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.

PICK YOUR JINX

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.

EMPTY SEATS IN THE STUDENT SECTION

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

RNB

October 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

I read the othr day ad I totally agree. It’s time for the fotball team to exite the fan base. For too long it’s been the other way around.

gomdawg

October 7th, 2010
1:38 pm

DON’T YOU REPORTER’S GET TIRED OF BEATEN SOMETHING TO DEATH. WE WILL COME OUT OF THIS AND WHEN WE DO I HOPE THAT YA’LL WILL FINED SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT.

gomdawg

October 7th, 2010
1:42 pm

IF CANNOT FIND ANYTHING TO SAY GOOD THEN WRITE ABOUT ANOTHER TEAM.

kirk herbstreit

October 7th, 2010
1:49 pm

Dog Insider–They have medications for your disconnect with reality. Mike Tomlin humh? Young coach with a super bowl ring of one of the 5 or so best nfl jobs leaves to a college job with a slightly better than average sec school. Yep, I can see that…

TennDawg

October 7th, 2010
1:49 pm

Not letting students sell their tickets? That’s like not letting a player sell his jersey. Oh wait…

THIS IS A.D.MCGARITY & RICHT IM WATCHIN U!

October 7th, 2010
1:49 pm

2 WORDS KIRBY SMART!

Gary

October 7th, 2010
1:49 pm

The proble I had with Richt calling the plays was how conservative he would get once we had a lead. He always felt the defense should hold the lead. If they didn’t the offense would have to start moving the ball again. Our Bobo offense seems to take chances on plays Richt would not call. I like it. We just need the D to prevent the other side from scoring.

rex

October 7th, 2010
1:52 pm

Hey gomdawg, spellcheck doesn’t work when caps lock is … Oh, forget it.

JB

October 7th, 2010
1:56 pm

No Mr. McGarity, Embarrassing is running little Carlton Thomas off tackle on every third and 8 we get in, which is most possessions. Why don’t we just wave a white flag and punt on third down.

mb

October 7th, 2010
1:56 pm

We have been Field Goal U since Richt came to town… Our success in the early Richt years was largely due to VanGorder’s D. As soon as we are in field goal range, run it up the middle 3 times and kick for 3. No wonder our kickers receive national awards…

JB

October 7th, 2010
2:00 pm

We are correct, you can’t get these college kids up and sober for a noon kick off, especially at 1-4…..

TOPDAWG

October 7th, 2010
2:16 pm

Who cares if they sell the tickets for above face to make a little cash. Its still better than having to donate thousands for an “opportunity” to buy tix.

Ed

October 7th, 2010
2:22 pm

If you’re a current Georgia student, please attend the game. You’ll never regret attending a Georgia – Tennessee game. Go to the game at noon, then party afterwards. Have a cookout and watch whatever SEC game ESPN is showing that night.

Now, I think ALL fans, including students, should boycott these joke games against I-AA and directional teams. Not out of disloyalty to UGA, but out of respect for your own finances and the history of Georgia football. Then, games like Clemson and Oregon will come back.

Mike

October 7th, 2010
2:22 pm

I think Alabama, and some other schools, do something with scanning the ticket or student ID, which is tied back to the student. So the school can tell if the student attended the game. If a student misses more than one game, they can’t buy tickets the following year.

Lilburn Dawg

October 7th, 2010
2:23 pm

Hey Billy, if USC wants Richt and they are willing to buy out his contract, I would say let them have him.

ColumbiaDawg

October 7th, 2010
2:27 pm

If the students won’t show up for the games, then just allot those seats to real fans who actually want to see the game.

Ed

October 7th, 2010
2:29 pm

No surprise regarding the Richt – Bobo comparison. Georgia has never had an explosive offensive when Richt called the plays, except for part of ‘05. Games where the offense were anemic during that time are easy to recall – UF in ‘02, ‘03 and ‘05, South Carolina in ‘02 (Pollack and the D saved us), and the critical first half against WVU when we couldn’t respond to their onslaught until it was too late.

The second half of the ‘07 season alone is enough to boost Bobo’s stats.

As I’ve said on here before, I don’t think he is the probably. Or his share of the blame is greatly exaggerated by fans who can’t bring themselves to criticize Richt. Bottom line: Richt runs the offense because he runs the entire team. He got credit in the early years when Pollack, Davis, Blue and co. were wreaking havoc on SEC offenses, so he deserves the blame when Georgia’s defense is no longer good enough to win games.

Ed

October 7th, 2010
2:30 pm

I don’t think he (Bobo) is the “problem”, I meant to say

jimmymack

October 7th, 2010
2:37 pm

fix W-L and you fix the empty seat’s

Jeffro Bodeen

October 7th, 2010
2:37 pm

I’m not TOO shocked at the similarity in their numbers. I will say this….I remember people being unhappy with Richt’s results when HE was doing the play calling himself. That is what resulted in that duty being handed to Bobo in the first place. Now that we have several years worth of data to compare their results to one another, and the results are practically the same if not slightly worse, then is it any BIG shock that people are still unhappy? Present this data to CMR and remind him of all the grumbling that was going on back then. Bobo is not a bad play caller…but he ain’t GREAT by any stretch of the imagination. BOBO GOTTA GOGO!!!! Pull that splinter out and let’s get on with it!!

Mean Machine

October 7th, 2010
2:58 pm

All this talk about Bobo’s poor play calling is garbage. You know what makes a great “play caller”? Players who execute. Great offense is determined by imposing your will on the defense. If the O line blocks, if the WRs run proper routes and get open, if the RBs break tackles, hold on to the ball, and pass block, then the offensive coordinator is a “genius”. The lack of offense with this team has nothing to do with play calling. The coaches have not done a good job of developing the players. If your offense executes, the defense can know what’s coming, and it doesn’t matter. Get off the play calling nonsense!

James Stephenson

October 7th, 2010
2:59 pm

And with Wins, if Bobo had BVG calling D plays it would probably be the same.

Honky Talkin'

October 7th, 2010
3:04 pm

After Georgia loses to UT, FL, KY, Vandy, Auburn & Tech (The jury is still out on Idaho St), there won’t be a problem with a few thousand tickets not sold. The few thousand fans that actually show up will have bags on their heads.

[...] BillKing: Everyone seems to blame Mike Bobo for out lackluster offense. We are as predictable on offense as a fat kid is to pie. But by pure numbers Bobo runs a much more efficient offense then Richt did when he was the play caller. Except for in one giant category. Read to find out. [...]

wildbill

October 7th, 2010
3:20 pm

Mean Machine has got it exactly RIGHT.

AUAlum

October 7th, 2010
3:33 pm

Auburn has had tickets on the student ID cards for a long time now. We still sold them to others…all you have to do is get it back from them (you just meet them the next day) or cancel it and go get another id card. Its not that hard.

Phil

October 7th, 2010
3:45 pm

They both suck, that’s the comparison that really matters.

droopydawg

October 7th, 2010
3:46 pm

OK, maybe Bobo had better production, but that includes the entire time Stafford and Knowshon were here. Compare Richt’s last 26 vs. Bobo’s last 26 and I guarantee there is a big difference.

Mike Bobo

October 7th, 2010
3:46 pm

3rd and 4, EVERYBODY GO DEEP!!!!!!!!!

Fat Ball Coach

October 7th, 2010
3:46 pm

My daughter tried to swap her tickets so she could go with most of her friends who had the other 3 games….well no luck..can’t do it…….she did buy one of those TN tix from UGA….now they better win…..she was there for their only victory this season…time for the second!

Exley DAWG

October 7th, 2010
3:47 pm

These students are losers. When I was there in the mid 90’s we had terrible football and I had my butt in the stands at every home game. Watching UGA football in Sanford Stadium is a privilege. Don’t give me that hangover crap. Just mix another one, put your red shirt on, call your boys, and GO TO THE DANG STADIUM!

Mike BoBo

October 7th, 2010
3:52 pm

3rd & 29 from the 50. Grab the kicker!!

NOOGA DAWG

October 7th, 2010
3:57 pm

Two more words, Scott Cochran !!!

Jeff Schultz

October 7th, 2010
4:03 pm

Offer a FREE Herschel Walker Nude ESPN poster with purchase.

I’ll take 6!

Billy

October 7th, 2010
4:19 pm

GA will win out, go to SEC championship–win and finish 5th in national rankings. This team is about to roar (or bark). UGA will be able to defeat Alabama in a matter of a couple of weeks.

MURPHY

October 7th, 2010
4:53 pm

That picture you have of Dooley on the field in Jax starring down the Gaytors in your article is exactly the attitude our coach must get. If Richt had that look more I sure would be confident in our team.

Jayson

October 7th, 2010
5:00 pm

Sometimes it helps to compare coaches.

Who’s better: Nick Saban or Mark Richt?

Top 10 finishes: Richt has more, 6 in just 9 seasons, Saban 4
Top 5 finishes in final polls as an assistant: Richt has 12, Saban 0
Number of Heisman winners coached: Richt has 2 at FSU, Saban 1
Number of National Championship appearances as a coach: Richt has 5
Number of players in the NFL: Georgia has over 35, Alabama 25
Number of Captains on NFL teams: Richt’s #1 in the nation
Winning percentage: Richt’s 76%, Saban 70%
Number of years with 6 or 7 losses: Richt 0, Saban has 6
Top 3 finishes in the final polls as head coach: Tied at 2 each

JaxDawg

October 7th, 2010
5:09 pm

and why the school officials are very anal about who come to the game! there are more important things to take care of rather than making life extra miserable to students, let them sell their tickets whats your problem

ca dawg

October 7th, 2010
5:15 pm

bill, thanks for the info on this question. always nice to have some facts in front of us, though obviously we can argue about what those facts mean. while i agree we have been stagnant and predictable at times this year (and in years past), i also think bobo has taken a lot of unfair criticism (in addition to some fair criticism) for his playcalling.

we fans seem to have forgotten that aaron murray — as great as he has looked — is still a RS freshman. this definitely has limited how much of the playbook we’ve been able to use. in fact, part of the reason he’s looked so good is that bobo and richt haven’t put him in bad situations.

obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball; we’re not nearly as good as i thought we would be (so i’ll own up to drinking some of that preseason kool-aid), but i hope to christ we can win on saturday. i want to see an angry, desperate, fired-up football team on saturday. would give a lot to be in athens for gameday. go dawgs!

rincon dawg

October 7th, 2010
5:26 pm

Billy get off the pipe and wake up.
If McGarity thinks its bad about the student section wait till its time for season ticket holders. Steam out the ears.

rincon dawg

October 7th, 2010
5:29 pm

JAYSON
Nick Saban has 2 count them 2 National Championships in just nine years in the SEC. With two different teams.
Urban Meyer has 2 in six years in the SEC
MARK RICHT HAS 10 YEARS OF BEING RUNNER UP.
WHY IS IT OK TO BE SECOND WHEN ALL YOU ARE IS THE FIRST LOSER?

Big Dawg

October 7th, 2010
5:29 pm

Donnan’s recruits (see David Greene et al); Van Gorder’s Defense (see Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl potential). Not too tough to figure out. The curtain has simply been pulled back. Now that Martinez is gone and Bobo will soon be gone, CMR is running out of places to hide and excuses to use. The clock is ticking louder and louder………

Bulldog1

October 7th, 2010
5:41 pm

Are you kidding me? No student wants to roll out of bed at 7 hungover from partying on Friday to tailgate and go to a noon kickoff? What a joke! You’re in freakin college, hangovers last like 30 minutes at that age Timmy – if a headache from the top shelf booze you pansies are drinking now is holding you back at age 19, put on your 7 jeans, take mommy’s credit card and skip down to Add Drugs, buy some Pamprin and see about transferring to Tech.

I was at The University in the early 90s and all the games were at noon – and Goff was the coach so we weren’t exactly looking at a national championship. We went out all night Friday drinking rock gut booze you little prima donnas couldn’t handle. We rolled out of bed way before 7 because it was game day and a hangover was easily cured by a little hair of the dog! We were drinking by 10 after having breakfast at Mayflower, hitting Last Chance for some Bourbon and Boones Farm (for the ladies, we were gentleman back then), grabbing some duct tape and plastic bags so said ladies could strap the Bourbon to their well toned thighs, and calling the bookman to make some money (or lose our 15 inch TV, either way). And trust me, the Southern beauties that attended The University back in the day could have out lasted today’s student body on any Friday night and those hotties never failed to have their Bubble Suits on in time for game day (and if we forgot the duct tape, they had an extra roll their daddies gave them just in case).

In the 5 years I attended The University (that’s right, we went 5 years back then and that included at least 4 years of summer school), never once did we not get up for a game day because we were hungover and didn’t feel like rolling out of bed before noon. The student section obviously isn’t empty because of the arrogance of the players Bullocks; it seems to me that it’s empty because the silver spoon that these little punks have been sucking on their entire lives doesn’t cure a hangover fast enough. And players never cut in line anywhere back then, they were freakin ushered to the front because the student body respected our beloved Bullpups regardless of their record (don’t call those who paid for Ramsey and continue to put food on your teacher’s table thugs – based on what I see there now, I’d cut front of the spoiled brats that attend today because they don’t deserve to walk those hallowed grounds!).

It’s simple, it doesn’t matter how you feel, it doesn’t matter if the Pups have lost 4 in a row or won 10 in a row, it doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, wet or dry, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t slept in a freakin weak, if it’s fall in Athens, Georgia and you’re lucky enough to attend The University, you freakin rally and get your little tail up and head to Sanford and support the Bullpups!

And GT76, we don’t rag on you Tech peeps because you have empty seats (although you do have a tough time filling 15,000), we rag on you because you’re freakin nerds! I sure hope you clowns don’t put a beat down on us like you did last year in that erector set you call a stadium (we won by the way hero)!

Finally, you “experts” can pull out all the stats you want, question every play called and claim you have all the answers – I mean I know all of have a “very reliable” source “deep” inside the program. Me, I’m waking up early Saturday and heading to Athens because I love the Pups. If they lose, I’ll still love the Pups. It’s pretty simple to me, there is nothing like a fall day in Athens, Georgia when the Pups hit field! And whether we win or lose, I know we’re DAWGS baby, and God made us better than everyone else! GO DAWGS!

Einsteindawg

October 7th, 2010
5:43 pm

This has nothing to do with this blog, but just read Tim Tucker’s article about “another UGA player on probation”. Tim, I might expect this from Cynthia Tucker, but this is old news…who cares? Why don’t you ask Richt why we’re not playing more different players? I am glad to see Alec Ogletree get and opportunity to start. Jakkar #23 is playing like his former number…all around the ball, but no tackles, no interceptions. What a waste of a scholarship! Rodney, did you sign “the hit man”?

UGA Mark

October 7th, 2010
5:50 pm

Bobo: More Touchdowns, more yards, fewer red-zone appearances, fewer FGs, more losses.

That doesn’t refute what we’ve been saying all along: Bobo’s playcalling is inappopriate, so we’re either throwing the long-shot passes unnecessarily or else finishing our drives too far out of field goal range; our defense is abysmal and gives up even more touchdowns under the Bobo-era that it negates the 15% offensive scoring improvement; and, as a result, we’re losing more.

Probably a more realistic comparison would be Richt’s stats w/ Martinez as DC vs. Bobo’s stats w/ Martinez as DC. Or Richt’s stats with freshman/sophomore QB Green vs. Bobo’s stats with freshman/future-sophomore QB Murray.

Starring Zulu as Kono

October 7th, 2010
6:02 pm

Seems to me we have guys more suited for a spread offense…but we run an I formation offense..???

Bill King is a ..................

October 7th, 2010
6:05 pm

Bill, ask yourself this question…..and i’m thinking about calling the show on monday nite to ask this question myself. I dont expect Richt to answer it outloud, but Richt needs to ask himself this question.

If CMR were to go to a new school to coach football, Who on our current staff would he take with him? I guarantee you, he would not take half of our current staff. Including but not limited to BOO BOO. So, you know what i’m going to say next….if they arent good enough that he would want to take them to a new school with a fresh start, then they arent good enough for good ol UGA.

Nuff said!!

Bill King is a ..................

October 7th, 2010
6:06 pm

and BTW….’F’ Bobo

Melanie

October 7th, 2010
6:38 pm

After reading many responses about the students whining about having to get up to support their team after being out all night partying….well, it is just sad! If you are a die hard fan, You will get up & represent your team no matter what!! I am no bulldog fan, but it is sad to hear all this crying & Whining about not wanting to get up & go watch you team.I would be embarrassed though by all the arrest that have taken place; Mark Richt does not have a grip on this team & has not has a grip on this team for a few years….you have a problem down in Athens bulldog fans & it is only going to get worse if you continue making excuses for Richt, Bobo & the athletic department.

UGA Mark

October 7th, 2010
6:40 pm

The minutiae of the stats mean little to me. I’m in Southern California, and when all of the alum here watch the game, even after just the first quarter of every game so far, the pervasive sentiments have been “Good God, we suck,” or “We look terrible,” or “We really aren’t that good this year.” It’s obvious – Everytime I’ve watched UGA play this year, and then flipped to any Bama game, I’ve noticed the dramatically stark difference. At some point, you can just LOOK at a team and tell where their performance levels are. *sigh*