We talked here earlier this week about Georgia’s game against Arkansas as something of a test for Dogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
Well, it was.
And he failed.
Yes, there were defensive lapses Saturday that the Razorbacks capitalized on, including biting on that play fake on Arkansas’ first score, but thanks to too many three-and-outs again this week the Georgia D was on the field entirely too long to try and keep a high-powered offense led by a talented QB like Ryan Mallett in check.
And showing a lot of grit the Dogs did battle back from a 24-10 deficit to tie it up 24-24 with 3:55 left in the game.
But after a fine defensive series got the ball back for Georgia and the Dogs had moved to midfield thanks to runs by Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas, the bizarre playcalling by Bobo that had plagued them all day reared its ugly head again.
Third and 4 and rather than a quick slant pass across the middle, or sending Ealey or Thomas wide, or rolling Aaron Murray out with the option to pass or run, instead Bobo sends all the receivers at least 20 yards downfield and has his QB standing back there way too long. The result is a sack that took Murray’s helmet (and nearly his head) off and the Dogs let a chance to win the game get away from them.
I’ll grant Bobo that Murray has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long in some situations. As Bobo said after the game, “We need to work on getting rid of the ball a little bit quicker.” But that’s to be expected of a redshirt freshman and Bobo knows that. So why put Murray into those situations?
And the play of Georgia’s offensive line continued to fall short, with run blocking up the middle virtually nonexistent and Murray’s protection falling apart too often.
But time and time again Saturday, Bobo showed a lack of a short-yardage game outside the red zone. On an earlier third and 1, Murray was sacked waiting on receivers to get open on long routes. All they needed was 1 yard and he’s looking to throw long??!!
This wasn’t a great defense the Dogs were facing in Arkansas, but at times Georgia made them look that way.
Yes, the Dogs missed suspended ace receiver A.J. Green on some plays, but especially in the second half Dogs receivers, including Kris Durham, Tavares King and the little-used Israel Troupe, came up with clutch receptions.
And because of the poor line play, the running game was inconsistent, though it occasionally showed flashes of what we had expected.
I’ll also give Bobo credit for at least loosening the reins on Murray and allowing him to take off with the ball, which resulted in Georgia’s first touchdown. But where were the tight ends for most of the day? Why didn’t Georgia make more use of the screen and quick hits over the middle?
And there was the predictability factor again in Bobo’s playcalling. When fans in the stands are consistently calling out what the Georgia play is going to be before the snap, you know your offense has a problem.
And I hate to say it, but I think that problem is Mike Bobo. Absent the superior talent of playmakers like D.J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, who made Bobo look good in the past, he is revealed as a rather pedestrian offensive mind.
I’ll have more on Sunday, but for now, have at it. …
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