Keys to a win over the Hogs … plus Adams to NCAA?

Branden Smith could be a key special teams player. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Branden Smith could be a key special teams player. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Both teams in Saturday’s Georgia-Arkansas game are a bit of a mystery.

For the Dogs, the big question is whether the offense that put more than 40 points up against South Carolina will show up, or will it be that anemic, indecisive bunch that had trouble scoring on Okie State? As for the Hogs, a lot of folks are expecting them to be one of the conference’s high-powered scoring machines, but they’ve played only one game against a minor-league opponent so far. And we don’t know if their defense, which was terrible last year, has improved much.

I think the Dogs should be able to prevail. But certain key factors are needed for that to happen:

Georgia must put real pressure on Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. Let him stand in the pocket and he’s going to pick the Dogs’ already shaky pass defense apart.

The Dogs also must tighten up their zone coverage. They must leave much less of a cushion, especially for Razorbacks tight end D.J. Williams. Better tackling would help, too. As Willie Martinez himself told the Athens Banner Herald: “We’ve got to do a better job of pressuring the quarterback, whether that’s through blitz or that’s just through our front four, our four-man rush, and we’ve got to play consistently better in coverage.”

The Dogs need to establish their running game. More than that, they must not back away from it for long periods as Mike Bobo has done in the first two games this season. Richard Samuel is a punishing runner and Caleb King will be back this game to spell him. Keep pounding them and also throw to the backs, including shifty Carlton Thomas. Not only will it set up the play-action passing game for Joe Cox, it’ll keep Mallett off the field.

Georgia needs to win the special teams matchup. This was a weak point for Arkansas last season. Georgia has legitimate return threats in Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith, but execution is the key. And containment on the Dogs’ kickoffs must be more consistent, whether the ball is booted directionally or not.

Georgia really needs to flip its turnover margin. The Dogs can’t keep losing the ball more than they take it away. They were lucky against South Carolina.

Penalties must be reduced. I know Mark Richt wants his team to be aggressive, and it’s not those unnecessary roughness or pass interference flags that are the primary concern. It’s the offsides and holding calls that are the big extenders of opponents’ drives and killers of our own drives.

The other big key is whether the Razorbacks’ off week helps them significantly. Arkansas is a well-rested team. The Dogs are playing their third straight tough game. As my brother Tim noted, fatigue could be a big factor, just as it was for Tech against Miami.

Overall, though, I think the Dogs will win. Mallett may be able to march the Hogs up and down the field between the 20s, much as South Carolina did, but the Dogs are tough in the red zone. And I don’t expect Arkansas to have nearly as stout a defense as the Gamecocks.

How do you feel about this game? What do you see as the keys to a Georgia win?

ADAMS FOR NCAA

There’s a lot of support among Bulldog fans for UGA President Michael Adams to replace the late Myles Brand as head of the NCAA, mainly because they want him out of Athens. That should surprise no one who’s heard Adams booed at football games.

Adams has never been a favorite of mine, and not just because of the way he’s tended to bigfoot the athletic department, whether it was pushing Jim Harrick as basketball coach or dissing Vince Dooley. When Adams was up for the UGA job, I remember thinking he was the least qualified of the candidates in terms of experience and academic standing. I happen to believe the president of a major university should be more than a glorified fund-raiser with good political connections.

But I actually find myself with mixed feelings about the idea of Adams moving to the NCAA job, and not because of what he might do there. Getting all those university presidents to do anything major, like a playoff system, is akin to herding kittens, so I think Adams’ potential impact on the organization is fairly limited.

My misgivings are based on the fact that the same folks who picked Adams as UGA’s president, notably influential Board of Regents member Don Leeburn, are still in place and would be picking his replacement. And who knows what they’d come up with this time?

So I’d like to see Adams gone. But I’m not sure we’ll be better off without him.

98 comments Add your comment

Cuz

September 18th, 2009
10:34 am

Hey, hey what do you say, Adams for the NCAA…..

quedawg4

September 18th, 2009
10:37 am

Caleb spelling Samuel… Are you serious?

DawgFan

September 18th, 2009
10:42 am

You forgot about getting the ball in the hands of AJ Green. He needs to have 10-12 touches minimum. The guy is a player.

Bill King

September 18th, 2009
10:44 am

I didn’t forget about AJ. Green. Getting him the ball is a given in every game.

reality check

September 18th, 2009
10:57 am

Your point about the running game is spot on. Every game in the Richt era where we have run less than 50% of the time we have lost. Every game where we have run more than 60% of the offensive plays we have won.

Our turnover ratio is about the worst in the country, but those things tend to even out. We should be due to get some turnovers.

Daniel

September 18th, 2009
10:58 am

Enter your comments hereThis is probably the WORST team in Coach Richt”s time here. His loyalty to Willie martenez will cost him at least 3 wins this season.This is a very average team with some talented players sprinkled across both sides of the ball. LSU TENNESSEE and FLORIDA will spank us silly.yes it is a young team, But USC lost 9 starters on defense and their QB and look what they are doing, They haven”t lost a step. Their is no leadership on this team, Just like last year. Defense is terrible. Offense at times looks very good at other times looks terrible.I see 7 to 8 wins with this team

Alpharetta Dawg

September 18th, 2009
10:58 am

I have a feeling the D will win or lose the game. Their D is not going to stop our O for the most part. We should be able to handle their rush attack too. I feel better about facing a pocket passer than a mobile QB like Garcia. Garcia made most of his plays on the run. Mallett will have to sit in the pocket and I think we have a much better chance of getting to him without having to blitz. The difference between a close game and a comfortable Dawgs win will be making that pressure translate into turnovers. If the Dawgs lose the turnover battle and committ 10+ penalties AGAIN they will lose.

BEL

September 18th, 2009
11:05 am

For those of you that watched the Tech vs. Miami game last night. It’s amazing the positive changes that Miami has made in less than a year by bringing in good, solid, proven Offensive and Defensive coordinators. Richt should take notice…

AJ Green

September 18th, 2009
11:08 am

Just throw me the dam ball!

Kelly's a Dawg

September 18th, 2009
11:08 am

Yes, the D is the key. Will Martinez upgrade his play calling? I’m anxious to find out.

BTW, where is my boy St. Simons? <<>> hehehehehehehe…y’all did’t exactly blow the ‘Canes away, did ya? I can’t wait to play your stupid triple threat offense again.

L-Dawg

September 18th, 2009
11:09 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

BE KIND, PLEASE REWIND (CLEAN UP CAMPUS AFTER USE PLEASE!!!)

GO DAWGS!!!!

TOMORROW WE GO 2-0 IN THE SEC!!!!

murfdawg

September 18th, 2009
11:12 am

Bill,
Who cares about the game? Let’s start a campaign to get Adams out of Athens. How about something like “UGA fans unite! Get the TRASH out of AThens!” or “Please recycle. Take your 70,000 pounds of garbage and one blivet to the dump.” He will be the perfect replacement for Myles Brand. What Brand did for Indiana basketball, Adams tried to do for Georgia football.

Tuck Fech

September 18th, 2009
11:14 am

The Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech may be a hell of an Engineer; but when it comes to football games, you see the choice is clear. The Wreck could build a town the entire world may cheer, but along can come a Hurricane and make it disappear.

((((37-17))) HAHAHAHAHAHAH

EXPOSED!!!!! Silence from North Ave… LOVE IT!!!

Tuck Fech

September 18th, 2009
11:15 am

(((33-17))) <—– sorry… i thought Jacory just scored again!!!

swimdawg68

September 18th, 2009
11:19 am

“Speed Kills” and we demonstrated we have it. I don’t see Ark. stopping our offense. I fear our defense. I wonder if CWM has figured out this week how to cover the tight end? At lease have someone up in his face and bump him as he comes off the line. It is just awful to watch our “soft zone” defense. Could we please bring back the “junkyard dawgs”? I miss that GATA defense. Until that changes I fear we will continue to make average offensive football teams look good. Just look at the Carolina game as proof (they only scored 10 points against NC State) and many of the games last year. It is so hard for me to understand how CMR fails to see this obvious problem with his team.

In spite of our problems, we should beat Ark. by 10-14 points. We are just a better team. I only hope we play that way.

MT

September 18th, 2009
11:20 am

Adams wasn’t even much of a fundraiser… he screwed the pooch so bad and had enough issues with the BOR that we now have 2 fundraising foundations! Adams might have raised the bar academically at UGA, but HOPE has probably done more for it than he has.

Send him packing to Indy and promote someone within the University (maybe a dean) into the President’s role

THE TRUTH

September 18th, 2009
11:29 am

Finally a Dawg Blog without St. Simons and his nerd herd talking bout the techies….this is a huge game but the Dawgs and CWM will find a way. Dawgs 45- hawgs35

dap01

September 18th, 2009
11:30 am

Running the ball more will help the defense. Does CMR actually get with the coordinators and plan a game plan? Surely he does not trust Bobo and Willie. We don’t.

quedawg4

September 18th, 2009
11:30 am

Seriously though… Should’nt Samuel be Spelling Caleb? I guess we’ll see tomorrow night at 7

TY

September 18th, 2009
11:32 am

Where the hell is YELLOW FUZZ and his big fu*king mouth this morning?

4DAWGS

September 18th, 2009
11:45 am

Yellow Fuzz and his little buddies are still in the fetal position with there thumbs up their a$$es!! Poor little BEES.

maddawg

September 18th, 2009
11:49 am

Ty,
he’s busy washing his yellow leotards.

maddawg

September 18th, 2009
11:53 am

4DAWGS,

it’s not fetal, it’s fecal!

Rody Nezbit Dwhy?er Babay kids

September 18th, 2009
11:58 am

Najeh stuffed fabric softener in St. Simons mouth and performed his duties to him last night.

BurningRedBleedingBlack

September 18th, 2009
12:01 pm

This is simple, Run the Ball affectivley, Don’t turn the ball over and don’t make bonehead penalty’s. Watch out for the underneath pass and screens. Do not give up the deep pass! We should limit them with pass, are defense is great against the run. I am ready to see what we can do against a heavy passing team. If we fail to stop the pass again you can start to worry about are defense. We have to get a form of pass rush.

Athens Health Department

September 18th, 2009
12:04 pm

At all future home games we will be providing plastic bags for you “fans” to put your turds in. Defacating and urinating on campus, we realize, improves the value of the campus but it is a health risk.

Thanks for your cooperation

stoopid

September 18th, 2009
12:09 pm

Can anyone tell me the difference in that bone crushing special teams hit lastnight and the one Rashad laid on the OKST receiver?? the only difference i saw was that there was no flag and it was #4 on the top 10 lastnight on sportscenter. what the F**K is that about??

BJohnDawg

September 18th, 2009
12:11 pm

ST SIMMONS, YELLOW FUZZ, STINGER, BURDELL, TRADE SCHOOL JUNKIE, and M is for Moron ….

Funny I dont see them on this blog today. Did not see them on the Bug Blog either. I wonder did something happen last night?

Oh yeah they got their tails waxed by Miami. On national TV.
Oh how the not so mighty have fallen….AGAIN!

ST SIMMONS, YELLOW FUZZ, STINGER, BURDELL, TRADE SCHOOL JUNKIE, and M is for Moron ……

Come out come out where ever you are….
And take it like men.
Oh wait, you cant. Your nerds.
Same Story….TECH SUX!

Athens Health Department

September 18th, 2009
12:15 pm

We at the health department realize that you dawg fans generally speaking do not have indoor plumbing. We know you are accustomed to doing your business outdoors, but when you come to the games you should follow the lead of the city folks and use the porta potties to releave yourselves. This is just good hygene and it’s something your mamas and daddys should have taught you.

quaildawg

September 18th, 2009
12:19 pm

It’s time for the next wave of young pups to be birthed.
Brown & Wooten need to make some plays (and Bobo has to do a better job of getting them in the game and some touches) Charles needs to have the breakout game (which I think he can against this D)
Time to Put Up for Houston and C.Wash to GATA!!!
2-3 more touches for “Blaze” Smith would be good.

TW

September 18th, 2009
12:23 pm

Sadly, Mallet be Heisman talk Sunday morning.

We will be shredded by every decent QB we face this year.

And that really don’t sit well.

JB

September 18th, 2009
12:27 pm

Last year, Miami very average……Shannon goes out and Hires two great football coach’s for OC and DC.
Anybody notice anything different about Miami this year. This guy Whipple running the Offense for them will get another shot at a HC job if the continue to play like that. Meanwhile, back in Athens, we continue with what DOESN’T work and keep on watching anyone and everyone march up and down the field on us. I DO NOT BLAME THE PLAYERS !

Good luck

September 18th, 2009
12:34 pm

Tech fan here. I think all of the Atlanta Falcons nation is rooting for you guys to beat up on Petrino. Give em hell dogs. I actually root for the dogs except for when they play Tech. Love my home state teams.

Do UGA fans really think that Tech’s spread option has been ‘figured out’? The option has been run for a 100 years… I don’t think we will always kill people with it but there is no reason we can’t be successful. I think the execution is not there. Of course, we also have to pass successfully every once in a while to keep defenses honest. Clemson and Miami had the whole defense in the box. So I am not buying the whole idea that teams just up and figured it out. Thoughts?

bill h

September 18th, 2009
12:36 pm

Bill, I enjoy your writing and you seem moderately well informed; but, you just made it obvious that you know nothing about Mr. Leebern. Yes, he is influential. But to infer that he is not good for Georgia Football displays your total ignorance of the man’s contributions ( and not just financial) to the betterment of Georgia Football. I totally understand people’s disappointment with the handling of Coach Dooley. He deserved better. But, as far as football operations that have led to a more successful program, Dr. Adams has actually helped tremendously behind the scenes. Need I remind you of a former President who didn’t care for the football program. And, that former President was forced out on Mr. Leebern’s watch and under his influence. Dr. Adams has displayed in many ways that he cares about Georgia Football and wants it to succeed. Georgia is extremely fortunate to have Don Leebern as a very supportive Alumnus. He will continue to help us, regardless of your misplaced sentiments. You, like many Adams dissers, tend to let your sour feelings over the way Coach Dooley was mistreated block your vision of how the program has progressed with Adams at the helm. Would you prefer the former President who was nudged out by Mr. Leebern and his associates? Both on the University level leadership issue and on the field, Georgia has gotten much better as a result of Mr. Leebern’s well placed influential leadership. He is not a Bobby Lowder. Far from it. He does not want any credit or recognition. He does a great job for the State of Georgia and all of it’s Higher Education Facilities; and, when it comes to issues that only concern his Alma Mater, we are extremely lucky to have him on our side. The very fact that you are uninformed about him lends credence to the fact that he cares not for the publicity, nor does he want accolades for all the wonderful things he does for us. So, you are totally excused for not knowing. Most don’t know…by design. Keep up the good work

Al Ciraldo

September 18th, 2009
12:44 pm

Hey Munson…..I own you!

I'm a Christian

September 18th, 2009
12:45 pm

THEY NEED 2 FIRE MARK RICK AND GIT VINCE DOLEY BACK!

Cuz

September 18th, 2009
12:49 pm

Luck, you need a QB who can complete a higher percentage of his passes. That is it. I was pulling for you guys last night but it got ugly quick. Re-group and teach your QB how to throw. That injury to the backup, I disremember his name, is costing more than we knew. Here is hoping he gets well soon.

MattDawg

September 18th, 2009
12:51 pm

33 – 17 hahahahahahahaha

MiltonDawg

September 18th, 2009
12:52 pm

Good Luck- Dawgs should punish Bobby P not only for UGA but for the Falcons as well. Agree with BK on the running game-keep it consistent. Should be a great game. GO DAWGS & GO FALCONS!!!

Lou Dobbs

September 18th, 2009
12:56 pm

Sad to see Tech lose to Miami. Especially sad considering all the Mexicans on the team that are no doubt illegal aliens from Cuba.

You guys are all wrong.

September 18th, 2009
1:13 pm

Sadly it looks like no one really has a handle on this team. If you look at UGA historically, pocket passers do not fair well against us (Exception in Peyton). It is the scramblers that can throw that gives us trouble. I really think that this game will be much more low scoring than people think. I see Samuel getting 20 carries, King getting 8-10, and Logan Gray playing 8-12 snaps with the wildcat formation and getting us in to territory to score by running and using the play action pass. We will win 23-20.

I-DOG

September 18th, 2009
1:33 pm

Bill, you nailed it!

On the tech game last night: I’m not sure I have ever seen a QB with more time to throw than tech gave the Miami QB last night. Either Miami’s offensive line is among the greatest ever assembled or tech has a major weakness.

I hope UGA practiced against fake punts this week. Look at how much better the field position has been since we started letting Walsh kick it in the end zone. We kept them inside the 25 yard line several times against SC! Keep that up!

Hey, I Dog

September 18th, 2009
1:51 pm

What game were you watching last week ” We kept them inside the 25 yard line several times against SC! Keep that up”! SC ran 83 f-ing plays to our 53 – they went up and down the field at their pleasure, yet, fortunately, we held them to field goals after loongg drives most of the time. Granted, the long kickoffs helped, but the D still sucks.

MoDawg

September 18th, 2009
1:55 pm

Good luck, that offense has been run for 100 years in Pop Warner, middle and high school, for the most part.
Decent DCs are getting it figured out, that should be obvious. We had it stuffed in the first half, then we give Tech the ball on their 40 and forget how to tackle. Next, we fumble a kickoff on our 23. Momentum swings and we slug it out the rest of the way and Tech comes out on top. LSU locks it down, Clemson gets burned, by it early, then gets burned by some”gimmick” plays before they settle down and squash it. Miami last night locked it down.
True, until you get a legit passer to run it, (and Nesbitt did make a couple of really impressive throws) it’s one dimensional. I still say, any DC worth his “salt” can shut it down. That is being proven right now. Will it work, yes, but it almost has to be executed perfectly.
Honestly, I used to cheer for Tech before seeing some of these silly juveniles (yellow fuzz, m, saint simons, et al) on the blogs after ya’ll beat us last year. Now, I cheer for whoever plays Tech.

supsalemgr

September 18th, 2009
2:00 pm

Where can I send my contribution for Adams’ plane ticket to KC?

Cuz

September 18th, 2009
2:02 pm

Mo, I still cheer for Tech. One of my better friends went to Tech the same time I went to UGA. We have a blast before Church every Sunday comparing our teams games. We laugh at “the sky is falling crowd”. So I cannot hate Tech just because some fans of the Trade School act like jerks.

We win if AJ gets over 100 yards.

Hairy Dawg

September 18th, 2009
2:08 pm

In the first two games, Georgia has given its opponents five possessions starting inside the UGA 32. That field position was created by four turnovers and one long kick return. That field position led to 27 points for our opponents. When you add Norwood’s pick-six to the mix, that’s 34 points allowed as a result of turnovers and bad special teams coverage.

34 points in two games, folks.

If we stop screwing up, we’ll be fine.

shards1967

September 18th, 2009
2:09 pm

Hey Good Luck,

The triple option is easily defended ( unlike what UGA did vs tech in 2008 ) by players that stick with their assignment, either staying in the lane or to their man and pushing the line and avoiding angle blocks. As a D back, when you get faked by the QB’s eyes looking to throw it deep and sprint to catch up to the receiver is when the QB tosses it back to his Dwyer back who bolts. NO safety or corners at home. BOOM !!! TD !!!

Now, the D has to LOCK UP on contact which UGA did not do in 2008 but Miami, LSU and Clemson have done that. The D must have athletes that can run and punish on contact. LSU and Clemson and Miami have them, as does UGA. Va Tech and NC and FSU will have them and so will UGA. UGA wins this year and wins big, depending on some intangibles, that have yet to be fully recognized ………like the true depth of the UGA receivers corp and the depth of the UGA running backs. Same is true of Tech.

I do look forward to being in historic Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field.

Tech can win 7 games per year in the ACC as that league simply does not have tons of athletic D teams. Vatech and Clemson and Miami and usually FSU recruit consistently great D players and now, NC with Coach Davis will be there. NC handled tech in 08. A repeat is looming.

good lcuk

UGA class of 73

murfdawg

September 18th, 2009
2:19 pm

bill h,
Please remember that Adams influence on the rise of academic excellence at the University of Georgia is exactly the same a rooster has over the sun rising.

ATLDawg

September 18th, 2009
2:22 pm

Where is Yellow Fuzz today? Funny how the tide can change so quickly!