|The numbers don't lie -- Georgia's offense has been more productive in every conceivable |
facet since Bobo has been calling the plays, except one (but it's a BIG one).
The last few seasons, there has been much grumbling regarding the play calling of OC Mike Bobo. Perhaps never was it more evident than during the first half of Georgia's sub-par campaign of 2010. Following the Bulldogs' loss at Colorado and a 1-4 start to their season, I posted offensive production statistics for the 46 games Bobo had been calling the plays compared to Richt's last 46 in the same role.
I was quite surprised in the results, which favored Bobo in most every aspect.
Twenty-two games later and as I'm observing Bobo call repeated runs up the middle for lost yardage in the Outback Bowl, I first considered comparing the two coach's again. After receiving a couple of emails from readers since the loss to Michigan State, asking if I had updated my original comparison, I decided to calculate the offensive production statistics again over the weekend.
This time, I evaluated the entire 144-game Mark Richt era: 76 with Richt calling the plays (2001 season opener through 2006 Auburn) and 68 with Bobo (2006 Georgia Tech through 2012 Outback Bowl). Considering 52 additional games were being recognized than before, or an increase of more than 55 percent, I thought there could very well be different results than when I compared the two coach's the first time.
Not so much...
Since Bobo has been calling the plays, the Bulldogs have averaged more than one-half offensive touchdown per game than scored by Richt's offenses. Bobo has also averaged more yards per play, both rushing and passing, and has settled for less field goals.
Off. TDs per game:
Richt 3.03; Bobo 3.57
Yards per play:
Richt 5.72 (3.98 rush, 7.98 pass); Bobo 5.92 (4.27 rush, 8.02 pass)
FGs per game:
Richt 1.67 of 2.20; Bobo 1.44 of 1.96
Bobo's offenses have turned the ball over less and punted fewer times per game. Also, despite Bulldog quarterbacks getting sacked a combined 58 times the last two seasons, Bobo's offenses have still maintained a lower sack percentage (times sacked/times sacked + pass attempts).
Turnovers per game:
Richt 1.70; Bobo 1.57
Punts per game:
Richt 4.34; Bobo 4.22
Richt 5.97; Bobo 5.15
Bobo has been better at converting on 3rd down and on both 3rd and 4th down combined. Bobo has a slight edge in Red-Zone points per game, and even more telling, a significant advantage of +0.66 in Red-Zone points per Red-Zone visit. Moreover, and perhaps the most eye-popping difference, Bobo's offenses have possessed the ball an average of more than three minutes per game than Richt's did.
Richt 39.6; Bobo 42.0
3rd + 4th Pct.:
Richt 41.1; Bobo 42.9
RZ Pts per game:
Richt 18.84; Bobo 19.19
RZ pts per RZ visit:
Richt 4.52; Bobo 5.18
Time of Possession:
Richt 28:45; Bobo 31:56
And probably my favorite stat - the YPP, or "yards per point," or in this case, how hard a team had to "work" to score its points. As I mentioned in October 2010, although a team's defense and special teams units certainly play a role in the offensive YPP, the ratio is an excellent representation of an offense's overall efficiency. The lower the offensive YPP, the better.
Richt 13.71; Bobo 12.41
As I also mentioned following the Colorado game a year ago, I realize my comparison doesn't necessarily equate to each coach's play-calling prowess, but more so their respective offense's production. In addition, obviously each coach faced different defenses while armed with different offensive players; however, it can certainly be argued the opposing defenses faced and offensive talent present for Georgia during the two periods were presumably at or at least near the same levels.
In closing, since Bobo has been calling the plays, Georgia's offense has been more productive than Richt's offenses for every single measurement I felt was appropriate in comparing the two periods, EXCEPT one -- the most important statistic of them all:
RICHT calling the plays: 59-17 record (34-14 in SEC, 17-13 vs. AP-ranked opponents)
BOBO calling the plays: 47-21 record (26-14 in SEC, 13-14 vs. AP-ranked opponents)
It's no secret that many in the Bulldog Nation (including yours truly on occasion), during Georgia's last few seasons of mediocrity, have been quick to point the finger at Bobo's play calling as a major issue. However, at least comparatively speaking, I'm beginning to believe that Bobo isn't necessarily a problem but maybe a scapegoat, and something else besides his play calling, or lack thereof, should be focused upon.