Short takes: Dogs run over (honest) by Florida

Michael McNeely’s 21-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal turned the game around. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Michael McNeely's 21-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal turned the game around. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Michael McNeely’s 21-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal turned the game around. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  — My column on Georgia’s stunning 38-20 loss to Florida will be posted soon. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to full column on MyAJC.

1. HELLO SECOND-TIER BOWL; GOODBYE, PLAYOFFS: Before Saturday, all of Georgia’s goals were on the table: SEC East, SEC title, national playoff berth. No. 1 is still possible because the SEC East is such a mess. No. 2 theoretically is available, even if probably not realistic, because the SEC West champion almost certainly will be a heavy favorite over the East winner. No. 3? Forget about it. Even if Georgia wins out, the loss to Florida means the Bulldogs’ two defeats this season will have come to two mediocre teams, the Gators and South Carolina. Those two entered the week with a combined conference record of 4-7. It would be stunning if the college football playoff committee took a two-loss Georgia team with those kind of defeats on the Bulldogs’ resume. And the rest of the nation would scream.

2. THIS WASN’T JUST ABOUT GURLEY: Could the suspended Todd Gurley have made a difference in Georgia’s offense? Sure. He’s nation’s best running back, at least when he’s actually on the field. He might have enabled the Bulldogs to score more than seven points on their first four possessions, when the offense drove the ball but stalled three times. But this was mostly about Georgia’s one-dimensional offense. Once the Dogs fell behind 21-7, they had to pass more. This offense isn’t built for that. The limitations of quarterback Hutson Mason were again evident. Mason threw for 319 yards but much of that came in mop-up time.

3. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DEFENSE? It’s never good when you’re being compared to Kentucky, which is what happened to Georgia’s defense. Jeremy Pruitt’s improving unit had been a big reason for Georgia’s recent ascent. But the Dogs, who had been allowing an average of only 105 rushing yards per game, were gashed by Florida for 418 yards on the ground and had two 100-plus yards rushers, Matt Jones (192) and Kelvin Taylor (197), for the first time since a win over Kentucky in 2011. It was highest Florida rushing total since a 1989 game — against New Mexico (466). The previous season-high against Georgia: 176 at South Carolina. Most of Georgia’s defensive problems this season have been against the pass; it ranked No. 2 in the SEC against the run entering the game. Add to the humiliation that Florida’s offensive line isn’t even considered that good.

Digital Jukebox
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley (oooh, scary); but Dogs over Gators
— AJC: Rules are dumb but that’s no excuse for Todd Gurley
— MyAJC: Mark Richt deserves credit for holding Georgia together
— AJC: NCAA mum but Muschamp expects Gurley to play vs. Florida
— AJC: Will Arthur Blank make move with Mike Smith (and reader poll)?
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech takes advantage of Pitt’s fumble-fest
— AJC: Short takes: Georgia Tech 56 (points), Pittsburgh 6 (lost fumbles)
— AJC: LIVE: Tech’s defense must improve vs. Pitt
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons lose, Jackets pull upset, Dogs in prayer circle
— AJC: Will a fresh perspective elude Braves?
— MyAJC: Todd Gurley’s return would raise Georgia’s ceiling again
— AJC: Why did NCAA say yes to Mo’ne Davis but no to Todd Gurley?
— MyAJC: Why playoff picture looks good for SEC (and Georgia)
— MyAJC: Here’s good news: Falcons are leaving country
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech continues to stomp on hope
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, Jameis enabled
— AJC: Georgia dealing with reality, FSU avoiding it
— MyAJC: Does NCAA care that public sentiment favors Gurley, athletes?
— MyAJC: Georgia’s response heard loud and clear
— MyAJC: NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead
— AJC: Minus Gurley, Dogs must overcome flaws
— AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done?
— MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, that’s on him
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding
— AJC: Blank stands by Smith, Dimitroff. What say you?
— MyAJC: Arthur Blank won’t give Falcons’ mandates, speculate on future
— AJC: Falcons have turned this week into a must-win game
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech’s season may be turning into something special
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s win over Miami, starting with … defense?
— AJC: Tech has a chance to take charge in ACC Coastal
— AJC: Braves should have left Gonzalez decision to new GM
 

Reader Comments 0

405 comments
ShowMeYurTDs
ShowMeYurTDs

And one more thing.....why keep mason in? Let's give our future QB playing time now. Mason needs to be playing db like richt played nick marshall.

Let #2 and 3 QBs compete the rest of the season.

TideDawg
TideDawg

No excuses for the Dawgs like they had in the S.C. game. They showed a total lack of effort and got their butts soundly beaten by Fla.


I admire Richt for the man he is but I can't say the same for his coaching style. Passive resistance doesn't cut it in the SEC,no matter who you play or what their record is. They've got to win the rest of their games just so they can play in a bowl game that is not the dreaded Gator Bowl. Not to imply that the Gator isn't a quality bowl it's just that they have been there this year and it wasn't much fun for them.

lvg
lvg

No coaching failure  by Tech against Pittsburgh or Virginia. Sorry UGA  fans that your team did not show up down in Jacksonville.  Next time borrow some Ga. Southern players and coaches when you play Florida.

mcdaviddawg
mcdaviddawg

This game was textbook Richt.  There has been at least one game a year when Richt totally failed to coach.  He only had two weeks to prepare for the game and they were not ready.  Maybe if we gave him another mill a year he'd coach all season?  After 20 years of season tickets this will be the last.  I can watch them lose big games in the comfort of my home. Maybe they can rally and beat Charleston Southern but they'll need more of a plan then just run Chubb or run Gurley.  HOw many times has Georgia been going to win a national title and fallen flat.  Started in the loss at LSU in 2002.  Maybe one day Georgia will have a committed.

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

@mcdaviddawg Unfortunately for Richt, you can't fix stupid. Maybe paying him a couple of million more would help, though.

willardkovacs
willardkovacs

Alabama is on the schedule next yr.

Richt will lose to these 4 for certain:

Tenn

The OBC

SABAN

AUBIE

But he will still be a classy cool cat!

TU
TU

@willardkovacs I would not place any bets. All of the teams you listed will be breaking in new QB's next year.


Charlestondog
Charlestondog

Mike is still drinking the koolaid.  What an idiot?  How much money is Richt giving you for saying that?  As Forest Gump says:  Stupid is...Stupid does.


On a different note:  the UF fans must be frustrated:  here they are hoping their coach gets fired and now he beats UGa.  Will Foley can him?  UGA would love for UF to keep him.


TU
TU

UF had three pass attempts? 

Is this 1950?


POAD2014
POAD2014

@TU the TECH QB was 7/13 for 141 in windy conditions and they won by 18.

TU
TU

UGA offense is a balanced attack. With the high wind gusts, the air attack was grounded. The battle was played in the trenches and the dogs got man handled.


TideDawg
TideDawg

@TU  They were balanced alright. Bad offense, Bad defense, Bad coaching.

ColdSplash
ColdSplash

Dogs can always hire Will Muschamp and "bring him home"....he'll be available soon.

Domina8r
Domina8r

I've said all along that Richt is a good recruiter.  He's a GREAT man.  UGA should fire McGarrity, elevate Richt to AD and hire a new coach.  EVERBODY HAPPY!

WhatExcuseNow
WhatExcuseNow

Mercy, DawgNation is tearing each other apart.  Just glanced at Bill King's Junkyard Blawg and: 

1.  350 is DEFEATED and calling for Coach Richt to be fired or resign

2. DoginCO appears to be fighting everyone with an opinion different than his and threatening to leave these blogs for a while because everyone does not share his opinion.

3. And even Mr. King is threatening to ban his own DawgNation members for what amounts to them differing with his 'fan' assessment and how Richt is better than other coaches in the SEC even without the hardware to back that opinionated statement.  

It is U-G-L-Y in these blogs right now.  

TideDawg
TideDawg

Florida fans may now have the attitude that Florida has the talent to play at that level but Muschamp can't coach them up to play at that level on a weekly basis.


Ga. fans may think that Richt may not take rivalry games (S.C. Fla. and maybe GT) serious enough if he can't coach the team up for the Fla. game.



OH-IO
OH-IO

418! 418!


RIP 350

TideDawg
TideDawg

@OH-IO  That blonde in the next post by POAD2014 wants to meet you!!

vallo
vallo

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me for 418 yards, shame on the whole program, or lack thereof

MisterPants
MisterPants

One could make a pretty compelling argument that the B1G West is better than the SEC East.  

Truthserum2121
Truthserum2121

Now all you Bulldog fans can talk to each other about Lindsay Scott and Herschel Walker for yet another year like 1980 was yesterday and still even remotely relevant.

cmac22
cmac22

Richt has done has much has he can do at UGAly.  It is time for him to move on and enjoy his millions molding and developing young men.  T his credit, he is a handful of plays away from playing for 4-5 Natl Championships since his arrival in Athens. BUT, tha is the problem .... he can't win when it counts.



cmac22
cmac22

The next time Jordan Jenkins actually contains the end, it will be his first!!!  Three years of watching that clown get sucked inside is more than enough. 


KY, AUful & tech will most likely roll the dawgs.  THEY will stack the box & make Mason beat them with the pass. This 5th year player wouldn't start for most Div II programs!  If he is the bet that UGAl as, they are FAR behind the elites of college football!! 


Maybe Pruitt and the defense will learn something watching what other teams do to one dimensional offenses!! 

Gatornation
Gatornation

As stated last week.....expect anything.....thanks for the 2 weeks of motivation; telling us how we couldn't match up.  (singing) It's great to be a Florida Gator.....LOL

cmac22
cmac22

There are certain guarantees in life: taxes, death & Richts' team won't showup for at least one game a year.  Can't do much about the first two, but the third one is fixable!!!  Time for Riht to go!


Centrist
Centrist

Dawg350.......where are you now?!!! 15-0 Baby!   Uh, not quite.  And last week:  14-1 Baby!  Uh, sorry wrong again.  How about this one  :  SHREVEPORT......BABY!!!   I checked this entire blog and could not find you anywhere.  What a surprise.  I suppose you are curled up in a fetal position under the bed in your mommy's basement sucking your thumb.  You deserve this for being so stupidly obnoxious since March, mow-ron.  And now all the Dawg fans are just FOR SURE that a victory over Auburn is in the bag.  You people remind me of the limbless black knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.....no arms, no legs, but still running that mouth.  Amazing what that Jawja Dawg Kool-Aid will do, just amazing. 

POAD2014
POAD2014

@Centrist his NEW Blog Name is GED389/2. he is actually hiding on the Homer Blog of BILL KING where he doesn't have to OWN up to his BS.

MikeS777
MikeS777

I just hope a loss like this motivates them and doesn't stick with them.  That UK game next week is not the cakewalk it has been in the past.  They need to show up as ready to play as they were for Missouri and Arkansas.  Just flush this one like they did the SC blasting they took a couple of years ago.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@MikeS777

Might be more helpful to flush the SC win of a few weeks ago.

MikeS777
MikeS777

Considering the state of the defense coming into this season, replacing Aaron Murray, the constant absence of key payers on offense, I think people are underestimating the job Mark Richt and his staff have done this year.

They have a big win over a ranked Clemson team.  They are 2-1 without the best player in the nation, including a big win over a Missouri team that will be ranked again (they were ranked when UGA played them) if they beat A&M in two weeks.

Yeah there's been a couple of stumbles here with SC and UF, but they are sitting at 6-2 with a real shot at the East and stand to get Gurley, Michel, and maybe Marshall back for the stretch run.

With all the uncertainty coming into this season, I don't know how you can expect better than what has happened.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@gtcaryd @MikeS777 I don't need convincing of anything, and I'm certainly not trying to convince some Tech trolls.

BCW1
BCW1

The last several years have been disappointing to say the least. I am sorry to say it, but 14 years is enough of average football. Every year players are either dismissed or suspended and we play below expectations. His track record would be fine in the ACC and beyond, but not at UGA and the SEC. We go from #9 to #17 with the loss. Orlando here we come for the 10th time!!!

MikeS777
MikeS777

1)  I think Todd Gurley's absence and overall uncertainty finally caught up with UGA.  They had two weeks to wonder if he would be eligible or not, and the NCAA didn't rule on it until only a couple of days before the game.  Gurley would have made a huge difference here. As Jeff points out, those first 4 possessions would very likely have been more than 7-0.  More like 14-0 or 21-0 with Gurley in the lineup, and Chubb coming in off the bench.  UF's defense is better than any other on UGA's schedule.  This is the day they really needed him.

Also, don't forget Keith Marshall is still out and Sony Michel did not play either.  That's a lot of firepower on the sidelines for UGA.

2)  The defense is still a major work in progress.  This was a pathetically bad unit coming into this season.  The idea the Pruitt could magically turn this around was day dreaming at best.  It seems this unit does better without a week off though.  Their two worst games (SC and UF) came after a week off.  Still, it's been hit or miss with this game being a miss.  This was a total rebuild project for Pruitt, so it's hard to blame him at this point.

3)  This year was a borderline rebuilding project that has turned into a season that still might yield an SEC East title.  I think the surprise results of Missouri and Arkansas fooled UGA fans into thinking this team is better than what it is.  Mason is clearly not on Murray's level.  The offense continues to deal with injured and missing players.  Mitchell and Scott Wesley missed a lot of time to start the year.  Marshall has been out all year.  Michel and Gurley have been out for a month.  They return a defense that was historically bad and needed a total turnaround.  How does that equal playoff and SEC title? haha

Honestly, if you told me UGA would be 2-1 without Gurley playing @Missouri, @Arkansas, and UF, I would take that.  Lets not forget, Arkansas has actually played well in most of their games this year.  They lost to A&M in OT and barely lost to both Bama and Miss St.  I wasn't even sure UGA could beat Clemson to start the season.  My best prediction was 10-2 for this season, with 9-3 more likely.


WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

Thanks Jeff, I have never heard you be so honest. Too weird. So now you have crossed the line, you sure

your editor will tolerate it? Brother ends media careers. 

Deedrick
Deedrick

that's it, Jeff - demean the athlete as a grocery bagger and make the loss even more ridiculous!

DennisPreston
DennisPreston

Very disappointing game, no disrespect to Muschamp but UGA was outcoached by a guy on his way out the door. I'm happy for Muschamp, he's had a ton of injuries during his time, and I hope they run the table from here on out. Classic underachieving UGA. Why they did not key on the run the entire game and load the box, no idea. Florida ran 3-4 plays. Fluster the freshman QB and he makes errors and they win. Having 4 guys on the short side of the field on the fake field goal is purely poor coaching. Also not managing the players' mental state after that is again purely the coaches' fault, predominantly Richt's. Much better guy than he is a coach. He needs to go. Just extremely lackadaisical over the years, evidenced by unsportsmanlike penalties over the years, slow to make decisions (ground the ball against the Tide during SEC championship game), to not calling timeout near end of first half Saturday until  another 30 seconds went off the clock. Sorry, he is not getting done what could be, especially with the recruiting record over the years. If he won't correct the problems clearly that are there, AD needs to let him go, or he's enabling this lack of taking responsibility on Richt's part. In a different context I've heard it said, it's not enough to say you're sorry for stepping on my foot, you need to stop stepping on my foot. 

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

A question that begs an answer. Why is it that UGA is the only program with a head coach that has never been a head coach before his time at Georgia? Why is it that UGA has an OC that has never been an OC before? An interesting fact: Mark Richt has made more money as head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs than all of the previous head coaches combined. Chew on that one for a while.

DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: "No. 2 theoretically is available, even if probably not realistic, because the SEC West champion almost certainly will be a heavy favorite over the East winner.

______________________

You've got a point there; you know, "heavy favorite"--kinda like UGA was over fla.