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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