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October 2, 2006

Georgia vs. Ole Miss Thoughts

Lumpkin in Action: Image:

An ugly game to be sure, but another win. Some quick thoughts.

On the message board last week, I said that Richt wouldn't try and cram the ball down Ole Miss' throats like Wake Forest did b/c we needed to show that we can throw it. We had to come out and try and throw it to iron out our passing game. So the "lack of commitment to the running game" line doesn't bother me on this one.

What bothers me is the complete inability to move the ball through the air against even a sub-par team.

Pass Defense: A
Georgia surrendered 87 yards in the air to Ole Miss, and 49 of it came on a single broken play. Shaeffer went 6 of 15 on the night, and he was hurried all night. A slower QB is sacked on 3-4 more times on the night. Ole Miss tried to use the TE drag that Colorado used successful against UGA, but they only hit the TE twice.

Rush Defense: B
UGA gave up almost 160 yards on the ground. Sure, Green-Ellis had 135 yards rushing. However, the UGA defense got tighter and tighter after the first two drives in which he netted 50 of those yards. Our rushing defense is currently ranked 32nd nationally and 4th in the SEC. Granted, we've played a bunch of tomato cans, but it's not like we're getting gashed nearly as bad as folks are making out.

Overall Defense:
Georgia's defense on the season has given up only 3 TDs in 5 games. We have the #1 scoring defense in the country, the #5 pass defense, #6 total defense and #32 run defense. As I've said, we've played chumps so far, but the defense has done all that could possibly be asked of them to win games.

Special Teams: D
They kept saying on the radio that it was our first blocked punt since '99, but I could've sworn that Ely-Kelso got one blocked against LSU in the SEC title gamein '03. Either way, it was bad. That's not something systematic of a Mark Richt team so I'm disregarding it.

Pass Offense: F-
Joe Cox came onto the field and looked like the Joe Cox of the spring game, WKU and his own nightmares...not the Cox of the Colorado game. Stafford showed better touch, better audiblizing (sp?) at the line, and he was at the wheel for both scoring drives. Yet, it was only 2 drives.

The WRs continue their Ron Garvin meets Roberto Duran meets Mason Union Local 413 impression. With the exception of the fourth quarter against Colorado, the Georgia passing game this year has looked worse than any UGA passing game since the 1995 team after Bobo went down and before Hines Ward took over. Georgia ranks 90th in the nation in passing offense.

You want to know what causes all these drops? GRAVITY. When you don't catch the ball, it falls right to the ground. It's not the QB rotation. It's not the velocity. It's just WRs not making plays.

Rushing Offense: B-
I will grant you that our OL isn't blocking well. At all. However, I would counter that argument with "When you don't catch the ball, why WOULDN'T the defense put 8-9 in the box and dare you to pass?" I would. Given the number of men in the box, I'd say we ran the ball ok vs. Ole Miss. The only caveat is the previously mentioned Aunt Nellie Factor. Anyone could run it against those guys on the ground.

Other articles of note:
-- Photos from the Game --
-- A new slogan for 2006 -- David Ching
-- Unbeaten. Not Perfect -- ABH



Anonymous said...

Another win...ugly, but a win.

If there's any reason MoMass should be a starter on an SEC team, I can't figure it out. Maybe he's fast, maybe he runs great routes, but none of that matters if you don't catch the ball.

Next week will tell how much truth there was in the "One man's take" posting. They have the talent to win, but if they continue to play like this, it could be a pretty bad loss.

Go Dawgs!

Mr. Egger said...

Gordon against LSU--He dropped the snap, and never got a kick off, it wasn't blocked.

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Correct on the 2003 title game. This from the game log ...

G. Ely-Kelso rush for loss of 15 yards to the UGA0 (Alley Broussard;Daniel Francis), TEAM safety, clock 03:11.

C. Paul said...

We had to continue to try to pass the ball against Ole Miss. Ed Cunningham in the booth for ESPN was going apoplectic with CMR's continued pass calls in the second half, but I agree with his decision.

If we can't pass against Ole Miss - when they are stacking the box and daring us to do it - how on earth will we be able to do it against UT, AU, UF or GT (this one more than the others)?

The facts are that this team is the 5th best team in the SEC right now behind UF, AU, LSU and UT. I, and most people, saw this team at 8-4 on the low side and 10-2 on the high side and we're right on track for that outcome. What surprises me most is the amount of fan anger with this team right now. I think frustration is the more accurate term for it.

If we can get our act together and put together a good plan for UT than 10-2 looks doable. If we continue to struggle to execute than we'll be 8-4.

Thanks as always and GO DAWGS!!

DuluthDawg said...

I agree with the grades; except I would add a few more (-) signs on the end of that "F" for passing offense.

Anonymous said...

MoMaaa was the man last year, so to say he can't play is silly. Clearly he is having some problems right now, but we know he can play; he just has to start. And it isn't just him. No one is catching anything consistently, although Goodman and Bryant made a couple of nice catches each last Saturday.

From the beginning of the year, I thought we would struggle early (I even thought we'd lose to the Gamecocks) but get better as the year progressed. I still think we can do that.

Doug said...

I was thinking the same thing you were, C. Paul -- as ridiculous as Cunningham might've thought it was to be passing late in the game like that, our passing game had been looking incredibly shoddy up to that point, and we had to get Stafford some reps somehow. And with Ole Miss's offense looking as godawful as it has so far this season, once you've got a two-score lead on them, you can be forgiven for calling pretty much everything after that "garbage time."

Strangely, though, as bad as the team looked against Ole Miss (and as close to an aneurysm as I've come the last couple weeks), I would not be completely astounded to see some kind of spark light up this team in the coming week and propel them to a win over the Vols. Yeah, we don't exactly look like giant-killers at the moment, but there was certainly no more reason to expect we'd go into Knoxville and come out with a W back in '01.

Of course, knowing our history, a win over UT will only mean we end up trailing Vandy 3-0 at the half the following week, but I'll throw myself off that bridge when I come to it.

Dante said...

Isn't Tereshinski on track to be back this week? I don't think he'd do much better as long as the receivers are rubber and the ground is glue but it would be nice to have a 3rd option. Especially a 3rd option with experience.

C. Paul said...

I'm just not sure, Doug, whether this team truly has it in them to "flip the switch" this year against the higher quality opponents.

The great thing about CMR is he is un-wavering in his belief in execution and poise - the bad thing is that we tend to need to use that poise far more often then we should.

One item I'd add in the Dawg's defense is that after winning 2 SEC titles in the past 4 years - we get everyone's best shot each game. You can't tell me SC, Colorado & Ole Miss didn't have this game circled all off-season as a way to make a name for themselves. We only responded in kind against SC so that gives me a lot of hope for this weekend.

Go Dawgs!!

Joe said...

hey, i pretty much agree with everything PWD... i encourage you to post something to tell all the people that read this blog to get to the game as soon after the dawg walk as they can, lets get in there and be loud and intimidating from the start, the players will feed off of energy, espiecally if we are in there during warm up's letting them know we are behind them... lets be the 12th man in this game and make almost impossible for tennessee!!!!

Anonymous said...

Being on the 3rd starting qb in the fifth game of the season can't help the receivers. That said, MoMass is, in my opinion, waaaaay overrated. He wasn't in the top 50 receivers in the country last year. That doesn't mean he didn't lead the Dawgs in receiving (although I'm not sure that he did...wouldn't that have been Pope?) but he's far from the kind of game-breaker you see at other top schools.

Just being undefeated in a year when a whole heckuva lot wasn't expected is great. I don't want to pick apart my own team. But if you can't rely on guys to catch easy balls, that makes you even more one dimensional. Then, when you HAVE to pass, having a freshman qb really hurts.

I don't see what leaving him in there gets us.

But again, we're undefeated, so...Go Dawgs!

DawgByte said...

Very good posts everyone! I think the fan base has a good perspective on the current situation. Personally, I thought we were a 9-3 team coming into the season, so I'm realistic about the rest of the season. If we lose to UT I think we go 8-4.

Let's talk WR's for a minute. During the CMR era I personally believe we have underachieved at the WR position. We should have got a lot more production out of Gibson and Brown and there is no reason why MoMass can't be a lights out player. I think Eason is the issue and has been from day 1. CMR said yesterday he watched HS video of Stafford and was impressed with their 5'6" WR's catching anything near them. Stafford has touch and he can also drill it - in either case, these SEC WR's should be able to catch it. Period end of story!!!

Our offense is indecisive, because CMR is acting indecisively. I say start Stafford the rest of the year and let the chips fall where they may. Stafford to my eyes is CLEARLY the most talented QB we have - what he currently lacks is a surrounding cast to make him shine.

C. Paul said...

DawgByte- great point about CMR fostering this indecision on offense. I hadn't thought of that but then reviewed some of his comments this year. In retrospect, he seems to be setting the tone upfront that "the offense is having problems or hasn't found it's niche" and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I'd love to hear CMR come out this week (for either JoeT3 or MS) and say "this offense is going to come together this weekend. I've seen their intensity all week in practice and they are ready to give Tenne$$ee heck". Wouldn't the team/fans be fired up after that? And wouldn't eliminate the indecision you accurately describe above.....

Go Dawgs!!

Jordan said...

Question for you all... Why couldn't we try to fix the passing game later on after we had put the game out of reach? Lumpkin was averaging 7.8 ypc, yet only got 13 carries, which mostly came after the half. Why does it take so long for us to realize that running in the I, not from shotgun, is more productive? At least this puts in short yardage situations, helps stimulates the passing game, and lets us control the game. Instead we tried passing on 1st downs and running out of the shotgun on 2nd, and all that bs in the beginning.

We're bad at passing this year, but why can't we try to at least get something going in one facet of the offense? It took until half time to make the adjustment to the running game.

Anonymous said...

Great point by Jordan w/regard to the running game. Ware and Brown not stepping up is mysterious to us all, but the fact seems to be that they aren't. Make Lumpkin every quarter. He's earning it on the ground.

Anonymous said...

UT plays good, UGA plays good, UGA Wins.

Anonymous said...

To hell with wide receivers. Just let Brown and Ware split out on every play. I know they can catch the ball.

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