Take away A.J. Green and you have a team that’s good only at finding a way to lose

Blair Walsh is getting the call way too many times inside the red zone. (Associated Press)

Blair Walsh is getting the call way too many times inside the red zone. (Associated Press)

The past few weeks amid all the plugs for the Hilltop Grille in Athens on the Georgia football radio network’s “Bulldog Brunch” Kevin Butler has been lamenting that this year’s Dogs, specifically the offense, have yet to find their identity.

Unfortunately, I think he’s wrong. They have found their identity; it’s just not one that the Bulldog Nation wants to acknowledge:

This is a team that in the face of impending victory will find a way to lose.

It used to be if a Mark Richt team was within a score of the lead and got the ball back with 3-plus minutes on the clock, everyone (including opponents) had a fairly certain feeling the Dogs would prevail.

This year, they get the opportunity to win a game and you find yourself sitting there thinking, “How are they going to screw this up?”

I hate that.

Where once there was hope, now there’s mostly resignation. And the way they’ve been playing, you’ve got to wonder if that doesn’t apply to the players as well as the fans.

Sorry, the residual supply of optimism that has always fueled my Bulldog fandom is running a bit low right now. Chances are by midweek I’ll have talked myself into thinking Georgia stands a good chance of beating Tennessee Saturday and getting back on track.

But the reality is that even if they do get back on track, at this point about the best we can expect is a mediocre season.

At a birthday brunch Sunday (coincidentally at that same Hilltop Grille) I asked the assembled family members for revised season record predictions. The consensus was Georgia probably is looking at a losing record or, under the most optimistic scenario even remotely based in reality, a 6-6 record and qualifying for a bottom-feeder bowl. And we’re all die-hard fans. It’s gotten that bad.

Watching the game against Colorado again on video Sunday morning, I could see some slivers of justification for thinking the Dogs still can turn things around (all of which involve A.J. Green and Aaron Murray), but much more evidence that this is a team that just plain doesn’t know how to win, from the coaches on down.

A few random observations in that regard …

What sort of muddle-headed pregame planning possibly could have resulted in the way Mike Bobo opened up the game offensively? Starting Carlton Thomas, our smallest back, and insisting on trying mostly in vain to run him up the middle? Not immediately getting the ball into the hands of Green, your best player? The result: An appalling 15 yards of offense in the first 15 minutes.

Even Richt seemed to be wondering what was up with that when he said at halftime, “I don’t know what took us so long to get him the ball.”

For the evening, on the first-quarter possessions when Green didn’t touch the ball and the third-quarter series when he wasn’t in, the Dogs accumulated minus-5 yards and one first down. Never in my memory has a Georgia offense seemed so dependent on one player. …

And what is it with Bobo and the red zone? First-and-goal at the 4 and having to settle for a field goal would be bad enough if this were the first time we’d seen that sort of offensive impotence. But it’s become Bobo’s trademark. I don’t know if Richt taking over the playcalling would make any difference, but something’s got to be done. …

Every week, one defensive player seems to be positioned as the sacrificial goat for brainless play. Saturday, it was Vance Cuff, who got burned badly on a 48-yard Colorado pass and then, when they had seemingly settled for 3 points, got called for roughing the kicker on his third personal foul penalty of the night and gave the Buffaloes another shot at the end zone, resulting in a touchdown and the eventual winning margin.

But, really, it’s time blame for the Dogs’ defensive woes was assigned higher up. Stupid mistakes like Cuff made happen in a game, but too many of the flaws in Georgia’s defense appear to be the result of insufficient coaching and preparation. Todd Grantham is getting paid big bucks to fix what Willie Martinez wrought, and yet we’ve seen practically no improvement over the past four weeks. Each week, the opposing offenses offer up some basic play that the Dogs act like they’ve never seen before. And stopping third- and fourth-down conversions appears to be a foreign concept to the folks in the defensive meeting room. …

It’s been a long time since the outlook for a Georgia team was this dismal.

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561 comments Add your comment

srcdawg1

October 3rd, 2010
11:31 pm

hill, my GOD you must have been watching this game on dish from fox. Murray put the ball in king’s bred basket. remember , Murray is a freshman this kid is going to be awesome. cmr will be OK. i believe at least 1/2 of the other sec team’s would take him now. let’s go dawg fan’s let’s support our guy’s. get rid of BOBO. we will be OK. hill you must be an idiot? handed the ball in the air? and did not try to recover. you put the ball in the bread basket, your moving in the opposite direction, you would need to be d. sanders to recover that fast.

Finally

October 3rd, 2010
11:33 pm

How’s the Humble Pie? About time you got a taste

Sunny Perdue

October 3rd, 2010
11:59 pm

Love them dawgs-pray for rain, I mean a win.

Synchronize Your Dogmas

October 4th, 2010
12:07 am

Humble pie is probably as good as your welbutrin

Krebs

October 4th, 2010
12:10 am

Sonny is still the Gov. Maybe he can pray on the steps of the capital for a few victories.

BeerDawg

October 4th, 2010
12:11 am

Lori, is really Mark Richts’ wife

Who else could be so deranged…..

alabama1972

October 4th, 2010
12:16 am

Mississippi Dawg – Alabama and Florida already have the two best coaches money can buy. LSU has the highest paid coach and he can;t figure out how much time is left in the game. I am not convinced Georgia will make a change this year, but if you do, you should look at Gary Patterrson with TCU, With the talent he would have at UGA, he would have you back in the SEC elite within 2 years. Auburn took a chance on Chizik and it appears to be working out well in his second year. Derek Dooley is going to do well at Tennessee if given time to bring in some talent. So if you don’t make the change, two of your biggest rivals will be way ahead. Richt is not getting the job done.

saddawg

October 4th, 2010
12:19 am

The season is over, no matter what you others may think. This just sucks. I want to be a die-hard Georgia fan again, I used to be so pround to stand up and say I was one. The team used to have fire and a heart, and they went out and played like a team on fire. Where has the fire gone? Where is the heart and where is the fire? Quit recruiting thugs, and get some guys in here that REALLY want to play. And as far as coaching goes, you can throw the whole bunch for all I care. They are extremely inept, uninspriing, and can’t keep the thugs under control!

UGA '79

October 4th, 2010
12:33 am

I am so loving this. Years ago, when 99% of you wanted to deify, canonize and genuflect yourselves to death over Richt, I said that he was overrated and should be removed. Chickens, meet roost.

Big Harry

October 4th, 2010
12:34 am

whatever….

I still love my DAWGS! Players will come and go, as will coaches and schemes, but I love the program and everything it stands for. And, I must point out, that no one in that program is larger than the program.

GO DAWGS!

lolwut

October 4th, 2010
12:37 am

I hope y’all do fire CMR.

It will take years to get out of that self induced abyss. Best coach in the history of your program thrown out with the trash because of an inexperienced QB, new defensive scheme, and lack of confidence in your team.

The Georgia team and fans had swagger not too long ago. Some teams even feared the red and black. Amazing how a culture can change so rapidly, but after reading these post, I can see why.

Good luck finding someone as good as CMR to fill your upcoming void. It’s going to be ugly.

Mike Dawg

October 4th, 2010
1:06 am

The Tennessee game has trap written all over it. We’re favored, but if you look at the way they played Oregon in the first half, Florida up until the fake punt, and LSU up until substitutiongate, I’m afraid that the Dawgs are going to be the team that they finally turn it on against. At first, I was ready to give Richt the entire season to right the ship, but this is dangerously close to a gots to go situation.

STAY GRANTHAM!!!

October 4th, 2010
1:07 am

I know the defense doesnt look good, but give Grantham at least 1 year to recruit HIS guys for HIS system, remember the defense overall is still made up of Martinez’s guys.

drbasic1

October 4th, 2010
1:33 am

Andrew, barry, carl, y town

all same person, hince the screen names…..if you think Murray is the problem you and of your personalities are all freaking idiots. You must be in love with mason else Murray bopped your mom or sis or both…..get a life

Ramblin Wrecker

October 4th, 2010
4:18 am

I know UGA is 1-4, but I still think UGA would beat GT if they were to play today, and it pains me to say that. Neither team looks good right now and I’m not taking too much pride beating the smallest D-I school who was using their 4th string quarterback….it’s going to be a long season for both teams.

3rd gen Dawg

October 4th, 2010
5:24 am

You get off the UGA bandwagon, we don’t want you to ever get back on! I’ve been a fan for forty years and know the rest of the rich history in this honored program.. This is not Bama, in that we don’t want new found fans to come out of the wood work when the winning comes easy and often.. These are the Bulldogs.. The Hairy Dawgs and we will HUNKER DOWN behind them! We will let Richt reign this program back in.. We as true fans owe him the years.. For those of you that did not attend UGA, you Sunday morning quaterbacks, and weekend warriors who never buckled a chin strap and bled beside your brothers, leave now and do not come back!! For you that do bleed the red and black, stay with us and you will see Richt raise a team that would make Dooley, Butts, Russell, and too many more legends to name tip their proverbial hats to..
With Pride,

Disgruntled Minority

October 4th, 2010
5:28 am

Richt says “it’s only a small minority that’s disgruntled with the UGA football program”. I believe it is more than a few disgruntled fans that are screaming. The handwriting is on the wall but CMR won’t read it. A big time program like Georgia possibly going 5 and 7 is beyond belief. It’s got to be the coaches as the primary cause. I also believe Georgia recruiting has gone after some very dump but very athletic players. I think their dumbness has negated their athletic ability. It’s not enough to just pray strong in the SEC, you have to play smart. I am ready for a change. Could we really do any worse with the direction the program has taken the last few years? Richt is done. He has lost his effectivness. Nothing he can do now will be embraced except big time winning. I expect him to be given another year for his past performance. Maybe the AD will require him to get rid of Bobo and the other coaches who have contributed to this mess. It’s time for a new start. If CMR don’t make the necessary changes, it’s time to change CMR.

CMR is overwhelmed

October 4th, 2010
5:41 am

Lack of intelligence, discipline and passion …. enough said.

Tom

October 4th, 2010
6:12 am

Georgia is NOT finishing the drill. This weekend was pathetic. We lost to a team that hasn’t had consecutive victories since 08. I’m tired of paying my $ for “tickets” when it really allows black kids to get arrested, hook up with white girls, and leave school early without a degree.

Sounds kinda familiar. Getting something for free. Is Richt taking notes from Obama?

Spike

October 4th, 2010
6:40 am

Vance Cuff sucks. Bench him!

Spike

October 4th, 2010
6:41 am

And what happened to Richard Samuel?

We run this state

October 4th, 2010
7:17 am

LMAO!!! Ya know, things have a way of coming back and biting your a$$…I guess “We FUMBLE this state” is the correct term. RFLMAO!!!

No dog in this fight

October 4th, 2010
7:19 am

I don’t care about Ga or Tech, but, it certainly is fun to see these OBNOXIOUS GA fans eating humble pie.

reddog

October 4th, 2010
7:21 am

maybe Richt should paint the football green (like a watermelon) so those black boys will hold on to it!!! or better yet tell them it’s a six pack of malt liquor!!!

FLA DAWG

October 4th, 2010
7:32 am

Lori,

Richt has lost 4 in a row now – the worst record in 20 years. This weekend he will lose his 5th game in a row making it the worst in 50 years.

Maybe he’s a nice guy but he cannot Head Coach an SEC Team. I love my school too much to continue to watch this in silence.

I hope the fewest fans show up for the next game in 50 years. This is the only way to send the appropriate message to Adams and McGarity.

Although I began complaining about Richt & Co 3 years ago and stopped all my contributions and game attendance at that time I had no idea just how bad things would get.

The current situation at UGA is indefensible. Anyone supporting Richt is hurting UGA.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 4th, 2010
7:37 am

Does anybody know where “Anonymous Blogger” lives? If you do pleas call the Police on that guy. After reading his post I KNOW he is smoking too much Good Stuff for sure. Dude actucally sayd UGA can still win the Sec East. Maybe mathmatically the dawgs can, but realistically NO WAY IN HELL.
Dawgs should beat the Vols. If the Dawgs don’t win Saturday this team is LOST for sure. UGA only has 2 more OOC games and the TECH game will be a good one, but the rest of the SEC games have those teams licking their chops waiting to get a shot at the Dawgs.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 4th, 2010
7:42 am

Damon is pleading NOT GUILTY right now in an Atlanta Court. What coaches are in Richt’s office pleading NOT GUILTY over the Colorado loss?

Bamaboy

October 4th, 2010
7:42 am

You guys are awful.

MURPHY

October 4th, 2010
7:47 am

It appears to me that we will more than likely have a coaching change of some kind in the near future. Im not going to add fuel to the fire on this program being in shambles. I have had enough and from what Ive seen so has 95% of the rest of you. I would like to comment on the UT/LSU game. Ut played very well and should have won this game. I have said for about a month that UT isnt as bad as some believe and that Dooley will win a couple he isnt suppose to. We will see that come sat in Athens im afraid. Back to LSU-How lucky can one coach be? He is the worst time management coach on the planet. Lsu should get beat up pretty bad in Gainesville this week. Another point I have made for 3 weeks is that Bama will lose in Columbia this week. I

gt

October 4th, 2010
7:52 am

THESE “PLAYERS”, AS A GROUP (THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS), HAVE NO MENTAL DISCIPLINE. WITH THESE KIND COACHING DOES NOT HELP MUCH. I’VE SEEN IT AS A COACH. REPEAT THE SAME THING 100X TIMES. THEY STILL GOOF IT UP. A GREAT COACH I KNOW HAD A SAYING “EXCUSES ARE FOR LOSERS”

ONE LAST THOUGHT. ALL YOU BLOGGERS CALLING FOR MR’S HEAD ARE CRAZY. CAN HE TURN IT AROUND? DO NOT KNOW. BUT HE HAS EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE GIVEN THE CHANCE. ALL YOU MILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMEN WHO BLOG THIS JUNK- HAVE YOU EVE HAD A BAD TIME?

GIVE HIM CARE BLANCH AND SAY FIX IT . YOU HAVE ONE YEAR TO MOVE DRAMATICALLY FORWARD. DOOLEY WAS 5-5 IN HIS 10 TH YEAR.

tony purvis

October 4th, 2010
7:57 am

UGA is not, and never was, established to be an “Old Age Home” for former football players. If they can’t produce, as position coaches, they should be gone….period. UGA needs an Offensive Coordinator, and a, highly respected, Running Backs Coach with proven credentials. The same goes for an Offensive line coach!! As far as recruiting goes, we need a recruiting coordinator who has a gift for assessing such intangibles as “character”, “ambition”, “drive”, “determination”, and “discipline”, or in other words, “A WINNER’S” Attitude! Apart from the Head Coach, all of the position coaches must be, solid, well respected, and have one Hell of a resume in order to bring in the 5* talent that is so essential for success in the SEC!!!! ….. OK, UGA….. CALL…OR …FOLD!!!

FLA DAWG

October 4th, 2010
7:58 am

MURPHY,

I agree with you about UT. I still see it as a victory for them. With 13 new starters (I believe), they will come to Athens with blood in their eyes and slaughter our “experienced” O & D Lines. They will beat The Dawgs by 21 or more.

LSU & Miles are the luckiest team / coach combo in the country.

Disagree with you about Bama. They are the real deal and will beat SC by 14 or more.

Still@theBAR

October 4th, 2010
8:08 am

Just read Carvill article that the Restaurants and Bars are not making as much money with the dawgs losing. Maybe with the dawgs losing Athens will close many of the bars. Athens residents can’t support the # of drinking establishments if not for serving UNDERAGE students. Hell even high school kids cone to Athens to get in bars and drink.

Det. Dan Starks

October 4th, 2010
8:09 am

There is no Senior leadership on this team, period.

DawginLex

October 4th, 2010
8:22 am

MEDIOCRITY RULES THIS STATE

UGA can’t beat a Colorado team that lost 52-7 to Cal who lost by 3 TD’s to Nevada.

Tech is singing praises over beating Weak Forest on the last play of the game. The same Weak Forest that lost 62-7 to Stanford.

The money is drying up.
When the money dries up, the coach will have to go.
It is a sad reality but it is true.
This fanbase will not give Richt another year.

Short of running the table, he is gone.

Huntsville Dog

October 4th, 2010
8:27 am

I know this sounds crazy looking at what has happened, but there is still a lot in front of this team. I hope the coaches can keep the players motivated and fix their gaffes. Just looking at what SC has left and UF, if we head into the UF game 4-4 we can still take the east. I know this is extremely optimistic but I’ve got have something. Go Dawgs.

Offense. AJ is great, but King, Durahm, Wooten, and Brown can make plays. Give them a shot. Get out the I-form and open this thing up so we can run.

Hairless dawg

October 4th, 2010
8:33 am

Even with Ain’t Jack green, the dogs will lose. With top ten recruiting classes year after year, the no dogs have really nothing to show for it. Talk is cheap. As one poster has commented before, the dogs try to play for the sec champs, and not national champs. There is problems in dogville and no one wants to admit it and the administration does not want to address it.

Troof

October 4th, 2010
8:40 am

Murphy is Anonymous Blogger because they both an into the wacky weed. No way SC is even close to Bama. Did you actually watch what we did to Florida? Wish Bama had a shot at Jawja this year. That would be sweet!

Although he should be gone, Richt will stay. UGA is more concerned about who they would find to replace him than solving the issue. You guys throw the big names out like Patterson, Peterson, Gruden, and even Cowher(LOL) but do you actually believe they would come to Athens? That SI writer was right. Except for a 3 year stretch 30 years ago UGA is a barely above average SEC program. Sure, you guys had a few SEC titles and some decent years a few years back but you guys aren’t tOSU, USC, Texas, or Bama.

I do hope you guys beat 10RC because those hillbillies up there need whoopin every week of the year. Can’t wait until the Third Week in October! Beatdown in Knoxville!! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!

Troof

October 4th, 2010
8:41 am

Oh, and thanks for pretty much sending Crowell to the new running back U, also known as Bama. He’ll look great in Crimson.

Big Dawg

October 4th, 2010
8:41 am

“I don’t know what took us so long to get A.J. Green the ball.”. – Coach Mark Richt this past Saturday night after losing to Colorado, his 4th consecutive game in a row. Well Coach Richt, we appreciate your honesty, but if you don’t know and obviously aren’t concerned enough to formulate a game plan BEFORE the game begins, then it’s high time we bring in someone else who does and will. Georgia football has a long and rich tradition, and it will surely carry on with or without Mark Richt. With every game that passes, Coach Richt is proving that his head and heart are not in this job, and it is beyond his capabilities. Dog fans, let’s move on to someone else before any more time, talent, and resources are wasted.

Phil

October 4th, 2010
8:55 am

Lori HAS to be Richt’s wife, who else could be this blind. Or maybe she’s Bobo’s wife and keeping Richt means her dumba$$ husband keeps his job.

John

October 4th, 2010
9:01 am

THIS IS TO ALL YOU GEORGIA FANS WHO WERE SCREAMING A FEW YEARS AGO… “RICHT NEEDS AN OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR. HE NEEDS TO FOCUS ON OTHER THINGS.” WELL, YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED AND BOBO IS NOT THE ANSWER. DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER THOSE FSU OFFENSES? RICHT NEEDS TO TAKE OVER THE OFFENSE ONCE AGAIN AND ALL THE FANS NEED TO DEAL WITH IT.

Phil

October 4th, 2010
9:01 am

Anonymous Blogger DID have 1 good idea. Why not use Logan Gray in the wild dog when we get in close?? He could either run or pass! Keeps the defense guessing!

Or like I have been saying for the last 2 weeks on here, try an end around with Logan and let him pull up at the last second and throw a deep pass? The defense just bite on the run!

Come on Bobo you idiot, do we have to tell you everything??????

Phil

October 4th, 2010
9:06 am

For those on here who say we can still win the East, my god people, wake up. Richt and Bobo will make sure that doesn’t happen.

Dawg Fud

October 4th, 2010
9:06 am

Bobo is such a freaking goon

jtdawg

October 4th, 2010
9:07 am

Lori,

No offense in regards to your intelligent posts, but unfortunately honey, blind homerism by the likes of you and your efforts, and any dumb a– boosters willing to continue to support a regime, that by METRICS show a steady, sweeping decline in performance, consistently sin the departure of Brian Van Gorder, are what will keep us in “a 10 year rebuilding mode” as you like to put it.

Be a real big-money booster or not, who cares? But if you aren’t intelligent enough to see a failing program, then your opinions will never help the program.

Do us a favor, Buck Belue Junior, and sit back, be quiet, and let people who know what they are doing DO what’s actually needed to fix the obvious defficiencies you and your 5,000 letters cannot comprehend.

Phil

October 4th, 2010
9:11 am

Can’t wait to hear Buck Belue cover for those idiots Richt and Bobo. How can Buck be happy with the state of the program?? Yet week after week he covers for those clowns.

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 4th, 2010
9:11 am

DawginLex, “MEDIOCRITY RULES THIS STATE?!?

Umm, dude, hate to break it to you, but you are 1-4. That ain’t mediocrity, you suck.

jtdawg

October 4th, 2010
9:13 am

.. and by the way, to all of the

“support our program no matter what… Saint Richt is a good man!….”

blind homers, Georgia taxpayer funds pay his top collegiate salary. He’s being paid like the UF coach to perform like the Austin Peay coach…

You all might think it’s funny or OK “because he’s such a good man…”, but think of another underperforming pbuilc servant would you want to pay like that when they continually fail to meet goals and expectations year after year….

Name one that you really support regardless… really…

jtdawg

October 4th, 2010
9:15 am

RAMBLE ON!!!

You are absolutely correct sir.

Georgia fans, we all are now forced to sit and take it like big boys and girls. Nothing we can say now… as long as Tech fans don’t keep repeating scores from 2 years ago….