Richt got one thing right: Dogs’ performance against the Gamecocks was ‘embarrassing’

The Dogs dared Connor Shaw to throw deep on them, and he did just that. (Bob Andres / AJC)

The Dogs dared Connor Shaw to throw deep on them, and he did just that. (Bob Andres / AJC)

If you had deliberately set out to script a completely nightmarish first quarter for Georgia against South Carolina, where just about everything went wrong for Mark Richt’s Bulldogs, you couldn’t have come up with anything more demoralizing for the Bulldog Nation than what transpired Saturday night in Columbia.

It was a complete failure on the part of Georgia’s defense, offense and special teams right from the get-go, with the first quarter being the worst a Richt team has looked since the infamous “Blackout” loss to Alabama in 2008.

On the first series of the game, Todd Grantham’s defense loaded the box to try and slow Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore, who had feasted on the Dawgs the past two years, daring Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw to use his arm and go deep to beat them. Which he proceeded to do on the second offensive play of the game, hitting Damiere Byrd on a 42-yard pass on which Bacarri Rambo went for and missed the interception.

Shortly after that Shaw found Bruce Ellington wide open in the Georgia end zone and the Cocks were up 7-0.

Georgia got a great kickoff return from Malcolm Mitchell, helped by a flag against South Carolina, but hopes that the Dogs could keep up with the Gamecocks fizzled on Georgia’s third offensive play as an Aaron Murray pass was deflected (which would turn out to be a frequent occurrence on this night) and intercepted. That turnover led to the Gamecocks scoring a second touchdown — on another play on which Georgia’s suspect pass coverage again left a receiver uncovered.

Then it was time for the Bulldogs’ special team collapse of the night, with a punt returned all the way by the Gamecocks’ Ace Sanders for a touchdown.

So, with less than 10 minutes having elapsed in the first quarter, South Carolina was already up 21-0.

The second quarter saw Georgia briefly threaten to get back into the contest when the Dawgs put together their one sustained drive of the half, finally lining up first and goal inside the Carolina 10 thanks to a great catch by Mitchell.

First down saw Todd Gurley bull his way to the Carolina 2.

Then Mike Bobo decided he wanted to try and score in the most conservative (and predictable) way possible and called another Gurley run into the line that gained a mere yard.

On third down, Murray tried to force a dangerous pass that fell incomplete. Rather than take 3 points, Georgia rightly decided to go for it on fourth down, but for some reason Murray threw a pass in front of the goal line rather than to one of his receivers in the end zone and ended up short — and with no points to show for an 80-yard, 15-play effort.

The game was essentially over at that point, although the second half saw the Gamecocks add a couple more touchdowns and give up one in garbage time as a determined Boo Malcome ran hard against Carolina’s second-string defense to avert a shutout.

The South Carolina defense had its way with Aaron Murray most of the night. (Bob Andres / AJC)

The South Carolina defense had its way with Aaron Murray most of the night. (Bob Andres / AJC)

The main storyline of the evening was this: The Gamecocks’ defensive line dominated the Dogs’ offensive front all night, shutting down the “Gurshall” running attack and constantly harassing Murray, who had one of his shakiest performances in quite some time.

And while Grantham’s defense eventually slowed down the Carolina juggernaut a bit, there was no denying that early on they looked absolutely clueless as Shaw directed the Gamecocks’ offense just about perfectly.

So, once again, a Richt team that had soared into the Top 5 by beating lesser nonconference and midlevel SEC opponents came a cropper when it faced a good team.

It was a performance so flat and lifeless that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit termed it “shocking.”

Actually, not so shocking for anyone who’s watched Richt teams in recent years repeatedly show up looking unprepared and unmotivated whenever they face a Top 10 opponent.

As the Georgia head coach himself put it after the game, it was bad enough that the Dogs lost, but “the way we lost hurts and is embarrassing as well.”

The emphasis there should be on embarrassing.

Feel free to share your own views on Georgia’s complete failure in Columbia.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

420 comments Add your comment

dogfan

October 7th, 2012
2:16 pm

Return to Glory

October 7th, 2012
2:19 pm

Let the excuses begin, bottom line… unprepared in all three phases of the game and out coached, what a joke.

GatorsWaiting

October 7th, 2012
2:22 pm

Dawg fans, you’ve all got it pretty much right: You are loaded with talent and your coaching staff is only adequate.

The true juniors on the Gators now were pat of the number one recruiting class in the nation, but that didn’t matter until they bulked up, bought into the work ethic, were coached in technique, and they paid attention to a coaching staff that pays attention to the smallest details.

BULLDAWG BILL

October 7th, 2012
2:27 pm

While Aaron Murray is a great young man and has a good arm and quick feet, he is TOO SHORT to play QB in the SEC. Too many of his passes get deflected and cost us points and turn overs.

UGA fan

October 7th, 2012
2:29 pm

we need to hire Greg Shiano from Tampa Bay!

dogfan

October 7th, 2012
2:30 pm

Richt press statement
“Whether you lose by 28 or you lose in overtime it’s one loss. When it comes to rankings and things like that you can take a pretty good whipping, a pretty good beating in the polls. But when it comes to SEC play you’ve got one loss. Does that mean the season’s over for Georgia? No, we still have an opportunity to keep fighting and keep playing better and winning. And if we’re able to do that we have a chance to get back to Atlanta. We’re definitely not giving up on that thought.”
Key Points:
1. Embarrassing your employer (UGA) and all of the fans is ok it is only one loss.
2. I have no intention of ever competing for a BCS championship because one loss is OK.
3. The rest of our schedule except for Florida is easy so I should be able to keep my Job.
4. The only way I am going to Atlanta is if Bobo drives me that is if he can figure out how to get there.

SOUTHGADAWGG88

October 7th, 2012
2:39 pm

We are never going to win anything expecting to score a bunch of points on everybody.You can win a game 7-6 or 3-0.The D is not good,and this is the 3rd year.

LogicalUS

October 7th, 2012
2:40 pm

Any chance to move the game back to September??

Glory between the Hedges

October 7th, 2012
2:45 pm

To put things into perspective, Vandy should of beat SC. That’s how unprepared we were last night. Look SC is a good team, not great. I would not be surprised if they lost their next two. It just had a big game stamp on it. For some reason we just can’t do anything in big games anymore. Our goal at Georgia is to win national championships. Not winning big games means its never going to happen with Richt. Time to find the right guy that can do something with all this talent.

GB's Hamburgers

October 7th, 2012
2:50 pm

Football 101. You slow defensive penetation by pitchouts and screens. The one pitchout we ran went for 15 yards — then it was abandoned. There were no screens. Richt’s/Bobo’s offensive scheme actually works against our defense. Too many low percentage long passes put is in “long” situations, works against establishing an offensive rhythm and keeps the defense on the field. We play a game as separate units — the UGA offense and the UGA defense, not as a team.

Duluth Dawg 12

October 7th, 2012
3:21 pm

I just want to say a few things about the game;

1) That was the worst job I have seen getting a team ready for a big game in my 43 years on this planet.
2) There was absolutely no adjustments made by Bobo or Grantham to counter USC’s scheme.
3) USC coaching staff totally outcoached the UGA staff.

I put this loss squarely on the shoulders of the UGA coaches. A change needs to be made ASAP, CMR cannot win a big game or beat quality opponents even though he has equal or better talent. No excuse for this!

icedawg

October 7th, 2012
3:30 pm

Humiliating. Simply humiliating. A new low in Dawg lore. Supposedly so much talent and this is the best that they could do? Another year of mediocrity. Spurrier is a superior coach to Richt and his predecessors, too.

OldFan

October 7th, 2012
3:36 pm

Give it up, folks, these coaches aren’t going anywhere. We’ll win our customary 8/9 games against poor teams, maybe back into a division championship, then get whipped badly by good teams in the championship game and the bowl game. This has been and will continue to be UGA football. Players will still go to the NFL. Fans will still party. The program will still make money. Good is good enough. We have no reason to expect excellence. So quit your whining.

ARdawg

October 7th, 2012
3:43 pm

‘SSIgator

October 7th, 2012
12:59 pm

ARdawg
October 4th, 2012
2:31 pm
A good defense is held in check and on their heels against a balanced attack. When both run and passing game are effective with a dual threat QB, even great defenses are immobilized to some extent. Murray plays his game and he’s very capable, we win this one cruising in the 4th qtr.
_________________

Damn, that KoolAid is powerful stuff’

Disturbed, pathetic and lonely is the person who hangs around on a fan blog of a college team that isn’t even his team to cut, save and later repost pregame statements in this fashion. Behavior that that would equate to pulling the wings off of birds or other creatures, killing a homeless cat or shooting the neighbors dog. Just because you can. Very tasteless and indicative of your complete lack of class SSI

#1 Dog fan

October 7th, 2012
4:00 pm

As christian man myself i can’t with a good conscious call for CMR’s firing. I think he is good man and through prayer of the Bulldog nation we can help him overcome his shortcomings to get us to that elite. Come on guys hang in there…we don’t want to start over when we see the finish line!

jomps

October 7th, 2012
4:18 pm

Two simple words…Dogs suck!!!!

Macclenny_dawg

October 7th, 2012
4:20 pm

#1 Dog fan being a christian myself i see the finish line and its time 4 him to go!!!

2001 24-10 loss to Florida
2002 20-13 loss to Florida
2003 sec championship loss 34-13 to Lsu
2004 24-6 Loss @ Auburn
2005 38-35 loss sugar bowl to west virginia got down by 28 in the game
2006 51-33 loss to Tennesee home and losses to Vandy, Fl, Kentucky
2007 35-14 loss @ Tenn bad loss cost us chance at title just because of bad loss
2008 41-30 blackout loss to Ala. worse than score
2009 45-19 loss to Tenn and 41-17 loss to Fla
2010 losses to Usc, Ark, Miss st, Colorado, Auburn, And Ucf
2011 Boise state loss to open season and killed by Lsu in sec champ game
2012 35-7 @ Usc
I have had all the koolaid Richt has given and i have had all i can stand. He was asked by Mcgarity what he needed and was given it. He said he had more time to study the cutting edge of football. I guess hand it off three times up the middle is cutting edge. Richt can lead my Sunday school class but not MY TEAM!!!

Bulldog Born & Bred

October 7th, 2012
4:21 pm

Kirk Herbstreet hit it on the nose this was an embarassment to the bulldog nation

hornblowermg

October 7th, 2012
4:37 pm

richt should be ashamed of himself and all of his coaches. unprepared and humiliatingly outcoached the whole night.

Bigboy

October 7th, 2012
4:38 pm

Hate to break to some of you guys, but it doesn’t matter who the HC at UGA is,as long as we operate under certain restrictions in Recruiting and player discipline..we are only going to be good not great.A lot of these big name coaches out there want to run their own show and wont be as interested in UGA as you might think.Say what you will about principle,name a SEC team that has won the SEC with the same drug policies,oversigning stance, vague “character” admission denials as UGA.

Dawg? Gone

October 7th, 2012
4:40 pm

You know something is wrong when everyone says you are a contender because you have an easy schedule….especially when you’re recently winless against highly ranked opponents and when, despite the easy schedule, you still have to play USC and FLA. We were over-ranked again from the beginning this year, but I’m just glad that this year the fans and media weren’t braying about a NC so loudly.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 7th, 2012
4:42 pm

I really would like to hear from:

Columbus

Altamaha Dawg

Truth?

Lobosolo

Hopefully they made it back from the Jedi Kool-aid temple to give us some more insightful reasons as to how great our coaching staff is

DAWG66

October 7th, 2012
4:43 pm

TALL FAST D LINE, SHORT ELUSIVE QB=PLAY ACTION
EXCELLENT D JAMMING BOX & JAMMING RECIEVERS=SAME ANSWER
MURRAY HAD ONE TOO LITTLE TOO LATE FOR DECENT GAIN. SLOW TO NO ADJUSTMENT TO COVERAGE. S_ _ _

Vampire Bill

October 7th, 2012
4:43 pm

I’ve been asking this question for a long time…. How long are we going to accept 40-10 losses to the good teams? When will the dawgs be legitimate contenders for a national championship? That’s the only goal. We’ve got the players, the alumni and all the hope in the world. All we need is a coach.

Dawg? Gone

October 7th, 2012
4:47 pm

Contrary to some of my fellow Dawg fans, I DON’T think we are at a crossroads now with Richt…..I think we already made that decision some time ago. The university, powerful alumni, and fans (as evidenced by our continued support) have already decided that we’ll settle for consistent 10-win seasons, beating Tech, discipline cases, and only occasionally seriously challenging for a division or SEC championship as long as we can keep our morally and ethically superior coach (who does represent us and the university well).

Bigboy

October 7th, 2012
4:52 pm

Mark Richt plays the hand he is dealt.He is not the one calling the shots on some of these policies,neither is the AD.

hornblowermg

October 7th, 2012
4:54 pm

the saddest part is that there is not an available coach out there with the ability or attitude to take us to where we want to be and have never achieved even when dooley (vince, not barbara) was in charge.

CMR's cool seat

October 7th, 2012
4:55 pm

The venerable Richt is only waiting for his miracle to happen so he can achieve sainthood……of course right now a miracle would be simply defeating a highly-ranked team.

PTCDAWG

October 7th, 2012
4:55 pm

Murray looked like a Deer in the headlites, Shaw looked like he would take a bullet for Spurrier.
Men against Boys The completely prepared(Coaches, Players & Fans) against the completely unprepared I have been a dawg since i was 6 (1940) and i have never heard an announcer have to apologize for the play of a team! And this played out on national TV. you know CBS would love to get us off for the Florida game. there is only one answer for this total and complete collapse

CMR's cool seat

October 7th, 2012
4:56 pm

There’s always Petrino…..and maybe lure away Satan from Alabama….I mean Saban…..

CMR's cool seat

October 7th, 2012
4:57 pm

Kirby’s waiting…….

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 7th, 2012
4:58 pm

Im really glad we signed this coaching staff to a 3 year contract extension

I mean I just love losing to ranked teams with NFL players on the field

CMR's cool seat

October 7th, 2012
4:58 pm

Keeping Richt is the safe call, and that’s what UGA has been about since the Kemp scandal.

Bigboy

October 7th, 2012
4:59 pm

Saban wouldn’t have the power he has at Bama at UGA.That why guys of his ilk wont come here.

monty

October 7th, 2012
4:59 pm

We’ll have another top 10 recruiting class next winter and hope will spring eternal. The koolaide will taste great again next spring. If I were CMR I would start Mason the next 2 years. Bench Murray. He always finds a way to give the other team the ball. To short to throw passes over the middle over 6;8′ linemen.

Always Proud Dawg

October 7th, 2012
5:01 pm

Haven’t read all the postings but agree that the entire coaching staff should be fired at the end of the season. With that said, who’s the best HC candidate and why?
Jon Gruden?
Kirby Smart?

FRED Russo

October 7th, 2012
5:02 pm

CMR please go away. You have made enoughCMR please go away you have earned money to live comfortably the rest of your life. Please let the Georgia program come back to it’s once greatness.By You staying one more game is a great disservice to the program. I was at the game last night it was so sad for me as a dawg fan. The tickets cost me hundreds and untold embracement walking through the South Carolina fans. You may or not have been a good coach at one time but that time has passed so please have some respect for yourself and just go away please!t money to live comfor

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 7th, 2012
5:07 pm

Thoughts on Gary Patterson?

How about $6 million to Chris Peterson maybe that would change his mind

FRED Russo

October 7th, 2012
5:07 pm

CMR please go away you have earned money to live comfortably the rest of your life. Please let the Georgia program come back to it’s once greatness.By You staying one more game is a great disservice to the program. I was at the game last night it was so sad for me as a dawg fan. The tickets cost me hundreds and untold embracement walking through the South Carolina fans. You may or not have been a good coach at one time but that time has passed so please have some respect for yourself and just go away please!

Always Proud Dawg

October 7th, 2012
5:08 pm

PTC: “i have never heard an announcer have to apologize for the play of a team! And this played out on national TV. you know CBS would love to get us off for the Florida game. there is only one answer for this total and complete collapse.”

I’ve never heard announcers criticize a team like that either. It was just so obvious that they couldn’t avoid commenting on it. C’mon, when the announcers ream the team a new one, it’s time for wholesale changes.

Richt & Co. should resign at the end of the season.

DawgByte

October 7th, 2012
5:17 pm

Our head coach looks like he’s on six quarts of lithium and our fan base is in a coma when they come to Sanford Stadium. Our entire program is like being in a grave yard and our fans are playing the part of zombies.

Columbia was rocking last night… if we should half that amount of enthusiasm for our team, maybe they’d get off their arse and play harder. Before we start throwing stones at the players and coaches, take a long look at yourself and how you support this program you supposedly love!

UnavoidableReality

October 7th, 2012
5:33 pm

Go back and look at Mark Richt’s successes at UGA and then look at what was happening at other programs when he achieved those successes. The sad truth is that Richt has never beaten a powerful team during an up year. He only backed into his two SEC championships when other programs were down. And even then, he did not sweep his own division (he lost to UF both times).

Great guy. Strong recruiter. Adequate coach. Lousy executive.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 7th, 2012
5:34 pm

DawgByte

Go pull for Vandy or KY

im tired of hearing from fans like you wanting to foot blame on the UGA fans

People have had enough with losing

Here’s a reminder

The UGA fanbase came wearing black against Alabama in 2008

How did the coaching staff reward the fanbase; yea a 31-0 beat down by halftime just like last night

Under the influence of Kool aid

October 7th, 2012
5:36 pm

Mark Richt is a great coach
Mike Bobo is an offensive genius
Rodney Garner is the best recruiter in the nation
The offensive line just had a bad game
Ditto for the DL
Same for DB’s
Aaron Murray has plenty of height to be a great SEC QB
The receivers were just a little intimidated
Todd Grantham is underrated

SSIgator

October 7th, 2012
5:36 pm

DawgByte -

“Before we start throwing stones at the players and coaches, take a long look at yourself and how you support this program you supposedly love!”
________________

What!? So now the fans are responsible for what should be up to the coaches and the players to take care of and control? You are kidding, right? Wow, talk about grabbing for straws.

UnavoidableReality

October 7th, 2012
5:37 pm

And nonexistent motivator.

hornblowermg

October 7th, 2012
5:39 pm

SorrySuckingImmature gator….
tried to reply sooner, but i couldn’t spell “puke”. turns out that it was as simple as you. why don’t you write someting proactive, original, instead of only reacting to what adult bloggers have been writing about our own school on our on blog? are you trying to be funny? Sinefield already has that job. i just want to wait and see if you show up on this blog if UGa beats florida. even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, and it could very well happen. i’m betting that you will be as nervous as those georgia receivers trying to run Michael Bennett’s routes in his absence.

Now sobered up

October 7th, 2012
5:40 pm

Richt is a terrible coach
Bobo couldn’t find his way out of a phone booth
Garner is useless
The OL is overmatched against decent opponents
Ditto for DL
And DB’s
Receivers were far more worried about avoiding hits than catching the ball
Todd Grantham has been exposed.

SSIgator

October 7th, 2012
5:42 pm

ARdawg -

I know it must be tough when your own words come back around and bite you in the rear. Sorry if the reality hurts. Next time – think before you post.

Festus

October 7th, 2012
5:42 pm

What can Mark Richt teach Steve Spurrier? How to be a perfect gentleman, how to run a squeaky clean program, how to be an inspiration to the youth, and how to sell over priced trucks.

What can Steve Spurrier teach Mark Richt? How to coach.