Georgia Bulldogs: Dustin Royston

Grantham: Bye week restored continuity

October, 16, 2012
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Todd GranthamAP Photo/Paul AbellGeorgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham used the bye week to work on his defense's on-field communication.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s coaching staff has been careful to avoid making excuses for any underperformances up to and including the Bulldogs’ most recent game, where they suffered their first loss of the season against South Carolina.

But defensive coordinator Todd Grantham clearly is relieved to have had last week’s open date to evaluate the miscommunications and misplays that helped opposing offenses accumulate 13 “explosive plays” -- which he defines as any play that covered 24 or more yards -- in the first half of the season.

“We basically had three objectives in the bye week,” Grantham said after Tuesday’s practice. “No. 1 is we had to get some guys healthy. No. 2 is we wanted to get some continuity with the guys that we have available right now. And then the last thing is we took a look at each individual player and said, ‘Here are the things you’ve got to do to improve to make our team better. And if you do that and take a team attitude, we’ll be better.’

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Richt: 'We need to evaluate everything' 

October, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Asked after Wednesday’s practice to offer a midseason report card for his coaching staff, Georgia coach Mark Richt said last Saturday’s 35-7 loss at South Carolina didn’t necessarily spoil what had been an otherwise exciting first half.

But it definitely created reason to reassess what the Bulldogs’ coaches and players should have done differently.

“Overall I think we’ve coached really well. A lot of really good things have been happening,” said Richt, whose team dropped from No. 5 to 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 after the loss. “But when you lose a game the way we did, we need to evaluate everything.”

Fan response encourages Lynch 

October, 9, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The last thing Arthur Lynch wanted to do when he returned home from his team’s 35-7 drubbing at South Carolina was clean up a house and front yard that had been egged and rolled with toilet paper.

And yet that’s what Georgia’s tight end found himself doing at 3 a.m. Sunday, when he and roommates Aaron Murray, Christian Robinson, Ty Frix and Dustin Royston returned to see their home had been vandalized after the Bulldogs’ disappointing loss. Robinson -- who has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter -- tweeted about the mess, so Lynch decided to clean up the mess immediately before it became a spectacle.

“[Robinson is] the social media king over there, so when it went on Twitter, I was like, ‘OK, this is going to get a little out of hand.’ I didn’t want anyone to see,” Lynch said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m glad I cleaned it up when I cleaned it up, just because it’s one of those things. It’s your home. If someone put stuff on Halloween on your home, you’d just be a little offended, but I didn’t take it personal, and I don’t think any one of us really did.”

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ATHENS, Ga. -- There are few examples in Aaron Murray’s tenure as Georgia’s starting quarterback of his mistakes playing a leading role in a Bulldogs loss.

One such example comes from last season’s 45-42 defeat at the hands of South Carolina, when Murray had an interception returned for a touchdown, a fumble returned for a touchdown and did not successfully complete a handoff with tailback Isaiah Crowell, resulting in a fumble that Gamecocks cornerback Stephon Gilmore returned to near the UGA goal line, setting up yet another touchdown.

While Murray’s miscues certainly were not the only ones by a Georgia player that afternoon, the quarterback still cringes as he reviews the plays he’d love to take back; plays that contributed to the Bulldogs losing an eminently winnable game.

“When you go back to watch the film, as preparation, as aid, it’s still painful to watch,” Murray said. “I don’t like to watch it too much.”

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