‘Hotline’ chatter on the shotgun and UGA’s red zone blues

Should Mike Bobo be trying something other than the shotgun in the red zone? (AJC File)

Should Mike Bobo be trying something other than the shotgun in the red zone? (AJC File)

I caught most of Mark Richt’s segment of “Bulldog Hotline” Monday night and some of Hondo and the all stars, and a theme that kept cropping up in comments from callers was concern over Georgia’s ineffectiveness in the red zone and especially when in the shotgun formation.

Richt noted correctly that Georgia uses the shotgun elsewhere on the field, not just in the red zone, and said he’d have to go back and watch some film to see whether the shotgun has really been responsible for the Dogs’ problems down close to the goal line.

I’m hoping that wasn’t just a sop to the caller and that Richt really does plan on taking a look at what’s going wrong for the Dogs in the red zone, where they’ve been more times than any other SEC team (20 trips so far this season in conference games) but have gotten touchdowns only 10 times. With the fallback to attempting a field goal no longer a sure thing with Blair Walsh, that’s going to be especially problematic as the level of competition rises down the stretch.

Certainly, there are times the shotgun works well, especially when there’s a lot of field ahead and Isaiah Crowell is at tailback. He likes space.

But Mike Bobo’s penchant for switching gears once he hits the red zone and abandoning what got him there has been a recurring complaint the past few seasons. Yes, as Richt noted Monday night, you have less room to work with the closer you get to the end zone. But it’s pretty obvious what Georgia’s doing down there isn’t as effective as what it’s doing between the 20s.

So what do you think? Are you like the “Hotline” callers who think the Dogs should dump the shotgun and stick to working out of the I-formation once they get in the red zone, or do you see some other solution?

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351 comments Add your comment

Fridawg

October 18th, 2011
11:14 am

Fridawg

October 18th, 2011
11:15 am

Was there ever news about Rambo’s health? He seemed injured on the last play of the game and I never heard anything about it.

MattDawg

October 18th, 2011
11:16 am

If it aint broke, dont fix it! I mean seriously, stick with what is working until they make you change. Come on Bobo!

Gary

October 18th, 2011
11:23 am

Red zone success is keyed more to winning the battle at the line of scrimmage than what formation you are in. We have plenty of weapons. We still need more consistent line play both protecting the qb and opening running lanes in order to have the best opportunity to score. Coach ‘em up!

I Love Lamp

October 18th, 2011
11:24 am

What a terrible coaching staff all around.

bulldog1962

October 18th, 2011
11:27 am

I listened to the call in show as well. Having CMR admit that he has not noticed the trend about going to the shotgun in the redone may give us a clue as to why UGA has not put any focus on improving the talent and focus of our special team play. Just last week: fake punt, blocked punt, kick returned for TD. I kept waiting for the onside kick.

Top Row Dawg

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

Stay in run formation, run should always be the first thing that needs defending on goal line. Pass should always be second option. If you just abandon threat of run, makes it easier to defend. Now if it’s 3rd and long, might as well shotgun at THAT point. Looked like Vandy took advantage of the QB run and thats what we should do too as needed.

Frank Lane

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

Agree with Gary. Line play is the key, particularly down close.

bulldog1962

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

Make that “redzone” not redone (darn auto correct).

Mad Mike

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

where’s bruce figgins?

Chuggy cheer

October 18th, 2011
11:29 am

Without the shotgun bobo couldn’t run 30 inside draws per game though.

monty

October 18th, 2011
11:29 am

Looks like we run some plain ole stupid plays sometimes. Got to be more creative. Stop giving the ball to Samuel and dragging him across the backfield. If you give it to him, make him run straight ahead with an option to cut it back , but never give him the ball where he starts running parallel to the line of scrimmage. One problem(IMO) is Murray is to short to throw the quick slants that are so hard to stop near the goal line.He operates better when there is more space to throw deeper it seems.

georgia87

October 18th, 2011
11:31 am

My issue is that he admits (again) that he hasn’t noticed it himself. Do we ever self-scout?

NorthGaDawg

October 18th, 2011
11:31 am

Bobo is like a light switch…He’s either on or off. This year mainly on between the 20’s..(only sometimes at that too) But just as the previous years with the talent level UGA has/had on offense we are still the B- offense… Same thing… No change

Will

October 18th, 2011
11:32 am

McGarity:

Please save the fan base from anymore of this… I beg of you. Our program is becoming the laughing stock of the country.

Rusty

October 18th, 2011
11:33 am

The shotgun formation isn’t the issue; it is a combination of the plays called and players not executing. If the plays call for stupid routes in the red zone it doesn’t matter what formation you start from. Same thing if players don’t execute…

DawginLex

October 18th, 2011
11:34 am

I am still wondering why we don’t let the fullback run the ball?

Are we saving it for later?

sonny

October 18th, 2011
11:35 am

coach richt is smart in a lot of ways but diagnosis of his play calling is very bad. i know he has input into bobo, if not he is not smart at all.

BigDawg

October 18th, 2011
11:36 am

Why won’t Mark Richt get more involved in the offense? Spurrier and Petrino do a good job being HC and OC! Also, put the BEST players on special teams like other teams do!! Finally, glad to have the fire that Grantham has brought to the team, BIG difference on defense!!

Jared

October 18th, 2011
11:38 am

Maybe this last game was a sign that Marlon Brown now understands the playbook well enough to play in a game… If so then when we get in the red zone i would love to see some nice fades or just tossing it up to Brown who is 6′5″ and let him go get it…

wejun rfobinson

October 18th, 2011
11:42 am

Redzone scoring has been a big problem for ALL of CMR’s years.Special teams play ,except for last year ,has also been a problem.Georgia’s coaches don’t know what works and what doesn’t work on a game to game basis,

DrDawg

October 18th, 2011
11:42 am

We have a 280 pound fullback who apparently hasn’t carried the ball once all season.
Any law against running some muscle behind those huge linemen?

Bremen Dawg

October 18th, 2011
11:42 am

What to heck happened to play action, it has disappeared

wwr201

October 18th, 2011
11:43 am

With a big, athletic former TE at FB, I cannot understand why the team rarely uses the I-formation. Especially in the red zone.

Nevermind….it works too well, so we don’t want to over use it. Please get a real OC.

Still@theBAR

October 18th, 2011
11:45 am

UGA coaches messed up Walsh’e head. He was fine but some how is not All SEC? Try scoring a TD once in while and I bet Walsh gets better. He has had to be too much of UGA;s scoring.

Randall "Pink" Floyd

October 18th, 2011
11:48 am

Our OL is terrible and that’s the whole story regardless of what part of the field we’re on.

Vinny Ocean

October 18th, 2011
11:50 am

I think our offense is incredibly inconsistent. There are times where we look like we’re going to blow a team away. Then the next drive we have no rhythm. It looks like we are constantly looking for an offensive identity, and once we look like we’ve found it he changes it up! I really can’t stand the play calling under bobo, I wish Richt would go back to play calling, or get somebody in here that can run with ALL the talent we have on offense.

DawginLex

October 18th, 2011
11:53 am

on the positive side, I thought Saturday was Murray’s best game.

DawginLex

October 18th, 2011
11:54 am

on the positive side, I thought last weekend was Murray’s best game

tide roll

October 18th, 2011
11:59 am

How would you like to be the defensive coordinator at UGA with Richt and BooBoo running your offense. No wonder Grantham’s nuts. Bobo screws it up and Richt just STANDS THERE! It’s infuriating! Grantham’s trying like hell to develop a competitive SEC defense while on the offensive side of the ball, you’ve got two children trying to show everyone how clever they are. The saying “THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS” has never been more true than with “3 and out” Bobo. Grantham doesn’t need to concern himself with Florida. His biggest challenge are those two morons running Uga’s Offense. Your defense has a stop, and they’re back on the field before I can mix a Jack Daniels and Coke. Only Mark Richt could take the most athletic and physical offensive line in UGA history, BENCH KENARIOUS GATES in favor of DALLAS LEE, and turn them into a bunch of stand straight up, pass protecting wimps. Only Richt, only Bobo, only UGA!

Dawgustus

October 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

We struggle in the red zone because we can’t run the ball down there (ineffective line play) and because we don’t have reliable receivers other than Mitchell. If you can’t run and you can’t catch, you kick a lot of FG’s.

Terry

October 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

tide roll, Bama only put up 34 points on vandy, thats only 1 more point than UGA’s 33 points.

Dontsufferfools

October 18th, 2011
12:09 pm

OLine play is poor and sitting in a 3 point stance waiting for a play call until play clock hits :05 gives the defense an advantage. They know when the ball will be snapped so they tee off.

C'mon, guys...

October 18th, 2011
12:16 pm

…the reason they do not run the FB is because he is a TE, not a FB, and is there to block only, which he does really well. My question is why they do not throw to him more since he IS a TE – I mean, DUH…

But, then, I remember who our OC is, and I go, oh yeah…and as tide roll says, and the TV commentators remind us each week, UGA has the largest, by weight, OL in either the pros or college…and we still cannot make 1 yard on most short yardage plays…

01HAWK

October 18th, 2011
12:18 pm

Terry …………………………………………BAMA called the 1st stringers off the field after the 3rd quarter with a comfortable lead.

OH, by the way…………………………………………………GOOSE EGGS TO VANDY,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,No need to score anymore…………………………We pitched a shut out.

UGA fans are so crazy.

murfdawg

October 18th, 2011
12:19 pm

Bobo is doing the same thing he did against SC in 07 that cost us the game, the sec and a shot at then MNC. He ran Moreno eight straight time from the 20 to the 8 and then threw three incompletions and kicked a fg. Crowell ran the ball to the 8, first and goal, three incompletions , kick a fg.

Murphy’s Law #4: The first team to kick a fg in an SEC game, will lose.(unless you are LSU or Bama this year). Look it up.

Dawg48

October 18th, 2011
12:19 pm

At dawg in lex
So do you live in Kentucky?

sogadog

October 18th, 2011
12:23 pm

King, you were wrong to jump on the AJC and media bandwagon and blast Grantham in your post yesterday. You and all the AJC reporters have made this a much bigger deal than it is.

Your criticism of Grantham was vitriolic and unwarranted. You and the media ignore the fact Franklin started the fracas by pointing and yelling at UGA players. Also, the camera angle only shows Grantham’s face and it does not show Franklin’s. Franklin provoked Grantham then played the victim whining to Richt and the media about Grantham’s reaction. It burns me up that Franklin will not admit he did anything wrong when he is the one that initiated the confrontation. Franklin is playing this up for the media in an attempt to make a name for himself and promote his college. I am disappointed you bought into his little act.

I applaud Grantham for standing up for his players when he saw the other team’s coach yelling and pointing at them. Grantham has done a fine job this year restoring the Junkyard Dawg defense and the Bulldawg nation should be supporting him.

TallaDawg

October 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

I know others have said this, but why not let Figgins run the ball? Why? Why not let Figgins lead Samuel or Crowell OFF TACKLE into space, NOT UP THE MIDDLE? Bobo truly appears to be an idiot, and Richt’s statement that he was not fully aware of the red zone tendencies is infuriating. I have always supported Richt but he obviously is too stubborn to change and I have no faith in Richt any more. Let’s cut ties now while we can find a good replacement and re-recruit if necessary.

EDawg71

October 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

We have WAY too many weapons to be stalling like this in the redzone. We always have. Orson, Murray (running or throwing), Crowell, King, Mitchell, now Marlon, Figgins (who I would bet could run the ball like Southerland used to if given a chance), etc… Also, count me as one Bulldog fan who is not necessarily sold on Crowell yet. His interview last week where he said “I wasn’t planning on getting this banged up while I was here” just doesn’t sit right with me. So what you’re saying my man is that you didn’t expect to get dinged in the SEC? And of course we’re just a step ladder to the NFL??? Please just be quiet, man up and run the damn ball!!!!!

LawDawg

October 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

I’ve mentioned this before, but the shotgun actually highlights all of Murray’s and the OL’s weaknesses. Murray likes to drop back even when in the shotgun and the OTs are too slow to effectively backpedal against DEs with their ears pinned back. Taken together, it makes it way to easy for a decent rush end to speed rush around the outside and sack Murray. On a shorter field, Cover-2 zone plus a 5-man rush just kills anything we try to do because no one is open in the short field and the DEs are around the corner in about 1.5 seconds.

radly dawg

October 18th, 2011
12:26 pm

My My…….x’s and o’s apply no matter what part of the field you’re on. Line up under center….block somebody, hold your blocks, and run through the hole…..not exactly rocket science Coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LawDawg

October 18th, 2011
12:26 pm

Then again, that was actually breaking down Xs and Os. For this comments sections, the more apt comment probably would have been:

FiRe Rihct and BooBoo sucks and dawgs suck and were not gettingg gooood recroots.

Cuz

October 18th, 2011
12:27 pm

I formation double TE and punch the thing in.

Dream Weaver

October 18th, 2011
12:28 pm

What frustrates me most about Booboo’s play calling is when we are having huge success running the ball, he abandons it. Or the opposite, when we are having huge success passing the ball, he abandons it too. Someone needs to tell him and Richt, the reason you try to have a balanced offense is so you have more options when things are not working… to keep the opposing defense honest. BUT if you can’t stop the plays I’m calling, well I’m gonna keep calling them until you do. I wouldn’t even care if you knew the plays if you couldn’t stop them! My 2 cents….

Dream Weaver

October 18th, 2011
12:30 pm

I also agree with everyone else on here calling for some fullback plays. What are they waiting for? And why do we only get Orson Charles 4-5 touches per game. He’s a stud and probably leaving after the season…

Maybe

October 18th, 2011
12:33 pm

We should give scholships to line men who will play rather than kickers who warm the bench

AltamahaDawg

October 18th, 2011
12:33 pm

Not sure who looked that up for you Bill, but Dawgs have been in the red zone 26 times, scoring 15 TDs,….. “so far this season”.

10 TDs was in SEC only games. (which is 3rd best in the conference fwiw. 2nd in total scores)

EDawg71

October 18th, 2011
12:36 pm

I’ve always been pro-Richt, period. Sometimes I wonder though how someone like Coach Franklin can get the production that he does from a Vandy roster at times. I can’t remember a time when I thought we over-achieved.

doginbham

October 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

The game has left CMR behind. I listen to Nick Saban’s radio show and he has clearly thought-out responses to questions and the Bama fanbase doesn’t have to point out obvious problems to him. The coaching in Athens has become laughable. I am a graduate of UGA and love my school but quit buying season tickets 2 years ago. Cheaper to watch from home until things change for the better.