Well, that sure sucked.

Relax.  I’m not going to give you one of those despairing existential posts it seems like I crank every other season or so.  Not because yesterday wasn’t a failure of epic proportion — it sure as hell was, on a number of levels — but because it’s too early to know what the context of the beat down turns out to be.

Maybe it’s a one-off, or maybe it’s an indication, just like the 2015 Alabama game, that this program isn’t capable of playing on the big stage in a consistent manner.  At this moment, I don’t know which is true, and none of you do, either.

Right now, I’m with Smart on this.  He delivered the perfect epitaph for yesterday’s disaster when he said, “This team will be defined by how they respond, not by what they did [Saturday].” 

That’s exactly right.  Either the players and coaches get their collective heads together, regroup and finish out the last three games of the regular season (yes, they’re still going to Atlanta to play for a conference title) playing at the high level we think they’re capable of showing, or they stumble their way through the Kentucky and Tech games and take another ass-whipping from a team from Alabama.

While I don’t know which of those two is in Georgia’s future, one thing I can say for sure is that Kirby’s mission has gotten much simpler.  He’s not thinking about the playoffs or the polls, or worrying about whether his players are thinking about them.  He’s consumed with finding the reset button.

As Mike Tyson once famously said, “Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.”  The Dawgs got punched in the mouth by one of their bitter rivals.  It turned out there was no plan last night after that happened.  We’ll see if that’s the case for the rest of the season soon enough.

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67 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

67 responses to “Well, that sure sucked.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Regarding “Now I Know How Urban Meyer Feels.”

    You mean you’re a mean spirited flaming asshole who blames everybody but himself for his failures? 😉

    (wanted to say it below but woulda got buried)

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    • Olddawg55

      Anyone who has ever coached at any level knows that you can sense something is wrong and can’t put you’re finger on it. No matter how you practice or plan, sometimes it just all goes to hell in a handbasket. Smart is right, though, it’s how you recover that shows what you’re made of..and I think the Dawgs will come back and show DawgNation who they really are.

      Like

  2. DawgPhan

    so many really bad penalties at really bad times. I wasn’t Expecting that.

    Like

  3. Granthams replacement

    Good take Senator.

    Like

  4. Tybee Dawg

    That was a great post, Senator. You cut right to the chase and ignored the fog of gloom and doom to look at the real picture–where do we go now and how do we define this season.
    At the beginning of the season most Dawg fans would have taken a 10-2 regular season with a trip to Atlanta, hopefully without embarrassing ourselves there, and then playing in a significant bowl against a worthy opponent. We may not enter the rarefied air that our season before this past Saturday was teasing us into believing, but we are still ahead of rational preseason expectations. Now that humility has arrived, let’s see how we finish the next 3 games.

    Like

  5. This team should beat Kentucky like a drum and should handle tech in Atlanta. Play well against the Iron Bowl winner and let the chips fall where they may. This season has been fun. I refuse to let one game define it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

    Last night felt like the South Carolina game in 2012. Once we fell behind and their crowd started to rock, we didn’t know how to respond. It was like getting hit by an avalanche.

    We bounced back from the Carolina debacle that year and put ourselves in a great position at the end of the year to play for a national title. This team has the same opportunity. Win out and we’re still in the playoff, because we’ll have either avenged our one loss or knocked off an unbeaten, top-ranked Alabama. Either would be sufficient for punching our ticket to the dance.

    The biggest difference for us now as opposed to 24 hours ago is we have no margin for error anymore. We’ll have to be SEC champions to get in the final four, which is probably how it should be anyway.

    Like

  7. We will clean up stupid penalties and mistakes and methodically beat down both KY and Tech. The leadership on this team will make that happen.

    I will save any prediction on SECC for game week depending on the opponent and what our team looks like then.

    Like

    • Will (The Other One)

      That and “lack of creative play calling” is going to be less of an issue against those 2 defenses.

      Like

      • Athens Townie

        Good posts above. And good OP by the Senator, too.

        This game won’t define the season unless the team stumbles forward into remaining games. We’ll see. I believe we’ll finish strong, but that game in Auburn definitely exposed some weaknesses.

        I wish we had more answers on offense when another team shuts down our running game. I get that we’re built around the ground game. But let’s not be trying to hike the AT in flip flops.

        Like

  8. PTC DAWG

    Compared to where we have been the past 3-4 years, I like where we are. 11-1 looks very doable to me…

    Like

    • dawgfan

      Thank you! I’ll be ecstatic to see us go 11-1 which will include a win over Tech. If that happens we are 1 win from being SEC champs, being in the playoff, and I like our chances in Atlanta. I don’t see Auburrn beating Bama and us again a week later.

      Like

  9. Greg

    Perfect storm….the stars were aligned for Auburn, or at least it seemed that way in the beginning. Don’t think they are that good or we are that bad. But last night, don’t think we would have beat any top 30 team….were not ready/prepared. Thinks the staff was as tight as the players the past couple of games… onside kick against SC & running play rather than taking a shot at the end zone with a pass to close the half (Auburn). My biggest disappointment, was it looked as though the defense just gave up…no fight as the game went on. Auburn just lined up and whipped our asses, made us give up…no other way to look at it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • D as in Dawg

      Bravo! Bravo! Spot on. You really should have dropped the mic. We haven’t looked like a number 1 team in a while, except for UF, and they are just plain awful.

      Like

    • Athens Townie

      That’s all true, Greg. But…in defense of the defense…they were out there a long time with all the stalled drives. I don’t think they’re quitters as much as I think they just got their asses worn out.

      Like

  10. TnDawg

    One of Kirby’s comments was, we can’t let Auburn beat us twice. He was referring to a let down in the Ky game.
    Not happy one little bit about the beat down yesterday. Could be this team needed to be exposed to what it takes to play in the big time. Well, they sure found out yesterday. And they will respond.
    I firmly believe this team will fight back and be prepared for Auburn in the SECCG. Yes, I think Au will beat Bammer and we will see Au again.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Based on yesterday’s film, you bet your ass AU will beat Bama at home. Did you see MSU moving the ball up and down the field. The same MSU we held to 3 points and finished with our backups? I realize CFB isn’t that transitive, but Bama has some LB issues and the Barn’s OL will open some holes while their defense will limit running success. Sure, Bama might beat them given how emotion can play into it, but looking at the whole body of work from the two, it might be considered an upset.

      Like

      • Greg

        hope so, would love another shot at Auburn. Smart should not have too much difficulty in motivating. I honestly think we can beat them, we have a better shot against them than Bama imo. They are certainly not 23 points better than us. Be us twice in one season would be tough for them to do.

        Like

    • 1smartdude

      Gawd I hope not! Rather take our chances with Bama. I couldn’t set through another Chaney game plan against Auburn. At least with Bama we get to see if the same game plan will work on somebody else.

      Like

      • Mike Cooley

        I mostly agree. I do t know what people saw from us yesterday that makes them so eager to play Auburn again. If it had been so!what close then sure. As for Chaney, I think it’s just easy to blame it on him. He certainly deserves some of the blame. The refusal to throw on first down and the hard headed insistence on running. I to the teeth of that stacked box over and over when it was clear we needed to go a different way are on him. But how much of it is because our offensive line just had their pink panties on yesterday which hand cuffed us? When the line is blocking nobody, how much can the offensive coordinator scheme around that? Also, our receivers picked a fine time to forget how to catch the ball. I agree Chaney was stubborn and shouldn’t have just kept beating his head against the wall but his players let him down too.

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        • Will (The Other One)

          It’s a bit of both. The line’s near total failure on the attempted flea-flicker that would’ve been a TD – not on Chaney at all.
          Numerous Fromm passing plays from under center instead of shotgun after seeing how badly their DLine whipped the offensive line though? That is on Chaney.

          Like

  11. Red Cup

    We control our own destiny

    Like

  12. D as in Dawg

    Looking back, I think this has been building. This was an OL-splosion waiting to happen.

    Maybe they’re just worn out. Maybe, just maybe, except for Chaney!!, we managed to coach some of these OL guys up this season and our weak OL just couldn’t overcome the talent disparity this time. I mean there has to be another reason they busted through our OL time after time like it was nothing. We are who we thought we were up front and the D was just worn slap out from being on the field the whole game. I’ve been telling everyone who will listen I think our OL is not ready to beat a Bama. Turns out they’re not even ready to beat Bama’s little brother. I hope this helps and doesn’t hurt recruiting up front, because we will never call plays and run an offense as effective as Malzahn. We will have no choice but to be bigger and better up front than anyone in order to win with Chaney calling the plays. After last night, we still have a long way to go.

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  13. Tronan

    I think the grind of the season caught up with the Dawgs yesterday. I’m not happy about it, but I didn’t have high expectations going into the game. It always felt like the perfect trap game on the schedule.

    As long as we take care of business against UK and GT, I’m not going to complain too much. Despite yesterday’s craptastic showing, I think we’ll show up and TCOB.

    Like

  14. Will Trane

    There are two comments I find interesting post Auburn game.
    Coach Smart…this team will be defined. A lot of folks get wrapped in the score board, and Auburn uses their board real well in a game. Yesterday, the Dawgs had no leadership and play makers on both sides of the ball. Auburn hammered them physically and mentally during that game. When the Dawgs scored the first TD you could see that this team had no passion and Auburn did. Auburn wanted it and it did not matter the team they were playing was Georgia or anybody else. They came to play…mentally and physically. Dawgs did not. Coaches? I am not sure, because when you watched the sidelines you could sense the coaches were not really into it either. Is Auburn more mature mentally and physically than Georgia. Perhaps. I do not think Carter, Patrick, Smith, and a few others on the D side even come close to thinking that.
    On the offensive side of the ball is where I have my major complaint. Chaney and Pittman’s offense is not nasty and brutal enough. They do not even come close to Auburn or Bama in that regard.
    I’ll say it again, Steele owns Chaney!!! Think not look at the numbers in four quarters of play.
    So does here is the other comment…from Michel, and this is the most curious to me. Do not know what our game plan was. Damn! Looks like Chaney brought the 2016 Auburn and Florida game play book back in.
    Chaney has some players. Physical? Look at those young receivers on the road in a very loud stadium. They went after the damn ball. But Chaney and Smart kept beating the running game. it did not work in ’16 against UF’s good defense and twice against Auburn. So what in hell is going on with this offense that threatens no solid defense.
    Two QBs and two seasons. Chaney has muddled thru both sets. Where is the consistent passing game Dude? He never uses the TEs. Why would a Carolina and Florida player call out the Dawgs passing game.
    Just how many damn markers have to be laid down about the passing game Kirby before you come the realization you do not have one.
    There is a reason you can see in the eyes of Chubb and Michel their disappointment and frustration. You never backed Auburn off the O line. Their penetration was staggering. Physical? Yes. But you had no freaking game plan, right Michel.
    Have two game remaining. Another spread and a triple option. Control the ball, but star putting up some damn points and threatening an opposing defense like Auburn did yesterday. Put the damn hammer down and let the RPMs run.
    Fortunately both these last two game are in Georgia. Time to find out if we “run” this state, and we “pass” both teams going to the recovery room. Time to make some other teams feel the pain.
    But remember the next three games will tell you where Chaney is going to move the offense in the future.

    Like

    • Dawg in Lutz

      Fromm was running for his life with max protect both TE’s and the line blocking. so, your solution was to let the TE’s go out for passes leaving less blockers? not sure that would’ve worked. everything AU called was perfect timing and worked. that doesn’t happen every game. they out-played us. move on to the next game. we can still win out and get into the playoffs.
      GO DAWGS!!

      Like

  15. Russ

    We’re still ahead of schedule, and we still have everything to play for. Just need to regroup and beat Kentucky, then unleash hell on Tech. With that, go on to Atlanta and play loose. I hope Auburn gets there because there’s no way what happened yesterday will happen again.

    Like

  16. The truth is that yesterday was the most irrelevant big game ever. We didn’t have to win it. We always had to show up in Atlanta with one loss or less and win in the dome. I never thought we’d be able to “back in” by losing the seccg anyway. Alabama looks very beatable and as bad as yesterday was, we had a lot of shitty luck that kept momentum on their side. If auburn shows up, we’ll be focused on revenge and they’ll be overconfident. If it’s alabama, well they look shaky.

    We’ll obviously crush UK and then Tech won’t be easy, but if we get through it I like our chances to advance on 12/2.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Dolly Llama

    The Tech game is what scares me. If they bite it off in four- and five-yard chunks like Auburn did yesterday seemingly at will, we will be as fucked in that game as we were in this one.

    Like

  18. W Cobb Dawg

    Considering the marked improvement between ’16 and ’17, I’ll give Kirby the benefit of the doubt and chalk that debacle up as being similar to saban losing big to Utah, Oklahoma, or tOSU.

    It’s a blip on our upward trajectory toward a consistent top 5 program. Nothing more. Most everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Kirby & Co is recruiting more beef up the middle – probably as you read this.

    The dancing and Gus being his a$$hole self will make revenge all the more sweet when it inevitably arrives.

    Like

  19. 1smartdude

    That’s the most disappointing part about last night. We did get punched in the mouth, which you can live with, it happens, but there was absolutely no plan on what to do when that happened. We still ran the ball at the teeth of the defense with no hope of a better result. Who does that?

    Like

    • Paul

      This is what concerns me as well. No alternatives. No plan B. Just keep doing what we’re doing and hope it works. Not good. Plus, if we were ever going to put Eason in it was last night. If he wasn’t already leaving he is now.

      Like

    • Watch Kirby’s presser. He answers that question.

      You go chuck n duck vs team that is whipping our OL like that and pretty soon we’ve got Brice starting next Saturday. You’ve got to run the ball enough to keep them from pinning their ears back and killing your qb. We didn’t protect well at all in obvious passing situations. If all our downs become that, how do you think it’s going to work?

      Like

      • Will (The Other One)

        That wasn’t entirely true. The first series only becomes a TD because Fromm has a big pass to Wims on 3rd & long. Plus there are usually more options to counteract an aggressive front 4 with passing (via screens, quick crosses, and UF’s favorite, slants). It just felt offensively like they had no plan B if the run was shut down. Which happens (it was worse for ND — Fromm didn’t have any picks) but if the team wants to win the SEC and actually do something in the playoffs, they need to figure out a Plan B this season.

        Like

        • And they ran some of those, with very little success. Every time they tried to throw to the rb’s out if the backfield they were covered up. When 4 is running through your freshman RT it’s hard not to leave backs in to block.

          The first drive was no different than any other except they started winning the match ups.

          You can’t throw short passes to wr’s when they are playing bump and run. If a team is going to rush 4 and play bump and run, you have to establish the run or you are going to get killed. Otherwise, the LB’s are free to clog up the passing lanes in the middle and to cover any backs out of the backfield.

          We should know, it’s what we’ve been doing all year long. Nobody tries the short passing game vs. us. They either keep trying to get the run game going or throw it downfield. We couldn’t do either because we were losing up front.

          Like

  20. Timphd

    I am of the hope and belief that we just our tails waxed by a team that, for that one night, was in the right frame of mind and took it to our boys who just were out of gas from the emotional weight of expectations. These kids could not ignore the fact, despite what they said publicly, that they were in the SEC championship no matter the outcome of the game and a little relaxing of the intensity was normal. Before the game started I told all my friends that I wished Kentucky had won last week to keep that possibility of needing to win alive. I don’t think I am ready to blast the coaching staff, including Chaney, for this other than perhaps not having a better second half adjustment. I had expected us to own the second half but obviously Auburn did that in spades.
    It is my belief and expecation that they will regroup and beat the hell out of Kentucy and Tech. I expect them to represent well in the SEC championship no matter who plays. But if it is Auburn again, I expect a totally different outcome. I don’t believe Auburn is 23 points better, no matter what the score board says.

    Like

  21. Mike Cooley

    Alright I’m going to take a break from how pissed off I am and ask a question. Have y’all been watching Kirby address the media after practices? Did y’all think he looked and sounded different This week? This past week was different. He looked and sounded tired. He didn’t have his characteristic sarcasm etc and well he just looked worn out. This is only his second year as a head coach. I wonder has the grind of the season just finally caught up with him. As pissed as I am about the way we played last night I still think we have the right guy and that he is building something we are going to really like. I just wonder if he and the team are worn out this year.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      If this season doesn’t invigorate the team, and Smart, they have chosen the wrong sport, or profession. Competitors usually hit another gear, or get an adrenaline rush when put into this position. Sure, the season can be a grind for both players and coaches by the time November rolls around, but Kirby is like 40, and players are early 20s, or less.

      Like

      • Mike Cooley

        That all makes sense. So now I have to ask, what the fuck was their problem yesterday? If they felt it did t matter because they “didn’t have to win” because hey had the east won, that’s even worse.

        Like

        • Macallanlover

          I think we were in our usual “it’s just business” frame of mind, and ready to play. Auburn was totally jacked because it was do or die for them, and our recent success had them with Seniors who had never beaten UGA. Their success after our first drive got the fans riled as they smelled blood, and it fed on itself. Our ineptness on offense allowed then to get more amped even though we were holding them to FGs. Really believe it they had missed that 54 yard FG on their first drive, and we had driven back down and scored again, we might have deflated their energy and calmed the fans. Didn’t happen, and it spiraled downward from there as we made mistake after mistake.

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          • Mike Cooley

            I agree that their fans seemed to think this was the NC and seemed to never even consider it a possibility that they might lose. Of course the team did feed off that and our team seemed to have trouble dealing with it which is frustrating. But to me, as far as the players are concerned, “it’s just business is a lot better than “jacked and amped”. I think the latter makes you reckless and prone to mistakes. I honestly think that ass beating was more about us than Auburn. When things started going wrong we went to pieces. That’s worrisome considering how much Kirby has talked about developing me talk toughness.

            Like

  22. Jared S.

    Excellent, spot-on post.

    Like

  23. birddawg91

    The ass whipping was as simple as this. Our coaches played not to loose, while the barn coaches played to win. This type of game planning from both sides culminated in our D getting tired, adding to auburns momentum, and resulting in the game getting out of hand. Hopefully Kirby learned a lesson here, but doubtful Chaney ever will. The most dissapointing part of the game to me was i saw team leaders who quit. This should not be acceptable and I’m sure will be addressed this week.

    We probably will get another shot at those inbreds in the dome, which will the game that really matters.

    Like

  24. Macallanlover

    You are right Senator, as was Kirby when he said it. Season is far from over, and the prizes are still there for this team if they get up off the deck and learn from yesterday’s experience. But I do hope we do not send them into battle with such a limited arsenal of weapons or non-adaptable tactics ever again. Yes, the team may have sniffed too much rat poison, they may lack talent in certain spots, but they were not prepared for what they walked into in Jordon-Hare yesterday. Every team has their off days, but they shouldn’t happen in a game on a stage that large. You might could see a “C or D Game” effort against SC sandwiched between FU and Auburn. But man, a #10 team trying to take #1’s candy on their home field is a situation every athlete plays for. So we weren’t “off” because our players weren’t pumped to play on national TV on Saturday, we were not prepared.

    More importantly, while we looked to have addressed most every shortcoming that made us look inept for much of 2016, we obviously didn’t sit down with our OC about establishing alternative ways to attack defenses when our primary objective of straight ahead power running is thwarted. I mean, come on, how many times do you have to hit your head on that brick wall of resistance when there are 8, 9, or even 10 defensive players in the box and within a few yards of the LOS? It would have been laughable if it had been an opponent, but it was depressing seeing the players in Red & Black do this…again. What ever happened to screen passes, toss sweeps, mis-direction runs, swing passes, jet sweeps, leaving two backs in to augment protection, etc.? I saw one jet sweep that I can recall, and that was a play that we knew LSU had used to beat Auburn earlier in the season.

    And not to give Tucker a pass, how do we not have ways to pressure Stidham? He has terrible passing numbers against pressure, as most passers do. We couldn’t stop the run, gave lots of cushion in coverage for short routes, and yet still got beat deep. We failed in every area of defense total domination. We didn’t even set up with a stacked box to stop the run, yet we still could not contest passes. The one thing I was confident in was no one could just run the ball on us, and no one had before, but we got gouged yesterday by a very good, but not great, RB. He had his career game against us…not Mercer, not Arky, or whomever they played from the East….against UGA. I had no concerns about GT before because no one was going to line up and challenge us with a running attack, that went out the window yesterday.

    I don’t know how much closer the game would have been had we tried to “hit ’em where they ain’t” and shaken the trees, but I wouldn’t have felt so helpless in the 2nd half if I felt we were digging to find something that would work, would change things. They dominated us in every phase, and our guys came unglued with mistakes caused by a lack of discipline we haven’t seen from them caused by frustration, and never having been challenged before. Something out of the norm had to contribute to the dropped passes at critical times, the muffed punt, the silly personal foul penalties, missed assignments, etc., because it hasn’t been an issue in 2017, not even close to what we saw yesterday.

    Perhaps it was just AU’s day for their performance of the year, but we fueled it with our mistakes, and lack of options once our planned strategy was proven to be flawed. We have a few dozen hired hands to support the field staff, what did they not see in prior games…or who stubbornly failed to listen. Looking at you Chaney, it was exactly what we saw in 2016. And you KS, you had all winter, spring, and summer to make sure we were ready to be adaptable when the situation called for it.

    Like

    • 92 grad

      I’m mostly “it’s really rare to manage an undefeated season and our team could have done it but didn’t, oh well”.

      But I liked your post as you highlighted the job performance of the football staff, not just Kirby but all those well compensated people that are full time analysts that are supposed to feed good information to the on field coaches. I mean, cmon guys, we’ll qualified people should be able to predict “Gus likes to develop his offense as the year goes on by doing x,y, and z “.

      Like

    • artful codger

      well said, MACL

      Like

  25. Reinmart

    I’d like to point out that while we were blowing teams out and some of us were wanting UGA to develop a legitimate passing game, the response was often, ‘Why do we need to throw the ball?’. THIS is why.

    Smart often says that the goal is balance but the offensive game plans have not correlated with that statement.

    Like

    • I thought after we threw it seven times in Jax that we might be able to dictate to anyone. That may turn out a little overdone. We’ve been able to throw against teams that have sold out to stop the run and played a soft zone behind it. The problem yesterday was that they stopped the run without selling out. They beat is with their front.

      When the other teams front four is whipping you and playing man to man on the outside you’ve got 2 choices. 1) have wrs who can consistory beat man coverage and/or 2) you better get your five to start winning up front inbpass pro or run blocking. We did neither.

      The other tough thing was that even when we got a push up front, and there were several times we did, there was no crease to get through for a big gain. Very frustrating.

      Like

  26. TMC DAWG

    You know what’s different this year. At this point in the season we ARE still in the hunt for a Sec Championship. Sure Saturday’s game sucked but to still be in the conversation is light years ahead of where this program was the last few years.

    Like

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