Finding the good amid a lot of sloppy play by Dogs against Vandy

Michael Bennett stepped up big for Georgia against Vanderbilt. (Associated Press)

Michael Bennett stepped up big for Georgia against Vanderbilt. (Associated Press)

A few more observations from Georgia’s win over Vanderbilt in Nashville …

Georgia came out of the game with the Commodores a bit of a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, as Winston Churchill once said.

The Dogs seem incapable of putting away even a mediocre team and yet have won four straight conference games and are tied for first place in the SEC East. Georgia had way too many penalties called Saturday night (11), got gashed at times by a Vandy team ranked 100th in the nation in running, and has turned special teams play into something resembling Russian roulette.

But they still won, and managed to get back into the AP Top 25 on the basis of that very flawed performance.

There were other positives to be gleaned from the Vandy game. Aaron Murray had several career bests despite still being occasionally off-target with his throws. And his one interception was more a case of superb defense than a poorly thrown ball.

Also, Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown did a more than able job of stepping into the breach in the absence of injured Malcolm Mitchell, with Bennett catching seven passes for 89 yards and Brown finally showing what he can do, with four catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. It probably would have been three if Murray hadn’t missed a wide-open Brown headed toward the goal line on a third-down play in the third quarter.

And despite being unable to stop Vandy on a couple of long scoring drives, Georgia’s defense did rally to snuff out the Dores’ last three chances.

Also on the plus side, Mike Bobo finally seems to be warming up to the short passing game.

Only not on third down, for some reason. Why does he insist on having Murray trying for long pass plays or tricky sideline throws on third-and-long instead of going with something quick and more likely to produce a first down like a slant or crossing route or even throwing to a back?

Georgia fans also were left wondering Saturday night why the Dogs couldn’t successfully kill the clock after an interception of a Vandy pass had seemingly handed Georgia the win. Without a healthy Isaiah Crowell on the field, Georgia basically doesn’t have a running game.

And why, on a punt where everybody in the stadium and television viewing audience knew Vandy was going to come after the block, the only possible chance they had of staying in the game, could the Dogs still not keep it from happening?

And is the Georgia punt coverage team and coaching staff the most gullible bunch in college football? Let’s see, Vandy’s backup punter comes in and the line suddenly shifts en masse so that the center is now an eligible receiver, and no one suspects a fake is coming up?

As for Blair Walsh, it’s pretty obvious he’s no longer money in the bank. Four out of six would be great in baseball, but not kicking field goals. Though it has to be said that Georgia having to attempt six field goals, which tied a school record, doesn’t make you feel very good about the Dogs’ red zone offense.

Finally, some thoughts on the sorry post-game scene on the field.

I don’t care if Vandy was cut blocking (retaliation for which apparently played a part in Georgia’s three personal foul calls) or if Commodores head coach James Franklin should have picked a better time and place to address some complaint he had about a Dogs player with the UGA coaching staff.

The fact remains that Todd Grantham is supposed to be setting an example as a teacher and a leader and instead he acted like an immature school kid, screaming at the opposing coach, inciting a near riot among the milling players and hurling f-bombs at the Vanderbilt fans in the stands.

He set such a disgusting example that Georgia players started taunting the Vandy fans, which is just plain embarrassing. I mean, it was a close win over Vanderbilt!

Richt said Sunday that he has “addressed it with everybody involved,” but if that doesn’t result in some sort of public apology from Grantham at the very least, if not a fine from UGA or the conference, then it hasn’t been properly addressed. Grantham was reprimanded last year for making a choke sign at the Florida kicker, but he apparently didn’t get the message that juvenile behavior on the part of a UGA coach is not acceptable.

He may very well have been perfectly justified in disagreeing with what Franklin had to say about one of his players after the game, but throwing an on-field tantrum is not the proper response.

And, please, don’t try and justify what he did by saying he’s a fiery, competitive coach and just what Georgia needs. Hey, if he wants to scream at his own troops and that works, I’m fine with it. But screaming obscenities at the opposing fans and coaches is just classless.

And don’t compare him with Erk Russell. Erk might have been fiery, but he was always a gentleman and never made Georgia fans ashamed he was one of our coaches.

That can’t be said about Grantham.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

392 comments Add your comment

UGA Student Fan

October 16th, 2011
9:30 pm

Got a lot of work to do before the game in Jacksonville. Hope they put in some hard work during the off week. Go Dawgs! and first?

Sam

October 16th, 2011
9:34 pm

Glad to see someone calling out Grantham. Be the better man.

Spike

October 16th, 2011
9:39 pm

Hello Marlon Brown!!

pdawg

October 16th, 2011
9:40 pm

what now Bill???? Come on…..

Spike

October 16th, 2011
9:40 pm

Why can’t we just put a game out of reach for the opposition for a change?

Dawgs97

October 16th, 2011
9:40 pm

Sorry, you can’t wash out Franklin going after one of our players. Yes, Grantham was being childish but he damn sure should stick up for our players and Franklin, as an “adult”, should not have been going after a player.

I am mainly disgusted we found a way to give up 4 touchdowns to flipping Vanderbilt. Good lord.

Lucky

October 16th, 2011
9:44 pm

Especially insulting were the comparisons to Erk Russel. He was never the kind of man to express himself in such a classless manner.

WayneDog

October 16th, 2011
9:44 pm

I don’t care what you say Bill I was glad to see Coach Grantham get fired up for his players .The coach for Vanderbilt should have expressed his feelings at later time.

Guy

October 16th, 2011
9:47 pm

Thanks for being one of the few uga bloggers to call out grantham. The dawgs sports guys are falling all over themselves defending him. Just think what the response would be if it were Charlie Weiss or some other coordinator behaving like that. Inexcusable from a coach in my opinion. Both for Franklin and grantham.

Carlos Berenguer

October 16th, 2011
9:49 pm

You are 100% right about Erk and Grantham. Mr Grantham has not lived to the expectations of a Georgia coach on or off the field. He is greatly overrated as was the case last night when Vandy ran and passed at will. With the players he has available to him, he should be doing a better job.

DawgFan

October 16th, 2011
9:49 pm

Glad to get another win, and glad that Todd stood up to an opposing coach about about cheap shotsw when Vandy’s line was taking them all night. A career ending knee surgery would cause me to act wild and crazy too! TIme to outlaw cut blocks and blocking below the knees in college. It has already been done at all other levels.

Saban

October 16th, 2011
9:51 pm

Choakdwag is well a dawg. Anyone who eats an opposing coach for stealing his krispy kreme`s is not quite right.

Imagine if Florida wins again, He will have Muschamp with a nice glass of Wine.

Georgia is becoming the football version of the silence of the lams. Richt loves Crowley, Choakdawg loves the whole defense, and love is in the air.

And has anyone seen Russ?

Roddy

October 16th, 2011
9:56 pm

Grantham needs to come clean. One of the reasons that Richt is our coach is that he represents the University as a man of character. Grantham needs to understand that it is a privilege not a right to be a coach at UGA. I predict that he will leave at the end of the year. A low, low point for UGA. His lauded defense was terrible last night. How many missed tackles were there? One of the worst defensive performances that I can remember.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
9:56 pm

Carlos….just a thought….what are the “expectations of a Georgia coach”???

to consistently underperform, year after year?????

Old Coach

October 16th, 2011
9:57 pm

@ Bill
Did it ever occur to you that CTG was having his players BACK? In any sporting event a coach should never try to address the other teams players. This is simply not done. By the way Bill, spend a few bucks and have another picture made, you look like a fruitcake.

Vance Duly

October 16th, 2011
9:57 pm

Poor Richard Samuel — he FINALLY has some good numbers brewing, and Coach Bobo uses his “creative” run-out-the-clock offense and hands him the ball 5 or 6 times in a row at the end, usually with no fullback. So, he gets stuffed repeatedly. Why not ONE Murray bootleg run, or a quick WR screen so that we could GET A FRIST DOWN and kill the clock, instead of ever being in a position to get Butler’s punt blocked….!?!?!?!?! We don’t have the O-Line, even if Crowell HAD been in the game late, to dominate a team who knows we’re going to run it conservatively, with no variety of play-call. We never should have had to punt the ball in the first place…… GO DAWGS!

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
9:58 pm

Oh No!!! Here comes that Richt—”man of character” crap again!!!!

georgiagirl

October 16th, 2011
9:59 pm

Then stop watching and writing about Georgia Football and write about Tech. Because emotions do get high sometimes and you were not on the field, so you have no clue what was said. Only the people on the field know. So if was a ugly win, South Carolina had a ugly win. AJC writers are always ripping UGA apart. But let them do something good and you are kiss their a@@@@@.
I love the Dawgs and the hell with the rest of you haters. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jared

October 16th, 2011
10:00 pm

You don’t care why he did it? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

If Franklin had walked up and shouted something at one of our players, I would love to
have a coach that shouts back.

You’re an idiot. And the constant complaining about Bobo is getting old.

NCDAWG

October 16th, 2011
10:01 pm

Enter your comments here

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:01 pm

You know…..I would gladly trade for a coach who has “character” issues, for example Gene Chizik and the whole Cam saga, if such a coach would bring a Crystal Trophy to Athens….

I’ll take that over this Richt—-”man of character” crap ANY DAY!!!!!

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:03 pm

Oh, and this “man of character” is cashing in checks to the tune of $3 million/year……what do you think….worth every penny???

Old Coach

October 16th, 2011
10:04 pm

@ Jared
THANK YOU! Bill has become as bad as the trolls on the blog. Sure would love to see him coach a pee wee game, bet that would be super.

Brett21

October 16th, 2011
10:06 pm

First off Bill I couldn’t disagree with you more. Grantham essentially did the same thing that Bobby Cox did for his players for 20 years. He took the attention off the player and put it on himself. I have the ultimate respect for a coach that will take up for his player. Secondly, being a former college athlete, he is the kind of coach you want to play for. If you look at the film, Grantham was calm walking out onto the field until he sees Vandy’s Coach yelling at Shawn Williams and thats what set him off. He is a fiery coach and something that UGA needs. Nobody says a dam word when Muschamp is chewing out the refs in his games using every four letter word imaginable. Don’t put down a man when you don’t know what was said. Vandy employs the same blocking techniques as Tech. If we were employing the same rules as the NFL, there would be a penalty called every play. I realize your a “journalist” but don’t call someone when you don’t know the whole story. Completely absurd!!

Time for a change!

October 16th, 2011
10:12 pm

We have no red zone offense and I have no issues with CTG.

NCDAWG

October 16th, 2011
10:15 pm

Let’s see…will muschamp and brian kelly are “fiery” and Todd Grantham is “classless”? Hmm. Nope…don’t get it. I get Vandy’s coach has to do something to change the culture of being the SEC doormat but…he was clearly the one that started the whole thing. I am glad that coach Grantham didn’t turn the other cheek. It wasn’t classless… He was sticking up for his players like any one of us would stick up for our kids. It is amazing to me that people don’t get that!!! It’s not like the Vandy players were a bunch of choir boys.. They were taking cheap shots and chop blocking and talking trash just as much as we were. I think the whole “choke sign” thing in JAX last year was classless….but this was not. Our D is playing great…and clearly we kept a few bullets in the chamber for the Gators.. Stop ripping Grantham…stop ripping Bobo…stop ripping Richt…and let’s see what happens in Jacksonville!!

JB

October 16th, 2011
10:16 pm

@2-10 You’re a moron. Go to the tech blog.

Mobile Dawg

October 16th, 2011
10:18 pm

I don’t care what our record is, we’re a train wreck. I want a well run, respected, disciplined program. Mark Richt just doesn’t have control, he’s made bad hires, poor player personnel choices, and he, along with us, are paying the price. We aren’t a respected program period, by anyone. How long does this go on?

AceDawg

October 16th, 2011
10:18 pm

So many coaches berate refs (is it even worth mentioning baseball managers and umpires?) with profanities and finger pointing all game that it isn’t surprising that on occasion coaches have a spat with one another. Unless I can find out just what was said, I am not willing to judge Grantham as harshly as many others – perhaps with the exception of shouting excessively at fans when Grantham should be getting off the field to help prevent a major incident.

Still, I don’t think a big guy like Grantham needs receive potshots (if that is what happened) from a Vandy coach. As in life, you should be careful if you challenge someone bigger than yourself, especially on a football field. Not everyone can be a Mark Richt.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:20 pm

JB….why would I do that?? I love UGA…..can’t stand the bugs.

Truth hurts doesn’t it bud…..hurt me too…..but reality is reality…..people like you need to deal with it.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:21 pm

Spot on MobileDawg….but according to “real fans” like JB…….you’re a moron, just like me

Mobile Dawg

October 16th, 2011
10:21 pm

Heard Ray Drew’s name called a couple of times and that was good. Was it me or did IC seem to be pouting just a bit and not giving it 100%. We live and die with the big play, we won’t be a championship program executing an offense like that.

Mobile Dawg

October 16th, 2011
10:23 pm

2-10, I’ve heard JB tear into this program numerous times, you just seem to be beating a dead horse over and over and he’s ID you as a troll.

Can't figure you out!

October 16th, 2011
10:26 pm

You are obviously saying it is OK for Franklin to act this way, but it is not for a UGA coach? Heck, it isn’t right for any college coach to do it, but as my students used to say, “He started it!” Sounds like you have had one to many lunches with the other UGA hater sports writers on the AJC staff. You know the bloggers who agree with you are the Techies or Auburn dudes. Where was the officiating crew? Not one anywhere around. They high-tailed it off the field so fast and didn’t bother to come back.

JB

October 16th, 2011
10:28 pm

2-10: Love UGA…yeah right.
I do question CMR as a coach but there is simply no evidence to question his character period.
Quit pretending to be UGA fan.

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

October 16th, 2011
10:29 pm

Now if Grantham would have did that to retard Mike Bobo… Maybe we would of scored more… Especially 3rd and 4… Lets throw it 35 yards down the field.. What a stupid and unintelligent choice of play callin…. Especially when Murray is innaccurate as a midget porn star.. way off target there buddy……

Harry Dawg

October 16th, 2011
10:32 pm

“And why, on a punt where everybody in the stadium and television viewing audience knew Vandy was going to come after the block, the only possible chance they had of staying in the game, could the Dogs still not keep it from happening?”

Because Mark Richt doesn’t see Special Teams as all that special or deserving of a full time coach and practice…you reap what you sow.

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

October 16th, 2011
10:32 pm

Bobo needs to go… Lets find the guy from texas tech who used to be the head coach who had that high scoring offense….

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:33 pm

JB, I’m not questioning Richt’s character, never have. He is truly a great person and a great man.

That said…..he has failed to coach up to Georgia expectations since ‘05. At some point in coaching, as in life in general, performance should matter…..no matter how great a person the coach is.

People may disagree with much of what I post on these blogs…..but what no one can deny or ignore is Richt’s record against ranked teams since ‘06…..2-10!!!!!!!!

chazzo

October 16th, 2011
10:33 pm

Clock management? A five year old could have called better plays on the last two drives. Richt’s thanking his lucky stars for the heated exchange so that he didn’t have to explain why he couldn’t tick 1:40 off the clock and go home.

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

October 16th, 2011
10:36 pm

Our offense has become so predictable.. Heck we have been running the same plays for 10 years… The defense just beats us to the plays… even Vandy

cmac22

October 16th, 2011
10:36 pm

This continues to be a very poorly coached team. At what point does richt give up a small portion of his exaggerated salary & hire a special teams coach? Also, the personal foul penalties were tolerable when this was a program with talent. I can only pray the south carolina wins out & saves ugaly the shame of getting the hell beat out of them on national tv in the GA Dome …. again!

chazzo

October 16th, 2011
10:38 pm

Lose the frickin’ shotgun! Put Murray under center. Get Figgins in the game. Stop the penalties. Hire a special teams coach.

JB

October 16th, 2011
10:40 pm

quote from 2-10: “man of character crap”
That’s not questioning his character????

cmac22

October 16th, 2011
10:41 pm

STILL 2 – 10 …. Thanks for being a realist! I have been preaching this for a while!! The last big win this program achieved was the 2005 SEC Championship game. If someone feels differently, lemme know!
The bad part about the way this season is shaping up is that, by beating all these cupcakes, richt & his inept crew will be here next year. Earily similar to the that basketball stooge Felton’s tenure

SiddyBoy

October 16th, 2011
10:42 pm

As a UGA grad and a true fan, I’m embarassed by CTG !!!

Spike

October 16th, 2011
10:45 pm

Grantham went ballistic only after and because the opposing HEAD coach pointed to and said something directly to a Georgia player. I can handle a little “over the top” considering the circumstances. How do you think his (Grantham’s defensive guys)? Think they were embarrassed or do you think they’ll run through a brick wall for him? I don’t care what the old fat asses in the stands think.

As far as Vandy running all over the D, Vandy knew they had to pull out every single trick in the book to have a prayer and they did. That is low probability stuff and they had nothing to lose.

It was a good win under circumstances that could easily turned into a nightmare.

Franklin is a complete tool. I haven’t seen a word of an apology for his being out of line with calling out the Georgia player. Watch his press conference.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:47 pm

JB….you’re not reading my posts carefully, or I’m not posting my words properly…..His character is not at issue here….as I’ve said, it is excellent

It’s the fact that all the Richt defenders bring up his (good) character as a reason to keep him as head coach despite ALL the data that overwhelmingly supports his poor PERFORMANCE….that is the “crap” to which I refer to.

Hope that clears it up for you, again, I do not think his character is “crap”…..it’s this twisted (ill) logic that his defenders bring up everytime we question his performance…..

Scott

October 16th, 2011
10:47 pm

Bill King – ghost writing at it’s best – he wasn’t even in Nashville – his observations are what he is hearing or saw on TV

Love you @georgiagirl

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

October 16th, 2011
10:50 pm

cmac….totally agree…..Richt just might win the SEC East in probably the most down year for the division since the SEC split East/West…

Then, the Richt defenders will say…..”hey, we’re division champs”

Richt stays another decade….

Another decade of mediocrity, with no Crystal trophy in sight

THAT….will be the worst case, nightmare scenario