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

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:00 pm

Lex: all you need to know is the VOTERS and the COMPUTERS take schedules into account. and GT is #10 in the projected BCS rankings today according to ESPN.

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
1:01 pm

Western Carolina is an FCS school in the Southern conference

Used to be called 1AA

Same level as Furman

beanster

October 10th, 2011
1:02 pm

I miss one of the best trolls there ever was. Our old pal, m. Remember “Thank god and greyhound that Chan Gomer Gailey is gone for good”

How’s ol Coach Gailey doing today? Why, doesn’t he have the Bills tied for first in the AFC East? Somehow he has the NFL figured out but couldn’t win in the All Cupcake Conference?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

Well Lex, I stand corrected.

DawgsOnline » A shot across Bobo’s bow?

October 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

[...] rare to see this level of public introspection by Georgia’s coach: But Bobo going all ultra-conservative again in the fourth quarter [...]

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

DawginLex

“You can’t fire Bobo. You keep him to recruit S GA and to coach the QB’s.”

On both accounts, he’s good at that job.

And CMR does seem to be more into the play calling, and I believe will get UGA back to where it needs to be.

If not, Greg McGarity will make a change.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

beanster, Gailey is a far better pro coach than college coach. kinda like spurrier is better in college than pros. Apples and oranges.

01HAWK

October 10th, 2011
1:08 pm

Derek Dooley did not deserve the job at UT with an overall 17-20 head coaching record. UT is a very good job but he is living off of dad’s name.

BARBARA DOOLEY …………………………………………..Stick a sock in your mouth. Still taking up for your Son in public.

That is what happens when you are not patient and get the wrong coach.

UT fans are calling for his head because they may only beat VANDY, KY, and MIDDLE TENN the rest of the way.

Phillip FULMER looks pretty good about now. FULMER IS CMR. If you lose CMR you will have tough years like UT has had………………………………Unless you get coach like NICK SABAN and their are very few as good as he is that UGA could get. It is better to keep CMR. You will not win a BCS Championship but you will win 8-10 games a year.

SABAN had one down year at BAMA of 7 wins in 2007 and that was his first year. Every year since has been at least 10 wins.

ha

October 10th, 2011
1:10 pm

Lets see you beat Tennessee
Their massive wins
Buffalo
Cincinatti
Montana

Mississippi State
their massive wins
UAB
Louisianna Tech
Memphis

Ole Miss
their massive wins
Fresno St
Illinois

The Carolina Kittys
Their massive wins
Hell who knows they don’t even have a team page.

Georgia Dawg

October 10th, 2011
1:10 pm

vol nation you are delusional , you will lose your next 4 games and be 3-6 ,also you will not have a 500 season . Who is wanting to come play for a program deep in the hole as the vols. Wake Up

Al

October 10th, 2011
1:12 pm

Is it just me or does anyone else think that CMR may be getting a bit annoyed with Bobo’s OC ability? Maybe I am reading more into Richt’s comments that I should but I think he may be starting to plant seeds of doubt about Bobo. Richt cannot do anything to Bobo because of political ties but the AD certainly can.

Really Haters???

October 10th, 2011
1:12 pm

Really??? LOL Really!!! GO DAWGS!!

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
1:13 pm

ha

UT smashed Cincy
Cincy smashed NC State
Tech struggled to stop NC State

Goes both ways

Dawgs Suck

October 10th, 2011
1:13 pm

Talkin big since you beat a few cupcakes…UGA ends up 6-6.

Alphare

October 10th, 2011
1:13 pm

A former UGA player gets totally dominated (out-talked) by a former gator player on ESPN.

Tell me how UGA can beat FL then?

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
1:14 pm

@ ha

What’s your point?

We played them because they were on our schedule.

We’ve won, because that’s what we need to do to first win the SEC East.

If we do that, we’ll play for the SEC Championship.

Isn’t that why we play the games?

WDE

October 10th, 2011
1:14 pm

@JAWJeRDAWG agreed I’m thinking more of the novelists and the 12 year olds.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:16 pm

Lex: struggled to stop NC STATE? we were up 42-14 with 10 minutes to go.

Top Dawg

October 10th, 2011
1:16 pm

Even the head coach flying in a helicopter over GA practices won’t keep the Commodore from sinking with his ship. Nashville will be conquered again as UGA raises its flag over the country capital….Leonards Loser – Vandy 10-34

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
1:16 pm

@ Alphare

Surely you don’t believe the outcome of GA / FL game is dependant on the discouse between two ESPN GA / FL former players!

C’mon man.

Dawgs > Fla

October 10th, 2011
1:17 pm

Fla’s way down and their O and D suck big time. Ga should beat them easy this year and win the SEC east!!! Fla–minor bowl somewhere.

Thomas Brown

October 10th, 2011
1:19 pm

WDE

October 10th, 2011
9:55 am

“No one thought we could beat UT”

?

?

WDE

?

?

Dawgs Suck

October 10th, 2011
1:19 pm

Wrong Dawgs > Fla…UF has the better coach, better athletes, and your number!!!

D BAG TROLLS!!!!

October 10th, 2011
1:22 pm

Dawgs win against the rednecks UTjr. For all you haters that spend time on DAWG blogs we are going whip your team too! UGA is on the rise and the ship has surfaced. Teams like UF and UT your ship has not found the bottom of the ocean yet. Trust me it is a long way down. Keep on hating the DAWGS we actually like the fact that you think about them every single day! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!

Top Dawg

October 10th, 2011
1:22 pm

I believe Murray has to get his timing better with his receivers…You can tell what a difference in speed Mitchell has over our other receivers by seperation and Murray’s passes.
Murray seems to overshoot everyone and underthrow Mitchell…He has the arm strength but he can’t have Mitchell waiting on passes like he did against TN.

shankit

October 10th, 2011
1:22 pm

BoBo lost to South Carolina cause he only put 42 points on their defense.
Defense lost to South Carolina cause they allowed 16 points. Can’t do
that when the special teams and quarterback give up 26 or so points.

Alphare

October 10th, 2011
1:23 pm

JAWJeRDAWG , my point is, you guys cannot even out-talk the gators? not to mention playing them.

Not sure If Brantley can play at this year’s UGA-FL game. If he can, I don’t think UGA has much of a chance. So I have to wait to place my judgement.

47-40-2 vs Florida-61-39-5 vs Tech

October 10th, 2011
1:23 pm

Ga owns TECH AND FLORIDA

DawginTX

October 10th, 2011
1:23 pm

I am starting to think Grantham’s Junk Yard D will save Richt’s job, and that we could be back to relevance in short order. In my mind the key ingredient missing from 2005 through 2009 was a great defensive coordinator. I know ‘05 and ‘07 were good years, but Van Gorder’s teaching hadn’t worn off yet in ‘05 (until late in the season against AU and WVU) and we could have won a championship in ‘07 had we had consistent defensive play early in the year. It appears as though it has taken Grantham a year or so to get the 3-4 cooking, but I am starting to believe.

Tom in Atlanta

October 10th, 2011
1:24 pm

The aggressive playcalling early defintely set a tone – even if it didn’t result in TD’s right away. UGA was moving the ball quite easily early until Crowell got hurt – the drop off when he’s out of the game or limited is startling. Samuel is useless as a a RB, and Thomas is a nice changeup for 5/6 runs a game – but there is no one behind Isiah. When Crowell returned in the 2nd half – the offense clicked for two scores – and would have had a third, had it not been for 4 consecutive holding calls (and two Personal Fouls) called in succession.

The Dawgs will go as Crowell goes – if he’s healthy, Murray manages the game, and with that defense clicking (and still getting Ogeltree back in a few weeks) – UGA has a legitimate shot to finish 9-3 or 10-2 – if that gets them to SECC – then it’s a very likely loss to Bama or LSU – but would be a satisfying conclusion to what appeared to be another lost season.

If Crowell goes down – all bets are off – Dawgs will struggle to get 8 wins. Dawgs need to address RB depth in off season – and put Samuel back at LB.

Fools Gold

October 10th, 2011
1:24 pm

watch the dawgs squeak unimpressively by Vandy this weekend. Mark it down….

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:26 pm

LOL I think Tech owns Florida too, something like 24-10.

But what does history have to do with THIS season? Nothing.

Alphare

October 10th, 2011
1:26 pm

Dawgs > Fla,

you are crazy. What about SC? they seem to have found a QB. They are more talented than UGA with Lattimore/Clowley/Jeffrey, and with a favorable schedule too. They now have the tie-breaker against UGA.

It’s not about UGA-FL this year, it’s about SC-UGA.

Still@theBAR

October 10th, 2011
1:27 pm

DiLEX………I guess we will compare scores and What if’s, but you never know how the game will flow once the ball is kicked.
Soon we can compare UGA v Auburn and Tech v Clemson to extrapolate what the UGA v Tech game should be then too right?

DawginTX

October 10th, 2011
1:27 pm

Tom, I agree. I know he’s in the dawghouse, but I want to see Boo Malcombe get PT against Vandy.

Fools Gold

October 10th, 2011
1:27 pm

Spurrier owns UGA.

beanster

October 10th, 2011
1:28 pm

@ WDE — I agree that we shouldn’t feed the trolls except for the ones who at least have the guts to use the same handle. The dork who keeps changing his handle but is so clearly the same person (i.e. Shameful Ways, Equality, No Time Like the Present, Purity One, etc….) deserves no response and has not gotten any. Kudos to GTJoe for at least keeping his blog identity regular. He’s a bit like a conspiracy theorist. He makes grandiose statements that are somewhat difficult to immediately refute, however, everyone knows that he is bat-sheet crazy.

WDE

October 10th, 2011
1:28 pm

A cautionary note to the Bull Dog Nation. As much as I hope we beat the Gators like rented mules this and every other year, lest not forget that while they were man handled by Bama and LSU those two teams are as good as anyone in college football this year. If you think for a minute that the Gators won’t try their hardest to beat UGA and salvage as much as their season as they can your nuts. First we have to focus on Vandy, nurse our wounded during the off week and then worry about the Gators, it will be a war.

Alphare

October 10th, 2011
1:30 pm

BTW, FL played TN much better than dawgs did. Dawg couldn’t seem to put TN away until the end.

The original OLD Greg

October 10th, 2011
1:30 pm

hey GT Joe,

how come you admit you are wrong when DawginLex corrects you but not me. I understand he posts a lot more than I do and he is generally right with things he says, but I wouldn’t make myself look like an idiot by posting WCU is an FCS if they arent

01HAWK

October 10th, 2011
1:30 pm

VANDY does not have a good team. SABAN went easy on them. They could have scored another 14 points or more. SABAN played alot of 2nd an 3rd stringers the entire night.

Even BLAKE SIMS got in at RB…………………….The GAINESVILLE GA player. BAMA played their 3rd and 4th string RB’S.

UGA should beat VANDY handily. VANDY did not beat anyone. When they lost to South Carolina with a score of 21-3, I knew they were no different.

Their coach thinks by getting coaches from IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS on his staff that it would make a difference………………………………..Well, it will not. SAME OLE VANDY.

Some of his coaches graduated from the following:

JOHNS HOPKINS

YALE

CORNELL

DARMOUTH

PRINCETON

I admire their education but you need big time BCS coaches to compete.

djdawg

October 10th, 2011
1:32 pm

WDE

I agree. We cant afford to look past anybody. Take care of business one game at a time and let the chips fall where they may!!!!!!

DawginTX

October 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

Alphare, it didn’t seem as though Shaw was the answer against ECU. I don’t think there is reason to think that the revoloving door at QB in Columbia will slow down any time soon. SC is pretty good, but the main difference in our remaining conference schedules is Arkansas. And as far as being more talented, I like the way our D is coming together, and that has a way of taking pressure off the O.

47-40-2 vs Florida-61-39-5 vs Tech

October 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

LOL I think Tech owns Florida too, something like 24-10.

But what does history have to do with THIS season? Nothing.

Kinda like Techie’s always bringing up ACADEMICS,SAT SCORES AND GRADUATION RATES when discussing football on a footbal blog.Can’t say on topic.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

Alphare

That’s fair and why we play the game.

But to imply we won’t beat the Gators because an ESPN former UF player can out-talk a former UGA player is simply bunk.

DawginLex

October 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

NC State scored 35 on Tech

The final score was 45-35

Maryland lost 21-16 after losing to Temple 38-7

We can compare scores all day but Tech better get their issue fixed or they are in trouble against Clemson, UGA, Miami and even VT.

I previously thought VT was horrid because they had no QB but bad news, his lightbulb came on last weekend.

Our games with Florida, Auburn and GT will be all out wars.

We should get to 7 wins no problem. Getting to 8, 9 and 10 will require good performances.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:36 pm

Ok greg, you were right too.

Anyways, you’re all wrong about beating Vandy. Vandy wins 38-14.

Gt also wins and moves up to 9 in the BCS rankings next monday.

D BAG TROLLS!!!!

October 10th, 2011
1:37 pm

USCjr will lose 2 out of 4 coming up. UF will lose the next 2.

afan

October 10th, 2011
1:38 pm

South Carolina still has to play Arkansas which they will lose to.
florida
tennessee
all are games that they could or will lose to.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2011
1:39 pm

Yes, Lex, I know the final score. But sometimes the final score doesn’t accurately describe what happened in the game.

Tech was up 45-21 against Maryland with 2 minutes to go.

Tech was dominating Maryland 21-3 until a fluke QB run of 70 yards.

Anyways, the voters and computers take schedules and scores into account. and GT is right now #10 in the projected BCS rankings according to ESPN.