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

Crybaby Crowell

January 3rd, 2012
12:19 pm

The great Isiah Crowell has become an injury-prone 5th best running back on the depth chart in one year. His high school greatness translated into nothing in college. Come here fast Mr. Keith Marshall !!

Bob

January 3rd, 2012
12:24 pm

Go back and read the AJC Dawg blogs from 2010…2009…2008, they all sound just like this one (except we have Willie included in some). Nothing will change until Adams gets another presidency or retires. I do think we can do better than Richt @ $3M a year.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 3rd, 2012
12:26 pm

I’ll take “Who am I for 600″ Alex

This coach has put more players in the NFL the last 10 years than any other SEC school and still cant win big

Answer

Who is Mark Richt

FACT....

January 3rd, 2012
12:26 pm

Hey coach let’s try something different…. What’s that? Let’s run it up the middle 3 times in a row and maybe we will throw them off.

Joey

January 3rd, 2012
12:29 pm

“Is it just me, or when Aaron Murray screws up does he have this look on his face that makes you want to cave his face in?”
***************************************************
It’s just you, schmeckdawg. To me, Murray looks just like my 10 month nephew does when he done his business in his Pamper.

Kind of a, “Manning face.”

bubba4dawgs

January 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

I really hate saying this but it is looking more and more like the way things are…..MEDIOCRITY! That’s not what the Bulldogs are all about! The team is loaded with talent that most teams would die for! The defense is doing an outstanding job! I noticed the enthusiasm on the sideline coming from Todd Grantham but I saw absolutely none coming from Richt whom I admire so much! During the Overtimes, the Michigan State team was fired up on the sideline and the Georgia side looked as though they were attending a funeral. Well, in reality, perhaps they knew more than we did! They were attending their own funeral and must have known it!! Talk about imploding!!! Looking back, Bo Bo, what would you have done differently to change the outcome of the game? I have a suggestion: Catch a bus!!

Dawg Fan in NC

January 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Bobo the Dodo deserves an @ss kickin by Grantham (and Boykin, and Tree, and Jones, and basically anyone who plays D!).

Richt has been riding an easier than normal schedule, and Grantham all season long. If he is going to ride this magic trick to disguise his mediocrity any longer, he better get a better play caller in there.

If Grantham leaves to become a HC somewhere, the crutch will be gone, and our team left naked.

dawgcrzy

January 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Go get Peterson and pay him 5mil a year. Can you imagine what he could do with this talent? Like a previous post,the big boy’s are coming in 2013, he could have a easy schedule to to tweak an already talented team. McGarity can you hear us?

FACT....

January 3rd, 2012
12:32 pm

It’s called playing with no heart!

Dawg Tired

January 3rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Flat Tire on 95…. The problem with putting that many players in the NFL is they leave their Soph & JR years because they know their is no strategy in place to win a National Championship…

Typical

January 3rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Why are UGA fans so shocked and disappointed???

It’s simply what happens when your rack up wins against bad teams. It over-inflates your belief that your team is good. You lost to the 4 real teams you played this year. It’s as simple as that.

FACT....

January 3rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Peterson is on his way to Penn State

schmeckdawg

January 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Bill, great article. Thanks for not sugar coating the problems!!!!!!!!!!!!

gbal

January 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Observations –

Agree with many that although A.M. is talented, something is missing. The two Int’s were killers. And a fumble! – EXECUTION

Gotta give him credit though for the drive to put us up 27-20 and gave us the chance to win after letting MS back in the game.

Hope we go into camp with a wide open QB race and not AM pre determined as the starter.

…….

The 3 play calls with 3+ minutes… can understand not wanting to give up another TO…. but or D was obviously gassed… M.S. was fired up and had momentium… We had to burn some clock there. And to run 3 plays right at their strength??? They had stopped us up the gut all afternoon other than one Malcome run on 3rd and 8. We have to be more creative in that situation. MS didnt looked gassed…..why…. because they predicted correctly what we were running and stacked the line of scrimmage! Gotta open up the O in that situation – COACHING

…..

Walsh… Just really tough luck this year and really sorry for the kid. Hope he is able to turn it around and save a pro career… But … Given where we were…. in the 1st OT…. Move the ball! Don’t settle for a 43 yard FG attempt! – COACHING

…..

At the end of that game … OT’s… MS was fired up a livving for the opportunity to take the game. Team fired up… sideline fired up…. we are all dumb struck. The D did the job in OT with an int and holding MS to fieldgoal attempts. Our O was just not into it emotionally or from a coaching standpoint to take the win!. – COACHING

….

Understand not wanting to give away another mistake/TO to loose the game …. Bit of a lack of confidence in AM is the reason…. But we have to either open up the playbook and take some risk… not be so predictable…. OR Man up and GATA. Obvious to me at that point we were not in a GATA mode… So the choice is OPEN it up and take the chances. COACHING

BREAKING NEWS

January 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

The Dow Jones industrial average has jumped 250 points being led by KOOLAID, inc. as word of the great annual GA Bulldog off season predictions of “next year greatness” have begun.

This year got off to an early start when CMR stated that the team was knocking on the door of greatness even though it had recently loss the SEC championship game 42-10; this by definition being a classic case of “Koolaid-itis”..

KOOLAID, inc. also announced that they are setting up an educational endowment at UGA in honor of this great tradition.

dawgcrzy

January 3rd, 2012
12:36 pm

send Richt to Penn St,they could get a small upgrade,and we could get a coach

SSIgator

January 3rd, 2012
12:38 pm

bubba4dawgs -

“MEDIOCRITY! That’s not what the Bulldogs are all about”

Where have you been? In the past several years with Mark “I can win games – just not big games” Richt and his sidekick Booboo that is exactly the level that UGA has been coached down too. Better get back on the KoolAid. It is much easier to accept then.

I Have No Blog Handle

January 3rd, 2012
12:40 pm

guarantee you that SSIgaytor is a fat slob who has never put on a shoulder pad except to wear with his dress or has played a second of any sport in his pathetic life.

Phil

January 3rd, 2012
12:41 pm

I think we need to see if Malzone can be lured away from Arkansas State before he even begins there. Can you imagine our offense with him running it? Did you see how good Auburn’s offense looked in their bowl game? That’s what I call imagination and unpredictable. Malzone and Grantham together would make a hell of a combination.

JB

January 3rd, 2012
12:43 pm

MSU did this adjustment in the second half. Sent their WR’s deep as to take our defensive backs with them. Our LB’s were so intent on getting to the QB, it opened up the shorter passing game to the TE and the RB out of the backfield. It worked great.

wiseoldawg

January 3rd, 2012
12:46 pm

Any word on why no extension for CMR yet? Maybe his extension is contingent on staff changes (OC) ?

Blair Miss Project

January 3rd, 2012
12:47 pm

Blair & Crowell would do well together on the Colts. That’s about the caliber of team they would deserve to be on. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

SSIgator

January 3rd, 2012
12:48 pm

Darn, that was fast. My neighbor already has on his UGA 2012 Pre-Season National Champions tee shirt. It is 38 degrees here today and he is outside in his tee shirt. Now that is a true UGA fan.

Blair Miss Project

January 3rd, 2012
12:48 pm

My grandmother could have made that last kick. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Another 10 win season championship for the DAWGS!!!!!! SIC EM!!! LMAOLOLOLOLOLO

Hardy Dog

January 3rd, 2012
12:50 pm

Richt clearly lost this game with his conservative play calling with 1:36 left. BooBoo and Richt needs to be fired and give Hutson Mason a chance to QB.

crowell is da man

January 3rd, 2012
12:50 pm

i am hearing that mikey bozo will be getting the axe this week by cmr. new oc…..buck blew.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 3rd, 2012
12:50 pm

No Altamaha Dawg, Columbus, LHarding Dawg or Tampa Dawg yet

Dang

I was really hoping to hear a post game state of how great the team will be next year address

Joey

January 3rd, 2012
12:50 pm

“Better get back on the KoolAid. It is much easier to accept then.”
****************************************
Probably better to mix the KoolAid with Smirnoff . . .

Richt`s Hammer

January 3rd, 2012
12:54 pm

Oh well we lose again. No big deal. I am getting a big raise.

Well now we have bowl daddies. Central Florida and Michigan State. Seems to me Central Florida was better than State but what do I know.

Choakdawg please pass the biscuits.

Blair Miss Project

January 3rd, 2012
12:54 pm

Enter your comments here

ARdawg

January 3rd, 2012
12:54 pm

I gotta say, there’s just not much in the way of good kool-aid being brewed in Athens these days 8)

It was not

January 3rd, 2012
12:54 pm

very polite for MSU to slam the door on CMR when he was knocking on the door of greatness.

Blair Miss Project

January 3rd, 2012
12:55 pm

Did anyone else see the “Go Dwags!” sign on national TV? LOLOL at you dawg fans.

Google “Go dwags” to see what I’m talking about LOLOLOLOL

SSIgator

January 3rd, 2012
12:59 pm

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville -

The emergency session of the KoolAid Club must be running longer than anticipated. Once AltamahaDawg has finished his talk they open the KoolAid bar. Rumor has it that Booboo had trouble getting his flight out Tampa today so he may have been late to the meeting to run the concession stand. Also missing in action is DawginLex and True Dawg Fan.

Is

January 3rd, 2012
12:59 pm

CMR’s definition of greatness like Bill Clinton’s “depends on what your definition of is “is”?

DawginSewer

January 3rd, 2012
1:01 pm

Really smells bad in here. Richt just floated by.

A prediction

January 3rd, 2012
1:01 pm

I am a UGA man, class of 71 & 73. I do not hob knob with the wealthy contributors, beyond one very old friend from HS and UGA days. He is only one that I know and have for over 55 years since we were in first/second grade.

The old guard UGA crowd ( my generation) are not happy with how this last 1.5 games turned out. LSU game was fabulous in the first half BUT they celebrated at half time with out of control screaming and rah rahs and the coaches let them do that and in the SECOND HALF of the LSU game, they were burned out and drained emotionally. These kids ( Aaron MUrray) do not know how to deal with high emotions and channel them. LSU and MSU showed us that. Murrray becomes an emotional wreck in big games with DUMB, DUMB throws. His tream mates pick up on his panic, they hear it in his manner of speaking in the huddle, his cadance and side line chatter and his awful NAIL BITING.

THAT deficiency comes from COACHING. Richt and his entire team except for CTG need to go. Richt HAS TWO more years, contractually. I see AD- Greg McGarity dropping a bomb and shutting down the extension negotiations UNTIL next year, to see if UGA can return and WIN BIG in the SEC CG. That would still allow Richt another year 2013 to coach. THen, they can reward the man.

I also expect Richt to be told to FIRE MIKE BOBO or DEMOTE HIM and possibly McClendon, his running back coach. He can continue to be head recruiter.

I expect one or two of these bombshells to be heard within 4-10 days from UGA’s AD offices.

DawginSewer

January 3rd, 2012
1:03 pm

My God Lauren, DawginLex just floated by on a what. That is disgusting.

Dawg_Mike

January 3rd, 2012
1:04 pm

Damn,

How can we defend ourselves ? GO DWAGS ??
OK, so are you serious?
Just kill me now.

SSIgator

January 3rd, 2012
1:06 pm

ARdawg -

Don’t fret. Help is on the way. Richt had a new KoolAid production plant opened in Whitfield County, outside of Dalton (I guess so he could check on his carpets while there) to supply what will surely be an overwhelming demand for the 2012 season. New flavors will be announced shortly.

Dawg_Mike

January 3rd, 2012
1:07 pm

SSI- While I detest a belly crawling reptile, I do want to say congrats for beating the suckeyes.
We were reduced to ” the other SEC team besides Vandy to lose a Bowl game “

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 3rd, 2012
1:08 pm

SSIgator

I forgot about True Dawg Fan

Who else am I missing

chazzo came on here yesterday but had nothing to say but that Im a troll again

Im still waiting to hear from the bunch who thinks Richt deserves a contract extension even though he still has 2 more years left on his contract

I Have No Blog Handle

January 3rd, 2012
1:09 pm

My prediction

Richt extension for 2 years under the condition that an NFL caliber OC be hired and Bobo be reassigned to QB coach.

Wide open QB competition in the spring. 1 of the 3 will transfer after spring practice, if not before

McClendon will be fired.

poppym

January 3rd, 2012
1:11 pm

Let this be said: I am a true GA. Bulldog fan.However I must say this. When Ga lost the game to Michigan St. they not only embarsed themselves but the SEC as well!

I Have No Blog Handle

January 3rd, 2012
1:12 pm

Deserving an extension versus getting one are 2 different things. He gets one if McGarity is going to keep him just for recruiting purposes. These contracts are like toilet paper these days anyway.

GATiger

January 3rd, 2012
1:12 pm

“LSU isn’t great…”

Vanilla, they beat three teams ranked in the top 5. They beat 8 teams ranked in the top 25. They beat your team by 32 after spotting you 10. If they’re not great, what does that make your team?

By the way, I can’t think of a team that didn’t trailed less than the Tigers.

dawgcrzy

January 3rd, 2012
2:11 pm

what happened to the rest of the blogs

Go DWAGS

January 3rd, 2012
2:11 pm

Has it ever occurred to you DWAG fans that maybe, just maybe you don’t have the 5-star athletes that you were lead to believe you have? From watching Oregon-Wisconsin and Stanford-Oklahoma State last night, you are not even close to matching up with the big boys. You have been a ‘young team’ for 30 years now, when will they grow up? News flash to you DWAG fans….it is NOT the coaching, it is the players.

LADawg

January 3rd, 2012
2:13 pm

No coaching staff in the nation does less with more than our CMR and his buddies! And end of game management, lousy since the first year he took the job! Four bookend loses to the only real teams we played this year. Because we play such a soft schedule next year, we may make it back to ATL only to get drilled by AL or LSU who are still very young yet well coached teams.

The Truth Detector

January 3rd, 2012
2:15 pm

The rest of the league wants CMR to stay.

It looks like two of T. Grantham’s best friends are in line for NFL Head coaching jobs.