Hutson Mason – One Year Legacy

hutson_mason_uga2014:The Year of Hutson Mason
Hutson Mason has started two games at the University of Georgia.  After leading an injury riddled Bulldog offense to a thrilling overtime victory against Georgia Tech his first time out, the 2014 Gator Bowl did not have a happy ending. UGA’s  depleted roster, coupled with too many mistakes resulted in the Dawgs coming up short against Nebraska by a final score of 24-19.  UGA finished this past season with five defeats.

Hutson Mason Finally Plays with a Full Deck
The Georgia starting quarterback will get the opportunity to play with a full supporting cast when the 2014 season rolls around.  Injuries were an epidemic for Bulldog Nation from start to finish in 2013, so it is likely better health alone will translates to more consistent results on the field.

According to Dog Bytes, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo felt Hutson Mason had a great spring.  Bobo remarked in part, “I thought Hutson had an outstanding spring, really stepped up in the leadership department.”

Bobo also noticed the Georgia signal caller working to make the most out of each play even while the skill level around him is not yet at full strength.

Taking the Pressure off of Gurshall
Priority number one for Hutson Mason is to keep teams honest, and prevent them from stacking the box against the Dawgs.  This task seems simple enough, considering he has coveted the opportunity to be the starting quarterback at UGA for more than four years.

Learning From the Past
In recent years, there have been three starting quarterbacks who have been afforded a single season to leave their paw print on the Georgia program.  Of the three names about to be discussed, this strategy only worked out heavily in Georgia’s favor on one occasion.

D.J. Shockley (2005)
D.J. Shockley led Bulldog Nation to a ten-win season during his lone year as the starter in 2005.  UGA finished 10-3, won the SEC title and appeared in the 2006 Sugar Bowl.

Joe Tereshinski III (2006)
The kid known as “Joe T” never really had the opportunity to take root as a starter between the hedges.  After stepping in for an injured D.J. Shockley against Florida in 2005, Tereshinski came into 2006 as the head signal caller. However, Joe  T injured his ankle during the second game of his final campaign.  Upon returning to the field, his lack of success proved to be his downfall.  Following an embarrassing homecoming loss to Vanderbilt, Tereshinski was benched in favor of Matthew Stafford.
joe_tereshinski_matt_staffordJoe Cox (2009)
Much like Hutson Mason and Joe Tereshinski III, Joe Cox had to be patient for his   opportunity to lead the Dawgs. Cox provided flashes of brilliance during 2009, guiding the Bulldogs to eight wins. Even so, far too many turnovers combined with a young supporting cast spelled mediocrity in Athens.  The 2009 Georgia Bulldogs went 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play.

Striving to get Everything Right
In an interview with ESPN, Hutson Mason made it clear that his goal is to win as much as possible. “When you get one shot, you get one opportunity, you want to make sure that you do everything right. You want to make sure that you don’t have any regrets because I don’t get four years.”

The year of Hutson Mason begins on Saturday, August 30, at home against Clemson.

Mike Bobo Deserves His New Contract With Georgia

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Mike Bobo coordinates one of the most prolific offenses in all of college football.

Mike Bobo has Earned His Pay Increase
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Georgia Bulldogs have signed offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to a new three year contract. From the moment he was named offensive coordinator by Georgia head coach Mark Richt, Mike Bobo has gone from the frying pan to the fire and back again between the hedges. Make no mistake, the Bulldog alum deserves his extension with pay increase, and Georgia’s offensive numbers in the past few seasons prove it.

The 2012 SEC Championship Game was Huge for Coach Bobo
I have lost count of how many Mike Bobo detractors have said that Georgia’s offensive outburst the past few seasons is due to a favorable schedule. The debacle against South Carolina notwithstanding, Mike Bobo earned his contract extension when his offense stood paw to hoof with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs put up 394 total yards against an Alabama team that gave up just 250 yards per game on average. Current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden has also expressed his support for coach Bobo. Gruden has a Super Bowl ring, in case you are not aware of his credentials.

Mike Bobo’s $240,000 Pay Increase Will Come With Increased Scrutiny
The fact remains that college football is the ultimate what have you done for me lately sport, and the moment that Georgia does not put up big enough numbers to best the competition, Bobo will be blamed again. Such is life in the Southeastern Conference.  Bulldog Nation should consider the possibility that Mike Bobo could one day call himself head coach between the hedges. If his career continues to trend upward, he has a case for being Mark Richt’s successor in Athens. I should try ending blogs with thought provoking statements more often.

Georgia vs Florida Football Classic – The History

The Bulldogs will have to fight for every yard.

Georgia Versus Florida for First Place in the SEC East
This Saturday afternoon promises to be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, as the Georgia Bulldogs try to turn back the gridiron challenge of the undefeated Florida Gators. Florida is the number two ranked team in the Bowl Championship Series, and the Gators are arguably the hottest team in all of college football right now. Conversely, Georgia is coming off an uninspiring victory against the Kentucky Wildcats. On the bright side, the Bulldogs are once again in control of their fate in the SEC East after the Gators chomped on the South Carolina Gamecocks last weekend.

The Florida-Georgia Classic
The artist formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” underwent a name change in light of all the drunken debauchery that has taken place in Jacksonville over the years. There is no specific trophy given out to the winner of the game, but maybe a prize should be given to the university that has the least amount of students arrested.

The History of the Georgia-Florida Football Classic
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have shared a mutual disdain on the football field for almost 100 years. The rivalry began in 1915, where it played out in a number of different locations in Georgia and Florida respectively. The game has been permanently held in Jacksonville since 1933, and has been contested there every year with the exception of ’94 and ’95 because of stadium remodeling.

Georgia needs to hit Florida hard to set the tone on Saturday.

The two universities cannot even be civil long enough to agree on a series record because Georgia counts a game contested in 1904, even though Florida argues they were not established as a university until 1906. Since we are a Georgia blog, we will stand by the Bulldogs’ claim of leading the overall series with a record of 48 wins, 40 losses, and two ties.

 1942: Widest Margin of Victory in the History of the Georgia-Florida Series
The most one-sided affair in the history of this match-up occurred way back in 1942. At the time, Georgia featured a supreme backfield of Frank Sinkwhich and Charley Trippi.  As for Florida, the Gators  lost the majority of their most experienced players that year because they were serving in World War II. Georgia dominated the game, mauling Florida by a final count of 75-0. Frank Sinkwhich captured the 1942 Heisman Trophy, and Charley Trippi is universally remembered as one of the best athletes in the history of Georgia football.

1964: Vince Dooley Brings Georgia Consistent Success in Clashes with Florida
Upon becoming the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs in 1964, Vince Dooley inherited a team that had lost ten out of its last twelve football games against the Florida Gators. At the beginning of his coaching tenure in Athens, Dooley was only able to achieve moderate success against the hated foes from Florida, as his record started with a pedestrian three wins, three losses, and one tie during his first eight seasons between the hedges. However, Coach Dooley found a way to change his fortune against UF, as the Bulldogs would feast on the Gators in 14 of the remaining 19 games that Vince Dooley was patrolling the sidelines.

1980: Georgia Wide Receiver Lindsay Scott Runs for His Life
The Georgia-Florida football game has produced some of the most unique moments in Georgia football history. 1980 in particular provided what is quite possibly the most unforgettable play-by-play in Georgia history, as incomparable Georgia announcer Larry Munson pleaded with Georgia wide receiver Lindsay Scott to keep running after then Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue completed a pass to Scott as the Dawgs were trailing by a point with 90 seconds left in the contest. The result saved Georgia’s season, as the Bulldogs prevailed by a final score of 26-21.



The meeting in 1980 also featured a superhuman effort from legendary Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Walker carried the ball 37 times during the game, for a whopping total of 287 yards, which may explain some of the reason that Lindsay Scott found himself so open on that fateful play.



1985: Georgia Strips the Gators of the Number One Rank in the Nation
One of the most satisfying aspects of defeating a bitter rival is crushing their championship aspirations en route to the triumph. This was precisely the case  when the Bulldogs met number one ranked Florida in in this chapter of the storied feud. In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, Georgia had two first freshman tailbacks (Tim Worley and Keith Henderson) carry the ball for over 100 yards in a 24-3 stunner over the previously unblemished Gators. The loss kept Florida out of national championship consideration, as they finished #5 in the Associated Press poll. (Note: The weather was rainy during that ball game. Does anybody know a good rain dance?)

1997: Georgia Finally Beats a Steve Spurrier Coached Football Team
As the Bulldogs began the 1997 season, Florida head coach Steve Spurrier had been torturing the Georgia Bulldogs since he started as the Florida Gators head football coach in 1990. This included an instance in 1995 when Spurrier’s Gators put 52 points on the scoreboard in Athens because Spurrier wanted to be the first visiting coach to accomplish that. Spurrier stated, “We heard no one had ever done that before.”

Steve Spurrier has never called a play he did not like.

When these two teams squared off in 1997, Bulldog Nation was desperate to shut the brash Gator coach up. Dawg fans finally had their day on November 1 of that year. Former Georgia quarterback and current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo led Georgia to a 37-17 win over Florida. According to Sports Illustrated, this game was Florida’s worst regular season loss in nearly five years. Even coach Spurrier had to admit that the better team won that day as he remarked,  “Mike Bobo had some good passes and they blocked better than we did. I don’t know what else to say except they were better than us.” 1997 was the only year that Georgia ever beat Steve Spurrier while he was the coach at Florida.

2007: Georgia’s Impromptu End Zone Celebration
When Florida and Georgia renewed their annual rivalry in 2007, the Bulldogs had just one victory over the Gators since 1997. Mark Richt and his pack of Dawgs had grown tired of being Gator bait, and Georgia was ravenous for anything that may change their luck in Jacksonville. When Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno scored a touchdown at the six minute mark of the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead, Bulldog Nation proceeded  to party like it was 1980. Thankfully, Georgia maintained their momentum and found a way to win the football game, because losing after all those shenanigans would have been embarrassing. (Celebration highlighted at the 2:12 mark.)



All Aboard the Mark Richt Mediocrity Express
The forthcoming battle with Florida will determine the fate of the 2012 Georgia Bulldog football team. Either the Dawgs will bite, scratch, and claw their way to a win, or Georgia will simply roll over as the Bulldogs take yet another signature loss, allowing the Gators to clinch the SEC East. Regardless of what happens for the rest of the regular season, this one game will define the legacy of this Georgia football team.

In order for the Bulldogs to be victorious, the Mark Richt mediocrity express must come to a screeching halt this Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville. If Georgia is able to pick up the victory, it will be the first time in over two decades that the Bulldogs earn consecutive wins over Florida.

Who Will Be the Next Head Coach at the University of Georgia?

Looking into the future? Kirby Smart might ultimately end up where his coaching career began.

My co-author Barrie posted an article last week centered around the coaching futures of Mark Richt and Paul Johnson. Barrie’s conclusion was that Paul Johnson is likely to remain the head man in Atlanta at Georgia Tech for longer than his in state rival is the head man in Athens at UGA. Naturally, this made me wonder who the next face of Georgia Bulldog football will be. As a result of said pondering, I have compiled a list of coaches that may be considered to replace Mark Richt as the next head football coach at the University of Georgia.

1. Todd Grantham- The most obvious choice on this list, Todd Grantham has been impressive in his defensive coordinator/associate head coach role at UGA. Grantham has been successful as a coordinator in the NFL as well, which is a major selling point in recruiting. However, Todd. Grantham has never been a head coach, and whoever the next head man in Athens is, he will be expected to get the Bulldogs into national championship contention immediately.

I wonder if Mr. Peterson would want Georgia to invest in a red field?

2. Chris Peterson- The current head coach at Boise State, Chris Peterson’s name seems to come up whenever a big time college football gig is available. He cannot stay on that ridiculous blue field forever, right? Chris Peterson has made a career out of winning big games in Boise, something that Georgia’s current coach is really struggling with.

3. Mike Bobo- Cue the moans, groans, and obscenities. Despite his obvious ties to the University of Georgia, Mike Bobo is probably the least likely  candidate for the next head football coach at the University of Georgia. UGA, and athletic director Greg McGarity, are going to want a big name with a more impressive resume. Which leads me to…

4. Urban Meyer- The ultimate wildcard on an otherwise reasonable list, Urban Meyer is a little busy being the head coach at Ohio State. Even so, it is not like coaching contracts are set in stone.  My guess is that even if he was offered a ridiculous amount of money Urban Meyer would never consider getting back into the competitive grind of the Southeastern Conference because of his prior health issues.

5. Kirby Smart- My co-author Barrie presented a very compelling argument to me last week about why Smart would be the wise choice for the next head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Kirby Smart has worked under Nick Saban in Alabama long enough to see how a prominent program in the SEC is built. Smart is also a University of Georgia alum, who would probably be intrigued with the idea of leading his alma-mater back to national prominence.

6. Charlie Strong-The current head coach at Louisville had success at South Carolina as the defensive coordinator before taking the head job at the Ville. Charlie Strong will probably not answer the phone if Georgia does call, as he seems to be the popular pick to clean up Bobby Petrino’s mess in Arkansas.

Did I miss someone that you think would be a good candidate? Comment below!

Georgia Bulldogs Extend Contracts for Mark Richt and Todd Grantham

mark richt todd grantham

So happy together.

(UPDATE: The AJC’s Chip Towers is reporting that Mark Richt “is not receiving merely a contract extension, but a whole new deal.“)

Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the University of Georgia has agreed to a contract extension with both Georgia football head coach Mark Richt, as well as defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Both men had banner years in 2011, guiding Georgia to its first ten win season since 2008. Mark Richt’s new deal extends his current longest running SEC head coach tenure until at least 2016. Hopefully Todd Grantham will stay between the hedges for the duration of his extended deal, which expires in 2014.

This news is cause for celebration in Bulldog Nation. Todd Grantham’s defense was one of the best in the country this past season and it could get even better if certain players would learn to stay out of trouble. Both Sanders Commings and Branden Smith have had good careers on the field at Georgia. Now, they must show that they can be productive members of the community off the football field, and earn back their silver britches so they can finish their respective careers at Georgia on a high note.

Five seasons is an eternity in today’s college football landscape. Mark Richt has gone from hot seat to hot streak in the past two years alone. With questions surrounding Mike Bobo’s ability to be an effective play caller in big games one has to wonder what, if anything, was said about Georgia’s offense during negotiations between Mark Richt and Greg McGarity. It is admirable to have faith in your coordinators when you are winning. However, loyalty is often seen as foolish when it does not translate to success on the field. Here’s hoping that McGarity encouraged Richt to play a bigger role in offensive game planning, and that the idea of a special teams coach came up at some point.

The time is now for the Georgia Bulldogs to compete for a national title. The SEC has ruled college football for the last six years, but the Bulldogs have not won a national title since Herschel Walker’s playing days. Mark Richt came to Athens hot off of his success as Florida State’s offensive guru under Bobby Bowden. Coach Richt has had a lot of success in Athens, but in order for his legacy to stand the test of time he must lead Bulldog Nation to a national championship.

Former Atlanta Falcons and UGA Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder Heads To Auburn- Alabama Dominates LSU

nick saban

This must feel like forever ago to LSU fans.

There is a lesson to be learned from the Alabama Crimson Tide’s domination of LSU in New Orleans–Don’t bet against Nick Saban twice. It was a foolish thing to do, especially when one considers that the Alabama head coach had over a month to prepare for an LSU team that he was already very familiar with en route to his third national championship. Alabama blanked the Tigers in the rematch by a final score of 21-0, as the Tide earned sweet redemption for their only loss of the season. The victory gave the University of Alabama their second national title in three years.

Picking Up The Pieces
As for the Tigers, LSU seemed to believe they could win the game last night on hype alone. Once the game kicked off, the Tigers did not look anything like the team that finished the regular season unbeaten on their way to dismantling the Bulldogs in the Georgia Dome for the SEC championship. However, the Bayou Bengals now have an entire offseason to figure out what went wrong. Alabama and LSU will likely begin the 2012 season ranked #1 and #2 which spells trouble for the rest of the Southeastern Conference.

Dawg Days Ahead?–Brian VanGorder returns to the SEC
Georgia has aspirations of competing with Alabama and LSU for a championship next year. For what it’s worth the Bulldogs are ranked number six in Mark Schlabach’s Way Too Early Top 25 on ESPN.com. After Monday’s developments Bulldog Nation will have to face an old friend beginning next season as well. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Brian VanGorder is the new defensive coordinator for the Auburn Tigers. Continue reading

Examining Georgia’s Outback Bowl loss to Michigan State – Plenty of Blame To Go Around

mark dantonio

Did Mark Dantonio and the Spartans out coach the Bulldogs in critical situations?

A few days removed from Georgia’s second straight bowl debacle, Bulldog Nation is searching for someone to blame for the Bulldogs’ new year lump of coal. However, there are multiple parties at fault for what happened in the final two quarters (and three overtimes) in the 2012 Outback Bowl. The most frustrating aspect of Georgia’s latest collapse is that all of the usual suspects were involved. As the old adage goes, those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

The Offensive Line
One of the most painful things about the Outback Bowl was watching Georgia’s offensive line get pushed around and give up about a dozen tackles for loss against the Michigan State defense. William Gholston led the charge as the Spartans dominated the line of scrimmage. The Dawgs averaged just 1.3 yards per rush in the game. True or not, the perception is that the Big Ten is the slow conference and that SEC speed and athleticism  dominates when the two conferences meet head-to-head in bowl games which makes the Bulldog loss a bitter pill to swallow. According to the Wall Street Journal, since the year 2000 the Big Ten’s record in bowl games after Michigan State’s win stands at 33-51. 

Mike Bobo was a fine college quarterback. He has been in over his head as offensive coordinator.

Mike Bobo’s Playcalling
During Georgia’s ten game win streak the offense was able to put up great numbers– against lesser competition.–  Unfortunately, when the Bulldogs were faced with an opponent that could match up with them physically such as in all four of their loses,  the results were pedestrian at best. The 2011 Georgia Bulldogs did not beat a single team in the top 20. Against Michigan State Georgia never seemed to give any thought to running outside, as the Dawgs were stuffed time after time between the tackles. Georgia had a chance to put the game away in the fourth quarter after a turnover gave them the ball in Michigan State territory with the Bulldogs ahead by four points.  An inexplicable play action pass in the third overtime was the straw that broke the Dawgs’ back. Continue reading

Georgia Bulldog Football in 2011 and Beyond

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The long wait begins again for a Saturday in Athens.

As the college football calender shifts to bowl season, the 2011 Georgia Bulldog football campaign has been a memorable one. From those horrendous power ranger Nike Pro Combat Uniforms to winning the SEC East, this year has been a roller coaster ride for Bulldog Nation. Georgia improved from 6-6 in 2010, to 10-3 in 2011. The Dawgs will have a chance to add to their 4 game improvement against the Spartans of Michigan State on January 2, 2012. Continue reading

College Football Week 10– Three Dawgs In The Doghouse on Georgia Homecoming– New Mexico State (November 5, 2011)

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You got enough room in there for three more?

As the 2011 college football season enters November, Georgia fans everywhere are just beginning to come down from cloud nine after an emotional win over the Florida Gators.  Homecoming week figured to be a long victory lap for Georgia, as well as fans who did not make the trip to Jacksonville. Halloween is over, but unfortunately just when the Dawgs thought it was safe to go back in the doghouse, trouble has burrowed its way between the hedges again.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) is reporting that Georgia’s top three running backs are suspended for Saturday’s Homecoming game against New Mexico State. Specifically, this means no Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas, or Ken Malcome for Saturday’s 12:30 contest. To make matters worse, the AJC reports that Richard Samuel is done for the regular season with an ankle injury.

Richard Samuel’s 2011 campaign comes to a close just two days after helping Georgia run over Florida. While the circumstances are unfortunate, here’s hoping that Samuel heals up and comes back stronger than ever. He has been the ultimate team player in switching from tailback to linebacker, and back again, over the past few seasons.

As for the other three rock runners, the timing could not be worse. Georgia is trying to end a five year SEC East drought. These young Dawgs need all the experience and in game reps they can get. Whatever policy the three of them violated, it extends beyond a homecoming date with the New Mexico State Aggies. A lack of rhythm may not bite the Bulldogs this week but it could be a factor when the Auburn Tigers come calling next Saturday. For Georgia, being out of sync at the wrong time could spell disaster for their conference hopes.



This suspension shows a lack of focus from the individuals involved. Georgia already had to get rid of two bad dawgs, (Washaun Ealey and Caleb King) so it is even more frustrating for Bulldog Nation to see most of Georgia’s current halfbacks making similar errors in judgment.

Isaiah Crowell has been hailed as Georgia’s next great running back. Upon further review, he is entering his fourth month on campus, and he has already been suspended twice. To be fair, this is Carlton Thomas’s second suspension of the season as well, but any contribution from Thomas that is not a fumble is looked at as a bonus after he fumbled twice in this years G-Day game.

While Isaiah Crowell should be given some time to grow into the role of lead Dawg, he needs to grow up quickly, or Bulldog Nation needs to lower their expectations. After all, high expectations did not exactly lead to big things for the aforementioned Caleb King. The first suspension for one half of the Vanderbilt game was apparently a warning. Hopefully the second one will be his wake-up call.

As for the actual game this Saturday, the Dawgs should be fine even without many backfield options. Aaron Murray is the unquestioned leader of Georgia’s offense and that should be enough against New Mexico State. Even so, this could be an opportunity for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to come up with gadget plays to trick future opponents.

The infraction committed by Georgia’s three tailbacks should be forgiven and forgotten. The most important thing for the Bulldogs is that the three young men learn from their mistakes, and that no one involved with this team tries to make a mountain out of a molehill. This is just a speedbump for Bulldog Nation as we hope to help the Dawgs get back to the Georgia Dome.

In Defense of Mike Bobo…UGA’s Text Book Two Minute Drive: Georgia-Mississippi State 2011

mike bobo joe cox

Team or coaching or both? 2009...Mr. Cox, meet Mr. Bobo...now go run that offense fella.

It is all the rage to cast derision towards University of Georgia Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo, and there were Dawg fans that (predictably) took issue with UGA’s decision to be aggressive on offense prior to halftime of the 2011 Georgia-Ole Miss game.  As I wrote in the linked article, I believed (and still do) that the experience factor made the decision to play uptempo against Ole Miss before halftime a good one.

Witness a week flashed forward, and Georgia, led by Aaron Murray and Isaiah Crowell, executed a pitch perfect two minute drill in scoring UGA’s third touchdown at the 1:03 mark of the second quarter (maybe they scored too fast? nah.).  I will admit that the results of Mike Bobo’s play calling can be less than heartening, but recent years have featured UGA offenses prone to penalties, fumbles, disclipline-issued tailbacks, stars leaving early, injuries up and down the offensive line…

The University of Georgia has had little problem scoring points this year (and oh does Isaiah Crowell take one’s breath away).  Maybe we just need to let the Dawgs play and lay off Mr. Bobo for a little while.