Dogs fans looking for answers find only more question marks

Georgia's third-down choices against Boise State left many fans puzzled. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Georgia's third-down choices against Boise State left many fans puzzled. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

The views on Mark Richt’s team (and the UGA head coach’s future) varied widely at a family reunion and 70th birthday celebration for my uncle that I attended Sunday in Oglethorpe County.

Some were ready now to write fini to the Richt era; others took the tack I did in my postgame blog, that losing to the Top 5 team in the country in the first game doesn’t necessarily mean a doomed season.

But even the latter folks (me included) were disappointed with how little improvement the Dogs showed (with the offensive line, in fact, regressing) and how absolutely and shockingly clueless the Georgia offensive game plan proved to be.

Among the many questions raised: Could Todd Grantham not come up with any adjustments to increase pressure on Boise’s Kellen Moore? Did Richt and Mike Bobo really think going to a no-huddle shotgun offense that minimized use of the Dogs’ fullbacks for protection and put the blocking onus on the true freshman tailback was the best approach?

Also, where did Bobo get the apparently steadfast conviction that a run up the middle is the best way to follow an incomplete pass on first down? Does he really think a simple draw play was the best call on third-and-15? (The Georgia crowd’s boos made their thoughts on the subject clear.)

And then there was Bobo’s other approach to third-and long, keeping Aaron Murray standing there searching in vain for an open receiver downfield rather than throwing the kind of quick strikes Boise was using to pick apart the Georgia defense.

After chewing over these and other questions Sunday, one thing we all seemed to agree on was how important this coming Saturday’s game is, and that if the Dogs come out of the South Carolina game with an 0-2 record it might take nothing short of running the table to quiet the growing discord in the Bulldog Nation — and a win in Jacksonville will be a must in order to save Richt’s job.

Needless to say, in order to generate some smiles and laughter at the reunion we had to change the subject off Georgia football.

FROM SATURDAY’S NOTEBOOK: My initial objections to those Pro Combat jerseys was aesthetic, but the game proved them impractical, too. The black-on-red numbers were difficult to make out from the stands, and it didn’t help that Georgia’s jerseys didn’t have the players’ names on the back (unlike Boise’s). Burn ’em, I say. … I really hate those rugby-style punts Boise used most of the game. … Right before Brandon Boykin’s touchdown play, a sharp-eyed fan behind me said, “Wait a minute, we have a No. 2 on offense?” Too bad we didn’t see more of him on that side of the ball. … Finally, the much lauded new chapel bell UGA promotional film got played on the big screen at the Georgia Dome Saturday night, but the Redcoats played right over it. It was that kind of night.

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457 comments Add your comment

Sammy Dawg

September 5th, 2011
4:39 pm

We are going to kill the chickens!

Sammy Dawg

September 5th, 2011
4:41 pm

We still have a lot to play for. SEC East, SEC Championship and a BCS bowl. Heck maybe we can replay BSU for the national championship!

JMLDawg

September 5th, 2011
4:43 pm

I have been a staunch Richt supporter until now. So who’s the next head coach? My vote is for Dan Mullen. McGarity can size him up in person in a few weeks.

Sammy Dawg

September 5th, 2011
4:43 pm

Dont’t forget, BSU will probably be our toughest opponent this year on the regular schedule. It just gets easier from here. We will probably be playing so much better by the end of the season, we will beat the nerds by 40 or more.

Ed Reynolds

September 5th, 2011
4:50 pm

Please get rid of those UGLY uniforms. From the best to the worst uniforms. Who picked the new outfits?

Josey Whales

September 5th, 2011
4:52 pm

I could have stomached a loss to a #5 Boise team but not another display of ineffective coaching, poor play and out performamce against less talent. . I love the dawgs but it is really hard right now to support that sort of effort (or lack there of). Gonna be a long time before qe are happy again.

jack

September 5th, 2011
4:54 pm

I’ve seen this for the last couple of years, no offensive line, no receivers, no leadership from the QB. Richt and company haven’t forgotten how to coach but they have obviously forgotten to recruit linemen and receivers. Call me when the new coaching staff gets to town.

DownerDawg

September 5th, 2011
4:55 pm

The I-Formation worked well when Bobo ran it. Best write up I have seen yet: http://dawgsbui2.com/content/bobo-and-grantham-not-same-page

Josey Whales

September 5th, 2011
4:55 pm

….and the uniforms made it more dificult to stomach.

Sick and tired

September 5th, 2011
4:56 pm

How is it possible to have eight months to get ready for a game and come out looking like that? I like our coaches but they have showed us they don’t have a clue what they’re doing. That was Bobo’s worst job yet! I don’t agree with booing the players but I understand the frustration. I’m finally ready to say it – we need new coaches. It’s not because “this is only the first game” – it’s just the latest bad game over the past three years.

AA

September 5th, 2011
4:56 pm

New uniforms, Evander Holyfield, Herschel Walker, Ga Dome and a ” dream team” recruiting class still wasn’t enough to get UGA a win. Another off-season full of hype about this is the year and Crowell is the next great one. Yes I am a TECH fan. Yes UGA owns us. Uga should beat Tech. Go ahead and bash me a you want about beating TECH, I could care less, I’ve heard it before. I’m just glad we don’t have to hear all these Uga rednecks talking trash all year now that their season is already a dissapointment. Over the past 10 years, UGA has averaged the #2 recruiting class in the country, but can’t get it done. If I were a Uga fan I would be highly disgruntled. The good thing is, Im not! What’s the problem mutts ? Please explain?

brandon

September 5th, 2011
4:56 pm

one positive going into south carolina game is that we know where we stand. No big head that we may have had if we had waxed some 1AA school. the team hopefully will be in a desperation mind set and will play with extreme urgency. if they do, who knows what may happen. get by Carolina and then some of the great young talent will have a few weeks to gain some experience before the stretch run (Florida). Ive been an extremely loyal Richt fan -and still am, but one more lethargic effort and even my patience will begin to fade. Come on Dogs – (to quote from Waterboy) YOU CAN DO IT!

James K. Polk

September 5th, 2011
4:57 pm

We are just a bad football team. It’s just that simple. We lack preparation. Seriously, it looked as if we had practiced maybe twice this year. It doesn’t help that to go along with being completely unprepared, we never make any in-game adjustments to anything. I can’t even remember a Goff team that was as bad as we are now.

dmr

September 5th, 2011
5:01 pm

The Georgia defense’s worst enemy for the last several seasons has been the Georgia offense. You have tight end with great hands. You have a young freshman talent with blazing speed. You have a 272 lb. fullback. 4th and 1…and Charles goes in motion and leaves the DE completely uncovered.

For almost four full seasons, Mike Bobo has proven to be unreliable, ineffective, unimaginative, and incapable. When you cannot execute a simple run up the middle, when your offense looks completely inept, when you cannot even put a drive together that gets you inside the red zone, you have to ask yourself if we’re doing the right thing. You have a visiting quarterback you want to try to keep off the field, which you do by working the clock and running short, high percentage plays.

Why is the establishment will to accept such mediocrity? I think it is unfair to the athletes that come to Georgia to provide them with below average coaching and development of their talents.

acdc1996

September 5th, 2011
5:02 pm

I think the defense was gassed after they had been on the field pretty much the entire first half. They were done by the time the 2nd half began. Grantham knew it, they knew it.

One thing, Bobo has no short game. His approach is to get a really big play and use simple run plays with NO fullback which is asinine. Everyone knows this and this is why he is predictable. I have seen more organization in offensive play calling from middle school football coaches.

My point is, were is Richt in all of this? Really, he was hired to bring an offensive philosophy that would guarantee long-term success at UGA. It has been steadily going down hill. I understand that we might have defensive issues, but the offense is squarely on the shoulders of Richt as far as I’m concerned. Blame Bobo all you want, Richt made the decision to keep him on, Richt approves of what he is doing, it’s Richt’s responsibility.

I know it is one game, but based on one game nothing changed in the offensive playcalling from last year. If anything, the new formations suck.

Josey Whales

September 5th, 2011
5:03 pm

I am and always have been an avid Dawg fan but AA is right. How do we explain it? I am tired.

Frank Lane

September 5th, 2011
5:04 pm

Thought the uniforms made it harder to see the players for the players themselves also. Need to get rid of them.

In my opinion, Murray does not so much hold the ball too long as the patterns take too long to develop. Without good pass protection and receivers and backs who can go all the way after a completion, we should be peppering short passes around to open up the game and get skilled players into open field position. Get every pass play off in less that 3 seconds. Do to SC what Boise did to us.

We also should be running power toss sweeps to take advantage of blocking full backs and powerful fast backs.

01HAWK

September 5th, 2011
5:06 pm

DESPERATION MODE for UGA. They have to beat USC……………….or it will be down hill from there. CMR is a good Christian man, but he needs to be a spokesman for Athletes in ACTION.

I hope his assistants are not looking for a house anytime soon.

Fan from Lula

September 5th, 2011
5:07 pm

The cupcake schedule after USC virually guarantees that UGA will finish with a winning season, probably end up 7-5. The tragedy is that those wins will save Richt’s job for another year, so this time next year, the big question will be why didn’t McGarity sack Richt this year.

On and on it goes. Get rid of Richt now and spare us more misery.

collegeballfan

September 5th, 2011
5:12 pm

“McGarity can size him up in person in a few weeks.”

McGarity knows Dan Mullen better than he knows Mark Richt. McGarity worked in the same building with Dan Mullen at Florida. If he don’t know him now, he never will.

What is wrong with the uniforms Georgia wore in 1980?

Why the need to change uniforms every year?

Penn State has been wearing the same uniform since 1950.

The last question also applies to Georgia Tech.

Dawg Whisperer

September 5th, 2011
5:12 pm

This is my first post on any of the AJC blogs since the game which allows me to be a little more reflective than reactive. Fortunately, McGarity does not have the luxury of the average fan that spouts out whatever negative thought enters the mind. I’m not criticizing fans because they’re passionate about UGA and that’s a lot better than the alternative (see GT).

That being said, I have no problem taking a wait and see approach to see how the entire season unfolds. I can remember a few years ago when UGA started slowly but jelled as the season progressed and wound up having a good year. I do, however, think that the downward trend of the line play is a problem that Richt will have to correct or the season may unravel pretty quickly.

If UGA can re-group and play well and win (not mediocre and somehow win) against S.C., I expect the rest of the season to be a success. Go dawgs!

Sandy

September 5th, 2011
5:13 pm

Consider that Richt, Grantham, and Bobo collect almost $5,000,000 in salaries every year, not counting their other income and perks.

They’re all multi-millionaires. What a joke.

chilidawg

September 5th, 2011
5:17 pm

Look on the bright side: we will never have to see those uniforms again.

Tanni

September 5th, 2011
5:25 pm

How long is it going to take for UGA fans to realize that UGA is simply no longer relevant in the SEC? In the national picture, UGA isn’t even a blip on the radar, and hasn’t been since the preseason #1 ranking four long years ago (and you remember how that season went into the tank).

Sit back and be grateful for the six or seven wins we’ll get every year. Coaching genius Mark Richt may take us to 7-5 or even 8-4 occasionally, but other teams will still win the SEC, meaning no BCS bowls and no top 10 final ranking. Most years, UGA will be very lucky to finish in the top 25, and only after a big bowl win over a nobody opponent.

It’s a different world now, and fans need to adjust their expectations downward to reflect reality. Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its mediocre coaching and starts recruiting intelligent athletes with some character. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Bulldawg Nation just laughs at Dawg fans getting so excited year after year about what a great recruiting class UGA gets. It doesn’t matter how many blue chip high school players go to UGA, they simply don’t get the coaching they would get at Florida or Alabama or LSU, to name three schools whose programs are far ahead of UGA. And that’s not going to change as long as Mark Richt is in Athens.

Texas Dawg

September 5th, 2011
5:25 pm

UGA was out coached and it’s as simple as that! We recruit 4 and 5 star at UGA and Boise has one and two star recruits. UGA made no adjustments at all for the second half?

I don’t wanna hear I don’t support our team..I do and that’s why I expect better from the coaching staff…if we don’t run the table Richt and Bobo must GoGo!

No fire in Richt whatsoever…Richt laughs at a loss….celebrate a tackle when we are down two TD…… SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE……and the plaYERS AIN’T GOING NO WHERE.

Big Old Dawg

September 5th, 2011
5:27 pm

It appears to this old fan, that the days of Richt’s finese ‘em to death offense is on it’s last legs. It is time to look west at Alabama, they line up and knock you backwards, nothing fancy just good old-fashioned football. And they do it on both sides of the ball. Maybe Richt will prefer to preach the Good Word and let someone else coach UGA…at least I can hope.

GR82BAG8R

September 5th, 2011
5:27 pm

Beat Darth Visor and all will be forgiven…

Music City Dawg

September 5th, 2011
5:33 pm

Let’s hire Jon Gruden now while he’s still available and move this program back to a competitive level. We’re not getting there with this non-evolving coaching staff.

UGA Alumnus

September 5th, 2011
5:33 pm

I agree, we need to make adjustments. I’ve thought for a couple of years than Bobo needs to stop calling the plays – Richt should be calling them.

It’s frustrating to see our offense look so impotent.

But we fans need to learn how to talk about these things in a more constructive way. We have a “the sky is falling” mentality in the Bulldog Nation, and we bail on the team almost immediately during a game if anything goes wrong.

I didn’t go to the game, but it seemed as if the fans didn’t help much in the Dome.

UGA Alumnus

September 5th, 2011
5:34 pm

And the quality of our fandom is the only thing we have direct control over.

JRW7

September 5th, 2011
5:36 pm

CMR has carried this team from the penthouse to the outhouse. CMR making his $3 million per year got outcoached by BSU Coach Peterson only making $900,000 per year. UGA is not going to have a winning season again with CMR. CMR has lost his drive and his heart to coach.

Realistic Doggie

September 5th, 2011
5:36 pm

I never post on these things, and I very rarely read them, but if you know anything about football, then you must be realistic about this: The DAWGS will never win consistently, or win the big games as long as Bobo is the OC and Arron Murray is the QB. Arron is a great kid and has a lot of good qualities as a QB, but the fact is that he is simply not a “winner”…He proved it time and time again last season and he has already started his inability to win again this season. I remember David Green being in countless situations and “changing the call” based on what the defence gave, but not “robot boy”…if it ain’t there, just take the sack?… There is a big difference in being a good numbers QB, and being a winner. Just my opinion.

Alphare

September 5th, 2011
5:37 pm

Everytime I make a prediction about UGA, I sound like a prophet. On the hand, Bill is wrong almost everytime, why?

JB

September 5th, 2011
5:37 pm

It’s the 800 gorilla in the room. This head coach and staff are not getting it done. We have some great players, and some of played their hearts out….but our Staff is stale and clueless. They really are. I will defend the defense some as you can’t go 3 and out over and over and over and put them back out there every three minutes against a Heisman type QB. I’m afraid Carolina is going to win just based on out line play. Our OL is pretty bad, and both our lines had 30, maybe 40 pounds on Boise and couldn’t do a thing. No Sacks I believe. Really sad. Gonna win some games against folks nobody cares about. This team could go 9-3 or 8-4 and it’s gonna feel blah. Go Dawgs.

REAL GOLD

September 5th, 2011
5:40 pm

Rednecks better worry about the Chickens before saying ” Will prob beat the nerds by 40″. You guys still think you’re bad even though you suck. Losers. Jackets will roll this year in Hot Lanta and I can’t wait to rub it in your faces. Excuse me, punch you in the face. Rednecks!

JRW7

September 5th, 2011
5:40 pm

Jarvis Jones, we DAWG fans have directed our frustration and anger on losing to BSU on the coaching staff and not at the players.

edumacated

September 5th, 2011
5:42 pm

Our line-backing core couldn’t start for Buford and that is the truth. With Ogletree out for the year it is going to be ugly. We need a high powered offense to counter, and instead we have Mr. No Improvement Since Last Year, Aaron Murray. How many times did he overthrow guys? I lost count. I know he was under pressure, but that comes with the job. He chokes when it counts.

Boiby Bowden

September 5th, 2011
5:42 pm

Understand the only change the players want in the unis is to have red numbers on the red jerseys, so no one will know who is screwing up which play.

Dawg_Mike

September 5th, 2011
5:43 pm

Let me call the plays.
i can call for the I formation with Figgins leading Crowell, not Samuel, who should go back to linebacker where we obviously need him.
i can call bubble screens and quick slants to get rid of the ball fast and put it in the hands of playmakers.
i will call for slow down, not hurry up offense, which looked awkward and had zero effect, except to confuse our own players.
no more shotgun draws, either. See Figgins leading as per above…
I would also call for roll outs to buy time since the O line cant block .

ok so there.
if i can sit in the stands and predict virtually every play we are going to run, then for gosh sake who are we trying to fool?

bill

September 5th, 2011
5:44 pm

The 8 months between games didn’t change anything…we are still soft, and as CMR continues to say “We are just working hard to improve and get better…” Yep, better at being a finese team in a power conference. It’s going to be a challenging year…

Hey ugab...

September 5th, 2011
5:45 pm

Dome pa system was bush league, I don’t go to falcons games but feel bad for those folks. They showed three same videos all night, played the two same sounds/songs too. Pretty bad for an NFL stadium. Hope Sanford is better.

kybodawg

September 5th, 2011
5:46 pm

all camp long the young guys keep saying how big and complicated the play book was. dont you think its time we turned to page 2.

mikey

September 5th, 2011
5:47 pm

I heard the Bulldog roundtable this morning with Coach Cavan and Chuck Dowdle. It was horrible.
Chuck ” Boise is just a good team which we seem to forget about”
Cavan ” Nobody hurts more than the players and coaches our fans just need to be patient”
Chuck ” Isiah is going to be special.”
Cavan ” Nobody works as hard as that kid”

Blah Blah Blah and so on. No wonder we are no more than a non disciplined city college.

JRW7

September 5th, 2011
5:47 pm

UGA has some excellent talent, but CMR and his coaching staff have not coached them up! Lose to USC and CMR will not survive!

mikey

September 5th, 2011
5:48 pm

And so much for CMR spending more time to be on the cutting edge.

edumacated

September 5th, 2011
5:52 pm

Oh yeah, Richt went back to studying football to become an expert and all we got was a no huddle offense where everyone stood in place looking to the sideline for the call, meanwhile, the defense was already set. That sure was innovative there Richt.

JB

September 5th, 2011
5:53 pm

Lordy, my next fear is that by mid season we’ll be offering 4 cokes 4 hot dogs to draw a crowd. Tickets are easier to come by. They are plentiful if you just ask around. Plenty of folks offering them up. I’m afraid that div 2 team we’re playing after Carolina want draw 50K. Really. Gonna be tough to get the faithful their if this weekend goes bad. We will beat Tech though.

tony

September 5th, 2011
5:53 pm

AA
September 5th, 2011
4:56 pm

” UGA has averaged the #2 recruiting class in the country, but can’t get it done. If I were a Uga fan I would be highly disgruntled. The good thing is, Im not! What’s the problem mutts ? Please explain?”
_____________________________________________________________________________

Top recruiting teams (2002-11)

#1 USC – 2 national championships
#2 Ga – 0
#3 Florida – 2 national championships
#4 LSU – 2 national championships
#5 Texas – 1 national championship
#6 FSU – 0
#7 OU – 1 national championship
#8 Auburn – 1 national championship

Those top recruits really do matter. UGA is on a decline.

pop

September 5th, 2011
5:54 pm

if coach richt wants to hold up that championship trophy then he has got to let the budding system go and hire a real offensive cordinator same play bobo is a joke and dont need to be coaching these kids we have got some real good players i hope the bulldog nation speak up loud every week until same play bobo is gone…. go dawgs

Macclenny_dawg

September 5th, 2011
5:56 pm

Did anybody see the 1st person 2 Boykin after he scored? It was Murray which means he has speed. So yea just keep him in the pocket 2 get killed. Our line sucks!!! So how do u help. You call a couple of qb draws!!! After he runs a couple of times the defense ends would lose a step and then he would hav a little time!!! Bobo play calling has been the same since he took over. 1st down incomplete pass 2nd down is always a run. 3rd and long a draw or a 15 yard out which ends with a sack!!! Can Murray not throw a slant? Wr screen where has that gone??? What is wrong with playing both big dt @ the same time!!! What is wrong with putting both dt on offense line on 4th and 1!!! Worse case scenery is us winning 9 or 10 wins and we keep Richt!!! It will set us back another 2 years. Nobody is scared 2 play uswe have a Bobo calling plays!!! Just imagine Murray playing in a spread offense with his speed!!!