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September 18, 2010

OHHHHHH!-&-Two


First of all, congrats to the Hawgs. They did exactly what they needed to do for Petrino's first road win in eight tries. They protected the tall, power-armed Ryan Mallett on all but one drive and he picked Georgia's secondary clean. Mallett hit three absolutely wide open receivers for long touchdowns and engineered a efficient second quarter drive for a touchdown that showed why Arkansas was picked to challenge Alabama for the SEC West crown. Congrats to the Hawgs, enjoy your trip to Dallas or Orlando on New Year's Day. (Image: Kris Durham makes a play. Image by Jim Hipple)

On to the Dawgs. The defense was fundamentally better. There were fewer missed tackles and our defensive line was much improved on inside runs. The trouble was scheme execution. The Dawgs couldn't get to the quarterback enough, despite a variety of blitz packages. The defense registered only one sack and it was in the waning minutes of the fourth. Without pressure on Mallett, our DBs weren't able to keep up with Arkansas receivers in man-to-man coverage. When they could keep up, they couldn't make a play on the ball. On the few occasions that our pressure hurried Mallett, there always seemed to be a shallow crossing route consistently open for him. Grantham still has a bunch of work left to do.

On offense, I am just absolutely puzzled. How can an offensive line that experienced and who dominated at the end of last year be so mediocre? Last week, they couldn't run block. This week, they couldn't run block or protect. And when the line did protect, Washaun would completely whiff his protection assignment. On that last offensive play, I thought Ealey had gotten Murray beheaded.

I know a bunch of folks are getting all over Bobo, but I really think the problem is with the line. We have to be able to run the ball. Without it, our passing game isn't as effective. I don't know how many times I can say that. Bobo's offenses have put up points in prior years. The team has to execute. Look, Bobo made some curious calls on specific plays, but those didn't get us beat. The thing I can fault Bobo with was not giving more variety in formations in the first half. If we absolutely cannot run it, show some shotgun looks and run some swing passes and a few quick, horizontal passes to the wideouts. We never tried to mix it up much other than the Wild Dawg, which wasn't very effective without solid blocking.

Lastly, I'm really sick of the fourth quarter pep talk. It seemed to work, but why didn't we have that same sense of urgency and desire that we showed for most of the fourth quarter when we started the game? Richt publicly stated how important this game was to the program and we looked stuck in second gear for three quarters. Move the pep talk to the first quarter, please.

So here we are, fighting to cling to any scrap of national relevance. We aren't going to Atlanta. Adding to that, our head coach is facing a confidence crisis. The Bulldog Nation is about to become a very nasty place, divided between those who want a change and those who want to persevere. I'm still thinking about which side I'm on, but I'll say this: Since 2005, our program, when compared with our peers, is behind. Is it recruiting? Is it coaching? Is it discipline? I think it's a mixture of all of those things. Mark Richt is a great man and has proven himself a good coach. For many, the memories of past glories are forgotten and all that remains is the pain and aggravation of the present. Is all that Richt has accomplished enough to maintain our faith in him? The fact that I'm asking the question shows the problem.

Quinton

P.S. I know the TV announcers went on and on about A.J. missing the game. Get over it. We knew the default position all week was that A.J. would not play. Would it have changed the outcome? First, A.J. doesn't play defensive back. Second, Durham's no A.J., but he made his share of plays. Our offense can't be solely dependent on a single wide out. There's another team in the SEC who's been missing the Heisman Trophy winner and has still absolutely destroyed people. A.J.'s a great player and he would have made a difference, but he was suspended. We can't change that or use it as an excuse for a loss.

37 comments:

dawginutah said...

You can apologize for Bobo all you want. It's his job to call a game to his strengths. He sees this team everyday in practice. He of all people should see how bad the offensive line is doing. There is absolutely no innovation to this offense. It looks like a pop warner team on the field. Like it or not but that is the way I see it. I love your blog by the way, but take off the glasses.

Darth Scooter said...

I don't know. How many times were we in third and short situations and Bobo would either run it up the middle and get stuffed or send everyone deep. Here's an idea just get the first down and worry about the TD on the next series. It was like he was trying to make up for Petrino catching us with that play in the first half. Plus if Orson Charles and Aaron White are the talents everyone says they are, then how can we go the whole game with 1 completion to them. And it wasn't drops I only remember them throwing to White twice and never to Charles.

80DAWG said...

Quinton, good points. Ealey whiffing was significant. This team played better than I thought they would though. I think we are behind the other programs and that is disturbing but it is hard to pin-point problems outside the obvious. Our line is my one solid disappointment. That has been true for several years. I did not expect this D to be really good this first year, but last week the D held SC to 17 pts. Offense did zip. Today the D did get burned and they looked like I expected them to look this early.Yet, Mallet is now the real deal and he looked better than last year.Our D hung in even with a H. candidate
You did not mention Butler who has looked awful the last 2 weeks. We should have put them way back and he whiffed one. Bottom line, we got beat. I know we have a lot of comments about our team behavior etc., but if you look at the arrests and crazy goings on around the SEC ol Urban won two National Championships with a huge arrest record. Ala had about 8 this year.The list goes on.....

I love Jesus as much as the next gal, but the one thing I think this whole team lacks is a burning desire to win and we can't seem to get GATA as Paul would say without taking it to penalty land. Bottom line, I don't know that a new head coach will fix this issue but I wish his ass would get fired up before the 4th!!! (Sorry Lord!). I can see us dropping a truck load of games or we could get our stuff together and will some wins. Don't know which right now!I know this getting down on a basically really good kid like AJ won't fix things. Yes, he knew better, but he is not a criminal. He should have received two games like the other guy. Either way what is done is done. Hey, I been watching this team since I was about 5. I will be 52 soon. I have seen some ups and downs and will always be a dog!!!

Anonymous said...

Spot on Quinton. No idea how this plays out. But I will say that I figured UGA would split between Arky and Carolina at best. We got that bull and the horns. Let's not forget that both teams may be in the top 10 tomorrow, so it ain;t exactly a 3 win Vandy team we are losing to.

Still though, there seems to be something missing each and every week. The only time I can recall us not looking at least somewhat timid and lost (if not completely) since the end of '07 was last year at Tech. Richt coached pissed and the team played pissed. Whatever the intangible motivation and strategy was in Atlanta that night worked. Why we got away from that since is beyond me.

No idea where I sit as I try to not to get too ahead of myself following any W or L. It really has to sink in before I can get a grip on things. But UGA better find its way quick and show demonstrably better results or else this is the end of the Richt era.

Chris S said...

Dead on about the offensive line. I'm really sick of hearing the armchair QBs complaining that we should do this more or that more or whatever--if your offensive line can't block, no scheme is ever going to work.

I feel like every season since Searels has been here, the offensive line has looked like crap early in the season and come together in the second half. I was ready to write that off in the past because of either youth or injuries, but, aside from Cordy Glenn's mono, the aren't any excuses this year.

I've been very supportive of Mark Richt to date because I felt the program has been about to turn a corner, but I'm losing faith very quickly. You're spot on about the fourth quarter pep talk--yes, the team showed something in overcoming a 14-point deficit, but why couldn't they play like that all along? As for AJ Green, if the team is really that dependent on one player (I don't think it is), then the blame lies with Richt for not recruiting better. Any way you spin it, excluding the last five games of 2007, the program has been steadily going in reverse since 2005. Perhaps Richt should bring back the Soulja Boy.

SSI_Bulldawg said...

Q pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned, especially with the comment about coaching confidence. I too am trying to decide where I fall with regards to the coaching. Another issue I'm struggling with is where these two team shake out in the standings at season's end. The optimist in me thinks that they are both really good teams that we just so happened to face at the beginning of big years for them. However, these two teams are just beginning to become 'nationally relevant.' And, they have done so at our expense. This is the second year in a row that opposing players from both USC and ARK have had standout games against us. This year, heisman is being mentioned AFTER playing us. I guess only time will tell if these teams (and Lattimore/Mallet for that matter) are the real deal, or if we are fading into the mediocrity of the SEC. I have no answers, just questions. Maybe Mr. Daniels can help with that.

Lee said...

I'm not one of those in the fire Bobo crowd, but he's not an offensive genius.

I agree that this offense has to run successfully to be a successful offense, but I have to disagree with this statement:
" Look, Bobo made some curious calls on specific plays, but those didn't get us beat."

How about that last 3rd and 4? Yes, Ealey whiffed the block, but had he made it, where is Aaron going to throw? *All* the receivers were out in 15-20 yd patterns. How you can possibly not leave a check down on 3rd and 4 of the most crucial play in the game? We convert that and it's likely on the leg of Blair Walsh...

In fact, Georgia *only* used the short (5-10) middle of the field a few times during the game. Two of the results? A T. King reception for a touchdown and an Aaron White reception for a critical first down on 3rd down near the goal...

I guess it's possible that someone ran the wrong route, but the trend seems to be that UGA only throws deep balls and intermediate outs on the corner...

todd said...

Great point about A.J. We have no excuses for losing as we are. Alabama, South Carolina, and others are without star players and still managing to take care of business. UNC is without so many players and yet they are playing their guts out each and every down of each and every game. Why aren't we doing that?

Also, I agree about the OL. As much as Bobo doesn't excite or thrill me as an OC, the problems on the offense are in the hands of one Mr. Stacy Searels. He's not getting the job done.

I love Mark Richt. But I am almost to the point to where I want him to resign. Much like Donnan, he did some great things for us. However, he just isn't the right fit anymore. The players are not responding to him.

JasonC said...

Q,
Hard to argue with anything you said.

Anonymous said...

sad, sad day to be a Dawg...this program is in the 1996-shitter...a change is going to have to be made...first Fulmer, then Tubberville, now Richt...loyalty goes both ways, and hanging on to inept assistants will cost another long-time SEC head coach his job at the end of this season...I do not expect this team to compete in Starkvegas, but hope that I am surprised...

Anonymous said...

As a hog fan I want to congratulate you guys on a well played game. UA is still not the team us Hog fans expected after rebuilding for the last two years under Petrino, and we have been using the Georgia game as a cornerstone to determine how our season would go. You guys had our number last year, but missing a star receiver and having Freshman QB trying to find his rhythm throughout the game is tough. We've been feeling the same pains the last couple of years. Despite the hard times you guys had without Green and with the new QB, you guys showed heart, and that's what will win you hard fought ball games. Richt is a great coach, you guys may just be having a down year. It happens. Trust me, we know. You guys have a bright future, sometimes you just have to suffer through years like this (it was only 2 years ago we went 5-7). Good luck on the rest of the season; I think you guys will find your rhythm.

Obi's Sister said...

Just got home from the game. The two comments overheard most on the long walk back to the condos:
1. Ealey couldn't/wouldn't block
2. What was up with Bobo's play calling?

In fact, I'll double-down on #1 and say Ealey couldn't block Betty White.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments regarding the line where we were obviously soft for much of the game. We just seem to have no push at any of the positions, and our tackles are getting beat wide. This was not only today, but consistent with play this season and all but a few games last year. On the play late in the game where Murray got clocked by the DE, I am curious if our tackle missed his assignment. Ark was in a four man front, so why leave Ealey 1x1 with the DE? If RT was to block down, like he did, and it was intended to leave WE on their DE, then we've got some serious questions regarding play design. But that's only one of the many things currently wront. We had a chance to win in the 4thQtr, but I believe the game was lost earlier by our soft line.

Anonymous said...

Never said this before but it's time for richt to go.

David said...

I have never said this before. In fact I have ridiculed those that have said this. But it is time for Richt to go.

randrews said...

Just had the sense that there wasn't a lot of thought put into outlet type routes to provide a short check down. There were times when Murray did have time in the pocket but for whatever reason he couldn't pull the trigger. And my impression was that we were vertical and covered with no short/late checkdowns routes. Our offense also seems extremely predictable at times. Frustrating.

Paul said...

Apparently, we are not a particularly good team at the moment. Very few of the questions that remained after the South Carolina game were answered in any sort of positive way. Perhaps most disturbing is the lack of any sort of passion or desire. To come out flat in a hostile environment is one thing. To play flat for three quarters at home during a must-win conference game defies comprehension.

Hunkering Hank said...

My beloved Bulldogs are a mixture of the scarecrow and the tin man: no brain and no heart. It all starts at the top.

Mitchellpreacher said...

I want to be an optimist. I want to give the Dawgs their due. But as I see it there has to be something that is missing. I can remember several years ago people leaving posts as to the potential problems down the road.

One of those was something about the lack of intensity. Another one was, I think, on no killer instinct. There has to be something to this. The difference between UGA and BAMA is those two things.

While the change in Willie was warranted the mentality of the defense remains the same. The same with the offense. If Bobo leaves then we are still stuck with the same mentality.

The issue is partly a combination of these things but the difference between winning at SCAR and Arky and losing to them is heart, defined by intensity and killer instinct.

You alluded to these things in the post I just wanted to bring it around to some things I remember people were predicting in 2006 and 2007 that we are experiencing now.

Until this changes we will still be stuck in second gear.

p.s. It would be good if I could go back and look at those posts from after the UWV game and the year we lost to both UK and Vandy at the same time.

Anonymous said...

lets face it richt say we getting better. but i don't see it when you 0-2 in the sec that don't look like your getting better and we all know bobo made some stupid call and every body that run a wheel rout score a touchdown we will do good to win five games this year. and it take 22 people to win a football game and aj green can't do it by his seft he real good but not that good. and our offence line still sux. we need help our ship has a big hole in it and it going down fast

ColumbiaDawg said...

I felt like Georgia had reverted back to the Ray Goff days, yesterday. Maybe, it's been like that since last year.

Scott said...

I agree with dawginutah that Bobo is supposed to know the players, study the defense he will be facing, and call the game accordingly. When I can sit at home and predict what Bobo is going to call next and be right one-third of the time, I am sure that the professional coaches on the other side can do better!

The question is who's fault is this? Who kept bad defensive coaches? Who has kept a shaky offensive coach? Who is responsible for recruiting the players? It's the head coach. While I am not calling for Mark Richt's head (yet), I do want to point out that this program has been on a steady decline since the 2008 Sugar Bowl. That game against Hawaii was the last time I felt confident that Georgia was going to beat someone up.

LC said...

Long time reader, but a first time commenter. Q, as previously stated, you are dead on with your assessment. However, if we do show Richt the door, we damn sure better have some interested parties before doing so or we'll take an even bigger step back. I keep hearing Muschamp's name come up. Who do you guys want and why?

Dawgaholic said...

Expectations are just too high for this year's team - especially without AJ. If you told me before the season the D would hold SC to 17 and ARK to 31 I would say we win both. If you then told me AJ would not play, I'd say we do well to go 1-1. Let's face it, this is not a top ten team right now.

Further, noone except those wearing very red and black glasses expected the team to be that good without AJ. We only have two games left on the schedule that should not be certain wins - Auburn and UF. If the team improves, we should win one of those. If we get worse, we lose both of those plus another.

This year's expectations should mirror those of 2001 - redshirt freshman QB, good but not great running game, solid WRS, ok line, talented defense in first year in system. That year we went 8-3 (9-3 equivalent with 12 game sched.) with some close, puzzling losses, and a decade defining win. If we can match that this year, I'm excited about the future.

Ben said...

Sanford is already a nasty place. In my section there were several heated arguments between people. It's turning ugly out there folks and I can't see the light at the end.

Where is the development of players? We have gotten top 10 recruiting classes over and over. Where is Marlon Brown? Orson Charles? I'm sick of talking about AJ. He's arguably cost us 2 games now but if you look at the bigger picture, he's gone after this year anyway. Of course he's a great player but you can't pin your hopes on one player. Who will Murray throw to then?

This is a MAJOR concern for the future.

I feel like I'm in a nightmare. CALGON TAKE ME AWAY.

Anonymous said...

This is not the time for a first time head coach, so quit with the Smart and Muschamp stuff. I don't have an answer as to who would be a great replacement, but it needs to be somebody that has done it before.

BIG ALBANY DAWG said...

Why does it seem every possession I have to pray for a miracle just to move the sticks and get a first down with these guys? When I watched Florida yesterday, they seem to gain 10-14 yards per play. I don’t care if the field were a 1000 yards long, I don’t think the Gators would have a problem moving their offense until they reached the end zone. On the other hand, the Gator defense has 10 picks for the year in just three games. I’m optimistic we can match that many the entire year, but I won't put money on it.

It’s time to ask ourselves are we still willing to defend our coach and the team’s lack of enthusiasm, fundamentals on the field, discipline on and off the field, game planning and good old fashioned GATA?

Or are we willing to defend a coach with Urban Meyer’s problem; 2National Championships and 30 arrests?

I bleed red and black, but I’m starting to scratch my head.

Smitty said...

Is there a leader on this team? If so who is it?

JJBA said...

I just think we need to add more play action and we will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Since Mark Richt won our last SEC title in 2005, Florida, LSU, and Alabama have all won BCS titles. What is it those teams have that we don't? Is it coaching? Recruiting? Luck? I love the Dawgs, but I'm sick of being the Wisconsin of the SEC. The State of Georgia is one of the top high school football states in the nation. I'm just dumbfounded that we cannot cross that hump like our SEC brethren. Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Can we please just let this season play out before we have everyone fired? I'll agree that we are not where we want to be, but this team can still be good if we grow up a little. As fans, we need to stop killing our recruiting by calling for coaches' heads after three games.

Dawg19 said...

Dear Mark Richt and team,

Just beat Tennessee and Florida all will be forgiven.

Irwin R. Flecther said...

I think my biggest issue is how bad the calls/execution are on 3rd down and short.

They ran it 4 times and only converted once.

On 3rd and 2 or less...the offense was only 2 for 5. I'm not sure what the issue is...backs, line play, running plays called...but that is terrible.

And can someone give Bobo tape of the Falcons game? It is allowed to shuttle different backs in for different situations. Just because Carlton Thomas is out there for this drive doesn't mean you should leave him in the game on third and short or call plays for him up the gut.

The fact remains that Georgia presumably will not play a team as good as South Carolina or Arkansas until the Florida game and the realistic goal of winning 9 games and going to a New Years Day bowl with rs Freshman QB and a new Defensive scheme remains in sight.

However....you really can't afford to lose to any of the next 5 opponents. And these games aren't gimmies.

You have to rally now. You have to show this is a rebuilding year and that you are gaining momentum...you have to get the top recruits that are still out there in Georgia (Drew, Crowell, Rome, Dickson, Mitchell...etc.)...

Ginny said...

There's a lot of questions with this team right now, but for my money, intensity and heart isn't one of them. I think those are words we're throwing around to try and justify getting beat by better teams. I saw plenty of heart on Saturday. I also saw a team missing its star receiver, starting running back and fullback, playing with a r.freshman qb and a defense that is learning a new scheme against a Heisman Trophy contender. Those of you who think that missing Green, Chapas, King and Branden Smith didn't hurt are delusional. Chapas or King would've made the block on 3rd and 4. I think missing them hurt worse than missing AJ.

Call me a blind loyalist, but I'm with Richt. The team is getting better even if the win/loss record doesn't show it. (Minus the o-line. That's just a mystery wrapped inside an enigma.) We just played possibly the two best teams we'll face all year and they were close games. I know it's hard to swallow the fact that South Carolina and Arkansas are better than us right now, but if you look at the facts, it's not easy to understand why.

The sky isn't falling.

LT said...

Defense look good. There is not a team in the country that would struggle in those man to man crossing routes, especially with Mallet's accuracy. And Mallet would have had a much easier time against a zone defense.

I find it funny the friends that are involved in the sport, respect the job that was done on Sat. and the fans that have careers completely unrelated to football think the sky is falling.

Remember, Alabama's defense didn't have a cake walk, and the players you were praising for their 4 stars in these recruiting services aren't living up to that. Just because some redneck has a fantasy that stars on rivals.com predict the future doesn't mean its going to happen.

Augusta RE said...

Yeah the offensive was more at fault with this one. They should start mixing it up early. If the other team is blitzing use quick passes like the Jail break screen.

Ben said...

TG for Ginny! Makes more sense than most of the posts I have read today...Thank you for your rational commentary!

 
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