Major test coming up for Dogs offense and Mike Bobo

Mike Bobo has left a lot of UGA fans exasperated. (University of Georgia)

Mike Bobo has left a lot of UGA fans exasperated. (University of Georgia)

So which was more to blame in last week’s loss to South Carolina, the Dogs’ poor-tackling defense or the impotent offense that couldn’t open holes for running backs, couldn’t break tackles, couldn’t get open for passes, rarely made a third-down conversion and couldn’t score a touchdown?

While redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray looked solid overall, completed a couple of impressive passes and threw no interceptions, he looked at times like he’d been told to play it so safe that he didn’t quite know what to do when pressured by the Gamecocks. On top of that, Mike Bobo’s playcalling was predictable and largely ineffective. Again.

Immediately after the game, Mark Richt said that what the Dogs needed to do was just let Murray play, and over the next couple of days he mentioned opening up the offensive playbook a bit more.

However, Bobo’s response in talking to the Bulldogs Blog has left a lot of observers of Georgia football scratching their heads.

“Our whole goal going into this year was to reduce the penalties and not give the game away by turnovers,” Bobo said. “Despite how the game went last week, obviously it wasn’t how we wanted, but you’ve still got a chance there to tie the game at the end if we don’t turn the ball over. You just gotta keep playing. I don’t really have the answers on how you’re gonna open it up with him. Just allowing him to make more plays, I guess, would be the answer.”

Among the fans left incredulous by that quote was my son, who e-mailed:

“Good lord, did Bobo see last week’s game? Yeah, we were in position to score a touchdown and fumbled it. Even if we had scored, I don’t consider 13-14 points an acceptable offensive output. Their defense is good, but it’s not the Alabama or Florida D’s of last year.

“Secondly, I have some ideas on how to open up the offense or at least change it up a bit and I didn’t play college football. Don’t call a run up the middle every second down after a first-down pass. Use those vaunted tight ends more for shorter, quick passes rather than the difficult, longer routes. … Let Murray scramble more to keep the D on its toes and have to adjust, so a linebacker has to watch out for that, which could free up some coverage on receivers and tight ends.”

Young Bill summed up his disgust this way: “I think I’d rather Bobo just not talk to the media and delude myself into thinking we know what we are doing on offense.”

I know a lot of you agree with my son, but I’m not quite ready to abandon hope on Bobo as offensive coordinator. I think another slow start for Stacy Searels’ offensive line hasn’t helped much. And I’ve seen Bobo call some games in the past that indicated he really could develop into a fine offensive mind. He just hasn’t done it consistently yet.

But I’m not sure how much longer we can wait for Bobo to put it all together.

As for his comment about not knowing how to open up Georgia’s offense, maybe he was just dissembling so that the Hogs won’t expect the unexpected. At least, I hope so.

We’ll find out Saturday when Arkansas comes to town with its high-powered offense and supposedly improved defense. This is a key moment in Bobo’s career as an offensive coordinator. All Dogs fans should want him to pass the test with flying colors. Otherwise, it could get ugly.

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250 comments Add your comment

Nooga' Dawg

September 16th, 2010
10:57 am

FIRE BOBO, FIRE BOBO,FIRE BOBO !!!!!

how2fish

September 16th, 2010
11:04 am

Hard for any play to work if your not getting blocking..UGA was convinced they could run on SC…they were wrong and it took a while to admit that…..this week will be interesting to say the least.

Jeff Head

September 16th, 2010
11:05 am

Bobo says he isn’t sure how to open up the offense. TELL HIM TO TURN TO PAGE 2 OF THE PLAYBOOK AND KEEP READING!

DawginLex

September 16th, 2010
11:06 am

I was amazed by his comment as well. I hope he was misquoted or it was taken out of context.

Mike, I have some suggestions for you if you truly don’t have an idea how to open things up.

1.) Your QB ran the spread in high school. Spread things out. Pass to set up the run. Use short out patterns instead of running for 5 yards. Get to 2nd down and then make the first down. Don’t try and run up the middle on 3rd and 2 when the whole stadium including my wife knows what is coming.

2.) Let your QB make plays. He is by far the smartest kid on rthe offensive sid eof the ball except for Chapas. Let him lead the team. Don’t hold back. I would rather lose all out taking advantage of athleticism and talent than lose trying to protect a young QB.

3.) Run some 2 or even 3 tight end sets but THROW out of the sets, not run. Change things up. football is about tendencies. Make the defense think and react. It reduces their aggressiveness.

I’m available most days on these blogs Mike.

dawgmanwayx

September 16th, 2010
11:10 am

While I’m hoping that Bobo’s offense breaks out this weekend and continues throughout the season, I have a sinking feeling that UGA is going to continue to slide into mediocrity. Obviously, the SEC has the best coaches and players, top to bottom, in the country. UGA, even after replacing 3 weak-links on the defensive staff, still appears to have a few 2nd rate coaches on the offensive side. I’ve come to accept we will not win a MNC under Richt. What do ya’ll think Spurrier would do with our offense? Could he draw up some plays to utilize our TE’s and WR’s? Of course he could. Bobo cannot.

dawginmemphis

September 16th, 2010
11:11 am

I’ve heard some commentary on how the lineman’s splits might not be wide enough ? Maybe some truth to that—its even harder to open a hole up the middle when its one giant clogged traffic jam. The defense is going to spread based on the offense—when the offense is so dang tight, the defense will be tight, and it just turns into a pile of crap in the middle. Anyone agree ?

Snoop Dawg

September 16th, 2010
11:11 am

Bobo Gotta Go.

KM

September 16th, 2010
11:12 am

If he does have an impressive game he’ll just go back to the conservative crap calling we’ve all become accustomed to until he gets beat again. Then he’ll be more aggressive and win and then go back to the same conservative play calling the next game. Bobo is REACTIVE……NOT PROACTIVE like all successful OC’s are.

DawginLex

September 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Agreed memphis dawg,

See my post above.

BTW, I love to fly into your airport and eat the interstate BBQ…………….

Murphy

September 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Our coaching staff knows football.Richt was ver successful at FSU and Bobo won his share of games including his record setting performance in his last bowl game. We need our coaches to put in the hands of the players,thats why we recruited them to UGA-They can play-Our coaches need to get agrresive and let these kids fly all over the field. I like Bobo but he needs to get that win at all cost attitude and turn Murray loose!!

Cuz

September 16th, 2010
11:16 am

Mike, ever thought about going back to QB coach? Just a thought from a fan.

DIT

September 16th, 2010
11:17 am

I can’t sit here and say “Fire Bobo. Demote him. Let him be the QB coach. Let’s just bring in someone that can put some life into our offense AND that can train Bobo on how to be a real OC. He has always been a solid Dawg. He’s just overwhelmed right now.

At saying that, they need to open up the offense and unload the kitchen sink. Defensively we need to keep the preasure on Mallet.

I for one still have confidence in a great season to come. Let the Big Dawg eat! Go Dawgs!

Murphy

September 16th, 2010
11:17 am

Cuz,
David Greene is available.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 16th, 2010
11:19 am

Murphy this isn’t 1997! I mean for real guys. This is kinda silly that it does not take a rocket scientist to prepare for UGA’s offense. Its predictable and boring. Hell, we used to run middle screens 5-6 times a game, where did they go to? Put Branden Smith (when healthy) in the slot and run a middle screen like we did with Champ! Do something, show us that the staff is thinking outside of the box a little!

kevin

September 16th, 2010
11:19 am

At the end of last year, UGA was dominating teams with the run. And, while I am sympathetic to critiques of Bobo’s playcalling over the last few years, I do not blame him in the least for running the ball. If anything, I blame a lackluster offensive line performance and slightly uninspired tailback performance for the offense stalling. Of course, on 3rd downs, we did not convert. It is here that Bobo should take some heat for last game’s playcalling. We did not have a lot of 3rd and longs–we should have done better and we should have some plays that get us 5-7 yards 70% of the time. Bobo failed in that regard.

Murphy

September 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Lowcountry,
1997? David Greene know the offense well and knows the ways of Richt well. Why so negative on the cooment?

Jeff Head

September 16th, 2010
11:23 am

All joking aside, we do not know how to run the football. Anyone interested needs to check out Alabama, and I’m not talking Trent Richardson. Their line and tight ends/H-back block, often double teaming the D line. They have a single back who then picks an opening and rumbles. We use undersized tight ends despite having Lynch and Figgins. We did not use the screen pass, underneath crossing routes, bootlegs to tight end or much of anything else against SC. Bobo played to keep it close (not lose big) and he did. Holding SC to 17 pts ought to equal a W in Columbia but with one arm tied behind his back and an underperforming O-line we did just enough to show an offensive pulse in Columbia. I have been a big Richt proponent but either Bobo changes or CMR has to stand accountable for the results.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 16th, 2010
11:23 am

If we have any legitimate concerns it is in the Red Zone. UGA for the past SEVERAL years has not been able to score 6 in the redzone consistently enough. We have a great kicker but playing in the SEC the difference in being a Champion or an also ran is often in the Red Zone and your success or lack there of in it.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 16th, 2010
11:24 am

Bobo won his share of games including his record setting performance in his last bowl game.

Can’t live of of what he did as a player. Hell, Michael Jordan was the best ever, but he drafted Kwame Brown. He may be a damn good dawg, but we can wait forever on potential.

kevin

September 16th, 2010
11:27 am

Jeff Head,

UGA was the best in SEC in running the football for the last 4 games of last year.UGA knows, or at least has recently known, how to run the football. Though, last Sat. the line played poorly, UGA was missing Caleb King and Ealey was not an inspired runner. Like poor tackling on defense, we can make improvements regarding line play and tailback performance–there is no reason to think we should not be running the ball as well as we were at the end of last year–which again was the best in the SEC.

Murphy

September 16th, 2010
11:27 am

Lowcountry,

The remarks were stating that both Richt and Bobo know how to win and have been succesful as players and coaches.GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORESE AND RESPECT THE COMMENTS OF OTHERS!!!

Carolina Dawg

September 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Dooley’s offense was boring and 3 yards and a cloud of dust!! Sure his offense got better when Herschel came along. Let’s see what Sat brings! I want a victory so some of you would quit complaining! It gets old every day the same people saying the same thing. We ALL know what is going on there. They have to win and if they don’t, things will change, no matter what any of us say. Let GATA this weekend! Go Dawgs!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Read Schult’s blog about a comment I made regarding that. I respect your comment, but have the right to point out to you my disagreement with it. Don’t be so insecure in yourself and your comments.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 16th, 2010
11:29 am

It is just football

September 16th, 2010
11:31 am

Fire BoBo
Fire CMR
Fire CWM
Fire CTG
Fire CSS
Fire AJ
Fire My waitress this morning that burnt my toast
Fire Bill King
Fire the new AD, He should have fixed things by now.
Fire Kirby Smart before he gets the HC job in 9 or 10 years
Fire the AJC
Fire my waitress this morning that served me tepid coffee
Fire the garbageman that left the handful of leaves in my driveway
Fire Nooga dawg
Fire the fans that don’t call for everyone to be fired
Fire anyone that has not been fired
Fire Jeff Head
Fire DawginLex
Fire Russ for not being solid white
Fire Hershel for not helping somehow
Fire that fan in sec 103 row 21 seat 2 that keeps screaming in an annoying redneck pitch, every time someone runs the ball saying “getum, getum, getum, getum, getum”
Fire Snoop Dawg

DIT

September 16th, 2010
11:31 am

AMEN!!! Carolina Dawg

Murphy

September 16th, 2010
11:31 am

Nothing insecure about it-Just see you being as a** and being disrespectful ! You can disagree thats what this blog is for but dont be an a** about it!

Bigeazy

September 16th, 2010
11:32 am

I know we didn’t tackle at all but if bobo doesn’t stop being so predictable on offense this year is going to get very ugly like 6-6 ugly

SickandTired

September 16th, 2010
11:34 am

Problem here is that this is Richt’s offense. As has been stated many times by me, Bobo’s hands are tied. The offense is the one Richt wants, Bobo has to stay in the get it to the 20 and don’t take dangerous shots into the middle of the endzone mind set. If you don’t like what Bobo is doing, you don’t like Mark Richt and you want him to run a different offense. Well the bottom line is that he doesn’t know enough to run anything else. So you say fire Bobo and hire and OC to come in and be innovative. That won’t do because the ego of Saint Mark is so high that he will NEVER turn it over to someone else. The only alternative is to fire him and fire him at the end of this season as soon as the Ga. Tech game is over with so we can go and get someone good. McGarity is the man to do that. Is he man enough to fire a now mediocre coach? Well he was at Florida when they pulled the plug on the Zooker. I for one am ready for this.

DawginLex

September 16th, 2010
11:38 am

It is just football,

Even though I am on your list, I spewed my diet coke out of my nostrils reading your list.

Try the Waffle House. The coffee is usually ok and the waitresses have their names on their shirts

76-DAWG

September 16th, 2010
11:38 am

Ealey didn’t have a good game because it was his first game of the year, because of his dumb sh##. I don’t think the team is practicing hard enough because CMR is so scared of injury. Therefore, it will take a few games for a lot of the players to get into shape. I think this week is the first week that the team is really getting after it in practice because they were so embarrassed by SC. At least I hope so.
It took 3 years too long for CMR to finally admit that the rest of the bulldog nation wasn’t delusional about Martinez. I hope it doesn’t take that long for him to admit that Bobo doesn’t have what it take to be an offensive coordinator.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 16th, 2010
11:38 am

Dude, you seriously need to review how the posts went. If you really think I was being an ass then your skin is really thin. My apology’s if so, as I am not goingto get into a crap contest with a fellow UGA fan.

Feel free to live on the merits of what CMR did at FSU and Bobo did at UGA. I however choose to live in the hear and now. You can take that as me being a smarta** if you like, but I ain’t here to make you feel better about yourself. So we can agree to disagree on our posting habits.

elvisaintdead

September 16th, 2010
11:40 am

Time for Mikey and his ‘prevent offense’ to go.

You can’t spell ‘boob’ without Bobo.

Jeff Head

September 16th, 2010
11:40 am

Kevin, So. Miss. had 340 yds passing vs SC. SC was giving us the short pass all day long and Bobo refused to take it. Twice in 3rf Qtr when we were driving Bobo tried Wildcat, with crowd going nuts. Result was penalty, etc, broke our rhythm. Bottom line is Bobo does not take what the D is giving. He sticks to his gameplan and lacks flexibility. Surely you would not argue that our passing game is not on par with So. Miss. ??????????

robodawg

September 16th, 2010
11:41 am

Bobo is running Richt’s offense. The plan all along (AND WE ALL KNEW THIS) was to let the running game carry the load while Murray developed. It should’ve surprised no one that Ellis Johnson boxed in to stop the run and that we didn’t score many points at SC. This is why, over the summer, so many of us chalked up the last game as a probable loss.

Yeah, we could’ve done better. But being realistic, for this one better would’ve been a higher average yards per carry in the running game. If you get in the red zone and can’t bulldoze your way into the end zone, or if you can’t bulldoze three yards on 3rd and short, this offense isn’t going to do too much. Yeah, we’ve got to put in more formations and be more creative as Murray gets more experience. But first thing to do is get the running game on track.

Michael

September 16th, 2010
11:42 am

I’m in the process of reviewing the game highlights. I noticed a couple of things on review.

1- Olson dropped a pass on the 2 yard line on Georgia’s 1st red zone drive that was a certain touchdown. Murray made a nice scrmble to his right, then threw back across the field to the middle of the field, hit Olson a little behind in timing, and Olson didn’t catch the td. This was not Bobo’s fault. It was a good playcall, and should have been 7-7.

2- On the 2nd red zone drive in the 3rd quarter, the O-Line got called for a dumb penalty, not Bobo’s fault. Then Ealey heads up the middle from the 9, gets to about the 2 yard line, and takes a vicious hit, and coughs the ball up. Atypical of Ealey, who rarely fumbles, and had already gained 6 yards on the run, so it wasn’t a bad playcall. Ealey just didn’t execute. SHould have been 14-14 if Ealey doesn’t fumble. Not on Bobo.

3- On the 3rd red zone drive, Olson bobbled the pass about 5 times, finally caught it, by then, the defense had caught up with him and brought him down at the 10 yard line. He was pretty open when Murray hit em’, but after the 5 bobbles, gave defenders time to catch him. I thought this was a decent call by Bobo. Would have liked to have seen some fades to the tall 6′ 5” receivers Brown & Durham, or a pass to the TE in the back of the end zone. The bobble by Olson killed the play.

So, Bobo’s play-calling was good enough to get the tema inside the 10 yard line on 3 different drives, and to the 2 yard line, on a dropped pass, and then fumble.

I’d like to see in the Red Zone:
1) Passes to TE’s in the end zone
2) Fade to tall receievers like Brown & Durham
3) Runs for Branden Smith or Gray coming out of the slot
4) Run/Pass options for Murray

But yes, offensive play-calling wasn’t creative strategically or effective tactically in the red zone.

doggit

September 16th, 2010
11:42 am

Get rid of Bobo – and the strength coach while your @ it. Did you see the size of Alabama’s players? Good Gosh – they look like monsters compared to our guys.

Matt

September 16th, 2010
11:45 am

How about a few screen plays to get Ealey in some space.

76-DAWG

September 16th, 2010
11:47 am

UGA may seem to be too soft but I think most of the teams that I have watch seems too be a lot softer than in past years. Alabama and a select few are the only exceptions. I think so many of the good players are now leaving for pro ball early that it has finally caught up with college football.

Cuz

September 16th, 2010
11:47 am

Jeff Head, I said before last Saturdays game that SC was vulnerable to the short pass and we should use it to open up the running game. Instead we try to establish the run, but what do I know, I am just a fan.

gomdawg

September 16th, 2010
11:50 am

the coach that was at texas teck

Hal

September 16th, 2010
11:54 am

ok, first of all, I don’t intend to give Bobo too many excuses but I will tell you this. Having played college football as a full back, there are 11 players on offense who if everyone of them beats their guy, on 1 play you score a TD from 99 yards away. It shouldn’t matter if Aaron Murray walks into the defensive huddle and tells the other team whats coming, they still shouldn’t be able to stop it completely if we man up and execute the danm plays. Charles drop a pass on his back hip with one foot in the endzone last week. Murray when given the chance didn’t run on at least two occasion because he’d been scolding last week for doing so. So much is given to “offensive genius” and its stupid to do so. Schools like Boise, Navy, et al need “schemes” because typically they don’t have the athletes to line up and smash you in the face and dare you to do anything about it. UGA is supposed to have those athletes. Florida does or has, Bama does and so do many others. We’re kind of at that “man enough” point Pat Dye brought up several years ago. Look back to last year, we got po’d, got a mean on and railroaded Tech at their own game… predictable play calling and all. Football is a game of 22 men smashing heads… 11 win, 11 lose… playcalling and scheming is window dressing.

DAWGS

September 16th, 2010
11:54 am

It’s not win or lose, it’s fall afternoons, good friends, pretty girls, good food and drink.

SSIgator

September 16th, 2010
11:55 am

“So which was more to blame in last week’s loss to South Carolina, the Dogs’ poor-tackling defense or the impotent offense that couldn’t open holes for running backs, couldn’t break tackles, couldn’t get open for passes, rarely made a third-down conversion and couldn’t score a touchdown?”

Answer: All of the above.

bardawg

September 16th, 2010
11:55 am

Bless his pointed little head, I loved him as a quarterback & even as our quarterback’s coach , but let’s face it , the boy is in way, way over his head as far as the offensive coordinator job is concerned. Truthfully CMR needs to put him back where belongs or cut our losses and le him go. ASAP

Falcon

September 16th, 2010
11:56 am

NFL plays are pretty predictable in the general sense college fans complain about, but predictability is never an excuse. Didn’t the dawgs drop a touchdown pass and fumble within the 5. Coordinator had the team in s position to win on the whole. It’s an embarrassment the dawgs beat writer sends fans to fan blog who thinks football should be approached like videogame, madden football

Sweat Socks

September 16th, 2010
11:56 am

Yes, great strategy–lose to SC and lull AK into a false sense of security.

Genius!

senoiadawgs

September 16th, 2010
11:58 am

Defense is more aggressive. It took a firing for that to happen. Maybe the only way we get a more aggressive is firing the OC. I for one am a fan of the Pro style offense vs. the spread. I don’t need to see the spread just aggressive style out of the Pro. We play to often to not make mistakes instead of going for the jugular.

SSIgator

September 16th, 2010
11:59 am

“Otherwise, it could get ugly.”

No Bill. It already is ugly the word should have been uglier.

NYC Dawg

September 16th, 2010
12:00 pm

CMR needs to take over play calling if we cant get rolling early this week… Coach Bozo does NOT have the tools to develop into a fine offensive mind, Bill. Let’s not get carried away here. He’s been the root of UGA’s issues on offense for years now. He should be demoted to just quarterbacks coach ASAP. Let him focus on getting young QB’s ready, and lets get back to prolific Mark Richt offensive play calling…