Wow, that was two really ugly quarters of football Georgia played in the second half Saturday night.
With the apparent focus of a 3-year-old child, the Dogs squandered a 20-6 halftime lead by turning the ball over four times.
How pathetic was it? When the Dogs got the ball back at midfield with just under 2 minutes left in order to tie up the game and Joe Cox proceeded to throw an interception on the very first play, nobody seemed surprised.
Which was uglier, his first interception or that second one? How’s that for a discussion point?
Longtime blog commenter Cuz, with whom I watched the game, summed it up pretty well when he said the second half was like a “greatest hits” of all the bad plays Mark Richt’s 2009 team has committed. Make that “greatest hurts.”
Special teams? Pretty awful, from Branden Smith’s fumble of the opening kickoff of the second half to the fact that Richt and Co. were so scared of giving up a long kickoff return that they routinely gave Kentucky the ball near midfield through a series of poorly covered pooch and squib kicks.
The offense? In the second half they acted like the ball was a hot potato. And when Kentucky made halftime adjustments to stuff the Dogs’ running game, Georgia seemed to be floundering. The Dogs had no sustained drive in the second half, with the only scoring drive consisting of two long passes. What happened to Orson Charles in the second half?
And while the defense was put in difficult short-field situations by the lousy kickoffs and offensive turnovers, the tackling at times was just horrendous. And on that dump screen pass that Kentucky turned into a long run down the sideline for a touchdown to tie the game at 27-27, Willie Martinez’s defense looked absolutely flat-footed.
It’s unfortunately been a hallmark of Richt teams that they have a tough time handling success, holding a lead and putting a team away. And that was even true with teams that were much more talented than this group.
There was plenty of blame to go around, but the bottom line is that this is a very poorly coached group of unmotivated players.
Remember the darkest days of the Goff and Donnan eras? It was that bad.