LIVE: Georgia tries to overcome hangover, finish strong

Don't expect Georgia to be scoreless for long against Idaho State.

Don't expect the Bulldogs to remain scoreless for long today against Idaho State.

ATHENS — Welcome to Hangover Week. Most of us just lie on the couch. Georgia plays Idaho State.

Seriously, this was intended to be Relax and Rejoice Week. When the schedule was made, the Bulldogs’ hope was that they would be coming off a victory over Florida and would use this Division 1-AA (FCS) opponent as a relative bye week before having to go to Auburn, as it looked to secure a spot in the SEC title game.

The only thing that held form was that this game still should be a walkover. Idaho State isn’t even a good Division 1-AA team. The Bengals won their season opener over Montana-Western (an NAIA school with an enrollment of 1,290).  But they’ve lost seven straight since. They’re 3-32 since October of 2007. They’re 1-14 against Division 1 (FBS) opponents since 2000.

In other words, don’t expect any drama today. Georgia not only should win but should be able to flood the field with backups by the second quarter. It would be surprising if No. 2 quarterback Hutson Mason didn’t play half the game.

The bigger question about the Dogs is the mindset from this game forward. They played poorly at the outset last week against Florida, then fought back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to tie it in the fourth quarter, only to lose in overtime, 34-31.

That leaves them 3-4 in the SEC and 4-5 overall, which means hopes for an SEC East title or an upper-tier bowl game are cooked. They would have to win their final three games (Idaho State, at Auburn, Georgia Tech) to have any shot at a good bowl like the Chick-fil-A.

More likely, they are headed for the Birmingham or Liberty bowl (the last two in the SEC pecking order). That’s assuming they go anywhere. They need two more wins just to qualify but that seems more likely now that Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt is out after suffering a broken arm Thursday night at Virginia Tech.

Back to the mindset thing: How the Dogs play these last few weeks could indicate more about next season than this one. If they play hard, smart and show some resolve, it’s a positive sign. If not, it leads to more questions about the program’s direction going into the offseason.

Finally, a word about coach Mark Richt. As much as his future has been debated in blogs and on message boards, I still don’t believe he’s on the firing line. Now, that could change in the next few games. But my sense of the situation right now is the same as it was before the season — that if the Dogs had a bad season (and this is a bad season), Richt would be on the so-called “hot seat” next year.

The only way I see that changing is there’s a complete implosion in the last three games. Again, that’s just my opinion. As always, I welcome yours.

I’ll be back shortly to start live blogging. Meanwhile, about that hangover: Has anybody ever run into Mike Tyson after too many beers?

“This is my favorite part”

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

724 comments Add your comment

Alphare

November 6th, 2010
10:46 am

Is it mathematically possible dawgs can still win the EAST?

Alphare

November 6th, 2010
10:48 am

or Maths is too much for dawg fans? especially now anyway, lol

Alphare

November 6th, 2010
10:50 am

Unlike dawgs, Idaho State players only practice 16hours a week. I know you lose like dawgs do, but at least they lose on own terms.

2BT

November 6th, 2010
10:50 am

tree falls in the woods, nobody there to hear it, yadda yadda yadda

History Major

November 6th, 2010
10:54 am

The Bulldogs know they’ll whip Idaho State badly, and they know they’ll probably lose to Auburn. So what’s left? Are they already focussing on Georgia Tech?

Alphare

November 6th, 2010
10:54 am

Since nobody is here, let me take my time to do some fixings:

Unlike dawgs, Idaho State players only practice 16hours a week. I know they lose like dawgs do, but at least they lose on their own terms.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

November 6th, 2010
10:58 am

High scoring game for the Dogs, but what else is new. Other large compettive programs are now in the meat of their schedule jockeying for BCS points, while UGA continues to pay small programs large sums or money so UGA can get a win.

The game today is pathetic.

Greg

November 6th, 2010
11:01 am

Unless the Dogs get blown out in all 3 of the last 3 games, Richt will be back.

I expect the Dogs to lose the last 3, but to be comeptitive.

Alabama lost to Lousisiana Monroe the 1st year plugging in the 3-4 in 2007, so I think the Dogs lose a close 1 today to Idaho State, 21-14. Murray turns the ball over 3 times today.

Lose again to Georgia Tech, by just 10. Defense can’t stop the run

Lose to Auburn by 14. Murray has another bad day. Secondary gets burned, Newton goes for 400 yards of offense.

Looking at 4-8, losing 6 games by a touchdown or less.

Like the 2007 Alabama team.

Alphare

November 6th, 2010
11:02 am

Does Idaho State stand a chance against Buford High if they play today?

Greg

November 6th, 2010
11:02 am

La Monroe won 21-14 in Sbana’s 1st year putting in the 3-4. Grantham won’t do better than Saban, he’s not THAT good, right?

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

November 6th, 2010
11:03 am

The Reporter: Mr. McGarity, why will UGA increase the FCS schools that it plays ?

Greg: We need to make more money, the extra home game makes big bucks. A large portion of that goes to clean up the trash that our loyal fans leave on campus.

To help instill a sense of cleanliness among our fans we are replacing the DUI video ( it didn’t work, anyway ) with this new video. We might also change our mascot to the Native Americans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4ozVMxzNAA

joe

November 6th, 2010
11:03 am

man. i love the dogs. they look like beautiful red and black angels out there. PUMP THAT FIST and GET A LEG UP.

Frank Lane

November 6th, 2010
11:04 am

All games count the same in won and lose column. Hopefully the players can get some positive enforcement today. Remember we are only four plays away from 8-1. when things go wrong over and over it really wears you out as a player as well as a fan.

Greg

November 6th, 2010
11:05 am

Unfortunately, Richt seems determined to stay with beleagured Aaron Murray, no matter how bad the kid plays (last weeks’ 4 TO’s, exhbit A).

We can only think of how much better the season coud have gone with Logan Gray or Hutson Mason at QB, but it is what it is.

Lemay will be here soon to save the day. Only 3 more games with the worst QB Richt has ever had.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Hillbilly Deluxe

November 6th, 2010
11:05 am

Not just talking about UGA but I wonder if these weak games, stuck on everybody’s schedule, don’t upset the flow of teams? They basically get a week off, so they can take it easy, but once you’ve tuned it down a notch, it’s hard to turn it back up to the level of real competiton. Oh well, doesn’t really matter as long as everybody is making money, except the players, of course.

dawg man

November 6th, 2010
11:06 am

Stadium should be about half full today. You can bet Richt will try to run up the score and Grantham will be giving out choke signs. GA has beaten LA Lafayette, Vanderbilt, KY, and the worst TN team in memory. This program has hit rock bottom, and there is no evidence that it will improve in the near future.

atltrafficqueen

November 6th, 2010
11:06 am

Jeff, are all of your loyal blog fans functionally illiterate?

Greg

November 6th, 2010
11:06 am

I don’t see Grantham holding Idaho State to less than 21, when Saban in his 1st year running the 3-4 at Alabama gave up 21 to La Monore.

bart

November 6th, 2010
11:06 am

I agree that Richt is probably safe this year. We should beat Idaho State and Tech, but I see no way we beat Auburn. I do believe next year, Richt will be on the hot seat. He’s going to have to produce. The program has been going down hill since Van Gorder left, and Richt is going to have to prove he can right the ship. It remains to be seen whether Grantham can do the DC job, and it’s possible Richt will need to bring in a top fight offensive coordinator and either fire or demote Bobo. I think he needs to realize he is not only fighting to bring the Dawgs back to respectability, but he is also fighting for his job.

MURPHY

November 6th, 2010
11:08 am

Bobo17INT,

I agree with you.Playing Baked Potato U today is a waste of schedule in my opinion. We have nothing to gain in this game,but we have alot to lose if one of our starters get hurt.Meaningless game that we UGA fans paid full price to see.

Beast from the East

November 6th, 2010
11:08 am

Stay injury-free and get ready for a tough final two games.
Best of luck, Dawgs!

EDawg71

November 6th, 2010
11:09 am

Greg, are you serious? I mean really serious?

[...] Georgia tries to overcome its hangover, writes Jeff Schultz of the AJC. [...]

EDawg71

November 6th, 2010
11:12 am

To pin even one iota of blame on Murray is pathetic and hopefully, Greg, you’re either a fan of another school or just really that stupid. This kid is a winner. I’ll take him starting the next 3 years over any of the names you mentioned. In fact, I doubt LeMay ends up here seeing what we’ve all seen this year from Murray. Obviously you’ve seen something else.

Mirk Racht

November 6th, 2010
11:12 am

I’ve never understood how anyone – even an alumnus – could support and take pride in UGA’s football team. When you look at their history for the past forty years, how can anyone ignore Jan Kemp and the “remedial studies” scam, the Jim Harrick fiasco, the DUIs in the athletic office, the DUIs and other arrests of players, the #1 party school tag (i.e., the most drunk students), the suspensions and outright dismissals, the Fulmer Cup, and on and on?

As disgraceful and humiliating as it is, I don’t see many alums and fans demanding an end to this sordid activity. It sets UGA apart as the kind of school most people abhor, and it’s become an embarrassment to the whole state of Georgia.

Will it never end? Apparently not while Mark Richt is at UGA. Richt is perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States. But even with all the cheating and lawlessness that he ignores, he still can’t win the SEC.

So you’re paying him to be BCS champions, but he can’t even win his SEC division. So why do you pay him millions of dollars a year?

UGA, The Cesspool of the South

Yellow Fuzz

November 6th, 2010
11:13 am

I’m here. 3rd dog game of the season for me. Kill me now.

Beast from the East

November 6th, 2010
11:13 am

EDawg71,
I agree with you on Murray. The kid’s a gamer and he has a VERY bright future at UGA. We’d take him in Gainesville right now.

greg's brain

November 6th, 2010
11:14 am

hey buddy time for our medicine

EDawg71

November 6th, 2010
11:14 am

And a thought about us playing Idaho State…we had no opponent lined up for this week due to scheduling conflicts so we took what we could get close to the last minute. Screw all of the negativity on these blogs. Not a damn one of you, if you are truly UGA fans, deserves to even try to write a thought.

Greg

November 6th, 2010
11:15 am

Alabama finished #28 in scoring defense in 2007, and #31 in total defense in 2007, in Saban’s 1st year installing the 3-4.

Georgia’s ranked #23 in scoring defense, and #38 in total defense in Grantham’s 1st year installing the 3-4.

Saban gave up 21 points and almost 300 yards against La Monroe in the 11th game back in 2007, which Alabama lost, althought they were heavy favorites, so I expect Grantham to do the same.

People don’t realize how hard it is running the complex 3-4, in your 1st season, with the wrong type of body types.

Saban went 7-6 in 2007 at Alabama in his 1st season putting in the 3-4.

Just growing pains.

MURPHY

November 6th, 2010
11:15 am

Schultz,

I think Richt will resign after this season-couple reasons why I fell this way.

1) His loyalty to his coaches will make it almost impossible for him to make a major change.I feel the Martinez deal is still on his mind.
2) I believe the mess that this program is in at this time is way to big for him to want to dig out of it.At some point even the best know when a mountain cant be climbed.
3) I think the pressure has gotton to him and I dont see the Alumni support for him increasing.In fact I believe it will decrease drastically as we end the season.
4) To many player issue’s,arrest,turmoil. Nice guys finish last.

Just my opinion here

Ed

November 6th, 2010
11:16 am

I hope they beat us. No way St Mark stays if we lose to these retards.

Eagle

November 6th, 2010
11:16 am

I guess you can buy a win for a half a million at UGA, what a joke the UGA is.

Ralph

November 6th, 2010
11:16 am

Greg,

So right, Murray’s 4-5 start is Richt’s worse QB record in over 20 years. Murray really is awful, the worst of the worst.

Billy O

November 6th, 2010
11:18 am

Hey History Major…..history suggests that the Auburn-Georgia winner is the underdog more often than not. Also, history suggests that the visiting team wins more often. I doubt that the Dawgs have already conceded that game….that’s why they play them. If UGA plays a complete game against UA, they definitely have a chance to win….just saying…….GO DAWGS!

Scott

November 6th, 2010
11:18 am

Greg–I agree, Murray is terrible, and year 1 with the 3-4 is always a tough season. Plus the 4 games without AJ.

Ed

November 6th, 2010
11:19 am

Murray is the only bright star in this bunch of derpers. The kid is 19 years old and playing admirably while his aborted fetus of a team crumbles around him. By the time he’s a senior he will be the best QB in the SEC, maybe the country. Too bad the rest of the team will still probably suck.

ylojkt

November 6th, 2010
11:19 am

UGA will get their last win of the season today, dog fans, so enjoy it even if it is against Spud U.

Best of the Blogs | MrSEC.com

November 6th, 2010
11:20 am

[...] Georgia tries to overcome its hangover, writes Jeff Schultz of the AJC. [...]

Scott

November 6th, 2010
11:21 am

If Grantham holds Idaho State to less than 21, and less than 280 yards, believe it or not, he outcoached what Saban did against La Monroe in Saban’s 1st year with the 3-4 at Alabama.

But I don’t think Grantham can do that, surely Grantham isn’t better than the great Nick Saban.

saban

November 6th, 2010
11:22 am

Idaho State wins by 30.

Richt congratulates team on effort. Indicates he saw good things, while getting his tan in tanning salon.

Tells reporters they can still win SEC East.

Scott

November 6th, 2010
11:22 am

Murray will be a great QB at Appalachian State next year, where all the short guys go. He’s just not div 1 quality.

EDawg71

November 6th, 2010
11:23 am

All of you idiots calling for Richt’s head….who do you try to go get? Please, only intelligent responses.

Decatur Dawg

November 6th, 2010
11:23 am

“I think Richt will resign after this season.”

I sincerely hope that’s true. Richt has become a symbol for mediocrity, and he has to go. Better sooner than later.

Glory Glory

November 6th, 2010
11:24 am

Jeff,

you know you are not welcome in Athens right? It sickens me to see the AJC has sent you here today to make a mockery of the program so many of us love.

Please leave as soon as you can.

Michael

November 6th, 2010
11:24 am

Scott, remember, Grantham has Joe Cox Jr as his QB, A Murray, hard ot win games, when your QB turns the ball over 4 times a game.

SEC Championship Game

November 6th, 2010
11:24 am

Wonder if Gratham will give the Idaho St kicker the choke sign?

EDawg71

November 6th, 2010
11:25 am

Michael, the rule is, only intelligent responses.

ylojkt

November 6th, 2010
11:25 am

Also, I know that on the Tech blogs people borrow others names and use them to make stupid comments bashing Tech, I can only assume that this is the case on the UGA blogs for the people who bash Murray. Lets face it, UGA is not a good team this year, but Murray has looked pretty damn good for a first year QB. If you really are a UGA fan and are bashing Murray, you desperately need to find another team to (not) support and you know absolutely nothing about football. That kid is the only reason you’ve even been close in a number of games this year.