Poll time: Who deserves most blame for Georgia’s offense?

Mark Richt, Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo are wondering what happened to the offense.

Mark Richt, Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo are wondering what happened to the offense.

Before getting to the point of this blog, let me quickly weigh in on Georgia coach Mark Richt’s decision to kick Demetre Baker off the team for a DUI and underage drinking: kudos.

This isn’t to celebrate a foolish youth’s mistakes. Baker isn’t the first college kid to be involved in underage drinking and driving. But Richt’s only hope of getting through to players in his program — which has seen 10 arrests since the spring — may be a zero tolerance stance because clearly nothing else has been working.

Who deserves the blame for Georgia's offensive problems?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Baker will be fine. Public humiliation is a shock to the system but it can be good for one’s personal growth.

Now, about the Georgia offense: No kudos.

The Bulldogs were held to two field goals at South Carolina, smothered for a good part of the Arkansas game and were limited to two field goals Saturday at Mississippi State until a meaningless touchdown with 1:27 left  in the game.

Pass protection has been erratic and run blocking has been poor, surprising given that the offensive line was supposed to be the strength of the team. Quarterback Aaron Murray has made typical freshman mistakes but for the most part he has been impressive. The running game has been disappointing and Kris Durham has been the lone receiver to make big plays in the absence of the suspended A.J. Green (who returns this week).

So who should take the most blame for this? Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has been the most criticized. He deserves some credit for falling on the sword in Starkville, saying: “You can’t turn the ball over, and you can’t have penalties. That’s coaching. It’s our fault.”

But by now, you should know where I stand on this: Issues always start at the top. To me, the problem is less play-calling (albeit, that’s some of it) than it is attitude and intelligence. That’s on the head coach.

Whom do you blame for the struggles? Here are some options:

♦ Richt: The Dogs did not look prepared to play Saturday in Starkville, nor have they looked well prepared in the past several SEC games (2-7 going back to last year). They often don’t play with a sense of urgency. They’re not committing as many personal foul penalties in the past but we still see too many mental breakdowns and times when they get beat physically. The head coach sets the tone.

♦ Bobo:  He has been criticized for not using more high-percentage short passes in the game plan, and for a lack of creativity in the game plan. But as we’ve  previously discussed in this corner,  Xs and Os don’t work if a team isn’t knocking over the opponent.

♦ Stacy Searels: Either Georgia’s linemen have been way overrated or the offensive line coach isn’t coaching them up. Searels is in his fourth season in Athens. He was highly regarded when he arrived from LSU in 2007 and was believed to have been given a raise to not go to Auburn with new head coach Gene Chizik last year.

I’ll throw two other choices into the poll: All of the above and none of the above (which is a vote to blame the players).

So who takes the hit for this?

LogoGrass_652173aSACK SCHULTZ: Dude, this contest is like totally ruining my street cred. Went 10-5 last week. At 31-14 overall. Two guys named Ills (Georgia) and Axmann (Wisconsin) lead at 39-6. I’m pretty sure they’re cheating. If you haven’t played, it’s not too late too humiliate me! Click here for details and then here to enter.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

845 comments Add your comment

Here we go again

September 27th, 2010
1:32 pm

Blame Canada.

Scrap

September 27th, 2010
1:33 pm

First??????? There’s enough blame to go around, but one thing for sure, that wasn’t UGA football Saturday night………and I’m a Tech fan.

elvisaintdead

September 27th, 2010
1:33 pm

Responsibility starts at the top.

Jamaaliver

September 27th, 2010
1:33 pm

Richt is ultimately responsible for the whole she-bang. especially when you remember he was an offensive ‘genius’ back at FSU in the 90s. it’s his boat to fix. Regardless of who the QB is.

wintervilledawg

September 27th, 2010
1:35 pm

Am I actually first for once?

Jaw ga Tards

September 27th, 2010
1:36 pm

True Dawg

September 27th, 2010
1:36 pm

It is a group effort…..but that starts at the top. Teams play like they practice. Richt’s practices are not physical enough and lacks enough repitition. Too much emphasis on scheming and not enough on blocking and tackling. He has placed too much loyalty on Bobo and doesn’t want to over-ride him…..but Richt is also astute enough to recognize that changes have to be made–and he will make them. He will survive this year with a 7-5 record. Next year will be make or break.

Scrap

September 27th, 2010
1:36 pm

Oh Shultz……I’m sacking ya……….so far.

BullDawg Rick

September 27th, 2010
1:37 pm

CMR & the ENTIRE staff need to GO! If they do not resign enmass at season’s end, the new AD needs to show them the door.

Mark Richt as a man, is a good person, to a fault.. His blind loyalty to his staff is his undoing.

quinn

September 27th, 2010
1:37 pm

The only explanation for an offensive line that EVERY YEAR starts slow and finishes strong is a lack of physical conditioning out of season. It baffles me how the running game can be this poor. I am tired of draw plays on second and third and long. Mike Bobo may one day develop into an adequate coordinator but to me that is why Coach Richt was hired in the first place, because HE was a great O-Coordinator at FSU. While I acknowledge that at times Richt was predictable in his playcalling it is CRYSTAL CLEAR that Bobo is overmatched much like Martinez last year. Not that he cant one day have success but I question how is it we are supposed to compete for championships when the coordinators at other top programs have far superior resume’s.

Here we go again

September 27th, 2010
1:38 pm

You could also blame the “arms race” that is SEC football. It’s ridiculous. You have Saban, Meyer, Petrino, Miles, Spurrier, Richt, etc all in the same league. And they can’t all win (even if they CAN all have teams full of underage drinkers and drivers).

MURPHY

September 27th, 2010
1:39 pm

Everyone is to blame. Coaches and players.But you are right Schultz it starts at the top and our program is in deep crap. I just cant for the life of me see how this University has let this program slip to the level it is at now. Very dis-heartning to see this.

Here we go again

September 27th, 2010
1:41 pm

que paso con mi comment, schultz?

The rot is systemic......

September 27th, 2010
1:42 pm

…..and it starts with the head coach. Blow the whole thing up and start over.

Culture eats strategy for lunch.....

September 27th, 2010
1:47 pm

….an old saying in business that may well apply here. All the so-called strategy in the world won’t get anyone any closer to success if the culture of the organization/team is bad/corrupt/rotten.

Signs of the above from the business world mostly attributable to lack of leadership, which, by definition, starts at the top.

Blow the whole thing up and start over……

Barbara Dooley

September 27th, 2010
1:48 pm

Oh Lawdy, I guess I need to ease up on Herschel and let him get back to football. We was having some pillow talk the other night and he told me he would love to coach the Dawgs.

Ted Striker

September 27th, 2010
1:48 pm

Everyone shares part of the blame. Richt for the team’s complacency and lack of urgency, Bobo for mediocre and erratic playcalling, Searels for line play.

Btw, I wonder what Bowden is going to tell Richt when he sees him in Athens this week.

Dontavius Supremo

September 27th, 2010
1:50 pm

Either Coach Richt cleans house, or the AD does. I’d like to see Rick stay, but he needs to get past what one writer above calls “blind loyalty” to his staff. That’s true. Richt’s duty is to his players first, and then the fans (who pay the bills). Not Bobo, not any assistant coach, not anyone else but the players and the fans.

Josh Fowler

September 27th, 2010
1:50 pm

It starts and ends with CMR

LHardingDawg

September 27th, 2010
1:51 pm

I wish someone would clear up the deal where Ealey is in the endzone with the ball at his feet, without a helmet on, and the play is continuing. Would’ne the play be over the moment his helmet came off? And if the play was continuing, why would’nt he attempt to grab the ball. Help me out.

Supes

September 27th, 2010
1:52 pm

They ALL Share the blame…yes it starts from the top as it’s Mark Richt’s job to make sure the coaches are doing their jobs , but those individual coaches like Bobo have failed to put the team in the best position to succeed on the field.

Change is NEEDED in Athens. Do it now, and you can recover quickly, wait another season or two for things to get really bad…and you are looking at a 3-5 year plan.

Just take a look at FLA, I can’t stand them or their coach…but they lose so many KEY players and yet are still a top tier team…look at Bama, they lost many key defensive players and yet still find a way to get it done.

When is UGA ever going to come close to that under Richt??? Don’t answer that…

Elmer Fudd

September 27th, 2010
1:52 pm

I can coach and I don’t have a silly hair cut like CMR.

True Dawg

September 27th, 2010
1:53 pm

Force Richt to fire Bobo today and give him til end of year to get offense straightened out. No excuse for this they stink

Josey Wales

September 27th, 2010
1:53 pm

You gonna’ pull them coaches or are you just whistlin’ Dixie?

GW

September 27th, 2010
1:54 pm

While the coaching leaves much to be desired I have watched every Richt game live and in person except 1 ( at Arkansas 04). This team is small, weak and slow. That goes to poor recruiting and/or poor strength and conditioning, which are coaching issues. Too much recruit evaluation at camps only. Offensive problems now start with poor tailback play. The OLine could do better but a good back would help. Might as well abandon the I, get in the shotgun and throw caution to the wind, although there are WR issues too.

Sampson

September 27th, 2010
1:54 pm

We are bad and everyone knows it. So bad that lowly Miss St. has the confidence to go for it on 4th down in the 4th quarter in their own territory and gets it. Absolutely embarrassing

GTBob

September 27th, 2010
1:55 pm

CMR for sure. If the offense is not running properly then he needs to figure out whats wrong and work with Bobo to correct things. He cant just take a hands off approach and hope that Bobo and the other coaches figure it out on their own. Especially with his offensive background. He has been involved in creating the game plan for each game and its not going in the right direction.

Gman84

September 27th, 2010
1:55 pm

Richt is responsible for the success or failure of the program. This is why he makes over $2MM year. A lot of pressure a lot or reward. CMR and family will be fine having made over $25-$30MM in 10 years (not to mention the negotiated buyout).

That said, it sure would be swell if the asst coaches realized that the gravy train is coming to an end. I remember Rodney Garner saying he stayed at UGA instead of going to UT specifically because Mark Richt was such a great boss and a great person. Time to step up and save the guy.

Unfortunately it looks like the staff is taking advantage of Richt’s nature.

Me And Bubba

September 27th, 2010
1:55 pm

Why up here we kin coach whilst we are watching our stills.

SOGADOG

September 27th, 2010
1:56 pm

This is a strange situation. It is true that the Dawgs SEC record for the last eleven SEC games is atrocious. However, CMR had the program at 11-2 and 10-3 three and two years ago respectively. In Jan. 08, CMR’s team was ranked no. 2 in the nation following the 07 season. In 08, the Dawgs went 10-3 which by most team’s standards is very good.

Although I am sick of this losing streak and the off field problems, I vote we get behind Coach Richt and give him a much deserved chance to adjust his staff and fix the problems which I believe in time he will. I am not about to cut loose a good man who has brought so much success to UGA’s football program. Keep fighting Dawgs.

Bigdawg87

September 27th, 2010
1:56 pm

Everyone is to blame but Richt is the HC and needs to start putting some fear in his coaches and players and get them motivated!!

Dumped AD

September 27th, 2010
1:56 pm

You fellers should start wearing red panties under your unies.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 27th, 2010
1:57 pm

Jeff,

You were at the game, so specfically speaking whom do you think bares responsibilty? Last 3 minutes or so CMR looked desperate for ANYTHING to happen. What do you think?

Vince Dooley

September 27th, 2010
1:58 pm

If I knew the difference between Kennesaw and Kansas, I would volunteer to coach again. Barb, Barb, honey, where’s my medicine?

WonderDawg

September 27th, 2010
2:01 pm

I want to blame Bobo, but Richt said before the season that he would get more involved in the offense. What does that make him look like right now? As big of a novice as Bobo?

I’m not saying Richt got lazy, but somewhere along the way, his ego got the best of him. He thought he could plug in “Assistant A or Assistant B” and continue his early success. His
“system” would work.

What Richt didn’t count on was:

1) Willie and Bobo were just “yes men,” who really knew nothing about game planning or in-game adjustments
2) Other SEC schools started getting really good coaches (Myer, Saban, Petrino, etc) who then started spawning really good coaches. Now, every coach in the conference has the potential to beat a COMPLACENT coach with buddies for coordinators.

Richt needs to get see his mistakes and correct them, and I hope he can. UGA has lost three close games in a row, at least one we shouldn’t have. The program is not in shambles, yet. Get an offensive mind from the NFL and turn him loose with the quality playmakers we have, and things will turn around quickly.

azdawg

September 27th, 2010
2:01 pm

All the above. There’s enough blame stink and they all deserve a share.

Derek Dooley

September 27th, 2010
2:01 pm

I just have to hang on one year and I could land my dream job!!

Odell T.

September 27th, 2010
2:02 pm

Adams is to blame for not putting a stop to bad behavior from the time the Dogs sold their conference rings on ebay. Richt is to blame for recruiting hoodlums with promises of big NFL contracts and not enforcing any standards of behavior. Georgia fans are to blame for turning a blind eye as long as Richt was winning games. AJ Green is to blame for not knowing the dope dealer was an agent.

Devil's Advocate

September 27th, 2010
2:03 pm

CMR, pure and simple.

SNL Really? Segment.

September 27th, 2010
2:04 pm

CMR said they call running plays without considering the defense scheme….REALLY?

Dawgfan

September 27th, 2010
2:04 pm

O line play and lack of player development/improvement. Which comes to coaching up the players.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

September 27th, 2010
2:05 pm

I voted Bobo, but there is a lot of fault to go around.

Richt does bear some of the burden. He’s at the top, but I don’t think he’s the core problem. Look at the Arkansas game last week when he coached the team up at the start of the 4th quarter. They came back and would have won that game if not for that horrendous call on 3rd and 4 (made by BOBO). BUt again, Richt knows the plays being called, I imagine, so he’s not completely outta the woods.

Bobo takes the largest portion of the blame, methinks. Uncreative playcalling, while bothersome, doesn’t get to me as much as Bobo calling crap plays when he should know it’s gonna be a crap play. How many times did we try to run Carlton Thomas (the SMALLEST of our RBs) straight ahead into a blitzing Miss. St. defense? Use the toss play with Thomas, for goodness sake! And why did Caleb King only get a handful of carries? Is his ankle still not 100%? And why not throw the bomb until the game’s over? And why use play action at all against a blitz-heavy defense like that? It just takes time you don’t have to develop a play. Bill King was right: if there isn’t amazing talent to compensate (Stafford, Moreno), Bobo shows he sucks as a playcaller.

On the other hand, though, the O-Line is playing ATROCIOUSLY. For a team that has a million combined starts, they’re playing like a buncha schlubs. Did anyone else see the play against MSU where literally NO ONE on the line blocked ANYONE and caused Ealey to get nailed behind the line? I’d demote all of them and open up competition and make sure the best men play on the line. I don’t care if they’re walk-ons, vets, freshmen, whatever. This o-line (coached by Searels) was supposed to be the heart of this offense, but it’s become the biggest on-the-field liability.

A.J. Green also is at fault. Yeah, I don’t know if we’d have won with him there, considering the horrible o-line, but when your most talented receiver does what he did, it hurts the team. Honestly, I’d boot him from the team at this point. Or at least not play him. Yeah, the rule that got him booted is antiquated, but it’s still the rule. And he knowingly broke it. I hope that $1000 was worth it, A.J.

I can’t find too much fault with the defense. Yeah, they’re not perfect, but they’re doing heads and shoulders better than last year in terms of points given up. Yeah, I wish we could play a game without giving up a TD on the opponent’s first offensive series (making us play from behind), but they’re showing improvement over last year, which is what we wanted.

We are also making mistakes that are costing us TDs, including the blatant penalty that cost us Durham’s amazing TD run and Ealey’s multiple fumbles. Speaking of which, when did Ealey get butterfingers? I don’t remember him fumbling hardly at all last year. What happened?

Hell, the best player on the team is the one we were the most unsure about: Aaron Murray. Kris Durham is also doing extremely well, but I hope he doesn’t miss any time due to his injury. Have we heard anything else about that?

So, to wrap it all up, there’s more bad than good, but there’s still some good. And I think Mark Richt is still the man to right the ship. However, I think that if things get really, really bad, he’ll resign before he gets forced out. He doesn’t seem like the type to make the school/team potentially suffer because he doesn’t want to go. UGA is more important that any one man, and I think Richt understands that.

UGAgrad71

September 27th, 2010
2:05 pm

Time for Richt to go. He cannot/willnot change. Football is a game of emotion, and UGA is flat as a pancake.

JB

September 27th, 2010
2:06 pm

I watched the OL real close and often during the game…………Worst I have ever witnessed.
Shoulder bumping will not get it. No aggression. Beat several times on bull rush’s….Nowhere for the RB’s to run. The other problem is the WR’s, except Durham, are getting NO separation.
couple that with the line play and we don’t belong in the SEC at this time….I think the D is good enough for us to win some games…………BUT WE GOTTA SCORE AND HELP THEM !

Dawg Tell

September 27th, 2010
2:06 pm

He’s the CEO! The buck stops there! When you win you get the glory and pay. When you lose you get the criticism and loss of job. He is the eyes and ears of the program. He must have the day to day pulse of total operation.He is the captain of the ship. If the ship veers left;he must steer right.As I have said before,Richt has obtained political Capital in Athens town.This will not be his last season here.He will be given one more chance to right the program and have FULL SUPPORT of the administration.This all changes if he gets tired and burned out.Then he resigns.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 27th, 2010
2:07 pm

That was a crazy comment! Calling running plays blindly. It was obvious really. What was the series in the 4th quarter where it was 2nd 11 and they lined up I believe in a tight formation. I almost fell out. 4th quarter, trailing its 2nd and 11 and they line up tight? The situation on the field was completly out of hand.

82Dawg

September 27th, 2010
2:08 pm

It is not one person’s fault, it is all of theirs. Coaches and Players hands down!!

route66

September 27th, 2010
2:08 pm

Coach needs to get players and coaches that have as much passion as the fans have. Enough of the excuses.

MURPHY

September 27th, 2010
2:08 pm

LHardingDawg,

Look to me like Ealy got his bell rung and didnt know what was going on.I believe the hit scrambled his brain for a bit.

McDawg

September 27th, 2010
2:09 pm

simply no intesity-is Figgins playing at all??