Georgia vs. Colorado: Dogs need to air it out

A.J. Green's return has made an impression on the oddsmakers. (Associated Press)

A.J. Green's return has made an impression on the oddsmakers. (Associated Press)

You know the old bromide about being careful what you wish for? Georgia’s current offensive woes — mainly the dismal showing of the running game — bring that saying to mind.

For years, old-line, Dooley-bred Dogs fans have groused about Mark Richt and Mike Bobo needing to commit more fully to the run. Now, this season, probably wanting to baby a redshirt freshman quarterback, Bobo has been employing a run-first philosophy that has basically gone nowhere, thanks to opponents stacking the box in the absence of A.J. Green, the Georgia offensive line getting pushed around, and mediocre running by the backs.

Meanwhile that quarterback, Aaron Murray, has been the lone bright spot for the offense and shows signs of becoming a real playmaker.

So at this point, I’m really hoping the return of Green sees Bobo opening up the passing game a lot more and using the run (and some quarterback draws) as a counterpunch.

That’s right: Forget the Bobo holy grail of “balance.” I’m no offensive guru, but you don’t really have to be one to conclude that the Dogs need to throw more and run out of the I-formation less. And perhaps more of a drop-back or roll-out game and less play-action, which doesn’t seem to be fooling anyone.

I’d like to see more of a short passing game, too. Even Richt, who does have a rep as an offensive genius, noted the other day that Georgia needs to employ more quick hits and screen passes.

Defensively, Georgia fans have got to hope the lightbulb will stop flickering and the Dogs will put together a consistent performance. It’d help if all that quarterback pressure Todd Grantham’s scheme was supposed to produce would actually materialize. And better play against the run by the middle of the D is an absolute must. But the biggest thing the defense has to do is stiffen up on third down and get off the field!

Those general thoughts aside, what is the outlook for Saturday night’s game at Folsom Field in Boulder? Unclear.

On paper, Georgia’s superior talent should trump Colorado’s home-field advantage. But so far the Dogs haven’t played up to their potential, so that’s certainly not a given.

The Buffs have wins over two pretty terrible teams (Colorado State and Hawaii) and were blown out 52-7 by a mediocre California. Statistically, Colorado’s run defense looks stout, ranking seventh nationally, but part of that is attributable to the fact they’ve played the two worst rushing teams in the country. They like to stack the box, as everyone has been doing against Georgia, but with Green back in the Dogs’ offensive lineup, that could backfire.

The Buffaloes have a couple of big, veteran cornerbacks but still have been giving up more than 240 yards of passing per game. And they’ve had a bunch of injuries at nickel back and have looked weak in the middle of their pass coverage, so that, coupled with the presence of A.J. on the field, presents a great opportunity for Georgia’s tight ends.

On the other side of the ball, Colorado essentially runs a spread offense, but so far their total offense ranks six spots nationally behind the Dogs’ mediocre showing. QB Tyler Hansen can run a bit and is completing nearly 64 percent of his passes, but he’s thrown as many interceptions as he has touchdowns and he’s been sacked eight times. Offensively, they bring to mind Missisippi State, which isn’t the comforting thought one would have anticipated before last week.

Colorado’s drawn a lot of penalties, particularly on offense, but that problem has reared its very ugly head again lately for Georgia, so that aspect of the game could be a wash. As usual, the kicking game should be an advantage for the Dogs.

Most of all, though, Georgia can’t afford to get off to another slow start, either offensively or defensively, so those first series for the Dogs will be big.

The oddsmakers have the Dogs a 4.5 point favorite, largely on the basis of Green finally getting to play, and that sounds about right. But so far this Georgia team hasn’t played as good as they look on paper in any game except the gimme opener. Is playing a soon-to-be-ex-Big 12 weak sister the cure for what ails the Dogs? It better be, or Athens is going to be a very unpleasant place next week.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

548 comments Add your comment

TK

October 1st, 2010
11:18 am

GOO DAWGS!!! GATA

Sam

October 1st, 2010
11:20 am

This could be one of the worse AQ v AQ games of the year. Honestly, neither team offers much to be impressed by.

ARdawg

October 1st, 2010
11:24 am

Bill

no question, the Dawgs should put a thrashing on the Buffs…..I’m hoping so , so at least we could be unpredictable

GO DAWGS

ARdawg

October 1st, 2010
11:26 am

I firmly believe La-La would give the Buffs a better game. But, the way we’ve played, La-La might give us a better game now

guy

October 1st, 2010
11:28 am

DAWGS ROLL1!!!!1 WE HAVE THE BEST RB TANDEM IN THE COUNTRY, THE BEST TIGHT ENDS IN THE COUNTRY, THE BEST RECEIVER IN THE COUNTRY, THE BEST KICKER IN THE COUNTRY, THE BEST OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE COUNTRY AND THE NEW DEFENSE WILL GATA!!!!11!!!!!! WE GUNNA WIN THE EAST THIS YEAR!! DARKHORSE PICK FOR THE NATIONAL TITLE!!!!1!! YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!!!!! BARK BARK BARK BARK barf.

oh wait, that was two months ago…

Jackson

October 1st, 2010
11:28 am

Glad to see Richt actually sees he needs to put better short passing plays and screens.

Brooksdawg

October 1st, 2010
11:32 am

maybe this week the GA DAWGS will take the lead in this game—they never managed that last week.

SadDawg

October 1st, 2010
11:32 am

Bill, remember after the SC game, Richt said he and Bobo would open things up?

The results since then prove that the Richt/Bobo offense, even when “opened up” is too predictable, and easily stopped.

They better spread the field and put Murray in the shotgun.

Smartest Bulldog

October 1st, 2010
11:33 am

While waiting for the dogs to play, check out the action at The Smartest Bulldog! http://www.smartestbulldog.com!

Think of Texas Tech's O last few year, w/Leach

October 1st, 2010
11:34 am

UGA has nada to lose, gang. They need to throw out their old style of run first and go to a throw on first down deal, with short to intermediate passes and do it over and over and over ………..then that will set up the burst up the middle by King or Thomas ( I would dump Ealey ) and maybe Boo Malcom in tandem with these two backs. I hope that ealey was left at home.

Texas Tech ( yes, I know a different type of D played out there in Big 12 land ) sets up their decent running game by throwing the short to intermediate stuff. Bobo unfortunately tries to hit the home run on 1st down and if we did that, our sad, pathetic D team has to come back out on the field and grind and grind, something that they simply cannot do.

This could become a very high scoring game with two wide open Os vs two lousy, lousy D teams.

I see a UGA 34 – 24 thing. 600-7– total yds via the passing game, mostly. We need to move the chains with short dump off passes over and over ………like a running game but in reverse ……pass first throw only when they have to respect the ball over the middle. Bursts up the middle will result.

Go Dogs.

SadDawg

October 1st, 2010
11:35 am

I’m pretty sure we haven’t had a lead since LA-LA, Brooksdawg. When the Dawgs get inside the 30 yard line, our brilliant playcaller starts calling plays to set up the FG. Hard to get a lead, or keep one playing for FGs.

Rick

October 1st, 2010
11:39 am

Athens will be an unpleasant place. Dawgs lose unfortunately.

Brooksdawg

October 1st, 2010
11:40 am

SadDawg—your probably correct—and your name speaks for all DAWG fans! Like my brother in law says “we are 0-3″ that first game doesn’t count.

Hogwash

October 1st, 2010
11:40 am

The defense needs a rover or some call it a spy that can blitz off the corner, that would help the defensive pressure. They could use a hybrid LB/S, Alec Ogletree and i guarantee that would improve the defense tremendously and if Rambo can’t play his position, put him on the bench. If these guys keep missing assignmentsyou have to show them that there is someone next in line waiting to take there place. We have to instill discipline on both sides of the ball and also quit trying to hold Grantham’s aggression back. Richt, you hired him to do a job, let him do it and worry about the pathetic offense.

Billy Ocean

October 1st, 2010
11:42 am

Colorado’s defense isn’t much better than the Dawgs considering they gave up 52 to a Cal team that got smoked by Nevada. But if the Buffs can limit or shut down AJ Green (not likely but not impossible either) its going to be a long night. The offense has already shown what it can do without Green………nothing. If the receiving game (ala Green) doesn’t show up, that more than likely means turning to the running game which has been a complete joke so far this year. They won’t win if they have run the ball.

Billy Ocean

October 1st, 2010
11:43 am

Billy Ocean

October 1st, 2010
11:44 am

nope, had it right the 1st time. I need to go back to school to learn proper sentence formation.

Alaska Dawg

October 1st, 2010
11:48 am

We desperately need a win this week. Bill, I appreciate your candor and honesty. You are a huge Dawg fan, but you call it like you see it which is refreshing. AJ on the field will be huge. If nothing else he opens up some opportunities for the TEs and other WRs to get some single coverage and hopefully some separation. We need more screens. The 1st play needs to be a WR screen to AJ. I also think Logan Gray has to be incorporate din to the offense more. The Defense has shown moments of excellence, just not 60 in any given week. Let’s attack more and wrap up. We are an SEC team with great athletes. Let’s go out and show it!!! GO DAWGS!!!

WE RUIN THIS STATE

October 1st, 2010
11:49 am

but the offensive line is so experienced!

MURPHY

October 1st, 2010
11:53 am

Can we get Mike Leach to meet us in Colorado and call our plays? I hear he isnt real busy at the moment.

FloridaStateinDC

October 1st, 2010
11:53 am

The buffs are going to steamroll the butt sniffers…hahahahha

FloridaStateinDC

October 1st, 2010
11:54 am

UGA Preseason national champs…LOL…1980 was 30 yrs ago boys

Montgomery Burns

October 1st, 2010
11:56 am

UGA: where 5* recruits disappear

K Dawg

October 1st, 2010
11:56 am

We own Louisiana Lafayette.

Ralph

October 1st, 2010
11:56 am

Pretty sure Bama would go 1-3 without Julio, South Carolina would be 1-3 without Jeffries.

Surprised Georgia is 1-3 without AJ Green? Not at all. With him they’re 4-0, without him, 1-3.

But if Georgia doesn’t start to roll, with AJ Green back, people will start to wonder about Mike Bobo. With AJ back, if you double him, the tight ends will be open down the middle and the running game will open up, if you don’t double AJ, throw it up, and he’ll burn you.

Ray

October 1st, 2010
11:57 am

10-3 will still be a top 20 year.

K Dawg

October 1st, 2010
11:58 am

I am available to call plays Saturday. Just saying.

Andy

October 1st, 2010
12:00 pm

I am hopeful that we will play better this game and come up with a win, though after last week I am well aware of the Bulldogs’ ability to make even mediocre teams look unstoppable.

Alaska Dawg

October 1st, 2010
12:01 pm

FloridastateinDC, wow those are some really informative comments. I bet you spent the whole morning trying to figure out if butt had 1 or 2 t’s. I will only add this. If we beat the mighty Buffs with Joe Cox in 2006 then a victory with Murray is no problem. I would also remind you that our losses are to SEC teams. The Buffs have looked horrible this year. UGA by 2 TDS.

Macclenny_dawg

October 1st, 2010
12:01 pm

Bill you left out putting a play maker in to return the punts and possibly try to block some punts!!!!! They have to become less predicable in every part of the game!!! How about running a little more wild dawg???? How about on 4th and short a fake punt? They have to do something for this team to have a fire lit. In all 3 losses all they needed was 1 play to get some life in these kids!!! The coaches need to notice every once in a while that they just need a play to get things going in the game!!! Tennesee was playing Florida well until 4th and short in 2nd half and Meyer called a fake and turned that game and team around!!! That is the difference between Florida and us!!! When their coaches see they need to do something to get going they run a play to try to give them a spark!!! That is why we are 0-3 in the SEC. We were in every game but just not clicking the boys just needed a little spark that is all!!!

MURPHY

October 1st, 2010
12:02 pm

Ralph,

Bama would still be undefeated without Julio playing. Com on Bama has way more talent that Julio-So does Carolina. Our Dawgs dont have this luxury

1eyedJack

October 1st, 2010
12:04 pm

You gotta think we will look a lot better this week. I mean with
AJ back that will change the whole dynamic of our offense. He is THE “star” player on the team and surely CMR and CMB have designed this offense and practiced this offense with that in mind. Now we finally will see the result.

Can AJ tackle?

Alaska Dawg

October 1st, 2010
12:04 pm

Great post Macclenny_dawg. I agree that we need some big plays. I thought the 4th down conversion last week was the answer. If we start on Defense we need a 3 and out followed by a long clock eating drive that results in a TD. If we start on offense then I will settle for anything that results in 7 points.

dwayne

October 1st, 2010
12:05 pm

I thought Fla. St. was in Florida.

K Dawg

October 1st, 2010
12:07 pm

I do believe with AJ in there it will open things up a lot. No matter what the anti-UGA contigent has to say, you lose one of the best players in the country, it will be the difference maker in a lot of games. Especially in the SEC.

Wild Bill

October 1st, 2010
12:08 pm

Don’t forget about the altitude. Some will scoff at it, but as someone who has lived in both towns, it will wear on Georgia if they don’t substitute enough, especially in the 4th quarter.

Truth

October 1st, 2010
12:14 pm

@Guy. hey, lay off the coffee, bud……..Your Jackets might pull one off this weekend too. Thanks for visiting another UGA article.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

guy

October 1st, 2010
12:20 pm

jackets should handle wake, im more worried about my gators. should be a good game.

K Dawg

October 1st, 2010
12:24 pm

As always, I only wish the worse possible for the slimy lizards.

Jonkyard Dawg

October 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

Yeahhhhhh The kid Green is big ingredient to the team we should win this 1.

Abel Playcaller

October 1st, 2010
12:30 pm

I’ve noticed for over 2 years that Bobo almost always calls for a 2nd down run if we have thrown an incomplete pass on 1st down (unless we are trailing big late in the game). So, if I notice it, I imagine that the other team does, too. So, we’ve ended up with numerous 3rd and 8, 3rd and 9, etc. Just another element of our unimaginative play-calling………… Our offensive plans seem stale.

Coachdawg 2000

October 1st, 2010
12:31 pm

Bill King-
I could not disagree with you anymore! If you have watched the games so far then you would know that Murray should have at least 5 more picks(but thankfully there some guys with frying pan hands!). We don’t need to play chuck-n-duck. We need to do what we do, and that is line up in the I and pound them. Then use play-action to stretch the field with AJ. When you line up and try to spread the field you put your offensive tackles “on an island” against rushers. This leads to probable sacks(due to holding the ball too long)or increased holding penalties. We also have problems with our Defense wearing down. If you come out chucking it leads to less time of possession. When you throw the ball, basically 3 things can happen(#1completion,#2incomplete-clocks stops/long yardage,#3 interception-turnover) and 2 of them are bad! So why throw more.

jrmdvm1

October 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

I think the emphasis needs to be on the “quick” part of the “quick screen”. We seem to have wide receiver screens that take longer to “develop” than a double reverse takes. Same was true of the play on 3rd and 4 that resulted in the 6th sack of the game. Maybe there were short recievers, but the play certainly didn’t “develop” quickly enough to avoid the sack. There were 5 sacks in the game before that one, so it seems to me that while maybe it was the quarterback holding on to the ball long enough, perhaps a play should have been called that actually encouraged him to get rid of the ball quickly. Of course, to me, it seems like even our off-tackle and sweep running plays are not as “quick hitting” as are those of other teams I see on television.

Einsteindawg

October 1st, 2010
12:35 pm

Thanks for your article…are you the same “Bill King” of Rivals Radio? I have always believed that the mark of a great coach was tailoring his system to fit his players’ talents. Why does CMR stubbornly try and force his players into his out-dated offensive (no pun intended)system?

chilidawg

October 1st, 2010
12:36 pm

Yes, they do need to air it out because it has been stinking for a few weeks.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 1st, 2010
12:43 pm

Is that FSU talking smack now? Good grief! FSU still hasn’t gotten of the plane in Norman yet have they?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

Sad your name is better as Wonder, just saying!

ARdawg

October 1st, 2010
12:46 pm

Imagine that….an FSU fan in DC hanging around here preaching to UGA fans?