JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — These short takes are presented in conjunction with the Georgia-Florida game column, which can be found here. Georgia lost 27-3.
1. The Faton Bauta experiment turned out to be much ado about not very much. Bauta wasn’t totally awful, though his numbers were: He completed 15 of 33 passes for 154 yards; he threw four interceptions. On his second INT, he was hit on the throw. On the third, the ball was batted from defender to defender in the end zone. Coach Mark Richt noted the tipped balls and, in what was a clear shot at former starter Greyson Lambert, saying: “It wasn’t like (Bauta) was hitting (defenders) in the gut; we’ve had some of that at Georgia.” The weird part was that the Bulldogs treated Bauta, who’s supposed to be a stronger runner than passer, as just another throwing quarterback. He rushed only three times. Why make the change if you’re going to do the same things with a guy you’d already decided wasn’t as good at doing those things?
2. The series has swung Florida’s way — again. In Will Muschamp, Richt finally found a Florida coach he could beat. From 2011 through 2013, Georgia won three in a row. Two weeks before Muschamp was fired, his final band of Gators beat Georgia 38-20. Now Jim McElwain’s first Florida team has beaten the Bulldogs by 24 points. For the record, Richt has now lost to five Gators coaches. He was 0-1 against Steve Spurrier; 1-2 against Ron Zook; 1-5 against Urban Meyer, 3-1 against Muschamp and now 0-1 against McElwain. That’s a career record of 5-10.
3. Afterward, Richt said he and the Bulldogs had to “guard (their) words.” Meaning: The Bulldogs must resist the urge to vent in a public forum. (Meaning social media.) But this is a perilous time for Richt’s program. Georgia was picked to win the SEC East and won’t; it was ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll on Oct. 3 and has won once since, that a halting 9-6 victory over free-falling Missouri. Never under Richt has Georgia’s offense been so feeble – three offensive touchdowns in the past four games, one in the past 10 quarters – and the defense isn’t exactly calling back memories of Erk Russell’s Junkyard Dawgs. Oh, and special teams are awful, too. And Richt offered no inkling as to who, if anyone, might start at quarterback against Kentucky.