A bad day all-round for Georgia’s Bulldogs

Aaron Murray was just one of numerous Bulldogs who had a bad day Saturday against Vandy. (Associaed Press)

Aaron Murray was just one of numerous Bulldogs who had a bad day Saturday against Vandy. (Associaed Press)

The wheels officially came off a once-promising season for Georgia Saturday in Nashville on a day when the Bulldogs failed in just about every facet of the game.

You know the old saw about it being “a team loss”? This is one game where that isn’t just a way of deflecting blame from one or two players. Just about everyone on both sides of the ball plus the coaching staff was to blame in this devastating loss, which probably eliminated Georgia from any chance for another SEC East title.

Running down the Dogs’ sorry performance against the Commodores, we find a familiar litany of problems:

  • Three more special teams meltdowns — including a allowing a fake field goal to turn into a touchdown, a turnover on a fumbled punt reception, and yet another bad snap that went over the punter’s head — led to Vandy points.
  • Damian Swann had another mostly terrible day, getting burned on long passes and, worst of all, mishandling the fumbled punt. He did have one pass breakup late in the game, but in general the junior cornerback has become a liability whenever he’s on the field.
  • With the Vandy defense exerting constant pressure, the offensive line and Aaron Murray both played poorly, with the Dogs basically having no downfield passing game (the longest Georgia pass play for the day went 17 yards and that was on a screen), receivers dropping too many of Murray’s short passes when they weren’t off-target, and Georgia forced to rely in the end on a freshman back who had a key fumble for the second week in a row.
  • Reverting to the worst excesses of the days when fans were calling for his head, Mike Bobo went all ultra-conservative, culminating in one of his worst third-down calls ever with yet another run up the middle stuffed when the game was on the line. (Georgia was a miserable four out of 14 on third down Saturday.)
  • Once again, the defense couldn’t handle an offense being run by a backup quarterback. Vandy scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
  • On this day the even the officiating went badly against Georgia, with two questionable targeting calls, one of which saw Ray Drew, the Dogs’ best defensive player, ejected from the game in the first half.
  • And in an already injury-plagued season, the final play of the game, which resulted in an interception, saw one of Georgia’s few remaining pass-catching threats, Chris Conley, left crumpled on the field.

Am I forgetting anything that went wrong? Probably. It was that terrible a day for the Bulldogs.

What went right? Well, freshman Shaq Wiggins, who shows signs of being a future star, made a great play by successfully anticipating a screen pass and making an interception in the Vandy backfield that he returned for a touchdown.

And that’s about it for highlights.

So what we end up with is a season that saw two big wins over Top 10 teams and talk of a possible shot at the national championship disintegrating amid too many injuries, a vulnerable young defense that hasn’t gotten any better, and continued ineptitude on special teams.

Looks like Georgia and Florida, which lost to sudden juggernaut Missouri Saturday, might be playing for a berth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl two weeks from now in Jacksonville.

Got something you want to discuss concerning the Dawgs? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

826 comments Add your comment

Hairy Dawg

October 19th, 2013
3:59 pm

The bad players really dumpified there pants today. It time to ship some out and call up better players. Im disgusted that they think that Dawg football. We gives them everything in Athens and then they play like that for Coach Richt and fans. Fumbling, interceptions, penaltys, stinky blocking and tackling. It like they want to all be shipped out to call up hungry real mens from Hargraves.

Hairy Dawg

October 19th, 2013
4:08 pm

The only good news is Gaytors lost to for Judas Muschump headed to a Zookster style firing. Serve him right for traitoring on Dawgs to gets kicked off bus like Lame Kitten.

But the bigger problem is Dawgs went Nash and loss was like eating a spoonful a dump. And now we got two weeks before gets bad taste from mouth by beating down Gaytors in Jax. But first we got to send some stinky players out and bring up real player mens that want to play for red and black and not mess up on field.

GoDawgs

October 19th, 2013
4:08 pm

Think we’re going to end up in the Music City Bowl if they don’t pick Vandy instead…

fan

October 19th, 2013
4:09 pm

pitiful defense. lucky USC lost also. If they beat Mizz (probably ) a bigger mess.

Sad Dawgs

October 19th, 2013
4:09 pm

They’re not playing with any heart. No pride on defense. Worst UGA defense I’ve ever seen. Evidently I guess there is quit in THESE dawgs. Sad really. Thank God the playoff system is coming, it’s the only way a Richt-led team will ever have a chance at winning a championship.

Champions find a way despite everything. This is not a team or a staff of champions. Not sure they ever will be.

SBC Pastor

October 19th, 2013
4:09 pm

We got beat all the way around today, no two ways about it. The Defense is not coming together like it needs to, our O-line is not doing its job, and receivers are dropping too many passes. Oh, and the Special Teams needs to get it together.

dougmo2

October 19th, 2013
4:14 pm

Did Coach Granthem try to pick another fight?

fan

October 19th, 2013
4:14 pm

also murray does not have it. it is time to put mason if for experience for next year. but NOOOOO! murray all records and no championships. to be fair grantham bites. look a t year stats

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
4:15 pm

Kool-aid excuses in 3…..2……..1

Time to Change

October 19th, 2013
4:15 pm

It is time to bench the starters and play the 2nd & 3rd strings to let the starters know it is an honor to wear a “G” and represent the University of Georgia. They need to play like champions to honor their school, coaches and the fans that cheer for them.

benny hodges

October 19th, 2013
4:18 pm

You have to qualify for a bowl game ; I don’t see that happening !!!!!!

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
4:19 pm

I agree

2nd and 3 rd stringers need to play an entire half

Mason needs an entire half the rest of the season

I dont want to hear from the kool-aiders next year about no one had experience

The season is over its time to play everyone

4Dawgs

October 19th, 2013
4:20 pm

CMR is a great person, but it is time for the entire staff to go. I am a lifelong UGA Fan, Alum, Donor and love UGA, but the players and fans deserve better. If most of us went to work and made or supervised the same mistakes over and over, would we keep our job? I feel the program is basically like it was in the Goff and Donnan years. A UGA coach should never lose to Vandy, but twice is unacceptable. There is no sense of urgency. Why was Swann back there anyway? He has shown he can’t handle punts. If either snapper keeps snapping a little high, why does the punter not just take two steps back? Why did I realize there was a good chance for a fake field goal, but the coaching staff does not? Why is the offense so predictable? Where was Rumph?……Sorry to be negative, but I love my school and must vent some way.

Hmmmmm

October 19th, 2013
4:21 pm

Well. I don’t think they quit, but it is hard to believe this is the same team from September. The season is not a total loss if we beat FLA. They looked even worse than us.

Wait Tell Next Year

October 19th, 2013
4:21 pm

Here we go “Wait tell next Year” How many times has this been said over 30 years?? We are the laughing at team of the SEC. Oh wait, the nation. It will never change. Need new coaches in all areas. But we all know it will never happen until we go 2 and 10 for 2 seasons in a row. Than and maybe than it will happen. Oh wait we are UGA so that is not a sure thing.

Castle Pines Canine

October 19th, 2013
4:23 pm

I am a CMR Kool Aid drinker. This is the worst coached team we have had since the Jaspar Sanks, Q Carter days. There is no leadership on either line. The defense, has shown some improvement. Nobody wants to admit that, but they have. Fundamentals are lacking, Murray has reverted to his old self, walk on WR is afraid to catch the ball, Bobo has again reverted to ultraconservative play calling with the lead. I will say this much, the defense will hit somebody, they jumped a couple of routes today with success, and I don’t have any idea what is wrong with Damian Swann.

It was A LITTLE CURIOUS that in the first few minutes of all of the SEC TV games at noon, that each of the favorites had a player ejected for targeting. The SEC should target the ref in the back of the endzone that called the targeting on Ramik WIlson’s tackle. They should target him for a pink slip. Maybe McGarity needs to target a few of that staff for pink slips too! Kirby Smart will make a great head coach.

Hmmmmm

October 19th, 2013
4:23 pm

Just pointing out to those who want to sit the starters and use the backups…. they already are.

DiehardDogFan

October 19th, 2013
4:25 pm

I have UGA insanity. Every week I think things will be different and every week we make the same mistakes. Why won’t Richt hire a special teams coach. Why do we waste our timeouts early in the 2nd half. Why do we run the ball up the middle on 3rd down? So frustrating. I have to stop being too emotionally involved with this team. They constantly let me down. How do you blow a game like this. Completely blow it. I know the bad targeting calls sucked, but we still should have won. All we had to do was get a couple of first downs and we run the ball up the middle. Then we blow the punt. Will UGA be like this forever?

DawgVoiceofReason

October 19th, 2013
4:27 pm

These are some dark days, especially in contrast to the tremendous win over LSU. Seems like it was months ago.

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
4:27 pm

We just need Mizzou to lose 3 games and we’re back in business.

Be positive.

1wildhog

October 19th, 2013
4:28 pm

CMR is a great person, but it is time for the entire staff to go. I am a lifelong UGA Fan, Alum, Donor and love UGA, but the players and fans deserve better. If most of us went to work and made or supervised the same mistakes over and over, would we keep our job? I feel the program is basically like it was in the Goff and Donnan years. A UGA coach should never lose to Vandy, but twice is unacceptable. There is no sense of urgency. Why was Swann back there anyway? He has shown he can’t handle punts. If either snapper keeps snapping a little high, why does the punter not just take two steps back? Why did I realize there was a good chance for a fake field goal, but the coaching staff does not? Why is the offense so predictable? Where was Rumph?……Sorry to be negative, but I love my school and must vent some way.

Very well said, my feelings, time for some changes in Athens, tires of watching 3 runs up the middle

Army Dawg

October 19th, 2013
4:28 pm

Will any sports announcer/interviewer finally ask the real and tough questions to CMR about how he manages to squander such a vast amount of talent and not have championships to show for it? Or how about the multiple team implosions under his tenure? Psychology seems to be his enemy. Why?
Or how about Grantham…Is anyone going to point out that in all the years he has been trying to teach his pro style defense, no team has figured out how to play it? For every great play they make they give up 2 big plays. They consistently look lost and out of position…Why?
Then what about Bobo? I think some used to think the joke between all the D coordinators in the SEC being appreciative that CMR keeps Bobo because they never have to be surprised at what we will do was actually a joke but by now its clearly not a joke as much as it is a tell…
And I suppose while you were at it you could ask the Georgia special team coach why they are consistently horrible in all aspects of special teams but then there would be no one to ask because the Dawgs do not believe thats a necessary expenditure… Apparently the practice field is more important than having a team that knows what they are doing.
With the quantity of raw talent on the Georgia Bulldog football team for the last decade, I see no excuse for losing games like this but coaching (or lack of)… Do you?

VaDawg

October 19th, 2013
4:29 pm

We are playing the second and third stringers on offense and if the backups were any better than starting freshmen dont you think we would be playing them? That said Richt has brought this program as far as he is capable of bringing them and we need to think about a change. If Richt can’t make the coaching changes necessary like firing Grantham and hiring a Special Teams coach then Magarity needs to step up and clean house.Or we as a fan base need to accept that we are and will always be a second tier SEC team as long as Richt is coach
.

Dawg Fud

October 19th, 2013
4:30 pm

Time for McGarity to step up and be an AD. Require a ST coach. I know Jeremy Foley at UF would not stand for this garbage.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
4:30 pm

WE

DONT

NEED

A

SPECIAL

TEAMS

COACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
4:32 pm

I was physically sickened listening to Zeier and Scott Howard make pathetic excuses after the game. What have we become? Richt has made us weak and sad.

DawgVoiceofReason

October 19th, 2013
4:33 pm

The call against Ramik Wilson was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. What is going on with college football?

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
4:35 pm

dawgfan

come on now

we are in the middle of our tall glass of kool-aid

we dont need you to come on here and point out truthful facts

Olive Branch Dawg

October 19th, 2013
4:37 pm

We will always be just a good team as long as we have the current coaching staff!

SC Dog fan

October 19th, 2013
4:38 pm

This is like living that old movie with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, Bedazzled, where every wish you make goes wrong in unexpected ways. Now we’re winning some of the big games but losing the ones we’re expected to win. And the special teams issues are just so persistant I have no words. Ughh ….

Top Recruit

October 19th, 2013
4:38 pm

What is it that CMR and the AD do not understand about special teams. Here is a damn clue, 7-0 vs 4-3.
Care less about the targeting calls. 3 in SEC. Somebody in SEC office made a decision to go after 3 teams today and it worked. Turn the page.
Have a lot of injuries, but 4 first downs, 80 yards offense, 3 points, and 4 turnovers in 2nd half. Thats all on the coaches. No adjustments. No game plan. Your game plan is to run your slowest RB up the gut 3 downs for 3 and out. Stop. Find some other plays. Said after UT game they had better get an outside perimeter run game. Hard to do now but they should have worked on this last spring and fall camp. Did not. Use Green with some success, but shut it down. Why in hell did Bobo do that.
After this season get a triple threat QB. MIzzou and Vandy bring in a back QB and beat us. What does that say about their coahcing staff and game plan. They had it we did not.
Not a CMR “fire him” before, but I am now. Think this is one of the top 3 worst played game in UGA history!!
Time for the AD and the Athletic Board to force some changes in this staff. Too many coaches are way to secure with their salary.

Music City Dawg

October 19th, 2013
4:39 pm

Lousy loss. Seems team doesn’t have a tough bulldog mindset since the Mizzou loss. The injuries area huge issue. The special teams continue to be an issue as we all know. And the officiating in today’s game was horrible, absolutely horrible. But, I did see some signs of life in the defense who held it together pretty well until late in the 4th qtr. I don’t know why the offensive play calling was so lame – our longest pass was for 17 yards. 17 yards!!!! Hope during the weekend off before FLA allows our team to get a little healthier – maybe get Bennett, Gurley and Matthews back–and get our heads and hearts back in the game. Otherwise, we may not get to a bowl game. And its time to do what’s needful to get a really good special teams coach.

short memories

October 19th, 2013
4:40 pm

Don’t forget the special teams having to rekick an extra point because we didn’t have 11 men on the field along with the other special teams disasters. SPECIAL TEAMS ARE A DISASTER! Mark Richt is a proud and stubborn man who refuses to address this issue. He knows he is wrong but his heart is hardened to the facts. Get Kevin Butler off the radio and get his help. Or get a ball girl who can at least make sure 11 guys are on the field.

How many millions has this preacher man scammed UGA out of.

Army Dawg

October 19th, 2013
4:42 pm

I would have to agree with Olive Branch…Its not like we dont have over a decade of proof…
But I sure would love to be able to keep CMR as a recruiter… Hes a great person and truly cares about his players… Just wish we that along with someone who was a lot more Machiavellian.

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
4:43 pm

We’re making excuses about a loss to freaking VANDERBILT for krike’s sake. I don’t hear them crying like little girls about not having their QB for most of the game. Oh that’s right, they grew some stones and did what they had to do to win.

I’m sick of this weak crap. Richt is a joke.

gatordowneast

October 19th, 2013
4:45 pm

Sorry poods. Misery loves company. As bad as you guys may have played, you will likely still spank us. We have no offense for the fourth year in a row and our defense is beaten up. And our coach plays not to lose. Sound familiar?

juice

October 19th, 2013
4:46 pm

Vince McMahon for next commissioner of SEC. if they want to affect outcomes through officiating, at least we would have better story lines.
and delay of game against the Dawgs in Tennessee and obviously not a targeting foul against out punter. a joke. SEC = Professional wrestling

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
4:47 pm

There wasnt enough fans wearing Red when we played Clemson; Missouri; and Vandy

Thats why we lost those games

Music City Dawg

October 19th, 2013
4:50 pm

Castle Pines Canine – not sure Kirby Smart would be a good HC. Although he’s Bama’s defensive coordinator, I think Saban is still the brain with their defense. If Kirby moved to another school for a couple of years to really prove HE can coach and be successful and then come to UGA, it could be a good move.

RHall55

October 19th, 2013
4:51 pm

Like the Little River Band….”Time For A Cool Change”….bring Kirby in and get AL’s intensity to win….AL’s dominance on both sides of the line of scrimmage….Kirby will stop the pipeline of great in-state talent to out of state schools….will change the S&C program…will change out the “Player Development and Welfare Program”….and say “Bye Bye” to the many incompetent Coaches!!!! He would win a NC in 4-5 years!!!

Dawg Fud

October 19th, 2013
4:51 pm

Charlie Strong turned down UT. Would he come to Athens?

CHDawg

October 19th, 2013
4:52 pm

Why do you not put the ball in the hands of likely the best QB in SEC statistical history?

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
4:52 pm

The 2013 “Wait Til Next Year” t-shirts go on sale Monday

7576DAWG

October 19th, 2013
4:52 pm

Swain, Douglas, Barber, Special Teams, Murray, Bobo and Officials not getting the Targeting call right. Take your pick. All worked against Georgia today.
Whether we win or lose the rest of the year really doesn’t matter. We will get some minor Bowl game ,no use to fret now. The damage has been done.
The only question that still needs to be answered is Richt going to let Mason and Ramsey play the rest of the year and have at least one of them Game ready in 2014. Playing Murray the rest of 2913 would make no sense. He has his record and if he still need a few Touchdown to break the all time record then so be it , let him get it then Richt needs to prove his intelligence and get one of our other QB’s ready for next year.

Not Impressed

October 19th, 2013
4:53 pm

UGA, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vandy are all as good as one another, and, overall, relatively mediocre. The only teams in the SEC that should be ranked in the Top 25 are Alabama, aTm, and Mizzou.

Jeb

October 19th, 2013
4:55 pm

Time for some changes in Athens. I respect Mark Richt and he is a very honorable person but he should step down and let someone new come in. As an avid Dawg fan I know that it has been the same thing every year, big expectations followed by big disappointment. It has been years since I have seen a great Defense and I cannot remember a game where the Dogs have not played down to their opponents. No blowouts since way back in the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii. I appreciate all the winning years but we will not see another National Championship until they clean house in Athens. Call Kirby Smart soon. At least we can always count on Bama to be the backbone of the SEC.

Pete

October 19th, 2013
4:57 pm

I’ve said it many times before. Who really thinks we’re going to get to an elite level with this coaching staff? if you do, you’re still drinking the Kool-Aid. First, Grantham needs to go tomorrow. Make Chris Walton the interim DC. Bobo needs to go at the end of the season. If Richt won’t hire a special teams coach, he needs to go at the end of the season. GA has too much potential to be mediocre almost every year. Come on McGarity, do your job!

tell me again

October 19th, 2013
4:57 pm

I have never been a “fire Coach Richt” fan and am not still – but, it appears that Richt is like Viginia Tech’s coach – a good, solid coach, but one that will never win the big one….with one exception, VT’s coach can coach special teams – Richt cannot. Dawg fans – and I am one – this is an embarrassing loss. Georgia, with its million dollar facilities and apparently overpaid coaching staff, was just humiliated by a school whose facilities and coaching staff more closely resemble a good high school program than any SEC program. Our players were not into this game. Vandy’s kids were excited (as was their head coach, in stark contrast to the UGA Buddha, otherwise known as Coach Richt on our sideline). They played 60 minutes of football while our players and coaches basically folded the tent at the end of the third quarter. I love the Dawgs but this one s a hard pill to swallow. It’s really embarrassing.

CHDawg

October 19th, 2013
4:58 pm

Enter your comments here

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
5:00 pm

Let’a put together a list of excuses that we’ve heard this year, shall we?

Clemson was really loud

The defense is young

Injuries

Bad refs

Injuries

Fans not loud enough at home games

Injuries

Fans need to be more positive

What am I missing?