Playmakers and punter step forward

Here, if you missed it, is today’s notebook with items on the national acclaim that is deservedly finding Joe Cox, the blizzard of points Georgia is giving up and Caleb King’s much-delayed debut.

Now, a few more things of note from Mark Richt’s teleconference Sunday:

– Not that he advocates falling behind by double digits in the first quarter every game, but since it  happened in each of the past two games and Georgia won both, Richt sees a benefit.

“I think the guys are beginning to believe that we are not out of any game at any time,” he said. “The more you get put into the fire, the more it refines you.  I think it makes you stronger,  makes you a little bit tougher mentally. And I think you do gain confidence that when you get into these battle royales, we can be left standing at the end in victory.  We’ve just got to keep that going, and we’ve just got to stop the self-inflicted wounds. If we can do that, we are going to improve tremendously.”

– The past two games have alleviated Richt’s –- and probably Bulldog Nation’s –- concerns about a dearth of playmakers on offense.

“When we started the season, we felt like . . . A.J. Green, maybe Richard Samuel and you-hoped-someone-else might make a play,” Richt said. “Now, we’re like, you know what, Michael [Moore] can make plays and Tavarres [King] can make plays and Aron White made a great play and Orson [Charles].”

King, White and Charles caught touchdown passes against Arkansas, and Moore had six receptions for 91 yards.  Plus, Green had seven catches for 137 yards and two TDs, and  Samuel had an explosive 80-yard TD run, and Caleb King looked good, too.

“We’re starting to get a collection of playmakers,” Richt said. “Branden Smith [also] has come in and given us some punch. Now, we’ve got more options than we had, and we’re probably going to be a little more difficult to defend now that guys opposite A.J. are starting to make some plays for us.”

– A huuuuuge play late in Saturday’s game was Drew Butler’s 64-yard punt that backed the Razorbacks up to their 9-yard line with 5:25 to play and the Dogs ahead 49-41. For the night, Butler averaged 55.2 yards on four punts.  For the season, his average of 54.5  leads the SEC by a wide margin.  He  has become what the coaches  implored him to be: consistent.

“I’d say he’s got a tremendously strong focus right now,” Richt said. “I don’t think he had that when he was behind [Brian] Mimbs [last year]. It’s hard for a young guy . . . if [he's] second-team punter to have the focus you would if you’re the starter. But I’ve just seen a tremendous amount of difference in his mentality, his preparation, his focus, knowing that he’s the guy. We kind of put it on him that we need you to be a consistent performer, not just a guy who can do it five or six out of 10 times. And he took that to heart.”

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And on one last perusal of Saturday night’s stats while flying back from Arkansas, these things jumped out:

– The Dogs and Hogs combined for 1,015 yards of offense –- plus 193 penalty yards.

– Ten touchdown passes in one game –- nine of them covering 18 yards or more, including four of 40 yards or more.

– Three Georgia turnovers in the first half -– and yet the Dogs led 27-21 at intermission.

– Arkansas in the first three quarters: 379 yards passing,  421 yards total offense, 38 points.

– Arkansas in the fourth quarter: 29 yards passing, 64 yards total offense, 3 points.

65 comments Add your comment

doggit

September 20th, 2009
11:54 pm

directional kicking is so lame – when will the HEAD coach say something to our special teams coach? Our special teams looks like special ED when we do stuff like that.

southside DAWG

September 21st, 2009
12:15 am

Would someone ask CMR on the call in show on Monday night why we do directional kicks! When we do that the kick goes out of bounds and they get it on the 40. UGA gave Ark the ball on the 40 at least 3 different times on Saturday. Kick it deep and hope your guys can stop them. Even if its on th 35 yard line. That five less yards. Turnovers and this directional kicking crap has killed us all year. A win is a win but averaging 3 turnovers a game will catch up with us later in the year.

Cuz

September 21st, 2009
12:17 am

Kick it in one direction, deep in the endzone. I swear this is the only time I think I am smarter than a coach. Kick it in the endzone. If we kick that side play one more time and let our opponets take it on the forty I will go to Athens and…… flip out. Do a flip off Sanford Bridge.

southside DAWG

September 21st, 2009
12:23 am

We have 1st team guys kick it straight down the field and trust in your players to make the play. It is killing the defense. I know this is not the only reason the defense is not playing good but when you give them free 20 yards it doesnt help them. If you are going to doing this directional crap just kick it out of bounds on the 30 or 35 so your players dont have to run all the way down the other end of the field.

Jesup Dawg

September 21st, 2009
3:03 am

Arkansas in the fourth quarter: 29 yards passing, 64 yards total offense, 3 points.
It took that long for wm to make some changes to stop them!

geechee

September 21st, 2009
4:02 am

Continually jumping on and off the bandwagon is very bad for your knees. How about some fair weather Dogs’ fans coming on here and man up about the nasty comments I’ve seen on this blog concerning Joe Cox? There were just so many of you that I can’t keep up with the names. I do remember an Island Dawg, Truman08, and someone who called himself Hugedawgfan who posted that he was fed up with the Dogs after only 1 game. Hugedawgfan change your freakin name.

Check out http://secsportshub.com

BuLLdawg

September 21st, 2009
5:56 am

Jon Tenuta,

Where is Jon Tenuta, Tech fans ? Can you say you let him go with Paul Johnson coming in.

You come running to our blog to tell us we will LOSE to Arkansas and DROP from the rankings. Yet, in the AP Polll only UGA has been ranked in the Final AP Poll every year starting 1997, Tech is not ranked and UGA Number 21.

In the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Tech is not ranked and UGA Number 17.

While UGA has Joe Cox winning National Awards obviously, Josh Nesbitt goes 6 of 15 with now 9 interceptions to only 5 TD passes as he loses again with 29 yards on 14 rushes.

And, then we come in here and read with your 1 wide receiver on your whole team who hasn’t quit and left the program that we have Willie Martinez when Tech’s pass defense is Number 85 and your turnover margin is number 80. Your Scoring Defense at Tech is Number 78, Total Defense Number 87, and your Passing Offense Number 110.

Why don’t you go screaming into the night that Tech is ranked the Number 35 college by U.S. News and World Report. We’re number 35; we’re number 35, we’re number 35. You are a joke. No one runs around bragging you are number 35 at anything.

Wait. Tech does.

Now, for the REAL football program, we go on to play Arizona State from the mighty PAC-10. Arizona State is UNDEFEATED this season at 2-0. They have not thrown an interception and have zero fumbles. They hold on to the foootball. Well, Lorentino, Arizona State has played Idaho State (non BCS) and SE Louisiana State (BCS ?)

UGA 21 AP and 17 Coaches.

In fact, if you look at it Eight (8) SEC teams are ranked in the Coaches’ or AP Poll garnering votes. as Kentucy, South Carolina, and Auburn all have significant votes in the Polls waiting on 1 good win to launch them into the Top 25 while of course The SEC has Top 5 teams in Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, and LSU and UGA hanging in there as the 5th Best Team in this conference.

The Big 10 is playing crappy football, as usual and the Big East has only Cincinnati ranked.

Joe

September 21st, 2009
5:58 am

Butler’s 64 yarder was the play of the game.

It took the air out of the stadium and chopped Petrino’s playbook down to a fraction of what he likes to call.

I think Arkansas only started three of their possessions inside their own 40 yard line, and scored on none of them.

Martinez’s defense would look a lot better if we would stop handing the ball to the other team on our own 30 yard line 3 times a game, and quit allowing the opposing kick returners to bring kickoffs to mid-field.

norman

September 21st, 2009
6:48 am

Enter your comments here
Face it folks, directional kicking will be here as long as Mark Richt is the head coach.

Motown Hound

September 21st, 2009
6:58 am

I can’t even imagine how good this team can be if they stop the turnovers, minimize the penalties and get a consistent pass rush which will go a long way in curing the coverage issues. Most of the longer receptions by Arkansas were just incredibly well thrown balls that may not have happened with a QB that was looking over his shoulder.

We may be a little ragged but we are hugely entertaining.

Go Dawgs sic em woof woof woof woof

Sautee Dawg

September 21st, 2009
7:13 am

Butler’s 64 yard punt was the biggest play of the 4th quater. took not only the crowd out of the game but also fired up a dawg defense. Cornelius Washington had another sack while only getting limited playing time. That makes 3 for him and we only {I think} have 5 for the season. Justin Houston made a difference in the 4th quarter also, as you said, giving up 3 points in the 4th, thats pretty good for a defense, especially with a qb who was making the throws that Mallet was making. ARK recievers were alot better than I thought they would be and really played a great game.
Petrino will have to learn that SEC football is not the same as Louisville football and the same conference. Out score your opponents. You have to play defense too.
Fabris still stubborn about the kicking into the corner and we’re going to lose a close game this year because of it. Can’t keep giving the opposing team the ball on the 40. You see what happens when you give the opposite team the ball on the short field (fumbles} and not get scored on.
When will Baccardi Rambo get playing time as a D-back? Evans looked reallly tired whenever the Ark. reciever blew past him for the touchdown,
Hats off to the team for not giving up when they were 2 scores behind, good leadership by the captains and the coaches.
Anybody heard a starting time for LSU? Hopefully another 7pm game.

TLaw

September 21st, 2009
7:14 am

Willie Martinez might be a good defensive coordinator in the WAC but not in the SEC!! It’s time to cut him loose and let’s get back to the basics; tackling, covering receivers, pressuring the QB, making adjustments, etc…none of which we have been doing under Willie’s leadership!!

Topp Dogg

September 21st, 2009
7:15 am

Its monday and they are still sucking at GT.

Clowns

September 21st, 2009
7:21 am

The coaching staff is and has been relying on talent for years. They all are laughing all the way to the bank while all of you inbreds keep forking over the money. These guys are gypsies from N. Augusta and keep feeding UGA fans smoke and mirrors.They couldn’t coach themselves out of a wet paper bag if they’re life depended on it. Fire the Bozo’s immediately!

hamburger lipps

September 21st, 2009
7:29 am

Defense is a joke and its going to be a rude awakening when UGA faces real competiton. Joe Cox hasnt faced a real defense yet and it will get ugly as he continues to telegraph his passes. Fumbles and penalties is because of an undisciplined team and its about time for somone to get in trouble with the police. Its THUGA Time !

dap01

September 21st, 2009
7:31 am

Why do you try directional kicks and continually give the other team the ball on the 40 yard line? Why do you continually try to explain to everyone why that is better than the other teams getting the ball on the 20 yard line? Why are we the only team in the WORLD continually doing that?

The answer is POOR COACHING!

dap01

September 21st, 2009
7:34 am

UGA is playing a poor brand of football. Terrible discipline, terrible game management, terrible field management, terrible kick offs strategy, terrible defense, terrible basics.

CMR, fire someone before everyone assumes that it is you!

georgiadawg1970

September 21st, 2009
7:54 am

Enter your comments here Great players, mediocre coaching

Troubled Waters Coming

September 21st, 2009
8:43 am

Out of the top 25 teams, UGA gave-up more points than any other top 25 teams. UGA played one of the worst defensive teams in the SEC.

Celebrate the win. Playing the upcoming SEC defensive teams we will not be scoring that many points. If the defensive plays like that the rest of the year, we will lose a handful of games.

BobDog

September 21st, 2009
8:46 am

Does anybody have an update on Vance Cuff’s injury?

Great game by the offense.

AJ WALKER

September 21st, 2009
9:03 am

Enter your comments here YOUR NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO OUT SCORE EVERYONE YOU BETTER FIND SOME DEFENCE BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WINS GAMES

Gratefuldawghead

September 21st, 2009
9:10 am

Looked like Richt was calling the plays on offense? Nothing but praise when you score that many points! Would like to what Ealey could do in the backfield……Defense..Damn!

Tech Losers

September 21st, 2009
9:13 am

When they are still winning games with the turnover margin that UGA has that tells me this team is about to explode. The D hasn’t been good but hasn’t done horrible. If turnovers are corrected this team will be good.

OrlandoDawg

September 21st, 2009
9:14 am

Uh oh, the Pac 10 comes to town this weekend

Mobile Dawg

September 21st, 2009
9:34 am

Joe Cox is a great story and will continue to be steady at QB. Lot of positives so far with the offense and overall attitude of the team, but Richt is right, not only do we need to continue improving, we have to. When we line up against the big boys we are going to be exposed if we continue our defensive weaknesses, turnovers, kick-off strategy, and penalties. Right now I’d say that our weaknesses outweigh our strengths overll.

Hopefully we can correct some or all of these areas, the kick-offs are a no brainer, and the turnovers would be the most obvious and easiest to correct. The defense and penalties are more of a long term project and part of our culture now IMO. They won’t easily go away.

Sanford Drive

September 21st, 2009
10:05 am

I won’t be sold on Joe Cox until he beats a team with excellent D

Saint Simons

September 21st, 2009
10:07 am

Sorry I haven’t been on the blog lately, but the police raided my favorite club the other night and I’ve had to keep a low profile. Plus I’m a little sore if you know what I mean.

Johnny DangerDawg

September 21st, 2009
10:14 am

doggit,
It’s not just Fabris who likes the directional kickoffs; it’s Richt too. If Fabris retired tomorrow, Richt would hire another guy who likes the directional stuff.

Bill W.

September 21st, 2009
10:22 am

Tim, any update on Vance Cuff’s injury?

dan

September 21st, 2009
10:25 am

I haven’t been on the fire WM bandwagon like most people have, because I felt there were a multitude of factors that contributed to the defensive collapse last season. But this season, I’m over Martinez. He needs to go or be demoted. 41 points against Arkansas? Defense looked like crap against South Carolina too. Last year his players quit on him. This year they’re playing their butts off and he’s done nothing to help them. I think even Richt is starting to get tired of it.

And in other news, am I the only one who feels that Florida is beatable this year? They looked very average against a mediocre Tennessee team.

WTF

September 21st, 2009
10:26 am

Sanford, STFU and go cheer for someone else!

BANDITDAWGG

September 21st, 2009
10:28 am

Pleaseeeeeeeee quit the directional kickoffs.

TheItalianDawg

September 21st, 2009
10:31 am

Folks, of course coaches would love kicking it to the end zone all the time, but it is hard!
our passing D is terrible, but did you see Cornelius Washington, this player is stud, I think he will be star at defensive end.
if we can improve our D and cut on turnovers and penalties, georgia can be scary! lets see how will they fair against LSU in 2 weeks?

I dont care how we win just keep winning

how2fish

September 21st, 2009
10:41 am

Clowns,burg lips,dap01..LMAO…only TECH fans can come up with that collection of B.S..in your bugish minds we will NEVER face a good team if we win against them..losers ! Terrible,defense.offense, QB can’t throw etc….these Dawgs have heart which sadly to say Tech has shown NONE of. Of course you want CMR fired cause he is a winner and you can’t stand that. If you don’t think UGA is better than when we started the season your just lying to yourselves..we aren’t the best team in the SEC..but we are showing signs of getting better…Go Dawgs!

reservoirDAWG

September 21st, 2009
10:41 am

I’m happy with the offense, but we have some serious issues on D. I still saw players trying knock people down instead of wrapping up.

Harry Dawg

September 21st, 2009
10:42 am

Joe Cox is a good story and the ESPN / TV net work types love it. I am happy for the kid, so far. The season is very long and we need a change of pace QB eventually that can show the other team a different rythem. We will see. I am very happy for Joe C. I called him the Plumber and I was dead wrong and I apologize ………..not that he cares. I played resting on the pines in the 7th grade.

The UGA D? It is gonna get ugly. Our safeties are dreaful and simply could care less in tight situations. J#9 Jones loves to cheap shot someone out of bounds when the flag simply kills UGA. It will continue as long as Martinez is there.

UGA is looking at a 6-6 year or maybe 7-5 with a sweet 10th defeat of Tech in 11 years. We are gonna be in the Music City Bowl or the Weedeater. Oh well …………I guess that Dr. Adams and Damon Evans like it. THEY make the decisions. We bloggers do not make any decisions. None.

Richt is happy to offer Christian training and counsel to inner city youths and that is really where his heart is. Our coaching staff are all born again guys ( really wonderful ) BUT they look only at coaching as the means to reach the kids. THAT is the reality. Pastors first, coaches second.

Saban? He would throw his mother out in a cold, hard driving snow storm. He will win a NC then very likely leave. I want this NC/SEC CHAMPS scenario at least one more time, as I am in my 6os, Darn it.

go Dawgs

gt

September 21st, 2009
10:51 am

Harry dawg,

you are sick and you are wrong.You donot have to be a one dimensional jerk to succeed.I respect Saban as a coach. I do not want him at UGA.

Gratefuldawghead

September 21st, 2009
11:07 am

Tennessee got a REAL DEFENSIVE Cordinator and it made a Big Difference!
Great game by Joe!
GO DAWGS!

BrianT

September 21st, 2009
11:13 am

I have been a DAWGS fan my entire life and hate to see us struggle. I do agree that it might be time for some coaching shake-ups(not Richt), but if he is unwilling to make the required changes then someone has to.

What i really wanted to say is that i am very impressed/excited ablout all of this young talent. Lets just hope that we are truly building something here. Could get exciting here real soon! The talent just needs to be coached better, at least on the d-side of the ball.

GO DAWGS!!!

BR

September 21st, 2009
11:49 am

Richt flat out said that he doesn’t understand or agree with the directional kicks either, but “Fab is the coach so I let him make that call.” WHAT?!?!?! RICHT is the HEAD COACH and HE should be making those calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pitbull

September 21st, 2009
12:00 pm

I thought the Georgia defense came out with a game plan to keep Arkansas from running a balanced attack and really shredding us with that 6′8″ qb. And I think we did a good job of executing the plan.

We held Ark to 77 rushing yards. They had to pass. It worked for them for 3 and 1/2 quarters but the defense turned up the heat on the Ark qb when he HAD to pass at the end and they got to him.

We did what we had to do to win and I am proud of Willy and the boys. Stop the run first and put the pressure on the qb. It works a lot more often than it doesn’t.

Of course football is a team sport. The offense had to crank it out and they di. The special teams had to play special and they did. A team victory.

Go Dawgs. Keep on doing wht it takes to win. A win is a win. Losers will never get that.

PS Anyone know what Bobby Petrino said to the officials to get his team a 15 yard unsportsman like penalty from the bench. It sure cooled his jets after they threw that flag.

Tim Tucker

September 21st, 2009
12:38 pm

Bill W: Vance Cuff has an MCL sprain in the right knee. UGA says he is day-to-day.

Jagdawg

September 21st, 2009
1:10 pm

Now we know what that idiot from Saint Simons has been laughing at since last year. Free Willy and give Rodney a shot for the rest of the year.

Rick

September 21st, 2009
1:17 pm

Sure, Tennessee got a real DC, but only because his son is the Head Coach! And his son is only the Head Coach because of his Dad – vicious circle!! I have long been a “Richt knows what he is doing” kind of fan, but I have to admit that giving up 30+ points a game and looking pathetic doing it is getting really old, really quick. With the exception of Curran and Cuff, the rest of the LBs and secondary looked poorly coached. We need a change.

AltamahaDawg

September 21st, 2009
1:44 pm

Was that “the” geechee?

AltamahaDawg

September 21st, 2009
2:09 pm

I don’t recall the flag on a late hit by Jones. Not sure that really happened. Wasn’t part of the official record of the game if so. I do recall him making 3 sloberknocker hits during tyhe game that literally seperated the receiver from the ball. The one that was over-ruled as a fumble late was very critical. His other 2 PF calls this year have been just plain incorrectly called. And he has knocked the ball loose with big hits at least 6 times this year so far. Keep bringing it #9. It’s the only good thing going on back there.

AltamahaDawg

September 21st, 2009
2:17 pm

Johnny, if Richt wanted to hire another guy who loved the high directional kick, he can go after the head coach at UF, who does it every single time.

Ferndolin

September 21st, 2009
2:35 pm

Bill W. I read on USA Today that Vance Cuff injured his shoulder. I thought it was his knee. That’s all I know on that.

Our pass defense is going to kill us. And to think that WM was the defensive backs coach before taking over as dc. I don’t think for a minute that we lack talent. It’s there. The coaching isn’t. And that directional kicking bullsh*t has got to stop. It’s like another penalty everytime we kick off and I haven’t seen any real advantage for us even when we do kick it in bounds. Who is the lame brain st coach anyway.

Class of '98

September 21st, 2009
3:12 pm

I would bet my house that we lead the nation in false starts, specifically on third down. It’s always nice to win, but why do we have to LOOK so poorly coached?

Johnny Test

September 21st, 2009
5:56 pm

HARRY DAWG, with fans like you who needs enemies. Gloom and doom. Take your anti-depressants before you blog next time.

Clowns and Hamberger LIPPS– A couple of vacuous, toffney nosed, maloderous perverted teck fans looking for relief from the Miami beatdown. I like the new SWISS CHEESE defense teck is using and the new team motto….. ARE YOU THAT STUPID!!!???? Nice rise in the polls guys.. apropriate respect for the insects you are.