Mike Bobo’s stats beat Mark Richt’s except where it matters: Wins

Mike Bobo's numbers beat Mark Richt's, except when it comes to the bottom line. (Associated Press)

Mike Bobo's numbers beat Mark Richt's, except when it comes to the bottom line. (Associated Press)

You can get a pretty good debate going among UGA fans by asking which has been more responsible for the decline in Bulldogs football over the past five years, the implosion of the defense under Willie Martinez that they’re still trying to recover from, or the play-calling of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

With Willie gone, Bobo has been the favorite whipping boy this season. And he’s certainly made himself a natural target with his tendency to be predictable, his insistence on running tiny Carlton Thomas into the middle of an underperforming line, Georgia’s red zone woes, and so on.

A lot of fans have called for Mark Richt to take back the play-calling duties. But has Georgia’s offense really been worse under Bobo than it was when Richt was calling the plays? UGA football historian Patrick Garbin has crunched the numbers for Bobo’s 46 games as play-caller and Richt’s last 46 doing the same, comparing offensive production (which, he admits, doesn’t necessarily equate to play-calling prowess).

What he found, surprisingly, is that Bobo’s offenses have averaged more yards per play, both rushing and passing than Richt’s, while scoring 15 percent more touchdowns and settling for fewer field goals. With Bobo as play-caller, the Dogs have had fewer turnovers (as hard as that might be to believe), been sacked less frequently and have punted slightly less. Bobo’s offenses have been more efficient converting on third down. And while the Dogs made more trips into the red zone under Richt, they’ve scored more points per red zone visit under Bobo. Average time of possession under the two play-callers is nearly identical, Garbin says.

The only measurement that clearly favors Richt as play-caller? Wins. Richt’s record was 35-11 overall and 21-9 in conference play while Bobo’s is 32-14, 16-11 in the SEC.

More fodder for the side arguing it’s been the defense, stupid.

A good gift idea for UGA football fans.

A good gift idea for UGA football fans.

By the way, for my birthday my son gave me a copy of Garbin’s latest book, “Historic Photos of University of Georgia Football” (Turner Publishing, $39.95), and I’d recommend it as a gift for any UGA fan. Lots of player, coach, mascot and game photos, mostly running a full page and covering UGA football from 1892 to 1980. Check it out.


Reader Mike Mullis e-mailed to say “you should write a story on the correlation of not having a ‘real’ Uga (no offense to Russ) on the sidelines with our current record. … It is bad luck not to have Uga VIII.”

Although Russ started out great with that upset of Tech last year, it’s beginning to look that way, isn’t it? But, actually, the real reason for the current losing streak is because my old lucky game shirt wore out! Sorry.


Last week, The Red and Black ran an article about the fact that there’ve been a lot of empty seats this season in the UGA student section. For the most recent home game, 18,000 ticket were allotted to students, but only about 10,000 showed up.

Trying to boost attendance for the Tennessee game, the athletic department decided to sell 1,000 student tickets to students who received split ticket packages that did not include a Tennessee ticket. (The premise was that not all the tickets already allotted were going to be used, so they could safely “oversell” the student section.) Plus students who have a ticket but aren’t going are encouraged to donate their spot back into the pool.

Beyond that, athletic director Greg McGarity is looking at what other schools do in an effort to come up with a system that would prevent empty student seats for the 2011 season.

“We’re suffering as a program, as an institution,” McGarity told the R&B. “When we’re on TV and they show the stadium, there’s 5,000 or 6,000 empty seats — that’s embarrassing.”

It’s not hard to figure out what at least part of the problem is. Georgia has now gone to a system where students don’t actually get physical tickets to the game; instead they are “loaded” onto their student ID cards.

This means that you can’t sell the ticket to anyone else. Or even give it away. In the past, a lot of students did both, even to nonstudents who managed to get in by showing a fake student ID with the ticket.

In preventing that, UGA officials just got a little too clever, it seems, and the empty seats are the result.

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150 comments Add your comment


October 7th, 2010
11:15 am

Mark Richt and company will get it figured out. Goooooooo DAWGS!!!!!!


October 7th, 2010
11:15 am


October 7th, 2010
11:19 am

Don’t let the door hit ya
where the Good Lord split ya, Boob-o.


October 7th, 2010
11:21 am

i have a lot of friends in tennessee lived there 15 years dont make me have to listen to it all year long please beat TENNESSEE


October 7th, 2010
11:25 am

UGA did get too clever with student tickets. You know what would be the perfect solution? Students show up with their student ID and present it at the gate for admission. First come, first serve. Problem solved.

As you say, Bill...

October 7th, 2010
11:26 am

…stats are for losers, and this year UGA is losing with BOTH Richt and Booboo calling plays…


October 7th, 2010
11:26 am

That would also solve the problem of students showing up late to kickoff

UGA Insider

October 7th, 2010
11:26 am

McGarity knows the only thing that will bring students back is winning more and playing at night. Don’t think that McGarity doesn’t have a worse case scenario plan in the works if UGA loses to UT, KY, UF and Auburn. I keep hearing the name Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburg Steelers in conversation’s I have within the program. I was criticized yesterday for saying this but people must remember….. These coaches have high paid agents who are constantly working for them trying to find them better gigs and more money. The new UGA AD has recieved numerous calls from agents about the possible vacancies. This is a big business folks, it’s how it works.

grad student dawg

October 7th, 2010
11:28 am

I’m a current UGA student and if you want to know why the student section is empty look at the time of the games. No student wants to roll out of bed at 7 to tailgate and go to a noon kickoff after staying out downtown all night.


October 7th, 2010
11:30 am

Interesting tidbit about the student tix. We still received real tickets when I was a student. But, that is also a flawed system. I knew of certain student populations that bought up all the football tickets they could with all intents to sell them for a large profit. It was infuriating to say the least.

Also, that’s shocking about the Richt vs Bobo stats. But I do remember how happy the fan base was when Bobo started calling the plays because under Richt we weren’t exactly lighting it up. I think one problem is the system. It hasn’t changed in 10 years. Our rivals have figured it out. Heck, our fans have figured it out. That said, the biggest problem is our players are flat out not executing. Our O-line went from first to worst in a hurry. Simply put, until we can start running the football we will be a bad team on offense.


October 7th, 2010
11:31 am

With the new ticket system in place, it punishes recent grads who could still get in with their UGA student IDs, (Real IDs) not fakes. Instead of contributing wads of money, we could just buy a student ticket and enjoy the game, but now they have taken that away.

It serves them right to have empty sections. They get what they deserve! I hope the entire EAST endzone in the upper deck is empty in the next few years like in was in 1995.

GREEDY Athletic Association


October 7th, 2010
11:35 am

What the stats don’t describe is the big difference between the 2 playcallers.

Feel for the game and situational playcalling.

Richt had it.
Bobo doesn’t.

Old Dawg

October 7th, 2010
11:41 am

Students not a noon football games? That’s a no-brainer. They’re not up yet. Win some more games and the Dawgs will have later kick-offs and more students.


October 7th, 2010
11:42 am

Wow, I’ll admit it, I’ve given Bobo too much of a hard time. Good job Coach Bobo. I was wrong about you.

Tell you what, with this current staff, the defense is already improving, giving up 10 points less to both SC and Ark than last season, that’s only going to get better as recruits come in that match Grantham’s vision, special teams are currently ranked #6 in the country at philsteele.com and usually top 10 in the country, I really do feel like this staff is good enough to win the SEC, just might win it this year, although a long shot.


October 7th, 2010
11:49 am

Nick = Kool-Aid drinker

the truth hurts

October 7th, 2010
11:49 am

dawgin lex…good point….

but let’s be honest here. you are comparing bobo to richt in a vacuum. that’s like saying that my daddy made $70,000 per year in 1970 and I make $110,000 per year in 2010…so I am richer than my daddy. we all know that doesn’t fly….you have to have a frame of reference…such as cost of living (in my example.)

Bill Walsh (a guy who knew a thing or two about football) used to try to make his teams in the top 5-10% of the NFL….statistically speaking. We know how that worked for him….

so…let’s rephrase the question….
how do their offenses compare to the rest of the NCAA….or the rest of the SEC?
right now, we are dead last or at the bottom in most categories.
that, plus poor defense = losses.

Colorado Dawg

October 7th, 2010
11:50 am

The thing about the student tickets being loaded on the IDs has nothing to do with it, or at least it shouldn’t. Auburn was doing that 10 years ago when I was at UGA and they still filled the seats. It’s apathy, that’s all.

On a related note, I was at the game last week in Boulder (my first live game in several years) and I was disappointed by our fans at times. Holding 25-30% of the stadium’s seats, the red clad Dawg fans were virtually silent when the defense was out trying to stop CU in the 4th quarter, and I’m talking about before the fumble. How can we expect the team to get amped and believe in themselves when the fans obviously don’t?

Gotta go find my hobnail boots now. Go Dawgs!


October 7th, 2010
11:53 am

Its not the tickets loaded onto the student ID’s thats the main problem. The problem is the fact that every single home game has been at 12:00. No one wants to get up early and hungover from partying on friday and tailgate for a 12:00 game. It sucks and is ruining the fun of gamedays. Just a down year for georgia all around. BUT, I will still support the team no matter what and always go to the games, win or lose. I think Mark Richt can turn things around.


October 7th, 2010
11:59 am

As a UGA grad and a parent of a current UGA student, the new ticketing system if tough. My daughter got partial tickets for the last 2 years, but opted not to get any this year, since she didn’t know if she could go to the games. Now she can’t go to any of the games without paying an adult ticket price. I realize that paper tickets are sold for above face value, but she was able to go to other games last year when her friends either sold/gave her a ticket.

The last year I was at UGA, they started the lottery. But before that, you just showed up with your ID and bought your ticket the Friday before the game.

Bring back the paper ticket if you want the stands full.


October 7th, 2010
12:08 pm

I’d rather have more visits to the redzone and wins. Please remind us of the Offensive stats at the end of the 1st quarter last week.

On the other note, you basically make it harder to tailgate, start multiple games around 12:30, and now students can’t unload tickets?

Fire Richt

October 7th, 2010
12:11 pm

Get a coach who has passion for football and winning and not OTHER things! WE WANT TO WIN, leave all the other CRAP at home.


October 7th, 2010
12:13 pm

Both coaches have no problem in recruiting thugs. Athleticism trumps character with them, and discipline is only for the third or fourth string.


October 7th, 2010
12:16 pm

Would some one please tell me about CMBs’ credentials as a coach….. Please….


October 7th, 2010
12:20 pm

Student population has not grown appreciably in the 25 years since I was at UGA, but the stadium has. Yet, when I was there, all students had tickets for all home games (you got a ticket book the week before school started, and you could sell/give them to a friend if s/he could get hold of a student id). We had a lottery for away games. Now, even home games are raffled to students. Why? They have more seats, relatively same number of students… Clearly they want more tickets to sell at retail and/or milk alums for. Maybe if Athletic Association wasn’t so greedy, more students would have tickets and seats would be full.

Mark C.

October 7th, 2010
12:22 pm

You should be able to transfer student tickets between IDs. I believe Bama does this.


October 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

Fans better get behind CMR. Rumor has it that Spurrier resigns at end of year and South Carolina is very interested in CMR and willing to offer staggering money. Don’t want to lose him to USC.

38 Yardline Dawg

October 7th, 2010
12:30 pm

HA! Bill now today you’re quoting Bobo nice stats? Wins are the only thing that matters. Some folks are saying we’re just a fumble or so away from 5-0. Hilarious.

Bobo does make some nice calls. But I’d like the analysis on strictly his RED ZONE play calling stats. Bet that would open some eyes.

Nevertheless, if you want to know the problem with UGA football: It’s the head coach, stupid. Ultimately, Richt is responsible no matter who is calling the offensive plays or disciplining the players.

If you can fire Damon after one offense, you can fire Richt after one season. Past performance is for people who live in the past…like those who relish our 30 YEAR OLD national championship.


October 7th, 2010
12:31 pm

Mike Bobo just looks like a moron. Every picture or shot I see of him he just reminds me of Karl Childress.


October 7th, 2010
12:33 pm

AND… CMR will turn it around. He’s a good coach with a good program. Clearly most of you armchair coaches don’t deal with 18-22 year-olds on a regular basis. Guess what? All the coaching and discipline in the world can’t make them do what you want them to do all the time. Get off his back and let him do his job and we’ll be fine. When I was at UGA, we had a couple of bad years (a few years after national champoinship, Dooley at the helm…), but everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten those times. I remember a couple of particularly humiliating whuppin’s put on us by Auburn and Tech between the hedges, but we still kept cheering on the dogs. We turned it around then and we’ll do it again now. If all you can do is whine like a puppy instead of bark like a real dawg, go cheer for another team.


October 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

Well duh!

Bobo’s play calling has been terrible, but it really wasn’t that much better with Richt calling the plays. I don’t understand why so many people believe that things will get better if Richt starts calling plays again. The big difference was Brian Vangorder and the defense. Georgia’s offense struggled mightily when Richt was calling plays, but our defense was good enough to keep us in games.

Here’s a look at some of Georgia’s scores from 2001-2004

UGA 9 – SC 14
UGA 10 – FL 24
UGA 17 – BC 24

UGA 13 – SC 7
UGA 18 – TN 13
UGA 13 – FL 20

UGA 10 – LSU 17
UGA 16 – UAB 13
UGA 13 – FL 16
UGA 13 – LSU 34

UGA 20 – SC 16
UGA 13 – Marshal 3
UGA 14 – TN 19
UGA 20 – ARK 14
UGA 6 – Auburn 24
UGA 19 – GT 13

Georgia was 7-9 during that time when they scored 20 points or less. Georgia’s defense kept them in all but three of those games. The problems with the offense is nothing new. We have always been pass happy, we have always lacked the ability to run the ball, and even when we run the ball effectively, we go away from the run for some strange reason. If you have a good defense, you can get away, at times, with playing this way. You CAN NOT play like this when your defense is average or less. You will not win many games.

You don’t have to look any further than Alabama to see what Georgia SHOULD be doing. Run the ball, protect the ball, call safe pass plays, have long time consuming drives, and keep your defense off the field. That’s a formula for winning when your defense if not very good. Richt and Bobo have never done this and never will.

Changes must be made.


October 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

Cuz’s UGA Home game schedule in the late seventies, early eighties.

Wake up at 6:00 AM, no matter what time you went to bed. Clean the frat house so it would be spotless by the time the alumni start showing up. Drag others out of bed to assist. If they resist, throw a bucket of water on them.

9:00 AM go to the Mayflower for breakfast. Return to the house at 10:00 and start drinking beer and greeting alumni.

11:30 AM get in line for the barbeque lunch for every home game.

12:00 Noon. Mix a bourbon and coke and head to the game. Use a plastic cup to throw away.

12:30 squeeze into the student section and start rocking Sanford. Get a coke for the bottle of bourbon you took to the game.

I don’t see what is the problem with the students making it to the game. All students were able to buy tickets and we filled our section up. We also made so much noise the old farts in the South stands had to yell back. Even in the 1979 season. I am not sure that we won a single home game that year.


October 7th, 2010
12:38 pm


October 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

Shouldn’t the blog be:

“10 Arrests vs 1 Win”?


October 7th, 2010
12:43 pm


Frank Lane

October 7th, 2010
12:43 pm

the offense analysis Richt vs. Bobo was very helpful. thanks.


October 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

Play DIXIE and the stands will be full and lively!!!!!!!!!!!! Why not??????????

True Dawg

October 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

Sounds like a problem of a greedy UGA sports association to me- Let those students sale those tickets if they want to-we need a full stadium-Really all you need to do is WIN!!!! then the stadium will be full

Spare the Rod

October 7th, 2010
12:53 pm

Students don’t care about it as much because it’s just a social event for them.
A chance to get on tv and have a blast. If you’re not up for it it’s no big loss as
they can party anywhere. I know that there are more students who don’t care for football or sports in general than ever at UGA. Might be a symptom of the rising quality of education and the fact that these students are not the same drunken fools that plagued UGA for years.


October 7th, 2010
12:58 pm

Why is the student section empty? Maybe they have no connection to the football thugs. Maybe they are embarrassed by the arrests, Maybe the arrogance shown by the players, as they cut in line in the dining halls, (since rules and laws don’t apply to them) has consequences.


October 7th, 2010
1:06 pm

Empty seats in that huge stadium? You guys have been ragging on Tech for that for years. How does it feel? Look for more empty seats in the games to come. Tech will have your stadium half empty by halftime when Tech puts the beatdown on ya! How is the change working out for ya?


October 7th, 2010
1:11 pm

Fire Bozo, move Richt to ofc and hire Scott Cochran for
head coach.


October 7th, 2010
1:13 pm

Just do it DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 7th, 2010
1:16 pm

Hey, Mo Dawg: They are just doing it: LOSING that is!


October 7th, 2010
1:18 pm

Perhaps McGarity should ask Dan Rad…Rada…what’s his name at tech….never mind.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 7th, 2010
1:18 pm

If anything this is article is more damning to CMR. I think the entire recruiting and offensive philosophy needs overhauled.


October 7th, 2010
1:20 pm

Just goes to show – totalitarianism and central planning back fires most every time.


October 7th, 2010
1:20 pm

Based on present results; I’m thinking that the “Dream Team’s Best Offense in College Football” is on hold until next year.


October 7th, 2010
1:22 pm

Uga relax. you will lose some more games but it will all be worked out and you guys will be on top again.


October 7th, 2010
1:35 pm


Coastal Jacket

October 7th, 2010
1:35 pm

Maybe U(sic)GA’s problem with empty seats has to do with their recent ranking as the country’s #1 party school. More than 1 student on this blog has commented that they can’t drag themselves to a noon game after partying all night on Friday. I’ve also heard from U(sic)GA students that Friday night now starts on Thursday.