Ten@10: Mike Bobo’s offense rolling into record books — again

Despite changes and attrition, Georgia's offense just gets better and better under the guidance of Mike Bobo. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Despite changes and attrition, Georgia’s offense just gets better and better under the guidance of Mike Bobo. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Bobo Bashers beware: Georgia is on pace to set some more offensive records this season.

Heading into the final regular-season game Saturday against Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs lead the SEC in scoring and not by just a little bit. They have scored 476 points, or 43.3 per game, which 4.3 more points per game than the league’s No. 2 scoring team, Mississippi State (429 total).

That’s on pace to obliterate the school record of 37.8 points per game established only two years ago. Georgia also is in line to run down the school touchdown record. It currently has 63 – five more than any other SEC team – which is nine shy of the 72 scored by the 2012 team. That squad, of course, had the luxury of playing 14 games overall, including the SEC championship game.

Now for some perspective: Take into account that the Bulldogs have logged this production in a season in which the top two tailbacks coming in – Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall – combined for only 150 rushing attempts between. It also happened in a year that receivers Malcolm Mitchell (4), Justin Scott-Wesley (7) and Jonathon Rumph (8) missed a combined 19 games due to injuries and other setback.

Oh, yeah, and it came in a season the Bulldogs were breaking in a new quarterback and three new starters on the offensive line, including a new left tackle.

Bobo’s play-calling gets criticized a lot, none more than after Georgia’s 38-35 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 13 when Gurley didn’t get the ball on first-and-goal from the 4. But that’s the fate off all coaches placed in a position of call responsibilities. The reality is, Bobo should be in the running again for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes annually to college football’s top assistant.

2. Speaking of scoring, here’s some interesting food for thought from UGA’s resident stat man, Dave McMahon. McMahon points out that Georgia has led the SEC in scoring nine times in history. In six of those nine years, the Bulldogs won the SEC.

  • Year … PPG … Record
  • 1941 … 27.9 … 9-1-1
  • 1942 … 33.4 … 11-1*
  • 1944 … 26.9 … 7-3
  • 1946 … 37.2 … 11-0*
  • 1968 … 28.2 … 8-1-2*
  • 1976 … 29.5 … 10-2*
  • 1981 … 32.0 … 10-2*
  • 1992 … 32.0 … 10-2
  • 2002 … 32.1 … 13-1*
  • 2014 … 43.3 … ???
  • * SEC champion
Remember when Nick Chubb lost his shoe on this doomed tackle attempt and continued on a 47-yard TD run? He was fourth string that day (AP photo)

Remember when Nick Chubb lost his shoe on this doomed tackle attempt and continued on a 47-yard TD run? He was fourth string that day (AP photo)

3. It helps to have a backup tailback the likes of Nick Chubb when it comes to keeping the offense moving in the face of attrition. The freshman from Cedartown closed in on locking down SEC freshman of the year honors – can there really be any doubt at this point? — with Monday night’s news that he was named the conference’s freshman of the week for the fifth time this season.

That’s right, five. Taking into the account the overall offensive player of the week award Chubb received after the Arkansas game, that’s six SEC awards for him this season. The tailback will make his sixth start of the year on Saturday against Georgia Tech.

Chubb didn’t have to work nearly as hard for this latest award as he did those other ones. He posted his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 113 yards and two touchdowns against Charleston Southern. But he did it on only nine carries – that’s 12.6-yard average – and playing just two quarters of play. Chubb’s average was helped considerably by an 83-yard touchdown run, the longest in Sanford Stadium history, which came on his second carry of the day.

Chubb’s distinction gives Georgia an astonishing 13 SEC weekly awards the 11 weeks they played a game this season. Gurley was named the offensive player of the week twice, senior inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera and senior defensive back Damian Swann were named the defensive player of the week once each, freshman tailback Sony Michel was named freshman of the week after the Sept. 20 game against Troy, freshman outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was named and freshman Isaiah McKenzie were named defensive player and special teams player of the week, respectively, after the Kentucky game.

All Mark Few has done is lead the Zags to the NCAA tournament every year he's been there since 1999. (AP photo)

All Mark Few has done is lead the Zags to the NCAA tournament every year he’s been there since 1999. (AP photo)

4. We’ll get a good idea of how competitive Georgia’s basketball team might be on a national level this week as the Bulldogs enter semifinal play in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament tonight at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Georgia (3-1) tips off against No. 10 Gonzaga (4-0) Wednesday night at 9:30. The West Coast Bulldogs – commonly referred to as Zags – have won their first four games by an average of 42 points. The winner will face the St. John’s-Minnesota winner on Friday. The losers will also face off in a consolation game.

Georgia is 2-2 all time against Gonzaga. Coach Mark Fox, who spent several years coaching at Nevada, is quite familiar with the Zags and coach Mark Few.

“I’ve known Mark Few for nearly 25 years,” Fox said. “I’m not the Gonzaga expert but they’ve got a terrific team, and this will be as good of a team as we’ll play probably all year. They’re terrific. And I know Kentucky’s great and we’ve got a lot of good teams in our league, but this is a great basketball team and an experienced team and we want to play very, very well to give ourselves a chance to win. But it’s time for another test like that.”

5. You’ve got to love the attitude of Georgia’s Kolton Houston.

Houston

Houston

The senior offensive tackle – or is it junior? – is not sweating whatever the NCAA’s ultimate decision is going to be on his request for a sixth year of eligibility. Houston recently sent in the official paperwork requesting a waiver from the standard five-year limit to complete four years of athletic eligibility.

In the meantime, Houston plans to participate in Saturday’s Senior Day activities as a senior. If the NCAA gives him another year, he’ll just do it all again next year.

“I’m pretty familiar with the whole limbo thing,” he said. “I’m going to treat it like it’s my last game. I’ve sort of treated it like this is my last go-around. I’ll be blessed to get another opportunity.”

6. This is just our annual reminder that Tech and Georgia don’t agree on the record in their football series. The Bulldogs don’t count two games won by Georgia Tech during World War II.

Magill

Magill

On the field, the Yellow Jackets won the 1943 and ’44 games 48-0 and 44-0, respectively. At the time, UGA fielded what the press referred to as a “civilian team.” All of the able-bodied players – such as a sergeant named Charley Trippi – were off fighting the war. What was left were freshmen who were too young to be drafted and other students who did not qualify for service.

Meanwhile, Tech fielded a “V-12” squad, a term meaning it consisted of Navy and other military trainees of varying ages and backgrounds.

The Yellow Jackets point to the fact that it was Frank “Red” Broyles of Decatur who led them to victory those two seasons. Georgia points to the seasons before and after it lost 82 men to the armed forces. The Bulldogs won a by a combined score of 55-0 in ’41-42 and 68-7 in ’45-46.

Nevertheless, Georgia agreed to play the games under those conditions. It even sold 25,000 tickets to the ’44 affair in Athens. But years later Bulldogs’ legend Dan Magill led a movement to have the results stricken from the UGA record.

Hence, Georgia records show it leads the 108-year-old series 64-37-5 and Tech has the record as 64-39-5.

7. Just a week removed from all the rhetoric about Georgia’s desperate need for an indoor practice facility there is, of course, rain in the forecast. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, it’s much better than earlier predictions.

As of Tuesday, there’s only a 20 percent chance of precipitation. Nevertheless, UGA has to plan for the possibility.

“If it’s not lightning, we’ll just go and do it,” Richt said. “The game is going to be played outside, obviously. There’s always a chance the weather turns where you get some rain. The forecast is not for rain or Saturday, but it could happen. Normally, if it’s normal rain and not any kind of lightning out there, we’ll (practice outside).”

What Andy Landers has done at Georgia is worth writing home about. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

What Andy Landers has done at Georgia is worth writing home about. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

8. Coach Andy Landers’ Lady Bulldogs have quietly gotten off to an impressive start. Georgia improved to 4-0 on the season with road wins at Ohio State and Georgia Tech last week.

Landers now has 847 wins in his 36 seasons at Georgia. With three more wins, Landers will become just the seventh college basketball coach – men’s or women’s – to have 850 victories at one Division I school. He’ll Pat Summitt, Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski, Geno Auriemma, Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp.

9. What has helped the Lady Bulldogs get off to such a strong start has been the play of freshman Mackenzie Engram. The Hillgrove High graduate took care of three career milestones in one swift swoop at Ohio State. Engram recorded her first double-digit scoring output (12 points), her first double-figure rebounding performance (10) and, hence, her first double-double against Buckeyes. Engram did so in front of approximately 20 friends and family, including her mother, Michelle Zelina, an Ohio State alum.

10. This & that: Lost in all the drama surrounding Gurley’s Georgia career ending prematurely is the one UGA record he locked down – rushing yards per attempt. Gurley’s average of 6.44 yards just nosed out Trippi (6.42) for the top spot in the Bulldogs’ annals. … Gurley, by the way, is to undergo knee surgery this week, according to Richt. … All of Georgia’s seniors will serve as captains Saturday, as per UGA’s tradition. However, the four players designated for the coin toss and on-field captaincy are linebacker Ramik Wilson, center David Andrews, quarterback Hutson Mason and defensive lineman Ray Drew. … Richt is urging fans for a “Red Out” for Saturday’s game, according to a tweet from his Twitter account. … https://twitter.com/MarkRicht/status/536878943941722112


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