Same old story: Turnovers doom Dogs against Gators

Aaron Murray finally had a game where he looked like a redshirt freshman, but he also led a remarkable comeback by the Dogs. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Aaron Murray finally had a game where he looked like a redshirt freshman, but he also led a remarkable comeback by the Dogs. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I had a sinking feeling as they broke for the half in the Georgia-Florida game when Urban Meyer told CBS’ Tracy Wolfson, “You look at the history of this series, turnovers win the game. That’s gonna be the key to the second half.”

At the time, his team was leading 21-7 largely because the Dogs had turned the ball over and missed on at least one take-away. As it turned out, Georgia battled back valiantly in the second half to tie the game up twice and send it to overtime. But in the end, Meyer proved to be the seer, as a tipped ball on third down of Georgia’s first OT possession was intercepted by the Gators, giving them the ball and the chance to win it with a field goal by their backup kicker.

I guess you can say that losing a thriller by 3 points in overtime certainly marks some sort of progression over the past two years, when the Dogs were hammered by the Gators, but when you consider that Georgia was favored this year over a Tim Tebow-less Florida team on a three-game losing streak, the end result doesn’t hurt much less than the two previous losses.

The Gators got off to a slow start in the scoreless first quarter, as has been typical of them this year, but then it was all Florida in the second quarter as the game looked to be headed toward a repeat of the same old tired scenario that has plagued Georgia most of the past decade. Despite their talk this week about approaching the Jacksonville showdown as just another SEC game, it was obvious that the Dogs were playing extremely tight, and the turnover problem that had largely disappeared over the previous three games returned with a vengeance.

It wasn’t just the times Georgia turned the ball over. It was the Dogs’ inability to accept the gifts that Florida tried to give them. It wasn’t a case of the ball bouncing wrong; it was Georgia not covering. One fumble Sanders Commings tried to pick up and run with instead of just jumping on the ball, and the Gators ended up getting it back. Another time the Dogs recovered a fumble only to immediately lose it. And with 24 seconds left in regulation Bacarri Rambo had a potential interception hit him in the hands but couldn’t hold on to it.

The tendency might be to lay the blame for this loss on the fact that Aaron Murray definitely had his worst game. I remember back during the depths of the Dogs’ four-game losing streak someone noting that the play of Murray had been the lone bright spot and wondering, “Imagine how it would be if he had a bad game and played like a redshirt freshman.” Well, that happened in the first half, as Murray was frequently off in his passes (a 63-yard scoring strike to Tavarres King in the second quarter being the main exception) and coughed the ball up on a sack.

But Murray looked sharp most of the time in the second half as he led the Dogs back and Georgia outscored Florida 24-10. One thing you can say about this group of Dogs is that they don’t give up. As Mark Richt noted after the game, even on that interception in OT, they could have just let the Florida defender run it back for a score but the last two Georgia players finally managed to force him out of bounds at the 1-yard line. In the end, the Gators still prevailed, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort on the part of the Dogs.

Not much consolation, though, considering this was the year Georgia looked best positioned to come out of Jacksonville with a win. Facing Trey Burton another three or four years isn’t a very heartening prospect.

I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more thoughts on the game. Until then, feel free to share your views of the latest loss to the Gators.

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425 comments Add your comment

wildbill

October 30th, 2010
8:41 pm

1. 4 turnovers.
2. 18 losses, 3 wins.
3. Long drive back to Athens.
4. Pink slips?

Corinne Brown

October 30th, 2010
8:42 pm

*GO GATA AND CONGRATULATE CORCH IRVIN MYERS!!!*

Iraq Dawg

October 30th, 2010
8:44 pm

All I wanted for this long deployment was a win. Iraq sucks and we suck too.

SOS Dawg

October 30th, 2010
8:46 pm

Another disturbing loss today. Mark Richt must go. Vanilla play calling, turn overs , poor tackling. lousy fundamentals in trying to recover fumbles. Just plain lousy !

CHDawg

October 30th, 2010
8:47 pm

You have to wonder how much Murray threw in practice last week; he looked stone cold until he warmed up. They didn’t throw him much at all against UK, so he was probably just cold. Dropped passes, mucho dropped ints and fumbles (offensively and defensively), not hitting the open receivers–other than that we would have won by a couple or three TDs, the same way UK would have beaten us last week if they had not coughed it up so much. Caleb King played one great game, as did Orson Charles. Murray had his worst game, but he still did well at times. Tough year because we have a lot of talent imho.

doggy style

October 30th, 2010
8:48 pm

same story. the sad thing is that i lose more emotion for the game each year. anybody know kentucky, vandy or usc record against fl over the last 21 yrs?

SAMMY DAVIS, JR

October 30th, 2010
8:49 pm

18 losses.3 wins. Embarrassing.

Screwball Willie

October 30th, 2010
8:49 pm

How many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS are you paying this NFL refuge to give up more points and lose more games than I ever did?

Coach Willie “Cover Two” Martinez

Sanford Drive

October 30th, 2010
8:49 pm

I am still damn proud of us tonight. We showed some serious fight in the second half.

Please spare us all the “Fire Richt” crap, people. That is NOT the answer.

GO DAWGS!!!!

Reality

October 30th, 2010
8:49 pm

second. What a bunch of Pu——-ies—————Can we please get another coach now—that can call running plays. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. God help me—-I am starting to hate a team that I have a fan of for many years. Wait till we hear all of the excuses. I cant wait. I wonder how many there will be. And this is one of the worst Florida teams in years to boot. Cant we get some real mean people to coach over there in Athens. Why do we have all of these nice guys that cannot ever get it done. Heeeeeeelllllllllllllppppppppppppppppppppppppp meeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! MRicht looked like he was on coughing syrup or something on the sideline. Every year its the same ol story. Repeat. Again, and again, and again, and again———well you get the message.

Devil's Advocate

October 30th, 2010
8:49 pm

Bill, nice summation of the game. I didn’t go this year, and for sure, I won’t go to Jax next year. I know the dawg fans have a MAJOR disappointment of the game outcome. I do too. I would like to have 15 minutes with CMR and tell him a thing or two. You know, I would think this late in the season that certain problems would be ironed out. But, it is what it is!

The Fundamentalist

October 30th, 2010
8:50 pm

Would someone wearing red and black please go to the ground and RECOVER a freaking fumble. This lack of fundamentals is indicitive of what they have become under CMR. Everyone wants to be on Top Ten plays on Sportscenter instead of doing whats best for the team. I guess that what you get when you recruit the type of character-is-optional “athlete” that my once beloved UGA regularly recruits. Sad.

Sanford Drive

October 30th, 2010
8:50 pm

Im still wearing my UGA hat. I will be wearing my UGA hat tomorrow. I will be burried in my UGA hat.

Relax people. If somebody told you a few weeks ago we would take Florida to overtime you would have been ecstatic.

Reality

October 30th, 2010
8:51 pm

powerhouse?

October 30th, 2010
8:52 pm

dogs evidently forgot about Green…until too late. When you have a race horce, you have to ride him to win…

GA BirdDAWG

October 30th, 2010
8:52 pm

I am officially done with Richt and the entire coaching staff! That game no matter how close it was, was pathetic! No excuse for losing that game. The players weren’t prepared and played like it! It’s time for a change! I’m done with the losing!!!

Supes

October 30th, 2010
8:52 pm

. Facing Trey Burton another three or four years isn’t a very heartening prospect.

***************************************************************

See that’s the difference…you don’t hear the FLA fan saying…”Boy I wish FLA didn’t have to face Aaron Murray for the next 3 years”….

So sick of this losing to FLA has produced a feeling of dread and ultimate defeat before the game has even started. Something has to change, or it’ll just carry on year to year.

Sanford Drive

October 30th, 2010
8:52 pm

All you “Fire Richt” morons, go ask a Tennessee fan if he regrets calling for Philip Fulmer’s head a couple years ago.

Insider

October 30th, 2010
8:52 pm

WELL I GUESS THAT SEALS RICHT’S FATE. QUESTION IS WHO DO WE GO AFTER?
THERE HAS TO BE SOME CHANGES. FOR THE FIRST TIME I AM LOSING INTEREST IN GA FOOTBALL.

Joe23

October 30th, 2010
8:53 pm

“Fire Richt” isn’t crap, it is a certainty. No chance.

Joe23

October 30th, 2010
8:53 pm

Morans indeed. :[

deezcoons

October 30th, 2010
8:53 pm

every year its some excuse. im tired of losing to fla and at 2-8 mark richt deserves to be fired. hope we lose to aub and tech just to make that a reality. i quit on this team until richt is gone

Reality

October 30th, 2010
8:54 pm

Booooo Hooo Hooo. Deem Florida boys always beat our as——s——we show did trys hard though—we almost won————-our coach says we played great. And we are a really good team. ———————–Never Mind!!!!

JD

October 30th, 2010
8:54 pm

Best they can do is 7-5. Auburn will kill them though, so at best 6-6 if they beat Tech. Year is disappointing and bowl won’t be much consolation considering the record.

RxDawg

October 30th, 2010
8:54 pm

Yep, title says it all. Murray reminded us that he’s a freshmen. I’m not that upset about this game. It was close, we kept ourselves in the game despite all the HUGE screwups we made. Why do we screw up so much in the Florida game? WHY? I’m not irate and this loss will not ruin my night.

What will ruin my night is the fact that we have lost 18 of the last 21 games and Florida. That is BS. That’s such a huge embarrassment it really doesn’t matter what else we accomplish. That crap has to be fixed.

Sanford Drive

October 30th, 2010
8:54 pm

Im SO SO SO much more disappointed in the “fans” on these blogs tonight than the team themselves.

Supes

October 30th, 2010
8:54 pm

What the FUNDAMENTALIST said in his post at 8:50pm!!!

Lack of discipline and poor coaching is the heart of it all…

Joe23

October 30th, 2010
8:54 pm

horce indeed. Hire Richt!

RNB

October 30th, 2010
8:55 pm

ALL WE EVER HAVE TO BE PROUD OF IS HOW HARD WE FOUGHT. ENOUGH OF THIS.
I WILL NOT GIVE ANOTHER DIME OF MY HARD EARNED MONEY TO SUPPORT UGA FOOTBALL.

DawgFan

October 30th, 2010
8:55 pm

Figures. Poor coaching and poor execution! Murray telegraphs his throws, who is the QB coach? Bobo. TO for staring. You need to scramble? Tuck the ball and run, do we, of course not, fumble. Overthrow, underthrow. nerves? maybe. Defense, does anybody teach falling on the ball when fumbled? Not once but twice we have the ball and fail to recover because we tried to pick it up and run instead of falling on it. IT STARTS AT THE TOP, there was confidence 4 years ago but since the Offence was turned over to a lesser coach, we have gone downhill……………………..

rcgator

October 30th, 2010
8:56 pm

Even when we suck, we own Georgia…18 out of the last 21!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Dawgs…
You lost when Richt kicked the PAT and did not go for 2 and the win.

g

October 30th, 2010
8:56 pm

The disheartening thing is that this game has just become an absolute loss on the schedule… To only win 3 games out of the last 16 is hard to explain. How is that possible? We just never really come out and make a statement except for the game a few years ago. Even today we came out throwing the ball instead of coming out and establishing the line of scrimmage and making a statement being physical.

I know this sounds crazy but I am not sure we will ever beat Fla. it just seems impossible to get over the hump.

I am not too confident for next year. We lose our best player and they just keep on reloading.

Sanford Drive

October 30th, 2010
8:56 pm

Murray made 1 bad throw, the first one of the game.

The other 2 INT’s were a dropped pass, and a tipped ball.

The kid is our Future, and He along WITH Mark Richt…… the future is bright in Athens.

wasn't it bad about the dogs,

October 30th, 2010
8:56 pm

was that Florida’s worst team in 20 years?

Candy Maltinado

October 30th, 2010
8:57 pm

What you’re all missing is that if we simply wrap up we will be fine. just fine.

BiggestDawgintheWoods

October 30th, 2010
8:57 pm

$2.5 million a year is a lot to pay a pastor with a congregation of only 85.

Macclenny_dawg

October 30th, 2010
8:57 pm

Same story under Richt. Play crappy coming out in 1st half!!! How many times in 10 years???? Comeback how many times in 10 years!! They play like they r coached!! Nothing rattles them but no killer instinct!!! No aggressive plays!!! Once again Bill on 1st down incomplete pass and 2nd down always a run!!! ALWAYS!!! Look at all the games!!! BOBO sucks a coordinator. But Richt has let him keep calling plays way to long!! Just like he did Martinez!!! That is why Loyal Richt must go!!! NOT AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH since he quit calling plays!!! Never try to punt block!!! Why not make Florida punt the ball at the end of the half???? We was down 21-7!!!!!! Try to make something happen!!!!!!! RICHT MUST GO!!!!

georgia87

October 30th, 2010
8:57 pm

Football games turn on little things and this one is no different. What does the game look like without Chris Rainey? We don’t have Mettenberger because there was a hint of scandal about how he treated a woman. Rainey gets to start in Florida’s biggest rivalry game. The officials never even looked at the Florida bench emptying on the field after the interception in OT. Yet, they threw two flags on Georgia in 2007 and that’s all we still hear about. We blew the game, plain and simple. But those little things add up. After seeing Meyer’s “discipline”, we’ll see the SEC office handle player discipline soon just to keep it equal.

A Sanford

October 30th, 2010
8:58 pm

that first Murry pick could be blamed on Green not coming back to the ball

Wreckmaniac

October 30th, 2010
8:58 pm

RNB, you are a true UGA fan and you will give every red cent you have to UGA. Just drink some more Koolaid.

5150 P.O.A.D.

October 30th, 2010
8:58 pm

Sanford Drive
Please take your hat off and go to church.
You better pray at church for the dawgs to beat Auburn and Tech just so the dawgs can go to a bowl game.

Sanford Drive

October 30th, 2010
8:58 pm

I hope to GOD the people on here hanging their heads and calling for firings do not EVER don the Georgia G again.

STAY AWAY. Do NOT come crawling back when things look brighter, claiming to be a die hard fan. You people suck.

Candy Maltinado

October 30th, 2010
8:58 pm

NO HAHAHAHA “bowl won’t be much consolation considering the record.”

Johnnyboy says

October 30th, 2010
8:59 pm

That it has been said, that coach is the best bartender you will ever see. Let’s find him a bar and pay him and the other loser freaks we hired and fired !

Hairy Dawg

October 30th, 2010
9:00 pm

I look forward to playing Trey Burton. If you’re a Dawg fan, you should look forward to this game every year. If you are a UGA player, you should look forward to this game every year. Whether it’s a chance at redemption or a chance to make a statement, this game is a fun game to be involved in. I’m proud of the effort in the second half. Our guys played like they wanted to win the game.

As far as our QB goes, I’d say Murray gave us a chance to win. He competed after screwing up early and often. He’ll bounce back from that OT pick, but it’s going to hurt some. It should hurt. He should take that feeling, bottle it up, and use it as motivation for the rest of his career. After all, the guts he showed in the second half to get us to 31-31 showed me a lot about him. He’s a keeper and will be a big part of this team putting together a strong run in 2011.

Wreckmaniac

October 30th, 2010
9:00 pm

7:00- FIre Richt
7:24- Fire Those Idiots
7:26- Fire All of Them
7:30- Fire the Clowns Now
7:38- Fire the whole lot of them

Wait, you were having such a self-admiration party for the past three weeks. What happened ?

Johnnyboy says

October 30th, 2010
9:01 pm

Eddie Long is looking for a job !

Joe

October 30th, 2010
9:01 pm

If we wrap up everything will be fine. It’s easy to understand, we just wrap up, see?

Otowndawg

October 30th, 2010
9:01 pm

It really sux to live in FL and loose to them. They don’t care about this game nearly as much as we do. They lose coaches and players and still find a way to win. All we do is complain. We sound like South Carolina…lower expectations or make changes.

matt

October 30th, 2010
9:01 pm

Our freshman Qb finally played like a freshman Qb. Other than that, it was a pretty hard fought game. Nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, those are the breaks. Time to reassess our goals:
1. Keep Auburn out of the NCG
2. Squash the Bugs