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The Story of a Season…

November 23, 2009

Saturday’s game vs Kentucky summed up the entire season.

Bad coaching. Poor execution. Penalties. Turnovers. Missed opportunities. Need I say more?

In all my years of watching Georgia football I cannot think of a game I have been more disappointed after. There have been games where Georgia has been clearly over matched and never had a chance but this was not this case Saturday. Saturday was Christmas come early for the Wildcats. Georgia gift wrapped a game and gave it to them. Merry Christmas Kentucky!! I hope you liked your gift.

I am no football genius but I have been around the game for a while and at times this season I have failed to understand what these coaches are trying to do. Never was this more apparent than the toss sweep we failed to execute on the goal line. Why run a toss sweep with three feet to gain? What in the world do we have two fullbacks for if we arent going to use them? I have read David Hale’s summary of the coaches comments about how the toss sweep is the “bread and butter” of the Georgia offense, really? Since when? I know we have repeatedly run the toss sweep much to my demise this season but I didnt realize that we were going to call this our “go to” play. Right now I dont think we have a go to play that guarantees yards every time. In the days of Musa Smith, the sprint draw that was our go to play. Maybe part of the coaching problem is that, we dont have that one play we can depend on, I promise the toss sweep is not it.

Whatever the verdict there is, the toss sweep is only the beginning of my problems with the coaching. Why could we get pressure on the quarterback and penetration into the line in the first half but not the second? Why once we got up on the Wildcats did we go into conservative Georgia mode and settle for three plays and a kick? Please take risks! This season has been over since the Tennessee game, why not pull out all the stops? If we do take a risk and it doesnt pay off what the heck? At least we tried and dont have to live with the what-if scenario. The only thing Im going to say about kickoffs: HORRIBLE! I dont understand it, let Blair kick it out of the back of the endzone please. I dont care how good the return man is if he kicks it deep in the endzone it will give our coverage team that much longer to get down the field if he guy does decide to run it out. Or option B is just kick the ball out-of-bounds. I would argue to say that Kentucky’s starting field position was their 40 yard line. Just kick it out of bounds, at least they start on the 35 then. I could go on for days about the coaching so Ill just stop for now, before I get too worked up.

I understand the fact that these players are just kids. They are my age so Im going to avoid criticizing them too much. The only thing Im going to say about the players is, I think we are getting the wrong type of players. In the old days (of people like David Greene and Pollack that is) we had a group of players who loved to play the game of football and for the most part loved the institution they played for. I feel that the players we have gotten more recently have been players who were just stellar athletes and had no dedication or loyalty to the school. If I were a coach I would look at how willing they were to lay it all on the line for the school they played for and the people they represented. Players like Andy Williams who may not be the best athletes but try like heck to win the game. There is a quote by Vince Dooley about recruiting and it goes something like this, “I dont care where a man is from or what he does as long as he loves the name on the front of that jersey (Georgia) and tries like the devil to win.” I feel like this is what Georgia football needs to get back to. Look for the “it” factor within its recruits, not just how many stars some recruiting service puts next to his name. Like I said I have not and will not criticize any player individually. I just think our recruiting process could use an overhauling.

The penalties and turnovers Saturday were again killers. The fumble to open the half was a big momentum swing. Georgia could have driven to go up 21 instead we gave them a short field and they cut the lead to 7. The season has gone how the turnover battle has gone. Look at the games where we cut down on turnovers, we win. When we dont, we lose. Eliminate turnovers and this season – and this game – turn out a little differently. While the number of penalties were cut down to only 5 I believe, they all came at critical times. Their only score of the first half can be attributed largely to a late hit penalty. One touchdown was the difference – remember that.

It pains me to have to talk about the Dawgs like this but this season has been a big disappointment. I will point out that expectations were not high coming into this season. We had an inexperienced QB. There were many many young, unproven skill players. Depth was going to be an issue. But yet, as the Bulldawg Nation has come to expect under Richt, we expected something magical to happen. Unfortunately it did not. And here we sit at a place in the season where we could end up at 6 and 6 – the worst record I can remember in my Georgia football history. All the frustrations and the disappointments of this season were exposed in this game. A sad way for these seniors to go out and for this team to be remembered. All that being said, I am still proud to be a Georgia Bulldog. There is nothing else I would rather be.

Until next time, “You stay classy Classic City.”

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