Richt to opponents: Guess what, we’re throwing to A.J.

Mark Richt says everyone knows Georgia wants to get the ball to A.J. Green. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Mark Richt says everyone knows Georgia wants to get the ball to A.J. Green. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

The common theme of many preseason assessments of the 2010 Dogs has been that with an inexperienced quarterback, a veteran offensive line and two good (possibly great) tailbacks, Georgia is likely to lean heavily on its running game.

And to an extent, that’s probably going to be true. At least early in the season, while Aaron Murray gets his first game experience, the offense might not be quite as balanced as Mark Richt and Mike Bobo generally would prefer.

But the way a Richt offense works, a successful running game opens up the passing game, and vice versa. And with a weapon like A.J. Green in their arsenal, not to mention a slew of tight ends who are talented receivers, the idea that Richt and Bobo are going to be offering up Dooleyball this season is pretty unrealistic.

Richt said as much this week speaking to fans in Macon. “If we don’t throw the ball to A.J., we’re not very smart,” he said. “We better get the ball to A.J. Green, and I don’t think it’s a news flash to any defense that we’re going to get the ball to A.J.”

Everyone knows Green will be the Dogs’ top target, and Richt is basically saying to opponents: Stop him if you can.

Of course, if defenses load up on A.J., that makes it more likely Rantavious Wooten or Tavares King or Kris Durham is open. And then there’s those tight ends, led by Orson Charles and Aron White.

As Richt put it talking about the tight end position: “For a while there, whether through injuries or recruiting, we didn’t quite have the guys who could become a mismatch for a linebacker or safety, but we have that now. So we’ll definitely use the tight ends, and I’d imagine we’ll have more two tight-end sets than we have since the days of having Watson and McMichael at the same time.”

Ah yes, those were good times.

So, yeah, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King are going to get plenty of carries this fall. But the Dogs’ young quarterback isn’t likely to just be handing off the ball.

Does that put a certain amount of pressure on Murray to make smart decisions and avoid Coxian picks? Sure. And you can bet that defensive coordinators will be crowding the box to try and shut down Georgia’s running game and force Murray to throw.

With targets like Green and Charles, though, that strategy might come back to bite them.

IF YOU’RE KEEPING TRACK …

Georgia has made a preseason Top 20. The Athlon Sports 2010 College Football Annual has UGA at No. 15.

Their somewhat outdated analysis of Georgia’s offense is based on the idea that Logan Gray is still in the running for starting QB and that the Dogs will have to lean heavily on the run, opining that A.J. Green “may go hungry for a while.” But, they say, “With that rushing attack and a 3-4 defense that is light only in the secondary (stud corner Brandon Boykin excepted), Georgia should be just fine until Gray or redshirt freshman Aaron Murray comes around.”

Of course, as the Senator noted, you have to hope they didn’t base their Top 20 prediction on the version of the Georgia schedule that they have on their Web site, which is missing a certain game in Jacksonville.

171 comments Add your comment

Denver Dawg

May 14th, 2010
11:36 am

a win in Jax this year or bust…

Dawg Tired

May 14th, 2010
11:38 am

Let’s hope the defenses load the box and force us to throw. With Green, Durham, Wooten, King and Charles, I could burn ‘em throwing the ball and I’m 64 years old. Murray has a good arm and can complete passes against man coverage if given time. Plus, he is more mobile than any QB we’ve had as a starter recently. The offense should be fine. Only time will tell how the defense will do. We clearly have some holes there. I do like the new philosophy on dfense to attack, attack, attack.

Go Dawgs!

May 14th, 2010
11:38 am

Light it up AJ!!

Dawg Tired

May 14th, 2010
11:42 am

DD – I agree that this year we should (must) get a win in Jax. However, anyone who thinks Florida won’t be very good has not been paying attention. Urban Meyer can coach and he has tons of talent at every position, including Brantly at QB. Beating them will not be easy, but I agree we need to beat them this year.

Thirty Points To Your Twenty-Four Points

May 14th, 2010
11:43 am

Why eve report on that “top 20″…. soun s like the most incompetant article out there.

meanwhile……..

{{{{{30-24}}}}

trueUGAfan

May 14th, 2010
11:44 am

this going to be a great season, as fans, you are either in or you out, if not all the way in during the ups and downs, find another team to root for, simple as that….GO DAWGS!!!!!

Delbert D.

May 14th, 2010
11:45 am

The Georgia secondary hopefully will get some help from the coaching staff this year. There were too many TV shots where Boykin (and the others) were frozen in place, nowhere within 10 yards of a receiver.

L-Dawg

May 14th, 2010
11:45 am

GORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!

RIGHT OFFENSE, RIGHT SCHEDULE, RIGHT HUNGER TO WIN….. GREAT YEAR AHEAD!

GO DAWGS!!!!

L-Dawg

May 14th, 2010
11:48 am

PLAYACTION FAKE TO A SLANTING AJ GREEN….. :)

1eyedJack

May 14th, 2010
11:49 am

Delbert, I don’t think our DBs will be playing 10 yards off the receiver this year. We’ll be jammin’.

Jay

May 14th, 2010
11:51 am

I’m with you trueUGAfan you gotta be with them through the ups and the downs and it defiantly going up from here. GO DAWGS!

The D

May 14th, 2010
12:03 pm

Finally Richt sounds like he knows what to do with AJ. Throw him the ball 10 times a game and good things will happen! Murray to Green, TOUCHDOWN GEORGIA

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:06 pm

im makin sure to blog now before all the gaytors and nerds ruin it

hi everybody! ;)

[...] be one of the deepest teams in the SEC next season.13.  Mark Richt says young quarterback or not, “We better get the ball to AJ Green.”14.  If Georgia struggles this year, expect some fans to start pining for Texas defensive [...]

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:07 pm

AJ is THE BEST RECIEVER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Julio Jones doen’t even COMPARE

to compare AJ and Jones is an insult to AJ Green

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
12:08 pm

Ah yes. It must be spring. Optimism abounds and the KoolAid pitcher is full.

11Dawg

May 14th, 2010
12:10 pm

Dang…if Murray and the defense can get it together quickly, this is gonna be a great year.

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:14 pm

@SSIgaytor

are we to just give up on our team?

see trueUGAfan’s post

Dave In Tampa

May 14th, 2010
12:20 pm

I’m not worried about the Offense this year. We’ll average 35+ points per game. I just hope the defense can keep the opposing team out of the end zone this year. If the defense can play discipline football; much less penalties, less broken assignments and just bust some people in the mouth they will be ok. There are so many things that need to improve that it’s hard to accomplish in one year. I sure hope I’m wrong though.

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
12:21 pm

bigdawg -

No. Never give up on whatever team you support. Big difference though between being optimistic and realistic.

Dave In Tampa

May 14th, 2010
12:24 pm

SSIgator –
Gators will still be the team to beat this year, but I would like to guess that even you would admit that the playing field will be more even this year than the past two. This will be our best shot at beating the gators in the past couple years. That’s being realistic.

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
12:27 pm

Dave In Tampa -

I don’t know. With a new QB a new defense and a re-loaded UF team I think the chances for UGA woiuld be better in 2011. But I have been surprised before.

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:27 pm

Id say its realistic to say we have the best WR in college ball, our qb is better than Joe Cox (not hard) defensive system is better, and UF loses just about everything we gain. granted it will take a couple of years for this to really flourish but we look to be much better than last year by most polls and experts and that mathematically means 9+ wins

L-Dawg

May 14th, 2010
12:30 pm

SSIgator = PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE INSECURITIES GOING ON IN GAINSVILLE. NO TEBOW NO CRY….. YEAR RIGHT.

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
12:32 pm

L-Dawg -

Caps Lock key broken?

L-Dawg

May 14th, 2010
12:33 pm

ON A SIDE STORY….

AS A KID MY FAMILY VACATIONED EVERY YEAR IN THE BEAUTIFUL TAMPA BAY AREA. THE LAST MORNING WHEN WE WERE TO HEAD HOME TO ATLANTA, WE WOULD EAT AT A TAMPA AREA CRACKER BARREL. I WOULD EAT AS MUCH AS I COULD, KNOWING GAINSVILLE WAS ABOUT 2 HOURS AWAY. JUST ENOUGH TIME FOR MY FOOD TO DIGEST, LETTING US PULL OVER IN THE HEART OF GAINSVILLE SO I COULD TAKE A BIG………..YOU GET THE RET OF THE STORY.

Dave In Tampa

May 14th, 2010
12:33 pm

SSIgator-

I never knock the gators talent. UM has done a great job there. Both teams have new DC’s and you never know which way that will work out for any team. Charlie Strong is a dream DC for any college. Those are tough shoes to fill. Most people don’t give Aaron Murrya much credit because they have not seen him play. I know that there is big difference between HS & College, but this guy is a gamer. Not close to the overall talent that Tebow had, but the same heart and determination. Brantley will be good as well. Has played in a few games but has yet to take the every day beating the SEC gives out. We will hear a lot about both QB’s by years end.
Anyway, I think both schools have a lot to look forward to this coming season.

Better Perspective

May 14th, 2010
12:34 pm

AJ Green is the key to our offense, period! The fact that he is on the field changes everything. His speed makes him a deep threat. He doesn’t actually have to even catch the ball… just pump fake and throw it deep to AJ in the first or second set of downs against SC and the table is set. If another receiver can step up… and a threat in the middle of the field, say Orson Charles or Marlon Brown on a crossing route… then look out! You cheat up, we throw it over your head. If the safeties play the deep ball then we run it down hill. Safeties cheat up… we make them pay. I don’t expect ultra conservative playing calling for one second this season. There really is nothing to lose that you won’t lose by being too conservative anyway. The O-line is not a big question mark… it’s whether or not we have a viable blocker/ball carrier at tailback for the play action. We are going to be run heavy and short pass/high percentage pass heavy any to control the clock and set up the deep ball.

L-Dawg

May 14th, 2010
12:34 pm

SSIgator

IS THAT YOUR ONLY RESPONSE?…. “CAPS KEY BROKEN?”

MISSING TEBOW A LOT ARENT YOU. URNAB MEYERS SURE IS…. CRYIN’ A** BABY.

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:34 pm

just for the record SSIgator Im trying to have an intelligent football conversation, so dont mistake me for those who will just try to run you off the blog. regardless what team every fan base has at least 15% or higher of fans like that

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:35 pm

if Brantley struggles, which is a very real possibility, the UGA-USC game could decide who plays Bama in the SEC title game. any of the three however would get their butts whooped in said game

Dave In Tampa

May 14th, 2010
12:37 pm

L-Dawg – Really, was that necessary?
No offense to SSIgator, I hate the gators as much as the next Dawg, but I also know to give credit where credit is due. Let’s beat them twice in a row before popping off.

Dave In Tampa

May 14th, 2010
12:39 pm

Totally agree with your 12:34 post bigdawg!

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
12:40 pm

Dave In Tampa -

Would not surprise me if UGA and UF both go 9-3 and Jan. 1 bowl games, But I just don’t see UGA winning in Jax this year. That monkey on Richts back has turned in to the oft talked about 800 pound gorilla.

Better Perspective

May 14th, 2010
12:42 pm

Whether or not we beat Florida… if we are undefeated at that point and that is a lot to ask for…is how good Kentucky is the week prior. UF has a bye week before they play UGA.

Dave In Tampa

May 14th, 2010
12:44 pm

Your right about the Big Monkey on CMR’s back. I know that monkey, years ago it was,was on the gators back and they cured it. I guess as a Dawg fan we are hopeful to throw that monkey off his back. I can’t say that we will or will not win in Jax this year. I just feel much better about being competitive in that game this year and have a chance in the 4th qtr. There was no confidence going into last years game.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

May 14th, 2010
12:46 pm

UGA has beat the GaeTors every 4th years under the Richt regime and now it’s UGA’s turn. History will repeat itself – Dawgs 30 GaeTors 20. Field goals and turnovers will be prominent in this game. UGA has the advantage with their special teams and that will be the difference.

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:47 pm

@BetterPerspective yeah that scares me, usually Richt is able to wire-work and give US the BYE before Jax but this year UF apparantly has it. however sometimes bye weeks can be overrated and people think “oh we got a bye before so we’ll win that game” and that can come back to haunt you when even the players start thinking that

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
12:48 pm

bigdawg -

UF plays at AL and at home vs LSU before we see you guys in Jax this year so I think that should be a pretty good gauge of what kind of UF team UGA will be up against.

bammer's_suck

May 14th, 2010
12:49 pm

AJ will stick it to the GAYTERDS this year

quitmandog

May 14th, 2010
12:50 pm

AFTER THIS YEAR,EVERY HS QUARTERBACK IN THE NATION WILL WEAR A GLOVE ON THROWING HAND(YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST)GO DOGS

Better Perspective

May 14th, 2010
12:52 pm

bigdawg… I feel ya on that… although I believe the gators are good on their bad days if you know what I mean… you have to play a darn good game to beat them when they are not running 100%. Remember ‘07? We might have been the best or at least one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the country and UF lost like 4 games that season… didn’t they lose to Michigan in the bowl game that year? So, their worst year in the last five years vs. arguably our best year in the last five : UGA 42 – UF 30

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
12:53 pm

@SSIgator

yes and that can be a blessing or a curse. if UF droppes one or god forbid both of those, then UGA could smell blood and pounce as they did vs. UF after the Auburn game in 07 but if they win one or god forbid both, then they could be ready to come in and chomp the dawgs.

guess which one i’m hopin for…;)

Better Perspective

May 14th, 2010
12:56 pm

The only games on the schedule that I’m 100% sure that UGA will win is Louisianna Lafayette…Colorado… and Idaho State. The rest I’ll have to wait and see.

ga gator

May 14th, 2010
12:58 pm

Dave Spurrier got the monkey off our backs and UF has won several games since then with lesser talent. What Richt needs to do is get the monkey of UGA’s back. It will take more than changing uniforms or promising long hair or tatoos to improve penalties. It appears that he has hired the right man in Grantham to start the process.

bigdawg

May 14th, 2010
1:04 pm

@ga gator

but…but…. I like the black unis :(

SSIgator

May 14th, 2010
1:04 pm

bigdawg -

After I have been to so many in Jax since the 70’s it all boils down in most cases to the best and better prepared team winning. I have seen very few surprises over the years. I always have liked when the game is played because each team has played enough games to give the fans a pretty good indication of how it will probably turn out. But them of course there are always exceptions to that on both sides.

guy

May 14th, 2010
1:04 pm

better perspective: you think this is the year richt/bobo open up the play book? signs point to a bunch of screens and the always sweet qb draw on 3rd and long, as per ususal. you guys should be improved this year (hard not to be), but i dont see you winning the east, or in jax. at least you wont have to watch cox throw picks when trying to throw it away because his arm is too weak to get it out of bounds.

also, i think urban meyer is a better coach than mark richt. i will continue to think this unless anyone has any statistics to prove to me otherwise….

Better Perspective

May 14th, 2010
1:05 pm

most of these kids could care less about a monkey… it’s the fans that need to shake the monkey (boy that sounds weird)… these guys are beast of men and we have just gotten beat by UF for a long time… however, we still lead the series overall.

ga gator

May 14th, 2010
1:07 pm

guy also, i think urban meyer is a better coach than mark richt. i will continue to think this unless anyone has any statistics to prove to me otherwise….

I wish you hadn’t said that, now Patrick is going to come on here and start with all his stats. Thanks.