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September 25, 2006

Look at the brightside...

God Bless Hairy. Image:

Thank heavens we didn't schedule Montana State. lol.

Some random thoughts:
-- It wasn't one thing. It wasn't just Stafford, or the drops, or the coming out flat, or the OLine, or Martinez getting his butt handed to him in the first half, or our slow and tentative linebacker play or the tackling. It was everything. And it took everything going wrong all at once to have an outcome like that.

-- We won: In years past, we lose that game. Just saying, we did gut out a win under tough circmustances, and that's a very good thing.

image: ABH

-- QBs: Joe Cox looked outstanding coming off the bench against CU, but don't forget that Stafford came off the bench and played well vs. SC. Zeier had the same kind of game in 1991 as a Freshman that Stafford had Sat. He was benched in favor of Talley who wasn't good enough to bring us back against Vandy. Having a guy like Cox on the pine to lead us in the 4th was a luxury that UGA teams of yore never had.

-- WRs: At some point, Georgia is going to have to recruit and coach a group of WRs that can catch consistently. Dropped passes have cost us more games since '01 than anything else. There were at least 4 very catchable dropped balls that were drive killers. Stafford did throw some bullets at short range behind WRs. But we have to make the easy catches.

-- More on QBs: It would be a shame to have a weapon like Stafford's arm riding the pine because he throws too hard for our inconsistent WRs to catch it. When have you ever heard of WRs getting a pass b/c of hard thrown balls that they drop? It's ridiculous. A coach complaining about a QB throwing too hard is like a man complaining that his girlfriend's boobs are too big.

-- Tackling: Our LBs looked tentative and our tackling was really poor across the board. The good news is that the big TE #87 only caught 2 passes after the first 20 minutes of game time, and we only allowed 3 points after the half. So we did adjust.

-- Bend but Don't Break: It actually is a good plan against a team like Colorado to force them to try and drive 80 yards in 10 plays to score. Why? Because they can't do it without screwing up via penalties, turnovers and/or incompletions. However, that strategy like ALL defensive strategies depends on tackling well at the point of impact.

-- This isn't new: Lots of big time programs struggle with games like this. We have a long history of walking into these 12:30 games asleep. See Vandy '03 when we were down 2-0 at the half or UAB '03 when we had to come from behind to win 16-13. Yet, we still won the SEC that year. It happens.

-- OLine Play: It's almost funny to watch the replay. Watch our Olinemen pull out on screens and fall down at the feet of defenders without blocking them. It's like something out of keystone cops. Nick Jones came to play. The others?

image: ABH

-- Martez Friggin Milner: Who woulda thunk it. Maybe this will be the confidence boost he needs to finally become the player his enormous physical tools would suggest he can become.

-- The Timeout on the extra point: I don't blame Martez as much as I blame the special teams coach in charge of the FG unit. I think that's Callaway. I thought we learned our lesson on stuff like this during the AU game last year. That sort of thing drives me hookie balookie.

We survived. I think it was Chuck Oliver who had a great line after the game on the local CBS station. Something like, "It's not everyday that your coaching staff gets a complete blueprint of everything wrong with your team AND it doesn't cost you a loss." BINGO! He nailed it. Now, what will UGA do with that plan? We've got a great coach and history says we'll do pretty well with that blueprint.

The only things that make me nervous long term are:
    1) Who's the QB - obviously
    2) LB play hasn't been the same since Odell and Coach Van Gorder left. Lots of speed seems to be sitting on the sideline in the form of Dewberry and Ellerbe. That said, Taylor stepped up HUGE at the end.
    3) OL motivation and recruitment
    4) WR improvment from game to game and year to year
    5) How good UF looks at times vs. our weaknesses
Can't wait for the Ole Miss trip.pwd


Anonymous said...

We won, so it's a little harder to criticize, but if you think that kind of play, and more importantly, that kind of decision making, would have won against Tennessee or Florida, I'd have to disagree.

For at least the last 4 years the receivers have suffered from dropsy. The announcers referred to it, the fans know it. It's a pattern, not just a gripe. I think that is a mental/attitude problem.

Just as w/W.Va, this team jumped on the Bulldogs early. We were taking them lightly. Letdowns happen, especially in college ball, but this is another mental problem.

Mental toughness starts with the coaching staff.

Lumpkin, Lumpkin, Lumpkin. "Danny Ware" is french for trip and fall.

It's obvious that you go for field goals. If there was no time left, different story.

I'd go with Cox. Stafford didn't look bad, but benching him for Cox wouldn't be the same as benching an established starter after a bad game - something I would not do. And any quarterback is going to look worse than he should due to receivers dropping passes.

But, a win's a win!

Go Dawgs!

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

"A coach complaining about a QB throwing too hard is like a man complaining that his girlfriend's boobs are too big."

Just got word from the American Federation of Georgia Bulldog Bloggers, and you've been awarded Employee of the Month for that comment. Excellent job.

Anonymous said...

On WRs: the same crew that made MS 8/16 or 17 made Joe Cox 10/13. On the same field. Against the same defense. With the same weather. Same officials. The only thing that wasn't the same was that when Cox was in the game, Colorado knew we had to pass the ball, so if anything was different, it was harder to make the plays.

I am not claiming anything here except that it is not just the receivers. This is just one game, but the only variable is the QB. Facts are important to me.

C. Paul said...

As always - wonderful recap. I told my wife that - given how I felt in the 4th quarter - the greatest headline I've seen on ESPN was "Georgia Scare" not "Georgia Upset".

A few more words on the day:

1. LB's - their worst game all year (and second worst I've watched in the past few years save- WVU). When JJ looks "out of sorts" and lethargic it is a bad day.

2. Kregg Lumpkin - he needs to be the primary ball carrier with Danny Ware his backup and Thomas Brown as a 3rd down/change of pace option. He always seems to run hard, catch the ball, , escape the first hit and have enough speed to get an extra 10-15 yards when available.

3. Daniel Inman has looked off his first two games back - was he this off last year is he pressing too much feeling guilty for missing the first two games?

4. We need Michael Turner back!

5. Colorado will win 3-4 games before the end of the year with one being an upset. You think Colorado State would want to play them again at the end of the year?

6. I think our QB situation is a great chance to see if CMR learned anything from the Greene/Shockley dilemma from a few years ago.

Cox is the right handed Greene: seems to thrive under pressure, throws a nice ball but doesn't have the 'rocket' arm, knows the offense like a coach - in sum - a guy you are certain you can win the SEC with but maybe not the National Championship.

Stafford is like DJ. Athletically arrogant, can make every throw from every angle, others notice him when he's in the game, can make a mistake but also can do things the other QB's just can't - in sum - a guy you can win the National Championship with but may make some mistakes to keep you out of the SEC.

This really is a huge issue for CMR over the next few weeks (and that doesn't even take JoeT3 into consideration).

Go Dawgs!!

82 said...

Anonymous 7:57 AM:

The only variable is you're an idiot. First let me say that a 0-0 game in the 1st quarter is a different variable than 0-13 in the 4th. The team stepped up, changed its sense of urgency, and the play calling was drastically different. Half of Cox's completions you speak of weren’t even to WR's they were to RB's and then Milner had 2 other catches, he never catches the ball no matter who the QB is. I too like to look at facts however the analysis of your posts lacks specifics.

S.A.W.B. said...

Since it looks like Odell might have some free time in the near future, perhaps we can get him down here as a grad-assistant or something to re-learn the linebackers on how to play.

Re: the QB situation - Ifin it's me, Joe Cox gets the first half all to hisself this week against Ole Miss. Assuming we're comfortably up, (i.e. 20ish points), MS gets most of the second half to hisself. Perhaps we throw Blake Barnes in for the 4th quarter, just to get him some reps.

Kregg Lumpkin needs to be the #1 back now. He's running the hardest, and punishing the opposition when he does. Danny and Thomas should be co-#2s.

Unknown said...

I've got to think that Cox at least deserves a good chunk of playing time after the Colorado game. I wouldn't start him because that's kind of a crappy thing to do to Stafford. Richt put a true Freshman in charge of the offense of a Top 10 school. He's going to struggle. Richt should've expected this. In the middle of some mediocre decision making on Stafford's part, he threw some absolute rockets that should've been caught. The recievers have been practicing with Stafford on the 1st string squad for a while now. Not catching those passes in inexcusable.

Maybe the coaches need to put some footballs in pitching machines and have the receivers practice in front of them. Or maybe the coaches should have the receivers practice by catching the beanbags SWAT teams fire out of their rifles.

My high school coach used to randomly hurl footballs at the receivers in his dog house. It didn't really help them in a technical sense but it was quite a sense of accomplishment to not have to worry about the coach hurling a football at you while you're in the middle of running a 40 or sitting on the bench during a scrimmage.

JDav said...

I appologize - the close game was my fault. I couldnt find my normal game day sock and had to go with an alternate pair. It wont' happen again.

Canton Bulldog said...

Dante .. perhaps you are onto something.

Instead of hurling footballs though, the coaching staff at the request of our new Receivers coach, Patches O'Houlihan, will hurl wrenches at them.

After all, if you can catch a wrench ... you can catch a ball.

DawgByte said...

How do you win a National Championship without winning the SEC title first? That comment about Cox winning us SEC's and Stafford winning NC's is mentally numb!

Here is a more appropriate observation! How are Texas High School receivers able to catch Stafford's ball and UGA players not? It's clear to me Mo Mass is pulling for Cox and mailed in his performance until JC got in the game. I'd give him 100 gassers and bench his sorry arse!

I agree with the observations of this blogger. This was a debacle from the very first moments of the game. The defense set the tone, by not showing up. The DC once again had amnesia and forgot what he studied on film, or just flat out ignored it, see UF and WVU for further details. Our defensive ends were getting sucked into the inside allowing their QB to run outside and nobody was stationed in the flats to prevent the long run or to take away the TE pass play that CU ran over and over and over again!

Here are list of my recommendations:

1. Start Kregg Lumpkin, with frequent spells of Danny Ware. Put Brown in late in the 3rd Qtr. when the defense is worn down.

2. Bench Inman in favor of anyone. He's a walking mistake.

3. Start Stafford and open up the playbook. You can't expect him to be successful when the D is keying on a vanilla run oriented offense. The playing calling was horrendous! See 4th and 3 twice for further evidence.

4. Put in Darius Dewberry in place of Brandon Miller.

5. Give Tra Battle a Dawg Bone. He started the momentum shift by making some key early 4th Qtr. stops.

6. Willie Martinez is going to have to realize more and more teams are going to counter speed with misdirection offenses, which means you're going to have to have guys in the flats.

Anonymous said...

Jmac said...

How do you win a National Championship without winning the SEC title first?

To be fair, Oklahoma played for the national title despite losing the Big 12 Championship Game a few years back.

C. Paul said...

My apologies as my analogy was cludgy (Of course you'd need to win the SEC to get to the National Championship)

All I meant is Joe Cox may be more consistent - less dynamic - and may be able to secure 8-10 wins a year but not take us to the next level like Matthew Stafford could. My point was with MS you might miss out on an SEC championship one year because of some high risk/reward plays - but also those kinds of plays could elevate us even higher in another. My bad-

Go Dawgs!!

Anonymous said...

*Sigh* I am an idiot. Inman is a walking mistake? MoMass purposely laid down to make Cox look good?

Well, maybe I'm not an idiot. Maybe I'm just the only sane person commenting.

Unknown said...

anon -- 4:47,

Man, I hear ya. The Mo Mass was laying down shit is about the dumbest conspiracy theory I've heard in a while.

I don't believe it for a minute.


JDav said...

I'm tellin ya, it was my socks.

Anonymous said...

No biggie - but isn't it spelled MartRez - with 2 r's? That's what's in the media guide...

Unknown said...

yeah, it's probably martrez.

i'll get it right next time

Anonymous said...

Different Anon here. Agreed that MoMass isn't tanking, but I wish he was. At least then he could be counted on to catch the ball consistently when the qb of his choice was in the game.

Go Dawgs!

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