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

Richard Tardits

September 14th, 2010
1:35 pm

OMG!!! The sky is falling and the program is in disarray! Let’s all go jump off a cliff and save ourselves the misery! C’mon: 1-1. 10 games to go. Let’s see what happens the rest of the year. What did you expect with a freshman QB and new defensive scheme (granted though, no excuse for the poor tackling)? There’s more upside than downside.

WonderDawg

September 14th, 2010
1:40 pm

Every time the Evil Genius wins, he pops his mouth off. I guess to make up for losing to us about 4 out of 5 . . .

you got it right, bill

September 14th, 2010
1:41 pm

as much as i hate to admit it, CMR could take some lessons from Tim Tebow…a nice christian boy who has as many NC rings in his short college carrer as CMR has in his.

When he got between the white lines, Tebow wanted to rub your face in the dirt.

ryan

September 14th, 2010
1:44 pm

Florida can now be called Flo Ri Thug .

LL Cool G

September 14th, 2010
1:51 pm

3DawgKnight,
Well stated. I agree!

Dawg Fan

September 14th, 2010
1:51 pm

Dear Mr. King,

Please get a life and quit ripping into college kids. You can enjoy the Bulldogs without letting the success of 18-22 year old college kids on any given day determine your mood, attitude, and tone of your articles. I’ve read your blog for a while now, but honestly the tone has gotten extremely negative. Objectivity doesn’t have to be so toxicly negative. Rambo will have his moments to shine this year as will the O-Line. One could argue that all of your Blogs aren’t of stellar quality…same withperformance on the field.

Mobile Dawg

September 14th, 2010
1:58 pm

I’ve blogged enough today and before so most folks that are here regularly know how I feel already. These comments are just wood on the fire. The tail is definitely wagging the Dawg in Athens.

cb

September 14th, 2010
1:59 pm

Jax, I do like Spurrier’s attitude. He tells it like it is and makes things fun again. Richt is boring. Just like you are, probably. Go help the misses with the dishes.

How’s that for truth?

ryan

September 14th, 2010
2:06 pm

Richt took the heat on his radio show and agreed with fans that UGA’s defence looked scared and that they will change of course talk is cheap and we need to see on the field .

LOL

September 14th, 2010
2:08 pm

Junkyard Blawg = Kool-aid spew

ToccoaDawg

September 14th, 2010
2:15 pm

To all you techies trying to sound like dog fans. Go to your blog and talk about Kansas. Rambo admits his mistakes unlike you techies. I hope that last week makes ALL the players mad.

Doggonitt

September 14th, 2010
2:22 pm

CMR – Try raising a little HELL with your coaches and players, would ya?? Guys who are not putting in the effort, yank their ass out of the game.

And knock it off with the “Wild Dawg” or “Wild Crap” formation. First, Bobo shows the play, then calls a timeout, then turns around and runs it again to no avail. Hello??? Practice your plays during the week, not game day.

Grantham needs to get in the player’s face. He makes $750,000 a year to coach. And I don’t care if it’s a 4-3 or a 3-4, if you can’t wrap up a player and bring him down your schema doesn’t matter. Nothing like a bump tackle(s) against a power runner. Fundamentals never go out of style.

CSA

September 14th, 2010
2:26 pm

These young kids are just trying to explain the loss, they don’t know exactly why they lost, so perhaps they’re just saying they didn’t put in one-hundred percent effort.

Or perhaps Richt needs to get involved with these kids pre-game in order to get them fired up.

dostadawg

September 14th, 2010
2:28 pm

Hearing Boling’s and Rambo’s comments really make me question the heart of this team!

Cobb Dawg

September 14th, 2010
2:30 pm

Sad to say, but I don’t have high hopes for a very loud home crowd on Saturday. Maybe I’m seeing this wrong, but my general impression is that UGA doesn’t sell nearly as many tickets to students as they did back in the day — and students are the ones who make the most racket. I’m sure the extra revenue is great selling to alumni — but Between the Hedges, frankly, isn’t all that intimidating a place for visiting teams to be anymore.

Destin Dawg

September 14th, 2010
2:35 pm

I remember.. years ago… Bear Bryant.. saying we got out coached today… no other excuses

DawginLex

September 14th, 2010
2:36 pm

Folks, Lattimore is the real deal and we had trouble with him. I hate spurrier as much as anyone but he actually said some pretty nice things as well like how we are a good team that will go on and win a lot of games. He took his jabs but those are expected. He is still 2-4 vs UGA at SC.

This weekend is the must win of the season. It is at home. It is against a pass happy team. The 3-4 is made to pressure QB’s. Lacking adequate personnel in the middle bit us bad Saturday. We can pressure Mallett all day this week and Arkansas’s defense is nowhere near SC’s.

The difference will be whether or not Richt lets Murray loose. Pass to set up the run and we can score 50 on them. Play to protect our poor little QB and we will get beat.

Destin Dawg

September 14th, 2010
2:38 pm

Richt don’t hold back the players or your good new DDD coaches…. take over play calling……. LET THE DAWGS OUT !!!! we could still have a great season

Bugtussel

September 14th, 2010
2:42 pm

em danged dogs are pertty good. Just came from Wal-Mart and they got a blow out special on xxxl UGA shirts. Yeeeehawwwwww.

Dawg 39

September 14th, 2010
2:47 pm

If we can play with ARK., & i am not sure that we can, then we can play with anybody in the conference because they can too. So can USCe.

The Hedge

September 14th, 2010
2:55 pm

What Oldfan said…

ca dawg

September 14th, 2010
2:56 pm

@3dawgnight: yessir. well said.

get off the edge of the cliff, folks. the season isn’t over. anyone with any sense could look at our smallish D line and middle linebackers and say, “this team might get gashed a little bit in the middle of the line.” it wasn’t a lack of heart that hurt us, it was a lack of size. that, and horrible tackling. but then, kill shots don’t work when guys are bigger than you. i’m not making excuses for them–they have to do better–but there’s a good reason why SC felt going into the game that they could run it on us. we’ll stiffen up as bean, kiante, and kwame find their way on the defensive line.

our O line is the crew that most disappointed me. they left the d out there too long and gave ealey no daylight at all. we’ll be better when glenn gets his strength back, but we can’t wait that long. we need some answers up front, and we need them fast. but it’s just like we’ve been saying all summer: as the offensive line goes, so goes georgia.

droopydawg

September 14th, 2010
2:59 pm

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.

After last year, it is almost impossible not to blame our heralded strength and conditioning program as our offensive line and our whole defense lacked strength and conditioning

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.

droopydawg

September 14th, 2010
3:00 pm

I’m really surprised C. Robinson is not getting more flack. In the 3-4, the MLBs need to be strong against the run, and he kept bouncing and falling off Lattimore. He looked completely overmatched.

King Gator

September 14th, 2010
3:23 pm

.. and if Georgia goes 0-3 in conference there’d still be an outside chance they could win the SEC East.. like 1 in a Million, so what you’re saying is there’s a still a chance. Yea, maybe if the other 5 SEC East teams decide to drop football midseason, there would still be an outside chance that the Dawgs could play in Atlanta (and not at that erector set stadium where the wierd guy drives around in the old car before the game trying to give out tickets to the game) .. never seen so many “red panties” in a bunch then on here. Georgia must beat the Ark to keep up. That is all. Back to work slackers! Go Gators! P.S. Rainy is a better stalker than WR, boot him now!

wildbill

September 14th, 2010
3:37 pm

Maybe if the dawgs gave up: beer this week, driving around at 3 am, took some constructive criticism, worked out really hard, fighting with girlfriens, and stealing stuff, just maybe they would be in a frame of mind to play ball Saturday.
Maybe if the coaches waked up, actually formulated a game plan beyond what they did in high school, and worked out really hard, and faced up CMR with some real questions, just maybe they would be in a frame of mind to coach the game Saturday.
Maybe if the Pres. and AD, began to communicate with the coaches their wants, desires, and DEMANDS, just maybe the dawg nation wouldn’t be embarrassed again this Saturday.

slow down young pups

September 14th, 2010
4:06 pm

I think we need to chill on Rambo. After all who wouldn’t shrink back a little when a similar situation arises as the one he lay motion less on the field with last year against Auburn? Give him a little break.

He wasn’t the only one shrinking back. His is just glaring since it happens in the open field. Some D and O linemen need called out.

Maybe some more time off will heal his concerns. Go DAWGS!

Ed

September 14th, 2010
4:14 pm

Urban didn’t think that Tony Joiner’s felony arrest before the ‘07 WLOCP warranted any discipline at all, so I don’t things will change much with Rainey.

Since when did UF become the standard, anyway? Georgia should strive to be better than UF in all aspects. UF is the modern version of the 1980s-90s Miami Hurricanes.

Dawg Fan

September 14th, 2010
4:16 pm

But for Rambo, we lose the Auburn game last year. Be proud that these guys are Dawgs, chose to be dogs. They could have gone to other schools, but chose to play Between the Hedges. As an Alum, this makes me proud of and grateful for them. They are going to make mistakes at times. Also, didn’t help that the announcers called Rambo out a few times on national TV…that molds perceptions of a whole audience, when it may not be as bad as it looked. I look for Rambo to have a big year. Just glad he’s a Dawg and not a Volunteer or a Jacket (and also glad were not in the same boat as either of these programs today…could be a lot worse).

LADawg

September 14th, 2010
4:35 pm

I wonder if CMR’s heart is still in it. It almost seems as if he is just collecting a pay check. Bad staff decisions, no control – on or off the field, and an oh well, so what attitude about everything. With all of the glaring problems all over the field Saturday, nothing is being said with his clock management that has been a joke since his first day on the job. All Spurrier had to do was RUN out the clock in the fourth quarter because we had used all our timeouts the first half of the third quarter. I thought the reason he gave up play-calling was to be more involved with what was going on in the game.

erika

September 14th, 2010
4:50 pm

how2fish

September 14th, 2010
5:25 pm

Question..you have to be strong to be a hitter? If you are strong does that make you a hitter? Answer is Hell no to both, your not a tough guy by being strong, there are a lot of strong guys that are at best bullies. Run for cover whenever they get hit in the nose back. All this B.S about the strength coach is just so much doolilty squat..he can’t make them hit anyone just strong enough to make it count if they do..I for one didn’t see anyone puking on their shoes because they we so gassed, I did see a lot of guys getting to where they should be and not making the play…that’s execution pure and simple. It’s on the players they were coached up enough to know where to be and strong enough to get there they just didn’t do the one part that relies on them and them alone… make the damn play..now if the same guys fail this week and that is not addressed by putting them on the bench then it on the coaches.

Drew Carey dropped 80 pounds

September 14th, 2010
5:29 pm

Why didnt CMR have his team on the practice field Saturday night kicking @$$ after the game in Columbia????? Only a 1 hour practice om Monday ? Wow….. The dawgs are reallly getting ready for the razor pigs indeed. Is tomorrow night bowling night ?

smart like a Fox

September 14th, 2010
5:33 pm

put a cork in it Bill….you were MR A+ last week….you don’t know squat.

aladawg

September 14th, 2010
5:35 pm

Concrete Pete, you hit the nail on it’s head. The Dawgs were man handled on both sides throughout the entire game. Pat Dye would be correct this time they are not man enough.

Jethro Dawg Tull

September 14th, 2010
5:37 pm

Jayson hit the nail on the head, Ask Spurrier about his record for the past several years and how his team seem to get worse as the season progresses and he’ll shut up. Dawgs chewed him up and spit him out when he was a player, he hasn’t forgotten it.

how2fish

September 14th, 2010
5:38 pm

aladawg Pat Dye was wrong when he said we weren’t man enough to beat Bama..I thought he was right then…I’m not sure this team won’t Man Up this weekend..we will see.

alcoadawg

September 14th, 2010
6:06 pm

I saw very talented players, playing careful. If you want to play on Sunday you have to get it done on Saturday first.

Snoop Dawg

September 14th, 2010
6:14 pm

Wow, maybe Chris Rainey can transfer to UGA to join our Gangsta Thugs… Easy life, just go out there and loaf, leave it in the locker room, don’t worry about every play, and plenty of chicks for free.

Folks, doesn’t this all scream out that THERE IS NO ADULT COACHING GOING ON AT UGA???

saban

September 14th, 2010
6:21 pm

Dawgs lose by 30.

Timid again.

Really?

September 14th, 2010
6:28 pm

I have seen this movie before. Start out 5-0 and then end up 6-5. SC always craps the bed.

savdawg21

September 14th, 2010
6:56 pm

Well put, Bill. We have to get our “stuff” together. Can’t go on the road in the SEC without 100% commitment to playing all out all the time.

Come on, Dawgs!

Cuz

September 14th, 2010
7:37 pm

Time to go back to Vince Dooley practices. The kind of practices where you would be glad to play on Saturday because you would not get hit as hard.

Cuz

September 14th, 2010
7:38 pm

The heck with the mat drills. Tackle somebody.

TheTaxJacket

September 14th, 2010
8:00 pm

Ark 41 – UGA 0

Mallett throws for 5 TDs. Murray tears his ACL and is lost for the year.

(((( 45 – 42 ))))

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

September 14th, 2010
8:28 pm

As strange as this talk (from the players) is, I believe this is exactly what most DAWG fans have felt the DAWGS have been playing like the last 2-3 yrs. What’s more bizarre is the fact that, even w/ a completely new Defensive staff, they are still in this ‘mindset’. WHAT GIVES???

FLA DAWG

September 14th, 2010
8:31 pm

If it takes a complete losing season to unload Richt and Bobo then let’s lose.

Lose Dawgs and FIRE RICHT.

(Can’t believe I want The Dawgs to lose – Class of ‘79)

1eyedJack

September 14th, 2010
8:42 pm

Lucifer returns to the scene of the crime this week. It would be a cryin’ shame if he couldn’t hear the voices in his headset.

ca dawg

September 14th, 2010
9:17 pm

bill: mountain out of a molehill. i’m frustrated like you are, but in all fairness to rambo and the other kids you quoted… would you prefer he say, “yeah we tried to tackle but we just can’t do it. south carolina is just better than us this year”? would that have satisfied you? really there’s no good answer to the question he was asked, so i wouldn’t read too much into anything that a kid says immediately after a game that he lost. it’s hard to know what went wrong right away.

my interpretation of what he said is that he’s trying to be a leader, own his mistakes, and get himself motivated to play better next week. it takes courage and leadership to come out and say “my bad,” even and especially when the coaches’ systematic review of the film did not reveal a lack of effort (see dawgpost). it was execution — not effort– that hurt us on saturday.

but everyone here is so irrationally negative that there’s no use in saying anything remotely sensible. i could show y’all a chocolate pie and you would think it was a cow turd.

Tom B Stone

September 14th, 2010
9:38 pm

I see there’s some folks that just don’t want to face reality. If you like 9 and 10 win seasons with an SEC championship coming maybe once every ten years or so we’ve got the right coaches. I’m tired of drinkin the koolaid and I’ve stomped the rose colored glasses in the dirt. Hear this…UGA is the flagship University in the state of Georgia. We recruit the same talented athletes all the other major university’s recruit. We rake in all the money we need from our football program. We pay our coaches very well. With all this being said year after year we are not a serious contender for the SEC crown much less a national championship. Be honest fellow DAWG fans…something isn’t adding up and as bad as I hate to say it that starts at the VERY TOP. That’s why I still have a little hope. There’s now a new man at the top. You see, in my opinion, when Damon was the AD CMR could pretty much do as he pleased as Damon had something other than UGA athletics on his mind. McGarity knows what it takes to win with integrity. He isn’t afraid to hold these coaches accountable nor is he afraid to make necessary changes. We’re fixing to see CMR pull things together or there will be changes…like it or not.