Tag:Georgia Football
Posted on: October 25, 2010 1:00 pm
 

Georgia's come a long way, baby

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It was just three weeks ago, after a humuliating 29-27 defeat at Colorado (the same Colorado, incidentally, that's currently sharing the Big 12 North basement with winless Kansas ) that the question wasn't if Mark Richt would be relieved of his head coaching duties at Georgia , it was when : midseason, after another flogging at the hands of Florida in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party? Or at year's end, after defeats to bitter rivals Auburn and/or Georgia Tech ?

Richt might still find himself in hot water if he can't get past the Gators, Tigers or Yellow Jackets, but after three emphatic wins over fellow SEC East rivals Tennessee , Vanderbilt , and Kentucky , Richt's ship officially appears righted and the Dawgs find themselves just a game out of the divisional lead. How complete has the Dawg overhaul been? Despite Georgia's 3-17 record against Florida since 1990 and losses by a combined 90-27 score the past two seasons, Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Dawgs as 3-point favorites over Urban Meyer 's reeling Gators for this week's annual grudge match.

The odds on that decision were probably off the board following the defeat in Boulder, a loss that newly-installed Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity doesn't seem to have entirely forgotten about just yet. From the Department of Backhanded Compliments, McGarity's thoughts on the Dawgs' season to-date :

 

“At one time it didn’t look it was going in the right direction for our program. And I have to credit Mark with what he was able to do, to basically rally the troops after a rough run there and a tough game at Colorado,” McGarity said on Monday.

Georgia was 1-4 after that loss at Colorado. Richt called a full-pads practice for the next Monday, saying it was the first time he has done that at Georgia.

“I think that Monday really set the tone for the season. I really do,” McGarity said. “That different tone, and Mark being a man enough to take some responsibility to say we probably made some mistakes the front end, in terms of the practices and the two-a-days ...

“If you’re always looking at ways to get better, then I think you have to do things that are a little out of your comfort zone. And that may be admitting that you make mistakes. But the ability to make it publicly, and chart that, I think that’s a credit to him.”
No doubt McGarity is sincere in his respect for Richt's ability to change course and willingness to (successfully) improvise once that improvisation became necessary.

But his recognition that Richt failed to have the program going in "the right direction" coming out of preseason practice (particularly given Richt's track record for slow starts) suggests that as far as Richt has brought the Bulldogs the last three weeks, if he can't bring them past the worst Florida team of Meyer's tenure with a squad playing as well as any in the SEC (Auburn excepted), we still won't be certain how much longer Richt will be allowed to bring them anywhere. If a coach who can admit his mistakes is nice, a coach who doesn't make them in the first place is better.


Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:49 pm
 

Walker: Richt has "got to take control"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the deepest ongoing mysteries in the SEC is why Mark Richt and Georgia simply cannot shake their team's penchant for (mostly) petty lawlessness. There are plenty of other coaches with a more laissez-faire approach to discipline than Richt, and plenty other programs with more character risks on the roster than the Bulldogs ... but almost none of them can match the amazing 11 arrests the Dawgs have racked up this calendar year, with several coming since the start of Georgia's roller coaster of a season.

Not surprisingly, this is a development of some concern for Georgia fans, and no Georgia fan's opinion carries as much weight as Dawg uberlegend Herschel Walker . So when Walker says of Richt ...

"The losses, that is going to concern me as well, but when you got kids that got off-field problems, we need to get into and see what’s going on. Because when you got off-the-field problems, there’s something going on with that program ...

“He’s got to fix it ... He’s the leader there on that team, so he’s got to take control."
... it's the clearest sign yet that if Richt wants to maintain the support of the Dawg fanbase -- particularly in the face of the miserable 1-4 start that put his head on the chopping block before routs of Tennessee and Vanderbilt righted the ship -- he'd best either find a way to keep his players in line, or desperately hope that whatever shoulder-devils have been luring them astray take the rest of the season off.

Walker did say that individual responsibility is "one of the problems I think athletes have today," but left the onus squarely on Richt to solve the Dawgs' problems. As for potential solutions, well, reading the notorious comments section of the Journal-Constitution website is wholeheartedly not recommended, but we can't help but make note of user "Chili"'s useful suggestion regarding Walker's budding mixed-martial arts career:

The next one arrested should have to get in the cage with Herschel.
Yes, please. And hey, at this point, what does Richt have to lose?

Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:23 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 12:25 pm
 

UGA: King's arrest could mean time for frosh RB

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE 12:08 ET: Caleb King has been suspended two games by head coach Mark Richt in response to his arrest for failing to appear in court.  It is expected that true freshman Ken Malcome will play, splitting the running back duties with starter Washaun Ealey.   

"I expect all our players to take care of their responsibilities on and off the field," said Richt in a university release. "When players don't do that it damages the reputation of the player, our team, and our university. My goal is for Caleb to learn a lesson and for other players to learn from his experience."

-------------------

With Caleb King's arrest on Monday morning, much of the attention in Georgia has refocused on off-field issues with King being the 11th player arrested from this year's squad.  King was arrested for failure to appear in court after a speeding ticket, certainly not the worst of his Bulldog teammates, but still not the idea result after getting pulled.  Of the other 10 players arrested this season, four have been dismissed and most of the others have resulted in at least a one game suspension.  King's situation is the first traffic related incident, though some sort of punishment is expected.  

Head coach Mark Richt did not address the situation in terms of revealing what kind of punishment would be handed down, though he hinted that a combination of the arrest and Carlton Thomas' injury may result in the first playing time for freshman Ken Malcome.

“There’s a good chance that happens,” Richt said on his radio show Monday evening. “We’re not saying for 100 percent certain he will, but the situation that Caleb has gotten himself into and the fact that [tailback] Carlton Thomas’ hamstring may or may not be ready by the end of the week, it may be that Ken has to play.”

Malcome, a highly touted four-star recruit, has yet to see action for the Bulldogs. The in-state running back was one of the big wins for Richts 2010 class, with Malcome choosing the Bulldogs over Florida, Oklahoma, and Alabama, among others.

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Posted on: October 6, 2010 9:35 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 9:41 am
 

UGA's Green on NFL: 'I don't know'

Posted by Chip Patterson

Georgia's A.J. Green didn't need the first four games of the season to quickly remind everyone of his rank among wide receivers in college football.  The seven catch, 119 yard, two touchdown performance (particularly this catch) in the Bulldogs losing effort against Colorado is just another set of highlights to add to Green's expanding NFL reel.  While it has not been set in stone that Green would enter the NFL Draft as soon as he is eligible, it has been widely assumed to be the case.

But Green claims that decision has not been made.  Yesterday during Georgia's media availability Green touched on the issue of leaving early and answered questions as to whether or not the suspension has had any effect on that decision
“I don’t know yet. But I do feel like I owe some of the fans some more stuff, just missing those four games. So I don’t know,” Green said. “Like I said, I’m gonna sit down with my family whenever the time comes and make the best decision for me.”
That's all nice and everything A.J., but you are not really fooling anyone.  For someone who has already shown an interest in capitalizing financially on his all-star status, there will be no surprises when Green declares for the NFL Draft following the season.  Green is considered by most to be the top wide receiver in a draft class that is significantly thin at the position.  For NF teams needing a playmaker that can have an immediate impact, Green will be their prize.

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