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

Ed

September 14th, 2010
10:04 pm

FLA DAWG, I know what you mean. You normally would never want your team to lose, but if winning an extra game or two means a coach who has lost it continues for another disappointing year, then it’s hard to get too enthused. I felt that way at the end of the Goff years – why win and make the decision to can a guy (DGD though he may be) that much harder when the season is pretty much a lost cause anyway?

At this point I’d take a losing season over a winning season where Georgia loses to Florida again. For God’s sake, if Richt can’t play them at least even then get him the hell out and find someone who can.

Sweat Socks

September 14th, 2010
10:07 pm

Spurrier may be a “jerk,” but he’s absolutely right.

Pitbull

September 14th, 2010
10:25 pm

This just in!!! UGA Dorm monitor reports! Lattimore just ran down the hall knocking on doors, and hollering, and setting off fire alarms and waking up the players! Then he knocked another 6 of them down that tried to tackle him!! That scoundrel!!

Dawg Fan

September 14th, 2010
10:37 pm

Coach Mark Richt and the Dawgs have beat spurrier and south carolina I think 4 out of the lat five whats the true reality that every year the bulldogs are going to win that particular game, given It is always early and it is “the ol’ ball coach”.

Anyways Rather lose to them than Northwestern anyday

FLA DAWG

September 14th, 2010
11:37 pm

Ed,
Glad I’m not alone in this………….maybe there are many more in Dawg Nation but they are hesitant to say it.

Thanks!

ROLL TIDE

September 14th, 2010
11:48 pm

ROLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!

NO LINDSEY SCOTT,NO 1980 TITLE MUTTS

September 14th, 2010
11:50 pm

SEE BILL KING ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU BOBO AND MARK RICHT THAT MUST GO!

P.S. I’LL TAKE KIRBY SMART OVER WILL MUSCHAMP,KIRBY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS LOOKED STRONGER THAN MUSCHAMP TEXAS DEFENSIVE PLAYERS!

razorhog

September 14th, 2010
11:51 pm

I’ll be at the game sat watching my “soft” and “overrated” hogs who beat SC by 21 last year. Ya’ll please be nice at the game.

ROLL TIDE

September 14th, 2010
11:52 pm

please people quit being in denial. this is 100% coaching. period.

NO LINDSEY SCOTT,NO 1980 TITLE MUTTS

September 14th, 2010
11:53 pm

CAN YOU SAY KIRBY SMART? AS UGA NEXT HEAD COACH

NO LINDSEY SCOTT,NO 1980 TITLE MUTTS

September 14th, 2010
11:54 pm

HIREKIRBYSMART.COM

ROLL TIDE

September 14th, 2010
11:56 pm

if one of sabans players said he left something in the locker room, omg.

AFDawg

September 14th, 2010
11:59 pm

SSIGator, King Gator & Roll Tide, Why are you on here commenting on how motivated the Dawgs are? It makes absolutely no sense. I’ve never been on a Gator or Tide sports blog. There is only one logical explanation — you’re one person using different call signs and you’re a Tech pretender just trying to stir up hate. Please go away!

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:00 am

disipline alone has won us 5 games in the last year and half. think about some of yalls. i hate ga, but i watch every game they play. if thats what you want to call it. we will take your kicker though.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:02 am

i sorta feel bad for yall to be honest. get that box off your head and wise up they are still in the SEC.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:06 am

ga is NOT lacking talent except the ones wearing the head sets.

AFDawg

September 15th, 2010
12:17 am

ROLL TIDE, The only reason you’re running down Georgia’s coaches is because you’re scared they’ll build a powerhouse to dethrone Bama.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:19 am

oh yeah. him leaving something in the locker room is probably why he was carried off on a stretcher. loaf between the lines, somebody gonna catch you with that head turned. he better leave his helmet in the locker room if hes gonna loaf.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:21 am

im beggin for another blackout i mean blowout. you dont really want to get on the field with us.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:23 am

maybe you enjoy the peach bowl every year.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:25 am

if i was a ga fan i would not be running down the coaches, i would be running them off.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:27 am

think about how good that felt to type ROLL TIDE. i know you felt it. dont lie.

Some Guy

September 15th, 2010
12:31 am

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

Bill King, you are correct, but it is also nothing new and getting worse. Maybe this kum ba yah team attitude is coming from the top. You think that just may be possible? Open your eyes eyes Dawg fans.

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:32 am

saban would make richt cry. yeah we are scared of boo boo and pansy ass.

AFDawg

September 15th, 2010
12:35 am

Thank you Roll Tide — I threw the bait out there and you took it hook, line and sinker. You’ve proven my point — I’m sitting here exchanging posts with a 14 year old kid. Now that I know for sure, I won’t even bother reading any of your posts in the future. I’m encouraging all UGA bloggers to do the same — don’t even bother reading or responding to Roll Tide’s posts anymore. Real quick — within a minute — what year was Bama founded?

ROLL TIDE

September 15th, 2010
12:39 am

let them players sit out on a chance at getting a ring instead of a peach bowl shirt, i bet you want have any arrests the next year.

how2fish

September 15th, 2010
6:05 am

ROLL TIDE its a new morning Bama on probation yet?

Eric C.

September 15th, 2010
6:54 am

Is the lack of emotion related to the Green fiasco? Do the players feel slighted after Green was sentenced to a max 4 game suspension??? I don’t know, the player attitudes really make no sense and need some quick adjusting.

AltamahaDawg

September 15th, 2010
6:56 am

Ah, the coach-speak of threatening to put starting positions back into play. The reality is that IF there were players that could exhibit the ability to play the position better, they would have been in the game Saturday instead of the guy who was the starter for a reason, which was true last year, and the year before that, and…….

ryan

September 15th, 2010
6:58 am

Check out today’s blog as I take on the owners in sports http://ramsonsports.blogspot.com/

FLA DAWG

September 15th, 2010
7:07 am

Fire Richt Hire Smart

FLA DAWG

September 15th, 2010
7:10 am

ROLL TIDE,

Bama went through more coaches than Charlie Sheen had hookers.
It took you guys a couple of decades to get your act together.

Saban is a jerk but a great college coach. I like watching Bama play ball.
They play ball the way an SEC Team should play.

Fire Richt………………..Get Smart

AltamahaDawg

September 15th, 2010
7:19 am

FLA DAWG, just so they we are all clear. This Saturday you will be pulling for Arkansas to beat Georgia, so that our season can be as bad as possible because you are hoping for a losing season and a firing of Mark Richt? Just want to be sure we all got that right.

too funny

September 15th, 2010
7:36 am

Meyer vowed last month not to let Rainey speak to the media again.

“It’s our fault for letting him speak once a year,” Meyer said then. “I can name some other things he said to the media, too, that is absolutely inappropriate. So take [what he says] for nothing. Absolutely wrong. Inappropriate, wrong, non-thought-out, which he does quite often.

“And I love Chris Rainey. When I ask him a question, I give him a whole day to think about it and write it down 100 times,” he said.

LawDawg

September 15th, 2010
7:37 am

Roll Tide,

You really stay up all night to post on a UGA blog? You are pathetic!!

LawDawg

September 15th, 2010
7:39 am

razorhog,

We beat SC AND your razorhogs last year…What’s your point?

Drudge Report

September 15th, 2010
7:47 am

Crazier things have happened . 1. Grantham takes over at interim head coach sometime during the season.( due to Richt resigning) 2. Saban ( from reports) will be Jerry Jones of the Cowboys #1 target for next year.

RNB

September 15th, 2010
8:05 am

Same old crap. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Mark it down Dogs go down this weekend. It’s not like all of a sudden we are going to find new coaches and change what we are doing.

Mr. Reality Calling

September 15th, 2010
8:08 am

Hey AltamahaDawg, a losing season could turn out to be a good thing. That is if you believe that Richt is never going to coach Georgia to another SEC championship, much less a BCS title. If Richt goes 9-3, then UGA fans get another set of promises for next year, likely followed by another failure. Remember that next year’s excuse will be a young offensive line, and the loss of AJ. Maybe the program would be better off in the long term vs the short term, to have a losing season, followed by Richt’s exit, and the hiring of some young gun, like Smart.

browndog

September 15th, 2010
8:39 am

The O caused the problems in the SC game. No running game = no time off the clock. The D was on the field much too long. We are small at nose so until Grantham gets his players to play his D it will be a work in progress. The O has to take up the slack and use the clock and let the D get some rest. Anytime the UGA D is on the field for as many plays as in the SC game they will get beat. The O line has to take over the game or it will be a long day on Saturday.

robdawg08

September 15th, 2010
8:42 am

You wait all year for football season so you can proudly pull for the Dawgs and they give poor effort against their first SEC rival ? How do you play 4 quarters and score only 6 points ? Defense gave up only 17 points. Yeah they tackled poorly against Lattimore but they kept him out of the end zone for the most part. The offense is UGA’s problem. Arkansas has a good passing offense. If UGA can’t score 35 points they won’t win.

tony purvis

September 15th, 2010
8:42 am

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.

ANDY,
THAT SOMETHING THAT THE TEAM IS LACKING IS A COMBINATION OF:
DESIRE
SELF MOTIVATION
DETERMINATION
PREPARATION
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – “KILLER INSTINCT”

DawginLex

September 15th, 2010
8:45 am

Tax jacket,

You are one sick human. Wishing that a college football player will tear his ACL?

May a swarm of a thousand locusts take up residence in your groin.

chiefdawg

September 15th, 2010
8:53 am

Don’t bet on it.

tony purvis

September 15th, 2010
8:55 am

browndog

September 15th, 2010
8:39 am

The O caused the problems in the SC game. No running game = no time off the clock. The D was on the field much too long. We are small at nose so until Grantham gets his players to play his D it will be a work in progress. The O has to take up the slack and use the clock and let the D get some rest. Anytime the UGA D is on the field for as many plays as in the SC game they will get beat. The O line has to take over the game or it will be a long day on Saturday

BROWNDOG – YOU’VE GOT IT!!

dap01

September 15th, 2010
9:18 am

If the offense had not been so inept, perhaps the defense would have looked better.

The game plan sucked, the execution sucked. Bobo should be questioned more than the defense.

If we don’t score more than 17 points in a game, we probably will not win A game.

This week will determine alot about the season and the futures of a lot of people in the program.

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 15th, 2010
9:19 am

Nobody is going undefeated in the SEC this year NOBODY.One division winner is going to have 2 losses…this is going to be a wild year in SEC play.

tony

September 15th, 2010
9:29 am

Stop blaming our young men for the team failure. They are a reflexion of the hc(Richt) personality. Until we get another hc who will get respect from all the players and teach them the proper way to play the game we will continue to get the same results year after year..

When Fla made a coaching change they got better results. When Alabama made a coaching change that got better results. Hire Chris Peterson and the dawgs will get better results.50-4 (.926)

schmeckdawg

September 15th, 2010
9:42 am

You need to know the problem with tackling, just look at the picture Bill has posted on the first page. Perfect example! Loafing, didn’t have the mind set. You know what they say you know what running downhill and it all starting at the top. Now, I am not saying fire CMR, but, it is time he changed his approach because whatever he is doing, isn’t working!

Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

Todd

September 15th, 2010
9:51 am

I am infuriated by those two players….in my mind their buts should rot on the sidelines. Who would “loaf” and not be into the gaem. This is the kind of crap we recruit. Coaches need to make a bigtime statement. What a couple of morons Rambo and Boling and the bunch of pansies we have on the O line. Serrals better wake up or he will join his buddies that left last year….amazing …simply amazing