Why the rush to judgment on 2011 Dogs?

Malcolm Mitchell's dazzling score proved to be too little too late, but what a play! (Brand Sanderlin / AJC)

Malcolm Mitchell's dazzling score proved to be too little too late, but what a play! (Brand Sanderlin / AJC)

The predictable happened Saturday night.

A Georgia program that struggled through a losing season last year got pretty soundly beaten by one of the country’s winningest programs in recent years.

A Top 5 team beat a team that somehow had sneaked into the Top 20 on the basis of a great recruiting year and residual respect from past glories.

Georgia fans booed and cussed Mike Bobo for yet another night of mostly predictable playcalling.

And the nattering nabobs of negativism, as Spiro Agnew might call them, immediately jumped off the bandwagon after just one game and started with the woe-is-Mark-Richt broadsides.

You knew that was going to happen, despite the fact that Boise State was favored over the Dogs and despite the fact that Georgia’s potential road to the SEC championship remains at least theoretically open despite the loss of the Old Leather Helmet trophy to the Broncos at the Georgia Dome. (The only way losing to Boise might impact Georgia in the SEC wars is if the injuries to a couple of key players Saturday night result in extended absences.)

But that’s the way the “hot seat” media scenario works. A “Dream Team” recruiting class might turn the heat down a couple of notches, but all you have to do is open the season with a loss — even a loss that most observers thought stood a pretty good chance of happening — and the “what has happened to the Georgia program under Richt?” storyline takes front and center again.

I’m certainly not here to defend Richt or Bobo. The downward trend of Georgia against ranked opponents over the past four seasons under Richt is undeniable. And despite the occasional deviation from the norm — Brandon Boykin coming over to the offensive side for a brilliant scoring reverse — Bobo fooled almost no one with what he was doing Saturday night, especially in the first half.

And while Aaron Murray played a little better in the second half, he mostly continued the slump that began in the Liberty Bowl and frankly didn’t show the amount of progress from his freshman year that most of us expected. He’s still standing back there holding on to the ball too long on third-and-long (thanks, Bobo) and getting sacked. He also was off-target on some key throws but we’ll give him that since he also had several surely thrown passes dropped.

Also, the line play was disappointing, both offensively and defensively, with Boise having the upper hand most of the evening. And Todd Grantham never did figure out how to defend Kellen Moore’s short passing game, whether the Dogs were in man-to-man or that extremely loose zone.

Yes, I had convinced myself Georgia could, under the right circumstances, beat Boise. And that might have happened had the Dogs played fully up to their potential, not made stupid mistakes, not gotten hit with some injuries — and if Boise had played a poor game. But they didn’t. Georgia still looked like a team in search of its identity while the Broncos played like a team that knows they’re good, something the Dogs are still dreaming about.

Still, as I was trudging back to the car Saturday night with my wife and brothers, we found ourselves doing something that ran counter to the general mood of the evening: accentuating the positive.

That long touchdown pass to true freshman Malcolm Mitchell was a thing of beauty, as he turned on the afterburners, catching the perfectly thrown ball from Murray in stride. That young man is going to be a Georgia football hero before very much time has passed. We also noted what a fine performance transfer linebacker Jarvis Jones turned in. And while tailback Isaiah Crowell’s debut was nowhere near Marcus Lattimore standards, he showed flashes of what is surely to come.

So if you want to throw up your hands and declare this another “lost” season on the basis of one game that Georgia really had very little chance of winning, go right ahead.

I prefer to think about the blur that was Mitchell as he literally blew past Boise defenders. The story of the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs still has many chapters yet to be written.

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814 comments Add your comment

Auburn...what a joke

September 4th, 2011
9:20 pm

AU…where the NCAA goes to find the cheaters. Where below average students in Georgia go to get into college. Where a celebration includes throwing toilet paper into a tree….what a joke.

Auburn Fan

September 4th, 2011
9:25 pm

Bobo. Are you kidding me? It was offensive.

Auburn Fan

September 4th, 2011
9:27 pm

Hey at least we celebrate in Auburn. All you guys do is talk about Herschel and something that happened 30 years ago. Richt is making Goff look good.

SSIgator

September 4th, 2011
9:29 pm

I thought I would wait until some of the dust settled from yesterdays train wreck to see when AltamahaDawg, JB and DawginLex would make the appeareance on this site, but I guess they are really hungover from all of that KoolAid they drank for the last eight months. Last nights game wasn’t just a loss – it was total embarassment for UGA football and all associated with it. Anyone who thinks that these clowns that are ripping off UGA in this ponzi scheme can in some way justify their positions for future employment with the school are either totally blind to reality or really do not care what happens. Such a shame.

Auburn Fan

September 4th, 2011
9:34 pm

honestly, Boise State is just a good football team. I don’t think they will lose another game. No shame in losing to them. The real problem was the offense was awful.

bulldog950

September 4th, 2011
9:40 pm

Enter your comments here

playmeortrademe

September 4th, 2011
9:43 pm

The signs were there as far back as 2007 but UGA caught Florida on a bad day, had the once-in-a-lifetime blackout game, and then got the luck in the polls to move up into a BCS at-large spot where we drew a Hawaii team that would’ve been a .500 team in a major conference. In 2008 the same problems manifested, and then in 2009 and 2010 the problems really blew up without the same talent to overcome the coaching. Think about this…How many games has UGA dominated in the last 4 seasons, and how many have they caught a huge break, the opponent made a huge game altering unforced mistake, or scraped by a lesser talented opponent?

chick-a-dee

September 4th, 2011
9:44 pm

Enter your comments here

Enough Already

September 4th, 2011
9:47 pm

This team has not been nationally relevant since Ronald Wlison Reagan’s first term as President. And our coach is best suited to run FCA meetings and go on mission trips.. If we want a holy man let’s hold a conclave like they do in Rome and choose someone. Mother Teresa is dead so she is out of the picture. This guy epitomizes wyss since his days as a QB at Boca Raton High School. Get his sorry butt out of there and don’t worry about some punky high school kid changing his comittment after we fire his butt.

1980 was a LONGGGGG time ago.

DawgVoiceofReason

September 4th, 2011
9:50 pm

Music City Dawg,

It would be interesting to get McGarrity’s true thoughts on the game. Obviously he wanted a win, but was the lackluster showing we made and the solid loss worth the possibilities he must have imagined before the game? Also, were the ridiculous looking uniforms worth the cash we presumably made? And just how much did we make for them? Unless it was over a million, it definitely was not worth it to me. Who approved the them? Did someone (anyone) really think they were NOT ugly?

chick-a-dee

September 4th, 2011
9:51 pm

I was glad to see Georgia on the back of all the jerseys so we would know who the players were???? What happened to names??? The uniforms are ridiculous and they all looked like little red ridin hood…who paid who?? The team, like last year, was unprepared, uncoached and under-dressed.

Big Wally

September 4th, 2011
9:53 pm

Willie Martinez could never figure out how to defend bootleg passing plays. Grantham has no clue about short crossing routes. How difficult is this? You do look at film of the other teams right? Heck, Grantham makes the incompetent Kelvin Ramsey look like Buddy Ryan.

chick-a-dee

September 4th, 2011
9:53 pm

what a mess of a game

BIG JOE

September 4th, 2011
9:53 pm

Murray 2nd Best Still

Couldn’t have said it better.

Murray 2nd Best Still

September 4th, 2011
1:50 am
Bill, you are just trying to pull out a few positives from all the negatives tonight. Its a fact that UGA out recruits Boise State. We get the 4 & 5 star recruits and they get the 3 star recruits. How does 3 star recruits out play 5 star recruits ? Its called being coached. The game started with 3 penalties on the first drive. That is unacceptable. I watched a HIGH SCHOOL game two weeks ago that didn’t have a penalty by EITHER team until the 2nd quarter. That’s lack of discipline.

Take those rose colored glasses off. UGA fans paid hard earned money to watch that sorry game. Richt makes $3 million dollars per year to coach at UGA. Why can’t he COACH THE 5 STAR RECRUITS TO VICTORIES ?

Let's be honest

September 4th, 2011
9:54 pm

You right-wing crybabies,some of the best college facilities in the nation,4 and 5 star athletes,highest paid coaches and the Georgia lottery is funneling money to your school by sponsoring that univ. of ga. sports show on sat. mornings which no one watches and you STILL CAN NOT WIN!!!!!!!! Think how many of us could use that money to go to TECH.

DawgVoiceofReason

September 4th, 2011
9:54 pm

Music City Dawg, [second try]

It would be interesting to get McGarrity’s true thoughts on the game. Obviously he wanted a win, but was the lackluster showing we made and the solid loss worth the possibilities he must have imagined before the game? Also, were the ugly looking uniforms worth the cash we presumably made? And just how much did we make for them? Unless it was over a million, it definitely was not worth it to me. Who approved the them? Did someone (anyone) really think they were NOT ugly?

chick-a-dee

September 4th, 2011
9:56 pm

I was glad to see Georgia on the back of the jerseys so we would know who we are.???What happened to the players’ names??? The uniforms are terrible and look like little red ridin hood. Who chose these and who paid who??? Our DAWS were unprepared, uncoached and under-dressed. HOW MUCH LONGER??

DawgVoiceofReason

September 4th, 2011
9:58 pm

Bill King,

Whatever software you guys are using for the blog is TERRIBLE. It blocks legitimate comments and lets garbage and copy & paste stuff through. Worse still, you don’t get it cleaned up and removed right away! The Dogs aren’t the only ones who need to get their act together!

Big Wally

September 4th, 2011
10:00 pm

On the bright side, with Richt, Grantham and Bozo’s lack of preparation and game plans, we pretty much are spotting the other team 7 points before the game even starts, so in reality we only lost by 7.

bulldog950

September 4th, 2011
10:00 pm

I entered a comment earlier today that did not make the list. I am a 1963 UGA graduate and what I saw last nite was against everything that has ever defined a uga graduate. I saw fake uniforms, dyed mohawk haircuts, and me, me ,me. I also saw 2 teams that kicked the SEC’s butts in BYU and Boise State. The two teams that won were disciplined, smart. and focused. They were not in to trash talking, bling, and me me me.
I am ashamed to say that Georgia is my Team. I did not feel that way when Lindsay Scott ran by me on the 10 yard line in Jaxville. I did not feel that way when Herschel ran over Bates Brown in Knoxville. I was at Clemson when we lost that hearbreaker. I am now ashamed of being a Dawg. Red dyed Mohawks, trash talking linemen that have been blocked, coaches that make excuses for anything and everything that comes along, I have had enough. I am now 70, I entered Athens in 1959 and I knew I had arrived in Heaven. I am disgusted at what I now see going on at the U of GA. Could everyone get a little pride in your school , in your team and also yourself. MJT

DAWG with two bags over head

September 4th, 2011
10:10 pm

Producer,

Got a good laugh at that one. A not too uncommon phrase at my house.

bozobill

September 4th, 2011
10:14 pm

We live in the real world bozo. You need to quit dreaming.

bozobill

September 4th, 2011
10:19 pm

Are you really this stupid?

Hollywood

September 4th, 2011
10:19 pm

A “good fan base” does not wear “rose colored” sunglasses, just like a good board of directors does not wear “rose colored” sunglasses. If the CEO or President of the corporation is not getting the job done with “star” employees, it’s time for him or her to go. Point blank. Coach Richt has done a very good job of leading our program since the average Donnan years, but he has reached his apex with our program. It’s time for a new coach to take us to the next heights similar to Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida all past BCS national champions. Richt is a very nice guy and I wish him well, but I do not want nice guys running my company or our football team.

Big Wally

September 4th, 2011
10:28 pm

We got South Carolina right where we want them. Boy, do I feel sorry for them.

Topp Dogg

September 4th, 2011
10:41 pm

Latimore is going to crush UGA hopes once and for all.Bye Bye Bobo.

techengineer

September 4th, 2011
10:41 pm

Why rush to judgment you say? Because it is likely that GA has a bigger, stronger, faster kid at almost every position on the field Sat night yet they still got dominated!!

Now do they have a coaching problem or a player problem? BST had a freaking 3rd string safety in the game in the 2nd half!! lol

Bobo may be the worse Off Co. in the entire collegiate football. And the D doesn’t look any better either to be honest. Better than it looked under Martinez.

CHDawg

September 4th, 2011
10:42 pm

Tampa, a little defensive? Having been to Jax and seen the disrespect, drunken, and terribly obnoxious behavior first hand, I’ll have to disagree with you. Sounded like Gator fans were the same in Gainesville as in Jax to me. UGA fans are just as obnoxious in Jax; I’m not saying we are any better. I’d hate for an alien to observe either team’s fan base and draw any conclusions on mankind! Just look at how many Gator fans come to a UGA football blog and post non-stop smack talk and obnoxious drivel. I don’t go to any Gator sites. Do you see UGA fans there? I just find that behavior a little odd, that’s all. Have a nice Labor Day.

sandfielddawg

September 4th, 2011
10:56 pm

..hello dawg fans! What an embarrasing performance by a head coach who earlier in the week stated that we were ahead of schedule in relation to our overall play from last year! Was that a joke or did i miss the humor?LOL! Are you kidding me? Our offensive line was as bad as i have ever seen at Georgia! Bar None! And now that i look back on it can you believe that Granthan didn’t even have a clue as to how to stop the short passing game of Moore&Co. We spent the whole night in 2nd and long and a nightmarish thought of seeing Samual in the backfield! Dawg fans do any of you remember a post saying that our coaches stated that after putting Samual back on offense they couldnt believe why they ever moved him to defense? Are you kidding me? Samual is no running back and it only shows how bad our depth is. If our AD had any sense IMO he would call Coach Peterson and offer him any amount of money that he and his staff needed to come in and bring respect to our program. With what Peterson has done with lesser talent CANNOT be overstated! We need him BAD. Will someone get the message out. Please!

Mary Wanna

September 4th, 2011
10:58 pm

HEY FALCONS – WE WANT VAN GORDER BACK! WOULD YOU ADD RICHT TO YOUR STAFF? DIDN’T THINK SO!

Thomas Brown

September 4th, 2011
10:58 pm

5 Card Chuck September 4th, 2011 12:25 pm

“there are lots of SEC and UGA haters on this board. It’s really sad to see the haters try to compensate for their shortcomings by lashing out on an Internet blog – get a life, people, pathetic really.”

EVERYTHING IS FINE. WE WILL WIN THE 10 GAMES WE HAVE AGAINST CUPCAKES THIS SEASON.

Facts are that Georgia tek in 2009 was NOT good. They played a weak schedule. They LOST their good games, and even if we had lost to them, the win would have been vacated in ther back-to-back FOOTBALL NCAA PROBATION major infractions database. Other than that win 2009, we beat NO ONE IN 2008, beat NO ONE IN 2009, beat NO ONE IN 2010, and obviously will beat NO ONE IN 2011.

If that is fine with you, you sir are the problem we have with this football program nowadays. Now, please reply to me about Ray Goff. Look, there is a separation of Church and State. This is football. If he knows what the blank he is doing, he would have agreed with the fan from Macon. Our offense is horrible. 28 unanswered points. Let’s see, how many years has this been going on ? 2-9 vs teams at game time ranked in the Top 10 of the last 11 such games. Get real. We haven’t beat a single team who ended up in the AP Poll Top 10 for 6 seasons now in 2006 when we beat # 9 Auburn that year (while we lost 4 games including to 4-win Vandie.)

GO ROOT FOR A DIFFERENT PROGRAM, AND TAKE MARK RICHT WITH YOU.

Mary Wanna

September 4th, 2011
10:59 pm

WANT TO SLEEP IN YOUR OWN VOMIT? LISTEN TO COACH VALIUM’S PRESS CONFERENCE.

Old65DAWG

September 4th, 2011
11:00 pm

I was in the Dome last night. I want my money back.

I am at the point of believing that it is time to call the moving van for Richt and Bozo…and don’t forget Grantham. (we were better off with Willie Boy than Grantham)

bc

September 4th, 2011
11:02 pm

I am extremely proud of you Malcome.

truth

September 4th, 2011
11:03 pm

Why? Because it is a disgrace to lose to a team from Idaho. Any UGA fan who feels different needs to wake up and smell the roses. A change needs to be made!

techengineer

September 4th, 2011
11:11 pm

Dogs are awful!! What a pathetic performance Sat night… We will beat you worse than we beat the team this past Thursday this year for certain… OMG GA looks terrible! Gross.. I almost threw up watching that game.. What a disgrace to the state of GA! And this week is probably going to be even a worse performance! lol

truth

September 4th, 2011
11:12 pm

And we have Idaho people talking smack after a victory. Totally sickening. UGA is the laughing stock of the SEC. Thank you coach richt!

JackDennis

September 4th, 2011
11:19 pm

Richt just needs a couple of good recruiting classes. Wait a minute….

Bsu>U

September 4th, 2011
11:31 pm

What was the dare the Geogia kicker threw out there? Makes me think the G on the helmet stands for something else…

Allen in Seattle

September 4th, 2011
11:53 pm

It’s over. Sorry Mark, you’re a great guy, but I haven’t recognized UGA football for several years. Even if UGA did not have the most talented players on the field, they were always in the game…and didn’t quit. UGA quit tonight.

Fire Bobo

September 5th, 2011
12:32 am

Mike Bobo is a horrible play caller and should not be calling the plays at all. I agree with this article http://bit.ly/n3APyh

Richt su.xs!!

September 5th, 2011
1:04 am

Enough of this. Richt gotta go. He just doesn’t have it to be a championship leader. HE JUST LOOKS LOST!!

GA 2004

September 5th, 2011
1:08 am

Why is Mark Richt still the coach of Georgia? Can’t get Dan Mullen but many Kirby Smart. Don’t even try Muschamp

Richt su.xs!!

September 5th, 2011
1:09 am

I don’t care and believe what Richt say anymore. This is it for him. So long sucker. The Boise St. coach should be the new hire for UGA.

BS Patrol

September 5th, 2011
1:22 am

If I had been taking 7m trips to the bank for the last 10 years I could make jokes in the locker room too.

Columbus

September 5th, 2011
1:49 am

The LAST 4 YEARS UNDER BOBO. BOBO HAS BEEN OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR FOR HOW MANY YEARS? 4!

4! BOBO IS THE MAIN PROBLEM, RICHT AND UGA WAS FINE, NO GREAT, BEFORE AN UNQUALIFIED BOBO WAS GIVEN THE JOB!

IT HAS GOTTEN WORSE EVERY YEAR SINCE!

HEY KING, THIS WAS ONE OF YOUR TOP 2 ARTICLES ALL YEAR! KEEP IT UP!

P.S. ESPECIALLY THE HEAT ON BOBO! 4 YEARS UNDER BOBO AS OC!

Columbus

September 5th, 2011
1:54 am

@BIG JOE, IT WAS YOUR CHOICE TO GO PAY THAT MONEY. WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS A WIN? AGAINST A YOP 5 TEAM? NO! YOU HOPED IT WAS A WIN LIKE WE ALL DID! TRUTH WAS WE WERE WORRIED THAT BOISE WOULD HANG 50 ON US! IF YOU COULD NOT HANDLE LOSING YOU SURE HAD NOT PAID TO GO TO THIS GAME FOR SURE! THE BEST CHANCE OF LOSING ALL SEASON AND YOU COMPLAIN THAT WE LOST AGAINST THE #5 TEAM IN THE NATION?!

THIS GAME WAS THE SCRIMMAGE GAME THAT MOST TEAMS HAVE AGAINST NOBODY. WE WILL BE BETTER FOR IT I THINK.

BIG JOE=LITTLE BOY AS FAR AS MATURITY AND PERSPECTIVE GO.

We steal ruin this state

September 5th, 2011
2:04 am

I love the line expressed by so many of the faithful: ” This game didn’t really matter. The season really begins with Carolina”.
ROTFLMAO
It sure would have been a different song and dance had them dawgs won…
Some delusional moron caller on bulldawg brunch this morning even said “It would have been different if they had played the game in Athens, outdoors. Funny, I didn’t see any Broncos suffering from cramps and lack of conditioning.

Best comment on this blog was very early: “31st consecutive year preseason national champs”

When will you learn? This program is where it belongs.

UGA grad in Idaho

September 5th, 2011
2:14 am

This was a tough game for me to watch as I have jumped on the Boise State bandwagon since moving out here. Funny thing is I saw the same reaction out of Oregon and VT fans after losing opening games the last two years. I think, given time, Peterson will devise a game plan that gives his team the best edge possible. My take on the four and five star player has evolved. They depend on their talents to succeed. Where the Boise player depends on the system. I have my doubts about the average four star committing to the Boise blue collar work ethic.

The Dawgs offensive line was pathetic. I thought the D line did well. Martin was held to three yards a carry when his average was six. It’s hard to sack Kellen as his stats bear out.

The real point is I think the Dawgs will fair better against a traditional SEC team that favors individual exploits over team cohesiveness. I liked the freshman back and could not figure out why Bobo was not doing shuttle passes or screens to get him in the open field. It is where Boise breaks down-get past the initial protection and assignments and let the superior athlete do his thing.

Oh well. One last thing the comments on here giving credit to Boise have reminded me of the class and basic goodness of the Dawg nation.

borntidefan

September 5th, 2011
2:18 am

I want to hear some praise for Richt and his program for having the nuts to take on Boise State, even if it had to be a home game (you would be insane to try to take them on in podunk Boise). Let’s be real these guys would dismantle ANY defense this year. Except the Tide of course?