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.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

1,469 comments Add your comment

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BigO

January 3rd, 2012
4:39 am

Let’s call a spade a spade… It’s time for some new blood in the Dawg pound!!! These guys are recruiting nothing but 4 and 5 star prospects and yet we keep getting the same lame results. Now if the AD sees this and allows it to continues then he needs to go. I know our previous one did some bad things but at least he was realistic, why give bum coaches a pay raise??? Lets keep Coach Richt but fire that OC Bobo, he doesn’t understand the fact that you are playing a FBS team that can score, the defense needs some help and with your offense giving the other team the ball its a crime shame, when the only objective is to out score the opposite team. Why is AD and HC allowing this man to make UGA a consistent B level program? If they don’t get it, its time for them to go as well. The way I see it, if we got all this talent in Athens, we should be winning more, it’s obvious that all our flaws are coaching ie; lacking of preparation, inability to adjust, can’t score against any team better than New Mexico State, terrible play calling, complete lazy football after halftime. Go Dawgs! Just fix the problems…

I can't believe Aaron Murray BLEW THAT GAME to go to 0-9 vs teams ending top 25

January 3rd, 2012
5:10 am

Michael F. Adam$ has MORE blame than Greg McGarity a tennis player, and not a good one at that.

Chuck '65

January 3rd, 2012
5:15 am

Just wait ’til next year – ad infinitum!

oakisland

January 3rd, 2012
5:46 am

Mike Bobo is a grad of UGA and I wonder if he were not a coach at UGA and just a fan would he be screaming for the OC to be fired–You damn right he would. Therefore, Mr. Bobo, if you love your school as much as we do, please do the right thing and resign and stop all this negativity about you. For gosh sake man, you know that is what the majority of the fans want. Make it is easy on coach Richt and if you truly love our dawgs resign or take a demotion to qb coach.

I can't believe Aaron Murray BLEW THAT GAME to go to 0-9 vs teams ending top 25

January 3rd, 2012
5:58 am

QUARTERBACKS’ COACH ?

Mike Bobo is NOT a good Quarterbacks’ Coach. Look at the results. Go ahead, look at them.

winderdawg

January 3rd, 2012
6:08 am

Our play calling staff need to grow a pair and go for the win. CMR first came to UGA they won games because of agressive play calling. Now for some reason and I don’t understand we only get agressive when behind. Until this changes we might win a occasional big game but it will be rare. Playing for a 42 yard field goal?, running up the middle with a defense stacked to prevent the run? come on give your players the chance to win!!!! We never dumped passes off to our running backs, ran no bubble screens after the first half, we never got one ball to Orson Charles in the second half, it looked to me that Murray locked in on one receiver and let it fly. Major loss but we have got to learn and change our play calling or ?????????????????

Mike Dawg

January 3rd, 2012
6:31 am

Right on bozo ( Bobo) can never get us to the next level when is CMR going to learn this so this is what we have to look forward too. Bozo is lost when it comes to calling plays

sameolestory

January 3rd, 2012
6:31 am

Same ole Georgia. You had the easiest schedule in the SEC and will have it next year also. But when you have to play any tough team you fold like a deck of cards. I have an answer. Give your loser coach a lifetime contract. You will never see a championship. Through all of the problems, through all the years, there is one common denomator..Coach Richt.

I can't believe Aaron Murray BLEW THAT GAME to go to 0-9 vs teams ending top 25, 3 sacks, fumble, 2 interceptions, 9 rushes minus 14 yards 1 reception blocked pass minus 3 yards all with 16 point lead.

January 3rd, 2012
6:44 am

Mark Richt won games here when he 1st got here because he DIDN’T RECRUIT those players.

David Greene was ALREADY HERE when Mark Richt got here.

RedandBLackDAWG

January 3rd, 2012
6:48 am

Pago Pago,

Have you got some kind of fetish about hair styles. What the hell has it got to do with how they play football. JJ, the Heisman trophy winner and a lot of folks from Oregon and Oke. state have the same type of hair style and they seem to do darn good. It sounds like to me that you are a little racist, but I don”t suppose you would admit that. If you think hair style had anything to do with the loss, you need to go back to your island and pick coconuts for a living.
Take it from an older guy, that is almost 63. Hair style has nothing to do with it. Vanilla play calling is the problem. You can’t win the big games, if you are so predictable that you can’t even fool the fans watching the game. If they were winning games, I could care less, if everybody on the team, coaches included had pony tails.
If you watched any of the bowl games in the last couple of days, you would have seen lots of kids with the same hair style as Crowell, JJ and the the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor, and you would probably put 2 + 2 together and figure it out. You have to understand how to watch a football game and be able to evaluate it. That means you have to be able to understand the game.

Mr. Georgia Football Returns

January 3rd, 2012
6:50 am

Errorn Intercepta-Murray returns!

dawg fan

January 3rd, 2012
6:51 am

we need to replace bobo and richt this year. not give him an extension. look at the
body of work for the season. dawgs did not beat anybody with a winning record.
the best was only 6-6. same old same old and it will be like this with richt and bobo.
everybody we played with a winning record we lost the game.

I can't believe Aaron Murray BLEW THAT GAME to go to 0-9 vs teams ending top 25. 3 sacks, fumble, 2 interceptions, 9 rushes minus 14 yards, 1 reception blocked pass minus 3 yards - all with 16 point lead.

January 3rd, 2012
6:54 am

So,

WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THEN,

RedandBLackDAWG

?

Paddy

January 3rd, 2012
6:59 am

Yes these problems are all fixable. So I guess they better fix them! Did Orson Charles play in the 2nd half? Did IC make the trip?

I can't believe Aaron Murray BLEW THAT GAME to go to 0-9 vs teams ending top 25. 3 sacks, fumble, 2 interceptions, 9 rushes minus 14 yards, 1 reception blocked pass minus 3 yards - all with 16 point lead.

January 3rd, 2012
7:00 am

RedandBlackDAWG December 18th, 2011 10:30 am

“I believe they had an open contest in spring and fall training camps this year for starting QB, and Murray cam out on top. Being a QB has more to do than just throwing passes. You have to be able to control the team, be the leader and be able to take a hit as well. Murray has shown the ability to do those things. Tell me in all honesty that you think Mason, or LeMay would have been the difference in winning or losing the 3 games we lost this year. Football is a team sport, and Murray is one of the best team players UGA has on that field. I would bet you would find out, if you talked to the players on that team, how much Murray means to that team. Like I said, it is a team sport. One guy seldom loses or wins the game for a team, and Murray is no different in that respect.

You say he hasn’t won against any top 25 teams. Nobody presently on this team for the last two years has either.”
_______________________________________________________
EXCUSES.

BoBo Boo Boo got to go

January 3rd, 2012
7:05 am

Thank goodness Walsh will not be back to lose another game. Did he get into the leafy stuff over last summer’s break? And as much as I like BoBo’s dedication to UGA, he needs to step back and just be a coach and Richt find a true offensive cordinater. Bobo-Booboo is living in the past in his days as a quarterback. Murray, please don’t ever mention the words don’t worry about my interceptions. Yes, you were part of the loss.

Old Dog

January 3rd, 2012
7:14 am

Once more the Dawgs have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I hear that Aaron Murray and Blair Walsh will share the MVP status… for Michigan State.

In fairness to Blair Walsh, I feel sorry for his current slump, of course our COACHES could have made the decision to pull him. He was our only bright star last year. And for those who say Blair Walsh lost the game yesterday – he would not have had to kick a field goal in OT if there hadn’t been two intercetions thrown by Murray.

Things will stay the same: mediocre. Mark Richt will get his five-year extension. He will continue to play only Aaron Murray as his QB. AM will continue to be the same. The only question is whether Old Dog will care enough to tune in to mediocre, disappointing football next season.

Old Dog

January 3rd, 2012
7:17 am

Michigan State had a great defensive line, and we could not open up a hole. So our solution – run it up the middle into their arms. Great play-calling.

Old Dog

January 3rd, 2012
7:21 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 ”

NO, if we made the field goal, I would have been saying we barely managed to pull them out of the fire by the skin of our teeth – like with Vandy. Coach Richt would still have been the one who let us go from a 16-0 lead at the halftime into overtime.

And by the way, I LOVE the Dawgs (the football team). I just don’t LOVE the Coach(es).

Old Dog

January 3rd, 2012
7:23 am

“now let’s us do an acessment of changes need to be made”

A lot of us have already been doing this. Fire Bobo and fire Richt and start the rebuilding process into something other than a MEDIOCRE team. You just don’t want to hear it.

JB

January 3rd, 2012
7:25 am

Bobo stated after the game to Mark Bradley, when asked, That when we got the ball back in regulation with 3:46 left at our own 35 and needed maybe two first downs to ICE the game, he wanted to pass and was over ruled from the sideline. It’s in Bradley’s follow piece last night if you want to read it. This game is on the HEAD Coach. After 10 years, the guy is getting worse.

JB

January 3rd, 2012
7:27 am

Sad part, there will be no changes. Just more of it with a new contract for Richt.

42-10...33-30

January 3rd, 2012
7:31 am

Always over rated, always over hyped.

sickasadog

January 3rd, 2012
7:31 am

We have had some great talent over the past ten years. If anyone has a reason as to why we got no championship other than bad coaching i’d love to hear it……anyone…??

I can't believe Aaron Murray BLEW THAT GAME to go to 0-9 vs teams ending top 25. 3 sacks, fumble, 2 interceptions, 9 rushes minus 14 yards, 1 reception blocked pass minus 3 yards - all with 16 point lead.

January 3rd, 2012
7:32 am

Aaron Murray has LOST

OVER 40 PERCENT of the games he has started

11 LOSSES out of 27 games Started.

59 % WIN PERCENTAGE.

And, Mark Richt blames the PLAYERS ?

Who is in charge here anyway ?

You cannot keep blaming the players, Mark Richt.

RGP

January 3rd, 2012
7:32 am

Bill, you are spot on with your analysis of problems with UGA. The two second have interceptions changed the momentum of the game. Boykin said it all when he said the great teams know how to finish games. If UGA gets a lead the offense gets too conservative.

0-2 to start

January 3rd, 2012
7:33 am

0-2 to finish

Notamutt

January 3rd, 2012
7:34 am

Welcome back to the world of losing two in a row. It has got to suck. What pitiful play calling by a second tier SEC team with third tiers coaching.

BigDawg63

January 3rd, 2012
7:34 am

I love my dawgs, but I am no longer going to make excuses for our lousy coaching staff, as long as Richt & Bobo are in charge, we will continue to be an embarrassment to the SEC.

A Murray

January 3rd, 2012
7:34 am

But everyone says I’m great.

mgdawg

January 3rd, 2012
7:35 am

so who had 3 carries in the crowell pool of when he would pull himself out, he did better then I expected, I thought he would only last two carries. Even when he was in, he didn’t show the shiftiness he had at the start of the season, he said he was 100 percent so that can’t be a reason, it’s like he has given up.

stendek

January 3rd, 2012
7:35 am

This pretty much sums it all up. More dark days ahead in Athens! Real dark.

http://stendek.tumblr.com/post/15238271628/saint-mark-richt-worthless-coach-but-fair-truck

:( :( :( :(

S Spurrier

January 3rd, 2012
7:35 am

All those recruits….same ol ga.

N Saban

January 3rd, 2012
7:37 am

You guys really do suck.

L Miles

January 3rd, 2012
7:37 am

I can’t believe it was only 42-10.

Taco

January 3rd, 2012
7:38 am

Go Sparty! I hope UGA is ranked in the TOP 5 next Preseason because watching the fall back to mediocrity will be so much sweeter! Boys if you have a draft status…..GO. No one since David Pollock has been coached up at UGA and actually improved their draft status. Can anyone name a player who was any better the day he left than the day he showed up? AJ Green was already the man when he got there.

U Meyer

January 3rd, 2012
7:38 am

I’ve always thought you guys were over rated.

P Johnson

January 3rd, 2012
7:39 am

Nice running game ga.

DawgSTILE

January 3rd, 2012
7:40 am

UGA faithful, don’t dispair. We are still a top tier program. Look at the recruits, look at the positives. One bad half does not take away from TEN straight wins. We are a rock solid program. So we are not Alabama, we are not Ole Miss either. Go Dogs, Go Dogs, Go Dogs!! Lets get behind coach Bobo and the rest of the team and coaching staff.

CMR

January 3rd, 2012
7:40 am

I knew we should’ve played Coastal Carolina again.

DAWG with two bags over head

January 3rd, 2012
7:42 am

What I saw yesterday makes me think we’ll be saying the same things next year after another lesser bowl loss. Nothing will change at OC, Murray will still be choking in big games, and we’ll still wonder what happened to our RBs. A Richt extension is the last thing we need if we want to get out of this mediocrity funk. The problem has always been at the top. Too much loyalty to underperformming coaches and players; no accountablity, and definitely the mind set that complete dedication to winning is not essential.

S Spurrier

January 3rd, 2012
7:43 am

All those recruits….same ol story every year, “all those recruits”…heck, I don’t have any trouble beatin em.

Old Dog

January 3rd, 2012
7:46 am

“So we are not Alabama, we are not Ole Miss either.”

And all the Richt apologists say “Repeat after me – mediocre is better than bad, mediocre is better than bad.”

Champs of the SEC Least

January 3rd, 2012
7:46 am

We dropped BAMA, now if we could just drop AUB, TN, FLA, KY, Vandy and MO.

EX-Contributor

January 3rd, 2012
7:49 am

As an SEC head coach Mark Richt is a joke. He will always be a poor second to coaches like Saban, Miles, Petrino and, late in life, Spurrier. Richt has won his last SEC championship and the Richt loving fools had better get used to it. I wonder how long it will take the Athletic Board, Adams and McGarity to realize and to finally admit that Richt is a drag on the program and that the only solution is to fire him and find a coach who can compete with the best in the SEC. Probaly not anytime soon. Such is the state of football at UGA. The Ghsts of Herty Field must be spinning in their graves. Disgraceful.

Toad Grantham

January 3rd, 2012
7:50 am

My “vaunted” D only plays for a half….I hope they don’t cut my $750K to $375K. Have I got them “snowed” or what???

evil empire

January 3rd, 2012
7:50 am

dawgSTILE…that may have been the sorriest post of the new year…you cannot actually believe what you posted….then again, maybe it was sarcastic mastery and went right over my head…well done, well done indeed…

JB

January 3rd, 2012
7:51 am

My only hope is that there is a big time money giver out there who will call McGarity today and say “I’m through until Bobo is gone and we bring in a real OC with a resume and moxie”….. Richt can only look as far as the defensive side of the ball as to how a new coach helps. Our D is light years ahead of Willie Martinez.

DOGGED BY GREEN COW COLLEGE YANKEES

January 3rd, 2012
7:51 am

“Please Fire Bobo! He is the issue, not Richt…”

LULZ