Archive for October, 2012

Fan talk: Is Georgia’s defense underperforming or overrated?

The Georgia defense fails to stop Connor Shaw running for another first down. (Bob Andres / AJC)

The Georgia defense fails to stop Connor Shaw running for another first down. (Bob Andres / AJC)

Georgia’s defense, which has failed to live up to preseason expectations, came in for quite a bit of criticism in this week’s Junkyard Mail. Let’s check out a sampling of what some fans are thinking. …

James Colvin writes: I’ve read what [Todd] Grantham and the players have said, but it boils down to this: There isn’t a team that has better personnel than UGA on defense this year. The analysts know this, Grantham knows it, all the players know it. All of these guys will be playing on Sunday next year or the year after. [But] we have not had a team defensive effort except Vandy. During the USC game, I recall seeing safeties not trusting the front seven to get the stop and getting torched on two long pass plays. Our ridiculously talented individual defenders have to play as a TEAM, and when they do, nobody can move against them.

And Jeremiah Johnson writes: I don’t want to blame the …

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Bulldog Nation struggles with after-effects of big loss

Let's keep the emotional connection between UGA fans and players a healthy one. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Let's keep the emotional connection between UGA fans and players a healthy one. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

As we’ve already discussed, the Bulldogs’ face plant on national television Saturday night was plenty embarrassing by itself, but that was nothing compared with the classless display of pique that transpired later that night at the Athens home of some team members.

As was first revealed in a Twitter posting by linebacker Christian Robinson, the house he shares with quarterback Aaron Murray and several other players was egged and rolled with toilet paper after the blowout loss to South Carolina.

The timing couldn’t have been worse for Murray, who learned the day after the game that his father would have to have cancer surgery, part of what he described as “probably the worst 12 hours of my life.”

While the idiots responsible for the vandalism no doubt were unaware of the situation with Murray’s father at the time they were engaged in their childish act, the two bits of news …

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Bulldog Nation wonders: Where do we go from here?

Was Georgia's humiliation by South Carolina more than just one loss? (Bob Andres / AJC)

Was Georgia's humiliation by South Carolina more than just one loss? (Bob Andres / AJC)

So, how do the Georgia Bulldogs and their fans bounce back from the debacle in Columbia?

Saturday night, Mark Richt started making his case for shrugging off this disappointment and looking ahead when he said that “whether you lose by 28 or lose in overtime, it counts as one loss.”

True. But sometimes a loss is more than just a loss. This one hurt in a lot more ways than just the won-loss record. Richt’s team looked so bad that even the happy-talk ESPN announcers ripped into them for their disappointing showing in the nationally televised contest. I’ve no idea whether that sort of thing hurts in recruiting, but you’ve got to figure it’s certainly not helpful.

Plus, the manner in which the Dawgs lost and the fact that they once again failed when faced with a ranked opponent has left the UGA fan base pretty demoralized.

That malaise lasting the rest of this season and translating into more …

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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 …

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Fan talk: Dawgs’ air game, fourth-quarter offensive doldrums, spotty defense and more!

How will the loss of Michael Bennett affect Georgia's passing attack? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

How will the loss of Michael Bennett affect Georgia's passing attack? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Let’s get straight to some Junkyard Mail and open up with some letters concerning Georgia’s passing attack. …

A Horrible Dawg in Savannah writes: Bill, No one could be happy to lose [Michael] Bennett. He has the surest hands of all the receivers and plays with a chip on his shoulder that produces in the run game with blocks that may go unnoticed. However, if there is a silver lining, it may be that Murray will not have the safety net of Bennett and will have to throw the ball where the coverage dictates. It seemed to me that Murray was absolutely forcing the ball to Bennett at the end of the Tennessee game that (along with the predictable run calls) resulted in a couple of stalled drives.

When you’ve got a receiver as sure-handed and tough as Bennett, who can blame a quarterback for looking his way a little too often? But overall Murray has done a fine job this season spreading the …

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Georgia-South Carolina likely to be another nailbiter

Georgia faces another dual-threat quarterback in Connor Shaw. (Associated Press)

Georgia faces another dual-threat quarterback in Connor Shaw. (Associated Press)

Back in the offseason, a lot of fans on both sides of the Georgia-South Carolina rivalry fantasized about how great it would be if the two teams met undefeated in their new midseason slot on the schedule. Saturday, we get our wish in a nationally televised game that will mark the first time in the history of the series that both teams are ranked in the top 10.

Dawgs fans are anxious that Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks not get a third consecutive win in the SEC showdown and would love nothing better than to see Mark Richt’s team in the driver’s seat in the SEC East. But they also recognize that while both teams still have the Florida Gators to deal with, South Carolina also must face LSU.

As Spurrier noted this week, “This isn’t the end of the year no matter what happens, win, lose or draw.”

In other words, the same scenario that gave the division title to the Dawgs last year, despite a loss to the …

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