Georgia loses to Kentucky, and the song stays the same

This is the picture? Do need to know more? Joe Cox had this fourth-quarter pass intercepted by Kentucky's Shane McCord, which set up one of the Wildcats four second-half touchdowns in a 34-27 upset.

This is the picture? Do you really need to know more? An interception by Kentucky's Shane McCord of a Joe Cox pass set up the Wildcats' winning touchdown in a 34-27 upset of the Dogs.

ATHENS — They got bruised in Stillwater, blindsided in Knoxville and humbled in Jacksonville. Also, their dog died.

Nobody intended for Georgia’s season to unfold like a country-western song. It just sort of  turned out that way.

So what were the objectives Saturday night? Easy. To create a memory for seniors who were playing their final game in Sanford Stadium. To diminish chances of the season ending in Shreveport. To look convincing enough in a win over Kentucky — whose 6-4 record entering the night mirrored Georgia’s — that the Bulldogs’ somewhat jaded fan base would start salivating over a possible upset next week on North Ave.

They whiffed.

With representatives from the Independence and Liberty Bowls in attendance, the  Bulldogs held a 20-6 halftime lead over Kentucky, then unraveled like they have far too often. They committed four second-half turnovers. The Wildcats scored four touchdowns. Georgia went down, 34-27, in its final home game of the season, and it’s just as well because there probably are not a lot of folks around Athens who wanted to be subjected to another game this season, anyway.

Mark Richt is going to have a chore trying to keep his players pumped up after this one.

Mark Richt is going to have a chore trying to keep his players pumped up after this one.

Most fans in the students section wore black. At this point, we can’t be certain if they were mourning the sudden loss of Uga VII, or the passing of significant bowl game hopes.

The Dogs just lost a home game to Kentucky for the first time in 32 years. Their record is now 6-5. It’s the most losses ever for a Mark Richt team. They would need to upset Georgia Tech and win whatever low-grade bowl game that takes them just to match Richt’s all-time low win total at Georgia in 2001 (final record: 8-4).

By any measure, it has been a dreadful season.

This won’t make things any easier for Richt. He has been fielding questions about the future of the program and what changes he might make, both in direction and his coaching staff. All this has been going with games still left in the season. Richt has been trying to lay out some tangible goals for his players –one of them was to close the season with five straight wins, which would have led to a respectable final record of 9-4.

Last week, the Dogs responded with a win over Auburn in possibly the team’s best performance of the year. But this was one of their worst — at least the second half was.

It looked like it might be an easy night. Four straight scoring possessions (two touchdowns, two field goals) to close the first half  gave the Bulldogs a 20-6 lead. But if you throw out the Tennessee Tech game, do you know how many easy games this team has had this season? Zero. What could not have been predictable was a complete collapse.

It started when Branden Smith fumbled the second-half kickoff return. That set up one Kentucky touchdown. Joe Cox connected with Rantavious Wooten for a 43-yard touchdown to restore the Dogs’ 14-point lead at 27-13. But no lead has been safe with Georgia’s defense, not even against pedestrian teams like Kentucky. It’s why defensive coordinator Willie Martinez may have coached his final game in Athens, at least as the defensive coordinator.

The defense did nothing to help secure Martinez’s future. Late in the third quarter, the Wildcats closed to 27-20 when quarterback Morgan Newton hit La’Rod King for a 21-yard score. Early in the fourth, tailback Derrick Locke got behind the defense down the left sideline, snared a pass from Newton and blasted off for a 60-yard touchdown, tying the game.

Instead of responding with a score, Georgia responded with a meltdown. On the ensuing drive, Cox threw a pass over the middle right to defensive tackle Shane McCord. That set up the Cats at the Dogs’ 8-yard-line and led to Randall Cobb’s second TD of the game and a 34-27 Kentucky lead.

The meltdown was soon complete: While driving for a would-be tying score, Washaun Ealey fumbled a pitch at Kentucky’s one-yard line with 2:21 left. Another possession ended with an inteception. Checkmate.

This was not how Georgia expected its final home game to go. But it also didn’t expect the losses to Oklahoma State and Tennessee and so many other messes this season. The song never changed.

1,377 comments Add your comment

GBO

November 21st, 2009
11:39 pm

Take the “over” on penalties and turnovers lost…your record will improve.

BeachReck

November 21st, 2009
11:43 pm

MB, where are you and what are you doing?

Saint Simons

November 21st, 2009
11:43 pm

((((( 34 27 ))))) hahahahahahahahahahaha

Kentucky seals invite to Carpets of Dalton Bowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saint Simons

November 21st, 2009
11:43 pm

34-27 !!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Saint Simons

November 21st, 2009
11:44 pm

All he ever wanted to be was a Georgia quarterback!! hahahahhahaahahahahahahahaa

jacketnation

November 21st, 2009
11:45 pm

UGAg falls to the Kensucky Wildkats; Season in the toilet, UGA accepts bid to the OUTHOUSE bowl.

PeachJam

November 21st, 2009
11:46 pm

I can hear Richt’s press conference now. “Well, congrats to KY who played a great game…we had a great first half and did a lot of things well…”

Redcoat_alum

November 21st, 2009
11:46 pm

I’ve met Joe Cox personally, he’s a very nice kid. I also appreciate his patience in waiting for the starting job at UGA. But Joe, I haven’t seen a performance like that since Quincy Carter vs. South Carolina in 2000. Coach Richt and staff take note: that was Jim Donnan’s last year coaching the Dawgs.

Ah to hell with it, GO DAWGS!

shootmenow

November 21st, 2009
11:47 pm

Please someone do me the favor…

Jay Dub

November 21st, 2009
11:47 pm

State Championship next week. Bad news for the Dawgs I think.

Worst game ever...

November 21st, 2009
11:47 pm

This was eerily similar to the Tech game last year, we dominated the 1st half then completely fall apart in the 2nd half. Way to go Right, good pep talk at h/t. Also a big high-5 to Bobo for the playcalling in the 2nd half, great job.

Hell, the only person that can’t be blamed for this catastrophe is CWM of all people. The D played real good all night. They only had 1 long scoring drive, and that was the screen. Other than that the d looked good in back-to-back games for once. Didn’t make a bit of a diffeance though.

BeachReck

November 21st, 2009
11:48 pm

Saint Simons – I know I’m wasting my time, but please show a little class! You are embarrassing yourself and my fellow Tech fans.

Cutler

November 21st, 2009
11:48 pm

Poorly written article by somebody paid to write these things. I see what you’re trying to say but awful job doing so. Instead of getting it in quick you’d be better off taking your time and putting out something worth reading. Half the people blogging on the previous post said it better than that.

That being said, what an awful loss. Should be interesting to see what CMR has to say tonight and tomorrow. Still a proud alum, but wow was that an embarrassment. Hopefully we’ll look back on this season in a couple of years as a necessary stepping stone for future success. However, I am not too confident about that possibility right now.

jacketnation

November 21st, 2009
11:48 pm

UGA adopts roll of toilet paper to be new mascot; changes name to Georgia butt wipes.

NORRIS

November 21st, 2009
11:49 pm

Well Georgia loses to Kentucky. The basketball team loses to UAB.
There is something wrong in athens!!!
We are looking at a 6 and 6 record. With nothing for next year. Next year we will have a team with a QB with no experience. At least coach Richt could have been prepping someone for next year.
Pittiful coaching, pittiful effort. No discipline, No character = NO WINS.
we have had how many players now cited for driving with no license. If they cant pass a drivers exam…

NXS

November 21st, 2009
11:49 pm

Anyone still wondering why Joe Cox was Georgia’s starting QB this year? Way ta go BooBoo, great pick, great evaluation of football “talent.’

GTJackets

November 21st, 2009
11:49 pm

5 words dawgies…

Can’t wait till next weekend

Captain Spalding

November 21st, 2009
11:51 pm

Well sh*t the bed, my leg humpers choked against an inferior team. It is looking more like the 1916 Cumberland squads’ points allowed record may be at risk next Saturday in Atlanta. Wonder when the last time a team scored 100 points in Div 1-A game. Yowza!

Denver Dawg

November 21st, 2009
11:51 pm

the only good news? it keeps getting cheaper and cheaper to become a UGA season-ticket holder.

RW

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

Kanedawg39

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

season will be 6 and 6 or 6 and 7.

NXS

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

Oh yea, almost forgot. Hey Saint Simons, bite my dog love’n a$$ you nerdly turdlink!

ATLiens

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

everyone blaming bobo for the play calling in the forth q are insane. What was he supposed to do with a quarterback that completely lost all focus and control. The two picks werent his fault and the third that cox also escaped also wasnt. in truth this game was a microcosm of the season. Fortunately, most of the guys that made plays in the game are pups and the future looks bright. What this team needs most next season is an attitude of discipline and swagger. A special teams coach would be great too

BIG DAWG 1980

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

I am at a lost for words after this game tonight….Leading 20-6 at halftime at home on Seniors night and just flat out give the game away to a mediocre Kentucky team? My oh my, CMR has a lot to get done in the offseason. Joe Cox was a major disappointment tonight when we were in position to salvage something this year he just gave it away. We let a freshman QB come into “our house” and beat us with our 5th year senior? We do not have a killer instinct and our turnovers continue to be our downfall every game. The answer is not easy but simple: Fire Martinez and Bobo and go get me some coordinators that know how to win. Why did we get away from Orson Charles after early in the game. Did we even throw to him in the 2nd half? Com on Bobo?? Get ready for next year is all that we can hope for…..Aaron Murray please save this team………..BIG DAWG 1980-Valdosta.

RxDawg

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

Well that was pathetic.

I just don’t understand why we are full of such unintelligent football players.

The fans leaving early was a message to the coaching staff that our faith in the program is gone.

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

November 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

Kentucky wins. How bout them dead dawgs. Go JACKETS

xDawgify

November 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

Way to honor Uga VII, team! You’ll live with that the rest of your lives.

BigDozer

November 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

BigDawg

November 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

One of the most pathetic games I have ever seen. We could lose with a freshman in there. Why haven’t the freshman qbs been in there? This was just a wasted year.

jacketnation

November 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

HEADLINE – Record number of arrests as 82 thousand pass out in the street drunk in Athens. Fat Bald Governor throws up on his self. Hundreds hospitalized for chronic nausea. UGA forfeits Tech game however accepts bid to hind-wipe bowl.

HC Parent

November 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

Shane McCord and Sam Maxwell are both from Hartwell, GA.

xDawgify

November 21st, 2009
11:54 pm

If I’m Aaron Murray, I’m transferring. Seriously.

GaGator

November 21st, 2009
11:54 pm

Five 15 yard penalties, 4 fumbles(2 lost), 2 interceptions, what we have here folks is a complete lack of discipline. Also, special teams are just terrible; UK had a 2:1 advantage in return yards tonight. This starts at the top and affect the entire staff. You might want to consider replacing the entire staff. I almost forgot, there was another player arrested for a suspended drivers license, did Richt suspend this player? I bet not.

Unhappy Dawg

November 21st, 2009
11:55 pm

I have to say that this loss was disgraceful. I hope Cox feels as bad as he played. Thank God that was his last game in Athens. He never deserved to be on the field in Sanford Stadium. I hope he never comes back to town along with the ENTIRE coaching staff… I said it, Mark Richt too. The man has zero answers for what is going on with this team and cannot inspire them to fight there way out of a paper sack…Too many penalties, too many turnovers, not enough heart. This team just plain stinks. Richt doesn’t deserve more time unless he is going to fire the entire staff, which I don’t think he has the guts to do. I am beside myself over this one and really cannot type what I want to say.

VolNation

November 21st, 2009
11:55 pm

Christmas comes early.

techfancincy

November 21st, 2009
11:56 pm

GA could make 70 mill people happy with a few moves. Fire willie, fabris, and bobo and 10 mill GA fans would be happy. The school they went to would have 12 games and all of them would be happy to face our ex coaches so we could make another 60 mil fans happy. 70 mill happy people. Come on Mark, make the world a happier place.

willie martinez

November 21st, 2009
11:56 pm

i am only glad that UGA didnt live to see this travesty.

dawgs2002

November 21st, 2009
11:57 pm

GT will beat UGA by a score of about 60-17

The bowl game will be equally as bad.

The entire coaching staff needs to be fired.

Thankfully Joe Cox graduates. Unfortunately he’ll be on the sidelines coaching and we will for many years be tainted by him.

HC Parent

November 21st, 2009
11:57 pm

…and UGA did not recruit either one. BIG mistake.

RambleA

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Rumor has it that Richt’s next gimmick is to announce the coaching changes for next year this coming Tuesday so that the players will play hard for the outgoing coaches!

Maybe it will work better than his black helmet gimmick…at least it won’t cost him $20,000 if it doesn’t work! hahaha

THWG

singndablues

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

There is a bright side to this debacle. This should by all rights be the loss to force MR’s hand to make major changes this off season. After the Auburn win I think MR was already rationalizing that minimal changes would be needed. Not anymore. His failure to make major changes now will set back this program for the next 5-6 years minimum besides costing him his job.

willie martinez

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

joe cox is the worst g d quarterback we’ ve had in my lifetime

FullMetalJacket

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

The hordes of Georgia fans leaving early in this close game, and the booing of their own team looked really bad on ESPN2. I am a Tech fan but I hate to see any game end that ugly…on the field and in the stands.

Giving Up

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Think if we’d groomed one of our young QBs this season. Think if that damn freshman didn’t have ANOTHER fumble on a kick return.

Think if we could coach these talented players.

Unlike many, I’ve never been in love with Coach Richt. Flat out hated him after the loss to BC in the Music City Bowl way back when.

Terrible. Terrible Coaching.

Buzz29

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Ya’ll made that dog roll over in its tomb. Shame on ya’ll. Rest in pee, Uga VII.

GWH Rich

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Saint Simons – You’re an idiot and an embarrassment to the rest of us Georgia Tech fans who believe there’s nothing wrong with showing a little class, both in winning and losing, regardless of the team. All Tech fans should pull for UGA to win every game except one, and vice versa, for the final regular season game to really be of any major importance.

As for UGA tonight, it was certainly ugly. A completely winnable game that looked to be under control until they returned for the second half. It was a harsh reminder of how Tech nearly gave away the Clemson game earlier this season.

Keep your chins up UGA fans. You may be down now, but all good programs turn it around quickly.

NCR

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Bulldog fans: How do you wake up in the morning???

You’re prized 4 and 5 star football recruits just keep blowing games left and right. If you’re lucky, you might end up this year in the TOILET BOWL. Basketball season is gonna suck. Baseball is too far away to tell. The only thing you’ve got going for you is a bunch of gymnasts! LOL!

But don’t worry, just keep sending in those athletic department donations, they still cash them! LOL!

BigDozer

November 21st, 2009
11:59 pm

16 Players on KY team from GA.

FullMetalJacket

November 21st, 2009
11:59 pm

By the way, UGA, next weekend in Atlanta come just as you are…..don’t change a thing—-PLEASE!!!!

Super Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
12:00 am

Some new costumes for next weekend are just what we need to turn this around. How about all red?