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January 3, 2012

3 Questions Answered: Michigan State

First things first, congrats to Michigan State. They took advantage of Georgia's mistakes and turned them into points.  They are the best bowl opponent we've faced in the Richt era and probably since Ohio State in '92.  They played extremely well in the second half and their last TD drive was a thing of precision. 
  1. Do we bring the 1st half team from the SEC Championship Game?  Well, we did for a while.  
  2. Which team will approach the Outback Bowl with the proper attitude? Both teams showed up to play. There was nothing to make me think either approached the game with the wrong attitude. 
  3. Will the drama at running back matter? Oh, God yes. I was wrong to think Georgia would do anything different. Hey, we saw Boykin and Smith run the ball some. We didn't do anything unique regarding scheme, play calling or philosophy, especially in the 4th Q. Clearly we weren't getting a push against their very strong defensive front, yet we kept running the ball when Michigan State dared us to pass. We never took that gamble late to ice the game. Very disappointing.
I'll get to the knee at the end of regulation and other things later. We played a tough opponent and lost a game that could have gone either way. Much like the South Carolina game, it was game we should have won. Unlike the South Carolina game, this loss happened on the sidelines and in the coaching box.


David said...

It's now approximately 19 hours after the fact and I'm still fuming over the first offensive series in overtime (if you can even call that a "series").

I'm beyond sick of Richt's decision making. I'm done with him. I will not be purchasing season tickets this year (after 16 years of getting them). This is the straw that broke the camel's back.

Sports Dawg said...

Not matter how you view the importance of bowl games, I can't put any other spin on it except to say the MS game was a step backwards for this program. A crack in the 2012 foundation so to speak.

Anonymous said...

What this game showed me is we learned nothing from losing the SECC game. The same things that got us beat against LSU got us beat by MSU. We have no running game. Zero. When we only needed one first down to ice the game we couldn’t get it. When we needed a running game to take some time off the clock and rest the defense, we had none. And don’t even get me started on the play calling and decision making on the 42 yard FG miss. Only a complete idiot would run for two yards, take an intentional two yard loss to “set up” the FG, and then kick on 3rd down. At that point, we were done.

This used to be a sports blog said...

West Virginia '05 would have mopped the floor with that MSU squad yesterday.

Where the hell does best bowl opponent since '92 come from?

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ partially. Yes, part of the loss lays on the coaching and the sidelines. Just as much lays at the feet of Aaron Murray. His momentum changers, much like South Carolina and LSU, changed the game significantly. The 2 interceptions (Tipped ball or not on the 2nd one) were TERRIBLE decisions as was his agressive run resulting in the fumble. I have been an Aaron Murray supporter, but the facts are very clear on how he responds in big games under pressure. I hope the Coaching Staff remains consistent with their attitude that all positions and depth charts are truly up for competition. While we may not have anybody better, he sure needs to have major accountability for his mistakes. We need to be playing someone else in meaningful snaps.

After reading "Swing the Sword" this week, I believe my philosophy is changing on being classy versus preparing players in real situations and getting them ready to play. That book is a great read whether you like Leach or not.

This game has lost the momentum of the 10 game win streak and WILL stir up some hard feelings right when we didn't need them. Just some observations.


mdhenshaw said...

I haven't figured out why fans are giving Murray a pass. For all his talents he's mistake prone. We can't run the ball, but the answer really isn't "throw more." The QB isn't consistent.

His last two passes in OT were horrible.

Watching Murray play is maddening. One minute he looks amazing and on the next series it looks like he can't throw the ball.

You can't win if your QB turns the ball over 2-3 a game.

The difference in the game is that we didn't take Cousin's pick to the house.

Tyler Dawgden said...

I don't believe our Splenda Bowl opponent in 05 was as good as Michigan State is this year.

Assuming West Virginia was better, who else since '92 besides WVU is better? To put it another way, I guess the 'best bowl opponent since '92' comes from, you know, reality.

Anonymous said...

Can someone name me a big game that Murray has won?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:22 - the answer is none, but some people will (erroneously) think that beating Tech is a big win.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:22- I think that depends on your definition of "big game". If you're talking about a game against a top 10 opponent, then the answer is zero. I would say this year's Florida game was a big game for us on many levels even though they weren't a great team.

Dubbayoo said...

Is it too late to trade Crowell to Jax State for Ealey?

Anonymous said...

In the fl game murray was awful. The two touchdown passes were greAt plays on the WR's behalf. Mason deserves a shot. Big arm and accurate.

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