Struggles continue in marquee games; team whipped but not flat, Richt says

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A dismal loss to South Carolina extended and exacerbated the Georgia football team’s multi-year trend of struggling — a lot — against top opponents.

Saturday night’s 35-7 loss — Georgia’s first game of the season against a ranked opponent and its first defeat of the season — dropped the Bulldogs’ record against Top 25 teams to 2-8 since the start of the 2010 season, including 0-4 against Top 10 teams.

And going back a bit further, the loss dropped the Bulldogs to 6-14 against Top 25 teams since the start of the 2008 season, including 1-9 against Top 10 opponents.

The impact of the loss on Georgia’s national reputation was quickly registered. Ranked No. 5 before the game, the Bulldogs tumbled Sunday to No. 14 in the Associated Press media poll and No. 12 in the USA Today coaches’ poll. South Carolina rose from No. 6 to No. 3 in both.

Asked late Saturday night how he responds to the perception that Georgia doesn’t rise to the occasion in high-profile games, UGA offensive lineman Chris Burnette said: “I can’t really dispute it because we haven’t.”

The Bulldogs’ only wins over ranked opponents in the past 2 1/2 seasons came last season against Auburn and Georgia Tech, Nos. 24 and 25, respectively, in the AP poll at the time of those games.

You have to go back to a 2009 victory over Tech, No. 7 at the time, to find Georgia’s most recent victory against a Top 10 opponent. Aside from that, the Bulldogs have lost to every such team they’ve faced in the past 4 ½ seasons: Alabama and Florida in 2008; Oklahoma State, LSU and Florida in 2009; Auburn in 2010; Boise State and LSU (SEC title game) in 2011; and South Carolina in 2012.

“We definitely want to make sure that in the future we can rise up to that occasion,” Burnette said. “We know what we’re capable of, but we’ve just got to go back and look at film and figure out what happened, what we did wrong.”

Saturday’s loss left Georgia (5-1, 3-1 SEC) a game behind South Carolina (6-0, 4-0) and Florida (5-0, 4-0) in the SEC East. Georgia doesn’t play this week, while South Carolina is at LSU and Florida at Vanderbilt.

Georgia won the East last season despite losing to South Carolina. To repeat that feat, the Bulldogs likely would need to win out — including Oct. 27 vs. Florida, currently No. 4 in the AP poll — and would need South Carolina to lose twice (say, at LSU and at Florida).

“I’m definitely not losing confidence in this team at all or in our coaching staff or anything like that,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday. “That’s the worst thing you can do. Teams panic and they tend to fall apart. But Georgia is not going to fall apart.

“A year ago, we’re 0-2 and everybody wants to decide the sky has fallen and it’s over for Georgia. But what did we do? We stayed firm; we believed in each other; we kept banging away; we started to win; and before you know it, we won the Eastern Division. … It’s unfortunate [Saturday’s game] came out the way it did with so much at stake, but there’s still a lot at stake. The sun did come up, and we’re going to get back to work.”

Richt rejected the suggestion the Bulldogs were flat against the Gamecocks.

“I wouldn’t say it was a flat performance,” he said. “I would just say that South Carolina physically whipped us.”

He continued: “If we’d had more success early in the ballgame, it wouldn’t have seemed like a flat performance. Even the initial drive, if [Bacarri] Rambo hangs on to the pick and we turned it into points, all of a sudden things look a little bit different. So there’s a lot of things that could have happened along the way if we could have [pass-]protected better or run- blocked better and been more accurate or tackled better — all of those things. I’m still going to say South Carolina did a heck of a job, and we didn’t get it done.”

Georgia averaged 48.2 points in winning its first five games, but the Gamecocks jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first 10 minutes and held the Dogs scoreless until the final two minutes.

As South Carolina built the early lead, Georgia had breakdowns on offense (a tipped interception), defense (a missed interception, open receivers) and special teams (a 70-yard punt return for a Carolina touchdown). So it went, the Gamecocks’ domination starting on the line of scrimmage and permeating all phases of the game.

“It’s definitely humbling,” Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones said.

“They were shell-shocked,” South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore told reporters. “We hit them in the mouth, and they weren’t ready for it.”

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF GEORGIA-SOUTH CAROLINA GAME

654 comments Add your comment

Hanky Panky

October 7th, 2012
10:29 pm

HIRE JON GRUDEN AS GEORGIA’S NEXT HEAD FOOTBALL COACH.

Buzz 2011

October 7th, 2012
10:29 pm

South Carolina is the true strengthof SEC in east. They will run 3 top ten teams in 3 traight weeks. The Dawgs nothing schedule have made them nothing..

Cocky's Revenge

October 7th, 2012
10:30 pm

Joe, Joe, Joe….. It the powerful GA offense averaging 48 pts a game could not “expose” future number 1 overall draft pick Clowney…then who will? LSU …the offensive juggernaut who put up 6 pts agains the Gators.

HAHAHAHA, Or maybe the Gators dynamic 3 yards and a cloud of mudd!

DawgPound

October 7th, 2012
10:32 pm

In all seriousness, as long as UGA fans keep ponying up money, there is no reason to change anything. We’re close, yes, but we are obviously not elite. Still, UGA sells out every game and raises a ton of money from the alumni. Why risk anything by getting rid of CMR. He’s got us close, which is something Goff and Donnan couldn’t do. As long as were “close”, the money will roll in. And, in the end, that’s all that matters. No, we won’t win it all any time soon, but we’re not going to go through an Auburn or Arkansas season as long as CMR is here.

Athenzdawg

October 7th, 2012
10:32 pm

anyone have John Gruden’s number….I know the Bulldog Movers could be there the next day to move Richt off his comfy thrown…..tired of all this.

Hanky Panky

October 7th, 2012
10:33 pm

HIRE JON GRUDEN.

USMC

October 7th, 2012
10:33 pm

Hire Bobby Petrino at the end if the season, PLEASE!

Mark Richt needs to go do missionary work or something.

dawggirl

October 7th, 2012
10:34 pm

ENOUGH. Christian Robinson’s house was egged and rolled, what kind of fans are you? Disgusting. Whoever did this doesn’t deserve to have a football team of any kind. Probably has an IQ of about 40. To take this out on a young kid is cowardice at the highest level. Real big “man” of you.

If & Not

October 7th, 2012
10:34 pm

LakeDawg, It’s more than one game, have you noticed we come up short in BIG GAMES? Have you noticed that AU, ALA, TENN, FLA, and LSU won Titles with major contributions from Ga recruits? One game does not constitute a firing, but mediocrity on a constant basis is justification.

Big Wally

October 7th, 2012
10:34 pm

Lakedawg, you really have short term memory there. Big Game with Boise St. last year – they blew our doors off. Big Game at home with SC – and lost. Big Game vs LSU in the SECC game and they blew our doors off. Had a big lead vs Mich St. in bowl game and blew it. Went 6-7 the year before, and Lost to a stinking Conference-USA team. You may be satisfied with mediocrity, but the rest of us are fed up with it.

DawgPound

October 7th, 2012
10:34 pm

Gruden gets $1 million a year for doing nothing. No stress, 3 hours a week on the air for 16 weeks a year. He isn’t giving up that gig for anything.

Joe, Joe, Joe

October 7th, 2012
10:35 pm

You are a prime example of why other team’s fans can’t wait to celebrate when Ga loses. Ga just got their a$$es handed to them, gave up and left the field with their tails tucked between their legs and you are still running your mouth about what SC will or will not do the rest of the season. Well one thing is certain, the mighty dogs are once again reduced to hoping other teams can do what they can not, beat SC on the field of play. Little puppy get back under the porch where you belong.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

October 7th, 2012
10:35 pm

Richt’s job is safe as long as he continues to beat Georgia Tech. That’s what he was brought to Georgia to do and that’s what he’s done. Richt is a pretty good coach but George O’Leary’s departure and the subsequent (and unfortunate) hiring of Chan Gailey at Tech are arguably the two biggest factors that have kept Richt in Athens. Georgia’s athletic administration is under no delusions about topping Florida or the rest of the SEC.

Profiler

October 7th, 2012
10:36 pm

CMR is in denial. I was there; it was total domination. Sure if a few plays went the other way… I understand he’s got to try to rally the troops, but don’t lie to your constituency.

Cobb Dawg

October 7th, 2012
10:37 pm

In the grand scheme, college football is not all that important. But the guy does make millions to produce and he doesn’t get that done. Maybe he should forfeit that salary and let the money go to important causes, since he’s not earning it.

Thogwummpy

October 7th, 2012
10:37 pm

Both the offensive and defensive linemen perform like weaklings. All season we’ve lacked pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and particularly on the right side of the O-line, they get man handled (yet Bobo insists on running play after play behind freshman Theus…what was it, 14 tries for a total of five yards there?). Fact is, we’ve all read articles about the UGA players lacking toughness, and all season both offensive and defensive lines have gotten pushed around. Georgia needs to find a strength and conditioning coach that can get the job done. We bring in all these great recruits…and they seem to get shoved around by most teams the Dawgs play. It’s pitiful, just pitiful!

Seriously?

October 7th, 2012
10:38 pm

Please tell me how Saban can win 2 NC in 5 years while MR has won 0 in 12 years? I think we have to face facts folks…MR needs to go.

Cocky's Revenge

October 7th, 2012
10:38 pm

Dog fans…Getting rid of Mark Richt is not cure for cancer or our nations unemployment issues. Reality check. Jarvis Jones is the back of my milk carton and Rambo is receiving treatment at the burn center. Richt nor Bobo could have done much about either one of those situations. Be careful of getting rid of 10 win coaches…..ask Tennessee fans about how horrible those 10 win seasons where. Look at how great things are now…..HAHAHAHA.

DawgPound

October 7th, 2012
10:38 pm

Richt will get his 8 or 9 wins a year (most of the time). UGA isn’t going to risk another Goff to improve upon that. Hey, if we get another Greene at QB and the stars line up, it could happen under Richt. If not, we’re still a freaking money raising factory for the school. In the end, that’s all that matters.

Cobb Dawg

October 7th, 2012
10:39 pm

Highly Respected, I’m assuming that was tongue-in-cheek. Out of all of UGA’s games each season, Tech’s one that very few UGA fans think of. We have real rivals to worry about.

Ugadawg98

October 7th, 2012
10:40 pm

I’ll tell you the problem, QB. As long as Murray is here we wi
L never be more than also rans..

DawgPound

October 7th, 2012
10:41 pm

Bama got Saban before we did. There is only one! Let’s face it, he is better than Richt but who could we get that is better. No way Bobby Petrino comes back to Georgia. He couldn’t beat Saban, either.

Profiler

October 7th, 2012
10:42 pm

Also, SC students were in their seats when the gates opened, were loud, and stayed until the bitter end. SC fans (including the older ones and I am sure they all don’t live in Columbia, meaning they have a drive to make in the late hours) didn’t leave as soon as the game was in hand, but stayed and enjoyed the blowout.

The entire Georgia program needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they can do better. If its not cool to be at the game early and cheering or if the drive is too far or too late, for goodness sakes, give your tickets to someone else.

USMC

October 7th, 2012
10:42 pm

Georgia needs to put Hutson Mason in at QB. sorry.

DawgPound

October 7th, 2012
10:44 pm

Murray isn’t the problem. Tom Brady couldn’t have done anything with Clowney & Co. beating the snot out of him. Sheesh, we have a QB who can win. We need linemen who can block.

dawggirl

October 7th, 2012
10:45 pm

USMC – were you the one who egged his house?

Buzz 2011

October 7th, 2012
10:45 pm

Very few Tech fans think of the Dawgs as they are always overrated as you are aware. I will admit though, I thought of them last night Cobb Dawg. Weren’t they wonderful?

Cocky's Revenge

October 7th, 2012
10:45 pm

AMBER ALERT: Nationally recognized line-backer last seen warming up prior the UGA/USC football game has been missing for 24 hrs. Last seen wearing a #29 jersey, white with black numbers.

USMC

October 7th, 2012
10:45 pm

Guys Mark Richt gets paid $3plus MILLION per year to PRODUCE.
This is a big business not Sunday School Flag Football.
Look what Urban Meyer is doing at OSU in his FIRST year.
UGA needs Bobby Petrino. He has done his forgiveness tour and repented.

Big Wally

October 7th, 2012
10:46 pm

Hello Mr. Kirby Smart. This is the Holiday Inn in Athens, and we are just confirming your reservation tomorrow. We understand that you have a meeting with the Athletic Director at the University of Georgia, will you be needing transportation?

Ol' Timer

October 7th, 2012
10:46 pm

I’ve seen enough football games to know what “flat looks like” and the Dawgs were road kill. South Carolina ran over them, backed over them and ran over them time and time again — and the Dawgs looked like they were caught tin the headlights.

I’m glad they’ve got the week off. They’re going to have to figure this thing out or they’ll enter into a death spiral.

Profiler

October 7th, 2012
10:47 pm

And all you Georgia alums or supporters who expect to arrive at the stadium 1-2 hours before the game and buy tickets for 1/2 face value, stay home! You act as though you are entitled to get tickets for nothing. If you want tickets, get in the Hartman Club and contribute and earn your tickets. Don’t expect those that do to buy your tickets in February, hold them all year, and sell them to you at 1/2 of face value (which says nothing about the contribution) on game day.

My Color Don't Matter

October 7th, 2012
10:47 pm

Beat Florida, Richt gets New contract, Georgia goes second tier again. Life in Athens, so simple. Hey Charlie Strong will you relocate?

USMC

October 7th, 2012
10:47 pm

“USMC – were you the one who egged his house?”

I don’t “egg” houses. Who’s house? :-)

Profiler

October 7th, 2012
10:49 pm

Theus did an admirable job Sat. It was Clowney eating Gates lunch every play. It probably would have been the same if he had lined up on the other side. Gates didn’t even have time to grab his jersey.

Contractor

October 7th, 2012
10:50 pm

I’m a little curious to what game Mark Richt was at Saturday? Was he in Raleigh at the Florida State game, because it was a lot closer than the one we all thought he was at.

mamadawg

October 7th, 2012
10:50 pm

I think all you haters need to take a step back. Aaron Murray’s father has been diagnosed with cancer is will undergo surgery in the morning….Aaron and his sibling were just told this week. Stop and think how you would feel if you were in his shoes. A game is a game…. there are more important things …such as the health and life of man that Aaron Murray calls “Dad”!!!

tired dog

October 7th, 2012
10:51 pm

First thing CMR needs to do is drop about 40 pounds. He looks like he hasn’t passed up a dessert since he has been in Athens. Second, he needs to show some emotion on occasion. Can’t ever tell if he is happy or mad. It would be nice if the head coach looked like he was upset after getting dog whipped by a South Carolina team with not half the talent of the Dogs.Third, he needs to lose that ***t eating grin that he keeps on his face most of the time. What’s up with that? Fourth, he needs to quit selling trucks until he turns the program around. Saban and Spurrier can sell trucks. CMR needs to start selling his talented team on what it takes to become a first rate program.

BREAKING NEWS

October 7th, 2012
10:53 pm

The Lingerie Football League — yes, you read that right — announced Tuesday that the league’s newest team will be in Atlanta. The yet-to-be named 12th team in the league will play its home games in the spring at Gwinnett Center, the league spokesman said.

ESPN can now confirm that the 12th team is the University of Georgia. They gave us a sneak preview of their upcoming season this past Saturday.

Dawg-Gawn

October 7th, 2012
10:54 pm

@pete:

One step at a time… UGA is good (young OL) not great but aiming for excellence and trying to recruit top OL right now! Patience.

Ole HBC hates UGA more than UGA hates USCe… UGA must have done something right in his eyes… HBC took our coaches to SCHOOL! No doubt about it!

“Fan-Up”

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

Cocky's Revenge

October 7th, 2012
10:55 pm

Sorry of hear of Murry’s father and the cancer diagnosis. Life can be harsh.

As the Aaron and the Gurshall twins…they must have Triskaidekaphobia…the fear of the number seven.

Joe

October 7th, 2012
10:58 pm

I am just saying that if you glean from last night’s performance that Scu is a national title contender, then you have not been watching UGA since 2005.

In 2006, Kentucky and Vandy were not national title contenders. In ‘07 Scu and Tenn were not national title contenders. Michigan St,, Scu and Boise were not last year. There have been plenty of others, but the point is that beating UGA does not mean sh*t anymore.

There was a time when Richt first got to Athens that a team had to play their absolute best and hope to come out with a win. Since the ‘05 Sugar Bowl, lots of mediocre teams have curb stomped UGA. Coach Richt is always real proud for those other boys, though.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

October 7th, 2012
10:58 pm

@Cobb Dawg – Not at all tongue-in-cheek. Richt is at UGA because he beats Georgia Tech and for no other reason. It’s been years since UGA won the SEC…why else would Georgia keep him other than his record against Tech? If the Yellow Jackets were to bring back O’Leary and Friedgen, Richt would probably be gone in five years. O’Leary’s 4-1 in his last five games against Georgia and that includes the UCF/UGA bowl game. Remember Donnan’s record against Tech and what happened to him?

BobDawg

October 7th, 2012
10:58 pm

I’m finally done with CMR… There, I said it… Let me ask you all something… How many yards would Lattimore and Shaw have gotten behind our O-line last night… Yep, nothing…Nada… We got destroyed in the trenches and Tide Roll for all his spewing is right… We don’t have the coaching to figure it out and we aren’t tough enough…We are getting out-recruited year in and year out now by the Bama’s and USC’s and I’m tired of turning the other cheek. Now Clemson is coming in and taking players by the boatload….Congrats to USC and Spurrier can crow all he wants. This is the SEC folks and you are either getting better or you are getting worse…

Profiler

October 7th, 2012
10:59 pm

No disrespect to any players. This was a total beatdown and rests solely on the coaches.
I have said nothing about firing, but we need a better explanation. Many have not ‘been in the arena’, but we are financing the whole gig and we need some honest answers and not some bs denial about a few plays. I was there and I recorded it also. We lack the physicality of other teams.

BobDawg

October 7th, 2012
11:01 pm

We used to be Road Warriors when Richt was first here and now we just kinda show up and that is on the coaches… Don’t blame Murray or any of the players…He was running for his life. The coaching should have max protected his butt and Bobo didn’t get it done….

Sick and tired

October 7th, 2012
11:02 pm

“We have the players & coaching staff to have a great year.” It’s attitudes like this that keep this crap happening every year. We will never win big games with these coaches!! Open your eyes people! Look at our record against ranked teams since 2008. It speaks for itself. 2-14 and you are ok with that?

Rick James

October 7th, 2012
11:03 pm

@Big Wally

October 7th, 2012
10:28 pm

I really wish I had the optimism that some of you have when you think that UGA will win out and make it back to the SEC Championship Game. My question is, even if that miracle were to happen, Bama would beat us worse than SC did, and Richt would be left giving us lame excuses – once again.
—————————————————————————————————————————
Then why bother the reat of the season Wally.Fair weather fans like you constantly whine and complain when the chips are down but out scream everybody when the team wins.This time last year Georgia was 3-2 and had lost to SC. I’m sure you thought it take a miracle then to get to to Atlanta.Do all of the real fans a favor and just go away..

DroopyDawg

October 7th, 2012
11:04 pm

This is what happens when you hire a former QB who couldn’t compete himself in college or Pros…in fact I believe he was bar tending full time at one point(true story)…Anyway….for Burnette to say he would have to study film and correct the errors…is BS…if the players can do all of that, what do we need coaches for? It’s the coaching staff’s job to evaluate film, and determine what went wrong and THEN coach the players to ensure it doesn’t happen again…this is another example of no leadership on this team…Wish Tarkenton or Samuel L. Jackson…someone with celebrity and some pull, would openly address these issues..and anyone saying I am a fair weather fan can keep being happy with mediocrity, if it suits you. The Georgia football program is bigger than any one person or persons. CMR said “Last year we started 0-2 and look what we went on to do…”…What? Win against cupcakes and then get humiliated in Atlanta against LSU, then lose to Mich St in the bowl game?…Give me a break..CMR has the Bobby Bowden complex…he will never leave on his own…he will need to be shown the door. Hasn’t he made enough money off of Georgia so he can go back and retire in Florida now?

SECBOYZ

October 7th, 2012
11:04 pm

I AGREE WITH ALOT OF COMMENTS ON HERE… CMR IS GOTTA GO & BOBO

U DON’T HAVE A RECRUITING BASE WE HAVE IN GEORGIA PUT GUYS IN THE NFL LIKE WE AND BRING BACK 9 STARTERS FROM LAST AND LET S.C. JUST BEAT THE HELL OUT OF U.
AARON MURRAY IS NOT AN ELITE QB PERIOD.. A 3YR STARTER now I DON’T BLAME THE FRESHMAN RUNNING BACKS, THEY R YOUNG BACKS PLUS SOONER THAN LATER THEY WHERE GONNA HIT A WALL.. BUT ONE WR GOES DOWN AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THE OFF FALLS DOWN LIKE U CAN’T SCORE WITH WHAT’S OUT THERE.. I GIVE CREDIT TO S.C. FOR BEING PREPARED AND SHOWING AND SHOWING OUT.. WE DIDN’T LOOK FLAT WE LOOK SCARED WHEN U COACH A TEAM OF OUR CALIBER WITH PLAYERS WE HAVE U DON’T LAY DOWN AND QUIT TO NOBODY.. YEA NICK SABAN MITE CHEAT OR WHATEVA BUT IT’S ONE THING WE ALL KNOW IS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO PLAYING ON SATURDAYS THE GUY GOT HIS BOYZ FOCUS AND READY TO PLAY WHOEVA… UGA FANS R VERY TIRED AND SICK OF THIS S&%# HAPPENED EVERY YEAR.. AS FANS WE CAN ONLY CHEER WE CAN’T GO OUT PLAY THE GAME FOR U… WE WANT RINGS WE WANT BANNERS AROUND ATHENS..
THIS STATE SHOULD NOT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING ELSE.. WE NEED BETTER COACHES PLAIN AND SIMPLE.. ITS TOO MUCH TALENT AT UGA TO SIT THERE AND WATCH SUMONE WHO RIVALS US (S.C.) OR ANYBODY NOT BE CHALLENGING BAMA OR ANYBODY FOR RINGS.. WE PAY GOOD MONEY AND WE R DIE HARD FANS.. VERY I MEAN VERY HURT BY WHAT HAPPEN ON THE ROAD WITH UGA.. U PLAY ONCE A WEEK FOR A A$$ BEATING..
EMBARRASSING