Dogs have something to prove Saturday against Hogs

Why would Bacarri Rambo "hold something back" in a big game? (Associated Press)

Why would Bacarri Rambo "hold something back" in a big game? (Associated Press)

It’s early in the season, and one conference loss certainly doesn’t eliminate Georgia from the SEC East race. Going 0-2 in conference play would be tougher to overcome, but even that wouldn’t be insurmountable if the Dogs won the rest of them and the other contenders suffered letdowns, too.

And yet it’s beginning to feel like Saturday’s game against Arkansas represents some sort of crossroad for Mark Richt and his 2010 team.

Will the Dogs shake off the loss and, as Pat Dye would put it, prove they’re “man enough” to contend in the SEC, or will Georgia end up going to Starkville already consigned to being an also-ran?

This is a week where the coaches definitely need to earn their pay. We’d heard all the talk in the offseason about stressing fundamentals, and yet that’s exactly where we saw weakness in the conference opener. Everyone involved admits that the tackling generally was poor. The offensive line, expected to be a strength of the team, failed to open up holes for the running game. Fundamental football.

Sure, it’s just one loss … and yet two games in, Richt and company are already talking about starting positions being up for grabs on defense. Now, that’s alarming in one sense but oddly reassuring in another. One of the most distressing things about the Willie Martinez era at UGA was the way lousy performances didn’t seem to have any consequences for some players. They started whether they deserved to or not.  If those defenders who weren’t wrapping up tackles against South Carolina are feeling some heat to keep their jobs this week, that can only be a good thing.

But in addition to poor fundamentals, this Georgia team also appears weak in the motivational aspect of the game.

Frankly, I’m puzzled by some of what I’ve heard out of the Dogs in the wake of the loss to the Gamecocks. Bacarri Rambo, who was singled out for his lack of effort on some plays despite having a team-high 12 tackles against Carolina, did a mea culpa with the Bulldogs Blog in which he admitted “loafing.” He pledged, “From now on I’m going all-out. I’ve gotta give it all I got. I feel like I was holding something back. I left a lot of what I had in the locker room instead of taking it out there with me.”

Which leaves me wondering why would a player who fancies himself as a team leader be “holding something back” in such an important game.

Likewise, tackle Clint Boling, assessing the play of the offensive line, said, “Talent-wise, I think we have the guys up front to do it, whether we’re doing it every play or not. We just have to have that mind-set that we want to dominate our guy every play, and I don’t know if we have that right now.”

Why not? This was the conference opener, you’ve got a redshirt freshman quarterback who needs all the support he can get, the game plan calls for establishing the run, and yet you’re not in the “mind-set” of wanting to dominate the guy you’re blocking on every play?

Maybe all the plaudits the defense got after the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette made some players mistakenly think they had it all figured out. Perhaps an offseason’s worth of clippings declaring them one of the best in the country lulled the OL into a sense of complacency.

Whatever the problem is, this is the week to either shake it off and show everyone this is a team capable of rising to the occasion, or continue along the road to mediocrity, allowing jerks like Steve Spurrier to note snidely that isn’t how Georgia “used to” play.

What’s it gonna be, Dogs?

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160 comments Add your comment

Concrete Pete

September 14th, 2010
11:10 am

WE NEED A NEW STRENGTH COACH

Me

September 14th, 2010
11:11 am

Me

September 14th, 2010
11:12 am

Sanford Drive

September 14th, 2010
11:17 am

University of Florida receiver Chris Rainey ARRESSTED for AGGREVATED STALKLING

WOW. That my friends, is a real Thug. Underage drinking at UGA, not so Thugis afterall.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/floridas-rainey-arrested-charged-613159.html

Sanford Drive

September 14th, 2010
11:18 am

“time to die”, said Rainey after his ex girlfriend left the house.

What do you think CUM, suspend him for the first quarter of the Kentucky game in 2 weeks?

http://www.ajc.com/sports/floridas-rainey-arrested-charged-613159.html

Robert Hall of Georgia Tech

September 14th, 2010
11:19 am

Wow….. Ilike this Rainey kid over at Florida.

He can stalk the woman, i’ll go in for the beating. What a combo we could be!!!

ca dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:21 am

O line has to get it together or it will be a long year. i think we’ll tackle better on defense, but the O line concerns me. we need to blow those hogs off the ball. go dawgs; eat em up on saturday!!!

waynester

September 14th, 2010
11:21 am

Mr King
Amen to your final paragraph! The only thing more galling than a gloating Spurrier would be a gloating Petrino. The whole mindset issue is dang puzzling–you always want to dominate the guy across from you, right? Maybe Grantham needs to spend a little time “motivating” these guys who admit to slacking off….

BallCoach

September 14th, 2010
11:23 am

After getting “punched in the face” by Lattimore and the SC O-Line, we did not want any more. This week I think we will prevail against a softer but talented Arkansas team. Do you think the offense is capable of scoring enough points without AJ Green?

Sam

September 14th, 2010
11:24 am

Spurrier is saying what many Dawg fans have been saying for a while. I know it is one of those things where family members can “diss” on each other, but no one outside the family can.

dawggirl

September 14th, 2010
11:24 am

This is an interesting but bizarre look into the players’ minds. How in the world can they be leaving stuff behind in the locker room? Why in the world don’t they have that mindset? It sounds like not only do they need some physical practice, but some mental toughness practice too. What the hell are they waiting for?

As much as I would like to poke fun at Florida, we have absolutely no room to talk. However, as a female, I find men that take advantage of or try to control or manipulate women to be absolutely disgusting.

We’ll see if Urban is “man enough” to suspend him.

RxDawg

September 14th, 2010
11:26 am

Just read the title.

You dang right they do!

In all honesty, I think UGA matches up against Arkansas better than they did against USCe. USC lined up and punched us in the mouth, and we couldn’t answer back. Our offense should have much more success against the Hogs D, and our D should be more effective against a pass happy team.

That said, the lost last weekend really deflated my confidence in the Dawgs this year. I’m finding it hard to predict a UGA win…

cb

September 14th, 2010
11:26 am

Why is Spurrier a jerk? Is it not true with that he said about you? Georgia used to win ballgames by running HW, Garrison H., Rodney Hampton, etc. and play good D. Now ya’ll don’t. UGA fans are so quick to call Spurrier a jerk when he only speaks the truth about everyone in the SEC (including his team.) Maybe he will be nicer to everyone like Richt. That is sure working out great for ya’ll.

J Dub

September 14th, 2010
11:27 am

I actually had a friend of mine make this statement last night, “After watching the replay of the GA/SC game tonight, I am totally convinced that Rambo had cash money on SC.” Then you have his comments in the blog….hmmmmm

Lilburn Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Good article, Bill. I keep wondering why Richt is the last person every year to recognize the weaknesses on the Georgia teams. It doesn’t take Spurrier but about one half of one game to see it. Richt always lags behind and just can’t see the forest for the trees. He now recognizes that we were “timid” against USC?? And he just sort of “ho hums” it?? Why isn’t he a fire-breathing dragon and jumping down some throats like Saban or Meyer would be doing?? As sad as it is to say it, frankly, I think he’s our biggest liability. He can’t see the short-comings in the coaches where needed, he can’t judge the abilities of the players accurately, he can’t judge the collective attitude of the team, he can’t put the strongest players in the game, he can’t assure that sensible plays are called, he can’t seem to assure that our players have the fundamentals downpat, etc, etc. I’m kind of tired of “wait till next year”. I hope McGarity is taking this all in.

Old Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:31 am

It’s all in the details, always has been, always will be. If the coaches do their jobs this week and we do ours by raising hell throughout the game, UGA should be OK.

I love an line Erk used at UGA and Georgia Southern: play one play at a time like they’re the last play in the world.

GATA!!!!!

SSIgator

September 14th, 2010
11:36 am

First Bill King calls out the players and then:

And finally, Richt called on the fans to influence Saturday’s game against Arkansas in Sanford Stadium. “I really think the fans can make a difference in this game,” he said.

Now it is the fans that carry the fate of UGA in their hands?

I am sure between Bill King’s writing and moronic statements like that from Richt the UGA players are now highly motivated. 1980 – So long ago.

RxDawg

September 14th, 2010
11:37 am

cb, I didn’t think what Spurrier said was insulting either. Not in the least. It’s how a lot of football teams played the game back then. I think people (media) are reaching for straws trying to find something negative in that.

Palmetto State Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:38 am

I agree with all your points, Bill. If a guy doesn’t want to play with 100% effort, then sit him. I will say that Gamble, Dent, and Houston played hard on Saturday, and the rest of the defense looked like a bunch of clowns. You can’t tackle a true freshman. GOOD GOD!!!

OldFan

September 14th, 2010
11:41 am

The comments from Boling and Rambo are disturbing and go to the heart of what troubles so many UGA fans. I don’t know the psychology of this team or how the coaches motivate the players, but the results take many forms that show up on and off the field. In a major college program, in the toughest conference, motivating these top athletes should be both unnecessary and a major priority. Unnecessary, because each of these players has been in the game long enough to know what’s expected of him, and a priority because how the coaches motivate establishes the character of the team. When we contrast the styles of coaches in the elite programs to what we see on our sideline, the difference is pretty stark. The fans see it, the players see it, the opposing players and coaches see it. If the way to beat Georgia is to attack the team’s discipline and its desire to play on every down for the entire game, then we have to start asking serious questions about the quality of the coaching from top to bottom. If UGA wants to be an elite program, it has to coach to that standard. If not, we’re fine as we are. Just don’t expect a whole lot more.

Jayson

September 14th, 2010
11:45 am

1) Rambo leads the team in tackles. Yes, he let up on 2 plays, because he didn’t want to get called for a late hit, or because he was too tired because the offense had too many 3 and outs.
2) Georgia needs to pound the ball 40 times a game and get 150 yards. Don’t abandon the run–passing game is doing good so far.
3) Top ranked NFL defenses all run the 3-4. It’s great against the run, ask the Ravens. Just have t have some time to get it down, and the body types to run it.

RxDawg

September 14th, 2010
11:45 am

Maybe Richt should hire a cheerleader coach?

Jayson

September 14th, 2010
11:46 am

Spurrier is the perennial SEC bottom dweller, no one cares what he thinks of the Bulldogs, Richt has a 7-3 record against SC. Spurrier needs to wake up. Just ask Spurrier about his record the last 3 years. He’ll shut up.

Chase

September 14th, 2010
11:47 am

Dogs lost to SC in 07′ in 2nd game, finished #2 in the country. Team has a very 07′ feel to it.

97lb Weakling

September 14th, 2010
11:53 am

Grantham seems to be the only coach who brings a nasty attitude to the mix. Everybody else seems to want to coddle these so called 5-star prima donna recruits as evidenced by our infamous off field behaviour problems. Our o-line gets shoved around like a bunch of old women. Our strength and conditioning is pathetic. Erk Russell would have been embarrassed to be a Dawg last week. Maybe Mark Richt needs to be the team Chaplin instead of head coach. Reading bible verses to players might be a good thing to do on a Sunday evening. The rest of the time needs to be spent teaching discipline and mental toughness to some of these candya** players.

OldFan

September 14th, 2010
11:53 am

Maybe he should hire a cheerleader coach, if that’s what it takes to get his top athletes to stop having to admit they just can’t bring themselves to try hard enough.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Kelley, AC7865, Alex Ramati, UGA Alum Charleston, Gordo and others. Gordo said: DawgFan Dogs have something to prove Saturday against Hogs: Why would Bacarri Rambo "hold something back" in a big… http://bit.ly/bgWkRV [...]

Bo

September 14th, 2010
11:55 am

Richt’s 40-3 when he gets a 100 yard rusher.

Too bad Bobo hates going with the one strategy that works best for Richt.

Cathy

September 14th, 2010
11:56 am

Let the Redcoat Band play DIXIE and spark up the fans and players!!!!

Gunner

September 14th, 2010
11:57 am

Dogs defense is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in:
scoring
total defense
interceptions
sacks
tackles for loss
pass defense

If Georgia could just get the offense to show up in an SEC game.

DawginOH

September 14th, 2010
11:58 am

After watching the replay, I’m starting to look at the SC game as a slap in the face that an arrogant Georgia team needed to get back on track. Being exposed like that should force some serious attention to detail on the practice field this week. Here’s to hoping we see the results on Saturday. GO DAWGS!!

Marcus Lattimore

September 14th, 2010
12:02 pm

WE RUN THIS STATE AND WILL AS LONG AS I AM AT SOUTH CAROLINA!!!!!!

V Dog

September 14th, 2010
12:03 pm

Spurrier’s record at Duke:
20-13

Wsh:
12-20

SC:
35-28

Not real good.

Leadership 101 and styles

September 14th, 2010
12:11 pm

Been saying it for awhile …….if you have family illness, you only focus on that. That is all I will say. You all know what I am speaking of.

Our Head Coach does not have the fire or borderline gruff attitude to win big. Nope, I am not saying act like Jim Donnan did by insulting folks in Valdosta and Griffin and Macon but I am saying look at a CUM or a Nick Sabin ……..when they do an interview ……….they look like they are so tightly wrapped. THE DEMAND performance from their sub ordinates and I saw Sabin all over Kirby Smart vs PN State on Saturday ………..sort of in his face. It was brief but Nick made his point.

Richt ? he looks like he is sleepy, and his eyes convey a general drowsy attitude. He is sooooooooo laid back and that is what we see come Saturday on game day, folks.

I ran sales organizations out of NYC and all over the USA and did national marketing campaigns on Madison Avenue for years, post UGA education. I know that to convey what Richt does ……….is NOT a confident conveyance of a plan. It is bad …….. to your buying public to act that way.

His drowsy, sleepy way of doing bidnezz is not getting it done. Furthermore, I think that with a Brian Van Gorder or now a Todd Granthom, that Richt soon puts a DAMPER on their personal, very verbal, in your face style. I did not see TG get ticked off one time vs SC. He was reigned in by CMR like A Murray was. we saw the result of that vs SC on Saturday, folks.

Go Dogs

PS

AD will not allow this to continue into 2011. 10-2 or 9-3 PLUS a bowl win it has to be in 2010, I think.

Loyal Dawg

September 14th, 2010
12:25 pm

To OldFan,

Your paragraph says it all. There has been an obvious change in discipline (lack of) and attention to detail in this program over the past several years and it is clear for everyone to see. Did you know that minumum donation for renewable season tickets went down to an estimated $3,500 this year (3 years ago it was alittle over $10,000). I have never been able to buy GA/FL tickets before because my combined contribution over the past 10 years has never been high enough to meet the minumum. This year, I received an email indicating that UGA had extra tickets to sell for that game and also Auburn game. These two simple and telling facts combined with a new AD indicates to me that the entire coaching staff better change some attitudes fast beginning with their own! Money talks!

Murphy

September 14th, 2010
12:33 pm

What a joke! Rambo took some plays off-left to much in the locker room.How bout we leave his A** in the locker room for Arkansas! Kick him off the team! How could you play him after he has said this? What message are we sending the rest of the players?

PNWDawg

September 14th, 2010
12:34 pm

“…Saturday’s game against Arkansas represents some sort of crossroad..”

I’m sorry but how many of these “crossroad” games have we had since the failures of the previous 2 seasons?

jax

September 14th, 2010
12:35 pm

@cb. If you dont know why everyone thinks spurrier is a jerk, you must agree with his snide attitude. I hate to break this to you, but most of the people you know probably think your a jerk also.

How is that for truth.

hornblowermg

September 14th, 2010
12:38 pm

i believe that you have overlooked the great coaching job performed on these boys. Richt & friends told us last year that team fundamentals would be improved or else. fundamentals never improved and the “or else” never came. instead, they talked around their results until they thought everyone would no longer see their failure(s). it is obvious from the S.C. game that the players feel like they can play very poorly and then talk remorse as though their remorse makes everything all right; improvement is not necessary, here? lesson learned. good coaching regarding the players mouths. they stunk, and will get no better.

timthebrave

September 14th, 2010
12:38 pm

The fans can influence the outcome of the game. If we are loud enough it won’t allow them to get a jump on the snap. It will cause false starts and other penalties. Dawg fans need to get loud this weekend. South Carolina had their stadium rocking last weekend. Time to step up for fans, players and coaches. Go dawgs!

timthebrave

September 14th, 2010
12:40 pm

I have lost and said I needed to give a little more. Its easier to think that way than say we got out butts kicked because they were better than us. Don’t look to much into Rambo’s comments

Rob in Chapel Hill

September 14th, 2010
12:48 pm

I don’t know if anyone else said this yet, but surely Rambo’s deal has something to do with carted off the field last year, no? Seems to me that could make him hold off on some hits, almost involuntarily. That darn sure wasn’t the reason we lost the game. We made the SC defense look like the Steel Curtain, and managed two lame field goals.

PDawg

September 14th, 2010
12:57 pm

Unfortunately I think we are in for a long, poor season.

Lot of “rationalization” going on in the blogs….never a good sign.

3DawgKnight

September 14th, 2010
12:59 pm

You folks are amazing. Bill King, you as well.
These kids made honest assessments of their shortcomings
and you guys pile on. Would you rather the kids [who spoke
for the team] have made excuses.

When did it become “par for the course” to rip our team ‘every’
time. Not just every now & then, but ‘every’ single time things
don’t go our way.

I suspect B.Rambo played his heart out. He was just speaking out
of emotion & for the team.

Yeah and let’s rip our line, especially our guards.
how many have ever had “mono”?
You don’t bounce back after a couple of weeks. It’s a 6 week
process @ best to regain one’s health.
[Cordy Glenn's our best run blocker]!

Coach Richt asked for the fans to help out on Sat.
Should he even have to ask?
Now is the time for the fans to step up.
young Mr. Crowell visited Bama last Sat. & said he could not
even hear himself talk.
Time to start “not hearing yourself talk”!

tim

September 14th, 2010
12:59 pm

Razorbacks win by 17…..the Rainey “arrest” is a non issue at UF charges were brought by an overzealous cop after the woman said it was a non issue…wouldn’t be surprized if the charges are dropped today….no suspension

chiefdawg

September 14th, 2010
1:03 pm

Don’t bet on a win. The Dawgs are good for at least one home loss a year.

BDAWG

September 14th, 2010
1:17 pm

Rambo is beginning to sound like Richt with excuses. We can have a great season if we put the right players at the right position and actually play them. Ogletree needs to see more playing time and Hamilton needs to live up to his name, “Hitman.” With the play of the Secondary, I am not impressed with Lakatos’ coaching. I expected a lot more from the DBs and against Arkansas they will be tested early and often. Mallett is a big QB and he will have to be hit hard to bring him down and I hope they don’t neglect the TE, he is very good. We need an all out effort from the players and the coaching staff, especially the Offensive Coordinator. No more sorry playcalling. That playbook has to have more than 10 plays in it. Great young QB, let him do his thing.

WDE

September 14th, 2010
1:18 pm

Where are all the Dawg fans now? Used to, within a couple hours of a post you’d have easily over 100 comments… But now, it’s just sad.

Georgia has and always will be a team that doesn’t stand for anything. It’s a bunch of gas station fans and lazy players. Until you get rid of CMR, it will always be like this with the players. Saban and Meyer know how to motivate young men, simply- Mark Richt doesn’t He can’t motivate them, and he can’t control them off the field.

There was no excuse for UGA to not be pumped about this game.

hornblowermg

September 14th, 2010
1:20 pm

they stink; they stunk; they shall stink.

Andy

September 14th, 2010
1:24 pm

I don’t know if it’s lack of effort or mental toughness, wrong mindset, lack of conditioning, or if our talent is overrated, or what, but we lack something that really good teams have, teams like Alabama, Florida, and others. I don’t know what it is, and I’m not sure the coaches know either, but I think the last time the Bulldogs had it was in the last half of 2007, culminating in the Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii. It’s been a very frustrating few years since then. I’m a little afraid it’s poor conditioning, which seems like you can’t really fix it very quickly. I still support Richt, but he needs to get his team on the right path this season.