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

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:41 am

Send’em U-hauls

You are bitter dude and I understand your frustration. I share it for the most part but c’mon, Richt is demmed if he does and demmed if he don’t. I thought it was quite refreshing for him to FINALLY show some confidence in the offense to gain a yard on 4th and 1

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:44 am

ARdawg

That was the confidence in the play of the O we all had hoped CMR would gain as the season progressed.

Good to see him have it, go for it, and for UGA to get those first downs!

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
10:45 am

GT Joe’s tractor wouldn’t crank so he is a bit testy

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
10:47 am

The ISSUE is UGA beats it’s chest over being in the SEC. UGA usually plays many easy teams. This year the EAST is TERRIBLE and UGA plays the true nobodies of the WEST, but dawg fans still cry “But we play in the SEC”. That is no badge of honor unless you are playing the Best. UGA should be in a Bowl game every year. Typically 3 occ cupcakes, Vandy, Kentucky, USC, and Tech. That is 6 FBS wins.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:50 am

Still@theBAR

Hope we’ll win out the East and get to the SECCG where we can play the best of the West.

No chest beating here; just looking forward to playing what’s laid out for us.

Send'em U hauls

October 10th, 2011
10:51 am

ARDawg…. It aint frustration its the dams truth. Drink the kool aid if you want . Like I said I aint buying it.

Beachdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:52 am

@Still@theBAR…
Who are you holding the torch for??? Bama, LSWho, Ark…Fla???? Doncha wanna run down THEIR schedules???? Only HUGE game this year will be Ala/Tigers….So?????

Alphare

October 10th, 2011
10:53 am

It seems SC is on the right track with their QB. SC has tons of talent with Lattimore/Jeffrey/Crownley. With a good QB, Ark/Clemson are the only question mark for them for the remainder of the season.

Both UGA and SC have a favorable schedule this season. SC still have to face ARK/FL while UGA still have to face AUB/FL. With SC’s talents, I vote for SC.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:53 am

JAWJeDAWG

Agreed. Considering these are still the minds of boys in the bodies of men, they require affirmations and confidence. IMHO, the coach has to let them know not only does he have that confidence but, he (and they) should always expect that the yardage will be gained. Going for it on 4th and 1 is always a no brainer or should be once the 50 yard line has been crossed. The exception being when the running game is not working

Purity One

October 10th, 2011
10:55 am

The athletic history of UGA is full of so many sordid, sleazy incidents – dating back to Vince Dooley and continuing through Mark Richt – that it’s impossible to overlook. The school has come to stand for drunkenness and lawlessness, coddling of illiterate athletes who should never have been admitted to college, and rampant cheating by coaches.

UGA and Mark Richt are an affront and an embarrassment to all decent people in this state.

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
10:56 am

@beach………… that maybe true, but there is little doubt how Dominant Bama & LSU are. USC & the Gators are overrated seemingly. Auburn lost to an ACC team and Arkansas isn’t up to Bama & LSU either.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
10:56 am

Gotta love Bobo and the Bobettes: 2nd and 60: draw. 3rd and 60: draw. LOL. Now THATS confidence in the O, huh.

Beachdawg

October 10th, 2011
10:56 am

UGA IS in a bowl every year!!!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
10:58 am

How crazy would it be if UGA gets to the title game of the VAUNTED SEC, and still gets less votes than Wake Forest in the Coaches Poll?

Does that mean that Wake would be in the SEC title game?

Reality is a mofo.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
10:58 am

ARdawg

So true. I think we are seeing the Dawgs grow up this year, and I now see confidence from the players and the coaches.

And from a few fans.

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
10:59 am

@beach I know like they Should be with their schedule most years.

ARdawg

October 10th, 2011
11:01 am

Send’em Us

It ain’t about the kool-aid guy. I could care less whether Richt stays, lays or prays but, I’m still a dawg to the bone. Whether you like Richt or not is immaterial. There are some good things about Georgia Football this year. If you wish to bury yourself in hatred and bitterness of the situation, have at it and drink the bitter kool-aid. That’s your right too.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
11:02 am

@ GT Joe

Don’t understand much about football, do you?

CMB absolutely did the right thing in not risking a TO from an errant pass and giving UT the ball in a place where they had plenty of time to score.

What would you suggest they had called, coach?

Beachdawg

October 10th, 2011
11:04 am

@Still@theBar…I ain’t being trivial, but you can’t get a strength of schedule rating in football that you can in roundball (ie) for the tournament because of conference scheduling and tie-ins. No denying the strength of some of the elite teams…but SOME of the nationwide ELITES get exposed in interconference play or bowl games!!!! SEC IS tough!!! Other conferences have their big boys…Okla…OK St….Oregon…Wisc…there’s probably the same griping on their sites..

WDE

October 10th, 2011
11:04 am

@Purity One I’m a pretty decent person and I’m not affronted or embarrassed by UGA or CMR quite the contrary actually….now crawl back in your hole.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:04 am

Not risking a TO on an errant pass? Then why EVER pass? Why not just do a QB kneel instead of risking a fumble by a RB?

Hell, why even go play, you might risk an injury?

Beachdawg

October 10th, 2011
11:06 am

5 o’clock somewhere!!! I’m going TO a bar!!! Nice chattin’ wicha..

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
11:06 am

@ Purity One

Hate much? Envy much?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:07 am

I can see running on 3rd and 60, but 2nd and 60? Jeez, just punt the ball on 2nd down then. Don’t risk a fumble.

LOL. I guess Bobo has a lot of trust in murray.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
11:07 am

@ GT Joe

You still don’t get it, coach!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:08 am

Congrats to the mutts, halfway to bowl eligibilty!

By the way, was this the signature win so far, or was it MSU? Just trying to get a mutt’s perspective.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:09 am

I’m gonna stop typing now. Don’t want to risk carpal tunnel syndrome.

RamboDog

October 10th, 2011
11:09 am

GT Joe, here is reality for you. In 2009, we beat the best team GT ever had…they won the ACC after that , so we claim the ACC Championship (for what it is worth) in 2009. By the way, we keep ours even though yours was lost for CHEATING, again!! LOSER!!!!

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
11:10 am

@ GT Joe

Know much about bowl eligibility? Half-way there?

Bogey

October 10th, 2011
11:12 am

@GT Joe. It would indeed be crazy for Wake Forest to get more votes than UGA if the Dawgs make it to the dome but it would mean they had a great season. If your bees take care of business you will be ranked higher than the Dawgs when they play but that won’t lessen the beat down at Grant Field.
One other thought–how does an undeafed 12th ranked team have 10,000 empty seats for a home conference game?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:12 am

yes jawjerdawg… do YOU know much about bowl eligibility?

Nothin worse than a mutt fan who thinks he’s smarter than he is.

Alabama Dog

October 10th, 2011
11:13 am

GTJoe: put down the crack pipe, Dude It obviously affects what little common sense you MAY have!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:13 am

Great Rambo dawg. 2009 was our best team ever? Umm, we’ve got 4 NCs, fyi. But GT did beat the most talented UGA team EVER in 2008.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
11:14 am

Yeah, right!

Thomas Brown

October 10th, 2011
11:15 am

Alabama, Auburn, Miami, BCS NC Mark Richt era
119-16 Boise State
114-26 Oklahoma
110-24 Texas 1 National Championship
109-25 Southern California on field 1 BCS NC vacated
108-29 Louisiana State 2 National Championships
106-22 Ohio State on field 1 National Championship
104-35 Virginia Tech
102-29 Texas Christian
102-34 Florida 2 National Championships
100-36 Georgia

truedawg

October 10th, 2011
11:16 am

GT fans know its true…Your team is winning and you still aren’t interested lol trolling on the UGA blogs!! You know all you GT fans aren’t drinking the yellow urine smelling “kool-aide” Ya’ll know even with your record, GT still isn’t worth talking about!! UGA will crush you like one of the free coke cups ya’ll have to give out, to beg fans to come watch a game. Prove me wrong and go to a tech blog!! Answer back and prove me right! Go Dawgs!!!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:16 am

Jawjerdawg: let me learn ya somethin. Mutts have 3 wins against FBS teams (coastal carolina is FCS, doesn’t count). You need 6 wins against FBS teams (like GT has right now) to be bowl eligible. 3 is half of 6. Hence, UGA is halfway there.

Again, congrats.

RamboDog

October 10th, 2011
11:18 am

GT Joe, getting scared already…it’s too soon. GT has several more games to win and feel good about before you face a REAL defense that will expose Tech and CPJ,,,, AGAIN. I am looking forward to viewing the annual beat down with my Tech friends, I love to see the air go out of them :)

GT Joke

October 10th, 2011
11:18 am

That signature win over Kansas was awesome! HAHA

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:19 am

Which Real defense are we facing?

UNC has more NFL talent than UGA does, we ran them out the stadium.

Lamar

October 10th, 2011
11:20 am

Vol Nation.Dawgs won Vols lost.Dont be a cry babie. Rub a little dirt on it.See you b’tween Hedges next year,Girle Man!!!!

GT Joke

October 10th, 2011
11:20 am

Man did you see all 12,000 fans packing out our stadium? Awesome again!

RamboDog

October 10th, 2011
11:21 am

GT Joe….GT has won 4 games in last 20 years against us, it isn’t a rivalry when you can’t hold up your end. By the way, ya’ll have looked VERY impressive the last 2 weeks , “NOT!!!!”

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:22 am

Hey JOke, we beat a UNC team that is 5-1 and #27 in the coaches poll.

Your wins come against teams that are 0-7 in the SEC. LOL.

RamboDog

October 10th, 2011
11:22 am

GT Joe, same one you lose to EVERY YEAR, loser.

GT Joke

October 10th, 2011
11:22 am

UNC has more NFL talent than UGA does, we ran them out the stadium.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:23 am

Rambo, we won 4 of the last 13.

By your definition though, UGA/UF is not a rivalry at all.

Lamar

October 10th, 2011
11:23 am

GT 6-0.Has Tech sold out a game yet.It’s bad when you have to put adds in AJC to sell tickets!!

DIT

October 10th, 2011
11:25 am

Guys, Stop feeding the trolls. Just laugh at them. The set up is perfect because any intelligent person on this blog knows that most of them are techies.
I can’t wait to meet them and their 2 losses in Grant Field. It will be just like a couple years ago when all the nerds were so confident in beating UGA and they ended up getting stomped(again)
I hope tech is ranked #7 in the nation and UGA not even ranked. It just makes beating them….. again, that much more enjoyable.
Let them rant!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
11:25 am

I just realized that Vandy pounded Ole Miss, UGA didn’t. I’m pretty sure Vandy wins.

Vandy 38-14.