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

Mobile Dawg

September 5th, 2011
9:29 pm

Hey Beast, I was thinking the exact same thing as I was scrolling through reading the blog. Mark Richt has divided our “proud” nation. My opinion is he needs to go. Watching the Dawgs after eight months of listening to his talk, “I know what I’m doing”, “studying cutting edge football”, then seeing the same play calling, no attempt at developing a power running game. I’m just really sick of watching this football team under his leadership, or lack of. The emptying out of the dome and the look on the faces of the fans tell me he’s in deep trouble.

And he never takes “responsibility” directly.

Tide Roll

September 5th, 2011
9:29 pm

Gus Malzahn, with Manny Diaz Asst. Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator. Let Malzahn start working with LeMay. Let Murray form a boy band. Richt could manage it.

rincon dawg

September 5th, 2011
9:30 pm

Kirby will come. thats why he didnt take the coordinator job. he knew if he held out eventually he get a crack at the top. he doesnt get any credit for his defense and it is his defense. he calls the plays and is the linebackers coach. watch their front seven and tell me their not in the right positions.

TallaDawg

September 5th, 2011
9:32 pm

As for the “GEORGIA” on the jerseys, I did not like it. BIG Team, little me attitude is one thing, but we have so many new players I need to know WHO they are.

LakeDawg

September 5th, 2011
9:32 pm

@Tom…….Oh, there would be plenty interested. The resources at UGA are unbelievable.

savannah dawg

September 5th, 2011
9:33 pm

Does anybody despise Lou Holtz as much as I do?

rincon dawg

September 5th, 2011
9:33 pm

tide roll we had our shot with diaz. we didnt even let him interview

Tom

September 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

When Florida lost Urban Meyer, they went out and hired the best assistan coach on the market… Will Muschamp. When Ga. vows to turn everything around, what do they do…PROMOTE THE WEIGHTLIFTING COACH. Does anybody really not see the problem?

JBB1972

September 5th, 2011
9:36 pm

Bobo is the problem and he has been for the past 3 years, even when Willie Martinez was running the defense. Everyone was ganging up and saying how bad the defense was….which to some degree was true but the real problem then as it is today is that the offense can’t stay on the field and matriculate plays down the field. They don’t process the ball down the field in small chunks. It is big plays or nothing. This isn’t UGA/SEC style football we’ve been playing. I feel really sorry for the boys who are on offense because Bobo is ruining their college careers. Playing for someone as inept as Bobo has got to be frustrating to the boys and to their families. Personally, I don’t know how you don’t call the head coach and complain if you’re a parent because this ain’t what they sent their kids to UGA for. On the last possession I watched before we got up and left I sat beside my wife and told her every play that was going to happen and nailed it. She was impressed but if I can do it and I’m no football genius then I know Boise State’s coaches could do it. They outsmarted us from the get go. We couldn’t even get the coin toss right. You never take the ball first….NEVER. You always ask for it first in the second half. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Then we waited all summer long to see three penalties on the very first offensive drive?!! Wow! The main premise that Bobo has never seemed to understand is that having your offense on the field is defensive in nature because the other team doesn’t have the ball. Bobo does NOT get it. What really hurts is that Coach Richt can’t seem to see it either. I think he’s letting his personal relationships ruin his fantastic career. He can’t seem to take an objective third person view of what is going on on the field and take the required remedial action. CMR, please open your eyes to what this guy (Bobo) is doing to you and your career. As for the defense, I think they looked pretty darn good. A few changes and adjustments here and there and they will be fine. Todd Grantham should be applauded for making the defensive improvements. I can’t see him and Bobo being too friendly. The conversation, if it ocurrs should be one way and that would be from Grantham to Bobo. Bobo should sit and listen astutely. Personally, I can’t believe he hasn’t taken a swing at Bobo yet. Finally, do you think Central Florida or Boise State has better players?…..answer is No, of course not. So, what is the difference? It has to be the coaching. I’d say one side of the ball (defense) looks like its heading in the right direction but the other(offense) isn’t. Here’s a good article: http://dawgsbui2.com/content/bobo-and-grantham-not-same-page

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 5th, 2011
9:38 pm

Tom

UGA is a top school. I dont say that because Im a fan its just facts

UGA is ranked #2 in Athletic money
UGA ranked #4 in putting players in the NFL since 1999
The state of Ga ranked #2 in recruiting last year and has consistantly ranked in the top 5 for many years. And will continue to do so as the population in this state is projected to grow even more
The fanbase is huge. Heck UGA ranks in the top 5 every year in merchandise sales even with these down years

We are not like FL who competes with Miami and FSU for recruits. None of these great players are going to Tech

Mike Leach just the other day said he would be interested in UGA if it came open

savannah dawg

September 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

Halftime of Miami and Maryland. I’m still trying to figure out how Lou Holtz won a nat’l championship. He knows less about football than I do.
I can’t believe the network still pays him.

OldFan

September 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

Losing this game is not a disgrace. What was disgraceful was the utterly hapless way the coaches prepared our players, and then during the game, how clueless they were to the strategies used by Boise State. The better coached team clearly won. Unfortunately the losing team not only played like, but they also looked like, complete losers.

Mobile Dawg

September 5th, 2011
9:41 pm

I totally understand Lowcountry’s frustration, but if things were going to change they would have changed. I desperately hoped as a bunch of others did that we would develop a power “downhill” running game. Some screens, slants, I can’t even start to imagine what these guys are thinking. No obvious adjustments, not even any mention of “failed adjustments”. Anybody whose looking for different results, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

I would really like to see the Dawgs make a run at a relatively unknown “Joey Jones” at South Alabama. He has started two programs from scratch, with little to no resources with great results. He also comes with a pedigree. But most of you folks only talk of someone with a big name. I’m a tired Dawg Fan in a divided Dawg Nation, this has become no fun.

funny...

September 5th, 2011
9:41 pm

to quote:

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.

What is the common thread here. The Bobby Bowden school of coaching outdated itself roughly 10 years ago.

forestrydawg

September 5th, 2011
9:43 pm

I hate it, but I think we all know what is going to happen. I think at best, the inevitable is only being delayed. It should have happened at the end of last year. Mark Richt and Mike Bobo should be let go this Sunday if Georgia loses to South Carolina. It’s just not fair to the student athletes who have come here to play ball. The sooner the change takes place the quicker recovery begins.

Power Rangers or Red Hot Chili Peppers?

September 5th, 2011
9:45 pm

The team sucks, so, it’s only fitting the uniforms should too. LOL!!!

Tom

September 5th, 2011
9:48 pm

Hey Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville, all those stats sound good, but they still can’t win games. You want to talk about stats, go look at the 2 and 3 star recruiys that Boise has. Like it or not, Chris Peterson get a whole lot out of very little at BSU. Richt and his staff manage to get very little out of a who;le lot at UGA. As you said, look at all the talent that has gone on to the NFL. He’s had the talent, time to get somebody that knows how to use it.

Just another

September 5th, 2011
9:49 pm

over rated, over hyped GA team. LMAO!!!!

Truth

September 5th, 2011
9:50 pm

Aaron Murray? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 5th, 2011
9:51 pm

I really wonder about David Greene

The more I listen to him come up with one excuse after the next every year on these call in shows I just want to turn him off

He must be Low Country, AltamahaDawg, or DAWG on these blogs

T Grantham

September 5th, 2011
9:51 pm

Geez, am I OVER PAID or WHAT???

DostaDawg

September 5th, 2011
9:53 pm

Not that I am so sure we need to fire CMR, but if we do how about we take a look at Skip Holtz. Good blood lines; history of success at other institutions; almost as good a motivator and BS artist as his old man.

Dan Mullen would also be a good hire, as would Jon Gruden.

Butch Davis? You kiddin?

Kirby “not so” Smart? Dont think so. Had his chance to come home as defensive coordinator. He can stay at Bama and take over when Saban leaves.

Like I said; still not sure we need to fire CMR. Lets see what happens over the next few weeks. If there is not significant improvement, then he needs to go.

P.S. For everyone wanting to fire CMR now, who would take over for the rest of the year. We aren’t exactly overrun with head coach candidates.

Chris

September 5th, 2011
9:54 pm

I just couldn’t understand all the excitement prior to the game. Yes, I am a Georgia fan, and always get excited at the beginning of the season, but I was telling everyone that I had no expectations because Bobo is still our O.C. What puzzled me the most this year was how excited everyone was over of our recruiting class. We always have good recruiting classes.

I said it all of last year, and I will continue to say it now. In 2010 I said, “If Richt doesn’t fire Bobo, or at least demote him and take over the play calling, 2011 will be he last as the head ball coach at UGA. What did he do to Bobo after 2010….nothing!

Good job Richt. You are going to let the worst O.C. in college football take you down. Brilliant!!!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 5th, 2011
9:54 pm

Tom

No arguments there my friend

Thats what Ive been saying for a long time but as you can see from people like LowCountry Moron they cant handle the truth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXoNE14U_zM

Phil

September 5th, 2011
9:56 pm

JBB1972

I agree about Bobo. But what’s depressing is that Richt stands by and let’s this happen. Richt has to hear the play calls on his headset so essentially he signs off on whatever Bobo calls and does nothing about it. We were much more successful in the early years when Richt called his own plays. I don’t think he has the stomach to fire Bobo because Bobo has 6 kids at home and doesn’t want him to lose his job. But this is a business and you have to do what’s best for the program, even if they are tough choices.

I will have to disagree with you about the defense though. I don’t think Grantham had a clue as to how and stop Boise. We had no answer for their passing game. Moore ate us up with simple dump offs over the middle. We never did anything to stop it. I didn’t see any difference from last year to be honwet with you. We couldn’t tackle, we couldn’t pressure the QB, I didn’t see anything to get excited about.

It’s going to be a long season I’m afraid. We just have to tough it out and pray Adams and McGarity do something about it at the end of the season.

S Spurrier

September 5th, 2011
9:57 pm

:) *kiss* *kiss*

LakeDawg

September 5th, 2011
9:59 pm

Some people act as if UGA fans are maniacs. Compared to Iowa State or Kansas, maybe. We are after all a football school in the SEC. However, among SEC schools, Uga fans and the university are the most forgiving in the SEC. We gave Goff 7 years. Donnan got 5 years and he couldn’t beat GT! If CMR had continued with 9 and 10 win years with the occasional 7 or 8 win year without an SEC title, he could keep his job forever. Some would complain, but he wouldn’t be let go. Can you say that about Bama? LSU? AU? UF? I don’t think so.

The point is, CMR has UGA playing at a Ray Goff level the past 2+ years with no hint of improvement. He is in the 11th year of his tenure and the program is in bad shape. He has nobody to blame but himself. Its been his program. There is a performance requirement for this job.

Dream Team?

September 5th, 2011
9:59 pm

LMAO!!!!! Hilarious!!!

Taco

September 5th, 2011
9:59 pm

J Jones no one wants to see your mug on TV. Buckle your helmet you clown. It has 4 snaps and it will not come off if you buckle all 4. Seriously do you actually believe no one could tell what you were doing? Look at ME!

cmac

September 5th, 2011
10:00 pm

quit using the gimmicky uniforms … it doesn’t inspire or fool anybody!

Mike Bobo

September 5th, 2011
10:01 pm

Okay, let’s see, I have a QB that can run, a good looking running back in Crowell, and a big fullback in Figgins that could do a really good job blocking for him.

Hear’s my game plan for Boise State. We are going to start Richard Samuel who did nothing but SUCK in 2009. On first down, I’m going to make Aaron Murray stand in the pocket like a statue, and throw a very low percentage bomb 50 yards down the field. On second down, I’m going to run Richard Samuel right up the gut since he is really good at hitting the hole hard and falling backwards. Now, on third and 9, I’m going to make Murray stand in pocket again, and either get sacked or throw another bomb.

Yeah, that’s the ticket to wiinning.

Phil

September 5th, 2011
10:01 pm

DostaDawg

I agree about Skip Holtz, he has done a good job every where he’s been.

Just askin'

September 5th, 2011
10:01 pm

How is that vampire thing working out?

Taco

September 5th, 2011
10:02 pm

I suggest all UGA Players and Coaches stay off Twitter if you don’t like the HATE. You have to win at the level the fans want or you shall be squarely under the BUS. Really what did you expect? Hugs and Kisses? Go see your momma for that.

S Spurrier

September 5th, 2011
10:03 pm

I’m thinking about resting Garcia, Jeffries, and Lattimore this week, so they’ll be ready for our next “big’ game.

Gen Neyland

September 5th, 2011
10:04 pm

The no-huddle Georgia threw out there is one that offers up a ‘Show Me’ to the defensive alignment. It works if you don’t believe what you’re shown. Some programs check off twice after the call comes in from the sidelines. Afterall, you get a lot of clock to work with. It’s not fail-proof, but I liked it when Tennessee used it a few years back…

Ralph

September 5th, 2011
10:05 pm

We wanted a more agressive Richt and that we got with the hurry up offense. We wanted a more daring Richt and that is what we got with going for it on fourth down. There were numerous flashes of Richt during his first year in this game. Lots of reasons to be hopeful. Its funny listening to the Richt haters who have such a short memory. Cry all you like Richt will not be fired this year or the next 10 years. Richt is a great coach, fallen on hard times, will get back up again, and we saw the beginnings in game one with our team wrought with injuries, without much depth–but in the game til near the end against one of the most explosive offenses of the past 10 years. Go dawgs

T Grantham

September 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

What did you expect from me? Hell, I gave up 34 points and 512 yards to GT with their 2nd string QB.

George P. Burdell

September 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

I love how the UGA fans love to disparage Tech fans no matter what. Hate to tell you but there are Tech fans that are every bit as passionate, probably even more, and you can hate on us all you want. It was really sad to see all the “fans” leaving the game early the other night and it doesn’t speak well for you. What you make in volume, you lose in passion, because you cut and run when the going gets tough. It is so easy to sit and go “Woof Woof” when everything is going right but most of you just get out of Dodge when the going gets tough. Being a fan doesn’t just mean being there when you think it is the thing to do, and a lot of you showed that the other night.

Mobile Dawg

September 5th, 2011
10:07 pm

Ralph is not a Dawg fan, just a troll looking for a bone.

enthusiasm curbed

September 5th, 2011
10:08 pm

My physician was screening me for cialis and viagra- he has no issues that my heart is healthy enough for sex. He is, however, concerned if my heart is healthy enough to attend any more UGA games.

Pit Bull

September 5th, 2011
10:11 pm

I vote for Boise Coach or Dan Mullen.

I know! I know!

September 5th, 2011
10:12 pm

Just wait til we sign that 2012 Class. WOW! National Championship! We’ll call it….uh …the “real” Dream Team! YEAH! That’s the ticket!

Pit Bull

September 5th, 2011
10:12 pm

I hope the A.D. is making a list and checking it twice. We want someone naughty, not nice!

Beast from the East

September 5th, 2011
10:12 pm

Mobile,
I hate to see it. Something doesn’t appear right with Richt, in my opinion. I saw last year (early) that Meyer did not have the same drive. He even looked physically ill a few different games while on the sidelines. He said all the right things about getting things fixed after the season, but it still didn’t feel right. I was somewhat relieved when he did step aside because you just knew he needed to get away. I see some of the same type of signs in Richt. Way too non-chalant for the job he’s in.

James

September 5th, 2011
10:14 pm

Settle down folks.

The defense didn’t give up 1 (One) 20+ play against Kellen Moore. That’s a BIG improvement.

The defense held Kellen Moore to a 33% conversion rate on 3rd downs (4 out of 12) was 0-5 in 1st half, had 3 big stops in 2nd half when we were behind by only 2 scores.

The defense forced a turnover.

Offense did some good things. Bobo’s guys scored 3 td’s against a top 5 scoring defense. Charles looked good. Crowell showed promise. Mitchell looked great. Boykin looked great. I expect to see Boykin & Smith on offense, you don’t want to show everything against Boise. SEC is all that matters. Look for Mitchell, Charles, Boykin, Crowell, and Smith to EXPLODE the scoreboard on South Carolina. Murray protected the ball well and so did Crowell & Samuel–probably hurt productivity by worrying about it so much. Murray made great reads, overthrew a few times (better than underthrows) potential td’s to Wooten, and had a bunch of inexplicable drops–Murray also hit some guys in stride for big TD’s. All easily corrected. Have some faith. Wait until the 1st SEC loss happens. Chill.

Bottom line, this loss changed nothing. You can still win the East, the SEC, and the National Championship.

The rankings in AP Poll didn’t change either, still a top 20 ranked team.

Dawg Squeeze

September 5th, 2011
10:15 pm

Wow, your whole team appears to have been bitten by “enery vampires” and the fan base by intellect vampires.

Pit Bull

September 5th, 2011
10:16 pm

Richt really would be much happier in the ACC or same type of situation. He will get another job people!

LakeDawg

September 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

James

Its not about the skill players. Its the lines of scrimmage.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

George P. Burdell

Re-read your comment at 10:06 pm

Now going by what you said about our fans

Explain to everyone on here why Ga Tech had to reduce there stadium capacity years ago

LOL what an ignorant comment from a so called great academic school