Saturday’s disappointments for Dogs fans didn’t stop with the final whistle

Sanders Commings has his man covered here, but too often Saturday Razorbacks receivers were wide open. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Sanders Commings has his man covered here, but too often Saturday Razorbacks receivers were wide open. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Some more thoughts on Georgia’s 31-24 loss to Arkansas. …

As frustrated as many of us were with Mike Bobo’s playcalling against the Razorbacks (see Saturday’s entry), I found his postgame performance even more disappointing.

Talking about the six times Arkansas sacked Aaron Murray, Bobo laid the blame for most of them on his redshirt freshman quarterback holding on the ball too long. “I have to look at the tape. I don’t think all of the sacks were on him, but he’s got to get rid of the football,” Bobo said. In particular, he put the third-and-4 sack that ended Georgia’s chances on Murray. “On the last one, he’s got to get the ball out,” Bobo said.

I suppose you could debate whether the blame for that sack lies with the young QB who didn’t get rid of the ball in time or with the offensive coordinator who sent all the receivers 20 yards downfield rather than go for the first down. Either way, I found it unseemly for Bobo to be hanging Murray out to dry. …

And what of the defense? The tackling was better Saturday and Arkansas didn’t get much on the ground — not that they were expected to. Unfortunately, the Georgia pass rush didn’t have much success getting to Ryan Mallett, sacking him only once. (And for some strange reason almost no pressure at all was applied on that fatal last drive in which Arkansas flew downfield.)

Worse, Georgia continued to show a proclivity for giving up the big play. Receivers don’t get much more wide open than on those touchdown passes of 57, 22 and 40 yards that Mallett threw Saturday. Todd Grantham’s explanation that his defenders didn’t properly execute the defensive calls sounded disturbingly like what we used to hear from Willie Martinez.

That being said, the defensive lapses weren’t all that surprising. The players have had to learn an entirely new scheme and some are being called on to do things in pass defense that they’ve never done before. Georgia also didn’t enter the season with much experience in the secondary. So some rough patches were to be expected.

But pretty much nobody expected Stacy Searels’ offensive line to be as big a flop as they have been so far this season. The run-blocking continued to be poor against Arkansas and this week the pass protection also broke down much too often. The latter was compounded by the fact that Washaun Ealey continues to do a poor job of blocking for his quarterback.

Still, the main problem is the line. What was supposed to be a strength of this team has proved to be one of its biggest liabilities. If heat’s going to be applied to any of the Georgia coaches, Searels needs to feel a good portion of it. …

This is a development I don’t like at all: The Dogs nearly doubled their penalty calls Saturday, drawing nine flags, mostly on the defense. With all the other problems the team has, let’s hope they don’t start regressing in that area. And not much progress in the takeaway department Saturday, with at least two would-be interceptions dropped by Bulldogs. …

Logan Gray as punt returner? Really??!! With Branden Smith out due to injury, I can’t believe there’s no other player on that team capable of returning a punt and so we must resort to Gray, whose forte is the fair catch. That’s essentially like saying, “We don’t intend to make returning punts a serious part of our game.” Also, that play where the Razorbacks’ punter fumbled the snap and then managed to run for a first down should serve as a wake-up call. Someone’s sure to watch that and decide to run a fake punt on the Dogs.

On the other side, the punt coverage isn’t looking too sharp. Arkansas returned one for a touchdown that was called back by a block-in-the-back penalty. And, yes, Drew Butler muffed his last punt and gave the Razorbacks good field position. But I don’t think that really played much of a factor in Arkansas’ last drive. It just meant Mallett’s touchdown pass came with 15 seconds left on the clock instead of as time expired. …

Give some extra credit to Kris Durham, Tavares King and the other Georgia players who caught passes Saturday. Murray wasn’t making it easy on them, still tending to either throw behind them or over their heads. And because of those slow-developing plays Bobo calls, Durham too often had to wait on the ball and go up high and battle for it on those long passes he caught. Also, I was particularly impressed by King’s second effort on his touchdown catch. …

One last thought on Murray. He’s a tough kid. On one long pass to King Saturday, the quarterback was under pressure as he threw it and took a big hit. I liked the way he dived for the end zone on his touchdown run, too. I also am encouraged that a quarterback keeper is now a viable option on fourth-and-short. The mistakes Murray is making are mainly a matter of inexperience and his coach putting him in bad situations. Given a little seasoning, he’s going to be a gamer.

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721 comments Add your comment

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:36 am

11 football program

with 18 teams Coach Richt NOT more wins than the previous 4 years

now worse

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:37 am

FIRE

Mike Bobo

and, ALL his staff

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:39 am

How does the # 11 Program in 1-A Wins ALL-TIME

find 18 teams Coach Richt does NOT have more wins than 2006-2009 ?

Now, at 1-2 it is WORSE

Coach Richt has put together the WORST “coaching staff” in the country.

This, with the state of Georgia having only 3 other states with more high school recruits who go on to the NFL.

# 81 NCAA Total Offense Mike Bobo THIS YEAR

daslicksta

September 19th, 2010
8:47 am

gonna be a loooooooooong season this year…..

old guy

September 19th, 2010
8:48 am

Mark Richt has got to take back the play calling. The Bobo experiment has been a disaster.

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:48 am

Year 10 of this regime, and BILL KING OFFERS EXCUSES for why BILL KING called the Quarterback OUT 3 times in this 1 blog headline post.

Then,

BILL KING says he is INEXPERIENCED and does NOT know what he is doing

So, that is Good, somehow

with 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors leaving AFTER this OVER 2010 season is completed

NOT that it is not completed because IT IS.

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:51 am

Bobo has gotten WORSE

EVERY YEAR

Bill King, sir,

I CALLED out the

OFFESNIVE LINE

I said they are NO GOOD

I ALSO SAID

CALEB KING

would be a

NO SHOW this season

chazzo

September 19th, 2010
8:51 am

That pocket collapsed all day. He was holding on to the ball because he didn’t have anywhere to throw it, or they have him so darn scared to throw an INT that he won’t take a chance. There were guys running through the line untouched. Washaun missed a block that ended with Murray getting stuck. Speaking of Washaun in a positive light, who gets 4.8 ypc and doesn’t break 100 yards in a game. It is shameful. If he gets 20-25 carries, Murray doesn’t get sacked because Arkansas won’t be able to play pass protect every play with no worries about an subpar running game. When your running game is that ineffective, and you have a back running like Washaun ran yesterday, there is a huge problem with the play calling. Richt needs to take back the play calling NOW. And, if they can’t win UT, UF, AU, and GT this year, he needs to respectfully tenure his resignation.

I have always been a big fan of Richt. I think the SC loss was excusable. This one was not. Georgia has a better team than Ark. The players are not reaching their potential, and that is an indication of coaching. So, a couple of sacks may have been on Murray. Freshman are going to make mistakes. That doesn’t change the fact that the line sucks and Bobo’s play calling did nothing to help. Why not roll your mobile QB out of the pocket that quickly collapsed on every play? Why not give him a check down receiver? Where are the tight ends?

UGASlobberknocker

September 19th, 2010
8:52 am

I never heard Bear Bryant blame his players for failure, did you? Bobo your comments are as sorry as your performance.

T-Rex (GORT)

September 19th, 2010
8:52 am

help us please, somebody!!

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:53 am

39-16

after 2005

50 teams are BETTER than that

Coach Richt 39-16 after 2005.

cpsmith

September 19th, 2010
8:53 am

We aren’t in the pipe yet, but we sure are circling the bowl. Just wish we had better preparation and better coaching. Sound familiar?!? Got good players, just no chemistry(i.e.coaching) to this team.

UGASlobberknocker

September 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Maybe if Murray had a decent play call sent into the game every now and then he would have more success. Unfortunately Bobo, Murray cant run away from you like he can the defenders chasing him.

dawginduluth

September 19th, 2010
8:53 am

OK They got rid of Donnan for similar performance. How much more are we going to tolerate Richt? Nice guy, excellent recruiter, mediocre coach. We are starting to look and feel a lot like FSU – on the field and off. Yes? No national championship with Richt. Never.

Nub

September 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Nothing better than straight talk Bill…… Great article !!!! The O Line has NEVER lived up to expectations ….. CMR must make changes or the slide will continue (Bobo and co should be replaced).

BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:54 am

LOSE to Misssissippi State

Coach Richt will be 69 percent winning percentage after 2005

Dawg in Oklahoma

September 19th, 2010
8:55 am

At least some people are finally putting the pressure on Bobo that he deserves. Richt has done great things and should have until the end of the season to steer the ship in the right direction before anyone really puts him on the
“hot seat.”

The first several years of Richts time at UGA our DEFENSE kept us in ballgames, and our offense was okay (predictable). The last few years our offense underperformed as we had great playmakers but were still predictable, but our defense was wavering without VanGorder.

Give the new defense a few more games, but put Bobo and his playcalling on the HOTSEAT NOW!

Hairless dawg

September 19th, 2010
8:55 am

Yeah buddy, big time intensity on defense. You are right. Sounds like slick willie again & bobo blaming murray for the sacks. Sounds like the ship needs a captain & let the ones stating the ship is sinking go.

wonderdawg

September 19th, 2010
8:55 am

Lordy lordy,wonder what McGarity thinks of his football program??? Does he have Van Gorder or Mike Leaches phone number?Wonder if he reads these fan post?Wonder who CMR is gonna blame for this game?

Frank Lane

September 19th, 2010
8:56 am

No excuse for what Bobo said about Murray. He and Richt have beat it into his head to not run and not throw and interception then send all the receivers on a slow developing route. I have lost all respect for Bobo because of his post game comments as well Grantham. they were outcoached again on Saturday.

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BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:56 am

AltamahawDawg

RED DOG 77

?

Boweevil

September 19th, 2010
8:56 am

sorry everyone, my mentally challenged son figured out how to turn on the computer… what can I say he’s a HUGE Dawg fan.

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BoWeevil

September 19th, 2010
8:59 am

Last 3 games vs SEC

LOSS KENTUCKY

LOSS SOUTH CAROLINA

LOSS ARKY

Good thing we don’t play Alabama

Big Harry

September 19th, 2010
9:00 am

I, for one, was impressed with Murray though I would have liked to have seen more opportunity for his growth in the Carolina game.

Bobo can blame the QB all he wants. In the end its Bobo’s job to coach him up – so really its all a reflection of himself and the job he has / has not been doing.

The defense: has Martinez’s sorry excuse for players on it. We don’t have the size needed for the front 3 or the DBs. I’m willing to give Grantham time to work his scheme but I’m not sure he’ll be willing to stay to finish it.

roughrider

September 19th, 2010
9:05 am

South Carolina exposed UGA’s weakness against the run. Arkansas has exposed the weakness against the pass. It’s going to be a long season for the Dawgs.

Old Dawg Fan

September 19th, 2010
9:05 am

In most every vocation ‘unless you are a government employee” if you don’t deliver you are relieved of your duties. A continual downward spiral from our beloved “Bulldog Football Team” is a direct reflection of “coaching”. Richt has destroyed our “football team” with hiring poor assistant coaches and his leadership is greatly lacking!! Time to put an end to this. Hopfully McGarrity “who comes from a winning tradition” will decide it is time to make a change.

Amurray

September 19th, 2010
9:06 am

Thanks to whoever bloodied BooBoo’s nose. The Watergirl really likes M. BoBo. I mean Reaaly. That is the only reason he is a coach. Fir Bobo, Richt and the Watergirl. P$ss on Buck Belue

UGA

September 19th, 2010
9:10 am

Let’s face the ugly truth: Georgia may not have as many good players as we are use to having, and some of our coaches and their playcalling is…to put it mildly…mediocre. We’ve got mid-level players at key positions, and certainly mid-level coaches. Not everyone who wants to be a coach, or has a so-called coaching pedigree, can actually coach, and I believe we have a couple of these on the staff; all on the offensive side of the game.

Mike

September 19th, 2010
9:11 am

1. We know some AJC writers will throw Mark Richt under the bus, no surprises there, even though Richt is 3rd in win % in the country out of 120 coaches, and had 6 top 10 finishes and won 90 games in just 9 seasons, 1 of 7 coaches in the history of college football to get to 90 wins in 9 seasons. Get a clue.
2. Bobo called a fine game overall. 24 points, 400 yards without AJ, Branden Smith, Caleb King, Chapas. 24 points on offense should be enough to win a game. You can’t argue with the improvement from the last game, 24 points is 4x better than 6.
3. Murray made just a ton of bad decisions. I know he’s a freshman, but he held on to the ball too long on the 14 passing plays where he had to run to try and avoid a sack, took 6 sacks, this is the same O-Line that only gave up 9 sacks with Joe Cox. It’s not the O-Line, it’s the QB. Murray threw his 2nd interception of the season and has only throw 3 touchdowns. Murray’s 1.5 td to int ratio is worse than Joe Cox’s. Murray is a freshman with no experience. He made at least 15 bad decisions, hanging on to the ball too long, blockers can’t hold blocks that long.
4. Defense improved. Only gave up 50 yards rushing, instead of 190. But got burned on trick plays being too aggresive–not Grantham’s fault his defenders played short 1st, deep 2nd, he doesn’t teach that. Tackling was better, rb’s didn’t break a lot of tackles. Defense dropped 2 interceptions that hit them right in the chest, not Grantham’s fault.
5. Georgia has the best kicker & punter in the game, not perfect, but consistently over time, better than anyone else as a tandem.

Why did Georgia lose to Arkansas? Murray holding on to the ball too long. That’s it. It’s not a pretty answer, everybody w ants to blame someone else, but that’s what happened. You can’t waste 15 of the 41 offensive plays. And Murray did.

dawgfan13

September 19th, 2010
9:13 am

This will be another 5 or 6 lose season because Georgia is not beating Kentucky, Auburn, Florida or maybe even Tech. They will struggle against Tenn they will beat I Sate and Colorado. they will go to a terrible bowl and in the off season Richt will be told that if he has any off the field arrest and if he dosent fire Bobo, he will be fired himself and somehow they will do a settlement and Richt will be gone after this year. There is no way you can have as many off the field issues as this team and now on top of that you are losing games as well. As a Dawgfan, I know thegame of football and the loses are not what hurt me the most, Its the terrible coaching that I say from this program. Weekin and week out the same bone head mistakes by the defense, terrible offense, and dont think for a minute Granthem isnt looking for offers in the NFL as we speak.

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 19th, 2010
9:13 am

The defense blew this game.For all the complaints about the Offense and Bobo look at this way….we were tied with a min left in the game.There is no excuse for giving up a TD like that none.The defense is not missing starters like we are on the O.These guys are making too many bone head decisions in the secondary.Where was the pass rush?You know “we are going to attack the QB”.”we are going to exploit their weak links on the OL and attack” Yeah well I’m still waiting.

FLA DAWG

September 19th, 2010
9:15 am

I find myself agreeing with everything you wrote Bill – and I am especially pleased to read some praise for Murray. The kid played with alot of heart and little protection. For Bobo to lay alot of blame on this kid is a slap in the face to him in my opinion.

You correctly outline many problems with this team on both sides of the ball. The only thing I would have added is that after 10 years as HC, Mark Richt holds the responsiblity for the multitude of problems that we cal The University of Georgia Football Team. He is not a good HC and I believe he should go.

Crimson Crush

September 19th, 2010
9:15 am

Vanderbilt solidly handled Ole Miss yesterday . It is very conceivable that the Dawgs could end up in a race to the bottom with the Vols in the SEC East by the time this season is over . (Actually I think the Vols have the edge on staying ahead of you guys )

That isn’t just smack talk . You take a good look at your schedule and how other teams are performing so far and if things don’t change quick in Athens it is REALITY . I actually hate that because I KNOW where Jawja will run next with trucks full of cash for Richt’s replacement . ;-)

Dawg_Mike

September 19th, 2010
9:15 am

Bobo- The Titanic is sinking and you are worried about rearranging the deck furniture. Do us a favor and resign your position today.
You just threw your young inexperienced QB under the bus. Do you have any idea how that might affect him psychologically ? Do you care ?
We know he held onto the ball too long but it was your idiotic play calling that did not give him the quick reads ( ie; like short passes to the tight ends and maybe some bubble screens to the slot receivers) and he was a sitting duck because of it.

You must go.

SSI

September 19th, 2010
9:17 am

I’ve been attending games at Georgia for over 55 years; sitting in the same seats for 42 years, and I’ve never, ever left a game before its end, until yesterday. Watching Georgia’s offense due the predictable play after play; watching Coach Bobo call slow-developing deep sideline passes play after play; watching the other team eat the yards with short passes, and anticipating at least 4 or 5 passes to the tight end and only seeing it happen once, is too much. I left.

FLA DAWG

September 19th, 2010
9:18 am

Crimson Crush,

It is actually a pleasure to read accurate criticism of The Dawgs from another SEC Fan. You are absolutely right. Frankly, I hope we lose every game which would force Richt out and bring Smart in.

wonderdawg

September 19th, 2010
9:18 am

With all the arrest and finger pointing going around here wonder if we can get a top coach to come to uga?These hoods we got for ballplayers mite scare off a Peterson or muscamp.On the other hand Van Gorder ain’t scared of nuthin!Past time to talk as “if” CMR needs to be replaced,but whos gonna replace him!

Ealey blocking?

September 19th, 2010
9:18 am

That last 3rd and 4 was the direct result of a “look-out” block thrown by Ealey. It was one of many I saw Saturday. Kid better learn to block or find a new sport, it ain’t all about him getting the damn ball.

Terry

September 19th, 2010
9:18 am

You can’t put the responsibility for winning in Murray’s hands, he holds on to the ball too long, things break down when he passes too often, he’s indecisive, put it in your playmaker’s hands, Ealey, Olson, Durham, Tavarres.

Please give Hutson Mason a shot. I remember the opposing coaches saying about Mason, you can’t sack him, he gets the ball out so fast. Like to see him at least get a couple of quarters to compare his decisiveness to Murray’s. The guy did throw a touchdown on his 1st pass play in college football. Very few QB’s have ever done that. Mason’s very special, I hope the coaches get him in, before the season’s over.

dawgfan13

September 19th, 2010
9:19 am

Mike Georgia does not have the best punter in the game anymore. he has regressed. Also if you cant see the regression in our team the last 4 years your blind. The position coaching is terrible at Georgia. The offensive line has played horrible all year and it is the coaches responsiblity to call plays that will allow Murray to get rid of the ball in a timely fashion. So much for those talented Tightends we have we dont even utilize them anymore. Its time for a change. Richt must Go!

Mike

September 19th, 2010
9:23 am

Georgia finished #2 in 2007, and #10 in 2008. 2009 didn’t finish in the top 25. Some people have a short memory.

Dawg '94

September 19th, 2010
9:24 am

I am a Richt fan. BUT if he does not take back the play calling on offense, then he needs to go. Mike Bobo would not be a OC at ANY other SEC school. Why is Richt allowing this to happen? If I see 1 more play-action pass on 3rd & long I think my head might pop off!!! Richt got the job at Georgia for his offensive mind. PLEASE start calling the offense Richt!!! If Bobo wants to save his spot on the Georgia coaching staff, he himself should give up the play calling. Bobo blaimes Murray for that last sack when HE called for all deep routes on a 3rd & 4. REALLY?? I really want Richt to be the head man at UGA for a LONG time, but he has got to make the tough call & put Bobo back in the box & start calling the offense. If not, then he doesn’t have the stomach to coach at UGA.

Mike

September 19th, 2010
9:24 am

punter won the award for best punter. Yes, Georgia has the best punter. Walsh was 1 of 3 finalist for best kicker. Yes, they are the best tandem in college football, consistently over time, they are great, not perfect, but over time, they’re #1.

Back to the Future!

September 19th, 2010
9:25 am

Enter your comments here

Dawg '94

September 19th, 2010
9:25 am

Mike…we had the #1 & 13th overall picks in the NFL draft and we didn’t even win the SEC East

Paul

September 19th, 2010
9:26 am

Richt won’t take over the play-calling, he doesn’t want to be accountable for that. Give up that dream, won’t happen in the real world.

FLA DAWG

September 19th, 2010
9:27 am

There is obviously something in the air about unloading or demoting Bobo now. I submit to you this is woefully inadequate. Richt has had 10 years and has given us the worst opening record in the SEC in the past 17 years.

Richt has continued to support Bobo. Why!? This is not the first time the players were blamed. Richt did it last year – remember?

We need a major shakeup. I supported the Grantham hire and though the D was way of out position and gave up big plays I think he needs some more time. But Richt, Bobo, Searles and whomever else has been there too long should go.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 19th, 2010
9:27 am

Let me put it to Richt, Bobo, Searls, Grantham, Lakatos, and especially Garner

You lose to Tennessee, your post game press conference, better be your resignation speech period