Sunday, October 16, 2011

Escape From Nashville: Field Goals and Embarrasment

Reader Warning: Negativity Alert.

There's not a lot to be happy about from last night's game, but there's certainly a lot to try and figure out.

Isaiah Crowell had to serve a one-quarter suspension. When asked why the star freshman sat out the first period, Richt responded, "He didn't play because I love him." Cheesy, yes. But indicative of some minor infraction for which a small, hopefully maturing, punishment was needed. Since nothing showed up in the police blotter, I'm guessing missing class or breaking curfew; maybe something with alcohol or a girl - likely just typical college stuff. Maybe he wasn't focused for the game. Of course, if that was the problem, then Georgia wouldn't have been able to play anyone in the first quarter. We looked flat, lackadaisical, and just uninterested. Responsibility for that lands at the coaches' feet; they have to get the team up, even for Vanderbilt.

It's not just the coaches, though. Aaron Murray is still too uneven and Blair Walsh is becoming truly disappointing. Mike Bobo apparently went on record saying he loves Murray's "progress", and that he's a real "perfectionist." What QB is he watching? Murray stares down receivers, makes bad decisions, and is sometimes just downright careless with the football. Yes, he's a talented QB and can make great plays, but there's no difference between this Aaron Murray and the kid from last season. That might not be regression, but it's certainly not progress, either. And Walsh? What. The. Fuck. Blair? If you've given up, just quit the team so the coaches can get someone else out there for FG tries. Are Bogotay and Lindley just godawful kickers? There's no other reason I can think of for not trying someone else. I know he was the leading scorer last night, but that says more about our execution/play-calls than his talent.
Our old defensive friend, lack of discipline, showed up last night, too. James Franklin pulled out some gutsy calls and the 'Dores executed them near perfectly, but our D certainly helped them out, leaving people uncovered, making poor tackles, and, at times, just looking like we had no idea what we're doing. We were especially vulnerable against the run, allowing Rodgers and the Vandy backs to gash inside, through the linebackers, and into the secondary. We did deliver some monster hits, but overall, the D was very 'meh.' The long drive at the end of the third quarter and our inability to stop Rodgers in the 4th was the killer. It looked a hell of a lot like third-and-Willie again in Nashville last night. And, on a more personal note, Grantham needs to grow up a little. Sometimes he's just a childish douche bag and that certainly showed with that little end-of-game altercation. He should be ashamed.
Special teams was a little weak, too. How did they fall for that fake punt? Everyone and their brother knew something wasn't right there, with all the movement and shifting, why not drop into a blanket coverage? And what happened on that Vandy kickoff return for a TD? It looked like there was no coverage plan drawn up.
Going back to Bobo for a bit, why run the wildcat stuff? The play-calling was atrocious on that series and just didn't make any sense. I did like the playaction fake playcall, but the execution was terrible. Murray has a lot to learn to get to the Greene-level of PA passing. Also, we've got to address this O-line. They should be ashamed of themselves. They're the biggest line in football -college or pro - and they still can't open bigger holes for running backs or protect Aaron Murray. Will Friend needs to get on this, BIG time. I know I'm critical of Murray, but I will say he took that brutal shot to end the third like a champ.

I know some folks are happily watching the East standings with big dreams of an SEC Championship appearance, but we've got a long way to go to get there. We'll have to get by Florida and Auburn first, and judging by that turd we laid last night, that ain't gonna happen. Thank god we missed 'Bama, LSU, and Arkansas this year, or else we'd be suffering another losing season and the Richts would be getting ready to pack-up their shit. I just feel like I don't know what we're doing anymore, and it seems like that feeling is shared by the entire team, coaching staff, and support crew. Simply put, we are not a good football team and this game should be treated like a loss.

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