Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Measuring Stick of the UGA Program

Having watched every minute of 4 different Florida games so far this year, I can clearly and assuredly state that in no way is this one of the better UF teams that UGA will ever play. In fact, I don't know that this Florida team is better than the one UGA beat in 2007. Offensively they are middle of the road and more predictable than a Pop Warner team. They rack up big yardage but lose their minds in the red zone. This Florida team wins with defense, but somehow lately most teams they've played have scored enough points to be in the ball game. Many of those points can be placed squarely on the feet of Florida offense, who now carries the identity in part of being a turnover prone team. I don't want to hear about Arkansas and Mississippi State being "in" those games because Florida shot themselves in the foot. Shooting itself in the foot is just what Florida does. A solid defense does as much to force those turnovers as Florida does by being careless with the football. You are what you are in this game.

UGA has the ability to stay in this game. If Cox can somehow channel whatever he had going against South Carolina, much less Arkansas, the Dawgs can score in the high 20's and make this a ballgame regardless of what the defense does. If Martinez somehow has an epiphany on how to coach and tries to duplicate what Arkansas and MSU did up front against Tebow, and a rested defense puts on its best tackling performance in 2 years, this game can be close. If somehow every star in the universe aligns and both happen on the same day, watch out.

The problem is that what I think should happen and what does happen, rarely mesh when it comes to UGA lately. I used to be able to make good predictions on gameplan and effort/motivation. I haven't been right on either for the past 19 Georgia football games. Regardless, if the Dawgs don't at least keep the ballgame close this weekend, or if Richt/Bobo decide to employ a Kiffin-esque conservative offensive strategy to simply stay in the ballgame - then we will absolutely, positively know that this program has regressed to the point where Coach Mark Richt will struggle to get it back any time soon. Thus, the "measuring stick." Coming off a relatively easy win and a bye, with Florida playing 2 tough, hard-fought games in a row, there is really no excuse for UGA not to at least play this game close well into the 4th quarter.

(As an aside, CMR - you have the 2nd greatest player in the history of this grand program, and the best player in America in my opinion. Good heavens....USE HIM. Line him up at tailback, slot receiver, lone wideout, quarterback, punt returner, where ever. Just get the forsaken football in his hands at least 15 times and let's see what happens.)

This weekend could be a "Revival" of the not-so-long-ago proud UGA football program. I know CMR can do it, I just don't really know if he has it in him anymore. I've lost some of my faith and so have many others. Regardless of what alot of fans in denial believe (I'm sorry....great programs simply in "transition" still don't lose by 3+ touchdowns to this year's Tennessee team), the outcome in Jacksonville this weekend will speak volumes about where our beloved program sits, and where it is going next year and beyond.


Ant123 said...

Not to be disagreeable but almost all, not all, but almost all of our problem is on defense. Going in to this week Florida had the number one offense and defense in the SEC. Georgia has scored only 29 points less than their offense. But, Georgia's defense has given up 142 yes 142 more points than Florida. Can't be great or even good like that.

Anonymous said...

Soft. Willie is soft, coaches soft and practices soft.

Its contagious. It is not fair to all the other coaches on the team to lose their jobs because Richt is too loyal to an old college chum.

Goff did it and Shula did it too. Coswt everybody their jobs because of miss placed loyalty to one person over the staff and the program.

BayouDawg said...

Florida also has the refs on their side.

Bop said...

I don't know what to think or believe. I have so many doubts. I'm going down there hoping I witness what happened in '02, '03 and '05. The team that had no business winning, somehow pulling it out. Of course I wear Red & Black, so the odds of the dawgs coming through this Saturday are slim to none. We'll probably shut down the run, but I'm banking on the next Dallas Clark to shred us with his arm.

Anonymous said...

Ant123, UGA has a bigger problem than the defense, which has been the better unit at least four games this year. Sure, the defense isn't where we want it be but the offensive line is what is killing this team. No holes to run through, no sustained drives, no time of possession wins, and no effective play action. They do pass block OK, but they push no one back, and I mean not one team. This was supposed to be a strength of this team and they have been the biggest disappointment of the year. Nothing works when the OL is incapable of doing their job.

MikeInValdosta said...

Dawgs win! 31 -27.

One of the pups is gonna step up and be a Big Dawg!

Refs will forget they even have flags.

Sports Dawg said...

Well said. Just as was pointed out by the commentators Sat. night: When UF has TT alone in the backfield, it will be a QB draw or screen (Probably 80/20 draw). Stop the draw & stop UF offensively. Make him beat us with his arm. Only problem with that is we have a habit of making average throwing QBs look like Johnny U. You are absolutely correct about the measuring stick.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I have been and am a huge Mark Richt fan since his press conference in 2001 when his whole family wore Red and Black. Unfortunately, just as UF 2009 is what it is, Georgia 2009 is what it is. In the past (i.e., 2002-2005), I expected us to win every game (at least to compete to win every game). Now? Not so much. I think the players' mentality has also changed. I just read an article where the UGA players are talking about how the pressure in on Florida and how we need to fluster Tebow and come at him. That's fine. But where is the talk of personal excellence and admitting: "This game is personally big for me. I want to right the ship. I want to do my absolute best to perform my assignments and win my battles. I WANT this." Unfortunately, I think the mindset and the poor defensive coaching has led to us getting blown out of big games (other than the two most recent LSU games). I want to think different, but I just don't think it will happen on Saturday. Maybe in 2 years we will get our mojo back--I actually think this is possible--but I have a sinking feeling that we are going into the game not to lose, and we know how that usually ends.