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

Old School

November 23rd, 2009
12:10 am

BTW– listened to the Dawg postgame call-in show last night. I would say that Kevin Butler is royally pissed at the Dawg team, but even moreso with the coaches. Something else from a UGA icon like him.

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
12:15 am

I feel bad complaining about these things. I’m not a football coach and I don’t have the answers. I know CMR knows a whole helluva lot more than me or anyone on these blogs about running a football team. But, I am a huge fan. I love my DAWGS. They are the premiere sports representative of my home state. I’m from Warner Robins and have lived in Valdosta for a few years as well, so I’ve seen a football game or two. In other words, I ain’t no cowboy but I know bulls%$t when I see it.

OcreBugMan

November 23rd, 2009
12:20 am

WTH was that? If you know bulls%$t when you see it, then you have seen nothing but….on this blog. Kind of depressing, isn’t it?

Hopeful and thankful

November 23rd, 2009
12:33 am

Can we break with these two words regarding the UGA football team for a while?

Let’s be hopeful that Chance Veazy will walk again and recover from a devastating injury not his fault.

Let’s be thankful some of these seniors will never play again at Sanford Stadium (even though they did their best).

Let’s be hopeful someone at UGA wises up and decides not to go to a bowl game this year. Just because you are eligible doesn’t mean you have to go. Other SEC teams can go and we split the money anyway. (Remember just because they make spandex in your size doesn’t mean you have to wear it).

Then, we can be thankful that we don’t have to sit and watch us get our backends handed to us but one more time this year!

And don’t even start about I’m not a loyal dog and this and that. I attended every game this year except the Arkansas game and I spend more on UGA athletics that I care to let anyone know. So if you disagree, KMA.

cantondawg

November 23rd, 2009
12:35 am

I really think the turning point of this season was the last minute loss to LSU. If we win that game, then i think the Tennessee game is different. It seemed like we were still thinking about the LSU loss when we went to Knoxville and got beat and then our confidence went downhill from there. It’s amazing how a couple of plays can change a year. UGA has the talent and athletes but our confidence is not there After the Tennessee game, the season just started going downhill from there.

cantondawg

November 23rd, 2009
12:40 am

Hopeful and Thankful,

Let me clarify just how stupid one of your comments were. You said that UGA should decline a bowl invite. How about this, why don’t you work for the next couple of months and decline the salary that your boss pays you.

These players work their butts off all year. They go thru grueling weight lifting and practice sessions with injuries and aches and pains. The only reward that they get is at the end of the season is to go to a bowl game. It doesn’t matter which bowl or where it’s at it’s a reward and they should partake in it.

Your comments just show how shallow, selfish and immature and also stupid you are.

Alex

November 23rd, 2009
12:41 am

branden smith is only bad as kick returns because he is a freshman anxious to make plays for a terrible football team. he’s looking to score everytime, which is a good thing, just like washaun. once they get a little older, the anxious nature to score will wear off and we can hold on to the ball. They both need to be given the ball a LOT more next year if we want a chance to win any games

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
12:52 am

And another thing. Did I just see one of the Bears receivers butt in that game a little while ago?

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
1:11 am

Does anyone else ever wonder if CMR is not being put at a disadvantage by his strong religious convictions in regards to this 20 hour practice rule? And I AM NOT suggesting that his religion is in any way a bad thing for our program. I just can’t see cutthroats like Meyer, Saban, Kiffin, Spurrier, Myles, and virtually every other coach in our conference not engaging in some tactics that might be considered by some to be somewhat dishonest or underhanded to get around or cheat that rule.
I may just be being paranoid. Just a thought.

Richt Needs a Raise

November 23rd, 2009
1:13 am

Damon evans better be sucking up big time to Richt with a fat raise and bonus, or he may get tired of all the criticism and take the florida state job when old man bowden hangs it up next year. Jimbo fisher is a terrible coach, and he’ll only last a year. They want richt bad. Pay up Damon!!!

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
1:24 am

OcreBugMan,
I agree, there is a lot of BS on here. But, I guess that’s the nature of the blogging thing. Guess there are those that think what I type is BS. As Tony Soprano would say, “Whatta ya gonna doo?”

Hopeful and thankful

November 23rd, 2009
1:46 am

Yeah cantondawg,

You are right. I’ve been to Shreveport with the team. We all had a great time! Believe me, they don’t really want to be embarrassed and go to Shreveport. Now, what they will say for the media is of course different.

The ONLY benefit in going to Shreveport is the extra practice time the team will get pointing to next year and that is the ONLY consideration.

As for your name calling, I am not shallow, certainly not stupid, and definitely not immature. My above comments cannot be construed as selfish. I have gone to great lengths to support this team with my presence, my encouragement, and my money. That’s exactly why I have the right to offer my opinion. No one questions the players’ efforts, but they are definitely NOT being correctly directed, or otherwise. I do not, unfortunately, claim to have all the answers. However, I do know that major changes need to be made and if you do not recognize that simple fact, then you are the one who is stupid.

Michael

November 23rd, 2009
3:45 am

Md Terps will welcome Richt and his staff with open arms. Fire Richt!

Dr. Demento

November 23rd, 2009
7:31 am

The good doctor here thinks that CMR is like that guy sitting in the cube next to you. He needs a job change, it’s boring. He comes to the same job everyday, more out of habit than wanting to be there. He starts taking extended lunches, longer breaks, leaving early, coming in late, starts dialing it in. Why doesn’t the guy just quit, well the money’s good, family is acclimated, but dang something just isn’t there. He can’t quit, because the money is too good, and he probably will never get a job like this again. But, if they get rid of me, then I’ll get a buy-out and just maybe, Ol’ Bobby will call it quits, or I’ll have a few years of cash stream coming in and heck, Bobby is getting up there in age and can’t live forever. Besides, “THEY LOVE ME AT FSU.” Doctor OUT

GT53

November 23rd, 2009
7:51 am

As my handle shows, I am not a UGA fan but I want to stick up for Joe Cox and for his accomplishments. While he has not been the talent that his predecessor was, he shows loyalty, determination, and grace-under-fire that is a compliment to himself, his family and the University of Georgia. He stuck around for five years holding the clipboard for Matthew Stafford. When he did get a chznce to play, he played with as much grit and guts as I have ever seen on a football field. He never once blamed anyone else for his mistakes. While his team this year had many problems and trials, Joe Cox came out the winner. My heart was breaking for his parents Saturday night as they watched their son suffer a defeat that many will say was his fault. I am sure they heard him called things that any parent would be crushed at. Football is a team sport and wile he was part of that team, he was not entirely to blame. The sting of this year will eventually go away but one thing will not. He will graduate with a degree from a great institution and can always be proud of the lifelong relationships and life examples he gained at the UGA.

Richard Dawson

November 23rd, 2009
8:04 am

You are an idiot. How can you blame the players for penalties and turnovers? It’s coaching. And who recruits the players anyway? This ain’t the NFL where there’s a GM.

Mark Richt’s teams have a problem with turnovers, penalties, and execution in general, but not Les Miles’s, Nick Saban’s, Lane Kiffin’s, Urban Meyer’s, Paul Johnson’s (all coaches who beat UGA), and a bunch of other coaches (TCU, Cincy, Boise State).

Mark Richt does less with more than any other coach in America.

FIRE MARK RICHT.

Richard Dawson

November 23rd, 2009
8:10 am

Mark Richt is a liar.

On the Mark Richt show, he said GA had “nearly 500 yards of offense.” You say they had 427. Quite a difference.

That brand of lying, or baseless optimism, or stretching the truth, or whatever, is exactly the attitude that has kept Mark Richt from a serious look in the mirror, from manning up and taking responsibility for once, for showing even the smallest smidgen of passion about his job. Things are always rosier to Mark Richt than to everyone else. We always just had bad luck, or lost despite “playing so well” or winning the statistics battle.

I puke up on that attitude.

Man up and look in the mirror. The coaches have let us all down. Starting with the guy at the top.

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
8:21 am

Richard Dawson

Shug

November 23rd, 2009
8:21 am

Again, another blog that refers to these Bulldogs as “talented.” Where is the talent? They are not fast, physically imposing or skillful. To say that UGA is loaded with talent, and it’s only a matter of tweaking the coaching staff is delusional. BETTER PLAYERS ARE NEEDED!

Chicagodawg

November 23rd, 2009
8:30 am

I see a very young team on the field making mistakes that young players make. I noticed that just about every play on Saturday, it was either a soph or a freshman making the plays. That makes me excited about the next few years but that depends on how the qb position pans out. I do believe that changes need to be made with the coaching staff. CMR most definitely should stay, but CWM needs to go. He seems to have complete tunnel vision on defense and can’t make adjustments that need to be made. Something has to be done about that. The play calling on offense is offensive and predictable most of the time. Changes need to be made.

dawghouse1011 -Athens

November 23rd, 2009
8:34 am

That completely sums it up!!

frank james

November 23rd, 2009
8:45 am

Old School – Kevin Butler needs to get on his own son about laughing on the sidelines after we had a punt blocked. The face mask penalty was not a bad play though because if we had not got the first down, we would have gotten to punt again. I wonder if Drew did it on purpose? We do need some of the old school tactics back, we miss a Van Gorder or anybody that will get in the face and let a kid know that is not okay to be where we are at.

dgroy

November 23rd, 2009
8:45 am

Has anyone ever read…..”The Peter Principle”? I think it probably applies to the Georgia Coaching? Staff this year.

North Ave. Trade School fan

November 23rd, 2009
8:57 am

Dog Nashun, Ya’ll are in such a tizzy over one bad year. Take the whipping your likely to get next week and relax. Are the dogs ever down long? Not just no, but hell no. Bad year, Cox did not improve, the great Tail Back U, no so this year. That kid that stiffed GAC (Caleb King) in his senior year, not working out so good. Next year or 2011, your back in the mix. Thats in the mix with other great teams like Fla and Bama. It’s just a game. The older I get, the more I enjoy the wins and quicker I get over the ones we don’t.

BJohnDawg

November 23rd, 2009
8:57 am

This goes beyond this year. The problem is that there has been no improvement in this team for 24 months. From the end of 2007 to now we have seen the following:

1) Poor tackling
2) little defensive line pressure; most times non-existent
3) Wide open recievers, blown coverage ( Actually this one more than two years)
4) Safeties so far out of position as to not be in camera shot on a pass play ( actually more than two years)
5) The worse kick coverage in the NCAA.Period
6) Terrible offensive play calling
7) Penalities….to lead the NCAA
8) Turnovers….to lead the SEC and probably close to leading the NCAA.
9) Coaching excuses galor.

So if I boo…excuse me. After two years of this crap, I have earned the right to boo and complain.

It is clear that some coaches on this staff have to go. Georgia should not be a training ground for 1st time Defensive Cord., first time running back coaches, first time recieving coaches, and first time offensive cord., and QB coaches. This should be were talent comes, not a football teaching school with painful on the job training for coaches.

The school deserves better, the fans deserve better, the players deserve better.

GADAWGFAN

November 23rd, 2009
9:01 am

Coaching..Coaching..Coaching – We are one of the worst penalized teams in football, Have been inconsistent from week to week on both offense and defense, special teams will make you hold your chest, and our QB makes bad decisions under pressure. MR should have started Aaron after the loss. I know hes a red shirt but really how long is he going to stay? We will start this mess all over again next year as he will not have the touches. Bad call from our coaching staff.

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
9:03 am

Richard Dawson,
I wouldn’t put it as harshly as you, but I kinda hear where you’re coming from. I’d like to see CMR come out with a Tebow-like apology. Claim responsibility for this mess coach. I don’t wanna hear anymore insinuating that it’s the players fault. CMR created this kind of laccadaisical, soft culture towards football up there and he needs to take responsibility for it and change it. There MUST be significant improvement next year.

WTH was that?

November 23rd, 2009
9:11 am

Richard Dawson,
I wouldn’t put it as rough as you, but I’d like to see CMR come out with a Tebow-like apology. I’m kinda tired of all this insinuating that it’s the players fault. This mess is your fault coach. It seems like a result of the laccadaisical, soft culture toward football thats been allowed to grow up there. Take responsibility for it and change it.

UGALY

November 23rd, 2009
9:17 am

Post-game interviews are terribly entertaining. “Take away the 4 turnovers in the second half and we played well. Of course I know you can’t do that….” Come on Richt. These problems aren’t going away on their own.

Abilene

November 23rd, 2009
9:22 am

The problem is very simple: coaching. Richt is not in the same league with coaches like Meyer, Sabin, and Spurrier. And part of his problem is that he recruits players with no principles, character, or self-discipline. That adds up to rap sheets for many players and a poor won-loss record.

Richt has to go. Until UGA gets a real coach, there will be no SEC championships or BCS bowls.

Dawg gone.

Dr Joe

November 23rd, 2009
9:24 am

Too much emotional involvement by individuals who have low self esteem and try to get it by what the team they are a fan of does in the game. If your are one of these individuals you need to get more satisfaction out of you own life and you then won’t need to be so immature about a game .Time to grow up.

JMc12203

November 23rd, 2009
9:29 am

Ladies, gentlemen and Dawg fans, we present the 2009 Georgia Bulldogs… Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory.

Free Willie

November 23rd, 2009
9:31 am

No more excuses please. “We can’t stands no more”!

As poorly as the defense has played or better yet been coached to play this year, our offense has been worse. Extremely poor play calling, poor QB execution, poor run blocking or at least scheme, and just plain pitiful. Bobo as an OC at this point of his career is completely misguided. Keeping Willie last year was completely misguided, which leads to my point that it is time for CMR, AD Evans, and Pres. M Adams to step up and take responsibilty and to be accountable for what is going on with UGA football.

CMR looks worn out, tired, and dejected. He doesn’t appear to have the desire, determination, and dedication that a SEC head coach needs. We saw some of this last year and it has become even clearer this year that the drive is gone. Sometimes being a great leader or boss, you have to make tough decisions that might not make you feel good. It is that time Mr Evans and Dr Adams to make that change. We have no problem raising money. If fact we raised more than any school’s athletic dept in the country. Identify the person UGA needs to lead the program for the next 10, 15, 20 years, no matter who or where that person is, and make a deal that will get him hear!!!! If not the next stat will be Ky has not beat an eastern SEC team since 1977 except Vandy (and now they can say Vandy and UGA) because that is where we are headed. Anyway you slice it, with a change or without, we are going to loose recruits this year and next, but bring in the right person and things will change quickly for us…. and I mean Saben or someone of that status.

Cross Dawg

November 23rd, 2009
9:33 am

Maybe it’s time for MR pack his trophies (if he has any) in one of the Ford trucks he gets big $$ for advertising & roll back to Tallahassee.

hunker down

November 23rd, 2009
9:36 am

I can’t think of a single good reason for A J Green to stay at UGA next year and not go to the NFL. I mean we’ve got a lot of ticked off fans, coaching staff in turmoil with lots of changes coming and an untested QB on the way. Can anybody tell me a reason why he should stay?

Free Willie

November 23rd, 2009
10:00 am

Yea hunker down – he cant go until after he his HS graduating class has been out for 3 years

carolinadawg

November 23rd, 2009
10:19 am

The bottom line is changes have to be made. If it is Mark Richt so be it. Coach Martinez and Coach Bobo must go. The alumni and fans pay for and deserve better than what is presently being displayed. Discipline is non existant and there is no enthusiam from both the coaches and the players. Changes are coming but will they be to late to help a once proud football program. I hope not but all signs are pointing that way. Make changes not excuses.

North Ave. Trade School fan

November 23rd, 2009
10:33 am

Bryan Evans Dad, if you can’t take the heat, take yourself AND your son and hit the bricks!!

GT_87

November 23rd, 2009
10:33 am

Mark Richt and his coaching staff are doing a fine job and don’t deserve all the criticism they’re getting. I hope Richt will be at UGA for many more years (ignore the sounds of hysterical laughter in the background).

GT_87

November 23rd, 2009
10:40 am

Mark Richt for President – change you can believe in!

Oh, wait… if he won, he would have to leave UGA and move to DC.

Forget it.

The Dogs in 2010

November 23rd, 2009
12:59 pm

2010 will be a MUCH better year. I’d look for Georgia to run a lot to help Murray develop. Should be fun.

WR:
AJ Green (#1 ranked–Heisman Candidate)
Marlon Borwn (#2 ranked in country)
QB:
Aaron Murray (top 10 ranked)
RB:
Ealey (top 10 ranked-SEC Freshman of the week))
TE:
Charles (top 10 ranked)

robodawg

November 23rd, 2009
1:26 pm

Running game was completely shut down in the second half. What did Kentucky do to adjust and why couldn’t we overcome it?

Kickoff coverage was pathetic AGAIN. Our D has been inconsistent, but the most consistently BAD aspect of our game all season has been kickoff coverage. It is REALLY disappointing that the coaches can’t fix such a fundamental aspect of the game over the course of a whole season. There are, perhaps, plausible excuses for some of the other disappointments this season, such as youth or inexperience or personnel problems. But there is NO excuse for not covering kicks.

Technophobia

November 23rd, 2009
5:36 pm

I’m just curious to ask those who want to get rid of CMR, who would you like to replace him?

Bill King

November 23rd, 2009
5:50 pm

Lake Oconee Dawg:

Where did I say fire everyone and start over?

It’s one thing to disagree with what I write. It’s quite another to bash me for something I never said.

Technophobia

November 23rd, 2009
5:54 pm

They do it all the time Bill, lol. It’s part of the anger.

Robert

November 24th, 2009
5:56 pm

Paul Johnson eats bullpups for breakfast. Served by Willie Martinez. Tables bussed by Mike Boo Boo.

BOOGIE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 26th, 2009
9:34 am

THE BOOGIE MAN IS COMING…………. STAY TUNED