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

jack bull

September 11th, 2010
6:46 pm

Mike Bobo says “We wanted to play to our strengths, run the ball, blah blah blah…” the problem i have with this statement is this,,EVERY TEAM WE PLAY KNOWS THAT!!!!!! therefore, we’ll see 8, and 9(like today) in the box daring us to beat them with Murray…now, if he thinks we can win knowing the other team knows exactly what we’re going to do, he’s not a very good coach..all we can hope for, like i said earlier, is i hope the lesson is learned…we’ll see….

Loganville Dawg

September 11th, 2010
6:47 pm

I am a loyal dawg fan but I have had it with CMR and his loser coaching. Defense sucks today and offense was weak and did not get the job done. We see “real coaching” done by Saban, Miles, Spurrier and others, almost always way better than CMR. 10 years is enough. Put up or hall ass.

Cooter

September 11th, 2010
6:48 pm

You would think at this level they would teach how to tackle.

Mr. Georgia Football Returns

September 11th, 2010
6:51 pm

Wow! Your 100% right! Thanks for explaining it. I thought the problem was something more serious like this highly touted, experienced offensive line that to some are considered the “best” in the nation is really “bogus hype” and in reality “they suck” or that Grantham’s 3-4 defense was more like a Shanaya Twain song,”it don’t impressa me much”.

Brian

September 11th, 2010
6:53 pm

I believe Bobo needs to be the blame here…. three straight three and outs deep within your area is unacceptable… period. They kinda started to let murray go the start of the second half and then just stopped what is up with that. You missing your best player and they are stopping the run on the inside. Mix it up use your TEs and FB Whats the use of dating a hot blond for her just to stand there and look good…. no you do her!!! Also the tackling today was horrible… use you body and wrap up. I don’t think Lattimore is as good as he looked today, I believe when USC plays a Florida,Auburn,and Alabama he will be shut down. I also believe CMR needs to grow a set and get into his players butt. Did anyone see how different the old ball coach’s team looked, how long has he just threw the ball and screw running it… Its 2010 CMR its time for a change.

Eric C.

September 11th, 2010
6:53 pm

Bob, if Ealey doesn’t fumble…who says UGA ties it up? I have no faith that the Dawgs would have punched it into the endzone after seeing them get manhandled at the lines.

Eric C.

September 11th, 2010
6:54 pm

From what I could tell, the Dawgs were manhandled at the lines of scrimmage. I remember a power-I formation with 3rd and 2 and they couldn’t get more than half a foot. SC shut down the Dawgs running game overall and really just outcoached them. As for the other side of the ball…the tackling was embarrasing and you saw what the OL and Lattimore did.

Having said that, I think SC has a good shot to have a great year…they really have some good pieces and the Dawgs simply lost to a better team. I think this is the first time I’ve ever said that about a UGA loss to SC…but it is what it is.

browndog

September 11th, 2010
6:55 pm

UGA has to find a running game and just play better football. I expect that we shall see improvement each week but that doesn’t mean UGA gets the W. Thought Murray had a good game. Believe SC can win the east with UGA third behind UF. Still think 8 and 4 record with 9 and 3 possible.

Cooter

September 11th, 2010
6:57 pm

I am not a coach as many of you are, but we do not play as a top SEC team.Vandy will give us a fit if it don’t get better.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ga gator

September 11th, 2010
6:59 pm

Watched the game with UGA friends who have always supported Richt to the end. After today, I’m not so sure. This I do know; if the season continues like this and if McGarrity has been influenced at all for the past 17 years by Jeremey Foley, Richt’s seat will become red hot. Murray can flat play and Richt/Bobo need to turn the kid loose!

Cooter

September 11th, 2010
7:00 pm

Gotor —- Thank you

Tuscaloosa Dawg

September 11th, 2010
7:08 pm

I like Aaron Murray. He’s a great athlete, works hard in preparation, and so far has handled the pressure very well. My only wish is to see him take a step forward in leading this offense. Seeing him sitting on the bench with that flat look on his face, chewing his nails at one point, was frustrating. I know he is only a freshman, but I’d like to see him walking up and down the bench, firing up his offense, calling out his O-line, talking up the backs, etc., like a field general. When he sees the whole bench sitting with their heads down with two quarters to go he needs to take that as a sign that he needs to get off his butt and lead, motivate, appeal to their pride. I’d like to see him show some fire.

Dawg Tell

September 11th, 2010
7:09 pm

First of all ,I do not want any player to be injured as stated above. HOWEVER ,UGA has a lot of problems and I mean alot of problems. When we took the field,I told my wife that they look confused,no spirit. Then our O-Line look like a H.S. Line.Not psychical at all. Look at Alabama line, they will knock the S@it out of you in the run game.Our strength and conditioning coach has been a problem for the last five years- Another close friend of Richt. BOBO what a joke for a offensive coach.He should have know that S.C. was going to put 8 in the box and make Murray beat them with the pass. Tackling what the Hell,where did they get these players from.Did they not learn this in high school? Overall we looked SCARED to play.UGA has looked this way several times over the last two years. Discipline OMG I want even go there.Why do you think these problems on and off the field come from!!!!

bottom line

September 11th, 2010
7:15 pm

Enter your comments here

the tide is in

September 11th, 2010
7:16 pm

CMR is a good man. Dogs offense looked soft and predictable.

RNB

September 11th, 2010
7:21 pm

IT’S TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE. THIS IS SEC FOOTBALL. THERE IS BIG MONEY AT STAKE. ENOUGH OF MARK RICHT AND HIS SOFT TEAMS. GO GET THE IOWA COACH NOW.

Class of 84

September 11th, 2010
7:23 pm

I see alot of comments about o line, but the reality is that on 3rd and 2 you run up the guards rear. The first 3 times we did a toss sweep we gained over 30 yards. The play calling in the red zone is horrible and I wish the coaching staff would go back and look at our record when CMR called the plays and compare that to our record since Bobo took the reigns. Bobo is a fellow UGA grad, but bottom line is he can’t call plays. Our talent is much better than when CMR was calling plays and we have a much worse record, plain and simple.

UGAVIII

September 11th, 2010
7:24 pm

Richt will never fire Bobo. Bozo is Richt’s student. He is running Richt’s offense. In case you forgot, everybody was clamoring for Richt to hire an offensive coordinator when he made Bozo the OC. Firing Bozo, would amount to admitting that Richts scheme doesn’t work anymore.

Finally, SC whipped us. They were the better team – better players, better coaches (offense and defense), and had a better game plan (UGA never has a game plan).

Hogwash

September 11th, 2010
7:28 pm

The best thing about the game was the play of Murray. The team did not look ready to play and the tackling looked like last year. Hopefully the defense will come together but, Bobo as and OC is over. He sucks and he’s the worst playcaller i have ever seen. We need an aggressive OC to change things up and utilize the available weapons we have. Not just because of this game but, we need a new offensive staff. The line can’t run block and the whole team plays too timid. Rambo and Hamilton forgot how to hit and Ogletree did’nt even touch the field. This is the difference between a well coached team compared to wannabes. We need to recruit better and coach better and if CMR does not take over the playcalling from Bobo than he should be fired. This didn’t start in this game, this is from the previous three years. The team needs a jolt from a capable head coach. Get mad from my comments but, the proof is in the play on the field and the off field BS. This is not the way to win Championships. Instead of knocking Nick Saban and the Tide, maybe we need to emmulate the way he does business. He wins championships. The offensive coaches really suck and we still can’t tackle on defense. Searles is a joke for top rated OL coach. We need a big change. With the WRs we have now and the WR coaching, we are in trouble and i won’t discuss our mediocre RBS.

UGAVIII

September 11th, 2010
7:28 pm

I agree with Tuscaloosa Dawg. Seeing Murray sitting on the bench chewing his fingernails didn’t inspire confidence.

RNB

September 11th, 2010
7:34 pm

I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN CMR

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

Kramer

September 11th, 2010
7:42 pm

Thank goodness for bourbon. Lots of bourbon.

Dostoyevskiy

September 11th, 2010
7:43 pm

The fact is, UGa is simply “wearing thin”. Go away for a few years, keep a low profile, then try again.
SCar and UNC are the hot football schools on the SE coast.

Techie

September 11th, 2010
7:48 pm

Could UGA please join the ACC, so we’d have at least one conference win.

FB Fan

September 11th, 2010
7:51 pm

9 players arrested since March, one AD arrested with panties in his hand, best player getting paid by an agent and now watching Spurrier best us at yet another school. Not a good year to be a Bulldog. Could be worse……..I could be in Knoxville.

Bud

September 11th, 2010
7:53 pm

Grantham needs to recruit the body types he needs to run his defense. This year he’s using what he has, it’s not ideal, and won’t be that kind of season we all thought we might have. So, let’s let Murray let it rip, and play a bunch of young players so 2011 is better.

Dancer

September 11th, 2010
7:54 pm

C’mon, y’all. These are our Bulldogs. Those Carolina boys were big and mean. Our Bulldogs tried real hard. When you’re dancing and you drop your flag, what do you do? You just pick it up and get back in the routine. As long as we win more games than we lose, we’re winners. So, let’s go be winners.

Mike

September 11th, 2010
7:55 pm

Actually Bill, Ealey’s fumble was the turning point in this game. Georgia had all the momentum, and just blew it. Hopefully, he’ll learn from it. Hasn’t been a good 3 weeks for Ealey, that’s for sure.

Scott

September 11th, 2010
7:57 pm

I am ticked that Georgia didn’t throw the ball to Aron White & Charles Olson. Why didn’t T King get 10 touches? Why not get Durham the ball since he averaged 25 a catch? Why not some running plays with Branden Smith, Gray, and Durham?

Georgia just doesn’t use playmakers.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

September 11th, 2010
7:57 pm

UGAVIII , I agree.

tidog

September 11th, 2010
7:58 pm

Dogs tackling must improve. Better tackling = easier road to SEC Championship game. Go Dogs

OldFan

September 11th, 2010
7:59 pm

UGA football has become like that girl your mama wanted you to marry: Goes to church, shows no passion, looks good standing on the sidelines, and boring as hell. Neither one’s likely to rock your world.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

September 11th, 2010
7:59 pm

Scott, “Georgia just doesn’t use playmakers.”. Well said.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

September 11th, 2010
8:01 pm

I agree w/ this: “Finally, SC whipped us. They were the better team – better players, better coaches (offense and defense), and had a better game plan (UGA never has a game plan).”

ga gator

September 11th, 2010
8:01 pm

tidog, forever the optimist.

jack bull

September 11th, 2010
8:01 pm

didn’t everyone say that if we came out of September with a 3-1 record we’d be happy??? I’m willing to put a little, check that, a lot of dough on it…..just let me know..

GR82BAG8R

September 11th, 2010
8:11 pm

After today’s performance, the BCS should seriously consider taking away the ACC’s automatic bid in a BCS bowl….

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

tidog

September 11th, 2010
8:12 pm

@ ga gator The only team that even remotely has a chance to make it to the Championship game undefeated is Alabama. The Dogs lost theirs early, and it all makes for good press and a rise in the ranking as the season grinds on. Go Dogs

JB

September 11th, 2010
8:14 pm

Some thoughts(opinion)from today. We coach scared,play scared.Should of turned Murray loose early.
Difference in Spurrier and Richt. If Lattimore had signed with UGA, he would have been redshirted and we would be told he must learn to block(geez)and the play book is to complicated. For spurrier, he rips us for almost 200 yards and wins his first SEC game almost by himself. That’s the mind set difference.
We are tailback u and have no stud or depth.
searrles as OL coach is a weak link,as is our strengh coach. Sitting here watching Bama, we look like we belong in the ACC.

Thanks AJ

September 11th, 2010
8:14 pm

Thanks AJ! We were counting on you to be an All-American wide receiver this year. We practiced all year for it, made our game plan around it and then you sell us out for $1000? You don’t care enough about your own integrity, your coaches and your team mates to wait another six months for the money when you will be lighting your cigars with $1000 bills. You cost us this game because you weren’t ready to go and we were counting on you. You will probably cost us the Arkansas and Miss State games as well. I hope you get booed when your name is announced at the next home game you play if you do in fact play another.

Willie Martinez

September 11th, 2010
8:14 pm

Gentlemen – I’m haunting you. I infected this defense with the anti-tackling virus and it won’t go away until you recruit players that aren’t girls.

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

Corninmypooh

September 11th, 2010
8:23 pm

Dawg Fans -

It’s time to deal with some realities. Here are my recommendations:

1. We need a modern offense. It’s time for Richt to bring in somebody that knows how to keep a defense off balance and can put a playbook together that’s more innovative than a 1964 John Deere tractor. Move Bobo back to QB coach.
2. Fire Rodney Garner – It’s painfully obvious he’s leading the effort to recruit the wrong type of players at UGA. These guys have no heart once they get down. I look around at defenses across the country and every top progam has at least one or two white guys playing D. Can someone explain why Garner can’t find one!!!
3. Richt has to be more than a sideline general. He’s got to get more actively involved with the players on the sideline.
4. Our strength and conditioning program needs to be overhauled. Mat drills may have worked at FSU in the 90’s, but the world has progressed since then. We have now been overtaken by USC in the trenches, how pathetic is that???
5. My patience and trust in Stacy Searels is waning fast!

JB

September 11th, 2010
8:24 pm

I would love to sit here and think we use this year to get ready for next year………………….but do I really believe that. Go Dawgs is all I can personally do.

Bama Fan #2

September 11th, 2010
8:26 pm

The running back for the war chickens is a load!! Very bad day for the dawgs and thank god Murray
do not get hurt. I have watched 2 games to day where players were taken off the field in ambulances.
GO DAWGS!!

KeepDreaming

September 11th, 2010
8:27 pm

Corninmypoo…what a sad sad statement to make, why bring the race card in at all? I hope your post gets deleted

Remember Dawg fans, the last time we lost to SC, we ended up #2 in the nation. This was bound to happen. It will be interesting to see how our team responds to another admirable foe in Arkansas next week! GOOO DAWGS!!

gadog1942

September 11th, 2010
8:27 pm

UGA was out-coached, out-played, out-maned, out-scored. Other that that, the game was pretty even!

ugaclassof2004

September 11th, 2010
8:28 pm

Eric C.

South Carolina will not win anything as long as Stephen Garcia is their QB. If I had to choose between going with a freshman QB with an upside like Aaron Murray, or a QB like Garcia that has been in the same system for 3 years and STILL has to rely on the running game to carry him, I’d choose the freshman QB with the upside any day of the week. Some guys are just losers with a loser mentality. Stephen Garcia, Jordan Jefferson, Joe Cox, Jonathan Crompton…those guys are just losers. They don’t have the “IT” factor that a David Greene or a Tim Tebow has in big game situations. If South Carolina had a decent QB with a big play WR like they had in Sidney Rice a few years ago combined with the running of this Lattimore kid, then yes I would say that they have a shot at the SEC title. But that team just doesn’t have the overall play makers and depth to be a serious threat to the Gators, even in a down year. I think the East is still Florida’s until someone knocks them off their perch.