Category Archives: Georgia Football

A small lesson in how things could be done.

This is what convincing B-M to loosen the purse strings gets you:

Richt and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt have lobbied for a bigger budget in recent years and have gotten their wish. The indoor practice facility is in the works, the salaries for the coaching staff have increased and the recruiting budget reached seven figures.

According to figures provided by UGA through the Open Records Act, the football program’s recruiting budget for 2015 was $1.34 million. In 2014, it was $717,091. The one-year increase of 87 percent now places UGA’s recruiting war chest in the upper echelon of the SEC.

Those resources allow for the coaching staff to send more letters, stage more memorable official visits and travel across the country to meet with prized recruits. UGA has always recruited well, but what kept it from having the No. 1 or No. 2 class in the nation was allowing a few of the state’s top prospects to get poached by rival schools. That budget increase should be the means to prevent it. The rise of the SEC Network and the cash payout to each member school has had to help this area.

Richt said he believes recruiting is going extremely well right now. The class currently ranks No. 6 nationally, but could rise if UGA receives good news from its top undecided targets.

Nobody is suggesting that Richt should simply be handed a blank check to do with what he pleases.  What he should be allowed to do is make a credible case for what he wants, detail how he intends to use the increase in funds and, most importantly, deliver. Which appears to be the case in this specific area.

Amazing how accountability can work.  Although the irony doesn’t escape me that Richt may not be the guy who winds up reaping the rewards from that.


Filed under Georgia Football

A few thoughts on the Tech game

Well, I’m a little surprised, but from reading this, it sounds like Georgia Tech is slightly less reliant on running the ball than Georgia Southern.


1st Down: Tech has run the ball 80 percent of the time on first down this season but it has had some luck through the air. The Yellow Jackets are completing over 50 percent of their passes and have thrown four touchdowns to just one interception on the down.

2nd Down: Georgia Tech is a run-heavy team in all second down situations. Second and long (more than seven yards) is the closest to being 50/50, but Johnson often opts to keep the offense on schedule in those situations with the run.

3rd Down: Georgia Tech has thrown only one third and short (less than four yards) pass all season. It has run the ball 49 out of 50 times in that spot. The Yellow Jackets still tend to run the ball on third and medium (four to six yards) with 64 percent run. Third and long is the only down and distance where the pass is most prevalent.

But, yeah, the raw numbers bear that out.  GSU runs the ball roughly seven carries more per game than does Tech, while attempting five fewer pass attempts per game.  Some of that is probably due to the nature of the seasons each is enjoying, I would guess.

It’s also worth noting that GT has returned to its traditional level under Johnson of an under-50% completion rate on its pass attempts.  (Justin Thomas’ rate is actually lower than the overall team’s.)

So I’d say we know what Pruitt wants to see.

On defense, I will be shocked if, after seeing Georgia’s game tape from last Saturday, Ted Roof does anything different from what the Eagles dialed up.  The man loves to blitz as it is and there was nothing shown from last weekend that would discourage him in that department.  That means Schottenheimer gets another opportunity to figure out the best way to counter that… this time, for an entire game.  The same can be said for Georgia’s offensive line.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Paralysis by analysis

Yesterday, Georgia’s beat writers were doing their job.  Which meant they were asking Mark Richt about his future.

Richt was asked at his regular Tuesday news conference if he feels like he’s coaching for his professional life in this game:

“Who me?” he said laughing. “Who made you ask that question? I know you didn’t think of that one. My focus is beating Georgia Tech right now. That’s my answer to you.”

And asking.

The second: Does Richt expect to be Georgia’s head coach next year?

“My focus right now is Georgia Tech. Who made you ask that one?” Richt said.

And making Richt think they were gonna ask again.

Then the microphone was handed to this reporter, who wanted to ask a question about the offensive line, but Richt did not know that yet.

“You’re gonna ask the same one? We  can end this thing as fast as you want,” Richt said. “I’m here to talk about the game.”

Like it or not, it’s news and the questions were fair game.  None of that bothers me particularly.

But this does.

Georgia is set to break ground on its long-awaited indoor athletic facility on Dec. 14. It’s a building that Mark Richt has pined for and quietly lobbied for during his 15-year tenure as head football coach.

But as of this week, with one game left in the regular season, it’s still not a settled question whether Richt will be around to attend that ceremony, much less coach in the gleaming new facility when it’s ready.

His bosses continue to be silent on the subject, holding to their policy with all coaches in all seasons. The belief among many close to the situation is that no decision has been made either way, and that Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech will have a big say in it.
[Emphasis added.]

Say what?  You’ve got a coach with a fifteen-year track record to evaluate and you’re taking the approach that his career may hang in the balance depending on how his team plays in one game against a 3-8 Georgia Tech?

If that’s the case – and there’s no reason to think Seth’s reporting on the subject is anything less than solid – that’s a clear sign of folks in an organization who are reluctant to make a major decision themselves, but rather hope instead that developments (or maybe Richt himself, I don’t know) will make it for them.

That ain’t no way to run a railroad, if you get my drift.  But I can’t say it comes as much of a surprise.  Butts-Mehre has a track record, too.

And this is why I keep harping on Georgia football’s problem being something other than Richt himself.  I don’t care which side of the divide regarding his fate you find yourself.  Either way, it shouldn’t be hard to grasp the idea that letting things twist in the wind like this is the worst way to manage the situation.  (Really, it’s kind of impressive that the coaching staff has managed to keep the next recruiting class together so far.)

It’s also why those of you who are convinced the football program can’t get any worse if Richt goes ought to be honest with yourselves about whether that’s really the case.  I don’t mean that in the sense of simply making a bad hiring decision, either.  I mean it in the sense that the same people who can’t come to grips with what to do about Mark Richt are the same people who will have to go about making any hiring decision to replace him.  Why would you have confidence in that process?


Filed under Georgia Football

In case you need a reminder it’s Tech Week…

hate them sumbitches.  Hate ’em.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Blame? When it comes to the offense, there’s plenty of that to go around.

This is a pretty honest assessment:

On his radio show Monday night, Richt was asked about the state of the offense, and started out by pointing all the different things that have gone wrong. Then he said the ultimate responsibility lies with the coaches.

Here was Richt’s full response:

“There’s a lot of things that go into it. Some of it is just the fact that we turned the ball over at some inopportune times, that has kept us from scoring. There have been some times where we maybe didn’t pass protect as well as we could have. There’s been times where we maybe didn’t pass protect as well as we could have. There’s been times when quarterbacks haven’t hit their targets. There have been times guys have dropped the ball. The execution overall just hasn’t been consistent. There’s been moments of time where we’ve done everything the way it oughta be done. But there’s been too many guys taking turns not quite getting it done, whether it’s a dropped ball or a ball not thrown just right, or missing protection here and there.

“But that’s coaching. That’s us. The players certainly have some accountability in that. But it’s everybody doing their job, staying focused and down after down after down on a consistent basis executing. We just have not executed well enough. And to me that always go back to us as coaches, just not getting them to the point where they can perform on a consistent basis.”

Of course, that just begs the question… what are you gonna do about it?


Filed under Georgia Football

Regrets, he’s had a few.

Hello, hindsight.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Observations from the 35, Senior Night edition

Well, winning is better than losing, so in that sense the Dawgs had a good night on Saturday.  But they sure didn’t make it easy on themselves or us along the way.

  • Boy, that first series Georgia ran was a pleasure to watch, wasn’t it?  Obviously scripted, and nicely set up by a 40-yard kickoff return from Reggie Davis, the offense looked crisp and confident.  Lambert even managed to hit Chigbu on what looked like his third read.  There was also a good throw to Malcolm Mitchell where Lambert took advantage of very soft coverage.  The fly sweep with McKenzie was marked by perfect timing on the hand off and great downfield blocking (although it could be argued that Mitchell got away with a wee bit of holding).
  • It would prove to be the offense’s best series of the night, unfortunately.  The next series saw the blocking start to break down and a resulting sack of Lambert.  That was salvaged by a Ramsey punt downed at the GSU one.  After forcing another three-and-out, Georgia looked to be in business, setting up in Southern territory, only to see things fall apart when Mitchell fumbled the ball after Lambert read the defense well and hit him on a quick slant.
  • And that was pretty much how most of the night went for the offense – moments of good calls and execution eventually hamstrung by untimely turnovers, ineffective play calling, bad line play or inconsistent play from Lambert.
  • In particular, third down plays continue to be sad things to watch.
  • The offensive line had a rough night.  The main culprit was Hunter Long, who struggled with run blocking and pass protection, but there were misses by almost everyone.  The unit appeared to lack cohesion and did a bad job communicating who had responsibility in the face of GSU’s stunts and blitzes.
  • Lambert was his usual self, some good, some bad, some luck.  He should have been intercepted twice, but skipped both throws.  (And, no, it wasn’t on purpose.)  He continues to miss open receivers frequently and has a hard time deciding to throw the ball away when the play isn’t there.  To his credit, he had some nice passes out of play action, where he looks comfortable, and did check down on occasion.
  • Bottom line, the offense continues to look discombobulated.  It was no surprise that it failed to gain 300 yards in regulation for what has to be the umpteenth time this season.  After eleven games, and against another defense that, while physical and well-coached, isn’t going to be confused with Alabama’s or Florida’s, that’s a little depressing.
  • The defense, though, continued its good work, although it took a little time after some early success.  After shutting the Eagles down in the first two series, the defense struggled with contain on the outside option stuff and was burned by a couple of good plays by the quarterback.  There were a few missed tackles that contributed to GSU’s success, too.
  • Pruitt’s halftime adjustments were effective, as they’ve been for the past few games.
  • While Floyd and Jenkins had monster games, some of the credit for that has to go to the defensive line, which turned in one of its best efforts of the season.  Georgia Southern struggled to run up the middle all game – something the triple option has to do well to flourish – and on plays that were flushed to the edges, Georgia’s line did a good job of engagement so that the linebackers were free to roam and make plays.  All of that with Trent Thompson out of the lineup.
  • It’s getting routine to say this, but Ganus and Parrish turned in another set of solid performances.  Ganus is one tough son of a gun.
  • I can’t say how big Bellamy’s sack was, since it still left GSU with what appeared to be a makeable field goal, but it certainly didn’t hurt.  And he deserves credit for playing that right, especially considering he got yanked the week before for overpursuit.
  • Special teams play?  Well, Ramsey did his part, helping Georgia maintain field position early on (not that it amounted to much).  Davis, as I mentioned, managed an excellent return to get the game off to a good start.  Morgan was shaky, missing one field goal and banking an extra point.  The coverage teams didn’t allow anything damaging to speak of.
  • Richt continues to squeeze what he can get out of this team.  The Dawgs survived their usual second quarter swoon, didn’t panic after the McKenzie fumble that led to GSU’s second touchdown, or after the Eagles took a fourth quarter lead and then stepped up and took the game away in overtime.  You can bitch about his being conservative with the calls at the end of both halves, but with the way the offense was going, what exactly could he have done with it?  It’s not like he’s got Aaron Murray back there directing traffic.

It was a game that felt like early on Georgia was going to dominate (and it would have likely gone in a different way if Mitchell doesn’t fumble and they take it in to go up 14-0), then felt like it was sliding away in the second quarter and for much of the third.  At least the Dawgs managed to find their footing in time to pull it out.  It should have been a comfortable win, but that’s not the way this team rolls.

In other words, this season in a nutshell.  Don’t expect anything different this week.


Filed under Georgia Football