Are Dogs back on track or were Vols and Vandy that bad?

After two big wins at home, the Dogs take their rehab project on the road this week. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

After two big wins at home, the Dogs take their rehab project on the road this week. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I’m getting back into the work routine today after being on the disabled list, and I figure that’s a good time for a quick check on the confidence level in the Bulldog Nation.

I’m trying to decide which Georgia team is likely to show up in Lexington Saturday night, the one that looked dominant against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, or the one that looked so hapless against Mississippi State and Colorado.

As the pendulum has swung back this week with talk about the Dogs being back in the SEC race, the showdown with Kentucky looks bigger and bigger.

Let’s face it, while the wins over UT and Vandy did a lot to get Georgia back on track, neither opponent was a very good team.

Which raises the question of just how good Georgia is. Have the Dogs really turned the corner? I liked what rarely quoted offensive line coach Stacy Searels told the Bulldogs Blog when that question was put to him.

Said Searels: “You gotta go out every Saturday and compete. If you think you’ve arrived because you’ve won two games in a row, you’re not very smart, I’ll say that.”

Yes, the Dogs have made progress since Starkville and Boulder. Now they’ve got to prove they can do it consistently against better competition. And at night on the road.

So what do you think? Is your confidence in Mark Richt’s team restored or are you taking a wait-and-see stance? Has Georgia really improved that much the past two weeks, or was it all about the Vols and Commodores not being that good?

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171 comments Add your comment

UGA Alum

October 21st, 2010
10:47 am

TONY

October 21st, 2010
10:48 am

TAKING A WAIT AND SEE ATTITUDE

Gadawg67

October 21st, 2010
10:48 am

First? I hope we keep playing like we did in the last two games but the dawgs never play well at common wealth stadium.

richmond_dawg

October 21st, 2010
10:48 am

vandy and TN are not that good, but still SEC competition. The scores of those games show a definite change in the way the team is playing, but I am still waiting to see how the team plays against Kentucky before I get any iota of confidence.

WAKA FLOCKA FLAME

October 21st, 2010
10:49 am

ALLLL THE WAYYYYY TURRRRRRNT UUUUUUP

Steen

October 21st, 2010
10:51 am

We are good enough to beat Tech

CJ_NC_DAWG

October 21st, 2010
10:53 am

I saw some 4-3 last week and a lot of 5 – 2 fronts last week from the Dawgs. Anyone who thinks Grantham is not adjusting his philosophy as he learns about the SEC hasn’t been watching.

The Dawgs will be fine. Coach Richt is taking control… The players are taking note… When King comes back, he will run like a man with something to prove… A lot like Ealey ran last week.

Murray’s drops were quicker out of the I Formation. He looked very sharp, more poised, more decisive….Bobo’s play calling looks a lot better when the players execute…

Running game is coming. Ealey wants to prove something…. Pass to open up the run is the philosophy. With our receivers…..AJ… Durham…T. King….Orson Charles…..These guys play to their potential, nobody can stop em…. Just ask Big Bad Bruce!

Could be a really fun rest of the season! GO DAWGS!

dawginfla(help!)

October 21st, 2010
10:54 am

Good question – I wish I knew, but I think confidence and momentum is so important in college football that even if the answer is Tenn and Vandy are that bad, UGA’s in a much better place than they were 3 weeks ago.

Michigan Dawg

October 21st, 2010
10:57 am

Look, other very good teams didn’t beat Tennessee or Vandy as badly as Georgia did. Georgia had Vandy and Tennessee both well in hand by half time. What other quality team did that to either of the two teams?
It looks as though Coach Richt has righted the ship just as any good coach would do. I believe Georgia’s problems with the losses were directly related to the mental side of the game. Georgia has very good coaches, very good recruits all with skills, and talent. Everything was in place except the mental side which includes the discipline of the players as well.
I believe doubters will see by the end of the Kentucky game that Georgia has put it all together.

Kenny

October 21st, 2010
10:57 am

Tenn almost beat LSU, I’d say LSU thinks Tenn’s pretty good. Vanderbilt put up 14 on Ole Miss, and 21 on UConn.

The defense is in the top 20 in the country in total defense and in scoring. It’s not a fluke. Includes stats from teams like Arkansas, and South Carolina.

Georgia’s defense played South Carolina and Arkansas better than Alabama and has improved by at least 10 points less in every SEC game against Ark, SC, Vandy & Tenn than last season.

Kentucky is an explosive offense. Will be a test, but the Dogs defense is hitting their stride, as you will see Saturday.

Grantham is no fluke, compare him to Saban’s 1st year at Alabama in 07′, and you’ll see Grantham’s AHEAD of Nick Saban so far. Impressive. Belin has his inside LB’s turning into tackling machines, and Houston is leading the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss. Lakotas’s guys have played well, except for giving up the deep ball on a handful of plays. Garner’s D-Line is finally starting to be a factor.

The O-Line is cooking, Ealey’s back on track, AJ’s back, Durham’s playing lights out, the tight ends are clicking, King’s playing well, Murray’s getting better, this offense will be a nightmare for Kentucky to try and stop.

Chuck Uga

October 21st, 2010
10:57 am

It’s somewhere in the middle. Tennessee has no depth, and Vandy beat Ole Miss badly as well as almost beat Northwestern. If UGA loses in Lexington, all this is moot. They will finish no btter than 5-7 with losses to Florida, Auburn and possibly Ga Tech. This Kentucky game is the most critical game for UGA in years.

Chuck Uga

October 21st, 2010
10:58 am

Hey Kenny, explain to us how Vandy out up 14 on Ole Miss yet won the game 28-14.

Thanks.

OEJ

October 21st, 2010
10:59 am

STOP looking at who they played. Look at HOW they played. The team as a whole looked different in a good way. This team looked different than the teams that lost 4 straight. Even then they should have won a couple that they didn’t. The team looks to be a different team, and it doesn’t matter who they played they look better, and I don’t wanna hear we played two bad teams

Dawg Day

October 21st, 2010
10:59 am

By simply writing an article like this, you are opening the door for every Tech idiot to come on here and bash our team for winning the last 2 weeks, when positivity is REALLY what we need right now.

WHY WHY WHY does every writer at the AJC try and bring disgrace to UGA??

In Birmingham, the media LOVES the Tide. In New Orleans, the media LOVES the Tigers. In Dallas, the media LOVES the Longhorns. In Orlando, the media LOVES the Gators….. and on and on.

But in Atlanta, the 8th largest media outlet in the country, and very powerful source…. ALL we do is bash the Dawgs. Don’t worry. Recruits are reading all of it. And then we can write more negative articles about how they didn’t chose the Dawgs. And wonder why………

Gbal

October 21st, 2010
11:09 am

Well granted, the Vols and Dores are not that good, but we did hold them better that some other teams have this season… AND Colorodo was not that good either 9id say worse that Tenn and vandy) yet managed to pull one out ou UGA. SOoooo… logic would say that we have definately gotten better … How much better will be determined in the next 3 weeks against K, UF, and AU. Hope we can maintaine the course.

Dogs Smell

October 21st, 2010
11:11 am

I hope you lose them all. Lose to KY and 50% of you will stop talking about having a chance to win the SEC and the other 50% will still be doing the math !

Bryan G.

October 21st, 2010
11:16 am

I think this week is a better barometer. The Dawgs played great the last two weeks, though.

Let’s see how they do against UK on the road since we’re 0 for the road this year.

Gbal

October 21st, 2010
11:17 am

Agree 100% with you Dawg Day …. Some of the worst fans in the country when it comes to poor mouthing the home team and it all startes with the the worst newspaper in the country when it comes to supporting their home team. It’s like they are trying to steer recruits away from the home team … Bradley and Shultz are the worst… If I were CMR I would truely ban these two from any interviews and contact with tam officials…. Go to the Athens Banner for info. at least it is neutral at worst but definately more positive that the AJC.

Example: Shultz and Bradleys first post regarding the C.King situation was theft of electronic equipment…. then comes out later that it was only a traffic violation and failure to show for the court hearing …. Wait till you have the facts guys. I read ‘em just to soak up infor but I really hate 80% of what I read.

schmeckdawg

October 21st, 2010
11:19 am

Bill, Tennessee had LSU beat in Baton Rouge but had that darn penalty. So give the DAWGS a little credit for drilling the Volunteers. And Vandy beat Ole Miss at their place, so again, give the DAWGS some credit for killing the Commodores. Still two SEC teams and they were both MUST win games and after the debacle in Boulder I only saw us beating Idaho State the rest of the way. Now we are back in it, so be happy with what we’ve got. We’ll take down the Mildcats this Saturday and ROLL into Jacksonvegas 4-4!

Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

Gbal

October 21st, 2010
11:20 am

“In Birmingham, the media LOVES the Tide. In New Orleans, the media LOVES the Tigers. In Dallas, the media LOVES the Longhorns. In Orlando, the media LOVES the Gators….. and on and on.”

AJC sports writters, with the exception of TB are all negative towards the home team. Dispise them …. Come back Furman…. a real journalist.

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Mean Machine

October 21st, 2010
11:30 am

The past 2 weeks are a step in the right direction. Now it’s time to take another step. The Dawgs are playing a significantly better team (at least offensively), and it’s on the road. We’ll see if they have continued to improve each week as the coaches have stated. But let’s not get carried away, this team still has a lot of work to do to get to where they should be. Remember, we’re talking about Kentucky, not a top 10 team. Think about it, we’re worried about playing Kentucky. That is not an acceptable position for this program. The Dawgs should absolutely dominate UK, just like the past 2 weeks. Now we’ll see if they can do it. Go Dawgs!

Dawgs73

October 21st, 2010
11:38 am

It’s pretty sad that we are in the 8th game of the season and we are asking if “we’ve arrived” in a game with Kentucky. It’s 100% Richt and this staffs fault for not identifying the proper talent in preseason and putting the correct players out on the field (on offense). The defense has been more than adequate and has kept this team in virtually every game, it’s the offense that has been HORRIBLE.

It can’t be overlooked that once again this coaching staff has underachieved and yet some how we are championing the cause of mediocrity. I dare anyone to come up with a recent (within the past 5 years) were Richt and his staff have “over achieved” or “surprised” anyone with the outcome of a season. Even the year that UGA was preseason #1, the local writers in the SEC voted the Gators to win the east…goes to show that Richt and his vaunted staff are not highly regarded and need to be replaced. HE HAS NOT EARNED ANOTHER SEASON!!!

verbal kint

October 21st, 2010
11:41 am

the AJC tells it like it is; UGA is a mid-pack program in the toughest conference in America. it is their responsibility to water on you loser bulldog fans and attempt to explain to you that “you are who you are”. nothing special; no national titles in years; arrest leaders; stupid gimmicks gone wrong; e-bay green; 3-17 vs. Florida; lost to Colorado!!, embarrassing the entire conference; will not travel outside the SEC anymore because of the butt-kickings in Boulder and Stillwater; brags about victories over Hawaii and Boise…somebody stop me, I could go on all day…

Are these our DAWGS?

October 21st, 2010
11:46 am

I am a little leary and think that maybe the competition was that bad. They did for sure what others recieved from us. Turnovers and costly penalties.

I hope this woke us up but the talk of now winning the east scares me. I think we need to take one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves and see where that leaves us at the end of the year.

If we win out…. what a relief that would be…. and then we will all play the what if game!

Coachdawg 2000

October 21st, 2010
11:48 am

I think that we have improved. I think that we gained some confidence. I don’t care who we beat. At 1-4 we could not take any game for granted. So I think we have made strides but WE HAVE NOT ARRIVED!

MURPHY

October 21st, 2010
11:50 am

I believe Tenn is a good team.That LSU game had a negative effect on them and it sure showed against UGA. The Vandy game-A complete surprise to me. Vandy historically is a very tough game for us. I dont see us being as good as some would say but I sure think we can compete with Kentucky. Im real anxious to see if our D can shut them down.I feel pretty good that our offense can put up the points to win. This game will make or break our season.Win this one and I believe we have a great chance to finish real big!

bass stringerfish

October 21st, 2010
11:56 am

Don’t forget Vandy scored 50 something on Eastern Michigan the week before we played them. They were ranked 3rd in the SEC in pass defense and our QB put up 250+ on them…I don’t think they are good teams by SEC standards, but they can play…what I took away are some really good prcatice games that allowed our guys to work against better competition than at practice and at game speed. You can see reaction now as a matter of fact opposed to that “thinking and THEN doing”..they are now just “doing” – reacting….I watched Kentucky last week and they do in fact have a much better team than Vandy or Tennessee. They will have a packed and loud crowd because they have as much riding on this game as we do. I think though that at the end of the day it will come down to turn overs and penalties at dumb times…how does our special teams play? In other words, I think we will be fine against this Kentucky team if we don’t beat ourselves – and even THAT trend is moving in the right direction…will be a tough game but based on what I see now, we should take this…lots riding oin it going into Jax… Finally for me I can watch a game at a decent time!!!!

guy

October 21st, 2010
11:57 am

“Vandy historically is a very tough game for us”

and that about sums up uga football as of late.

Dontavius Supremo

October 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

Yes, they were that bad, but I still think UGA is “on track.” They didn’t struggle with Vandy, and better Georgoa teams have, and with Temnnessee they gave no quarter. So, while anyone has to admit that the competition was not tough, they will also have to admit that Georgia proved its mettle.

Dan

October 21st, 2010
12:03 pm

Couple things – who cares if Vandy beat Ole Miss? Jax St did too. And second, everyone knows or should know that comparative scores are irrelevant. Florida beat UT pretty handily in Knoxville and LSU barely beat UT in Baton Rouge on fluke penalty. If comparative scores mattered Florida would have killed LSU in Gainesville. Except they lost.

Navy Dawg

October 21st, 2010
12:05 pm

we will see how bad TN is this week. We will see how good UGA is this week. No more worrying, fretting, guessing, scheming. Just kick back and watch the product and performance as it unfolds.

Go Dawgs!

MURPHY

October 21st, 2010
12:05 pm

In the game of college football it is almost impossible to gauge the greatness of a team or the poor play of a team each week. Take the SEC teams for example: Cats get blow out by UF,but beat Carolina.Tenn is one play away from upsetting LSU,but get blown out by UGA. Vandy beats Ole Miss and scores 52 on E.Mich,then lays an egg in Athens.Bama looses to Carolina. Each week each team seems to have a different personality.With the expections being AU and LSU. Any SEC team can beat another SEC team at any given time. So is it fair to question the UGA wins over TENN and Vandy? Will it be a better measuring stick against Kentucky? I think the same conversation will still being held next week ig UGA wins only this time we will debating if the win over the Cats vaildates UGA to beat UF

Coachdawg 2000

October 21st, 2010
12:07 pm

Cobb is a real problem for us. If he lines up in the “wildcat” (appropriate huh) he could really urt us with the zone read(think colorado).

long-time dawg

October 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

As I have pointed out before, every man must do his job and let the other 10 do their’s. DBs and LBs CAN NOT let their assigned men go because they THINK the QB is in trouble, or there is a reverse, etc. This is what leads to those big negative plays. To coin a phrase: Finish the drill!!

edumacated

October 21st, 2010
12:12 pm

I don’t think our defense can stop Kentucky long enough to offset Bobo’s mistakes and stalled drives on offense. If Georgia loses, then no surprise here.

MURPHY

October 21st, 2010
12:12 pm

Coachdawg 2000,

Im amazed at the productivity that formation has week in and week out.Its amazing what one split second of a snap can do.What I mean is no hand off just hit the hole.

Coachdawg 2000

October 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

If UK uses Cobb as a QB, then our OLB’s need to be very disciplined in their rush lanes and not lose contain.They did not do that in Boulder and we paid for it. We also need to be careful if he lines up @reeiver to not roll too much attention his way and leave their other receiver #8(i can’t recall his name)un attended. they actually have a pretty formidable tandem. I would to see us grind it out and pound ‘em , use up the clock, and get back to Athens with a win. I think if we get into a shootout we are in real trouble.

LADawg

October 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

If Boise State and TCU are top 5 teams by beating very poor competition, then the Tennessee and Vandy wins should be considered legit and indicators that the Dawgs are heading in the right direction. Richt is going to be a genius again very soon!

NC Dawg

October 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

Here’s what matters…the score at the end of the game. Anybody can beat anybody in the SEC on any given week. Beat Kentucky, don’t worry about anything else…until Sunday.

John Wall

October 21st, 2010
12:27 pm

I taught my dance to Randall Cobb to use in the end zone on Saturday. yeahhhh buddy. GO CATS!

Frank Lane

October 21st, 2010
12:29 pm

I think that Dawgs are best 4-loss team in country. Three plays away from one loss, obliterated team that had undefeated LSU beat. I choose to stay positive until proven wrong. GO DAWGS.

reality

October 21st, 2010
12:37 pm

Frank…and they will be the best 5-loss team in the country after Saturday.

Chris

October 21st, 2010
12:39 pm

I’m sorry, I just can’t forget the 4 straight losses. It is inexcusable. I wont forget, nor should anyone else. Along with all the arrest, there are some serious problems that need to be dealt with. At the very least, Bobo should be gone after this year. If not, this team will stay mediocre for a long time.

Dogs Smell

October 21st, 2010
12:40 pm

Frank – In your mind 1982 was yesterday.

takedowndawg

October 21st, 2010
12:46 pm

obal, Bradley and Schultz. Our state newspaper’s proud CNN-MSNBC “like”reporters! obal, is right. Observing their interpretations for years of any events associated with Georgia. They are EXTREMELY zealous in reporting a NEGATIVE event and are understated or lukewarm in approach when events and performances for Georgia could be viewed as outstanding. What should one conclude? Huh? Obal, you are right , in my opinion in assessing these two.

Darcy

October 21st, 2010
12:51 pm

“Georgia has very good coaches, very good recruits all with skills, and talent.”

You need to lay off the Kool-Aid, fellow.

Ron Smith

October 21st, 2010
12:52 pm

VOLS and Vandy are not that good and Wildcats will win but GO Dawgs

old gold engineer

October 21st, 2010
12:56 pm

Welcome back Bill. I’ve missed your column. Hope you are doing better. Will UK have a letdown after their big victory over USCe? UGA better be ready to play.

Pulpwood Smith

October 21st, 2010
12:57 pm

“We are good enough to beat Tech.”

Yes, Louisiana Tech or Devry Tech.

Dream on, you bozo.