Bulldog Bites: Georgia has trouble even getting to third down

David Hale of Bulldogs Blog has a fascinating look at how Mark Richt’s perception of where Georgia’s defense has struggled differs from what the numbers actually show.

Richt said this week: “I think when we get people in the third-and-long situations, the possession down, we need to nail it more often. We need to get off the field when we get them there. … We’ve gotten ourselves in that position on enough occasions where if we could just finish it I think the outcome of a couple of our games would have been different, too.”

But Hale crunched the numbers, which show Georgia doesn’t have a problem getting off the field when they get third-and-long. The problem is that the Bulldogs aren’t getting to third down enough because opponents are often getting the yards they need on first and second down.


Richard Samuel has struggled but is still starting. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

Richard Samuel has struggled but is still starting. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

In a feature on Dogs running back Richard Samuel, The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has a depressing historical tidbit: Georgia, which hasn’t rushed for 100 yards since its win against Arkansas, never reached the red zone in last week’s loss at Tennessee, and the last time that happened for the Bulldogs was in a 34-3 loss at Clemson in 1990, a span of 232 games. Back in 1990, Georgia recovered a fumble at the Clemson 27-yard line that year, which led to a John Kasay field goal. The farthest the Bulldogs offense got last week was the Tennessee 34.

As for Samuel, who is expected to start a seventh consecutive game Saturday despite a continual decline in his production (along with the rest of the Georgia running game), he tells the Times-Free Press he believes his two biggest weaknesses to this point have been getting brought down too easily and not making anything happen when nothing is there. He ran for a season-best 104 yards against the Razorbacks, but his favorite game to date is his 15-carry, 65-yard performance against South Carolina because he broke some tackles.


The Athens Banner-Herald takes a look at Mark Fox’s new-look Georgia basketball team, which begins practice on Friday and opens the season Nov. 13 at home against New Orleans. The Banner-Herald reports Fox will replace departed Dennis Felton’s motion offense with a variation of the triangle offense that Phil Jackson used to win 10 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.

Says Fox: “There’s not many teams that play the way we’re going to play on the offensive end. If you look at our previous teams, we’ve had post players who’ve led us in scoring and we’ve had perimeter players score 25 a game. We can structure to get our best players the most shots.”

Georgia point guard Dustin Ware tells the ABH he likes the triangle offense “because it’s very open. It’s not like set plays, it’s more like multiple options and you have to read and react. You can do just about anything out of one set. I like it because it gives you floor space and it’s an open way to play.”

“It’s flexible enough to go with the hot hand wherever that hot hand might be,” Fox says. “We’re probably not going to install all of it at one time. Normally you have three or four new players, but this year we have 15 because they’re all trying to run a new system.”


If you go to Jacksonville for the Georgia-Florida game mainly just to get blitzed rather than for the football, it won’t be quite as easy this year.

The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party will have no more roaming shot-sellers, no giant-sized drink cups and fewer alcohol-sales sites this year, the Florida Times-Union reports. For the game between the Dogs and Gators on Oct. 31, the Jacksonville Landing will cut in half the number of places alcohol can be purchased and will not allow wandering, outdoor vendors to offer shots of liquor, the paper says. Drinks will be limited to a maximum of 20 ounces, far smaller than several years ago, when 60-ounce footballs were filled. Pitchers of beer will still be available but must be consumed inside the venue where they are purchased. IDs will be checked on a drink-by-drink basis.

The Gainesville Sun also reports the Landing will increase the police presence in its common areas by one-quarter, according to a plan submitted recently to the city of Jacksonville.

57 comments Add your comment


October 15th, 2009
10:46 am

This was said about UGA in another newspaper:

Georgia, Ole Miss reeling

Georgia (3-3, 2-2) has been outscored (184-155), outrushed (769-583) and outpassed (1,494-1,361) by its opponents this season. If those trends continue, Georgia will struggle to avoid its first losing season since 1996.
Richt said his players have maintained their focus through the storm.“They’re wanting to play well, they’re wanting to win, they’re wanting to enjoy it,” Richt said. “I see a great attitude among our guys.”



October 15th, 2009
10:46 am






October 15th, 2009
10:47 am

SUPPORT THE DAWGS…the new recruits are hearing what you are saying !!


October 15th, 2009
10:50 am

Go Hokies !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 15th, 2009
10:51 am

No way Richt can win a NC. Let’s bring in some new ideas…like Cincy’s coach. That guy has done an incredible job with 1/4 UGA’s facilities, 1/10 the talent, and probably 1/3 the salary.


October 15th, 2009
10:58 am

This blog and some of the headlines from this paper are contributing to the killing of our recruiting as well.

Lilburn Dawg

October 15th, 2009
11:02 am

Richt reminds me of Baghdad Bob more and more. Remember a few years ago when our tanks and soldiers were in Baghdad and he would deny that the Americans were anywhere close. Richt can’t see how badly our team has played this year and just denies it and denies that even anything needs to be done about it. As long as the head of our program takes that attitude, we’re sunk this year and in years to come.


October 15th, 2009
11:03 am

Yeah, the Cincy coach has done an outstanding job at beating Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse, UCONN, Rutgers, West Virginia, and South Florida the last several years. There is a reason why the Big East is often called the Big Least. No Thank You!

I’d rather keep Richt and let him get this right. I think he sees the writing on the wall for coordinator changes and will make them at the appropriate time.


October 15th, 2009
11:04 am

They teach tackling in Pop Warner. Defensive Backs coach WM needs to sit #3 @ #9.


October 15th, 2009
11:05 am

TommyP: You’re giving this paper/blog way to much credit to think that they are having any kind of influence. Just reading the comments from some of these idiots tells me that the average level of intelligence is pretty low. I can’t imagine a high school recruit reading this garbage and then saying, “I think I’ll go somewhere else because all these know-it-alls are down on Georgia.”


October 15th, 2009
11:05 am

Have any of our current recruits changed their minds. Before the season started we had a close to full class for 2010.


October 15th, 2009
11:08 am

Well that instills a lot of confidence. Some guy on some blog provides a better analysis of the defensive problems than UGA’s coaches. At this point, it appears they’re just throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks. I’m sure the DAWGS will run over Vandy this weekend, then Richt will proclaim the team and state of the program fine once again. Then Florida will clean our clocks…


October 15th, 2009
11:13 am

Coach Richt, man up! Quit insulting the fans by making lame excuses and dumb statements about how well we’re playing. Start by putting our best players on the field, and those who continually make bone-headed plays, on the bench. Tell Willie, Mike, and Fabris to try something innovative…as if their jobs depended on it. I like you as a person and appreciate what you have accomplished in the past at UGA, but you don’t have to be a football expert to know that something is wrong. I’m not a gourmet chef, but I can sure tell when the food sux. Anyway, just my opinion.

Saint Simons

October 15th, 2009
11:14 am

45 – 19 !!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


October 15th, 2009
11:15 am

The Baghdad Bob analogy is spot-on. We have a very clear consensus now that Richt and his staff of cronies have to go. We need to flood the AD’s office and the media with our demands that Richt be fired. Let’s get a real coach and move back in contention for the SEC and the BCS where we belong.

Better to do it now than go through another humiliating season like this.

Lee Corso

October 15th, 2009
11:16 am

Richard Samuel is a great athlete but he is simply not a natural running back. He needs to be moved to linebacker asap- it will be better for both his future and UGA’s.
He should be running down running backs, not running the football.


October 15th, 2009
11:20 am

David, we’re already hearing rumors (unconfirmed) about one blue-chip recruit who’s having serious second thoughts. Either the publicity about Richt or the humiliating losses ARE having an impact on recruiting, I’m sorry to say.

gainesville dawg fan

October 15th, 2009
11:21 am

AJC sports writing continues to stir the problems for UGA football. Why don’t you devote yourself to Tech and leave UGA alone???????


October 15th, 2009
11:27 am

One blogger wrote that Steve Spurrier would leave SC and move to UGA for the right money. There’s one way to find out. Just imagine what the Dawgs would be with Spurrier here. We’d be stomping on other teams with our hobnail boots again!!! BCS, here we come. And the Gators would be Dawg food.


October 15th, 2009
11:29 am

No prblem. We will just carry a sneak-a-toke.

Crompton for Heisman

October 15th, 2009
11:39 am

uga are a loser program!!!

Code that C++ Nerd

October 15th, 2009
11:44 am

After the UGA FL game, we will need all the drinks we can hold. Don’t take our booze away!

Frosted Orange

October 15th, 2009
11:47 am

Was Cuff really hand cuffed ?


October 15th, 2009
11:53 am

Georgia doesn’t have a player on defense who would start at Bama or Florida. None. Richt’s program started heading south after he decided he needed a bag of tricks to beat Fla with endzone antics & the infamous Black-Out affair against Bama. You had Mo-Reno running around like wild animal before the Bama game–once the actual game started Bama hit him in the mouth & the rest is history. Richt’s program has lost it’s luster–reduced to a traveling circus. Frank Ros told me Georgia doesn’t have any leadership from the players. Another reality check for the CEO –Mark Richt.

Focus on the Coaches, Not the Players

October 15th, 2009
11:55 am

Bill, thank you for being direct and blunt about all the obvious problems at UGA. But, PLEASE, direct your comments toward the real problem – the coaches and their schemes – and not at the players. If a company doesn’t perform, don’t start shooting the employees, but look at the leadership. For example, you could take every all american defensive player at every position and because of our pathetic defensive scheme (proven since West Va put up 28-0 against us in our DCs first bowl game) we would still be at the bottom of the FBS on defense. Please focus the criticism on where it belongs – the coaches! Keep writing!


October 15th, 2009
11:56 am

i think we all have stated the obvious flaws in our program..could it be that the players themselves are accountable for our problems, on the other hand how many linebackers would turn down a chance to be a running back….hell give rennie curran a try and swap him for samuel…i bet the intensity level would rise…

Paul H

October 15th, 2009
11:58 am

Cincy’s coach? Spurrier? Are you people crazy? No way those guys could come here and win more than Richt. It’s called a down year people.

LSU lost 5 games last year. Miles is still their coach. Bama lost 5 games 2 years ago. Saban is still their coach. Florida lost 4 games 3 years ago. Myer is still their coach.


October 15th, 2009
12:00 pm

trying to cut down on drinking at the wlocp is like trying to eat jello with a pair of chopsticks. what a joke.

if they really wanted to stop drinking, they would let willie martinez take over the beer distributorships in jacksonville.

the beer would be delivered to the wrong spot, after the weekend was over, or the truck drivers would be getting so many traffic tickets that they couldn’t get the beer to its proper destination. some truck drivers would never leave the warehouse because they wouldn’t know where they were supposed to go…and then, when they got there, they probably wouldn’t have what they needed to finish the jobs….”kegs?, you mean I am supposed to have kegs on this truck?”

after the weekend, he would say that he had a great plan for making sure the beer got where it was supposed to be, but those truck drivers didn’t execute his gameplan.

Lee Corso

October 15th, 2009
12:05 pm

Paul H, you are absolutely correct. LSU did lose 5 games last year and Les Miles is still their coach- but guess what, they have a new defensive coordinator this year because Les Miles understands that sometimes change is necessary for a program to grow and flourish.


October 15th, 2009
12:22 pm

Look Richt has proven that he can get the job done. What he has not proven is ” is he strong enough to get rid of people who are not performing on his staff. It falls on the coaches to see that the players DO get the job done. When they do not, the blame ends with the coaches. They choose to play the players. IF they dont think that the player could get it done in the first place, then they should have played the backup.

Richt will stay. This Georgia fan just hopes he has the strength to get rid of the coaches whos squad has the same mental lapses, penalties, and poor performance.Hell our kick coverage as stunk for years.Yet we dont see a move there.
But funny, they have no problem in that area blaming it on the kicker.

And hopefully, if we beat Vandy, they will not be walking around saying there is nothing wrong with our offense or defense. Because the cracks will surely be visible in Jacksonville.


October 15th, 2009
12:24 pm

Richt has to go now. Not next week or next month, but now.

In your heart, you know this is the right thing to do.


October 15th, 2009
12:26 pm

Tell me more about the Cincy coach! Who else is out there? I’m talking OC, DC, and HC! Any ideas?


October 15th, 2009
12:34 pm

A down year is when your athlete pipeline has a leak or when you have the athletes but are extremely young. It shouldn’t be caused by poor coaching. Richt’s staff is the apple dumpling gang of the SEC.


October 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

ResacaDawg, quit hogging the bong dude. Pass it. Man what a Bogart.


October 15th, 2009
12:43 pm

It is TRUE that a down year is expected every once in a while. Luckily we have a program who considers it a down year and you go 7-5. Still – it wil get get worse under CWM…he will be gone at the end of the year – The writing is all over the wall (and this blog). Richt will do the right thing at the end of the season.


October 15th, 2009
12:57 pm

While it is a down year there is no excuse for playing non competitive football. We did not play USC or Texas or Oklahoma or Florida last week and got embarrassed. Had we lost 24 – 19 and looked like we tried I would be ok. Being at the game I saw a team that was still hungover from LSU loss. Who is responsible for getting them back up and ready? Believe that responsibility lies with CMR and staff. We DO NOT play sound fundamental football. If we did we would not get hammered like we did against UT. We heard all off season about an emphasis on fundamentals like blocking and tackling. Evidently it didn’t work. The players missed the message or maybe the message never got sent. Penalty situation was discussed millions of times but still they exist. WHY? Buck stops w/ CMR. We will see what he does.


October 15th, 2009
12:57 pm

I would rather be a GA Bulldawg and be in the middle of a terrible year than a Yellow Jacket like St. Simons. This is a terrible year for UGA, it would be an average year for Tech. The stadium will be filled to 92,000 plus every game during this terrible season. Grant field will be half empty even though you can get tickets free with a purchase of a combo meal at Burger King.

UGA has lofty standards that are not being met this year. Tech has no lofty standards, heck they will play on Tuesday night if someone will put them on TV.

UGA will stink this year, CMR will make changes, and our excellent players will again play great.

Meanwhile Tech will still wear yellow shirts and will still get mugged.

Bobby Bowden

October 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

Dadgumit!! I told those fellas back when they asked me, that I just feel Mark may be TOO NICE to be a head coach. Jimbo’s gonna run Chuck Amato out at the end of the season. Tell Mark to give em a call and replace that Mah-TEEN-ez fella with Chuck. One things for sure, Chuck will give him the fire he needs in that program.

Lee Corso

October 15th, 2009
1:07 pm

59bulldawg- apple dumpling gang! fantastic. And Willie Martinez is the Don Knotts of college football. Too bad it’s only other team’s offensive coordinators that are laughing.


October 15th, 2009
1:11 pm

I’d rather watch a monkey hump a football than have Amato coach it at Georgia. We don’t need any more Florida State coaches in Athens!

Driver 8

October 15th, 2009
1:14 pm

Great analogy. Imagine if Willie was in charge of keeping alcohol from the public at the WLOCP? Wow, the suds would be flowing like never before!

Tom Cable

October 15th, 2009
1:22 pm

A little advice to CMR: I find that breaking the jaw of any assistant that I find disappointing works well for me and obviously works well for the Oakland Raiders!

UGA Class of '73

October 15th, 2009
1:32 pm

It pains me to say it but when I see UGA play and then watch GT, the GT players have more discipline than the UGA players. For example:

1 The GT players toss the ball to the ref and run towards their bench when they score rather than celebrating like they have never been in the end zone before.

2 The GT offensive line players block their assignments and open holes. UGA linemen look confused as to whom to block.

3 The GT defenseive backs stay with their assignments. UGA defensive backs were barely in the picture when UT recievers made Crompton look like Johnny Unitas.

4 The GT players stay with their units and their position coaches on the sidelines getting ready to go back into the game. I saw UGA players dancing for crowd behind the bench in one game this year.

5 The GT players seem determined to win. The UGA players look like they are playing scared and are hanging on.

6 The GT players do not make many penalties. The UGA players make stupid penalties that cost them wins.

It is all poor coaching. Coaching preparation for this season should have started with conditioning drills last February. Also, Evans needs to quit loading the schedule. The coaching staff needs to get the players on the same page with improved position coaching and an actual game plan for the week’s opponent.

Has success made the coaches and players at UGA lazy in their preparation and play? They sure do not appear focused enough to win. And that is on the head coach. I love him, but he needs to get their attention and if that means getting pissed off then that is what he needs to do.

The coaches are not his friends. They are his employees. The players are not his friends. They are student athletes that need to be taught the self discipline and position techniques to compete on the field.


October 15th, 2009
1:42 pm

Game day is two days away. The Georgia Bulldogs will be playing and Dog fans will be there to support them in their efforts. December will be a more prudent time to take care of business. Now, we all are here for The University of Georgia. We all know who we are, and those who are not. Go Dogs!!!


October 15th, 2009
1:47 pm

UT & UGA have the same records, one is on top of the world and the other is in a funk. I almost wish UGA had won.


October 15th, 2009
1:49 pm

Guys, if we continue to bash this coaching staff during the season then you can bet that there will be some recruits that may change their minds, keep in mind that these are just verbal committments and really don’t mean alot right now, if you want to run off the good recruits that we have and there are some very, very good ones that have at least committed to the dawgs and developed relationships with coaches, lets just see how we do the rest of the season and hope that we improve and finish strong, if we don’t, then make the changes that will help, but the constant bashing over and over will hurt us more, and you can bet the programs are loving this, so dawg fans keep doing this if this, you are only helping the other programs and will set us back even farther…


October 15th, 2009
2:00 pm

I think a 45-19 ass whipping by a team we should have beat speaks volumes more about the Georgia coaching staff than what we say here. If I were a top recruit that would be enough to make me think twice . . . a hell of a lot more than what a few fed up fans say on a Georgia football blog.

jawga boy

October 15th, 2009
2:10 pm

We saw this season coming guys. In the G-day game, wasn’t the score 6 – 3? No touchdowns? Lowest gross scoring in years? Mediocre Offense vs: mediocre defense. That’s when the coaches shoulda woke up!


October 15th, 2009
2:15 pm

athensdawg, classic on the beer delivery. LMAO.

Basketball? Can we Shaq Jr, Kobe Jr, Scottie Jr. and Michael Jr. to run this “Phil Jackson” offense? Seriously, can’t wait to see what Coach Fox brings. Good luck to the roundball dawgs.

Coach Cable feel free to visit Athens. I think you could probably hold a demostration on your technique. We could find a Willie-ng volunteer.


October 15th, 2009
2:22 pm

SOS, coming to GA ?
Besides, he hates GA so he wouldnt anyway.