Georgia short takes: Richt second-guesses himself

Mark Richt blamed himself for Georgia’s loss for kickoff decision. (Hyosub Shin, AJC)

Mark Richt blamed himself for Georgia's loss for kickoff decision. (Hyosub Shin, AJC)

Mark Richt blamed himself for Georgia’s loss for kickoff decision. (Hyosub Shin, AJC)

ATHENS  –For a free link to my Georgia game column on Saturday’s loss to Georgia Tech, click here. Below are my three “short takes” on the game:

1. The problem wasn’t emotion, it was everything else: Georgia lost two fumbles on certain touchdown drives. It had a field goal blocked. It failed to cover a pooch kick by Tech. The defense got steam-rolled in the second half. But the Bulldogs’ biggest mistake was committed by coach Mark Richt, and he knew it. After Georgia took a 24-21 lead, Richt directed kicker Marshall Morgan to squib kick it to the Jackets instead of kicking it deep, which diminished the chance of a long return but increased the likelihood of the Jackets getting into field goal range to tie it. Richt called it “as sick as I’ve ever been about a decision.” It backfired. The Jackets returned the kick 16 yards to the Dogs’ 43, then Justin Thomas scrambled 21 yards to the Georgia 36, setting up a game-tying 53-yard field goal to sendn the game into overtime. There would be one more mistake: an interception by Hutson Mason. But if not for Richt’s decision, the game doesn’t get into overtime.

2. Nice play by Swann, but Georgia caught a break: Yes, Georgia twice fumbled away certain touchdowns in the first, with Nick Chubb losing the ball at the Tech one after a hit by Isaiah Johnson and Sony Michel losing it in the end zone (forced by Quayshawn Nealy). But the Bulldogs caught a huge break when they took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. The Jackets were driving toward an apparent go-ahead touchdown when Thomas hit the pile inside the Georgia one. One replay showed Thomas may have been in the end zone. The clearer issue that that Thomas’s forward progress had been stopped but officials never blew the whistle. Damian Swann made a great play to pull the ball out and ran 99 yards in the other direction for a touchdown. That play was reviewed on replay but it could only be overturned if Thomas was ruled to have scored or was down. Neither ruling occurred. The replay can’t assume a whistle. Regardless, there will be conspiracy theories for years by Tech fans because, of course, the officiating crew was from the SEC.

3. Florida game on replay: Remember the Florida game when Georgia’s defensive front got pounded for 418 yards rushing? This wasn’t quite that but close. Tech finished with 399 yards rushing, including 280 in the second half. The Jackets’ offensive line wore down down the Dogs defensive front and took over the game physically. As many mistakes as the Dogs made, they also lost this game physically. So there’s a concern that needs to be addressed going into the bowl game and, more importantly, next season.

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463 comments
ALB-Dawg
ALB-Dawg

1) Georgia's D is small and patched together.  2) Georgia had a brand new DC.  3) Hard to win when you give up 2 TDs and a field goal.  4) On the fake kick in Jax, there was a Florida player blatantly holding, actually pulling his arm as the guy was trying to run to make a play.  (There seemed to be a lot of that in that game). Getting away with that fake still irked me.  How could you not see that coming? 5) Gurley.


Conclusion:  Richt doesn't deserved to be fired over this season, even if they don't win 10. But, the fact remains that every season there is just something, whether it's injuries or suspensions or whatever.  There always seems to be at least one or two games that Georgia just falls short on.  UGA has a darn good recruiting class coming in, and Pruitt should be a little more comfortable.  Let's see how it goes.  Personally, I think UGA will be in the final four in two seasons.


Also:  Attrition at D-back.  I see it as a positive in either of two ways: Either A) those guys are self-actualizing and realizing they need to find a place they are more suited for, or B) They are quitters who are unwilling to man up and earn their salt, making themselves and their team better.  Either way, they don't need to be dragging it down.

Georgiadawgs98
Georgiadawgs98

Mark Ritcht is as good as Bo Pelini, wait! Pelini won a bit more and only lasted 7 years...if we were so lucky!

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

Those gawga bullfrogs went all out this year to exceed our ambitious  expectations for their performances. We all knew they could win 7 and match last year's record of 8-5 with a bowl win. Why those bullfrogs have already gone and won 9. After losing to a sorry team in a bowl game, their season record will be 9-4. I do declare if they're not going all out to ease out of their stranglehold on mediocrity and irrelevancy.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

@Princess_Leia @HuckFinn1835  Yes, Princess_Leia, except the sun and moon aren't figments of one's personal delustions. Those Gawga Bulfrog fans so enjoy living in fantasyland; that's for sure.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

@Princess_Leia @HuckFinn1835  All one has to do to satiate those Gawga Bullfrogs fans is to keep a generous pitcher of Kool Aid on hand; if you make Kool Aid, the Gawga Bullfrog fans "will come".

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

@HuckFinn1835  Mediocrity and Irrelevancy - you got it. But the Kool-Aid swilling fans will make them into National Champions next summer. Just wait until signing day, once again the dwags will be declared world champions by their delusional fans. It's as predictable as the sun and the moon.

Fan4500
Fan4500

Well as long as he blames himself, that's all that matters. All I know is, the Mark Richt from 10 years ago would not have made that mistake. Period.

Wrecker
Wrecker

@Fan4500 I remember a game against Auburn early in his career where he had clock difficulties that cost him the game.

ALB-Dawg
ALB-Dawg

@Wrecker @Fan4500 Clock management is not his strong suit.  (I am a Richt supporter for the most part, btw).  This team played lights out when they could jump out to a lead and control the clock.  The D couldn't maintain through 4 quarters when they had to grind it out and come from behind.

bigmarv
bigmarv

hey maybe they keep richt for 2 more years and somehow he wins out---who knows---but the odds are against it---he has to beat BAMA----even after the sec east win---so not an easy road ----but it could happen no doubt.


ALB-Dawg
ALB-Dawg

@bigmarv That's the way I see it.  In two years, we will see a QB in place and a little seasoned.  Hopefully Chubb and Michell will be healthy and eligible.  And, the D should be much more solid.  But, if they get to that point and drop two or three that they should win, it is time to give someone another shot.

bigmarv
bigmarv

railroadtracgang===um that is the standard argument on moving on at UGA----I must admit, I do not have the answers but 14 years of no National Championship is ugly-------UGA argument is that they are developing young men to meet the real world some day---well go start a program out side of football and do that---this is about winning ----If you dont win your nothing in the football business.  Yes its brutal but that is what it is about.  Lose 8 games a year for 2 years and um-----you will be gone--

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

99.8% chance of UGA winning translates to 500:1 odds against Tech. Thank you, Greg McGarity, for keeping Bozo Richt on the payroll. 

Armydawg
Armydawg

With a bit of coaching skill, Tech would be 1 for the 21st Century vs UGA.  As it is, they are 2 for the 21st Century and think they own the world now.  Georgia got its revenge on Auburn this year after their miracles ran out, we will do the same thing at Historic Grant Field next year for Tech.  But I do agree Richt should go to Nebraska and let us start  working on a new staff.

bigmarv
bigmarv

its ugly but some of these tech fans are right----UGA needs to wake up !!!  Its time for change, the same offense every year---every time UGA misses a few running plays ---dodo starts passing the ball all the field and they lose-----i mean i am  not a coach and i can see this----they will not commit to the running game not matter how ugly it gets---they think that they have Joe Namath playing for them with 3 great recievers and they do not----same ol deal----

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

Bobo pretty much runs a even offense MOST games. He has broken records at UGA. Thats not the issue really anymore at all. UGA ranks very high in rushing in the SEC. Bring some actual facts to back it up.

Fan4500
Fan4500

@Railroadtracgang How 'bout losing to S.Carolina, Florida or Tech as facts. In the S.Carolina game, 1st and Goal, calls for a play action roll out, when you have the best RB in the Country. Vince Dooley would have at least tried to give the ball to Herschel a couple times to set up the play action. How about Tech, one of the worst secondary's, we should've at least tried to run some 4 and 5 receiver sets against them. How about for the 4th or 5th time following a LONG run by a running back and calling the next 2 plays for that same running back, HE'S WINDED, take him out a play or 2. Maybe he won't fumble. Try a play action then. It's always the same with Bobo or Richt, we win 9-10 games but because we lose to mediocre teams it costs us the season. Time for change in thinking at the coaching level.

bigmarv
bigmarv

I think the deal is that Kirby Smart should be contacted and offered 2 million over what he is making right now at Alabama-------or at least enought to get him to commit to UGA----then they will let Richt go------and too, they could get the best high school coach in the state of Georgia to be the next coach----and let Richt go to Nebraska where he is from-----the fact is----Richt is not a killer---he cannot close the deal.  He is a choker.  I mean its not personal its just business--------its time to move on folks and let Richt go be Richt somewhere else.  i think he is almost not quite normal----he thinks someone owes him something because of his religion or something---cant quite put my finger on it----but he is missing a few marbles----not alot just a few---enough so that he cannot win the big games----again this is not personal----its time thats all -----its time to make a move----

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

@bigmarv Kirby Smart? Proven head coach?  Richt has won a lot of big games and he has lost some too. Many of them just bad luck as well. LSU won a national title with 2 losses one being to Kentucky late in the season. Florida backs in twice with a loss each season. You need a break sometimes. 

Fan4500
Fan4500

@Railroadtracgang @bigmarv I would agree, if UGA had actually played for a National Championship recently. Those teams have and won. We haven't come close. All I know is, the Mark Richt of 10 years ago would not have made that big of mistake.

ALB-Dawg
ALB-Dawg

@bigmarv While I somewhat agree with some of your statements about coach Richt, offering as a solution a totally unproven head coach to take the helm of what would be a very disillusioned team and fan base is a terrible idea.  Look how it worked out at UF with Muschamp.  What we need is a coach who is willing to come in and cheat and buy some players, win a championship, then abscond before the NCAA sanctions come down.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

Browndawg
Browndawg

Auburn lit up Kirby's defense Saturday night.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

You Gawga Bullfrog fans aught to be plum ashamed of yoselves fer criticizing your fine, fine coach when he only lost by a single touchdown. Why that good man came within 18 seconds of getting a tenth win for your sorry hapless program and that proves he's got to be a d very good coach. Why I'm making a motion that the Gawga Bullfrogs keep their coach another 14 years if not mo. Remember ...without CMR, you wouldn't get to enjoy 9-4 seasons. He's a keeper.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

My remarks are noting that we haven't heard from other honest Gawga Bullfrog fans themselves; I'm just plagiarizing straight from the big ole mouths of the most honest Gawga Bullfrog fans. Please forgive me for no posting sources, but you could read them yourselves ...that is if you knew how to read to begin with; obviously ..you don't. Why I do declare, it seems these oft repeated uga bullfrog remarks have gone and hurt some overly sensitive "bullfrog" feelings. Why were're plum apologetic for posting reality on this blog. We should have known that doing so would crush the little ole hearts of far too many bullfrog fans. Kleenex??

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

For such a memorable beatdown in Athens on the Bullfrogs home field, how come there has to be a 'short take' on uga's gloom; personally I'd like to make a motion to lengthen the thing quite a bit, ok?

UA Grad
UA Grad

@HuckFinn1835, I'm not a Georgia guy, but the game I witnessed on Saturday was far from a 'beatdown.' Georgia Tech was very fortunate to win that game.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

@UA Grad @HuckFinn1835  When a team with merely 2 and 3 star athletes whips a team chocked with 4 and 5 star athletes, it's a damned beatdown.....make no mistake about that!...LOL!

Hunk
Hunk

The UGA defense likes to keep the player up while trying to strip the ball. Nothing wrong with that as long and the runner is making forward progress. The SEC officials could clearly see forward progress was stopped but did not blow the whistle because they knew what UGA was trying to do and the new rue would give them cover.  Bierley should have been in on that play like he has been several times during the season.

RogerBurke
RogerBurke

Georgia has as good a talent as any team in america but you half to get the most out of talent you can by coaching them

BaseballBuff
BaseballBuff

Thanks for the free link, Jeff. Good article that told it like it is.


Congrats, Techies. Play that hard against FSU and you will stay in the game. But if you again make mistakes at crucial times, e.g., fumbling when the game is already won and missing an extra point in OT, the Criminoles will not let you off the hook like UGA did.


HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

Take heart,  uga fans, at least you're retaining your well deserved reputation as America's most mediocre college football team and with any luck at all you'll achieve your annual goal of attending yet another obscure, irrelevant bowl game or be able to watch such an event on your 1990 sorry television set at your cozy, but drab double-wide trailer in trailer parks all across the state of Georgia....all while sipping on the best Pabst Blue Ribbon beer one can hope to get at their local 7/11.

Browndawg
Browndawg

Except for the Walker years UGA has been an average program at best. They have been fun to watch as long as you don't expect too much each year and don't over invest emotional capital. Thanks to the seniors who gave their all to the team and best of luck to all of them for the future.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

6 division championships and 2 conference championships in 12 years is better than average. But they are better than that

Dawggie
Dawggie

@hamiltonAZ  "Division championships?"  This isn't MLB, where the Braves hang a banner for that.  Winning the East gets a team into the SECCG.  You havent' won a championship until you win that game.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

May I ask who won the GA TECH/uga game yesterday? Just askin??

The Bob
The Bob

Jeff, this is a very good assessment.

Samoan Redcoat
Samoan Redcoat

We agree...UGA gets 5 and 6 star recruits and quckly turns them into 2 and 3 star recruits.  It won't change people...wake up !

POAD2014
POAD2014

#12 Jackets

#15 UGa

All is right with the world.

DawgNole
DawgNole

tampgator1: "Couldn't get any worse than it was under Muschamp for 4 years."  

__________________________

Oh, is that so? Then how do you explain this, you two-faced loser?

TampGator1July 11, 2014

. . . And Muschamp is not going anywhere but up with the Gators.

Big Wally
Big Wally

I guess Nebraska doesn't embrace mediocrity as well as UGA does.  I wonder if the Pellini backers were running around saying, "we can't fire Bo, we might end up like Tennessee"............................

cmac22
cmac22

2014 UGA Football is just another wasted year. Another favorable schedule & playing in the worst division of any conference is wasted.  1-3 against your 4 main rivals is just another notch in Richt's cap. The man is truly the worst big moment game manager if college football!!


With yesterdays horrific lose, UGA fans greatest fears were realized when Hutson Mason was asked to win a game..  He was ill equipped to do so.  I can only hope that with 3 failed experiments at letting 5th year QBs try & play 1 season is permanently over in Athens (Tereshinski, Cox & Mason).  After sitting for 4 years, the game has passed them by ... not to mention that if your not good enough to play your first four years, you don't deserve a 1 year attempt!


As for the rest of the team yesterday, the Defense was terrible again.  The Offensive line was an utter joke.  The attempt at providing a SportsCenter highlight by stretching from the 3 yard line was ill advised!  


That's my take on the student athletes.


As for the millionaire coaches, I truly question Richts desire to win & be great at UGA.  The play calling was comical.  When will UGA learn what to do on 1st & goal from the two?  Why is 48 Hicks still on the kickoff return team?  And most of all, why would you squib kick a ball & give field position to a non throwing team?????

As for the defense, all you fools who believed that Grantham was the problem are the idiots who will always be believing the excuse that is UGA football.  Grantham never lost to TECH!!!!


At some schools, mediocrity is a fireable offense ..... see Nebraska today!!  In Athens, its celebrated & rewarded.  Richt & his assistants will get a raise & be praised by the staus quo leadership of McGarrity!  Nothing will change & we will be at this same place next year!

Big Wally
Big Wally

@cmac22 UGA, where barely functioning idiot coaches are not only embraced, but also get contract extensions.

Dawggie
Dawggie

@cmac22  I agree except about Hutson Mason.  He actually led the Dawgs to the winning TD.

Then some idiot called for a squib kick, and negated the win.