Georgia, Georgia Tech have a lot of work to do

What was supposed to be a great weekend didn’t really yield a lot of drama as all the big games were blowouts. But what did we learn?

1. Georgia, Georgia Tech have a lot of work to do: I know, it’s one of those “No Duh!” comments. Here is what I saw from those two road losses:

Georgia got pushed around on both sides of the ball at South Carolina. There was no mystery to that game. Georgia should have been able to run the ball but could not. Georgia did a lousy job tackling freshman Marcus Lattimore but you know what? That guy  is is going to make a lot of defenses look bad. He is what everybody said he was–an elite player. Georgia went with a conservative offensive game plan to protect Aaron Murray and that is the smart thing to do. But they’ll have to take the training wheels off Murray on Saturday against Arkansas.

Now the Arkansas game becomes a MUST win for Georgia.

Georgia Tech’s effort was really disappointing. Too many bad penalties. Too many missed tackles. You gotta get SOMETHING out of the passing game to make the rest of it work. Is it possible that Georgia Tech, the defending ACC champ, was overconfident going to Kansas? A team that lost four NFL draft choices was overconfident?

2. It was a bad weekend for the ACC: I’m sure other conferences have had worst weekends. But I don’t know of one worst than what the ACC  just went through. In two high profile games–Florida State at Oklahoma and Miami at Ohio State–the ACC pretty much got their doors blown off. The Miami score was very deceptive as the ‘Canes got two kick returns to keep it close for a while. Jacory Harris, who I like, had four interceptions (at least two were bad plays by the receivers.) You cannot be an elite quarterback if you don’t take care of the ball. He had 17 interceptions last season.

Chris Dimino said this on our radio show last week. All of us have shown Miami some love but when the ‘Canes get on a big stage away from home it doesn’t seem to go well. The old Miami teams would play and beat you anywhere. They didn’t care. The tougher the situation, the more they liked it. I don’t see that mental toughness in this team.

I can’t believe Florida State did not even compete at Oklahoma. And it was all capped off by Virginia Tech’s loss to James Madison, a very good Division I-AA program.

Bottom line: The ACC had five teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 (Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Florida State). As of Saturday night all five had losses. Ouch!

3. Boise got hurt by VT loss: Boise State opened the week with a huge win over Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. The Broncos were going to use that high profile non-conference win as the hook to claim that they deserve to be in the BCS championship game if they go undefeated. Boise can still get there but Virginia Tech’s loss to JMU doesn’t help. Some will use it as evidence that Boise’s signature win will not be a quality one. Boise had better hope that Virginia Tech rights the ship.  But just a word of caution for those who are ready to just dismiss Boise because of the VT loss. Better let the season play out.

4.  Alabama’s No. 3 (Trent Richardson) is pretty good: How many teams could play a high profile game without their Heisman Trophy winner (running back Mark Ingram) and the defensive MVP of the BCS Championship game (Marcell Dareus) and dominate?  Alabama did and never slowed down in beating Penn State 24-3. Trust me when I tell you that the game was not that close. Nick Saban took it easy on Joe Paterno out of resect for him. Alabama averaged almost eight yards per play as Richardson ran for 144 yards, the fourth best total against Penn State’s defense since 2005. Ingram is a great player but Richardson is a special, special talent as well. He’s too explosive not to get the ball at least 10 times a game, even when Ingram returns.

5. Denard  Robinson is the man: If I had to fill out a Heisman ballot today I would probably put Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson at the top of the list. Robinson had an incredible 502 yards of total offense (258 yards rushing, 244 passing) and scored the winning touchdown with 27 seconds remaining in a 28-24 win at Notre Dame. In two games against Notre Dame and UConn Robinson has 885 yards of total offense. The only question I have is how much pounding can Robinson take from Big Ten defenses. He has already run the ball 57 times in two games. Michigan has UMass and Bowling Green before starting the Big Ten schedule at Indiana on Oct. 2.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

Programming note: On today’s “Barnhart and Durham Show” (10 a.m., 790 The Zone) we will welcome Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. Bowden will be in town Monday to speak to the Touchdown Club of Atlanta. We will also have former Georgia assistant Mickey Matthews, now the head coach at James Madison, the team that upset Virginia Tech on Saturday. You can listen on www.790thezone.com.

398 comments Add your comment

kingman32

September 13th, 2010
7:18 am

kingman32

September 13th, 2010
7:19 am

1st time first !!! Should i feel honored or priviledged or ashamed?

archangeladidas

September 13th, 2010
7:21 am

No, you have work to do. You picked both of them to win.

What a lost weekend to be a team in the state of GA...

September 13th, 2010
7:23 am

…UGA loses, Tech loses, GSU Atlanta loses, GSU Statesboro loses, Dream lose, Falcons lose, Braves lose 2 of 4, yada, yada, yada…

Jethro Bodeen

September 13th, 2010
7:37 am

They all got a whipping behind the woodshed over the weekend! I think Uncle Jed needs to have a talk with all those boys!

JB

September 13th, 2010
7:38 am

Fundamentals. If we tackle like we did in the 3rd qtr, for 4 qtrs, we’ll be fine. On O, we need to block with consistancy, too. Getting AJ Green back, would also be nice.

BTW, if Ealey doesn’t fumble, it’s possible that as bad as we played we could very well be having a totally different discussion. In other words, while we did lose it was a pretty close game. We’ll see how we do v AR.

HBTD!!!

turkeycaller

September 13th, 2010
7:42 am

archangeladidas….Good one!!!!

Bobby Bowden's Dadgum

September 13th, 2010
7:43 am

Heh, heh. Dadgum, it looks like that ’semi-hole’ team needs some a’ my homespun homilies. Me and Mickey Andrews will be a’laughin’ it up in our rockin’ chairs on my front porch if y’all need one.

Mark

September 13th, 2010
7:49 am

Acc is awful
Uga is again a 7-5/8-4 team
Al Groh and Paul Johnson slacked off coaching I guess.
Ga football teams are all crap. Can’t get one winner here.

Big Al

September 13th, 2010
7:51 am

Lack of tackling wonder if taking it easy was the correct choice during camp—just asking?

Old School

September 13th, 2010
7:55 am

Tony,

Good call on the OS – ‘Noles game, man was I off on that one!

ACC really took it on the chin this weekend, will Denard Robinson (and Cam Newton) survive the season totin’ the rock as many times as they do?

Lattimore is the real deal and is Cal the most underrated team?

Hey, JB...

September 13th, 2010
7:57 am

…that is why “if” is the biggest little word in the English dictionary…

JB

September 13th, 2010
7:58 am

“taking it easy”??? You do know that they still had as many practice seesions as were allowed? Or maybe you don’t…. Sheeeesh!!!

HBTD!!!

bamafan

September 13th, 2010
7:58 am

Where is the UGA blogger who claimed Ealey was a better running back than Mark Ingram? Ingram is apparently better than Ealey even when Ingram is on the bench. Congrats to Ealey for the fumble that may have cost UGA the game in Columbia…………The ACC is miserable when its four best teams get scorched………Boise State will not play in the BCS game…..but wait, let’s let them play and when they get scorched, maybe it will shut them up.

SC Boy

September 13th, 2010
7:59 am

JB, SC fumbled deep in our territory, too. Works both ways.

Bama Fan #2

September 13th, 2010
7:59 am

Alabama defense still has work to do but I hate the bend but not break defenses!! ACC guys
basketball season starts up in about 6 weeks so keep your head in the sand till then!! RTR

Jim

September 13th, 2010
8:00 am

Tony, thanks for a nice piece on Georgia. You didn’t make it excuses, you didn’t sugar-coat it, and you didn’t give Mark Richt a pass like your peers at the AJC (Mark Bradley). Thank you. UGA has a lot of work to do and when your supposed strength (the OL) gets dominated the way it did, that is not good news. And thank you for not blaming the loss on the absence of AJ Green.

JB

September 13th, 2010
8:07 am

“JB, SC fumbled deep in our territory, too. Works both ways.”

First off, they didn’t fumble on the 3, not even close, and two, my point still stands. We score there and we might not be having this discussion. Do you have have any other silly comments to make?

HBTD!!!

5IML

September 13th, 2010
8:12 am

#2,

BAMA wasn’t playing bend-but-don’t-break on purpose. The youngsters were making a lot of mistakes. That coupled with no pressure from the D-line, allowed PSU to move the ball. Defensive coaching led to turnovers in the redzone. The score could easily have been a lot closer.

Saban and Smart will correct the errors and give it a dry run at Duke.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

September 13th, 2010
8:13 am

Tony, do you think McGarrity will operate like his mentor for the last 17 years (Foley at UF) and make serious changes if the current trend (not being relevent in the SEC) or will he be patient. How can a coaching staff, knowing they dont have the right personell yet for the 3-4 defense still implement it knowing that without a dominant Nose Tackle that you can have it rammed right down your throat. Or maybe they didn’t know it?? Grantham didn’t get fired as the Coordinator from the Cleveland Freaking Browns for nothing.

travy

September 13th, 2010
8:16 am

big ten defenses? heh, i think robinson will be fine.

SimpleDawg

September 13th, 2010
8:17 am

The only thing stopping all of the techmites from howling with pleasure at Georgia’s embarrassing loss at USC is their even more embarrassing loss at Kansas…ouch! So much for 14-0 from either camp.

Bama and Ohio State still appear to be the cream of the crop, along with Oklahoma. No Boise, you have a nice little team, but you would suffer the same fate as FSU, Miami, and Penn State if you were to play any of the real top 3.

The ACC will continue to accrue losses when playing top flight out of conference opponents.

SEC teams in trouble…..Tennysee, Florida and LSU. Things have not looked good for UF or LSU, 2 games into the season…..and the Vowels are in such disarray that they’re having to be coached in personal hygiene….in addition to normal social behavior and football.

SEC teams on the rise…..Auburn, USC, and Miss State. You’re probably going to get a black eye messing with these 3. Beware Dawgs, you already have one black eye…..may need to invest in some raw steak.

It’s going to be a very interesting year.

Dawg_Mike

September 13th, 2010
8:18 am

UGA vs SC 2007- 0 TD’s
UGA vs SC 2010 – 0 TD’s

This is a very disturbing thing. I give a ton of credit to Ellis Johnson but even more credit to the unimaginative offensive philosophy of Mike Bobo.
Pathetic.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

September 13th, 2010
8:19 am

Simpledawg, do you really think that UGA would beat USF?

CMR needs to re invent the discipline wheel

September 13th, 2010
8:23 am

This season is almost toast for UGA and if they lose to the Hogs, it will be one ugly, ugly year. He needs to simply state to his troops that they must comport themselves properly or be gone. we know that is why UGA lost to SC, they were pumped up and wanting some of Georgia and we were deflated …………you could see it in the eyes of most of the Dog players. Disgusting that was.

With that, he should state that “we wish a good luck to both Ealey and Green. They are free to leave.”

The rest of them can fight or leave. Either way, Richt had better find the troops that want to do battle or he will have no battles to go to. He can caravan in his Christian endeavors full time.

The new UGA Ad will not allow another year like 09 and all the rest lately. Panty man is gone.

Go Dogs.

athensdawg

September 13th, 2010
8:25 am

the excuses have started in athens
cue up the record, folks………

-offensive line isn’t working
-offense can’t do anything but kick field goals
-lots of stupid penalties (on offense.)
-we played a “great player” (that’s got to be the most lame excuse I have ever heard.)

now the offense can push the blame to the defense because we have a new coordinator.

say what you want about the tackling (it was awful, i admit) but for your defense to hold a team that is kicking your butt to only 3 points in the second half says a lot about our DC. CWM would have given up 30+ and 300 yds rushing to lattimore with his ‘ole tackling style, then complained about not executing the game plan.

rumor has it that Van Gorder’s departure was started by a nasty comment being made during the outback bowl….in which we squandered a lead b/c Richt’s offense kept going 3 and out.
Sound familiar?

ps – Rambo needs to be benched.

82Dawg

September 13th, 2010
8:26 am

South Carolina is going to be the team to beat in the East, CSS has a team and he knows it…

David

September 13th, 2010
8:31 am

Taking my ACC and SEC glasses off… Cal vs Oregon looks to be a clash of titans later on this seasson.

JDW

September 13th, 2010
8:32 am

Tony, I disagree with you on the conservative offensive plan being the right thing to do. I thought it was a dismal showing from the offensive coaches. We simply did not do a good job of preparing or play calling. As I have said before that Power I we tried to run on 3rd and 2 toward the end of the first half makes me want to hurl. We would be better off lining up in a regular formation and running a play. That formation never works but we keep on trying. It has cost us multiple games and opportunities over the years and needs to go. While the D certainly struggled with Lattimore they played good enough to win. The O had their chances and the conservative approach combined with a turnover cost us the game. I wonder just how many more chances Bobo gets?

Palladin

September 13th, 2010
8:33 am

This is not the first time that Spurrier started the season with a good team in SC. The question is whether he can end the season with that team still intact. If they have the depth to sustain a few injuries, then they will compete for the SEC East.

5IML

September 13th, 2010
8:34 am

Dawg fans,

There is no need to panic. It’s just time to be realistic about this year. Grantham will get the kind of players he needs, and the defense will be a lot better. I don’t know what to say about the O-line though. I like USCe in the East.

Palladin

September 13th, 2010
8:37 am

Had Florida not woken up in the second half of their game with USF, I would be ready to declare USCe the team to beat in the East. Now, I’m not so sure.

lawzoo

September 13th, 2010
8:39 am

Gee, what a difference a week makes. Great insight in hidsight. If you would take off your ga. glasses you would have seen it last week.

“Mark Richt has quietly put together an offensive line”……that can help produce two FGs.

ga.vs. uf for the Outback Bowl.

Grammar Police

September 13th, 2010
8:41 am

Hey Big Tone,

Maybe you should clean up the whole worst vs. worse stuff in point 2. You know, since you are a professional writer.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

September 13th, 2010
8:42 am

Read the Gainesville Sun Palladin, it took UF 3 halves this year to finally figure out that running the same offense without Tebow doesn’t work. During the second half they ran 75% of the plays out of the I formation instead of the spread. Their Defense is a turnover machine and they are getting better every week.

RxDawg

September 13th, 2010
8:42 am

1. The Dawgs are soft, on both sides. We got shoved around for 60min and there wasn’t anything to be done about it. We’ll have to get some men in there that want to play football if we expect to be better. Can’t comment on Tech, except I’m so glad they lost so they wouldn’t invade our blogs.

2. I should of known better than to pick FSU over Oklahoma….oh well. The ACC is not a good football conference. Every year the media hypes them and every year they fall to the competition. The fact that two medeocre SEC teams beat the ACC division champs last year is bigger than people are letting on to.

3. Before the Boise St game I thought “Virginia Tech might be overrated”. After the Boise St game I thought “I bet Virginia Tech is overrated”. After the James Maddison game I thought “I knew it, Virginia Tech is vastly overrated”. Will you AP folks quit ranking VaTech?

4. Yeh, I sent my Bama friend a text Saturday saying “It must be nice to actually have men field your football team.”

5. Yep, Denard ran amuck on those mighty UCONN and Notre Name defenses. Good point about taking that beating, but Pat White seemed to do just fine.

Jimmy

September 13th, 2010
8:43 am

Without the goalline fumbe, Georgia wins this one easily. Georgia gave game 2 away. The 2 field goals, drive sinside the 10 yard line, should have been td’s. Murray and the defense looked much improved, sacks, excellent pass defense, forcing 4 to’s in 1st 2 games, just need to shore up middle against run.

5IML

September 13th, 2010
8:46 am

This weekend’s match-up between BAMA and Duke will decide once-and-for-all which conference is superior. But seriously, how weird is it that Duke refused to move the game to Charlotte (73K+ capacity) and elected to keep the game in Durham (38K)?

The Most Interesting Man Alive

September 13th, 2010
8:48 am

Jimmy, did you watch the same game as everyone else? Carolina pushed UGA all over the field and the 17-6 score wasn’t even close to the azz whipping Carolina’s O and D line put on UGA. I bet if you were in the locker room after the game and asked the players if they almost won, you would have been run out of there.

5IML

September 13th, 2010
8:48 am

Don’t ruin it for Jimmy.

Mutt Nonsense

September 13th, 2010
8:49 am

“Without the goalline fumbe, Georgia wins this one easily.”

Ah, Jimmy, you’re our favorite kind of Dawg fan. The kind we can count on reading and getting a good laugh from. Win the game easily? Which game were you watching?

joe

September 13th, 2010
8:49 am

UGA is in trouble, esp. while #8 is out…looking at an 0-2 SEC start this weekend??

The Most Interesting Man Alive

September 13th, 2010
8:50 am

REALIST

September 13th, 2010
8:50 am

SC is not any better than they have ever been…still a 3-4 loss team at best…UGA is just worse. Who couldn’t see that the UGA o-line was a weak spot? Look who the best running game was against last year…GT. You could see they were not improved against La-La. A no brainer…..just a very poorly prepared/coached team…an undisciplined mediocre program at this point. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Murray is a player. Here’s an idea…why not take Green and all these other Grab and Hold Football League wannabes and kick them all out of school. Maybe there are young men who actually consider it a privilege to represent a school and get an education. Johnson is systematically destroying an already weak program. GT won’t have very many bonafide Div 1 athletes when he is through recruiting ” his type” of players for his show. They were not a legit top 20 team last year and they sure won’t be close this year.

Jimmy

September 13th, 2010
8:51 am

With 2 minutes to go, score was 14-6, was a very close game, if Ealey doesn’t fumble on the goalline, 14-14.

CharlotteGator

September 13th, 2010
8:52 am

5IML,

It was probably the better move by Duke. Charlotte appears to be a UNC town and we all know that extra capacity just means more Bama fans. I highly doubt Duke fans travel so that stadium would be mostly Bammers. Hopefully my bitterness at Bama fans for having a stranglehold on SECCG tickets by just renenwing the ones from Birmingham in the early 90’s isn’t coming through… ;)

Earl

September 13th, 2010
8:53 am

Glad Georgia had an early loss against SC. That will wake this team up and now they’ll really listen to the coaches, just like back in 2007. Look for Georgia to beat Arkansas, and go 7-1 heading in to the Florida game. Win that game, and it gets real interesting.

Jimmy

September 13th, 2010
8:55 am

Georgia adjusted well in the 2nd half to SC’s strategy. Latt only had 2 good runs in the 2nd half, both wern’t too bad. The fumble was just too much.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 13th, 2010
8:55 am

1) Soft on both sides of the ball? Not the first time that has been mentioned with a CMR football team, but its just one lose. I really don’t think UGA had any idea Lattimore would be such a load. By the end of the game the D had worn down, but up to that point in the 2nd half the D had pretty much righted the ship. Houston is gonna be a beast

2) Did FSU even get on the plane of Oklahoma? That was a train wreck!

3) Boise’s strength of schedule just got shot down the tube. Va Tech should have ran that team off the field. No excuses even with it being a short weekend

4) Can Alabama bench a Heisman winner? Or go to a 50/50 work load? That is going to be interesting.

5) Rich-Rod just shut up Michigan Nation. Good for him, the fanbase at this point needs to eat some humble pie.

WE ARE

September 13th, 2010
8:55 am

“Nick Saban took it easy on Joe Paterno out of resect for him.” Yeah right. And Spurrier did the same out of respect for Mark Richt. What an idiotic statement. Alabama had the stronger team…no debate there. Penn State came in with a freshman quarterback, new trio of linebackers and a rebuilt offensive line. But the freshman moved the team against Bama’s defense, stayed poised despite his mistakes, and was never sacked. I was there and my hat’s off to the Bama team and their fans. A lot of class and respect before, during and after the game. Maybe you should learn from that Tony and get that chip off your shoulder from 1982. WE ARE…PENN STATE!