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

JB

September 6th, 2011
1:59 pm

Bobo has 5 kids. Makes 350K per. Hope he saved some money. Coaching High school ball is a tough living. About 60-80 K per year…or about 8.00 an hour when you throw in classroom responsibility.

Instant Dawgma

September 6th, 2011
2:00 pm

Stay off twitter and facebook Jarvis J. and Christian R. and quit worrying about fans reaction.

JB

September 6th, 2011
2:02 pm

Dowdle has been doing the Richt show with him for a while, so don’t expect any tough questions from him. They have a relationship……..Like NBC and Obama.

DawginLex

September 6th, 2011
2:02 pm

Anybody want to stop coach bashing long enough to talk football?

What do we need to do this week to win the game?

Outside of the predictable TROLL responses of replace Bobo and Richt and Grantham, here is my take:

No more shotgun.
SC DE’s too fast for our OL.
Max protect with 1, 2 or 3 TE’s.
Run all I formation with QB under center, play action and toss sweeps and runs up the middle.
Play nickel all game.
Don’t play a walkon or a tru freshman LB, play an extra DB who has experience kinda like the old Rover slot.

That’s all I got. I still expect us to lose.

I say 28-20 SC

allwehaveishope

September 6th, 2011
2:03 pm

The dawgs have finally hit rock bottom.

JB

September 6th, 2011
2:12 pm

Boy, the AJC filters are touchy.

Pago Pago Dawg

September 6th, 2011
2:19 pm

We all agree, no fired up coaches on the sideline. Do you see the “Terps/’Canes coaches…up and down the sidelines…yelling…clapping. UGA sideline…quiet except for the hip-hop. Sad.

JB

September 6th, 2011
2:37 pm

McGarity quote..” We evaluate every week”……………Why didn’t he say ” Look, Mark Richt is our football coach for this season. We will evaluate at the end of the season”……….HUM !!!!!

sammy dawg is clueless

September 6th, 2011
2:52 pm

sammy dawg needs to quit drinking the koolade. you are as clueless as the coaches. embarassing

chris fountain

September 6th, 2011
2:57 pm

Very disappointed….all I can say is I am very confused. Everyone has been saying that we had no running game, and that boisie state was a fun and gun offense that will blast you all over the field if you let them ( which they did )…. I just do not understand the play calling from the get go..Why did we play right in to their game plan. You think we have no running game we step up and establish one like a big bad sec team should. We then control the tempo of the game and the clock. Do not give them the chance to throw at will. When did we become a spread no huddle attack. We have no established receivers but yet we depend on this to bring glory back to uga. We have a very un-healthy thin offensive line but then we add the pressure of no huddle..i don’t get it. Then this not only stop’s the clock it kills our field position. Stop me if I am wrong but I believe boise never started any of their drives deeper than the 35 yard line…the defense never had a chance to get off the field and catch their breath. 3 and out, 3 and out. Why did we come out of the locker room so late before the start of the second half. There was zero warm up time for the players. That is why they were so flat to start the second half. These are all things I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!! But most of all 3rd and 16 and we run a freakin DRAW!!!!!!!!!!!! Grrrugh! i mean really BOOBOO you can only ride on that pass to cory allen at grant field for so long!

AltamahaDawg

September 6th, 2011
3:09 pm

ON defense , figure out the LB rotation, hope we don’t lose any more. I still think our defense will be good enough to beat most of our schedule.

ON offense, scrap that Mickey Mouse no huddle hurry up. All we did was screw up our own guys. We aren’t built for it. Get 2 more recruiting classes of Olinemen up to speed, then try that again. But this year, put Murray under center, run some guys in motion, and insist on him doing what he was supposed to have learned in his 3rd year. Complete some passes. Run the ball as best we can. That has nowhere to go but up.

DawgByte

September 6th, 2011
3:23 pm

Bill -

I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of Mike Bobo’s playing calling performance. When I heard Monty Kiffen say a few years ago, he didn’t need much time to scheme against Bobo’s offense, that should have been an indication to Richt something wasn’t right. Everyone knows Murray is going to look to Orson Charles for a majority of throws. Why not put Artie Lynch in the game in a dual TE set and fake it to Charles and hit the Lynch over the middle. How many DBs can match up with Marlon Brown’s size? Answer: Very few… MB should be getting 6-8 balls thrown to him every game. Crowell has great hands, how about throwing him a screen pass, so he can get out into space. How about a toss sweep to our 520 lb. backfield. All Samuel has to do is follow Figgins for 10 yards. This is the most brain dead offensive game planning I’ve ever seen out of a UGA football team. Don’t even get me started with the OL… that was pathetic!

JoeMac

September 6th, 2011
3:43 pm

I hate to say it, but I tried to tell all you delusional fans what was going to happen. I did not figure on the team playing that badly however. Bottom line… Offensive line is horrible = NO RUNNING GAME which equals NO PASS PROTECTION which equals NO PASSING GAME which equals a QB that will not survive the season. I have said it many times and been shot down, but I say again… consider 7-5 and another minor bowl a great season. The pups have worlds of talent, just no one to coach that talent up.

chazzo

September 6th, 2011
4:10 pm

altamaha and Lex,

Amen. Play action out of the I was all that worked consistently (although briefly) on Sat. Don’t know why we didin’t see multiple tight end sets considering that abundance and the lack of blocking ability.

Carlton

September 6th, 2011
4:11 pm

I love how everyone is just now talking about draw plays on 3rd and 15’s, long bombs on first downs, etc..Bobo’s BEEN doing those since he started play-calling..

chazzo

September 6th, 2011
4:17 pm

I don’t see our D stopping Lattimore and Jeffries. I don’t see our O line stopping their D line. Still, I can’t bring myself to pick SC over the Dawgs. I will definitely be pulling for the Dawgs as always!

RJ1

September 6th, 2011
4:31 pm

The Bulldogs have a gap in the offensive coordinator department and a head coach that can’t keep his teams head in the game. No huddle with young QB, penalties, penalties, penalties, time outs wasted, long passes on short 3rd downs this is a sound way to lose football games and even worse it is very predictable. Boise was smart enough to realize that a fast defense can be beat with short passes and they have perhaps the best QB in the country. We only pass on first down after we have lost the game, no huddle with a young QB brilliant, no relief receiver or screen pass how about max protect come on BoBo, I can sit on the couch and know what play is coming next. This has progressively gotten worse the last few seasons, this is not GA football. We should during this season support the team, but it is time for a change on the sideline. We can handle not winning against a better team, but we have got to play hard, fast,and smart and this weekend is another example of not playing smart being the main factor for us losing. Boise is a good team but we are not near as bad as we looked and honestly we could have made it a game if the play calls on offense made any sense. UNACCEPTABLE.

texdawg

September 6th, 2011
4:40 pm

The nike pro combat uniforms were for this game only morons. Try reading the newspaper sometime. You will not see them again.

Fire Mark Richt

September 6th, 2011
4:46 pm

Bobo this, Bobo that, blah blah blah. Bobo is an assistant coach. He works for Mark Richt. You may recall that at one point Richt was considered an offensive guru, so presumably Bobo is doing his bidding. The buck stops with Richt.

King Gators

September 6th, 2011
4:54 pm

King Gators

September 6th, 2011
4:55 pm

Boo Power Rangers!

Uh Rah !

September 6th, 2011
5:52 pm

We should have fired C M R B O Z O O O 4 years ago

Uh Rah !

September 6th, 2011
5:53 pm

CMR BOZO is an embarrassment to the state of Georgia.

Uh Rah !

September 6th, 2011
5:55 pm

Richt is the Bozo that runs this ship you cant blame his coordinator who is following his instructions, and I guess you cant blame this on Martinez any more either, idiots.

CMR MARK BOZO RICHT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BULLCH!!T

Cali Dawg

September 6th, 2011
6:16 pm

How many other schools want Bobo as their OC? End of story! Bye bye Bobo asap or it’s thanks for the memories (until 2007, when someone took over the play calling) CMR…

Cali Dawg

September 6th, 2011
6:19 pm

Yes, the OC is the problem and yes CMR isn’t dealing with it…so yes…if you don’t fix the problem, you are the problem.

MATHDAWG

September 6th, 2011
6:31 pm

EXPECT THE WORSE PERFORMANCE YOU CAN IMAGINE AND RICHT AND HIS GROUP OF CLOWN COACHES WILL EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS. HOW CAN ANYONE TAKE THIS MUCH TALENT AND DO SO LITTLE WITH IT? RICHT IS TO UGA WHAT OBAMA IS TO USA. THEY CAN BOTH RUN THE BEST DOWN TO THE WORSE. LET’S FIRE BOTH OF THESE CLOWNS AND THE SOONER THE BETTER.

dawgfan

September 6th, 2011
7:41 pm

I swear to God our players must get tutorials on cliched coachspeak. “Its all about the guys in the lockerroom. We’re just taking it week by week. Blah, blah, blah.” Somebody put a muzzle on these underachievers until they learn how to win some damn football games that matter. I have never seen a bigger group of media jaw flappers in my life. All they did all off season was talk and they are STILL freaking talking. If our rushing yards equaled the amount of words that these big mouths use in interviews we’d have won 5 national championships in a row. Good grief.

Yes, I just went there. The players need to be held accountable too. They aren’t children. They are grown men and they need to learn to keep their mouths shut and do their talking on the field. Let’s spend a little more time learning the fundamentals of the game of football that jawing away on Twitter fellas.

Thanks.

CABO

September 6th, 2011
7:55 pm

Over and Under: Richt fired on Oct 3rd.
SC & Miss State will both win by more than 2 TDs in Sanford Stadium.

Let the search for a new head coach begin.

MATHDAWG

September 6th, 2011
7:59 pm

I wish Bozo Richt was as Good as OBAMA , then at the least he would have stabilize the economy and provide health care and penalized the money grubbing banks. I do believe Richt is a right wing radical rightest tea party corrupt business lobbyist who pimps Jesus for profit.

Both Bush and Richt are BOZO’s

MATHDAWG

September 6th, 2011
8:01 pm

How many other school want bozo richt as their head coach?

Exactly!

Go Dawgs

September 6th, 2011
8:45 pm

Downer said it best earlier – he posted a link to a great article – I have noticed that when Bobo thinks a team has a weakness (pass/run) he will try to exploit it to a point that he doesn’t realize that the opposite is working.
Read this article and wonder why we did not go I over shotgun most of the night
http://dawgsbui2.com/content/bobo-and-grantham-not-same-page

Old Dog

September 6th, 2011
8:46 pm

Dog fans, this is a MUST read if you want to understand what the facts say about CRM

http://coachesbythenumbers.com/should-richts-backside-really-be-on-fire/

Go Dawgs

September 6th, 2011
8:48 pm

Ga actually did have a running game – when they lined up in the I formation – they tried to run too much out of the shotgun – we need a lead blocker – just look at the results from the game

Orange11

September 6th, 2011
9:11 pm

Hey, UGA is #1 at something. They are the first SEC team to lose to Boise State. Congrats Dogs! Maybe they can get a trophy with a big golden potato on top and a big number one etched in it. What is really hard to believe is how does a line weighing on the average forty pounds more than their opponents get their heads handed to them? It defies logic. This program is in deep, deep trouble.

Whiskey Breath

September 6th, 2011
9:22 pm

Bill, I will say if for you. You are a good man but don’t want to appear anti Dawgs. When the hell is CMR going to hit the bricks?

Steve

September 6th, 2011
9:26 pm

I really feel sorry for Murray. Just think we he could be doing in a real spread offense with a real OC.

Class of 93

September 6th, 2011
9:37 pm

The game was terrible as was Bobo’s play calling. No matter how bad our team plays there is no excuse to boo our team. Even though you might be booing Bobo, Richt or whoever, from our players standpoint you are also booing them. Don’t be a classless fan like the ones who booed Pyburn in ‘79.

Swampdawg

September 6th, 2011
10:03 pm

“No Blocking! Heard Larry say it a thousand times in the 90s. Now we are back to it again. This team cannot block and cannot tackle at the level needed for a top 5 team. Too many boys!

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 7th, 2011
2:25 am

Grantham is not getting the job done.The offense will get a lot of the balme but the simple fact is our defense always seem to fold no matter the situation or team we face.I doubt we can win a game against decent teams 14 -10 or so.Teams force us into 3 and outs we should do the same.We rarely rise to the occasion when we need to on Defenese anymore….there is always an excuse.I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t give up more 30 plus point games under CTG than we had under Willie

Dawg Gone

September 7th, 2011
3:18 am

After reading the post game comments, I’m convinced nature will take it course. Richt’s stubborness and blind loyalty to Bobo will most assuredly put the nail in the coffin at season’s end. The no huddle was an abysmal failure that left our offensive players rushed and confused, and led to the ultimate demise of the defense, so of course we’re gonna stick with it. Did you notice how utterly lost our team looked in the time lapse for Bobo to call the play from the booth, have it relayed to the sideline, and then to Murray, and finally to everybody else? It was like everybody on the team was looking to the sideline and asking Ok coach, what now? No huddle and pass block…that’s the ticket alright…the ticket outta Athens.

Douglas

September 7th, 2011
4:05 am

where does Mark Richt and the rest of the coaches live? Time to start placing “For Sale” signs in their yards…maybe they will get the hint. I still cannot believe that Saban one time tried to hire our DC as his DC? What was he thinking!

Tech

September 7th, 2011
4:52 am

Back to square one———–if UGA has a so so record and beats GA Tech——Richt will not get fired. Remember Donnan—he lost to Tech 3 years in a row. Then he was gone.

Tech

September 7th, 2011
5:02 am

The biggest problem that no one at the UGA football program notices —-is ———-they never have a solid running game————-how Richt played politics with the administration all these years without getting that nailed down is beyond me. The one thing Richt did do is win 2 SEC championships—–in 11 years—-if he had won another in the last 2 years –he probably would be much more accepted at the point. So, the bottom line is—–you must win the championship game at least once every 4 years————and beat Tech at the same time.. If you can get that done—-you are ok in my book as a GA fan. So ——-IF Richt won the SEC championship game this year –he would be in good standing. Other wise, it might be time for him to reconsider his future.

MJB

September 7th, 2011
7:03 am

Richt is a good guy, but it’s a must-win this weekend and in Jax, too, as previously noted. I was ready for him to be gone at the end of last season, but then fell into the recruiting/next year hope cycle (trap?) one more time. Barring a convincing turnaround this year (i.e. 10 wins), we need to make Dan Mullen an offer he can’t refuse.

Clowns R UGA

September 7th, 2011
8:21 am

How much money did Nike pay Richt to get those clown costumes on national TV?

meandog

September 7th, 2011
8:40 am

Sorry, but no one can convince me that either Boise or the USC Lamecrocks are that good. Georgia is a team with some extremely talented players BUT it is also bad when it comes to translating talent into good play. In fairness, I really don’t know who to blame for this. Perhaps it is a matter of having talent but no chemistry and no matter what coaches do, they can’t get basic football instruction through heads full of egos and dreadlocks. But, also, perhaps it is because the players truly want to follow good plans, however they just don’t have the proper leadership….I believe it is the latter rather than the former.

?

September 7th, 2011
8:43 am

Does the UGA OC have a football background? How did he happen to transition from that field into college football?

5 Time National Champs Nebraska

September 7th, 2011
9:13 am

Someone pass a word on to Chip Towers that I think UGA will beat South Carolina.

LogicalUS

September 7th, 2011
9:25 am

“Max protect with 1, 2 or 3 TE’s.”

Bobo is an easy scapegoat but really at this point, some of the “fire” crowd should list what are his actual viable options.

As I posted this summer and was blasted for it, he is working with few possible answers with which to work.

I agree with DawginLex about the TEs and predicted this would most likely become a result of the loss of all the returning RBs and the missing of significant practice reps by both Samuel\Crowell this fall. Got called a hater by the board police for that. I would like to claim to be brilliant for predicting such but in reality, it was so obvious and simple that I will go on.

And to move on, Bobo is in a box because his running game is limited and the WR corp showed that they were indeed heavily dependent on the attention to AJ Green to get open.

So what are Bobo’s options? Real options, please, none of the pie in the sky ones from this summer.

PS. Bobo doesn’t get a complete pass as his recruiting problems lead to the current position.