Thoughts on Georgia/Florida

  • Strange play calling on the first series.  I guess had they worked, I would call Bobo a genius.
  • What is with the review official.  I get missing the spot on the field, but when Vern and Gary are shocked, I feel ok with my position that the replay official just blew it.
  • Re: Florida’s first touchdown drive, you cannot just hand a team as good as Florida two first downs.
  • Nice series of play calls. Great counter punches and great catches.
  • Come on Blair!
  • Why do you call a timeout at the end of the half, don’t put on a rush, chance a muffed punt, then take a knee?
  • This feels like 2003 all over again.
  • Quote of the day (from Gary Danielson, who, to his credit, was incredulous) regarding Louis Murphy’s TD catch: “He used the leverage from grabbing the jersey to break free.”
  • What a great interception.  Very nice athletic play.
  • Look, I get the Celebration was a very controversial play.  I get Florida people think it showed them up.  Does it really make sense to rub it in by the crap pulled on the last kick off with the fake knee?  Classless in a degree I never thought possible by Florida.
  • To Urban Meyer:  Nice job with the freeze of CMR after the game.  He is everything you suppose yourself to be. Ooooh. Burn!1!

Ok, I decided to give myself a couple of hours to digest what I saw today.  Obviously, there were a multitude of things that went wrong.  I personally anticipated a close game, which the box score bore out.  IF you had told me that the Dawgs out gains Florida by nearly 50 yards, that Georgia only punts twice, that Stafford throws for over 250 yards, and that Tebow only averages 3 yrds per carry, I would have felt pretty good about the outcome.  Regretfully, those stats hide the 200+yards the Gators got off of turnovers, the missed opportunities in the red zone and the few key officiating whiffs that either kept drives moving for Florida or allowed Florida recievers to be open at key times.

Look, I don’t for a second think Florida didn’t earn the win.  They clearly did.  But, with the exception of about five plays, Georgia played with Florida.  You can disagree with me, but that’s my view.

On the down side, the offensive line looked every bit like the freshmen and sophomores they are at times.  The play calling was suspect.  I’m not talking about the onside kick.  I loved that call because of the highly positive expected value.  The UF player made a heck of a play on the ball that really saved that going to Georgia.  The defense continued the trend of dicey tackling in the red zone.  Upon reflection, it seemed Florida was in the red zone all day, so maybe I can just leave it at dicey tackling and call it a day.  We continued to commit (or at least get called for) penalties at the very worst times.

There are still goals to obtain.  First and foremost, another 10 win season, meaning continued dominance of Georgia Tech.  Second, regroup and rebound, showing those that care to pay attention that this Dawg team isn’t defined by this game, as much as the national media will try do that.  Third, learn/utilize the emotions of feeling this way about this game and never forget it.  Use this feeling as motivation, especialy the youngest guys that have two and three more years to play may be the most important thing to take away from this game.

I have been practically ignoring the ‘will he-won’t he’ talk about Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, as has nearly everyone else that is a Dawg fan.  I know there is a ton at stake for them beyond Georgia football, especially for Matt.  I know they will have tremendously hard decisions to make in about 12 weeks.  Selfishly, I hope they will both take this game, internalize it, and think about it in the way the Gators did The Celebration and decide that the NFL can wait.

I made a note during the game that this felt like 2003.  We had superior talent and didn’t finish the drill in 2003.  We dropped passes and let Florida win with difficult to conceive coaching calls.  The only difference this year is the consistently short field given the Gators by the Dawgs with turnovers.

Finally, a quick note on Florida’s coach.  He is a great coach.  He is a great motivator.  I saw a quote on the boards from Florida fans that said in effect that they were happy Urban Meyer is their coach and that Georgia fans were jealous that he wasn’t our coach.  Not in a million years.  After the time outs at the end and watching him give Coach Richt the frost after the game, I have to say that I’ll take Mark Richt all day.  Coach Richt’s response to that told the whole story about the difference in the two coaches, one given to refering to himself in third person, one refusing to make a big deal out of a situation that have made lesser men mad.  I have noted the coaching issues in this game above.  Even with those issues, Urban Meyer didn’t out coach Mark Richt today, unless Meyer somehow coached the Florida players on turnovers.   It wasn’t an affirmative coaching job that won the game.  However, Urban Meyer showed himself to be the pompous jackhole that he is.

The most damaging part of this game is the media will now view the Dawgs as Florida’s little brother again.  All the street cred the Dawgs had is gone.  Vanished.  All the collective football world will see is 49-10.  No matter who we beat or how badly we beat them for the rest of the season, the 2008 season will be defined by a half in Athens and a game in Jacksonville.  I don’t wish to go to the bad place where hyperbole overtakes common sense, but 2008 is a disappointment, that much is sure.   While  trip to Orlando or Dallas is in the offing, it just feels like not going to Atlanta and at least New Orleans is somehow a waste.  I know that isn’t the case, but it feels that way right now.

Go Dawgs….


14 Responses to “Thoughts on Georgia/Florida”

  1. 1 Oshea2002
    November 2, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I hate Urbie. I’ve heard from reliable sources I know to be true even more despicable recruiting stories involving Urbie than the ones that have been widely reported.

    That said, as a neutral observer (I was pulling for UGA), I think Urbie kind of got a free pass this year on UGA to do whatever he wanted. After last year, I think anything short of going Jon Cheney and “sending in the goons” to purposely injure someone needed to be tolerated. He’s still classless, but not b/c of today IMO.

    A 10 win season would be a big deal. I do think that the margin today probably locked up BCS bids for UF and Bama. Georgia will absolutely steamroll whatever Big 11 team they play in the Capital One, especially if Ohio State weasels their way into the BCS.

  2. 2 bulldoginexile
    November 2, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, no one would ever say Meyer didn’t get a pass on this one. I just think the better man doesn’t take it. I can think of about 10 coaches, all of them with championships and great coaching pedigrees, that can and do win regularly with class. No way Carroll or even Miles calls two timeouts in a 39 point game with under one to play, regardless of what happened last year. I have long known Meyer to be a ‘win at all costs’ guy. I respect that in a weird way. He just gave exhibits B-6 and B-7 for why he’ll always be a class A douchebag. I’ll never respect that.

  3. 3 Ally
    November 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    With 2:23 left on the clock in the 4th quarter against LSU, Mark Richt ordered Staff to start taking a knee. Keep in mind, LSU’s offense had gashed our D and came within striking distance twice. Also keep in mind that even with the new clock rules if not done properly down to the last second, taking a knee with 2:23 left can come back to bite you. We ended up missing the timing a bit and had to give LSU the ball back with some time for a few plays.

    Yet, even with that knowledge and the knowledge from the pundits & pollsters CMR refused to run up the score for “style points” or to embarrass LSU. He chose, as he always does, to be a good sport.

    I was one of those fans & alum who were a little ticked that he didn’t just run the ball a little more and run down the clock. I didn’t wish him to ram in down their throats, but I didn’t want to quit to early either. I WILL FOREVER BE ASHAMED THAT I FELT THAT WAY AND FOREVER BE THANKFUL FOR THE MAN & COACH MARK RICHT IS.

    It hurts and sucks to lose, especially like we did yesterday. I was a student during the Donnan years and grew up going to every game during the Goff years. My Dad taught us the we NEVER leave the stadium early, no matter how painful. We always stay to support & cheer on our team & coaches – that’s what REAL fans do. This loss is painful in a way that I can’t yet describe. But I can say one thing with absolute assurance…. I would NEVER support or remain a season ticket holder if we lowered ourselves to the level required to employ a coach like urban meyer. As much as it breaks my heart to be the loser today, we are winners when it comes to being good sports. Urban’s way is not our way, and never will be as long as I’m a supporting Alum & have a seat at the table! That’s not Georgia and I’m thankful for that. If we ever feel the need to “win” like that, then we don’t know what real winning is. Floriduh may have won a game, but they lost a sense of pride in being a team of champions. A piece of crystal is not worth that much to me.

    Go Dawgs!

  4. 4 aladawgy
    November 2, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I’m with you,Ally! Urban’s way is NOT our way!!

  5. November 2, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I’m too depressed to say much but why do we rely on Knowshon to get us to the red zone and then put Caleb King in to keep us out of the end zone?

    This was hellish.

  6. 6 Macy
    November 2, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    I just LOVE comments about how much ‘class’ Richt has. Where was his ‘class’ last year when he ordered his players to get an Unsportsmanlike Penalty. Then he waved the entire team onto the field. Video evidence is the proof. He was clearly waving all of the players onto the field to join in the disrespect of Florida. That was classless. It also resulted in 2 penalties for the Bulldogs and they have since been one of the most penalized teams in NCAA Football. When you show your players that being unsportsmanlike is an option, they follow that lead and its difficult to break. What Urban Meyer did was perfectly legal as Mark Richt said and caused absolutely no penalties by the refs or anyone else. The only problem was that all of the Dawg ‘fans’ had already left – great fans you are. They should have stuck around and at least supported their team in their misery.

    Last but not least, I’m really sick of reading about the poor officiating. Actually, Florida had more yards on penalties than Georgia did. Get over it. The refs didn’t lose this game – Georgia did!!

    Hahaha – see ya’ next year. Have fun in the Cotton Bowl.

  7. 7 benjamin
    November 3, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Gator fan here…what happened to just losing? Dont whine and whimper like a beatin dog…no pun intended. The gators where better prepared and more focused. You can attribute that to the penalty last year….dont wake a sleeping giant….oops to late

  8. 8 benjamin
    November 3, 2008 at 9:07 am

    i want a ga fans take on one subject. I saw a quote from crm saying moreno decides when he comes in and out of games….he seemed to pull himself out when yall needed him the most. Any thoughts?

  9. 9 bulldoginexile
    November 3, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I have to admit, that is something I have stayed away from, more for a lack of understanding of why than anything else. On one hand, KM is a team player and really does want his team mates to get attention. On the other, you would really hope he’d be the one that wants the ball when points are on the line. At times, it has been frustrating, especially when you see him gain 6-9 yards a pop coming down the field, only to come out of the game at the 13 yard line.

    Thanks for the prior comment, btw. I don’t think either team invented whining and whimpering. I think both teams’ fan bases are pretty good at it (and if you don’t think so, consider the mass hysteria about The Celebration). The Gators were better prepared and more focused. The Gators deserved to win. However, this isn’t 1999 or 1984. Neither team will win as a matter of birthright again. That is good for the SEC and both schools. It just sucks to be the team that lost this year.

  10. 10 Oshea2002
    November 3, 2008 at 11:26 am

    If there truly is a college football god, Iowa will beat Penn State and somehow the Big 12 will meltdown and we’ll get a shot at the Gators in Miami, where we haven’t whooped up on someone in a couple years. I’d take Bama in the Rose Bowl, but I just don’t see that being a close game. All the recruiting animosity over Harvin, Wilson, RoJo, etc – lets settle it on the field.

  11. 11 benjamin
    November 3, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    i hear a lot of complaining on other blogs about uga’s oc mike bobo and the bad play calling. Was it bad play calling from the booth or stafford free lancing at the line?

  12. 12 bulldoginexile
    November 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I think the general concern, and certainly my concern, is the overall lack of sophistication with play calling and schemes, especially within the red zone. I’m not an offensive genius, in fact I’m not much of a genius at all, but there are particular offensive formations that we have where there are only three plays we run. That is an issue if I am figuring that out from watching games in the stands or at home. Even if Stafford is changing the plays, it is incumbent on Bobo to either stop that through coaching or add enough wrinkles to make those looks different enough to deceive defenses, regardless of the play Stafford calls.

    Last week against LSU, we did most everything right all game offensively. It was Bobo’s best game as OC. This week, we had flashes of brilliance in play calling and we had complete head scratchers, especially when we threatened to score. Some of that can be attributed to young players on the line or the backfield. As we have seen all year, this is a theme, one that has to be as maddening to Bobo as it is to us.

    One final thought. Stafford has had the authority to change plays at the line since he walked on the field three years ago. One of the first times I saw him do it was one of his first starts (I think Miss State) where he checked off and called a fade to Mo Mass with less than a minute in the half. A thing of beauty. If Staff is free lancing into game costing mistakes, you can bet he’d lose that authority in a second.

  13. 13 Oshea2002
    November 3, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I will take lack of sophistication over over-sophistication and completely out thinking yourself any day. At least simple usually equals giving the ball to your best players, repeatedly.

  14. 14 Oshea2002
    November 3, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I questioned a couple calls that UGA made, but all in all, I think they had a solid gameplan. I think they should have been more aggressive early on, I think it was clear that the intermediate-deep middle was open, and I think that was playing to their strength v. Florida’s weakness. But I think it’s a catch 22 b/c you have to try and establish Moreno. Once you fall way behind, it’s tough for anything to work if you have to go one dimensional.

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A Georgia Dawg in the Mid-West alone with his thoughts.

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