The mountain comes to Mohammad.

If you can’t fit Greyson Lambert to your offense, you only have one choice:  fit your offense to Greyson Lambert.

Georgia’s commitment to Lambert goes beyond the playing time. Methodically, the Bulldogs have adapted their strategy to fit him. No longer are they trying to play a fast-paced, up-tempo on offense. For the last two games they’ve been huddling up and playing a more deliberate brand of ball.

Not only has that helped the defense, which is spending less time on the field, but it suits Lambert’s style while also improving overall communication.

“The last two games we’ve huddled,” Richt said. “If you’re no-huddling and you’re scoring, it’s good stuff. But if you’re no-huddling and you’re not getting first downs and you’re not putting points on the board, you probably should huddle. Not only to slow that down a little bit but also there were times where we were missing signals or whatever. We just had enough little things here and there where we were like, ‘you know what, we’re going to get in t he huddle, make sure we hear the play, make sure we know the cadence, make sure everybody knows what to do.’”

Lambert prefers it.

“I loved the tempo,” he said. “It was new to me. Huddling was what we did at Virginia actually. So moving back and shifting back to that is a pretty easy transition. … It kind of allows us to communicate a little bit better, whether it’s the play or shifts and motions. There is nobody who can’t not see a signal and blame something on that. We’re all in the huddle and communicating that way. It also allows us to change the cadence a little bit so the defense can’t time it up.”

Virginia ball.  That explains a lot about the last two weeks.

Between the questions about what the staff looks like next season and whether Eason winds up setting foot on campus in January, you wonder what happens with this approach in the spring and fall next season.

In the meantime, we’d best hope the defense hangs on.  They’re gonna need to.

110 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

110 responses to “The mountain comes to Mohammad.

  1. Spike

    I don’t get it. A UVA reject.

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    • Jared S.

      Have you seen Ramsey and Bauta play? (read “throw interceptions”)
      Lambert is sub-par, but the other two – as we’ve seen first-hand – are sub-sub-par. Except when it comes to punting and holding a ball for Morgan. Ha.

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      • Spike

        Yea, I’ve seen them play and practice, quite a bit. If Bauta were given enough reps and time with the first team players, and they called plays to suit his talents he would be the starter in my opinion. He certainly would be better than what we got now. Hell, the walk ons throw it better and know the plays better than Lambert. And yes I have seen the all together competing at practice.

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        • Warthen

          I’ve been interested in how Nick Robinson has adapted to college ball but haven’t seen a story mentioning him. How has he practiced?

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        • Brandon

          Of course, whoever is not starting is always the better QB. Our coaches know nothing about football or QBs

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          • I’m picking up your sarcasm.

            But I literally question Schottenheimer’s knowledge of offense in general–certainly college offensive schemes. Whatever he brought hasn’t worked for shit. Especially considering we have had to resort to adapting concepts from an unsuccessful UVA offense for the failed UVA QB transfer that he handpicked to bring in and start over guys that have been at UGA for years.

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            • Brandon

              I agree with your assessment of Schotty, he has been just that… with no understanding of the college game and completely failing to making necessary adjustments to succeed with whatever hand you’re dealt. However, I cut he and Richt some slack on the offenses deficiencies this year due to what I have seen on the field from our QBs… and I don’t know that I could’ve picked one either heading into week 1 or even week 11.

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        • Jared S.

          It’s hard not to wonder what Bauta might have done if he’d been “the guy” from the beginning and if, as you say, they had designed their offense around him. I was excited to see him start in the Florida game, and happy for him since everyone says he’s such great guy/hard worker, etc. But then they basically ran the exact same lame offense they’d been trying to run all year with Lamber/Ramsey. I think he performed well in that game under the circumstances, and it’s certainly a stretch to think Lambert or Ramsey would have been any better. I feel bad for Bauta that he was thrown into that high-stakes game and given about a 0.0003% chance to succeed.

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  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I guess we’re gonna shorten the game.

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  3. I think we are witnessing NFL AIDS spreading.

    Also, why are they talking about the offense being more effective last week? 250 yards and 1 TD does not “effective” make.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Yeah, if you’re huddling and still not getting first downs or scoring, the only very slight advantage would be shortening games. But it’s not like Georgia was running a hurry-up to start with. Listening to them talk about the offensive problems is almost worse than actually watching the offense.

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    • Brandon

      Stats alone don’t always tell the whole story. When you have 3-4 drives that chewed up 70ish yards and more than 6 minutes of clock… you’re being effective.

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      • stats take into account yards.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          And time of possession.

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          • Brandon

            Did we not dominate time of possession? If that was included in the post it would tell more of the story. Typically when you dominate TOP, that means fewer “big plays” along with total possessions, which is usually going to limit yards. Just bc our O only gained 250 yards you can’t just call it a failure without looking at why. Only 2 3 & outs (1 from our own goal line where we were just running to avoid a safety and make them burn TOs) and multiple long-clock eating drives is usually pretty “effective” in keeping your Defense fresh and winning football games.

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            • Biggus Rickus

              I was just reacting to your statement that “stats alone don’t always tell the whole story” and being snarky. I agree with you to a point. The offense very much limited Auburn’s possessions in the first half. They did a much worse job in the second half.

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        • Brandon

          Thanks for pointing that out. See below.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      no turnovers, I presume

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  4. Jack Klompus

    Has to be Richt’s hardest year of coaching, at least from an offensive perspective.

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    • Russ

      Yeah, I would imagine this is killing him being an offensive guy.

      We always complain about coaches trying to force players into their systems. It’s nice (I suppose?) to see them trying to tailor the system to the players. Unfortunately, the players are severely limited in what they can do.

      I’ll agree somewhat that the offense was effective in holding the ball and (luckily) avoiding turnovers. Shortening the game is a big plus, and it helps the defense out.

      Boy, I sure hope Eason isn’t a bust. Of course, he’d have to be a complete bust to be worse than what we currently have. I’m very afraid of what Schotty will do to him, though.

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      • Doggoned

        I hope he’s not a bust, either. But he’s certainly coming in with more expectations on him than anyone in recent memory. Stafford was never hailed as the “solution” like Eason is. That’s a lot to put on an untested frosh. When was the last time that worked out well immediately? Herschel?

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    • Glenn Radford

      When did we get an offense?

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  5. Dawg93

    Anyone else find it ironic (I know I do) that despite going to a huddle every time on offense, we had a lot of timeouts on offense vs. Auburn when it was obvious that something was wrong (personnel, alignment, whatever)?

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  6. The other Doug

    If Richt plays Lambert-ball next year he will get canned. His only chance is to take his lumps with Eason and show improvement.

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    • SCDawg

      I think that’s the plan. And part of the reason he flew to Washington. I wish Bobo was still here to be his QB coach. Check that, I just hope shotty is not his QB coach next year.

      And richt may be forced to do it whether he wants to or not. Who is the backup next year? I assume Ramsey is transferring as soon as the whistle blows against tech. Bauta is gone.

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    • I agree, he is best served letting Eason take his lumps and grow up next year. Everyone would howl knowing that Eason is on the bench and we end up watching another season of inept offense.

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  7. Dawglicious

    Wasn’t it Mikey Adams that wanted us to be “the UVA of the South”?

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I think that was the “Hahvahd of the South.” But maybe that was Chuck, Adams had different ideas about lotsa things.

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  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    “Virginia ball. That explains a lot about the last two weeks.”

    With the possible exception of that stat thing on the scoreboard at the end of the game? 😀

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  9. Ed Kilgore

    I’m probably not the only Dawg fan who watched what was happening in September and began to fear that Schottenheimer was trying to recreate one of his terrible low-yardage NFL offenses, in part by finding himself a QB that couldn’t do anything else.

    Is that possible? You never know. The great baseball analyst Bill James once did a classic profile of baseball manager Dick Williams, who was generally brilliant but had this “problem” with insisting on putting light-hitting but free-swinging second baseman at the top of the batting order, just killing first-inning productivity. According to James, Williams would get fired and then re-hired and would try to “bring his problem with him” by trading for his old team’s second baseman.

    If Schotty has a “problem” that he’s insisted on bringing with him from the Rams, Richt needs to put an end to it fast or get rid of the dude. If, as seems to be the case, “adjustment to adversity” just means going further down this same road to offensive perdition, we all know where this ends.

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  10. Bulldog Joe

    This is who we are for the next three games, deliberate with no turnovers and winning instead of fast with turnovers and losing.

    Next season will be a different story.

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  11. Bright Idea

    This slowing down things is more for Schotty than Lambert.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      It’s more for Pruitt than anyone.

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      • doofusdawg

        Yep. And it was more than likely the reason for the alleged Pruitt confrontation after the Florida game… as I posted last week on the vent. Glad to see it get some legs.

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        • Normaltown Mike

          the coaching dust-up is far more personal than that.

          Safe to say that there are coaches that strongly dislike each other on the staff. CMR and CBS are probably NOT the ones with an axe to grind.

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        • I can’t imagine how frustrating it had to be for Pruitt. You get a stop, then the offense puts you right back on the field a minute or two later. As much as Pruitt loves winning and shutting down offenses, he loves his players. I am sure he was P.O.ed that Schotty and his Greek God Statue of a QB was wearing them out.

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          • W Cobb Dawg

            This is completely speculation on my part, but since Pruitt’s responsible for most of our recent hires, I wouldn’t be surprised if he suggested someone for OC and was overruled by CMR in favor of Schotty.

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            • doofusdawg

              The interesting dynamic here is that Bloomgren worked for Schotty with the jets. I suspect that we we were talking to Bloomgren about coming and he was going to bring his wide receiver coach. Then Schotty called cmr and said I want the job. Cmr jumped at it and thought he could get the master instead of the student. Big mistake. Schotty ain’t goin nowhere until after next season… sorry… if only for the reason that cmr is way too stubborn to admit he made a mistake. And Bloomgren ain’t coming as a coordinator… see Kirby Smart.

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          • doofusdawg

            Watching them no huddle a three and out to boot. Hopefully there won’t be too many more coaching decisions that we end up correcting after the loss.

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  12. UGA85

    You know, as college football goes more and more spread and uptempo, we are going in the opposite direction. With the rule changes favoring offenses now, I don’t think we can expect to win games with defense alone, at least against good teams. It makes me wonder what our offensive staff has been doing. Can we not recruit or train quarterbacks? What about receivers? We can’t seem to get them, either, in the numbers we need. Who would Eason throw to? Who will block? Our trend is downward offensively, and there are larger problems here that won’t be solved by just recruiting a hot shot quarterback.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      It’s a huge recruiting year for receivers for us.

      There’s a good reason why we moved our best recruiter to receivers coach.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      “..as college football goes more and more spread and uptempo, we are going in the opposite direction.”

      I felt CMB did a good job his last couple years in making the O more uptempo, and he got good results. That’s all on the ash heap of history now. Our offense is back in the stone age.

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      • Will (The Other One)

        About the only thing, scheme-wise I think Bobo really whiffed on was the diamond formation, especially during those great, but too limited periods where Marshall/Gurley or Marshall/Chubb were fully healthy.

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  13. Saltwater Cowboy

    Like everyone else, I also do not see anything from our passing game this year that shows me our OC is contributing much. Despite some of the baffling calls of Bobo, I miss seeing us line up HUNH, Bobo looks at the defensive formation from the box, and then we signal from the sideline (or QB makes call) to press the defensive formation where it was weak.

    Against Auburn, we lined up many times with this formation:

    Boundary receiver wide left on line, slot receiver left and back. The defensive counter was boundary corner pressing, and safety covering the slot 12-14 yards off with inside leverage. LB could have shifted into zone, but were lined up far off the slot and inside..

    The easy play for at least 5 yards from this formation is a simple read on the boundary corner. The boundary receiver shows post, the slot goes quick out. If the corner turns hips in and follows the boundary, the slot receiver has an easy 5 YD reception heading to sideline as the safety cannot make up the ground. If the corner rolls off and covers the slot with a zone concept, then the boundary receiver curls or Z’s to the sideline.

    Most offensive play should be based on simple math. In the above, 2 on 2 with +12 yards of cushion is opportunity, but also means that we are outnumbered in the box.

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    • It was really weird watching plays develop at Auburn. There were stretches when it looked like they were doing the math and running plays based on how many defenders in the box, followed by some real head-scratchers when they obviously ignored the math. Don’t know how much of that was on Schottenheimer and how much was on Lambert, but you’re right about there being some easy yardage opportunities the offense didn’t take advantage of.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Unless the head coach was just carrying a play card to swat flies, there may have been more involved than just the OC and Lambert…I don’t remember seeing Richt carrying a play card lately.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Thus the run between the tackles don’t do much?

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    • Hudson Mason is coaching HC now, right? Bring that young man back and make him the QB coach and guy in the box. Promote Lilly.

      Send Schotty with his 2 mill good-bye back to the NFL.

      adios, arrivederci, auf Wiedersehen, sayonara

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        “Promote Lilly.”

        Just asking, but is there any evidence Lilly can coach an offense? It’s hard to mess up TE coaching, but he’s had plenty of problems with STs.

        CMR obviously didn’t feel Lilly could do the job or he would’ve promoted from within. Frankly, I see Lilly as the last member of the ‘CMR buddy club’ who doesn’t contribute much but keeps getting a paycheck for some reason (see Eason, Van Halanger). The norm is to get demoted to a position where they can’t screw up too much.

        Again, just curious where the regard for Lilly’s ability is coming from.

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    • The other Doug

      Teams are definitely daring us to throw.

      I think Lambert struggles with post snap reads. On TV it’s hard to tell if WRs are open, but the few times the announcers break the play down from an aerial view it appears he throws to the wrong WR or he throws a bad pass behind or at the feet of the WR. I’m guessing those bad throws are caused by indecision.

      Schottenheimer has called some head scratchers, but he also has called a lot of plays where the WR is open. He is boxed in by what the QBs can execute, and that doesn’t appear to be much.

      A lot of fans are dreaming of Bobo, but I don’t see him being able to fix our QBs. Heck, he is the one who developed the ones who got beat out. I do think Bobo would have adjusted a lot quicker to the reality and would have done a better job of integrating the wildcat and other trickery.

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      • ThePrince

        Lambert struggles with post snap reads. lol. as if he doesn’t struggle with ANY read. I am convinced Bobo left for 2 reasons:1) not a lot of experience or talent at Qb 2) he took seriously the rumors about Richt getting fired, figured if not this year, might be next with little experience again at Qb. Jury’s not out on Schott yet, we’ll have to see what he does with more talent like a 5 star Eason. Bobo stuggled with Cox in 2009 and Mason in 2014 (2 transition seasons) so I don’t think he would have done that much better this year in a transition year.

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        • Russ

          Bobo struggled with Mason? Really?

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          • Biggus Rickus

            Pretty sure it’s the troll guy.

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          • ThePrince

            Bobo dropped from 279 pass yards per game in 2013 to 166 in 2014. Dropped from 266 with Staff in 2008 to 198 with Cox in 2009.

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            • The 2009 and 2014 seasons were vastly different.

              One big reason? The running game. 2014: 6+ ypc. 2009: 4ypc. 2014 total yards: 3300+ 2009: <2100

              2014: 10-3 (including 4-1 against Ranked opponents … which CMR can’t beat, btw)

              2009: 8-5 (1-2 against ranked opponents)

              Just Fyi … Mason’s completion percentage was better than Murray’s senior year. His TD:INT ratio was better as well.

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              • ThePrince

                Ben, Michel & Douglas have struggled in 3 of last 4 games. Marshall is at 5 ypc but not an everydown back. Lambert had 0 starts at UGA and only 2 months in the UGA system.

                Compare that to Bobo in 2014 with Gurley/Chubb and Mason’s 5 years in the UGA system or in 2013 with Gurley and Murray’s 4 or 5 years in the system.

                Shotty has had less to work with at rb and qb because less productivIty at rb and less experience in the UGA system at Qb.

                Not saying Lambert’s or Shotty is even good, just has had a more uphill battle from the start.

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      • Chadwick

        I’ve seen enough of Lambert to know that post-snap reads are a huge weakness. He simply can’t do it quickly or decisively. He’s also inaccurate. Too many throws against Auburn were behind the receiver. He has no sense of route timing. I guess he’s great at handing off. Sad.

        I’m wondering when Ramsey will transfer. Talk about a kid being given short shrift…..

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        • ThePrince

          Scary thought, Lambert average more pass yards per game in 2014 than Bobo did with Mason. Ouch! These 2 transition years have sucked worse than 2009. Still, we won 9 in 2009, 10 in 2014, and probably 10 in 2015, not bad with year of transitions at Qb.

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          • Chadwick

            Counting wins is a mistake. Count the losses and count who you lose to. Last two years have at least three losses to peer programs. Richt’s record, in the games against peer schools, is barely .500. In other words, awful with the resources he’s had at his disposal.

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            • ThePrince

              If you think 2 back to back 10 win seasons in the SEC is “awful” you need to talk to some Tenn fans. 10 win seasons in the SEC is big time. Look at some of these defenses we went against and beat, Missouri, Vanderbilt, both are nationally top 10 ranked defenses, getting out with wins is nothing to scoff at. Dominating Steve Spurrier and sending him into retirement is nothing to scoff at either, we put on a show against one of the best coaches in the SEC ever. We lost to 2 top 10 defenses in Florida and Alabama, and TN’s high scoring offense barely beat us, we scored 31 in that game and somehow lost. Don’t belittle this season, we earned every win. And 2 of the 3 losses were to potential playoff teams, TN will likely end up 9-4 and top 25. We will likely end up 10-3 and top 25.

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              • Chadwick

                You just need to admit that you’re willing to accept being a 4-3 SEC team. This conference isn’t getting easier, TN and UF seem to be ascending. Richt can coach another ten years and he won’t win this conference and might not win his division.

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                • ThePrince

                  Only 2 teams in the SEC have won more games than us this year. We’re No 3 in wins in a down year of transition. That doesn’t suck. No matter how you spin it.

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                  • UGA85

                    Do you really want to compare East and West teams straight up like that? How many wins would we have if we played in the West, without getting to play the four bottom tier schools? Our incredibly easy schedule has confused the issue. We are just bad, usually very bad, when we play good teams. Beating patsies should not be a measure of success at UGA, IMO.

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                  • Chadwick

                    Have not beaten a team with a winning record. That sucks, sticks, reeks. A record propped up by beating nobodies.

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                  • Chadwick

                    Vandy is not a peer program. Missouri is not a peer program. Kentucky is not a peer program. SC is not a peer program. UF is, loss. UT is, loss. Alabama is, loss. See a trend?

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                    • Chadwick

                      Senator, Auburn is a peer program. 1-3 against peer programs. The weakness of the East and the advent of 12 game schedules had muddied what defines a successful season.

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                    • ThePrince

                      So being No 3 in win totals in the toughest conference in the country, behind only Bama and Fla, in a downyear at Qb and RB, shows how much we suck? I’m not buying it.

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                    • Chadwick

                      The last two years are the kinds of years that got Jim Donnan fired. If you believe a good year is losses to Bama, Florida and Tennessee then we define it differently. The bottom line for me is the team is beginning to fall flat in the games that define the season. That trend rightly cost Donnan his job. I’d think the people that matter at UGA are noticing that trend. #3 means what? The team only lost 3 conference games. Wow. Color me impressed.

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                    • ThePrince

                      Thing about your Donnan comparison is Donnan got fired for not winning an SEC Championship, not beating his rivals, and discipline issues. Richt’s record is solid against all rivals except Florida. Richt did win 2 conf chamshps and played in 5. And Richt doesn’t have the discipline issues. If you want Richt fired, comparing him to Donnan won’t help your case, getting a bunch of ex-players to call for Richt’s termination will be the only way to put pressure on BM Admin, as you can see by this year, they don’t care about what the national media says. Until a cacophony of ex-players speak out against Richt, you’ll always look like an extremist.

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              • Chadwick

                Damn, I’d forgotten you’re related to Mark Richt. Lol

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          • Chadwick

            Mason had more yards, higher completions, more attempts, more Td’s than Lambert in conference play.

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            • ThePrince

              I thought with Chubb in 2014 Bobo’s Mason would complete a bunch of deep balls as they brought guys into the box to stop the run game.

              Nope.

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              • Chadwick

                Well, Lambert’s no Mason, but neither are anything other than game managers. Neither can put a team on their back to win. That Schottenheimer picked Lambert to transfer and then name him starter says more about Schottenheimer than Lambert to me. They knew what Lambert was. Schottenheimer was the question mark.

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                • ThePrince

                  Didn’t Bobo pick Mason as his starter in 2014? Mason didn’t throw the long ball either and couldn’t even beat Ga Tech. Didn’t Bobo pick Cox as his starter in 2009? Cox sure didn’t protect the ball like Lambert does. Shotty went after several transfers, Lambert was the best of the remaining transfers, not saying much. Shotty rejected both Bobo trained Qb’s as his best option in 2015, After they played a bit, I have to agree Shotty made the better choice in going with Lambert over Bobo’s Ramsey & Bauta. Not saying Shotty is even good, we just don’t know until he gets his shot like Bobo did with a truly talented Qb, a productive rb for a full season, and has a full off season to develop them instead of 6 weeks.

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  14. UGA85

    You know, there is something to be said for an offense where you block the guy in front of you and control the LOS. We tend to rely on speed, deception, and finesse to keep teams off balance. Why can’t we just be the physically dominant team that knocks linemen off the ball? Even under Bobo, I never felt that we were particularly dominant up front. Does CMR just not emphasize this or believe in good LOS play? A lot of our offensive inconsistency would be smoothed out, IMO, by sound fundamental play.

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    • Doggoned

      It’s been a long time since we dominated either line of scrimmage. Since we appear to be able to recruit other positions well, I have to wonder whether the lack of line strength might be a philosophical issue within the program. Or maybe it’s just a conundrum — a problem with no apparent UGA solution.

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      • UGA85

        Lack of line strength seems to be almost a trademark of a CMR offense. I remember bringing in guys like Searles, who had just coached OL at LSU under Saban. At UGA, under him, our OL was terrible. Do we just de-emphasize physical line play?

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  15. ThePrince

    I am ok with the last 2 weeks because as long as we dominate time of possession and control the clock like that, we’ll win. I mean 35 minutes to 25, just damn, that’s moving the ball. Sure Lambert and the other Qb’s can’t throw a damn deep ball, but at least we can control the clock against poor offenses like Auburn and Kentucky, all you need. Not sure it will work against GaTech and GaSthrn might have to air it out and take on more risks and score more points. I’ll say this, we do have some playmakers emerging in Godwin, McKensize is healthy, Mitchell is superb, Sony is banged up, so I’d go to the air for these last 2 games, and use Rome and Blaze a lot more. With high scoring offenses coming up, we’re going to make Pruitt start to earn that money.

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    • UGA85

      So, do you look at our season and say that Pruitt has not been earning his money? Is that honestly how you see things? If so, then maybe we should go back and hire CTG or CWM. I am sure that would solve our problems at UGA and take us to a championship.

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      • ThePrince

        I see your point. But think of it this way, these next 2 teams can score and will test him more, GaSthrn scores 37 a clip, bout like Vols, and GaTech scores 32 a clip, bout like Bama. Both gave him more trouble. all I’m saying.

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    • Chadwick

      I was at the Auburn game and the UGA offense barely moved the ball. They were bailed out by several things:

      Auburn turnovers
      Flipping field position to UGA’s advantage
      A great return by McKenzie
      Auburn inexplicably abandoning runs to the edge of the defense

      I’ll note that Auburn’s defense is possibly the worst in the conference.

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      • ThePrince

        How did we run up 36 minutes of possession if we barely moved the ball?

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      • ThePrince

        Auburn’s defense is @ 60th nationally in scoring. You might have been referring to their offense, their offense, I’d agree, they are about 90th. Their offense ran the ball extremely well, but with their main passing Qb hobbled, it was a pretty easy out for the defense.

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  16. Jared S.

    This is the part of the show when I point out (again) that Lambert has unusually small hands for his size. Make of it what you will.

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