My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Notebook: Booing Bothers Dawgs, But Does't Deter Them

In recent years, it was unheard of, but during Georgia’s past three home games, the Bulldogs players and coaches have heard plenty.

With Georgia struggling to a 6-5 record and coaches coming under constant scrutiny this season, booing has become a routine part of the Bulldogs’ recent games at Sanford Stadium. Some fans have booed bad plays and turnovers, but the loudest in-game critiques from fans have followed particularly conservative play calls by the coaching staff.

Still, receiver Tavarres King said it’s something the players hear – even if they try to ignore it.

“I just think we all try to block it out and move forward,” King said. “I feel like we’re playing for each other. When they boo, it’s tough, but you’ve got to keep going forward, I guess.”

That’s the same approach the coaching staff has taken, but defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner admits it can create some problems – both with the current players and the recruits in the stands who may be considering a future with the Bulldogs.

“That’s not something that you try to bring up, but if it did, you just say, ‘Hey, our fans are passionate about their football,’” Garner said. “When you’re passionate, you may react different ways. We’re not saying right, wrong or indifferent. People pay their money and they have the right to do what they want to do.”

While booing has long been a staple in professional sports, the issue of what is acceptable stadium behavior at a college game has been a hot-button issue among many Bulldogs’ fans this year.

The issue has made its way into Georgia’s locker room, too, and while the players aren’t happy about hearing the criticism from the stands, King said most understand it’s part of the game for SEC players.

“You know how some people are,” King said. “If you’re making plays, they’re going to love you. If you’re not, they’re going to crap on you.”

Garner said he doesn’t like hearing the boos, but he’s aware that it comes with the territory.
“You hate that’s what it’s come to, but that’s the reality of what we deal with,” Garner said.
And the reality remains that, despite the boos, the Bulldogs continue to play in front of huge crowds with lots of energy. There’s a tradeoff, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said, but the booing is a small price to pay for enthusiasm.

“You want to play in those types of environments,” he said. “You want people that care. You want people that are so into every game that it’s life or death. That’s what makes it exciting. It does affect the young men at times, but you’ve got to realize they’re just passionate about their Bulldogs.”


Freshman tailback Washaun Ealey has earned plenty of praise for his work in rejuvenating Georgia’s running game this season, but that’s not what has been on his mind for the past few days.

His bad angle on a toss sweep at the 1-yard line last week likely cost Georgia a game-tying touchdown and the Bulldogs eventually lost the game after another interception by quarterback Joe Cox, and Ealey has taken the mistake particularly hard.

“There’s no doubt the kid is crushed and disappointed, as is everybody,” Bobo said. 
“But sometimes things like that happen. You wish every play could be perfect and we’d execute, but the fact of the matter is it was a young kid who made a mistake, but you want him to be confident.”

Ealey leads the team with 456 rushing yards and a 5 yards-per-carry average this season, despite sitting out the first four games of the year. So while Bobo said the coaching staff will work with the freshman tailback on ball security, it’s absolutely essentially they maintain Ealey’s focus and confidence.

“He’s going to have a long career for us and we want him to run with the same kind of confidence he’s played with the last few weeks,” Bobo said. “He’s brought some energy into our football team since we brought him out of his redshirt. We’re going to correct it, talk about attention to detail, and that’s everybody, not just Washaun. Coaches, players, everybody.”


Georgia has spent much of the season looking for a receiver to step in as a suitable replacement for Mohamed Massaquoi, who graduated after last season. Tavarres King’s performance against Kentucky may have been the first indication that the Bulldogs have found their man.

King became the first Georgia receiver other than Massaquoi or A.J. Green to finish a game with 100 receiving yards since Kenneth Harris did it in October of 2006 after King grabbed three catches for 109 yards last week.

“I just had to step up and make plays, and I did,” he said. “That’s what I try to do every game, and I just made the most of my opportunities this week, and I hope to do that this coming week.”

The big game came without Green on the field, which made the strong performance for King that much more important. But while King said he hopes he can continue to produce impressive numbers, he said the solid games by Orson Charles, Rantavious Wooten and Israel Troupe recently give plenty of hope that the receiving corps will be strong next season.

“I feel like this is just the beginning of something that could really, truly be great,” King said. “I feel like we’ve got weapons and we’re starting to use them.”


With four second-half turnovers last week, Georgia now ranks second-to-last in the nation with a minus-18 turnover ratio – which puts the Bulldogs in some bad company.

Only 11 other teams this decade have finished the season with at least 18 more giveaways than takeaways, and for Georgia, the problems have come from almost everywhere.

“Obviously there’s sometimes we can make better decisions throwing the ball, and sometimes it’s just been some fluke things, things you’re like, ‘Why did that happen?’” Bobo said. “We’ve just got to be more conscious of being safer with protecting the football. It’s one of those things that’s just an avalanche right now.”

The most frustrating thing, Bobo said, is that there have been times when it has appeared that the Bulldogs had turned a corner. Two weeks ago against Auburn, Georgia finished without a turnover and took two from the Tigers – the first time all season the Bulldogs have finished on the plus side of the turnover ration.

But the optimism was short-lived, and Bobo said it is incumbent upon everyone to turn the turnover trend around if the Bulldogs are to have any hope of beating Georgia Tech on Saturday.

“A lot has to do with some youth in some areas, but that’s part of playing is learning through mistakes,” Bobo said. “We just haven’t done a great job of correcting them. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching protecting the football.”


Anonymous said...

DH - Why is there a GT/ACC advertisement on your site? Is this some kind of sick joke?

NCT said...

No such ad when I view the site. My guess would be those things are generated automatically according to some function based on a blog's content.

And, for the record, booing anyone but the refs (which is mainly just for fun) is unacceptable. And what happened to the "Dog food!" chant on which I was reared? Maybe it's still around, because it conveniently sounds like boos, but it was a longstanding tradition to greet the opposing team's stadium entrance by calling them what we hoped they'd become.

Anonymous said...

I thought most of the booing was being directed at playcalling, etc. Not at specific players.

The only time I heard noticeable booing was the inside handoff/draw thing we did on 3rd and long.

Poops McGee said...

Yeah I only boo the play calling and Joe Cox. :)