Mark Richt’s patience wearing thin on line of questioning, and actual line

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt, under fire since the Bulldogs’ loss on Saturday, found himself on the defensive again during Wednesday’s SEC coaches’ teleconference. By the time he met with beat reporters at the end of Wednesday’s practice, he had resorted to sarcasm.

“I can only guess what I’ll be asked today,” he said with a smile.

When he got a somewhat loaded question, Richt decided to have some fun with it.

The question: “After the game on Saturday, was your response more encouragement and trying to be positive or have you reached a point where you’ve thrown chairs and really tried to light a fire?”

His answer: “Everybody want me to snap? Is that what they want? You all want to see me snap, is that what it is? Yeah? Well, we don’t discuss what happens in the locker room. But if you guys want me to throw a table or something I’ll do that, maybe smash a camera, if that makes everybody feel better.”

Reporters laughed and Richt did, too. But he has encountered a similar line of questioning for much of the last four days. In fact, six questions during Wednesday’s teleconference had something to do with his coaching status or the mood of his team or the fanbase.

“We’re just coaching ball, OK?,” Richt said.  “You guys want to make things bigger than they are. The bottom line is like anything in life, you’ve got to control what you can and that is my attitude and my effort and our team’s attitude and effort. That’s true every season. . . . Everybody’s locked in, everybody’s working hard and everybody’s confident we’re going to have a good ballgame.”

Offensive line issues continue

Richt pointed to third-down pass protection as the Bulldogs’ biggest breakdown after last Saturday’s 35-21 loss to No. 4 Boise State in the Georgia Dome. Four days later, he was seeing the same problems on Woodruff Practice Fields.

“Some things just got in my craw,” Richt said after the Bulldogs practiced in full pads for a rare second day in a row in a game week. “Third-down pass protection was just not very good today. You’ve got to win the possession downs, third-and-short, third-and-medium, third-and-long. You usually pass more than you run and we just didn’t protect very good, not good enough to beat anybody.

“Our boys better get it going or Murray is going to be on his back. That’s what made me the most mad.”

Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray was sacked six times and pressured another 10 times against the Broncos.

Enter South Carolina, which is believed to have one of the best defensive fronts in the SEC. The Gamecocks are particularly strong at defensive end, where junior Devin Taylor (6-7, 248) is a first-team All-SEC and Jadeveon Clowney (6-6, 250) was the No. 1 freshman signee in America.

The key for Georgia, senior center Ben Jones said, is being better on first and second down.

“That’s what happens when you get in third-and-long,” Jones said. “If we had been in third-and-short they couldn’t have brought those blitzes because they would have known we might run the ball. So that’s what we’re focusing on, getting into third-and-mediums and third-and-short so they have to guess run or pass.”

Kwame Geathers still sidelined

Starting nose guard Kwame Geathers was unable to practice with the No. 1 defense for a third consecutive day. The 6-foot-6, 350-pound sophomore from Georgetown, S.C., suffered a neck sprain (aka, “stinger”) in the opener. Nonetheless, Richt believes Geathers will be ready to play on Saturday.

“Kwame is from South Carolina and he wants to play in this ballgame,” Richt said. “I don’t think you could keep him out of this one. We’re just trying to be wise. We don’t want to light him up again and set him back.”

The good news is junior college transfer John Jenkins has been getting almost all the repetitions in practice with the first team. And he needs them.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said this week he believes that Jenkins and Geathers together can help Georgia defend the zone-read dive play up the middle the Gamecocks ran with such effectiveness last year. Tailback Marcus Lattimore had 182 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns on 37 carries in South Carolina’s 17-6 win in Columbia.

Etc. . . .

Richt said the Bulldogs will make a decision on the starting Mo linebacker on Thursday. “We will after we watch the film and discuss what happened today,” Richt said. Georgia is having to replace starter Alec Ogletree, who suffered a broken foot last week. . . . Wide receiver Marlon Brown practiced but was did not participate in contact. His left ankle was heavily wrapped. . . . Georgia practiced on the artificial turf fields Wednesday afternoon in hopes of it being lightly warmer than on the grass fields.

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465 comments Add your comment

happydawg29

September 7th, 2011
9:40 pm

happydawg29

September 7th, 2011
9:44 pm

Uhhhh,, the line wasn’t very good in any down, not just 3rd.

rich

September 7th, 2011
9:45 pm

just beat SC and all will be right with the Bulldawg world

agree

September 7th, 2011
9:54 pm

If we had so many people cramping inside the dome, what happens on Saturday at @ 4:30, when it’s 85 degrees outside? Could be a rough one, if geathers cannot play and Jenkins takes all the reps.

Get a life

September 7th, 2011
9:54 pm

Enter your comments here

TallyDawg

September 7th, 2011
10:02 pm

I feel sorry for Coach Richt. He is a great man and I know he is doing all he can to turn this around. I believe we will win the game on Saturday. South Carolinia has had 13 turnovers in the last 3 games. You just stop that. Remember Goff and Donnan teams got into mood. Spurrier sound like he is coming to Athens like he went to Jax in 96. Go Dawgs.

Sonya

September 7th, 2011
10:04 pm

ugab

September 7th, 2011
10:05 pm

We need a hard nose coach!!! How many hammies did Saban have? Ga bulldawgs r a joke

jake dawg

September 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

I want our fans to be loud and intense for this game. If anybody going to the game thinks they might want to sit on their hands if things start going against us then keep your a$$ at home.

ugab

September 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

The Gators r gonna beat the livn sht out of us w a new teama and a hard nose coach. I Belive n god 2

BIGMIKE

September 7th, 2011
10:08 pm

Focus on improving every week. Don’t leave out the imagination…I remember the year Dooley broke his down streak in the ’70’s, he ran a gimmick play involving the center. It turned into a touchdown while the opposing team stood and watched the guy gallop to the endzone like a deer caught in the headlights. Dooley had discussed the play with officials prior to the game to verify it’s legality.. It wasn’t a critical play in and of itself, but it seemed to open doors and the opposition didn’t know what to expect when they played Georgia. 2 yards and a cloud of dust became 3-4 yards and a cloud of dust.
I’m just saying don’t allow yourselves to get wrapped around the axle of what everyone expects to see UGA do on the field. Change it up. Use your strengths to your advantage. The o-line is a weakness right now. Work around it till it gels. Call plays that allows Murray to take advantage of zone reads with two to three step drops with a quick release with a safety valve/run option. Waggle passes, draws,and the occasional suprise. Take advantage of the speed and talent on both sides of the ball (i.e. BOYKIN, CROWELL, to name a few). Get the ball in the hands of the playmakers and soon you will be able to run ball control offense. But the line needs time. They’re not ready for the offense you are trying to run.

FLA DAWG

September 7th, 2011
10:12 pm

“We’re just coaching ball, OK?”, “….like anything in life, you’ve got to control what you can…”

Wow!
For the second week in a row Richt has raised the white flag of surrender.
We also get a glimpse into this man’s mind in my opinion.
It almost sounds as if he takes whatever comes and “just” coaching ball is not that important to him.

I hope this man has the ability to see the damage he has done and decides to leave with dignity.
It doesn’t sound like Coach Richt has the fire in the belly to win in The SEC.

longtimedawg

September 7th, 2011
10:13 pm

I got a strange feeling that the Dawgs just might show up ready to play
Saturday afternoon. I still think Samuel should be moved back to ILB.
As for CMR…just WIN and the critics will go away. Lose…start packing your bags!
The main issue with CMR is that his players don’t play together as a TEAM.
I have never seen ME win a championship!
GO DAWGS!

bubba4dawgs

September 7th, 2011
10:20 pm

One glaring distinction about the DAWG fans…..they’re the most fickled on the planet!! GO DAWGS!!!

Poor Richt

September 7th, 2011
10:21 pm

How can anyone feel sorry for Richt when be makes $3 million dollars a year to lose to Florida every year?

dawgster

September 7th, 2011
10:28 pm

Maybe we need to bring back Herschel for one more year…Per HBO sports he clocked a 4.39 40 at 48 years…Simply amazing…

On another the fans need to get behind this team on Sat, if not for the coaches at least for the players…They want to play hard for you and UGA, so lets do our best Sat to show them our support and not come out with the boo birds when they make their first mistake….We can beat SC, but its going to take a great effort on everyone’s part…If the fans will give it their all and make the stadium loud it will do wonders for this team…Like I said, if you don’t want to do it for the coaches, do it for the players….go dawgs

Mobile Dawg

September 7th, 2011
10:29 pm

Sometime good people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and have difficulty seeing it. God will put Mark Richt where he belongs and Mark Richt will be a better man for it.

Fran

September 7th, 2011
10:31 pm

So Richt’s getting agitated about the line of questioning ? Wow ! What about we fans getting tired of his team losing all the time ? Let’s cut to the chase. You need to beat SC Saturday Richt or resign or be fired. There,now it out into the open…

BIGMIKE

September 7th, 2011
10:32 pm

Dawg fans aren’t as fickled as you would think if the only contact you had with them was these darned BLOGS. Dawg fans are the most loyal and care enough to sit down and write a bunch of crap on a computer that amounts to nothing more than blowing off steam. Come SATURDAY…the stands will be full again and half the televisions in Georgia will be tuned to the UGA game. Win and it’s a party…Lose and we’re sick and bitchin’ all week. But we all know that this team WILL improve as the year goes on. They got beat last week by the best QB and best TEAM they will see until bowl games. If they had won that game against Boise I would have been shocked. What did shock me however, was the play of the offensive line and the inability of the coaching staff to adjust to a game that required Murray to release the ball faster. There had to have been a reason for that, that we aren’t privy to.

Jimmy

September 7th, 2011
10:33 pm

I hope the Dogs do better this week.
After watching the replay of the game in slow mo,
The D looked clueless against the pass.
Boise receivers just ran to an open spot.
There were too many open spots and our guys were slow to react.

The offensive line looked similarly clueless.
Boise didn’t blitz much at all.
Our line looked like the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

The bright spot on D was the run defense.
On offense…the play of the tight ends was all we can hang our hats on.

As much as I hate to say this–the team doesn’t look much better than last year.
I don’t know if the problem is the players, coaches or both.
Whatever it is–it will take VAST improvement to beat SC.

Burdell 90

September 7th, 2011
10:33 pm

Dumba$$ rednecks…

yogi1

September 7th, 2011
10:35 pm

Mark ( the waterhead)Richt and Mike( the goofy clown ) need to go now! Take allthe other coaches with them. Take waterhead’s watergirl girl with them. Leave now or be fired!

Gus Malzahn

September 7th, 2011
10:35 pm

WestCoast Dawg

September 7th, 2011
10:36 pm

AMEN Mobile Dawg.

Jimmy

September 7th, 2011
10:40 pm

Yes, I agree–we need to support the players.
Whatever the reason for our loss against Boise
These players need to know we appreciate them.

It does no good to criicize these kids.
I don’t think they want to lose or play badly.
Let’s support them.
If the team keeps losing, the coaching issues will resolve themselves.

Rise Up Athens!

September 7th, 2011
10:49 pm

It’s time to Rise Up Bulldawg Nation! C’mon. No more whining.

The Only Horses I Like Are Under My Hood

September 7th, 2011
10:50 pm

Attention Bulldawg Nation:

You can have ZERO faith in the coaching staff (I myself have had zero faith in Bobo the @$$ clown since he took over play calling duties).

You can think that USCjr will crush us.

BUT whatever you do, show up early and be loud to support the players, they are working hard and deserve the best atmosphere Sanford has to offer.

This is still UGA vs. The Ole Ball Coach and by Saturday we all need to be in the mindset that UGA can do it (drink a lot if that will get you going)

GO DAWGS!

Mobile Dawg

September 7th, 2011
10:51 pm

Hunker Down, just one more time. Have you noticed our serious decline started when Larry left. Old habits die hard, I miss Larry and Lewis.

darren

September 7th, 2011
10:58 pm

CNET please have a vision from jesus to move the hell on. It’s time to hire a real coach. He has more excuses than I can ever remember coming from the mouth of one man. In a word……… Done.

Jacket1985

September 7th, 2011
10:58 pm

Just some observations from reading Dawg fans comments on this blog. Something to think about: One of the biggest complaints from fans is why Bobo won’t open up the playbook and consequently open up the offense. I think it has a whole lot to do with who’s in the backfield. First off you have a converted linebacker in Samuel who just started learning the position in spring. Secondly, you have a true freshman who has only been in camp 4 weeks at the most.

I’m not sure what quarter it was but at some point in the Boise game Samuel went down and that left just Crowell (not sure where the other guys were) to play the tailback position. I would imagine that Bobo’s playbook shrunk to about a quarter of an inch thick when that happened. Yes, he should open up the play book but in reality I don’t think he could if he wanted to.

It’s way too early to be calling for Richt’s head on a platter. It is one game that doesn’t really matter and after the SC game the schedule gets way easy. UGA could reel off 5 or 6 at least whether they beat SC or not. You never know what’s going to happen. That’s why they line up and play the games.

Glad college football is back.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
10:58 pm

Bulldog Nation is a house divided it seems for sure. Go Dawgs and Mark Richt!

James K Polk

September 7th, 2011
11:09 pm

He’s “just coaching ball”…but, we are also paying him just $3 mil a year. That’s all. Can anyone imagine Saban saying such a thing?

ugab

September 7th, 2011
11:11 pm

if a freshman come in on saban’s team he wouls still know his job

Inlet Dawg

September 7th, 2011
11:13 pm

The old ball sack smells blood much like he did a few years ago with Fat Phil in Columbia(UT fired him by Monday morning),we don’t stand a chance the only thing we can do is figure our exit strategy and move on.Mark my words we will show up under prepared with no real game plan and not in shape enough for what little plan we got.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 7th, 2011
11:18 pm

Someone on UGA’s offense scored an 80 yd. touchdown. That person never touched the ball again on offense. Not Bobo’s fault?

layinlow

September 7th, 2011
11:25 pm

WOW!!! Richt just pretty much admitted that the offensive line was a complete mess. Two days until game time and he’s talking about Murray being on his back!!!! SC has some big ole defensive ends and now I’m convinced were going to get beat. Richt deep down inside knows it’s over. He made a lot of money and now can do what ever he wants going forward. I’m sure he could get a job at one of the ACC schools if he wished to stay in coaching or he might chose to do mission work. He sounds like a man defeated who has ram out of answers.

thereforfleaflicker

September 7th, 2011
11:25 pm

my opinion…This is not a “must” win for UGA, though it seems unlikely that Richt is unlikely to restore what we so need. That is HEART( hear me Erik R.). I was not at the game, but it just seems to me there is no FIRE in Richt….and that “rolls down hill”. Players play reflects on the head coach.
However, I remember UGA teams of years past that would always fight and play hard and still lose a game. I can handle losing if we fight(play hard at all times!) that, but this “we are beat” attitude is what it seems we have too much of….Erik Russell made it simple to understand…..GATA!!! That goes for coaching staff and players! just my 2 cents worth….

Erk Russell's Dog

September 7th, 2011
11:26 pm

I have a feeling the Ole Ball Coach’s offense is going to drop 50 on the Dawgs.If the Dawgs D could not stop a under sized Boise State, how will they stop a well coached Carolina offense.Murray better hope the O line gets a clue or he will be running for his life.A better option may be two tight ends and concentrate on running the ball.Play keep away and control the clock.

Curious George

September 7th, 2011
11:37 pm

Does Mark Richt REALLY know what the [heck] he is doing when it comes to actually coaching SEC Football and not just selling Ford pickups and being a paid “escort” for Nike?

REALLY?

Island Boi

September 7th, 2011
11:42 pm

Richt needs to play that top 10 recruiting class he reeled in…..Malcom Mitchell scoring the only big play on offense last game should tell you something:) Second, start Ray Drew opposite Jarvis to create a pass rush. Kellen Moore could have went to the prom with that CLEAN jersey. Third, tell grantham to Blitz, Blitz, Blitz! Finally, establish crowell in space and get him more touches. Go Dawgs!

Island Boi

September 7th, 2011
11:44 pm

We have wayyyyy more talent than the BAMA defense. Do you know what Saban and kirby smart would do with the kind talent we have on defense??? UNFAIR:)

ugaclassof2004

September 7th, 2011
11:48 pm

I really don’t see how we’re going to beat South Carolina this week. We might hang with them for a few quarters like we did vs. Boise State, but I think their talent and experience is just going to wear us down.

We really lack talent in the trenches, and I tell you what if Aaron Murray doesn’t play better than he did vs. Boise State, I’m fine with us going with someone else. Murray was just awful in that game last week. I’m am clearly underwhelmed by Mr. Crowell and our defense has no heart. If this is what we’re going to do week in and week out, then Richt needs to resign. I can promise you this: if we get blown out vs. South Carolina this week, McGarity will fire Richt regardless of how we finish.

Mountain Dawg

September 7th, 2011
11:49 pm

“I know what the Hell I’m doing!” I knew as soon as Richt uttered those words that they would return with a vengeance and take a chunk out of his ass.

dbc

September 8th, 2011
12:05 am

Blah, blah, blah. Richt has no idea. And half the players don’t including the offensive line. Short yardage? You couldn’t gain 2 yards on two downs in the red zone against Boise with a 243 lb. running back? Richt actually has control over a great deal, but he won’t do it. Too stubborn. I honestly believe he’s decided to go out on his own terms rather than have people tell him what to do. Got to respect him for that, but in the end, it will just be more of the same.

Class of 86

September 8th, 2011
12:06 am

If the same team shows up Saturday in Athens that was in the Dome, SC will win by 40 points. SC is stronger than Boise. I don’t see the Dawgs scoring on SC unless there is some lucky long play or kick return. The offensive line could not protect Murray with the guys Boise had, wait ’til SC comes to town.

Hoping for a major turn around this week, but I’ve been hoping for that for a loooooooooong time and it never seems to come. Maybe again Coastal Carolina.

Class of 86

September 8th, 2011
12:07 am

oops…against

dbc

September 8th, 2011
12:09 am

Everybody always points to what our competition did/or did not do in the last game. Turnovers, missed tackles, close shaves with inferior opponents. And then they play UGA and have the game of their lives and look like world beaters. And it’s happened quite a few times over the last three years. Why is that?

TheAntiMe

September 8th, 2011
12:14 am

Personally, I’m going to reserve judgment until a bit further into the season. However, just a personal observation, Mark Richt has gone through some tough times with the UGA program but this is the first time that I can remember him being so sensitive to the questions that he has gotten for the past two years but never really seemed to phase him.

Now it appears to be really getting to him and the more he tries not to show it, the more he shows how much he is, at least IMHO, feeling the heat. After all, if he were just tired of answering the same questions over again he would just politely shrug it off, as has heretofore been his way. But now he is struggling to maintain his patented calm, cool, and collected demeanor and seems to be coming a bit unhinged. I use the term unhinged in a very relative way as he has not started throwing chairs ala Bobby Knight, but for the coolest coach in town to be so increasingly sarcastic, that is totally out of character when referenced against his entire career at UGA.

We Bulldog fans can only hope that the players can help get it turned around for someone who has been a credit to UGA and has shown in the past an ability to be a good coach and a good example of a fine human being.

LakeDawg

September 8th, 2011
12:19 am

With the update on the O-line maybe CMR will decide to play some power football. That would be nice. Of course you’ve got to mix it up. Just make the I formation your fall back position. Nothing would make me happier than to see Spurrier get his. You know he’s cackling with glee right now thinking he’s going to run off another UGA coach. Let’s let McGarity make that decision at years end and not give the ole ball coach the satisfaction.

TheAntiMe

September 8th, 2011
12:27 am

I’m with you, LakeDawg. Nothing would make my Saturday more than seeing Spurrier slamming his head visor down into the ground about eighty times or more during the game.