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

ga gator

September 12th, 2010
10:32 am

Bobo doesn’t need to go. He is running Richt’s offense. Richt needs to be involved and say we are going to or not going to run certain plays in certain situations. He needs to quit being a CEO and start being a Head Coach.

RedBleeder

September 12th, 2010
10:48 am

I am not a football coach. I am sure that all of the things pointed out in the comments here are not things the UGA coaching staff doesn’t already know. SO FIX IT! As a mere fan, I am not privy to the undercurrents on the team, but I do know this: The team played like they expected to lose anyway, so why play all out. I am a Christian myself, but football is a mean a** game and the best teams play that way. Rambo needs to review some tape of Thomas Davis. I want my Dawgs, win or lose, to make the other team glad the game is over!!

yarddawg

September 12th, 2010
10:48 am

Everybody knows the CMR is’nt going to cut BooBoo loose especially with his 10 kids in five years or something like that. Too many mouths to feed and Mark not going to pull the trigger.

yarddawg

September 12th, 2010
10:53 am

ga gator hit the nail on the head with his last post. We need a GOOD FOOTBALL COACH, not a CEO, or some moral saint pretending to be one, CMR was a good offensive coordinator, but I don’t see the University of Georgia winning a national championship with him

VahiDawg

September 12th, 2010
10:54 am

Bobo hasn’t been able to cut it for the past several years. Richt needs to start calling the plays again if he wants to keep his job. Toss Sweeps would barely work against Collins Hill High School

Ed

September 12th, 2010
12:19 pm

“CMR was a good offensive coordinator, but I don’t see the University of Georgia winning a national championship with him”

Excuse me while I channel Jim Mora:

National championship? Are you kidding me? NATIONAL championship? Don’t talk to me about national championships. I just hope we can win a game. We SUCK.

CG Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:12 pm

As a big GA supporter, I have never seen so many wussies with a G on their helmet in the entire history of football. Does Richt coach the manhood out of these boys?

old dawg fan

September 12th, 2010
5:13 pm

How long is Adams going to continue to put up with Mark Richt and what he calls Ga. Football?
Yesterday was terrible-Like I said last week on here. Spurier will “out coach” Richt!!! The game was over before it started. Our Defense is weak. Looked like we were scared to tackle or didn’t know what to do??? Offense play calling was typical Bobo. The “Mark Richt” era is time to come to an end.
Would not hurt to change in the middle of the year-it could not get any worse.
GET READY FOR A 4 MAYBE 5 GAME WINNER YEAR!!!!
Maybe our new AD will take some initiative and send Richt back to FSU?????

snotbubble

September 12th, 2010
8:00 pm

Ijust don’t know……we’ve got a lot of work to do. Both O and D….Go Dawgs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Dawg

September 12th, 2010
8:21 pm

To Buckeye and Bob, Ealey’s still the best back Georgia’s got. Remember 3 weeks ago he was everybody’s starter. At least he wants to play. And so he fumbled in a crucial situation, he still played better than most of the team. I know ya’ll want Caleb King to be your savior but it ain’t gonna happen, he’s the worst back Georgia’s had in a long time. He should have to repay for his time in college. He’s weak and soft and fumbles more than any back on the team.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

12-2

September 13th, 2010
6:37 am

Coach Richt said : ” I do NOT bother the players getting ready to play the games. They EACH have THEIR OWN WAY of getting ready. I do not get in their way pre-game, doing that. ”

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

rob

September 13th, 2010
10:02 am

It doesnt get any more predictable and boring than it was on Saturday. Bobo has got to go. Richt will not fire him. So the blame is got to work it’s way up to CMR. This is pathetic. One day we will recruit someone who is willing to hit and tackle. One day. CMR may not be there but one day.

NO LINDSEY SCOTT,NO 1980 TITLE MUTTS

September 13th, 2010
7:17 pm

YEAH IM GLAD CHRISTIAN RICHT IS A SOFTY AND NICE GUY,THIS IS WHY HE WONT FIRE MIKE BOZO

droopydawg

September 14th, 2010
2:50 pm

“absolutely horrendous tackling all day long”

That actually might be giving them too much credit. We looked SOFT. “Hitman” and Rambo were the two most ironic names our safeties could have the way they played and Christian Robinson looked as overmatched as Bryan Evans used to. Our OLB played ok and the Akeems played ok, but the DTs and DEs were getting driven back to the second level with regularity. Maybe the lack of two-a-days is because Richt and Grantham knew we’d have a bunch of DEF players after practice weeping like school children about their sore wittle muscles.

Embarrassing.