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

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665 comments Add your comment


October 11th, 2011
8:01 pm

To The Truth shall set you free – yea that was a great article. I’m going to post it again so all my dawg friends who are a little slow can reread it. Thanks for posting the first time.
This is what I have been saying about the so-called level of competition that UGA has played over the last 4 weeks –

Let's talk about UGA!

October 11th, 2011
9:01 pm

I got off my sister long enough to bring this to your attention.
The SEC:
Alabama, LSU, and the 10 dwarves.

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 12th, 2011
6:51 am

The schedules of both UGA and Tech this season would lead one to believe that the entire state of Georgia has been enrolled in a “Special Needs” program.


October 12th, 2011
7:01 am

Did you disagree with something I have said 17ints? How so? or just needed be a troll?

ATLER (Ramblin Wreck)

October 12th, 2011
8:24 am

The Bill King pic is one redneck looking pic!!! LOL!!! That guy could only be a ugag guy.

Dogs Smell

October 12th, 2011
9:18 am

Go Vandy and Spank those “Homers”!


October 12th, 2011
12:29 pm

just remeber we drop a pic six before u guys scored the touchdown


October 12th, 2011
3:37 pm

Jan Kemp was a deeply disturbed woman who led a life to which no rational human being would aspire. Consider: two suicide attempts, once by pills and once by stabbing herself multiple times in the chest with a butcher knife. She spent stretches in psychiatric wards and went to jail for almost a year for contempt of court. The rumors out there are much, much worse. But really, you don’t need to get into any of the rumor and innuendo to conclude that this woman had serious problems. Actually, given the climate in Athens in the early 80s, you’d have to be crazy to call out UGA on academic preferences for football players. That may be proof enough right there that she was nuts.


October 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Vandy is a much better team than Tennessee. They better avoid the 2nd and 57’s penalties and not depend on short field and one long pass for the touch down opportunities. We need long slow drives resulting in touchdowns so the defense can be rested when they are on the field. No 3 and outs.

Road Runner

October 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

Still@thebar,Still@thebar,Still@thebar all day, all night Still@thebar,Still@thebar- sir you are a real winner. Hey I know how to find meaning in life I will just hate the Georgia Bulldogs and spend hour upon hour typing away trying to p!ss people off. Sir you are proving to everyone on this blog that you need something else to happen in your life. WOW.

Road Runner

October 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

To all the Tech fans on here trashing UGS’s schedule. One question.

Please who has Tech played this year that is even on ther radar?

Road Runner

October 12th, 2011
4:54 pm

Tech fans,

The Terps gave your “elite” wanna be program a scare didn’t it.
Oh, and by the way TEMPLE kicked the TWURPS @sses.
Georgia Tech = Paper Tiger.

Ga Grad '90

October 12th, 2011
9:51 pm

Maybe I should go get my doctorate at ‘Bama. If Georgia fans have their way, Richt will still be losing games in Athens by the time I finish. Then maybe, I can cheer on a reall winner. You Richt lovers are so blind and so desperate. It’s just sad really.

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

October 12th, 2011
10:08 pm

Bye-Bye Bobo after this year


October 13th, 2011
11:45 am

An auburn fan saying they are locked and loaded is priceless………