Key to Dogs’ win: Not beating themselves

Washaun Ealey ran the way Georgia backs are supposed to run. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Washaun Ealey ran the way Georgia backs are supposed to run. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Everything in the Bulldog Nation isn’t exactly the way we want it, but let’s put off that discussion for at least a couple of hours. A win like Saturday’s is worth savoring just a bit more.

The Dogs’ honor roll for the Tech game is quite lengthy. The entire offensive and defensive lines deserve to be singled out. Washaun Ealey and Caleb King ran like Georgia backs are supposed to run. Reshad Jones redeemed himself from a year earlier with probably the best game he’s ever played.

And let’s not forget Mike Bobo. No, he didn’t call a perfect game. That attempted short pass on third-and-4 on the Dogs’ last drive, forcing an unsuccessful long field goal attempt, wasn’t the best choice. It was a time and place to just give it to the backs again, going for it on fourth down, if necessary. And in the second half, when Tech crowded the line to slow down Georgia’s run game, it’s curious that  Bobo didn’t take at least a couple more shots downfield.

But overall, it was a masterful performance by Bobo. He went against his natural inclination to maintain “balance” at all costs and ran the ball a whopping 44 times in the game, which was the perfect approach to playing Paul Johnson’s team.

On defense, Willie Martinez stymied the Jackets for most of the first half. The DL continued to stuff the Jackets up the middle in the second half, though Tech has success challenging the Dogs on the corners. There’s no way of knowing whether the Dogs could have held if the ball hadn’t been dropped on the Jackets’ last fourth down play, but that’s fortunately not something we had to find out.

And on the plus side, the Dogs finally won the turnover battle, which usually means winning the game. We could drive ourselves crazy with “what if’s” about how the season could have turned out if Georgia had not been so terrible in turnover ratio most of the season, but on this night it worked out.

Special teams was the least successful aspect of Georgia’s game against Tech. When Blair Walsh went for the end zone on kickoffs, he got touchbacks. When he went with his coaches’ preferred directional kicks, the results were not as successful. And the kickoff coverage was still not very good.

Overall, though, the Dogs played probably their best overall game of the season against one of their toughest foes. And, for once, they didn’t beat themselves. Talent has never really been a question this season for the Bulldogs; it’s been execution and mental toughness. On Saturday, they played the way they should have played all year.

On the surface, a 7-5 season isn’t anything to celebrate. But it’s exponentially more satisfying than 6-6, especially when that seventh win brings the Governor’s Cup back to Athens.

Well done, Dogs!

98 comments Add your comment

Vick=Dog killing thug

November 30th, 2009
10:32 am

Loving the win but still plenty of work to do !!

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
10:36 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!!

AJ GREEN ON THE BENCH > DEMARYIUS THOMAS IN TH GAME

SO GLAD THIS HURTS SO BAD NERDS!!! GOING TO BE A GREAT NEXT 363 DAYS+!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!!

bigdawg01

November 30th, 2009
10:41 am

((((((30-24))))) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Just a reminder!!!!!

Glad it will hurt so bad!!!

Where are you d-bags??????

GreggJ

November 30th, 2009
10:42 am

Great Game- the players wanted this one and Rashad was GREAT! Good for him- Bad pass call at the end for Bobo- I still think Martinez has to go!!!! But Go Dawgs -we have bragging rights for GA for a year

carolina dawg

November 30th, 2009
10:43 am

L-Dawg – it’s just a little awkward that you announce your “retirement” from posting and yet you continue to post. Not sure why you felt the need to announce a retirement from posting in the first place, not like this is anywhere near a real job, but either let your ‘yes be a yes’ or avoid the dramatic announcements in the future.

Thanks.

30-24

November 30th, 2009
10:44 am

VOLSMANN

November 30th, 2009
10:49 am

Lindsey

November 30th, 2009
10:49 am

Great game Saturday, GO DAWGS!!!

30-24

November 30th, 2009
10:51 am

VOLSMAN, so are y’all, correct?

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
10:52 am

carolina dawg…

I AM SORRY YOU MISSED ME. THIS WIN WAS WORTH A SECOND GO ROUND WITH SOME GOD FRIENDS!!!

30-24!!!!!!! BUTTERFINGER…. PROUD SPONSOR OF DEMARYIUS THOMAS AND THE GT YELLOWJACKETS FOOTBALL SQUAD.

Frank Lane

November 30th, 2009
10:54 am

We had a decent FIFE Factor in this game, not shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties too often. Best game this hear, but not a total game yet.

GeoffDawg

November 30th, 2009
10:54 am

Loved the game and was quite impressed with the improved playcalling of Mike Bobo. Wonder what finally lit a fire under his butt?

The defense showed improvement, especially along the interior and Reshad Jones along with the d-tackles deserve special praise. I still wasn’t too thrilled with the way our DB’s, with the exception of Jones, were blocked too easily on the perimeter and basically got manhandled by tech receivers at inopportune times. That along with the kickoff coverage were the only real demerits for this game.

The SEC really is head and shoulders above everyone else and isn’t showing any signs of taking a step back, even in this relatively down conference year. All tech fans have to console themselves with now is a possible ACC title win in the Anti-climax bowl. I’d much rather be mid-tier in the SEC than champs in a league equivalent to the Colonial or Sunbelt.

Go Dawgs!

Joe M

November 30th, 2009
10:56 am

Volsmann,

Live on the merits of your win.

BTW, probation awaits my friend. One investigation already in the fact gathering stage. At least one more, probably two, are on the way.

FLA DAWG

November 30th, 2009
10:56 am

Ok,
Now let’s make some positive changes.

Although I did not see it I was told Martinez was crying at then end of the GT Game and being hugged by some of the players. Likely farewell emotions.

His announced departure (I hope he has the class to resign) will be announed within 48 hours.
His replacement will be announed after the Bowl Game.

If there are no changes then Richt is in big trouble next season – it wouldn’t surprise me if that happened. I like Cox and in my opinion he did a decent job this year. But Richt has not one QB ready to take the field next season.

Inexcusable.

old dawg

November 30th, 2009
10:57 am

Now watch CMR blame everything bad this season on turnovers and penalties, in an effort not to fire soft willie. He is setting the stage for it now. Yes, the turnovers were bad but who was so hard headed not to remove Joe Cox who does not have “big college talent”. Maybe things would have been worse with a different QB but what experience and lessons learned by JC will help UGA now?

Oh and what about last year? huh?

Cuz

November 30th, 2009
10:57 am

Keep Bobo on the sidelines.

RealDawg

November 30th, 2009
11:01 am

Bill…would love to say we “stymied” them but I just didn’t see it that way. After watching the game again, their drives more fizzled out. We never forced a punt. Were it not for the interception and fumble (one that the “d” can take credit for), the game could have been different. Plus, we left them with a chance to win at the end. We were running all over them but had to take three field goals and missed a fourth. Excited we won and glad to see the running backs get aggressive. I will never understand why PJ chose 4 pass plays at the end. That says alot about what he thought of our secondary.

humble the bumbles

November 30th, 2009
11:02 am

Incredible running attack Saturday, defense was as good as it had to be. Jones played out of his mind. Period. Great game, and redemption for last year’s goof. Got one pick and almost had another on the deep pass that was incomplete near our goal line late.

Special teams still has a long way to go. Bill, good observation on kick coverage, or more accurately, LACK of it. We’re still giving up 20-30 yards on returns, and teams are starting possessions at midfield instead of at the 20 or deeper. Has anyone else noticed that on kickoffs, Walsh is 5+ yards ahead of the kickoff team when he makes contact? Are we so afraid of going offside that we’re willing to give up an additional 10-15 yards per kickoff because we can’t get downfield in time? What’s up with that??

But all in all, GREAT win over the Bumbles. IT’S GREAT TO BE A GEORGIA BULLDOG!!!!

austindog

November 30th, 2009
11:03 am

We run this state.

donster dawg

November 30th, 2009
11:12 am

With all due disrespect to S’AINT SIMON
30-24 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Paul H

November 30th, 2009
11:14 am

What do the 2 best ACC teams have in common?? They both got physically manhandled by 6-5 SEC teams!!!

30-24!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

GLAD IT HURTS SO MUCH – M, RAMBLE ON, SS

Paul H

November 30th, 2009
11:18 am

Tech must’ve been on drugs! Got drug up the field, got drug down the field!

45ACP

November 30th, 2009
11:18 am

L-Dawg – Don’t retire.
I enjoy the sing along to GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!!

1eyedJack

November 30th, 2009
11:20 am

Caleb King just ran for another touchdown!!!

1eyedJack

November 30th, 2009
11:21 am

Nary a GNAT has posted? What’s up with that?

Paul H

November 30th, 2009
11:23 am

This just in – a fan from the stands just ran for a 75 yard TD against Tech’s defense!

GW

November 30th, 2009
11:25 am

Bobo had only 2 mystery calls…3rd down dump off to King at the end and the “pistol set” stretch play to Branden Smith that he fumbled. Luckily it trickled out of bounds. I couldn’t believe he ran that the way King and Ealey was gashing them. Otherwise I loved his calls.

Blindog

November 30th, 2009
11:26 am

I wish the BCS would let the loser of the SEC championship game play in the Orange Bowl. The SEC runner-up would beat the ACC chompion EVERY year!!

Still Proud to Be a Jacket

November 30th, 2009
11:26 am

Good article, Bill. Your team played it’s best all year and the results showed it. Your synopsis here is far more appropriate than trashing Tech’s stadium, fans and student athletes as you did in your previous post. As a lifelong Tech fan and graduate, I have respected UGA’s players and coaches through the years–you’ve had some great teams and been fun to watch. What I despise about Georgia are the fans. Although fewer in number at Bobby Dodd on Saturday evening, those who were there typified the worst of UGA football: restrooms in the North grandstand trashed by people apparently not used to indoor plumbing, loudmouthed drunks jawing and shoving leaving the stadium, and a general lack of sportsmanship following a close, hard-fought game. But you didn’t have to attend the game to see this; just look at the moronic posts by Dog fans on the AJC blogs. Your unranked Bulldogs rose up to beat a (still) Top-10 BCS football team to put a strong finish on a frustrating season. Too bad your fans can’t show the class your team deserves. I wish them well in their bowl, wherever that may be. As for your fans… well, I’m still damn proud to be a Jacket (or nerd, insect or whatever other derogatory term you folks wish to use) when I consider the alternative.

RAMBLE ON!!!

November 30th, 2009
11:26 am

Congratulations Cuz!!!

Now, if we can only get L-Dawg and Herschel Talker to kiss and make up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82wU5NfRfr4

Blindog

November 30th, 2009
11:28 am

Thats champion…sorry about that.

Urban Meyer

November 30th, 2009
11:28 am

Tech surprised me. I didn’t think that it was possible for a team to be softer than the Bulldogs.

Tim in CA.

November 30th, 2009
11:30 am

Great win indeed. It was wonderful to see the DAwgS run like they should. So odd, that a team so deep in talent, so deep in ability, just barely hang onto a win. Willies guys did as Ive been expecting them to do since he’s been there. Mike, well, he didnt get in his own way with those sneaky screen passes, Oh MY….. Oh, lets not forget those great 40yrd plus kick and punt returns (oh that was Tech.) While the win was impressive, strong D and O, the overall impact of the season was as last year, disappointing. Looking across the league with all its great coaches only creates bad dreams for us in the future. Georgia is being out-played and more importantly, out-coached at all levels of the game by the premier and not so premier teams. Each year since Willie has been here we have had extreem blowouts at the hands of Flordia, Tennessee, Alabama, and on and on. Defensive penalites, lack of focus, and the inability to get off the field on 3rd down has been a staple of his teams. Mike Bobo’s offense has been just as bad. It looks like we are playing high school football against the rest of the league. Ive always been a Bobo fan. I can remember his last play as a QB in the Cotton Bowl. Gutsy, never quit mentality. But what bothers me most is that it looks like we have only one go to receiver, one go to ball carrier and one set of plays ran from both side of the ball. What the heck, we are suppose to have one of the top 5 recruiting classe each year in the country and all we can come up with is an inside screen to the same wideout, over and over and over again. Come on. The reason we didnt loose Saturday was because we did what we are suppose to do. Control the game and the team we are playing. Mike, sorry, but you need to go with Willie.

Urban Meyer

November 30th, 2009
11:31 am

Remember…you’re still our bitch!

Bobo's Tech GamePlan

November 30th, 2009
11:32 am

Bobo did a lot of things RIGHT in this game—-FINALLY!
1) Solid play call mix in 1st half with lots of run calls
2) Good safe low risk passing calls for Cox–we had some drops, and Cox missed a couple of guys–but the calls were low risk
3) Gave the ball to Ealey 20 times–FINALLY–and you got 180+ yards–tip: Keep doing that Richt. Ealey now is averaging MORE than Walker’s 5.29 ypc, Ealey’s at 5.7 ypc for the season.
4) Limit turnovers–only gave up 1 giveaway on offense–another fumble by Caleb King—but it was only 1–this was the key to the game
5) great call on the zone run after Tech’s big play in the 3rd qrtr where they brought the safeties up–King hit it big and took it to the house
6) good plan getting WR’s in open speaces with double moves and pump fakes to limit TO’s.

Bobo’s areas for improvement:
1) got away from the run in the 2nd half on play call mix—Bobo tends to panic and abandon the gameplan at the first sign of stress. He probably thought he would take adavantage of the safeties cheating up. Again, as usual, it didn’t work. Bobo is IN LOVE WITH THE PASSING GAME, as his 2nd half play-calling mix proves. This ALMOST lost us the game.
2) Too many field goals instead of touchdowns due to poor play calling–this should not have been a close game the way our backs were running–just keep calling run plays.
3) Couldn’t scheme to get the ball to Charles–a clear mis-match for Tech’s LB’s–Charles is like a hybird TE/WR, he is impossible for an LB to cover–too much speed.
4) Poor play call to take our Kicker out of field goal range in the 4th–ALMOST cost us the game. 55 yards is tough. Would have like to have seen a safe 4 yard run making it a 47 yard.

The jury’s still out on Bobo’s RB rotation strategy. It worked THIS game, but failed in every loss.

Bobo has shown he IS CAPABLE of calling lots of running plays (at least for one half), and scheming low risk passing plays.

getthepicturenow

November 30th, 2009
11:34 am

Great game by our dawgs. Loved the attitude Caleb and Washaun had (they do run this state!!) I’ve been very critical of Willie Martinez on this Junkyard Blawg, so let me take the time to Thank him for all his hard work. I’m sure he’s put in hours that none of us fans could understand, and its obvious he LOVES Georgia-the passion is there, (see him almost tackle Reshad after his pick) but it comes down to results, some have it some don’t. Tip of the cap to you Willie. Go Dawgs!!

BAMA STAN

November 30th, 2009
11:34 am

12 NATIONAL TITLES – 21 SEC TITLES!!!

Way to step up – where has this team been all year?

Congrats – really played tough!

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!

BlackSmoke

November 30th, 2009
11:36 am

Wait….

For…..

It…..

There goes Ealey…..again!

Michael Scharff

November 30th, 2009
11:36 am

St. Simons, ain’t payback a kick in the rear?

Techster

November 30th, 2009
11:36 am

Good game dogs – you deserved this hard fought victory. Both teams left it on the field. Look forward to our trip to Athens next year.

Finish the Drill- Not!

November 30th, 2009
11:37 am

Georgia got OUTSCORED AGAIN in BOTH the 3rd AND 4th quarters by Ga Tech.

They did not FINISH THE DRILL- They got DRILLED AGAIN at the end of a game.

chiefdawg

November 30th, 2009
11:38 am

To; Still proud to be a jacket, I just want to let you know that GT has some of the worst and most obnoxious fans I have ever seen. You have no right to criticize the UGA fans. I made myself a promise a few years ago that I would never go back to Bobby Dodd stadium for a game again. Have you ever heard the saying the pot calling the kettle black?

RomeDawg

November 30th, 2009
11:39 am

Paul Johnson is the new spokesman for tempurdic beds because he knows about being soft, especially with a defense like that!

Tip for Richt

November 30th, 2009
11:42 am

Bench guys who do not give 100% effort on a play.

GeoffDawg

November 30th, 2009
11:44 am

Still Proud to Be a Jacket – selective blindness can be scary. Especially while driving.

Regarding Bobo’s third down pass call that was dropped for a loss – I actually don’t think it’s as bad of a call as most do. Having been gashed up the middle already on the series, it seemed like the right time to switch things up against tech’s defense by going to a high percentage pass play. The only thing, in hindsight, I might’ve done differently, would be to push it to the outside, like a bootleg to the tightend or something of that nature, since they were predictably expecting a play in the interior.

Sid

November 30th, 2009
11:44 am

Wonder why Paul Johnson didn’t take a knee on third down,then heave a long pass like Pete Carrol did against UCLA? Both are classless !Of course a GT receiver would have dropped it. I love it !!

Cuz

November 30th, 2009
11:44 am

Props to Ramble On. He did come on here for congratulations.

Sicem

November 30th, 2009
11:46 am

Finish the Drill-Not. One word……. SCOREBOARD! LOL!

Michael Scharff

November 30th, 2009
11:46 am

Still a Tech Fan, we were in the end zone three rows from the top of your stadium. It took over fifteen minutes for us to get to the first set of stairs on the upper deck, then it took about another fifteen minutes for us to finally descend to street level. Had there been an emergency or a fight break out, it would have been very ugly and dangerous.
That being said, we were mostly among Georgia fans, but there were Tech fans mixed in as well. Everyone was very cordial.

Michael Scharff

November 30th, 2009
11:47 am

Sorry, I meant to address my last comment to “Still Proud to be a Jacket.”