Georgia short takes: Dogs should’ve spiked the ball

Jay Rome's 19-yard touchdown catch gave Georgia 7-0 lead two plays following fake punt. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Jay Rome's touchdown catch gave Georgia 7-0 lead two plays after fake punt. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

(I’ll be back with my column on the Georgia-Alabama SEC championship soon. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the game.)

1. Great drive until the last decision: Trialing 32-28, Georgia was given a second chance to drive for a winning touchdown when an Aaron Murray interception was turned over on replay, which showed the ball hit the ground. So with the ball at the Dogs’ 28 on second-and-10, Murray then capitalized when completed passes to Arthur Lynch (15 yards), Tavarres King (23) and Lynch again (26), moving the ball to the Alabama 8. However, with the final seconds (from :09 after Lynch’s second catch) ticking down, Murray did not take the ensuing snap and spike the ball to stop the clock. Instead, he ran a play and completed a tipped pass to Chris Conley, who was tackled at the Alabama 5 and time ran out. It was a great three plays and a dreadful fourth. While it’s no guarantee that the result would have been different, spiking the ball to stop the clock would have allowed the Dogs to set up for one more play, potentially a more successful one.

2. It’s still about blocking and tackling: I know Georgia parlayed a fake punt into a first down and eventually a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead, and Alec Ogletree’s 55-yard return of a blocked field goal (by Cornelius Washington) gave the Dogs a seemingly insurmountable 21-10 lead in the third quarter. But we saw again why football is still about being able to knock the other guy over. Alabama’s offensive line, widely considered the best in the nation, took over the game in the second half, enabling the Tide’s Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon to pile rushing yards and the team to drive to three touchdowns after trailing 21-10. As Alabama’s line physically beat up the Dogs’ front, Georgia’s defense started to tire and missed tackles.

3. Georgia proved its worth: It’s probably of little consolation to Georgia fans but the Bulldogs proved their worth in this game. Some doubted their standing of being the nation’s third best team, behind Notre Dame and Alabama (according to BCS rankings). There were criticisms of their perceived easy schedule and the way they were manhandled by South Carolina earlier in the season. But Georgia just narrowly lost a game to a program that has won two of the last three BCS championships and will be favored for another title against Notre Dame. There were four lead changes in the second half. If the Dogs don’t let down, they will have a chance in a bowl game to finish off a 12-2 season with possibly a top-5 ranking.

By Jeff Schultz

475 comments Add your comment

ALUM

December 1st, 2012
8:12 pm

I am depressed.

ALUM

December 1st, 2012
8:12 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

December 1st, 2012
8:13 pm

Seemed to me watching the broadcast like the call to not spike came from the sidelines, not from Murray. Bad decision either way, but it didn’t seem to me like Murray was at fault.

Let’s be real, though, they lost that game because they played run defense all game like the 2005 Falcons during the Samkon Gado game, not because they didn’t spike it with 5 seconds left. It never should have come to that.

ALUM

December 1st, 2012
8:14 pm

BOBO WHY DID YOU SIGNAL FOR MURRAY TO KEEP GOING AND NOT SPIKE IT

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???????????????????????????????????

GOD ALMIGHTY I AM GOING TO BURN MY GEORGIA DIPLOMA

AtlDawg

December 1st, 2012
8:14 pm

Aaron – Please go to the NFL !

Snake Doc

December 1st, 2012
8:16 pm

While I was kind of rooting for UGA, Ialways knew that somehow it would come down to coaching. And come down to coaching it did.

Once again the CEO proves he is not worthy of leading a team t a national championship.

Sorry Boneheads… Maybe next year. BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Vel Crow

December 1st, 2012
8:16 pm

Bobo was upstairs. That call is on Richt.

AtlDawg

December 1st, 2012
8:17 pm

Stupid, stupid, stupid. We will NEVER get there. Just isn’t gonna happen. Really sad for all DAWG fans everywhere.

Dooley

December 1st, 2012
8:17 pm

“Fire the coaching staff” comments in 5….4….3….2….1….

LOL

December 1st, 2012
8:17 pm

Vince

December 1st, 2012
8:17 pm

Kudos to the Dawgs for a great game. Probably the worst coaching decisions I’ve ever seen during the last 15 seconds. Why didn’t Murray spike the ball??????? You don’t throw a flair pass SHORT of the goal line with 9 seconds left!!!!!!! These guys persevered even with poor leadership.

FaithfulDawg87

December 1st, 2012
8:17 pm

Don’t you blame this on Murray!!!!! This was on the coaches! Clock management has always been a huge weakness of Richt’s. I love Richt, and I truly believe he is the coach for UGA, but he seriously needs to work on clock management! Our boys played their hearts out and should have won this game, but they can hold their heads high. They showed all the haters that they can play with Alabama or anyone else in the country.

Wayne P

December 1st, 2012
8:18 pm

Sean Williams not making the tackle on 3rd down then the Dawgs giving up the winning touchdown pass on the next play was the dagger. Bad tackling has been our downfall.

Russa

December 1st, 2012
8:19 pm

“they will have a chance in a bowl game to finish off a 12-2 season with possibly a top-5 ranking”

yeah, should be “fun” to watch the K-Mart Blue Light Special Bowl or whatever pointless bowl they’re heading to that’s not a BCS game

Beeeeg Boy

December 1st, 2012
8:19 pm

ALUM, Why don’t you move to Alabama!!

Snake Doc

December 1st, 2012
8:20 pm

FaithfulDawg87 – But they can’t beat them.

To others – the pass was tipped at the line. Should’ve spiked the ball. This loss, like so many others, lays at the feet of the coaches.

Leroy

December 1st, 2012
8:20 pm

Oh Dawgies, let me taste your tears of sadness, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

Coach Richt

December 1st, 2012
8:20 pm

golly gee wiz, we will get them next year!

b

December 1st, 2012
8:21 pm

now we go to bowl game that befits a loser the toilet bowl. even ga cant mess that one up

SEC Football Expert

December 1st, 2012
8:22 pm

(8f you give up 350 yards rushing, you just won’t win many games.

Snake Doc

December 1st, 2012
8:22 pm

CEO – You ain’t playing a soft schedule next year… You don’t have 10 games against Our Sisters of the Poor and your losing over half your defense to the NFL. NO, next year will be at best 8-3 maybe 7-6. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ALUM

December 1st, 2012
8:22 pm

GEORGIA NEEDS TO QUITE BEING PROUD OF MEDIOCRE SEASONS

falcondumpsterfire

December 1st, 2012
8:24 pm

conley should not have caught the ball..he should have let it drop…not only that, murray should have spiked it a the 8 and set up 2 plays for the win…poor clock management..it is on Richt

7576DAWG

December 1st, 2012
8:24 pm

Great game and when you think about it the reason Bobo didn’t chose to spike the ball is because Georgia was trying to use the confusion of hurry up to get Bama to make a mistake and us score. Murray couldn’t help that the Bama guy tipped the ball and the reason Conley caught it was because he turned around to find the tipped ball hitting him in the chest. Natural reaction made him catch it. Great game and this is one of those times that someone had to lose.
The only questioned call was , with 5 minutes to go and we are 3rd and 1 before Murray hiked the ball Bama bunched up the middle and Murray should have called for an audible or called time out because there was no way Gurley was going to make that one yard as tight as that middle was.

Jim Jack

December 1st, 2012
8:24 pm

FIRE GRANTHAM!!!!!!! Terrible tackling, Fundamental defense lost this one. Not the offense.

Heartbroken, Sick and Angry

December 1st, 2012
8:24 pm

We lost this game when we went 3 and out on our next possession after Bama scored the second to last TD. A couple first downs and even a FG could’ve put Bama in a corner. Murray should’ve spiked the ball but Georgia shouldn’t have been in that spot to begin with anyway. This is most heartbreaking loss since the FG loss to Florida three years ago. I’m 35 and I’m on the verge of tears. Thank God for Maker’s Mark.

Snake Doc

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

ALUM – aint gonna happen. Mediocre life, okay wife, just a job to get by…. Thats all that matters to a bonehead.

Hey if we can challenge for a NC every 40 years…. Thats good enuff for a bonehead.

Paul Finebum

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

GA Fans you have a lot to be proud of. You guys will win the Music City Bowl. You guys beat a great Kentucy team. Also. most importantly, YOU GUYS RUN THE STATE.

David Granger

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

Have mixed emotions about the last play. If we had caught Alabama napping and got a quick “hurry up” TD, everyone would be talking about what great coaching it was. (I do wish the receiver had thought quickly enough to drop the deflection.)
Alabama could run the ball at will, even when we KNEW it was coming. And that was the main difference in the game.
The officiating seemed very poor…lots of missed calls. But at least they went in both directions, and didn’t swing the game either way.
Going into the game, everyone pretty much knew that Alabama had a big advantage in their offensive line. Alabama recruits these 6′5″ 275 pounders…puts them on a high-protein diet at the training table…and bulks them up to 325 pounds or so by sending them to the weight room every day. Georgia recruits these 6′5″ 275 pounds…and bulks them up to 350 pounds by sending them to the Old Country Buffet.

poise

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

…is always missing, in big games that should be embedded at quarterback. never seen so many bad plays, decisions & costly dumb turnovers in big games from a quarterback who suppose 2b above average…

Walter Cronkite

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

This just in… – Georgia loses to Alabama in SEC Game… I repeat….. Georgia LOSES again…

IlliniDawg

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

After cooling off for a little while, having a beer and grilling salmon, I now feel proud of how my Dawgs played. We matched up very well against what has been the gold standard of the NCAA for the past five years. If you had told me beforehand that we would score three offensive TDs, one defensive TD, lose by only 4 points and have just 100 yards less offense than Bama, I would have been ecstatic. This was a good loss as far as losses go.

augusta dawg

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

more sub par coaching…….This is close as CMR and Bobo will get to a national championship……..But the dawgs played their hearts out….. Some things never change….,,,,,.Back to square one———— COACHING………..

Nick Saban's Heart

December 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

I just turned a darker shade of black

bamaguy

December 1st, 2012
8:26 pm

Georgia played a great game. But in the end, the better team won. Better team, better coach, better program.

k

December 1st, 2012
8:26 pm

Sucks, heartbroken, but disagree that it was a bad call. Spike it, #1 D in the country gets to regroup too. Hit mitchell on that back shoulder, they’re legends. Sucks that it got tipped.

Jim Jack

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

Georgia needs an ERK! Not a Jerk!

DawgEd

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

Schultz is dim second-guesser. It was a good decision by Bobo/Richt … as that call only takes takes three seconds more than a spike. It got batted, and our guy instinctively caught it. Otherwise, it would have been two good shots at the endzone.

Lay off Richt and Murray. The difference was three A-A’s on Bamas offensive line.

DawgEd

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

Schultz is dim second-guesser. It was a good decision by Bobo/Richt … as that call only takes takes three seconds more than a spike. It got batted, and our guy instinctively caught it. Otherwise, it would have been two good shots at the endzone.

Lay off Richt and Murray. The difference was three A-A’s on Bamas offensive line.

bamaguy

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

I thought God loved Richt and Hated Saban? That is all I have heard on here for weeks. I guess you guys can get off the Christian high horse now and realize that the game is decided by players and coaches. Period.

tell me again

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

Oh, quit blaming Richt and Bobo for the last few plays / geez, all of us who don’t know what it is like to play in that situation are just geniuses, aren’t we? ~ why don’t you blame him for that great punt fake as well? The fact is – we could have won – BUT – Bama has a great team – they ran the ball almost at will at times – they are the better overall team. We have a very, very good team- a day late and a dollar short. Anybody who says Murray cannot compete in the big games is a total idiot – he played like a champ. This team made monstrous progress from last years SEC game. kudos to Bama – Kudos to the Dawgs and Coaches – great year – great job. Proud to be a Dawg. Let’s go win one more.

BamaBill

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

Helluva game, best SECCG I’ve ever seen..it shows why the SEC is the best conference in America. Bad that someone had to lose, and although I’m totally glad that Bama won, I hate it that ya’ll aren’t going to a BCS bowl…It’s deserved…Congrats!

I'm a Georgia fan. It's a license to be stupid.

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

not sure if yall noticed the 300+ yards Bama gained on Grantham’s junkyard defense…

True Georgia Fan

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

1) People are bashing Richt here (if he gave the indication to not spike) but Saban was just as erroneous at the end of the 1st half to not use his timeouts

2) Murray is no Peyton Manning but I have seen worse QB’s here and his overall game was much better than Alabama’s QB (especially considering the head shot he took).

3) The Defense had a bad Q3 but we would not have even had a chance for that last drive if they had not held Alabama in the final minutes.

4) If we ever expect to get good recruits to come to UGA, they are going to want fans who show appreciation for their players not constant criticism.

rabundawg

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

hey great over the should pass to the endzone…got tipped…could have happened even after spike

Herschel Who?

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

Jesus is a Bama fan.

Why?

December 1st, 2012
8:27 pm

So braves heartbreak first
Then dogs
Should the falcons even bother?

Atl=Cleveland :(

ZinoDawg

December 1st, 2012
8:28 pm

D lost this game. They couldn’t win the war up front and stop the run. Add in a bunch of penalties and we’re history.

So Close

December 1st, 2012
8:28 pm

haha…so close mutts. Go cry in your doghouses!

dbc

December 1st, 2012
8:28 pm

Terrible way for the game to end. But in the end, BAMA deserved it more. A defense filled with NFL draft picks shouldn’t give up 350 yards rushing (third game in a row for that.) I’m also sick and tired of players like Rambo and Swann who can’t shut their yaps and just play the game. Fitting that the two players who talked the most showed the least. Swann couldn’t cover and was toast on more than one occasion and Rambo was more interested in getting a strip than making a tackle He was also abused by a freshman receiver who simply took the ball away from him (similar play to first series of SC game.) I’m also tired of Murray’s Jekyll/Hyde act — really hope he goes pro. CMR had his chance for a NC and I seriously doubt this opportunity will come along again anytime soon. Back to status quo, I guess.