The Georgia Bulldogs are going down a road they have not been since the Ray Goff era back in the early 1990s. Georgia had lost three games in a row prior to their showdown with Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday night. Georgia was trailing Colorado late in the 4th quarter 29-27, but had the ball on Colorado’s 30 yard line setting up for a game winning field goal. With just over 2 minutes left, Colorado knew Georgia would try to run out the clock to set up the field goal so they called a run blitz. Colorado LB B.J. Beatty penetrated the offense line and stripped the football from Georgia’s RB Caleb King ending the Bulldogs come from behind. Georgia was left not only stunned by fumbling the game away to Colorado, but also for losing their fourth game in a row for the first time since 1990.
There was some good news for the Bulldogs – A.J. Green. Green played for the first time after serving a four game suspension for selling his bowl game jersey. Green single handly rallied the Bulldogs from a early 14-3 deficit. Green had a big run on an end-around, a couple of touchdown receptions, one of which was one of his unbelievable circus catches to put the Dawgs up 24-14. But then Green cramped up and had to leave the game and eventually go to the locker room for fluids, and the Dawgs’ offense once again struggled as they have done throughout this season.
The defense was no better as they had a hard time stopping Colorado RB Ryan Stewart who rushed for 149 yards on 19 carries including the go ahead TD with a 11 yard scamper late in the third quarter. Georgia also lost time of possession as the Buffaloes’ offense was on the field 34 minutes.
Georgia has played a tough schedule in their first five games as three of them were on the road at hostile environments. On top of that, they were mostly without their playmaker – A.J. Green. The defense is not getting any better with new defense coordinator Todd Grantham. The knack against Georgia’s defense last year was they could not make the big stop when the game was on the line. We have yet to see a big stop by the defense during this 4 game losing streak as the Dawgs continue to get dominated at the line of scrimmage. South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet, Mississippi State’s Chris Relf and even tonight with Ryan Stewart have picked apart Georgia’s defense. Coming into this season, the defense was supposed to be more aggressive and able to stop the opposing team under Grantham, but the jury is still out in this young season.
As for offense, Mark Richt has gotten more involved in play calling to help out offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. The problem is the offensive line cannot create any holes or spaces for the running game. Obviously, everyone in the stadium knew Georgia was going to run down the clock and kick the field goal when they were on Colorado’s 30 with two minutes remaining. How could Georgia not pick up the run blitz and allowed a fumble behind the line of scrimmage. The running game was supposed to be the key this season to alleviate pressure from redshirt freshman Aaron Murray.
For a quarter and half when Green took over the game, Georgia got a glimpse of what could have happened if Green played every snap this season. Instead, there is a lot of soul searching going on with 4 straight losses and 4 straight games coming up all against the SEC East. Two more losses against the SEC East teams will all but assure Georgia won’t even go bowling this season.
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Written by Bob Ballard