Observations from the 35, my advice is to start drinking heavily edition

Sigh.  I was hoping if I gave it a day, I’d feel a little better.  No such luck.  I’m still a little numb… yadda, yadda, yadda… on to the bullet points.

  • The weather was nice.
  • The crowd was enthusiastic.
  • The tailgate beer was cold.

Hey, I’m trying.

  • If you’d have told me before the game that Georgia would be on the front end of a 17-0 game midway through the second quarter, I would have taken that in a heartbeat, of course.  But I just had the feeling when the Vols got the ball back for their last series of the first half that if they scored there, they’d take the opening kickoff after halftime and score again to make it a real game.  Which is exactly what happened.
  • The sad thing about that scoring drive is that, up until then, the Georgia defense had done a great job of bending but not breaking, as well as keeping Dobbs in check.  All that went for naught in less than two minutes, as Dobbs busted contain for a big gain and hit a couple of key throws to get his team down the field in a hurry.
  • It was a mixed day for the defense, as they did a relatively good job on the yardage front, managed to force three turnovers, including two fumble recoveries, but struggled on third-down conversions all day long.  Not to mention that, um… oh, forget it.
  • Speaking of oh, forget it, you can complain all you want about Tucker calling a prevent defense on that Hail Mary pass, but you might want to consider what the Vols playing pressure defense accomplished on Georgia’s last score.  In the end, it comes down to execution.
  • Sanders whiffed on a tackle on a play Tennessee scored on, but had a couple of big, big hits in the second half.  D’Andre Baker showed out nicely in his first start, making that big hit on Hurd that forced a huge turnover preventing a Tennessee score.
  • I keep hoping every week that this will be the game when Lorenzo Carter gets it all together.  He deserves credit for wrapping up the sack of Dobbs, but there are still too many moments when he’s just not quite where he needs to be.
  • Overall, I saw way too many missed tackles to allow the defense to control the game.
  • What’s frustrating about this defense is that, for all the breakdowns you see on individual plays, you also see moments when you can tell they’re getting proper coaching.  Aaron Davis isn’t the most athletic player out there, but he is solid mechanically.  Julian Rochester, who played well, also did a nice job with containment on a couple of plays I noticed.
  • On offense, the real story is two-fold.  First it’s the breakout of so many true freshmen players:  Eason, of course, but also Ridley, Nauta and Herrien.  Georgia doesn’t make a game of it without their efforts.
  • The second part of yesterday’s offense was Jim Chaney’s game plan, which was flat-out excellent until the fourth quarter, when somebody decided it was time to let the air out of the tires.  He schemed around Georgia’s two big deficiencies by staying in the shotgun with three- and four-receiver sets and by getting his offense to the line quickly to wait for further instructions after the Vol defense set.  The former got defenders out of the box, which gave the offense a little more breathing room to run, while the latter took the pressure off a green quarterback who’s not ready to do a lot of checking out of called plays yet.
  • Unfortunately, there’s only so much Chaney could do to work around the limitations he has.  That pretty much begins and ends with the offensive line.  No, it wasn’t the complete disaster it was against Ole Miss, but most of the day it really struggled handling the Tennessee blitz.  And don’t think Eason didn’t feel that.  A lot of the time you could sense he felt rushed and it impacted his reads and mechanics.  Nor was Georgia able to run the ball up the middle with any success when the Vols had more than seven players in the box.  (By the way, if there was ever a time to go play action and toss the ball to a tight end leaking out of the formation, it was when UT had nine men in the box and quickly threw the rest of the secondary up in run support as soon as Eason turned to hand the ball off.) Without more consistency from the o-line, this offense is going to continue to look constipated at times, no matter how much Chaney schemes.
  • I’ve written before that it was only a matter of time before special teams cost Georgia a game, and you can make a pretty good argument that was the case on Saturday.  It was nice to see Blankenship make his only field goal attempt of the day, but it was from a short distance and you had the clear impression that Smart wasn’t going to consider attempting any more unless he had no choice and a similar opportunity.  That, in turn, affected the play calling on at least a couple of drives.
  • The return teams still don’t block well, especially on punts.  McKenzie’s one good return came from his fooling the coverage into hesitating as he fielded the ball.  Davis had one good kickoff return where he did take advantage of the blocking, so there’s that.
  • It also felt like on those occasions when the teams traded punts, Georgia gave up field position.  That was kind of a big deal on the series when Tennessee first took the lead.
  • Then there’s kickoff coverage.  Georgia still doesn’t have a kicker who can consistently boot the ball into the end zone, of course, but the problem is exacerbated because the coverage team isn’t much more consistent.  As much as I harped on what the two penalties cost the Dawgs in setting up Tennessee’s death blow, I saw the coverage team’s two missed tackles as being equally big, as Berry looked like he was able to make about another ten yards after the first man whiffed.
  • I give Smart credit for having his team ready to play emotionally after getting embarrassed in Oxford.  The game plan was solid, too.  But — this will sound familiar — it felt like he took his foot off the gas in the fourth quarter.  That shouldn’t have cost him, but plays like the one that ended the game occur because you leave the other team in position to pull them off.
  • I’d say something about the officiating, but it would be pointless.  Except I still can’t believe how they missed that incomplete pass — and then reviewed the next play.

In the end, it was a brutal loss and there’s no way to sugarcoat that.  The hope is that the toughest part of the schedule is behind Georgia (Sagarin currently has Georgia’s SOS sixth in the country) and now the team will have the chance to settle in against competition that’s somewhat less challenging.  And maybe that’s true.  You have to be a little excited by what some of the newbies are showing and hopeful that the coaches are feeling their way around with what they’ve got.

But it’s also a season that’s already seen a ridiculous amount of disappointment in the space of a mere five games.  Any team that can come within a whisker of losing to Nicholls can lose any of the remaining games on Georgia’s schedule.  Kirby Smart’s job one from here on out is to bring focus to this team and this coaching staff; accomplish that and this can still turn out to be a successful season.  That starts this Saturday in Columbia.  I’m certainly ready to compose a different Observations post.


Filed under Georgia Football

139 responses to “Observations from the 35, my advice is to start drinking heavily edition

  1. Timphd

    Call me a coolaid drinker if you want, but I am at least hopeful this team can win out. If they go 10-2, which is totally possible, I will consider this season a success. I liked the intensity and physicalness of the game and the way they competed all game. I am hopeful for the future.

    • I am pretty certain that I predicted that, and Ole and UT as the only losses. I think. And if so, toot, toot (my own horn).

    • PatinDC

      Ditto. Beating UF would take away a lot of sting!

    • Dawgfan Will

      Strange as it sounds, I’m more confident we can go 10-2 now after Saturday’s loss than I was after any of our wins. That’s a weird place to be.

    • Rick

      Kool-aid with a K buddy, and you aren’t drinking, you’re chugging. Georgia was massively unfortunate saturday, but overall still fortunate not to be 2-3 or worse. This edition of UGA football is the worst of the millenium, the advanced stats at Connely’s site have them twice as likely to finish 4-8 (2%) as 10-2 (1%). Start feeling good about 6-8 wins, and you’ll have a much more pleasant fall.

    • Olddawg 55

      Agree, Senator, on easing the foot off the gas ala Richt,who reverted to type in the Miami-GT game. Ahead by three TDs, Richt went into the run/kill time mode even tho’ there was eleven minutes left in the game. It was great for me as an observer to be able to predictably call Miami’s plays from past Georgia experience, ha!

  2. If this team can play at the level of UNC and UT, they can win out. If not, they can go 7-5. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

  3. 3rdandGrantham

    I’m with Timphd — this team, if it remains focused, certainly can win out.

    As for this weekend, unfortunately hurricane Matthew isn’t looking good, as by Saturday PM its forecasted to be sitting off the SC coast. If the forecast holds, it could be an ugly affair, with high winds and tons of rain. And as we all know, bad weather generally favors the underdog — especially one that with a bad offense that struggles to put points on the board.

    • So. IL Dawg

      if the hurricane is off the east coast, then Columbia will be on the clean-side which means not much rain or wind. the dirty side and in the eye are where the wind and rain are the strongest and that is the center and west side of it.

  4. VoxDawg

    I believe the wife said it best: “You can beat the other team, and you can beat yourself. None of that matters when you can never beat the refs.”

    I know it smacks of sour grapes to complain about the officiating, but Lord God Almighty, did the zebras stink it up in Athens. Where do you begin?

    • 3rdandGrantham

      the refs weren’t the reason why UGA lost on Saturday. I’ve seen my fair share of games that were certainly impacted (if not decided by) the refs — OU at Oregon 10 or so years ago and ‘the swindle in the swamp’ are the two that are first to come to mind — but our game Saturday wasn’t one of them.

      • It wasn’t decided, but it was impacted. Every single call went in Tennessee’s favor. Dobbs first half TD was one call. The bounce pass was another. One that is being totally ignored is the 3rd down completion to McKenzie where the defender was literally tackling him from behind before the ball got there. He catches it short of the first down, bringing up the 4th and 2 that UGA did not convert. That should have been an automatic first down with UGA having a 3-point lead with less than 9 minutes to play. The game might have turned out differently if that call had been made properly. Then you have the unsportsmanlike penalty that was called correctly, but was not necessary. There wasn’t a single call that went against</> Tennessee. It wasn’t that UGA got hosed, it’s that all the calls that could go either way all went in Tennessee’s favor.

        • JonDawg

          I completely agree about the no call on the defender who was on McKenzie’s back before the ball got there.. and the awful bounce pass that will be remembered for a long time.

        • Mayor

          I disagree Trey–the game WAS decided by those crooked ref calls. I have been watching this go on for almost 20 years now and I am damn sick of it. There is one set of rules for everybody but they only get enforced against Georgia. UT players ran on the field with their helmets off when UT recovered the fumble in the end zone to take the lead–no penalty. Dobbs did NOT score that TD at the end of the first half. I watched a replay in super slow motion a dozen times and he did NOT score–you can tell it. Why is that important? Because at the time the score was 17-0 and Bootch may very well have kicked a FG instead of risking going for the TD on 4th down and coming up with no points. That would have completely changed the game. The bounced pass completion set up UT with 2nd and 3 when it should have been second and 10 (they barely made a first down even with the help) and they scored on that possession. The Line Judge was the guy who made both calls and there is no way he didn’t see the ball hit the ground or see that Dobbs didn’t get the ball across the pylon. The TV ref was Al Ford who VD got suspended in 1998 when Ford blew the Jasper Sanks fumble call and he has held a grudge ever since. So no review of the bounced pass–big surprise. He should not be allowed to participate in any more Georgia games–but the SEC lets him anyway. F#ck the SEC and its crooked refs. If the SEC won’t fix this problem I favor UGA getting out of the SEC and joining either the Big 12 or the ACC. What kind of bidding war do you think there would be to get Georgia? A big one I guarantee!! One time is a bad call. 2 times is a coincidence. But 3 times? 4 times? Many times over many games over many years? No way this is an accident. It is just the latest f#ck job in a long line of f#ck jobs from crooked SEC refs. I cannot believe that the SEC itself doesn’t know about this. That means the SEC office is involved either passively by doing nothing or (God forbid) actively by using refs to fix games. The SEC needs to be heavily investigated. Millions of dollars are at stake in bowl money and playoff money–that’s the motive. When Mike Slive was commish is when things started looking funny–remember the Arkansas-FU game in 2008? These people are crooks and if they are doing what I think they are doing they should be in jail.

          • So. IL Dawg

            the play where Dobbs scrambled and was ruled a TD, Carter had his jersey nearly pulled off by and O-lineman….no call

          • GL

            I have to say 1 that no one is talking about is the “review” of the Dobbs spike at the end of the first half where they “then” review to see that we had 12 men on the field and move them from the 8 to the 4 yd line. How often does that happen where they review a play to call 12 men on the field? You review that, but not the obvious bounce pass, but then review the “next” play that they stopped mid play and called incomplete? What were they gonna do if that 2nd down play for Tenn was complete? Utterly ridiculous. I can’t stop stewing about it.

        • Sanford222view

          Not too mention Tennessee had two instances where players entered the field of play without helmets in front of the refs but were not flagged. One occurred on the sack/fumble TD recovery.

          Then you have the coach in the green UT gear reaching out for the ball outside the team box that was not flagged or even resulted in a warning. CBS even showed a replay specifically for this one!

    • Hound of Kerak

      On the officiating, I have my complaints: chiefly the inconsistency in calling excessive celebration, calling it very legalistically against Georgia after one of the most incredible plays we’ll see all year, but letting it slide for UT’s two big 4th quarter turnovers. And then the incomplete pass called complete.

      They could have called holding on the UT O-line several times, especially near the end of the 1st half on Dobb’s scrambles. But they also let UGA get away with it a few times. I thought that was about even. And they did at least call a couple of the holds/PI on Nauta, although they could have called that on most of his routes; he was a huge mismatch Saturday.

      • dawgfan

        I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I saw enough Saturday night that makes me wonder if Georgia is still paying for the excessive celebration in Jacksonville. Al Ford as the review official?

        • Will (The Other One)

          It hurts my brain that for all the money the SEC has, it still cuts paychecks to Al Ford.

          • mwo

            Why does it hurt your brain? It is the perfect job for that cocksucker. He does their bidding, gets to screw over UGA as payback, and gets paid. Does anyone have a number for Steve Shaw so I can call and bitch? I tried after the screw job at Vandy years ago but the skank answering the phone took a message and I got no response.

  5. James Stephenson

    One of the things that drive me crazy on the HUNH teams, is they get away with this crap all of the time. I think there should be a given, you can not snap for 15 seconds, even 10. I remember seeing that clip of Auburn with 12 players on Offense, but the guy was able to run off while they were lining up to snap it again and the official could not count the number of players.

    • Mayor

      Another example of appling the rules against Georgia but not against other teams.

    • Dawgfan Will

      Exactly. If you are trying to hurry up and catch the opposing defense off guard with a hurry-up, fine. But if you snap the ball before OFFICIALS can review a play, the officials should have the latitude to call the play dead if HQ is still looking at a questionable previous play.

  6. Hound of Kerak

    The missed tackles on the KR were huge. I think it was D’Andre Walker who just about had Berry around the TN 40. If he can bring him down, it’s pretty much game over. But Berry is one of the best in the business.
    I was very impressed with McKenzie’s tough running. I normally think of him as shifty and quick, but he broke tackles and carried people.
    What’s up with throwing a flag on review of another issue? That’s a thing? And what all can they review then? Just procedural stuff, or could they call holding or PI? If they don’t throw the 12 men on the field flag there (and didn’t they sub from 3 WR+TE to 4WR, so shouldn’t he have been allowed to get off the field?), they are further from the end zone (less scramble leverage on 3rd down) AND it would have been 2nd down instead of 1st.

    • Uglydawg

      Good points, Hound…and the flimsy excuse they used to review the spiked ball…to really get the penalty called…was so shallow it’s ridiculous. As far as the bounce pass completion..every play is supposedly reviewed..the officials could have stopped for a review, because everyone, including the asshole who called it complete, knew the truth. I think most of the refs out there did a good job..but it only takes one or two with an agenda, to hurt a team..and we may have had some in the review booth which is probably some watering hole in Birmingham.

      • Jeff Sanchez

        Al Ford – review official

        I find Jeff Dantzler a little hyperbolic for my taste, but he’s dead on that he should never be working any UGA game – ever

        • Otto


          The score was 48-48 when the ball was awarded to Tech. The Yellow Jackets won 51-48 in overtime.

          The suspension means the officials will not work the SEC title game between Florida and Alabama. Several of the officials involved also will lose their postseason assignments. SEC officials have not said if the men could be fired.

          Saturday’s officiating crew included Al Ford of Florence, Ala.; Bud Williams of Tallahassee, Fla.; Ron Leatherwood of Waynesville, N.C.; Al Matthews of Duluth; Blake Parks of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Ben Oldham of Lexington, Ky.; and Toby Silberman of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

          Ford defended the call after the game, saying two of his officials saw the ball come loose before Sanks was down.

          But he said Monday that Williams missed the call.

          • U

            Ford needs to go. Just banning him from doing UGA games won’t work, because every game in the SEC-E effects Georgia’s standing and chances of winning the division. No game is an island.
            The replay of Dobbs spiked ball really showed how far he will go to screw Georgia…contrast that review with the one that didn’t happen on the bounce pass and it’s pretty obvious that the asshat has an agenda.

  7. Hardcoredawg 93

    I am in a much better place today- spent all day yesterday outside and away from the Internet.

    Still very optimistic for the future and where I believe the program is headed.

    I would like to see us learn how to manage a clock, though. Why we let 35 seconds run off and give ourselves very little time to score I just can’t understand. Thought we were done with poor clock management with this new staff.

    Also, I think Derek mentioned last week he would like to see our recruiting class fill up and I totally agree.

    • Again on the time out – Smart wanted to save one for the offense. It was a good decision.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        I’m still having a hard time understanding why that was a good decision. After all, UT is going to milk every second of that clock — and sure enough 40+ seconds ran off the clock on that down. Whereas when we’re on offense with no TO’s left, we can at least hurry to the line and run another play, spike it, get a first down/out of bounds, etc. and not eat up anywhere near the clock as your opponent would. I just don’t get that line of thinking whatsoever.

        • Hardcoredawg 93

          Never let time run off- you can’t get it back.

          • Am I missing something, or did Georgia score on its last possession?

            • 3rdandGrantham

              But that’s playing the hindsight 20/20 game — it reminds me of my wife over the weekend who was speechless that I passed a gas station with 0 miles to empty showing, only to luckily come upon another a few miles down the road in a strange, rural location. I rather dumbly at the time tried to employ that same rationale by saying, “see, it all worked out just fine honey — plus this gas station has a nicer convenience store.”

              Moving forward, there’s no sound logical reason why you should keep a TO in your pocket as your opponent is purposely trying to run out the clock.

            • Mayor

              Smart played the end of game perfectly. He used the TOs exactly right.

          • Uglydawg

            That’s a two edged sword. I’ll hang up and let Nick Saban explain why.

        • You are assuming that the offense is a finely tuned machine that’s going to do exactly what the coaches want on every play. Kirby didn’t make that assumption.

          Remember that none of the completions on that series saw the receiver go out of bounds after catching the ball. That time out left Georgia with the option of throwing over the middle, or even running. Not to mention the margin of error it gave to prevent the 10-second run off after Catalina’s penalty.

          • Jeff Sanchez

            If only we HAD let the ten seconds run.

            (not that I’m placing blame on CKS for that. Just ironic in retrospect)

          • 3rdandGrantham

            Right, and I understand that, but with a finely tuned O or not, they still aren’t going to let every last second off the clock (and down to 1-2 seconds before snapping the ball) as your opponent will purposely do in effort to run out the clock/win the game. Again logic says you stop the damn thing, with what hardcore just said about never getting that time back being the most rudimentary of said logic.

            Yes, there is a small possibility that, say, after a sack or a ill-conceived completed pass over the middle for 6 yards, the discombobulated O will struggle to get the play in and eventually snaps the ball with 1-5 seconds on the play clock. But my experience watching games for decades put those chances at roughly 10%, whereas you’re 100% guaranteed that your opponent runs the clock down to just a second or two left if you don’t use your TO.

            As for Catalina’s penalty and the 10 second run-off, that was another argument made yesterday as to why keeping a TO in-hand was the right decision. But even that argument is a fallacy, as if we would have correctly used that TO when UT had possession, there would have been at least 40 additional seconds left on the clock when that penalty occurred. Yet some actually tried arguing that Smart’s genius in saving the TO was the only reason why Eason was able to complete that bomb for a TD in the first place, which is absurd.

            • The run off is a hindsight argument. I think Kirby wanted to keep that timeout in his pocket because it left Chaney with more playcalling options. (Not to mention it would have given the offense one last chance to settle down and listen to coaching instructions before a play if he hadn’t had to burn it to cover Catalina’s mistake.)

              Maybe I’m wrong… guess it’ll make a good question for the next presser.

              • Al Ford

                “Time management is only critical when you lose. The only time that time management really gets evaluated by the media and TV experts is when the game is lost, and they think it was lost because of time management.”
                Dick Vermeil

          • So. IL Dawg

            not to mention he had a Fr. QB; so I completely agree with keeping a TO for offense in case he needed to speak with Eason.

        • The goal of 2nd half timeout management is to have them when you need them and extend the game on your own terms. Kirby did that against Missouri and UT. No complaints on time management there from me.

      • Sanford222view

        Hell, in this case I wish 6 seconds more had run off then!

        • Uglydawg

          Did you notice the KO run back…Can you imagine that it only took four seconds off the clock? I’m waiting to see the replay on that. I don’t think the play ran for the full ten seconds, so TN would still have had a couple of seconds to run a play, but it would indicate that someone with their finger on the clock switch was cheating. If you start or stop the clock early or late on purpose, you are cheating…It looks to me like we have a lot of people officiating that just plain try to help one team or the other. It will be very interesting to see how the clock was started/stopped before the Georgia touchdown and after the Georgia touchdown. I’m paranoid (been a Dawg fan long enough to honestly develop it) about getting jobbed. After we get to watch a replay, I’ll be honest about it if I’m wrong.

          • Mayor

            You know you are right about that–the return took more than 6 seconds! The clock operator let the UT returner run for awhile without starting the clock!!

  8. lakedawg

    Tenn cut our off tackle runs out in 2nd half and also had double coverage on Nauta late in game, seemed like several plays we could have sneaked that 2nd tight end out in middle as it was wide open.

  9. UGA85

    Am I the only one who is wishing for a more mobile QB? It seems more and more teams are relying on QB’s who can run, and I think some called QB draws with Eason would help us offensively, especially on third and long.

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Not me. I like Eason a lot – more than I thought I would. Dude is a gamer. Recovered a fumble in the end zone for a TD, ran once for first down, and struck what should have been a killer blow with that pass to Ridley. We have lots of problems, but QB isn’t one of them except for his youth.

      • Dude needs to start throwing the ball overhand instead of semi-side arm.

        • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

          I’ve noticed that, but he doesn’t do it all the time. It seems to happen in situations where intended targets are covered and he’s improvising. Still gets it there, sometimes too hard, but still there.

  10. Hound of Kerak

    Special Teams comparison: Pooch punt to pin UT deep, ball hits at about the 4, darts between two guys on punt coverage into the end zone for a touchback, plus a formation penalty tacks on 5 yards. UT punts a few minutes later, their long snapper catches the ball in the air at the 4.

    Little things like that counted for a lot.

    • Jared S.

      Yeah that was pitiful. When the ball hit the ground I yelled YES!!!!!!! Assuming one of the UGA players was gonna touch it before it bounced into the end zone. Wrong. =(

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      Yep. Beamer is the new Brian (Schottenheimer).


      • Mayor

        Yeah, Frank had to find a job for his kid ’cause the Hokies know the kid was worthless and didn’t want him and Kirby bit.

  11. Bulldog Joe

    The unsportsmanlike conduct + the Sky Kick® + the offsides + the “prevent” kick coverage + the three vs. six “pass rush” + the defensive lineman in deep coverage = An avalanche of brain farts in ten seconds and a well-deserved loss.

    • Mayor

      A loss but NOT deserved BJ.

      • Bulldog Joe

        As we’ve learned, 59+ minutes of good work can be undone by a few seconds of bad work.

        18 seconds against Georgia Tech, 10 seconds against Auburn, 15 seconds against Alabama, 10 seconds against Tennessee prove “Finish the Drill” are just empty words if we don’t aggressively play our best and coach our best to the zeroes on the clock.

        The same goes for our end-of-half performances. It’s a mental and physical edge championship teams have.

  12. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Number 1…the odds say that this team isn’t winning out. In a lot of ways, there are some similarities brewing that marked Richt’s first season. Some good wins, disappointing losses, on the job training, etc. Having said that…losses to any of the teams left on the schedule are going to be hugely disappointing.
    Number 2…I really want this team to beat Florida.
    Number 3…more than Florida, they have to be Carolina. Muschamp has to have this game circled for months. No one expects them to be good…but they can certainly shape a narrative of a team on the rise compared to Georgia with a win. A loss against Carolina would be devastating.

    Ugh…moving on from Saturday is awfully hard. But keeping the big picture on this…Eason could be a truly special talent. We just need to get the kind of line that can protect him.

    • Uglydawg

      The intensity that this team will see at South Carolina will be intimidating. They are going to come out on fire and this young team had better be prepared, or we’ll see it get scary. South Carolina isn’t going to let Georgia just waltz into and get an easy win…and if it’s raining and windy from the hurricane, we’d better pray the running game is percolating.

  13. Bigshot

    On point # 1 90% of the teams score on UGA at the end of the half. That drove me crazy with CMR and it looks like it is going to be the same with CKS . I wish somebody could explain it.

    • Bulldog Joe

      True, the last few minutes of the half are the best opportunity to take advantage of mentally weak opponents.

      Mentally-weak opponents tend to coast into halftime, looking forward to the break. Conversely, physically weak or poorly-conditioned opponents tend to lose strength in the second half.

      It is a championship mindset which should be taught and bought into from the beginning of the off-season.

  14. Silver Britches

    I’m oddly at peace with Saturday for a few reasons:
    1. It was objectively a fantastic game in a fantastic atmosphere.
    2. I thought our performance was encouraging. Coaching has addressed fixable issues, and they’re working towards (although not yet entirely there) scheming around the things that are not.
    3. We’re not going to the playoff this year, and frankly I never saw us winning the division. I don’t believe in moral victories on principle, but I’m walking up to the edge. The roster is so backloaded towards youth, and they’re playing well. It’s hard for me to not be optimistic about the future (and I told my wife with 10 seconds to go that I had a baaaad feeling about what was about to transpire – optimism is not my default setting).

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      My thoughts and feelings to a tee. Yes, we should have won that game, but I am beginning to think that UT really is just that lucky this year. But we played well for the most part; things we failed at can be addressed with recruiting. The future seems bright in spite of the loss.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        Good thought by both, and I’ll add that UT is a junior/senior laden team without a lot of young talent behind it. And, both their ’16 and ’17 recruiting classes are mediocre at best, while ours are among the very best in the country.

        As I said before the season started, this is their one year to really make a splash, as they’ll be coming back down to earth again next year and beyond. It took a hail mary for them to beat us with their seniors vs our key performing freshman — that alone tells me we should win the majority of our battles moving forward.

        • SouthernYank

          I believe they only have 6 SR starters – with their 2 best not playing Sat. They’re not in as bad shape as you think they are, as they’re not losing multiple guys from any one unit, except DB, but with Sutton missing so much time, they’re getting more experience there. Their biggest issue is they will be breaking in a new QB next year – likely Dormady. But everything I hear about him is positive – except he won’t be nearly as mobile as Dobbs.

        • This is what I am taking away from that game at well. Doesn’t help much with the gut wrench, but it’ll do.

    • I’m with you, Silver Britches. I’ve been very vocal both here and other places that I went into this season with a bias that Kirby was Will Muschamp 2.0 until proven otherwise. That had a lot to do with the fact that we never even talked to Tom Herman during the “search”. I was very dismayed about how the actual hiring went down. However, I have also said all along that I’m more than willing to let him change my stance that he is Will Muschamp 2.0. Saturday certainly pushed me in the right direction on that. I saw a lot of super-talented freshman and sophomores going toe to toe with a team that is senior and NFL-draft likely junior laden at all the important positions on the field that they had no business going toe to toe with. Tenn is living a charmed existence this year, but I think that’s coming crashing back to earth starting next season when these guys graduate / declare for the NFL and with Butch is getting outrecruited at Florida and Georgia. This year is Tenn’s year and it’s has to be their year because I don’t think they’re going to get another chance going forward. We’re bringing in a whole bunch of more super talented freshmen next year and are going to have those super talented freshman and sophomores from this year having a year in each system and playing with speed next year. I’m somewhat optimistic on what the future holds, but I honestly don’t see Tenn building anything long term right now.

      • I personally think Butch would 100% walk if someone came knocking. He just saw the team he’s been building 4 years for get pushed to the max by an 18 year old QB. UT’s recruiting disadvantages still exist. He signed massive classes and unlike our 2013 class, they didn’t bomb. But the talent gap is about to flip on him.

        His problem is I can’t think of a single program that would come calling.

    • D.N. Nation

      It would’ve really stunk to lose this game in a season where we expected the team to be great. As is, it’s an unfortunate end to a great game that showed some encouraging signs of life from a young team. Gotta avoid getting into a funk over it, though.

  15. Scorpio Jones, III


    If you had told me the Tennessee game was going to end the way it did, I would have assumed you were a Trump surrogate trying to distract me from his tax policies.

    I have begun to get fairly reasonable comments from my UT fan neighbors.

    To go from the Oxford woodshed to the Athens near-miracle…wait, does the td pass from Eason to Ridley still count as a miracle, even though we lost?

    Anyway, this team did an amazing, simply astonishing turnaround in a week.

    But Kirby’s real coaching test comes this week. Can he get their heads together and win in Columbia? After that fucking thing?

    The Kharmic Bitchez say you got to suffer if you want to sing the fuckin blues…

    I can only speak for me, but I think we are might damn close to BB King status.

    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      You asked the million dollar question, “Can we win in Columbia?” If we play like we did against Tennessee, mistakes and all, I think we can. What bothers me is our lack of experience which usually means playing on the road is a totally different game. Think we saw that in Oxford. Hope we don’t see it in Columbia.

      • Russ

        The comeback on the road in the other Columbia will be big the team psyche this coming weekend in Sackerlina.

        • Uglydawg

          Sackerlina’s crowd will be loud and excited. They always play hard against UGA and this year will be no different. I’m a little worried. If Chubb can get on track, we’ll have our best chance..but as 69 Dawg points out just below..we might be playing in a hurricane.

    • 69Dawg

      This game maybe a replay of the Georgia Southern Championship game played in a hurricane. If this hurricane is off the SC coast Saturday night all bets are off.

  16. HVL Dawg

    Official review of the incomplete pass:

    I was listening to the game on the radio (driving home from Miami’s win) and somehow the referee’s microphone was on and being broadcast on the radio- which was pretty insightful.

    We could hear the referees wanting to review what should have been the incomplete pass, but the next snap got off before they intervened. There was confusion about which play was being reviewed.

    They wanted to review the bad call but couldn’t because they let the next snap get off. That’s what happened. So yeah, they screwed it up, knew it but couldn’t fix it.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      You mean you went to Tech-Miami? Oh the horror, this is a Georgia blog.

      Fun, huh???

    • 83dawg

      Yeah, I played and coach (and sometimes Ref) soccer, and two things that stand out about the authority of refs between the two sports piss me off.

      The first one is unavoidable. There is so much going on that there need to be a lot of refs on the field in football, but, especially since replay started, a lot of times it looks like they are all waiting for someone else to make the call to verify what they thought they saw. It has turned reffing into a dynamic like a stupid hour-long conference call…

      The second is a culture thing. The one Center Ref in soccer is completely responsible for keeping the game flowing and sportsmanlike over a field larger than a football field. And, by rule (law), s/he has complete authority to ignore fouls that aren’t game-changing. They also have the authority to take the game backwards for 10-30 seconds. An infraction occurs when the Ref sees it, and decides to call it, and how long it takes to get the whistle up is irrelevant–the game was theoretically stopped when the Center Ref decided they had seen a foul.

      So, if they were a football Ref, if they wanted a replay review, they would have the authority to blow the next play dead AFTER the snap because they decided they wanted the play reviewed BEFORE the ball was snapped.

      Ah well.

      Still encouraged by the way the Dogs played and hoping that (1) we just take USCe out, and (2) that USCe doesn’t wear the black jerseys and silver britches like they did this week.

  17. WF Dawg

    Good thoughts, Senator. Some of my own to add or echo:

    Chaney was largely (no pun) very good in this game. The play calling wasn’t predictable, as it has been at times. I’m still not sure exactly what I think of Chaney, but he showed me something Saturday, viz. that he’s not blindly stubborn and can innovate.
    If you had told me we’d run the ball that effectively, with the OL we have and Chubb (mostly) out, I wouldn’t have believed you. Sony Michel, especially, deserves a lot of credit. He’s gotten even better from last year, and that’s saying something.
    If there is a coach I’m forming a negative opinion on, it’s Shane Beamer, who handles most (all?) of the special teams. The coverage and return units just aren’t getting better.
    On the other hand, Blankenship is. He struck every place kick well and right down the middle. KOs are still weak, and I agree with Kirby’s handling of when to kick and not kick a FG. But I’m no longer assuming a FG miss or dreading XPTs.
    One thing I hate about losses like this is that they deny players a chance to etch their names in Bulldog lore as heroes that saved a particular game. We’d still be talking about “Eason to Ridley” 15 or 20 years from now, or about “Mason to Mitchell” against GT in 2014, or about Murray’s lunging TD against AU in 2013 if not for the last-second losses that obscured them. Granted, we’ll remember the Murrays and Easons for a hundred other plays, but those heroic ones, especially, deserve to be a part of their legacy. I hate it for them. And oh yeah, how sweet would it have been for Reggie Davis’ return on that last possession to have been what set up the game winner, after his drop last year vs. UT? It’s that kind of stuff that I can’t get out of my brain.

  18. Scorpio Jones, III

    Maybe the best comment I have seen on this fucking game.

    From Jaden Hunter (son of Brice) who was standing with other recruits in the Ridley endzone at the end.

    Via twitter:

    “Be Patient Dawg Nation…”

  19. 69Dawg

    Not that it matters but Dan Patrick was talking about the UT UGA game and said he could not understand why on an anticipated Hail Mary the defenders were not on the goal line so they would have position on the offensive guys. Use the back of the goal giving the defenders a narrow area. He said that play is one that would get a coach fired. We really played it as bad as it could be played. Our guys got push back into the end zone and had to come over the UT guys back to try and make a play.

    • Jack Klompus

      That’s a great question. It looked like our defenders (roquan) wasn’t in position to make any sort of defensive play. He was just trying to catch up.

      Thanks for making me feel like shit again. LOL!

    • Minnesota Dawg

      Agreed. I’m curious to hear Kirby’s post-film analysis of the play and whether it was executed as it is practiced…but our positioning even before the play began seems odd at best. I really hope this isn’t how it’s practiced. Guys lined up five yards into the end zone…who stay behind the play the entire time? That’s fine everywhere EXCEPT in the end zone. It defeats the purpose of having so many guys playing back at the start. Doesn’t matter if you have only one player or all eleven playing in the end zone if they’re all behind the receiver(s). Think someone else mentioned it, but reminded me of the pass to Laettner in the UK-Duke basketball game…no pressure on the passer and all the defenders behind the play.

  20. Jack Klompus

    One question I had- Why was the 5 yard penalty for illegal procedure added to the touchback (at some point in the half)? Isn’t the rule that you take the penalty, push them back 5 yards and rekick or you decline it and take the ball? They took the touchback and then tacked on 5 yards. Have I missed something?

    • Hound of Kerak

      Someone said at some point it was a new rule to minimize the chances of re-kicks, because kickoffs have more injuries than regular plays. It bit Georgia twice Saturday, on the touchback punt and, more importantly, on that last kickoff.

  21. Dawgfan Will

    And can we please talk about how ridiculous it is that we haven’t adapted technology to track the position of the ball in relation to the end zone? If my neighbor’s neighbor’s dog gets zapped by its collar when it passes the boundary he’s set, why can’t there be a system in place that can detect when the ball breaks the plane of the endzone? Hell, if O had the technical know-how, I’d invent it myself.

    Lasers. That’s what we need…lasers.

    • Russ

      I agree 100%. Anyone that’s watched other sports (tennis, soccer, baseball) knows the technology is out there. Why it’s not implemented in the corporate behemoth known as college football is beyond me.

      At a bare minimum, why aren’t cameras mounted looking straight down the sidelines and goal lines? That’s easy to do.

      • Mayor

        Then the refs wouldn’t be able to fix games by saying someone scored when they didn’t or saying someone didn’t score when they did.

  22. pldog

    Objectively speaking, do you think we should stay with Eason?

    Here’s why I ask, and no one else has seems to ask this.

    Eason numbers are really bad:
    53% accuracy, 6.6 yards per attempt, 4 int’s (also a sack fumble td), 118 rating, 3-2 win-loss record.

    Lambert’s numbers in comparison are incredible:
    63% accuracy, 7.7 yards per attempt, 2 int’s, 141 rating, 10-2 win-loss record,

    Lambert without a doubt is the best option to win this year.

    Is Kirby banking that Eason is the future, and willing to tank this year, even though the numbers do not indicate that?

    I get that Eason has completed more deep balls than Lambert, and he made 2 late td passes showing poise, to me those are the only pluses over Lambert.

    With upcoming games at UF & Auburn projected as losses by ESPN, and GT & SC as slight wins, 8-4 or 7-5 is likely.

    If you stay with Eason.

    i like 10-2 better.

    The sacks due to indecision, the turnovers, the inaccuracy, the win-loss record, the running game isn’t benefiting, Eason isn’t all that right now.

    • Honestly, with the way the o-line is blocking right now, I doubt Lambert would be much of an improvement.

      • pldog

        Theus was pretty good, but the rest of the OLine wasn’t that much better. Catalina is awful, but Lambert was able to
        get around that with a quicker release, and audible to the proper run scheme much better (the rush numbers are much lower with Eason 4.4 yards per rush vs 5.2 with Lambert).

        I think the thinking was a guy that could throw long would open up the rum and it hasn’t happened. Eason is only winning 50% of his starts (2-2 as a starter) were Lambert won over 80% of his starts and went 10-2. Is Eason he worth the turnover and inaccuracy risk?

        I don’t think we beat Florida or Auburn with Eason, might even lose to South Carolina or GT.

        I don’t think Eason’s 5 turnovers in 4 starts are due to a poor oline.

    • Russ

      I have no words.

    • Turd Ferguson

      Good lord.

    • Normaltown Mike

      objectively speaking…if you’re going to pretend to be a Georgia fan and come up with this phony schtick, you should call yourself “pldawg”

      Dawg fans refer to our team as “the Dawgs” not “the dogs”

  23. Russ

    Good summary, Senator. I quibble a bit with your review of the OL. I thought they did well because Chaney finally used them to their best advantage, namely with misdirection and outside running. Coupling that with Michel and Herrien being able to dart around and we had an effective running game. Which lead to Eason finally being able to spread the ball around, especially to the TEs. All in all, a good offensive game plan and it should have secured the win.

    Defense was hit and miss, especially at the end. I know Kirby blamed the players (again), but the last play was just horribly defended (drawn up), and the execution was bad. But hey, Bama was subject to these failures as well. Hopefully Kirby will figure how to avoid it in the future.

    I agree with one of the other commenters here that Blankenship has shown marked improvement with his kicking, even getting the occasional one deep into the endzone. I guess the work with Butler is paying off.

    I’d sort of pegged Ole Miss and UTK as potential losses, so I can’t be too disappointed. I want to beat Florida, Auburn and Tech. The others we should win, but of course we could stumble.

    Anyway, like another commenter said, I feel better about this loss than I did after the Nicholls and Mizzou wins. Now to build on this.

  24. pldog

    Got to concern you that the Eason kid does not show the ability to learn from his mistakes.

    The turnovers got worse last game and more catastrophic for example.

    This is not a good sign.

    • My biggest concern on offense isn’t Eason, but the offensive line.

      • pldog

        a great Qb makes his oline look better.

        Eason needs to move in the pocket a little, needs to quit turning the ball over, needs to read the defenses faster, needs to release the ball faster,
        needs to figure out how to audible to correct run play to help Chubb get going, etc.

        I just look at how Lambert and Mason did without a great OLine, and things were much better.

        That said, I hope you’re right, but the numbers say otherwise.

        • a great Qb makes his oline look better.

          Lambert isn’t great.

        • So. IL Dawg

          Eason is a FR! for crying out loud. He’s making throws that most NFL QB’s can’t make. no way Lambert can make the throws Eason can either. With this O-line, Lambert would be totally ineffective because he doesn’t have the arm to back the D up. Eason will only get better as the season progresses too. He’s going to be a star.

    • sUGArdaddy

      I do this treading lightly…

      pldog, I’m hopeful you are a tech or (insert rival here) troll, because surely you have watched more football and understand the game a bit more. This is like the people that used to complain about Murray.

      Eason is fantastic. That’s it. He’s fantastic. He’s a freshman, but he is soooooooooooo far ahead of where any true freshman QB has been in decades. His talent helps him with that, but he has incredible poise. He rarely throws into questionable double coverage (like Stafford did A LOT).

      The kid is the surefire #1 pick in 2019. He’s played 4.5 games. Have you ever actually watched a freshman QB? Did you actually see our offense last year? You can like Grayson and still be enormously aware that Jacob is far and away the play for this team.

      • pldog

        How is Eason fantastic right now? Which statistics are you looking at compared to Lambert or Mason? Which win-loss record?

        Again, I get he has completed more long passes, and had 2 late td’s, outstanding there, but below average everywhere else.

        Not good enough.

        • sUGArdaddy

          Sigh…as I said, I tread lightly.

          If you can’t see the impact Eason has on the offense, how the defenses are having to adjust because of him…oh, I give up.

          This is why we can’t have nice things.

        • Coondawg

          Do you really believe Lambert would have put the Dawgs in the end zone with 4 seconds left on the clock? ‘Cuz, I think there is no way in hell he does that.

        • Uglydawg

          I detect the scent of a poster from blog-wars past…yes, I think it’s him.

      • 83dawg

        I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it–Eason is miles ahead of Stafford as a freshman.

  25. pldog

    Anyonre noticed how few times Eason hits the hot option when blitzed?

    He doesn’t seem to even know who to outlet to if pressured, just throws it out of bounds.

    Has tendency to look only to primary route or long passes

    Very inaccurate.

    Also, he’s staring down receivers and his ball fakes suck.

    • Inexperienced quarterback plays like inexperienced quarterback? I’m shocked, shocked to hear that.

      Dude, you’ve made your point. Move on.

      • pldog

        Ok Senator, sorry, just venting. I know the QB explains roughly 85% of wins & losses so that’s the first place I look if the team falters.

        I really do hope you and Kirby are right about Eason, but I learned from the Murray years, experience alone at QB doesn’t win championships.

        The QB must LEARN from mistakes.

        Ok, I’ll move along, just trying to explain. Again, sorry.

        And thanks for letting me vent, I feel SOO much better.

  26. 69Dawg

    Let me try this one. pldog, we are not going to Atlanta. Lambert is a senior and will be gone next year. We have the #1 rated pocket passer out of high school. Gary Danielson, a former pro QB, said Eason has the finest arm he has seen since he has been calling SEC games. We don’t care about what you think, we don’t care about the stats we are now in full blown wait till next year mode. Now go away before the Senator cuts you off altogether.

    • sUGArdaddy

      true story

    • pldog

      the reality is some coaches fear transfers if they don’t start a 5 star. Or they start players based on distant past results.

      So it’s damn the torpedoes, even above winning.

      Why in the world did Chubb get so many carries 2 games back when he wasn’t earning them?

      Need to run a merit based system and get rid of a culture of entitlement. Kirby doesn’t seem to get it at times, then he goes with Herrien
      (the most productive back this season) so there’s a little hope that Kirby can change his philosophy mid season.

      The numbers don’t lie, they tell you whether you run an entitlement system or not.

      But some coaches can’t commit to winning above entitlement.

      • Servicestaff


      • So. IL Dawg

        Please cut this idiot off!!!!!

        • Uglydawg

          We’ve seen this act before under a different moniker. Can’t recall his former name, but his style, arrogance and attempted condescension are like fingerprints. (when your argument is that dumb, there can be no condescending because it obviously isn’t objective or logical).

        • Dawg19

          Thomas Brown is back as pldog.

          • Dawg19

            It’s the same jackass that once wrote that Washuan Ealey was a better running back than Herschel because his ypc was higher. He’s been trolling here for years. It’s like in Casino…”If he wasn’t so greedy, he’d be harder to spot.”

      • Jesus. The stupid is strong with this one, huh?

  27. Mark

    Senator, I don’t agree that it was OK to call a prevent defense against the hail Mary, not even considering that Eason burned UT’s pressure defense on our preceding play. To me the difference is that UGA theoretically had every pass play in the entire playbook available to it; Tennessee’s only option was the one it took, a sloooow developing pass. Dobbs had no choice but to wait for his receivers to run 40 yards.

    Me? I’d have sent a jailbreak blitz.

    • Have to disagree with you on both points.

      With no more timeouts, Georgia couldn’t risk a pass down the middle of the field that wasn’t designed to go in the end zone. Sure, there probably would have been enough time to rush down as the chains moved and set up a spike to stop the clock, but if the line doesn’t get set properly — and remember that was the reason on the play before that Kirby had to spend his last time out — the game is over. Pass play either had to go towards the sidelines where a receiver could get out of bounds or to the end zone.

      As far as Tennessee’s options go, their first choice was an intermediate hook and ladder play. Booch overruled it on the sidelines and went with the Hail Mary instead.

      Finally, you’ve got no idea that a blitz would have done much good, anyway. Dobbs did a good job on several earlier occasions eluding the pass rush and throwing on the run. Either way, it still boils down to execution and UT was better.

      • Mark

        You’re right, I don’t know that a blitz would have gotten to Dobbs. I do know that the blitz couldn’t have turned out any worse.

        The magic of hindsight. 🙂