Still more reasons for UGA fans to feel good … or bad

Caleb King has been maddeningly inconsistent. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Caleb King has been maddeningly inconsistent. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s the nature of this year’s Georgia team that for every performance or trend that gets fans excited there’s something disturbing to fret over. Here are the more notable ones from this week. …

The offensive line so far is only average. They did a pretty good job of protecting Joe Cox Saturday night, keeping ASU sackmeister Dexter Davis at bay, but Cox was hurried several times, including on the first of his interceptions when a blocker failed to pick up a stunt by one of the Sun Devil defenders. The run blocking was also poor, expecially in short yardage situations. Every time the Dogs needed just a yard, it seemed the line got no push at all. Yes, there’s been some reshuffling by coach Stacy Searels in the wake of the loss of Trinton Sturdivant in the opening game, but considering the collective experience and versatility of this bunch, you’d have expected the OL to be further along at this point. And the false starts just have to stop.

A.J. Green is phenomenal. As long as he’s on the field, Georgia fans should feel optimistic.

Joe Cox is running hot and cold. He made some great throws Saturday night, particularly to A.J. Green and Rantavious Wooten, but he also threw two boneheaded picks on the same skinny post pattern to the same defender and threw into double or triple coverage too many times. Cox is still a relative rookie and hopefully will learn from these mistakes.

Turnovers. Argh! This merits a separate discussion, but it’s a trend that can’t continue. The fact that Georgia is 3-1 after giving up three turnovers in each of its games is mind-boggling. How long can Georgia defy the odds?

These Dogs are comeback kids. This may explain why the turnovers haven’t proved fatal since the opener. Unlike last year’s Dogs, this team refuses to give up. They’ve come from behind in each of their three victories. That trait, combined with Georgia’s obvious talent, is a reason to be extremely hopeful.

But where did the running game go? Neither Caleb King nor Richard Samuel seems to want to lay claim to the job fulltime. King so far is the more productive runner, but he’s plagued by fumbles and dropped passes. Samuel showed what he can do with a big opening against Arkansas, but he doesn’t run hard consistently and still goes down to easily. I think King is our best bet, but he needs to step his game up a couple of notches.

Which defense will show up against LSU? Hopefully the one we saw Saturday night and not the one from the two previous games, since the Tigers are likely to come out throwing long after their success in that aspect of the game this past week. Georgia did get a lot more pressure on the QB against Arizona State, but they weren’t facing a first-rate offense. And while the pass defense was better this week, the rushing defense lapsed a bit. Still, progress was made. Now let’s see if Willie Martinez can dial up that kind of performance from his players two weeks in a row.

By the way, it was great to see Geno Atkins get a couple of big stops. It seems like starting Kade Weston over Atkins lit a fire under him.

Players I look forward to seeing in action more: Rantavious Wooten, who had a couple of clutch catches Saturday; Justin Houston, who gives the Dogs a legitimate pass rush; and Cornelius Washington, who shows the potential to complement Houston in that area.

What else did you see that makes you feel good or has you concerned?

185 comments Add your comment

Mikey

September 28th, 2009
10:44 am

Rambo needs to start

IF we insert Logan Gray try something besides the option please

If we have a short yardage situation try a play action fake and hit one of those big tight ends for a first down

Put #30 in the slot and throw it to him in space

m

September 28th, 2009
10:50 am

ugag should feel good because they don’t have to play Tech until late November.

ugag should feel bad because they know the Tech game in November in inevitable.

45-42…glad it hurts so bad….and it is only the beginning.

There is a new sheriff in town…his name is Paul Johnson…and he is the real deal.

Will

September 28th, 2009
10:51 am

When UGA gets a lead for Mike Bobo to not shred his offensive play book and to keep using what is working. ps… We are not fooling anyone anymore with the anticipated full back dive.

Also. a ASU field goal was make after a pooch kick gave ASU the ball on their 38. Scrap the pooch kick already.

realist

September 28th, 2009
10:52 am

Blair Walsh may be (may be) the best kicker in America. Glad to have him. Gray needs more PT and please dont run the read option every freakin time!!! Cox stares down his recievers wayyy to much, need to work on looking people off. The running backs carry the ball in the wrong hand still, that is awfully unacceptable!!! fundamentals fundamentals fundamentals

L-Dawg

September 28th, 2009
10:54 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

SO GLAD TO CHEER FOR MY TEAM AS OPPOSED TO BOO/STALK ANOTHER!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

5 DAYS TIL WE SHOW THE SEC WE HAVE GONE NOWHERE!!!!!

ksleezy

September 28th, 2009
10:56 am

I’d like to see Bobo back on the sidelines coaching QBs and let Tony Ball or Stacy Searels call plays for a few games. 22 rushing attempts by our RBs on a rainy day like that in the SEC? I’m sick of QBs calling the plays, let a RB coach or OL coach call the plays for a minute.

kydawg

September 28th, 2009
10:56 am

Looking at the Top 25 this year (or at least #4 -#25), you have just described every team in the nation. It’s gonna be a crazy year in CFB. I’m glad this team fights to the end…that’s great team leadership that started in the off-season.

reebok

September 28th, 2009
10:57 am

Tech fan here. I will hand it to UGA’s players, they are resilient and never quit…they remind me a little of some of the old Dooley teams that always seemed to find a way to make their own breaks. That should breed a lot of confidence as they move through the season. See you on the Flats in November!

mike

September 28th, 2009
10:58 am

m, you are an idiot. where were you last week? I am glad beating a sorry NC team in a sorry conf makes you feel good.
P.S. CPJ needs to cut down on the G— D— word in the sideline.

chc4

September 28th, 2009
10:59 am

Always been a big fan of Coach Richt but something isn’t right here. To be as sloppy, careless and/or inept as we are much of time is inexcusable. The AZ State QB could barely throw the ball yet on 3rd & 7+ we rush only 3 guys? That’s absurd. There is absolutely no threat of our D forcing a play… pretty pathetic.

The turnovers are mind boggling. We are undisciplined to a point that it’s bizarre. We have talent so the spotlight in on this staff. To be 3-1 is amazing. If we don’t clean up just about every aspect of our game, LSU will whip us… and they aren’t even that good. If we play well we’ll win but through 4 games we’ve played well zero times.

Joey

September 28th, 2009
11:01 am

Didn’t I read where LSU hired the former UT DC? If so, man, he is tough on the Dawgs. He shut down the high powered ‘07 team…..

GeoffDawg

September 28th, 2009
11:02 am

I’m afraid that Bobo sometimes falls into the habit of extreme predicatability. Sometimes it looked like the ASU defenders were in the huddle when the play is called. I realize that the OL needs to run block better but it appeared that the usually correctly guessed when we were going to run it up the gut and crowded the line and also correctly guessed when we were going to throw deep and put in a nickel package. We also seemed to get away too quickly from the few plays that worked consistently, ie. those that were short, quick passes to our athletes in space that let them capitalize on our superior athletic abilities. Overall, just a disconcerting offensive game plan.

Kudos to the defense though. They really stepped up.

knoxdawg

September 28th, 2009
11:03 am

Play selection on the 4th and 1 was not very good to say the least. Blame the offensive line if you want but the whole ASU defense was jammed up right in the middle. Fake it to the full back and toss it outside to the tailback bet he would still be running. Offense played against a good solid defense and had an off night. Not surprising considering the fact that two previous games were shootouts. This week will be a big test. Can we run the ball against a tough defense? Short play action passes w/ occasional long balls would open up the running game. Saw improvement in the defense especially in getting more pressure on passer so was encouraged by that. Run defense was off at times. I disagree w/ you that we played a sub-par offense. I think their offense is pretty good and well coached. They also have alot of seniors on the team. I like the fact that we don’t give up and go for 60 minutes. However, would be nice to watch w/ the game not being in doubt in the 4th qtr. If we don’t get alot better by Saturday it may be that way but on the bad side.

Doc Holliday

September 28th, 2009
11:03 am

TIMMY’S HURT-TIMMY’S HURT-TIMMY’S HURT. Notice- The University of Florida has announced that they will not acknowledge any losses they may incur since their fabled quartetback, Tim Tebow, was hurt in Saturday’s game against Kentucky. Just like losses incurred in the 07 season when Timmy’s shoulder was bothering him they do not count against mighty Florida. Urban Meyer has notified both the BCS and Lee Corso they will not be responsible for lost games or even close games even if Timmy complains of a slight headache. While other teams struggle and improvise with injuries to key players this is not going to happen to Florida. Florida must remain the #1 team in the country even if it loses the rest of its games.

Hungry Dawg

September 28th, 2009
11:05 am

“m” 45-42 doesn’t hurt near as bad as 1-7 and from what I’ve seen so far this year UGA has nothing to fear as far as GT is concerned. LSU and Miami have both shown that GT’s offense is a flash in the pan. I respect Paul Johnson and what he’s trying to accomplish at GT, but he’s going to have to get a lot more creative if he hopes to compete successfully in the ACC and against SEC teams. Tech is an 8-4 team at best this year and could do worse than that.

UGA starts it’s next 7 game win streak this year against Tech.

uuugh...

September 28th, 2009
11:06 am

Here is a reason to feel bad: Our players were dancing in the huddle on the last drive…when we were not even winning. I was embarassed. Another: After kicking a field goal to beat a team we should have defeated handily, our players celebrated like they just won the Super Bowl. I was again embarassed.

Standing in the rain screaming for the home team to make a play for 3 hours. I should have been screaming for them to show some class.

DawgGirl32

September 28th, 2009
11:07 am

Player I’m looking forward to seeing more action: Bacarri Rambo. Bryan Evans, I think you might have lost your starting job.

Brian

September 28th, 2009
11:13 am

You highlight King’s fumbles???!????? King is light years ahead of Samuel as a runner AND a blocker. And if we are going to have to suffer through rookie mistakes we might as well let an ACTUAL freshman with upside make and learn from those mistakes. Sit Cox and Evans and play to win now and for the future.

Joey

September 28th, 2009
11:16 am

I agree Reebok, except Dooley’s teams were fundamentally sound. He would have run these players ragged in practice for the penalties and turnovers…

westerndawg

September 28th, 2009
11:17 am

Brian I agree! King has played two games and even Coach Richt says the fumble was from Ben Jones hitting him. I wouldn’t call that “plagued”. Comparing the productivity, I don’t think it’s fair to conclude there’s no difference between King and Samuel. King has shown he wants the job and he’s not *plagued* by anything yet – he’s only played twice this season!

Mikey

September 28th, 2009
11:18 am

Any Washaun Ealey sightings?
Can he run to the right side on a sweep and carry the ball on his right side? If so ….put him in coach…

DawgGirl32

September 28th, 2009
11:20 am

A bunch of 18-22 year old kids dancing to the music blaring over the loud speaker is classless? Ummm why else do think they would play a song like “swag surfin?” Surely not to fire up the alumni. Let the boys have some fun. It’s a football game.

SHADRAC9

September 28th, 2009
11:27 am

MARLON BROWN – anyone know why he is not getting playing time? I see Wooten out there but was wondering if anyone knew about Brown?

MiltonDawg

September 28th, 2009
11:28 am

still scratching my head on these Dawgs- this game, D looked good, but the O was horrible. TURNOVERS will cost us the season. Playcalling has been mind-boggling- dont know if Bobo or Richt are making these calls. All i can hope and pray for is that this is a rebuilding year and we will improve as the games go on.

Okefenokee Dawg

September 28th, 2009
11:29 am

Yes, DawgGirl32 it was classless! Uuugh is correct.

jimmy

September 28th, 2009
11:32 am

can logan gray throw the ball

DawgNation

September 28th, 2009
11:40 am

uuugh,

My wife and I did stand in the rain from after the Dawg Walk till the Walsh field goal. We stayed and watched the team celebrate with the students that were amazing in their support through out that miserable day of weather. I was not a fan of the dancing during the game no matter if they were winning or losing as their time should have been focused on the next play. But with the thousand minutes of ESPN running commercials, stopping the game for anything including someone sneezing, there was way to much time with nothing to do except stare at each other. I would think the coach’s may address this this week and maybe not as much in game till appropriate times. I have NO problem with what type of music they want to celebrate with. I seem to remember listing to the PA system playing “Another One Bites The Dust” during the eighties and “Who let the Dogs Out?” when that was the in thing. To be honest I don’t pay much attention to what is being played as it is for the students and if it pumps them up then good for them. You have to remember that the band had to put away most of their instruments and couldn’t play due to the weather thus the increase of PA music. The volume could be tempered a bit I agree (have to let the 50 year old in me come out ;) ) but IMHO I think the music is there for the students as I know they wouldn’t want to hear what I grew up with either. I just think the players got caught up with the other kids and that was all there was to it. Let the coach’s take care of it as I’m sure they will.

westerndawg

September 28th, 2009
11:41 am

Dawggirl I agree with you. Momentum is key and standing on the sidelines being mopey zaps momentum. Just think about high school pep rallies – the music and the noise… I would rather see them wound up than not!!

J Dub

September 28th, 2009
11:43 am

Where in the World is Marlon Brown??

Andy in Blairsville

September 28th, 2009
11:48 am

Another decade is about to pass without a national championship….I wonder how long before Richt is run out of Athens?

DawgNation

September 28th, 2009
11:48 am

westerndawg,

I agree but all this needs to be confined to the sideline not on the field during the game. The side line dancing was a better sight than seeing them throwing helmets, screaming at each other and pointing fingers. I love seeing the confidence in their team even if they are losing or tied.

UT96

September 28th, 2009
11:49 am

lock of the week- UGA beats LSU with ole’ third and Chavis running the show at LSU.

big dawg 89

September 28th, 2009
11:50 am

let the kids have fun, that’s what its all about, right? go dawgs…

my source, nephew, was right last week,,, Rambo did make some plays.. i’ll talk to him later this week to see how things are going at practice. another kid he said is pretty darn good but flies under the radar is brandon wood..

swimdawg68

September 28th, 2009
11:52 am

Bobo play calling is predictable. At least 5 times Sat. night I turned to my son sitting next to me and called the play. Do you think the ASU DC was able to do the same thing? Hey Bobo, the fullback dive play on short yardage is no longer a surprise to defenses. We never went down the middle to the tight end. One time Charles went down the middle and was open by 10 yards but Cox threw an out pattern that went incomplete to a covered receiver. Does he know how to look for open receivers? Often I get a sense he will throw to the designed receiver on a play regardless of the coverage. Our team still needs to mature in many areas before they can be called good.

ghost dawg

September 28th, 2009
11:54 am

m you are trying to be fuuny right? Talk to David Letterman, he might get you on his show. He likes nonfunny humor.

dawginmemphis

September 28th, 2009
11:54 am

I can only speculate, but my guess is that Marlon Brown is not quite ready for SEC football. He went to a small private school in Memphis that is probably equivalent to a tiny GISA school—the guys he looks great against in his highlight reels are 5′8″, slow and unathletic—-probably didn’t play against any college bound DBs and certainly not D-1.

I think with some time, he will be good.

GeoffDawg

September 28th, 2009
12:01 pm

Agree that Caleb King may deserve the starting tailback job next week. He’s had some setbacks in his career but it looks like he may have come back down to Earth and won’t become another Jasper Sanks.

Every team is different but if dancing is what it takes to keep their energy level high during interruptions in play, then so be it. Also, I have no problem whatsoever in a team celebrating a last second win snatched from the jaws of defeat. These are not professionals – let them enjoy the moment. Monday practice is when that kind of celebration should be run out of them.

DawgNation

September 28th, 2009
12:02 pm

Bill,

Top three things I see a needing improvement or change:
1) Penalties
2) Turnovers
3) Play calling
a) Calling Logan grey to run the option read…EVERY time on his one and only offensive appearance.
b) Running the wide out pass when the corners and OSL have obviously diagnosed it every time.
c) Directional kicking.

Top three things that are right:
1) A. J. Greene
2) Blair Walsh
3) Justin Houston

Saint Simons

September 28th, 2009
12:07 pm

Jerry Springer nation had a close game !!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

reebok

September 28th, 2009
12:08 pm

Joey, don’t know if you’re still out there, but talking about Dooley got me thinking about Erk Russell…deal god…can you imagine the pain and fear he would have inflicted on this defense???

GATOR CHOMP

September 28th, 2009
12:11 pm

LSU will win this one with ease.”Book It”

GeoffDawg

September 28th, 2009
12:12 pm

Logan Gray also falls under my previous predictability comment. Either you trust him to make a throw or you don’t. If you’re just putting him in there to run, you might as well direct snap it to the tailback. At least that might catch the defense off guard.

uuugh...

September 28th, 2009
12:13 pm

Sorry to upset y’all…the dancing during the huddle struck me as showboating. And frankly our guys do WAY too much of it. Do they really think that performance was worth celebrating? The defense, who admittedly looked better on Saturday, is especially guilty. For 2 or 3 years they make a good play on 2nd down and get up jumping around like the made a sack on 4th down or recovered a fumble. It is like they don’t understand the down and distance or how the game is going. You can’t take 8 plays off, look terrible doing it, wake up for a play, then dance around after you make a tackle. Why on earth do the coaches think it is acceptable for our players to celebrate a tackle after giving up 8 yards!? “Hooray they didn’t score a touchdown!” Is that what we are celebrating!? Maybe “Hooray its 2nd down and 2 to go…Our odds are much better for a stop now!”

If you want to celebrate, do it in the locker room, after the game. We celebrate so much it helps to motivate the teams we play. Just win baby and don’t showboat while you are doing it.

It has been suggested that the music gets the players motivated. I thought that was the coach’s job…not to mention the fact that their free education should be motivation enough. What about not losing or school pride…doesn’t that provide any motivation?

Play the music if that is what the students like during the breaks…but I would hope that we are trying to coach the kids up on the sidelines. Maybe trying to fix some of the mistakes that we make every single game!? That seems like a better use of that time than dancing…but then again that’s just me.

Matt

September 28th, 2009
12:16 pm

Enter your comments here

Matt

September 28th, 2009
12:17 pm

Samuel goes down too easy? From my view, it usually takes more than one to bring him down. I wouldn’t call that too easy.

uuugh...

September 28th, 2009
12:18 pm

Also…can we refrain from using the tired “Book it” to punctuate your post? It doesn’t add any gravity to your post…and at this point is more annoying than “God and Greyhound.”

“God and Greyhound” still not funny since 1992.

“Book it” removing any semblance of intelligence from blog posts since 2001.

Uuugh single handedly trying to make this blog a nicer place.

rlinaug

September 28th, 2009
12:19 pm

DawgGirl82, playing the game IS the fun part.

shards1967

September 28th, 2009
12:20 pm

To all tech fans:

North Carolina is a football joke ………always has been and always will be. At season’s end, they will be sitting on a 7-5 year. They will lose to no good Va Tech, to FSU, also no good and to Miami, also no good and to Tech ……..Yes, also NO GOOD> the ACC is a clown conference and ALL of the ESPN announcers giggle when the ACC is mentioned. A laughing stock. Clemson got slaughtered by mighty TCU and VA TECH got pounded by Bama. See?

ksleezy

September 28th, 2009
12:21 pm

I agree DawgGirl32. The T.V. timeouts are long and suck to say the least. There’s nothing wrong with them dancing and enjoying themselves. The players deserve that at least, after all they’re the ones that have sacrificed all year long. I hear alumni screaming for ASU’s QB to break his leg and some were booing our guys. That is classless.

TW

September 28th, 2009
12:24 pm

Whatever happened to that quick-count, jumbo package we ran successfully a few years back on 3rd/4th and short? Seemed like that worked better than the fullback play we now run.