The decision to not hand it to Gurley while on the 4 yard line is one that certainly helped keep Georgia from winning Saturday, but it is hardly the only reason why Georgia lost. I can’t believe after all this time folks are still complaining about Mike Bobo.
Look, Mike Bobo is an excellent recruiter and is a big reason for Georgia’s success in recent years.
I don’t blame him, or generally question his calls. I’ve been a loud and proud defender of Mike Bobo for a long time.
Not giving it to Todd Gurley with 1st and Goal on the 4 yard line was a bad, bad decision in an otherwise well-called game. Anytime you score 35 points on the road, in the rain no less, you are doing something right. And that play call, the play-action pass to the tight end, is a bread and butter play of ours that has worked a lot and scored a bunch of touchdowns for Georgia over the years, including earlier in the game.
I want to make it clear…we didn’t lose the game solely because of that bad call on the goal line.
With all that said, I keep on going back to this:
Why not give the ball to Gurley?
I thought back to Florida when they had Tim Tebow. In 2006, when Tebow would come in, you knew what he was going to do, and Florida by God did it. From 2007-2009, in that situation, everyone in America knew Tebow was going to run up the middle in those situations. Or do that stupid jump pass. And it worked. Every time. When Auburn had Cam Newton, in that situation, what would happen? We all know that Cam would have kept it.
You have the best tailback at your school in a generation. You have the best player at that position in the entire country on your team. Why would you not put the ball in his hand in that situation? What is the point of having an All-American, Heisman trophy candidate in Todd Gurley if you aren’t going to put the ball in his hands in the most crucial of situations? So what if everyone knew it was going to happen?
Spurrier saw a weakness in our defense and exploited it all night. We knew what was going to happen, and we couldn’t stop it. If it is working, and you have the talent, why not dare them to stop it? Georgia had 4 tries to get 4 yards with the best running back in America.
It harkened back to the South Carolina game in 2007. In case you don’t remember, Georgia got the ball back down 7 with 6 minutes left in the game. Knowshon had runs of 10 yards then 11 yards to get down to the South Carolina 11 yard line. The next three plays were incomplete passes to Michael Moore, Tripp Chandler and Tony Wilson. Trusting my memory here, either Massaquoi and Bailey, the two best receivers, were not even on the field. You just had Knowshon gash the defense, and you went away from that. Now, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and those are mistakes you can expect a coordinator to make in his 4th game calling plays. Not from someone who is in their 8th year calling plays.
I think we panicked. This game reminded me of many of the heartbreaking games in Jacksonville in the early 2000s, except with better offense and worse defense. Costly (BS) penalties and having to settle for field goals was eerily similar. But it goes back to confidence. In all those games in Jacksonville, we had superior players, and during the Zook era superior coaching. In Jacksonville, we never had the confidence. For whatever reason Saturday night, we didn’t have the confidence in our best player to put the ball in his hand in a crucial situation.
Florida would with Tebow. Auburn did with Cam. Why didn’t Georgia with Gurley?