If you can’t put Kentucky away, that’s just sad

Joe Cox leaves the field after his second awful interception. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Joe Cox leaves the field after his second awful interception. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

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.

412 comments Add your comment

random tech fan

November 22nd, 2009
12:51 am

that was painful to watch

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
12:52 am

I have not been this disappointed in a while

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
12:53 am

Where do you start with this game!!! Im SICK to my stomach. I knew RIGHT AWAY playing timid on the first KICKOFF coverage

Dog gone

November 22nd, 2009
12:57 am

here, this wll cheer you up and help you to sleep… the sun will come up in the morning i promise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8GuH9oDHrU

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
12:58 am

Bottomline, there is really no analysis to this game. The wheels just fell off….It’s a shame because we pretty much dominated them. We did everything to give this game away in the second half…..

go dawgs

November 22nd, 2009
12:59 am

its embarrassing how much we get out-coached almost every game.

CSA

November 22nd, 2009
1:01 am

I cannot believe what a disappointment Georgia football has become. I commend the players for trying as hard as they have, especially the seniors. The coaches should be ashamed of themselves. Mark Richt is held accountable for everyone else, and Willie Martinez has no business coaching college football. How do you blow a 20-6 lead? Georgia did not show up for the second half and I am going to start drinking heavily.

Joey Cox

November 22nd, 2009
1:03 am

I guess I’m out of the Heisman race

gcs

November 22nd, 2009
1:03 am

Note to Mark Richt
Whatever the halftime speech that you gave your team was, don’t do that anymore. I am guessing it went something like this:

“Alright fellers, I guess this game is over. Let’s start thinking about Georgia Tech. I sure could go for some tacos. How about you?”

.

ncdawg

November 22nd, 2009
1:03 am

Two years of horrible special teams, huge penalties, and large negative turnover margins make me ill too. Richt has to do something to dramatically change the nature of the team. Firing Fabris is a necessary first step. Firing CWM is probably the second step, though you can’t really put the blame for this one on his shoulders. But he deserves blame for most of the last two years (along with Fabris).

So hopefully the new DC can eliminate the soft defense that can’t force turnovers. Hopefully the new special teams coach can take advantage of the best kicker tandem in football and help out the D by helping us win the field position battle…

That being said, the new coordinators aren’t going to stop the boneheaded fumbles and penalties. That is a symptom of a lack of discipline, and CMR has to find the solution. Dammit. And we can’t fire him… Heck, I think his winning pct is still better than Dooleys, even after this abomination of a season.

It’s one thing to lose to a Florida/LSU/OK State, even Tenn. But to lose like this. In Sanford. Dammit.

White & Gold Forever

November 22nd, 2009
1:04 am

Loved it.
See you losers next weekend on the Flats!
THWG!!!!!!!!!

NoDogsForMe

November 22nd, 2009
1:04 am

You are going to get a lot of Tech fans rubbing it in about your latest loss. Before you call them low class remember how you used to do the same. Maybe everybody will benefit.

Xenophon

November 22nd, 2009
1:04 am

I said this earlier in the year and I’ll say it again. Richt has peaked. It’s back to square one, Dawgnation. Next year will see another four losses or more and it will be time to get a new coaching staff. I wish it didn’t have to end this way, but let’s face facts here. We thought we were heading into elite status back in ‘08. It didn’t happen and will not happen with Richt. Make up your minds: stay with Richt and keep the roller coaster seasons, or clean house and try to find the next winner.

alsim

November 22nd, 2009
1:05 am

Are you Bulldog fans finally ready to admit where the problem lies?
It’s at the top.

jamesg

November 22nd, 2009
1:05 am

this was sad.it was obvious that Joe Cox and the coaches are in way over their collective heads.this was so bad, that even a life long UGA fan like myself was put in the position of hoping for a loss to Kentucky to assure some meaningful changes for next year.

john

November 22nd, 2009
1:07 am

say what you will…and you will…i wish we had found a way to beat Kentucky, but we didn’t. plain and simple. i will still support our guys, our coaches and our team. at the end of the day, it’s just a game. i love my georgia dogs. win OR lose.

Herschel Talker

November 22nd, 2009
1:08 am

YOU ARE ALL MARK RICHT APOLOGISTS. THIS IS NO LONGER ABOUT WILLIE MARTINEZ (THOUGH OBVIOUSLY WM SUCKS AND MUST BE CANNED). YOU ARE ALL NOT FOCUSING ON THE CORRECT SOURCE OF YOUR FRUSTRATION.

Hairy Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
1:09 am

Bad seasons happen. However, if you are being led to believe that the talent level of your program is higher than it actually is, the bad seasons are much tougher to comprehend.

Good luck, Coach Richt. You’re gonna need it after this season.

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
1:10 am

Bill….I think the players came out in the second half feeling like they had the game under control.

The coaching on kickoff teams had probably the most devastating effect on this game. Stupid pooch kicks….C’MON. We have one of the best legs on a kicker in the nation. And hell, if we can’t tackle and block effectively on a DAMN kickoff then obviously it’s a coaching problem.

Joe Cox was being, well….Joe Cox. Inconsistent. When UK evened the game up, he was trying to do too much. Lost focus. I don’t think that’s the coaches problem….

That boneheaded fumble at the goalline…we’re INCHES away!!! Just QB sneak the DAMN ball!!!

I have not been so very much P.O’ed after a game. The UT game if felt we just we’re handled but there is NO EXCUSE as to why we lost this game. NO EXCUSE. Especially upset about the kickoff teams

Catfan

November 22nd, 2009
1:12 am

Feel your pain dawg, losing in the 4th is so …Kentucky. You may want to prepare for each game…..ask Auburn. Good Luck next week with GT.

kydawg

November 22nd, 2009
1:13 am

As much as I hate to say it…if this staff is back next year, I will no longer support UGA football. Yes…this loss was that bad!!!

August

November 22nd, 2009
1:14 am

Herschel Talker

November 22nd, 2009
1:14 am

People are finally waking up to the truth. How can any of you continue to excuse Mark Richt’s loyalty to Willie Martinez? Saban and Meyer would have jettisoned Martinez years ago (truthfully they would have never hired his inept a$$ in the first place, but that’s another topic).

Last year, after the season, Richt said that reviewing Martinez’s performance was not even on the table for discussion. Are you kidding me? He should have been canned years ago. At the very least, Richt could have said something to the effect of the program always striving to be the best and that all facets should be currently under review. Yet Martinez, who gave up 31 to Bama at the half, 49 to Florida (a little less, I guess, since there were defensive scores, but the point is the same), and 45 to Tech (including 26 in one quarter!) didn’t even merit a review!

It is obvious that the Emperor has no clothes. Mark Richt was successful early in his tenure because:

1. Ron Zook was at Florida (and even then, Richt went 1-2 against that moron). The fact that we lost to Florida in 2002 and 2003 was a complete disgrace.

2. Tennessee was in decline

3. Saban had just gotten the LSU juggernaut going, but it wasn’t yet in full steam (it would be starting in 2003)

4. Most importantly, he had natural born leaders on the field (i.e., Greene and Pollack) and a fiery animal and defensive genius in Brian Van Gorder, whose fire picked up the slack for what Richt lacked. BVG, DG, and DP made sure that the team had discipline and fire. Mark Richt accomplishes no such thing. How many years running have we been hearing about cleaning up the penalties? How many games do we have to watch our defenders look absolutely clueless out there? How many more games do we have to lose in such ugly fashion? What happened to the days of losing in Death Valley to LSU on a late TD in a very well played game (2003)? Now, when we lose, all hell breaks loose, and it’s a complete disaster.

WVU in 2006 Sugar Bowl
UT in 2006
UT in 2007
Bama in 2008
UF in 2008
GT in 2008
UT in 2009
UF in 2009
UK in 2009

These losses were complete and utter disasters. And that’s ignoring the defensive meltdowns in games we actually won (e.g., LSU in 2008). Those of you who don’t see these things just aren’t paying attention, plain and simple.

Now that Richt has no leaders on the team and has surrounded himself with absolute boobs as assistants, the Emperor has been exposed.

Mark Richt is a very good man. He represents the university well. But you blind homers who overlook his blind loyalty to Willie Martinez and overlook the complete and utter lack of discipline on this team and just say something moronic like “we’re just having a down year,” you just aren’t looking at the entire picture. He is not fit to be a head coach. Period. End of story.

ncdawg

November 22nd, 2009
1:14 am

Fire Fabris.

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
1:16 am

ncdawg right on

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:18 am

Great game bullpuppies! Can you even begin to imagine the beat down you’re in for next weekend?
A rested #2 in the nation offense against a very mediocre UGA team. I was more concerned about teh UVA game than this UGA game – it’s gonna be ugly!

fpm

November 22nd, 2009
1:18 am

Hey Xenophon, who are you going to get? Weis? Mangino? Tommy West or Bowden?

kydawg

November 22nd, 2009
1:18 am

NCdawg…Fire them All!!!

coach smith

November 22nd, 2009
1:19 am

Barring an upset of TECH, the Dawgs will be bowling in the Music City or Independence Bowl

If they somewhow beat Tech, it will be the Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Herschel Talker

November 22nd, 2009
1:19 am

“Remember the darkest days of the Goff and Donnan eras? It was that bad.”

Bill – I disagree with you. This is far worse than anything under Jim Donnan. No question.

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:20 am

LIke Spurrier used say “where were all those 5 star recruits tonight”. We love Coach Richt – please, please extend his contract – we’ll help pay for it!

Alabamadawg

November 22nd, 2009
1:20 am

And as poorly as Cox was playing in the second half, we had no one to send in to at least try to win the game ??? I am so dreading going to work Monday…

coach smith

November 22nd, 2009
1:22 am

The Dawgs don’t need a new head coach, they need a NEW D-Coordinator, and a full time Special Teams Coach

However, if UGA wanted to hire a new head coach, their would be a line a mile long of EVERY good coach and up and comer trying to get the job

Georgia is one of the top 5 to 7 jobs in the country

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:23 am

Hey coach smith, what are the chances UGA’s gonna ‘upset’ GT – none! After a tough start to our season, November really has been filled with cupcakes – wake forest, duke, vandy, and yes UGA. I think Vandy has more firepower than this pack of puppies. And seems to be spilling over to hardcourts – UAB? Really, did you really loose to UAB? At least you have the gymdogs. Talk about an athletic program in shambles. Not sure I’ve ever seen it so bad at UGA across the board in my 40 years.

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
1:23 am

Who would win in the octagon, the average UGA fan or GT fan?

Kanedawg39

November 22nd, 2009
1:25 am

just a bad team.

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:26 am

Hey coach smith- top 5 top 7 jobs, really? That is some great stuff you’ve been smoking. Top 5 to 7, I love it. That’s what I love about you dawg fans: every year you’re gonna wint the national championship, win the SEC, beat the gators. Have you ever seen a more irrelevent UGA program? You must be proud

disappointed to say the least

November 22nd, 2009
1:26 am

we aren’t beating tech, we don’t deserve a bowl game, we need some coaching changes, but I’d rather be a Georgia Bulldog than a supporter of some other team. I’m sticken’ with the Dawgs, thick or thin. good game kentucky, you deserved that win.

The Truth

November 22nd, 2009
1:28 am

The UGA coaches have zero emotional control over their football team. Exhibit A: tonight’s loss. Exhibit B: all the other losses and near misses. Ask yourself, when was the last time UGA looked great against a really smart coaching staff. Forget talent, and just try to recall when we last had a dominating performance against someone who is currently considered a brilliant coach. If you can find one example, I challenge you to find another….and no, crickets aren’t an NCAA mascot. Try again.

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:29 am

But seriously Coach Smith – you think you just need a new DCor? Didn’t look like the defense lost that game tonight. And back to that top 5-7 claim – UGA’s not even a top 5 job in it’s own conference, must less the country. Ever heard of FL, AL, LSU, TN, Auburn or Texas, USC, OSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Oklahoma. Top 5-7, really?

Topp Dogg

November 22nd, 2009
1:31 am

Just plain sad in all around performance this year.omg The beatdown is coming in the Ghetto next week , i wish we could forfeit the game and prevent this embarassement from happening.

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:34 am

Hey dawgs, I was surprised you didn’t come out in all black jerseys with maybe even the black ‘FL’ helmets as a memorial for the dog. Sorry to hear of your losses which seem to be piling up.

thwg

November 22nd, 2009
1:35 am

Where are Rusty Trombone and Lucky Pierre? I am looking for them. I’m in the mood.

Herschel Talker

November 22nd, 2009
1:37 am

thwg – you are one disgusting individual

thwg1

November 22nd, 2009
1:38 am

Black jerseys and helmets to memorialize the dog – that is hysterical – where do I come up with this stuff!

coach smith

November 22nd, 2009
1:40 am

thwg

you are not intelligent enough to argue with but let me try to make you see past your stupid hatred

First: Tech’s defense is about as bad as UGA’s and the Dawgs WILL score plenty on tech so there is a chance for UGA to upset tech

2nd: UGA has made the second most money of any program in the country over the past 10 years,
they are #2 in total team apparal sales,
they have the 5th biggest on campus stadium in the country,
on national TV every week,
in the best conference (SEC),
have WON the second most games of ANY team in thountry over the past 8 years,
UGA is in one of the best recruiting states in the country and are top 5 in recruiting every year
multiple players going to the NFL
They have won 2 SEC titles and played for 3 in 8 years
have multiple top 10 and top 5 finishes

So yes my friend, UGA is one of the top 5 to 7 programs and jobs in the country

One bad season does not change that

So put aside your assinine attitude and admit that the facts back me up

guy

November 22nd, 2009
1:41 am

i dont think ill ever get tired of dejected fan shots at losing uga games. the shots of all the fans leaving with 2+ minutes left and the game still in reach really sealed it. see you jerks in the atl next week.

MauiDAWG

November 22nd, 2009
1:41 am

thwg…go back to your Techy blog or get your head out of the sand. UGA football is one of the richest & most valuable football programs in the nation every year. I think we’ve been in the top five rankings for the last 10 years or more. LOOK IT UP.

Who really cares about Tech? It’s a below average program, in a below average conference having an above average year..that’s it. The media and the rest of America dosen’t care one bit about what happens there.

intellibird

November 22nd, 2009
1:42 am

I am a Clemson alumn and I have already been drinking heavily. We will tattoo the Jackets in 2 weeks and y’all Dogs better get ‘em next weekend first. Theres still time to send some misery their way.

coach smith

November 22nd, 2009
1:43 am

thwg

see my previous post

your an idiot if you think ND, Aub, Penn St, Michigan or even Ohio St is ahead of UGA

Location matters my friend

and when the hell was the last time BAMA won anything?

It has been 20+ years since their last SEC title, so lets let them win something more than a regualr season game before crowning them
Saban hasn’t even won a bowl there has he?