The Liberty Bowl loss to UCF is the worst loss in recent memory for Georgia. Georgia's defense, which has been up and down this year under 1st year DC Todd Grantham, played good enough to win. When you only give up 10 points to your opponent you should win 100% of the time. Former Georgia Bulldogs National Championship QB and current 680 the fan personality Buck Belue summed up Georgia's performance pretty well in one of his latest blogs:
Here is what I witnessed, sitting on the thirty-five yard line. There guys whipped our guys. And I know the popular criticism is to slam the Georgia coaches, but I start my criticism with the players. The 'Dogs lost too many individual battles across the board. Especially with the game on the line in the 4th quarter. Let me count'm: Trinton Sturdivant chop blocks on the next to last possession, which put them in a 1st-and-25 situation. Final drive: Tav King has a key drop. Aaron Murray took some bad sacks---late in the game the QB has to get rid of it and not take a sack, or order to stop the clock. Those were rookie mistakes. The O-Line couldn't give Murray a clean pocket late. Sturvidant got whipped by Bruce Miller.
Georgia players did not step up. Bulldog players got whipped by UCF players. That's what I saw. This wasn't about getting "out-coached." We got outplayed. We did not look strong, or physical.
And that's where we sit after a 6-7 year with more than our share of 3-star and 4-star talents and some 5-star guys sprinkled in. The biggest disappointment for me this year has been the OL and DL inability to win individual battles. The OL was the biggest sore point in the UCF game as they just got beaten up by guys smaller than them. Aaron Murray didn't have time to throw and the running game never developed. We supposedly have 3 or 4 guys talked about as having NFL type talent on the OL but none of them have lived up to their potential this year. On the DL, we are undersized and in desperate need of a JUCO DT or two (see also: Auburn and Alabama success with this) to plug in to take up space.
Going into next year I see Georgia's major weaknesses on both lines of scrimmage and in the backfield (specifically at RB and FB). The loss of Shaun Chapas is going to hurt more than you think. Can Georgia address their OL and DL this off-season? Can they add a play-maker at RB (like South Carolina did with Marcus Lattimore)? Those are the major questions that need to be answered if Mark Richt can save his job in 2011.