Fan talk: Moving the Redcoats, O-line, Bobo and more

It’s high school graduation week for my UGA-bound daughter and so I’ll be on vacation and away from the Blawg. But to give you some Bulldog topics to chew over while I’m away, let’s go straight to the Junkyard Mail. …

Word is the Redcoats are on the move again. (University of Georgia)

Word is the Redcoats are on the move again. (University of Georgia)

Andy Mashburn writes: Bill, thanks for keeping the Bulldawg juices flowing during the offseason. Always enjoy reading what’s on the mind of the Bulldawg faithful! What are the chances of placing the Redcoat Band back in the student section? I read that the purpose of putting the Redcoats in the end zone was so that the stadium as a whole could hear them better. Personally, I loved the effect of the Redcoats in the student section with the college students. Seemed to add to the overall college atmosphere and experience of Sanford Stadium. In my opinion, they look a little lost and weak sitting in the end zone. Actually, I would even like to see them sitting a little higher in the student section. If you have ever visited Tiger Stadium at LSU, you know what I mean. Thanks and go Dawgs!

I originally was in favor of moving the Redcoats to the end zone, but I heard a lot of complaints that the bulk of the student section felt disconnected from the band, plus it didn’t help that they didn’t move the visiting band so you sometimes had the two bands sitting side by side playing at the same time. Perhaps it would have been better to put the Redcoats in the other end zone, which is part of the main student seating area. Anyway, I keep hearing that the Redcoats are leaving the end zone this coming season and returning to the main student section, and I asked a band member, who confirmed that is indeed what the Redcoats have been told. No word on whether the placement will be exactly where they used to be, but you’ve got a good point that higher up might work better.

Joshua Floyd writes: What is your take on the O-line coach [Will] Friend? Is he a step up from Stacey Searels after a year to review his work? How is Searels doing at Texas?

I think it’s too soon to say whether Friend is a definite step up. He managed to do a good job of juggling a very thin corps of linemen last season, and at times the line play was improved. But it was still inconsistent and they allowed too much pressure on quarterback Aaron Murray in some crucial instances. This is another rebuilding year for the line and while I thought the tentative starting lineup held up well against the first-team defense in the G-Day game, there still isn’t much depth. It looks like true freshman John Theus probably will wind up as a starter. I think we won’t know how good or bad this line really is until midseason. As for Searels, his first OL at Texas showed a 50-yard per game improvement over the previous season in rushing, but they didn’t have much depth and were inconsistent, especially in pass protection. Said junior guard/center Mason Walters: “I think we were the problem sometimes last year.” Reportedly, Texas had a good recruiting year for linemen. Head coach Mack Brown said the Longhorns’ OL is “so much better than what it was and still not where we need it to be.” So you could say their situation with Searels is much like Georgia’s is with Friend.

Travis Hill writes: Hey again Bill, Hope you are doing great. I hope the summer goes quickly for 2 reasons. First, I am a forester, and the heat is killer. Second, because I am always excited about the up and coming UGA football season. Besides all of the suspensions in the UGA secondary I think there are a lot of questions coming up this season. … I think the defense will be good to great. I am worried about the following 3 areas: 1. Offensive line. Our line has been good at times and horrific at times and this year it is looking like more of the same. If you look at Bama or LSU’s lines you will see solid lines each and every year. This is something we have to put an emphasis on in future recruiting. 2. Special teams. This is VERY scary for me to think about this year … a true freshman kicker and punter. Our special teams dropped off a lot when Coach Warren Belin left for the NFL. We really miss him for that. 3. Coaching. When you keep doing the same thing over and over again and your opponent sees that, he will use that against you. We have become way too predictable on special teams and on offense at times. I like Mike Bobo a lot. He is not that bad of an offensive coordinator, but he needs to learn to be a little more unpredictable at times. He needs to learn to change on the fly. When something is not working (small tailback up the middle) and you keep doing it, well, what is the definition for doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Insanity.

Mike Bobo has a tendency to stick stubbornly to the script. (University of Georgia)

Mike Bobo has a tendency to stick stubbornly to the script. (University of Georgia)

Can’t argue with your concerns, especially the OL and special teams. As for coaching: OK, I know some think I harp on Bobo too much, but I agree with you, Travis. I don’t think he’s a bad playcaller, but I think he still doesn’t adjust to the realities of a game quickly enough and sticks too stubbornly to his offensive script, whether it’s working or not. We saw that with the ineffective running game in the bowl against Michigan State. A bit more flexibility, and I think Bobo could develop into a first-rate playcaller.

On a related noted, Jeremiah Johnson writes: What ever happened to screens? Richt used them all the time with those tiny backs he always recruited, especially [Tyson] Browning. Weren’t some screens thrown during the spring game? Might we see some during the season? And might this be a good thing?

Yes, in the G-Day game the Black team, which started out with diminutive backs Brandon Harton and Kyle Karempelis, had most of its early offensive success using the tiny tailbacks as receivers on quick screen passes. You’ve touched on one of the things about our passing game that drives me crazy: Bobo’s insistence on calling so many of those slow-developing downfield passing plays, especially on third down. With a questionable offensive line, that’s asking a bit much of your pass protection. Better to get rid of the ball quickly. Georgia has some good possession receivers and yet doesn’t use the short passing game nearly enough.

On the subject of tailgating, which we touched on earlier this week, Cameron Pratt writes: Dear Bill, Back in 2007, I was a pledge for one of the prominent UGA fraternities and can offer a unique perspective on the “trash issue.” We held a massive tailagate on North Campus every week and had become very good at throwing it and cleaning up after ourselves afterwards. Despite the fact that UGA did not provide nearly enough trash cans for the number of fans who were tailgating on North Campus, my organization came prepared. We brought extra trash bags to utilize at our tailgate. During the Auburn game, I was one of the unfortunate souls who had to watch the game from the generator powered TV’s set up at our tailgate in front of the library. … I can say that once the game was about to kickoff, North Campus wasn’t actually that dirty. I’ve tailgated at the quad in Tuscaloosa and the Grove at Ole Miss before a big game, it was no worse than those tailgating areas. The problem was that during the game, literally DOZENS of homeless swarmed every trash can on North Campus. They were ripping bags apart and picking through them, throwing trash everywhere as they searched for things of value. By the 3rd quarter it was a disaster and there was not a single authority figure around anywhere to stop them. Once the game ended, all the mess got pegged on the fans. It wasn’t the fans, it was poor planning by those at the top. They set up North Campus tailgating to fail by not providing the proper resources (too few porta-potties, trashcans, police, and no clean up crew until the next morning). I mean seriously, only 20-30 porta-potties for 20,000 tailgaters (most of whom are drinking beer)? That’s just moronic. My guess was this was done on purpose. 2007 is when UGA started getting a lot of national press for being a “party school” and I think eliminating the festivities on North Campus was the administration’s way to combat UGA’s “party school” reputation. Unfortunately, that move has also deterred many young alumni who can’t afford season tickets from going up to Athens on gameday weekends.

A trashed North Campus led to restrictions on tailgating there. (Tom Ritch / Special)

A trashed North Campus led to restrictions on tailgating there. (Tom Ritch / Special)

Thanks, Cameron. You provide an interesting perspective on the trash problem. I don’t know whether your conspiracy theory has any merit, but I’ll agree that UGA didn’t help matters by not providing enough trash receptacles or toilets and definitely by not having enough university police in the area to keep better order.

Frank Lane writes: I was surprised that Drew Butler was not drafted. Heard he signed with Steelers but have seen no official news of that. What can you tell us about that?

It’s not that surprising for a punter not to get drafted. Many sign as undrafted free agents, as Butler did with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s expected to compete with Jeremy Kapinos, the only other punter currently on the Steelers’ roster.

Jerry Sherlock writes: Hey Bill, I saw recently that Athens has been named one of America’s Top 10 cities for affordable vacations and, as a UGA grad exiled to Ohio, I’m thinking about bringing my wife and kids to the Classic City to get in touch with my Red and Black roots! Got any recommendations on non-sports things I can do in Athens with my family?

While I’m an Athens native and spend a lot of time there, I thought I’d turn to a real expert to help you out: my niece April Moore Skelton, who’s an information coordinator at the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. Here are her recommendations:

Day hike and the Visitors Center at the State Botanical Garden: Let the kids blow off some energy on the hiking trails, then enjoy the cool of the tropical conservatory in the Visitors Center (free).

If they’re interested in a physical adventure: Rent kayaks at Big Dogs on the River and float the Middle Oconee (right off Atlanta Highway near the Howard Johnson).

Visit Active Climbing for climbing walls suited to any weather, any age group.

Take a flying trapeze class at LEAP Trapeze.

I would recommend the foodie family visit the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park on a Saturday morning for exploring and live music. (free).

And the Georgia Museum of Art (especially with the expansion) is phenomenal (and free) — they have kid-friendly activities and tours as well.

Hope these suggestions help!

Thanks, April! That’s it for now. I’ll be back the week after next.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

157 comments Add your comment

Joey

May 12th, 2012
11:03 am

Former Redcoat

May 12th, 2012
11:15 am

As of now the Redcoats will be moving back to the student section in the old area. Now there is a lot of time for athletics to change their mind on this but as it stands they will be back in the corner. Bill, I read your blog daily and you do a great job! Its always awesome when we get a chance to read about the Redcoats!

Doggie in NC

May 12th, 2012
11:17 am

kingdaddy

May 12th, 2012
11:27 am

Bill King ROCKS!!!

Bob

May 12th, 2012
11:39 am

Actually I am a bit sad to hear the Redcoats are headed back to where they were. Sitting in the upper deck on the north side, you could hardly hear them yet we could hear Rocky Top too damn much. I wish they could find a solution, but I really enjoyed actually getting to hear the Redcoats last year.

kingdaddy

May 12th, 2012
11:43 am

Bill (The Real) King
Enjoy the vacation, you deserve to have a great time with your pup! Good to know she wanted to be DGD like her Pop. I’ve got a request and I know you’ll understand. Please don’t be gone to long, I know you need the family time, but there is no one else on the AJC/sports staff we can rely on to bring us Bulldawg News! If I wanted to know everything Nick Saban is doing or thinking, I would go to an Alabama Newspaper. The Alabama Journal & Constitution has really abandoned UGA & G.T. Thankyou for being the steady heat-beat of the Bulldog Nation…

Holy Guacamole

May 12th, 2012
11:50 am

A trash problem and public urination are very predictable outcomes of tailgating at a college football game. While it seems the administration wants the revenue from the game day sales, they don’t seem to want to spend anything to provide adequate receptacles for both trash and urine and so the outcome is highly predictable. To me, the problem is the administration. There are only 5 or 6 opportunities to have tailgating at home games each year for gosh sakes. It should be an enjoyable event for all fans of the university and they should not be pilloried by the administration. Rather, the administration should be doing everything that they can to encourage fans/alumni to support the university and all of it’s functions.

01HAWK

May 12th, 2012
12:06 pm

WOW…………………………Sure is alot to do in ATHENS………………LOL

You might as well stay in OHIO…………………Why would you pass Atlanta to go to Athens ?

Ringleader

May 12th, 2012
12:08 pm

Separating the Band from the Student Section is what Adams wanted, to kill the party atmosphere in the Student Section. For the AD to agree and move the Band is blatent incompetence.

Return to paper tickets for the students, if they sell them, so what. Fill the place up and make it have a home field advantage.

Ole Big Dawg

May 12th, 2012
12:16 pm

If the Dawgs are handling business as they should…u want be hearing any rocky top!

Wilson Pickett

May 12th, 2012
12:49 pm

Students not attending the games will always be a problem and they have the problem at Bama as well. Kids rather party and get drunk than attend the game regardless if you’re #1 or #200.

some sense

May 12th, 2012
12:56 pm

Here you go again, Bill. Your, as you say, “harping” on Bobo has become a reflection on what you don’t know about football. Next topic.

SSIgator

May 12th, 2012
1:04 pm

“as a UGA grad exiled to Ohio”

Typical UGA’er. Spent all his time there drinking and going to music spots. Poor guy didn’t realize that there was nothing else to do in Athens. Save your money and stay in Ohio.

Spike

May 12th, 2012
1:39 pm

Yea, Gainesville is a real paradise.

Holy Guacamole

May 12th, 2012
1:48 pm

@Ringleader 12:08 pm

Yeah, what he said!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

May 12th, 2012
2:19 pm

Let BOBO lead the Redcoat band.

GT is 4th rate high school team

May 12th, 2012
2:31 pm

BOBO is a disaster once the other team’s defense gets to adjust to his offense. LOL

Fred ™

May 12th, 2012
2:36 pm

Thanks bill. You do a bang up job with your blawg. Thanks to your publicizing that there were student tickets for the MS State/UGA game last year, I got to see my first “live” Dawg game.

Go Dawgs and keep up the good work Bill.

UGA '05

May 12th, 2012
3:25 pm

Funny story about calling more screens. At the coaches clinic I got to hear Coach Bobo speak and show some plays on film. One person asked to see some screens. After he showed a few screen plays on film he said “I need to run more screen plays.” and we spent the rest of the time looking at different screen plays.

Wilson Pickett

May 12th, 2012
3:46 pm

Never hire a coach named Bobo.

kingdaddy

May 12th, 2012
4:08 pm

UGA 05
For the last couple of years, I’ve heard that we were going to run more two-tight-end sets, yet we rarely ever use this power-set. It’s much easier to run two up the gut for no-gain and then rolling the dice with a long bomb. Sometimes it even worked ,but more often than not it was inc., int., or Murray was sacked for holding on to the ball too long. We make other Defensive Coordinators look Great than any school in the country! Oh yeah, we punt a lot too. I’ll believe we will run more screens, WHEN I SEE IT! NO EXCUSES THIS YEAR! Use your imagination this year CMB, OR HIT THE ROAD!!!

Gotta get this straight

May 12th, 2012
4:16 pm

So the guy who spoke about the trash was actually there, witnessing the bums and hobos throw trash everywhere, and yet you call it a conspiracy theory? HE WAS THERE BILL!!! He saw it with his own eyes. Its not like he saw some grainy film of it, and made up his own theory about what happened. You insult him with your response, and I don’t really know why you would blow it off like that. Kind of rude if you ask me.

Burma Shave

May 12th, 2012
4:18 pm

Richt is a dummy
Bobo is too
The players are stooges
Who go “Woo woo woo”

BURMA SHAVE

Darrah

May 12th, 2012
4:24 pm

To say that homeless people were responsible for leaving several tons of trash and garbage laying around is ludicrous. It was thousands of trashy fans, not some mythical “homeless.”

But I’ll give the guy an A for creativity.

Bill King

May 12th, 2012
4:32 pm

To Gotta get this straight:
The conspiracy theory I was referring to was his contention that UGA officials deliberately let it happen so they’d have an excuse to shut down the tailgating and combat a party school image. I find that hard to buy.

supsalemgr

May 12th, 2012
4:39 pm

Bill, would llke your take on the three Arkansas receivers arrested for burglary. We know what CMR did. Is the “Petrino Effect” still alive and well at AK?

swgaboy

May 12th, 2012
4:53 pm

I’m sorry the students felt disconnected from the Redcoats last year ….but I know for a fact the could hear the band very clearly. As a result of their whining the gameday experience will decline for 30% of the crowd with the move back. Embarrassing …..more of Sanford stadium can hear the opposing band than the home band. And we wonder why Sanford isn’t a loud and intimidating stadium like most SEC stadia?

Hey supsalemgr...

May 12th, 2012
5:31 pm

…Why would you want to know about the “Petrino Effect” in ALASKA (AK = Alaska; AR = Arkansas).

Did you go to UGA to learn about state abbreviations?

BungieBill

May 12th, 2012
6:18 pm

I’m not worried about any of the areas Travis questioned:
1) O-Line–can’t be worse than 33 sacks and 14 interceptions and 7th in SEC in rushing
2) Special Teams–can’t be worse than 12th in SEC in kick return and punt returns and field goal %
3) Coaching–good enough

My top 3 concerns:
1) Murray’s SEC worst 14 interceptions
2) Murray’s SEC worst 33 sacks
3) Grantham’s SEC worst 39 points allowed vs. ranked teams

These 3 areas, have been issues for 2 years straight.

bad brad

May 12th, 2012
6:31 pm

I agree w/Bob’s comments. I, too sit in North upper level and it was nice to actually hear our band this past season. I would suggest putting them in the east endzone. They would be sitting up a bit and the sound would get to most parts of the stadium. Best thing they did along these lines was eliminate the loud speakers that the visiting cheerleaders used to set up. Hoddy Toddy used to make me want to puke every other year after they did it for the 30th time.

Joe

May 12th, 2012
7:40 pm

Concerning the inconsistancy of the offensive line in recent years, If Bobo’s play calling is predictable it is a great advantage for a defense. It does not seem difficult for a defense to pick up his tendencies in respect to the situation at hand in the game. The OL will become more consistant if the defense has been thrown off guard by a change in play calling throughout the game. With all the running backs we have. Running on first down to see how many yards we can get should be an indicator of what to call the next play. If it is second and one. There is no need to throw the ball. Get the first down and keep the chains moving. That is just one instance of common sense with play calling. Sucker them like he did vs UF with Marino and then hit them with the long pass after faking the run. That kept UF off balance the whole game. He had never done anything like that before and UF was not ready for it. Keeping the defense off guard will improve the offensive line.

ole yeller

May 12th, 2012
7:42 pm

Bill,
I don’t think we will need to wait until mid-season to find out about the “O” line. You are correct when you say Theus will start. Yes he will, he’s that good and will make the rest better, trust me. The “O” line will be knocking the big boys back on their heels. This season The “O” will GOOOOOO.

RufusDog

May 12th, 2012
7:48 pm

Aaron Murray is my No 1 concern. Throws too many interceptions. Doesn’t hit the outlet receiver enough, thus, takes far too many sacks. Isn’t accurate. And bottom line, he’s not a winner, 0-9 vs. ranked teams, 4-10 vs. winning teams.

RufusDog

May 12th, 2012
7:49 pm

Defense is my No. 2 concern. Defense, vs. ranked teams, gave up 30-45 points against Boise, South Carolina, LSU, and Mich St. Couldn’t stop any of the better teams.

ole yeller

May 12th, 2012
8:01 pm

RufusDog,
Last season Murray gave away a lot of points in turnovers in the game in your post. I think if he and Bobo don’t start fast with the cast they have you will see changes early. Coach “R” knows he has something special with this 2012 team, he want be patient

RufusDog

May 12th, 2012
8:15 pm

Murray threw 6 interceptions, on his own side of the field.

And Murray had 6 catastrophic plays, int’s or fumbles for instant td’s.

Might have won 14 games last year with Mason or Lemay.

RufusDog

May 12th, 2012
8:19 pm

On second look, Murray threw 8 interceptions on his portion of the field.

8 interceptions, with terrible field position.

And 6 mistakes for immediate touchdowns.

Amazing we won 10 games.

RufusDog

May 12th, 2012
8:22 pm

Grantham’s been a huge dissapointment.

Grantham gave up 39 points a game vs. ranekd teams in 2012.

That’s worse than Willie Martinez ever did.

That’s hard to imagine.

sundawg

May 12th, 2012
9:22 pm

Have you noticed on gameday that UGA is the only place that the closer you get to the stadium, the more quite it becomes? From Park past the stadium, gameday is not much different than a normal day. I call it the”Atlantazation” of Ga. football. Instead of the diehards who can’t park without an act of the president, we have the typical Atlanta sports fan as the core of Dawg football. No home field advantage except that players sleep in their own bed.

Not talking about true Dawgs — you know who you are — but the sector that show up 1 hour before kickoff, get mad because people stand during the game and then leave early to beat the traffic. You know, the same people who skipped Braves’ playoff games back in the day.

We have fallen behind other schools, and the fault lies in the mirror.

Spike 80DF

May 12th, 2012
9:34 pm

yea rufusdog, 5th ranked D in the country isn’t good enough…..i’m sure you’re not a dawg fan but i’m taking the bait anyway.

chavez ravine dawg

May 13th, 2012
12:30 am

Bill-ur great! Keep up the good work!

RED DOG 77

May 13th, 2012
12:38 am

Bill, Mike Bobo stubbornly sticking with the running game against Michigan State or whomever makes perfect since to me…………..A substancial portion of the plays in any football game must [in college anyway] be alotted to the run…………..lets say at least 50-50………..in order to finally win any kind of championship, any great college team will not only have to run the ball with success, but also “bang away” without success, in order to wear down your opponent for the 4th quarter “kill shot”…………….Anyone who doesn’t realize this, simply doesn’t understand college football……………………GO DOGS!!!…………..GATA

Fan

May 13th, 2012
12:39 am

Bill,

I’m a former Redcoat that spent 4 years in the corner student section. I saw them in the new section this year and had mixed feelings. That is still the student section – all of those seats in the end zone are assigned to students – don’t know why people think different. However, the more intense students flock to the corner.
That area is really harsh with the weather. It’s the last place to get any shade / cover from the elements. Combine that with packing 500 people into an area designed for 400, thick black wool uniforms, the 100* noon sun, along with the marching, constant playing, and bloodied lips – its not an easy task. However, it’s one of the best experiences you can ask for in the end and the bonds formed last a lifetime.
I don’t like the football being kicked into the band in the endzone, but there is much better protection for the group there from everything else, and there is more room as well. I’m undecided which is better, as I never played in the endzone. But, if they stayed there, the students would eventually flock to the endzone by the band over the years. I didn’t know there were plans to move them back to the corner.
Adams (as much as I dislike him) doesn’t have a conspiracy theory to move the band and take the fans out of the game. The marching band as had 4 separate head directors since 2004. Since 2006, every single faculty / staff person who had a say in the redcoat band (from the director of the school of music, director of athletic bands, director of the marching band, all his assistants, all the section staff and auxillary staff, and all the grad students) are different. The current band director has been there since 2008, and he implemented a lot of changes as well. I’m not sure who dictated the move to the end zone, but I’m not surprised by it with all of the other changes that were made.

bitter jim donnan

May 13th, 2012
12:42 am

boring————————————————————–duh!

LAND Jacket

May 13th, 2012
12:47 am

Boboo must go.

kingdaddy

May 13th, 2012
7:25 am

Here’s a scenario for you: For a change, CMR TELLS CMB ” I want to control the clock this year with a more unpredictible running game. I want to take it outside to strech the defense. I want to use half-back passes, more screens and sweeps. We get them chasing us outside, then we’re gonna bust it up the middle or play-action pass when they do not expect it! WE WILL BE MORE UNPREDICTIBLE, OR YOU WILL BE REPLACED WITH SOMEONE WHO WON’T GET ME FIRED! I WANT MY MY MY OFFENSE ON THE FIELD, NOT MY MY MY DEFENSE! IF ARRON MURRAY CAN’T HAND THE BALL OFF, THEN GIVE IT TO HUTSON OR LeMAY! ” Other teams know what Bobo is going to do before he sends the play in! You better change it this year CMR , OR YOU WILL HEAR THE BOO’S LONG AND LOUD AND EARLY. It is INEVITABLE…

Eddie

May 13th, 2012
7:46 am

Rufus the dufus!

kingdaddy

May 13th, 2012
8:06 am

RED DOG 77
I’ll tell you what I understand, running a 175 lb. running back into a wall, over and over set us up for the kill shot and we got killed. LOL…I don’t think our running game fooled ANYONE last year,much less a KILL-SHOT. Sorry RED DOG 77, but that was funny!!!

Hmmmmmmm

May 13th, 2012
8:23 am

Why in the world would you let your daughter go to UGA???

Neutral

May 13th, 2012
8:53 am

For the first time in many years I was able to hear the Redcoats last season. I say leave them and have more students around them…….much better for the overall experience. I agree with several other bloggers who said they could hear Rocky Top (over and over) much better than the Redcoats. I don’t think the purpose of our band is to have them settled-in comfortably with students…….I think they should want to be heard more than anything else.