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  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.


Filed under Georgia Football

154 responses to “Back to the well, one more time

  1. RandallPinkFloyd

    I for one couldn’t agree with you more. I, along with everyone from Tech and everyone in the stadium, knew that we would try to run the ball twice and then fail to convert a third down pass with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter instead of putting the ball in our best player’s hand. It was almost sickening when you saw it happen. Same when we got the ball back after the missed extra point, just keep attacking their defense. Sans Florida, Murray isn’t a mistake prone QB. I’m all for keeping BoBo, but he’s got to trust what works.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      It gets back to that “balance” thing which is really from the mind of CMR who is the guy people should be jumping on about this, not Bobo.

    • uga goon

      Talent all is everywhere on offense. For the last few years you can predict what plays are going to be ran. You bulldogs fans know…anytime the qb is under center its a playaction pass. Bottom line get rid of Bobo. All this new talent coming in and wont be used.

  2. Vindexdawg

    Agreed, Senator. Pennington is a jackass, and his mis-named, Vol-centric site spends more time taking potshots at the Georgia fanbase than anything else when UGA is his topic. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he would purposely miscontrue your comments about the productive but at times frustrating results that Bobo has rolled up this season.

  3. JasonC

    After reading your two posts and Richt’s statements on the Bulldogs Blog, I have to say I think I am pretty much in agreement with you and I don’t mind Richt keeping Bobo, but I do want them to do more than a standard ho-hum evaluation at the end of the season. Because despite the success Bobo and the offense have had, their is definitely room for improvement. And Bobo isn’t the only one who needs to be in that room, because is Searels is the “Running Game Coordinator” then, his part is just as much in question as Bobo’s.

  4. Turd Ferguson

    Excellent post. I’ve always struggled trying to explain to people what I don’t like about Mike Bobo, ’cause it’s much different than my feelings for Willie Martinez a year ago.

  5. The Realist

    I think your opinion is the majority opinion of us who have qualms with Bobo. It’s not that he can’t call plays. He’s not incompetent like Willie appeared to be at times. He’s not Addazzio. He just has the habit of going away from what works at critical points in games. He shows flashes of brilliance mixed in with flashes of blandness. It’s maddening more than anything.

    I wonder if “taking the foot off the gas” is not a systemic problem that has permeated the entire team… that is a directive (verbal or otherwise) from the top. I think if Richt dropped a few bombs on teams and just embarrassed them, the team would have a different look, feel, and attitude… like what Florida State did while he was there… what Florida did with Spurrier and Tebagger… what Alabama did… what USC did… you know, elite teams that have competed and won at the highest level.

  6. BCDawg97

    Those are some scary defensive stats by the end of the season in terms of yards/game and the infamous 30 pts/game given up when compared to Willie. Curious about scoring defense (right now at 23 for #49 and last year was about 26 pts?)

    Not to hijack the thread Senator (so perhaps an idea for a post if there is more to it than just first year growing pains?)

    • It’s something I’ll take a look at – that’s the kind of subject the offseason’s for.

    • Hackerdog

      It’s worth remembering that scoring is up this year across the board. So decreasing the points allowed at all is actually going against the current. In 2009, UGA ranked #63 in scoring defense. In 2010, UGA is #49. In total defense, we went from #38 to #30. And 15 practices to get the defense ready for the bowl game could improve those rankings further.

      That’s not amazing improvement, but it’s encouraging, given the size of the hole Grantham was charged to dig his way out of. It’s credible to believe that a couple of recruiting classes trained from day 1 by Grantham & co will be ranked in the top 20 in both categories. Perhaps even higher.

      • gastr1

        That’s a good point. No one is talking about those great SEC defenses this year, because they’ve all been replaced by great SEC offenses.

        (Reminds me of that ninny from the Texas A&M blog last year who complained that the SEC suffered from a lack of “elite” QBs. Ho-kay…)

  7. baltimore dawg

    it’s hard to understand what bobo’s thought process might be. i’m not sure he sees his role with the same clarity in which you describe it in this post, though. when i take the 50,000-foot view of bobo as a playcaller, i see a guy who knows what his weapons are but has no very coherent vision for how to deploy them to the greatest effect. what is uga’s offensive identity exactly? we don’t have one, do we? and the reason is partly because we have an oc who doesn’t seem to quite know what to do with the keys to the car.

    • Kevin

      Last year might have scared him. Think about all the ways our team found to lose, nay, about all the ways our team found to immediately give up the momentum on stupid plays. Now, this wasn’t always on offense but it did affect the entire team. Rather than keep his foot on the gas, he’s calling more “high percentage shot” plays. Meaning, he knows we can’t screw up if we dive, dive, screen (fingers crossed). CAlling plays scared based on the precedent that has been set by our team last year.

      • Honestly, I don’t think it’s about fear. I think he simply gets too dogmatic in his approach sometimes, like balance for the sake of balance.

        • Russ

          I think this is where I disagree with you about this entire Bobo argument. You think it’s his dogma to hit some predetermined “balance”, context be damned.

          I think it’s not fear, but more risk aversion that drives his play calling (or Richt’s overall direction). There is some level of risk that a coach is comfortable with, and every play has varying levels of risk, that also vary with the game context. I think this is what Bobo is doing, trying to manage risk. The debate in on how best to manage it.

          • gastr1

            I think it is dogma. I think they look at the scoreboard and decide to do things a certain way no matter what has worked best to that point.

            That’s the green book talking, right there.

    • fuelk2

      You hit the key point for me. I just want to see a UGA team that knows its identity and then hammers its strengths to set up plays that might not otherwise work.

      I feel that Bobo believes the philosophy of our offense (and he’s generally correct) is to use the run to set up the pass. That’s great except when your passing game is clearly the stronger part of the offense. I say pound them with what you’re good at, and that might loosen them up to use some things that might not otherwise be effective.

      I hope Richt and Bobo know this, but being satisfied with 30/game doesn’t cut it when it’s possible to do much better. The goal is not to be good but instead to be as good as possible, particularly when the team needs that in order to win games.

      • adam

        using the running game to try to set up the pass doesn’t work too well when they start off with 7-9 guys in the box in the first place. at that point, the pass is already set up.

        long developing pass plays and running plays dont work when they blitz over and over either. but bobo’s had some trouble figuring that out too.

  8. Just wanted to follow up on something.

    I like this site — as I mentioned on MrSEC — but I simply didn’t agree with the premise that the O-coordinator is responsible for scoring 61 points if the opponent scores 60. That’s all. Difference of opinion.

    This site’s comment was used to show just how unpopular Bobo has become with some UGA backers. We did not write that this site is trying to drive Bobo out of Athens. We used this line from your site as an example of what Bobo is facing in the court of public opinion in the state of Georgia.

    As for the reader’s nonsensical suggestion that we take shots at Georgia — I’m pretty sure I’m the guy who wrote the following:

    All the best and keep up the good work.
    John Pennington

    • Thanks for your comment, John, as well as the kind words about the site. And I apologize if I misconstrued what you wrote at the end of your post as being directed at me.

      But in defense of the fan base, I don’t think there’s the same animosity directed towards Bobo as there was against Martinez. There is, however, a lot of frustration. Some of it is, no doubt, simply general discontent arising out of a 6-6 season. But I’ve heard many express the same specific feelings about Bobo’s playcalling that I did.

      I don’t think any rational observer would describe Bobo as a top-flight OC right now (although I believe he is a top-flight QB coach). Maybe I’m in a minority on this, but I’ve seen enough to think Bobo has it in him to be a top-flight OC. One of Mark Richt’s tasks this offseason is to coax that out of him.

      • fuelk2

        This has been beaten to death, but, as you say, most rational fans think Bobo is an amazing QB coach and has the potential of being an excellent play caller. He just sometimes lets an overall philosophy pull him away from what he can clearly see is working. But, to his credit, he came up with the stuff that is working to begin with.

        With some minor tweaks, Bobo will be fine. It just bothers some of us that he appears to get lost sometimes.

      • Krautdawg

        Couldn’t agree more. I’ve watched Bobo out of Europe for the last 2 years and had to explain his playcalls to football newcomers who asked at least once a game “why does he expect that that man will be able to run through so many people?” Dogmatically, I understand that the run exists to set up the pass. Realistically, our current offense works much better when we pass to set up traps and misdirection runs.

        And to Mr. Pennington: if we win a game 100-99, it’s most likely that we could have put it away 120-74 late in the 3rd quarter. Instead, we chose to take our chances with their offense and the vagaries of luck and defensive errors. That, I think, is what’s frustrating to many GA fans. Scoring requires only a mental adjustment because we have the personnel to score almost every game out of reach. Yet we don’t do it because … because …

        The Senator has finished the sentence with “dogma.” The Realist above finishes the sentence with “‘taking our foot off the gas’ as a systemic team problem.” You could also call it an ACC mentality. Any concept explains the situation sufficiently. The point, however, is that we’re leaving points on the field for reasons having apparently nothing to do with winning the specific game we’re playing.

        Not knowing those reasons, then hearing the “we’re scoring 30 a game, ok?” schtick, is frustrating to fans who see that we could be attacking and winning more series and more games. It’s like your lawyer saying, “Sorry we lost the case, but I objected five times during each witness’s testimony; that should’ve been enough to undermine their credibility.” GATA isn’t just for defenses!

        • MinnesotaDawg

          +1 Yep.

          • Will (the other one)

            Erk had no trouble scoring well over 30 when he was the HC at GaSou.
            So where did this mentality come from? They went for far more than 30+ when Richt was FSU’s OC.

            • adam

              i’ve been wondering his a lot lately myself. at FSU Richt called plays to keep on scoring in every game. sometimes that meant it put the game out of reach vs. a great opponent and FSU won a big game in convincing fashion. sometimes that meant they blew out a terrible team. sometimes they blew out a good team. the point is… if they had the ball, coach richt wanted to score.

              where did that go?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I am already on record that it would be the best thing for all concerned if Bobo got an offer to be HC at some small school. I understand that Furman has a vacancy, but there are others, too. I simply do not think Bobo would be offered a HC job at a major college and do not see him going anywhere else as OC. UGA desperately needs a top-flight OC (ideally from the NFL as long as UGA continues to run its current offense) and Bobo is standing in the way of that happening. I also like Bobo as the QB coach, but not as OC.

      • mdr

        I agree with most of your comments about Mike, in that he is a fantastic QB coach and has the potential to be a very good OC. However, that also illustrates a major problem I have with Richt at this point. Why is the University of Georgia being used as a training ground for assistant coaches? Shouldn’t we have an OC that has already proven himself somewhere smaller? Shouldn’t our DC be a guy who has, you know, actually BEEN a DC before??? Why did we promote a grad asst to coach a position that he never actually played?

        I could go on, but I won’t. The point is, we are not maximizing potential here in any way at this point. Its not just on the field. We have as much money as anyone, but yet we go the cheap route again and again when it comes to coaches. It is dumbfounding.

        • adam

          to be fair…

          the AD has a hand in hiring coaches and damon may’ve wanted coach richt to not do anything crazy money wise until the DC thing became so visible. or coach richt was just that worried about continuity of the staff.

          or maybe everyone in the AA is insane.

          either way, i’d love bobo to get hired to a small school and us hire a great OC. coach richt is definitely a good enough QB coach to handle that part. i mean… presumably bobo is a big part of why murray is playing so well, but QB’s are richt’s specialty as well.

  9. Sanford222View

    Very well put. I totally agree that, while improved, the defense has been the main reason for the sub par season this year and that Bobo and Richt needed to factor that in more when making the offensive game plan. Especially in the second half of the season when it was obvious that Murray was both comfortable and effective being a play maker. I understand being cautious with Murray early in the season to see how he was going to handle live game action but it became clear pretty early on that he was ready to take on more responsibility in the offense. Bobo should have at least been thinking I need to score as many times as possible no matter the situation in the Auburn and Tech games.

    • adam

      “Bobo should have at least been thinking I need to score as many times as possible no matter the situation in the Auburn and Tech games.”

      exactly. and scoring is his job. and i can’t be the only person that knew we were going to shut down the offense and waste plays running the ball into a loaded box when we did. and that it could cost us the game. (which it did at auburn and made tech pretty scary).

  10. Otto

    Time per drive is what kills Bobo and allows the defense to get tired.

    GT no 5 min drives 2 4 min drives, 2 Three and outs and a Fumble on the opening kick off, Fumble on 2nd play of a possesion

    Auburn 1 5 drive 1 4 min drive. Aub had a 6:55 drive to ice the game.

    UF 1 drive 6:20 drive the next longest drive was 3:11 all others were less than 3 min. Gave up 3 INTs and a fumble

    UGA has not protected the ball in the big games and has not controlled the clock as CMR did with Green. If UGA scores 30 on a quick strike offense you must be able to win shoot outs especially with an improving but still mediocre defense.

    • adam

      you can take more time driving up the field throwing the ball for first downs than you can running the ball for nothing and going 3 and out.

  11. DawgPhan

    Good grief…really another day of cheap hits for the good senator?

    It becoming it’s own internet meme…when you like the guy outcomes matter, when you dont, the efforts matter.

    Bobo lead an offense with no running game, no OL, 1 WR, and freshman QB with no experience on a 7 game streak of 30+ points, went 5-2 on that streak losing to the #1 team in the country on the road and an OT game against the gators where we seem to always lose, his Freshman QB shit the bed and we still almost won that one.

    and yet everyone wants to bang on bobo give grantham a pass because he cusses and internet fans like “fire”. Grantham is getting a lot more money and producing a lot less than bobo. If we had 7 straight games where the defense held the other team under 30 we would have won 7 straight to close the season, be looking at a better bowl game, tons of momentum and a bright outlook for 2011…instead the new defensive staff shit the bed, they produced the same level of poor play, bad tackling, no fundamentals, giant lapses where they just disappeared just like the lass staff that UGA canned. There giving this staff a lot more money to produce and the defensive coaches didnt. But because gratham likes to cuss on the sidelines he gets a pass.

    • Whoa, hoss. Who said anything about giving Grantham a pass? I even noted in the post that the Dawg D was the biggest concern this season.

      • DawgPhan

        You entire premise is that the offense needs to take into consideration that the defense sucks. The offense needs to score more points to make up for a bad defense. A shockingly bad defense given the resources we threw at Grantham. Hammering Bobo for not living up to some crazy ideal that you have for him. We scored a lot of points and did really well on offense. The offense was much improved over last season. The defense was not improved and realistically was worse considering what we went through to get to this point.

        This is just classic internet fan chatter…we scored 42 and beat a hated rival, but we should have scored 60. grrrr…

        • That “shockingly bad defense” you refer to finished fourth in the conference in total defense and seventh in scoring defense. Both are better than where the ’09 defense finished.

          I guess that means that most of the SEC played even worse than shockingly bad defense.

          As for my crazy ideal that an offensive coordinator should try everything in his power to have his offense score as much as possible, don’t you wish that Bobo had stayed as crazy in the second quarter at Auburn as he was in the first?

          Again, you look at this as some sort of abstract choice on Bobo’s part. I’m not saying anything more than if you’re an offensive coordinator in the middle of a shoot out, it isn’t good enough from a won/loss perspective to say “I got my 30 and it’s up to the other coordinator to take it from there.”

          And your last point is flat out wrong. Bobo shouldn’t be criticized for failing to run up the score against Tech. What is open to criticism, though, is that had he gotten the bigger lead earlier in the game, it would have forced Johnson into the approach he had to take in the last 1:30. And wouldn’t that have had the benefit of making Georgia’s defense look better?

          • Ausdawg85

            Spot on…the clear way to beat Tech is to get up by 2 – 3 scores as early as you can. PJ knows he has a limited number of scores he can make due to his time consuming offense…he wants low scoring games. If the D simply stops the big plays…and frankly, the Dawgs did that Saturday night…then Tech is in trouble. I would have gone to an air assault early and often to start that game to try to get that lead, and in the event you fail to get “scoreboard separation”, you end-up in a shoot-out where I like our odds vs. the bugs. Never does it make sense to try to kill the clock on Tech with a “3 yards and a cloud of dust” style game. First, we ain’t got it this year, and 2nd…PJ knew that and his defense was ready accordingly…and we still busted some good counter running plays to show how really overmatched this Tech team was, yet we win by their classic choke (missed PAT).

          • DawgPhan

            You really think that Bobo was sitting there thinking “I got my 30 and it’s up to the other coordinator to take it from there.”

            You really believe that? Or do you think that he was calling plays to give his team a chance to win?

            I guess you can call 7th of 12 in scoring defense finishing better than “most” but from my seat it looks like finishing worse than “most”.

            • You really think that Bobo was sitting there thinking “I got my 30 and it’s up to the other coordinator to take it from there.”

              No. But that’s basically the logic behind saying that the scoring streak is a defense to criticism of Bobo’s playcalling.

              I guess you can call 7th of 12 in scoring defense finishing better than “most” but from my seat it looks like finishing worse than “most”.

              I notice you left out mention of total defense. I think that’s where the “most” creeps back in.😉

              In any event, how would you label the defense of the five teams that did worse than Grantham’s in scoring?

              • DawgPhan

                Grantham’s defense was all of .1 yard per play better this year in conference games than it was last year and we fired nearly everyone and dropped 3/4ths of a million in Grantham’s lap who spoon fed every internet fanboy exactly what they wanted to hear all offseason. We didnt need a big guy in the middle, we play a 3-4 gap with pressuring the QB as the top priority. full contact, go hard or go home…I ate it up, so did you. In the end all the lip service, heartache of losing out on “our guy” in the national media and nearly a million dollars later and we are .1 yards per play better. Against tech that amounted to less than 1 first down.

                The stats are fun to look at though. This year the defense is closer to the top total defense than they are to the bottom with the next 3 teams grouped in the 370s.

                The only team that is below us in total defense in conference games that I am surprised about is Miss St. The rest are bad teams with bad defense.

                w/r/t scoring defense Grantham saved us 4 TDs in 8 conference games over the willie D of 09. Not exactly what I was sold coming into this season.

                • Nor any of us. They’d better find some JUCO studs for next year’s d-line or they’re still going to have problems running the 3-4.

                • Hackerdog

                  First of all, remember that money spent doesn’t result in players on the field. We’re not Auburn.😉

                  Second, offensive stats are up this year over last both in the conference and across the country. That’s why you should look at rankings.

                  Grantham came into a poor situation and improved it. In 2009, UGA ranked #63 in scoring defense. In 2010, UGA is #49. In total defense, we went from #38 to #30. And 15 practices to get the defense ready for the bowl game could improve those rankings further.

                  If you thought that bringing in a new staff would result in UGA’s defense immediately becoming a top 20 defense, then you weren’t being realistic. But look on the bright side. For the first time in a while, UGA’s defense is trending up in the rankings.

                  • DawgPhan

                    Certainly Bobo could have called a better game this season. Grantham could have as well. You dont get to 6-6 by doing anything that well. Everything needs to be on the table this offseason. Everything needs to be looked at, not by UGA but by someone else. We need to make sure that we are not getting beat in the offseason in the training room or the practice field. We should probably be bringing in guys from the NFL or top college guys to be consultants, we need to go and view other programs, CMR should probably book a room in Flowery Branch for a month or so in January and see what is going on there. We are getting beaten and it didnt start in September.

                    • Hackerdog

                      Improvement can be made, but it has to start somewhere. All season long, we’ve been talking about Grantham putting square pegs in round holes. In addition to not having personnel that suited his scheme, he had to deal with the poor fundamentals that our kids have been taught for as long as they’ve been here. The good news is, the defense has improved. I believe there is more improvement to come with the next recruiting class, and the next.

                      As for the coaches talking to other programs, they already do that.

                • Dante

                  Given the talent we lost last year and that it’s the first year Georgia has ever to my recollection deployed a 3-4 as our primary defense, doing better than we did last year is nothing short of phenomenal.

          • JBJ

            I think it goes back to playing to win or playing not to lose. We play to the level of our competition. That is an argument I can get behind.

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    “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.”

    With considerable respect for the work that you do, and for caring enough to do it, Senator, this seems to me to beg the question….”Frustrating to who?”
    (or is it whom?….journalism, not English)

    To me, this kind of speculative pyschoanalysis falls into the Craig James, Bob Davie “expert” area which COULD be responsible for at least a large portion of the babble about Bobo.

    and leads to this kind of cogent observation from our fanbase:
    “Bobo should have at least been thinking I need to score as many times as possible no matter the situation in the Auburn and Tech games.”

    I just think when we start analyzing what people we are not pretty close to may or may not have been thinking we are getting into an area that comes pretty close to fantasy football.

    • To answer your question, frustrating to me.

      I don’t think he’s frustrated. If he were, he’d be doing something different. At least, that’s my speculation.😉

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        And of course that’s what I THOUGHT you meant.

        My personal opinion about Bobo is that absolutely none of us are qualified, no matter how many games we have watched, seen live, listened to expert commentators etc to speculate on what Bobo may or may not have been thinking which led to a call you or I or Joe disagreed with because the play called did not work.

        What truly astonishes me, being as I am, if not pre-D Day school, certainly before 1980 school, is the amazing level of frustration with a win over Tech.
        A win over Tech, or frankly anybody else, is a win, which is the only stat that I can understand.

        Personally, I don’t see any reason at all for running any football play other than the toss sweep, but I also realize that may not be practical considering the defenses we see.

        Am I frustrated we only run the toss four or five times a game?….not really, but it sho is purty when it works.

        And, like wise, one would assume, if Bobo was frustrating his boss, he would also be finding himself something else to do.

        What I am frustrated about (actually deeply depressed and in a blue funk about) is that we lost six games.

        And it is my speculation that this is what is driving the maddening criticism of Mike Bobo, and I understand that.

        But at times some of us sound like a fan who gave 21 points in the office pool and got laughed at. On Monday.

        In parting, it must be really cool to get noticed by another blog, I wonder if you should have done it another way….but that’s just speculation (how do you make a smiley face?)

        Oh, can I get a blue post somehow….I like the blue posts.

        • Krautdawg

          Scorpio, it makes me happy to see you’re rolling with “pre-D-Day.” In return, let me state for the record that the toss sweep Knowshon ran in 24 yards against Auburn in ’07 was one of the prettiest plays we’ve run under Richt.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Certainly under Richt, but ………well…I like em more in the 60-80 yard range. (Sigh)

            • Krautdawg

              Oooh that’ll be tough nowadays. Settle for a screen? Or would it help if we started describing the pass as a ‘forward speed sweep?’ After all, there’s one receiver looping around in motion on most of ’em.

  13. DawgPhan

    and running the football is just as much about “putting your boot on their throat” as passing is. I dont know when “killer instinct” began to only apply to the passing game, but AU didnt need a single pass to beat us in the second half and it certainly showed their killer instinct.

    • I dont know when “killer instinct” began to only apply to the passing game…

      It doesn’t. It applies to whatever works the best in a given situation. Saturday night, that was throwing the ball downfield. A year ago, it was running it down Tech’s throat. In both cases, we had the same offensive coordinator. As I said, he knows what he should do. He just doesn’t always trust his instincts.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Actually, I think I first read a reference to killer instinct when some expert was writing about Florida ca mid-90’s.

        “He just doesn’t always trust his instincts.”

        Ah hell, Senator, nuff said.


      • Bags O' (no) Money

        I suspect alot of Bobo’s calls are a reflection of what CMR wants to do. It’s quite possible that he may have a great OC inside him screaming to get out. It also goes to the old saying that a team is the reflection of the HC. I had a teacher once who was a tank commander under Patton. I always thought to myself, if this guy was a reflection of his leader then wow, Patton must have really been something! I think that’s the kind of person alot of us would like to see in CMR.

  14. dboy

    “Searels is the ‘Running Game Coordinator’ then, his part is just as much in question as Bobo’s.”

    Agreed, but Bobo is also ultimately in charge of the run attack but he (and we) seems to ignore its shortcomings? The inconsitent run game in the contex of an experienced and projected dominant Oline and 2 experienced RBs is a defiency that shouldn’t be overlooked. We SHOULD be able to run effectively after throwing for 3 consecutive big plays to AJ. And once AJ is gone, we will NEED to run consistently to set up the play action. Bobo needs to answer the question: why cant we run consistenly when we need to the most?

    • HVL Dawg

      We lost our games this year because we can’t
      #1 make a third down stop
      #2 run the football without dropping it on the ground
      #3 make a short yardage first down
      #35 “keep the foot on the gas”

      • Russ


        This is my problem with this entire bitch fest about Bobo. We’ve got plenty to complain about before we get to the part that works reasonably well (Bobo’s offense). Can it be better? Of course, but parts 1 -34 can improve even more, so let’s address them first.

        • The “bitch fest” started in response to a comment Richt made. That’s often how I go about posting here. In the offseason, I’ll take a measured look at why Georgia wound up where it did.

        • Ausdawg85

          What, exactly, is working “reasonably well” when two of your first three points are about offensive ineptness…primarily in the running game, but for short yardage, a lack of imagination/creativity or simply knowing your own strengths & weaknesses (i.e. we have backs who fumble too often)?

          Best playcall of the year was on 4th and short vs Auburn, we threw the post to AJ for a score. But I DON’T think this is purely a Bobo problem…make no mistake that Mark Richt is the creator of our offense and approval of game-planning. I submit that it is his influence / insistence on running plays “until they work” rather than adapting our philosophy to our strengths that is the core of the problem. CMB will probably do a great job with whatever instructions he is given…and that’s why he’s staying around. It’s CMR that needs to look in the mirror and ask why he can’t get things in sync. Of course, he has company with Corch on that one, doesn’t he?!

    • Macallanlover

      This. The most critical issue facing UGA’s offense for 2011, and the biggest downfall this season, is how can we fix an amazingly incompetent running attack. It wasn’t just good defenses that gave us trouble, everyone above the level of patsy stood up to our OLine at several points and stuffed us. It happened in the opening game on short yardage plays. In 2009 we didn’t find our running game until mid-season, this year we have yet to be consistent, or dominent. This must be put under a microscope and scheduled for immediate repair. I don’t know if it is a S &C issue, talent problem, the blocking scheme, or the coach. But I do know something is very wrong when you return that many experienced veterans, a talented FB, several TEs, two experienced RBs, and still consistently fail to make short yardage plays when you need them, or sustain drives to run clock.

      In no way am I giving the defense a pass, especially the continuing coverage issues in our secondary, but if we don’t repair the running game/OLine issue I don’t know that we can improve the defense enough.

      I agree completely with the Senator’s assessment of Bobo. I am not for firing him, and I would not mind if he were demoted, but he is accountable for all phases of the offense and part of it was very limiting at crucial times. He gets paid enough to make the changes needed at RB and OL position coach if needed, and to push CMR for a change at S&C coach, if needed there.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        FWIW I agree with everything you said in your above post. CMR, however, already has said there will be “no changes” to the staff this year. Head, meet sand.

  15. jferg

    You must see what Bobo was thinking. Football strategery 101 says that when you’re up on an opponent late in the game and your defense is having trouble stopping them, you try to use the clock as your friend by running the football and eating up the clock. Offensive Coordinating for Dummies at your local book store. 60% of the time this works every time.

  16. Hogbody Spradlin

    To generalize, you’re looking for explanations why Mike Bobo starts calling running plays in the middle of shredding the defense with passing. I think, I speculate, that Bobo is of a generation that fundamentally believes effective passing loosens up the running game. I remember hearing that a lot, but not too much since these spread offenses became prevalent. He may also feel he needs to pay homage to ball control, time of possession, and keeping the other team’s offense off the field. Those concepts are all time honored ideas in football, and still valid, especially with a porous defense like Georgia’s.

    Mike may have to change, no doubt. Georgia’s pro style offense can easily accomodate 40 passes per game if that’s what it takes. But I guess the man is a little reluctant to let go of what he was raised with.

    • To be clear, I’m not advocating that Mike Bobo turn into June Jones. I’m simply a big advocate of the “if it ain’t broke” approach. And Saturday night, the passing game definitely wasn’t broken.

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Your point is also about ad hoc judgments. Looking at it that way, I agree. A few times I got the feeling (FWIW) that Mike is scared of the idea that we could score 50 or 60 points in a game. There were a few times this year we could have.

      • Chris

        I think it’s good to keep in mind that a QB at UGA has some slack in the line when it comes to changing plays at the line….so it is at least possible that Bobo has called pass plays that get checked to run plays at the line. I think this was the case on 2nd down during the drive that seems to be the center of the topic here.

        Now, I’ve never been a QB…..never coached a QB…..but I do pretend to be one every other night on my playstation….:)

        My guess is…and this is just a guess…that our QB’s are taught to read the D and get us into the play that is least likely to hurt us if the original play looks covered…, AM has had a great season…but he is still a freshman and it could be that in that same situation in his junior year he realizes that even though the play looks covered it can still work with a route check or a site adjustment by a receiver and that he doesn’t have to check down to his “safe” play….

        Now if we ran an offense where the entire team looks at the side line for a play change (which I hate by the way….just stupid) then I think you have more of a beef….but we put a lot on our signal callers and I think that has to be considered when talking about the play calls,

        • James Stephenson

          Man, don’t even get me started on teams that look to the sideline for the play.

          I mean really, coach up the QB, call the play and allow him to change the play. Fact is, when AM is a senior, his overall football knowledge and QB skill will be miles ahead of Cam. Why? Because Richt and Bobo teach their QBs how to be QBs. Not electric table football players.

          Sooner or later Ds will wise up and not even form up until the play call comes in. Then the QB will be at a loss to what to do since, they are too dumb to call their own plays.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        If we can’t run effectively, but the passing game is working great, what’s wrong with the June Jones approach? Do it ’til they stop it.

        • Will (the other one)

          That’s my question. And apparently the answer is “we used to be Tailback U” or “that’s not the way Vince did it”.

          Not the best answers I know.

          The better one, “those finesse teams can’t get tough yards” is moot, since running for a 3rd & 1 or 4th & 1 against Tech’s crap undersized DL was beyond us last Saturday anyway.

  17. gernblanski

    Pennington’s point is a good one but one that is not particularly valid when discussing the total game against GT.

    You are right on the money that we should have continued using our two best players to run our offense, make first downs, control the ball and score points.

    Since GT had a massive ball control advantage, we needed to make first downs and continue to score points to keep our defense off the field. Unfortunately Bobo translated that into the tried and true “run the ball” scenario instead of trusting his two best players and the one thing that was consistently working all night.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      It wasn’t just the 2 best players. Add in Durham, Charles, Figgins, the backs coming out of the backfield, etc……..

  18. PA Dawg

    It’s easy to critique play calling after the fact. And it’s easy to sit and predict what plays will be called. Football is all about execution. I don’t care what play is called; if the line blocks, the play will more than times than not. If you give Murray time, he’ll find a reciever. It the line opens a hole, our running backs will run for solid yardage.
    I got to play golf with Jim McMahon a few years ago; and we talked about building a team. He said he could find a thousand guys who could run the ball and catch it; but if the line didn’t do the job, the offense wouldn’t work. If he was building a team, he would get the best O line possible and everything else would fall into place. My point is that our offensive and defensive lines aren’t winning the battles. I’m all for throwing the ball to AJ on every play; however you do need to try and keep the defense honest.
    Bobo doesn’t need to go or call plays differently. The offensive line needs to block and the plays will work. It reminds me of Stockton and Malone in the NBA. Everyone knew they were going to run a screen and roll every play; but no one could stop it because they executed it to perfection.
    The Dawgs need to win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball; and they’ll improve dramatically. Is it talent or S&C or both? I don’t know; but that’s the immediate issue to solve……IMO.

    • Again, that’s all great. But here’s the deal: in the Tech game, when Georgia wanted to run the ball and Tech’s defense keyed on the run, Tech’s defense won. If you’re Bobo, you can sit there and tell yourself that the line has to do a better job blocking and keep forcing plays that don’t work, or you can take what the defense gives you.

      And the thing is, for most of the game, that’s exactly what he did.

  19. hailtogeorgia

    I can see this one both ways. On one hand, I see where Bobo is coming from with this stuff. His defense was gassed, he was trying to run the clock and give them a rest. In his defense, three completed passes usually do open up the running game. This is why I hate some of this post-mortem analysis. It’s very easy for you, Senator, to harp on Bobo’s playcalling after you know the results. If those runs are successful and we get first downs and milk the clock, then it’s a completely different story. You openly say that our defense looked much more comfortable once the Georgia Tech offense was taken out of its element and had to score quick, yet you fault Bobo for taking what you deem to be the wrong route in getting them out of their element. I know you’ll have a good response to this (as you always do), but I just can’t stop thinking that two cliches work here: hindsight is 20/20 and there’s more than one way to skin a cat. If Bobo’s choice of running the ball, milking the clock, and giving the defense a rest works, we’re not having this discussion. Instead, we’re saying something to the extent of “Bobo did a good job of knowing when to go for the throat (and go to A.J. over and over) and knowing when to cover the face with a pillow (and milk the clock).”

    To be clear, however, I think this is an entirely different situation than Auburn. Our defense had shown the ability to stop Tech, it never did that with Auburn. The defense forces a Tech 3 and out, then Branden Smith promptly muffs the punt and the defense comes right back on the field. We’re driving down the field, the defense is finally getting a rest, and Caleb King coughs it up…out comes the defense again. It’s highly likely that Richt came up and told Bobo the defense needed a breather.

    On a side note, with all the moaning and groaning that went on here before the season about Logan Gray fair-catching punts, can we cut the coaches some slack now? Yes, they used Logan and Branden, and who put the ball on the ground? There’s a risk/reward factor in both cases, but as high as the reward with Branden Smith may be, he had no business trying to field that punt.

    • It’s very easy for you, Senator, to harp on Bobo’s playcalling after you know the results.

      Before and after. I was bitching at the game when Georgia came on the field at 35-28 that he wasn’t going to stay with what had been working.

    • I guess here’s my good response.😉

      When you say “If Bobo’s choice of running the ball, milking the clock, and giving the defense a rest works, we’re not having this discussion”, are you forgetting about how inconsistently Georgia’s o-line run blocked, not just in the Tech game, but all season?

      Tech geared up to stop the run this year. They couldn’t stop the pass. I just think Bobo should have stayed with what was working all game long.

      • hailtogeorgia

        I agree that I wish Bobo would have continued passing the ball. It frustrates the hell out of me that he changes what was working (as he did in the Auburn game). However, the point I’m making here is not that the pass wasn’t the better option, it’s that given the circumstances (an extremely tired defense who desperately needs a rest), I can understand why he made the change and I don’t think it was as ill-advised as you seem to think. Yes, the running game is inconsistent, but it isn’t nonexistent. King and Ealey both had runs of over 25 yards.

      • Scott

        I’m just piling on here, but if a 4th pass in a row was called for AJ and it went for a pick 6, would you be saying the same thing toda?

        Also, do you know for certainty, that AM didn’t check into some of those run calls?

        • On the pick-six, I’ll take my chances. Murray hadn’t thrown a pick in eleven quarters at that point, so it’s not like we’re talking about Joe Cox there. And don’t forget that the Dawgs had been fumbling the ball all game, so it’s not like that was the safer option.

          I don’t know for certainty about anything. But I’ll put it to you this way: if AM was checking into running plays that weren’t working as well as the pass plays being called, as his coach, I would have pointed out to him that he wasn’t making good decisions.

          • Ausdawg85

            I gotta believe this is all on CMR, not Bobo. Either Richt called for slowing the game down, or agreed with the strategy. That’s not a “Fire CMR!” rant, just a belief that he’s GOT to be ultimately responsible, and we know for sure he’s not engaged with the defense…just leaning on CTG to finding something that works.

            • hailtogeorgia

              There’s also the possibility that Grantham sent the message to Bobo that his defense needed some rest (and that could’ve definitely come through Richt).

  20. Marshall

    I think both sides have valid points here. I do agree with the Senator in that I think Bobo has it in him to be a great play-caller along (if he can stay out of his own way) along with already being a great QB coach and solid OC….but, he ain’t there yet. Whether or not that happens next year….we’ll see. But it seems as if Richt is throwing his lot (and his fate) in with that assumption. Because another 5 or 6 (or maybe even 4) loss season means he won’t have a job this time next year…sorry, that’s just the truth. Another ho-hum season would be getting into Donnan territory.

  21. hassan

    Bobo has flashes of brilliance and has the potential to be great. It just seems like Richt has given him a lot of rope when maybe a little more tutelage could have been the order of the day. Maybe he’s given him too much of the “learn from your own mistakes” approach? (just my speculation from section 106)

    Report Card:
    A+ on QB development
    B+ on game planning
    D on game management

  22. DavetheDawg

    You know what is interesting to me? Auburn is overcoming their weak defense (especially in the secondary…sound familiar?) by doing the exact same things in the 2nd half of a game that we should be doing: They don’t let up. The onside kick call against us was the kind of aggression that we don’t show. Not saying that is on Bobo, either. But the point is we know are in a transitional year defensively, yet have the means to score to bail these guys out. Consistently. Auburn does this. Florida wishes they could do this.
    Defense usually wins championships. Auburn might win a MNC because they have the courage to go for the jugular, especially in the 2nd half of a game.
    “…but I’ve seen enough to think Bobo has it in him to be a top-flight OC. One of Mark Richt’s tasks this offseason is to coax that out of him.”
    This! x a gazillion

    • Russ

      Re: the onside kick.

      We tried that to open the second half against FU in 2008. It didn’t work, FU recovered and promptly scored, and the rout was on. Richt got roundly panned for that call. So, per usual, he’s a genius when it works, and an idiot when it doesn’t.

    • hassan

      The onside kick worked pretty well against Va Tech.

    • hailtogeorgia

      This isn’t really apples to apples, though, Dave. It’s much easier to keep doing what you’re doing when what you’re doing is pounding the ball down the opposing defense’s throat with the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy touching the ball literally every play. Cam falls forward for three yards, for pete’s sake. He’s able to convert third and short with no trouble and when defenses key on him, he gives it to Dyer, Fannin, or McCalebb, who can all burn defenses as well. The Auburn offense stays on the field longer with their approach (if it’s working the way it’s supposed to) than Georgia does if they just air it out.

      That’s the issue we’re running into here…our best player is our receiver, our second best player is our quarterback. To get the ball to our best player, we have to throw it to him with someone trying to prevent us from completing the pass. When we do this, we have very brief drives and we can’t run the clock. Our defense goes back out on the field and gets gassed again, only to come off the field and have us score in two minutes. It happened against Tech and it happened against Auburn and it showed in the second half in both games.

      Say what you will about playcalling, but a quick strike offense (which is what we are when we air it out with Green, Durham, Charles and Co.) against a pound it out offense that runs much more often than it passes (read: Auburn and Georgia Tech) is going to result in a REALLY tired defense. When you have a defense that doesn’t have much depth in some key positions (secondary and d-line) while trying to execute a 3-4 that they’re still learning, you have a recipe for disaster. Both games showed that in the second half.

      • Bort

        If we go up 3-4 scores on Tech, they’ll start having to throw the ball too.

        Which they can’t do.

        Which gets our defense off the field faster. Which makes them less winded when they have to go back onto the field.

        Play. To. Your. Strengths.

        • hailtogeorgia

          We didn’t go up 3-4 scores on Tech because of fumbles and muffed punts, not because of taking our foot off the gas. It’s hard to play to your strengths when your defense stops the other team and your offense or special teams give the ball right back.

          • adam

            no picks from murray and no fumbles from receivers. seems like the passing game was our strength and that we got hurt when we went away from it. (though, i know that caleb’s fumble came after 2 good runs, so this is certainly a hindsight 20/20 moment).

            i actually thought the fumbles were a good reason to avoid the running game as well, but i still was absolutely sure when we got the ball left with 10 minutes left we were going to run it for nothing twice, throw it incomplete and punt. and that they would then tie it up. luckily their kicker screwed up and proved me wrong.

      • Will (the other one)

        How’s Oregon’s poor time-of-possession working out for them this season?

        • hailtogeorgia

          That example doesn’t work for two reasons, Will. One, Oregon’s offense has been consistently stopped on one occasion this entire season. In all of the other games, Oregon has been in complete control by the fourth quarter (and many times by the third) and has been able to rest starters and play backups. In addition to this, Oregon has better defensive depth than Georgia does, as well as having the blessing of not having to learn a new defensive scheme. How many times has Georgia been able to rest starters?

          • Krautdawg

            Hail, I agree that it would be great to grind it out after a defensive stop. Still, with the exceptions of Tech & AU ’09 and UK ’10, we haven’t pushed anyone off the ball with regularity since the ’07 season. Remember trying and failing to punch it in against ASU, LSU, UT, UF, and Tech in ’08? Or USC, Arky, ASU, UT, or UF ’09? I also prefer not revisiting this year’s USC, MSU, or Colorado games. Idaho State even stoned our rush pretty well in the first half.

            The combination of inconsistent D and an unreliable running game admittedly puts the coaches in a difficult position. When you can’t consistently grind it out, your D doesn’t make regular stops, but you can light up the scoreboard, I’d argue that points should be priority 1 and a rested D priority 2.

            I’d also argue that halftime adjustments, not just exhaustion, account for our D’s second-half results this season. Especially MSU, UF, and AU changed things up after the break. Again, a grinding ground game would ice the other guys’ offensive rhythm and put pressure on ’em. Without that, though, the other guys will score, and I think points are our only shot at winning.

            If we find a ground game, Hail, something tells me our disagreement (and this thread) magically goes away.

            • hailtogeorgia

              I agree with you 100%. I have said a few times in this thread that I wish we wouldn’t get away from what works (airing it out over and over)…it’s just that I can see why we are, and it’s because our defense just can’t handle it. At times, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. If you keep airing it out, you risk running your defense ragged and having to hope they don’t stop you (something most teams have been able to do this year), but if you stop airing it out, you risk not putting points up because our o-line is underperforming. It’s called just not being that good of a team, unfortunately.

              • adam

                luckily, the other team’s defense gets tired too. eventually being unstoppable gets easier, not harder.

                i see your point, but it’s harder to beat a team that keeps scoring than it is one that keeps the ball for a long time. plus… if the running game isn’t working, 3 and outs probably take even less time than driving down throwing the ball around. plus, the offense going crazy always gets a defense pumped up.

  23. Irishdawg

    I think the Senator has sold me on his argument with this last post. Bobo is a good OC, but he also has the potential to be an excellent one. We could have scored 56 on Tech easily. I think I understand what Mike was trying to do running the ball (which was gashing Tech’s defense earlier) and help rest his defense, but he does need to stop getting away from what is working.

  24. Turd Ferguson

    … all Mike Bobo accomplished was to give Al Groh a sense of relief.

    This says it all. Regardless of the scoreboard, regardless of the 30+ point scoring streak, etc., anytime your play-calling gives the opposing DC a sense of relief (as I’m sure it did), you’re not calling the right plays. Period.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      Agree with this point in particular. This desire to just have the clock disappear with a 2nd half lead is understandable, but often leads to shrinking leads and anxious moments. IMO, Bobo is simply a disciple of Richt when it comes to this 2nd half approach. We’ve also seen it in the NFL with defensive minded coaches and with other former SEC coaches like Fulmer and Tuberville (CMR should have thanked TT for packing in his offense in the 4th qtr of the 2002 game–I know I did).

      Personally, I don’t like the approach unless you’ve got a big lead or a particularly interception prone QB—but it’s a particularly awful strategy when you’ve got a questionable defense or are in any type of a shootout. If GT hadn’t turned the ball over as much as they did, it would have taken 50+ to win it.

    • Will (the other one)

      Plus were we able to get to a 21-pt lead in the 4th, our own DC would be able to have a sense of relief, once Johnson did the math and realized the dive wouldn’t get them 3 scores in 14 minutes even if they got 2 onside kick recoveries and had Washington drop back and pass it.

  25. paul

    The Old Ball Coach ain’t my favorite person in the world. But he will run variations on the same play over and over and over and over again until the defense figures out how to stop it. Paul Johnson did the same with the dive against us Saturday night. Seems like a simple idea. Yet so few are actually willing to do it. Bobo among them. Go figure. Personally, if I were playing against Georgia this year I would throw the wheel route twenty or thirty times a game. We never did figure that one out.

    • Actually, Richt said on Bulldog Hotline last night that Tech’s big completion to Hill came on a play where they showed the wheel route and then broke it off when the defense went to cover it.

  26. It still seems to me that everyone is taking 1 series, 3 plays, & using it as an example of why the Dawgs are 6 & 6. I don’t buy that.
    Since Grantham, Belin, & Bobo have the most job security at the present time, Why keep beating a dead horse?

    • It’s not just one thing that made Georgia 6-6. But this certainly contributed to it.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        If Munson would have been calling the game during the Tech kickoff that we miss handled I’m sure we would have heard…..”B. Boykin fumbled the ball! Boykin has fumble but M. Brown had that ball just dance back into his lap on the return …Brown has recovered a Boykin fumble on the kickoff. Ole Lady Luck just looked down at Georgia Tech and laughed out loud.” Sure it’s about X’s and O’s and yes the Jimmies and Joes… but Lady Luck has her say as well.

  27. hassan

    While the turnover margin improved this year, the timeliness of the turnovers significantly contributed to 6-6. Sometimes you fumble and it doesn’t cost you. Other times it’s deadly.

    If we don’t fumble in Columbia and Starkville, those are different games and we have the luxury of running different plays. If we don’t fumble vs. Colorado, we win. If we don’t fumble and muff kick offs/punts vs. Tech, it’s big win margin and our defense gets some rest. There are others…but you get the picture.

  28. Bham Dawg Fan

    What keeps geting missed is the fact that our offense didn’t score 30+ in this game. Our defense scored 1 td and CPJ gave us the other. Bobo scored 28 pts and none in the 4th Q (if I remember correctly). I’m in agreement with the Senator on this one, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    Also, you can keep our defense off the field by contolling the ball and it doesn’t have to be by running it. Some short swing passes worked all night long, the little inside screen to Durham worked extremely well, and 8 yd outs were there for the taking. Beats the Hell out of running into the line of scrimmage for no gain, or worse, fumbling the ball.

  29. Macallanlover

    With all the post mortem on playcalling here (not my favorite issue), am I the only one that felt the 3rd TO called, 2nd in three plays, was a case of CMR wanting to change a playcall he felt was going to be a disaster? Obviously just a guess but the look of urgency on Richt’s face, and the different point of attack on the TD play, made me feel that is what happened.

    • Bulldog Bry

      That’s the thing, we’ll never know how much of this is Murray’s, Bobo’s or Richt’s doing.

      But we’ll blame Bobo.

      • You really think Murray’s gone from somebody who the coaches had to baby sit through the first two or three games to a QB on the level of Greene or Stafford after a couple of years in the system in terms of control over play calls?

        If that’s the case, the kid really is special.

        • hailtogeorgia

          I get the point you’re making, but there’s also the chance that the coaches didn’t need to baby him but did anyway. Lord knows we heard enough groaning about wanting the coaches to take the reins off…it could be that the reins didn’t need to be on there to begin with.

  30. NRBQ

    Throwing the ball 19 times against a pass defense that proved itself helpless time after time is indefensible. Period.

  31. Carolinadawg

    We rank 55th among FBS teams in total offense and 30th in total defense. The problem is not the defense, the problem is our offensive coordinator. He sucks and we need a new one. Its really very obvious.

  32. Derek

    It has been said that “those who forget history are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.” To understand Bobo I think you have to understand what he he has seen and what he seeks to avoid. I am fairly certain that Mike Bobo was a redshirt freshman in 1993. Coming off a 10-2 season, Georgia went into a ditch early that year. The perception was that we couldn’t run but we had Zeier and a bunch of decent wr’s so why shouldn’t we just air it out? Zeier lobbied hard for that approach and ultimately we became Air Georgia and … well… we sucked. We stunk. We were awful. Yes, we could throw for a ton of yards and we scored a good deal of points but we were a bad football team.
    I think Bobo learned while that approach may seem rational it is doomed to fail and frankly was not necessary. Here’s why:
    1) when the other team knows that you aren’t going to run they commit more players to blitzing which puts you qb at risk for a lot of hits. (Anyone remember what Joe Lee Dunn did to Zeier? It was not pretty.)
    2) when you abandon the running game the coverages you saw before are not there. All of a sudden you are looking a 6 db’s and no place to go with the ball
    3) your offensive line gets soft. When you need to run, you can’t.
    4) your defense gets soft. Practicing against passing offenses results in bad defensive play vs. other opppnents.
    These are just a few of the things that Bobo saw as a RS. He also knew that we abandoned the running game with Terrell Davis on the roster who would get 2000+ in one season with the Broncos.
    You can disagree with Bobo’s approach all you want, but I think he learned what not to do in 1993 and 1994 and he isn’t even going to think about repeating those mistakes even for a second. He would rather seek a winning identity and fail than give into an identity that has no chance at success.

    • Carolinadawg

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Bobo should “abandon the run”. It is being suggested that he fails to go with what works as long as it is working. Instead, he gives up on what is workng in the arbitrary pursuit of “balance”.

      • Derek

        I’m suggesting that seeking balance is not “arbitrary” at all but purposeful. Running the ball creates circumstances that are favorable to what is working i.e., passing the ball. If he failed to “keep the defense honest” that which we see working would also be jeopardized. In other words, if you want to run the ball effectively, you have to pass. If you want to pass the ball effectively, you have to run. Does anyone think that CPJ’s offense would be as effective if they never tried to pass? I’m sure some Techie is saying “hey we only complete 35% of our passes, but we’re No. 1 in rushing, why are we wasting plays throwing the ball?” There is a very good reason why they “waste” those plays. It puts the corners, and to some extent the safeties, at a disadvantage in run support. If CPJ knew in advance that they’d never complete a pass, he’d still throw it 7-10 times a game. That said, assume that you are the offensive coordinator at UGA and you know that you’ll never gain one rushing yard. How many times would you run it? If its me I run it enough to keep as many guys in the box as I can. If I can only make them commit 5, I’m going to make sure that they don’t drop it to 3. The same thing works in inverse. If you can beat 8 in the box you still have to throw it enough so that they don’t commit 9 or 10 to the run.

        • adam

          one of the things that’s been driving me crazy this season is watching us rarely react to what the defense does. if they’re blitzing like crazy, we probably still call slow-developing passing plays and runs up the middle. loaded box? same deal. running the ball up the middle into a 9 man front isn’t going to work and doesn’t do anything to keep the defense honest. at that point aren’t they already doing what you are trying to set up with the run anyway?

  33. NRBQ

    “…if you want to run the ball effectively, you have to pass. If you want to pass the ball effectively, you have to run.”

    So, Derek, last year UGA threw 14 passes for 76 yards, and ran it 44 times for 339 (winning by 6). Should Bobo have run it less for the sake of “balance” or “keeping the defense honest?”

    Generalizations about theory and strategy over time may hold plenty of credence, but I’m appalled at THIS ONE GAME.

    When your QB is operating at a 250 point efficiency rate, you gotta give him more chances against a pass defense that appeared lost no matter how many they dropped into coverage.

    Sorry. Done my part on this horse.

  34. NRBQ

    Maybe not.

    I just want to point out that my criticism of the play-calling was never that we tried to run, but that we had a QB lighting them up who was limited to 5 passes in the second half of a close game.

  35. Bryant Denny

    Dang, you guys are hollerin’ like you lost to your biggest rival after being up 24-0.

    Let me remind you: you won🙂

    Seriously though, in the Senator’s above example, do you give Bobo any slack due to field position?

    We always hear comments like “they passed it/ran it all the way down and then did the opposite.” In reality, the playbook changes based on field position and defensive alignment.

    Have a good evening,


  36. Never a doubt

    Original post was inspired; this one is even better. You’re just dead on about Bobo.

  37. Biggus Rickus

    I’m not reading through the 123 comments. I think harping on playcalling is inane. Do you honestly think they could have endlessly thrown mid-range passes to AJ Green? Could the defense not have adjusted and taken that away? Look, if you score 30+ points a game against legitimate competition you should be happy.

    • Carolinadawg

      “Could the defense not have adjusted and taken that away?”
      Maybe, but until they do, why stop?

      “Look, if you score 30+ points a game against legitimate competition you should be happy.”
      Are you be happy with a 6-6 record?

      • Biggus Rickus

        I’m not at all happy with 6-6. I’m just not blaming the offensive production…at least against Florida and Auburn. The first three losses, sure.

  38. Derek

    We ran 13 times for 114 yards and 2 tds in the second half. That’s an 8.8 yard avg. I’m having great difficulty complaining about these numbers.

    • NRBQ

      Yeah, don’t look gifts from PJ in the mouth.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Okay, so take away that one 20 yard run. They still averaged 7.83 per carry. They punted once in the second half. One drive was killed due to a fumble at the Tech 9 and another ended with Murray fumbling a snap on 4th and short. Murray also appeared to check into the second down draw on the three and out that somehow proves Bobo took his foot off the gas.

        • They averaged nearly twice that with every passing attempt. And they never turned the ball over throwing it.

          • Biggus Rickus

            I really don’t get that argument. You could turn the ball over doing anything on any given play. If a player fumbles at the end of a 12 yard run how can you possibly blame the play call? If you’re calling a play to pick up a yard or so on fourth down and the QB fumbles the snap how is that playcalling? If the QB sees a favorable defensive alignment and checks into a draw only to see the line get blown up, how is that playcalling? If he sticks with the pass and everyone ends up covered on that play would that be better? Tech’s defense isn’t very good, but they will on occasion actually cover someone. It’s not a given that Georgia could have thrown the ball 66% of the time and been effective all night. And considering that the offense was productive for most of the night it seems like nitpicking to focus on playcalling. They punted TWICE in the entire game.

            • I can’t argue with you on the abstract points. All I can go on is what we saw on the field. And what we saw was a passing game that was en fuego.

              When the offense came out at 35-28, I said to myself “if Georgia comes out running here, Tech will tie the score on the next series”. Fortunately, Blair bailed them out on that.

              Interestingly, Groh played the run there. As I said before, don’t you think he was pleased that Bobo obliged him by not throwing the ball?

              • Biggus Rickus

                He was not playing the run on second down, unless he disguised a run blitz and confused Murray. It is possible that he was relieved when Bobo called the first down run. I can’t speak to Al Groh’s state of mind. I generally imagine elevator music running through his brain to suppress any feelings of excitement he might experience. I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree about the playcalling.

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  40. Senator;

    The only thing I want to offer is this:

    Murray’s TDs to Charles and Figgins were VERY CLOSE calls. Orson snatched the ball from the air just beside an outstretched CB’s hands. Figgins was covered well, too. When you can’t stop the opposing team’s offense, you also want to limit their touches. While Murray was fantastic against Tech, he did throw into coverage a few times. Green grabbed those passes just like Charles and Figgins did….but all it takes is one. All it takes is one pass that goes through a receiver’s hands to change the game (ask Terrence Edwards…or if you can’t get ahold of him, Aron White). We should have won that game by a single point. If some tragedy strikes and a ball is tipped and they get it, we may have never even scored that touchdown to get us to 35. That’s what people aren’t seeing. Not that running the ball is necessarily safer (especially in a game FEATURING fumbles), but the downfield pass is the more risky call.

    People don’t like conservativism in playcalling, and I agree with them mostly. God knows watching Johnson’s offense bores me to tears. Still, that conservativism was good enough for a win on Saturday. You say he ignored what was happening on the field. I say he was calling plays specifically based on what was happening on the field. The vertical passing game worked against FL too…until it didn’t. Remember how that one turned out?

    • Ben – here’s the thing. It’s not about running or passing for me, when I’m discussing Bobo’s playcalling. It’s about what’s working. And Saturday night, the passing game was clicking. I understand your concern, but Tech showed zero capability of defending the pass. You’ve got to stay with it until they show you something different.

      Last year against Tech, if he’d have abandoned the run and let Cox start throwing the ball all over the place, I’d have been just as critical. But he stuck with it because they couldn’t stop it.

      It’s not just the Tech game, either. Go back to what happened at Auburn. He and Malzahn traded punches through the third quarter; Auburn pulled away because Gus had the guts to stay with what was working. In the second quarter, Bobo didn’t trust himself enough. And he should have – those first two TD plays were perfectly designed, called and executed.

      BTW, I don’t say it enough, but I really enjoy your blog.