Who’s the key to Georgia’s offense, Isaiah Crowell or … Mike Bobo?

Losing Caleb King means Mike Bobo is going to have to get creative. (Associated Press)

Losing Caleb King means Mike Bobo is going to have to get creative. (Associated Press)

So, after a weekend in which Caleb King leaving the team dominated just about any discussion of Georgia football, it seems there’s a prominent split in opinion among both fans and college football observers in general over whether Georgia losing King was a Very Big Deal or No Big Deal at All.

On the one hand are those who feel the lack of his solid, if unspectacular, running and his better-than-average pass blocking will be severely missed by the Dogs, especially in the first couple of games. On the other side are those who look at the body of his work at UGA and his continuing off-field problems and think we likely would have been in for just more of the same. They’ve labeled King a bust and feel moving him out of Isaiah Crowell’s way that much quicker will likely just accelerate the true freshman’s development.

I’d love for that to be true, and who knows, Crowell may have the same sort of out-of-the-box impact as Marcus Lattimore did for South Carolina last season. Still, I think it’s ridiculous to view the loss of King as anything other than a blow to Georgia’s offensive hopes early in the season.

I’m not offering up a doomsday scenario. The need for Crowell to produce as a true freshman was always going to be one of the keys to the Dogs contending for the SEC East this season. But now he’s going to have to do it from the very start, which is asking a lot.

Who this really is going to put the pressure on, however, isn’t Crowell so much as offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Without the flexibility that King would have provided him while Crowell develops, Bobo is going to have to get creative, which to date has not been his strength.

Whether it’s finding new ways to use Branden Smith on offense, spreading out the passing game more, expanding the role of Bruce Figgins at fullback, or finally figuring out how to use the Wild Dawg with Nick Marshall, Georgia’s offensive hopes this season ride on Bobo’s shoulders.

How do you feel about that?

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298 comments Add your comment

bobby

July 13th, 2011
11:12 am

i don’t care what no one says until uga find a unit of five offensive lineman that will play good soild football they will have problems like they did last year. i used to knock bobo all the time but after the auburn game i stop bad mouthing bobo. last year bobo was not the problem it was the offensive line. i mean uga could’nt find a fifth offensive lineman that could play worth a dime. they had boling, ben jones, glenn, and gates but could’nt find one more lineman that could play worth a dime. i stop putting bobo after the auburn game because uga should’ve scored 50 points on auburn but the line could’nt hold up i mean uga had a huge advantage against auburn with green, durham, charles, and king aganist auburn’s defensive backs but murray ran for his life and uga’s line got whipped against, south carliona, arkansas, central florida, ans missippsi state. aganist florida and colorado they did all right.

JMac

July 13th, 2011
11:28 am

Bobo couldn’t score 30 points on Colorado. Colorado had one of the worst defenses, and they only won 5 games. Cal put up 52 on Colorado, Kansas scored 52, Kansas St. scored 44.

BIG JOE

July 13th, 2011
11:53 am

I think this is exactly what needed to happen. Face it –King was a bust. But the main thing here is if King were still at UGA then Crowell would have been used when UGA was up, but be assured that if the game was on the line Bobo would use King. Now Bobo (and Richt) is in a make-or-break situation –This is what they needed! Bobo is either going to be thoroughly exposed this year OR Richt is going to have to help him with the playbook –and neither of those things sound bad.

bill arp

July 13th, 2011
11:58 am

UGA averaged 34 pts a game last yr, just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of that. also, there’s something scary about ‘handing’ a job to a true freshman, as opposed to him ‘earning’ it.

oh, and on the Hines Ward thing, let’s hope he was impaired, because it would mighty embarassing to the the University of Jawja that he doesn’t know his A,B,C’s while being perfectly sober…

True Blue

July 13th, 2011
11:58 am

Crowell is know Lattimore. Lattimore ran behind 4 returning starter on the offensive line. Crowell will be running behind 2 returning starters. So quit believing that Crowell is going to come on an do what Dyer and Lattimore did as true freshman last year. The only way he will do it is that the OL blocks and mature together.

PoleSetter

July 13th, 2011
12:08 pm

Bobo finished 10th in scoring in the the SEC against winning teams (18 points a game)

Bobo finished 8th in SEC in scoring aganst ranked teams (15 points a game)

Just thought you guys would want to know.

http://www.cfbstats.com/2010/leader/911/team/offense/split09/category09/sort01.html

PoleSetter

July 13th, 2011
12:11 pm

Most of Bobo’s big scoring games, came against unranked teams, where Bobo ranked 2nd in SEC in scoring, teams like La Lafayette.

Bobo scored 42 a game on UNRANKED teams.
Bobo scored 15 a game on RANKED teams.

Basically, Bobo has learned how to fool Richt by running up the score against bad teams, which increases Bobo’s OVERALL scoring average.

But Bobo was 10th against winning teams, and scored 15 against ranked teams.

http://www.cfbstats.com/2010/leader/911/team/offense/split14/category09/sort01.html

PoleSetter

July 13th, 2011
12:16 pm

In the last 4 years, the offense has gone into a freefall against ranked teams.

35 a game in 07′
27 a game in 08′
20 a game in 09′
15 a game in 10′

Average decrease in offensive points per year = 7

Bobo has no CLUE how to reverse this trend, everything he has tried, everything, every season for 3 years in a row, has failed to increase points against ranked teams.

7 point decrease average for last 3 years against ranked teams means:
UGA Offense will average 8 points a game against ranked teams in 11′

augusta dawg

July 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

Uga is doomed as long as vanila is ice cream and Bobo is offenseive coord. Check the stats. against top tier sec teams……………. CMR’s downfall……… I’m sorry to admit it….. Bye after this year!!!!!!!!!!!

PoleSetter

July 13th, 2011
12:40 pm

The free fall in scoring against ranked teams has happened for a bunch of reasons:
#1 Bobo’s Schemes not matching talent/experience/opposing defensive schemes
#2 Poor QB selection (Joe T, Murray have lost lots of games as starters)
#3 Poor OL scheme
#4 Turnovers
#5 Overemphasis on pass
#6 Poor RB play
#7 Too many field goals in red zone

ReddDawg

July 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

2nd & 23 Midget up the middle.

BIG JOE

July 13th, 2011
1:23 pm

Vancy Duly,

Couldn’t have said it better.

BIG JOE

July 13th, 2011
1:24 pm

True Blue,

Crowell is know Lattimore. Really??? They do not ‘KNOW’ each other?? Seriously???

BIG JOE

July 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

bill arp, You are w-arp-ed. How many points did GA score against Central Florida? How about SCar? What about MissSt? How about 6,6 & 12. Points were scored against terrible teams — stop drinking the kool-aid.

Smithereen

July 13th, 2011
2:17 pm

Bobo thinks like this:
If a play has worked 90% of the time in this situation, we’ll run that play

Problem is, defensive coordinators think like this:
If a play has worked 90% of the time in this situation, he’ll run that play

Smithereen

July 13th, 2011
2:21 pm

Richt after King’s Colorado fumble explaining the play call:
“That’s as basic of a play we as we’ve got,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said of the play that produced the fumble. “You say, ‘What’s our No. 1 running play?,’ and that was it.”

Smithereen

July 13th, 2011
2:34 pm

I remember the Colorado Linebackers post game comments about how the King fumble play was exactly what he expected Bobo to call. Coach knew what Bobo would do, Linebacker knew. The plan was to blitz and strip Caleb King, who was prone to fumbling, a porblem all Georgia RB’s have.

Sports Illustrated reporter wrote:

During a timeout in the waning minutes and with the Georgia Bulldogs already in range for a game-winning field goal, Colorado defensive coordinator Ron Collins decided to turn linebacker B.J. Beatty loose on a blitz.

“I told him, ‘Let’s run it,”‘ Beatty said. “Because we knew they were going to try to run the ball, milk the clock and kick a field goal. I knew I had the opportunity to come off the edge and maybe disrupt the hand-off.”

Lining up with the Buffs clinging to a 29-27 lead, Beatty was just hoping for the Bulldogs to run the ball, and sure enough, it played out exactly like he envisioned.

Beatty stripped Caleb King just as he got the handoff from quarterback Aaron Murray at the Buffaloes’ 30-yard line and he held King back while teammate Jon Major smothered the loose ball.

Denver Dawg

July 13th, 2011
2:39 pm

Bill (or anyone) – anyone heard what the Florida game cutoff score might be this year?

bill arp

July 13th, 2011
3:17 pm

dang, i didn’t know Bobo still played. my bad. i do know he’s asking a whole lot out of a 5-10 QB..

Big Ten Champs Nebraska

July 13th, 2011
3:21 pm

Doesn’t matter who is more important. The UGA football program is not good.

Atlanta87

July 13th, 2011
3:24 pm

Didn’t Nebraska lose the Big Ten Championship to Oklahoma and then the next game to Washington?

Alphare

July 13th, 2011
3:30 pm

Bill, what’s key is, you just lost 2 RB’s, 1 big OL man, your QB couldn’t score a TD against Florida’s 4th best team.

Hindu Elvis Pimp

July 13th, 2011
3:31 pm

I don’t believe Nebraska has played a Big Ten conference game yet.

just sayin

July 13th, 2011
3:41 pm

Without a doubt the most important person is Bobo. Carlton Thomas is an experienced back that has had the wrong plays called for him. I have seen at least 6 post on here about not wanting to see Thomas run up the middle again. Thomas can get the job done while Crowell comes along as long as Bobo can be creative.

Big Dirty Dawg

July 13th, 2011
3:44 pm

Bobo = Coach Kline from Waterboy!! Come on coach…get it together…or step aside. Just as most rabid dawg fans..we’re tired of the same gameplan each year, each week!! show some creativity…or find someone who does. Points are being scored because of talent…not play calling!! Go Dawgs!!

RedandBlackDAWG

July 13th, 2011
3:55 pm

I didn’t even know what Bobo’s uniform number was last year. And to think, I thought he was just a coach. The players have to execute the plays called. Last year we couldn’t block well enough to stop the defense, and our first year 3-4 defense with the shortage of new personnel, could stop offenses from scoring. I realize that Bobo may have at times been a little too predictable, and conservative, but how often did he call plays that consumed a few seconds longer than just a draw and the O line, couldn’t keep the line of scrimmage where it belonged and got beat. Last year, there were very few bright spots on offense. This year we have the athletes but very little experience and in the case of the O line, green recruits as reserves. It would appear that the defense will be asked to do just a little more than ordinary until the offense gets some experience under their belts and starts working well together.

DawgByte

July 13th, 2011
4:09 pm

I don’t think it’s a cut and dry… this or that scenario. Sure Bobo needs to call a good game, but our guys have to execute. Bobo can’t catch the ball or block the opponent. Our guys need to step up this year. Nick Marshall may be an option at RB. I think Bobo is going to need another talented option in the backfield to go along with Crowell. If Bobo plays it safe against Boise, they’ll clean our clock. The Boise coaching staff is too good not to recognize vanilla.

fan

July 13th, 2011
4:51 pm

should have gone atfer grady RB and mays RB d.boddie

fan

July 13th, 2011
4:52 pm

after sorry about that moving to fast

gaynessville dawg

July 13th, 2011
5:25 pm

I say we punt on second down every now and then just to keep defenses guessing. No! No, Bobo that was a joke! Dont do it son. My apologies to the Dawg nation.

dont get it

July 13th, 2011
5:45 pm

not a big Bobo fan but does anyone know where we ranked in offense in 2007? im not sure just asking. I agree he aint the brightest OC out there but let’s not call Richt something he is not. His offeneses really were not very good. He had GREAT defenses with CVG. Thats what saved his tail. Chime in now AD. I know you have something brilliant to add.

Dawg Tired

July 13th, 2011
6:14 pm

First: Lattimore is much bigger than Crowell.

Second: Lattimore actually had an offensive line that could, and did, block well on running plays.

Third: There is no evidence we have an offensive line that can actually block for the running game.

Fourth: I fear Murray may get severely injured behind this line. Right tackle appears particularly weak. With the speed most teams attack the edges with nowadays, both our tackles seem too heavy to compete with the speed rush from the outside. Maybe I’m wrong. I certainly would like to be wrong in this, but we’ll see.

Nor Cal Dawg Fan

July 13th, 2011
7:05 pm

Coach Richt should take over the play calling. He should run the same offense when Charlie Ward was the qb at Florida St. Aaron Murray is a mobile qb who I think would thrive in an up tempo no huddle type offense. The Dogs have an elusive back in Crowell just like those Noles teams had with Warrick Dunn. Orson Charles and the other receivers would put up all conference stats. Come to think of it the defense reminds me of those quick Mickey Andrews led defensive teams of the 90’s. They’re similar as for as talent but the Dogs have to do it on the field. Just my opinion.

FLA DAWG

July 13th, 2011
8:32 pm

Almost every year we recruit well then we begin losing some of the best players on the roster. I thought the last two preseason loss experience was bad.

This preseason we’ve seen both starting RBs and a lineman bite the dust just to name three.
This team is thirsty for TEAM organization and bonding. Every couple of weeks they must begin again. Things don’t look good from my perspective.

Let the season (and losses) begin and get this Richt era over with.

ES

July 13th, 2011
10:11 pm

We need a new OC!!!!!!!!!!

AceDawg

July 13th, 2011
10:31 pm

Bobo is guilty trying to prove his innocence from ignorance before every game, and he usually ends up guilty. Still, perhaps Murray can overcome him.

DawginTX

July 13th, 2011
11:49 pm

I don’t know how many times I’ve wished Richt and Bobo had 1 very good back instead of 2 or 3 pretty good backs. I’d like to see someone get 20 to 25 carries a game, so they can get in to a rythm. I hope it’s Crowell. The best thing to happen to Georgia might be for the offensive brain trust to have only 1 option at tailback.

Inlet Dawg

July 14th, 2011
12:42 am

BoBo He has showed time and time he is incapable of coaching an offense

dmr

July 14th, 2011
8:14 am

IF…IF Jarvis Jones doesn’t lose eligibility due to the Park and Rec scandal (and I believe he will), then Bobo could potentially use Samuels to help ease some of the offensive burden. This team is going to need to rely heavily on Defense and Special Teams…especially in the first two games.

Butler needs to use Coffin Corner. The Defense needs to shorten the field for the offense. Bobo may have to go “Vanilla” with the offense for a time.

dont get it

July 14th, 2011
8:58 am

@Fl dawg – well said. Nothing like a wasted year.

schmeckdawg

July 14th, 2011
9:03 am

Neither. The OL is the biggest key to the offense!

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

July 14th, 2011
9:16 am

Vance Duly:
Congratulaitons, sir, you have joined the group that have all the answers…Problem is you never even coached a little league team…You know very little about football, like a lot of the UGA fans. It is evident in reading your post…Get back to what you do and leave Coach Bobo to call the offense….He has forgotten more about football that you will ever know….It all looks simple from the stands or from in front of a TV, but it is not simple at all….80% of the games are won by the team with the better athletes….Bobo will have to move the football on offense without a proven runningback…Very few coordinators are able to do that….Not an enviable spot that Coach Bobo is in…

Moron Dawg Fan

July 14th, 2011
9:55 am

Both gentlemen strike me as extreme intellectuals. I’m confident that the offense is in capable hands either way.

Delbert D.

July 14th, 2011
9:58 am

The run game against Boise St. may not be easy going. From some notes I compiled earlier this offseason, the Broncos have some experience and talent on defense (preseason AA picks):

DT Billy Winn – 1st team AA, SN and Athlon, 2nd team Steele and Lindy’s
DE Shea McLellan – 2nd team AA Athlon
S George Iloka – 2nd team AA Athlon

Columbus Dawg

July 14th, 2011
10:20 am

Calling all Aubies! Ya”ll need to go to ESPN.com NCAA College Football page and read about what the NCAA lady told Cheesedick! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Bazooka Joe

July 14th, 2011
1:54 pm

I think (OK, I HOPE) that way back when CMR had admin duties taken off his plate so he could concentrate on the X’s and O’s more, the unspoken part was he is going to “coach Bobo up”.

CitizenK9

July 19th, 2011
1:59 am

Bobo as OC is Mark Richt Lite.

Brad Komminsk

July 19th, 2011
11:35 am

i am almost certain the starting tailback against UT on that magical night years ago was one Mr. Donnie McMickens. someone out there has to be as sick as i am and remember these things. it was NOT Carnie Norris, who by the way, i believe was sent home by bus from the Sugar Bowl that year. or not.