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September 11, 2010

Some Initial Thoughts

I'm going to try to be measured here after a frustrating 17-6 loss in Columbia.  Some first impressions:
  • Marcus Lattimore is deserving of his hype.  He's the next great SEC tailback.  That guy's powerful, he runs hard, and is difficult to wrap up.  SC is going to be able to do a lot of things on offense with a strong runner they can rely on to bail them out.  He looked like Cecil Collins today.
  • Despite that, we still haven't learned to tackle.  I'll give Lattimore credit for breaking some tackles, but there were several critical plays where we didn't even make attempts to wrap him up with arms.  Instead we tried to knock him down, not take him down.  He's too good a back for that crap.  Can someone teach our defense the fundamentals of tackling?  
  • Despite those problems, the defense played better than it feels like they played.  They were physically overpowered much of the day, but only gave up 17 points.  In the third and fourth quarters, they had some really nice defensive series and made Garcia look confused  and tentative.  The thing is, you just kept expecting SC to start feeding Lattimore and grind the game out and that's exactly what they did late in the fourth to ice it.   
  • Our offensive line is way overrated.  Carolina has a good defensive front, but our running game was nonexistent after the first drive. Without a strong running game, our offense doesn't work.  It's that simple.  Searles has some work to do.  Chapas's injury hurt, but our best second half rush was for five yards.  We have to do better.
  • Bacarri Rambo.  Ouch, buddy.  Flush this whole game and get ready for Petrino's passing schemes. 
The season isn't necessarily over with regards to the SEC Championship, but it's now teetering.  I expect both SC and Florida to lose at least one conference game.  Both have to play Bama and they have to play each other.  We can still get to Atlanta.  After today's performance, though, it's just too difficult to really conceive of this team playing for a championship.



John said...

Agree completely with your last sentence. Also agree with your comments regarding our O-line. So far this year, they don't remotely resemble the O-line from the last half of last year. And until they do, we are in big trouble.

I know I'll get flamed for this, but I can't help but think (right now, anyway) that this year's record will wind up being very similar to last year's...and if that happens, there has to be some serious discussion regarding our coaching staff.

Anonymous said...

Mark Richt is weak leader, and his inablity to show some balls and kick Ealey off the team cost the Dawgs today and will cost the Dawgs throughout the season. Cannot see CMR making it past this season. He has lost the program. Losing to SCU in anything, anytime, anywhere is an absolute embarrasment. That entire colony sucks the hind teet of any other breathing entity on earth.

Anonymous said...

BUTT-UGLY game , CSS fails to impress again , again ....You did a nice job of nicely stating it.

David said...

Agree wholeheartedly.

Even the parts of the game that should have been a lock, weren't. When has Butler punted for a lower net avg?

And our old friend ill-timed penalties and turnovers came back. Not as much as last year but 1) that's cold comfort and 2) still enough to beat us.

the tackling had to beat all though. Don't I remember a quote from Belin early in the spring talking about tackling? B. Evans would have been right at home today out there.

Personally, I've seen this movie before (06, 08, 09, most of the 90s) and know how it ends. Time to pick a favorite pro team to follow. I'm officially writing this season off. Which is just wonderful since I live just an hour outside Gainesville.

Catch you all next year.

CJ said...

Spurrier ain't gonna give a crap if SC wins or loses from here on, as long as he beat Georgia. His inferiority complex is sad.

We ain't done!

The Armless Defense said...

It's hard to see this team breaking .500

And that's not sensationalism. Of course the tackling was piss-poor, but the most frustrating thing to me is that the Offensive Coaches clearly do not trust the players. We rarely if ever tried to stretch the field today.

Okay, I get it, AJ was out, but the next 6 receivers weren't. Why are we allergic to taking any chances? Murray is supposed to be a playmaker, quit treating him like Joe F'ing Cox out there. His ball to T King on the first drive was very impressive, outside of Stafford, no one that we've had under center could have made that throw. Take the reins off. I'd rather go 8-4 by trying hard and using the full package, than 6-6 and keeping it balanced.

O-Line blows. Period the end. They are a reflection of their coach - Searles is stubborn and arrogant, refuses to change his philosophy. When you're splits are 2 inches, the holes won't be there between the tackles.

Anonymous said...

I think I agree with all of this. I'm not sure any realistic fan thought we'd make it to Boulder 4-0, but it sucks to lose while watching the D not tackle and the offense not score a TD.

I couldn't really watch the game b/c I was trying to corral my kids, but Murray looked good to me when he was given the opportunity to shine. Sure, he sailed a few passes, but he also hit a few long ones and I know Orson Charles dropped one close to the goal line early in the game. Also, he put that drive together that ended with the Ealey fumble, so there's that, too.

Carolina may end up being pretty good, and I haven't given up hope on the Dawgs. If UGA can get back from Boulder 4-1, things might be okay.


Anonymous said...

Searels is overrated. No other excuse for an annual slow start. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Credibility check time. Hope the same amount of criticism is level at our defensive coaches that was given to CWM. Same problem.

Again where is the on field leadership?

Hunkering Hank said...

This DAWG team suffers from the same lack of enthusiasm and discipline as so many have of late. I see many, many losses on the way. Here are a few reasons for the losses that will come:

1. Lack of aggression on offense in terms of the actual physical play (read: we are soft as a newborn) and play calling. Exhibit A: a quarterback draw on 3rd and 7 down by the goal line - really? With our freshman quarterback that we don't want running the ball - really?;

2. Lack of ability to tackle. We really and truly do not know how to tackle. We don't even hit. We titty bump. Tackling is work. It hurts. It's hard. Richt's Georgia teams, of the last few years, do not do the hard things well. Maybe Grantham, et al., can fix it. But it ain't been fixed yet. Until it is, get ready to get run through and run over.

3. Our front seven is pretty weak. We got shoved all over the field by SC. Deal with that. What do you think every other team we play is going to do? Run the hell out of it if they're smart. I've been really worried about how we would stack up against power running teams...288 yards later, I found out.

I'm not sure who a better coach would be for Georgia than Richt right now, but there's got to be somebody that can restore Georgia's manhood enough to actually be physically, emotionally and mentally competitive in the SEC. The offseason of change at Georgia appears to have been about as successful as Obama's summer of recovery.

In summary, this team is awful. We appear to have addressed none of the glaring weaknesses of the past few years - aside from not committing as many penalties. But we still committed a terrible defensive offsides and, of course, turned it over when it matterd.

Lack of discipline. Lack of fire. Lack of creative playcalling in comparison to the enemy. Lack of fundamental skills necessary to play football successfully. These are the hallmarks of Georgia football right now.

Hunker down, indeed.

Hunkering Hank said...

And, by the way, GOD BLESS AMERICA, the 9/11 victims, and the U.S. MILITARY!

Anonymous said...

Remember when we complained about players playing despite their poor performances? It's time to sit Rambo till he performs. Period.

Rick said...

Fire Quinton!

Anonymous said...

After what I saw today, even if miracles happen and we get to Atlanta, I'm not sure we can beat Alabama or whomever represents the West. This team was coached scared and played that way today. We couldn't block for the run or stop their run. Championship teams do not share those attributes.

80DAWG said...

Our offensive line is a joke. I am sick of hearing how good they are. They are fat, and lazy. I am sick of hearing the hype about this crowd. Re dam diculus!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, we can get to Atlanta alright. And play Virginia Tech in the Chick Fil A Bowl.

Scott said...

Not with Bobo's play calling! When you're 4-for-4 passing and you are doing better passing than running, you don't stop the momentum by running, you continue to run the plays that moved you down the field. Stand up and make SC stop you or just score. If Bobo would have just went with what was working, Georgia could have scored and it would be a different ball game.

Anonymous said...

We are suffering from the lousy recruiting of Willie Martinez.We are under sized on defense. Small quick guys get man handled against physical teams with a big strong back, ie, Lattimore. Coach Grantham will have to stock the shelves with the type of players he needs for the new scheme. This will take take time. Do the fans and powers to be have the patience to wait for this team to morph? Can we find the "mnt. Cody" type player we need at N.G.? Probably some JU=CO help? Bottom line is CMR should have fired CWM 2-3 years ago. He is suffering with us now for his blind loyalty, and stupid decision to keep his sub par friend on staff for so long. CMR is a super guy. I hope he survives the storm from 7-8 wins at best this year. The good news is Carolina has a nice team and we will not see a back like Lattimore again soon.

Brian said...

I don't understand why Richt had to go and scold Murray for scrambling and making plays happen last week. All he did was put a thought in his head and made him think instead of just reacting and doing what he knows how to do, and that's play football! Let the boy play!

Anonymous said...

Agree with the comments about our supposed conference leading offensive line, but I still say the two dominate problems with the Dawgs are no mental toughness (CMT) and Mike Bobo is as much a OC as my pet cockerspaniel. Until we quit listening to how good we are and start proving it we will always be middle of the pack

Anonymous said...

I'm as pissed as anybody, but anybody who thought this game was a lock win is crazy.
Down-side: tackling was piss poor and Lattimore was carrying our DE's over his shoulder like the Hulkster carrying the Junkyard Dawg. If we dont learn to tackle, we're toast.
Up-side: Aaron Murray is the real deal--moreso perhaps than the coaches realized (as evidenced by the conservatism in the first half). That kid is going to win a LOT of games for us, and chances are very strong we'll have him for four years.
The signs are there that we COULD be a good team by the end of the season--the question is: how many will we lose between now and then?

Sam, Dawg Fan said...

Wow, so many sad sacks. Please go away, especially the ass who is already conceding the season and wanting to watch pro football (ugh).

Please, all of you turn in your red attire (I would say diplomas, but I am guessing most of you never even took a class at UGA---"you" being the whiners).

What a bunch of losers.

todd said...

Give the defense time. Once we get the right people into the 3/4 we'll be fine.

Maybe the same could be said for the OL? The fact is everyone likes crow about UGA's recruiting rankins......that crap doesn't mean one hill of beans. Why? Because we don't recruit enough SEC quality linemen.

We've got some guys starting that should be playing for Georgia Southern, not UGA. Maybe that's mean, but it's also true. If we don't improve this part of our recruiting, we're always going to have games like this.

todd said...

Oh, and I don't want to hear anymore about the coaches "giving up on the run."

Right now, their problem is they are trying to make us balanced when we aren't a good running team to begin with. How many times are we going to run on 2nd and 10 or 2nd and 8 only to have 3rd 7 (an obvious passing situation) to try to convert?

If the run isn't there, throw dang ball. I want to be a run-first team too. But we don't have the personnel to do it in the SEC. All that supposedly great recruiting? Not where the running game is concerned.

Brian said...

I don't understand why Richt was basically scolding Murray for being a play-maker and scrambling last week because it obviously affected his decision making this week. Just let the boy play, he's good!!

Brian said...

I was so pissed off last week when Richt scolded Aaron Murray for scrambling and making plays out of nothing. The boy is good! Let him play! He's about all we got on offense right now. Our O line sucks, AJ is out, and we just proved the we don't have much of a running game (which could be contributed to our O line). Nevertheless, let the boy make plays for your team. He looked timid on several plays like he wanted to run it and probably could have made good positive yardage, but instead he threw it away. We also desperately need a new O coordinator, nevermind someone with Ga ties. Get a winner in there. Someone who knows how to call plays.

Michael said...

> Hope the same amount of criticism is level at our defensive coaches
> that was given to CWM. Same problem.

Huh wha??????????

Our defense manned up. Our defense made adjustments and only gave up 3 points in the second half, and that was on the last drive when they were tired from the constant 3-and-outs from the offense. They only gave up 17 pts total.

Before Bobo, Richt had a perfect or near perfect record when we held the other team under 20.

Sorry, but our defense overall played well. Yes, a few bad tackling issues, but overall we stopped them.

Our offense should be able to score more than 17 pts. PERIOD.

We lost because our offense sucks, our O-line sucks, our O-coordinator sucks.

YET AGAIN we are a team with great talent held back by bad coaching. We have so many weapons on offense. We just need to become a pass first, run second team ala the 80s/90s 49ers.

Anonymous said...

Is it basketball season yet?

MarkS31 said...

Tough as it is to stomach an early-season loss like this, I still am optimistic about this team. I think a lot of us tend to react strongly after a poor showing like the one yesterday, but in the long run, I think we're going to see this Cocks team is actually for real, hard as it is to believe. With the exact same two rosters, I'm still confident we'd win in a rematch - a couple breaks and bad decisions just spoiled the day for us against a very good team yesterday.

I still see this as a 2 or 3 loss Dawgs team, and depending on how the east breaks, we might even be in the championship. We just made it that much harder on ourselves with yesterday's performance.

2000Dawg said...

About the tackling - our players consistently went for Lattimores ankles rather than wrapping him up. As noted by just about everyone else, it looked like they were trying to trip him rather than tackling him. Does anyone else wonder if they were doing this, not because they don't know how to tackle, but because they were told to do it? It was a far too regular occurrence, and done too purposefully, to make me think that Grantham hadn't told our guys that this was the best way to bring down the beast that is Lattimore.

Anonymous said...

I'm not ready to throw in the towel.
1st - We didn't tackle well. That's correct, but keep in mind that we won't see another back that big and good this year. We are small on the d-line with our starters and with a 3-4 that makes it tough.
2nd - We will match up better against ARK. We did have 5 sacks and Garcia ripped us up last year.
3rd - We fumbled the ball away at a point in the game where we could've tied it. That's deflating.
4th - Our tight ends dropped 2 key passes and bobbled away another that would have been a first down.
5th - Despite that we stayed close to a team that is going to be Spurier's best.
5th My biggest issues with yesterday are our general strength, specifically the O-line and the bizarre waste of 3 timeouts in the first 8 minutes of the 3rd quarter.

Things aren't always as bad as they seem. This team will be OK. Look at the schedule. Arkansas is not a world beater and we match up much better against them and we play at home. Ms. St. will be tough, but they are not world beaters. Colo is pitiful as is Tenn and Vandy. Ky is nothing special. Florida has looked weak themselves. Idaho St....yea. Auburn is yet to be seen and Tech lost to Kansas. The world is not over.

Darth Scooter said...

Geez at the negativism on here. It was one game without our best player or our back up RB. I knew there would be games where the D would struggle. We were one fumble away from winning. If Ealey doesn't fumble and we walk away with 7 its a one point game and everything changes. Its a young team I hope all you real fans are selling your tickets now. I'd love to make some games at the end of the season, when we are rolling.

VAdawg said...

I am a self admitted pessimistic fan in the Munson vein, but the negativism among the Bulldog Nation is sickening. Am I happy with the way our offense executed Saturday? Absolutely not. Should we have tackled better? You're damn right we should have. But someone please tell me, were you really expecting us to come in there and dominate the whole way? whether you can accept it or not, South Carolina is a good football team this year. Lattimore is a helluva back and this is the deepest team they have had in MANY years over. How many times did you see someone predict that we would split with USC and Arky this summer? I'm not in any way saying we should have expected to lose, but we shouldn't all act like this was unforeseen as when we lost to USC in 2007.

For those of you who are all saying the season might as well be over, grow a pair and shut the hell up. We've played two damn games. We have a new defense and plenty of room to improve on offense. A solid 9-3 season which sets up a great 2011 is still quite possible. Hell, a trip to Atlanta is still possible. Get behind the Dawgs or get out of the way.

Josh said...

Last time we lost to South Carolina, we went on to beat Florida, systematically dismantle an undefeated Hawaii team and be denied the chance at the national championship game thanks to a boneheaded argument. This too could be a wake-up call.

Bill said...

I agree with your comments and would like to add that I failed to see the captains being captains. They need to be more agressive with their imput on the field with players as well as functioning as a leader and imspiring them and the entire team while on the bench.

ChiliDawg said...

Sat in the upper deck visitors side. Left my seat with about a minute left in the half to get in line for a cold beverage. Stood in line the entire duration of halftime only to get to the front of the line and learn the coke machine was not working and they were low on ice. Settled for a couple of $3 bottled waters, which I could have gotten in a drink only line in 5 minutes. Got back to my seat with 8 minutes left in the 3rd to see we had used all of our timeouts. But at least it wasn't as hot as the 5th level of hell.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I'm worried about on D is not the missed tackles but the strength of the d-line. They looked really weak and you can't clean that up the way you can clean up the poor tackling.

As for the O, the o-line looked flat out pathetic on both running and passing plays. On top of that, Ealey looked slow and couldn't break any tackles (what else is new). We definitely should have tried to stretch the field more considering how poorly the o-line was playing...but that shouldn't have even been necessary against South Carolina.

I feel we're in for yet another mediocre year and it will be mostly the fault of the offense for a change.

Ginny said...

The negativity on this blog is sickening. We brought a team into Columbia with a R.Freshman QB, an entirely new defensive scheme, and missing our back-up running back, starting fullback and All-American receiver. We faced the best S.Carolina team Spurrier has ever fielded...a team that plays us close now matter how good or bad they are. Anyone who is surprised by the loss is delusional. We were in: we weren't supposed to win. Our defense, despite being on the field for damn near the entire game, adjusted well and only allowed 3 points in the second half. Our QB is poised, confident and only going to get better. And our offensive coaches have conceded that they will open up the playbook for him and turn him loose. If you're so ready to give up on the dawgs after the second game, please do. We don't need you. There were going to be growing pains this year. We played a team that was better than us and we lost. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

As a Cleveland Browns fan all I can tell you Dawg fans is do not put your faith in Gratham. The guy is terrible. The tackling you saw this past week is what we see in Cleveland the entire time Gratham was here.

He shouldn't be coaching pee wee football let alone Georgia's defense.

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