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

Keep Dreaming

October 7th, 2010
7:06 pm

Mr. King,

One big variable that you didnt included in your story when assessing Bobo vs Richt are the caliber of players Bobo had on offense during his tenure of playcalling. Would have been interesting to see what Richt would have done with Knowshon, AJ Green, Shockley, Mo Mass,and Stafford while calling the shots. Granted CMR had Greene while assuming playcalling duties, but if I remember correctly, our Defense won a lot of games during those years with playmakers like Blue, Pollack, Davis, Thurman, etc.

Catch my drift swift?

Paul Has A Small Johnson

October 7th, 2010
7:12 pm

Concerning the tickets

Way to go University, you had it comming instead of letting those kids make a little extra money you lost out on additional revenue

Concerning Bobo he has a little more offensive production because in almost every game since 2006 we have had to throw the kitchen sink just to stay in each game

Use some common sense Bill and UGA

Paul Has A Small Johnson

October 7th, 2010
7:17 pm


You have convinced me.

Lets sign Bobo to a 10 yr contract that pays him $1.2 million a year, also with bonuses if he avgs more than a 300 yd per game


October 7th, 2010
7:18 pm

I am sick of Mike Bobo(Bozo) and his red panty offense


October 7th, 2010
7:35 pm

Speaking of playcalling. Nobody seems to be taking into account that our freshman QB is simple making a fair amount of mistakes at the line, which results in failed play. It’s like the fact that there are at least 3 or 4 options both run and pass for most of the snaps. is just irrelavant. it had ot be a “bad” or predictable” call.. Run up the middle, dumb call from Bobo, pass into double coverage, dumb call from Bobo. Both were Murray’s desition.

Did Anybody catch the call inshow Monday? To discover that the goal and 2 situation when we passed twice was Murray changing into both of those at the line. Not saying it was wrong, Actually we have been pretty good with those short goal line passes, expecially with AJ. I’m just pointing that out because I heard more than one fan ask how could Bobo be so dumb as to call those. Unless you believe that he shoud have told Murray, “I dont care how many guys they cram in the box. i don;t care if they even leave AJ completely uncovered, you Run the damn ball”. Guys that I know, that know the X and Os, and have studied the replays have pointed out several occation where Murray just didn’t see the obvious open play and opted right into the teeth of a blitz for no gain.

What I do like is: while I know that every QB makes mistake that might not have been obvious and a Fr QB is probably doing it quite often, Murray at least isn’t making very many of the very obvious mistake on top of that. Looking back to Stafford first starts he was doing both.

And opposing team have not had to reach into the bag very far to fool him so far. But they are not going to be able to do that for very long.

UGA Mark

October 7th, 2010
7:44 pm

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Bobo has never had a track record for being gifted offensively. As a QB, he was average. If he didn’t know how to make himself a star then, why should we have any reason to believe he could make anyone else shine now? I was a student during his career in Athens, and I remember him always getting into fights off the field because he had linebackers covering his back. No wonder our players now are the way they are.


October 7th, 2010
8:01 pm

Bobo is too addicted to the big play. Its great for the stat sheet, but bad for the defense and special teams when it doesn’t work out. Plus, I imagine Richt’s stats would have taken a boost if he were calling the plays when Stafford and Moreno were around.


October 7th, 2010
8:09 pm

Keep Dreaming stole my thunder. My conclusion from the stats you’ve provided, Bill, is that neither Coach Richt or Coach Bobo is a great play offensive play caller but rather our wins under Richt came courtesy of the defense. That being the case, getting our defense back on track would cover a lot of current offensive sins OR… replacing Bobo with a GREAT offensive coordinator could do the same trick for the defense. Anyone know of a great OC that wants to quit a successful program mid-season to join a staff that is perilously close to going down the drain?


October 7th, 2010
8:32 pm



October 7th, 2010
9:10 pm

AltamahaDawg, why is a freshmen QB allowed to make those calls? Isn’t that a coaching decision?

Jim 007

October 7th, 2010
9:11 pm

We can talk or blog about this all we want…

Bottom line is, for Multiple reasons Richt is Not getting it done

Time to give someone ( Muschamp or Smart ) a chance

Keeping Richt will only made things worse


October 7th, 2010
9:22 pm


The Ghost of Wally Butts

October 7th, 2010
9:25 pm

Question – when the UGA Student Judiciary places Alec “Sticky Fingers” Ogeltree on probation, do we get 1 credit toward next year’s FULMER CUP?

What’s the use of Rodney Garner working hard to recruit thugs if we can’t be back-to-back Fulmer Cup Champs?


October 7th, 2010
9:31 pm

Bobo is getting too much of the blame. Not that I think he is a great offensive coordinator, but there are far too many problems with Richt’s programs for Bill King to keep pinning everything on the O coordinator. I was duped into thinking that Soft Willie was the root of all evil last year, and look what canning him got us. No, it’s Richt’s fault, top to bottom. He is recruiting the wrong type of players, he isn’t developing them physically, he isn’t coaching up their playing technique, he isn’t providing innovative schemes on the field……am I leaving anything out?
Richt tells his QB to stay put and not run…….meanwhile I’m watching some red shirt freshman from Nebraska run up and down the field tonight.
It’s gonna get worse before it gets better. Expect a lot of 12:00 starts next year too.

UGA Mark

October 7th, 2010
10:13 pm

edumacated: It’s difficult to assess Richt’s recruiting abilities at this point because, at least as I recall, the 3-4 defense requires different personnel than would our previous 4-3. If that is the case, and if the defense is the thorn in our side presently, it would be tough to point the finger at Richt’s recruiting since they installed the 3-4 after the recruiting season had ended.

Even that said, and here is where it becomes a bit circular to me, I honestly believe that our defense would perform much better down the stretch if they didn’t spend so much damn time on the field (read: if the offense actually did their job and got first downs).

Although we get 3 & 4-star talent every year, I seem to recall that we were lacking in grabbing players in key positions. I think Florida pretty much sucked the life out of everybody’s recruiting class last summer. And maybe that would explain why we have a weak backfield this year.

I don’t care what the stats say – Everyone can predict Bobo’s playcalling, and there’s a lack of urgency on that side of the ball, game in and game out. To a certain extent, the Bulldog Nation is perpetually quick to forgive or, at least, forget, with each of Coach Richt’s sad-demeanored-yet-politically-overcautious-and-overly-ambiguous explanations for everything, but maybe we’ve hit the point of insanity, where we ask the same damn question and keep getting the same damn results.


October 7th, 2010
10:20 pm

That dog won’t hunt, Bill. Comparing Bobo and Richt is beside the point. Judging from the team’s record, they’re both mediocre … or worse. Since UGA’s professed goal is the top of the heap, how about comparing Bobo/Richt with their peers at Florida and Alabama?


October 7th, 2010
10:40 pm

The difference in wins between Richt & Bobo…Richt was OC when UGA still had a defense, Bobo has been OC of a team with no defense at all.

UGA Mark

October 7th, 2010
10:45 pm

Amen, Paladdin. In that regard, these are the only stats I care about: Saban = National Championship in 3 years; Meyer = National Championship in 2 years. People say we’re quick to judge. I say we’re slow to acknowledge.


October 7th, 2010
11:41 pm

I don’t understand the students inability to make it into the stands before the game starts because they want to sleep late. Heck I woke up before dawn every game day fired up because it was game day. No matter who was passed out next to me. Sorry Jeannie, you were the one except for gameday. Then it was Scottie Johnson. Oh my!


October 8th, 2010
12:33 am

It looks like the end of the line for Mark. Don’t get a preacher next time.


October 8th, 2010
1:20 am

I graduated from UGA in 1983. There was no shortage of students attending the football games then. They were even selling tickets to sit in the aisle back then! Students will support a winning team no matter what time the game starts.


October 8th, 2010
1:25 am

**** “Well, they’re losing a lot of games and have a lot of people getting arrested,” Crowell said of Georgia. “There’s just a lot of things going wrong. I do want to play right away but I also want to be where it’s disciplined and they win championships.” ****

(((( 45 – 42 ))))


October 8th, 2010
5:23 am

Last 46 of Coach Richt calling plays ?

Really ?

First 46 and 46 is 92 games.

Second 91-31 is 122 games.

Third there are 30 games MISSING.

Sounds like a clear bias.

Why leave out 30 games and call it a comparison of CMR play calls to Bobo’s play calls.

The whole analysis is B.S.


October 8th, 2010
6:52 am

HMMMM..just read some of the comments from McGarity…..not a whole hearted endorsement of coach richt from what I saw. Time for him to come out strong in favor of the coach.


October 8th, 2010
7:26 am

Because decision HAVE to made at the line dawgfan. If the other team would cooperate and keep thier defenders in one place once the guy get to the line then yes, it could simple be a coaching decision. In reality the “Playcall” is a set of option along with a personal grouping. But if you insist on blaming Bobo, it’s is his job to train the QB to make the right choice.


October 8th, 2010
7:27 am

And as I have said for years, the student allotment of ticket is spot on.


October 8th, 2010
7:38 am

I have come up with a system for filling the seats-WIN SOME DAMNED GAMES!


October 8th, 2010
7:49 am

reptilicide and sam for president and ad

Stand Up

October 8th, 2010
8:00 am

Unlike most of you I have only been going to games for about 8 years. That being said, I’ve been to a lot of games (both home and away, in the last seven years). I remember very clearly whooping LSU in 2004, man was Sanford rocking that day. But enough about me…I’ve seen several articles or blogs this week calling for the players to pick the fans up by knocking heads on the field. I say no…..over the course of my 8 years of consistently attending UGA football games, I have noticed our fans are extraordinarily more apathetic than most. People are calling for Richt’s head saying he has lost his way. I would tell those same people to look within themselves and see if they find theirs. Sure, maybe Richt got complacent with success, but it is certain the Bulldawg Nation did. The majority of out fan support spends the majority of the game on their butts. Fine, I get it, its hot and miserable in September in Athens and nobody likes to stand in spot for 4 hours straight. You can yell while sitting on your butt. And about the yelling, don’t yell just when an opposing offense is coming to the line of scrimmage. Its nice, but its weak. Yell your lungs out the entire time that offense is on the field…sure, it can be tough to execute a play if you’re late off the ball b/c you’ve lost the advantage of a snap count. Think how difficult it would be if you didn’t know exactly what the play call was in the first place. Sanford stadium may not have the acoustics to rock and shake like Neyland or that little stadium down in Bation Rouge…but I’ll we can’t shake the foundation of Athens if we really wanted. I say the fans need to pick the players up. Go to the game, cheer your asses off, and for just one Saturday see if we can put the fear in the Lord in the eyes of our opponents before they ever step on the field. UGA used to have that home advantage by default. Apathy has killed it. Who cares if Richt goes or stays…none of that speculation matters come 12:21 tomorrow. Lets remember who we are, remember how much we disdain we have for those hillbillies from Knoxville and Crank Dat. (but not just when they O is at the line of scrimmage, lets see if we can keep them from calling their own plays)


October 8th, 2010
8:25 am

I would like to see the 2 of them get together and script their plays for the upcoming game. Brainstorming and practice these plays during the week. Not sure if this would work with all the over inflated ego’s of these punk players they have to deal with these days.


October 8th, 2010
8:30 am

How about 3-and-outs? Bobo is the king of the NCAA in that stat.

black & blue dawg

October 8th, 2010
9:20 am

great we got millions in reserve— now spend some of it on a good football coach.


October 8th, 2010
9:31 am

How do you coach a fumbler?


October 8th, 2010
9:41 am

Yet another reason you don’t let sports writers make your decisions when it comes to coaching a football team.

Sports writers, write, they ain’t never coached, so they might say “The offense is lame, fire Bobo”, when in reality, Bobo’s doing a better job than Coach Richt.

Just let Coach Richt do his job.

90-27 record after 9 seasons, the man knows what he’s doing.

Buckhead Bulldawg

October 8th, 2010
9:48 am

In regard to the unused student tickets: Sell an allotment of 4-5000 “recent alumni” packages. A lot of my friends and I graduated in the last couple years but do not yet have season tickets. Most of the time we end up buying single tickets from alumni or scalpers and then end up sitting in the student sections so we can sit together. If the current students don’t want to use the tickets, then the recent alumni that remember when Richt fielded good teams from 2002 to 2005 certainly will.

Coachdawg 2000

October 8th, 2010
9:52 am

Thank You!!! finally someone with some reason. The offense averaged almost 29 points/game. We lost five games because our Defense played two-hand touch.

Saint Simons

October 8th, 2010
10:12 am

probation!!!!! what a joke!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahaha


October 8th, 2010
10:27 am

Bobo gets a hard time about the fumbles. Yes, the timing was really bad. But Georgia has improved a bunch here. And Georgia’s lost less fumbles than Alabama or Florida. Could be a lot worse than beating Alabama & Florida when it comes to lost fumbles.

Boise Dawg

October 8th, 2010
10:40 am

Dawginlex, if Richt had such a great feel for the game, why were most of the fans calling for him to hire an offensive coordinator?

Those stats don’t surprise me at all… I have felt for a while the Bobo, while not great, was no worse than when Richt was calling the plays. Some fans have such short memories. I can recall everyone on these blogs screaming for Richt to get an offensive coordinator because of how inept our offense was, especially in the red zone. Remember all those field goals we used to kick because we couldn’t get in the endzone?

Concrete Pete

October 8th, 2010
10:40 am

Guys there’s a real problem with this Caleb King thing… Any one got any hard facts?


October 8th, 2010
10:43 am

I rencently told a friend who knows a board member, that UGA has forgotten the long time, loyal fan, one that does contribute and goes to games. As you see, this is happening now. The tailgate issues, the parking…and so on. When Athens, Clarke County get the figures this year and taxes go up, then maybe Adams will become a conversation with them. The economy does flourish…when you win and most of all when you treat everybody very nice. Yes, leaving in a little while, have been going and will continue…


October 8th, 2010
10:45 am

Sky is the limit for our young QB, and I thought, until last night, that we had the most promising Freshman QB in the nation. But I gotta’ say, after watching Nebraska last night, Taylor Martinez may be the best player in college football. For all my fellow Dawg lovers who think we shouldn’t be a top-tier team because we have a freshman at QB, watch this kid play and behold what can happen when superb talent is matched up with an offense that actually has an identity and that knows how to put that talent in a position to make plays. Until Richt and Bobo are history, we will never know.


October 8th, 2010
10:55 am

I sit in Section 326 Row 22. I can tell you that the people there have no clue about when to get up off their butts and cheer. It seems like on some game days, it is like a funeral in our section. Drink the bourbon and get fired up…….


October 8th, 2010
11:05 am

Does the University still have block seating for the frats? How does that work with the Student ID? That was always the funnest way to see the game.

bitter "OLE" School Dogs-fan

October 8th, 2010
12:10 pm

numbers ill give yaaw a number, the one on my middle fingger yaaaw!!!, shut up with all this young school whinning, boo who, please it takes a foot up someones as—-s to jump start our beloved THuga crimmals, we all no there little spoiled monsters. So what!! every team has um, it takes a good motivator to get the best out of clarke county’s probation crew. its all good smash mouth means hit your emeny not whinning

W. Roberson

October 8th, 2010
12:39 pm

Georgia will win by 21 to 28 points easy. The real Georgia and Tennessee shows up on Saturday.

Concrete Pete

October 8th, 2010
12:54 pm

Word now is no players, King included are in any trouble. Good news, people in the program were worried for a second.

38 Yardline Dawg

October 8th, 2010
1:38 pm

Folks, the defense is not really loosing the games for us…we’re not scoring enough points when we get in the red zone on offense!!!!


October 11th, 2010
5:24 am

Cuz, you speak the truth my man. You wake up and go to the game if its at 4:30am and if your not in semi-formal attire your a pansy. When I was getting my undergrad at LSU, if it wasn’t a night game people flipped “you know what” but I was happy to be there and happy the team I was rooting for was winning (Georgia wasn’t in the cycle my 4 years there – but you better believe I rooted for the Dawgs during the SEC Championship games and all of the other sports). Being in Baton Rouge gives you some perspective. I still back Les even though I’m pretty sure I’m the only one, but due to distance I still think CMR is a great coach. Good consistent coaches are almost impossible to find and if you can get one you need to fight like hell to keep them. Heck, I can think of a coach that won less than 50 games in his first seven seasons as coach. Nearly, every single one of you would be calling for his head on a silver platter if not personally planning the assassination. But when I tell you that it was Coach Dooley who had that record those same people get quiet very quickly. Be patient Dawg fans. Only one team out of 120 can win the national championship every year* (*Southern Cal is officially irrelevant) and I wasn’t a math major (or econ, or physics, or engineering…) but I can tell you that 1/120 are not very good odds and even going undefeated doesn’t guarantee anything (ask a non-AQ or an Auburn Fighting PlansWarTigerEagleMan fan.) I hate the 34 defense (I like the 42) but I’m willing to give it time, and Murray is going to be a hell of a qb, I think one of the best, but you have to give it time. We gave (well not me, I was only 3 when he retired) CVD 25 years and I’d say that worked put pretty well, wouldn’t you?


October 11th, 2010
5:27 am

Sorry, I’m my own grammar nazi. *you’re, and *out