After watching Georgia’s performance against South Carolina last Saturday one thing became readily apparent; a conspiracy to keep Georgia in the middle of the SEC East pack is in effect. Erin Murray, Georgia Quarterback and soon to be cover boy of Teen Beat magazine, completed 19 of 29 passes for 248 yards, yet Mark Richt made the decision to hold him back, careful not to show too much offense with the Florida game coming up the last week of October. Richt instead used his jumbo package to pound the Gamecocks’ holes without mercy, leaving the Cocks sore and chafed. Georgia freshman running back Isaiah Crowell wore away at the Cock defense like a grindstone wearing away something which requires grinding, but in the end, Crowell’s gut check simply was not enough.
Basically, Saturday’s loss can be attributed to a conspiracy against the nicest football coach in history. The plan goes like this:
Steven Orr Spurrier, placed Richt in a strategic predicament Saturday night by using his considerable influence on the NCAA Rules Infractions Committee. Spurrier manipulated the Rules Committee to institute a new intentional grounding penalty that would greatly impact Saturday’s game, greatly reducing the effectiveness of a lethal Georgia aerial assault. Spurrier apparently already knew the strength of Georgia’s passing game, but also knew Richts’s desire to keep this weapon a secret and that eventually Georgia would abandon the pass and resort to running the ball. Below is the rule that Spurrier had changed:
An intentional grounding penalty will be called only if a receiver is not in the area of a pass. In the past, it was called if the intended receiver didn’t have a “reasonable opportunity” to catch the ball.
Erin Murray, the consummate team player, played his part to perfection and doggedly stuck to Coach Richt’s game plan. He simulated scrambling from the fierce Cock pass rush that was led by frosh phenom Clowney. In reality Murray was playing with one arm tied behind his back and was more inclined to be sacked rather than throw the ball away and run the risk of being penalized for intentional grounding. Basically it just boiled down to simple arithmetic. A sack was generally less yards than a 15 yard penalty. Murray was in a catch-22 position, ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ or even a ‘damned if you do or damned if you don’t’ scenario. When Georgia began to attacking the Cocks with their running game, South Carolina was momentarily stunned with this strategy but rallied to win with help from corrupt SEC officials. On this Saturday, Georgia may have lost the battle but they will win the war. Georgia’s passing game, secret weapon, will be safe until the Florida game in late October. And ultimately Coach Richt’s job as the University of Georgia Head Football Coach will be saved for yet another year.