Mike Bobo and Mark Richt aren’t why Georgia lost to Auburn

Auburn might have had more sacks had it not been for Aaron Murray's scrambling ability. (Associated Press)

Auburn might have had more sacks had it not been for Aaron Murray's scrambling ability. (Associated Press)

Some more thoughts on Georgia’s loss to Auburn. …

As I mentioned briefly Saturday night, you can quibble with some of Mike Bobo’s calls in the game against the Tigers, particularly when he tried things (I’m thinking Branden Smith in the wildcat or screen passes to the short side of the field on third-and-long) that seemed to have much less of a chance of working than simply throwing it in A.J. Green’s direction.

And while Auburn hitman Nick Fairley (I feel the need for Purell hand sanitizer after just typing his name) is more than a handful to block, the Dogs’ pass protection faltered a bit too often Saturday. The Dogs only gave up four sacks, but that amount might have been close to doubled had it not been for Aaron Murray’s elusiveness and scrambling ability. And besides taking a lot of late hits, Murray was hurried on some key plays, like the too-high pass to Kris Durham in the end zone late in the third quarter when one of the backs missed his block.

And, yes, you can question Mark Richt running out the final 50-odd seconds of the first half rather than trying to get some more points. Perhaps he also should have been a bit more forceful in warning his kickoff return team about the possibility of an on-side kick to open the second half. And, frankly, I think he blinked in the eye-to-eye confrontation with Auburn when he called for a field goal at the end of the third quarter. When you’re in a shootout with an offense that eats up clock, you have to make the most of every possession you get.

But overall Bobo and the Georgia offense were what kept the Dogs in the game, and with the exception of the on-side kick I don’t think Richt and company got outcoached by Gene Chizik.

The reason Georgia lost against Auburn was pretty much the same reason the Dogs have lost five other games: The defense just isn’t up to current SEC or past UGA standards.

And this isn’t a complaint about Todd Grantham’s schemes. It didn’t matter what signals he called Saturday against the Tigers defense, the players on the field simply weren’t capable of stopping Cam Newton and company. The lack of a nose guard able to take control of the line of scrimmage has pretty much submarined Grantham’s attempt to install his 3-4 defense this year and unless Georgia manages to scrounge up a big JUCO player, I wonder how much better it’ll be next year.

Of course, nobody has really stopped Newton, so I’ll give them that. But as a frustrated Justin Houston lamented after the game, the Tigers did a lot of damage with players other than Newton running the reverse, including gashing the Dogs for 31 yards one time and 48 yards another time. Houston blamed “blown assignments” and defenders not being “where they were supposed to be,” adding, “Some guys weren’t as focused as they need to be and it hurt us. It’s been hurting us all season.”

Indeed it has, especially in the secondary, where Georgia’s safety play has been consistently poor. Bacarri Rambo may have snagged a key interception on a tipped ball Saturday, but otherwise his play was tentative much of the evening. And while I suppose it was to be expected that Georgia would be keying on the run since that’s Auburn’s bread and butter (that’s all they did in the third quarter), the Dogs defenders seemed to completely forget that Newton also can throw the ball. He ended up completing 12 of 15 passes (80 percent) for 148 yards and two touchdowns, and that was with a couple of drops in the first half by wide-open receivers.

Come to think of it, on just about all Auburn’s completions the receiver was open. You expect that sort of thing early in the season after a new defense has been installed. But when it’s still happening in the 11th game, you have to conclude the folks out on the field mostly just aren’t capable of getting it done.

Finally, a couple of observations on the way our so-called “country cousins” at Auburn handled this major rivalry game. Afterward, Chizik might have declared himself “disappointed” and “not happy” about two of his players getting ejected when tempers started to flare late, but as I noted in my previous blog he seemed to be doing anything but trying to keep his players’ emotions in check on the sideline.

And then there was the reaction of the Auburn fans when Georgia linebacker Reuben Faloughi went down with a leg injury in the fourth quarter, resulting in the Tigers’ hurry-up game getting slowed down momentarily.

They booed the hurt player.

Really classy. War damn eagle, indeed.

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636 comments Add your comment

icallbs

November 14th, 2010
5:47 pm

45ACP

November 14th, 2010
5:47 pm

The offense has been scoring enough to win. The defense has been the issue.

Nub

November 14th, 2010
5:50 pm

How far we have fallen…. How much futher will we fall….?????

ca dawg

November 14th, 2010
5:51 pm

bill i agree with you entirely about chizik–he made the situation worse rather than better. he set a very poor example for his players by acting the way that he did, and given the example he set i think it’s pretty clear why guys like fairley play the way they do. they won’t keep winning with that kind of nonsense.

and just to amplify on and get a little more specific about your comments about the defense: we blew it on 3rd down again. auburn is going to get yards on anyone, but to have a chance to win we were going to have to force field goals. once again, couldn’t get it done in the red zone or on 3rd down. that’s got to be a huge point of emphasis for us going into the tech game and into next year.

thanks for not blaming richt/bobo. i think our plan was good, and the kids were ready to play. they just got beat on the road by a very good team. it happens. everybody grow up, move on, and start thinking about beating tech.

go dawgs!

GADAWG

November 14th, 2010
5:52 pm

Yeah I gotta say that I think especially in the first half we played really well. Honestly I just think Cam Newton is such a superb athlete that our defense didn’t have a chance. They are 11-0 for a reason you know. Overall I was pleased with our effort

Dawg98

November 14th, 2010
5:52 pm

Rex Robinson stated it best when he said “what used to be a friendly rivalry with Auburn will never be friendly again!”

John

November 14th, 2010
5:53 pm

Yeah, I don’t have any problems with the offense or Bobo, they’ve been putting up plenty of points. The defense has been the problem the entire season. I’m beginning to wonder if Grantham is the answer.

GADAWG

November 14th, 2010
5:53 pm

Oh and I hate Nick Fairley. I’m glad our line tried to rough him up at the end of the game.

K-Baby

November 14th, 2010
5:53 pm

Probably not first since reading the article before posting……The officials MUST do something about that body slamming maniac Auburn has on defense. There is absolutely no call for that.

Bill, you are right. We have to improve our secondary and get a nose tackle before we can really see what this 3-4 defense can do. I also thought we should have been able to run the ball a little better so as to control the time of possession better as well. However, if you can’t stop them on 3rd down, that is hard to accomplish.

Next year should truly be better if CMR can start from day one in spring practice working on blocking and tackling, hitting hard and not practice soft like he has the past several years.

mikeaddington

November 14th, 2010
5:53 pm

I’d sort of laid the turning the fire hose on the Georgia fans to rest but after watching those A holes last night, I’m back to can’t wait to get there butts in Athens next year. wouldn’t want to an Auburn fan going to the game and if anybody from Auburn is planning on going to Athens in the next few weeks, I’d cover those plates and decals up. What I really want to know is who on the GA team called the play to run right at Fairly? Haven’t seen that gutty a call from UGA in a long time. Was Van Gorder hiding on the sideli9ne somewhere?

icallbs

November 14th, 2010
5:54 pm

Auburn has defined itself beyond any shadow of a doubt, not that there was much (petrino, turberville, bowden, lowder (sp) to begin with. They have to live with it. It will be greatly to their detriment in a lot of areas for the foreseeable future. UGAs problems can be fixed, and while I am a huge Richt fan the stability of the program transcends the coach because the alumni that matter will not abide the win at all cost in spite of any principles approach the most influential Auburn alumni live by.

Bob in Buford

November 14th, 2010
5:54 pm

Auburn has a history of dirty play, ask Glenn Dorsey and Reggie Brown. Georgia players should have chopped blocked Fairley repeatedly until they got him out of the game. You make a good point about the lack of a noseguard for the 3-4. Grantham should play a 4-3 until one can be found. However coaching is a problem. Our dbs don’t know the schemes and are consistently out of position. They are also too soft. Rambo in particular is a disgrace. One last thought. They needed to decide if Braden Smith has the swivel in his hips to play corner. If not, convert him to wide receiver now.

Keith

November 14th, 2010
5:55 pm

Georgia and Georgia Tech should swap head coaches. Georgia won a national championship in 1980 primarily because of running back Hershel Walker. Tech won a national championship in 1990 primarily because of passing quarterback Shawn Jones. Tech does better as a passing team and Georgia does better as a running team. Mark Richt should coach at Tech and Paul Johnson should develop his running offense at Georgia.

Mitch

November 14th, 2010
5:56 pm

Once again, you show yourself to be an idiot. I can’t believe you can question the Auburn coaches after the history of UGA’s actions under Mark Richt. Did you not see the Auburn coaches trying to control the players? I don’t believe a single Auburn player left the bench, but half of the UGA bench came onto the field on a play where UGA players were going after Fairley. UGA offensive line had a chop block on Fairley and they attack him while he is on the ground, but what does Richt do about that. Auburn coaches were trying to control the players while Mark Richt was yelling at the officials. Yes, Richt got out coach as he has all year, during the game and during the fight. UGA’s troubles started when Richt let them all run on the field in Jacksonville, nothing has changed, your problem at UGA is getting worse. Enjoy your 5 win season, I hope you keep Richt around for a lot more.

Les Miles

November 14th, 2010
5:57 pm

9/3/11.. LSU vs Oregon @ Dallas…we’ll protect the SEC pride McGarrity and Co. chose to back away from…

Bill, you're gay

November 14th, 2010
5:58 pm

Bill, you’re gay. You are a whining, mewling little pansy. Change your panties and stop crying for just ONE second

Mike S

November 14th, 2010
5:58 pm

You hit it dead on the nail Bill. We can complain and nitpick about the O-line play and the occasional fumblitis (always at the worst possible moment, but those really are nitpicks. Overall the offence has performed outstanding.

The problem is the D right now is Square Pegs in round holes. I like grantham’s system, and I love the aggressiveness the D has shown at times, but until UGA gets a HOSS in the middle of the line, LB that stay home and tackle (Dent the one exception here), and DB’s that stay in their assignments and learn to tackle — the D is going to be vulnerable.

There are signs here and there of the light going on for xertain players, and there are times the scheme has produces big plays even with the players we have, but bottom line is the Dawgs need to recruit better and SMARTER 3-4 players. Until then the D will be erratic at best.

Ameila Island Dawg

November 14th, 2010
5:58 pm

Auburn is classless, but we already knew that. UGA is not tough enough and not disciplined enough for a team that is supposed to be in the upper tier. This coaching staff has reached its limits. And for all the apologist like Buck Belue, if the majority of the fan base feels that way, it’s not the “lunatic fringe.”

Michael

November 14th, 2010
5:59 pm

Most people thought that the only way for us to win would be to match Auburn score for score. We were able to do that right up to 28-28. Even so, I feared that when AU recovered the on-side kick, that was probably the play of the game (and yes, I was there at Jordon-Haire). Bill, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. I fail to understand why we still play so much cover two, unless Grantham truly believes that we don’t have the athletes to man up.

Jos

November 14th, 2010
6:00 pm

Earlier in the game when Fairly hit Murray late, he was penalized as he should have been. In the 4th quarter, Fairly was blocked into Murray – no penalty was called because it wasn’t warrented. The UGA players started the whole mess by jumping on Fairly when he was on the ground after the next play. There’s been no comment from Richt for his failure to control his players or apologizing for their role in starting the fight. It works both ways.

NY Dawg

November 14th, 2010
6:01 pm

Mitch, you’re an idiot. Fairley was chopped after he repeatedly hit our qb late. Your fans booing at our injured player was also classless. I can’t wait until the allegations are proven and you go on probation again. That’s the only way you can get players in that cowtown. I’ll enjoy BAMA smacking you again. You won’t be able to late hit their qb.

Nub

November 14th, 2010
6:01 pm

Why can’t we recruit A big nose guard…… Why is the top talent in the state going elsewhere?????

Roswell Dawg

November 14th, 2010
6:02 pm

Fairley shoul’ve been penalized at least five times. I’m only sorry we didn’t blow his knee out like you did to Glenn Dorsey. Maybe Alabama will get it done.

Alphare

November 14th, 2010
6:03 pm

When UGA was up 21-7, San Francisco dawg basically claimed dawgs would win. But I prophetically said, “wait, my friend, you have to score 50 points to win this game”. It turns out I was right on the money, Auburn scored 49 points and UGA didn’t score 50.

Bill, while you are analyzing the game, your points are totally off the points. There is no secret about Auburn’s success: their defense is mediocre and they simply outscore everybody they play to win.

Everybody in the country knows to beat Auburn you have to defend against Newton, but nobody cannot defend him. The same is true about UGA, without AJGreen, UGA is nothing but a 3rd tier team. But Auburn cannot defend AJGreen, which is why UGA was in the game for a while.

The simple truth is, Newton has a much bigger influence to the game than AJGreen. Green is just a receiver, while Newton is QB plus RB. That’s how UGA lost while Auburn won. Not what you gobbled up in the blog.

Supes

November 14th, 2010
6:04 pm

Right on Bill, good piece again.

AUBURN = Dirty, cheating, paper tiger champs that will get their a&es handed to them by BAMA and SC in a few weeks…then hopefully in a bowl game as well.

Saban will expose the cheating scoundrels soon enough…that D will probably bend over and give up 200 years to Jones and 100 to each Bama RB.

Gravy Train

November 14th, 2010
6:05 pm

All of the Richt bashers should just find another team to root for. Richt will not cheat to win while other coaches will. Richt doesn’t teach his players to try to hurt other players. For all of you thinking this team is loaded with talent, the past four recruiting classes have been middle of the pack for SEC teams. While that may be a great class by national standards, they are average for SEC standards. We simply don’t have enough playmakers on defense. Bill is right this time. Rambo may get a pick every now and again, but he gets burned on basic wheel routes every game. He and Ogletree were playing too close to the line of scrimmage all game. That’s on them for being out of position. The coaches can tell them until they’re blue in the face, but it’s the players job to execute.
Grantham is gonna need probably two more recruiting classes to get enough men to properly run the system. We’ve got to find a way to keep Bama and Auburn from taking the guys we need. Part of that starts with you, the fan. Nobody wants to play for a bunch of poor mouthing Judases.

BobDog

November 14th, 2010
6:05 pm

The Auburn students thought Faloughi was faking the injury to give our defense time to catch a breath. It turns out they were wrong.

I don’t know how anybody stops that Auburn offense. If you key on Newton too much, there are some good backs who can take it outside, and he almost always did a run fake, even when he carried the ball. If the safeties cheat on the run, he has the ability to pass the ball and some decent receivers who will get open. Maybe Alabama will prove me wrong, but I don’t think they will handle it as well as LSU did. So, the only way to beat them is to outscore them.

I felt like we changed some things once we got the lead, but maybe that was the Auburn defense adjusting.

I agree with you that the safety play was weak- again. I feel like had our safety play been on par with Florida’s, we would have beat them. For several years, our secondary seems to be out of place and it may just be IQ, plain and simple. Ogletree is going to be a good one and he made some freshman mistakes. Rambo is a great athlete, but that athleticism doesn’t do much good when he is out of position.

just a fan

November 14th, 2010
6:06 pm

Bill I totally agree with you on that Branden Smith play we were moving the ball without using a trick play why even go there

dawginfla(help!)

November 14th, 2010
6:07 pm

Why are people complaining? We won the game 1-0 the second Cam Newton took his first snap…

mikeaddington

November 14th, 2010
6:07 pm

C’mon Bill, are you a blogger and jogger? You’re a REPORTER, right? Who called the play to run at Fairly after the Murray hit? Dig man. dig. Use your ultimate connection to find the answer. BE da MAN. Find the answer we all want to know. WHO put the bong in the bong da bong da bong? ie, da PLAY?

John, the real UGA fan

November 14th, 2010
6:08 pm

Let’s wait and see what the NCAA does to wipe that grin off of Newton’s face. Then see if he can blow kisses!!!!!!!! Fairley has been allowed to bodyslam all season without repremand either from his coach or the officials. Ask Arkansas’ quarterback.
The officials should be sanctioned by the SEC for allowing the game to build to such emotion from both teams. I cannot blame the Georgia players from retaliating when Murray is blatantly late hit by Fairley. If he were in the NFL, he would be fined and sanctioned. If that is the case, then what is there to say about SEC officiating, especially when the team is destined to be in the championship game.
I cannot believe that the Florida/Georgia was a true college game compared to this one. I agree with Rex Robinson, The rivalry between UGA and Auburn of times past is over!!!
What a sorry college scene was viewed by all aspects of Auburn, from the Coach!!!! to the fans!!!!!
All I can say, is Roll Tide!!!!!!!!! Get revenge!!!!!!
Or allow Newton to blow kisses again!!!!!!
Sickening!!!!!!!!!!!
Go, Dawgs!!!!!!!

teewest

November 14th, 2010
6:15 pm

I have said it once, and will say it again WE DO NOT HAVE SEC caliber players on defense. I think Coach Garner can come up with a better scheme with current players. Hopefully Grantham will head back to pros and Garner with his never satisfied coaching style would help defense.

Dennis

November 14th, 2010
6:15 pm

The thuggery on both sides continues. It is easier to swallow these things when you win, like the classless dancing on the sidelines in 2007. And, I remember #2 getting two 15 yard penalties on one drive when you needed a stop. He stayed on the field. People who live in glass houses……….

Navydawg

November 14th, 2010
6:18 pm

Mitch, you and I both know that Fairley played dirty as he@# all night…he tried to body slam Murray all night, and that last cheap shot knowing y’all already won the game was uncalled for!!! Yes, Fairley was chop blocked ONCE…but how many times was he trying to hurt Murray? Man…I can’t wait until next year!!!!!!

Greg

November 14th, 2010
6:19 pm

Alphare, as you said in the beginning of your response, Georgia would have needed 50 points to win…a lot of us would have predicted that, not because Cam Newton can’t be slowed down, but because the Georgia defense still needs an awful lot of work. That was the point of this blog. And Auburn has been slowed down before this season – Miss State and LSU have good defenses and held Auburn to a reasonable point total.

Auburn has played 8 of their 11 games at home and their road games have been at Ole Miss, at Miss State and at UK. Not exactly murderer’s row on the road and the barely escaped with 3 point wins in two of those games. I’m not an Alabama fan, but Auburn hasn’t faced a team anywhere close to Bama on the road this year. The Tide will have a plan in place to make Newton pay every time he runs the ball. Auburn is going down hard…and it’s just a matter of time before the NCAA hammer comes down as well. .

tom

November 14th, 2010
6:19 pm

I have to believe that Chizik knows more about the $$ than he is pretending. And If we had known we could use professional players we sure would have hired some. Guess we didn’t get the memo. Anyway, look for Chizik’s name to eventually be linked closely to the pay for play. His hands are as dirty as Cam, Sr.

Old Dog

November 14th, 2010
6:20 pm

Bill is on target when he says you feel the need to sanitize your hands after typing Nick Fairley’s name. That was the most disgusting display I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Drudge

November 14th, 2010
6:20 pm

All fans who’s team has won a national championship in the last quarter century; please raise your hand!

josh

November 14th, 2010
6:20 pm

Bill, you can’t fault Richt for the onside kick. If you noticed their coverage team was on top of Boykin almost immediately as he could not get past the twenty several times. I maybe wrong but I remember Grantham saying we did not need a big NT if that is the case he might want to rethink that one. As for Fairley he continued to hit Murray late and on more than one attempt would put his hands under Murray’s legs as to pull Murray up and slam him down. AS for all the AU fans complaining about Richt, he is not the coach(Trooper Taylor) that ran onto the field to congrat his player (Fairley) as he made a fool of himself on national television. But hey within three years this loss will not be recognized because of CASH NEWTON.

Rick James

November 14th, 2010
6:22 pm

I don’t understand all the jabber about Nick Fairley. The guy was chop blocked in the first half and I understand why he was ticked off. There were dirty plays on both sides.

Who's Your Daddy

November 14th, 2010
6:27 pm

I hope AU gets the sh#t kicked out of them against Bama. Newton is an amazing athelete and has made it easy to like him, but the total lack of class by the AU fans, Chizik and Fairley should be an embarrasment to all.
Payback’s a bit@h, and it will surely come!

Drew

November 14th, 2010
6:29 pm

You are trash. Fairley had one late hit. The last one in the knee he obviously got blocked in to Murray. Post a video of any other “late hits.” And you talking about Chizik is dumb. Richt ran out on the fieild five or six times to the refs and then he let the whole bench run out for the fight. Also, when Auburn was booing the “injured player” it was because he was hobbling off the field and then Richt was pointing to the ground and telling his player to stay on the ground. How about you get your band under control too? They play everytime another offense is on the field. ThUGA is the one that had 10 players arrested. Not Auburn

wildbill

November 14th, 2010
6:30 pm

I feel badly for our qb who got bashed in all night and could not be rescued by anyone on the UGA side, the coaches, offensive line, nobody. I wouldn’t be surprised nor disappointed if Murray called in sick for the Tech game just to make a point.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by johndpyle, Crazy Crazy Me, Georgia Bulldogs-UGA, AUTigerWire, Andrew DeMillo and others. Andrew DeMillo said: RT @ajcjunkyard: Mike Bobo and Mark Richt aren’t why Georgia lost to Auburn http://bit.ly/dochgR [...]

damngooddawg!

November 14th, 2010
6:31 pm

Hey Drew, kiss my A__ __ __!

Mike

November 14th, 2010
6:31 pm

Did this play happen?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq3MkoRGoyU

All I read is how evil and classless Fairley and Auburn are. Not many Georgia fans mention y’all tried to take him out with a chop in the 2nd quarter….before Nick allegedly did all these crimes against humanity.

Y’all look rather angry and confused in your glass house.

BBBieUgaVIII

November 14th, 2010
6:33 pm

Ben Jones ahd been dirty all year get off your high horse dawgs.
Bill where is your outrage against Dawg players going all classless too. How many dawgs should miss the 1st 1/2 of the Tech game? UGA tried to twist Nesbitt’s lef off last year. Boy how you dawgs forget you have plenty of dirty players too. Remember Belue your SS? He was a headhunter too, but you dawgs loved him.
2faced Dawg Fans maybe this was your KARMA get back.

Gordon

November 14th, 2010
6:34 pm

The once proud UGA program reduced to calling out the other coach for trying to fire up his players, and whining about the mean ‘ole defensive lineman who they couldn’t block. Pitiful.

John Galt

November 14th, 2010
6:37 pm

Mike, if that’s all you have, you have nothing. What a violent, dirty hit! It is surely the equivalent of picking up a QB who weighs 110 lbs. less than you, slamming him to the ground, and rooting him with the face mask until you open his chin.

You got us, genius!

Gordon

November 14th, 2010
6:38 pm

Sorry dawginfla @6:07. A vacated win does not give the other team the win – they still lose.