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September 28, 2008

Pre-season...if I told you

If I told you that we'd play the #8 team in the country without the following preseason starters:
    LT - Sturdivant
    RT - Tripp
    FB - Southerland
    DT - Owens
    DE - Battle
    MLB - Ellerbe (gone after the 3rd play last night)
Do you think we win that game? In retrospect, I was either way overconfident about our ability to absorb those personnel loses or maybe I underestimated Bama. More likely a little of both.

Bama is good, and we got whipped up front.

Some of what happened to our offensive line was the payment of the bill that comes due when you go three years while recruiting and enrolling extremely few quality offensive linemen as Georgia did from '04-07 (2004 recruits like Chester Adams would've been a senior this year). Over those three years, Georgia recruited 8 kids, and only 1 contributed last night. Some of that is on Richt. Some on Garner, and some on Callaway.

Some of what happened on the DL was injuries and personnel. I said two weeks ago that Marcus Howard "ain't walking through that door." And our pass rush would have issues until we figured out that personnel problem. Not having Rod Battle back from his neck injury by now, isn't helping fix that.

Some of it was scheme. It wasn't a good a plan on either side of the ball. Someone on a message board said, "Why didn't Willie adjust?" I would've liked to have seen more blitzes just like you, but how do you "adjust" for losing your run stopping All-SEC middle linebacker on the third play of the game? That's not exactly the easiest thing in the world to adjust.

It was a whooping.

The Good News:
  • The East -- We can definitely still win the East. Florida has major problems offensively and defensively, and we match-up better against them and Auburn than we do Bama or LSU. Auburn, Tennessee, Vandy and Florida are all as flawed as we are. Just different kinds of flaws.

  • Ticket Prices -- Well, the price for Cocktail Party tickets probably just got a lot cheaper. I was really sweating landing that ticket before yesterday.

  • Injuries Heal - It sucks entering a bye week without momentum from a win; however, this banged up roster needs a rest.

  • The Crowd - The opening of that game was as unglued as Sanford has ever been, and it was up there with some of the great SEC crowds that I've experienced in 200 or so games attended in person. The fact that so few booed and so many stuck by the team during the 3rd quarter attempted rally says a lot about how far the program has come.
The Bad News:
  • Injuries - We don't know how severe things are yet.

  • LSU's OL and DL is better than Bama's. Ricky Jean Francois is licking his sizable chops.
There are worse things than losing a game, and having most of your goals still obtainable.



Dubbayoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Posted this in another thread as well, now seems more suited for this one:

"Since no one has brought it up yet, I was really impressed that our fans didn't ALL leave after the first half last night. I thought for sure the fans would mutiny on the team, but the stadium was still full for the 2nd half.

On another note, I spent the 2nd half sitting between Marlon Brown and Brandon Smith. Needless to say, they were a bit shocked after the first half. However, they were impressed with the campus, the fans and the way we fought back in the 2nd half. Both said they felt certain that if they choose to come to UGA they would see the field as freshmen. These 2 kids couldn't have been any nicer, and I was very impressed with their demeanor and outlook on things. Both would be great additions."

Dubbayoo said...

Well I am still pretty calm about the whole thing. I figured we would lose a game and I hoped it would be early so we have time to move back up.

I am also glad the blackout thing is done. You can't manufacture drive, intensity and ability out of thin air or a uniform. We all tried that when we were kids and thought a new pair of shoes would make us run faster. I thought it was a mistake to run to the black jerseys at the first sign of a tough game. We beat Florida without them last and we shouldn't have needed them last night. the ole silver britches eventually lost their powers too. I think Richt should tell the players "from now I TELL YOU what uniform we wear".

Now we have no choice but to fall back on the things that matter - players that believe in themselves and coaches with strong game plans. Frankly, I'm hoping we meet them again in the SEC championship game. If we take care of business that will still happen.

Anonymous said...

You nailed it with the recruiting. If you look at our skill positions, we were clearly superior. However, on the offensive and defensive lines we recruited very poorly prior to the 2007 class. This game was an indictment on our priorities in recruiting. We have a large amount of money pouring in, we should be able to outrecruit Alabama for the big boys up front. Hopefully, we will do a better job getting those types of guys to come here.

Anonymous said...

That was even a worse ass kicking than the UT game last year. I really cant beleive we were that unprepared and lacked that intensity in the first half.

Sports Dawg said...

Don't forget crucial penalties. Some penalties are a result of over-hustle. Some are a sign of lack of discipline. You be the judge. You must admit those committed on 'Bama's first drive loomed far larger than we ever could have imagined.

Anonymous said...

add to that the fact that the crowd was still chanting "U-G-A" and "It's Great to be a Georgia Bulldog" in the waning seconds of the game and cheering our guys as they ran off the field. Definitely good to see that with all the high-profile recruits that were in attendance. Shows we aren't exactly Tennessee!!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most undisciplined teams i have ever seen. We have gotton a roughing the passer penalty ever freaking game.

Hobnail_Boot said...

I was shocked when I saw that Stafford 'only' attempted 42 passes. It felt like he threw it 60+ times.

Amazing crowd, etc.

Wondering why Ramarcus was on KOR instead of Allen.

George Houston said...

my only hope was that when the crowed left at the end of the game all of the UGA fans top off with gas and Tide had to walk back to Alabama.

Anonymous said...

One thing that sucks, in my opinion, is that UGA fans have come to accept this kind of loss.

I don't we should be so quick to just sigh and move on, because it has turned into a pattern.

Anonymous said...

tell me why we are so worried about lsu and possibly auburn when neither of them did near what georgia tech did to miss st. with a back up freshman qb.!

Anonymous said...

because we do not lose to anything.

I know we have great coaching/players but we can not go through this type of loss every single year like Anon 12:58 said. We didn't just lose to a great team, which Bama is, on a last second field goal....we got absolutely dominated for one half of a game. Not too mention a game where we had everything on our side. They let Bama walk in here and act like they owned the place.

Anonymous said...

Cannot believe that USC is still ranked ahead of us in the AP poll (they're 9, we're 11). What utter bullshit.

UGA loses to #2 team in country, falls to 11.

USC loses to unranked team, falls to 9.

F'ing ridiculous. AP voters are stupid.

Squarebush said...

Polls are out.

Georgia #10 and #11

Anonymous said...

This loss snapped the second longest active winning streak in college football. If, like me, you went to UGA in the 90's, you're pretty damn happy to have just won ten in a row even if the win streak gets snapped (like our offensive linemens' necks) by bama. Nonetheless, while it's nice to be in the national title conversation and the SEC championship conversation, I am deeply disturbed by the way we lost. The WVU and Tennessee games obviously come to mind. I just don't see really, really good programs get destroyed like we did in the first half very often (except for theosu). It really disturbs me that we could not adjust, at all, in the first half. Also, my goodness, we have got to stop with the penalties. Obviously, that late hit penalty that negated the fumble set the tone for the game. If that hadn't happened, who knows? Penalties are just killing us. We suck way too bad on the line to be giving anything away. I hate it, but I'm afraid we are all going to come to expect these types of blown games by the DAWGS. I know you can't be "up" for all of them, but damn. We just got steamrolled in the first half. Looked like the blackout game from last year - only the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I'm not crying too hard about this loss. Alabama is just really, really good! I think that the coaches and the players learned a lot yesterday.

In my opinion, we will be playing an undefeated Alabama team again in the SECCG. UGA wins the East; Bama wins the west and we bring a tougher, more mature team to decide who plays for the BCS championship.

I still like our chances.

Unknown said...

Dear Poster Named "Decaturdawg",

I had to delete your comment because it could be confusing to old / long time readers of this site and message boards who know "Paul Westerdawg" also as "Decaturdawg".

I saved your comment. Pick a different user name, and I'll happily repost it for you.


Anonymous said...

The new clock rule is crap.

Ginger said...

Can you say still ranked in the top 10.

Pretty ok to lose game 5 and be top ten still.

We are ok.


We are ok.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that LSU's O line and D line are better than Alabama's. I think that Alabama will be the toughest team we play all year...until we play them again.

Anonymous said...

First, let me say how proud I am both of the team and of the fans. Even the announcers commented on how many fans stayed after half-time.

I am NOT saying that we are in the same shape as Tennessee (because that would be absurd), but I don't see any of the other top notch SEC teams getting blown out in the first half. Beaten, yes, but not embarrassed. I don't know what exactly is to blame, but if it is play-calling, something needs to change.

And the new clock rules really killed our chances in the second half last night (along with, of course, some less-than-inspired play-calling and getting whipped on both sides of the line). The offense was forced to score quickly and they defense looked really tired when Bama scored again after we had drawn with 14.

Anonymous said...

In a world where October arrives with Vanderbilt in the SEC East lead, anything can happen.

Hobnail_Boot said...

..and GameDay's going to Vanderbilt.

Satan is shivering..

Anonymous said...

"One thing that sucks, in my opinion, is that UGA fans have come to accept this kind of loss.

I don't we should be so quick to just sigh and move on, because it has turned into a pattern."

Thank-you! It irks me to no end that UGA fans are ok with average. I remember a recruit once said UGA talk about SEC championships but Tennessee talk about National Championships. Tennessee has fell on hard times but in their prime, they aimed high. UGA fans standards are way too low IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Georgia fans may be the most loyal fans in the nation. While getting clobbered by Alabama they still remained after falling so far behind. They were repaid a little bit for their loyalty as the Dogs fought back, falling short though.

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