Collage 3
The Dawg-gone Blog
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Sunday, September 09, 2007
Seriously, WTF just happened? Were we trying to give a national audience a different view of Georgia? Surely we weren't trying to show how good a Steve Spurrier coached offense can be. We couldn't have been actually handing the game to them on a blitz-free silver platter, right?

Wrong. Let's get to it.

What we did wrong:

Nearly everything if you want the $.02 version, but broken down more, we did two things exactly the opposite this weekend as opposed to last.

  1. We didn't blitz. At all.
  2. No blocking offensively. None.

The Defense:

On defense we looked as incompetent as I've ever seen us look. I said in the preview that for us to be successful against that particular system, we had to play aggressive football. Blake Mitchell ate our zone for dinner last night and I'm sure he loved every single minute of it. Aside from a couple of instances where USC's O-line missed an assignment, Mitchell had all night to throw and it showed.

Scheme-wise it was exactly the opposite of ALL THE GAMES WE'VE WON RECENTLY. Seriously, this frustrates me the most. I'm not sure if Martinez thinks he's smarter than the offenses he's playing against, but when he thinks we should win we play safe football (every loss last year and last night as well), but when he believes we're going to get our ass stomped in the ground, he runs a jailbreak up front (OSU, Auburn, Georgia Tech). That is the epitome of bass ackwards thinking.

PWD nailed it with this gem:

Who has two thumbs and doesn't blitz?

It should be noted that I have no problem with Willie Martinez's Secondary Coaching. He has made a point to take our guys and use their talent to force more turnovers. Since he has become the DC, we are getting more interceptions and usually at crucial times. That is good.

What is NOT good is the D-line and LB scheme that he runs. Our D-line is young and very green. The only reason they looked so good last week is because we backed them up with LBs while they were rushing the QB. It was an absolute madhouse up front for OSU, and this time around it looked more like a 4 on 5 game of "Patty Cake." Ridiculous.

Hopefully, Richt will go knee-deep in someone's defensive coordinating ass and ask them why in the hell we didn't blitz last all. Until that happens, I'd expect more of the same, and that's unfortunate.

The Offense:

It's called "downfield blocking." It's very helpful in creating holes and getting Yards After Catch. I know you guys know what I'm talking about because it happened last week. A lot. However, what I saw on Saturday was half-assed attempts by our guys against a much quicker USC Defense. I can specifically remember instances where Mo Mass and Brannan Southerland (of all people) dropped easy blocks that could have garnered first downs at critical points. How bad was it? I was HAMMERED out of my mind watching this on television and I still remember it clearly today. So yeah, it was real bad.

What else went wrong? Stafford's progression. Chandler played a good game in that he found places and opportunities to get open when nothing was there, but he never got a look. Our offensive scheme relies heavily on TE production and there were opportunities last night, but he never got a look. Stafford has a couple of things to work on this week and the most blatant one was his ineptitude to check down receivers. He also have a very poor night throwing the ball on time and on point. He was constantly over, under, and behind receivers. I'm not a QB and damn sure not a QB coach, so Bobo will have to work with him on that.

Special Teams:

Coutu did almost all of what he was asked. I would've loved for him to have made that first field goal so we're not going for it on 4th down last night, but the kid kicked it about as well as he could. I know he's probably beating himself up pretty good right now, so there's no reason to kick him when he's down (pun intended).

However, on kickoffs we need some more leg. He's not going to kick it out of the back of the endzone and even if he does, it's not a bad thing right now. We can't tackle on kickoffs or punts for some reason, so I say that he needs to just crank that bitch up to 11 and let it fly. It can't hurt.

Mimbs was called on a lot last night and I felt he delivered pretty well given what he was asked. He made a very acrobatic catch and kick early on the game that saved us a quick score by USC and tons of momentum. If I could give out helmet stickers, he'd get one for that. We do need to take a look at that long-snapper though, and see what's going on with whoever that is. Not a good effort for two weeks now.

The Intangibles:

This would be the fans. Due to some reasons not discussed here, I did go to Athens yesterday to see some friends, but was planning on returning back to Atlanta to watch the game. When I arrived in Athens at around 11:30, most tailgates were just getting put up. I mention that because the tailgating atmosphere is one of my judges for how well we're going to play that night. As soon as I saw the Dawg crowd not into it, I became even more worried.

On TV we did not sound loud at all. Hell, I couldn't even hear the Redcoats. It was a bad showing on television, but I have no idea what the atmosphere was like at the actual game. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just didn't get the impression that we were in it.

To Sum It Up:

USC wanted it more. Plain and simple. They might as well have worn hard hats to the stadium, because they came to work hard and grind it out, no matter the circumstances. We, on the other hand, worked about as hard as Nick Burns, the IT guy on all the SNL skits.

"Willie Martinez Version 2.0 doesn't blitz. MOVE!"

In all seriousness, we played without any heart or aggression. There was no GATA mentality on our offense or defense. We were weak on both sides and it showed. USC wanted to win this game more than we did and the only reason it was close is because we are still the better, more athletic team. We just need to take this beating for what it is, learn what we did wrong, correct it, and whip some cupcake ass next weekend. It will be interesting to see if the team responds positively to the loss, or if they will let it get them down.

All is not lost for the SEC crown, but it's a long shot based on history. All SEC games are now must-win and we need USC to pull one more upset, but get beat twice. If we win out and USC loses 2 games, we're in. Sounds tougher than it really is, but we are as talented as we think we are. We just gotta step it up on the "heart" department.

I'll leave you with this quote from Richt:
"There were coaching decisions that could have changed the outcome of the game," Richt said. "But we're all in this together. I'm not pointing fingers. We had opportunities and didn't take them. Now, we have to regroup and make sure we get better if we want to win this league right now."

Thoughts? Disagreements? I'm a dumbass? Let me know.

One last thing. I got some positive feedback on "The List," so a new one will be posted up late Monday/early Tuesday.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Blogger Matt T said...
You were right on with your impression of the crowd.

As usual we were about 10 rows behind the band in the student section and it wasn't loud at all. The redcoats didn't seem to play as much as they usually do either.

That game felt like a loss early into it. It sucks.

Anonymous RDB said...
I disagree with you on the performance of our secondary. We face guarded all night when if the guys would've turned around they could have had a pick. Do these guys want to play in the NFL? Its legal in college but they better not get used to it.

I agree with you on the band. I was at the game, section 109 (3 over from the Redcoats) and I heard more of the USC band than our own. As much as I hate it, I think its almost about time to start putting microphones up in front of the band and play it through the sound system as just about every other team does. Yeah, I'm a former Redcoat too and thought that was just a p***y move by other bands, but seems like its about time so we can get the fans more into the game.

Anonymous rdb said...
oh yeah..."finish the drill" is missing too

Blogger Russell said...
I respectfully disagree with everyone about the crowd. I thought we were very into the game and very loud at the times when it needed to be.

Blogger Brett said...
I think the crowd may have gotten a little bit of a slow start, but the fans were consistently as loud as last week once they realized we were in for a fight.

I have been consistently amazed over the last 15 years that the band doesn't "seem to play as much as usual" when we lose. I look forward to the Redcoats consistently receiving credit for future victories. Uh huh...

The band was warned twice by the officials for playing too long beyond the break of the huddle. A third warning would have resulted in a penalty. If they were playing less that usual (which I can tell you with certainty was untrue), then it would have been justified.

The SEC does not allow bands to be amplified at times other than pregame and halftime.

The game was lost on the field, just as they are won on the field when they are won. Period.

Blogger Chris said...
Running between the tackles kept Jasper and Casper fresh into the 2nd half. We run to the outside and not up the middle when there are 8 or 9 in the box, we get enough points in the 2nd half.

The D was fine. One touchdown. With our offense, 16 points should be a half.

Blogger Patrick M said...
I'm glad someone else picked up on the band not playing as much because I thought I was the only one(not counting my friends). I was at the game and my immediate thought was the lack of atmosphere. The crowd was weak and there were plenty of empty seats in the upper deck at kickoff. As for the band, I felt like they never were playing, especially when we were in a critical situation. Meanwhile, South Carolina's band was constantly playing something. I've been going to games a long time and I was disappointed in the Redcoats and I hate saying that because they are usually one of my highlights for a game.

Blogger Moose-Tipping said...
I get tired of people blaming the band for the mistakes on the football field.

The game was lost on the turf, not the tubas.

Blogger Patrick M said...
I haven't seen anywhere on here people blaming the loss on the band. For that to even be suggested is stupid. Georgia was outplayed and outcoached and it resulted in a loss. The band doesn't win or lose games, but they do have something to do with how the crowd reacts to something. I just think they could have played a little more on Saturday.

Blogger Ally said...
Just read this on dawgsonline: that loss to SCUm puts us at 0-5 with SEC East opponents.
Humbling and humiliating to realize even Goff and Donnan avoided that distinction.

Blogger Russell said...

Ok then, let's commission a study to discover if the number of stand tunes the RCB plays is directly proportional to the overall win/loss record of the football team.

It would lead to just ridiculous statements like; "When the band plays "Glory" more than 43.5 times per game (not counting pre-game of course), the football team has an 88.7% winning percentage. But if the band plays "Bacchanale" over 19.75 times per game; the winning percentage drops to 12.36%."

By the way, the cost of this study is going to have to cover my season tickets and donation plus three bottles of water, one large diet coke and two bags of boiled peanuts per game. Not to mention the gas to and from Atlanta, and the cost of my tailgating supplies.

Oh and I guess we'll have to do this for basketball too. Because *that* makes a lot of sense.

Anyone want to put their money where their mouth is and fund this ridiculous study?

Didn't think so.

Go Dawgs!

Anonymous Hobnail_Boot said...
As to your point about seeing tailgates go up later than usual..

I told anyone that would listen last week that the mood in Athens was eerily similar to that of the week between LSU and UT in 2004. Just something in the water, I guess, but it was the same.

As far as the band goes, it's hard to get mad at them when half of their playing time is cut into by 'here comes the BOOM' blaring out of the scoreboard. Awful, awful, awful.