Georgia Struggled With North Texas. So What?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty. The Dawgs let the North Texas Mean Green hang around way longer than they should have. So surely this must mean pain and strife is in our near future, right? Not so fast.

As I pointed out in our season preview of the North Texas game, Mark Richt's teams have a long and rich history of underperforming against "cupcakes."  So it shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us that the Dawgs struggled with the North Texas Mean Green (although it appears some of us were, in fact, surprised).  Many have taken the less than dominant play of our Georgia Bulldogs as a sign that bad things are on the horizon.  But is this a reasonable position?  Does history bear this fear out?

Let's take a look at the relationship between performance against "cupcakes" and the fate of our Bulldogs during the Richt era:

2001:

vs. Arkansas St.  W 45-17 (Meh/Solid)

vs. Houston  W 35-7 (Solid)

Record: 8-4  (Meh)

2002:

vs. Northwestern St.  W 45-7 (Solid)

vs. New Mexico St.  W 41-10 (Solid)

Record: 13-1 (More than Solid -- SEC Champions)

2003:

vs. Middle Tennessee  W 29-10 (Meh)

vs. UAB  W 16-13 (YIKES!)

Record: 11-3 (Solid-SECCG)

2004:

vs. Georgia Southern  W 48-28 (Very North Texas-like)

vs. Marshall  W 13-3 (YIKES!)

Record: 10-2 (Solid)

2005:

vs. Louisiana-Monroe  W 44-7 (Nice!)

Record: 10-3 (Solid-SEC Champions)

2006:

vs. Western Kentucky  W 48-12 (Solid)

vs. UAB  W 34-0 (Solid)

Record: 9-4  (Meh)

2007:

vs. Western Carolina  W 45-16 (Meh)

vs. Troy  W 44-34 (Yikes!)

Record: 11-2  (Solid - East Co-Champs/Won Sugar Bowl)

2008:

vs. Georgia Southern  W 45-21 (Meh)

vs. Central Michigan  W 56-17 (Solid)

Record: 10-3 (Solid/Meh -- due to #1 Pre-Season Ranking)

2009:

vs. Tennessee Tech  W 38-0  (Solid)

Record: 8-5 (Yikes)

2010:

vs. Louisiana-Lafayetter  W 55-7 (Solid)

vs. Idaho State  W 55-7 (Solid)

Record:  6-7  (Double Yikes!)

2011:

vs. Coastal Carolina  W 59-0 (Solid)

vs. New Mexico State  W 63-16 (Solid)

Record: 10-4 (OK I suppose -- SEC Championship Game)

2012:

vs. Buffalo  W 45-23 (Meh)

vs. Florida Atlantic  W 56-20 (Meh)

vs. Georgia Southern  W 45-14 (Solid/Meh)

Record: 12-2 (Solid -- SEC Championship Game)

So we've had solid seasons with struggles against our lesser opponents and poor seasons where we beat them to a pulp.  And we've had several with a bit of both. Is there a pattern here? Do these games mean anything at all?

While certain things we saw from the team in the North Texas game may give us pause, its fair to say that the play of the Dawgs under Mark Richt in these kinds of games has little to no bearing on how a season will play out.   So take a deep breath, have a frosty beverage, and give it a few more games before we panic.

Until next time...

GOOOO DAWGS!!!

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