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Post In the locker room at halftime…

Friday January 5, 2007

How many times have you or one of your buddies wanted to be a fly on the wall during halftime of a big game? Did the coach peel the paint off the walls? What adjustments were made?

Loran Smith comes through with a pretty interesting recap of the Georgia locker room at halftime of the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Down 21-3 after the first half, I know I wasn’t alone in wondering what the Dawgs did during halftime to turn the game around. Some things that stood out:

  • The reassuring calm of Richt. Others did the screaming, but Richt was the steady force this time. I know Richt has a reputation for being too calm or stoic, but this was a time when it was called for. The Dawgs didn’t need a kick in the pants as much as they needed a break. Richt was plenty animated in the second half – if you saw him upset during a fourth quarter pass interference call, you know what I’m talking about.
  • Martinez asking for, and receiving, turnovers. He told his defense, "you must make turnovers," and they delivered four in the second half. I didn’t know it was something as simple as just asking for them.
  • Bobo stressing the importance of getting a few first downs for momentum. "It is simple. Make first downs." That’s why I called Raley’s catch in the third quarter the most important play of the game. It was Georgia’s first first down since their opening drive, and it began to tip both field position and momentum in Georgia’s favor.
  • The onside kick as a rallying point. Hope is a key for anyone trying to overcome an adverse position. The job of coming back from 18 down against the nation’s best defense had to seem pretty hopeless. Sensing that, Richt put the team’s hope in that onside kick. It was a great tactic – it gave the team a visible lift in the locker room, and if it were executed in the game it would mean that the Dawgs had already put points on the board with momentum on their side. Obviously it worked.

Good insights from Loran.

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