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


September 15th, 2010
9:53 am



September 15th, 2010
9:58 am

MR’s 20/20 hindsight rivals that of the most rabid of fans…. I mean…. I get why fans have 20/20… but when the HC is in the same position…. it’s a problem.
I’m sitting in 129 at the home opener… the O-line can’t open a hole… and repeats the same performance at SC…. it’s a problem.
Rambo gets toasted… and admits loafing… starts and plays….. it’s a problem.
I mean… I’m just a fan…but Murray sure seems like the real thing to me…. In most programs he’d get coached up…. With Bobo and MR he gets coached down…. it’s a problem.
I like Granthams fire and scheme… but let’see…. our nose (at 295lbs) is getting blown out and Latimore is running wild… but let’s not give any snaps to Geathers (330lbs)… it’s a problem.
Too many D-players standing around… not enough hats on the ball… it’s a problem.
Too many D-players looking for the big hit body blow…. and nobody wrappping up… it’s a problem.
Point is…. we are all talking about the obvious…. and that’s pure 20/20 hindsight…. a fans perspective….
But so is MR…. it’s a problem.


September 15th, 2010
10:04 am

Is the appeal being herd today.And how long will it take to get a decision.


September 15th, 2010
10:24 am

Enter your comments here


September 15th, 2010
10:29 am

FLA DAWG,If UGA was to fire Richt they should go after Will Muschamp and not Smart who is Sabans puppet at ALAbama.


September 15th, 2010
10:52 am

What happens when someone you know personally has lost respect for whatever reason? Well, hopefully that person faces up to the fact that he/she fell short of what is acceptable and what is expected of them. That person has to determine their course of action. Will it be to accept responsibility and then set their determination to do their best to rectify the situation. Or, will that person take the easy way out, make excuses, shuffle their feet, look away at someone else as the problem.
Well, we have seen the excuses. Now what will we see at UGA?


September 15th, 2010
11:03 am

Spurrier’s comments, regarding our GA line play, was accurate. I have not seen the fire in the trenches thus far that will yield a champion. A “pancake” block? Are you kidding. If the guard play does not improve this Saturday, Richt may want to bring Bean Anderson back in at guard. He used to be be a dominating force. And, yes, known for his “pancake” blocks. He did it in the Shriners bowl game two or three times right out of HS against the nations best at the time. Bottom line, if each individual offensive lineman on the DAWG line is not committed to preventing their given man from making even ONE tackle in a game, they should be replaced. Anything, less than that will result in failure for our team this year.. Maybe, this line has too much experience as starters to meet this standard of play.


September 16th, 2010
12:33 pm

Dawgs havent proven they can:

1. Read
2. Write
3. Drive
4. Stay out of jail

Yeh, they got LOTS to prove alright.

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[...] Dogs face off in pivotal SEC game to highlight …College Sports MatchupsBleacher Report -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 320 news [...]