As the college football season begins to focus on conference championships and BCS bowl projections, the Georgia Bulldogs' season is slowly and painfully coming to an end. With a record of 5-6, Georgia must rely on a win against rival Georgia Tech to become bowl eligible at 6-6. With that said, let’s look at some issues that are hovering over the program heading into a much needed bye week.
Coach Mark Richt
There is still much grumbling about Georgia’s head coach, but it should be put to rest for the duration of this year. Richt has the support of the athletic director Greg McGarity, who for now is willing to work with Richt to give him the resources needed to win. Simply put, if the Bulldogs struggle with this plan, Richt is out—no more speculation.
Everybody knew that Todd’s 3-4 scheme would take time to grow. All of a sudden fans are complaining that he is overpaid and that the defense is worse. These fans obviously don’t know much about football. Question: Did anyone really believe that Georgia was going to slow down Cam Newton? He is the Heisman front-runner for a reason and proved it yesterday. Georgia lacks a powerful defensive line and a secondary that can play the ball. With these flaws, the defense still improved greatly from last year. On the other hand, if there was one hire that has not proven to be satisfactory, it is Scott Lakatos, Georgia’s secondary coach. The secondary looks just as lost now as they did last year with Willie Martinez.
This one is simple. Georgia does not have an elite running back in the backfield. Georgia should have been the team rushing for 300-plus yards at Auburn. It was clear early that the Tigers couldn’t stop the run. Georgia simply needs a workhorse in that backfield.
New Offense Needed
Georgia is notoriously known for running their pro-style offense that is predicated on the run and the play-action pass. This is a problem. Fans will say “the offense is fine, the team has scored 30-plus points in our last six games.” The easy response is that the offense completely opened up when AJ Green came to play. Make no mistake, the offense was miserable during the games he was absent. If there is no AJ Green, this team at best averages around 20 ppg. Honest UGA fans know this is correct. Richt needs to change his philosophy and get an offense where anyone can score while this defense continues to grow.
Georgia coaches need to begin to look at whom they recruit and change it up. It seems that the offense recruits players that are intelligent and can clearly articulate their thoughts about game plan and schemes. You can tell they have brains.
The defense, on the other hand, not so much. Have you listened to these players talk? If they can’t put together a sentence, then how do coaches expect them to execute a full game plan? Georgia needs to recruit a smarter defense. The phrase is "work smarter, not harder," and Georgia sure has been working hard of late. Coaches can only coach so much—then it’s up to the players to execute.
Georgia has a lot to focus on as it prepares for its bye and Georgia Tech. The thing that is sure to plague many minds of the Bulldog nation this year is this: If we hadn’t had those turnovers earlier, where would we be?