Richt’s aggressive stance against Vols likely to pay dividends later

Aaron Murray was pleased the Dogs had earned their head coach's trust. (Associated Press)

Aaron Murray was pleased the Dogs had earned their head coach's trust. (Associated Press)

A few more thoughts about Georgia’s win over Tennessee in Knoxville …

There was a lot of talk after the game about Mark Richt’s more aggressive approach in the first half, when Georgia went for it three times on fourth-and-short yardage. That ran counter to the coach’s stance several times earlier in the season when he had declined to go for it on fourth (including twice against Mississippi State), peevishly answering his players’ complaints about it by saying that if you want to make a first down, you do it in the first three tries.

Richt obviously rethought that view this past week. “I wasn’t in the mood to go for it on fourth down last week,” he said, because he “didn’t like what we had prepared.” But in the week before playing the Vols, he said, “we did a good job of putting a plan together. I had more confidence in what the offensive staff put together, so I was more decisive with what to do because I had more faith in what we were doing and how we were going about it.”

You get the idea that maybe the head coach was a bit more involved in the offensive game planning last week.

The results weren’t so much evident on the scoreboard, as the Dogs didn’t manage to score touchdowns on the drives kept alive by Richt going for it on fourth down. But it probably paid off big-time with his players. As Aaron Murray put it: “It showed that he trusted us.”

That could pay dividends down the road. …

Mike Bobo deserves both bouquets and brickbats, as my junior high school newspaper used to say, for his playcalling Saturday night. He had Murray mix up short passes and the long ball, and that call to have it thrown to Malcolm Mitchell downfield when the Dogs were backed up on their own 7 was masterful and resulted in the game’s biggest play. But Bobo going all ultra-conservative again in the fourth quarter frustrated even his boss, who said he wished they’d handled it differently after Georgia got the ball back with just over 8 minutes and only burned a couple of minutes, going three-and-out playing it safe on the ground. That “pretty much put more pressure on the defense there,” Richt said. “If we’re in that situation again, we’d better be able to put it away.”

No arguments there, coach. …

Despite several holding calls, the Dogs’ reshuffled offensive line did a better job Saturday and the result was no sacks and no interceptions thrown by Murray. Let’s hope that progression continues. …

The showdown between what was then the nation’s No. 1 team at converting third downs (Tennessee) and the No. 2 team at defending them (Georgia) definitely went to the Dogs. The Vols had been converting 62.1 percent of the time, but against UGA they were only four-for-13 (30.8 percent). …

Speaking of tough defense, the third quarter was a jewel, with the Vols limited to 11 yards of offense. …

The Bulldogs radio network guys had a tough time picking a player of the game until they took a look at the stats, where Mike Gilliard again had a standout performance. He led the team with 12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a broken up pass. Hard to do any better than that. …

Finally, amid all the talk about the schedule having Georgia in the “driver’s seat” in the SEC East, it’s good to hear Murray keeping things in perspective. “We’ve got to keep chugging,” he said. With South Carolina owning the tie-breaker against the Dogs, “We’re still not in control right now of our own destiny. We can’t worry about that. We have to worry about Vanderbilt next week and continue to get wins.”

Well said.

I’ll be off for the next couple of days but the Junkyard Blawg will return Thursday. In the meantime, if there’s an issue you’d like to raise or you have a question for the Blawg, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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665 comments Add your comment

Ugalivz

October 9th, 2011
10:37 pm

Vol Nation

October 9th, 2011
10:37 pm

I for one was not impressed by Mark Richt, Aaron Murray or Cromwell. Bray had an off night, we play that game 10 more times and Vols win 9 of them in Neeland.

No wonder you guys lost to Boise and Spurrier, weak offense.

Newnan dawg

October 9th, 2011
10:39 pm

Bill King

October 9th, 2011
10:40 pm

Wow, Vol Nation, those grapes really are sour, aren’t they?

Dawg Nation

October 9th, 2011
10:43 pm

I for one was very impressed by Dooley, Bray and the others who were very good. UGA won anyway.

Vol Nation

October 9th, 2011
10:43 pm

We were coming back at the end – had your guys not injured Bray he was poised to score a TD with 3 or 4 minutes left, then we would recover onside kick and score again to win.

Also the TV announcers pointed out the refs were on your side all night and blew MULTIPLE pass interference calls on your guy Robinson.

We’re a young team but will win the East next year, too many injuries and young players this year.

Dawg Nation

October 9th, 2011
10:46 pm

Blah, blah, blah. If UT had been better, they would’ve scored more and won.

TN Dawg

October 9th, 2011
10:47 pm

Hey Vol Nation Where is Neeland stadium? The game I went to was at Neyland Stadium. Send us directions to Neeland and we will beat you 10 more times

old waterboy

October 9th, 2011
10:51 pm

VOL NATION – First , its CROWELL and you’d better get used to seeing him run through your puke orange colored jerseys for the next 2-3 years…and he’d have had more TDs”‘had your guys not injured” him during the first quarter . I never once heard any announcer ‘point out ‘ that the refs were ‘on our side’. They agreed with them on most all replays,etc. I’ll enjoy seeing the scores from ol Rocky Top the next several weeks.

KB

October 9th, 2011
10:51 pm

Vol nation, Was bray going to recover the onside kick? -20 yards rushing, real juggernaut up there in Knoxville, Vols are 2 or 3 years awy from competing, But it wasn’t as bad as last year beating.

Troll alert!

October 9th, 2011
10:52 pm

Vol nation, if you are truly a vol fan you would know it’s neyland, not neeland. You’re probably a tech fan.

JDAWG

October 9th, 2011
10:55 pm

Vol Nation you are so funny if this happened and our quarterback wasnt injured we would have recover an onside kick really? What does the quarterback have to do with the kicking game? Your team played hard but lost and is lucky the score was only 20-12!

Dream Team 2.0

October 9th, 2011
10:55 pm

Vol Nat.The guys on tv said you all fumble the ball in the first quarter. I agree with them but the called stayed Vols way. So Boo Woo to you

Shawn

October 9th, 2011
10:55 pm

There were blown calls all over the field. The announcer also said it was a fumble and it belonged to UGA. The refs could not even get that right with a clear cut video!!! If UT dominated and would win 9 out of 10 it would not happen running the ball as they had minus 10 yds rushing. I felt bad when Bray went down but Simms seemed to step right up. The Vols will be better next year(Though so will UGA) but this year was the Dawgs turn(as will next) to be dominant. Hold your chin high and lose with class, as hard as that may be at UT!

Vol Nation

October 9th, 2011
10:55 pm

Guys, it was a typo. I meant Neyland and you know that.

Prozac Dawg

October 9th, 2011
10:55 pm

Vol Nation, we would have beat USC if we would have won, but we didn’t. Neither did you. Suck it up boy. You’ve got a decent coach and UT plays hard. It’ll come later

Junkyard_Dawg

October 9th, 2011
10:57 pm

@Vol Nation
There were calls missed on both sides of the ball. I watched the game and never heard the announcers say the refs were on UGA’s side. Missed calls, yes, but they said the same on both teams. Also, this game should’ve been a blowout if Murray would’ve been more accurate with his throws. Your DB’s were getting beat all night long but Murray overthrew 3 wide open routes that would’ve been TD’s.
Oh, and Bray’s injury was a total accident. That happens all the time when your line can’t block and you try to throw the ball. You’re eventually gonna hit somebody’s helmet on a follow through.
I feel for you, though. Good luck with LSU and BAMA the next 2 games. ;)

bh

October 9th, 2011
11:04 pm

i still don’t know if this team has the killer instinct that it will eventually need. How much longer will Richt stick with Bobo. I mean, I can’t imagine his play calling against a defense like Alabama’s or LSU’s. I mean, let it loose a little and let the kids play.

LesterfromLEX

October 9th, 2011
11:04 pm

Dawgs rule.We knocked them down and broke their nose with a hobnail boot. I head DawginLex say the same thing so I know it must be true.That Lex dude might be the best blogger on this web site. That guy knows football like my wife knows Vera Bradley handbags!! Great job GEORGIA TENNIS this weekend, Mens Tennis the REAL power in Athens.

chipper

October 9th, 2011
11:06 pm

Well, isn’t it nice not to have those interlopers from Ohio State and UF annoying us on the blog this year?

91 Dawg

October 9th, 2011
11:06 pm

Vol Nation you must had been watching a different game than I was because Tennessee did score a touchdown and had the extra point blocked…As far as the onside kick you confidently predicted would recover well sorry its hard to recover a kick when it goes out of bounds…

Chris

October 9th, 2011
11:09 pm

Vol Nation = Delusional Fan

AC

October 9th, 2011
11:15 pm

I’ve rarely seen anyone punked as badly as “vol nation” was on here multiple times. Very funny! Go back down to your mom’s basement junior (and yes we are laughing at you not with you).

SmokeygothitbyaTRUCK.

October 9th, 2011
11:19 pm

Vol Nation, you with the junior DOOLEY for a coach. You got HANDLED. SMOKEY got hit by a BIG OLE RED TRUCK. What is it about ORANGE? Those Auburn folks have issues too. Think BAMA, FLORIDA, LSU, Georgia? maybe, Tennessee, bleeping never. Al Gore is even from your state for gods sake.

Nashdawg

October 9th, 2011
11:20 pm

Todd Granthams defense is working very well and it is going to get better. The offense has some kinks but you can see where their only a couple of clicks away from being really good. Next year the team is going to be really good. So all you naysayers shut up or go away.

My God, a freshman!

October 9th, 2011
11:26 pm

I listened to CMR’s post game interview. I believe he was discussing the long pass to Mitchell, but I’m sure he said that Bobo was second guessing his (own) decision to call the play and discussing it with the offensive staff, when CMR chimed in and said to run it.
That’s what concerns me. Bobo is in the wind with his decision making. The 4th quarter was where he almost allowed them to come back. When are we gonna free this guys future?

45ACP

October 9th, 2011
11:32 pm

Our O line is a topic for discussion. It has been a lot better with the depature of the Surrells (spelling) who was said to be the best.

Skitty Fritty

October 9th, 2011
11:32 pm

Vol Nation:
You are in for a LONG year! Two in a row over the Vols, feels good.
Go Dogs!

P_The_Ricker

October 9th, 2011
11:48 pm

I’m thinking “vol nation” is bill king’s friend that he dedicated an articile to earlier in the week. This guy thought UT was going to win last year in athens and again predicted UT to win again this year in a high scoring affair. If not, all UT fans are delusional.

Athens Dawg

October 9th, 2011
11:51 pm

Vol Fan, if I had 3 more inches on my penis I’d be a pornstar. GET OVER IT! YOU LOST

DawgsRHere

October 9th, 2011
11:53 pm

Gotta love Murray saying “we’ve got to keep chugging!” Great win and lets keep the train rolling.

pj

October 9th, 2011
11:53 pm

We need to root for the Vols to beat Carolina! Once we take out Vandy, 5-2 will get us ranked and the 2 week chirping will begin. And an interesting note – even with the two blowout losses, Florida still controls its own destiny.

dawggirl

October 9th, 2011
11:56 pm

Maybe if you had some semblance of a running game, you would have won Vol Nation. Minus 20 yards isn’t exactly getting it done now, is it?

Richard Alpert

October 10th, 2011
12:02 am

Game over, the Vawls can head back to Dollywood or Pigeon Forge or whatever hillbilly craphole they came from. Gotta focus on the Dores, then focus for TWO weeks on the Gators. Vandy ALWAYS plays us tough, and this HAS to be the year we take Florida down a notch. They are a complete mess right now and I believe they’ll get beat by Awbarn next weekend.
And NOTHING is funnier than the nerds over on the Tech blog jabbering away about how they OWN Georgia now… remind me again who RUNS THIS STATE????

ca dawg

October 10th, 2011
12:07 am

@vol nation: bray had the whole game minus 4 minutes to score an offensive touchdown and couldn’t do it. what makes you think he could have scored two in the last little bit of the game? i don’t think he had an “off game;” i think he had to play a real defense.

you’re kidding yourself if you think your team could beat ours 9 out of 10 times. in point of fact, you’ve lost 7 of the last 11 and 3 of the last 4. the fact of the matter is that your secondary is bad and you can’t run the ball. not a recipe for sustained success.

Chicago Dawg

October 10th, 2011
12:09 am

A win is a win regardless of style points right now. Tennessee is still a rival and if we win 10 games by a few points this year, we’re still 10 and 2 and probably in the BCS. I still remember the game I was at where we rushed the field after finally beating UT in Athens and taking the goal post down Broad St. Go Dawgs!

ca dawg

October 10th, 2011
12:09 am

any word from tampa gator? haven’t heard much from him the last couple of weeks

Vol Nation

October 10th, 2011
12:17 am

Sorry guys, you’re right. I’m a complete piece of trash. We suck and I know it. I just felt like crying. GOD WHY DID YOU MAKE ME A VOL FAN. WHY?!?!?!?!??! WHYYYY?!??!

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
12:24 am

If BOBO has a job as the OC next year there will be dancing in the streets by every SEC teams fans but the Dawgs.

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
12:28 am

Athens Dawg
October 9th, 2011
11:51 pm

If I had 3 more inches on my penis I’d be a pornstar.
no you would just have 5 inches total with a face made for radio still.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 10th, 2011
12:28 am

I can’t wait for all the Richt apologist to come out of the woodwork in the morning and thump their chests about how he’s gonna lead us to a NC this year…..

…..if pigs could fly…

hey smokey

October 10th, 2011
12:46 am

we may have Al Gore, but GA produced Jimmy Carter. TN 1 GA 0

hey smokey

October 10th, 2011
12:50 am

the delusional UGA kool-aid drinkers are going to soon realize that they’ve lost to the two decent teams on their schedule and beat the weak sisters so far. please get over yourselves.

daddo

October 10th, 2011
1:11 am

Here’s to the most delusional fans in the conference: the Georgia Bulldogs. Ten and two and u will be in the BCS? My god, Alabama, LSU and Arkansas will fight for those slots; UGA won’t even be in the conversation. Anybody’s conversation. Except yall talking to yourselves.

bugsquacher

October 10th, 2011
1:12 am

Lets dont drink the kool-aid just yet….. yes we are 4-2, the win at TN was good but not impressive. Bobo stills stinks at play calling…. (remember those 4 wins were not against any powerhouses)….. The defense is definitely on the right track…. Hmmmm, got rid of Martinez….. could we do the same with Bobo?

We should handle Vandy next week. Florida is looking more vunerable. Tech and Auburn are still lurking…. the next month will answer many questions….. Tech game could be really interesting….

bugsquacher

October 10th, 2011
1:14 am

If by some miracle we get to the Championship game in Atlanta, AL or LSU will be more than we can handle this year…. but winning the east is something to build on….. teaching them young pups how to win….

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
1:18 am

is it how to win or how to watch the other teams all around you fold because they actually play teams from the West that matter.

bugsquacher

October 10th, 2011
1:21 am

btw, congrats CMR on the 100th…..

Live From New York

October 10th, 2011
1:29 am

Just a point of information. With all the (deserved) emphasis on CMR’s 100th victory, no one has done the math. I have, though. His winning percentage is 73.53 percent.

Chicago Dawg

October 10th, 2011
1:32 am

If we are 10-2 we lost to two top 10 teams, at the time of our losses. Yes, this is justifying losses but Alabama or LSU will have a loss in the end. This gives UGA an opportunity to play them. The D is playing like a top tier D in the SEC. Right now UGA is the top of the SEC East. Anything can happen in the Dome.