Another expletive deleted kind of day

You guys know I like to post some kind of pithy observation on the blog as I’m leaving a game.  Usually that means I’m composing a header and a sentence or two as the game winds to its conclusion.

Yesterday, I went through that exercise four times.  I’d put together something in my head and then mentally tear it up as the complexion of the game changed.  It was the strangest end to a Georgia game since last year’s Auburn debacle.

I feel bad for Hutson Mason, who deserved a better fate.  He finally had a game put on his back and came through, only to see his moment of glory unravel.  And then wound up being the guy who put the final nail in the coffin.

Two plays later, Mason took a snap that would ultimately be the final one of his regular-season career. The play call was a run-pass option. Mason read the weak-side linebacker, who bit inside on the run, so Mason did what he has done in that situation many times before: He slung it to the slant route.

“Right before the snap, I was thinking, if Malcolm wins here, this might be a touchdown,” Mason said.

He didn’t.

Instead, Georgia Tech defensive back D.J. White beat Mitchell for position, and Mason — who, barring bowl game results, might become Georgia’s most efficient single-season passer in program history — ended with a rare inefficiency, an interception and a 30-24 overtime loss to Georgia Tech.

“I don’t know if the guy made a good play, but I was just trusting that Malcolm was going to be in there. I let it rip, and the guy obviously made a play,” Mason said. “I bet when I go back and watch it that it was probably one of those balls that I could’ve played to live another down.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo might agree. While he didn’t meet with media after the game, he walked out of the press box where he calls plays from the coaches’ box. He caught a glimpse of a television showing the replay of the final play of the game. Bobo froze to watch it transpire again. He then offered an unsatisfied reaction.

“Hand the ball off,” he said, adding some colorful language, suggesting Mason should’ve utilized the play’s run option.

Hell of an epitaph there.

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42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

42 responses to “Another expletive deleted kind of day

  1. Jim

    This type of crap is why I was yelling for richt’s head years ago. I shut my pie hole in 2012 willing to concede we had turned the corner and couldn’t have been happier to eat my crow.

    But by keeping him this is exactly the type of maddening loss we can expect with regularity

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      I’m just sick of these last second, rip your heart out and stomp on it types of losses! I can’t remember the last time when we were the team that made a play(s) in the final moments of a game in order to come from behind to win. There was a time when UGA had a sense of confidence and you just knew they would find a way to pull out a victory. Instead, we seam to be the guys who either lose to teams we should beat or suffer self-inflicted, last minute defeats especially when we play not to lose instead of playing to win. Unfortunately, I find myself expecting us to create new ways of losing or repeating old ways whenever we do take the lead in a big game. Yes, we’ve won some games against decent teams this year like Clemson and Auburn, but we’ve also lost some that cost us dearly to teams we should’ve beaten and I can’t remember the last time we won a BIG game like the SECCG or against a top 5 team. I know it’s happened, but far less than not. Say what you want about Missouri, but they’ve already won the SEC East twice by finding ways to win and getting it done when they needed to with far less individual talent than we have. In a year when USCjr and Florida were way down, this team should’ve been a lock to win the SEC East despite yesterday’s substandard performance against the Techies.

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  2. Bulldog Joe

    Hutson was clutch down the stretch in regulation and earned the opportunity to finish his home season undefeated, most likely as player of the game.

    But life is a team game and he knows from the past twelve months you don’t have full control over decisions others make.

    It’s tough, but Hutson put his team above himself. He is a good leader and a DGD.

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  3. Scott W.

    Thanks Bobo for placing the blame squarely on Mason. Hell of a way to send him off.

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    • I haven’t seen a replay, but it looked to me that Mason had made up his mind where he was going with the ball as they broke huddle. He didn’t check down, locked on and let it fly. Its on him. He didn’t lose the game but he cost us the game. I think that’s what Bobo was alluding to.

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  4. Tronan

    I don’t fault Mason for the loss. Thanks to his good work earlier in the game, we should have pulled out a win at the end of regulation.

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    • Mayor

      Mason marched his team down the field and threw what would have been the winning TD pass in regulation if not for Mark Richt being an idiot. The problem is he couldn’t overcome the HC’s stupidity. This loss is on one person and one person only–Mark Richt.

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      • Macallanlover

        Over react much Mayor? Your mood swings are incredibly extreme….idiot? I thin k we all agree that a squibb kick was a bad idea, particularly with their lack of a deep passing attack, zero timeouts, us covering kicks well all game, and seeing how it turned out. But that approach has been utilized for decades by many successful coaches, but we were bitten by it when you combine it with a poor defensive setup that allowed a running QB to run uncontested once he was past the LOS. But to say it is on one person ignores so many other contributing factors that it would take pages to name them.

        Unrelated to your comment, but on this subject of what play options were available to us in OT, I am in agreement that running the ball into the line was an option that looked like a long shot based on yesterday’s blocking. I was thinking about Rumph as a guy to isolate on a DB given his height, hand strength, and strong hands. I would have preferred a couple of shots to him, even at the end of regulation. We had several RZ opportunities and never even targeted him, I am not even sure he was in on those sets, just seems curious to me.

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        • DCBasham

          You don’t squib kick it with more than 10 seconds left. Ever.

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          • Macallanlover

            Wouldn’t have done it myself but I have seen it done many, many times at all levels of football. I can see it in circumstances but wouldn’t do it often. Even without knowing the result, we shouldn’t have done it yesterday given their lack of passing and return game with zero timeouts.

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      • aikendawg

        hey mayor you are right on the money. been saying the exact same thing since 4pm yesterday. mason should have gone down as a hero but our coach…………wow

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        • Smith

          Actually, Richt’s play call on the squib wasn’t disastrous, the defense letting the QB run wild and get out of bounds was the mistake.

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          • Macallanlover

            The combination proved deadly, didn’t like either call in isolation either. Then that damned kick squeezes over the ball by inches…

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  5. Goat Balls

    Look at it this way boys, at least we had a better record this year than the Cocks, Gators, Vols, Clemmson, AU, LSU, etc. etc. It doesn’t really help but hey always look on the bright side right? I see this as yet another year of inexplicable mediocrity. But I saw that across the league. How can AU be so bad against us and so good against Bama? At least for three quarters. How about the Gators and Missouri and then the Gators against us? The Cocks at the beginning of the season compared to the rest of the season? It’s a pretty weird deal across the board.

    Well Senator, looking at next year, who do we lose and who do we gain? How are we going to stack up?

    cheers to all and Go Dawgs always and forever. Bring on the golf season.

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    • Considering we lost to two of those teams, no that doesn’t make it better.

      Also, who cares that other teams have it worse than us?

      Of those teams you listed, 4 of 6 have won national titles in the last 20 years, and 3 of 6 have won national titles in the last 5 years.

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  6. Hmm. Use the run option? Again? Chubb had run for what…12 yards on 11 carries in the second half? We run him on first and goal from the 10 and he gets a half yard with legs so tired he almost goes down after cutting late and running into Blazevich. So run him again for a couple yards max? Seems to me the only thing this actually results in is reducing the number of pass attempts we get to actually get the ball in the end zone.

    The interception makes it all moot, I guess, but seems to me once you have 1st and goal on the 10, and your rushing game is getting stuffed, you should have four throws IN THE END ZONE to end the game. With options galore…Bennett, Mitchell, Conley, Rumph, Michel…. Those OT plays, along with our plays from the previous series (where we finally throw it in the end zone on 4th down) reminded me of the ill-fated, post-interception series in the Carolina game.

    Of course, it goes without saying that it never should have come to this.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. Even if we didn’t get the INT, or its incomplete, or MM catches the ball and goes down inside the 5, we still aren’t in the end zone! My comment on this blog at halftime was “throw the f-king ball into the end zone!”

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  7. Mayor

    Here’s the real problem: It’s not just that Georgia under Mark Richt loses close games–it’s HOW the games are lost. The team is on the cusp of winning and then Richt does something incredibly stupid that loses the game–time and time again over a span of YEARS. If the Tech QB hadn’t dropped the ball and Tech had just run out the clock to win yesterday, probably nobody would be making negative comments about CMR on this blog today. Sure, some would be grousing about the loss but most of us would just say that Georgia got outplayed and leave it at that. But when the team busts its collective ass on a great game-winning drive to take the lead with 18 seconds left on the clock in a hard-fought game against a team good enough to win a conference division championship, and all that effort gets thrown away by a HC making an end of game decision so ridiculous that not even a pee-wee coach would make, that’s a little tough to take. And Bozo throwing the QB under the bus like that is pretty hard to take, too. Mason and the players are winners. It’s Richt and Bozo that are the losers in my book.

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    • Dawgwalker07

      Sorry Mayor, pretty sure Bobo saying something (more than likely to himself) as he’s walking by the door to the press box doesn’t count as him throwing Mason under the bus.

      And while the coaches have a lot of blame for the game yesterday, you can’t just throw it all on them to make yourself feel better. Coaches didn’t fumble twice inside the Tech 5. Coaches didn’t completely fail to cover a kickoff. And coaches didn’t get their butts beat in the trenches ALL DAY. Those were the players. Hutson played a helluva game, but lets not act like the only mistake that was made yesterday was made by the HC and happened with 18 seconds on the clock. There’s plenty of blame to go around for what happened.

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      • To be fair the coaches share some blame for the kickoff fiasco. Love Hicks as a run blocker but he’s been shaky on kick offs in several games yet the coaches still put him out there. But yeah, I agree that fumbles aren’t the coaches’ fault and they can just be a matter of bad luck or a good play by the other guys.

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  8. It’s always, next year! We have this same conversation every end of season. I like Pruitt, but Bobo and the other coaches are never hired away for a reason….

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    • Bobo turned down the VaTech OC job last year. Garner got offers from other schools on a regular basis, before he left for Auburn. Searels got hired away by Texas. McClendon got offers, which is why Georgia raised his salary.

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    • Alls I wanna know is why Bobo told Chubb & Sony to fumble the ball on the 1? I mean, scoring those 2 td’s early would more than likely kept the game a 2 score affair all day. I just don’t get why Bobo did that?!?

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      • The Lone Stranger

        I can understand the Chubb fumble to the extent that he may have been winded and the Tech LBer made a very nice play on that leap over the line. Michel’s is more mystifying as the defender seemed to only graze the football (all while the ball was in his outside hand). I did not rewatch this debacle, but I don’t recall Michel getting back in the field much after that fumble.

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  9. Dovedawg

    I looked at the replay a couple of times. The run wasn’t there…there was an unblocked linebacker staring right at Chubb…But the pass route itself was ill conceived. A five yard route still five yards from the end zone doesn’t cut it. A quick glance prior to the snap would have shown that the DB was playing Malcom close and inside technique which suggests prior to the snap that an inside slant was not a good route. A short hitch and go by Malcom to the end zone would have been wide open. I agree with the idea that given the situation and the lack of running game productivity the whole second half, that 4 passes into the end zone would have more likely produced the TD needed. Multiple unsuccessful attacks using Chubb and Michel up the middle during the second half and during OT should have dictated the pass into the end zone in that situation. Mason is a DGD who doesn’t need to shoulder the blame …the last play as well as the play sequence in OT was ill conceived which is not his fault.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Agree. Tech does not practice against a viable passing attack and only sees it in game situations.

      After Tech figured out Georgia’s running game in the third quarter, passing would have been the better approach, even in the short field.

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    • Smith

      It was a hot route, Hutson had some heat on him, and so he went to his hot route, Mitchell is supposed to slant sharply igetting inside position on the defender when he sees a blitz, knowing he’s the hot receiver, but he didn’t end up where he should be, and that was it. Hutson’s read was probably the lbacker there, and the lbckr blitzed, so Hutson did the right thing.

      Hutson is one of the most accurate passers in the country, likely Mitchell took the wrong angle and didn’t read the blitz.

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  10. David Green

    Whatever, Bobo. They totally outplayed us. Why would Hutson have faith in the run game? It was a non-existent in the second half.

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  11. GW

    I don’t like Bobo laying the blame on Mason in front of all the journalists. But it’s typical.

    Mason’s read was the LB who crashed forward to plug the run, so he pulled the ball out and hit the hot receiver because he didn’t have time,
    and did as Coach Bobo told him, let it rip and trust his receivers.

    So he did as he was coached, if he made a mistake, it was Bobo’s coaching that caused it, as you don’t “let it rip” without checking the position of the defender.
    That’s poor coaching advice to just “let it rip”. And it costs us that game.

    When Bobo used to tell Murray “If in doubt, throw it to AJ” really, even if he’s triple covered like he was in the Florida game overtime?

    However, the cause for the poor season is also on the defensive coach if you look at it, on the ESPN power index, offense is top 10, special teams are top 15, only the defense
    didn’t carry its weight.

    Defense should have stopped GT’s QB on the last scramble, but a 21 yard scamper AND you let him get out of bounds?? No excuses suffice.

    And how do the special teams coaches fail to help the guys block the low trajectory 5-+ yard kick?

    It’s coaching folks, pure and simple. That’s the difference between 9-3 and 11-1. All the little details, all the time.

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    • The next time Bobo takes responsibility for something having gone wrong with an offensive play, series, etc. will be the first time. His default is typically “execution,” but he’s got a new one now. He’s a good very coach in many ways, but his inability to take objective criticism and responsibility for certain, occasional failures are the primary reason I would never want to see him as Georgia’s HC.

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  12. Smith

    Want to blame somebody? Blame Mark Richt. All season they’ve been telling Hutson to let it rip, and trust his receivers to make plays. That’s what he did, as he was taught. Just bad coaching. Should have been taught to make a read, and hit a checkdown if window is too tight or take a sack to play another down. Just poor coaching, especially for overtime situations, makes you wonder if Bobo and Richt had ever prepared the offense for an overtime context where every mistake could be fatal.

    Guys fumbling on the 1 yard line, bad coaching by Tony Ball, not teaching his guys to wrap it up.

    21 yard run by the GT QB at the end? Bad call by the Pruitt, got to expect a run team to run instead of pass there, got to be prepared and know what they like to do.

    Decision to squib instead of kick deep? Again, poor coaching, you don’t do that with no posed threat back there, when you’ll handled kickoff returns well the whole game, when you have a top 15 special teams unit, as a coach, you have to trust them there. But Richt didn’t.

    But blame Pruitt more than any person for the losses, just couldn’t put up a low score defense in any of those battles.

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  13. It wasn’t all coaching. Very poor execution — no blocking in the second half, coupled with really poor run defense. Looked a lot like the Florida game in that respect. On the coaching end, however, we never figured out blocking patterns to match Tech’s defensive alignments. There at the end, it looked like they had 13 or 14 players spread out at the line of scrimmage, taking away the screen and the slant, plus all of our running plays. Best bet was a route to the back of the end zone, but Mason was under real heat. IOW, we were outplayed.

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