Richt looks for tighter pass defense

Will Willie Martinez (left) listen to Mark Richt? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Will Willie Martinez (left) listen to Mark Richt? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

One of the most common laments heard in Sanford Stadium last week was how much of a cushion Georgia’s defenders were giving South Carolina’s receivers and how open the middle of the Dogs’ zone defense was all night. It was particularly bad on some third-down plays when the Georgia defenders seemed willing to give up a first down just to prevent the long ball.

Well, at least the fans weren’t the only ones noticing how soft Willie Martinez’s zone was as Georgia yielded 313 yards in the air to Carolina. Martinez’s boss did, too. And Mark Richt says change is in order, Georgiadogs.com reports.

“It doesn’t matter if you play zone or man, there was too much space and not enough resistance,” Richt said of the Dogs’ defense against the Gamecocks. “We’ve got to squeeze the quarterback in the pocket and the receivers, too. Offensive football is about getting that space out there for the receivers and Coach [Steve] Spurrier is good at that and [Arkansas] Coach [Bobby] Petrino has proven that, too.”

Arkansas leads the SEC and is ranked second nationally in passing offense (447 yards per game), and they are second in the league and third nationally in total offense (591 yards per game). Although that’s based on one game against a weak Missouri State, Hogs QB Ryan Mallett has one of the stronger arms in college football. The Dogs could be in trouble Saturday if they play as far off Mallett’s receivers, particularly tight end D.J. Williams, as they did against South Carolina’s.

Let’s hope Richt’s words translate into action by Martinez.

132 comments Add your comment

bh

September 17th, 2009
10:37 am

lets hope so. i am a die hard dawg fan; however, the softness of the defense is driving me crazy. i just think that a fire needs to be lit, not only on the defense, but on offense as well. the dawgs just dont seem to have that killer instinct. i hope they get it soon.

Another Dawg

September 17th, 2009
10:43 am

Let’s just run the defense we had against OK State for every game. Put a helmet on a receiver on every play and disrupt the route running.

L-Dawg

September 17th, 2009
10:47 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

SO MUCH MORE FUN CHEERING FOR MY TEAM THAN BOOING/ENVYING ANOTHER!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

2 DAYS TIL WE GO 2-0 IN THE SEC!!!!

Ginger

September 17th, 2009
10:49 am

Glad CMR recognizes this pass defense is too lose. Would love to see him look at the whole scheme and consult with defensive guru’s to make necessary corrections…UGA defense gave up too many yards last yr and is on the same path to do it again…You win with great defense. TV anaylst Craig James noted that the Dogs were not recognizing passing routes…this is correctable.

dap01

September 17th, 2009
10:49 am

Play normal defense. Don’t try to explain why the “schemes” are correct, when we can clearly see the results.

If it is 3rd and 9, the defense must engage within the 9 yards needed. It’s not rocket science.

Yellow Fuzz

September 17th, 2009
10:50 am

“Richt looks for tighter pass defense” and I look to win the lottery.

Sanford Drive

September 17th, 2009
10:54 am

And this is supposed to be fixed in a week when it has been a problem for years? Ha.

we had a great gameplan but didn't execute

September 17th, 2009
11:06 am

we may be making some progress here. We didn’t hear about the great game plan. We heard about the need for things to get better. CMR mentioning that CWM needs improvement in the media!
that is a big step in the right direction.

Joey

September 17th, 2009
11:09 am

I don’t think I like you much, Yellow Fuzz, but that was an excellent observation. Well, Richt’s head came partially out of the sand. He thinks there is a problem! The old roommate might not get his raise this year. Martinez can’t fix what he broke himself or he would have already!

Burdell

September 17th, 2009
11:12 am

Look what you people did to your beautiful campus!!!

Way to take pride and be respectful! And don’t blame it on the USCe fans…they were outnumbered 15 to 1.

http://www.ajc.com/news/uga-news-conference-to-140510.html

Michael Odom

September 17th, 2009
11:12 am

Martinez is Richt’s south Florida homeboy. That is why he is still around.

Michael Odom

September 17th, 2009
11:15 am

BTW, Burdell, that is what happens at the Grove in Oxford every Saturday and they have it clean 1 hour before church every Sunday.

Burdell

September 17th, 2009
11:25 am

Regardless….it says something about the fans….and it’s not good.

Dshep

September 17th, 2009
11:30 am

MoDawg

September 17th, 2009
11:36 am

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss! Finally, Richt points to a flaw on defense that needs some attention. Hopefully Willie will see this public acknowledgement as a sign to get his $@% together.

’bout time!!

Burdell, don’t lump the majority of fans into the same group of people who did that. It was disgraceful and hopefully this type of activity will be policed a little better in the future, but I would bet (your) 15-1 that the vast majority of fans find this repulsive and will work to ensure it is minimized in the future.

Go Dawgs!!

stevendallas dogfan

September 17th, 2009
11:37 am

The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. CWM is not ready for this level of play. He would be great in D2. Let us pay what is needed for QUALIFIED/ PROVEN asst. coaches. And yes I did say COACHES. BoBo has got to gogo also. Come on Adams, rebuild thsi year, the DAWG nation deserves the best.

Dshep

September 17th, 2009
11:38 am

There is no excuse for letting tightends and flat routes being open on that many occassions. Why do we play 10 yards off of the wideouts also.?? I would much rather get beat deep than to get picked apart!!!!

Burdell

September 17th, 2009
11:43 am

Let’s hope you’re right MoDawg. One thing UGA has is a beautiful campus and it’s a shame to see it defaced.

TheItalianDawg

September 17th, 2009
11:46 am

Folks, our players play hard and most of them are blue chips and thats what keep us competitive but the problem is WM,the DC, its that plain & simple, he has pretty bad system and seems never able to adjust our D for whats going on the field. I remember BVG creativity in adjusting the D and we the fan could see the difference like day and night. please, I peg you to free Willie

Jake7

September 17th, 2009
11:51 am

This is a FIRST ! I guess when it is SOOOO obvious, even a 2 year old can see , the boss HAS to CALL it out! Maybe, we will see a little sense of urgency from Willie.

CMS

September 17th, 2009
11:51 am

Yall sure do know how to clean up after yourselves. Must you dogs take crap where you eat?!

dawgrific

September 17th, 2009
11:52 am

amen, if you lock down on the wr’s/te’s at the line on 3rd and 5 and they go over-the-top for a big-gainer then hats off to them. I hate the “bend-but-yet-break” I mean the “bend-but-don’t break” and always have. “Pressure on the QB and receivers can work wonders” Confucious say.

Try selling out a 55,000 seat stadium......

September 17th, 2009
11:53 am

Burdell, the reason this doesn’t happen at Tech, is because there is no greenspace for tailgating. The 7 or 8 fans who do want to throw together a tailgate prefer the top parking level of The Varsity. No Thank You!!!

I do like how you pretend UGA is the ONLY school who lets this happen. Every school with a real campus and real fans have the same issue. You are no classier than we are you useless piece of _______.

Brooks

September 17th, 2009
11:55 am

Has Georgia ever looked worse in playing the boot or anything against the flow in the passing game. We have looked awful in staying at home in coverage. The TD we gave up to Carolina was a classic example with nobody in the picture when they slipped their back out underneath. Well designed play and call. Our LB’s are very capable in coverage and we must send the statement that teams must be able to complete passes down the field to beat us. We must cover the TE. I also noticed guys looking confused and pointing at each other a good bit against Carolina which lets me know that assignments were being missed. That’s football but you can’t have that occuring over and over. I feel we will be able to pressure Mallett on Saturday and force him to make bad decisions. GO DAWGS

Yellow Fuzz

September 17th, 2009
11:55 am

See what I mean about georgia fans.

http://www.ajc.com/news/uga-news-conference-to-140510.html

How about taking a little more pride in your school PIGS! Just because your football team plays like trash doesn’t mean the dog nation can go to a game and act like they are in their own house.

Yellow Fuzz

September 17th, 2009
11:58 am

“Sunday morning most of the campus was covered with garbage”.

24/7/365 (Hahahahahahahahaha)

uuugh...

September 17th, 2009
11:58 am

Well Hallelujah! I can’t believe I am reading this. Our D has been too soft for several years now. The only times our D has been successful under Martinez is when we get picks. No picks = defense looks terrible. His whole scheme is based on the other team screwing up. You know who doesn’t screw up? The good teams that blow us out every year.

A change is sorely needed and our head man openly commenting is finally a (small) step in the right direction!

Portland Dawg

September 17th, 2009
12:03 pm

I want to comment on another story posted today that has no blog section to do so….the one about all the trash on campus after the game last week, which, in my opinion it’s about darn time someone wrote an article on this and the Univeristy says something to the fans.

I was born and raised in Athens and lived there until I was 24 years old. I have been to countless UGA football games and always loved the tailgating experience. I now live on the west coast and unfortunately dont get back for games that often anymore. Last year, I came home for the UGA/UT game and was absolutely astounded by the amount of trash Dawgs fans left behind. My wife, who had never been to a UGA game, was very imprssed with the passion and excitemnt of a gameday in Athens, but also couldnt believe that the fans that seem to love the Univeristy so much would also be willing to do that kind of damage and disrepect to the campus. I cannot ever remember ever seeing that much trash thrown on the groud on gameday when I was growing up. I cannot for the life of me understand how these people have gone through life not learning how to use a trash can. From now on, all you idiots who simply throw your trash on the ground, you NEED to STOP disrespecting our school and town and learn how to clean up after yourselves. The UGA campus IS NOT your personal trash can. Whats wrong with you?

Dawgfan

September 17th, 2009
12:04 pm

I watched the S.C game just like I’m sure you all did. 95% of S.C passing plays we played zone. CB lining up 10 yards off the ball. The one time we did play aggressive zone it was an interception. Like someone stated already put a helmet on these receivers running their routes. Bump and run with them.. Don’t just let them run free. I’m not a pro-coach but I know football. Pressure on the QB, plus pressure on the wide-outs usually equals success. But you have to do both or at least make a great effort to do so. If not these QB will seat back in that pocket and eat any zone defense alive.

Saint Simons

September 17th, 2009
12:04 pm

The campus looked like one large trailer park!!!! Thats how they live!!!!

how2fish

September 17th, 2009
12:05 pm

Yellow Fuzz 1st you should look to beat the Canes and second you don’t have enough fans at that high school stadium on game days to make a mess.

WildBill

September 17th, 2009
12:10 pm

Golly Gee, the pass defense too soft? Well, heck yeah. What a discovery!! I wonder when CMR discovered this bit o’ trivia. Maybe some fan will remind CMR that his special teams suck too! Plus the offense! Wow, maybe he should run the black uniforms in too, and stomp in the endzone, go swimming, go bowling, heck, just mail it in!!!!!!!

hem o'roid

September 17th, 2009
12:11 pm

Go you slobbering Hawgs, beat the whining, leghumper ballless dogs! thw/ugay

GTDog

September 17th, 2009
12:17 pm

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a game in Athens, but I don’t recall ANYTHING like the mess in those pics. That’s a disgrace. And we can say anything we want to about 92,000+ v. 35,000 fans, there’s still no excuse for trashing your own campus. I mean, how sad do you have to be to leave tents, chairs, etc. behind, not to mention all the garbage? I almost think that drunken students must have come through AFTER the game and dumped out all the trashcans. Or disgruntled SC fans maybe? Please, there must be some other explaination for this mess, he11, you can’t even walk through the area without stepping on all the crap.

Habersham Dawg

September 17th, 2009
12:26 pm

Dear Yellow Fuzz,

Your immaturity is getting old. Your actions reveal your jealousy of a real football program. With each post, your envy increases little by little. Actually, it is a little entertaining…

Take your little fuzzy self on over to the Georgia Tech blog.

Try selling out a 55,000 seat stadium......

September 17th, 2009
12:28 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE How Tech “fans” act like we are the only campus in the world with this problem. It is EVERY campus that…well….has a campus!!!

Go to he11 you dam bugs!!! You are the snobbiest “fans” in the NCAA. Sell Tickets, Win games, compete in rivalries, then come on to the Dawg-Blawg and talk.

Barbara Dooley

September 17th, 2009
12:29 pm

Don’t forget, Herschel. Vince will be gone Saturday so I will be ready (wink wink)

robodawg

September 17th, 2009
12:31 pm

So glad to hear those words from CMR! We have great athletes in the secondary, let’s let them apply some blanket coverage.

Bobby Petrino

September 17th, 2009
12:32 pm

Just be careful when you enter the stadium. I’m prone to leaving a slime trail wherever I go. You can ask the Falcons how hard it was to clean up my left behind slime.

VentingDawg

September 17th, 2009
12:38 pm

I HOPE Adams is chosen to take over for Brand!!! Anything to get him out of UGA!

Fayetville Veteranarian

September 17th, 2009
12:38 pm

All UGA players, coaches and fans must be treated for fleas and ticks before entering the stadium.

Yellow Fuzz

September 17th, 2009
12:40 pm

Trailer Trash = georgia bulldog nation.

To tell you the truth, I hate to see the pictures this Saturday when both georgia and Arkansas tailgate together.

Ouch

JB

September 17th, 2009
12:42 pm

hey yellow buzz, fuzz whatever………no problem with trash at Tech for several reasons. No tail gating for fear of Robbery. no crowd to tailgate. Free pizza and coke inside, why bring food.
This is not bashing, just true……think about it.

Gary

September 17th, 2009
12:42 pm

Glad to see coach has finally noticed the problem with the zone we are always throwing out there. The corners are highly touted recruits. Let them use their athletic ability to limit the chances of a big play and let them play man coverage and jam the receivers at the line to slow them down. That will help the pass rush and force mistakes or incomplete passes. Time for a defensive adjustment. Or basically let the defense play the same type of scheme they were playing in the red zone last week. That should force some three and outs.

Nerd

September 17th, 2009
12:47 pm

yellow pee,

you don’t even know what “tailgating” is. You think it involves playing D&D on the library computer.

Yellow Fuzz

September 17th, 2009
12:48 pm

Sorry folks I am through posting for the day. I just can’t seem to get the pictures of those trash heaps out of my mind.

I do wonder how many of georgia’s ex players were allowed out of their cell for the day to join the chain gangs that cleaned it all up.

VAN

September 17th, 2009
12:57 pm

I’m a big Dawg fan and always have been. I never played football because I’m a woman and I never quite got the hang of knowing exactly what plays are being run on offense or defense. However, it seems to me that our defense is simply attempting to “head tackle” instead of wrapping up anyone carrying the ball. Aren’t you supposed to put your arms around the ball carrier and drive them down instead of just trying to knock them off balance? Here’s to hoping we’ll do better this weekend. GO DAWGS!

HH

September 17th, 2009
1:07 pm

Richt knows what he’s got in Martinez. He knows very well that Martinez is incapable of correcting the problem/s. Richt also knows what he needs to do about it. Problem is…he doesn’t have the guts. Hopefully Adams does when the season is over. But, Bulldog fans, don’t hold your breath.

77DAWG

September 17th, 2009
1:12 pm

Did you guy forget what CMR said right after USC game? “We play good red zone D, they had to kick FG three times”. He already guard against all conerns of the soft D Willy used. Willy is very safe from any criticism and I bet he would careless what CMR told him. The bottom line is he know real well friendship is the most important thing here. Dawg nation loves 9 or 10 wins every year. We don’t want anything beyond that!!!

MoDawg

September 17th, 2009
1:14 pm

Yellow Fuzz…your mind IS a trash heap!

Good riddance!