Is a stay on bench answer to Dogs’ turnovers?

Turnovers have been a recurring problem for Joe Cox. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Turnovers have been a recurring problem for Joe Cox. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

This turnovers madness has to stop.

Without the fumble and two interceptions against Arizona State, that wouldn’t have been a close game. Georgia was by far the more talented team.

And that’s really been the case in all four of the Dogs’ games so far. Mark Richt’s troops are squandering a tremendous talent advantage with their unfocused, sloppy play. Opponents have scored 54 points off the 12 turnovers by the Dogs, who rank 115th out of 120 teams in the country in that category.

On the other side, takeaways continue to elude the Georgia defense, and even when they get one, as with Bacarri Rambo’s interception Saturday, they’re not getting points out of them, with just six points off three recovered turnovers this season.

This is a week that trend needs to turn around, as LSU leads the SEC and is tied for fifth in the nation in turnover margin.

As the level of opposition rises, the chances of the Dogs overcoming multiple turnovers per game decrease severely.

So what’s the problem? Is this primarily players not taking care of fundamentals? You could certainly make that case about Saturday’s giveaways. Mark Richt said Caleb King’s fumble resulted from center Ben Jones’ pads bumping the ball. Obviously, King isn’t securing it properly. There was another notable example Saturday night when he was running down the sideline with the ball clearly in the wrong hand, as my brother Tim pointed out at the time and some blog commenters also have noted.

And while Joe Cox was hurried in his throw on his first interception, on the second he threw a ball he shouldn’t have while ignoring an open secondary receiver. Cox, considered one of the smarter players on the team, has been responsible for six turnovers, five of them interceptions.

So it’s player mistakes, yeah, but well-coached teams don’t turn the ball over repeatedly. As Richt put it to the Macon Telegraph, “I’d like to remove some of the drama if possible and just play a solid 60 minutes of football … but that’s coaching, too. I’ve got to do a better job of getting these guys prepared. It’s not only what I might say before the game or at halftime. It’s what we demand of them throughout the week, and maybe we need to do a better job of that.”

Obviously, whatever Richt has been doing, from harping on the need for improvement to making players run the bleachers, hasn’t been working. As Georgiadogs.com quoted him: “We can’t do a whole lot more than what we’re doing in practice. We may add some more ball-security drills or get our scout team to strip the ball. You can’t simulate a guy getting blasted or whatever it might be when it comes out. And not all the fumbles have been by running backs; we had a punt mishap, one on a kickoff return and some interceptions. We hope the guys who have had issues won’t have them again.”

If they do, perhaps the answer is an automatic in-game stay on the bench. Turn the ball over and you sit for one entire series. Even Cox. (The way things are going, that’s about the only way backup Logan Gray will get any meaningful playing time at QB before the Tennessee Tech game.)

I know, some folks think punishments like that are akin to putting a kindergartner in the time-out corner. But, hey, it’s effective because kids don’t want to sit in time-out. Just like football players don’t want to sit on the bench.

Maybe everything Richt needs to know about solving this problem he learned in kindergarten.

111 comments Add your comment

Cuz

September 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Benchwarmers, get your benchwarmers right here.

Cuz

September 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

How about an old fashioned dunce cap while they are sitting on the bench.

Saint Simons

September 28th, 2009
2:10 pm

45 – 42 !!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

BullDawg Rick

September 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

I have to agree on giving some pine for the turnovers.. Especially when you make the exact read 2 times in a row & get the exact results…

Really though.. I’d like to see Logan Gray get meaningful minute(s).. If not, we’re going to have the SAME issue next season as this.. No real game experience for the starting QB…

But for the O-line to NOT get a surge & get dominated most of the night… Loren… What’d ya got???

On the positive.. UGA has played 4 games & is 3 – 1 and has played NO cream puffs.. No other D-1 school can say that..

I believe that fact will help UGA in the long road, provided we stay healthy..

Saint Simons

September 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

1-7 !!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

DawgNation

September 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Oh I can’t wait till November……………

Cuz funny.

Bill watch out or you will get a blog full from Coach Smith on how you should take over coaching as we ALL know he IS a coach. Your points though are spot on. If you don’t do something to break a habit it will remain a habit. I do think however these kids are just as frustrated with it as we all are and hopfully they will concentrate harder during the week on ball handling fundamentals. That will translate to better play during the game.

Step up or Sit Down

September 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Turnovers are an inverse correlation (yes I graduated from UGA) to discipline.
Low Discipline=High Turnovers
Penalties reflect the same attitude!
Low Discipline=High Penalties

If you have a Nice head coach then you have better have some NASTY coordinators to offset that and WE DON’T. It’s time to get in get in somebody’s facemask and demand excellence like a Saban would of his team before we get into the meat of our SEC schedule or we’ll be heading for the Music City Bowl again thinking what should have been! Save dancing on the sidelines for the cheerleaders and start playing like Junkyard Dawgs for the rest of the season! GET TOUGHER MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY and see how far we can go!

Andy

September 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

I was disappointed by Bobo’s unimaginative playcalling. We seem to like to let teams hang around instead of putting them away. If we’re scared of turning the ball over by being a little more creative on offense, we shouldn’t be, since we seem to turn the ball over no matter what we do. Some of Bobo’s play calls on Saturday were really just as predictable as can be. I feel like we lack a killer instinct–if the offense is playing well, the D plays soft and vice versa, keeping the games close.

superDawg

September 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

Put velcro on the ball,or super glue on the bench.With that said you can also stop the hip hop until the fat lady sings.

The Future...?

September 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

Richt is just NOW making adjustments to his coaching? That’s incredible.

We are getting away from the great traditions of UGA football…the Junyard Dawg defense and Tailback U (I’ll give you Knowshon, but where is Ealey and why couldn’t we get Mack Brown here?).

What is Mark Richt doing to with this team?

The Ghost Of Wally Butts

September 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

Maybe the modern day UGA players should spend as much time on football fundamentals as they spend on:

1. Displaying their sideline dance moves

2. Braiding their long hair

3. Giving media interviews that include dismissive comments toward fans

Just a thought from an old school coach – back when men were men and football was football.

Burdell

September 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

Saint Richt is too nice to possibly hurt anyone’s feelings by making them sit on the bench.

Bench some of these 4 and 5 star players?? No way. They were rated well out of high school….good enough for CMR!

McDawg

September 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

we wouldn’t have a backfield

Paul H

September 28th, 2009
2:46 pm

Enough is enough. We’re not going to get away with that once we hit the meat of the SEC schedule, which starts Saturday.

John

September 28th, 2009
2:51 pm

That would mean benching Cox, (he continues to throw into double and triple teams) and if you are going to make the rule of benching a player after a turnover, Cox should be the first on the bench?

JB

September 28th, 2009
2:52 pm

Well, if they don’t make it to the pro’s, the all enough experience to go on “DANCING WITH THE STARS’………………GEEZ…………………………Somebody better get their heads in the game.

Joey

September 28th, 2009
2:56 pm

What are you gonna do, Bill, bench our quarterback? I’m not a Cox basher. However we have been told since Stafford announced his NFL status that Cox would be a “game manager”? Out of 86 QBs in the NCAA, only 8 have thrown more interceptions! He has just got to stop with the turnovers or we will not beat the good and great teams left on our schedule.

Fort Worth Dawg

September 28th, 2009
3:01 pm

Maybe the inverse correlation is with receivers who can catch the ball. Now that we have a group of excellent receivers with fantastic hand, the drop-ball affliction has appeared to have shifted to the running backs.

GaDawg

September 28th, 2009
3:01 pm

Hey JB, with that in mind why don’t we just give them a Victory Ring for a three point victory
Why don’t you just shut up. It was a close Win and they needed to celebrate Hell, I was celebrating with them
Go DAWGS!!1 THWTR

John

September 28th, 2009
3:02 pm

I couldn’t agree more. Georgia’s main problem is a lack of discipline. Last in turnover ratio, last in defense, last in penalties. Georgia could use a coach that is not everybody’s youth group leader. To be the best you have to be hard as steel. Our coach should be demanding perfection out of our players. We have, year in and year out, the most talented teams in the country. Yet we under perform, year in and year out. It all boils down to coaching at that point, and in Georgia’s case, the coaching as put in place a community of undisciplined players and coaches alike.

Jeff

September 28th, 2009
3:02 pm

Saint Simons……33-17….hahahahahahhahahahahahah

Jeff

September 28th, 2009
3:04 pm

Bill- Is the AJC geting rid of lame bashing sportswriters the answer to increased readership and likely increased paper sales?

Evil Richt 2009 S.E.C. World Tour: "Banned in Columbus"

September 28th, 2009
3:07 pm

It seems incredible to me that coaching and motivating a player to do something as elemental as securing a football seems to be beyond the capabilities of this staff.

senoiadawgs

September 28th, 2009
3:10 pm

Bench is the answer for not only turnovers but penalties as well. My goodness if there was ever a reason to bench a QB Cox was it in week 1 and 4. The same players are making the same mistakes whether penalties or turnovers over and over. Cox has 5 interceptions and at least two fumbles.

Again Richt making excuses, it wasn’t Caleb’s fault it was Ben Jones fault. Didn’t he know he should have taken his pads off before the play.

All the talk about penalties last year and in the off season here is the latest on the improving penalty situation at UGA.

10.25 penalties per game 3rd worst among FBS teams. Wow, what a coaching job in the off-season. Good job guys at least we are not last.

All of the talk of dancing and the celebration after the field goal. Ok the dancing I did not like but I think it is ok for the players to have a little fun on the sideline. On the celebration, I look at that as a team enjoying and caring that they won the football game.

AJ Green

September 28th, 2009
3:11 pm

Just throw me the dam ball!

yard dog

September 28th, 2009
3:14 pm

Enter your comments here It used to me week after week, then month after month and now it is year after year with the same issues. Not every team in the SEC has these problems. what are they doing that we are not?

Hold Richt Accountable

September 28th, 2009
3:15 pm

I keep hearing Richt repeating the same things need to be fixed…tunovers, penalties, OL, RBs…etc. Each week after every game he says the same thing…some have carried over from last year.

So when is he going to do this?

jimmy

September 28th, 2009
3:16 pm

saturday night’s game plan-bobo’s boo boo

JB

September 28th, 2009
3:19 pm

Joe Cox…..Great great guy. team leader……….Bright spot here and there. I was encouraged with his Arkansas performance until I saw Bama make them like they really are, average. That brings me back to Joe. You want find a better spokesman for UGA, but he is very average for a SEC top 25 program. The players on this team do not fear any retribution from missed assignments or effort. This 4 and 5 star thing may be overrated. If ya’ll remember, Pollack was a three star with a five star heart. I think we’ve signed a lot of great players our staff can’t get to dig deep and play as a team. Way,way too much”talent” on this team to play this inconstant.

senoiadawgs

September 28th, 2009
3:19 pm

From memory here is what we have heard from the coaches so far:

OSU Loss – Cox was sick and needed to make better decisions… Samuel needed to run harder and the O Line needed to block better. Too many penalties and turnovers

SC Win – Too many penalties and turnovers, Defense needs to play better as a unit the right plays were called the players were just not in position.

ARK Win – Too many penalties and turnovers still. Need better play from the defensive backfield and line

ASU Win – Too many turnovers and the O Line is now a problem.

Ok, let’s address this who responsibility is it to correct all of this, let’s see, hmmmmmmmmmm oh I know COACHES!!!!!!! Who has taken ZERO responsibility publicly, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I know COACHES!!!!!!!!! All our coaches do is blame the players they take no responsibility at all.

Let’s see we have had what 11 or 12 turnovers so far this year. HMMMMMMMMMM, let’s see who has been responsible for 7 or 8 and should have been over 10. Since we aren’t suppose to talk about these young kids because they are fragile, I will just say the QB position. My point after the game the Sat. night, Gray, Murray or Mettenberg couldn’t have done much worse with turnovers. I am so sick of these coaches playing guys by what class they are in and not talent. College Football is littered with FR and SO dominating games and playing key positions. For some reason at UGA, most of our FR and SO we always here just not do the right things. Let’s talk about those Sr.’s that are doing such a wonderful job and have earned there playing time. Evans, my goodness what a joke, Cox 7 or 8 turnovers, Vance false start and holding king, Prince Miller I must fumble a punt, commit holding or interference every game, Owens I am nowhere to be found on D, and the list goes on….

Bulldog Nation I am just as happy as every other lifelong fan that we are 3-1 but I am a realist and 0-4 it could and almost should just as easily be. It’s just sickening to me and in my personal opinion that we are wasting so much talent at UGA from a lack of coaching. Oh and I do think CMR is the right man to head the program overall but if his loyalty and lack of killer instinct prove to be fatal to the team then he too must go.

senoiadawgs

September 28th, 2009
3:21 pm

Oh and one more thing for the coaches and fans. Quit using the darn Sturdivant excuse for the O-Line. While he may be one of the best lineman in the country if he can’t play then big deal. He hasn’t been here in two years so to me he is irrelevant. I feel bad for the kid and he got a bad break but other than his personal situation it doesn’t matter.

Hold Richt Accountable

September 28th, 2009
3:22 pm

From Schultz’s column…Quoting Mark Richt:

“You’d like to think you’re progressing over the last three weeks,” Richt said. “It’s almost like we’re that record that gets stuck and the same things keep happening over and over again.”

To this I say: Yes Mark Richt, I agree, you are starting to sound like a broken record. When are you going to actually DO YOUR JOB and fix all of the problems?

JB

September 28th, 2009
3:23 pm

but, this team could wake up and jell like the 2007 team. The next 3 weeks will tell us a lot.

JB

September 28th, 2009
3:28 pm

senoiadawg. Richt would commit adultry before he would give another QB a chance. We are 3-1. We might be 4-0 if L. Gray plays the entire Okie. St. Game. I would like to see Logan run the wildcat with some plays with number 1 an 2 in the backfield at the same time. Some miss direction, some fake reverses, Something DIFFERENT THAT’S WHAT’S ON FILM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

senoiadawgs

September 28th, 2009
3:34 pm

I would not only like to see what JB mentions but also some 4 and 5 wide sets and spread the field. He have playmakers everywhere but refuse to make a defense guess where the ball is going. That would make it to hard on the other team much like the directional kick crap and our coaches just wouldn’t be able to sleep at night for causing to much grief for the opposing team.

JB

September 28th, 2009
3:35 pm

Bama announced today they lost a starting LB from Saturday’s game for the year. Article didn’t mention packing it in for the season. Hum…….

Windale

September 28th, 2009
3:37 pm

Hire Matt Tillman for Head Coach!

senoiadawgs

September 28th, 2009
3:37 pm

At the same time Bama suspended a LB for the next 6 games and they still aren’t packing it in or making excuses. I bet they have some FR or SO can make plays. Kinda like the kid from ASU.

Sic Em'

September 28th, 2009
3:38 pm

**** STAY OFF THE BLOG COMMENTS ****

You know, all last week I read the Junkyard Blawg multiple times a day as new posts were released by Mr. King. I VOWED not to read a SINGLE comment left by anybody after the original post. My week was SO SO SO much more at peace and it helped me to feel more optimistic about MY team that I CHEER for.

All it took was 2 entries by Mr. King today, and I look at the childish activity on both that takes place under the entry, and it easily reminds me to stop reading this mess.

SO I CHALLENGE YOU, to go a week without dealing with the idiots on here that hate and envy the wonderful program that is UGA, and see how much better you feel waking up Saturday morning, watching ESPN College Gameday and anticipating kickoff for what we LOVE. Ignore the people that have ZERO pride in their program and result to coming on here to try and make us feel the misery they have grown used to. NEVER lose your passion in the program you love, and ignore the complete fools that come on here and expect you to feel otherwise.

DMac

September 28th, 2009
3:42 pm

Can Willie M and Mike B go to timeout for terrible play calling?

senoiadawgs

September 28th, 2009
3:45 pm

I think Sic EM is CMR in disguise.

I personally think anyone who is happy with the performance of our beloved UGA is doing a great disservice to our wonderful program by not striving to be the best.

They may come out and blow the doors down and win the MNC this year but that is still no excuse for what has happened in the 1st 4 games.

Oh Bill, remember we know what happens when the coaches tell the players not to make any penalties in a game. Remember UT two years ago.

Sautee Dawg

September 28th, 2009
3:53 pm

Bill
Benching players who commit penalties and turning the ball over is a great idea. But lets take it one step farther.
The next time the coaches have a bad game, as in playcalling or not having a team prepared to play, make them buy a ticket and sit in the stands with the rest of us. I swear at times the team could play better if that was the case.
It’s not the players Bill, we have some of the best talent in the country, it’s a coaches job to prepare them and keep them motivated, it’s just not happening.

FloridaDawg

September 28th, 2009
3:54 pm

When we won the National Championship in 1980 we had a plus 18 turnover margin.
Vince Dooley never had poor turnover margins….the question is why?… the answer is coaching.

Ben Dover

September 28th, 2009
3:55 pm

Maybe we could play ABBA songs as someone suggested earlier instead of hip hop music to get our players motivated. Check out this character to be played on the Jumbotron! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oqD5z96HEg

Sautee Dawg

September 28th, 2009
4:03 pm

Bill
As Kevin Butler stated in his postgame show with Dantzler, he was proud his son Drew didn’t take part in the dance routine saturday, and how embarrassing that was.
How long do you think Coach Dooley would have put up with that?
Players should be on the sideline going over who made a mistake and who missed an assignment, not standing on the bench celebrating and dancing because they’re tied at 17 points.

egatch

September 28th, 2009
4:05 pm

Simple psychological operant conditioning. Punish unwanted behaviour if you want it to stop.

Saint Simons

September 28th, 2009
4:12 pm

ASU!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Joey

September 28th, 2009
4:14 pm

ASU has the same record as Miami. haha

Cuz

September 28th, 2009
4:15 pm

ABBA songs.
Dancing Queen when we are ahead or tied.
Waterloo when we fall behind.

45ACP

September 28th, 2009
4:20 pm

Has anyone seen King, Samuel or Cox totin the rock to class and around campus?
Do coaches still make them do that?