Like any close game that your team loses, all you can think about is “what if?” The unsportsmanlike penalty didn’t help, but could hardly be blamed as the sole reason for UGA losing an all-out war on Saturday night. Sometimes the other team just makes a play, and LSU definitely did. The frustrating thing is that we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from this team that exceeded our expectations, and we dared to dream a little bit. But we as fans have only done that because we had faith in the leadership surrounding the team as well as the players, that they would somehow find a way to compete. And to see them make the same mistakes over and over again is eternally frustrating.
Rex Robinson had one of the most insightful posts I’ve ever read about this. If you’re interested, check it out here at Roughing the Kicker. There’s a level of stubbornness that I think we’re seeing from this coaching staff that needs an intervention. Is Damon Evans going to be able to do that?
The main problems that appear to be facing this team are:
- Kickoff/punt returns and coverage, to be fair mostly kickoffs. Is this is a coaching problem? If so, who’s responsible for that?
- Running game. Richt thinks it’s his players more than it is the line, and how can anyone argue? Knowshon got a lot more production out of what was considered an inferior line, despite Sturdivant’s injury. Maybe we overrated our line because Knowshon was just that elusive.
- Player productivity. We’ve got some “superstars” out there that look absolutely lost. One thing we’ll probably never know as fans is how the coaches can increase productivity with anything other than tyranny. Recruiting shouldn’t be a major issue because we’ve consistently had highly rated classes. Is this coaching? Is it personnel? We may never know, but I think it’s safe to assume that coaching plays a significant role because these players develop quite a bit during college. But we all recall great teams of the early 2000’s that couldn’t catch a pass if their life depended on it. Do we just always play tight because we’re pressing? Is the fanbase, press, coaching staff creating that type of environment that the players can’t just get out there and play? Even Richt said in his press conference that this particular team seems to need a spark before they can get going.
- We’re getting outschemed. This is wholly on the shoulders of the coaches. Joe Cox was off, and that didn’t help. But John Chavis has been around for years, and he knew exactly what we were going to do. We broke a few big plays off in the 4th quarter, and AJ is AJ. When we’re wrong on our scheme, we can’t adjust. Bobo seems like he gets into a little bit of panic when stuff isn’t working and starts throwing anything out there that he can. It’s like there’s not an alternative plan, or any anticipation that the defense may have figured out that we run play action out of the I. Guess what, PA pass doesn’t work unless you can run, and we can’t. I’d love to hear what the coaches said about this, but the first half, it looked we were doing the same thing over and over, and it wasn’t working, but we couldn’t adjust. 1 first down, but the biggest problems were coming on 1st down which got us into a 3rd and long almost every time. And just to take the suspense away, to all of UGA’s opposing teams, if you see #1 on offense, it’s a reverse. Why? Because that’s all Bobo’s called with him on the field, as best I can tell. We can also recall defensively that when Van Gorder was the DC, most teams got their points in the first half, and the defense always got tougher as the game went on because he adjusted well. I haven’t seen much of that, but again, this game is not on the defense.
Again, these are the differences that are keeping us out of the top ten, which we could have been close to with one more win. I guess there’s nothing left to do now but to take it out on UT and Vandy, let’s hope we can…