SEC Football News on Saturday Down South

Mark Richt still defending last play call against Alabama

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Mark Richt had his bowl press conference Wednesday, but most media members didn’t talk about the bowl game against Nebraska all that much. Instead, Richt spent most of his time answering and defending questions about the last play against Alabama.

The infamous Spikegate is still on the forefront of the media’s mind, and it’s most definitely on Richt’s mind, too.

Richt was asked whether he would have done anything different looking back on it now.

“No,” Richt said. “When you no-huddle, you go with tempo. You want to go with pace. That’s what we’ve been doing all year long. Part of going no-huddle is when you have the defense on the run you snap the ball again. You don’t need to stop play.”

Richt then proceeded to give a 679-word explanation in defense of his decision that you can read at GeorgiaDogs.com.

“The problem wasn’t the play,” Richt said. “The problem was that the ball was tipped.”

The only reason you spike the ball in that situation is to make sure your players understand the scope and magnitude of the precious seconds on the clock. Had Aaron Murray expressed to Chris Conley and the other receivers – relayed from the coaching staff to Murray – that catching anything less than a ball in the end zone must not happen, and passes short of the end zone must be batted down, it may have ended differently.

It’s easy to look back now, but had Conley not caught the ball, Georgia could have run one more play and could be fielding questions about Notre Dame instead.

But I think it’s time the media got over the play call as a whole and moved on. We know the outcome; we know Richt’s thoughts on the play call.  It’s time to move on.

Photo Credit:  Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports





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Comments 6

  1. Dawg780
    Commented : 1 year ago

    As if Richt has a choice to do anything but defend the call. We could have spiked it and the exact same thing could have happened. Then, Richt would be defending that decision and “why in the world would you spike it when you had Bama on their heels” type questions. It’s one of those what-if moments that will forever haunt us Dawg fans, the players on this year’s team, and Coach Richt. All we can do is minimize the agony as much as possible by trying to believe what was meant to happen happened.

    • Amen, I’m tired of them beating a dead horse. These guys have been playing football long enough in their lives to know that he shouldn’t of caught the ball but I guarantee you he was just caught in the heat of the moment. Would you rather spike it and allow Alabama to sub in or would you rather go for it against the guys on the field you just finished driving 85 yards on? I believe what they need to do is quit asking rich about his decisions and realize that the guy who tipped the ball made a hell of a play in crunch time.

      • amen to your assessment…so many things could have happened with a second play…we’ll never know because it didn’t happen…let’s give credit to Bama for a great defensive play when they needed it.

  2. fuzzy
    Commented : 1 year ago

    It’s pretty simple if you’ve followed UGA football at all this season… and I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Simply put… we had no other choice.

    Let me explain what Richt and Co. would never tell you…as they would never want to throw any players under the bus. As this season progressed, we lost our top two possession targets in Michael Bennett (6’3”) and Marlon Brown (6’5”) due to injury.

    Our WR coup was decimated to the point where T-King and Conley were our only 6’0(ish) targets…and everyone else is well under 6’0”. With our top endzone threats out…spiking the ball and calling a corner route was simply out of the question. Unless we have a sure handed receiver above 6’3”… we simply can’t expect to huddle up and beat Bama head-to-head with the receivers we had in that situation.

    In our coaches minds, we had a better chance at scoring by running no huddle… and running a 10 yard out to Malcom Mitchell in hopes that we’d catch the defense winded and on their heels. Afterall… if the play isn’t there, Murray can throw it out of bounds and we still have 4 seconds to run another play.

    Well… what transpired was the absolute 1 exception to that game plan. The ball was tipped short of Mitchell…and Conley caught the pass short of the end-zone out of instinct. You really can’t blame anyone there… Mitchell had the outside open… but Bama out played us on that play…the ball was tipped…and time ran out.

    To agree with Coach Richt… the problem with that play was that the ball was tipped. Let’s all move on from this. It really isn’t the end of the world (at least until 12/21 ;)).

  3. I love how everyone always focuses on one play or one call by an official. The game had over 150 plays. Every play, every decision made by a Coach, error made by a player, or call by an official goes into determining the final score. What if we had not let AL rush for 350 yards or let Murray get sacked 3 times or had 7 penalties for 64 yards or made a first down instead of going for a 50 yard field goal? etc, etc, ……

  4. There was plenty that happened that got us in that position (blocked fg for td, Bama kicking at the end of the half, our missed fg). We’ve heard a lot about how Murray doesn’t show up for the big games and that was proved false; he showed up big. I would’ve loved to have seen an incomplete or a solid block that got the defender’s hands down. I’m very proud of the game we played, of the offense throughout the game, and especially the ballsy call to keep the momentum and take a shot at the championship at the end. An excited, young receiver did what he’s been trained to do: catch the ball.

    We played good enough to win and would have if not for the tiniest of errors on a solid defensive play. Those are Damn Good Dawgs!