It wasn’t the fumble that doomed Dogs in Columbia

Georgia's defense had no answer to the Gamecocks' Marcus Lattimore. (Associated Press)

Georgia's defense had no answer to the Gamecocks' Marcus Lattimore. (Associated Press)

The initial temptation in assessing Georgia’s disappointing loss in Columbia is to say, as Mark Richt did after the game, that if only Washaun Ealey hadn’t fumbled inside the Carolina 5, the Dogs might have tied it up and it would have been a whole new ballgame.

But I’m not sure that’s really true. By that point, Steve Spurrier had already figured out that all he needed to do was just keep giving the ball to tailback Marcus Lattimore, and the Dogs frankly had no answer for that, in part because of absolutely horrendous tackling all day long.

Yes, Lattimore looks to be a special back. But way too many of his 182 yards Saturday were after contact. For for a team that supposedly stressed defensive fundamentals in the offseason, the Dogs looked nearly incapable of stopping the run. That’s got to change.

They didn’t tackle much better on passing plays, either, which exacerbated the height advantage Carolina’s receivers already had. About the only positive for the defense Saturday was Georgia successfully pressuring Stephen Garcia. But even then he frequently was able to dump the ball off and still get positive yardage, something Georgia’s Aaron Murray struggled with.

Speaking of Murray, the redshirt freshman made a few mistakes but generally played as well as could be expected considering he appeared to have been hamstrung by Mike Bobo’s ultra conservative, shamefully predictable playcalling. It also looked like Murray’s  coaches had drummed it into his head that he shouldn’t take off running when his receivers were covered, so much of the spontaneity was taken out of his game.

The reality, as Richt conceded in the locker room afterward, is that with Murray Georgia’s coaches have to “just let him play.” There was one sack Murray took in the first half when, having been chased out of the pocket, he seemed lost about what to do. His natural inclination, no doubt, was to tuck it and run, but he didn’t.

The Dogs had their moments offensively on Saturday but only in spurts. Mostly it was three-and-out. Bobo offered up nothing that should have surprised Carolina defenders. I mean, Ealey in the Wild Dawg or wildcat or whatever you want to call it is about three years behind the cutting edge.

Even as thin as Georgia is at quarterback, it does no good to try and play it safe if it means you take Murray out of his comfort zone. They have to let him play the best way he knows how.

On the other hand, perhaps a series or two riding the bench next week might get the message to Bacarri Rambo that loafing on the field just won’t be tolerated. You have to wonder if the fact that Rambo was pretty much a designated starter all through the offseason got into his head a bit. He definitely didn’t look like the Rambo of last year, who was willing to sacrifice his body for a stop. As former Georgia player Verron Haynes tweeted after one play that Rambo took off: “[I'm] usually not [negative] on players but #18 that was not UGA football!! We hit hard EVERY PLAY.”

Overall, a disappointing day on both sides of the ball. I’ll have more on Sunday. …

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317 comments Add your comment

Reality Dawg

September 11th, 2010
5:32 pm

Commented in the other blog also:

This season was a rebuild from the final tick on the clock of last year’s bowl game – if not before then.

Freshman QB, new defensive scheme (players still thinking on the run rather than reacting), top receiver out and going up against a SC team that looks pretty loaded. Add that together with the key fumble at the two (after a big Dawg takeaway) in a tight game and it’s done.

Play-calling was definitely cautious due to the young QB, and once SC figured that out they brought more “D” into the box. 5/6 have never been able to block run block 7/8 – it’s simple math.

The Lattimore kid is for real. Fluid and knows how to let his big-ass O-line work as he looks for the crease and then hits it hard. If your helmet’s not on his numbers, he’s not going down.

Bad tackling by the Dawgs? Absolutely. TG is 2 games in. Old habits die hard. I don’t believe a man who was coaching for the Cowboys is going to allow that to go on for very long. Interesting fact: During Grantham’s 2 seasons with Dallas, the Cowboys improved from 13th (2007) to 2nd (2009) in the league in points allowed.

I liked Aaron Murray’s coolness in the pocket, he’s got some sand. I liked the defensive adjustments that kept us in the ballgame with 5? sacks DESPITE THE FACT that our “D” was on the field for about 80% of the game.

Lotta growin’ up to do.

D King

September 11th, 2010
5:32 pm

Face it, it’s a rebuilding year. Freshman quarterback did well when allowed a chance. Ealey looked slow and weak compared to Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is a stud and I wouldn’t judge the defence based on his performance. The defence will take time to gel like it or not but it will be improved. Bobo is poor at play calling and there must be a change here or it will continue to hold us back. It took Spurrier time but he has a good team now. Richt, where’s the excitement?

buffdawg

September 11th, 2010
5:35 pm

Chris absloutely hit everything right on!

doug dawg

September 11th, 2010
5:36 pm

this is going to be a long and losing season. to see that team just give up in the fourth quarter, killing time with senseless non-productive offensive efforts, just make me sick. i had hope, but apparently the coaches just wanted to get home. no blame to murray; he can only do what he is told to do. blame to bobo and richt big time. they let us all down. that ‘georgia fights until the whilstle blows’ is sadly no longer true. i am a ‘dawg’ through and through, but i am sad and humiliated today.

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RxDawg

September 11th, 2010
5:39 pm

Different coach, same ol’ tackling (or lack there of).

We look weak, we are a weak football team. Kudos to USC, they were the better team today.

SSIgator

September 11th, 2010
5:42 pm

This was Attack, Attack, Attack?

The only thing UGA palers are going to attack today are the 2 for ones at the Athens bars when they get home tonite.

ugaclassof2004

September 11th, 2010
5:43 pm

This loss falls on the players today. I don’t want to hear about how the coaching sucked. The game plan was good, the players just didn’t execute. Period!

The O-Line needs to get off their fat butts and block. 3rd and 2 or 3rd and 3, those are the kind of downs that this Line should win 90% of the time, and they just didn’t do it today. And on defense, the guys were in position to make the tackle but the arm tackling was just horrible. The guys played better in the second half, but overall just a lousy performance. Except for Justin Houston, I think our LB core just lacks talent: I really do. I mean most of it comes down to execution, but our middle LB’s just aren’t very good. They will have to recruit better LB’s in the offseason.

On a good note: Aaron Murray looked good today. I know the score doesn’t reflect that, but he made good decisions and has great pocket awareness: something we haven’t had since David Greene was playing. South Carolina should thank their lucky stars that AJ Green wasn’t playing today, because it would have been a different result if he was out there helping Murray out.

*Sigh* Oh well… onto the Arkansas game.

RxDawg

September 11th, 2010
5:43 pm

“On the other hand, perhaps a series or two riding the bench next week might get the message to Bacarri Rambo that loafing on the field just won’t be tolerated.”

A FREAKIN MEN

I guess were seeing why Bryan Evans kept that starting role after all huh? Man we need another Thomas Davis so bad. I hope Ogletree can step up soon.

SSIgator

September 11th, 2010
5:43 pm

Enter your comments here

Willie Martinez

September 11th, 2010
5:43 pm

After today, do you miss me yet???

SEC4Life

September 11th, 2010
5:45 pm

If the Ol’ Ball Coach coach can take the play-calling duties away from his own son, CLEARLY CMR shouldn’t have any problem doing it to Bobo. The only thing that worries me is the fact that it took CMR forever and a day to pull the plug on Willie Mo. Who knows how long it’ll take with Bobo.

SSIgator

September 11th, 2010
5:46 pm

Well, they may attack some students in Athens who criticize their play today. Time to text Tolley and put him on standby for the night.

Ed

September 11th, 2010
5:46 pm

Richt is clueless.

doug dawg

September 11th, 2010
5:47 pm

there is a curious lack of real desire on the part of the coaches, esp. the head coach and his offensive lackey bobo, to win. i don’t understand it, and it obviously rubs off on the players. remember the dooley years; the second half was when we got rolling, not when we gave up. where is the fire instead of a few mild little excuses after a loss such as this? all we get is ‘if this, if that.’
i’m tired of the ‘if’ game.

jm

September 11th, 2010
5:47 pm

Very disapointing. Not only that they lost but ho9w they lost. They were beaten on all three phases of the game.

Dawgs are fundatmentally unsound. They were beaten in all three phases of the game. Tackling was very poor. Very, very dissapointed in their performance. Unless things change it will be a long, long year. Can’t bel;ive I saw what I just saw. Totally over matched.

dobearsbare

September 11th, 2010
5:50 pm

Don’t let Ealey off light. That’s two games in the last four that he’s fumbled away a scoring chance in a game Georgia lost. He’s the second coming of Jasper Sanks.

hunker down

September 11th, 2010
5:50 pm

Bobo really did handicap the offense. The OL did not seem to open any gapping holes for the running game and we were way to predictable on offense.

Bill King is a ..................

September 11th, 2010
5:53 pm

Bill, this is one of the few times i totally agree with you. As was the case alot last year….POOR TACKLING and a POOR EFFORT in general. Do these guys not get tired of getting their butts handed to them by the top teams. And SC might be establishing itself as a top team. Rambo needs to sit a bunch after the lackluster performance he showed today. He was loafing and not hitting at all. And what the hell is going on with our tackling?? Come on TG, we haveto get that straightened out. And as for BOO BOO….why be ultra conservative?? If we are going to get beat, why not go down giving it everything you have???????? Willie last year, BOO BOO this year, and if he doesnt get this ironed out….RICHT next year!!! Maybe they will get back to Athens today intime to go for a dip at the Ramsey Center. Murray is a good QB. Let the boy play…..let him do his thing. Play to his strengths and if thats pulling it down and running….so be it. He has impressed me the last two weeks. And throw the damn ball to #16 and where the hell were all of our TE’s. Why cant we get them more involved?? JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UGAVIII

September 11th, 2010
6:02 pm

As has been stated in many posts in previous seasons, BOBO is an idiot. He should have been fired last season with Martinez. So long as Bobo is calling plays, we are screwed. Could anybody figure out whether there was an offensive game plan? Burn three timeouts in the first 8 minutes of the 2nd half? What happened during halftime?

Also, I wonder how much better prepared Aaron Murray would be if he had played some last year. The whole redshirt thing is so stupid. Two years in a row, we have an inexperienced QB. Even Matt Stafford went 8-4 in his Frosh campaign. We will be lucky to go 8-4 this year.

The defense was unimpressive. The 3-4 is vulnerable to the run. Everybody knows it. Spurrier exploited a defense geared to stopping the passing game. In any case, if you don’t make tackles, it doesn’t matter how many stunts and blitz packages you have.

SickandTired

September 11th, 2010
6:03 pm

Simply put….Richt has to go. You can justify keeping him because he’s a fine christian man all day long. Bottom line, this good man is 10-11 in his last 21 SEC East games. Can you read that Bill? He has a losing record over the last 21 games in a division that includes South Carolina, Kentucky and Vanderbilt for God’s sakes. If you think that’s good enough for the University of Georgia well there’s nothing else that needs to be said. Mark Richt should be put on notice by Greg McGarity….after the performance today…if you lose to Florida and couple that with a loss to either Tennessee, Kentucky or Vanderbilt then don’t let door hit you in the A$$. If you have a problem with that Bill, I suggest you just admit that you’re a Richt lover….not a Georgia Bulldog.

David

September 11th, 2010
6:03 pm

If we play like this the rest of the year both Richt and Bobo need to go put and Grantham in there.

Josh

September 11th, 2010
6:05 pm

I agree with everyone who said we played not to lose. We had more yards on the 1st 3 plays in the second half than we did on our last 3 drives that went 3 and out. Play calling and tackling. Way too many thoughts of the GT game on 08. guys (mainly DBs just diving at lattimore. We have got to learn to hit and keep your feet. Once bobo took the chains off of murray we were able to move the ball. My only request would be to see UGA play a complete game. Its always the first half or the second, never 60 minutes

chazzo

September 11th, 2010
6:06 pm

Grantham and Lakatos (sp?) will clearly be recruiting a larger backfield.

Alabama Jack

September 11th, 2010
6:07 pm

We fumble this state.

Eat More chikin

Golden Tornado

September 11th, 2010
6:10 pm

Fire BOBO Still a loss….We lost too…We both Stink.

doug dawg

September 11th, 2010
6:12 pm

somewhere along about four years ago, we lost georgia football as most of us knew it. no more desire to win, no more discipline, no more responsibility, no more anything that signifies excellence. it all starts at the top, and i hate to say it, because i liked richt as a person and coach when he first came to athens. but something has happened to him, too. maybe he’d be better as a pastor or a missionary; both admirable callings. but no longer as a head coach. bobo, idiot or not, is only a reflection on the one who has trust in him. just like willie. richt, sad to say, is through at georgia; and his weak excuses for losses only label him as weak himself. alas.

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hunker down

September 11th, 2010
6:16 pm

Lots of hype about CTG new defense but basic tackling takes you along way on defense.

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hunker down

September 11th, 2010
6:18 pm

SC just out classed the dogs today and Bobo had an inept offensive scheme. Good luck SC the remainer of the season. You certainly out performed us today.

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bacon

September 11th, 2010
6:20 pm

why was caleb king not on the field today? was he injured?

SonofaDawg

September 11th, 2010
6:21 pm

Mike Bozos’ offensive playbook: 1) toss sweep right and left 2)run up the middle 3) play action pass 4) WR screen(which we didn’t see today because Green wasn’t playing) If yall notice those are only plays Bozo has been running all 4 years as OC.

ATechFan

September 11th, 2010
6:24 pm

In response to “fire Bobo Now”s comment. At least we scored a touchdown, and our offense GAVE us a chance. See you in Novemebr nadlicker!

Northern VA Dawg

September 11th, 2010
6:24 pm

Same ole dawgs. Why expect anything different than past years? It’s clearly not a talent issue, but a heart issue. Only #34 as a FR wearing silver britches should have REPEATEDLY run over defenders. I think Lattimore is good, but he didn’t torch Southern Miss this badly. This team needs to get tough and do it quickly.

UGA is in deep trouble this year

September 11th, 2010
6:25 pm

Poor tackling, poor play calling, poor rushing by UGA and that fumbled took UGA out of having a shot. HORRIBLE is our offensive line. We are awful. I knew to guage UGA’s rusing skills vs GT last year was a false reading ………..they suck …………like UGA sucks and I am a UGA grad.

Ealey must go. He cost UGA the KY game in 09 on the 3 or 4 yd line and now today, another game costing fumble. He is ony a fair running back.

UGA does not have the proper attitude and I do not know how to change it. Justin houston told CHuck Dowdle that we must lock up and not arm tackle. I thought CWm left alst year

BOBO must go and Richt has done all that he will ever do.

UGA is is deep trouble …………key injuury to Aaron ( the one bright spot ) and UGA might lose very game. personally, I do hope that washuan ealey blows out his knee. He disgusts me. Thug he is.

Go Dogs

jack bull

September 11th, 2010
6:27 pm

Bill, i have to disagree with ya on the “the best thing the defense did was get pressure on Garcia”..we held Steve Spurriers best offensive team at USC to 17 pts..3 in the second half…if you were told before the game they would only score 17, you and i both would’ve been very excited about our chances, right? gotta give a whole lot, not a little, credit to 21..now, as far as the offense goes, yes, way to conservative!!! but, that’s exactly what we all asked for in the off-season, “run the ball and don’t let Murray take too many chances”..nobody can deny that..lets just hope the lesson is learned..who on here thought we were going undefeated this year anyway???

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jack bull

September 11th, 2010
6:29 pm

the question now is,,,,Would you be happy with giving up 17 or less to Arkansas???

and remember, its never as bad, or good, as it seems…

Northern VA Dawg

September 11th, 2010
6:29 pm

Offensive line is overrated. Can’t run for 2 yards on 3rd down?

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

dawginduluth

September 11th, 2010
6:32 pm

Maybe he’s not a good coach but Richt is a nice guy. Isn’t that all that counts?

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

September 11th, 2010
6:34 pm

ONE thing I have noticed is teams that WIN & WIN BIG, are usually littered with NFL type players. Just look at ALA; They have 6′ -6′.2″ CB’s & safetys, big LB’s and tall QB’s. UGA, on the other hand, has 5′8″ to 5′10″ CB’s & Safetys, and now a rather small QB. Don’t get me wrong –these guys are talented & fast. The problem is they just can’t compete with the bigger players. All of our CBs had trouble all day tackling those big 6′4″ WRs of SCar. UGA will win their share of games this yr, but they won’t play for or win a SEC or NC until they get some more size on this team. HOPEFULLY, once Grantham gets his type of players in there we will improve. It took Saben 2-3 yrs to get ALA there. Lets just hope that our Offense does better recruiting too. I don’t remember SCar ever having more 4 & 5 star players; The true key is with the type of players –not just the recruiting rankiing. Also, FLA has a lot of small speedy players also, and we see the same them struggle, too, now that Tebow is gone.

dawginduluth

September 11th, 2010
6:36 pm

Where is altamahadawg when you need someone to kick around?

DancinDawg

September 11th, 2010
6:41 pm

Richt has got to fire Bobo…he is pathetic

Cooter

September 11th, 2010
6:41 pm

This is big time football. Not Pop
Warner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can’t coach then get out.

Dr M

September 11th, 2010
6:42 pm

The fumble by Ealey was very big. UGA had turned the momentum entirely around at that point and then we handed it back to SC. Murray played a very good game and we missed AJ sorely.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

September 11th, 2010
6:43 pm

ATechFan, get a life you stupid idiot ( is that a double negative??). We own the series & this state. You punks are 1-9 vs UGA as of late. You lose to an un-ranked & terrible KANSAS team, yet you actually take the time to come over to the UGA blog for what??? What a LOSER you & your pathetic school are. Good Day.

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