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October 30, 2006

Thoughts on the Florida Game

Offensive MVP. Image:

I'm always prone to hyperbole, and it may have been the bourbon talking. But before the game, I said, "This will be one of the greatest days in American History, or it will be exactly what I'm afraid will happen."

Actually it was neither. We played better than I thought we would, and we kept it close while losing.

Some positives:
-- Our defense only allowed two touchdowns to Florida. That's fewer than the defenses of LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee allowed in their match-ups with the Gators.

-- Our offense scored two touchdowns on the solid Gator defense. That is more than the offenses of Auburn (0 offensive TDs), LSU (1 offensive TD) or Alabama (1 offensive TD) scored versus the Gators. And it's the same as UT managed.

-- Chris Leak got a concussion in the game. WAIT -- BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT. I don't wish injury on anyone, and I've got no beef with Chris Leak. I want him to live a long healthy life. However, for Chris Leak to get a concussion we had to actually hit him. That's something we have not done often in three of the prior four games against the Gators. In fact, most QBs this season that UGA has faced -- not named Blake -- haven't even experienced grass stains much less violent collisions. The Dawgs knocked Leak around several times. Hopefully, it's just a headache and he heals up nicely. But it was nice to see us get some pressure on the QB for a change.

-- We didn't roll over and play dead. Down 21-0 I was afraid it was about to get risickulous. But the Dawgs battled back and played well.

Ouch. Image: ABH

Some Negatives:
-- Martez Milner tries hard. He's a good dawg. He's overcome so much to just be eligible to play this final season after starting out as a partial qualifier. The Colorado game should've been the moment that turned his career around. But it doesn't look like that will be the case. Can we see what Tripp Chandler can do in a broader role? He certainly made some critical plays vs. MSU.

-- Receiving in general. We could improve so much in this area. Right now, we have a team that couldn't catch syphilis at a Rockdale County prom. And we don't block well either. Whatever we've been doing the past six years doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's time to try something different in our approach...beyond the tennis ball thing.

-- Tackling, while much better than the past three weeks, still needs work. Primarily, we need to work on our tackling at the spot manned by the 170 pound walk-on safety who starts over the bigger, faster, stronger, better tackling, well rested and younger player named CJ Byrd. Is Tra Battle so critical to our defensive scheme that he can't come off the field more than a handful of plays on defense per game? How is Byrd going to get better on the bench?

-- The turnovers. You don't beat anyone with 5 turnovers. The Kelin Johnson turnover was horrific luck. The Stafford INT in the endzone was horrific decision making. The others sort of ranged anywhere in between. If we had committed just one fewer turnover, we have a shot to win it.

-- Why on earth does Danny Ware return kickoffs? Why not try Mikey Henderson back there? Or Bryan Evans. Or Remarcus Brown. Or someone else with breakaway speed?

A face mask penalty that wasn't called. Image: ABH

-- I think the defense played pretty well, and Martinez made some nice adjustments to the Gators misdirection game. We also hit hard enough to cause some of the UF drop balls, which were a big asset in slowing them down. It was our best defensive game since South Carolina way back in Week 2.

-- Dropped passes, inconsistent line play and turnovers continue to plague the offense. If we can just cut the silly drops and turnovers in half, we would have an entirely different view of the season.

-- No coach looks like a genius when faced with a consistent string of 3rd and 10. I'd love to see what Richt's offense would look like with consistent OL and WR play.



C. Paul said...

Good Analysis.

I heard a great line this morning on 790 THE ZONE (not always my favorite) about this year's Dawgs: "they seem to be missing a chromosome" and I think that it is pretty accurate.

We play good D for the first time since 1st Half UT and the offense can't get on track. Stafford misses Goodman on a sure TD and then Milner gets the drops when Stafford throws well. Lumpkin fumbles to start the second half but runs hard for the 2nd TD.

Something is just missing and I hope we find ut by this weekend because UK is (as Paul said) banking their whole season on this game and even if we win - the schedule gets no easier for us.

Go Dawgs!!

Anonymous said...

I would also point out regarding the two touchdowns scored against our D, that the yard total on both drives barely amounted to 100 yards. That is, they were both short field situations. Imo, only the first TD should count against the D. UF had to go more than 50 yards for that one.

Anonymous said...

and they needed a lucky break on that first td....leak fumbled the snap and the ball popped right under one of their lineman.

Anonymous said...

It seems like there are many fewer posts now that we're losing, so I'm re-posting my comments from another entry. I'm certain they're not worth this much, I just thought it might help to put them in the right place.

It's all about leadership. PERIOD. That begins with the head coach and the seniors.

What was the FIRST THING Jim Tressel made clear when he took the helm at OSU? Next time they played Michigan they were going to win. AND THEY DID. Question to Pat Dye when he took over at Auburn: "how long will it take you to beat Alabama?" Dye's answer: "60 minutes."

I haven't heard Mark Richt commit the cardinal sin of calling this "just another game," but I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

Lose every game, but beat Florida. Lose to our next D-IAA opponent, but beat Florida.

If you don't see the the reasoning behind this, you don't understand competitive sports. No great team has been owned by their arch "rival" like this. Rival is in quotes because we aren't a rival to Florida any longer. The word Rival implies competition, equal teams fighting for supremacy. They own us.

While reiterating my opposition to booing college players, everyone who wants to start a fan club for MoMass and Martrez, please stand up. It's not a matter of being mean or spiteful toward a college kid (something I'm against), it's a matter of performing at the level the program has a right to expect you to perform at. If the "go to" guys at Temple consistently drop passes, well, that's what you can expect AT TEMPLE. If the go to guys at UGa consistently drop balls, then you bench them for someone else...or you adjust your expectations.

There were some bright spots. We didn't get blown out. We have the talent to win. But without coaching and senior leadership, we will continue to be a ten win team that cannot finish the drill, and has no business talking about national championships.

Personally, I'll love the Dawgs either way. If Mark Richt averages ten wins a year, that's fine by me. But a team that is owned by it's "rival" has a mental problem that will prevent greatness.


Unknown said...

There are fewer posts because I haven't been getting "tomorrow's" articles posted the night before.

That affects how certain feeder sites pick up my content for the 7:00 am distributions.

That's why traffic is down and why comments are down the past 2 weeks.


Anonymous said...

Martrez Milner would be a good DL. Maybe someone in the NFL tries him at his natural position, cause it sure isn't anywhere he has to catch. The man has a Dlineman's hands.

Anonymous said...

Leak got the concussion when Tebow head-butted him after the second touchdown.

This is the only reason Florida's offense didn't continue to run roughshod over Georgia.

Also, Urban was clearly bored by it all in the second half. He was either looking at his watch or taking a short nap in your photo.

Anonymous said...

this is starting to get ridiculous it's becoming a laughing matter!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!15-2 in the past 17 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lose every game, but beat Florida. Lose to our next D-IAA opponent, but beat Florida.

Are you saying that unless I would be happier at 1-11 versus 11-1 then I do not understand competitive sports? If so then you are right. I do not understand competitive sports.
Beating Georgia is the pinnacle of Florida's season. I guarantee you they will not win the SEC Championship game.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's exactly what I'm saying. Give me 1-11 in 2007 if that 1 is Florida.

As I tried to point out, this is only if we have aspirations to a national championship. If not, then let's keep winning 10+ games on average and not worrying about the annual Florida beat-down. We've got to get the monkey off our back. Period.

Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Great pic on why Georgia lost...its now 21-7 and this brainchild does he is a captain!!

Anonymous said...

ha it is...

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