He believes his pre-game assessment of the other team / his gameplan will ultimately win out, if he sticks to it. However, sometimes that is true, but other times, you need to adjust. Your Oline that you thought was going to be dominant is getting beaten on every snap…stop the runs b/w the tackles and throw some short stuff, roll AM out etc.

  23. BulldogBen

    Also, FYI, Richt is going to sit Marshall Morgan for the SC game.


  24. WillTrane

    Most telling article written about CMR, thanks Seth Emerson. I have complained about the O line for several years, but Seth put the facts in. People just a few minutes from me in Tallahassee will tell you CMR could not win the big games because of his scheme and Oline. On this blog this weekend I mentioned about the All-Americans CMR has had on the Oline, zero.
    People at UGA long for ’80-82, Walker era, but that was the era of the best damn Olines in UGA history. Linemen are like bird dawgs, you have to go thru alot to find one that can hunt. Unlike bird season, football season is different. Time and a schedule are critical.
    Yesterday I posted CMR and Bobo would be wise to change their scheme. Even if you applied geometry and physics to the fiedl you could see that, but then I’m not sure what those took in undergradaute or HS years.
    There is not one high school coach in this state who will not tell you this whether it is Class 1A or 6A. It is very hard to have 5 very good Olinemen in any season. And according to the article, CMR said you do not need superstars on the line. Well those high school coaches and many at the D1 level will disagree. If you want to run the I formation and that is what people at UGA are stuck in, then you had better find 3-5 every damn year and hope for no injuries.
    When CMR looked across the field and after studying their video/film, CMR should saw what Rich Rod and WVa ran that night. It was a light in the distance. The spread offense allows coaches to run an offense with average linemen and put points on the board [thanks Hawk Harrelson]. You can not win big games against solid coaching and strong D’s with the I formation. Why, there few running lanes and the D can close them in a heart beat [see geometry and physics books]. When Bobo ran the jet sweep against Boise I had hope [went for a TD]. If I was Bobo, I would have gotten with some high school coaches in this state [Propst at CCHS, the OC at North Gwinnett, and etc or at D1] and I would start implementing the spread. Look what the NFL Eagles did. Bama,LSU, and UF have very good O lines, put look at USC roster now. None are spread but their O line coaches and players are high priority recruits. CMR has never taken that approach at UGA. If I was the AD we would have a meeting with the HC and offensive staff. Something is wrong in the recruiting and development of O line players at UGA. Too many times in this scheme the O line is not physical and quick enough. Where is all the S&C and nutrition. I’d bet that every premier 6A school in Georgia has a better S&C and nutrition program than CMR…think not research it.
    If you like your coaches CMR on offensive, start looking at your play calling, substitutions, S&C, game preparation, game mangagement, line technique, or changes OC and go to the spread.

    • @gatriguy

      I wish I could disagree, but I can’t. He never got away from the Miami/FSU out-talent everyone approach. He is either not bright or too stubborn for his own good.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      “People just a few minutes from me in Tallahassee will tell you CMR could not win the big games because of his scheme and Oline.”

      Wikipedia disagrees with your football experts from Tallahassee:

      FSU – 1999 – National Champs, undefeated.
      Point totals: 41, 41, 42, 42, 51, 31, 33, 17, 49, 35, 30, 46

      “In his seven years as offensive coordinator the Seminoles ranked in the nation’s top five scoring offenses on five occasions, were top twelve in total offense five times and top twelve in passing offense five times. The 2000 Seminoles offense finished the regular season ranked first nationally in total offense (549.0 yards per game), first in passing offense (384.0 ypg) and third in scoring offense (42.4 points per game).”

      Don’t let facts get in the way of your griping.

    • gastr1

      You know, there have been a lot of positions CMR has not had an All-America, because All-America is only a few guys in the whole country. So if you’d like to be fair, we can ask how many OLs CMR has sent to the NFL. And that score is quite a bit higher: Justin Anderson, Clint Boling, Cordy Glenn, Ben Jones, Fernando Velasco, Max Jean-Gilles, Dennis Roland, Jon Stinchcomb, Jonas Jennings, Steve Herndon, George Foster. Next year, Chris Burnette will be added to the list.

      So I’m not sure your complaints are total valid, though I would never argue that our OLs seem to consistently underperform for whatever reason.

      • There used to be a troll on the PayJC blogs that claimed to be a Bama fan that would go on constantly about how UGA focused on o-lineman out of private schools or from other states…ie Theus…while letting Bama and other schools raid the state for the big road grading hosses.

        I don’t know that it’s that simple and this guy was a crackpot, but he might have a sliver of a point. Tunsil aside, how many starters for Bama, SC, Auburn, etc over the last few years have been guys from our state that we didn’t seem to really be interested in?

        • gastr1

          I have no idea, but it’s all such speculation….one thing has to be taken into account is that “road-graders” are not typically who you want in pass blocking. So is it the scheme, as others have mentioned? Are we trying to run a power running game with pass-blocking OLs too much of the time? Should we do more things in the run game that take advantage of their relative quickness? That’s a more worthwhile discussion, seems to me, than who we’re getting, because we’re clearly getting some very good OL players.

    • Dboy

      “Where is all the S&C and nutrition. I’d bet that every premier 6A school in Georgia has a better S&C and nutrition program than CMR…think not research it”

      WillTrane, I was with you until the nutrition portion of your rant. We have an S&C / Nutrition staff. This is well documented. No way a 6A HS team has better nutrition than UGA football. However, the lack of Oline player development / cohensive play is obvious. We have had a pretty solid history of putting Olinemen into the NFL, but they are rarely highly ranked players / impact NFL players…outside the Stinchcomb brothers.

  25. Bulldog Joe

    I heard Neville-Chaimberlain-with a-spray-tan just conceded our special teams advantage to Spurrier last night. Has he announced officially whether JHC will play or is Spurrier going to get another concession on Saturday?

    I hope Spurrier and Dabo have Bad News Mark on their Christmas lists this year!

    • gastr1

      You know, and yet, watching Swann avoid fielding those punts at the 15-yard line, one of which was downed at the 3…WTF??? You don’t let it bounce there!

  26. Slaw Dawg

    While I too became frustrated with the return of the stubborn “run it between the tackles” philosophy, esp. in regard to Marshall; while I too think the OL underperformed; and while I also agree that, once again, the other team’s coordinators were just better enough at adjusting to actual game conditions than ours–it ultimately seems to me we lost a close game to a very good team in their own house with a green as grass defense and w/o our best offensive player for about half the game, not to mention what did seem to be a biased officiating crew. While we were not perfectly prepared, this was not a “who are we and what are we doing here?” experience a la the Boise State game or last year’s SC debacle.

    Vince Dooley once observed, more or less, that he preferred opening with a strong team because, win or lose, you’d know what you really have. If we had, say, blown out Buffalo or Florida Atlantic, we’d all be feeling pretty good right now, but could be getting set up for a rude shock. Georgia has a week to work on its known weaknesses. If the coaches and players take advantage of that, this season (and this season probably really does come down to the South Carolina game) can still be a great one.

    Lose badly to S.C. again, and I may be as abject a hand wringer as the next frustrated Dawgfan, but the price of playing good teams–which I personally wholeheartedly favor–is that you risk having some losses.

    • Ginny

      Agree with everything here. Folks need to step off the ledge. Lots of positives to take away from what I saw.

  27. PTC DAWG

    35 pts should be enough, end of story.

  28. D.N. Nation

    Dearest trolls, our coach isn’t stupid. His coordinators aren’t stupid. Take it to the DawgVent.

    • Bulldog Joe

      I used to think Dr. Adams was responsible for our ineffective and embarrassing over-the-top discipline policies.

      Now that he’s gone, the ownership of this recurring debacle is clearly on the head coach and his bean-hoarding AD.

      I will still be there, pulling loudly for our players on Saturday. They deserve it as their time here is limited.

      The other two… not so much.

    • Or maybe you should start your own blog or board. You could call it the Sunshine Pumpers and ban anyone that has the slightest criticism of anything related to the UGA team or coaching staff. I’m sure it would make for a stimulating read.

      Not to speak for the Senator, as this is his board, but if you don’t want to read honest discussion and debate because everyone doesn’t agree with you, you might want to look elsewhere. History isn’t kind when everyone toes the party line and disagreement or questioning is stifled.

  29. I feel like a win Saturday will assuage our souls. I think saw exactly what we expected to see on Saturday. Game came down to a few plays, and they made more of them. Clemson is a legitimate national title contender, it has fewer early-season questions than Georgia does, and we lost by 3 in their house – which was filled to the brim with a well-lubed home crowd.

    Georgia teams under Richt almost always get better as the season progresses, and we’ll either win Saturday or we won’t. But either way, it’s not like there were any surprises Saturday. I don’t think we need to hang our heads. It’s not like we expected a blow-out win – we expected a shoot-out, and were mostly hoping we’d come out on top. A muffed extra-point-distance field goal was the difference on the score board. I’d say the coaches did their jobs.

    I hate losing MM, though. I hate it for the kid and the program. He seemed poised to have a monster year.

  30. Athens Dog

    Glad to see everyone in mid season form.

    • Dog in Fla

      It’s awesome how we can bounce back from 12-2 so well. After next week, we will have either forgotten about Clemson or it’s going to be lookout below under the Bridges of Clarke County

  31. It is a sad day when the Crayon is not really to blame. If Aaron can find his way to locate the play clock next week we could be fine…..I mean it’s not like a 5th year senior should know about that play clock deal. How about next time we schedule a team that cares way, way, waaaayyyyy more about the game than we do to start of the season…..maybe we could…you know…put out best players on the field as opposed to suspending everyone we can because that makes Jesus happy or something. If JHC is on the field I think UGA wins…..but what would have happened to his everlasting soul??????????

  32. Boss Dawg

    I get that everyone needs to be accountable because it’s a team game but the QB is the CEO on the field. He’s the guy with the vision and has to interpret the competition to direct the strategy. I understand he has coaches to help him but the great ones help inform that strategy (check into the right plays, come to the sideline and converse…note that he comes to the sideline and kneels in those though moments…checks out). He’s a kid, so I think it’s too much to expect him to decipher it all but for all the bluster I do expect him to be better than losing almost every big game except those against the sisters of the poor…be great not just good….he has the talent but he has to own the game he’s playing or the guys around him can’t.

  33. CMR said today that all our goals were still there, but I was thinking of going 12-0 this season, maybe that was not one of CMR’s goals, I sure hope one of his goals is not going 0-2 to start this season, AM is still 3-14 in the games against ranked teams, you just can’t sugarcoat that fact anymore!

    • IveyLeaguer

      “CMR said today that all our goals were still there, but I was thinking of going 12-0 this season, maybe that was not one of CMR’s goals, I sure hope one of his goals is not going 0-2 to start this season.”