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

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
8:42 pm

#4 Great play!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
8:42 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
8:44 pm

Who cares what Monica does. She can flavor cigars for all I care. LOL

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
8:45 pm

48 with a field goal!

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
8:46 pm

She said the democrats left a bad tast in her mouth.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
8:48 pm

Well Slick Willie liked her flavored cigars. maybe Monica will try Sara Palin.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
8:50 pm

Santorum winning in Iowa

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
8:54 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
8:55 pm

VT with the INT

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
8:55 pm

oakwood dawg

January 3rd, 2012
8:57 pm

me thinks the recruiting emphasis should be on offensive line not running backs. i don’t care how great the rb is he isn’t going anywhere without a very good o line. just my 2 bits.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:01 pm

Oakwood

UGA as of right now does not have a next level back.

chipper

January 3rd, 2012
9:02 pm

Kool-aid is techie.

BulldogsRock

January 3rd, 2012
9:04 pm

Not surprised with 2nd half collapse. Next year????? Maybe Fresh & Sophs will grow (up).

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:05 pm

I can see how much we need IC.Hope he gets in shape this time before the season starts.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:05 pm

Gary Busey is on Wife swap and he just said he and his wife have been together 31 life times and they gave birth to the Emperor Constantine. Dude is a N.U.T. nut.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:06 pm

Chipper

He is ok though

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:07 pm

Dang Samuel Jackson is the highest paid actor of all time?Dude has made over a billion dollars…friggin unbelievable!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:07 pm

3rd and 13 & 3rd and 15 VT makes both of them. DAMN. So it is not just against TECH VT can get 3rd downs conversions.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:08 pm

BIGBOY

UGA needs to sign 3 backs this year hoping at least two is ready to play.

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:10 pm

48 I’m with you but considering how we like to reward our seniors,,,what happens with C.Thomas and R.Samuel?

I am done with this UGA regime

January 3rd, 2012
9:10 pm

UGA man, class of 71 & 73, married to class of 73 UGA coed with UGA kids, sisters, family for many, many years all UGA alumni.

Sick and tired, we are of the CMR era of goofy teams, laden with talent only to BLOW huge leads. I am done with Richt. He does not have that FIRE IN THE BELLY FOLKS.

DO NOT EXTEND HIS CONTRACT UNTIL HE WINS THE SEC CG AND BEYOND> if he does, then FINE >>>>>>>>….. two more years but PAY CTG tons of bread. W.O CTG, UGA is awful again. Had enough.

Go Dogs ……………..one day. I am getting old, they had better hurry up.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:11 pm

Who has ever opened a bag of lays and the chips come out like that?

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:15 pm

BIGBOY

I would love to see Richard move to fullback. That spot was a weakness this year for us.
With KM now and if we could pick up TG and MD.
Carolton would drop in the depth chart if the freshman backs pick up on blocking schemes.

S.E.C.

January 3rd, 2012
9:15 pm

THANKS FOR THE EMBARASSMENT

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:16 pm

S.E.C you are welcome.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:18 pm

48. Can kick!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:18 pm

VT needs to know you can’t live on FGs.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:19 pm

I thought 48 could DRIVE!

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:20 pm

We can do both! Lol

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:26 pm

BIGBOY

We all know Richt and Bobo play conservative, you can’t play conservative without a run game.
(auburn game it worked)
That’s what killed us this last game had no running game to run the clock, point the finger at the backs and the O line.

Walk for a moment in AD McGarity's Weejuns

January 3rd, 2012
9:27 pm

Prior to the Outback Bowl, AD Greg Mcgarity probably thought that his mind was ALL made up, with having worked out the over all blueprint in CMR’s HUGE NEW DEAl.

Now? His fax is humming, his cell is clanging, while he jogs, or his desk phone chimes away or his PC is in flames with all of the ALUMNI HATE MAIL on CMR and BOBO and Murray and that TG&GHG Walsh. What a disater that FG kicker has been, He is the Crown Priince of CHOKE. He has choke all over his face when he strides onto the field and the world sees it.

McGarity must re think his new deal with CMR, especially IF CTG were to leave. WOW!! IF HE PROVIDES CMR with a new deal, the wealthy alumni will go beserko.

Richt can not, does not deserve ANY new contract until he wins BIG in 2012 with the SEC CG and beyond. Richt already has a fat contract ……………..so make him work for it. He still has two years ………………how about back to back SEC CG wins?? Huh??? Why not???

I am done with richt’s very mediocre time at UGA. We need NEW BLOOD to be able to move forward, gang.

McGarity needs to totally RETHINK this contract deal.

UGA grad

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:31 pm

Bad Play call on 4th and 1. Is Bobo calling the plays now for VT?

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:31 pm

Richt’s very mediocre time at UGA?LOL.. where were you during the 17 years before he got here?You must be a Tech imposter….LOL

Pago Pago DAWG

January 3rd, 2012
9:32 pm

The DAWGS don’t want VT/Okie State/Stanford/Auburn/Toledo/Buffalo.

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:35 pm

48 You are correct…we have to find a couple of stud backs….I didn’t care for CMR’s comments about Samuel NOT moving to fullback…but we’ll see what happens after spring ball..I really hope we find a way for Samuel to get on the field…great kid

smart dawg

January 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

In the pregame radio show, I think it was Eric Zeier who was talking about the backs. He said everyone was at full strength, everyone was healthy, everyone was rested and ready. What happened?

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

BIG BOY

I like Richard too. He is from my home town. I’m a homer!
Lol

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

Stupid on the PUNT block attempt.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:39 pm

Smart dawg

Lol
We did not have a back that I saw.
Boo ran hard until he got hurt.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:40 pm

smart dawg what happened was the Actual Football Game started not the Talking about the game.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

I will say this about Crowell he is not a ME type guy.

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

I see the big 10 teams aren’t as slow as they used to be…Meyer going to OSU is going to make it interesting

Bill Lee

January 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

Why don’t the Dawgs have a “Wildcat” formation? Why don’t they have a quarterback option pitch? What happened to tailback U? Using a cornerback at tailback in the last game of the season, a bowl game? Why are the Dawgs so predictable? Why would any all American high school running back want to go to UGA? Is it the money???

Still@theKool-aidBAR

January 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

How the Hell didn’t they sack him and then how is it not intercepted?

smart dawg

January 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

VT always seems to fall victim to plays like that. Beamer comes close, but something gets in his way.

Dawg48

January 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

Fighting Harvey Updyks 36 GT 22

BIGBOY

January 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

Crowell has to be hurt more than they let on IMO.

TripDawg

January 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

You only get so many chances in big games. When Walsh missed the 1st FG, you knew we were done. Very painful to watch. And yes, Bobo is in way over his head. No need to prolong the agony. He needs to go now.

A new hippy light bulb just went off

January 3rd, 2012
9:47 pm

Fire Richt and Bobo AND R. back coach Willie McClendon Jr. and replace them with CTG and allow him to bring in some talent from the NFL to run the show. Recruiting ought to surge, as all of the kids think that they are future NFL stars.

Richt cannot get it done. I have had enough as a UGA alumnus. Rid the program of CMR and MOVE FORWARD with CTG and some NFLguys.

Go Dogs.