Mike Bobo was handed the reins to the offense
in time for the Georgia-Auburn game in 2006. It was an auspicious debut, but Bobo’s had his share of bumps and bruises along the way. I’ve been as critical of his inconsistent playcalling over the years as anybody, but I thought he turned a definitive corner last season.
Taking all of that into consideration, Mike Bobo painted his masterpiece yesterday.
He was in total command from start to finish. He schemed around an offensive line that, while better than last week, still struggled significantly in pass protection. And don’t forget the masterful job he did as position coach, either. When Aaron Murray comes out firing on all cylinders, look out.
On to the bullet points.
- All I want for Christmas is the Quayvon Hicks jersey concession.
- Amarlo Herrera played his guts out yesterday. It’s a shame it went for naught, but he made an incredible stop on a middle screen during SC’s last scoring drive of the first half. He was also in on the Shaw fumble, which in my mind was the turning point of the game.
- The bomb to Scott-Wesley was my favorite play on the day. Aaron Murray’s field presence was awesome to watch. Beard was beaten on Clowney’s first move, but came back to redirect him just enough to give Murray time to make the throw. And JSW was so fast that he made the DB look like he gave up on the play after the reception.
- I’m sure it’s easy to mock Clowney for a relatively quiet game, but that man is freakishly, freakishly fast. Gates tried, but really did nothing with him all game. The one sack came so quickly that I was impressed Murray had time to protect the ball. And one of his tackles for loss came running Gurley down from behind. I won’t miss him next season.
- Speaking of missing someone, Carolina sure could have used Lattimore once or twice. Not to take away from Davis, who had a terrific game, but the Gamecock running game is a lot more finesse than power these days.
- Georgia’s last drive reminded me a lot of that 17-play monster the Dawgs pulled off a few years ago against Ole Miss to close out a game. In some ways, this was even more impressive, starting from the one. The pass to Hicks was a thing of beauty. I’ll bet you that drive gave Mark Richt more satisfaction than anything else his team did yesterday.
- Great crowd. In fact, the crowd was almost too enthusiastic, as the offense had to quiet things down a couple of times.
- Very smooth, Patrick Beless.
- You knew things weren’t going to be like last year on Georgia’s very first drive. Clowney actually got to Murray on a long pass to Bennett and altered the throw, but Bennett, with an assist from a Gamecock secondary that was as weak as the d-line was strong, still was able to make an easy catch of it.
- I don’t care about the Heisman, but if you’re talking about it without mentioning Todd Gurley’s name, shame on you. As tough as he ran, his touchdown catch might have been his best moment of the day.
- I thought Keith Marshall couldn’t run between the tackles.
- Nice to see you back in the passing game, Mr. Lynch.
- Conley only had a couple of catches, but his downfield blocking was excellent all game.
- When Leonard Floyd figures out what he’s doing on a consistent basis, he’s going to be pretty damned amazing.
- I get that Langley struggled (although he did have one excellent pass break up). But where the hell was his safety help?
- This defense still needs a much better pass rush than it’s delivering.
- How ’bout that onside kick, eh? Perfect call, perfect execution.
- There is nothing more satisfying than watching Steve Spurrier pull off his head set with three minutes left to go in a game.
I started with coaching praise and I’ll finish with it. Mark Richt did a great job getting his team ready to play. I didn’t fault their effort at Clemson, but there was clearly a step up from the opener yesterday. His team was motivated from the start, kept after it, and, amazingly, wore South Carolina out. A good coach’s first job is motivating his team and Richt gets an A+ in that regard.
When coaches coach and players play, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.