Time for rally caps, football team meeting

As the baseball Bulldogs try to pull out of a losing tailspin in the last week of the regular season, the glass-half-full view is that at least the 2009 team broke that David Perno era pattern of a great year (like 2008) always being followed by a terrible year. 

This year’s Diamond Dogs, ranked No. 1 in the nation much of the season, definitely are not terrible. 

But they’re not great, either, as evidenced by their current six-game losing streak, which derailed hopes of another regular season SEC championship. The defensive and pitching problems that have plagued the team all season have definitely gotten more serious of late. The Dogs seem incapable of holding a lead, even in the ninth inning. 

Still, with the chance of hosting an NCAA regional in Athens still within their grasp if they take this weekend’s final home series against Vandy, Perno’s Pups can’t be written off yet. 

It’s been a precipitous fall, though. Three weeks ago the No. 1-ranked Dogs, who’ve packed Foley Field most of the season, took two of three from also nationally ranked Arkansas and appeared to be in good shape. But the signs of inconsistency had been there all season. Led by the big bat of Rich Poythress, they were generally producing at the plate but often were unable to generate clutch runs and left too many runners stranded. The bullpen generally has been pretty awful in the latter part of the season, and there’ve been too many errors. 

But let’s keep this in perspective. It’s a young team that at times has started as many as five freshmen. The remarkable 14-win streak that opened the season got a lot of hopes up, but was mostly against lesser opposition, and while Georgia had some impressive sweeps against Mississippi State, Tennessee, Clemson and Kentucky, they dropped two of three to Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss and had some embarrassing midweek losses (including getting beaten in two games a week apart by Jacksonville State). 

Then came last weekend and getting swept by Florida in Athens.

Now sitting at sixth place in the overall SEC standings and ranked 13, 14 and 22 in the major national polls, the Dogs are 9-9 against ranked opponents and have won only two of their last eight games, leading many to say they’ve run out of gas. 

But as Perno has noted, his 2004 team, which finished third in the College World Series, also had a six-game losing streak (though they were SEC co-champions). And assuming they don’t continue to lose more than they win in the last week of the season, projections are the Dogs will continue the postseason in Athens after the SEC tournament. Even the worst case scenario has them making the NCAA  tournament if they don’t host a regional.

Not bad for one of Perno’s alternating “off” years.

If you’re able to make it to Foley Field to support the Dogs this weekend, tickets are still available for all three games of the series against Vandy, with first pitch at 7 p.m. tonight, 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. And if your kid has been just dying for a Georgia baseball jersey pillow (??!!), the first 1,500 fans entering on Saturday will get one as a freebie.

Nip it in the bud: As I wrote Thursday, the most troubling aspect of the rumored possible suspensions of three football players, still not confirmed by Mark Richt, is emerging pass-rush threat Justin Houston missing any playing time at defensive end. But the larger issue here is whether the suspensions, if they happen, are the sort of occasional minor rules violations that can be expected out of any group of 100-plus college students, or if they’re the first sign that the team’s off-season focus is beginning to waver. Either way, this probably would be a good time for leaders like Joe Cox to call a team meeting and get everyone’s attention. Forcefully.

133 comments Add your comment

BUZZ

May 10th, 2009
6:43 am

Just saw the new Star Trek movie. AWESOME. The only thing I’ve seen better is the CD of the a$$ whoppin Georgia Tech gave Georgia last year between the hedges. 45-42! Let me know if any of you want to purchase a copy.

ReptilesRule

May 10th, 2009
9:13 am

Dawgtime…Did you even READ my (previous) comments or don’t you even know how to navigate the English language?!?! The more I see some of these comments made by some of these “Dawg” fans, the more I understand why you are such losers!

ReptilesRule

May 10th, 2009
9:20 am

By the way, for you Georgia fans who critize other teams fans for making comments on a UGA Blog, this IS NOT a UGA BLOG! It clearly says Atlanta Journal Constitution NOT the Georgia Insider. Again, many of you either fail to read or to understand OR both. And the last time I checked, Atlanta is the home to THE Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, so why are YOU making comments on a GT Blog??? Morons.

shane#1

May 10th, 2009
10:38 am

There seems to be some serious bud nippin’ going on in Athens. Barney is on the loose! We don’t know what Figgins did but it must be pretty bad, or he must have copped an attitude when Richt got on his case. Either way, Richt has pretty much ended Figgin’s career at UGA. I guess the kid is free to transfer if he so desires. Hey Kiffin, need a good blocker at TE?

jason

May 10th, 2009
10:53 am

Doesthe Figgins situation mean that UGA is back to depleted depth at TE? Orson Charles will surely be getting more playing time, now.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

May 10th, 2009
11:37 am

This is not the end of it! There will be more. Unfortunately, we have just as many thugs on our team as Florida, Bama, Miami, and UT. It is the price that is paid in order to compete with other programs that load up with “Bone Thugs N’Harmony”.

How stupid is this Justin Houston character? He was the default starter b/c of all the injuries. It was like Jesus Christ himself was handing the kid the position and it was his to lose. What an idiot! Now another DE will get the nod and become the man regardless if he is better than Houston or not. Wilson and Figgins are less consequential. Figgins was the best blocker we had but this just makes playing time for the two highly recruited TE’s we just got. Hope they can block! Orson is a bit small for a TE so it is not looking good.

I just hope we don’t start the season 0-2. No patsy games for us at the beginning of the season to smooth these suspensions out. At this rate, I’ll be happy with 1-1. Georgia can not get into a shoot out with Ok State. I was confident in that game b/c I thought Georgia had a better defense. But Houston is not the last to get suspended from the defense.

And let’s not forget that the Athens PD never does us any favors whatsoever. No such thing as home cooking in Athens! At least the Gainesville Florida PD looks the other way every once in a while. Charges always seem to get dropped in those neck of the woods.

jason

May 10th, 2009
11:54 am

I am not going to dwell at this point. Last year it felt like we had 50 arrests and such. Houston will be missed, he was by defacto the starer. But we have Dobbs and Battle. I am now curious to see the Leadership, AKA Cox, Atkins, and Owens step up and apply the leadership so hopefully we want see anymore headlines like this one as we wait for the season to kick off.

staff fan now

May 10th, 2009
11:54 am

Don’t care much about motor scooter problems…..I even once saw a guy speeding in a car!

TO NERDEATER…when the opposing team gains 978 yards rushing in just the third quarter, now that is an azz whipping. Love it!

Jackson

May 10th, 2009
12:12 pm

We all talk about personal accountability. We all talk about coaches pressing and the leadership of the team pressing. It seems to me UGA needs to instill a “quasi” mentor program. Juniors should be given Freshman as their “battle buddies”. They should be held accountable for infractions. In other words, if freshman a does something that warrants a suspension, then junior a gets the same suspension. The same holds true in reverse, if junior a does something stupid then freshman a gets the same punishment. What is the psychology? Well, if player b does something to get suspended, he hurts the team but not one individual. These juniors and freshmen continue the tie as seniors and sophomores and then the process continues…. thoughts?

AltamahaDawg

May 10th, 2009
12:19 pm

Sure, the Junkyard Blog, by a fellow wearing a Georgia cap and Georgia shirt, credited as the author because he is a lifetime Georgia fan, could be about any team.

AltamahaDawg

May 10th, 2009
12:25 pm

Most of the suggestions I have heard in here are perfect if you were dealing with lab rats.

KNelson

May 10th, 2009
2:01 pm

dawggirl, have you ever been to uga on a weekday? Funny Richt suspends a starter for 2 games and a backup for 6. That is being strict richt? PLEASE!

Cuz

May 10th, 2009
4:17 pm

I guess Nelson it would depend on the severity of the infraction by the ammount of games suspended. And since Richt never talks about what rules were broken, we will never know for sure. And I willl answer the other part of your question, DawgGirl spends quite a bit of time in Athens according to her comments.

Jackson, it is time for the guys to move out of the house and become men. They don’t need new Moms and Dads. Character is defined by what you do when no one is watching. They need to be reminded that all actions have consequences.

RepRules, I have no problem with enemy bloggers coming on this site. General Neyland and I are great friends and as his name suggests, he is a Vol. I would like to meet Atlanta Gator one day, very classy individual. And yes I noticed I used classy and gator in the same sentence. Come one come all and give your comments. But Altamaha is right, it does say Junkyard Blawg and Bill King is very much a homer as he should be. The beat blog is the Team writer’s blog, which was Chip “Da Man” Towers and is now Tim “Don’t call me T-square” Tucker. Maybe if you ask Cynthia Tucker real nice she may give you a Gator blog. She has done stranger things. Keep commenting, I look forward to the give and take.

Cuz

May 10th, 2009
4:19 pm

Why am I not surprised that a Tech fan named Buzz went to see the new Star Trek movie on opening weekend? Did you wear your pointy ears too?

AltamahaDawg

May 10th, 2009
5:32 pm

Knelson, do you even know what either did? Why don’t you tell us all how much you know about this?

Bruce Figgins did figure to be a starter too.

The only funny thing is , why are you in here? I’m surprised to see you after so many people directly called you out on your lack on KNowledge about your own team. Let me guess, Tn has NEVER……….

And little man, you do not want to mess with DawgGirl. You would be better off leaving just the assumption that she knows more about football than you do, as opposed to confirming that.

Tech Fan

May 10th, 2009
6:10 pm

MY IQ is 20/20…

Cuz

May 10th, 2009
8:44 pm

976-957 hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

THUGA

May 10th, 2009
9:19 pm

Violations must be worst than driving a moped at 3am. THUGA! Wear it well mutts!

The Grinch

May 10th, 2009
10:05 pm

To BUZZ.

No shock here that you were one of the first to see the new Star Trek movie. So which character did you dress up as?? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

So you saw a “CD” of the game? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! A CD? I thought you guys were supposedly the smart ones. AHAHAHAHAHA. I guess you meant DVD. I heard about those – they come out once every 8 years and have a commemorative ring included……BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Atlanta Bammer

May 10th, 2009
11:31 pm

UGA is a school for tools!

KNelson

May 11th, 2009
12:03 am

I haven’t been to UGA on a weekday, but I do frequent Midtown on the weekends. Look for the guy with the crested blazer, ascot, leather chaps, and… nothing else ;)

BuLLdawg

May 11th, 2009
2:29 am

Advocating violence is not the answer, although I am quite fed up with the now 107 suspensions/arrests in the Coach Richt Era entering now our 9th season. If the players are not going to stay away from drugs, alcohol when driving or before they are of legal age or any excess, and beating up people at a pool because they think some girl is his girl and therefore not able to even have a conversation with someone else at the pool party, forcibly having the other players do what the coaching staff is wholly unable to handle themselves, is not going to fix it at all.

I disagree with you Bill King, as I often do it seems. Forcibly have the other players stop all these suspensions and arrests totalling 107 and counting beginning year 9 ?

No sir.

We have players who this staff recruited. They are supposed to be a Top Half a Dozen Recruiting Class every single solitary year, 9 years now and counting.

And, for 9 years now and counting, it is our players who get into serious enough trouble to warrant 107 Suspensions. We have had others that this staff tried to get in here, and the University turned them away, despite this staff.

The proper method of dealing with thugs is what has been happening. Not advocating other players forcibly correct the problem children.

The time for all this to come to an end, is what has not been happening.

I’m Dawg tired of it.

Jeff

May 11th, 2009
8:00 am

Here we go again- same old song and dance that will lead to another season of missed opportunities….we are starting to look alot like Fla State

Bill King

May 11th, 2009
8:55 am

you guys shut the hell up!!

Bill King

May 11th, 2009
8:56 am

I’m working on a new post about the stupidness of bloggers.

The Grinch

May 11th, 2009
9:07 am

To Bill King (imposter)

Please re-read your posts at 8:55AM and 8:56AM. Strange kind of contradiction there, don’t you think? I mean, “you guys shut the hell up” followed by a comment about the “stupidness of bloggers”.

WTF??

May 11th, 2009
9:12 am

I do LOVE COX!!!

hop

May 11th, 2009
9:34 am

i have been a huge supporter of coach richt,but the same problems that fsu has experienced has followed him to athens.

i know that tennessee,alabama other sec teams have been throught this as well,but it never stops in athens.

also, you don’t see saban having the same problems at alabama now. whatever he is doing is working.

i am getting a little tired with the excuses coming out of athens.

we must(as the falcons) have done upgrade the type of player we are recruiting because if we don’t, we will not be a contender for another championship.

mark richt must learn what other successful programs are doing right and make the necessary changes!

I-DOG

May 11th, 2009
10:50 am

Soulja Boy:

Your predictions are as innacurate as your “facts”. Lets take your predictions… (the 3 will miss meaningless games). Projected starter at DE to miss the first 2 games including a trip to to 10 ranked OKL State and South Carolina. The projected starter at TE will miss 6 games
including the 2 mentioned above AND Arkansas, Arizon State, LSU, as well as TN. He comes back just in time for Vandy and an open date. The third player. a backup WR… is no longer on the team.

Good thing for UGA that these games are all cupcakes, otherwise we might actually miss these players for these meaningless games.

BUZZ

May 12th, 2009
6:23 pm

And I’ll bet Sugar Hill Dawg a case of PBR and Red man that we win again tonight. I love it. I mean I really love it. I love everything about shutting Georgia down and Georgia fans UP!

The Grinch

May 12th, 2009
11:15 pm

To BUZZ

Hope Sugar Hill Dawg enjoys the PBR and Red Man….. glad you love it … 7 – 5 ……. what was that about shutting Georgia down and Georgia fans UP…..BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The Grinch

May 12th, 2009
11:17 pm

To Buzz

Say, just when will you get the “CD” of tonight’s baseball game so you can watch it all the time …………BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

The Grinch

May 12th, 2009
11:20 pm

To BUZZ

Say, buzzy boy, does a 2 run baseball victory count as an “a$$ whoopin” as you like to refer to a 3 point football victory?? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!