Second thoughts on Tennessee: offensive fireworks

Also from Paschall’s article is this little tidbit:

Grantham is fixated this week on stopping quarterback Tyler Bray and Tennessee’s NFL-type offense, but Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is picking Grantham’s mind about the 3-4 and trying to capitalize on the growing pains in Knoxville — the same growing pains Georgia experienced two seasons ago.

“We’ll talk a little bit this week about what they do,” Bobo said. “They’re all from the same background, but all of them are a little bit different. We’ll figure out what we can do to give us the best chance to be successful.”

One thing he’s got to be thinking about is the big play.  On paper coming in, you’ve got to say it’s a good matchup for Bobo:

Tennessee’s defense been susceptible to big plays this season, and now the Volunteers face the nation’s biggest big-play makers Saturday in fifth-ranked Georgia.

Through just four games, Tennessee’s defense has allowed 20 plays of 20 or more yards, which is nearly half of last season’s total of 41. Fourteen of those have been pass plays. In the last six quarters alone, the Vols have surrendered touchdown plays of 80, 75 and 70 yards…

… The Bulldogs lead the Southeastern Conference in offense, and their 35 plays of 20 or more yards lead the nation. Georgia has scored nine offensive touchdowns of 22 or more yards in four games. The starting offense ripped off nine plays or 20 or more yards in a rout of Vanderbilt this past Saturday.

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall when Bobo and Grantham get together about this week’s game plan?


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

99 responses to “Second thoughts on Tennessee: offensive fireworks

  1. BeardDawg

    Bobo-” I’ve got a great plan to beat that 3-4 up there.”
    Grantham-“Well, what you want to do is make sure….”
    Bobo-“Give me back Malcolm Mitchell.”

  2. JG Shellnutt

    The running back zone read ate us up at first.

    I also seem to remember a certain wheel-route being tough to defend our first year in the 3-4. I bet Grantham hasn’t forgotten.

  3. Soooo glad someone else is having to deal with the pain of that first year transitioning to a 3-4.

  4. Look what Bobo has wrought. The Dawgs are so two diminsional, so balanced and so prone to throw it on any down, that Tennessee has a huge headache trying to figure out how they will defend it all. If they blitz to rush Murray, chances are he will pick up on it and the D will have to deal with Gurley or Marshall ….likely down-field where smaller safties and CB’s are mismatched against these RBs. If they try to shut down the run, by loading the box, Murray will burn them deep.
    That’s what conventional wisdom would have Tennessee’s defense do. Load up and try to stop the run and hope Murray and the receivers are off their game. It’s a gamble, but the one I think they’ll take.
    When you look at the job this coaching staff has done….building for balance, you should say…”well done, CMR and CMB”.

    • Biggus Rickus

      I expect they’ll play it straight at first and hope they don’t have to cheat to stop the run. If the offensive line keeps playing at the level it has the last couple of weeks I don’t think it matters much what they do.

      • fuelk2

        My guess would be the opposite – that they’ll take chances with blitzes and try to make big plays (see first half of Mizzou game). They know we’ll slice them up if they play it straight, but if they can get us behind the chains or cause turnovers they have a chance. jmo.

        • I thought about that. If that is the case, we can hope Murray has the experience to see it coming and audible into something that will burn them. It’s enough to make me nervous, though.

          • Cojones

            Less nervous than for any team in the USA with Murray running things. Boy, I love the cheerleading and informative blogs today.

            Hell, I forgot. It’s Sober-up Day.

            • Scorpio Jones, III

              I kin sho as hell tell that, dude. I think you have all lost your minds.

              • Scorpio Jones, III

                In fact, I can’t take any more of this Kool Aid-induced warbling.

                I am locking myself in the worry room for the rest of the day to plead with the Kharmic Bitches to ignore this well-meaning, but delusional bullshit.

                • Macallanlover

                  Season is 1/3 over and you haven’t enjoyed it yet. Tried to gie you a week’s rest last week but now you are in a tough stretch for this week and next. Fortunately we more experienced worriers save ourselves for the times it is needed and will be able to cover for you. Worry code level this week: Yellow (we don’t use orange around heah). Next week, once we turn the heat up on SODs seat, will probably take it a notch since it is a road game. Enjoy the ride, all systems are go and it’s all good.

                  • Scorpio Jones, III

                    “Fortunately we more experienced worriers save ourselves”

                    Mac I will gladly compare worrier credentials with any a ya’ll mothas…every game is a struggle, every play is a struggle, when you understand that no matter who the opponent, no matter the venue, there is a level of worry that has to be, simply has to be maintained.

                    Forgive the lecturious tone, but I worried my way to a 34-3 record one time as a grown man….you know one of the three was Clemmons….you know why we had seven turnovers? And got beat by a team that should not have been in the game at the end of the first quarter?

                    Cause I did not worry enough about Clemmons. I appreciate the thought, I really do, but I am in shape for this….best shape to worry in a long time.

                    I can handle sticking them pants up Derek’s Ass.

                    • Macallanlover

                      I gladly concede “quantity worrying” to you, but I am talking “quality worrying” over several decades. It is like the “old bull–young bull” story, you need to save yourself and not be so frantic. All that unnecessary worrying on Vandy could have given you fresh legs going into this important stretch. Every game isn’t equal. And this team has issues but it is good enough to warrant a little confidence periodically.

    • SCDawg

      And this is offensive balance. Not running half the time and throwing half the time, but having the ability to take whatever the defense gives you.

      Question, if anyone knows the answer. Our offense seemed to dominate the LOS by pulling the guards against Vandy. I am sure Tenn noticed how often we pulled a guard on a running play. How does a defense counter pulling guards? Stunts? Blitzing a safety?

      • Bobby

        Well, you adjust w/ linebacker reads. Ordinarily, guards are pulled to kick out a defensive lineman in the gap where the play is being run. The problem comes when offenses get tricky and start pulling guards in directions–not to block–but to draw linebackers away, thus exposing the middle of the field to a slant route. This is the biggest headache w/ wing-Ts in highschool, except that the passing isn’t such a concern. In college and pros, LBs are fast enough to readjust to make a play on a run; but, they’re usually not fast enough to adjust to the few steps a WR or slot-receiver has on them.

        If it’s more a straight-up trap play (pretty old school), you would coach up your weakside DT to recognize it immediately, follow the pulling guard, and make a huge collision w/ the RB in the backfield. If it’s a counter-gap play (one gap further down the line), you’ve just got to coach up your ends on squaring up, manning up, and playing sound, fundamental football to keep from being kicked out. This would force the RB to have to bounce it out, right into the OLB. At least, that’s roughly how the defensive reads would be in a 4-3. Not sure exactly how this applies to a 3-4, but I can’t imagine the reads are that much different. Those are pretty basic reads, but somebody w/ more 3-4 familiarity could probably tell you better.

        • Bobby

          And yes, stunts might cause us the QB to audible out of the pulling play. Blitzes can also completely blow up a pulling play. On the flip side, though, if you blitz a gap opposite of where the play is going, the RB will likely be at the third level before getting touched. So, that can be a pretty big gamble.

          If you’re pretty sure that the play is going to be a pulling play or a run up the middle, a pinch blitz is pretty good. You pinch down w/ you ends, jamming holes in the middle gaps and making it really difficult for a pulling lineman to kick out a DL. Then, you blitz an OLB off the edge to pick up the RB.

          • SCDawg

            Thanks. Been a long time since I was in the arena. Here’s hoping Tenn doesn’t close the holes the line opened at Vandy. That was the best job blocking in a while.

          • Hogbody Spradlin

            Gollee Bobby, everybody knew that.😉
            Whew, and I thought tax law is hard.

        • James Stephenson

          The O were doing just that at Mizzou. They would pull that guard, move the LB just a smidgen to the left or right, and zoom in a quick slant. They did it like 4 or 5 times, in fact the announcer actually diagrammed that play. So do you think they were setting up the pulling guard run against Vandy? I did not see the pulling guard quick slant Sat.

          God I love Play Action, and when you got the whole team doing the PA, oh boy.

          • Bobby

            For better or worse, I think every play run in this offense has a secondary goal of setting up a future play, not just in that game but in games later in the season. It’s constantly introducing subtle new wrinkles.

            That’s really general, but I wouldn’t presume to be in CMB’s head. I’ve definitely been critical of his play-calling in certain situations, but I don’t think anyone can claim that this isn’t an intricate and complex offensive scheme. It’s certainly more sophisticated than a zone read option like WVU ran under Rich Rod, or Auburn’s passing attack under Malzahn. Still, though, it’s really hard to argue w/ the results of those offensive schemes. It’s kind of like: “Okay, you’ve shown me that it works in practice, but does it work in THEORY?!”

            I just sometimes get a sense that CMB is forsaking what’s effective in an attempt to set up too many plays for the future.

            • Bobby

              And to be clear, I am not denying that our offense has been incredible this season. I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s been utterly dominant. I don’t know if that’s evidence of CMB’s growth as an offensive coordinator, or the result of having better, more experienced talent. I don’t really care. I love it.

            • James Stephenson

              Thats true, but if you get the LBs not playing fast, and thinking for just a second, that is all it takes. I do not remember that pull guard slant last year. Maybe it is the personel, Murray’s growth, or maybe he saw someone else use it. We have pulled that play from LSU, so maybe he either A saw it in person or B saw it on TV. That guard action seems more NFL than college to me, but who knows.

      • Macallanlover

        Exactly, SCDawg. And not just giving what the defense gives you, utilizing all your playmakers…not just depending on 1-2 stars. Look at the passing distribution numbers, who does a defense set for? When AJ was here defenses were able to focus on him (with limited success) and there was a gap before you got to our other receivers. Now I see a Marlon Brown, TK, Bennett, Conley, Wooten, and Lynch as interchangeable parts in the passing game, all reliable. We can also run three very talented RBs at you with two solid blockers at FB….all who can be utilized as receivers at times.

        The Pirate gave his definition of balance as spreading the ball to all your playmakers and not becoming dependent on 2-3 players, making the defense cover the whole field on each play. I think UGA’s offense exemplifies that as well as I have seen in the SEC. If the OL can give Murray a little time, or give the runners a sliver of an opening, this offense will put 30+ on the board against our entire schedule. Stay healthy my young stallions!

        • DWH

          Good post! Seriously, I know I’m a homer and all, but name me a better group of receivers right now in the country? Of course, a lot of that has been AM being sharp too, but still.

        • Will (the other one)

          Agree with most of that, though I’d say our TEs haven’t proven as reliable a threat yet. In Lynch and Rome’s defense, the backs didn’t look good as pass threats until the Vandy game, so there’s still time.
          But this is easily the best overall group of WRs under CMR’s entire tenure. We may not have the obvious NFL-ready top two of the MoMass/Green or Brown/Gibson years, but the depth is far better.

          • Macallanlover

            I included the TEs even though we haven’t used them much because Lynch did look good on his TD effort, and looked great on his opportunities in Spring games. Since he has demonstrated an ability to be used as a weapon if needed, I felt they must be saving that for when the defenses have found ways to blanket the other guys. (Lynch did drop a key pass last week but I am assuming that isn’t the norm the coaches/Murray have seen from him or they wouldn’t have dialed him up on a third down possession throw.)

  5. What fresh hell is this?

    Apparently Las Vegas is expecting some fireworks as most sportsbooks have the total on the game at about 61-1/2…..very unSEC-like.

    • Russ

      That’s about right…52-10.

    • fuelk2

      So if we’re still 14 pt favorites, I guess you could say Vegas sees us winning 38-24. I personally think we’ll break 40 again.

    • Macallanlover

      I was hoping for a lower over/under thinking the over would be the best way to play this game. The 38-24 number works for the point spread, and the O/U and is a fair assessment. I think the UGA points are about right, I projected UGA at 35-45 and UT at 16-24. I feel TN at 24 is defintiely at the high side and figured a cheap score (busted coverage, turnover, ST, etc) and allowed for good success in their passing game. I am hoping for our defense to be better this week, and if it is, there could be a defensive score for UGA, or a short field ala Mizzou. We are due for some turnovers, maybe this is the week we create a few. If we do, the dawgs could do better than my projection and beat them badly.

      Both lines look pretty decent so this isn’t the best bet to make, imo, although a small one for interest might be fun. I will take a W any way we get it, mostly I want no injuries.

  6. Rhymer Dawg

    Can Bobo take the time to be wise in his offense? He has the knowledge but his application of that knowledge comes around pretty slow.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Stop that! You are going to harsh Conjones’ buzz.

      • Cojones

        Thanks, AHD. I had the rapier drawn, but you called it before the hand-to-hand started. It’s great to see everyone recognize the feint to the Great O,ReO Coach with the subtle “Yeah, he’s smart, but can he apply it?” pome ‘d rue from long ago. Duuuh.

        There is some great stuff here today. Those who know the game well are informative, not pedantic nor coach-abusing in their info-sharing. Good Dawgs! Pat, pat..

        • W Cobb Dawg

          There are few Dawg fans who’ve been as skeptical about CMB than I have. But based upon the first 4 games this year, I’ve got to take my hat off to the guy. Seems we’ve abandoned most of the east-west plays that get us nowhere and been aggressive going down field. The O may have accepted the fact that they can’t afford to take their foot off the pedal, and that’s what we’ve needed to get us a shot at the mnc.

        • Rhymer Dawg

          I thought you put the rapier down. Pedantic? Uninformed? Coach-abusing? Why not just caress my cheek with your gauntlet?

  7. Krautdawg

    Senator, this is horrible! If the offense falls flat on Saturday, who do we blame?!?!?

    • King Jericho

      The quote was just Bobo giving himself an out just in case. Bobo knows he’s not allowed in Grantham’s room.

  8. Mike

    Most of the big plays that Tennessee gives up have thus far been in the running game.

    • That’s okay by me. Georgia has 14 runs of 20 or more yards this season.

    • Newt

      According to the article excerpts above, 70% of the plays of 20+ yards have been passes. But like the Senator says below, fine with us either way. Pick your poison.

      • Mike

        I guess I was going by our game with them, as well as the game last week when they have up a huge rushing TD.

        This web site says Tennessee has given up 23 rushing plays for 10 yards or more and 6 of 20 or more. As for passing, they have given up 25 plays of 15 yards or more and 11 plays of 25 yards or more.

        So, other then the fact that UT cannot stop the pass or the run, they have a pretty good defense.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Going by plays of 20 yards or more, 13 have come via the pass and 6 have come via the run. 4 of the 6 runs came in the Florida game though, so I can see why you’d have that perception.

      • Biggus Rickus

        By the way, Tennessee gave up eight, EIGHT, plays of 20+ yards to Florida. I am still trying to figure out how anyone could surrender over 500 yards to that offense.

        • Andre Ware

          Because they have the best quarterback in the SEC

          • Macallanlover

            To be the whole world soon, Tebow statue may end up at State Penn next to Joe Pa’s.

            Seriously, Driskell has answered the questions from early in the season and has Florida’s offense looking potent….based on the last two games. Realize this is a small sample and the jury is still out on TN’s D and, clearly, Kentucky is capable of making Auburn’s QB look like a Heisman contender.

          • Connor Shaw

            Um, hello?

    • Cojones

      Thanks for the insight gained from your game with them, Mike. Don’t tell me that both of us are pulling for each other to have undefeateds when we meet. That would be a gigantic WLOCP college football celebration.

  9. UGA defense this season seem to have more players who work and behave like professionals these season. More emotional control and avoiding defensive personal fouls. It should stay that way until their destiny of holding that crystal ball. YO man.

  10. Vols will have to pick their poison as I think UGA did last season with a new defensive scheme.

  11. Cojones

    Place yourself into the Tenn coaches’s positions. Wouldn’t you be pretty nervous right now trying to cover all the holes? I’ll bet money that will translate to the players at the start of the game. They could be jumpier than a fresh-fucked fox in a forest fire.

  12. AusDawg85

    I don’t believe that article is correct. Bobo knows that any OC who stares into Grantham’s eyes immediately turns to dust, thus the need to stay away from him at all times (separate ends of the practice field, press box, etc.).

  13. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I watched film of the Akron Zips-UT game and got more insight from that than the Florida-UT game. The UT O-line is big but not very mobile and does not look overpowering either–very average O-line. The UT backs are OK. The receivers are excellent, tall and fast with good moves and sure hands although they dropped a few against the Zips. Bray has an excellent arm and is accurate as long as he is not pressured. When pressured he panics and is just as liable to throw the ball directly to the other team as he is to complete it. Pressure him and the passing game disappears. The UGA D-line and LBs should have little problem with the UT run game, IMHO. UT has some decent D-linemen and LBs. There is a weakness in the UT secondary and UT should be particularly vulnerable to the long pass. UT beat Akron by 21 but they only lead by 4 halfway through the 4th quarter. The score got out of hand because of a couple of pick-sixes thrown by the Zips QB late. I don’t want to jinx us but I really like UGA in this game.

    • beege

      Oh man, a few years ago I worked with a fratball who had the poor forutne to grow up in Florida and compounded that with the poor decision to attend Auburn. Unsuprizingly, he was a great advocate of ‘the party enema’.

    • SCDawg

      Uggh. You are just not supposed to do that.

    • Will (the other one)

      If something is described to you as “butt chugging” why in pluperfect hell would you agree to it? (I know there’s actually a medical reason, but still. And why wine? Just to give the reporters a chance at a bad “mouthfeel” joke?)

  14. Scott

    On the defensive side, Alabama, LSU and Florida have each only allowed 1 play of 30 or more yards. UGA has allowed 11 plays of more than 30 yards. We didn’t fare too well in that department last year in comparison with the other top rated defenses.

    • Macallanlover

      I agree, we lay an egg in almost every game with a blown coverage, loss of contain, lack of discipline on misdirections, etc. We are so close, so very close. We can be very good with this level of errors, but we cannot be outstanding until we get it fixed.

      • Scott

        Last season, I think we fell victim to every trick play attempted. This year I am hoping the big plays are related to the moving around of players to cover for the suspensions.

      • By Georgia We Did It

        How many of those plays have we given up in garbage time?

        • Will (the other one)

          Not as many as I’d like. I know all of them against FAU and Mizzou were in the first halves or 3rd quarter.

          • Scott

            8 of the 11 were passes. That fact and Tyler Bray makes me uneasy. We had such a good defense last year with most everybody coming back. I think we should have just left it alone and not tried to bring in Malcolm Mitchell and move Sanders Commings,

            • adam

              Sanders was just playing safety until Rambo gets back. Rambo should eliminate most, if not all, of those big plays. They mainly came from Connor Norman’s or Sanders’s miscues.

            • Lrgk9

              IMO, bringing Mitchell over to get him ready for games where we have a lead in the second half. Got to have his talent to match up with the stellar WRs when we have a lead late.

        • Scott

          Not many occurred in garbage time. Most of these occurred in the first half. Didn’t you watch the first half of the FAU and Buffalo games? FAU had 3 plays of over 30 yards in the first half against UGA, All three occurred before the score was 14-14. Buffalo had close to 300 yds on us in the first half. Missouri had some big plays, including two very long td passes to go up 17-9 on us.

    • Scott, you’re wheezing on my gig.

      • shane#1

        Speaking of gigs. there are some big gigs coming up in Albany Oct 12,13, and 14. Lynard Skynard, the Drive By Truckers, Big and Rich, Uncle Cracker, Colt Ford and many more, go to for details. Come on down to God’s own country. While your here you might like to drive over to the quaint little town of Shellman, Ga that is only thirty minutes away for the Boudleaux Bryant Festival. If you don’t know the name you will know the music. His songs were done by everybody from the Osborne Brothers to Buddy Holly to Tony Bennett to Linda Rhonstadt. He also wrote all of the Everly Brother’s hits. Warning, Boudleaux wrote “Rocky Top”. Must of been a moment of weakness. Here’s hoping we don’t hear that one too often Saturday. I have some good friends that have worked very hard and spent their own time and money trying to bring some life and good old American spirit to this economically depressed area. We all would greatly appreciate the support of my friends that I have never met.

        • Shane, I lived in Allbenny in the earyly 70’s. I loved it. It was laid back and easy. Have some good friends from there.
          I have read somewhere that the author of “Rockytop” was unknown. Maybe they just didn’t want to claim it….If Boudleaux wants to claim it, he’s got some serious royalties coming from UT.

          • shane#1

            Unfortunately Boudleaux is dead now. He wrote” Rocky Top”, along with many others. To the tune of 300 million copies of his songs sold. Just google “Rocky Top”. While you are at it you can google “Wake Up Little Susie:” by the Everly Bros. Bryant was born in Shellman and grew up in Valdosta. He played violin in the Valdosta Symphony as a young man. Boudleaux had studied classical violin. He lived most of his adult life on his ranch outside of Nashville.

  15. Exiled in TX (Where the orange is just another shade of infuriating)

    I am a long-time GTP reader and loyal UGA fan. We’re talking CMR through thick and thin, watch the game by myself in a closed room and shouting at the TV, hate my GT friends in a good way and haven’t worn orange since I outgrew 2-yr old pumpkin costumes. With that said, these first four games appear to me like the players are playing with the confidence from the post-Auburn 2007 season. That Mizzou comeback win was huge for self-esteem. However, you have to go back to 1987 to find the last team to beat UT, USC and UF in the same season. There’s your sobering reality. Let’s take this one small bite at a time, and keep the penalties low as we do it. And if I’m not asking too much, win the turnover battle and catch the ball.

    • AusDawg85

      Welcome. Urnge is burnt in Texas because it’s still 90+ freaking degrees in late September here!!

      Mark Richt has lost control of the Texas weather and you failed to blame Bobo. (insert smiley thingy here) ;-0

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