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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