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

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
1:40 am

anything like the falcons winning a Superbowl in the dome right?
Murray is going to crap his pants at the first sight of the SEC West coming out on the field.

Craig Spinks

October 10th, 2011
2:04 am

Mark Richt’s greatest work will not be done in his role as a highly successful UGA football coach. Rather, it’ll be done in conjunctiom with Coach Tony Dungy’s All-ProDads organization which encourages males to father the children that they beget.

DawgByte

October 10th, 2011
2:05 am

Man, this Dawg D is looking pretty dang good. It will be interesting to see how it does the rest of the schedule. Now if by some miracle Bobo calls all the right plays, at least most of them, we could go 10 and 2. Now as far as a BCS bowl. That’s a different story, but CMR keeps his job and Bobo will too.

Craig Spinks

October 10th, 2011
2:06 am

OOPS: “conjunctiom”, huh? Let’s replace “conjunctiom” with “conjunction.”

7576DAWG

October 10th, 2011
2:39 am

No other team in America would still have Bobo as the offensive coordinator. We might as well get use to Bobo staying the coordinator unless Adams sanctions the change which has a zero chance of happening with Bobo’s wife being Barbara Dooley’s sister’s daughter. An offensive coordinator who has made it with a SEC team for over 3 years should be making $750K at least. Bobo makes 400K and is over paid. What does that tell you?

volsvex

October 10th, 2011
2:57 am

more mediocrity for the vols—dooley has 1 more to turn it around or he can hit the road. UT needs to hire Jeff Fisher or Jon Gruden—pay them whatever they want. They will be worth it.

Dawg4Life

October 10th, 2011
3:27 am

i think Vol. Nation is really lane kiffin.

bad

October 10th, 2011
5:08 am

worst officiating i’ve seen in a long time.

Fair and Balanced

October 10th, 2011
5:43 am

Ga won but did not win big. As big as “‘w’s’” are (and this was big) Ga sttill lacks ability to put people away and note that a potential game turning play had to be reviewed and over-turned….. Ga needs more of a killer instinct. Richt questionably, has never had it. Under the heading of “What makes a team mediocre” you’ll find “Cant put anybody away”. This was a struggle for Donnan as well. Imnot talking about running up the score, Im just talking about playing 4 quarters of football. Ga still hasn’t done it all season.

Cmon man

October 10th, 2011
6:00 am

I promise I will never understand this fan base you find a reason to complain about EVERYTHING. A win is a win whether the score is 1-0 or 100-0. Since everybody loves the praise the almighty nick saban why dont you go back and look at the scores from their 2009 chamoionship team they blew out 3 sec teams that year ark, miss st and uf in the sec championship game and im willing to bet no bama fan cried about the margin of victory all they wanted was a win. When bama beat uf this year once they scored 24 early points they eased off of the gas they scored 14 pts by running right up the middle (uf just couldnt stop richardson) once brantley left the game uf dang near gave up bama could have went deep into the playbook and scored 60 but instead saban put the game in the hands of the defense to hold on to the lead. Last year when auburn won how many teams did they blow out? (dont worry I will wait) when lsu won in 2007 they blew out 2 teams miss st and va tech. So why is it ok for everybody else to build a lead and turn the game over to the defense but when uga does it its a problem? In case you didnt know you dont get an extra victory for style points just win the game.

RPollardRealtor

October 10th, 2011
6:10 am

How bout them Dawgs!

RPollardRealtor

October 10th, 2011
6:13 am

Well said C’mon man! I also think though when your only up by 8 pts with 8 mins to go in the 4th quarter you can’t be that conservative. Gotta get the ball to a play-maker in the open to make some cuts and moves to move the chains which means the offense will chew some more clock. I think that’s what CMR was referring too he just wanted to chew some more clock is all.

Cmon man

October 10th, 2011
6:26 am

@rpollardrealtor I understand what you are saying but when your defense is playing lights out whats the point of getting cute and risking a fumble or int you saw with the s. Carolina game how a fumble or pick 6 can change the game. Take that W and move on!

RPollardRealtor

October 10th, 2011
6:36 am

@C’mon Man,

Your preaching to the choir man. I completely agree I want the ball on the ground myself. Especially with the way our defense is playing! I’m not a big Mike Bobo Fan to be honest with you. I’m a pretty conservative person but wow he is ultra-conservative! We don’t really run many zone read routes to where our WRs sit in the soft zone like South Carolina did to us last year over and over again. I would of like to see that more myself to move the ball and eat some of that timeclock when we are ahead. But I am all for keeping the ball on the ground completely when we are up by 2 possessions in the 4th quarter. At the end of the day we gotta move the chains in the 4th.

mgdawg

October 10th, 2011
7:02 am

Crowell might be growing up finally. He was in on the pivotal downs and even with a little injury did not completely dissapear. Earlier in the season he probably would’ve been lost for the game after “aggravating” his wrist injury.

AltamahaDawg

October 10th, 2011
7:18 am

They had a 14 point lead at that point not 8. Burned 2 minutes, forced Tn to take a TO, punted them back to their own 22. Everyone around me watching the game all agreed that was a trade off we would take all day long VS giving TN the only possible way they were going to get back by turning the ball over in our own territory. Worked perfectly if everone is being honest.

BobDawg

October 10th, 2011
7:36 am

…moving on, I’m more worried about Vandy now and had one eye on it while we were playing the Vowels… Bama did not put them away until after halftime when they just plain wore them down…

Currently India Dawg, yes that India

October 10th, 2011
7:38 am

Can’t wait to get home next week to the Comcast recording of this game. Have read most of the comments on here and have a couple of my own. I totally agree….a win in “Neeland” stadium is a big win. Complain about hurting Bray to Bobo….that’s what happened one time when he was playing quarterback…and they took out Robert too. Football is a contact sport and injuries are part of the game! Not a Bobo fan or crusher….but I do like the fact he’s getting less predictable. Goooooo Dawgs, sic’em…woof, woof woof….That’s what I’m teaching them in Mombai!!!!!

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
7:38 am

@ AltamahaDawg

Exactly, and well said. A voice of reason. .. Go Dawgs!

destin dawg

October 10th, 2011
7:38 am

We need Malcome to step up… he’s been given a 2nd chance… let him have a chance !!! we need a 3rd RB…. maybe Zander Ogletree or Figgens ??? Richt keep helping Bo Bo… call some plays… Grantham’s got your back on Defense.. Go Dwawgs !!!

destin dawg

October 10th, 2011
7:39 am

Go Dawgs !! it’s early..

georgiadawg70

October 10th, 2011
7:41 am

I think you guys hired the wrong Dooley. Barbara would have used her new hip to put her pink tennis shoe in someone’s behind if they had played that way for her.

old dawg

October 10th, 2011
7:41 am

go Dawgs…. beat Vandy !!!

Big Orange

October 10th, 2011
7:51 am

Congrats to Coach Dooley on his 100th win.

The better team won – enough said.

Tennessee is playing hard – just too much youth at this time. Vols should be in a much better position to compete next year – need to chalk up this year to growing pains as it will get ugly.

I am afraid the media will place D.Dooley on the “HOT SEAT” and perpetuate this label to create controversy and conversation in order to sell advertising. The program had to start completely over after 2 coaching changes.

DIT

October 10th, 2011
7:58 am

1) Volnation is not a true vol. My guess a techie having his fun. I give credit to UT people more intelligent than that.
2) I have to agree on the fact that we have a strange fan base sometimes. Were y’all really expecting us to be in the upper tier of the SEC this year? Hey we have won 4 in a row and the defense is looking sooooo much better than last year. Can’t y’all be happy with that for this year?
3)Why are some of you looking at the SEC CG? Just need to worry about the next opponent. Personally, I’m would not want to look forward to playing LSU (who will beat Bama.
Some of you need to get off your “high horse” and just be thankful we are not playing as bad as last year. This year should build the teams confidence up for the next few years. Nine to ten wins this year is a huge improvement.
If your not loyal to the team you proclaim to follow, go jump on another teams bus!
Go Dawgs!

Armydawg

October 10th, 2011
7:58 am

Hey Da’Rick, how’s that Big Orange working out for you?

BobDawg

October 10th, 2011
8:00 am

Big Orange, Kiffin really put you folks back into the “dark ages”… Amazing to see 100,000 + in Neyland support a bad team. Really we are both 2 mediocre teams and once our starters get gassed in the 2nd half we start holding and getting stupid penalties put on us….Hang in there!

Thomas Brown

October 10th, 2011
8:00 am

Pay dividends later against whom ? We don’t play anyone

Volaholic

October 10th, 2011
8:03 am

NOt sure if UGA can win the SEC East.

Why?

South Carolina and UGA both have one SEC loss – with USCe haven beaten Georgia.
South Carolina still has to play Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State & Florida.
South Carolina will probably run the table – or lose only one of these games.
Arkansas will be the big test.
MS State is not good at all.
Tennessee has lost our best stars and will be whipped mentally after playing Bama/LSU back to back before taking on Carolina.
Florida has lost 2 starting QB’s
Carolina will be better with Shaw at QB.
Projected finish 6-2 or 5-3 at worst

UGA has to play Vanderbilt, Florida, KY and Auburn.
UGA will lose at least one of these games – and prbably to both Florida and Auburn.
Project finish 5-3
Wins over Vandy and KY are given.
Florida owns UGA and will win again in JAX.
Auburn is interesting and overachieving this year – their staff is much better than UGA’s and this is such a wierd series – gotta go with Auburn.

USC wins SEC East – get’s blown out again in SEC Title game.
UGA goes 8-4 – and wins their bowl game – going 9-4
Tennessee – well – here’s looking to 2012! Way too early prediction – 8-4 / 9-3 type of year.

dap01

October 10th, 2011
8:04 am

It’s good to see CMR calling out Bobo’s dumb game management. Bobo is the worst and he never has to answer for being bone headed.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
8:05 am

@ Big Orange 7:21 am

I think your first sentence of ‘congrats to Coach DOOLY’, was perhaps misdirected, but we understand what you meant to write.

I agree though, with the sentiment of the rest of your post.

dap01

October 10th, 2011
8:06 am

Volaholic: Go drink something and go to another blog. You make no sense.

Plain Dealer

October 10th, 2011
8:07 am

In the 1986 Jan Kemp trial, O. Hale Almand Jr., a lawyer for UGA, offered a justification for the favorable treatment accorded the athletes, citing a hypothetical player. “We may not make a university student out of him,” he told the jury, “but if we can teach him to read and write, maybe he can work at the post office rather than as a garbageman when he gets through with his athletic career.”

That trial exposed UGA for the football factory that it was, and exposed Vince Dooley as a fraud and a sleazebag. It also derailed Dooley’s plans for a political career. That’s why we see the decrepit old fraud doing TV commercials even now.

Mark Richt is just the latest in a line of sleazy UGA coaches who coddle athletes and discard them after four years of football. He recruits illiterate morons he knows aren’t smart enough for college, but he doesn’t care, as long as they help him line his pockets with millions of dollars each year.

Suntanned Saint Mark isn’t all he appears to be, is he?

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
8:07 am

Sorry, Big Orange. Your 7:51 post, not 7:21.

Hang in there; we feel your pain.

Big Orange

October 10th, 2011
8:13 am

BobDawg – agree – our AD made some poor decisions.
1. Getting rid of fulmer one season removed from winning the SEC East.
2. Hiring Kiffin was a gamble – that has set Tennessee Football back to a total rebuild.

Richt is a class act – think about it – UGA goes 10-3, 8-5 and 6-7.

8-5 following the loss of Stafford and Moreno
Richt fires Matinez and starts over D.

6-7 – new DC and Staff with new 3/4 defense
New QB
After this season – new S&C, let’s the bad seeds off the bus.

Now – the defense is playing well.
Offense is inconsistent – but depending on freshan RB and best WR is also a freshman.
UGA mixing in a lot of youth.

Anyone that follows college football understands that eventually – a staff will hit a down cycle for many reasons – recruiting did not pan out, coaches may get too comfortable, coachig attrition, bad luck, injuries, etc. it all comes into play.

So UGA had to bottom out and is rebuilding as well – not as much at UT is rebuilding – but UGA is having to rebuild – and the improvement is starting to show.

I hope UGA is patient with Richt and does not make the same mistake we did with prematurely letting Fulmer go.

Big Orange

October 10th, 2011
8:16 am

Plain Dealer – go hate somewhere else – go back to the ACC.

Richt is a class act.

Name the team you root for and I am sure there are plenty of posters out there than can dig up the dirt on your program.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
8:21 am

@ Big Orange 8:13 am

I wish all UGA fans would assert your voice of reason. Well said.

Ed Pilcher

October 10th, 2011
8:23 am

@ VolNation…………..

Scoreboard! …….We weren’t there to impress, we were there to win. Mission accomplished.

beanster

October 10th, 2011
8:25 am

I am always losing sleep thinking about how embarrassing the Jan Kemp situation was for UGA.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

You losers could only beat Maryland by 5 points? I pray that you are undefeated when you play the dawgs. Athlete versus athlete, we will mop the floor with you AGAIN. It’s really been getting boring the past decade but this year it will be so much fun to see you go from elation to absolute despair.

Jan Kemp. Hilarious!!!!

tell me again

October 10th, 2011
8:28 am

It’s hard to win in Neyland even when we take good, mature teams there – the fact that we won with a very young team says kudos to the Dawgs. We will be getting key players back in the next few weeks and Mitchell will be OK as will Crowell. This team is growing up before our eyes – enjoy the process, these kids are going to be players soon. Are we going to the SEC CG? Maybe, maybe not…if we do, can we beat ‘Bama or LSU…..they both look invincible right now but anything can happen on a football field. Not worried about that right now….right now I would like to see this team continue to gel and get better every week – if we do that, by the end of the year we might have something to brag about – I admire Richt for taking the heat after the first two losses and turning it around despite all of the negativity – it takes a strong man to walk out of the fire. And as to all of this BS about his record against ranked teams lately – HOW ABOUT 100 WINS IN 10 and 1/2 SEASONS! Not too shabby in the best conference in America. Home of the LAST 5 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! The rest of you ESAD!!!!!

JB

October 10th, 2011
8:31 am

Plain Dealer,
What school in the state of Georgia is currently on probation??

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 10th, 2011
8:33 am

Sorry Bill, just don’t see it. Dogs have wins over some of the weakest teams in the SEC and overall D-1, so UGA has not had their stress test yet, Florida. Although with the amount of injuries, UGA could finally squeak out a win against the Gators, since the Gators are so banged up.

Everyone is basically excited about nothing, and CMR will do just enough to keep his job. He remains on track to be 7-5 this year, with additional losses to Vanderbilt, GT, Auburn and/or Florida.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 10th, 2011
8:34 am

I have to give credit that the Dogs are looking better and better, especially on defense, however, I remain concerned about the stress test. I still think it is time go gut the staff and start over, as opposed to keep putting band aids and allow this program to limp along.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 10th, 2011
8:36 am

SEC east is the weakest as opposed to the West with Alabama and LSU. Vandy will be a light stress test this week, and we will know more after this weekend. It just did not help to come out of the gate 0-2 with losses against Boise and South Carolina. I am sick and tired of Spurrier owning our program….I mean just sick!

NC Dawg

October 10th, 2011
8:36 am

Bray is such a PUNK! He is annoying.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
8:37 am

@ Mike Bobo 17 INT

We play who is on our schedule, and since the 2nd game, we’ve won them all.

What would you have preferred we do?

Lose the last four? Just wondering.

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
8:39 am

You didn’t defeat “Neyland Stadium”. You squeaked by a Vol team that hasn’t beaten anyone of significance in the past several years.

Shameful ways

October 10th, 2011
8:42 am

Many schools routinely use a special admissions process to admit athletes who do not meet the normal entrance requirements. At Georgia, for instance, 74 percent of athletes were special admits compared with 6 percent of the student body as a whole.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
8:42 am

@ Mike Bobo 17 INT

I think you answered my questions as I was posting. .. Go Dawgs!

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 10th, 2011
8:43 am

JAWJeRDAWG

I give credit for the wins, but my point is you need a stress test like Florida or Auburn to see if this team is really improving. Ole Miss, MSU and UT are some of the worst teams in D-1 football, so if you have to get past the SEC label and beat the excellent teams before there is any respect.