Gamecocks ‘exposed’ Dogs’ weaknesses on offense and defense

Jakar Hamilton slides off again. (Gerry Melendez / The State)

Jakar Hamilton slides off again. (Gerry Melendez / The State)

A few more thoughts on Saturday’s loss in Columbia …

Georgia losing to South Carolina wasn’t a surprise to me. I’d picked that game as one of two predicted losses in the preseason. What was a surprise to me, though, was how bad the Dogs looked at times in losing it, particularly the running game and tackling.

It certainly didn’t help that Caleb King was sidelined with a bad ankle and that Washaun Ealey coughed up the ball, but it looked like the main blame for the ineffective rushing attack was our highly overrated offensive line. I think the great fallacy is that just because our line is experienced that they ought to be really good. So far it isn’t turning out that way.

I’ll grant that the OL did do a pretty good job in pass protection. Aaron Murray got flushed out a few times, but mostly had plenty of time in the pocket. But the line simply wasn’t opening up holes for Ealey. Most of his success came running outside — which makes you wonder why Mike Bobo didn’t exploit that more. Those second-down runs up the middle weren’t fooling anyone.

And a 27 percent conversion rate on third down will nearly always mean you lose. As Bobo and Mark Richt conceded after the game, they’ve got to give Murray the opportunity to make something happen offensively when the running attack isn’t going anywhere.

At the same time, Murray’s got things he needs to work on. Don’t stand there and take a sack when you can throw the ball away! And he’s still tending to either overthrow or throw slightly behind his receivers, which resulted in Orson Charles missing what could have been a scoring pass in the red zone.

Field goals weren’t enough to beat South Carolina, and they certainly won’t cut it next week Between the Hedges. As Richt noted, in order to have a chance at beating Arkansas, “we’re going to have to score points.”

As for the defense, one of the first things I read about the 3-4 scheme back in the winter was that its main weakness is against the run and it requires dominating play at nose guard. The latter, we certainly didn’t have, and Carolina’s terrific freshman back Marcus Lattimore quickly wore down the Georgia D. Could conditioning maybe have been a factor there? Check out this Lattimore quote: “Our offensive line was in better shape than their defensive line.”

Despite Steve Spurrier’s tongue-in-cheek tweaking of Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham over the former NFL coach perhaps not being familiar with the inside zone running play that was the Gamecocks’ bread and butter Saturday, Georgia’s defense actually had players in the right position most of the time. They just didn’t execute. As Grantham indicated after the game, Lattimore is good, but Georgia’s poor tackling made him look even better. And it wasn’t just Lattimore. Missed tackles on screen passes hurt the Dogs, too.

Too many times you saw Georgia defenders going for what Bacarri Rambo called a “kill shot,” where they tried to take the ball carrier down by slamming into him with a body block instead of wrapping him up. There were also way too many arm tackles up high instead of taking him out low. And I lost count of how many times Jakar Hamilton slid off a ball carrier like they were greased. Demarcus Dobbs nailed it when he said, “We didn’t get in position to make tackles. He exposed us.” As Justin Houston put it: “That should be one of our main focuses next week.”

While Georgia’s defense looked pretty hapless in the first half, they actually did a much better job of containing Lattimore and the Gamecocks in the second half … until that last drive, where Carolina started on its own 37 with 8:19 left and Georgia’s offense didn’t get back on the field until only 1:05 was left. The most damning thing about that drive is that there was absolutely no mystery to what South Carolina was doing. Lattimore got the ball on eight of the 11 plays. And yet the Dogs still couldn’t stop him, giving up 66 yards to the admittedly tired freshman in that series.

What else was there for Georgia fans to complain about? How about the Dogs squandering all three of their second-half timeouts by midway through the third quarter? And while he’s holding on to the ball, Branden Smith looks like he still needs more coaching as a returner. Someone please tell him you don’t run backwards deep in your own territory.

On the plus side, as I noted Saturday, the best thing about Georgia’s defense was the pressure they kept up on Carolina QB Stephen Garcia, who had some success throwing to Alshon Jeffrey but generally was most effective just handing off to Lattimore. Ace pass rusher Houston is living up to his hype, with 10 tackles Saturday, three of Georgia’s five sacks and forcing a fumble. The Dogs are going to need Houston to come up big again if they’re going to have a chance against Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett.

Also encouraging was the team drawing only four penalty flags for 25 yards (though another false start on a failed third-down play was declined by the Gamecocks).

And Murray showed a lot of potential. Too bad his receivers didn’t do a better job of getting open and helping him out in A.J. Green’s absence.

Bottom line: The Dogs have a lot of work to do if they want to avoid starting out 0-2 in conference play.

Feel free to share your own thoughts the good and bad you saw Saturday.

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473 comments Add your comment

Paul Has A Small Johnson

September 12th, 2010
1:39 pm

CG Dawg

Your right about FL

Im just hoping we can figure out what uniform design will give us the win

Chuck Doodle

September 12th, 2010
1:39 pm

Well dawg fans there you have it…. Ealey is our best bowler and you’re right coach we saw glimpses of that during the Kentucky game last year. The jury may be still out on the best swimmer. So with that dawgs fans have a great week and remember you cant win’em all but you can win the next one !

FB Fan

September 12th, 2010
1:40 pm

“Ed” you are correct Spurrier has only won twice in his six years. I believe they won in 2007 and we were lucky in 2008 and 2009. You could tell after the first year the talent gap has gotten closer and closer. I think they finally have passed us. His players have been “coached up” not down. I am sick but I believe the Georgia Bulldog will once again be his b@tch.

GT Golden Heart

September 12th, 2010
1:41 pm

See now why that Orlando Newspaper ranked y’all number 64 was it?
HA HA HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

GT Golden Heart

Leeman Bennett

September 12th, 2010
1:48 pm

The dawgs were just 4 plays away from winning that ball game.

LogicalUS

September 12th, 2010
1:49 pm

Tried to tell the delusional THUGA fans last week, but they are always the re-emergence of the 76 Steelers in the coming game.

The reality is that on Saturday, South Carolina, a school which THUGA fans constant browbeat as inferior in talent, skill and players put a beatdown on THUGA which wasn’t even reflected in the score.

Aaron Murray looked good, but other than the ineligible Green, there was NOT A SINGLE position on the field where THUGA had a player which would start over the man South Carolina fielded.

SC was better at RB, WR, OL, QB, DL, LB, CB, and S. Some of the THUGA starters wouldn’t make the two deep at SC, especially at WR, DL, and CB with reservations at RB.

Nothing is more overrated that the constant Top 5 classes THUGA braggs about every single year.

Just got beat

September 12th, 2010
1:50 pm

Georgia fans don’t want to hear the truth, but here it is. You were beaten by a better team. The talent level on the field was even or pro-Carolina and you were out-coached, out played, and out conditioned. You never led nor threatened to take the lead. Deal with it.

Time to move on

September 12th, 2010
1:52 pm

I have been patient with Ritch and Bobo. I am tired of not being a top 10 team year afer year. I have no reason to spend big $ on a ticket and drive to the stadium to watch a below average, mediocre team. We will be doing really good to be 7-5 or 6-6 this year. Sure, everyone likes Ritch as person and he has had some good coaching years. But, we are obviously on the downslide,and based on Saturday’s performance, there is no hope in long term change.

oakwood dawg

September 12th, 2010
1:58 pm

CMR will be on the hot seat at the end of this season. I believe we will lose at least 4 more games but CMR will be given one more year to prove himself. In 2012 we will have a new coach.

CG Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:00 pm

OK, we got beat by superior team after we have been told year after year about our recruiting classes being in the top five or ten. Soooooo, if SC beats us like a redheaded stepchild, just think what Auburn, TN, AK, FL and GT will do to us. We are going to dream longingly about past days of medicocrity.

Destin Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:02 pm

Their D line was in better shape than our Over rated O line… Just a bunch of FAT a$$es… matt drills were 1990’s FSU… ACC team … what about nutrion and conditiong.. don’t we pay someone in that JOB ?????

Destin Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:07 pm

I’ve defended Richt .. Nice guy.. cares about his players… but they hate to lose… so Richt, go to Church on Sun… play kick a$$ football on Sat…. open up the offense.. bobo is a good name for him…

Blueberry in Asheville

September 12th, 2010
2:07 pm

Bill, your entire analysis is spot on, especially the Georgia corners and safeties with their so-called “kill shots” which drove me crazy—whatever happened to the fundamentals of tackling???

Destin Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:13 pm

Murray scrambles for a TD… Last Sat… and was criticized ???? hey that’s what we NEED !!!! see Texas, Mich., etc…

SSIgator

September 12th, 2010
2:13 pm

I was starting to worry about what Richt would do after UGA, but after seeing on TV that he has been a bartender, a valet car parker, an insurance salesman and a health club membership salesman (all in a two year span) I guess he has nothing to worry about. With all of those skills, no wonder he makes $3 mil a year. 1980 – so long ago.

Coldocky

September 12th, 2010
2:14 pm

Georgia fans are a bunch of whining crybabies. Get ready to embrace a 6-6 season.

E N Z Y M E S

September 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

Kramer –

That was really funny

South Ga Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:20 pm

Our team continues to play conservative on offense. Open the thing up so we can have a chance guys. This is not pee wee football. Let play the game the right way. I’m tired of seeing talent waste in Athens. let the kids play the game. geez

Destin Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:25 pm

SSI gator we should beat FL……. Urban will have lost 2 by then… Rambo and Hamilton… didn’t want take on Lattimore after 1st HIT… put in Ogletree !!! don’t play on seniority.. you’ll get seniality !!!!!!!

cantondawg

September 12th, 2010
2:27 pm

Tallydawg,

I couldn’t have said it better. Bobo’s playcalling is horrendous. I remember in the first half our defense was on the field for a long drive and finally stopped SC. What was the first play that Bobo called, A long bomb with low % of getting completed. We needed a time consuming drive desperately and he calls a wasted play.

ray

September 12th, 2010
2:28 pm

I have always been a suporter of CMR but I think it may be time to go in a diferrent direction.He seems to not have a clue how to keep up in the SEC.This is a very poorly coached team.Horrible play calling and no disipline what so ever.And this new and improved defense is a joke.My sons JV team tackles better then these guys.Time to start looking for a new coach guys.

classic

September 12th, 2010
2:28 pm

classic UGA comment from above, exemplifying their education…

“Real Dawg fans want too win not make excuses. WAKE UP!”

that my dear dawgs, is not even a sentence. But Mark Bradley would defend your grammar, as would Chuck Dowdle, and the rest of the people on the Cox Communications payroll for their blind loyalty to all things UGA, despite their stunning idiocy. Red Panties for everyone….

Hidden Message

September 12th, 2010
2:28 pm

Any one have any thoughts on the message SEC officials sent to Coach Richt on his obvious challenge re: the poor spot? Seems to me the message is loud and clear.

Bulldog

September 12th, 2010
2:34 pm

I was not impressed with anyone from the Dawgs in the first half except for Murray but I felt like Grantham and the D made some great adjustments at halftime and they completely stopped them until they were worn out in the fourth quarter.

I feel something needs to be done with Bobo. I thought Richt helping Bobo out would help but sure didn’t look that way. There is no reason we should not have scored three touchdowns. If their CB are so good throw to the TE and FB and move down the field running the ball every once in a while. The Oline needs to concentrate on run blocking.

Booby Dudd

September 12th, 2010
2:35 pm

Guys the truth of the matter is that our team lacks courage. We want to run on the field and throw our sharp red uniforms in front of the camera and the other team is supposed to say oh no it’s the georgia bulldogs we might as well go home, but they don’t, they stick thier finger in our eye and then punch us in the throat on national t.v. We have an arrogance that blows my mind. We don’t play hard every down. We just play hard when the camera has our good side

Dan Rather

September 12th, 2010
2:37 pm

Courage. Courage.

Booby Dudd

September 12th, 2010
2:41 pm

Too all the Tech fans that have been on here since yesterday, what a joke you lose to Kansas and come on the uga blog to run your mouth. Tech fans hang out on uga blogs all day and don’t touch thiers. I guess you have to get in all you can before the ga/gt game is actually played because no matter how bad our year sucks, the probability is we will still wip your @ss.

Booby Dudd

September 12th, 2010
2:45 pm

Enter your comments here

SOS Dawg

September 12th, 2010
2:47 pm

Bill….. Carolina exposed our weaknesses ? Really ? heck this has been going on for quite sometime. Ever think Why UGA is now 10 – 11 in the SEC east? If the homers are satisfied with this crap then UGA will continue this crap. Im sorry but Im tired of thisand so are many many others.

Dawg 39

September 12th, 2010
2:50 pm

All the fans who shouted just run,run,run the ball, including me, were sorely disappointed saturday.
The game plan was to run the ball but it didn’t work due to poor execution & poor line play.
Now is the time to go to plan B. Let Murray loose & throw the football. Obviously a passing attack would be better if A.J. was back. I still have confidence in the direction this Dawg Team is heading. We will get better.

Pitbull

September 12th, 2010
2:50 pm

How can me, a non football expert. See that the players aren’t wrapping up on a tackle and Richt and the Def. Cord etc not see it coming. Not see it in practice. Not see it in drills. etc. Also, what was Richt thinking when he and Bozo told Murray not to scramble. Do they ever think, just sit down and THINK, about anything. I really don’t think Richt uses good judgement any longer. He sits back and works on his sunday school lessons and Ga is a 2nd job for him. I’m disappointed in the direction of this program!! I don’t see it getting any better than a B-plus rated program.

FB Fan

September 12th, 2010
2:53 pm

With all the off the field issues, red panties, 9 arrests, agents, etc. someone needs to take a close look at what is going on here! Lack of leadership is evident on the field…. just look at Rambo’s play. SC was much better coached and had leaders on and off the field. UGA unfortunately is uninspired.

GDAWG65

September 12th, 2010
2:54 pm

The Dawgs as a team have great working parts. The problem is a loose nut at the wheel.

mook

September 12th, 2010
2:55 pm

Richt reminds me of John Cooper when he was at Ohio State.

Cooper: 111-43-4 record over 13 years (.702 win pct / 8.5 wins a year)
3 conference titles.

Richt: 91-28 record over 9+ years (.764 win pct / 9.9 wins a year)
2 conference titles.

Both have good records that most teams would love to have but still can’t seem to get over the “hump”.

Tons of NFL draft picks, but no national titles.

Cooper: 2-10-1 against Michigan
Richt: 2-7 against Florida

I know it’s not guaranteed to happen likewise, but if Ohio State hadn’t dumped John Cooper because he was “pretty good”, they wouldn’t have got Jim Tressel. Anyone know how he turned out?

Last time I checked, Georgia brings in the cash. Use it to get who we need.

Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Clemson, and GA Tech have a combined SEVEN national titles since Georgia won one, with Alabama winning the two before 1980. The state of Florida has TEN. Even Auburn has gone undefeated.

Enough! For me, Richt has two years to get this train back on track or out you go like John Cooper.

LAWRENCE

September 12th, 2010
2:57 pm

REVERAND RICHT IS JUST ANOTHER TOMMY BOWDEN.A RELIGIOUS LUNATIC WHO DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE.RICHT YOU WORK FOR A STATE UNIVERSITY NOT AV CHURCH.WE ARE TRED OF YOUR BAPTIST PREACHER PROJECTION.RICHT!!!WE PAY YOU TO WIN FOOTBALL GAMES NOT PREACH SERMONS!!!GO TO THE MINISTRY IF YOU WISH BUT I AM SICK AND TIRED OF YOU THROWING YOUR RELIGION ON OTHERS!!!!!WIN FOOTBALL GAMES OR GET THE HELL OUT OF ATHENS!!!!GO COACH AT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY!!!!!!!BRING IN PETERSON OR PATTERSON.RICHTS PROGRAM IS FINISHED!!!!!THANKS RICHT FOR DRIVING OUR PROGRAM INTO RUINS!!!YOU RELIGIOUS MORON!!!!!

change is needed

September 12th, 2010
2:58 pm

I’ve heard CMR state that the football program’s mission statement doesn’t say anything about winning championships. If he wants the program to stand for greater issues, such as producing men of character and contributors to society representative of the Christian faith, that’s cool, but at least do a good job of that. He’s not winning championships and the poor conduct of his team is tiresome. He makes way too much money to keep producing these disappointing teams that play poor and have conduct issues.

Irked ERK

September 12th, 2010
2:59 pm

Losing to a bunch of damn chickens is plain pathetic. UGA has really gone to the dogs since Ive left.

Pitbull

September 12th, 2010
2:59 pm

Enough with the red panties. Actually I prefer a lady in light blue panties. Of course the standard white panties is also acceptable. But red means charge, as you know. Maybe it means stop, like a stop sign. How is a guy to know. That’s why I just prefer blue or white panties.

Steve

September 12th, 2010
3:00 pm

I personally believe you have a monster problem. In the 4th quarter with the defense trying to get the ball back the cameras panned to the bench. Sitting there biting his nails was the prima donna quarter back biting his nails. Not invoolved in the game at all. Not supporting his defense. Not a leader for the team. He should have been up there supporting his team instead he is relaxing. Why? He should not have been tired. It actually appeared that he did not care. Can him or give him an attitude adjustment. He needs to change his entire game.

Chuck Doodle

September 12th, 2010
3:02 pm

hey Coach…. any chance of breaking out the black jerseys against Ida State?

RODNEY GARNER

September 12th, 2010
3:17 pm

Dear Bulldog Fans –

I would like to address the charges I’m running a recruiting program that descriminates against country boys and corn feds from the midwest. It’s not my fault we haven’t been able to recruit a white defensive back since Kirby Smart, back in 1997. I can’t be blamed for not having a single white starter on defense since David Pollack. Everyone knows football is all about 40 yard dash times and slam dunking ability. You fans have to face the fact that white boys can’t jump. I know, I know, fans out there are pointing to the Boise State defense, Clay Mathews for the Trojans and Boston College’s outstanding LB. Who’s Brian Urlacher, is he one of those Croatians on the Los Angeles Lakers?

Look in the last 5 years we’ve recruited Chase Vasser and one other country boy from Florida who’s name escapes me. We also have an Arab walk on who’s name I can’t spell. It’s important to realize that because of Title 9 we’ve got to give more scholarship to thugs and dudes with dreds. It’s the law! Do you think I like berating my homies when they keep giving up on the field and can’t figure out that driving without a license aint cool? Heck no, I’m gettin tired of telling these morons they gotta be acting right.

So in closing, I want to tell you faceless bigots to chill. You can’t argue with how many players I’ve put in the NFL. I know we haven’t won a national championship with all that talent, but don’t pull the race card on me, it just ain’t fittin. Besides I’ve got all the politically correct libtards on my side. So until Michael Adams fires me (he knows he can’t cause all sue him for discrimination) I’m going to keep recruiting boys from the hood and there ain’t nothin you can do about it.

Sincerely,
Rodney Garner

sweet charlotte

September 12th, 2010
3:19 pm

Bill, you pretty much nailed it on this one. And I hate to admit that. As a 1981 graduate, I am embarrassed by not only the lackluster performance of the Dawgs over the past few years, but especially the lack of discipline. While CMR is an outstanding man, I still believe he is a good, but not great head coach, at least not at this level.

This is the beginning of the end for Mark Richt in Athens. I don’t wish anything bad to him, he hanot demonstrated the talent to coach at this level. Folks can argue the W-L record, yada yada. Face it- he loses many of the big ones, and just can’t break through that wall. We have some high points, but this just isn’t getting it done. Bgring someone in who the players fear and respect, and has the right instincts.

Steve

September 12th, 2010
3:25 pm

Dawgs were physically dominated by USC and that simply should not be the case. The way we evaluate talent of recruits and strength and conditioning should be revamped.

ugaalumn1981

September 12th, 2010
3:26 pm

When will UGA grow a set and realize you are paying an obscene amount of money to a head coach who will NEVER bring you a top tier program on any type of a regular basis?

barneyb

September 12th, 2010
3:27 pm

Time for one big enema to the UGA football program, from the top on down.

FB Fan

September 12th, 2010
3:28 pm

Steve I believe you are correct, no leadership, the kids must have no mentors otherwise they would be up supporting the D. All of the off the field issues, from the AD and the players, make it is obvious to me there must be very little leadership in the athletic department and the administration maybe has lost control. It is now showing in the our athletic team’s performance. Look at our basketball, baseball and football programss compared to say SC. We are not very good.

dawg80

September 12th, 2010
3:30 pm

My gosh, does anybody else realize that replacing Martinez was just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

It’s time to let Mark Richt go. I get no pleasure out of saying that, but this will continue ad mauseum until UGA dumps Richt & Bobo.

barneyb

September 12th, 2010
3:31 pm

UGA is now below .500 in the SEC East. That’s pathetic. And we better wake up and admit why that is so. It’s hard not to like CMR, but it’s time to go-

bart

September 12th, 2010
3:32 pm

I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of Mark Richt, but I’ve lost patience. After 10 years, we ought to be in contention every year for the SEC championship. Look what Saban and Meyer have done in much less time. I’m afraid it’s time for Richt to go.

Shawn

September 12th, 2010
3:33 pm

I see SC losing to Arkansas and Bama. UF will lose to a much-improved UGA, SC, and Bama. If we can come away with a win next week and ultimately win out, then we will be in the SECCG given the above scenarios. It’s a long-shot but it can happen.