Lack of improvement a hallmark of 2009 Dogs

Some thoughts and questions arising from the Dogs’ meltdown against Kentucky. …

The same problems plagued Georgia all season long, and while the players must take the blame for the turnovers and penalties, the fact that the Dogs never really could get a handle on either problem has to be seen as an indictment of Mark Richt’s coaching staff. Most of Georgia’s problems were a matter of sloppy or careless play, not lack of talent.

Looks like Joe Cox's eyes are closed when throwing this fourth-quarter incompletion. Maybe that explains those two interceptions. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Looks like Joe Cox's eyes are closed when throwing this fourth-quarter incompletion. Maybe that explains those two interceptions. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Early in the season when Joe Cox would make stupid mistakes, many of us gave him the benefit of the doubt by pointing out his relative inexperience despite being a fifth-year senior.

But the most damning statement that can be made about Cox (and his coach, Mike Bobo) is that the quarterback never got better as the season progressed. Saturday night, with nearly a full season under his belt, he was still panicking when pressured and making really dumb throws. His second-half interceptions were two of the most ill-advised passes I’ve ever seen a QB attempt.

Cox completed 12 of 30 passes for 291 yards, three touchdown passes and those two dismal interceptions. He threw some really pretty balls deep. On that two-pass scoring drive in the second half, I wrote down in my notebook: “Joe Cox at his best.” But he was hopeless at the 10- to 15-yard possession pass. And, like I said, his decision-making was just awful.

Was he coached at all this season?

On the fumble at the Kentucky 1-yard line in the fourth quarter: Everyone seems pretty sure now that freshman Washaun Ealey was too close to Cox on the pitch. You have to wonder, if Cox noticed that, why he went ahead and made the pitch anyway. More to the point, why were the Dogs trying a toss sweep in that key moment? Earlier in the game a toss sweep already had resulted in a fumble, and it’s a play that Georgia has had trouble with all season long. Was that really the wisest play call in that situation?

The Dogs fumbled four times, losing two of them. Is it lack of concentration? Poor fundamentals?

What’s left to say about Bryan Evans? I can’t recall a senior starter for the Dogs who I was more anxious to see move on to alumnus status. His tackling was typically poor. And what was he thinking with that blatant late hit out of bounds that helped set up Kentucky’s first score? I don’t blame him for that pass interference call in the end zone, though. He was clearly beaten by the receiver and really had no choice if he didn’t want to give up a touchdown on the play. It didn’t much matter, though, as the Cats did score on the drive with a receiver left wide open.

Georgia had 427 yards of offense, with 196 on the ground, but only 53 of those rushing yards came in the second half. Kentucky had just 63 yards of offense in the first half but ended up with 260. Which team does it appear made successful adjustments at halftime?

One of the officials should be credited with an assist on that first touchdown by the Cats for managing to insert himself into the play and screen the Georgia defender, basketball-style.

Third and short. Normally that’s good news for an offense, but more than once Saturday the Dogs were unable to convert. Kentucky dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage in the second half.

Can we finally agree that kickoff returns are not Branden Smith’s strong suit?

And on the flip side, kickoff coverage is such a train wreck at Georgia that the Dogs probably would be better off just deliberately kicking out of bounds every time and giving the opponent the ball at the 40. That wouldn’t be much different from what Kentucky got time after time Saturday night. That squib kick returned 20 yards by an up back just summed up how hopeless the Dogs are in this area of the game. And, again, that’s another problem that hasn’t improved as the season has progressed.

This is one year Richt and his staff definitely should back up to the pay window.

547 comments Add your comment

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
10:54 pm

exactly now how many national championships have we won?

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
10:55 pm

no just the staff

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
10:56 pm

rincon, we have been listed as top ten in recruiting not top five. Why do you think so many freshmen are playing. I will quit drinking the CMR coolaid if you will quit taking the brown acid. Were you even alive in 1979? It was much worse than this year.

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
10:57 pm

i love cmr hes a great man. he has great offensive knowledge. he just needs that guy below hime to get these guys going. he is not a motivator his talent is in his mind. he just has to get someone to get these guys going

YellowSage

November 22nd, 2009
10:57 pm

Mark Richt is the best coach UGA has enjoyed in 20 years…and to demonstrate the prodigious intellect of their football savy fans it has been all but decided that they should release him from his nothing but successful work. (one wonders who should decide to release these genius fans). The world is dying to know how UGA produces so many scholarly minds. It’s just a wonder that such lofty intellectual heights achieved and can be so crowded with genius!

td

November 22nd, 2009
10:57 pm

Should have won one two years ago but the BCS BS stopped us and let LSU win that one.

westcoastdawgfan

November 22nd, 2009
10:57 pm

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:00 pm

well then you should know what im talking about. yes i was by the way. by the way we used to be floridas but constantly back then so dont give me that crap.

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:01 pm

rincon, Richt stays. Willie is gone. Maybe someone else but I doubt it.

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:02 pm

richt is two and seven against florida. why cant you get the picture

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:02 pm

When were we floridas?

dawgfan13

November 22nd, 2009
11:02 pm

Mark Richt is done in Athens! This team, coaching staff, and everything he stands for is a total joke! These players are the most undiscipline players I have ever witnessed on a football team. The talent we supposedly have is under performing and not being coached up and the Administration at UGA will support Richt because the dollars keep pouring in. Richt will not get fired and in 2012 he will finally be forced out after two more seasons like this one, four straight losses to Tech, six straight losses to Florida, at least 3 to 4 losses to Tennessee, he will be done!

cantondawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:02 pm

2010 Outlook from a Sane fan

QB- Should be better or at least as good. Cox has looked great at times but INT has cost UGA in several Games

RB – Definitely better. We went into this year with hardly any experience at TB. Now, we have Ealey and it looks like CK is finally starting to come around.

WR- Definitely better. i think this could be the best WR corp in the country.. AJ the best, RW is a definite playmaker, TK is good and MB should be good next year and IT is solid.

OL – Definitely better, all 5 starters return

DE- Definitely better Justin Houston has really come on and Montez Robinson should be a stud

DT- Probrably not as good with Atkins, Weston and Owens gone…Abry Jones and Tyson have great potential

LB- Def. better if Curran returns..

CB- Definitely better..Branden Smith should be a stud

S- Definite upgrade. i think Rambo will be a star.

Coaching

HC- CMR will be much better and hungrier next year. I guarantee it.

OC- Bobo will have alot of talent but will need to call plays better. actually see CMR taking over.

DC – CWM will be gone. Definite Upgrade.

Offseason conditioning- you gotta believe this will be the most brutal offseason yet. This season has been an embarrassment to CMR.

Motivation- After hearing all the insults from the bandwagon and fairweather fans. UGA will be well motivated for 2010

Schedule- Much easier..Oklahoma State LSU, Arizona State, TT are replaced by Lousiana Monroe, Mississippi State, Idaho State and Colorado. Florida will be down- Losing Tebow , Spikes and about 7 juniors. Tennessee will be down too..Lose entire offensive line, Hardesty, Crompton and some defensive players. GT will probrably be the only team that will be as good if not better next year.

G8TR

November 22nd, 2009
11:02 pm

Dawgs, look at it raining Papa John’s pizzas from the sky! Sugar, not so much.

Dawghater

November 22nd, 2009
11:03 pm

Hey Bill, would you like some WHINE with that cheese! And what was UGA’s recruiting class ranked last year, the year before, next year?

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:03 pm

if you could read cuz i have been saying that the whole time

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:04 pm

Any coach that cannot beat Florida more than twice in nine years should be fired! Now that would mean a vast increase in the unemployment rate. We have enough trouble without an NCAA Head Coach stimulus package.

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:07 pm

if beating florida is not a big thing to you then you are not a dawg fan and if your not a dog fan go to your teams area

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:07 pm

I can read rincon, but the buck stops with Coach Richt. Willie is gone at the end of the year. There are very few who belive otherwise. If he does not, then CMR’s job is in Jeapordy next year. And he does not get the daily Double.

Dawghater

November 22nd, 2009
11:08 pm

Here are truthful comments from a Tech fan. Mark Richt is under appreciated by your faithful! Your annual opinion of your program is over extended and go ahead and can call for his head! I would expect nothing less from UGA fans. I’ve seen your lack of intelligence in the stands and I’ve seen first hand why your appreciation for a DOG is more important than a Human Being that is actually a good coach!

Glen Mason is available!

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:09 pm

good god man how many times have i said it. im good with richt staying just get more staff good god

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:10 pm

I want to beat Florida every year. But I don’t whine if we do not. I want to win every game, won’t happen. Refund me the $25,000 it cost to get my degree at UGA in the eighties and I will go pull for another team.

Dawghater

November 22nd, 2009
11:11 pm

Hey Ricon Dawg,
You might want to give up on the “Dream” of beating Florida! It will make the nightmares go away!

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:11 pm

I heard you on the Richt thing. I said Willie is gone. Good God man how many times must I say that.

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:12 pm

Oh, the 25 G’s does not count beer. Better throw in another 25 Grand.

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:12 pm

in the past twenty years whats our record vs them? 17 florida 3 georgia. what have the other coaches been fired for? he has to get it together quick

td

November 22nd, 2009
11:13 pm

rincon dawg, I have been asking this question for two weeks. Who do we get as DC when Adams will not allow the person to make more than $600,000 per year and Tenn, Fl, Bama and LSU makes around 1 million? Who is going to come?

Dawghater

November 22nd, 2009
11:14 pm

Hum Cuz, it cost you $25K for a degree at UGA for a $40K job. Now that’s finance. UGA finance!

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:14 pm

your gonna get yours on saturday hater

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:14 pm

Dawghater, we can always get a new coach. Those white English Brindle Bulls are special. No coaches are buried at Sanford, Ray Goff excluded.

rincon dawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:15 pm

so your happy with willie your an idiot

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:16 pm

Heck hater, I made 19 grand when I graduated in 83 and I thought I was in tall cotton.

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:17 pm

rincon, Willie is gone. Rodney gets promoted and a raise, end of story.

Cuz

November 22nd, 2009
11:18 pm

you’re helps with the people who are playing at home and do not understand the keyboard’s accent.

td

November 22nd, 2009
11:21 pm

rincon dawg, Am I happy with the way our D has played the past two years, HELL NO. DO I think it is all CWM fault, NO. DO I think there should be a change, Maybe. I am asking who because we are under limitations due to Adams. If we were not under limitations then I would say go hire the best NFL man money could buy and let us be equal with the rest of the elite SEC teams. I just do not know if we can get better at this point in time and CWM is a great recruiter. So who do we go after?

BTW: Was the idiot comment really necessary?

jake

November 22nd, 2009
11:27 pm

Good stuff, Bill. Glad you’re on the case…and glad I wasn’t there.

cantondawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:33 pm

Something to think about

2005- Georgia Southern fires Mike Sewak after first round playoff loss. Sewak had made playoffs 3 of 4 years and barely missed making NC game. In 4 years since, GSU has went 3-8 7-4 6-5 and 5-6

2005 – Coloroda
Gary Barnett was pressured resign from Colorado after 7-5 season. He had won 4 1st place North division titles along with Big 12 conference champions. Colorado has gone 2-10 6-7 5-7 and 3-8

Nebraska – Fired Frank Solich after 9-3 season after he had been in NC game..His win totals were 9,10,12,11,7,9 Record after Solich left. 5-6 8-4 5-7 9-5…never even sniffed playing in NC or Big 12 title game

2006 Miami Larry Coker was fired after 7-6 record after winning 1 NC and playing for 1 more..Miami teams after Coker 5-7 7-6 8-3

td

November 22nd, 2009
11:39 pm

cantondawg, Facts do not lie but the sad thing is some of these people are so blinded by their own opinions that they will refuse to see anything that does not fit their agenda.

WTH was that?

November 22nd, 2009
11:41 pm

cantondawg hit on something that really bothers me. Other than the obvious stuff like penalties,kickoff coverage and strategies, pass coverage, and holding on to the d#@n ball, we are just not a very tough team. We have got to be a physical, fundamentally sound team to compete in the SEC. We need to be giving out concussions and broken jaws, ala LSU, like candy.

cantondawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:42 pm

Actually, CMR salary ranks fifth in the Sec with Saban, Meyer, Miles, Petrino all above him. Our assistants coaches probrably rank lower than that because Garner and Searels both turned down higher paid positions with other schools to stay with CMR. So , Our head coach is in the middle of the pack and our assistants are paid less than average in the SEC. SO , WE are getting what we are paying for.

I AM A POLITICIAN " MARK RICHT"

November 22nd, 2009
11:44 pm

HI I AM MARK RICHT I ONLY BELIEVE IN 3 DOWNS 4TH DOWN DON’T COUNT THATS WHY I DON’T RUSH THE PUNTER ON “SPECIAL TEAM” I AM MORE CONCERN WITH THE REDSHIRT PROGRAM THAN WINNING THE FOOTBALL GAME.. ITS NEVER MY OR THE COACHES FAULT WHEN SOMETHING WRONG IS DONE I TRY TO SEE THE PLAYER I CAN BLAME TO TAKE THE LOAD OFF ME … AND ITS NEVER MY QUARTERBACK FAULT CAUSE IF I BLAME HIM I WOULD BE BLAMING ME SINCE THERE ARE NO OTHER QUARTERBACK ON THE TEAM . I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHY I RECRUITED AARON MURRAY BECAUSE HE CAN’T EVEN BEAT MY PUNT RETURNER LOGAN GRAY MUCH LESS MY FIFTH YEAR SENIOR… ANY HOW EVERY BODY KEEP LOVING THE DAWGS BECAUSE I CERTAINLY LOVE THAT BIG CHECK THEY PAY ME.. AND GET OFF MARTINEZ HIS DEFENSE PLAYED WELL AGAINST KENTURKY…

Demetrio

November 22nd, 2009
11:49 pm

How much did they pay the brothers in that Tech video to be tools for the fat white boys?

cantondawg

November 22nd, 2009
11:49 pm

TD,

People forget that there are always unintended consequences to every action. They think that firing CMR and the staff would solve all of the Turnovers, penalties, youthful mistakes. They don’t think about how the returning players would react. Those players signed to come to UGA to play under Richt and they would feel cheated. Also, they don’t think about all those recruiting contacts that CMR and his staff have cultivated in 9 years drying up. The new coach would have to come in and start from scratch. With CMR , You can always pencil in a top 10 class. With a new coach, chances are that he won’t be as good.

With CMR gone, Recruiting would suffer and players would transfer. Then, a new offensive system would be implemented and the players would have to get used to the new coaches. It would be an ugly 3-4 year period.

People look at what CPJ has done at Tech. Well folks that’s not the norm. First of all, GT plays in a much weaker conference and Secondly, A coach like PJ doesn’t come around everyday.

Demetrio

November 22nd, 2009
11:51 pm

Hey I AM A POLITICIAN ” MARK RICHT”… There’s a key on the computer that turns the caps to lower case. Call downstairs, your mommy can come up and help you find it…

WTH was that?

November 22nd, 2009
11:52 pm

cantondawg. I agree with you. We have got to be careful of being too reactionary in this situation. At the same time, it just doesn’t seem like there is any excuse for the way we’ve played football the last couple years. I would say there MUST be significant improvement next year. I don’t think we have to win the SEC or even the east necessarily, although those would be nice. I would say we need to win a minimum of 10 games and whatever losses we do have better be competitive against quality opponents.
What say you?

I AM A POLITICIAN " MARK RICHT"

November 22nd, 2009
11:56 pm

DEMETRIO ITS MY BLOG AND I WILL YELL IF I WANT TO

Old School

November 23rd, 2009
12:00 am

I doubt if many of the Dawg players read the blogs, but the newspapers may be another thing. Frankly, with 6 more editions of the AJC before Saturday night’s game, I just hope that they don’t to continue to churn out more bulletin board material for the UGA coaches to tack like we have seen in articles and columns since last night. And former AJC columnist Terence Moore ridiculed the Dawgs’ chances a few minutes ago on Channel 2’s Sports Zone. Of course, he said Tech would win last year, and he reminded everyone that he said back in early Sept. that UGA would lose 4-5 games and one of them would be to Tech—again. And then you have this Bill King yahoo, who is supposedly a Dawg fan, throwing his own players under the bus. Makes a tech fan a little uneasy.

Tdawg

November 23rd, 2009
12:01 am

Byran Evans dad. Your son couldn’t throw a dead cat under the bus. But then neither can anyone else on that pathetic defense.

cantondawg

November 23rd, 2009
12:06 am

Bryan Evans dad,

I wish your son would do us all a favor and throw Tdawg under a bus. He definitely knows alot about pathetic since he’s a pathetic bandwagon fan

Old School

November 23rd, 2009
12:07 am

Mark Richt and the UGA homer Chuck Dowdle are talking now on Channel 2’s Inside Georgia Football. Should be interesting.