clear
Saturday February 6th, 2016 8:41AM

Opinion: Injuries hurt, but other issues just as critical in Dogs' skid

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
Put the emotions aside. Saturday's come-from-ahead defeat at Vanderbilt is not the worst loss in Georgia football history.

Make no mistake, however, it sure felt like it on Saturday afternoon.

And the reason why, has little to do with Georgia's continued special teams horrors, defensive letdowns at key moments or pathetic rules and officiating -- well OK, certainly those downers all played a role.

But Saturday's pain mostly emanated from the fact that the lowest of lows followed some of the highest of highs just weeks ago.

Was it weeks ago? Those electric victories over South Carolina and LSU seem like distant memories now, the Bulldogs hardly resembling the same team that pulled off two top 10 victories.

And of course, it's not the same team -- those unfortunate injuries to a number of key players effectively neutering a once-potent offense. But the simple fact is that every team faces injury, and the better teams find ways to overcome them.

Just ask the Dogs' last two opponents. Missouri lost its starting quarterback with last week's game in Athens still in the balance and not only found a way to win last week but continued with a convincing win this week over a stout Florida defense. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, lost its starting quarterback in the first half of today's contest -- one of two recognized playmakers -- as well as a number of defensive and offensive linemen. The Bulldogs even showed that ability three weeks ago in Tennessee, holding off the Volunteers after losing three starters in one game.

Certainly, no team has been struck like Georgia -- which continued to lose players on Saturday, as Josh Harvey-Clemons left the contest and Chris Conley went down on the game's final play -- but you won't hear coach Mark Richt making excuses like that. And he should not be. It's simply the nature of football. You deal with it and do the best to overcome it.

To do that and succeed, however, you have to do all the little things that much better.

You cannot fumble the ball away; you must catch punts; you must catch punt snaps; you must make tackles; you must block until the whistle blows.

Georgia is not doing these things right now, and, therefore, the Bulldogs are in a two-game skid.

With a bye week to come and then an equally-distraught Florida on the horizon, certainly Georgia has a chance to bounce back emotionally. But to do so, it must find a way to correct its glaring mistakes and spend every waking moment either practicing or thinking about improvement.

Dwell on these losses -- both on the field and in the line-up -- and what was once a potentially historic season has a very real chance to end up historic in the complete opposite manner.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 2 years ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
(VIDEO)Basketball: North Hall pushes past Stephens County -- Lady Trojans do so in double overtime
North Hall could have let this one get away, caught up in a tough region showdown on the road -- but the Lady Trojans weren't interested in ending the regular season with a whimper.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:50AM ( 3 hours from now )
Girls basketball: Hill-Gilmore resting comfortably after falling ill during GHS girls game
Gainesville girls basketball coach Brenda Hill-Gilmore appeared to be resting comfortably after being taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center on Friday at halftime of the Lady Red Elephants contest at Winder-Barrow.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:28AM ( 2 hours from now )
Swimming: Porter, area hopefuls impress during championship preliminary races
Camille Porter -- and a host of other northeast Georgia-based swimmers -- served notice on Friday: They have medals in their sites.
8:54AM ( 13 minutes from now )
(VIDEO)Basketball: Buford sweeps White County in season finale
Buford boys basketball coach Eddie Martin knew the early brutal schedule he put his Wolves through would eventually pay dividends...
8:45AM ( 4 minutes from now )
Rookie Truck Series drivers try out AMS in two day test
As the Georgia 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck series race – the tail end of a NASCAR twinbill at Atlanta Motor Speedway set for Feb. 27 – looms just three weeks away, a handful of rookies got the chance to get their feet wet on the aged, historic 1.54-mile track at AMS in a two-day rookie test that wrapped up Friday afternoon.
By Dustin Bixby
8:00AM ( 41 minutes ago )