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.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

665 comments Add your comment

papadawg

October 10th, 2011
8:45 am

Compared to the last two times in Neyland this win is one of the DAWGS greatest wins.

Equality

October 10th, 2011
8:45 am

Mark Richt = Sleaze

SugarHillDawg

October 10th, 2011
8:46 am

I was wondering when he would realize that it’s now or never for him and he better pull out all the stops.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
8:46 am

Mike Bobo 17 INT

That’s true. UF and AU will be stress tests, and with wins, UGA will prove it mettle.

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:02 am

Hey Vol Nation,

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re a young team too and will absolutely put another beat down on you guys next year in Athens. Our best receiver is a true freshman, our RB is a true freshman, and our QB is a sophmore. We don’t lose much and will be even better next year so get used to losing to UGA because it will happen again next year.

Lakedawg

October 10th, 2011
9:08 am

Best called game of the year for Coach Bobo, maybe CMR was interjecting on some plays. Kept Vols D off balance most of 3 quarters. If Murray and King could get their act together could easily have had a couple scores on those long passes and also on that slant near end zone wide open. Bobo can’t throw it for him or catch it for King. And the dummys calling for throwing it on 2nd and 56 and 3rd and 57 know very little about football, don’t give them a chance for a pick in that situation.

100 wins in less than 11 years, not many schools have a program that successful. Predict another 100 in the next 10 years and CMR will break Coach Dooleys.

Couple remaining games will be close, but Dawgs can and probably will win out.

meh

October 10th, 2011
9:09 am

I like Murray’s attitude. keep focused on winning our games and don’t worry about South Carolina. Go Dawgs!!

Heckuva Dawg

October 10th, 2011
9:11 am

Vol Nation, are you kidding me? What game were you watching? You mention the PI calls. How about that fumble that your RB had that was clearly recovered by our linebacker. Don’t blame it on the refs……UGA is clearly the better team. Physically, we’re bigger, stronger and faster. That’s reality, so live with it. Our defense dominated without our best pass rusher, and we haven’t had Alec Ogletree since the first quarter of the Boise game. He is our best player on defense. BTW, our whole defense returns next year except for Deangelo Tyson and Brandon Boykin. See you in Athens next year to make it 3 in a row over the Vols. The dumbest thing Tennessee ever did was firing Phil Fulmer. You think Kiffin and Dooley are better than Fulmer? Fulmer was born in Tenn, played for Tenn and loves UT. Kiffin is a pretty boy born with a silver spoon in his mouth and Dooley (I love his dad) is a mamma’s boy with perfect hair. Dooley should be a politician, not a football coach. His mommy calls him “precious” and likes to brag about it like he is 12 years old. Hilarious!

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:12 am

Hey Big Orange,

Great posts and you are exactly right about Fulmer and Richt. You guys will be good again in a couple of years so keep your head up. Please ignore my comments to Vol Nation as he is just an measely troll and a sore loser.

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:13 am

Here’s the difference: Both Florida and Tennessee have valid reasons for being young and inexperienced.

What is Georgia’s excuse?

Patsy

October 10th, 2011
9:15 am

so dogs, y’all still liking all that $$$ you got for being a lamb for the BS game? Just think what might have been had you started the season like most all intelligent schools.

Barbara Dooley

October 10th, 2011
9:16 am

“Hot seat”? Are yaa’ll crazy? All the other teams are just oozing with talent. If I hear another word about my baby, then it will be yaa”ll that has a “hot seat”!!

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:20 am

Hey Chicago Dawg and Lake Dawg,

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here guys. I’ve seen some comments saying that we should go 10-2 from here on out. Personally, I’d be happy with 9-3 and 8-4 is a real possibility. We will be underdogs in at least 2 games (Auburn and Tech) and we never seem to beat FL even when we have the better team.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:21 am

@ Patsy

Scheduling the Boise State first, just let us mature faster as a team rather than later in the season when we reached SEC play.

That’s about it. Understand?

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 10th, 2011
9:22 am

To be honest..I think there are 2 great teams, 2 good ones and 2 decent teams in the SEC this year.LSU and Bama…then UGA,SC and then Aub and Ark.

Patsy

October 10th, 2011
9:23 am

I understand you are unrated and have two big “Losses”

Burma Shave

October 10th, 2011
9:26 am

Richt is a slimeball
You know that’s right
Get rid of him now
Put him out of our sight

BURMA SHAVE

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:26 am

To be honest, Arkansas is a much better team than Auburn and Auburn is a much better team than either UGA or SC. The only thing UGA needs to worry about right now is being better than Vandy.

Time will tell. Hide and watch.

boohooBray

October 10th, 2011
9:27 am

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:27 am

And have won 4 straight SEC games, and are improving on both offensive, defensivee, and special teams play.

Beginning with two loses, I’ll take that.

Patsy

October 10th, 2011
9:27 am

and evidently happy to lose to BS….?!?!?

boohooBray

October 10th, 2011
9:27 am

Next Peyton Manning, enough said

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:28 am

Patsy,

You just can’t expect to win against a ranked team. That’s crazy!

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:29 am

Happy to lose to BS? Who said that, Patsy.

Troll.

Fashion Coordinator

October 10th, 2011
9:29 am

Are the dawgs going to wear their Nike clown costumes this week?

Thewayoftheworld

October 10th, 2011
9:31 am

Hey trolls, give it a rest on the Boise state uniforms. Georgia didnt design them genius. Nike = Fashionistas?

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:31 am

Hey Patsy,

I for one still think playing Boise was the right thing to do. It was an opportunity to beat a great team and gain some respect back and we just didn’t get it done. Hindsight is always ‘20-20′ and it’s easy to sit here and say that we shouldn’t have played them after we lost. But think about what it would have meant if we had won and we could have if we had played up to our capabilities. Just my honest opinion, that’s all.

Patsy

October 10th, 2011
9:31 am

so why did you schedule them first? $$$=greed

Dawg_Mike

October 10th, 2011
9:32 am

2 things:

Vanderbilt is all that we should be concerned with. All this “run the table ” talk is BS.
One freaking game at a time please.

Memo to Mike Bobo: Please study the game film from Oklahoma re: getting the ball to your playmakers, running a hurry up offense, and in general not taking your foot off the gas.

out

Thewayoftheworld

October 10th, 2011
9:32 am

Because the chic fil a kickoff non conference matchup games are the first week, get a clue patsy

how2fish

October 10th, 2011
9:33 am

Good win congrats CMR on 100 wins! UT is a decent team and I like their coach, he did as his Mama put it walk into a mess, Vol fans keep the faith it will get better.That being said your in for a real rough patch with Bama and LSU back to back then Ark in a couple of weeks after that, with Bray out 4-6 weeks I’m afraid your record may not at year end be a good reflection on how the program is doing. That being said we are now 4-2 and need to focus on Vandy. Go Dogs!

kevindag7

October 10th, 2011
9:33 am

I thought people that wear orange only directed traffic……..

WDE

October 10th, 2011
9:35 am

@Fashion Coordinator you going to wear your Vulcan ears and light saber? Bug..

NogaysinKnoxville

October 10th, 2011
9:35 am

There surely arent any gays at the University of Tennessee, Ut has NO fashion sense, god.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:36 am

@ Patsy

There are none so blind, as those who can not see.

And use deductive reasoning.

Last post to you.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:37 am

Mike Bobo 17INT

And would you mind telling us WHO the powerhouse world beaters that you Nerds have played?

I thought so. Shut your diarrhea corn hole and cook them burgers

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:38 am

Bottom Line: It is better to win against the Vols than to lose, but the SEC East race is still between Florida and South Carolina.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:39 am

Morning, ARdawg!

You don’t hold anything back, do you?

Have a good ‘un!

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:39 am

OK, I’l tell ya

Get a clue. Florida is out

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:40 am

Whichever team represents the East in the Dome will most likely have at least three conference losses.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:41 am

Heya JAWJeDAWG!

Heh heh Nerd trolls tend to annoy me

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:42 am

Hey SOUTHGADAWG88,

I am die hard UGA fan but Arkansas would beat the crap out of us and I’m glad we don’t play them. The West division is light years ahead of East right now. The 2 great teams are LSU & ALA (no arguments there), then comes ARK in the 2nd tier, then comes SC, UGA and AU in the 3rd tier, then everbody else.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:42 am

OK, I’ll Tell Ya

Possible, but for UGA, I’m thinkin’ not.

Time will tell, but I’m hopeful for my Dawgs!

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:43 am

Me too. Georgia ain’t much this year, but they could still likely whip the eventual ACC champ.

WDE

October 10th, 2011
9:44 am

@OK, I’ll Tell Ya your wrong plain and simple there is just too much football to be played yet. I know your a bitter troll but wake up at least throw out something useful.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:45 am

94 UGA Grad

Ebb and flow and my man. Ebb and flow. It wasn’t just 3 years ago the West was considered the weak sister. I don’t have a problem with it as we are one conference and mix it up real well. Bama and LSU are the best in the country. From your warped sense of logic, we should be ashamed of that?

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 10th, 2011
9:46 am

Aub barely beat Utah State at home…they aren’t that good…they lucked another one out over SC but I expect us to continue our recent run against them..Their D still sucks and they don’t have the offensive fire power to overcome it this season.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:47 am

I am also an Arkansas fan by default and I can tell you, an AR/UGA match up would be a close on this year. It was close last year, the Hogs were better then and the Dawgs were worse

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:48 am

RE: “throw out something useful.”

Okay… Auburn will humiliate the Dawgs. Georgia is not a third tier SEC team – Auburn is.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:48 am

A match up this year between AR and Georgia would be a close game