1. Play Logan Gray – Joe Cox had a heck of a day against Arkansas, but has been flat since. He continues to struggle with interceptions, and is being given no help by Georgia’s lackluster running game. Cox may be the best signal caller Georgia has with a balanced offense, but that’s not at all where Georgia is at – the run game does not exist in Athens right now. With that said, Gray is more athletic than Cox and has the capability to tuck the ball and run, or even lineup in the wildcat at any time. Georgia is not going to win the SEC East. Someone has to play quarterback next season, and its time to get a look at what Gray can do when the band plays.
2. Play better/more consistent on defense – That’s one of the most obvious statements that can be made about the program this season so far – the team itself is not consistent, and the defense has been all over the place this season. Georgia’s defensive players who are hoping to be drafted in the spring are doing themselves no favors, and are working their way up no one’s draft boards with their play so far this year – save Kade Weston. Willie Martinez can’t seem to get the players to understand what he wants them to do, or they are simply uninterested in doing it. The defense was a disaster against Tennessee. The blame can be spread all around – take your pick. End the end, however, the players can’t be fired, so Martinez is going to have to figure out how to make the defense play 60 minutes a game from here on out. Making solid tackle-to-the-ground tackles would be a great start for this defense. Finding playmakers like Baccari Rambo, who needs to start from here on out, is another.
3. Get Caleb King Healthy – Georgia does not have a running back. Knowshon Moreno is very, very missed in Athens right now. Richard Samuel is not a high-level SEC running back. Washaun Ealy does not yet know how to deal in pass-protection situations (he should learn sooner rather than later). But Caleb King does know how to pass protect, and he is a more than capable SEC back. Georgia will win one game for the remainder of the season, maybe two, without a running back. King is midway through his third year at Georgia. He’s been hurt more often than not this season, and concussions are a serious thing. Still, when he gets healthy it is time for him to get going on the ground for an entire game.
4. Turnovers – Georgia is not good enough to win the rest of its games without winning the turnover battle in every single contest it plays. Turnovers cost them the Oklahoma State game and have made every other game they have played more difficult than necessary. Offensive players who turn the ball over should have limited playing time from that point forward – really they should only play if there is no one else who can play. Mike Bobo knows the ups and downs of playing hot potato with the football. His 1996 squad, which was eager to turn the ball over in losses to Ole Miss, South Carolina and others, took tons of heat when he and his teammates didn’t take care of the ball. Either Bobo is not getting the message across to the offense about turnovers, or the players are choosing not to take his advice seriously. The football is the most important thing in a football game – apparently that’s not getting across to Georgia’s players not named Bacarri Rambo, as he seems to be the Dawg who most values the pigskin. The defense has done a woeful job of creating turnovers this season. Players on the defense, like the offense, are allowed to make plays. Monte Kiffen wasn’t running around with an orange #14 jersey on the other day – that was Eric Berry. Berry isn’t doing it because Kiffen is “scheming up something great” – he’s just making plays. He did it before Kiffen with John Chavis; he will do it after Kiffen in the NFL. Players need to start making plays – Willie Martinez isn’t preventing you from making plays.
5. Look in the mirror – It’s easy to play the blame game. Everyone in the program needs to reevaluate if they are helping the team win – not everyone is helping Georgia win. Everything is easy when you win. The haters are out in full force now – you are no longer the big men on campus. All this program can do is win the games in front of them on the schedule. In fact, all this program can do is try to be excellent every time the whistle blows. Mark Richt needs to evaluate everyone and everything now. The SEC race is over for Georgia. Much like 2006, they need to find their way in the midst of adversity. The playmakers are not there on offense, and the defense refuses to respond consistently to adversity. These are things that can be overcome with focus and execution, which is something Georgia has lacked this year. The fans are going to blame the coaches, and that’s fine because they helped dig this ditch, but the players play the game, so everyone can absorb the blame on this one. The blame game can continue, or the program itself, can look in the mirror and get the job done.