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

I love mediocrity

October 20th, 2013
2:11 pm

Season ticket holder

What was discussed at the kool-aid meeting today

Let me guess

UGA is on the verge of back dooring into another SEC championship next year

Lol

dog4life

October 20th, 2013
2:32 pm

we should be able to win out. We do have some of the walking wounded coming back and another week to heal. The Auburn game I am nervous about only because of the freak scheduling of having to play on the plains two years in a row. Auburn is getting better and playing at home should be an advantage–though traditionally the home team has not fared so well. But, this year with an enthusiastic crowd and new hope it may prove disastrous for us. Oh, well!! Go Dawgs!! and good luck–

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:35 pm

Eric Murray has got to go, can we juz putting Hston Meson pleeze?

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:39 pm

We got three hard games left.

Kentucky, outta win that one, but if the playas use injuries as excuse like theyt did gainst Vand, gonna lose it, Kent will try and make their season in that game like Miss and Vand did, better watch out.

Auburn, gonna lose this one, Auburn’s ex Ga playa Nick Marshall is playing like Russ Wilson out there, we juust don’t have the weapons to score more than Auburn.

Ga Tech- they can score, and they will score a lot of points, by this time, who knows how many playas out with injuriy bugs, gotta like the Jacketys by 2 td’s in this one.

So you end up 7-5 if you can win one of these 3.

6-6 if you can’t.

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:43 pm

right now, the goal is for the seniords to leave the team better than they found it.

they got to the Independence bowl in 2010 in Shreveport, so ending up there again, would be leaving the program where you found it.

This set of Seniors only won one bowl game, and lost all the SEC Chamnpionship games, guess they can always say we came up 5 yardz short of the BCS Championship back in 2012.

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:46 pm

Kentucky took South Carolina to the brink, it was 35-27, so we will probly loze that one come to think of it.

I love mediocrity

October 20th, 2013
2:46 pm

Dawgs need to win out

If they don’t they won’t be able to represent the sec in the outback or Chik-fil-a bowl like they always do every year

Come on dawgs don’t let the sec down

Bottom feeder programs represent the sec too

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:49 pm

GT & Aub are both scoring round 36 pts a game,

so we gonna loze those 2 games fo shore.

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:53 pm

Kent’s pass defense is better than Tenn or Auburn, so look for Erin Murray to struggle again.

Yes

October 20th, 2013
2:53 pm

Enter your comments here

Yes

October 20th, 2013
2:54 pm

Yes

October 20th, 2013
2:54 pm

Yes

October 20th, 2013
2:54 pm

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:55 pm

The only team goal left, is maybe

try and finish above .500

Luke

October 20th, 2013
2:57 pm

If da season plays out da way I thinks it will

we gonna lose to GT & Aub cuz they score 36 points a game anyway

so the Kentucky game, will be big, cuz if richt lose this one, he gets fired fo shore.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:15 pm

We are 4-3 right now.

We have 5 games left.

They are against:
Kentucky, Appalachian State, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.

To get to 6-6 we have to win 2 more, most likely are Appal St and Kentucky.

To get to 7-5 ifs a lot tougher. Got to beat a high scoring team like GT or Auburn

or a great defense like Florida.

Odds lean to 6-6 vs 7-5, but 7-5 is possible if all the cards play out correctly.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:20 pm

Independence Bowl in Shreveport LA is on Dec 31 at 11:30 a.m.

It pits a SEC team vs an ACC team.

Good shot at this Bowl if we can pull out two more wins.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:25 pm

Shreveport would be a nice reward for the how hard the guys have played this year.

Shreveport has an alligator park, a chimpanzee park, and a cat sanctuary.

lots to do in Shreveport. The seniors will remember the area.

7576DAWG

October 20th, 2013
3:30 pm

Grantham and the Defense did step up in this game and do their job. This lost is all on the Turnovers from the Offense and Special Teams and Officials not knowing enough about the Targeting Rule to not call it when it is just a great clean tackle. They have been told by the SEC , when in doubt call the penalty.

westpointdawg

October 20th, 2013
3:36 pm

I’m 73 yrs. of age, been a Dawg fan since childhood. Never, ever have I seen a more poorly coached team, who should at least know at this point in their football career of how to tackle. No defense pressure on QB’s, no excitement, etc. Why not go after Kirby Smart, and put this program back like UGA football? Mark Richt and his crew will never play for a big championship, period. Bobo’s offense, and TG’s defense makes one to just puke. Still love the dawgs, but someone needs to righten the ship.

ALB-dawg

October 20th, 2013
3:36 pm

I wonder how many LSU fans want to fire Les Miles this morning.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:36 pm

UGA has problems this year with high scoring teams like GT & Auburn, so don’t see the gang leaving with wins in either game.

Auburn & Florida & GT poses another set of issues: strong defenses. All are in the top in scoring defenses.

Florida has the #6 pass defense and #12 rush defense in the country.

Florida & Auburn are both sporting the #6 defense when it comes to interceptions.

GT is in the top 25 in pass defense & rush defense.

Don’t see winning any of these three games.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:39 pm

Auburn, Fla and GT are all in the top 6 nationally in interceptions.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:42 pm

GT & Auburn are solid this year on both sides of the ball.

And Florida has one of the best defenses in the country.

Will be a very difficult task getting a win in these three games.

0-3, or 1-2 at best.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:46 pm

More than injuries, this season will be remembered as the year turnovers did the Dawgs.

Coming up are 3 of the best defenses in the nation, especially at picking interceptions, so look for lots of turnovers from here out, and with Marshall out, look for more fumbles than you can imagine from the backups and at the qb position.

I predict the Dawgs will lose the turnover battle against Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech.

NightDawg

October 20th, 2013
3:50 pm

The Dawgs offense has turned the ball over 72 times since 2010.

The Dawgs defense has gained 95 turnovers since 2010.

But in 2013, the offense is on a record setting clip losing 12 turnovers, and the defense has only gained 7.

It’s why the Dawgs are at 104th in the nation in turnover margin, and that will prove to be the storyline of 2013.

flintriverdawg

October 20th, 2013
4:51 pm

15 pages and still going strong Bill…..not much can rival this performance. The Bulldog Nation has spoken. Coaches and admistration turn a tin ear. Just like politicians in DC. The NCAA becomes the NWA in ‘The Emperiors New Clothes’ now playing at an SEC stadium near you……If we dont start thinking about next year…………………….these boys deserve better coaching!

dawgfan

October 20th, 2013
4:55 pm

If you still support Richt at this point you’re basically saying “I’m okay with 10-3 Outback Bowl type seasons as a ceiling for this program.” No way anyone in their right mind could think this guy can coach is to anything more. He can barely stay awake during news conferences.

short memories

October 20th, 2013
5:02 pm

Richt almost mocks the fans in his interview. Like he is above answering any tough question. He knows what he is doing and nobody should question him. What an arrogant stubborn preacher man

More Bad Luck for the Dawgs

October 20th, 2013
5:13 pm

The 4 team playoff doesn’t start until next year.

UGA Season Ticket Holder since 1986

October 20th, 2013
5:17 pm

westpointdawg First, thank you for your service. Like West Point, right? Or the City of West Point? In any event, thank you for your service. Second, please indulge me: if last year wasn’t playing for a big championship (with the attendant right to play for an even bigger championship if we won), then I am lost.

dawgfan – First, we talked about how we need to tighten the standards for degrees. We tabled that until we found out whether you really had one from UGA.. Second, we talked about how the majority of posts on this blog are from fans of other teams. Then, we talked about how you and Flat ALWAYS complain even when we win. Then we talked about Tim Brando’s comments on radio on Friday how the Georgia fans who always complain about everything hurt recruiting and then complain that we don’t recruit well.

Then, we talked about how dawgfan is going to come up with the $20MM that we’ll need to fire everybody, buy out their contracts and then rehire a brand new AD, Head Coach and staff after dawgfan gets rid of everybody.

Then we talked about how the “let’s just try something different and see if it works theory” worked at Tennessee.

Then we talked about how many Mizzou fans will probably call for the coach to be fired if they lose in the SEC Championship game because “the coach just can’t win the big one” like dawgfan and Flat do here.

Then we talked about how dawgfan actually posted that “Who said anything about burning down the program?” (i.e. firing everybody) and then everybody was laughing so hard, we just had to stop.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it

October 20th, 2013
5:18 pm

If you morons would get off your high horse and sign more players AND stop trying to get the rest of the SEC to play by your stupid rules, you’d have more players to sub in after injuries. UGA, holding the SEC back since 1980.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 20th, 2013
5:24 pm

UGA Season Ticket Holder Since 1986

Please tell me where and when; have I ever made any anti-Christian remarks about Richt.

I personally am glad to know Richt is a Christian person and have never made any remarks about his faith

As I have posted on here in the past his faith has had nothing to do with his success at coaching

There have been plenty Super Bowls won from Christian coaches; probably more than non Christian coaches

Get your facts straight before you post

JB at home

October 20th, 2013
5:27 pm

Praise the Lord, we are out of top 25. No more coverage on National shows or ESPN. We are now in the bowels of the newsroom with Ga Yech. This team does not need attention, especially from our commitments. We will finish out with a smooth 7 wins and regroup, with a NEW Qb and a pretty good supporting cast. Still have these coach’s though.

JB at home

October 20th, 2013
5:29 pm

Don’t see much hope next year with most of this defense AND their leader returning. What will improve in 10 months.

UGA Season Ticket Holder since 1986

October 20th, 2013
5:32 pm

Flat Tire = Flat = the “Flats” = yes, THOSE Flats = Georgia Tech.

Should have caught that before now but I guess I’m getting slower in my old age.

DJlaysitup

October 20th, 2013
5:38 pm

I’m seeing more and more undisciplined and just plain dumb football here recently. I understand we are playing young backups in a lot of spots but really. Hitting their QB late and then holding your hands up like “I didn’t do nothing” isn’t going to fool the refs. Repeatedly running before you catch the ball is a high school level mistake. Thanks goodness we aren’t the only team like that I guess. If the Tennessee player didn’t throw the ball out of the endzone in OT we may have lost that game too.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 20th, 2013
5:39 pm

UGA Season Ticket Holder Since 1986

“Then, we talked about how you and Flat ALWAYS complain even when we win.”

After the LSU game

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

September 29th, 2013
2:52 pm

Bobo called a great game; Im glad to see he didnt go conservative and went right after them

Richt had the team fired up and was glad to see us come out wanting to win; glad to see him get the big win

Defense is still a big question mark; I know they are young but we still cant stop top 20 teams

Get your facts straight

Hairy Dawg

October 20th, 2013
5:41 pm

Rolling Tidey that aint a high horse it the point heads from Adams to Mooreheads that making us keep players that turns out stinkys. Bammer deserving credit for roster manegement and Coach Richt would do it to. But not doing it cause McG got to stands up Mooreheads replacing Adams and tell him that Dawgs not living with restrictoins from pointy heads. Once player proves he stinky and not SEC talent then kick him off team and bring in new player. Otherwise when injuries you have to rely on stinky backups that aint got talents to play in SEC. But fixing that requires fans supporting Coach Richt and McG having backbone to tell Mooreheads that Dawgs own Athens and pointy heads can get out a way.

dawgfan

October 20th, 2013
5:41 pm

Must have missed the part where I’ve ever said we don’t recruit we’ll. I’m not goin to be able to eat my dinner tonight after all the words Season Ticket Holder has put in my mouth. This guy takes the cake.

To the contrary, I have always argued that we have too much talent to do things like lose to Vandy and their second string QB. Richt is a chump coach that cannot get the most out of all the resources available to him.

Thanks for that softball pal.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 20th, 2013
5:43 pm

Flat Tire = Flat = the “Flats” = yes, THOSE Flats = Georgia Tech.

Its funny you call me a so called Tech fan

Tech fans except mediocrity as the norm; they are happy with 8, 9 and 10 win seasons and a trip to an Outback bowl; pretty much describes you

You pretty much are nothing more than a Tech fan

By the way; come up with something a little more original than you’re a Tech fan

B'Dawg

October 20th, 2013
5:43 pm

Hey Greg McGarity! I just talked to Jeremy Foley. He said to show the three stooges the door!

BULLDAWG BILL

October 20th, 2013
5:44 pm

FIRE RICHT NOW AND CLEAN HOUSE!! RICHT IS NOT AS GOOD A COACH AS HE WAS THE DAY THE DAWGS HIRED HIM. DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE HIS HEART AND HEAD IN THE GAME. I’M 100% DISGUSTED!

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 20th, 2013
5:46 pm

dawgfan

the kool-aiders have nothing to back up their delusional points so they revert to claiming you said certain things; or (the go to when they have nothing to say) you’re a Tech fan

UGA Season Ticket Holder since 1986

October 20th, 2013
5:46 pm

Read your LSU post again and tell me how many compliments didn’t have a “but, we stink…” attached to them. My scorecard shows 0-1 in the first sentence, 0-2 in the second and 0-2 in the third. You managed 5 “but, we stink” in only THREE sentences!!!!!!! In your “favorable” “congratulatory” post after a GIGANTIC win!!!!!!!

dawgfan

October 20th, 2013
5:49 pm

I think anyone who lives on the planet earth and does not do loads of hard drugs said our defense stinks after the LSU game.

short memories

October 20th, 2013
5:50 pm

don’t forget

The weather was damp

The ball was slippery

UGA Season Ticket Holder since 1986

October 20th, 2013
5:53 pm

We missed this recruit or we missed that recruit or why are we recruiting in Florida when Georgia high schools have the best talent in the entire world or we should throw a fence around the state of Georgia and never lose any recruit to any school anywhere or why are we recruiting in Texas or CMR is not a good recruiter, why don’t we still have Mettenberger on the team, why did CMR throw him off the team, why didn’t CMR keep him out of trouble when he was on spring break. You guys lead your team of posters and I’m on my team of posters. You want to fire everybody after every game and I’m on the side that wants us to succeed and if we win a NC, then that’ll be great but we don’t need to burn the program to the ground just because we didn’t win a NC every year and sign every single recruit out of the entire state of Georgia.

UGA Season Ticket Holder since 1986

October 20th, 2013
5:58 pm

Flat Tire meet your minion, Bulldawg Bill. Bulldawg Bill meet your Mentor, Flat Tire. He’s very proud of the lessons you have learned and your ability to transform them into posts. “Very nice post Bulldawg Bill,” said Flat Tire. “You have learned your lessons well.” “Thank you Master,” said Bulldawg Bill to Flat Tire.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 20th, 2013
6:02 pm

UGA Season Ticket Holder

who has been right about predicting 2 or more losses every season for years now????