Georgia Football Is 3-3, and It's Not Joe Cox's Fault

Tyler EstepSenior Analyst IOctober 12, 2009

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 10: Joe Cox #14 of the Georgia Bulldogs funmbles the ball during the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Well that sucked.

Georgia got worked by Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday, showing no signs of life in a 45-19 loss.

Quarterback Joe Cox and linebacker Rennie Curran both used some form the word "suck" to describe the Bulldogs' flop against the Vols; one that sent them to 3-3 for the first time under Mark Richt. And, whether Georgia players think they're part of a team that should be .500 or not, it was appropriate—because they are.

"I don't think we are [a .500 team] and I don't think anybody on this team thinks we should be," Cox said. "But that's the way it is right now, and the only thing you can do is just keep playing. It's tough taking one on the chin like that, but we've got to find a way to bounce back."

"Nah, man," said receiver A.J. Green, before pausing and reconsidering his answer. "I don't know, man. We're just going to have to keep fighting and see what happens."

So why is Georgia at .500, and not looking like it will finish the season any other way?

(Hint: It's not Joe Cox's fault)

1. The secondary has shown a penchant for making chump quarterbacks look like champs.

Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton looked like Peyton Manning Saturday, and South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia (usually just short of Smelley) picked apart the Bulldogs in September.

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for 1.6 million yards against Georgia. In his first-ever SEC start.

And, given coach Mark Richt's loyalty to upperclassmen, the fact that it's Prince Miller (senior), Bryan Evans (senior), and Reshad Jones (redshirt junior) getting burned most of the time doesn't provide a whole lot of hope for improvement this season.

(Side note: Don't forget who the Georgia secondary coach is—Willie Martinez).

2. The offensive line has been, well, offensive.

Yes, Trinton Sturdivant is hurt again. And yes, there's some young talent at tailback.

But isn't it starting to look like Knowshon Moreno made the line look good, as opposed to the line making it harder on him? The Bulldogs are averaging 97.7 yards per game on the ground, 104th best in the FBS.

They ran for 89 yards Saturday—and that wasn't even (close to) their worst effort of the season (see: LSU, 45 yards).

Sure, some of that has to do with the inexperience at the position. But with three running backs (Richard Samuel, Caleb King, and Washaun Ealey) that were highly-touted out of high school, and with O-linemen that have a boatload of game experience, where does the blame go?

Line coach Stacey Searels won't tell you it should be on his squad's shoulders—but that's only because he doesn't talk to the media.

3. A.J. and….A.J. and…..A.J. and…?

The Georgia offense has taken "going green" to a whole new level this season, and they're not using biodiesel to fuel the team charter.

There's a moderate amount of depth at receiver. But as far as scoring options go?

Green has five touchdowns this season. The rest of Georgia's receivers have three.

Georgia tailbacks have two. Yes, two. In six games.

Fullback Shaun Chapas is the team's fifth-leading receiver.

4. When things do go well, change them!

With the game still in reach, Georgia seemed to be finding an offensive groove, moving the ball through short passes on its first few drives. But then Cox threw an interception, and the idea was all but abandoned.

The Bulldogs never would score an offensive touchdown.

And remember that time when freshman corner Branden Smith had a 61-yard touchdown run against South Carolina? He's touched the ball on offense exactly once since then.

Speaking of Smith—he was in the game on the kickoff immediately following Brandon Boykin's second 100-yard return for a touchdown of the season Saturday.

Not Boykin.

Richt said Sunday that, in preparations for this week's game against Vanderbilt, he and his coaches "have to make sure when we put a plan in, that it's not too much and that our team is capable of doing what we want to do."

If that's not a sign of the state of Georgia football, I don't know what is.