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

Tim

January 1st, 2011
1:14 pm

Look: I love Mark Richt as a wonderful Christian man. But as a lifelong Dawg fan, I knew he’d lost this program when we had to revert to our little end zone dance to beat Florida 3 years ago. All my Dawg friends got mad at me but it is so clear to see. Richt won with the great recruits of an otherwise very average Donnan regime. The last few years have been HIS highly rated but oft troubled kids he brings in. Well, this aint FL State and this aint the ACC! WE MUST RECRUIT KIDS WITH INTEGRITY FROM GEORGIA!!! Remember David Greene, David Pollock ect…The 4 or 5 stars by the name of a recruit CAN NOT be the only criteria we consider when recruiting at UGA.

Mr. Singlinlington

January 1st, 2011
1:16 pm

Not only did the team live up to Richt’s total lack of faith in them on the first drive…Richt and Bobo did the same thing right after our first pick. Bobo called a play action pass that was blown up setting up 2nd and 23. At which point Bobo totally gave up on the drive. Calling our predictable draw play that goes no where on 2nd down and the all too obvious screen pass on 3rd and forever that also fails to gain any yards. The coaches quit on the drive. If they can quit why can’t the players? Lead by example.

The same thing happened at the end of the half. Instead of driving as hard as we could to get in FG range (with a kicker that can hit from 50+, no less), we call a running play where Ealey is tackled in-bounds. So we let the clock run out. This lack of effort at the end of the half has happend in many games this season. Again the coaches quit on the team,

If he coaches try and make something happen on every single play…maybe the players would start playing that way! Instead the message our coaches send is “If any of you make a mistake and we lose yardage, this drive is over.” No wonder when things start going bad they go very very bad.

ChicagoDawg

January 1st, 2011
1:16 pm

Here is a comparison for you…Richt and Eor from Winnie the Pooh…”o well, doesnt matter anyway” Same monotone, lack of passion, and ok with mediocrity…

DDawg10

January 1st, 2011
1:19 pm

This was a true embarressment. Murray were gloves and looked awful throwing the ball. Think the gloves might have anything to do with it. Does he want to be Michael Jackson. It football. Real men do not wear gloves in games. CMR get control of your team. Get tough or get out. The player have not been ready to play all year. Everone tells them how great they are and they do NOT have enough pride to live up to the hype. Another year like this and you definitely need to go. Show some pride.

7576DAWG

January 1st, 2011
1:21 pm

If Crowell comes to UGA , I predict that our one, two combination at tailback next year will be Malcomb and Crowell. King and Ealey will be lucky to get in a game next year. Ealey could have been the difference in our game if arm tackles didn’t bring him down every time he carried the ball. Ealey second effort is non existent. I blame the running back coach the most and after this year I hope McGarity will see it the same way and replace McLendon .

G

January 1st, 2011
1:25 pm

Richt doesn’t get them motivated to “finish the Drill”. Players like Richt but don’t play hard for him. He looked nervous and lost on the sidelines. Not going for it on 4th and inches on the goalline set the tone for the rest of the game. It’s time for a change we have seen this enough times to realize it’s going to happen again. Everyone knows our offense and play calls let’s change it up and stop being so predictable. Time to fix this ship before it sinks anymore!

Charles

January 1st, 2011
1:26 pm

Coach Richt, you had better find an offensive coordinator and new recruiting coordinator or next year will be your last!

Sopwith Camel

January 1st, 2011
1:28 pm

Quote from Richt:

“We’re all disappointed,” Richt said afterward. “We didn’t want to finish with a loss. We didn’t want to finish with a losing record. No one probably would have predicted that.

The sad thing is…………practically everybody predicted that. Everybody saw it coming but him.

7576DAWG

January 1st, 2011
1:29 pm

The reason Murray wore gloves is because you can grip the ball better so you can throw the ball harder and with more authority .Murray is short and has small hands and is trying to zip the ball but this is a major change and you don’t do that after 12 games without gloves. Murray over threw receivers three time that accounted for two interceptions and late in the game he over threw Durham on the 15 or 20 yard line that could have given us a legitimate chance to score and win the game.

Dawgstradamus

January 1st, 2011
1:33 pm

you think jeremy foley would tolerate this any longer? Move likely would have been made last year.

Dawgs73

January 1st, 2011
1:39 pm

It’s time for change. This is not a one game event or a one year event. This has been a program in decline even when we had Stafford, Moreno, & Green on the same team. Richt is in over his head and was not good enough to take that type of talent to an SEC or National Championship. It is unlikely that he will ever have that type of talent at skill positions again, so what makes anyone think that Mark is capable of magically becoming a coaching genius.

Let’s all be honest and call it objectively, Mark is a great, Christian man, a terrific role model for young men, just not the right coach to lead this program to an Sec or National Championship.

7576DAWG

January 1st, 2011
1:39 pm

My question is if UF or ALA. or Auburn or LSU had the same two year UGA has had would any changes be made. I think we all know the answer to that. Come on McGarity you were brought in to change the status quo not to get in with the good old boy group and become part of the problem.

ChicagoDawg

January 1st, 2011
1:41 pm

Best thing to happen to Richt this year was Evans getting a DUI. It made Richt another $3.0M. Evans already had him on a short leash…new AD doesnt make the change in year 1.

JB

January 1st, 2011
1:42 pm

We are officially doing a calender count down. The date? 24 hours after the Tech game in 2011.
The Mark Richt era will come to a close. After this year and next, HE’LL be happy to leave. There will hundreds of stories written and hundreds of thousands of hate blogs written between now and then. He’ll feel like the world is off his shoulders. His time has come to go. Adams and McGarity don’t have the gonads to do it now. Basically, I think McGarity has told Adams he can’t research and hire a coach in time for signing day. I’m sure after the Tech game, they decided to give him 2011. 2011 will be bad for all in Georgia football.

hind tit

January 1st, 2011
1:43 pm

Everybody has been arguing over something that should not have even took place. Bowl games have become a complete joke when a 6 and 6 team goes to a bowl in the first place. I remember a time when Georgia turned down a bowl bid be cause the school and coaches felt they didn’t deserve to go based on their record. It’s like being recognized for a -c grade on a report card. Both Tech and UGA should have turned down their bids until they earned the right to play in a bowl and this goes for all schools.

7576DAWG

January 1st, 2011
1:44 pm

Michael Adams needs to be replaced or he needs to stay the hell out of the business of UGA’s Athletic Department. I think Adams needs to let McGarity do his job without any feed back or interference.

JB

January 1st, 2011
1:45 pm

Bets that McGarity has called his good friend Foley at UF today as a sounding board….Although they are playing today, so it might be tomorrow.

red hill

January 1st, 2011
1:48 pm

A lousy, rotten end to a lousy, rotten season. Expect more of the same next year. I wish Adams or McGarity would wake up and smell the coffee. We are now laughingstock.

Dawgstradamus

January 1st, 2011
1:50 pm

the tide seems to be playing inspired ball despite what for them i am sure is a disappointing season.Hmmm…wonder what the difference is?

SCDAWG

January 1st, 2011
1:52 pm

Now is the time to run CMR out of Athens, I say that the whole coaching staff should be fired, face it our players were not coached up and we have great talent. This year remind me of the Ray Goff era. Look at Will Muschamp a former DAWG he is getting quality assistants to follow him to Florida, unlike CMR who keeps guys on his staff because theye were his roomates in college or his Christian beliefs, thats great the man has Christain values but thats not what he was hired for at UGA. Nick Saban,Urban Meyer, and now looks like Will Muschamp will surpass CMR. CMR has been at UGA for 10 seasons and no national title. Urban Meyer at FLA for 5 seasons has won 2 national titles and Saban at Bama for 4 seasons has won a national title.

gomdawg

January 1st, 2011
1:52 pm

I THOUGH THE SENIORS WANTED THIS GAME UMMMMMMMMM WHAT LEADERSHIP ,IT’S TIME COACH CHANGE ASAP. STARTING WITH MARK

7576DAWG

January 1st, 2011
1:54 pm

hind tit
I’m glad we played the bowl game or CMR and his coaches would have taken the tech game as proof that things are getting better but when you lose to CF it is obvious that the bowl lost is a reflection of how we did the whole year and nothing is any better . Some MAJOR changes need to be made and if that doesn’t include personal changes then it will be proof that all the blame is being put on the players and not where it should be , which we all know are the coaches.

Dawg till the end

January 1st, 2011
1:55 pm

How can this great school with the tradition we have justify this coach who shows no emotion at this humiliation. Something is wrong when most of the fans are more angry than the losing coach! He said that changes need to be made, “and not personel changes. For me this is a big problem. He is putting his future and the future of his coaching friends ahead of the future of this once proud team!

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:00 pm

maybe the delusion that the thuga nation has been under for the past 3 decades is starting to lift.
what would UGA have to offer an elite coach?
you could save money by using the clarke county mug shots for the 2011 media guide!
florida just scored, nice

Chicago Dawg

January 1st, 2011
2:03 pm

This is not the previous Chicago Dawg but whatever happened to throwing down field? You have the best WR in the nation who is fast and athletic. Why aren’t we throwing a deep post or a go route? 77 yards receiving should have been one pass play. The playcalling was absolutely awful and it looked like we were unprepared. That is coaching and it falls on Bobo and Richt b/c Richt allowed it. The defense allows 10 points and you don’t win? The defense is there but just needs to be more physical. This team doesn’t look like an SEC team with talent and physical aggressiveness. They fit more in the PAC 10. Something needs to change, again.

TiredofreadingthesameoldBSfromCMR

January 1st, 2011
2:04 pm

If Richt made the call to kick a field goal on the opening drive, he needs to be fired, along with Bobo (he ia horrible Off. Cor.)! The so called leave early people, (I still think you need to talk to Fred Gibson) other than that, haul ass! You never impressed nobody at anytime in 2 years. Houston, hope you have a great pro career, you were consistent all year, thanks for your effort! A.J., you owe the UGA nation, the only the thing you accomplished this year was you got another year of free education, or are you going to sell last night’s jersey to help buy you a ticket to the NFL combines? A question though, was CMR referring to you or himself at the end of the press conference when he stated, “time to go, time to go!”? I hope it was him! As far as a “Dream Team”, hell, UGA has been hailed to be a dream team for 3 years, who in their right mind would want to play for a bunch of DA coaches at UGA? Fla. is doing something about their program, which they realized last year that they were in trouble; UGA has known for years that they have been in trouble, but we still are waiting on a “Dream Team” to show up. The UGA nation is waiting for a “Realistic Team” to show up!
To sum it up, all of ya’ll (coaching staff) needs to be fired, except Grantham; he needs a chance to coach HIS recruits, if he can find any in the country who wants to come to UGA! The rest of the staff is horrible, always looking for excuses and pointing fingers at kids for terrible play, now that’s class Bobo!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 1st, 2011
2:05 pm

I feel good

I just drink some kool-aid that some of the delusional bloggers left

Were going to win it all next year you watch

This staff is

13-12 in the SEC east the past 5 yrs

2-8 vs FL

Loses to powerhouse teams like UCF, Colorado, Miss St, USC, KY, OK St in the past few yrs

Cannot appear in an SEC championship game with Stafford, Moreno, Green, and Masoqui on the same team

Loves keeping friends together while letting Van Gorder go

Needs to motivate a team with Uniforms, Dancing, and Beard growing

Did I miss anything

National title all the way baby now let me borrow someone’s playstation to make it happen

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 1st, 2011
2:06 pm

I forgot

11 arrests this yr

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:08 pm

was that chuck dowdle on beale street? i love to hear him say ‘Alex Ogletree’, precious!

Mr. Singlinlington

January 1st, 2011
2:09 pm

garind…we have one of the top 5 most profitable Athletic Associations in the whole NCAA. It is time our football results started to reflect these results. We have virtually unlimited resources and are the flagship University in the 4th best state for recruting football players. There are maybe 8 other programs that would be a better place to coach. And I have never lived anyplace better than Athens GA.

Why wouldn’t an elite coach want to come to UGA?

BTW…I included Florida in the 8…but it was nowhere near that before Spurrier arrived. So you clowns are new to the party.

sammiamm

January 1st, 2011
2:09 pm

UGA FRIEND

January 1st, 2011
2:13 pm

Losing to UCF should not be embarassing to UGA fans. This loss was to a team ranked in the top 25 regardless of its conference affiliation. The problem is not that UGA has bad football coaches. The problem is that too many UGA fans have unrealistic expectations about the team. Fans should just be fans. If they do not want CMR to stay, they can find another team to cheer for.

Tired of reading the same old BS from CMR

January 1st, 2011
2:13 pm

Dude, put some spaces between the words, it shows your handle without running into your post

Mr. Singlinlington

January 1st, 2011
2:17 pm

UGA FRIEND…Oh so I see now: The awful brand of football I watched yesterday has nothing to do with the players or coaches–It is beacuse of my…ummm…unrealstic expectation of beating UCF.

Apologies Bulldog fans.

ARE YOU SERIOUS!?

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:18 pm

doesn’t surprise me that you’ve never lived in a nicer place than Athens, nice….very nice.
heard ya’ll got one of them walmarts now.
you cannot buy class, that is your problem.

ChicagoDawg

January 1st, 2011
2:19 pm

The way i look at it….Richt has already sacrificied 2011 and beyond…blow it up and start over. Most coaches are tripping over themselves to coach in the SEC. GA is an attractive position…they would get a good one.

Xenophon

January 1st, 2011
2:19 pm

Richt’s and Georgia’s problems began with the 2005 team in the Sugar Bowl loss to WV. They inexplicably fell behind by FOUR touchdowns by halftime. That was a sign of something going badly wrong on the coaching side. The next big sign was the following year, 2006, in the Colorado game. If you go back and look at the film, you will see a Georgia team that was ill prepared. They won that game, barely, but ended up losing four games that year. And then there were the blow-out losses to teams like Florida, Alabama and Tennessee in the following seasons. What was that about? The drumbeat of embarrassments just kept on, year after year. Frankly, I was ready to dump Richt at the end of the 2008 season…and said so often. After two more miserable years, it has gotten worse. His contract runs through 2013. If you are a wealthy alum and you have any influence, you’d better start using it now. If you don’t ease Richt now, we will pay for it even more heavily next year and the year after. We’re in a deep hole. Let’s start climbing out NOW.

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:19 pm

you cannot even get an elite weight lifting guy. please continue your ‘promote from within’ policy, please
florida just scored a touch down, know what that is?

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:20 pm

the dog rag AJC said it was ’cause ya’lls dawg was sick.

Ala leads 28-0

January 1st, 2011
2:23 pm

Looks like the big boys of the SEC are playing today

Mr. Singlinlington

January 1st, 2011
2:25 pm

Ever been to Athens garind?

I’ve lived in Chicago, NYC, Dallas, and ATL…I would trade every minute in every one of those places to be back in Athens in a second.

Those who judge class have very little of it.

Keep on truckin’

Ala leads 28-0

January 1st, 2011
2:25 pm

every one was talking down the SEC yesterday, but they did not realize that the junior varsities were playing.

waytogoRicht

January 1st, 2011
2:26 pm

They say, the McGarity’s of the UGA nation that is, that Richt has enough capital built up to be able to come back and stink it up one more year. For $2.8 mil a year this joke of a coach has not created the capital which should bring him back. Others making similar money in the SEC have “the capital” I’m talking about; either a national title or an undefeated team at least one year in their tenure (in Richt’s case his ten).

If earned capital is the only reason he comes back, hey, Richt hasn’t earned either of the two that count for the money this joke is getting paid.

still a dawg fan

January 1st, 2011
2:32 pm

Yesterday’s loss summed up our whole season “TERRIBLE”. Anyone want to dispute that our recruiting has been terrible the last 3-4 years.Our so called 4&5 star recruits just got an a_ _ kicking from a bunch of 1&2 star recruits. Maybe CMR is recruiting the wrong players & all the juniors thinking about jumping to the NFL next year need to take a realistic look at there talent level especially those guys on the offensive line because I didn’t see those guys block anyone yesterday.

WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT BUT IF WE RECRUIT BETTER WE WILL WIN

O'Leary owns u

January 1st, 2011
2:32 pm

Hahahahahaha OLeary owns ugag four out of the last five hahahahahahaha

TexasDawg

January 1st, 2011
2:33 pm

Headline – Memphis, TN. Yesterday, 22 members of the UGA football squad were arrested after the Liberty Bowl Game. They have been charged with impersonating an SEC football team. They have all pleaded, “No Contest.”

Yeah, we know, we watched the game.

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:33 pm

top 5, forbes say 9th and KAArme has uga in the mid teens?
thanks for the Solomonesque wisdom. may i quote you?
yeah, i’ve been to athens, and those other places, they have nice trailer parks there too.
at least they looked nice as i trucked by

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:35 pm

are you counting aj’s jersey money? did he really sell that kid the sign?

Summit Dawg

January 1st, 2011
2:37 pm

Whoa!…Hwy Tim, you are calling our DC “fat-ass?!………Apparently you haven’t seen recent pictures of Charlie Weis!!!!!!!!!!!!

DawgByte

January 1st, 2011
2:45 pm

The question being posed to us all is whether we believe Mark Richt can turn this program around in 2011, because I think everyone knows he will not be given another shot. IMO ‘11 is make-it or break-it for Richt. Given that reality lets examine the state of this program:

Q:
1. How does Richt turn around a team (minimum of 9 wins & New Year’s Day Bowl) with a mediocre OL and a weak and porous DL? The OL and DL are the heart and soul of any successful football team. Does anyone in their right mind believe we will see drastic improvement next year with the personnel we have today and what is projected to come in with this recruiting class?

A:
I don’t have the confidence Searles and Garner can turn a sows ear into a silk pillow with the players we have, nor do I think any freshmen in this class can make a significant impact. If we can land the second coming of Mount Cody from that Miss. JC, that may help. But in the final analysis that’s just not enough.

Q:
2. How does Richt turn around a team that quite frankly does not have the talent we think it does, which is evident by the lack of players selected for 1st All SEC?

A:
Richt can’t, period. Last years class was weak and we haven’t had a verbal for the 2011 class since early August. The facts don’t lie and if you look at our recruiting classes over the last 4 years they just don’t stack up against Alabama, LSU, Florida and last years AU recruits. Garner is the recruiting coordinator and he’s clearly not getting it done. Richt is also to blame for the overall recruiting strategy. The type of players we are recruiting do not represent the type of character we need and their effort on the field is appalling.

Q:
3. How does Grantham make the 3-4 successful with the players he has and the one’s he getting with this new class?

A:
Without a massive nose guard who can take on the Center and Guard, Grantham can’t make his strategy work. We don’t have dominating inside linebackers to plug the running game. Jones and Samuel may bring some new life to the backer corp, but we don’t get enough pressure off the edge to help the extremely weak secondary. In short I no longer think Grantham will be able to turn this defense around enough next year to save Richt’s job.

I admire Mark Richt and think over the course of his career he has done a fine job. He’s given us two SEC championships, which is more than both of our previous coaches. Given the current coaching staff and players, I do not believe Richt can turn this program around. Lou Holtz made a passionate plea last night for Georgia fans to remain confident in Richt. Sorry Lou, but I’ve lost that confidence.