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

garind

January 1st, 2011
2:47 pm

was that ‘top 5′ another of those ‘top recruiting classes’ scams that keeps the thuga nation buying into the scam?
uga gets the best players and makes the most money and cannot beat a glorified community college?
how can you recruit better if you get all the best players?
how could you lose with a guy named rambo? you should be ashamed

hind tit

January 1st, 2011
3:11 pm

The long term coaching career is gone in college mainly because the chemistry in the coaching staff begins to deteriorate after a few successful seasons. To name a some in the last few years, Meyer at Florida quit not because of his health but he because he lost the original coaching staff. Result two down seasons and would have slipped even farther next year. Carroll at USC was on his way down. Brown at Texas has a top three class every year on his way down. Fulmer at TENN. went down. Now look at Richt very successful his first six or seven years then he lost one of the best defensive coordinator and the best offensive line coaches in the country and has never been the same since. Meyer will resurface when the right chance comes along, Carroll went to the NFL. Brown will probably mess around and be fired, Fulmer waited to long. If Richt had left three years ago he could have had any job in the country. I think after you start losing good assistant coaches at a rapid pace the kids just seem to quit on the head coach. It’s just a shame that people get so much hate in their hearts over a game of football.Fans use to love this coach now they hate him.

Jay

January 1st, 2011
3:18 pm

Time to give Richt the gold watch. They aren’t bad (even when Goff’s teams under performed, they played like Dawgs), they have quit (with a couple of notable exceptions). Sad. If he doesn’t go now, we’ll be in the same position next year.

dawgdownsouth

January 1st, 2011
3:23 pm

Was it just me or did everyone connected with Ga in this game look uninspired or like they really didnt want to be there? While meanwhile UCF, who have never i repeat never won a bowl game in thier history as a school treated it like the national championship!! I mean comon if you accepty a bid to a Bowl Game at least act like it matters!! I have been a Dawg fan for 40 yrs but this last 3 yrs have been embarrassing and shameful we have had quality atheletes just as much as other school’s but there ends the similaritie’s those schools who have won and are winning have one demension we dont seem to have and that is Quality Coaching. we dont have it with this HC or his assistants. Mcgarrity mustt make a decisive decision now or risk our once proud & elite school sliding further inot the sea of mediocrity along with the Vanderbilts, Ole Miss, Kentucky,Tennessee. IT HURTS MY SOUL TO SEE THIS ONCE PROUD TEAM LIKE THIS. Once again Our Georgia team folded in the Fourth Quarter. Unable to produce any feelings of pride or confidence. I for one will withhold my donation next year as i do not wish to suffer through another season of hopelessness depending on this Coaching staff to succeed when they have given no indication that they are capable of doing so.

Lowcountry Dawg

January 1st, 2011
3:26 pm

Coach Richt, Coach Bobo…hope you’re watching the 3 SEC teams playing the Little Ten today…the coaches prepare…and not by playing Grass Basketball!

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
3:27 pm

We can forget about getting players like Ray Drew and Crowell after yesterdays game.Those players are going to sign and play somewhere else where they can compete for championships.next year will be even worse.

Ummm

January 1st, 2011
3:29 pm

Thank you so much CMR and staff for absolutely RUINING my New Years and my entire weekend.
Yes, I am that pitiful fan(for over 25 years) that enjoys college football so much that my weekend pretty much runs in line with how the Dawgs play. If we lose and it was a tough fought game where we play hard and almost win, everything is OK and I can enjoy my weekend. I can accept losses.
However,…
That is not what has been happening at UGA since the end of 2007! Heck, some people could argue it started in 2006 with Stafford at the helm.
There is absolutely no evidence, and I mean NO evidence that CMR has the ability to turn this around. If anything, the evidence(3 years worth) all points towards the contrary.
Lou Holtz said last night that “He doesn’t understand what is going wrong with this Georgia football team (in regards to the pitiful loss to UCF). The defensive lineman for UCF were darting thru the line totally unblocked, the interceptions, the missed assignments and missed tackles, this is not a Mark Richt coached football team. I have coached against him at South Carolina and this is not the way I remember his team playing or him coaching. He is a great coach and he will get this thing turned around”. Direct quote, ladies and gents.
My response?
THIS IS A COACH MARK RICHT FOOTBALL TEAM. He is the coach. This kind of crap has been happening for 3 + years, guys. Give him another year to turn it around, I say Heck No! Are you joking?!
He doesn’t know how to turn it around because his product on the field is what he is, what he coaches, what he believes.
The loss to UCF was not on the Defense!!! They held UCF in check, one field goal and a touchdown(and 2 INT’S!!)
This is CMR, and has been for some time!!
Example….2005 against West Virginia
2006 against Tennessee 51 to 33
2006 vs Vandy (In Athens) 24 to 22
2006 at Kentucky 24 to 20
2007 vs SC 16 to 12(no TD’s)
2007 vs Tennessee 35 to 14
2007 vs Troy 44 to 34(34 points against our D, the year we were supposedly cheated out of the SEC East race)
2008 vs Alabama 41 to 30(down in ATL 31 to 0 at the half)
2008 vs Florida 49 to 10(I don’t even have to mention anything here, lose 19 out of the last 22)
2008 vs Ga Tech 45 to 42(up by 18 at the half in OUR HOUSE, OH and something alot of people forget, we had TWO WEEKS TO PREPARE TO PLAY THEM)
2009 vs Tennessee 45 to 19(against a team with NO talent on offense, all they had was Eric Berry!!)
2009 vs Florida 41 to 17 (nice on-side kick call a-hole!)
2009 vs Kentucky 34 to 27 (at home to Kentucky, REALLY!!!)
2010 vs S Carolina 17 to 6(against a clearly Overrated team, we muster 2 field goals)
2010 vs Miss State 24 to 12(umm, is you knew how bad there Offense was after watching them live, this was a Back Breaker for me personally)
2010 vs Colorado 29 to 27 (worst coach game by CMR and Bobo I have ever seen)
2010 To top it off, against UCF in Memphis. No offensive TD’s.
CMR, you are not going to fix the problems. You ARE the problem. Thank you for 2002 and 2005, but it is time for you to move on. Your “coaching” does not work. Your management does not work.
You hired Jancek.
You promoted Willie from DB coach to D coordiantor.
You gave up play calling to promote Bobo to O Coordinator from QB coach.
You promoted Mcclendon from RB coach to assistant head coach.
These were ALL your decisions, you made them, and the results are on the field for us the last 4 years. They did not work out, and you can’t take them back.
Time to pay the piper, sir, time for you to go.

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
3:30 pm

Enter your comments here

MATHDAWG

January 1st, 2011
3:36 pm

Richt did most of his winning with players he inherited from Donnan. He has recruited some real star athletes, but has failed miserably to recruit the mix of players needed for a good team. After 10 years, the current edition of the Bulldogs is the worst I’ve seen since 1963 under Johnny Griffith. He should resign now and save face. Something is wrong here. He seems to have lost interest in the job. UGA gave him the chance of a lifetime and he has blown it. Leave now Richt and let Mcgarity get on with finding a new head coach.

reality check

January 1st, 2011
3:39 pm

Um lets be hounest about UCF. Fact this was their first bowl win in school HISTORY. Secondly you say they had the 18th ranked defense in the country. BIG DEAL THEY PLAY IN CONFERENCE USA!! GT would be a top 25 defense in that conference. As a dog fan I am FINISHED WITH RICHT. Refuse to renew season tickets until he is GONE

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
3:42 pm

We all know Coach Richt can’t fix the problems because he is part of the problem being to loyal to his friends like Bobo.Recruits like Crowell and Drew will sign with other teams like Alabama and Auburn after yesterdays game.Next year will be worse.

wildbill

January 1st, 2011
3:42 pm

Murray must be getting paid to wear those gloves. He kept tugging and tugging at them. He must be in the Michael Jackson camp, wonder if the gloves make him a better dancer in the backfield. He couldn’t throw, what could have been his reason for wearing them.
I was glad to see CMR begin to show a hint of emotion. Would like to see him get fired Monday morning. With the top recruiting class, what has been going on at UGA? Whats next, rehab?

oakwood dawg

January 1st, 2011
3:48 pm

i’ve been a supporter on richt seen he got here , but now i think it is time for change in athens, richt will get another year like always in athens donnan and goff keep getting more and more years by going 6-6 every year. i am however excited about our first game next season against bosie state we get a preview of our new head coach in 2012 chris peterson. he does more with less than i have ever seen, so hey chris looking forward to seeing you in athens janauary 2012 ready to coach after we go 6-6 or 5-7 in 2011.

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
3:51 pm

Alabama 42 to 0 over Michigan St.Please Mr. McGarity fire Richt and lets bring Kirby Smart home to be head coach before another scholl hire him like Florida did with Muschamp.

Gary S. in South Georgia

January 1st, 2011
3:52 pm

Chris Peterson of Boise State has coached up a bunch of student athletes with much less talent than Georgia. He holds his players accountable and makes them attend class. He has only lost 5 games in 5 years, granted he doesn’t play in a tough conference, but the guy can coach. With Mark Richt, players are arrested consistently; acedemic problems; he is out recruited by Bama, LSU, Florda, Tennessee, Auburn and then entire SEC. We have no coaching whatsoever. Our offensive line sucks as do our running backs. Our defense gives up a lot of works with extremely poor tackling. We have a backup quarterback who returns ( I mean fair catches) our punts. Our offensive coordinator has no idea how to run the football. He did run the ball yesterday on a 2nd and 25 (brilliant). If you can’;t run the football and play defense, your chance of winning in the SEC is zero. What makes Greg McGarity think things will get better? Time to pull the plug on this experiment.. Inconsistency, discipline and poor coaching are very apparent! I’m sorry Mark Richt, but you must go! I can’t watch another year of these dreadful dawgs!

oakwood dawg

January 1st, 2011
3:53 pm

hey, you think urban meyer would consider coming to athens?

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
3:58 pm

Lets hire Kirby Smart.

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
4:02 pm

Alabama is whipping Mich ST. Miss ST is killing Michigan and Florida is hanging close to Penn St those teams don’t have a hard time getting up to play a game.It’s time for Richt to go.

Gary S. in South Georgia

January 1st, 2011
4:05 pm

Please hire Chris Peterson or Kirby Smart NOW! We are losing to UCF, Mississippi State, Florida (annually), Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Colorado and just about everyone who plays us! Remember when we were number 1 and Alabama came into Athens and thumped the Dawgs? Unprepared! Beat by Kentucky! Unprepared! Beat by UCF! unprepared! Beat by Colorado! Unprepared!! Nick Saban came to Alabama! Instant turnaround! Urban Meyer to Florida! Instant Turnaround! Gene Chizak to Auburn! In National Championship game! Bobby Petrino to Arkansas! In BCS Bowl! Recent National Championships – LSU (2), Florida (2), Alabama and possibly Auburn this year. Georgia has had 1 BCS bowl during the same period and has won 0 SEC Championships.
Enough said! Hello Chris Peterson or Kirby Smart!

Athens Police

January 1st, 2011
4:08 pm

Could someone in the Bulldog Nation please go to Auburn and post bond for the Thuga fan who set fire to Toomer’s corner? He is making the Bulldog nation look bad.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:09 pm

Happy New Year to the Bulldog Nation. Get used to 6 and 7 seasons. This past season is the first of many like it to come.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:11 pm

That UCF team was better than Idaho State. No wonder the Thugs couldn’t deal with them.

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
4:11 pm

Chris Peterson or Kirby Smart would be great choices.Gary Patterson would be a great choice too

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:12 pm

6 points scored in the bowl game. Now that is a sign of a good offense. The glory years are just around the corner for the Bulldog Nation.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:14 pm

Orlando Dog, you can forget about Patterson, Peterson, or Smart taking over in Athens. ESPN is reporting that Adams is announcing the return of Ray Goff to the Georgia sidelines. A press conference is scheduled for 1:00 Eastern Time in Athens on Monday.

Orlando Dawg.

January 1st, 2011
4:14 pm

Mark Richt can’t fix the prblem because he is the problem.

Ummm

January 1st, 2011
4:15 pm

Thank you so much CMR and staff for absolutely RUINING my New Years and my entire weekend.
Yes, I am that pitiful fan(for over 25 years) that enjoys college football so much that my weekend pretty much runs in line with how the Dawgs play. If we lose and it was a tough fought game where we play hard and almost win, everything is OK and I can enjoy my weekend. I can accept losses.
However,…
That is not what has been happening at UGA since the end of 2007! Heck, some people could argue it started in 2006 with Stafford at the helm.
There is absolutely no evidence, and I mean NO evidence that CMR has the ability to turn this around. If anything, the evidence(3 years worth) all points towards the contrary.
Lou Holtz said last night that “He doesn’t understand what is going wrong with this Georgia football team (in regards to the pitiful loss to UCF). The defensive lineman for UCF were darting thru the line totally unblocked, the interceptions, the missed assignments and missed tackles, this is not a Mark Richt coached football team. I have coached against him at South Carolina and this is not the way I remember his team playing or him coaching. He is a great coach and he will get this thing turned around”. Direct quote, ladies and gents.
My response?
THIS IS A COACH MARK RICHT FOOTBALL TEAM. He is the coach. This kind of crap has been happening for 3 + years, guys. Give him another year to turn it around, I say Heck No! Are you joking?!
He doesn’t know how to turn it around because his product on the field is what he is, what he coaches, what he believes.
The loss to UCF was not on the Defense!!! They held UCF in check, one field goal and a touchdown(and 2 INT’S!!)
This is CMR, and has been for some time!!
Example….2005 against West Virginia
2006 against Tennessee 51 to 33
2006 vs Vandy (In Athens) 24 to 22
2006 at Kentucky 24 to 20
2007 vs SC 16 to 12(no TD’s)
2007 vs Tennessee 35 to 14
2007 vs Troy 44 to 34(34 points against our D, the year we were supposedly cheated out of the SEC East race)
2008 vs Alabama 41 to 30(down in ATL 31 to 0 at the half)
2008 vs Florida 49 to 10(I don’t even have to mention anything here, lose 19 out of the last 22)
2008 vs Ga Tech 45 to 42(up by 18 at the half in OUR HOUSE, OH and something alot of people forget, we had TWO WEEKS TO PREPARE TO PLAY THEM)
2009 vs Tennessee 45 to 19(against a team with NO talent on offense, all they had was Eric Berry!!)
2009 vs Florida 41 to 17 (nice on-side kick call a-hole!)
2009 vs Kentucky 34 to 27 (at home to Kentucky, REALLY!!!)
2010 vs S Carolina 17 to 6(against a clearly Overrated team, we muster 2 field goals)
2010 vs Miss State 24 to 12(umm, is you knew how bad there Offense was after watching them live, this was a Back Breaker for me personally)
2010 vs Colorado 29 to 27 (worst coach game by CMR and Bobo I have ever seen)
2010 To top it off, against UCF in Memphis. No offensive TD’s.
CMR, you are not going to fix the problems. You ARE the problem. Thank you for 2002 and 2005, but it is time for you to move on. Your “coaching” does not work. Your management does not work.
You hired Jancek.
You promoted Willie from DB coach to D coordiantor.
You gave up play calling to promote Bobo to O Coordinator from QB coach.
You promoted Mcclendon from RB coach to assistant head coach.
These were ALL your decisions, you made them, and the results are on the field for us the last 4 years. They did not work out, and you can’t take them back.
Time to pay the piper, sir, time for you to go.

I can’t take watching UGA play anymore, too embarassing!!

Mr Logic

January 1st, 2011
4:15 pm

Is it really a bulldog nation if there aren’t any bulldog fans in the other 49 states? Does anyone believe that someone in Maine cares about the bulldogs? I think this is really more of a bulldog county.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:15 pm

There is a buy 1 get 1 sale of red panties at Walmart for all the Thuga fans.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:17 pm

Even as bad as Florida’s offense is this year, they scored more than 6 points in their bowl game.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:19 pm

Hey Mr. Logic,

You are right about there not being a bulldog nation. Its the Thuga town. And Ben Jones, Master of the Chop Block, is the mayor.

You're Right

January 1st, 2011
4:19 pm

THis completely took the words out of my mouth…..

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:20 pm

The Gators, the team that owns Thuga, is fixing to win their bowl game. I am sure that will sit well in Thuga country.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:21 pm

When is Thuga going to finish the drill?

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:22 pm

McGarity is working on setting up a home and home series with Agnes Scott for 2012 and 2013.

King DAWG

January 1st, 2011
4:23 pm

Fear not for the DREAM team will lead us back to the promised land next year. From 5-7 to 14-0 in one year.

Ford Motor Company

January 1st, 2011
4:24 pm

We just repo’d Mark’s F-150 and as a token of our appreciation are replacing it with a 1991 Ford Explorer with Firestone tires.

Bill Ford

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:24 pm

Do you Bulldog fans really believe your team should have gone to a bowl game in the first place? Considering they had their signature win against Idaho State, maybe they should have just stayed home and caused trouble for the Athens police so that they could win the Fulmer cup.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:25 pm

King Dawg, keep drinking the Thuga koolaid. With Agnes Scott coming on the Thuga schedule next year, anything is possible.

Girldawg

January 1st, 2011
4:26 pm

I thought AJ Green was the answer CMR punted on the 4 games he was out and everyone (ESPN included) kept saying the reason we lost was because he was out… well he was in the game and we lost it and it was ugly. CMR and his coaches cost us 4 games at the start. We have other good WRs one being Chris Durham who was not used enough during the entire season with or without Green. You just have to be able to change your game plan start over if have to but do something it is better than nothing CMR and staff did nothing. What will CMR do when Green goes to the NFL just give up on the whole season like he did on the beginning of this one? Green needs to stay for himself because I will tell you if he goes now he will be a bust in the NFL. Stay and mature get better in your craft and graduate. You will need the degree.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:27 pm

McGarity is getting offers from schools all over the country wanting to schedule Georgia for the Homecoming opponents for the next 10 years. Even Agnes Scott has called and offered money.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:28 pm

A.J. Green’s Liberty Bowl jersey is now up to 87 cents on Ebay.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:29 pm

Does Aaron Murray ever throw to anyone besides Pay J Green?

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:30 pm

McGarity is also talking to Galen Hall about becoming the next head coach.

Dr Morpheus

January 1st, 2011
4:31 pm

All season, we kept expecting Georgia to step up their game. Losing to Auburn, Miss State, and South Carolina in a rebuilding year is one thing, but Colorado, Florida and now UCF? What happened to the winning attitude we had in the first years of the Richt era? Next year it has to turn around.

Michael F. Adams

January 1st, 2011
4:32 pm

If it weren’t for Women’s Gymastics, our athletic department would be broke.

Question for the Bulldog Nation

January 1st, 2011
4:32 pm

Will the Georgia Athletic Department be coming out with a highlight DVD for the season?

Question for the Bulldog Nation

January 1st, 2011
4:33 pm

Dr. Morpheus, it will turn around next year when Agnes Scott comes on the schedule.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:34 pm

Dr. Morpheus,

Don’t worry, Saint Mark has talked to Saint Bobby. Bobby told him to keep recruiting the thugs like they used to do at FSU and they will then be able to win the Fulmer cup and finish the drill.

6 and 7

January 1st, 2011
4:35 pm

A.J. Green’s Liberty Bowl jersey is now up to $1.10 on Ebay.