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

dawgfan

November 22nd, 2009
8:20 am

Recind UGA’s bowl offer, they do not deserve the opportunity for one more game. Damen Evans, MAKE THE CHANGES BECAUSE RICHT WILL NOT!!!

UGA Fan

November 22nd, 2009
8:21 am

Joe Cox looks like some nerd, like Godsey, that shoulda gone too Teck. That red hair and purple face says it all.

jcdawg1966

November 22nd, 2009
8:23 am

We gonna find out just how much of a man Damon Evans is at the end of the season . IF he allows Richt to stay without cleaning house of all coaches under him , he does not need to be athletic director at UGA . I personally feel that if Richt won’t fire all assistants he should be given a chance to resign before being fired . Richt is a good man , but a good man doesnt win games , a good coach does !

jacketnation

November 22nd, 2009
8:23 am

ESPN NEWS – National Power House Georgia accepts bid to play in the OUTHOUSE bowl. Roll of toilet paper becomes new team mascot.

PetCo Dog Bowl Committee

November 22nd, 2009
8:25 am

what channel will it be on?

buzzfan

November 22nd, 2009
8:26 am

jeez dawg fans! its not the end of the world! every team has an off year now and then.go jackets!

Larry

November 22nd, 2009
8:28 am

Ive said before and ill say it again, Derek Dooly and Kirby Smart, Come HOME!!, or maybe get Jon Gruden as head coach and Dooly as Assistant Head Coach with Smart as defensive coordinator. But Mark has to go , let him go coach Notre Dame. Or go back to Florida. But Dooly and Smart, please come home.

sprouse

November 22nd, 2009
8:30 am

Well, the silver lining in last night’s latest meltdown is that it continues to build pressure for CMR to DO something. 6-6 regular season will mandate that. Sucks that CMR won’t do anything until it’s that bad, but the guy is over his head as a Head Coach. Super nice guy, who can probably identify with Cox. CMR hasn’t done a damn thing to develop a new starting QB for next year, so stand by for another painful season next year. Most of the talent will opt for the NFL as soon as possible, and the merry go round continues. Sure you focus one game at a time, but you’d think a head coach might be planning more than one game at a time. I’d love to see him go. But unfortunately, we’ll have to have at least one more of these painful seasons before that will happen.

Jan Kemp

November 22nd, 2009
8:31 am

CentralFLDawg

November 22nd, 2009
8:33 am

Since Stillwater this team and its coaches have been analyzed, dissected and assessed from every possible angle. We’re now at season’s end and I guess most everything that can be said has been.

And, the critiques of coaching decisions, bonehead penalties and turnovers, missed assignments, out of position players, missed tackles, etc. are becoming redundant. There’s nothing left to say.

All those things point to problems much deeper than Xs and Os. This team is not focued, not disciplined and for some reasons I cannot put my finger on, do not have the desire and will to win.

Is it mental toughness…whatever that means? Do they not have personal and team pride? Are they expecting to lose, just waiting for a little adversity so they can fall apart? Are there no ‘leaders’ on the team? Have they lost confience in the coaches? Have they lost confidence in themselves?

Hell, I’m not a shrink and don’t have a clue. But this team has some snakes in its head and an apparent void in its heart. New coaches, schemes, talent will cure some of its ills, but until this team and CMR define what it takes to create a ’soul’ and mindset of a ‘winner’, the prospects look rather bleak.

Raleigh Dog

November 22nd, 2009
8:36 am

Herschel Talker, Luke and Cuz among others had great posts. Too many terrible things have happened too often under Richt that never happened before except rarely: getting blown out, losing to Vanderbilt and Kentucky at home, not showing up for big games, gimmicks like black uniforms, penalties, poor fundamentals, can’t beat Florida, poor talent evaluation, poor game management, lack of fire. If you think this year was bad wait till next year. The schedule is not as tough as this year but I count 6 or 7 losses being possible because we can’t beat the teams we used to beat regularly. Let’s say they win 8 or 9. That still means losses to Florida and Tech probably. I think losing to Florida for two decades is what has done in UGA football. That’s why UGA is irrelevant. And now that Tech is on the rise, it’s even worse. If UGA loses to Florida, Tech, Tennessee, South Carolina and Auburn next year, Richt will be gone. He might even quit at this year’s end. I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s given up. Where is a coach like Erk Russell who would bash his bald head against helmets to fire up his team? We don’t need an angry coach we need one who has fire and who inspire players and the fan base. That’s missing now and apparently has been missing for a while.

secondguesser

November 22nd, 2009
8:38 am

That’s what they thought last year dawg!(Tide over Gators) See how that turned out?

secondguesser

November 22nd, 2009
8:39 am

Please, will somebody ban the 13 year old? (Fire Mark Richt)

drb

November 22nd, 2009
8:42 am

I’d rather be a Dog at 6-6, than a Yellowjacket at 12-0.

Dog For Life

November 22nd, 2009
8:42 am

Mark Richt has underachieved with every team since coming to Georgia. The guy has 4 and 5 star talent and he still can’t put a great team on the field. I say fire him and bring in Terry Bowden. Terry has turned around teams immediately at every school he’s coached. I’m hoping UGA doesn’t make a bowl game because I absolutely want this season to be over now!! Unfortunately there will be one more embarrassing loss at Tech next week, and that will bring this sad sorry season to an end….Thankfully!!!!!

Rick

November 22nd, 2009
8:45 am

Butl

You do realize that the 2 worst teams they play are from the sec. Maybe Va. Look at Florid and Bama’s opponents records. Fla has played one ranked team, lsu and that team has 3 losses.

Hey "It's not a talent problem" ,,,,,

November 22nd, 2009
8:47 am

I didn’t get that. Would you say it again ?

Jay

November 22nd, 2009
8:49 am

It does appear that CMR is in denial about this program. He always seems calm on the sideline no matter what bad plays happen.

Last week to hear (and enjoy) BuLLdawg

November 22nd, 2009
8:49 am

He won’t be posting after the beatdown at Tech.

nemov

November 22nd, 2009
8:50 am

2… is the number of time Richt has lost to Kentucky and beaten Florida. That’s that state of the football program. Kentucky beats us as often as we beat Florida.

John Godwin

November 22nd, 2009
8:52 am

Should have worn pink!

tchance

November 22nd, 2009
8:52 am

there are some class GT fans on here but unfortunately there are far more GT idiots than the ones with class. the more you goobers pound your chest, the harder the fall if there is an upset…..and since they still play the game on the field and not in the paper, you never know. i doubt the Dawgs will win, but, i wouldn’t get so caught up GT fans, it could make dealing with an upset more than unbearable. other than the Georgia game, go Tech, hope you win big in your bowl game and if you do beat my Dawgs, sincerely hope you get one of the big BCS games and win that one in grand fashion!!!

First Canary

November 22nd, 2009
8:55 am

Football programs that are better (and more attractive) than UGA.

Alabama
LSU
Florida
Texas
Oklahoma
Nebraska
USC
Ohio State
Michigan
Notre Dame
Penn State

UGA is a good regional program but that is about it. Get outside the southeast and UGA stacks up with teams like Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon, UCLA.

And coach Smith what team do you coach for. And don’t say the falcons.

Golfbird

November 22nd, 2009
8:58 am

It begins at the top! DAWGS have had stellar recruiting classes for 3 years (ranked nationally) and done exactly what with them? Doing less with more!

Doofus Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
9:00 am

I thank the Joe Cox feller gives us the best chance to winn. I just love his haircut and those perty faces he makes on the sidelinez. He shore has a perty mouff.

Sorry Dogs

November 22nd, 2009
9:07 am

I’d rather have Saint Simons than BuLLdawg. Better yet, why don’t you both do what UGA VII did?

GaCracker

November 22nd, 2009
9:11 am

Time for Richt to clean house and just let Walsh kick it deep – jeez!

Weed-Eater Bowl

November 22nd, 2009
9:11 am

Pitiful performance
Not real thrilled with that coaching staff
Georgia is NOT a good football team
Joe Cox is not an SEC caliber quarterback
Mark Richt needs to realize the poor coaching starts with him.

Abilene

November 22nd, 2009
9:13 am

Would all those Dawg fans who keep saying that Richt should not be fired please remind me again why not.

Saint Simons

November 22nd, 2009
9:13 am

34- 27 !!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha more to come nov 28

Abilene

November 22nd, 2009
9:17 am

Fair and Balanced

November 22nd, 2009
9:19 am

Tech has to really think they are going to destroy GA now! But they are coached much better than GA and they are probably aware of the fact that if GA does not commit a bunch of dumb penalties, turn the ball over and actually plays anywhere near their potential, they could beat Tech.

On the other hand, with the coaching that is going on at GA right now, you can pretty much count on a bunch of turnovers, dumb kicking game, penalties and bad plays.

What really has to worry GA fans is:
1. Who exactly is going to hire the next DC and OC and S+C coach if indeed there are to be new hires? If it is up to Richt, he will probably go to some place where the guy has not proven he can do the job and hire him in HOPES that he can bring him alone like he thought he could do with the current OC + DC. CMR does NOT make good hires is appears.

2. Worse than # 1 is that CMR is probably only going to be forced to new hires. He won’t want to do it because he needs to, but only because he will want to keep his own job making 15 times what everyone else makes on the coaching staff! This is as bad as the CEO’s that failed our country last year. By keeping CMR GA is rewarding failure. Cut his pay, give ultimatums, demand something from him!

Fire people, yes. Hire new people, yes. But confidence in Richt in hiring is low now. He is too unwilling and has proven he can’t hire the right people.

BTW and just for the record: Based on last year’s meltdown (though we escaped with some wins due to 3 or 4 individual outstanding players), I predicted that GA would go 7-5 at best but only if they beat Tech. Here they are. A prophet I am not, but I got this one right. You could see this season coming 365 days ago when CMR made no changes.

Oh, and one last thing: Definition of an idiot: Doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result. Richt did the same thing this year as last and got the same result – only worse. CMR can’t be trusted to make the hire of new staff. This mediocre rut was coming and everyone could see it. Everyone except CMR. It is time for GA to go get a coach who has proven himself. That is the way the game is played now. Look at what AL did? They finally got a proven coach. Look at FL, SC, and for heaven’s sake even GA Tech. They got tired of mediocrity and made a change to get a proven coach. GA got lucky in the 60’s when everything was different and got Dooley. You can’t take a chance now and get away with it very often these days. GA managed for a while with CMR but those days are over. He is in over his head now in a league he is incapable of competing with. And so now, the real problem won’t be with CMR, but with the AD. He is going to have to take the blame for keeping CMR and for paying him too much money to bring down a top tier school/team to the bottom because that is where it is headed unless you fire CMR.

michael

November 22nd, 2009
9:21 am

Why in the world would Bobo call a pitch out to Ealey from the one yard line? I have never seen Ealey stopped for no gain going straight up the gut. It really is shame when our players on the field know more about football than our coaching staff. I truly believe Ealey was denying the fact that Bobo really meant calling that pitch play from the one and his subconscious was only executing the play that should have been called!

yarddawg

November 22nd, 2009
9:22 am

I thinking the Mark Dicht show, will have the highest ratings its ever had in the history of the show??? I know I will be tuned in to see the moronic answers the head coach will roll of his tongue. But, really I want to see if Mr. Dowd will ask some real serious questions.

Dawg in Tennessee

November 22nd, 2009
9:23 am

The dawgs have a lot of top young talent coming back. Florida should be way down in 2010 with no tebow—-UGA wins the SEC east next year—mark it down!!!!

godawgs

November 22nd, 2009
9:23 am

Cox Beats Stafford—Any day!!!

Compare Cox’s 1st Year (2009) to Matt Stafford’s (2006):
Cox beats Stafford Hands down!
56% completions, 53% compeltion
141 rating, 109 rating
14 int’s, 13 int’s
23 TD’s, 7 TD’s

Cox is 3rd in SEC in passing yards, and TD’s. 4th in passer rating.

VolNation

November 22nd, 2009
9:25 am

You forgot that Tennessee is also a better football program than yours, I understand though if I got my butt handed to me 3 times in the last 4 years I’d wanna forget them too.

Lou Vales

November 22nd, 2009
9:26 am

It really is not as bad as Goff and Donnan. Goff and Donnan cared and were not paid the money Richt gets. They also realized who was paying their salaries and were willing to render onto Caesar what was Caesar’s. Mark is more interested in traveling the world in missionairy endeavors, revealing himself as a Saint, getting a terrific tan and regaling Georgia fans with his highly compensated commercials.

dgroy

November 22nd, 2009
9:26 am

Folks, I agree (for whatever that’s worth) with some of you who say the problem starts at the top……it does. Mr. Athletic Director, who is so well thought of, should be replaced first……the athletic program at UGA is in shambles. I have not seen this much discontent all around in a long while. CMR is a nice guy……and therein lies the problem……he’s nice to a fault……too loyal for his own good to coaches who have obviously reached their level of incompetence. Also, it would behoove Georgia Football to start recruiting a better class of athletes…..if you can’t pass a drivers test, what are you doing in college? There is no team spirit, only egomaniacs interested in one thing……how much money an NFL team will pay them. Time to start over, guys.

GatorNation

November 22nd, 2009
9:27 am

We firmly support Mark Richt and his entire coaching staff and strongly encourage long term contract renewals for each and every one!!!!

Lou Vales

November 22nd, 2009
9:27 am

SORRY!! Obviously meant to say “It is worse than Goff and Donnan”, I’m still staggered by the dancing on the sidelines with the 2 TD lead. Can Charles dance? I know he got his Number 7. Sweet!!!

jake

November 22nd, 2009
9:28 am

Herschel Talker got it about right: CMR is in over his head. Nice man, lackluster coach. Maybe Evans and Adams can pawn him off on their country cousins at Georgia Southern and start sifting through the Kellys — Chip at Oregon, Brian at Cincinnati — Gary Patterson at TCU, and, heck, even Randy Edsall at UConn, who has done wonders at a program with no history and no talent.

Footballnut29

November 22nd, 2009
9:29 am

I didn’t play in the SEC but Joe Cox stinks!!!!!!!!!!

Pago Flyer

November 22nd, 2009
9:29 am

Actually, it won’t be easy beating gt….the guy at ND and UM will be looking for jobs soon.

Lou Vales

November 22nd, 2009
9:30 am

Chuck Dowdle–what an appropriate name–was a hack when he left Channel 10 in Miami many years ago. Wonder if the Phi Beta Kappa remembers Clure Mosher??

Paul Johnson

November 22nd, 2009
9:30 am

Tell UGA to quit calling me I’m not interested!!!!!!!!

Brent

November 22nd, 2009
9:31 am

You idiot Georgia fans….

Tommy Tuberville is NOT coming to Athens to be a defensive coordinator. What stupid, stupid people that think your program is that prestigious. If he comes to Athens it will be as the Head Coach.

H

November 22nd, 2009
9:32 am

Bobo’s playcalling is abysmal. I don’t pretend to know what’s going on behind the scenes like some of you–dgroy, I have know idea how you are so sure where the problem begins. That’s just arrogant. What I do know is that the playcalling seems disjointed, illogical, and inappopriate. Unless there’s some explanation, Bobo needs to be reevaluated as a playcaller.

Abilene

November 22nd, 2009
9:32 am

BuLLdawg, running down GT does not make UGA any better. Let GT worry about themselves, OUR problem is UGA and its poor – and unacceptable – performance.

Let’s focus on the problems at UGA.

macrotech

November 22nd, 2009
9:32 am

Cuz, I was PUMPED to read that Baylie got voted “Fan of the Week”! LOVED to hear that as her reward, she got to go to the game with her daddy! HATE, even as a Tech fan, that this stories promise ended in a loss….especially, the way the Dawgs lost! Congrats on being able to attend…sorry for the loss! Baylie, you keep up the good fight and I look forward to all the great things in store for you and your family! You all remain in my prayers!