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

Topp Dogg

October 19th, 2013
5:32 pm

I am tired of excuses like were young or we have injuries or CTG is agreat coach just needs time, we are bad and at this point no game is a gimmie even GT.

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
5:32 pm

Anybody watching Auburn? Go ahead and put that one in the L column, unless of course you have a drug problem.

CMR 122-43 Record

October 19th, 2013
5:32 pm

“Something’s wrong up there…”

We HAVE NOBODY left on offense. What part of that don’t you people get? R. Davis is a Frosh, McGowan is a former walk-on, Conley’s hurt now for god knows how long….

Defense sucks right now, so does Special Teams….but you can’t put the load on Murray with no weapons

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
5:33 pm

Can anyone tell me when “”"”Cutting Edge Football”"”"”"”" is coming to Athens???????

short memories

October 19th, 2013
5:34 pm

21 of the 31 points Vanderbilt scored came off of special teams breakdowns. Will someone tell me where the buck stops?

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
5:34 pm

“We HAVE NOBODY left on offense.”

And who was the guy playing QB for Vandy today in their win against us? How many stars did he have coming out of high school?

BagovermyheadDawg

October 19th, 2013
5:34 pm

Wish Richt had seen the potential in Mett or Marshall at Qb, why he thought Murray would lead him to the promised land we’ll never know, but boy was Coach Richt WRONG ON THAT ONE!!!

ELSTINKO

October 19th, 2013
5:35 pm

i have said it a million times. 8 NC have been won by SEC teams while Old St Mark has been at UGA and he has never come close.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
5:35 pm

I didnt know “”"”"”Knocking on the Door to Greatness”"”"”"”"” was losing to Vandy and Mizzou

Dawg Fan

October 19th, 2013
5:37 pm

Richt has been a good coach at Georgia and everyone knows what his record is. That great record has consistently got us to Orlando for Bowl games. Tired of playing in Orlando every year and making to the SEC championship because someone else loses to put us there. I Think Richt is a good coach and a great person. He has been at Georgia for 13 years and had ample opportunity to win championships. It’s time for new blood in my opinion. Not trying to be sarcastic.

Top Recruit

October 19th, 2013
5:38 pm

Players do not execute. We are improving. The words of the HC. Sounds as if he is conflicted. Confused. Does not matter for 2013. They are toast. Why does this team have some many injuries? Who are the key players. When you look at it more closely this team was probably lucky to win 4 games.
Oline. Deep with players, but none of them would start at Vandy or UT. There has not been one All SEC lineman at UGA in years. Will Friend. Can he recruit and coach. When they settled on that short FG, many of knew Vandy knew they had a shot if breaks came their way. And they did via the special teams mistakes again.
UGA had better change their offense, the type of QB they have [have to have a 3 threat QB], and O staff if they continue to put up a game like today. This offense is terrible even with a Murray arm…wasted talent by a staff. Damn shame. Rotate your QBs and stop being so one dimensional. Stop sitting on those scholarships and get thoe guys in the game. What do you have to lose. You are losing with your current roster and setups.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
5:43 pm

dawgfan

We all know the season is over.

Now

We have a QB with no experience starting for us next year

and

We have 2nd and 3rd stringers that need to get playing experience

Will we be able to use the excuse of we have no experience next year?

Jorge O'leary

October 19th, 2013
5:44 pm

Ucf had a previous starting quarterback catch the game winner against Louisville last night. He was beat out by the quarterback that threw him the ball. Yet he had enough athletic ability to be an asset to the team, so he changed positions. The mentality in Athens is, our starter is out, circle the wagons. CMR and staff need realize that if their stud goes down, they need to tailor the game with the backups and make sure the backups can do an adequate job. And your defense blows.

Coach Mark Richt

October 19th, 2013
5:45 pm

No one appreciates me. I’ve got the best looking hair, tan, and wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Wesson

October 19th, 2013
5:46 pm

Looks to be a 5and 7 year.

SC Dog fan

October 19th, 2013
5:48 pm

I agree with above comments. It makes good sense at this point to at least start platooning Murray and Hutson Mason so he can get some game time experience for next year. There is nothing to be gained for UGA by sticking with Murray full-time at this point, great as he is. We have a chance to help next year’s QB improve.

Contractor

October 19th, 2013
5:49 pm

Swann is awful, and I have no idea why Georgia has continued to play him even after his horrible season last year. As an Alabama fan I get a kick out of seeing the tide (no pun intended) turn throughout the fanbase when after the Carolina and LSU game y’all thought your Dawgs would kill everyone, now it’s doom and gloom. Yes, injuries have hurt, but the recruiting of a major program like Georgia isn’t simply one deep and the rest are scrubs. Georgia has recruited in the Top 10 for YEARS! These backups should be performing very closely to the first teamers. Todd Grantham is awful and should be fired. He has the attitude of a wanna be bad a, but he’s like the guy that talks all the crap and runs behind his bigger buddies when it comes to blows. There has been so much talent on the defensive side of the ball for Georgia the past 5 years that it is unbelievable how bad they suck. They can’t stop anyone!!!

On another note, that call for targeting was one of the worst calls I have seen in my life, even worse than the Clinton-Dix call against Texas A&M. I honestly believe that was the dagger, more so than the Swann fumble. The refs are changing the game, and it’s funny that the three targeting penalties with ejections were against the losing teams in those three games.

TEXAS DAWG

October 19th, 2013
5:51 pm

Can it get any worse than this? I don’t see how unless they also lose to Appalachian State which is a DISTINCT possibility. Florida, Auburn, and now GT are all very iffy games. Even KY is no longer a gimme. It seems that this bunch has learned how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Even an ugly win would have kept them afloat but now we seem headed to the Music City or some other such high level bowl. I can’t wait to order tickets.

WDE is rising

October 19th, 2013
5:53 pm

We will be back before an overrated UGA, with boatloads of talent will ever sniff another SEC Championship.

Gayle Waters Waters

October 19th, 2013
5:54 pm

Enjoyed Dr. Hairy Dawg’s astute comments. That UGA journalism degree is really paying off. The “targeting” calls were pathetic, but I’m afraid the wheels are off for the dogs.

Bulldogged

October 19th, 2013
5:54 pm

Just a little perspective. The defense has been awful all season, and the special teams have been suspect all season. But things looked up because of an unbelievably good offense, maybe the best UGA has ever had. We could outscore just about anyone we played. Then we lose Mitchell, Wesley-Scott, Gurley. Marshall, and Bennett. We basically have a 2nd team offense on the field, in terms of skill players. And the defense still sucks and the special teams still screw up. Not a winning formula. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

VaDawg

October 19th, 2013
5:56 pm

I hope James Franklin is on McGarity’s short list. Imagine what he could do with our talent! He is the antithesis of Richt. Firey, aggressive and one hell of a coach to have done what he has at Vanderbilt with 2 and 3 star talent. He has always played us tough and finally beat us this year. He is a diamond in the rough and we should not let him get hired away to USC or another major program.

WDE is rising

October 19th, 2013
5:56 pm

Can’t wait to put a beat down on big bad Georgia. The old ball coach was right. A pretender not a contender. Your coaching staff is a joke.

SatillaDawg

October 19th, 2013
5:58 pm

Dawgs Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory

One of the worst games ever played by a team wearing the storied red and black. Absolutely pitiful.

As I said last week, Bill, the team we’re now fielding lacks passion. They bumble around the field as if these games don’t matter, making stupid mistakes at critical junctures.

It’s very obvious. Our opponents have a greater desire to win. They try harder, play harder and are prepared to take advantage of the mistakes they know our team is going to make.

This season’s done, and it didn’t take long to get there. Hard to believe we started off losing to Clemson by 3, beating South Carolina, LSU and the Vols…..and now find ourselves….DOWN HERE STINKIN’ UP THE SEC, on national TV no less.

Pitiful.

WDE is rising

October 19th, 2013
5:58 pm

Two weeks in a row a second string QB drove the field on big bad UGA.

short memories

October 19th, 2013
5:59 pm

Richt will refuse McGarity’s suggestion that he hire a special teams coach. He knows he can refuse to change anything and walk off with millions. He is a proud and stubborn man who cares more about himself than about UGA. But with his Pharisee righteousness people will say he is a good man.

baby d

October 19th, 2013
6:00 pm

Say what you want….but there is a reason they win titles in Alabama…..their head coach doesn’t take no crap, he fixes problems and runs his ship tight………we are still having special team issues…three years later.

WDE is rising

October 19th, 2013
6:00 pm

Everybody recurits Georgia better than UGA does. HaHa Fear the eagle.

MobileDawg

October 19th, 2013
6:03 pm

How about a lot of perspective, Richt comes up with excuses of some kind every year. WDE is right, Auburn is improving every game. Dawgs are regressing every game.

Richt is a second tier coach at a what should be top tier program. It has become an unenjoyable experience to watch the Dawgs play under Richt.

TEXAS DAWG

October 19th, 2013
6:05 pm

The wheels are off. The car is in the ditch. The gas tank is empty. The body is rusting off the frame. Other than that every thing is OK. Move along nothing to worry about here.

The offense as bad as they have been the last 2 weeks has a little wiggle room in the blame area due to all the skill players that are out, but the O-line has NO excuse… just bad.

The defense….well what more needs to be said about the defense. To borrow a line from John McKay of his Tampa Bay days, when asked about the defenses execution any Georgia fan should reply “I’m all for it”. The most disappointing thing about them is they have shown NO improvement as the year has gone on. Sure they are young and will get burned on occasion, but they are getting lit up by second rate teams even with their back up QB in.

Special teams? Not very special for years. How many games have they cost us over the Richt’s tenure. There is something to be said for sticking to your game plan. There is also something to be said for being a bullheaded idiot that refuses to change in the harsh light of overwhelming evidence. Richt needs to be given the ultimatum to hire a special teams coach or hit the exit.

I know I’m ranting, but after that debacle, it is going to take a while to cool down.

SatillaDawg

October 19th, 2013
6:08 pm

Rant on, Texas Dawg.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
6:09 pm

We lost because Vandy was pumping in crowd noise

Ken Hardy

October 19th, 2013
6:09 pm

Let’s make some hotel reservations in Memphis for the Liberty Bowl while we can. GoDawgs

VaDawg

October 19th, 2013
6:10 pm

It is not a rant if you are speaking the truth!!

Jorge O'leary

October 19th, 2013
6:12 pm

Ken Hardy
October 19th, 2013
6:09 pm

Let’s make some hotel reservations in Memphis for the Liberty Bowl while we can. GoDawgs

My team’s too hot to meet you there and punk you again. But if I was in your shoes, I’d call my old defensive coordinator, coach Huxtable. He’d shore ya’ll up in a hurry!

stopthemorons

October 19th, 2013
6:12 pm

Out prepared. Out coach out played. Never been a CMR fan. My opinion is that he is an just above average coach that does not display any emotion. Very nice and dedicated to Lord man. However, it is time for different captain of this ship; along with his two top lieutenants

Bulldogged

October 19th, 2013
6:13 pm

In other news, NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested for attempting to carry a loaded pistol through airport security. The TSA doesn’t allow loaded firearms onto commercial aircraft. Who knew?

Back to UGA: Sometimes defenses have to win games, especially when the offense is struggling or down key players. We’ve lost three games in which we scored an average of 29.3 points a game. I know the game has become much more offensive-minded and wide open, but to average 29.3 in the games that we’ve LOST is troubling. It’s not working with Grantham. It didn’t work that well last year with experienced, NFL-level talent. Time to try someone new.

MobileDawg

October 19th, 2013
6:13 pm

Don’t think many Dawg fans would travel to Memphis.

dawgman

October 19th, 2013
6:14 pm

We just find a way to lose…….good thing is that can’t happen now until two weeks…..Go dawgs!

WDE is rising

October 19th, 2013
6:15 pm

Don’t worry dogs you will have another top 10 class. You out recuited us. However, we have better coaching.

James Alexandra

October 19th, 2013
6:16 pm

I feel really bad for the Georgia program and the ways things have turned out. I am life-long Georgia fan and have always thought highly of Coach Richt and the manner in which he conducts himself.

I have viewed the last two Georgia games with disgust! And although things may have been different if all those injuries hadn’t occurred it still doesn’t excuse the fact that well coached teams who use their players two to three deep constantly, such as Alabama, LSU, and others usually win these games.

The Georgia team has seemingly lost their confidence and I am disappointed. This team could have been something special-but so could have a few other Georgia teams under this staff.

I think the time for excuses should be over and Coach Richt and his staff need to decide if they have what it takes to get such a talented laded team to the Championship? As a Georgia fan it’s time for some honest soul-searching to take place within the football program. Sometimes, a change at the top may or may not be the best thing , however if the results are the same year in and year out
and are not what is expected, then in the business world tough decisions are made for the betterment of the people and the organization.

I really hope the 2014 commits stick with Georgia as the team really needs them.

TEXAS DAWG

October 19th, 2013
6:16 pm

I predict that we will hang on by the skin of our teeth and not lose to OPEN DATE next weekend. Is that game going to be televised?

Herschel Walker

October 19th, 2013
6:18 pm

Looks like I need to get my old unform out of mothballs.

These Dawgs need help.

Fast.

WnE

October 19th, 2013
6:18 pm

re:
Richt can’t avalute talent.

He thought Aaron “Flop” Murray was better than:
Mettenberger–now playing for LSU
Marshall–now leading Auburn

We should fall out of the top 25. This team is really pathetic.
===============

When you guys lose you act like sore losers!

Mett lied to CMR had he come clean up front he could have stayed at UGa and out competed AM.

Nick Marshall STOLE from team mates, no way can you have a guy in your locker room that steals from his own team.

Lots of revisionist history after you guys lose, CMR brought those guys into UGA and gave them a chance to compete and do thins the right way, AM and NM chose to be knuckle heads

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

October 19th, 2013
6:20 pm

Maybe we will get to play in the Bob’s Used Tire Bowl

Phil

October 19th, 2013
6:20 pm

To anyone tat will listen:

Been saying on here for years that Richt will never win a National Championship at Georgia. Richt is a good coach, not a great coach. He will win you 7-9 games per year(maybe not this year) with the occasional 10 win seasons thrown in. And that is good enough for McGarity, he is content with that. So basically Richt has a lifetime contract at UGA. Until someone in the administration at UGA demands better, it will always be like this. That’s the bottom line folks, whether you like it or not.

WnE

October 19th, 2013
6:22 pm

re:
AM and NM chose to be knuckle heads

===============

Should be Mett and NM chose to be knuckle heads

TroupDawg

October 19th, 2013
6:23 pm

I read a remark in an earlier post regarding some others discussion of Kirby Smart becoming the next UGA HC. This particular blogger said ” Saban is the brains behind that defense ” interesting. Because BAMA pays Kirby over $900K per year to carry around Saban’s hat then!!!

For Saban to pay you $900K per year, you know your stuff!!

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
6:23 pm

Next year. Next year. Next year.

Let me know when we’ve got a new coach and then I’ll start giving a crap about next year.

dawgfan

October 19th, 2013
6:25 pm

Kirby would come here in a heartbeat. Can anybody tell me why the hell not? What on earth do we have to lose?