Posts Tagged 'mark richt'

This was for you, Ray Goff

Few head coaches at The University of Georgia have been as maligned as Ray Goff, who had the unfortunate circumstance of taking over as head coach of a handstrung program that at the same time became a glutton for punishment at the hands of the Ol’ Ball Coach, especially when he hung half a hundred on the Dawgs in 1995 in Athens.

I wasn’t in Sanford that day – but know plenty who were. If you had to endure that day, Saturday night was especially sweet.

1966 was a lifelong torture. 1997 was sweet revenge. Last night? That was an undressing. Georgia has a good team, and showed it. USCe is down, and Georgia exposed it in a big way.

Detractors – you know they are out there. They’ll pull out the fact that, “but…USC is a bad team. That win isn’t that big.”

Not hardly.

How many times has Georgia played an inferior team and slopped its way to an ugly win. I’ll eat crow – I expected it on Saturday. But what we saw on Saturday is what championship teams do – take care of business and make a statement – do what you are there to do to start with.

Will this team play on that level the rest of the year? Probably not. You cannot expect that over the course of a season. In a perfect world, you could bottle up the emotion of Saturday and sprinkle it around each week. We remember all too begrudgingly the 2004 LSU win followed up by a flat loss to Tennessee…even the 1997 Florida win followed by laying an egg against Auburn.

But if this team plays at a fraction of what we saw Saturday – executing on both sides of the ball and a lack of special teams gaffes…for the most part…bigger things could be in store later down the line.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Five Sunday Morning Thoughts

– It’s almost a dropkick to the stomach. You wait all spring and summer for the season, and lightning stops and later shortens the opener. Still, it was all in all a good day. The offense did a lot of good things, nobody got hurt and points got put on the board by not having to crack the playbook open. As nice as it would have been to play those final 9:51, that’s also 9:51 that injuries could not occur.

– Man. How great was it to see Keith Marshall carry the ball and get into the end zone? A healthy Keith Marshall, as we saw back in 2012, makes a pretty good 1-2 punch…or in the current case, 1-2-3.

– Lambert wasn’t spectacular, but he made some nice throws when needed – which is what he needs to do, for the most part. The chatter from camp about his football IQ showed. Lambert not only didn’t turn it over, but you didn’t really see any balls thrown that should have been picked off, either.

– One of the things that would drive you nuts about Bobo was at times underutilizing the tight ends. How nice was it to see the first TD pass of the day to a tight end?

– It was disconcerting to see all the pass completions by ULM, but some of that may have been the very basic packages that Pruitt was running and also some first-game rust from the secondary. That’s something that can easily be fixed before road tripping to Nashville next weekend.

Go Dawgs

Lugnut Dawg

Making sense of Saturday’s nonsensicals

– Georgia may have lost this game on a squib kick, but it was the game itself was lost well before that. Fact is, the better team won on Saturday, Georgia just came close to digging itself out of a big hole just in the nick of time. For the most part, this same team that overpowered Auburn and Clemson got manhandled by Tech. Basically, it was the Florida game all over again. If I’m playing Georgia, I run it, run it and run it. because as good as this defense is against the spread, its as lacking against power running games.

– Really a shame for Hutson Mason. He probably got more out of his ability than most players in the CMR era – but he’ll be remembered for a massively boneheaded play in the worst time to make it.

– I turned and made sure to exit Saturday and not see GT players taking pieces of our hedges. It sucks that it happens, but when you protect your house, it doesn’t happen. Then again, fair is fair – Ben Jones gave us one of the better post-game shots a few years ago with a chunk of yellow turf in his mouth, so it works both ways.

– You cannot, CANNOT get inside the five three times and score a combined three points. I said to myself at the half that Georgia would lose after the two first-half fumbles.

– Speaking of fumbles, Georgia got a gift on Swann’s return….but based on the screw jobs by refs on Georgia this year, we were due for once.

– Look, I like accountability as much as the next guy, but this after the fact business of, ‘yeah I messed up,’ is getting old and getting old fast. It doesn’t matter if you admit it was a bad decision, it was STILL a bad decision. The squib kick ranks up there with the 2001 goal line debacle against Auburn and opting to redshirt Knowshon Moreno. One of the biggest mistakes in TV series history was when Coy and Vance were in the Dukes of Hazzard. Every knows it was a bad mistake, but it does not change the fact that it took place.

– That said, I’m not on the “fire Richt” bandwagon. Bonehead things happen. Remember Saban in the Iron Bowl last year? That said, everyone on the staff should have their feed held to the fire after losing to Georgia’s two biggest rivals. That should not be unacceptable. The problem is that being ‘pretty good’ seems to be ok with the UGA administration.

– Please, for the love of Christmas, don’t make us play Nebraska again in a bowl.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Jacksonvilling, A Georgia Tradition

38-20.

The winning team with more than 400 rushing yards.

The losing team’s fans taking to social media to rip the losing coach to shreds, some calling for his firing.

On paper, and if you asked anyone outside the Georgia fan base the past week, they’ve have surmised that it would have been Georgia with the 38 points and gaudy rushing yards, and Florida with the loss and possibly placing the red tag in Will Muschamp’s locker.

Then again, none of those fans know that us Georgia fans know all too well. There’s a little thing called Jacksonville, and for whatever reason, Georgia’s more underwhelming performances happen at Everbank Field. It may not be a true neutral site, but that can’t be an excuse to let down after let down. Go back in Mark Richt’s tenure and better Georgia teams have either struggled to beat, or lose to inferior Florida teams.

But Saturday? It took it to another level. In terms of losses under Mark Richt, it, to me is among the top three most shameful, in the same breath as the 2006 Sugar Bowl and 2008 against Georgia Tech.

It’s unconscionable that a team that rolls over Mizzou and Arkansas, on the road, to be blunt, just seemed uninterested in being there on Saturday. More baffling? This team’s worst performances this year have come off open dates. I mean, if this coaching staff has problems keeping players sharp, why the heck not scrimmage someone like Buford High on open weekends?

The officials Saturday? They were bad, as usual. Was Gurley missed? Yes, but it wouldn’t have meant much with the way Georgia was beaten up front.

But it’s funny, in a way. Saturday may have been the final laugh for Georgia toward the Muschamp era at Florida. Instead, it is one that Florida fans will always remember, and remind Georgia fans with infamy – very similar to Georgia’s 1985 win over top-ranked Florida. And, depending on what happens the rest of the year, could be the turning point for Richt’s turnaround during the past three seasons. Sure, it’s post-game gut reactions, but all I know is a lot of Richt apologists last night appeared to be tired of defending Richt, and may be finally resolving that maybe their loyalty needs to be reevaluated.

At the end of the day, the problem is this. Georgia fans are asking themselves why this team has put together another underwhelming showing in a game it had no business losing going in. And it happens season after season.

Saturday was a chance to continue moving this program forward. Instead, it took multiple steps back, and it may need a win over Auburn in two weeks to get back on track.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Timing is everything

Sometimes, timing is everything.

Once the Gurley bombshell broke, one thing that immediately jumped out was that being on the road against Mizzou may have been the best thing for this team.

Halfway across the country, free of close friends and family and the buzz around campus, free of the fog of gameday on campus may have been just what this group needed. It enabled them to focus in and send the entire country a message, and it showed. The memo was laid out – if you think that this team will fold because its best player is sidelined by archaic NCAA rules, you have another thing coming.

And as if the day could not get better, we got to spend the rest of it watching Auburn, Tech and Florida lose. Icing on the cake!

Saturday was one of those moments, kind of like when Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt, when you thought to yourself, “this is real? This is UGA football and not someone else?”

For whatever reason, it has been quite some time since Georgia dominated someone like it did in all phases of the game like it did Saturday that was a quality opponent. 2006 Auburn comes to mind.

Will this team click as well against Arkansas as it did on Saturday? Probably not. I’m already worried about stopping a run game that’s stronger than what Mizzou had.

But that’s a worry for another day.

For now, let’s enjoy this one.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Has the Tennessee rivalry lost a step?

Rivalries are a funny thing. You highly dislike them and want to be beat them and beat them bad. But once you do it too much, can it lessen the rivalry.

To a degree, that’s where the Georgia-Tennessee rivalry is right now.

Unless you live up near North Georgia right now, Tennessee has taken on the look of another game on the schedule. The Vols have fallen on hard times (if you have had to endure UT fans, you shed no tears over it). To a point, you want to do a combination of laugh and pity them (maybe a small amount). That’s how it goes when you regularly beat someone.

There’s a part of Georgia’s younger fan base that wonders why UGA and Tech still play, and do not have a genuine dislike for the maggots. But the ‘old school’ fans…or those of us who lived through the 1998 to 2000 Tech wins, see Tech as a massive rivalry.

Tennessee is the same way. As Macon Dawg noted earlier this week, if you think the Bama fans (aka, the guy who saw Bama play on TV one time when he was 9 years old) are unbearable, you didn’t have to deal with the Tennessee fans in the 1990s.

This is a fan base that, and still does, shove the greatness of Peyton Manning down our throats. This is the program that got away with Nick Fairley-style cheap shots game after game with guys like Raynoch Thompson. UT took full advantage of UGA being mediocre in the 1990s and 2000s. If there was a recruit in the Atlanta area, the Volunteers and Phat Phil usually got them. You want to talk about lucking into a national title? UT took the cake in 1998 when Clint Stoerner inexplicably fumbled the ball right into Tennessee’s hands. And of course, there’s the engineering nightmare of a stadium in Knoxville. The capacity of that place needs an asterisk by it – it’s easy to cram 100,000 plus in with seats that narrow.

Oh, and then there’s that idiotic song that oddly enough was written by a Georgian.

Time has healed some dislike of Tennessee. Other than Lane Kiffin, there’s not much much to hate about Tennessee recently.

There will be if Butch Jones takes UT a step forward Saturday.

Somewhere along the way, the intensity of the rivalry has lost some steam. It needs to get back to the dislike of a bad guy wrestling in WCW.

Saturday’s kickoff is early, there is no doubting that, and Tennessee could benefit from a flat, late-arriving crowd (it did so in the 2004 upset).

If you’re heading to the game, get there early. The Bulldog Nation needs to get back to treating Tennessee like an old hated rival again.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Post USC-East takes

Maybe it was the emotional exhaustion of another grindfest in SEC play…or maybe it had something to do with an eight-week old girl in the house, but I somehow drifted into an unexpected nap on Sunday afternoon.

So after all that, and some time to let everything from Saturday sink in, here are a few takes.

– Was the decision to not run Todd Gurley four times at the four-yard line a knuckleheaded call by Mike Bobo? Probably (Of course, it didn’t help that officials botched the intentional grounding call…more on that later). But I’m more than willing to give Bobo some slack. This offense has averaged more than 40 points or so the past three years. If you would have told me we’d roll up around 40 points the first two games this year with a hovering above average QB and ZERO deep threats at receiver, I’d gladly take it. This team has some shortcomings right now. Mike Bobo is not one of them.

– The defense showed how far of a hole it has to dig out of. When you have inexperience, you can have the greatest coaching in the world, but it cannot compensate with lack of experience. There is talent on defense, but that talent has to grow up in a hurry. A few players that did not want to do it ‘The Georgia Way,” who are not worth mentioning, may help this team long-term, but they put it in a tough spot short-term. This defense will get on the right track. Hopefully, it will be before it is too late. Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins were non-factors against South Carolina…but the Chickens going max-protect had a lot to do with that.

– Did the referees cost Georgia the game? Yes and no. It baffles me that as much revenue as the SEC pulls in that it has no problem that its officials continue to embarrass the conference. And this is not only a Georgia gripe. Ask Kentucky’s fans, as well. An awful holding penalty call cost Georgia a touchdown and Heisman-highlight clip from Todd Gurley, and the intentional grounding call was an awful miss too. ¬†For whatever reason, the SEC does not think its important to have quality officials. It is laughing all the way to the bank. The league, its teams and fans deserve way better. At the end of the day, though, you have to assume in every game you are not going to get certain breaks and have to play well enough to over come them. Georgia did not do that. Which brings us to…

– Football is a funny and illogical game sometimes. How Marshall Morgan’s field goal streak ends with two misses in the second half baffles me. If he makes one of them, it’s a tie game. If he makes both, Georgia wins. On the road in this conference, you have to make your own breaks and take advantage. Georgia did not do that.

– Despite many comment section and Facebook postings after the game, this season is not over. It’s a tough pill to swallow to lose to the HBC, but this team still controls its own fate. USCe will lose at least once more this season. More often than not, you won’t run the table in this conference, it just won’t happen as much as you want it to.

– I’m avoiding the call-in shows on Monday.

– You can’t pin this loss on one facet. It was a team loss. There were breakdowns on offense, defense and special teams that contributed to the loss. This team has a week to get better and heal up against Troy and take on what will be a pesky Tennessee team.

– Can we replace Uncle Verne?

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg


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