Same old problems plague Dogs in loss to Spartans

Brandon Boykin had a career day against Michigan State — but it wasn't enough. (Associated Press)

Brandon Boykin had a career day against Michigan State — but it wasn't enough. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt’s Bulldogs didn’t have to find any new ways to lose in the Outback Bowl — instead, they simply let lots of familiar problems resurface in suffering another second-half collapse and dropping a three-overtime battle with Michigan State.

Again, the Dogs wasted a superlative first-half defensive effort by giving the opponent a couple of cheap touchdowns thanks to turnovers by an erratic Aaron Murray, whose two interceptions put the Spartans back in the ball game.

Again, Georgia’s almost complete lack of a running game made the Dog’ offense one-dimensional. And was anyone at all surprised when Isaiah Crowell, reduced to a backup role, limped off the field after a handful of runs?

Again, placekicker Blair Walsh, once one of the nation’s premier specialists, proved himself more a liability than a weapon and ended up costing Georgia the game by missing two kicks in OT.

And again, playcaller Mike Bobo seemed incapable of adjusting to the realities of what was happening on the field and stubbornly stuck with what wasn’t working.

With the middle of the Spartan’s defensive line as solid as a brick wall, Bobo continually called for runs up the middle — often with delays that turned into tackles for loss since State was getting into the Georgia backfield so quickly. Early on, Georgia was able to have some running success on the outside, but once MSU adjusted to stop that, the Dogs basically were no threat on the ground.

To top it all off, with the Spartans continually blitzing from the corner, Bobo insisted on calling slow-developing downfield passing plays, an all too familiar scenario made even worse by Murray’s poor decision-making when pressured and Georgia’s tight ends being a nonfactor in the game.

Overall, Georgia relied too much on its big-play capability and never was able to really sustain anything offensively against the talented Spartans defense.

Typical of the day was what happened with a little over 3 and a half minutes left in regulation. Needing a first down or two to kill the clock and ice a victory, the Dogs went ultra-conservative and ultra-predictable — two hallmarks of Bobo’s career as a playcaller — by trying again in vain to run Richard Samuel up the middle.

It surprised no one, and the fact that it didn’t work didn’t surprise anyone, either.

And then the banged-up Georgia defense, which had played well most of the day, looked gassed on the Spartans’ last drive of regulation, getting no pressure on MSU QB Kirk Cousins, who cooly passed his team down the field to send it into overtime.

Just think how ugly things might have gotten had Brandon Boykin not played the game of his life in his farewell performance as a Georgia Bulldog, nailing a Spartan receiver for a safety, scoring on a thrilling 92-yard punt return that saw him reversing direction and weaving his way all over the field, and then moving over to offense to catch a touchdown pass for his third different score of the day.

He’ll be missed big-time.

So two disappointing losses bookended a Georgia season that started out 0-2.

Sure, the 10 wins between those four losses and an SEC East title is a big improvement over last season.

But, looking ahead, even though Georgia returns a lot of talent and will have another favorable schedule next year, if the problems that continually reared their head this season aren’t addressed, it’s going to be tough for Richt’s program to take the next step forward.

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

1,469 comments Add your comment

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
12:50 am

I don’t have as many miles on me as Casey, just don’t leave any marks and don’t leave the pizza in the car. ok? lol

BoiseState

January 3rd, 2012
12:51 am

Boise State, South Carolina, LSU, Mich State. Ugh played 4 good teams this year and lost all of them. Please stop thinking your a top tier program.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
12:52 am

YOU know I can’t answer that. The Police are listening. LOL

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
12:53 am

The Dawgs beat Ga TECH!!!!!!!

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
12:54 am

Mark did you just fart? or was it the dawg?

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
12:54 am

BSU what about Ga TECH?

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
12:56 am

Mark …honey your favorite show is on right now. cakeboss.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
12:56 am

If RUSS farts it could mean the END. Big Bad Bruce aka Uga VIII went out on a Fart and an Ice Bag.

BoiseState

January 3rd, 2012
12:57 am

Tech is not any good. 4 teams. 4L’s

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
12:58 am

Tom Cruse navigator in TOP GUN was Mother Goose right?

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
12:58 am

that’s so funny!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
12:59 am

Boise sounds just like UGA without the SAT scores of the Real Diploma.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
1:01 am

Or the Real Diploma. You can’t park in the HANDICAP space with a Georgia Institute of Technology diploma hanging for the rear view mirror like you can with a UGA diploma.

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
1:01 am

Will Muschamp saved mark’s job. thank you Muschamp.

Buzz Off

January 3rd, 2012
1:01 am

You guys/girls really are a bunch of nerds and i was only joking, originally.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
1:04 am

Muschamp might have saved his job but Grantham took Richt’s jail house virginity after the last High Dive Jump and trip to the showers.

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
1:04 am

Tina Fey is really hot. she could do me with a strap-on.

Buzz Off

January 3rd, 2012
1:05 am

which of you is 5159 and which one is supergeek? nerd blog closed for business tonight?

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
1:06 am

Mark says he pee pee in the pool all the time, the guys don’t know it.

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
1:09 am

BuzzOff are you buzzing off again? LOL

bobby

January 3rd, 2012
1:13 am

EVERYBODY ON HERE KEEPS TALKING ABOUT BOBO AND RICHT BUT LETS TALK ABOUT BLAIR WALSH. DURING HIS SOPOHMORE AND JUNIOR YEAR THIS KID ONLY MISSES A TOTAL OF 5 FIELD GOALS. THIS MAN IS AN ALL AMERICAN IN BOTH YEARS. THEN DURING HIS SENIOR SEASON, HE REGRESSES MORE THAN ANY PLAYER ON THEIR TEAM. HE MISSES 13 TO 15 FIELD GOALS THIS YEAR AND EVERY GAME WAS A NIGHTMARE WITH HIM. HE MISSED FIELD GOAL AFTER FIELD GOAL DURING THE REGULAR BUT IT NEVER BIT UGA IN THE BACKSIDE. BUT GUESS WHAT IN THE MICHIGAN STATE GAME BLAIR WALSH FINALLY COSTED UGA BIG TIME. THAT FIELD ATTEMPT WAS RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF THE FIELD AND WHAT HE DOES HE MISSES IT IT CAUSES UGA THE GAME WHAT YOU PEOPLE NEED TO DO IS GET ON BLAIR WALSH BECAUSE HE WAS REASON THEY LOST HE STRUGGLING WAY FINALLY BEAT UGA IN THE BACKSIDE. ALL HE HAD TO DO IS MAKE THAT FIELD GOAL AND THEY WIN THE GAME. GOOD BYE BLAIR WALSH.

Fan of the Game

January 3rd, 2012
1:14 am

I have been watching UGA football for a long time and there is no way Crowell should be aloud to wear the G again until he deserves it. He is way too soft. Anytime anybody fell on him this year he came out. He had a month or more to heal. I watched him during pregame warmups and he wasn’t limping while he was dancing. What a joke! Redshirt him for a year and you will find out if he wants to play. If he doesn’t let him go to Jacksonville St.

Fan of the Game

January 3rd, 2012
1:16 am

Oh yea how refreshing to watch a team play without dreadlocks hanging out from under the helmet.

WaterGirl

January 3rd, 2012
1:17 am

GEORGIA FANS SAYS CROWELL IS THE WALKER. YOU KNOW.

Fan of the Game

January 3rd, 2012
1:20 am

Our best tailback was Brandon Boykin.

DonutDawg

January 3rd, 2012
1:21 am

1. Murray committed 3 turnovers against Michigan State, 3 against LSU, 3 against South Carolina. He simply chokes in big games. Mason should have gone in.
2. Walsh choked. Fans blogged all off season about getting a Special Teams coach. Richt made a strategic error there.
3. Bobo’s offense put up 30 points, he called an excellent game, especially considering the way his running game faltered, and Murray started melting down with turnovers. Murray and the running backs just didn’t execute.

2012 need to win like LSU & Alabama do by:
1- Special Teams Coach
2- Run first mentality on offense–effectiuve running game, even when they know you’re running the ball
3- QB who doesn’t try to be the star, QB who trusts defense and doesn’t turn ball, Murray needs to be benched, anyone is better. Murray committed AT LEAST 3 TURNOVERS against M St, LSU, and South Carolina. Murray cost us the season AGAIN just like he did last year with 3 turnover games against Florida, SC, and UCF..
3-

BlairMissProject

January 3rd, 2012
1:22 am

Wow… How many times did Blair choke there? A wonderful end to his “storied” career!

UGA TOO SCARED TO PLAY BAMA,LSU AND ARKY

January 3rd, 2012
1:26 am

IN 2012 UGA SHOULD WALK INTO THE GA DOME AND GET THEIR AZZ KICKED BY BAMA OR LSU.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
1:27 am

BUZZ OFF feels left out.
man This meatloaf sandwich with collard greens and Tabasco sauce is good

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
1:29 am

BoyKin is that like SisterWife?

Harold

January 3rd, 2012
1:31 am

Mr Richt owes his loyalty to football and to Georgia, not to keeping particular people in particular positions. Sometimes the best thing you can do for somebody is removing them.

Allison.Derek'swife

January 3rd, 2012
1:31 am

When will Damon return may red panties?

UGA TOO SCARED TO PLAY BAMA,LSU AND ARKY

January 3rd, 2012
1:32 am

DIDN’T BOYKINS LOSE A COUPLE TEETH EARLIER IN THE YEAR?

Allison.Derek'swife

January 3rd, 2012
1:33 am

When will Nick return my Auburn Orange panties?

Allison.Derek'swife

January 3rd, 2012
1:34 am

When will Les Mile return Uncle Vince’s’ Jockstrap?

Allison.Derek'swife

January 3rd, 2012
1:35 am

Why does Herschell autograph Mama Dooley’s panties?

UGA TOO SCARED TO PLAY BAMA,LSU AND ARKY

January 3rd, 2012
1:36 am

DOES CROWELL TAP THE TOP OF HIS HELMENT LIKE NOSHOW TO TAKE HIMSELF OUT OF THE GAME?

Desert Fox

January 3rd, 2012
1:38 am

St. Bernard

January 2nd, 2012
7:17 pm

A,men!! Ever wonder if you could get the dawgs that left early for the NFL to sit and explain their reason(s) for leaving early other than the $$$ how many of them would admit their was no incentive to return as long as Bozo was the OC?? I’ll bet more than a few would admit as long as Bozo is OC that the chances for these players to play on a NC or even SEC C team was little to none. So why stay?

Bill King summerized those recurring blunders that even the most avid bulldog fans have known for years that Bobo cannot take this team to greatness no matter what talent we have. He simply cannot achieve anymore than he already has and has peaked out and over stayed his time as OC. As one blogger put it, if CMR can let his best buddy Martinez go he sure as hell can look for another OC. CTG has worked out nicely as a replacement for martinez and I’m sure it won’t be that difficult to replace the likes of Bozo. We’ve had enough of this BS.

Barbara Dooley

January 3rd, 2012
1:40 am

Herschell do you remember how we used to meet at midfield on the georgia logo every sunday night? You sure had big fingers!

BoBo Knows

January 3rd, 2012
1:41 am

Whatever it is, BoBo must know about it… Hence his continued employment, if you ask me. He played at Georgia, maybe it even happened to him. How did they finally get Willie out the door with his mouth shut? I guess maybe Willie didn’t know as much as BoBo knows. At least we know it was not Damon Evans.

Allison.Derek'swife

January 3rd, 2012
1:42 am

Barb that wasn’t my fingers that was the septic over flow surprises I used on you.

Crowell

January 3rd, 2012
1:43 am

I don be’z done wit deez foos. You guys no spect how I play dis game fo you. I jus gots to make it to year 3 din I declare fo tha draft. Let me axe you a question, if you had da chance ta make mils wouldnt you leeve 2?

Allison.Derek'swife

January 3rd, 2012
1:44 am

Damon likes the whit chicks not……

Crowell

January 3rd, 2012
1:44 am

Fo tha record Bobo call tha wrong playz. He leed me rite up da middle 2 much. I gon git hurt an hurt an not gon git drafted. I’s gots to do wat I gots to do.

T D

January 3rd, 2012
1:54 am

First, Bill King’s article right on. Second, Dawgs had the game well in hand, MSU was dead in water. Aaron gave them life. Aaron l love you, l appreciate your work effort and film study. You need to take another step next year. Be a Real Man, no fumbles no matter what. Some interceptions can’t be stopped, but the cheap pick 6’s must be eliminated. Coach Richt l love you. You are my Coach. l walk the same Christian walk you walk. When it comes to college football, especially Georgia football, when we tee it up ‘Tween the Hedges or any field of honor, leave the Mr. Nice Guy at home. My Dawgs, the players, the fans, me included, all who have any vested interest in our team require that our Young Men are Warriors. We take no prisoners, WE offend all our foes. We have no mercy, hang half a hundred on them and SHUT EVERYONE OUT. lf you can’t be a Warrior General, you need to leave coaching all together. If you make your players compete at a high level, practice HARD, Play HARDER, Coach, you are going to have to reach down deep and coach the games going for the ole ball coaches jugular vein just like he coaches like his hair is on fire against MY DAWGS. You must have more intensity than the other coach. If Coach Franklin challenges anyone wearing red next year, do yourself a favor and KNOCK him OUT. When the game is WON, apoligize and ask for forgiveness and take up the Christian Walk again until the next WAR. Just Do It Coach. l love you Coach but pick it up please. l am really disappointed for my Dawgs that worked so hard, but l feel you let them down. Sorry
R

Crowell

January 3rd, 2012
1:56 am

Coach Richt SUCKS mo than when I blaze da dragon yo

Herschell Walker

January 3rd, 2012
1:57 am

Miss Dooley that wasn’t my finger!

Bill Lee

January 3rd, 2012
2:16 am

What does u g a spell? Mediocrity…..performance that is adequate (almost) but not very good. Bobo offense means predictability, play good 2 quarters, then sit on you ass. Whatever happened to UGA’S being Tail Back U ? We had cornerbacks playing tailback??? Did we run any toss sweeps” Any option pitches? Do we have a quarterback that can run a wild cat every now and them or do we just want to (try) to run only between the tackles. Get a few new wrinkles on offense or fire Bobo and install some more wide open offense. Why would any All American running back want to come to Georgia? Waste your time and talent…..

Tweezer

January 3rd, 2012
2:25 am

Mark Richt is such a gracious loser, it’s kind of inspiring to hear him accept defeat so graciously. But then again he has had a lot of practice at it. I bet he would be honored to carry Coach Nick Saban’s jock strap.

gary

January 3rd, 2012
2:58 am

The true Bulldog really was hurt by this loss,but if we make the feild goal everyone would be saying how great a coach Coach Richt is,so now let’s us do an acessment of changes need to be made ,first fans stop bashing the guys,love the team ,if Coach feel it time for a change he will,just hang in there he is a good coach you fair whether fans said so yourself,LOVE THE BULLDOGS,WIN OR LOSE