Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shot Through the Heart but Who's to Blame? We Gave Football a Bad Name.

I know most of you have moved on. I know by Tuesday it's generally the time at which we decide to look forward instead of looking back, but not here, not yet and not today.  It was a LONG ride back to the territories my friends.  The debacle in the dome Saturday night has also contributed to a severe lack of sleep for yours truly.  Couple that with several days or drinking and eating and I feel about as slow as our offense looked for most of the night.

Yes our Dawgs went down to a WAC MWC team, AND we made them look like true BCS championship contenders in the process.  Congrats to the Broncos on the victory, you won't hear any excuses from me.  This game was not in question from very early on.  We were out coached in every aspect of the game. You've  a fine one in Coach Pete. Hold on to him as long as you can.  I for one would love to see what he would do with our team as HC.
But now, for what its worth, my thoughts on the state of affairs.



Offense:  Georgia came out into what was essentially a home field and proceeded to pick up EXACTLY where it left off with Central Florida in last years bowl game. The placed was jacked, I was coming off a 12 hour tailgate and was ready to finally put this whole narrative to sleep.  We won the toss, we called for the ball, we promptly went nowhere.  Cold realization crept in... I knew the game was over before it started.  Two false starts, a run for nothing and a delay of game.  Two false starts, a run for nothing, and a delay of game.   Let that sink in.
Two false starts, a run for nothing , and a delay of game.  A whole off season to prepare, a new S&C coach, a new nutrition regiment, some bad apples run off, a stud recruiting class, and  a new attitude from our Head Coach.  All these things we'd been hanging hope on; all these improvements and we come out with two false starts, a run for nothing, and a delay of game.  Simply embarrassing. As the game wore on, I felt like WE were the FCS school simply playing for a pay out.  We were the guys everyone knew was going to lose the game.  We looked unprepared and refused to adjust to the game on the ground while the team in white showed us how to play ball. It was all so familiar, so very 2010 and we'd all hoped that 2010 was ancient history.  Well let's get real, some names have changed but not much else.  The program showed no indication that it's not still in decline, #5 ranking opponent or not.

Our offense managed 3 scores on 3 different plays.  No sustained drive resulted in points. No gameplan was apparent.  Bobo continues to be maddeningly non-creative and stubborn with his play calling and Richt continues to ignore it. When 80% of the people sitting around you including an 8 year old girl correctly called the run up the middle on 3rd and 16, you have a problem.  I've written ( and many others too) about the tandem of Figgins and Samuel bringing 500lbs down hill at the Boise D, and what that could do to wear those smurfs down,  yet most of the time when the two were in the game together they were lined up, not in the I, but in a split back field?
It's as if Bobo decides to play AGAINST his own strengths to trick the defense somehow.   I mean kudos for the Boykin call and all but on a night when Samuel had only 12 yards, why not give Boykin the ball a few more tries?  How 'bout getting Mitchell in the game earlier? But what the hell do I know?
What was up with the "hurry up, but don't hurry up too much offense"?  Boise put on a hurry up offense clinic and I hope Richt and company were taking notes because our guys "hurried" up only to have to look back at the sidelines for 12-18 seconds for the play to come in.  We seemed confused and out of rhythm because of it. What did that hurry up do to their D?  They shrugged it off, probably even giggled a little:  They got 6 sacks and lots of pressure and oh, the run D wasn't too bad either. Take away Boykins run and UGA managed about 60 yards of total rushing.

On the Defense?  It felt like we'd improved....for a little while.  We lost 'Tree pretty early and were doing OK when he was in the game. Things opened up for them a when he left but we didn't bring any pressure the entire time. Was this because of 'Trees absence? Granthams lack of aggressiveness? Boise's adjustments?  They had a slow start too. It took some time for the smurfs to find some rhythm as well, but as with most good teams, they made some adjustments, settled down and figured it out.  Georgia just kept doing the same ole crap we've been doing since Bobo took over play calling.  But back to the D:  I didn't see either of our Nose Tackles making an impact the way I expected. We looked gassed most of the night with our hands on our hips trying to catch our breath. Kellen Moore took advantage of some HUGE gaps while they moved steadily down the field on us. We could not respond. No sacks; not one. It appeared we really never tried to get pressure on Moore or make any adjustments in our coverage to address the short dunks and dinks all night.

Overall the stats are so misleading.  Offensive production totals were not as lopsided as the score,(BSU 390 to UGA 373) but the score didn't indicate just how badly were were beaten..  You look at the stats: rushing BSU: 124, UGA 137-- passing: BSU: 261, UGA 236 and you would think the game was a tight one.  It was not.  Of Georgia's 373 yard of total offense, 167 of them came on 3 plays that also happened to be our ONLY scoring plays.  1 of those 3 plays by a guy who usually plays Defense. Outside of those 3 plays, Georgia manged only 206 yards and 13 first downs. While BSU was moving steadily down field adjusting their gameplan and scoring touchdowns, we were sticking to the same ole same ole and looking to the sideline each snap like a bunch of guys who needed a Powerade.

Lets be clear here folks, Georgia is not a good football team right now.  It's ironic that among the really really classy things I've been hearing from the bronco fans out here (that's sarcasm btw")  the one theme that has recently begun to take over the conversation is how good a team Georgia is.  The same folks who just a week ago said we were undisciplined, slow and not worthy of a top 25 ranking (they were right ironically) Now want to believe that they just took down an SEC power house. One "gentleman" told me that he was so happy they beat Georgia because it would shut up all the "SEC juice drinkin shit talkers" (I sensed some anger in that comment) That no one could deny them a shot at the BCS title now.  So now that they have beaten an SEC team (1-4 alltime) they deserve a NC?  Wow that's a huge amount of respect for a Georgia team that is going to have to reach down deep to pull out a winning record this year.

So where do we go from here Mark Richt?  I love you man, but Saturday night had me thinking something has to change.  I respect you Mark Richt, but its maddening to see us make no progress since last year.  Its maddening see a program like BSU recruit people who no one else gives a chance, a program that plays on a blue field in a small stadium in a little town far away from the big world put on a football clinic for us.  We have top talent, we have 1st class facilities, we were in the national picture just a few short years ago, but have fallen so far so fast. Meanwhile our conference has won the last 5 national championships by coaches who've been with their teams a fraction of the time you've had with Georgia.  The rest of the league has stepped up their play and we lose to a MWC team on national TV just 9 months after losing to UCF in the same miserable fashion.  Some people will tell you there's no shame in losing to a top 5 team. I'm not one of those people.  Boise beat us with good old fashioned (excuse the rugby kick) football. No trick plays because you don't need them when you play a team like ours. They looked like a team on a mission, with no pressure to prove anything because they know it themselves.  They are a disciplined group of players and coaches who deserve more than the crappy MW Conference that they play in.   Don't get me wrong, I'm not on the BSU bandwagon, I think a #5 ranking is still too high and I don't think they navigate a BCS conference schedule like ours without a a few losses. There's just no way to compare a MWC schedule to the grind of the SEC.  Beating a bad Georgia does not end that argument.  Sorry.

This one is especially tough for me as you all probably know.  Coming back here last night was no fun.  If you saw this place now you would think they'd already won the BCS national title. For all the talk that this was an easy win for them and was expected, they sure all are acting like they just beat a high caliber SEC team.  Some of these folks are still seeking respect and acknowledgement.  It's apparent in their responses when I tell them this loss was embarrassing to our program. "Why?  because you lost to a MWC Team?" they ask,
Well, yes and no. For all the talk of the top 5 ranking,  yes, losing to a MWC team is embarrassing, even one as good as they are, but as a Georgia fan losing to ANY top 5 team regardless has become the way of things, and that is what's more embarrassing.  Georgia doesn't get it done in the big games like it used to. Hell Georgia cant get it done in the small games either. That's a fact we cant hide.  This was embarrassing, and we did not play well.
We know who we are now and we are not a good football team.   It's damn ironic that these guys want to put so much respect into our team right after that game. Cars still fly their bronco flags, and I'm catching crap from all the usual suspects, except now some of them try to console me by telling me Georgia's not as bad as I think. This is among the most patronizing things I've yet to hear.  Like your little brother beats you ONE time in arm wrestling and now is telling you things are going to be OK.

We got another tough one this weekend folks.  Winning would take the sting off this loss, but not the smell.
That's going to be with us for a long time.
What are we made of? Are we going to let BSU beat us twice by coming out uninspired and sloppy?
Will Bobo or Richt finally decide that enough is enough with the vanilla playcalling.  Are we still starting Samuel ahead of  Crowell (12 yards to 60 yards rushing) because of a missed blocks?  Does this mean we'll sit our entire O-line too? I mean they missed a few blocks themselves you know.  What the hell are we gonna do without "Tree for 4-6 weeks? Can we get the damn ball to the playmakers more?  Will we please abandon that non hurry up hurry up offense?

Finally, I have decided to abstain from alcohol until Georgia wins another game. Kinda like my own personal take on a hunger strike.  We all have to make sacrifices; how this helps Georgia I do no know but when I drink it feels like celebrating, and there is nothing to celebrate here. Ill see if I can get through the uSC game without my Knob Creek.  Wish me luck.

6 comments:

  1. Of all the articles I've read in the wake of the game, yours was the closest to how I've been feeling about the game and the state of the program.

    So, so frustrating... So, so disappointing. Boise shined a gigantic spotlight on just how poorly prepared and coached our team has become over the last several years. I still think the changes made during the off-season were some of the right ones, but this game showed me how much damage had been done in recent years... you can't reverse all that in one summer. After the game I found myself doubting for the first time that Richt is going to be able to get it done. I hate that.

    I had lunch today with an Auburn fan. He compared Richt to Tuberville... not a bad comparison. Both coaches had early success but somehow lost it by the time they hit 10 years. I'm still hoping Richt will prove us wrong... I'm rooting for him to do so, I just don't expect it anymore.

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  2. I agree with Dog44. This was one of the best write-ups that captured the game.
    I don't mind so much that UGA lost the game. It's the way the team played that bothers me. I can't understand why they weren't prepared for the game after an entire off season. Some of the guys didn't seem to know where they were supposed to be on the field. O-line couldn't block. The offense couldn't run their own "hurry-up" and the defense couldn't handle BSU's. Really? None of these things were worked on in practice this summer?
    I agree a win on Sat. will go a long way to fix the mood but you are right that the sting of this game will be there for a while. Not because they lost but because of the way they played.
    I do like the fact that UGA played a good team to start the season, otherwise they would have beat a cupcake and gone into the SC game not knowing what type of team they were. Now everyone knows what needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that need to be fixed.

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  3. Wow! When you read this stuff, you realize that a lot of Dawg fans share the very same traits that they accuse our team of. That is "being quitters". Seems quite a few of you have given up already. Come on guys and gals? Give me a break. did you actually come into this season thinking NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR? Duh? Not just yet fans and fannies. But....was it realistic to come into the season thinking....GEORGIA DOME IN DECEMBER? A shot at the championship? Damn right it was and damn right it still is. Boise beat us fair and square. Doesn't make any difference if they came out of the MWC or out of Atlanta's Dixie Youth League. They were, and will be for a while, flat out better than Georgia. The truth is, that beating at their hands only killed the unrealistic dreams of those who had us playing for the BCS title. It, in no way, affected out ability to end up in Atlanta. We can beat the 'Cocks between the hedges this weekend, and we can win the East. We can get to the dome for a second time this season and redeem ourselves. Might be a good thing if some of the whiners, the quitters, etc. just stay home from future games. Hell, you have already decided that we can't win them anyway. Save your money and aggravation. Sit home on Saturday and watch golf. Talk to me when we are officially out of the running for an SEC title. Not one game into the season.

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  4. TC
    I think alot of us simply expected to see improvements over last season. When we came out like we did picking right up where we left off with UCF you have to be concerned. I did not expect a national championship season from the dawgs, but I DID expect improvement. I expected us to not only be in this game, but to win it. If we would have lost a close game, if a play here or there made the difference in the end, or if you could point a coaching decsion here or there that was the difference in the game then the outlook would be brighter. I would have reason to think that all the things we did in the offseason worked, that we were moving in the right direction. That progress was being made. The fact is we were not in this game from midway through the first half and the writing was on the wall after the first series. Coaching decisions continue to mystify me. Boise State put on a clinic for us. Lose your two starting wide recievers? No problem, put in a true freshman, adjust your game plan and what do you know, you're winning games again. Why shouldn't we expect the same of our team? With our talent and our facilities why shouldn't we expect better than what we got on Saturday? We seem incapable lately to make adjustments or play to our strengths. A bronco fan out here told me he thought that if Georgia had Coach Pete at the helm we'd win a NC within two years. I dont think thats too far fetched.
    I'm not quiting on my dawgs, I'm about as "all in" as anyone can be. I just finally took off the rose colored glasses I've been wearing since a week after our last loss.

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  5. TC,
    Being labeled a "quitter" is a bit harsh. I prefer to be labeled "someone who contributes over $3,000 per year to the athletic department for season tickets, a former football letterwinner, but someone who is tired of the excuses and the fact we have had top 10 talent for the past 10 years and cannot coach it." Drink the Kool-Aid if you wish, I'm "ALL IN" too, but I'm also a realist, and know enough about what's going on inside that building over there from people that i played with who know.... it's not good man. Don't chastize people who are tired of having someone piss in their face and tell them that it's raining.

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  6. TC, I'm not sure what you read that led you to call everyone names. I can still be a fan and not like the way the team has played the last two games.
    I never had any thoughts of a National Championship this season. I guessed 8-4 after looking at this year's schedule.
    Like I said, I don't have a problem that they lost. I have a problem with the way they played.
    I think UGA can beat SC and win the East (due to the soft schedule) but not if they play like they played last week. The record will be well below 8-4 if that keeps up.
    You have to have some rose-colored glasses to have watched the BSU game and still feel good about the team's chances to win the East this year. That said, I would like nothing more than to be proven wrong in the next few weeks and have UGA stomp USC and go back to Atlanta.

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