Dogs’ bowl showing pretty much sums up the season: Lousy

Aaron Murray saved his worst game of the season for the Liberty Bowl. (Associated Press)

Aaron Murray saved his worst game of the season for the Liberty Bowl. (Associated Press)

A mediocre season came to a pathetic end for the Georgia Bulldogs Friday as a talent-loaded SEC offense that had prided itself on regularly scoring 30 or more points a game failed to even score a single touchdown against Central Florida of Conference USA.

Unlike most of the rest of the year, Aaron Murray, wearing gloves in a game for the first time this season, looked every bit the freshman in the Liberty Bowl, throwing two interceptions and nearly throwing two or three more picks.

An offensive line that had underperformed most of the season turned in one of its worst outings, especially in the second half.

And playcaller Mike Bobo made no sustained attempt to establish a running game, allowing the Knights to blanket the Dogs’ receivers for much of the day when they weren’t blitzing Murray as he searched in vain for an open man.

Of course, maybe Bobo was taking a cue from his boss, Mark Richt, who in the first quarter apparently had such little faith in his ground attack that on fourth and inches at the 2 yard line he elected to kick a field goal rather than go for the first down and potentially the touchdown.

That capped off the Dogs’ best drive of the day, which featured a pretty nice mix of run and pass. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the day Georgia rested its hopes mainly on the passing of Murray, who never looked comfortable. The Dogs did manage a decent drive to open the second half but it bogged down, resulting in another field goal.

And that was pretty much it offensively for the Bulldogs.

Most of the pre-game talk had centered on the two teams’ freshman phenom quarterbacks, but thanks to rusty-looking offenses and a pair of turnovers each, the game settled into a defensive struggle.

The Knights, however, persevered with their efforts to establish a running game and eventually were able to wear down a Georgia defense that occasionally was guilty of poor tackling (how many times did Bacarri Rambo dive into the dirt at opposing players’ feet?).

Overall, though, Todd Grantham’s defense played well enough to win.

It was the offense that stunk the place up. Yes, UCF has a pretty good defense, coming into the game ranked No. 18 in the country, but Georgia’s uninspired play made them look even more formidable.

The day was summed up pretty well by the drive the Dogs began with a little over 7 minutes left in the game. A good run by Washaun Ealey was negated by an completely unnecessary chop block on the other side of the field, and then on first and 25 Ealey was stuffed. Next play, the woeful line play allowed Murray to be sacked. And then on third and 32, Murray threw the ball out of bounds trying to hit A.J. Green, who probably was playing his last game as a Bulldog.

On that depressing note, I’ll open it up for discussion of the Dogs’ dismal showing in Memphis. I’ll be back Sunday with more thoughts on the game and where the Georgia program goes from here. Until then, I hope everyone has a safe New Year’s celebration.

Oh, one more thing: Aaron, lose the gloves.

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908 comments Add your comment

2012 FEAR THE END

December 31st, 2010
8:06 pm

whatever

December 31st, 2010
8:07 pm

edumacated

December 31st, 2010
8:10 pm

You said it all Bill. Richt did not have his team ready to play. They deserve the loss, and it would have been bittersweet had they won it on a last second pass to the end zone.

2011 bound

December 31st, 2010
8:11 pm

Hey, there’s always next year. I just get tired of saying that over and over.

Fire Richt

December 31st, 2010
8:12 pm

Face it folks. Next will be a waste if Richt isn’t fired now.

swampjacket

December 31st, 2010
8:13 pm

Just like the old days, O’Leary and the Black and Gold beatin’ the Dawgs! Man, The greatest team in history, with the greatest freshman quarterback ever, and the best reciever, could only score six points…the Jackets at least scored seven….What will make next season any different? Oh, no AJ!!

Derek Dooley

December 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

I sure can’t wait until I receive the phone call tomorrow morning to clean up the mess in Athens. Daddy is already pulling the strings to get Dooley’s Junk Yard Dawgs back together.

sad dawg

December 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

7 times is a pattern–the losses all looked alike in every way. this team is not well coached, i thought i would never say that about richt, but he has no clue anymore.

TDone

December 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

I feel sanctified!!!

JaxDawg

December 31st, 2010
8:15 pm

WE’LL BE 5 AND 7 NEXT YEAR!!!! RICHT DOESN’T HAVE THE PASSION NEEDED TO LEAD THIS PROGRAM!!!!! HE’S GOT TO GO!!!!!!!!! BY THE WAY MR. MCGARITY, LOOK FOR MINIMUM DONATIONS THIS YEAR!

bob

December 31st, 2010
8:15 pm

Not going for it on 4th & inches completely sums up Richt’s fall from the upper echelon of coaches. Name me any other successful coach in the SEC that doesn’t go for that 4th down. He has lost all touch.

Murray's Gloves

December 31st, 2010
8:16 pm

We thought we would make Murray play like Kurt Warner but we choked. Sorry THUGA fans.

John

December 31st, 2010
8:16 pm

WOW. I’m at a loss for words. I’ve always been a CMR supporter but I really think a change is necessary. This team was flatter than a beer that has sat open all night. A month to prepare and this is what they have?

I don’t think we should wait another year for a change. With returning players and what we have coming in at this point I think an 8 win season would be a miracle. 8 wins will not save CMR so why delay. Get a new coach, the right coach, and maybe we can get back on track by 2014.

swampjacket

December 31st, 2010
8:16 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot Ogletree will be the greatest football player in the country…but wait that was supposed to be Branden Smith….and before that Boyken..and before that..and before that! Delusional!

JaxDawg

December 31st, 2010
8:17 pm

You can count on one thing for next season Swapjacket: UGA will beat tech again! That is one of our five wins.

Murray's Gloves

December 31st, 2010
8:17 pm

bob

You are very right. 4th and inches and we settle for a FG? If you can’t gain some inches then you don’t need to be on the field anyway.

ATLnative

December 31st, 2010
8:17 pm

Just depressing to watch. Missed tackles, penalties, interceptions, etc. At least our field goal kicker came to play. Richt should resign. Hope they are watching USC/FSU playing some smash mouth so they can take notes.

Marcus

December 31st, 2010
8:19 pm

Typical Aaron Murray game against a team with a winning record.

2 interceptions, and a fumble.

0 td’s.

6 wins

7 losses.

Where is Lemay and Mason?

How many turnovers must Murray commit before Richt lets Mason have a chance?

Murray couldn’t beat a single team with a winning record.

ashamed

December 31st, 2010
8:19 pm

worst job of preparation I have seen by a UGA tean in any sport in 40+ years. Game was lost when we failed to go for it on 4th down early in the game. If we have much the same staff next year I am not looking forward it. More of the same stinks. Does Richt visit recruits and say “come to UGA we kick field goals”

Mark Richt

December 31st, 2010
8:19 pm

Why are all of these UHauls at my house?

edumacated

December 31st, 2010
8:19 pm

Sorry folks, but we are going to be forced to suffer through another mediocre season w/ Richt before he gets the boot. After that, it’s at least 2 rebuilding years with a new coach. Look for Florida and Tenn to get it back on track before we do. Everybody had better batton down the hatches, and start rooting for the Falcons.

Brian

December 31st, 2010
8:19 pm

I am a die-hard UGA fan and can honestly say this team and coaching staff is the biggest joke I have ever seen. They play with no heart or smarts AT ALL…EVER..and they are in the worst position of ANY SEC team going forward. Teams make needed CHANGES (just like Tenn, UF) and until UGA realizes this– they will continue to be a joke. CHANGES! ADJUSTMENTS! Do UGA coaches know what this means?? If I am a recruit born and raised in Georgia, NO WAY IN HELL do I even consider going to this lousy program. Recently, it’s a place to go if you want your abilities to go down the drain and hopefully you can still get drafted and have actual coaches coach you up. This isn’t all about the coaches either, the players have less heart than any other team I have watched this bowl season. I am always one to support but this has almost become comical. Richt just sits there like he could care less — I could care less what his overall record is, he is a joke and they will continue to be terrible until CHANGES are made. Thank god it’s the off-season!

DawgFan

December 31st, 2010
8:20 pm

I love the Dawgs but that was a very depressing game to watch. The offensive line really got whipped.

Seriously hurt

December 31st, 2010
8:20 pm

Time for a change. Fl hires Weiss and we have Bobo. Next year is going to be just as bad.

tim

December 31st, 2010
8:21 pm

that big fat poser ya’ll hired to “revamp” your defense is worthless…just face it ladies you can’t beat any team with Florida in it’s name…better fire CMR now so you’ll have a shot at Kirby…did you see that the Gators have hired Charlie Weiss as OC…can’t wait to see what your fat ass DC will do to try and stop the Gators next year.

Top Dawg

December 31st, 2010
8:21 pm

Marcus

December 31st, 2010
8:22 pm

The only time Georgia did anything was when Ealey was in the game, so Bobo rotates Ealey out, and Murray gets a sack. Thomas didn’t help the team.

Bobo does not have it within him to get a 100 yard rusher and he needs to be fired for staying with Murray over Hutson Mason in this game.

Murray threw 5 perfect passes ot the wrong team.

Dawg with two bags over his head

December 31st, 2010
8:23 pm

Some random thoughts as I sit soaking wet in my Memphis hotel room:

I’m going to end up driving 800 miles round trip to see UGA kick two field goals?

I knew when we kicked the first field goal instead of going for a touchdown on 4th and inches that we would lose the game.

I like how A.J. mailed it in. He didn’t even try to catch a pass thrown more than 6 inches away from his body. Good riddance.

I don’t know what Murray’s problem was, be he looked terrible all day.

We run the ball on 1st and 25? Really?! That alone should get BoBo fired.

Why do we need another year of the CMR regime, when the handwriting has been on the wall for some time?

I’m completely and utterly embarrassed by our performance. McGarity, suck it up and make a major move.

Dawgfan

December 31st, 2010
8:23 pm

Bad year. I just don’t think the players have any fire. But there’s always next year, and the year after that.

Line Dancing

December 31st, 2010
8:23 pm

One of our crime-prone not-so-smart players (Caleb King I’m looking at you) should go slap Stacy Searles right in the mouth. I wouldn’t bother studying to stay eligible just to run behind that set of turnstyles either.

Our O-line cannot even scratch the varnish on their helmets unless they fall over their own fat butts and bump a rock on the field.

ATLnative

December 31st, 2010
8:23 pm

and thank God Richt wanted to make sure AM was settled down before “trying anything fancy”!

Pope UGA XXIII

December 31st, 2010
8:24 pm

This team is a damn joke !

Palmetto State Dawg

December 31st, 2010
8:24 pm

I don’t care how many recruits we lose, Richt needs to go, period. It is time, and has been for a while. We may suffer in the short term with attrition and recruits jumping ship, but we get the right guy, and it could build us back up to a power in the long run. The offensive line is without a doubt PATHETIC. Josh Davis (#78) is the worst of the bunch. The whole team looks physically weak, and mentally they seem out of it. Do they ever lift weights during the season? The GA fans deserve better than this. Richt: please resign NOW!

DawgVoiceofReason

December 31st, 2010
8:24 pm

That was one sorry performance by the offense. Murray played poorly and his teammates didn’t help matters. Even AJ Green dropped an easy pass at the end of the game. I agree, the chop block by Sturdivant was horrendous. The play was completely on the other side of the field.

As to the decision to kick the field goal in the first half, it was a standard approach for most conservative coaches. You take the points when you have the opportunity. Especially after a lengthy drive. On the other hand, it pretty much sums things up that we don’t have enough confidence in our offense to pound the ball for a first down. We showed no imagination in the game from our offense. The game was boring.

One comment on the season: we got screwed by the NCAA on the AJ Green penalty. Given the outcomes of other NCAA violations, there is no way, AJ should have been suspended for four games. Two would have been appropriate or three at most. I hope he takes the opportunity to redeem himself with UGA fans by coming back for one more year. He is one of the all time greats and we will miss him.

Thank goodness this dreadful season is now finally over. Things WILL be better next year; they have to be. If not, well, the answer is clear (and will go unsaid here).

Music City Dawg

December 31st, 2010
8:24 pm

Get Gruden now!

Gator86

December 31st, 2010
8:25 pm

Congrats to UCF. Jeers to the puppies. UGA is an embarrassment for the SEC. Everybody in the conference was sad to see UGA beat GT and become bowl eligible. 6-7 is an embarrassment! I am so glad Coach Richt is staying. Can’t wait for the annual butt kicking in Jacksonville.

Craig Slist

December 31st, 2010
8:25 pm

Time to start looking for a new Job Mark – my patience is done.

Marcus

December 31st, 2010
8:26 pm

Murray failed, again, to complete a long pass against a team with a winning record, so UCF brought 8 in the box to shut down the run.

dmr

December 31st, 2010
8:26 pm

4th and inches at the 2. No confidence and no belief in your offense. I know this was just another of a slew of unimportant bowl games, but I think by losing this game, Richt really dug another level of the hole he is already in. Georgia is a program with tons of talent, but is undisciplined and plays uninspired football. Richt has one year, starting Jan. 1, 2011 to turn this thing around. Otherwise, the media will be talking about Georgia’s change at the helm and who they will hire. Fair or not, it is the way it is.

swampjacket

December 31st, 2010
8:26 pm

JaxDawg- I will not argue your point at the present time!…..Honestly, I know it’s no consolation, but UCF is a pretty good team..especially on D.

Mike

December 31st, 2010
8:27 pm

Well Bill…this piece, like the piece after the Auburn game, is pathetic…Your assessment of both games is a joke…your blog is a joke…yeah the first drive was good and should have ended in the end zone with 6, but there after, UCF made adjustments and that was that…You whined and complained about Nick Fairley who had 1 late hit that was called by the way, and when he was blocked INTO Murray’s leg, you went ballistic, along with all the other pathetic THUGA fans did…where were you when Brandon Cox was repeatedly hit late by the dogs (dawgs?) in Auburn? Exactly! This team is and has been for sometime, a cheap-shot team…go “Choke” on that one…

Tech Man

December 31st, 2010
8:27 pm

Last Monday after Tech lost there game, a uga fan came on a discussion about how Tech needs to change things and made a commit saying .. I know we’re bad but at least were not that bad losing to a team like Air Force. After reading that commit, I replied back and said you haven’t played your game and you could have the same record we do; so be careful what you say!!!!!! NOW I’M SAYING…I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!! The only thing that you’ve done; you beat us by..( really just one point).

Mike

December 31st, 2010
8:27 pm

Embarrassing. Richt reveals once again why he’ll get one more year. Unprepared, unmotivated, lack of creativity or adjustments. O-line was butter, UCF was hot knife. Why is Rambo in the lineup? His effort is indicative of this team. We’ll go 7-5 next year, and Richt will be out.

B Dawg

December 31st, 2010
8:27 pm

When our top receiver gets hit out of bounds right in front of our coach (no flag), and all Richt does is put his arm around the ref to talk nicely to him- you know he’s lost the fire. Richt is a good coach and recruiter, but we need to “outsource” the passion. Ideas?

first tier program

December 31st, 2010
8:27 pm

Next year will be a wasted year, CMR will have to be fired. WDE Go ahead and talk about 1980. Maybe listen to Belue to lindsay radio call again.

rincon dawg

December 31st, 2010
8:29 pm

Lets see what the kool aid drinkers will say on this one. Oh who are you gonna get to replace richt? Anyone in the top 25 would be an improvement. Instead of preparing your team to play you wasted a practice playing grass basketball, what a joke. Everyone says if he gets fired it will destroy recruiting, I think losing constantly will destroy recruiting even more. Happy new year

Marcus

December 31st, 2010
8:29 pm

Georgia will be a great team next year with either Hutson Mason or Christian Lemay.

But the “lost year”, 6-7, under Murray’s leadership was the worst in Richt’s 25 years of coaching.

Murray finished with 8 interceptions on the year.

whatever

December 31st, 2010
8:30 pm

DawgVoiceofReason…good grief give up on the AJ thing…he broke a rule…plain and simple. Be mad at AJ, not at the NCAA.

Face it, this team stunk all year…maybe next year will be better…maybe not, but no excuses please.

Sanford Drive

December 31st, 2010
8:30 pm

I wish I were a Tech fan now!!

Southern DisComfort

December 31st, 2010
8:31 pm