September 7, 2011

Were Dawgs out of sync?

Yes, it may have looked confusing - Aaron Murray stepping up behind center, then glancing over toward the sideline to get the offensive call.

But according to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, that was all part of his plan.

"It gives you the advantage to see what they are in defensively and then get in the right play. It's easier to see it upstairs than at quarterback level, especially how they might be playing on the perimeter," said Bobo. "There are still a number of things we did do at the line that Murray did, but there will be more. We're going to look to the sideline to get the play."

It's certainly a different approach.

Bobo spent all of 2010 on the sideline, but will be in the press box this fall as the Bulldogs hope to incorporate more of the no-huddle into their offensive plan.

Reviews were mixed after Saturday's 35-21 loss to Boise State as the Bulldogs hurt themselves with penalties and at times poor execution against the Broncos' veteran defensive line.

There were other issues as well.

" I think early on we didn't do a good job with the crowd noise. There was little bit of nerves, too," Bobo said. "Justin (Anderson) was excited to play and had a couple of false starts, and we were stuck on their side of the field with their fans and couldn't flip it, but that first two drives I think we had our pace fine. You just can't go three and out when you're trying to go fast."

Bobo felt Murray's performance was solid, although he completed just over 50 percent of his passes (16 of 29) for 236 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, despite heavy pressure from the Boise State D.

"I thought Murray played well. I thought his eyes were in the right spot every time," Bobo said. "I thought he was going to the right guys. He was high on a couple of throws, you're not going to hit everyone, but I thought he was on top of his game and going to the right guys."

Saturday figures to be just as big of a challenge.

According to Bobo, 12th-ranked South Carolina employs many of the same defensive tendencies as the Broncos, who sacked Murray six times and with the exception of an 80-yard touchdown run by Brandon Boykin, kept Georgia's running game bottled up for most of the contest, averaging just 1.9 yards per rush the rest of the game.

"There's some carryover. They're an over-front team, mainly a three-technique to the tight end like Boise was. They go from four down to three down like Boise does, so there is some carryover," Bobo said. "Boise did some different things, but that's every game. Both of them are pretty similar to how they play and both of them have very good defensive lines."

Bobo conceded he probably should have tried to get freshman Isaiah Crowell on the perimeter more than he did against Boise State.

"We tried a couple of times, but things just didn't happen that way because he's (Crowell) a guy you want to get in space," he said. "He's a good runner inside and out. He can definitely do something with the ball in his hands, we've just got to keep doing it. Like (South Carolina freshman defensive end Jadeveon) Clowney, I think he will get better week in and week out. He's going to be a great player."

Bobo said the no-huddle will continue to be a big part of the Bulldog arsenal, despite some of the apparent issues on Saturday.

"I think there are a lot of correctable mistakes," Bobo said. "You can always tell a lot about a team from Game 1 to Game 2 . I'm disappointed we didn't win and didn't execute like we thought we would going into that game. But there's a lot to learn and a lot we can correct from that."

Keeping out of long-yardage situations would be a good start, Bobo said, conceding the Bulldogs' issues with run blocking played a role in that.

"Yeah, a little bit. I wanted us to take some shots early and knew that second down was going to be important. We didn't do as well on second and long as we would have liked to and had too many third and longs," he said. "Sometimes we had a second-and-6 and wound up losing two yards and got us third-and-8. While that's not necessarily run blocking on every particular play, it was a good play by them and sometimes not a good play by us where we didn't execute."

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