Dogs need to erase memory of a woeful effort

Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo had one of their poorer games the last time Georgia took the field against an opponent. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo had one of their poorer games the last time Georgia took the field against an opponent. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

If you’re running down the checklist of things Mark Richt’s football team needed to improve from last year, many of the personnel needs seem to have been addressed and a new approach to strength and conditioning looks promising.

But what we won’t know until Georgia is facing adversity on the field is whether they’ll consistently play as hard as they can, something last year’s Dogs didn’t always do.

Richt talked during the offseason about how distressing it was to sometimes see his team outplayed and Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald recently followed up with the coach for specifics. “When you watch the film and you see another team played harder than we did, that’s sad, that’s my fault,” Richt said. “We had some games like that in my opinion. I can name one for sure and that’s the bowl game. It was most evident that game, maybe that’s the one in my craw and is the one I’m talking about the most.”

No argument there. But what I found really interesting was the response Weiszer got from Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who flatly said the lack of effort didn’t come from his unit. “It ain’t happened on defense. When you look at the Central Florida game, I thought the guys on defense were busting their tail. Now we didn’t finish the game the way that we wanted to, but to say that those guys outworked us, that ain’t right. That didn’t happen.”

Sounds like Grantham was calling out Mike Bobo’s offense as the laggards against Central Florida, which pretty much jibes with the way I remember that particular game, a low point for the program during the Richt era.

But that isn’t entirely a fair assessment of the 2010 Dogs. I can recall some times last season when the defense was guilty of arm tackling and diving at running backs’ feet, so you can’t pin the lack of effort completely on Bobo’s troops. In general, the 2010 team just didn’t seem to be the hardest working bunch ever to play Between the Hedges.

Richt’s right about one thing; ultimately, he’s the one who shoulders the blame. His teams have had a tendency in recent years to come out flat at times and to just plain not want it as badly as the opponents.

If the Dogs are going to turn things around — and turn down the heat under the head coach’s seat — that’s definitely going to have to change.

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291 comments Add your comment

Trey

August 24th, 2011
10:54 am

I truly believe that this will be the bulldawgs year to win and win big! We will see on September 3rd if the attitude on the field has changed.

joe

August 24th, 2011
10:56 am

Big Dawg

August 24th, 2011
10:59 am

DawginLex

August 24th, 2011
11:06 am

I like Grantham telling it like it is. We need more of that. Call folks out who don’t perform. Make them accountable.

SSIgator

August 24th, 2011
11:09 am

“Dogs need to erase memory of a woeful effort”

Which one? It certainly was the game against that powerhouse UCF, but there were many others as well. When you go 10-3 then 8-5 to 6-7 in the last three years, woeful is a rather weak word to describe the current state of UGA football.

Pup Fan

August 24th, 2011
11:12 am

Yet another ‘energy vampire’ aritcle by Bill King. Hopefully the Dawgs will have changed….unlike the Junkyard Blawg.

me

August 24th, 2011
11:12 am

We should have eliminated Birthing Hips as offensive coordinator.

Athens= God's Country

August 24th, 2011
11:12 am

DawgDawgDawg

August 24th, 2011
11:13 am

Same old story. We need more intensity and it isn’t coming from Richt. Bobo seems lost. Grantham has that intensity and maybe things will start clicking for the D this year.

But fans shouldn’t count on us whipping Boise based on the fact that we’ve beaten them in the past. Their program is on the rise and ours has fallen in the past 5 years.

Vance Duly

August 24th, 2011
11:14 am

The playcalling could also be described as “coming out flat” at times, also. Hopefully, Coach Bobo has studied his own past performance and will make adjustments. He tends to overlook our TE position in the passing game, yet it’s our deepest receiver position this year. So, that will be a good test for Bobo. If Charles averages 2 touches per game again this year, it will be a very bad sign!! Bobo has a lot of other frustrating tendencies, and hopefully those disappear this year as well….. We need to attack the defense on every drive – 60 minutes. GO DAWGS!!

Athens= God's Country

August 24th, 2011
11:15 am

Coach Friend has the same mentality with the oLine as Grantham does with the D. Call em out. Challenge them. Bobo loves to coddle the “skill” positions. Get in their face and challenge them.

SSIgator

August 24th, 2011
11:15 am

“Richt talked during the offseason about how distressing it was to sometimes see his team outplayed”

Well, talking does seem to be his strong suit. Same song year after year. The more blather he spreads the more the UGA lemmings line up behind him. What a con artist.

Dawg_Mike

August 24th, 2011
11:17 am

Bill = energy vampire LOL
He has been negative lately – hasnt he?

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

August 24th, 2011
11:18 am

If you ask me, the 2010 Bulldogs were a better overall team than the 2009 edition. They never got blown out (we were neck and neck with Auburn into the 4th quarter: that isn’t blown out) and they were better than their record indicated.

The problem was consistency. At the start of the year, the offense was lagging and the defense was great. Then, at about Kentucky, things switched around, and the offense was firing on all cylinders while the defense was lagging. Then, at the bowl game, they switched again, with the defense playing great and the offense having no rhythm.

I have a feeling we’re gonna have both sides of the ball playing in synch every game this year. No reasoning behind it: I just have a feeling.

Go Dawgs!

Pup Fan

August 24th, 2011
11:19 am

SSIgator = SSIdiot
How about that con job Urban put on Gator Nation?

JaxDawg05

August 24th, 2011
11:20 am

Love the fact that SSIgator still trolls the UGA blogs. University of Florida football, the tradition of Wake Forest and arrogance of Notre Dame. Maybe SSIgator and Beast from the East could go hang out and tell each other how awesome the Gators will do this year under a Gator blog at the Gainesville Sun website?

Hot n Cold

August 24th, 2011
11:23 am

Richts offense has always been hot n cold. Even BVG’s defenses bailed out Richts vanilla offense many times. Grantham is correct that the D in the bowl game played well. Bobo is a clown.

SSIgator

August 24th, 2011
11:23 am

Pup Fan -

“How about that con job Urban put on Gator Nation?”

Yeah, he really conned us with two NC trophys and a Heisman winner in a six year span. We feel so taken advantage of.

Liberty Bowl Malaise

August 24th, 2011
11:25 am

Geogia’s dismal Liberty Bowl performance started on special teams with the opening kick-off.

Once the yellow flag came out, the ‘Dogs seemed to stop pursuing the runner who then proceeded to the endzone. The TD came back, of course, but Georgia’s mindset was set there and then.

Thinking about it ticks me off. It should certainly tick off Coach Grantham.

I’m a little dismayed CTG deflected a bit.

Fire in the belly is what we need from those following in Erk’s footsteps.

Hopefully Grantham’s merely saving his fire for the season when it counts.

Hot n Cold

August 24th, 2011
11:26 am

the biggest con is Richt while UGA pays him 3 million a year for crap.

DawginLex

August 24th, 2011
11:26 am

And he fled because there are no more Tebows

Long-Time Dawg

August 24th, 2011
11:28 am

In evaluation the downward slide of our Dawgs the past few years, I have concluded that Coach Richt has addressed some of the issues such as: (1) cleansing the program of some of the players that were “me” guys instead of the leaders that they were supposed to be; (2) addressing the lack of physicality by adjusting our strength and conditioning program as well as hiring a new OL coach committed to being physical instead of one that emphasized finesse; (3) a renewed focus on recruiting top players that will enhance our program and provide players who truely want to be Dawgs and team players. Of still a concern is the consistency and predicability of our offense since Coach Richt turned the offense over to Coach Bobo. I believe that Bobo is an outstanding QB coach, but he is mediocre as an OC. My hope is that Coach Richt will step back in a take more control of the offense now that McGarity has a system in place that will allow Coach Richt to focus more on our football team than other “outside” responsibilities. It will not be long until we see if the new formula for success works.

bawbie

August 24th, 2011
11:29 am

Fire Water Girl !

SSIgator

August 24th, 2011
11:32 am

Long-Time Dawg -

I guess you didn’t hear the news. Richt has been studying “cutting edge football” since the first of the year. Lord only knows why he waited ten years to get in step with other football programs. But, as someone once said, “a man must know his limitations.”

Stevo

August 24th, 2011
11:33 am

Granthan needs to be reminded of his D with this dismal performance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HeTQBMoSRI

Pup Fan

August 24th, 2011
11:33 am

SSIgator –
I don’t remember last year going too well? (Insert the ‘but we beat the Dawgs comment’ here…) Overall, for Gator Nation it was a lost year…and all because Urban couldn’t decide to crap or get off the pot.

Mike_Dawg –
Bill is probably a good guy. We at least have our love of the Dawgs in common! But when I go to The Junkyard Blawg I want to be fired up about my Dawgs. Heck, I can hear all the problems with Georgia from the guys in my golf group.

Chris

August 24th, 2011
11:37 am

SSI – hello pot, have you met kettle? UF program currently is in decline or have you not noticed? Have the past two seasons for UGA been disappointing? Sure, but maybe you should spend some more time analyzing UF’s sinking ship instead of casting stones at the Dawgs?!

I-DOG

August 24th, 2011
11:38 am

On another note. I am shocked that Florida told Jordan Watkins they didn’t have any space for him in this recruiting class. There has to be more to this story. I don’t follow FL recruting that closely, but this is one of the very top players in Georgia and a 5 star rated guy by Scout.com

Obviously, FL was interested in him at one point when they offered him a scholarship, but he narrowed his choices to UGA and Stanford when Florida told him they had no room for him in this recruitig class. It doesn’t look like FL has that many DE DT types on their committment list for Feb 2012, so I just don’t understand it? I’m not sure I have ever heard of a team turning down a 5 star recruit.

I don’t think Saban would do this. Anyone know any scoop about this?

DanDawg

August 24th, 2011
11:40 am

Hopefully all of the players with “me” attitudes have left the program. However, the needed intensity and discipline start at the top with MR. I sense a new attitude this year. Bring back the Junkyard Dawgs with fire in their eyes and the will to win. Even defeats are easier to bear when true grit is displayed. Dawgs have the talent, without much dispute, to match up with practically every team in the country. With no injuries, the O-Line, our unit with the least depth, should punch some holes for the RBs. Murray is ready for a fantastic year and I believe the whole D will be greatly improved. Ogletree looks like a future NFL’er at LB. Can’t wait to see Mitchell leaving some DBs in their tracks. And yes, I love the Kool Aid. 10-3 record sounds like a good turnaround, with 2012 shaping up to be a special season in Athens.

Joey

August 24th, 2011
11:42 am

Lex, thank the Lord that Cam got shipped out of Gainesville. He would have stepped into Myer’s offense after Tebow, and the Gators wouldn’t have missed a beat. As tough as it is to hear “War Damn Eagle,” it’s infinitely more palatable than listening to SSIgator and Co crow.

Joey

August 24th, 2011
11:44 am

Stevo, who else held SC to 17 points last season?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 24th, 2011
11:49 am

The team has definetly questionable effort this past season and some before. CMR cant coach effort, that comes from players and leadership amongst the players. They have to hold each other accountable. The team rid themselves of some bad seeds and replenished them with yes some young kids, but kids that wanted to play together and for the University of Georgia. Lets hope that translates into onfield results.

drew

August 24th, 2011
11:50 am

WDE

August 24th, 2011
11:54 am

@SSIgator and what is your insight today for the Gator program? What is the latest from Gator Nation ?

SSIgator

August 24th, 2011
11:57 am

WDE -

I will make it real easy for you http://www.gatorzone.com you can read all about what is going on.

Dawg Tell

August 24th, 2011
11:58 am

All the talk about last year and even this year is just talk.In less than two weeks we wil find out if the Dawgs are serious about winning.It’s put up or shut up time! Go Dawgs.

DawginLex

August 24th, 2011
11:59 am

Update from Gator Nation?

Brantley still can’t throw
Muschamp screamed at …..everybody
Weis ate everything that wasn’t nailed down
Jorts are half price at Gainesville Mall
Cost cutters has mullet cuts 2 for $10

That about covers it

BMDPD

August 24th, 2011
12:00 pm

This Dawg isn’t as confident about the BSU game as most. I don’t think we will be blown out, but it can go either way.

JimDog 85

August 24th, 2011
12:03 pm

The Liberty Bowl was lost in the first quarter when CMR sent the field goal team on the field on 4th and less than a yard at the 2 yard line! CMR took the wind out of everyone’s sails on that play and we never recovered. He needs to take resposibility for that lack of effort!

Top Row Dawg

August 24th, 2011
12:15 pm

Looking forward to season, rally up dawg fans.

Athens= God's Country

August 24th, 2011
12:20 pm

The liberty bowl was lost when the players on offense gave up. PERIOD.

Athens= God's Country

August 24th, 2011
12:21 pm

*****PLAYERS*****

(not the coaches)

Pup Fan

August 24th, 2011
12:22 pm

DawginLex – Now that’s funny! GO DAWGS!!!!!

Chris

August 24th, 2011
12:24 pm

If we want to see change, one thing needs to happen that obivously wont happen this year. Take the headset from Bobo and send him packing. Unless Richt has a coming to Jesus talk with him, and tells him to stop calling the wrong play time after time, our woes will continue.

Joey

August 24th, 2011
12:25 pm

So, if the players gave up, in’t that still their coach’s fault?

Joey

August 24th, 2011
12:25 pm

…isn’t …

WDE

August 24th, 2011
12:25 pm

@SSIgator first time I’ve seen your bunches schedule for this year..there is a darn good chance you guys go 0- for October and not taking a shot here…ouch that is brutal.

Deep ball

August 24th, 2011
12:27 pm

Intensity will be there. Focus will be there. 4th quarter will be much improved. Look for the O to struggle against Boise and SC but the defense will keep UGA in those 2 long enough to have opportunities to win it late in the game

Joey

August 24th, 2011
12:30 pm

I don’t like Bobo’s play calling or his in-game adjustments (or lack of), Chris, but I’ve got to believe Richt has gotten more involved on the offensive side. The “cutting-edge football” had to be about throwing different formations and misdirection at our opponents.

If we come out running the same old stuff, Richt will be seen as just telling UGA fans what we want to hear, instead of being serious about it.

Athens Dawg

August 24th, 2011
12:34 pm

I just think Mark Richt needs to show more confidence in his players and let them see that he trusts them to go make the play. Look at how LSU performs under Les Miles because he gambles so much. He only gambles because he trusts his players’ ability to go out and execute the plays called. 9 out of 10 times they’re successful on it. When Richt didn’t go for it on 4th and inches on the goal line vs. UCF in the bowl game, I feel that the players gave up trying. Because I guarantee you somebody thought “He doesn’t trust us to get 4 inches?” How is he going to trust us to win the ball game? There was no energy out there. TRUST your players Richt. They’re playing for you, put the game in their hands and just go for it.