Daily Archives: November 30, 2010

Back to the well, one more time

I thought yesterday’s post about Mike Bobo spoke for itself, but I feel a need to respond to something that John Pennington wrote about it at MrSEC.com.  Here’s part of what he posted:

… After yelling at officials and quarterbacks, football fans most often bark at offensive coordinators.  They just don’t like them.  They think they could do a better job than their school’s play-caller.  And that view leads some down a dangerous path.

For example… I like the folks at “Get The Picture,” a Georgia-centric blog.  I don’t know them, but I like their site, I should say.  But today they took umbrage — and I hate it when umbrage is taken — with Richt’s 30-plus-points defense of Bobo.

“Georgia dropped two of those seven games, including one to a Florida team which offense was borderline pathetic over the second half of the season.  Bobo’s responsibility isn’t simply to make sure his offense scores a bunch of points.  It’s to make sure that it scores more points than the other team does.”

Oh, my.  So if Georgia lost a game 100-99 it would be the offense’s fault for not scoring enough?

Georgia fans need to realize that the defense was the big problem in Athens in 2009.  That unit showed improvement in 2010, but it was still the Dawgs’ main concern…

About his last point, I don’t think there’s any question about that.

… Saturday’s outcome did not provide a pretty facelift for Georgia’s defensive numbers.

The Bulldogs are allowing 149.2 rushing yards a game, which is more than last season’s average (126.2) under former coordinator Willie Martinez, and their 335.8 average in total yards allowed is close to last year’s 339.4-yard clip. Georgia has allowed 30 or more points five times for a third straight season, and this year’s team almost had a sixth by allowing 29 in the loss at Colorado…

But if we all agree that the defense is the team’s main concern this season, isn’t it logical for that to be factored into Bobo’s approach in running the offense and calling plays?  The point, after all, is to win.  With Georgia’s shaky defense, that meant being ready for games where the Dawgs would have to outscore the opponent in a shoot out.  It’s certainly nice to score thirty points or more game after game, but if the other guy is getting forty, how much good is the scoring streak doing you?

Going back to the Tech game, since that’s what inspired my post in the first place, it’s worth taking a look at the Jackets’ passing defense stats in each game this season.  One of those passer rating numbers is unlike the others.  It’s not just that Aaron Murray was having a career night; he was shredding Tech’s defense at an unprecedented rate.

And Bobo knew that.  Here’s the most inspired set of play calls we saw from him in the second half.

Georgia at 5:06 GT UGA
1st and 10 at UGA 36 Aaron Murray pass complete to A.J. Green for 17 yards to the GTech 47 for a 1ST down. 21 21
1st and 10 at GT 47 Aaron Murray pass complete to A.J. Green for 17 yards to the GTech 30 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at GT 30 Aaron Murray pass complete to A.J. Green for 14 yards to the GTech 16 for a 1ST down.

Three straight downfield shots to A.J.  Al Groh was forcing coverage in his direction and still couldn’t come up with a defensive stop.  It was pure in-your-face football, the kind of “we’re gonna run this until you stop it” play calling that to my mind marks a great coordinator.  That drive wrapped up late in the third quarter.  For the rest of the game, Murray attempted three passes (he was sacked on another play).  Green got one pass thrown his way – a swing pass that resulted in a three-yard gain.

That’s what all that “keeping your foot on the gas” talk is about.  Georgia’s two best players on offense are A.J. Green and Aaron Murray.  It’s not a close call.  And they were both performing at a very high level Saturday night – close to unstoppable, as overused a cliché as that word can be sometimes.  So why would you stop giving them chances to make plays?

Look at it this way:  if Paul Johnson had abandoned the dive play in the middle of the game and had Tevin Washington throw the ball twenty-five times, we all would have mocked him for it.  And rightfully so.  Aaron Murray’s downfield passing game was Georgia’s equivalent to Tech’s dive play.  By ditching it in the fourth quarter, all Mike Bobo accomplished was to give Al Groh a sense of relief.  If a lawyer or a doctor did something like that, we’d call it malpractice.  And, again, the crazy part is that for much of the game, and just like in many other games earlier in the season, we saw a Mike Bobo who coached far better than that.

Contrary to what Pennington suggests, I’m not interested in running Mike Bobo out of Athens.  (And Richt’s already indicated that’s not happening, so even if I were interested in jumping up on that soapbox and yelling, it really wouldn’t matter.)  Mike Bobo’s a terrific quarterbacks coach and a frustratingly inconsistent offensive coordinator who’s got it in him to be a very good one if he’d trust himself more.

That’s all I’m bitching about.

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