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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fleeting Thoughts: OSU Edition

I've got an absurdly early flight so I can't make any promises about what today will bring in terms of posts, but I wanted to offer a few thoughts, some of which you guys have already expressed in the comments:

-- What impressed me about the defense was their resiliency. That was something they never showed last year. Holding OSU to the field goal at the end of the first half was big. Probably should have happened again before Robinson's 1-yard TD run. That spot was generous on the fourth-down play.

-- What didn't impress me about the defense was that, once again, there were no sacks and no turnovers created. Even if you believe the offense will get better, it's clearly not a team that's ready to win without a few breaks going their way, and the defense is going to have to make that happen.

-- I like the idea of moving Geno to D-end, but it really didn't have much effect. Yes, you want your best players on the field. But would Geno have been better served playing the position he knows best?

-- The secondary did alright. Dez Bryant was as advertised -- just an exceptional receiver. It was impressive enough to hold him to three catches, and the third probably was a situation that was dictated by the atrocious personal foul call on Reshad two plays earlier. Okie State had a great mismatch throughout the game with Bryant, and Georgia's DBs held their own.

-- Blame Joe Cox if you must. There were certainly a number of throws he made that simply aren't going to cut it at this level. That was concerning. But he's hardly the real problem on offense. He had too many drops, A.J. was absolutely blanketed because there was no help from the rest of the wideouts, and the playcalling after that first drive was abysmal.

-- The O line looked good but nowhere near great. Oklahoma State's front four is extremely undersized. Georgia's line should have dominated. And if the Sturdivant injury is as bad as it looked -- well, it won't be good.

-- Richard Samuel had some nice runs and his speed was evident, but he just didn't show the ability to get beyond that first contact. He can't continue to go down that easily after contact if he's going to be an every-down guy.

-- Carlton Thomas has the potential to be a nice weapon in the passing game, but 1.) the coaches really didn't appear to have any confidence in him as a runner, using him only when they absolutely had to, and 2.) he looked awful at tailback.

-- Add those last two together and it means this: Georgia missed Caleb King, and the Dawgs cannot afford for him to be an afterthought this season.

-- The wideouts -- WTF? The Dawgs got nothing from Troupe & TK, so why didn't Wooten or Brown even see the field? At the very least, Brown creates a mismatch that Oklahoma State would have had to at least think about. As it stands, the OSU defense saw almost nothing unexpected after that first drive.

-- The offensive playcalling was way too vanilla. It looked as if the coaches believed in Samuel and Green and no one else, and that wasn't hard for Okie State to figure out. Honestly, the worst part about the performance today was that it looked like the offense was simply 11 guys who just met earlier that day. There were no indications that they had been practicing together for the past five weeks.

-- Drew Butler's final numbers looked great, but his punts really didn't. He got two very fortuitous bounces, but that's not always going to happen.

-- The kickoffs were a problem again. Seriously, this is at a point where Richt needs to step in and force a change in philosophy here.

-- There were about a half-dozen players (and maybe more) who needed IVs. Richt said several players were slow to come back on the field after the half because they were getting fluids. It was hot on the field, but it wasn't THAT hot. What happened to the grueling conditioning these guys had been doing? It seemed like they were unprepared for the intensity, and that's not something a Big 12 team should ever have over an SEC opponent.

OK, I'll have updates after Richt's 5:15 teleconference.


Anonymous said...

I think Samuel played well considering we had no passing threat. Knowshon in 2007 had 20 carries for 70 yards against OSU. I do think that once Caleb comes back we need to be running the ball 35 times a game between just Samuel and Caleb.

Donnie said...

AMEN-Cox had a few issues but he was hardly the problem. He didnt have any more problems than Stafford would have had so fans need to get off him. Bobo has to do a better job play calling, with the talent on offense we cant just rely on AJ. And Samuel was a huge disappointment to me, not his total yards but his inability to break one single tackle. If there isnt major improvement by next weekend UGA may get shut out at home.

Anonymous said...

First time posting a comment, but just couldn't help bringing this up. Have the coaches addressed the use of Brandon Smith on offense? It seemed as though he touched the ball more than Carlton Thomas and had more passes thrown his way than Tavaris King. Do the coaches have more confidence in Smith with the ball in his hands than Wooten or Brown? I was not impressed with SMith's continuous running from the end zone on kick returns or the interference with Miller's efforts to down a punt inside the five. Smith just seemed like a true freshman caught up in the game, which is understandable, but should he have played that big of a part in his first game?

Anonymous said...

My hope is the OSU is really good - no make that great - if not.........

chillydawg said...

I’m sure the first series of the game was scripted and was executed well, one reason we took the ball down and scored. After that, the offense was a Hodge podge of nothing. The o- line played well for the most part but we did nothing to keep them off balance – to slow down their rush, make them think to slow down their aggression. We were so simple. No draws to slow them down, no screens or counters (that I can remember) to take advantage of the aggressiveness. Just plan old zone dives and toss. Bobo’s grade - F

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If we have some problems with WRs and RBs and the coaches don't have faith in them - that is concerning. But if that is the case, wouldn't it be better to put in someone like Logan Gray who can make plays with his feet when something isn't working? He needs to not be playing special teams - he needs to be playing some series as a QB.


HiAltDawg said...

Very insightful observations and they echo some complaints my friends voiced. One observation I noticed -- this team needed Stafford's and Knowshon's "leadership." All those veiled insults aimed at their backs when they left seem hollow now. Knowshon never let one guy take him down with an arm tackle and the Cox's TD throw in the 1st qtr might be a pick in conference play.

Let's see a good week of practice and see the coaches put the offense in good spots v so car and start SEC play w/ a win!

FrankDG said...

The officiating was horrible but now that I've said that-- the defense played pretty good. We need an end who can get pressure on the QB and the defense dropped a couple of picks that could have made a difference. BUT my biggest issue is with the play calling. We went away from what we did on the first drive and ended up with far too many second and tens.
I thought Samuel picked up a little in intensity in the second half. I liked the play to Chapas-- we have some fullbacks that we can create mismatches with. Had some drops that could have kept drives going. Better do a better job next week I can guarantee what USC is going to do-- they're going to load up the box and make Joe Cox beat them.

chillydawg said...

What concerns me most is we’ve had all summer and fall to prepare for this game. I know the coaches have been watching film on OSU since the spring. Bobo stated he felt good about the game plan, what game plan? Our offense has struggled, even with the likes of two first round draft picks last year, we have had no consistency. We seem to play with no confidence, always relying on one or two people. I understand trying to get the ball in the hands of your playmakers, but in this league ALL your receivers should be playmakers. Is that not why we recruited them? Coaching makes a difference. Florida plays with confidence, Alabama is now playing with confidence, it’s that quite confidence that tells you when you walk on the field that you are superior to your opponent and they know you are. That confidence comes from the coaching staff. Call Meyer and Saben cocky, arrogant, whatever, but they give off a confident aurora to their players and those players play with that confidence. We seem to play with pseudo-confidence and when things don’t go perfect, we fall apart.

Josh G. said...

On Joe Cox: It may have been the flu, but he wasn't accurate. He didn't make very good decisions in many cases (especially the fumble). Those were the 2 qualities he was advertised to have. Also, he was telegraphing his passes, and taking WAAAAY too long getting rid of the ball. The O-line was giving him plenty of time, and it still wasn't enough for Cox.

On the Defense: Several opportunities for turnovers, none accomplished. No sacks. Those things are the difference between an adequate defense and a good defense. We're still not a good defense. We can certainly become good, though.

On the Coaching: I'm not usually a guy who blames the coaches for a loss. I believe this loss rests solely on Mike Bobo. Great pre-game planning for the first drive, and then abysmal decision making for everything else. And everything on our special teams other than the guys who kick the balls are still woefully inadequate. Poor coverage. We continued to put Brandon Smith out there despite several bad decisions on his part. I understand he's a freshman, but after his poor decions to run out of the endzone and his negating a great punt by Butler, he should have been pulled. I guess Fabris didn't have anyone else ready to go.

I'm starting to feel like we're becoming a team like Wisconsin. Having several 9-10 win seasons with nothing to show for it (by not showing up in big games) followed by a sharp decline into mediocrity. OSU had no business beating us yesterday, but we just looked like a mediocre football team.

Ant123 said...

Bottom line is they were giving us the down field pass and we could'nt execute it. The quarterback execution was abismal. Whether it was illness or talent I don't know but either way it would have been nice to give Logan Grey a series and see if he could provide a spark.
While the defense was not awful I shudder to think where we would have been had OK State not had all those drive killing penalties. We got zero pressure on their QB without blitzing. The secondary and DT's were the main bright spots minus the 1 long TD. Considering who we were playing and the lack of pressure from the line that one long pass was not that bad.

Travis said...

after that first scripted drive i think OSU realized that joe's delivery wasn't solid, and he can't throw the long ball. So they started stacking the box and allowing thier DBs to blanket AJ since that seemed to be Joe's first look, and he never seemed to check off.

That touchdown pass, AJ didn't even leave the line of scrimmage, and it seemed his guy still blanket him, but that pass was horrible. If joe can't get that pass in there better, thats a pick in almost every other game they play this year.

Kickoff coverage was abysmal, and i fear that punt coverage would have been too had it not been for the amazing bounces. Special teams in general appears to need the most work. 2 guys fighting over a bounce to down the ball at the 2 yard line, instead they let it slip in the end zone. That is just proof of a team with lack of leadership. All this talk pre-season about Joe's poise and leadership....i didn't see it.

As much as i would love to agree and say the ref's were flag happy, had they played the game with better play calling and execution, those few atrocious calls wouldn't have even mattered. Instead you stack those calls on top of a bad day all around as far as execution goes, and you've got a 14 point victory. Seems like after Georgia's first drive, they couldn't adapt to any changes. Like they went in there with a set plan, and deviation wasn't an option.

Bottom line - they need to win that turnover battle. Giving up 3 turnovers and having no take aways in SEC play will not cut it, EVER.

Anonymous said...

hard to get conditioned to the heat when you're on the high dive. geez.

UGA69Dawg said...


I know you have to keep it civil with the coaches but please press CMR on the poor Kickoff coverage. We are still out kicking our coverage even if we kick it short. OSU's kicker seemed to drive it into the endzone on every kick but we were just dumb enough to run it out. Most teams I know would take a knee. Talk about a wasted scholly

Anonymous said...

Back in 2005, Georgia gave up two fake punts which cost us the Fla and WV games. We got into the habit of having our coverage including linemen run back for the return without waiting to see if they would actually punt leaving a wide open space to run. Yesterday it looked like we were getting back into that habit. This will cost us big time.

4th and 3 at FLA 38 Eric Wilbur rush for 21 yards to the UGA 41 for a 1ST down.

4th and 5 at UGA 48 Timeout WEST VIRGINIA, clock 01:45.
4th and 5 at UGA 48 Phil Brady rush for 10 yards to the UGA 38 for a 1ST down.

Fl Dawg said...

1. Offensive play calling. Everytime we threw it down the middle the TE's were open I know they dropped some but it was open all day. 2nd offensive series why go away from what scored a TD?
2. No Logan Gray.
Only in the red zone??? What about when the starter has the flu and is not moving the team down the field? Also if he is good enough to play in the red zone why not the rest?
3. 22 needs major work on his footwork. He left plenty of yards out there by tripping and running sloppy.ButI think if he had gotten a few more carries instead of covering kickoff's he would have gotten well over 100.
4. Cover 2 all the time?
Why are we so predicdable on D. Two big plays in cover2 to one to the third string Te down the middle and another to #1 using our saftey. We don't have Phillips, Davis,Blue etc wich is crucual to running cover2. Would love to see some 3-4 verses these spread teams, especially with all of our talent a Lb and strong tackles.
5. Awful substitutions and killed some of our best players covering punts and kickoffs. Especially being the first game and the talent we have.
6. Dawgs just lack that killer instinct and fire. I am a big supporter of coach Richt but believe he needs to maybe go another sirection in a few area's. Dooley had Erk R and Richt need's to get someone to motivate his team and get them in better condition. What are we doing at halftime?

Anonymous said...

At this point in his career, Samuel is essentially the same as Stafford to me. Physical freaks that will wow you one play and leave you saying WTF the next. I think the next two weeks are vital for Samuel. He probably gets a majority of the carries vs. USCe and Arkansas. I hope he improves upon an up and down debut.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Richt should take over play calling again because Bobo sure hasn't cut it so far.

Anonymous said...

David-thanks for your analysis. It is refreshing to not just get information but your take on it as well, keep it coming.

Jay in Hattiesburg

OldDawg55 said...

I'm crushed after Saturday!! Main comment..and I'm not from the Henny Penny school of football analysis...coaching has not changed in several years..we're predictable! Fabris should go or change..Bobo is failing in his job..the game is longer than a 10 play scheme!! You didn't use all your weapons. Hope Joe's performance was flu related but plays handicapped him, too. Oline didn't muscle anyone..TEs were underutilized..slants and screens were the DBs ragged with our sub WRs..use Thomas in space to hi lite his speed..Think coaches, analyse and react..the opposition is doing so!! CMR doesn't have to be a drama queen but get into the game, please. Turn it around Dawgs!

Dog44 said...

David - great analysis. Thanks for that.

For those of us who didn't hear his press conference or the call-in later today, to what does CMR attribute our offensive problems? (we know him well enough to know that he won't throw his asst. coaches under the bus - and good for him - but there's no way Richt could have been happy with the performance. -- I'm guessing his answer will again be "execution.")

Also, can you get a read from the coaches and players on whether this is what we can expect to see from Joe Cox for the next 3 months, or if they would say his game was a little "off" from the flu?

Anonymous said...

Where's the fire?? Most of the team looked tired and without emotion, none. Did you see Alabama and VT last night? People running around, flying to the ball, we need some crazy acting folks who look scary and pumped to opponents! Wake up!!

FL Dawg said...

Donnie - Cox played awful 1 interception a bad fumble and missed open recievers. They did drop alot of balls but Joe's strength were supposed to be leadership and decision making , didn't see either. And Staff would have lit them up!

Anonymous said...

Alabama runs around like that and are scary because they have the attitude of their head coach. Hate to say it but Saban is the man and he's got those guy's ready to run thru a brick wall. Did you see the Tebow halftime pep talk? Thats what Saban is like, what does our coaching staff do to jack our guys up. Before during in the middle near the end , who is there to fire them up and run thru that brick wall. Our coach tell's them to keep there poise , how bout hit em in the ##cking mouth.

Matthew C said...

Get #1 the football early and often.

Heck, get it to #23, he seems to know what to do with the football in his hands.

If Joe can't get it to our skill guys, but he's the guy that gets us in and out of the right/wrong plays, he needs to be the starter. However, if he can't get it to the skill guys by stretching the field, we need to change our offensive philiosophy a little and use the Logan and Branden more often.

If we put Branden Smith at QB and TB in his first collegiate game on the first drive of the season, he's special. Asher played TB at Tucker HS replacing Thomas Brown and he never saw the offensive side of the ball. Prince Miller practically got Willie Korn a scholarship and he's never been on offense, yet Branden Smith is in game 1, on drive 1. Let's get it to him more often.

Meat said...

David, I enjoyed you slipping WTF? in there ever so subtly.