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

Blawgdawg

November 22nd, 2009
7:57 pm

I agree that our D needs improving, but they have spent way too much time on the field, thanks to Joe Cox either turning the ball over or going 3 and out.

DawgVoiceofReason

November 22nd, 2009
7:58 pm

Man Up DAWG,

Rather have Dawg breath than no breath at all. (it’s ok, you can laugh if you like) Again, as I pointed out, insults are your primary weapon. Try acting like the “Man” in your handle instead of a young teenage boy trying to show everyone how “tough” he is. The way you represent your handle is an oxymoron.

If the team had already quit the fans, then why did our defense stop them inside the 15, force them to punt and get the ball back in the last two minutes of the game? You don’t even know what you are talking about.

SOS Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
7:59 pm

td…….. why should I not be? I mean because I think its time for a staff change, a scheme change , a change in recruiting the type of players we do. Lets see twit you want to give Richt more time, a coach who has been here 9 years with the last 4 years being w/o BVG who really hasnt done diddly squat. Oh wait UGA has a good recruiting class coming in. Really? like we havent heard that one before. Yeah CMR has won two SEC championships and with mostly who’s recriuts? Yeah td lets do it your way one more year and then the next,the next and so on. Get the picture?

Man up DAWG

November 22nd, 2009
8:05 pm

Hey dawg breath of reason ….. Why did the team allow itself to be put in that position after having a 20- 6 lead? Do you really know why? Please humor me! I await your insightful faint hearted explanation…….

K-Town Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
8:07 pm

td,

I am not talking about replacing CMR. I don’t think he has forgotten how to coach either, I think he has been let down by his assistants. As the “CEO” of the football program he is in charge of its direction, the day-to-day activities fall to the assistants. I feel like the team is very unprepared week to week and has a habit of not making halftime adjustments. The lack of improvement over the season is a result of his assistants not getting the job done and it is CMR’s job to right the ship.

Jaxdawg

November 22nd, 2009
8:09 pm

Joe frank

November 22nd, 2009
6:03 pm
When a team recruits underachievers it gets what it recruited, coaching is not the issue.

That has to be one of the most ignorant statements I’ve read. Are you serious??!! So these kids that we recruit had success and acheived in pop warner, middle school, and high school, and all of a sudden they stop growing and in some cases actually regress, but it falls on the players and not the coaches??

Sir, please get your head out of the sand, it’s most definitely the COACHING and NOT the players!!!!

K-Town Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
8:14 pm

Just a general question to the BVG fan base:

If BVG is so great, how did he tank the Georgia Southern program in a year?
How did the Falcons D get torched by the Cardinals last year in the playoffs?
And why is this years Falcons D so horrible?

The answer: BVG is a good but not great coach, whose numbers were inflated by having an over abundance of NFL talent on a college team recruited by Donnan.

td

November 22nd, 2009
8:15 pm

SOS Dawg,

Do we need some changes, maybe, but I do not see who under the circumstances I described above with President Adams. Adams is not going to allow us to hire a DC or OC making more money than he makes. So what do we do?

Also, Do you not think it is a little strange that we have not been able to recruit the same mean, nasty, marginal players on teh defensive side of the ball since Adams ran off Dooley? (Same time BVG left). When is the last time Adams let us get a player from Hargrave or GMA? They all go to Bama and other places now. I wonder why? CWM is running the exact same D as BVG ran and nor having the same results. I wonder if that is because we do not get the same type players (Esp at LB).

Open your eyes and look at the whole picture.

SEC1

November 22nd, 2009
8:15 pm

Bill:

The only thing I would add to your article is an exclamation point.

I understand that teams ebb and flow with the constant changing of the guard at the player level. However, I tend to lose my patience when we consistently fail to improve or address areas of glaring need. We keep hearing the talk, but I don’t see the results. I am very frustrated with Georgia football. I will continue to support the program, but we do need off-season changes…

DawgVoiceofReason

November 22nd, 2009
8:17 pm

Man up DAWG,

Why would I waist my (Dawg) breath on trying to educate you? Since you can’t even get my name right, it would be futile. Plus, you don’t understand the meaning of the word “quit” and it would be impossible to get past that with you. Although, if you were one of those “fans” leaving early (or agree with them) then you certainly embody the meaning of the word quit (or quitter). The team didn’t quit on you; you quit on it.

Loud Minority

November 22nd, 2009
8:17 pm

calling out players again, nice

Man up DAWG

November 22nd, 2009
8:18 pm

BVG is a good College defensive coach. NFL is a different animal just ask Spurrier, Saban, and Pete Carroll. BVG is better than Clueless Willie.

SEC1

November 22nd, 2009
8:19 pm

As an addendum:

remember next year folks, we will be starting a new QB with no significant playing time whatsoever.

We are also losing the bulk of our defensive front.

Is it me or do we love to recruit the high profile skill players and put less emphasis on the guys in the trenches?

Dawg65

November 22nd, 2009
8:20 pm

After the Kentuky disaster last night and the forgone blowout to Tech on Saturday, Richt should spare us Dawg fans any further embarrassment by decling any bowl invitation. The 2009 Toilet Bowl is enough.

td

November 22nd, 2009
8:22 pm

SEC1, “Is it me or do we love to recruit the high profile skill players and put less emphasis on the guys in the trenches?”

I agree with you on that statement. Although, we have had a few that can not seem to stay healthy.

Man up DAWG

November 22nd, 2009
8:23 pm

dawg breath of reason…. “Why would I waist my (Dawg) breath on trying to educate you?” “waist”? Is your inflated ego as big as your “wasteline” ? I knew you would humor me……..

td

November 22nd, 2009
8:24 pm

Dawg65, Have to disagree. Going to any bowl game allows you 2 to 4 weeks of additional practise time and we obviously need to be working on fundamental and getting the next QB ready to play.

Buckhead Bulldog

November 22nd, 2009
8:29 pm

td-I think I agree with you on the topic of Adams maybe being the isssue. If that is what you are saying? I think the dude has an ego that needs to be stroked by “yes” men below him. I always thought something was not right with him when he got rid of VD as AD, and brought HIS regime of young guns in.

Something to think about.

WAIT TILL 2010

November 22nd, 2009
8:33 pm

With the talent Uga has at the skill positions coming back and young talented DBs (Rambo,smith,Boykin,Cummings,Ogltree, Jakar hamilton and maybe Elam), not to mention Aaron murray, who is an instant upgrade over Cox, Uga will WIN the SEC East next year easily. Conellius washinton and Justin Houston will be a dominant pair next year with Montez Robinson and Dobbs backing them up..Samuel will be a force on Defense and Gillard,Christian Robinson and Marcus Dotwin will be upgrades at LB.The OL will be a veteran line next year. Richt will fire Bobo and Martinez(he has no choice)..Reshad Jones, Byron Evans, Prince Miller and the most overated Lb in the SEC Curran will all be gone next year. Those 4 def players have cost UGA many games and will be replaced by better players. UGA offense will be awesome next year even with a freshman QB.

Picture this if Richt hires an OC that runs the spread,
QB- Murray
Rb- Ealey,King,
Wr- Green, King, Troupe, Wooten(expect Marlon Brown and Derrick Rodjers in the mix also)
Te- Orson charles, Bruce Figgins, White, Lynch
ONE MORE THING
UGA has the worse fans in America, thats really the reason why we never when big games and Championships. I couldnt believe that the fans left the game that early. what a discrace. No other school in the sec would have done that…

Ps

Rednecks

disgruntled Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
8:33 pm

Well we lost to Kentucky whats next? Anyone got a clue? Dont you just miss those days when you knew next weeks game would be a win for the Dawgs?

Gary

November 22nd, 2009
8:34 pm

Not sure where everybody gets this notion that Georgia this year “has the talent.” Beyond the kicker and punter, plus Curran and Green, who do they have that is so much as third-team SEC?

guy

November 22nd, 2009
8:35 pm

I question CMR’s hunger to really hunker down as UGA’s man in charge. He doesn’t seem to have that fire in the belly that it takes to get to the elite in college football. He is a very religious person that I greatly respect,but it’s time to get angry at what’s happening. He’s the one who is accountable for “stupid” on UGA’s team play.
Still,he’s a good coach and an even better person in real life.

Casual Observer

November 22nd, 2009
8:40 pm

Whats sad is that even die-hard dawg fans have NO COMMENT.

jesse james

November 22nd, 2009
8:44 pm

Gary and guy – I agree with both of you. I would not be surprised if Mark Richt resigned following the Ga. Tech game. He just doesn’t seem like he is very happy. I hope he doesn’t, but I do want to see that fire lit. We have got to do a better job of recruiting. I think by judging this freshman class, somebody judged them right.

WTH was that?

November 22nd, 2009
8:46 pm

Richt deserves one more year to clean this mess up. I say next year we must have 10 wins, minimum, and whatever games we lose better be to good team(s), and they better be close games in which the ball just doesn’t bounce our way.
This is a STUPID football team. They are not tough, which bothers me the most, and they are horrible at the fundamentals of football.

goldwreck

November 22nd, 2009
8:58 pm

I think it was Charlie McLendon from LSU that said Bear Bryant could take his players and beat yours or he could take your players and beat his.That is what coaching is all about.Can anyone say that about the current Georgia staff?

Alabama Jack

November 22nd, 2009
9:00 pm

Georgia Tech is 7th in the BCS.

UGA is tied for 8th in the SEC.

End of speech.

td

November 22nd, 2009
9:02 pm

Buckhead Bulldog, Yes I am trying to say Adams is the real problem, behind the scenes. Just look at the LB’s and DL’s we use to get out of Hargrave? They came in with an attitude and were nasty. CMR got them through school and most of them graduated. When Adams set up his special committee for athletic admissions we have not gotten any more of those type players.

Also, Why are we at near the bottom of the SEC in assistant coaches salaries? We will not know if CMR wants to make changes and can not get the coaches he wants or not?

Buckhead Bulldog

November 22nd, 2009
9:02 pm

Poor CMR. I remember when the Dogs came out preseason, I blew coffee out of my nose. CMR was not too happy with the #1 ranking either. He knew what those kind of expectations would create. Well he was right….I kind of feel bad for the predicament he is in. I guess those are the stresses that come with a 2M income.

Humping Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
9:11 pm

You have to admit, Carrie Prejean DOES have a hot bod.

Buckhead Bulldog

November 22nd, 2009
9:13 pm

td – I’m beginning to understand where you are coming from. I agree! Richts hands may be tied down by Emperor Adams, and he can’t make his own decisions without prior approval from the control freak. Makes sense. That may be why Richt looks so depressed and has no fire in his eyes anymore…Adams is pushing him under his thumb too hard.

mike addington

November 22nd, 2009
9:19 pm

Joe Cox made some of the best throws I’ve seen anywhere last night and then made some of the worst. He has definitely lost his composure in a couple of games. He seemed to know he was going to throw an interception beofe he even threw the ball, yet threw it anyway. Logan Gray is so nervous when he’s out there that I don’t him having any chance of being a college QB; I suppose Richt thinks the same or he would have put him in when Cox obviously lost it. In the last 2 years, when thing go bad, richt and staff have no idea what to do. Please put rashed jones in the same car with Evans, although I think he make Evans look like all SEC

boots

November 22nd, 2009
9:23 pm

Bill, you covered most of the problems. There are more than these, but enough about what is wrong. The question is, what are we to do about it. Enough obvious problems have been articulated that there is a need for immediate and decisive action on the part of those running this business. The ball is in their court, and they have a duty and responsibility to act.

td

November 22nd, 2009
9:25 pm

Buckhead Bulldog, I am not sure if it is from Adams or that his team is playing so bad or that he knows he may have to throw his friend under the bus? I do know that he will never show his emotions on the field. I know he did not get stupid and forget how to coach. His assistant also did not forget how to coach because most of them has had success at UGA and FSU.

The only thing that has changed since 2005 is Adams forced Dooley out and has put his fingers all over the program. Example: Why will Adams not let CMR to have the indoor practise facility he wants? I know it is not the money. Is it because it was not his idea?

Buckhead Bulldog

November 22nd, 2009
9:26 pm

td – light bulb moment. I’ve this kind of crap happen in my business. You have some control freak, ego driven maniac who keeps everyone down juuuussst enough so they can continue their rule. Let your employees look good but not too good. Keep ‘em trapped in your ego crazed world. Makes sense…seen it first hand.

I was hoping he would get that NCAA post. Any word on that? I’ve always thought he was slime…I just never connected Richt being handicapped by the fat yuck. Interesting!

Wow! Great point td!

Alabama Jack

November 22nd, 2009
9:27 pm

Georgia Tech is 7th in the BCS.

UGA is tied for 8th in the SEC.

End of Speech.

Oops, I forgot.

UGA – Preseason National Champion again in 2010.

mike addington

November 22nd, 2009
9:33 pm

Since you guys are talking the midget Adams, remember it was Joe Frank Harris who supported the a–hole when he forced Dooley out.

td

November 22nd, 2009
9:34 pm

He is from the same school of thought as the ex Vandy president, the English professor at Tenn and Jan Kemp They have an official organizattion but the name escapes me). They all believe there is no place in college for big time college sports. I think I heard him say he would not accept the job because he loves being president.

I have asked the AJC to investagate but no one either will or has the ability to bring out this type of thing.

frank james

November 22nd, 2009
9:35 pm

My brother and I have been hear arguing about the situation, but we both agree that Adams has done nothing to help the problem. Coach Dooley definitley deserved better and its kind of like the situation at GA. Southern yesterday. You talk about putting his foot in his mouth was President Grube. He more or less said if you didn’t make 900 on the SAT you were stupid. And they really dropped the ball with the way they handled Coach Hatcher. He couldn’t even tell his staff and players before it was out in the media. Another President that doesn’t need to stick his nose in athletics.

td

November 22nd, 2009
9:36 pm

mike addington, Yes and it was Sonny that did not try to stop it either.

td

November 22nd, 2009
9:39 pm

frank james, I think Hatcher would have brought them back if given a little time. Just look at the whole BCS system and tell us about Presidents sticking their noses in places they do not belong.

mike addington

November 22nd, 2009
9:45 pm

I never did find out the whole story behind that deal. On the surface, it looked as if the money boys lost–and we know that ain’t so–money boys don’t lose. I know Dooley sure deserved a heck of lot better treatment he received. M Adams is low-down SOB in my book.

frank james

November 22nd, 2009
9:46 pm

You are right td. They need to let the old guard (coaches) run the NCAA. This is changing the subject alittle, but Ron Polk, one of the greatest college baseball coaches, has been saying this for I don’t know how long. Like he said you have people making decisions that don’t have any experience in the area.

WTH was that?

November 22nd, 2009
9:47 pm

And I don’t think we are necessarily doomed with a redshirt freshman. From what I remember didn’t Greene start as a redshirter and end up pretty reliable that year. Not all QB’s will have the same learning curve.
And I feel sorry for Cox folks. Poor guy tries his best and he’s really not that bad I don’t think. He’s the kind of QB that MUST have a good running game to go with him. His arm alone is just not gonna win many games for you.

Buckhead Bulldog

November 22nd, 2009
9:48 pm

td- I think you have theory on this junk that goes a little deeper then what you are writing here?

That is a little strange that two UGA Grad/ Governors would not back Dooley….are you all talking something more then football here? Maybe, money and politics? Dooley was going to run for Gov. at one point, right? Hmmmmm This is getting interesting.

tiger_fan

November 22nd, 2009
9:53 pm

Poor coaching about sums it up!

frank james

November 22nd, 2009
9:55 pm

Tiger-fan -No matter what level, the coaches get all the blame!

reality check

November 22nd, 2009
9:55 pm

THE GATORS HAVE WON 21 IN A ROW!
hahhahahahahahahahhahah!!!!

td

November 22nd, 2009
9:56 pm

mike addington, It was all about Adams making a play for the money and him getting a couple of the Board of regents on his side. Look at what happened when Dooley left. Adams got control of the athletics foundation, put his people on the board and now controls all of those funds. Dooley did get the final laugh because he picked Evans to replace him and there was no way Adams could fight that or he would have been forced out.

I want to know how much of the foundations money goes back into athletic and how much goes into his slush funds?

Buckhead Bulldog

November 22nd, 2009
9:57 pm

Sorry Mike…your post was not out when I wrote mine