Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Outback Thoughts

We just ran all the way around a win to get to a loss. Let's separate this out.

Offensively. Tavarres King just uncovered another Spartan jock strap on the Ray Jay turf. I didn't mind the patience in the first half. It looked like we were stretching the defense laterally while taking shots downfield. Murray threw some spectacular deep balls while we tried a variety of tailbacks and tried to contain the relentless pass rush of the Spartans. The two best play calls were the waggle to move Murray's pocket away from the rush where he hit King for 80 and the underneath to Boykin out of the backfield. Just terrific.

But in the end, Bobo couldn't make up for the lack of protection or the failure of the tailbacks. At one point I simply pleaded with him to leave Samuel in to pass protect and simply give up on the run. Yep, it was that frustrating.

What I don't understand is not attacking the edges with quick passes or toss sweeps. Bobo continually called runs into the heart of the Spartan rush. We were never able to establish the play action and for some reason left the screens at home.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the stats show that Orson Charles was indeed in Tampa yesterday. Like Murray, Bobo never saw him.

Defensively. John Gruden's crush on Alec Ogletree is second only to this blogger's. We were able to get Cousins flustered as I expected, however we never kept our cleats on his confidence's throat. Eventually they neutralized Jarvis by cutting him at the line. There was an adjustment to that by bringing him up the middle some, but all in all we just never threatened Cousins consistently. He had time to work through his checks and did a decent job of managing the game.

The stats show they struggled as much as we did establishing the run. However, LeVeon Bell found enough room to open up the field for Linthicum and BJ Cunningham. Boykin, Smith and Commings all pitched in and did a good job against Cunningham but overall our route coverage wasn't up to the challenge. That was unexpected. Throughout most of the season our pass rush has benefited the secondary and the d-backs have been there when the pass rush was managed. Not so much yesterday though.

If that was Washington's last game, he went out with a wimper.

Individually. As for Walsh, crappy way for his career to end after becoming the points leader. And I admire him for taking responsibility for the misses. But this loss isn't his alone by any measure. Murray frequently looked to be on a different page than his targets. Richt has to be second guessing himself after going all in early with the 4th down call (that backfired) and then playing as conservatively as possible in the first OT (which also backfired). Saw a lot of questions last night about Jenkins' injury. I saw him in OT with his jersey off and his left arm in a sling. I think he landed on it funny after the tackle on his interception.

On the plus side, Malcome played hard while injured and Boykin had a career game, as did King for that matter. Mitchell made some clutch grabs in traffic and special teams looked solid.

All in all, more questions than answers. A lot like the middle of September.


Bernie said...

Football is a difficult game. Everyone is a coach. UGA has some great players. So does everyone else in the SEC,Big How ever many teams end up there. Even the ACC has some quality players.
 Direction of a program is trending either up or down week to week. At UGA as many SEC schools fans live through the year on the written word of the press and blogs.
 I feel that excitement as signing day nears, as spring ball comes near, the  day the freshman arrive and listen to every word of each practice.
 The Dawgs played hard yesterday. So did Mich. State.
                                  I think that's the way its suppose to be.
I doubt formations with 4 or 5 receivers...........that let defensive linemen go unblocked.
 Stanford did not seem to have problems with 3 tight ends in the game at once. They even used a fullback.
         I think UGA is a product of there own vices. The object is to recruit great players..........great players want to go to the NFL.  So UGA runs its pro schemes to get great players that want to be at the next level before they finish their junior year.
 The largest line in the USA, college or pro. Can not run block. Have a hard time with pass blocking..... Well some of it is numbers. T, G, C, G, T, QB, RB vs. 6 or 7 defensive players in the box. We check out and go with Murray and King not even close to being on the same page. Again NFL pass satems if the defense does this then the reciever does this and the QB does this this.
 UGA has gone the way of college basketball where positions of the ball and time of position means nothing.
     Its a sad state for a wonderful program  to dwindle. Direction of coaches and players are not even on the same page. A product of our times and the state of college football......sigh.......... I guess.
 Defense Had 11 guys in the box at times. They made some great plays but at the end Mich. State took the gamble. UGA sat back and allowed the underneath.
     UGA was in total control three times during this game. The outcome I am sure the coaches agree should never have come to a field goal. So many what if's always come to mind. Faith in the O-line, 4th and one early, get a yard, instead of the early FG. That by all purposes would have won the game in regulation. I thought it was a good decision to.
                       Guess we will all forget by signing day, be excited by spring ball, look to the freshman and letter men arriving for school. I just wish this meant as much to the 4-5 stars athletes as do us watching their every move. Hero's  do disappoint......................

Bernie said...

This bowl defeat still has a bitter taste to it, even a day later. No matter how hard I try not to, I see this loss as a step backwards for us. Perhaps I should say that this season our program did take a step forward in now being back on track by defeating the teams we are supposed to beat, but not being able to defeat the really good teams on our schedule. Maybe that comes next (?), but there is still much work to be done in Athens.