About last night

For two games that had identical results, it was fascinating to see how differently in one aspect the Arkansas games against Georgia and Mississippi played out.  Not on defense – the blitzing Bulldogs gave up the same number of points and slightly more yardage than did their “we’ve never seen a wheel route we could cover” counterparts in Athens despite racking up an even bigger advantage in time of possession, something Blackledge hammered on last night.

Nah, it was on the other side of the ball where I found the contrast between Mullen and Bobo worth comparing.  Mullen’s plus is his ruthlessness with his playbook.  You get the feeling there are few wasted plays.  Relf threw as much last night as Murray did, but Mullen did much of his pass play calling on first down to keep Arkansas’ defense honest playing the run (it worked, too, as MSU wound up with two 100-yard rushers on the night).  He stayed with the counter (again, as Blackledge reminded us repeatedly) because it worked in getting his offense the key yardage he needed to keep his team moving the sticks.  In the end, it was about control.

Bobo, however, attacked the Arkansas defense with success.  All three Georgia drives that lead to touchdowns involved at least one pass completion of more than 35 yards.  But when he didn’t get results being aggressive with the deep pass, the offense tended to stall.

I can’t say it’s all about talent driving the two approaches.  Bobo, remember, coached his game without his best player and didn’t get the line play that Mullen did.

I’m also not saying one approach was necessarily superior to the other.  After all, both wound up in the same place when the dust settled.  (And both tossed in a random Wildcat play call.)  But the different journeys to get there make for an interesting comparison.

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24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

24 responses to “About last night

  1. JBJ

    MSU actually runs the Wildcat effectively. They ran it on a few different occasions last night with good results. Bobo throws it out there once per game and it just seems like the team doesn’t believe in it. It’s almost like Bobo runs the Wildcat just to say he is doing something different.

  2. Ausdawg85

    MSU is about ball control. Brilliant against the gators. We’re all about….(/crickets…..hello? Anybody? Bueller?)

    I think we used to be about a pro-set I-back running game. We’ve added a lot of spread, but not really with a running QB threat. CMR’s early success in fixing the program was adding some sizzle to our meat & potatoes. Stafford / Moreno allowed us to do anything with success, but not with what I’d say was a true identity. Under Bobo, we’re just a predictable mess that works with execution (yes, yes…30+ points, 6 in a row, record…blah, blah, blah). Proves we have atheletes, but not really an offensive identity with interchangeable parts should the best ones go down with injuries, traffic tickets, or jersey sales.

    I also think CMR and Bobo can fix this, but they have to admit the problem or else new help is needed. Murray gives us a great opportunity to build a playbook around his talents. I wonder if McGarity sticks his nose into such issues?

  3. Carolinadawg

    Don’t criticize Bobo…the “real” fans will crucify you! We’re a scoring machine, remember?

  4. Will Trane

    Exactly! You are on point. Mullen understands running sets and plays that constantly move the sticks and you get another set of downs to play with. Bobo can never figure that out. Case in point in the Auburn game. You are ahead 21-7, done a great job of getting up on Auburn, you get a stop, and have the ball on your 38. Run a play for 5, the on second down he runs in Smith for the wild dawg, has never worked and a play that is easy for Auburn to defend, plus you pulled your overall best player, no gain, third down, roll Murray out and he has to throw the ball away. That series begins Auburn’s comeback and score with 53 seconds left in the half.

    Of all the things I have never understood about Richt is why he has stuck with Bobo, when game after game he never has an aggressive scoring, controlling the ball offense. But for the past two year absolutely no running game.

    • HackerDog

      I’m guessing he sticks with Bobo because he shares Richt’s approach to the game (Richt trained him), and because Bobo’s offenses score a lot of points.

      I know the fans want UGA to score 100 points per game, but that’s just not realistic. And I agree that Bobo makes some head scratcher calls. But I think the ultimate measure of an OC is points.

      Once Grantham has his players installed in his defense, I think we’ll be quite happy racking up wins while scoring 30+ points per game.

  5. JaxDawg

    “line play”? Please don’t tell me that little ole’ MSU’s line is outplaying the nation’s best line found in Athens! That in and of itself would be a reason to terminate Searels and arguably Richt. Can’t blame Callaway any longer.

    Mullen would take this relatively average offensive pot of clay we have and turn it into a new World Trade Center tower within 2 years. My goodness I could not imagine what he could do with this squad after what he’s done with MSU’s this year.

    I’ve never seen a coach do more with less. And yes, I watched the ARK game.

  6. D.N. Nation

    For comparison’s sake, take a gander at this (objective) live blog of Georgia’s basketball win over St. Louis last night: http://rushthecourt.net/2010/11/20/rtc-live-georgia-st-louis/. Notice how many times Mark Fox adjusts his game plan to game actualities. Food for thought.

  7. Biggus Rickus

    There’s way too much praise for Mullen in here. What has he done exactly? MSU is 7-4 with their only win over a ranked opponent being 10-7 against Florida. A game that Florida basically handed to them because they couldn’t make a field goal. Yes, they beat Georgia, but if they lose to Ole Miss, which is very possible, they’ll be 7-5 in a year when they swept a very down Eastern Division. Let’s chill out on the Mullen praise until he’s done something more than made MSU not embarrassingly bad.

    • As you note, MSU is 7-4, playing in the toughest division in college football. How many of us thought they’d be there right now?

      He’s done a very good job this year, considering his team’s talent level.

      • Biggus Rickus

        I’ll agree he’s done a good job overall as the head coach, but I haven’t been overwhelmed by their offense. And the only ranked team he beat was Florida, largely because of Florida’s lack of offense and MSU’s solid defensive play.

  8. Bryant Denny

    [re 1st paragraph: Identical results? Same number of points given up?]

    Didn’t a couple of Georgia TDs against Ark come late while in hurry up mode?

    I’m not sold on Mullen’s O, but his seems more based on his own personal system while Richt’s seems to have evolved into an O based on individuals with great talent.

    I also have no idea what I’m talking about.

    Have a good day,

    BD

    • Biggus Rickus

      Every offense revolves around having good or great players execute it. The only question I have about it is how much of the early season woes were due to the lack of Green, bad line play, bad luck, and/or bad play calling.

      • Otto

        If the offense depended that much on Green something is wrong with developing/using talent (Charles, Brown, T. King, C. Thomas). Bad line play with that many returning starters and bad play calling all goes back to coaching. I tend to think S&C is to blame for bad line play and not Searles. Searles is the one coach proven outside of UGA on the offense.

  9. Otto

    What has Mullen done? He is 7-4 in the 2nd hardest if not hardest program to recruit to in the SEC. Mullen won a BCS title calling UF’s offense and has the bizarro Bulldogs going to a better bowl than UGA.

    Bobo also not evolved with his talent. Has UGA’s offense evolved like UF’s did between ’06 and ’08? Bobo didn’t evolve as much from Stafford to Cox to Murray as Mullen did from Leak to Tebow.

    No Bobo’s calling is around his own system and Mullen’s is around the talent he is given. If MSU had cam they’d be in the hunt for a BCS bowl.

    The greatest question with Mullen now is how much did he know about dealings with Cam?

    • Biggus Rickus

      They’ve scored the second fewest points in the SEC. They’ve allowed the third fewest. I give Mullen credit for getting the most out of his players and putting together a good defensive staff. I don’t give him credit for being some kind of offensive wiz.

      • Otto

        I give him credit for being better than Bobo and if UGA’s staff had Mullen’s talent the only SEC win would be Vandy.

        I also doubt few OCs or HCs could do better at MSU than Mullen has done this year.

  10. Orson where art thou?

    More interesting to me is comparing Petrino-sans-Greg-Childs to Bobo-without-AJ. Petrino hung 31 on MSU in regulation when we managed 12. He morphed Arky into a run-first team to do it and mixed in his big pass plays. In other words, he adjusted tactics before the game began. We ran into the teeth of run blitzes all night and waited until junk time to deploy a downfield passing attack.

    I know we hate Bobby over here, but if Bobo would attack with his pro-style offense like that . . . I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

    • Biggus Rickus

      I don’t think anyone would argue that Petrino isn’t one of the better OCs in the country. Bobo’s only decent to pretty good as far as I can tell.