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

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:50 am

ARdawg
October 10th, 2011
9:48 am

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

That right there’s funny. I don’t care who you are! ;-)

WDE

October 10th, 2011
9:50 am

@’94 UGA Grad on the surface I have to agree with your assessment , however as we have seen with UF and now UT the injury bug can change a team’s makeup in a heartbeat. Also we are getting better we could close the gap with Ark, but I’m afraid Bama and LSU are two of the top 4 teams in the nation, with Oklahoma and Wisconsin the other two and they aren’t likely to lose to the East champ this year. But I would love to get the chance ! Go Dogs!

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
9:50 am

OK,

you ain’t very bright are ya?

Thank goodness

October 10th, 2011
9:52 am

UGA athletes are the most illiterate morons in the country. Most of them take remedial studies, which is the stuff that most kids learn by the seventh grade. But not UGA dummies, who you laughingly call student-athletes. The very few who actually graduate have worthless diplomas in worthless studies that no employer is looking for.

Thank goodness there are jobs for them in custodial and sanitation services.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:52 am

94 UGA Grad

ARdawg is right. And right now we have to play what’s ahead of us with hopefully improved focus and execution on O, D, and ST, and a good game plan designed by our coaches.

That’s what I’m hoping for, and looking forward to see if we can do.

No koolaid; just optimism for our future. And if the results are not what we are hoping and looking for, I’m certain changes will be made wherever they’re needed.

As a Dawg fan, that’s all I can ask for.

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:52 am

Hey OK I’ll Tell Ya,

In case you haven’t noticed, FL has lost 2 SEC games and GA has only lost 1. Also, FL will lose at least 1 more SEC game either to UGA or SC. It will be either SC or UGA in the SEC Championship and not FL. If it ends up being UGA, I will be the first to admit that a lot of that had to do with our easy SEC schedule (Ole Miss/Miss St for UGA vs. LSU/ALA for FL).

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 10th, 2011
9:53 am

When did ARK become some Juggernaut?Look at the last 4 times we have played them…we are 3-1…last yer they escaped with that bomb at the end of the game..but they sure ass hell aint light years head of UGA…What are you smoking 94UGA GRAD?They won one game out of 4 on a last second play over a 6-7 team to boot.Ark is not elite…not by any stretch.

WDE

October 10th, 2011
9:55 am

@OK, I’ll Tell Ya really just have Auburn show up in Athens on time and we will see what we will see. No one thought we could beat UT, two thirds of the trolls thought we would get killed by Miss St. Bring it after last year it wouldn’t matter if we had lost every game so far by 100 we WANT Auburn. But first we have to focus on Vandy so you’ll just have to wait your turn.

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
9:55 am

Defense is very good.

We are winning the way we did from 2001-2004

Bail Bonds R Us

October 10th, 2011
9:56 am

Has Cro-El picked out a jail cell yet?

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
9:58 am

‘94 UGA Grad,

Since you obviously haven’t noticed, playing Alabama and LSU does not equal playing Ole Miss and Tennessee.

Georgia will lose to both Auburn and Florida. Right now, they’d better focus their attention on Vandy, or they’ll lose that one too.

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
9:58 am

Hey WDE,

Good point on the injury bug and I do think we closing the gap on ARK (just not quite there yet).

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
9:58 am

Crowell won’t be going to jail.

Are you looking for a roomie?

Call Elton John

dawgfacedboy

October 10th, 2011
9:58 am

Vol Nation- you won’t win another game rushing for negative yards. The fact that the UGA D completely shut your rushing game down, making you a 1 dimensional offense probably had more to do with it than Bray having an “off day”. Offficiating was subpar as it is every single game. Referees in every sport, college and professional, suck. So if Bray hadn’t gotten hurt then the kicker’s accuracy would’ve automatically been better and you would’ve recoverd the onside kick and then scored again??? Is that what I’m hearing?? Pretty presumptious if you ask me.

If Aaron Murray doesn’t turn the ball over 3 times (2 directly for points) we beat S.C. and are sitting with 1 loss and 1st in the SEC East, but he didn’t and we’re not.

No time like the present

October 10th, 2011
9:59 am

“We are winning the way we did from 2001-2004.”

It’s more fun to live in the past than face up to the present era of mediocrity and irrelevance under Mark Richt, isn’t it?

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
9:59 am

OK, I’ll Tell Ya

Do you have any reason to believe we aren’t focused on Vandy?

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
10:01 am

Yay!!!

We’re better than Tennessee!

We woulda, shoulda, coulda beat SC!!!

Yay!!!

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 10th, 2011
10:01 am

And please stop with the “weak” schedule crap…we play in the SEC ok?SC,Tenn,FLA,Aub,GT and BSU is a tough enough schedule…There aren’t a bunch of teams from any conference that would consider that a weak schedule.We almost NEVER play Bama and LSU in the same season anyway..it’s definitely not the norm and some of you may be all on the Ark bandwagon but I’m not

JK

October 10th, 2011
10:01 am

Vol Nation, you still there? Wow! Never heard an SEC fan more off base than that. You lost. Period. and no, UGA wins 9 of 10 in Neeyland.

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
10:02 am

@JAWJeRDAWG

No. I doubt that the football team is quite as delusional as is the fanbase. They know they have their hands full after watching Vandy play Bama.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:02 am

OK, I’ll Tell Ya

You a Georgia fan?

claytondawg

October 10th, 2011
10:02 am

@Vol Nation Neeland was “a typo you know that.” Take a look at the keyboard: Do you type the letters “e” and “y”: with the same hand?

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:02 am

Bray IMHO wasn’t having an off day. He was on the money and laying it where only his receivers could get it. Bray will be breaking our hearts in years to come. The kid is good.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:04 am

JAWJeDAWG

OK I’ll Tell is a NERD troll. Just posting for reaction without having anything to to contribute

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:07 am

ARdawg

Yeah, wasn’t hard to read between all his ‘we’ inclimation.

Gotta quit feeding the trolls, I guess.

But it’s hard not too, sometimes.

OK, I'll Tell Ya

October 10th, 2011
10:09 am

Ha!

If I was a Georgia fan, you’d know it. I’d be on here bragging about how we’re gonna win a NC, now that we’ve defeated the mighty Neyland Stadium.

SOUTHGADAWG88

October 10th, 2011
10:10 am

BAMA beat Vandy 34-0

'94 UGA Grad

October 10th, 2011
10:11 am

Hey OK, I’ll Tell Ya,

I absolutely agree that FL has had a much tougher schedule that UGA and if you’ll re-read my post I said that if UGA makes the UGA Championship it will be somewhat of a gift. Also, I don’t believe UGA will lose to both FL and AU. I think a split is more likely.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
10:11 am

Congrats to the mutts. Finally getting votes in the coaches poll. Still behind UNC and even WAKE FOREST though. Yes, THAT wake forest. LOL.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
10:12 am

Auburn, UGA, who cares. Hell, UNC has more votes in the coaches poll than Auburn.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:13 am

JAWJeDAWG

It’s human nature. Most of us hope for some good football discourse which is why we come here. The rest of them are just so miserable with their fry cook jobs, dressing in their mothers under clothes and living in her basement and on top of that tuition is on the rise at Georgia Tech. they feel the need to make someone else as miserable as they.

WDE

October 10th, 2011
10:17 am

@OK, I’ll Tell Ya I certainly hope the team is as focused on Vandy as you are UGA….

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:18 am

ARdawg

Would be nice to read only the football-related posts, but you’re right, some do post to try and make us feel as miserable as they.

They do fail, though!

Nick

October 10th, 2011
10:18 am

A typo isn’t the same as a blatant misspelling! Your own stadium? Hardy har har!

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
10:26 am

if the TYPOs are bad how come I see many of the UGA fans misspelling Herschel Walkers name ALL the time?

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
10:28 am

Bill, fix your filters.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
10:28 am

UGA, less votes than Wake Forest in the Coaches Poll. Not a typo.

T-Dawg

October 10th, 2011
10:29 am

Filter test: one, two, three…

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:29 am

Still@theBAR

Congrats on GT’s 6 – 0 record. Hope you stay undefeated going into our game on the 26th.

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
10:30 am

No time like the present

You are way too stupid to realize how big of an idiot you really are.

SEC Fan

October 10th, 2011
10:32 am

Richt going for it on fourth and one may work ok against teams like Tenn, Ole Miss and MS State. Let him try it against Alabama or LSU and see how far he gets.

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
10:32 am

JAWJeRDAWG…………I worry more about injuries every game. The dawgs are getting dinged up too. Will be interesting to see what the teams look like at the end of the season.

T-Dawg

October 10th, 2011
10:32 am

Apparently the filter doesn’t like the order I used the letters, T, F, and W in…

So, Richt had previously been ill-prepared for 4th and short. Is that why he’s getting paid the big bucks? I could take that job and probably do a better job of being ill-prepared! What does he think he’s coaching, volleyball???

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
10:33 am

SEC Fan Richt doesn’t play those enough the ever find out what he would do.

Beachdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:33 am

No denying how good Bama and LSWho are…but the schedule is the “luck of the draw” sometimes. UGA played both of them in the same season for a couple of years in a row…2003 &04(?) and 07& 08(?) anyway…just the way it shakes out for East vs. West…

truedawg

October 10th, 2011
10:35 am

Congrats to CMR on 100th win!!!
I love the defense!! TG is doing a fine job!! UT is young, but will be better, I’m glad we’re young and will be better as well next year. Did anyone else get the vibe that CMR is taking a more hands on role with the offense? Calling the Mitchell bomb and going for it on 4th. Hear his comments about “letting off the gas” ? Bring on Vandy!!
Also, UF is out of the race for the East, it’s UGA or SC. No way UF beats SC and UGA. I see UGA over UF and USC losing to UF. Then UGA droping to LSU in the Dome.
Also, yes UGA would give Ark all it could take right now. AU is lucky. Ark is a 3rd team in the west or east right now. Go Dawgs!!!

Send'em U hauls

October 10th, 2011
10:35 am

Whats all the Hoopla about going for it on 4th down in the first half? UGA only scored 6 measley points. What a bunch of baloney to blow smoke up our rear ends. I aint buying it folks. Oue offense is pathetic period.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:36 am

Still@theBAR

Yeah, neither team can stand many / any more injuries.

Hope we both heal up where we can see the best of both teams play their best against each other. Then one of us can boast.

Should be a good ‘un.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:38 am

Beachdawg

I don’t remember the trolls hanging out and complaining when UGA was playing the toughest schedule in the SEC. We get an easier one by luck of the draw and it is somehow another UGA problem.

Alabama Dog

October 10th, 2011
10:39 am

Beachdawg: great point. The schedule is not their fault. It is what it is……..