October 10, 2009

Crompton picks apart Dawgs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Out-played, out-executed, out-coached.

That was defensive coordinator Willie Martinez's stock answer after his defense was taken to the woodshed by Tennessee and quarterback Jonathan Crompton Saturday afternoon.

"We've got to go back to work and I've got to do a better job coaching," Martinez said. "I've got to do a better job of preparing the guys. We've got to come out fighting."

It wasn't pretty.

Crompton came into play with the lowest efficiency rating of any starting quarterback in the SEC at 114.20 after barely completing 50 percent of his passes (82 of 150) coming in.

However, against the Bulldogs, Crompton completed 20 of 27 for a career-best 310 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Vols to a 45-19 win. It marked the third time this year an opposing quarterback has thrown for over 300 yards against Georgia this year.

Most of the damage was done on basic rollouts, when Crompton had no trouble bootlegging left to find open receivers.

"A lot of things just kept adding up," linebacker Rennie Curran said. "You've got to use your eyes when defending that (the bootleg), but there was always someone open. There's a huge mix of things we just need to get better at this week."

Martinez couldn't agree more.

"The sprint out…we just got whipped," he said. "The boot is always an effective play. They ran it extremely well on early downs. We were committed to defending the run play but they executed it well."

The Bulldogs weren't much better against the run.

Tennessee gobbled up 162 yards on the ground, including 97 on 20 carries by SEC leading rusher Montario Hardesty.

"We've got a long way to go to be a good football team," head coach Mark Richt said. "Right now, we're not. That's the goal right now."

The Bulldogs are certainly having their troubles defensively.

Georgia entered the game next-to-last in total defense, passing defense, scoring defense and eighth in rushing defense.

"You don't feel good about it. We've just got to go back, see the things that hurt us and try to improve on them," he said. "We definitely need to get better."

But frustrations appear to be building.

Opponents have now scored 71 points off of 16 Bulldog turnovers as Georgia dropped to minus-11 in turnover ratio.

Meanwhile, Georgia has converted five turnovers into 13 points; six coming after Bacarri Rambo returned an interception 28 yards for a third-quarter score.

"We've got to make the most of our opportunities. Coach Richt talks about the turnover ratio at ton," Curran said. "That's something we have to capitalize on. It's going to continue to affect our game if we don't take care of that problem."

Unfortunately, other issues still need addressing as well.

Once again, the Bulldogs missed numerous tackles, including during Tennessee's second touchdown when wide receiver Denarius Moore broke three tackles before diving into the end zone to put the Vols up 14-7.

"Again, we've got to keep working, keep working," Martinez said. "Missed-tackles are the cancer for a defense. We can't have that.

"We've just got to do a better job across the board. It's not just the secondary, the defensive line, the linebackers. We want to make more plays, bottom line. They did a nice job but we did not make the plays when we had the opportunities to. I just need to do a better job."

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