Bobo's time has come

ATHENS – On Thursday night, Georgia quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo warned his wife Lainie that their lives might never be the same.

Bobo had learned earlier in the day that he would be taking over the Bulldogs' play calling from head coach Mark Richt for at least Saturday's Georgia Tech game and the upcoming bowl game. The position marks a significant moment in the coaching career of the former Georgia quarterback but also makes him No. 2 in line for any frustration felt by fans.

Fifty minutes into Bobo's debut, things weren't going well. Georgia had scored no offensive points and totaled just 183 yards on its first nine drives against the Yellow Jackets. Thankfully for all the Bobos, Georgia's 10th drive was its longest of the season, a seven-minute, five-second march that covered 64 yards and ended with the decisive touchdown in a 15-12 win.

"My wife is just glad we scored one time," Bobo said Monday. "She was glad we scored some points. That's part of it when you're calling the plays, people are going to complain. I told her she better get ready for it."

No one is complaining yet, though. In fact, many Georgia fans have been waiting for Richt to turn over the play calling and were delighted by the news, which Richt revealed Sunday. The change in Bobo's duties probably will be permanent, but that won't be determined until the offseason.

Bobo wasn't too concerned, he said, that Richt would change in his mind midway through the Tech game.

"Coach Richt is a man of conviction, and that's the big thing," Bobo said. "I thanked him that he had confidence in me. We hadn't scored any points, but he had confidence in me that I knew what I was doing, and fortunately the guys made some plays on that last drive."

Georgia finished with 255 yards, its third-lowest of the season, against a defense that is ranked 20th in the nation.

Bobo said he and offensive line coach Neil Callaway knew it would be tough to run the ball against Georgia Tech's defensive scheme but decided Friday that they must be patient with the ground game. The Bulldogs averaged just 2.3 yards per carry but rushed the ball eight more times than they threw it (37 to 29).

Bobo only had one regret after the game, he said.

"Probably looking back on it we would have liked to find a way or two to take another shot down field," he said.

Bobo was "a little surprised" when Richt told him of the promotion, he said.

"To be honest, I was nervous the closer it got," he said, "but I used to have nerves when I played, too, and once the game got started I really wasn't that nervous."

Richt said he almost turned over play calling to Bobo before the season, and Bobo said Monday that Richt talked to him about the making the switch again midway through the season, when the Bulldogs were struggling to move the ball and win games.

"I told him, ‘Coach, I don't think it's the play calling. I think it's our lack of execution,'" Bobo said.

Bobo's role has changed only on game days. His weekly duties will remain the same, and Richt still will make the final decisions about what goes into the game plan.

"I'm working for a good guy, not just a good guy but a good football coach, and I've learned a lot, and I'm just going to take this as a learning experience and try to get ready for the next game and hopefully call some plays and put them in a position to be successful," he said. "I've just got to keep doing my job. Obviously, now it's some added responsibility."

NOTE: Junior cornerback Paul Oliver was named the SEC defensive player of the week after forcing a fumble, intercepting a pass and holding Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson to just two receptions in the Bulldogs' victory.


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