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Will We See Something Different?

If there was one thing I was concerned about from day 1 with Schotty’s play calling, it was if the offense got to a point where it was struggling, could his NFL mind be creative enough to figure out a way to mix it up?  I said so before fall camp, and even the day he was hired.

Here is what I wrote on January 8:

Can a NFL mind have the capacity for abstract thought?

Look at Sony Michel as an example. He is a special back. I think Chubb is the man, but Michel is a special, unique talent. He is not the kind of back you want to run behind a fullback between the tackles every time he touches the ball. But he is a dangerous weapon. Bobo found ways to utilize his talents-giving him sweeps in motion, Wildcat runs, lining him up as the slot receiver and throwing him the ball, etc.

Will Schotty know how to use guys that aren’t the cookie cutter ‘pro-style” guys he finds in the pros?

….I don’t know if that will be the case with Schotty. Time will tell. But I saw enough of LSU play to know that an NFL offensive mind can have trouble changing things up to make the offense work.

Georgia has been very secretive with the media this year.  All we heard last week was that Georgia was going to get back to the basics last week, and wait until yesterday to install the Florida plan.  But in the bye week, can our offense put in a few wrinkles to mix it up?

Clearly, with Lambert struggling and Nick Chubb injured, something needs to be different.

Like I said back in January, and we have seen this to be true, Sony Michel is a special player.  But he is not built to be an every down between the tackle back.  Sure, he can break a long run up the middle, but considering his injury history, he is just not built to run the ball up the middle 20 times a game. That is not a knock against him, that is just the truth.

It has been ten years since Georgia went to Jacksonville and lost to Urban Meyer’s first Florida team.  If you’ll remember, Florida was struggling the first year under Meyer’s spread offense.  What did Florida do against us?  They used the bye week, incorporated the tight end and full back, and zoomed out to a quick 14-0 lead.  And that was all the offense the Gators needed with an injured D.J. Shockley.

Florida has a top 20 defense nationally in total defense, scoring defense and is #21 in rushing defense.  The good news is that Georgia’s defense isn’t far behind.

I always go into Jacksonville thinking we are going to win.  This year, I am skeptical. I am going into the Florida game with as low expectations as I’ve had twice, one time being the 2009 game when they had Tebow, Harvin, Spikes, etc. and we had Joe Cox.  The only other time I thought Georgia would be run off the field was 2007.

The reason Georgia has lost, more often than not, is because the inability to score touchdowns and settle for field goals. Couple the fact that Georgia has not kicked well in Jacksonville, and Marshall Morgan’s erratic kicking (9/14 this year), this does not bode well for Georgia and an offense that is struggling to find its way. Settling for field goals in Jacksonville, and making them, has been a struggle throughout Richt’s tenure.

Year Kicks Made/Kicks Attempted
2014 0/1
2013 3/3
2012 1/2
2011 1/3
2010 1/1
2009 1/1
2008 1/3
2007 0/1
2006 0/0
2005 1/3
2004 1/1
2003 2/3
2002 2/4
2001 1/2
TOTAL 15/28-53.6%

So if Georgia has to settle for 3 instead of 7, and then doesn’t make the 3, it will be a long afternoon on the Banks of St. John’s River Saturday.

So this goes back to my original point-Georgia will have to do something different on offense.  I don’t know what that will need to be, but hopefully some imagination and creativity has been sparked during the bye week.


Good, Bad and Ugly From Missouri

I am doing this from my phone, so apologies in advance for typos…
I’ve been in a negative place for the past week, so let’s start with the good. After all, we did win. 
The Good

You can quantify this with “Yeah, but, it was Missouri and their offense stinks.”   Yeah, but, the defense played very well. Missouri’s offense does suck, but Georgia looked like they should against that team. Anytime you hold a team to 21 yards rushing that is a good thing.  Missouri completed a few big passes over the middle but that is par for the course. Very pleased with the defensive effort. 

Terry Goodwin had a nice day catching the ball and returning punts. 

We’ll get to Greyson Lambert in the bad and ugly parts, but he did complete 71% of his passes. So there is something nice. 

And the offense converted third downs and won time of possession. 

The Bad

Special teams is a mixed bag, again. 

Lambert is just not comfortable. He stares at his receivers like a teenage boy looking at a Playboy for the first time.  Georgia got beyond lucky the pass wasn’t ruled an interception, because it should have been one. 

The play calling didn’t help much. If he receiver screens weren’t working, don’t do it. That is textbook definition of insanity. 

Having Branden Douglas run east to west doesn’t work. And when he was running hard, you then mix it up and lose 5 yards. 

The Ugly

I ran into a few Missouri fans after the game and over heard them say “I was hoping we didn’t get embarrassed, but that was worse.”
I felt like I was watching an Iowa game. Look, from time to time-especially in the SEC-there are going to be low scoring defensive battles. Especially with teams that have good defenses and questions on offense and specifically at quarterback. But damn.  With that said, in the context of everything  else we’ve seen this season, that was just an ugly game. All the way around. 

Keys to Victory

Look at what happened on offense, defense and special teams the last two weeks, and do the opposite. 

Time Has Come For UGA and Mark Richt To Part Ways

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

Hamlet, Act I, Scene IV

This is going to be a long one, so buckle in…

I’ve never been one to put an edict on “Georgia should do X…”  To me, that is short-sighted.

I’ve always said you know it when you see it.  After the 2011 season opener against Boise State, I was near despondent.  After the South Carolina game the following week, I was encouraged, even in defeat.  I saw things that were positive.  The 2006 season wasn’t nearly as disappointing as the he record-with losses to Kentucky and Vanderbilt-would indicate. There were things that were encouraging and positive.

In 2010, a team that had a losing season actually was an improved team from the 2009 team.  Though the results didn’t show it on the field, I saw a team that was getting better.

In 2013, though the results on the field weren’t spectacular, you saw a team ravaged by injury play hard and not give up.  That was encouraging.

Something was there.  You knew it when you saw it.

Something just isn’t right anymore in Athens.  You just know it when you see it.

The time has come for Mark Richt and the University of Georgia to separate.  Things are broken.

I don’t say this lightly.

If you agree with my sentiments, then you also have to acknowledge a few things, otherwise you are not being completely honest with yourself:

  1. I want to make something crystal clear: Mark Richt is not a bad coach.  He is not the best coach in the SEC.  But he isn’t awful.  He has been good enough.  He has been great.  But he hasn’t been great enough, often enough.  We clamor for championships, but we clamor for championships because of the success his leadership has brought on this program.  But with success comes expectations, and expectations have not been met.
  1. And I want to make something else clear: his success wasn’t entirely front loaded. The early years with the Davids and Shockley weren’t a flash in the pan.  The last ten years since the last SEC Championship, Georgia went 88-37 (70.4%), including 4 top ten finishes, two top 5 finishes, and two SEC East Division crowns (and should have been a third, had it not been for injuries in 2013).  Not Alabama level of success, and not the level of the first five years, but let’s be honest. Many other programs would love to trade places with UGA during the past 15 years-and even during the past 10 years.  I can think of a few that wouldn’t:  Oregon, Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, LSU and Auburn.  What other programs since 2006 would not trade places with UGA?  I can’t think of many.
  1. Overall, Coach Richt has done a tremendous job against the top rivals, with the exception of Florida, but the tide in that series has turned.
  • Georgia Tech: 12-2
  • Tennessee: 11-4
  • Auburn: 9-5
  • South Carolina: 9-6
  • LSU: 4-4
  • Alabama: 3-3
  • Florida: 5-9
  1. If we make a change, odds say that the short-to-long term will go not go well. How many coaching changes have sudden improvement?  I can count three major program coaching changes where the old guy who was successful at one point left and the new guy came in had quick, sustained success.  LSU with Saban-Miles, FSU with Bowden-Fisher, and Ohio State twice, with Cooper-Tressell-Meyer.  I didn’t include Auburn because I said sustained success, and they are not winning it in 2010 without Cam Newton and the cheating it took to get him there.  The 2013 season for Auburn was a fluke stood up on miracle plays, and the last two seasons have proved that.

Alabama, the program we all aspire to be, spent ten years from Gene Stallings to Nick Saban wandering the desert.  From 1997-2006, Alabama had 4 losing seasons, two 7-5 and one 6-6.  It only ended ranked three times in ten years.  Alabama’s record in those ten years was 67-55 (54.9%).  It went through 4 coaches-five if count Rich Rodriguez canceling-before Mal Moore landed Nick Saban.  Oh, and there was the whole NCAA probation issue, too.

USC is a dumpster fire right now.  Tennessee is a mess.  So is Miami.  So is Texas.  It took Michigan to get through the aforementioned Rodriguez and Brady Hoke before they got their Michigan Man.  After starting 2-4 this season, including losing to Illinois and BYU at home, do you think Nebraska wishes they had Bo Pelini and his 9-4 records?

If you say you want a change, and I am saying that, change does not necessarily mean instant success.  It did at Georgia once, when Richt replaced Donnan, and we reasonably can’t expect that to happen again.  It doesn’t happen that often.  The cupboard isn’t bare here like at other places, but also programs fall in the same funk and it is hard to get out of it.  Which leads me to…

  1. Do we really think Greg McGarity is competent enough to make a good hire? Face it, when was the last great hire UGA has made?  Mark Richt.  If we want to go from good to great, what have we seen in any other sport that makes us think this administration is capable of doing so?   Pat Forde said in his column that the right coach at Georgia could win a National Title.  The wrong coach can go 7-5.  We just need to be prepared for that (strong) possibility.  And be there for each other. And finally…
  1. Unless things get really, really bad this season, Mark Richt isn’t going anywhere. He just signed a contract extension thru 2019.  $4 million per year for the next 4 years is $16 million.  Plus about a million bucks a year per coordinator who each have 3 year contracts.  That is up to about $20 million.  Plus other assistants and we are probably talking a total in the $25 million ballpark.  Plus, having to take down all the pictures of him in Butts-Mehre!  And let’s say you wanted to buy out a current coach.  Plus, give them a $3 million per year salary.  For an athletic department that is tighter than a tick with the dollar, and who is going to solicit private funds for half the cost of the IPF, dropping probably $50-60 million on a new coach to replace Mark Richt will be a hard decision for the bean counters to justify.

I read what Paul Westerdawg wrote, and I mostly agree with his sentiments.  I started college during the peak of the Richt era.  As a close friend told me yesterday, we had our youthful exuberance of football during his regime.  My last year in college was 2007.  I had a pretty good run.

I was in high school when I really started following UGA football closely.  I asked my brother-in-law, who was a big fan, why Georgia would fire Jim Donnan.  At the time, I didn’t understand.  Georgia was always ranked and won games.  He said, “Programs like Georgia can do better than 8-4.”

What Coach Richt has done has made us want more than 10-2.  Under Coach Donnan, there were several inexplicable games a year that kept us from being great.  Under Coach Richt, there are just one or two.

But if someone asked me why I would want a new regime, I would respond in similar fashion as my brother-in-law did to me 15 years ago with, “Programs like Georgia should be the bride, not always the bridesmaid.”

I want to make another point clear:  I could care less about Mark Richt being a Christian. I am one.  I am glad he is.  But unlike many, that has never been a major point of my support for him.  I liked him because he was a winner.  Because he went about his business the right way.  Because there was consistency.  Because every season, as foolish as it was, every season there is HOPE that this could be the year.  We have been so close so many times.  I want Mark Richt to hold the trophy up and say “I did it!”

But instead of hope that we can win it all, this hope has been replaced by anxiousness.  Every time a ball is snapped for a field goal, a punt is fielded, a pass is thrown, we are thinking, “I just hope nothing goes wrong.”

Georgia is better than this.  Damnit, Mark Richt is better than this.

We are no longer hoping for success.

We are hoping things don’t go wrong.

Be honest.  When Tennessee scored twice in about a minute and half Saturday, did you think we were going to win that game?  I didn’t.

Can Mark Richt fix things?  Sure he can.  He’s done it before.  Do I want to be proved wrong?  Damn straight.  But do I care?

I’m not so sure.  But I am tired of seeing what I’ve grown accustomed to seeing.  15 years is a long time.  We’ve had some good times.  More good times than bad.  Some great times.

But not enough great.

I wish, I really do, that the end of the season or in a year or so, this post comes back and bites me in the ass.  I would love to be wrong.  I’ve been defending this regime, ardently, and been proved wrong more often than being proved right.

15 years, this should be figured out.  It needs to be someone else’s turn.

In my last post, I used the Lewis Grizzard quote, “If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”  After 15 years of looking at a dog’s ass, it is time to take a chance to see if the scenery looks a little different.

Now, I’ll be in my seat Saturday night.  I’ll cheer loud like we are going to win the National Title.  And don’t misunderstand me.  I am not going to take cheap shots at Coach Richt.  I am not going to say things like he doesn’t care about winning, or that he is a terrible coach.  I am not going to be mean spirited, like Bill Shanks. I am not going to hope we lose; I will continue to passionately and feverishly support this team.

We need hope again.  And right now, hope is nowhere to be found.

Something is rotten in the state of the Bulldawg Nation.

I don’t have confidence that Coach Richt can give us hope again.

It is time for someone else to bring that hope back.


…it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry’s contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me a most humorous sadness.

 As You Like It, Act IV, Scene I

Simply Put, You Don’t Boo Your Own Team

I don’t know how many times I have got to say it, but guys come on.


Were you wet and cold Saturday?  Maybe had one cocktail too many?  Disappointed the way the team was playing?Frustrated at the conservative in-game decisions?  Flabbergasted the team would look so bad?

Me too.

But I didn’t boo my own team.

Guys, that is a shitty thing to do.

I know Lambert was struggling.  I know this.  But the kid broke NCAA records two weeks ago.

The season is about halfway over.  There are still a lot of games left.  Could Georgia collapse in epic fashion?  Could this be the lightning rod that galvanizes the team to greatness?  Could they kind of do what they normally do and go 10-2?

I don’t know.  Taking it one Saturday at a time, starting with Tennessee.

We’ve seen this movie before.  Team has high expectations.  Team faces adversity.  All hope looks lost.  Richt is able to rally the troops and motivate through adversity.

If that is not the case this time, and the team clearly quits, then we can start talking about changes.  As long as Coach Richt has the respect of the locker room, then we should support this team.  I am not talking about being a homer.  I am talking about being a good fan.  And good fans DO NOT BOO!

When Coach Richt tweets out his Gameday instructions, it should read, “1.  Show up to the Dawg Walk.  2. Students in the Student Section 1 Hour prior to kick off 3.  Wear Red 4. Be Loud 5. DON’T BOO!”

When recruits in the stands or watching on TV hear booing, that isn’t good.  When the team hears the boos, that isn’t good.  There is enough negativity from the results on the field, the team doesn’t need to hear booing, or have to worry about houses being egged or being accosted on Twitter.  When your best defensive player takes to Twitter to blast the fans, that is not a good look.  It isn’t Texas bad, but it ain’t good.

I don’t know how things will turn out, honestly.  But I do know one thing.  When I am in Section 120 on October 17, I am going to cheer the Dawgs against Missouri like they are a National Title team.  I am going to cheer like I did when they were fighting for bowl eligibility against Tech in 2010.

Do us all a favor.  If you reaction is to boo when things get bad, stay your ass at home or get up and leave.  Empty seats are better than seats filled with losers who boo.


It Is Not The Same, Yet It Is

Though Crystal Balls are as uncommon as Crystal Footballs are in Butts-Mehre, you all could see the headlines being written before kick off Saturday.  Had Georgia won, the headlines would have read something like “Alabama Dynasty Over, New King of the Mountain.”  But, since Georgia lost, and lost in glorious fashion, the headlines now read “Georgia losses another big game, Mark Richt sucks.”  Or something like that.

Saturday was an awful day for Georgia fans.  It is hard to argue with the headlines being written.  I am not going to delve too deep in the game; we all saw it, there isn’t much else to say.

However, I do want to say this.

This wasn’t the same typical Georgia not showing up, looking unprepared, bed wetting we have seen in the past.

The two worst blowout games I can think of are the 2007 Tennessee and 2012 South Carolina games.   In both of those games, Georgia wasn’t competitive.   The 2007 Tennessee game, the Volunteers got up 28-0 at the half and it felt like it was 60-0.  Against South Carolina, Georgia was down 21-0 in the first quarter, and not for a garbage touchdown, Georgia would have been shut out.

Georgia had opportunities last Saturday.  They didn’t capitalize on them early.

To say that “Georgia doesn’t show up to play in a big game” is lazy or uninformed statement.  There have been some clunkers.  But there are many “big games” where Georgia wins, and (gasp!) wins big.

Georgia did what I thought they had to do early, and that was stop Derrick Henry.  On Alabama’s first possession, Georgia forced Henry to fumble, and Georgia took over in Alabama territory on the 42.  Alabama then went three and out on their next series and Georgia took over at their own 43, and went three and out again.

On Alabama’s next possession, they drove the length of the field, and got a big 50 yard pass, and were held to just a field goal after getting it to the Georgia 15.

Then, late first quarter and early second quarter, Georgia drove the length of the field and had to settle for a field goal, but put together a 14 play, 71 yard drive that ate nearly 7 minutes off the clock.

Georgia didn’t come out lifeless.  Georgia wasn’t unprepared.  This wasn’t akin to similar beatings that we’ve seen.  What happened Saturday in the late second quarter and early third quarter is exactly what happened to South Carolina against us in the third quarter of that game.  A few big plays, one team grabbed momentum.  So everyone needs to back off on that particular narrative.

At this point, if you are familiar with anything I’ve written, you’re probably thinking, “There goes that Corbindawg again, being mindless homer and shill for Coach Richt.”

Oh, but I’m not done yet.

What was the same?

The same conservative nature of Coach Richt.  A Tiger isn’t going to change his stripes, but what cost Georgia the game and the point when I knew we were in trouble was the moment we punted the ball on the Alabama 38 yard line, and only gain 24 yards in field position.  That is something that makes Davis Shaw warm on the insides.

You have Sony Michel, Malcolm Mitchell, and Nick Chubb.  Why not attempt to go for it?  If you lose because you are swinging ferociously, at you lose fighting.  If you lose by curling up in the fetal position, you deserve to lose.   A team like Alabama needs to be pounced on early.  You are at home, and have all the momentum.  Roll the dice!  And on the next possession, at midfield, you have ti 4th and 1 at midfield with one of the best running backs in America.  4th and 1!

Think back to some of the recent big wins.  Against Auburn last year, we attempted a fake punt and went for it on 4th and 1 (famous David Andrews dance afterwards) that led to a score.  How many times does he try an onside kick?  Remember the 2012 SECCG?  Arthur Lynch completed a pass to convert on a fake punt.  How about the 2011 Florida game?  Going for it on 4th down twice-and twice throwing to the end zone-and twice scoring touchdowns.

Where was the aggressive team we saw against South Carolina that was still throwing the ball in the 4th quarter with a 24 point lead?

I get the frustration.  I get the anger.  I get the disappointment.  I get it all.  But don’t be lazy and complain about things that simply aren’t true.  Georgia was ready to play.  Georgia showed up.  Georgia did not shit the bed.  Mark Richt can’t be blamed for that.

I’ve said it many times.  When Mark Richt coaches with a chip on his shoulder, he is among the best.   When he coaches not to lose, 28 point losses happen.  That is once again the failure of Saturday.

It is easy for members of the media and fans to say blanket statements. But dig deeper, and we should have seen this loss coming halfway through the first quarter.  We could have all left then, and been a lot drier.

We’ve seen this story before.  Early loss, adversity, then rally.  But, for once, it would be nice to be in the lead.

Because, as Lewis said, “If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”







Final Thoughts About Massive Showdown Tomorrow

Some final musings about tomorrow’s game…

  • I have been going back and forth all week about this game, but I finally came around to UGA winning about Wednesday. I thought that Georgia had too much speed.  Nick Chubb can break away, Sony Michel is explosive, and our receivers are fast.  Alabama isn’t as good as they have been in recent years.  They are still very good, but not the invincible juggernaut we’re used to seeing.
  • Then the rains came.  The rain shouldn’t hurt the home field atmosphere, despite University administration trying their best to.  But, the fact remains I am worried about the ferocity of the crowd in a hurricane.  I hope I am wrong.
  • And the wet weather might neutralize our biggest strength, the aforementioned speed.  If this game is going to be a slobber knocker, I tend to like Alabama’s chances.
  • What can Georgia do to win?  The same as what Alabama has to do:  stop the run.  Stop Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake.  If Alabama has trouble establishing their running game and placing the burden on Jake Coker to make plays, I like our pass rush to put pressure and force mistakes.  That is it.
  • This game is the biggest game of Georgia’s season so far.  Then, the Tennessee becomes the biggest game of Georgia’s season.  Then Missouri.  Then Florida.  Then Kentucky.  Then Auburn.  Then Georgia Tech.  Then what comes after that.  This is a HUGE game. But the talk is Georgia NEEDS TO WIN THIS GAME FOR LEGACY REASONS.  I can buy that, to an extent.  But this game is a game against a top 15 team.  We have played these games.   The 2012 South Carolina, Florida, Alabama games. The 2013 Clemson, South Carolina, LSU and Auburn games.  The 2014 Clemson and Auburn games.  In these past 9 games, Georgia is 5-4.  So it wouldn’t be the Jacksonville State over Auburn level of upset if Georgia does win.

The point is, Georgia has played in monster games recently.  Coach Richt has been around and has the scars to show victories and defeats.  The memes and narratives might lead you to believe that Georgia is new to this stage and Coach Richt needs to prove something.  Georgia has won big games before.  Georgia has lost big games before.  Mark Richt has led his team to close victories, close losses, blowout wins and blowout losses in similar situations.

I don’t want to downplay the importance of tomorrow’s game.  I am not attempting to hedge my emotions in case we lose.  If we win, we have to beat Tennessee-Georgia Tech.  If we lose, we have to beat Tennessee-Georgia Tech.

Tomorrow is the biggest game of the college football weekend, one of the biggest games of the 2015 season, and one of the most important games in Sanford Stadium in quite sometime, and one of the most important games Georgia has played-since the last time a game was must win.  Which if you believe the internet, was the Belk Bowl.

Let’s stick to a narrative about tomorrow.  But let’s stick to the right one.

The correct narrative is Georgia has a chance to be the new top dog in the SEC by beating Alabama…for the next week. It would make a huge statement to win, but this is one game in early October.

Show up early.  Wear a rain coat.  Wear rubber boots.  Be loud.  Cheer on our beloved Dawgs to victory.

Most importantly, BELIEVE!!!!!

Final prediction:  Georgia 28, Alabama 17 on a Nick Chubb TD late to seal the deal.  




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