Bobo, 38, is finishing his sixth full season as the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator. The former Georgia quarterback has been on coach Mark Richt’s staff for 12 seasons.
Georgia has scored 456 points and 62 touchdowns this season. Bobo has been a frequent target for fan criticism in past seasons, but not this year with an offense that is third in the Southeastern Conference in scoring (38.0 per game) and total yards (463.7 yards).
“We’re doing a nice job right now,” Bobo said of his offense. “Balance is the No. 1 thing. I think Aaron (Murray) being extremely accurate, able to throw the ball on first down and complete a high percentage of passes and then we’ve got guys that can make big plays on runs, on passes. Just the number of big plays we’ve had this year has just helped our offense tremendously. It’s hard to drive the ball, eight, nine plays on any defense.”
The other finalists: Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason.
The winner will be announced a week from today in Little Rock, Ark. The award is named after former Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles.
A 10-person panel, which included former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, chose the finalists
Among past award winners are Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (2009) and former Georgia defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder (2003).
Freshmen backs on display
The top freshman tailback in the Southeastern Conference will be on display Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon can make their case in the league title game.
Gurley is second in the SEC in rushing with 1,138 yards with 14 touchdowns. Yeldon is 12th with 847 yards and 10 scores.
The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Yeldon averages 6.6 yards per carry while the 6-1, 218-pound Gurley gets 6.5 per rush.
Gurley, from Tarboro, N.C., ranks third in the nation among freshmen rushers. Yeldon, who hails from Daphne, Ala. is eighth.
“They are very similar,” Georgia linebacker Christian Robinson said. “They both run really hard. When I look at Todd I just see lower body. You know, people try to hit him high a lot of times, and he just keeps churning his legs and gets those extra yards and makes a lot of people miss. What I've seen of Yeldon, he has the speed to get around the edge. He turns up a lot on people that don't think he's as fast as he really is. You've got to hold the edge of the defense or else he's gone. I think Todd has speed as well. Obviously looking at Yeldon, he looks a little bit faster, but I would say Todd's a little bit bigger and more of a bruiser.”
Both Gurley and Yeldon share the load in their backfields.
Junior tailback Eddie Lacy leads the Crimson Tide with 1,001 yards and 14 touchdowns. He averages 13.7 carries per game while Yeldon gets 10.8.
“Yeah, we're a lot fresher than we would be if we were taking 20, 25 plus carries a game,” Lacy said. “You know, the rotation we have helps out a lot in that department.”
Gurley likewise benefits when Georgia brings in fellow freshman, Keith Marshall, who has rushed for 720 yards and eight touchdowns.
“We haven't really faced a team that has a one two punch like that,” Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “That's one reason Georgia's offense is pretty explosive. Then again, we're going against two great running backs each day in practice, so we have to use that to our advantage and make sure we do our best to try to contain those guys.”
Georgia and Alabama haven’t played since 2008, but there have been more frequent battles on the recruiting trail in recent years on players from the Peach State.
“There certainly has been lately,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “More so maybe in the last few years.”
Georgia won out for receiver Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Jordan Jenkins, cornerback Damian Swann and former Bulldog tailback Isaiah Crowell.
Alabama got linebackers Xzavier Dickson and Dillon Lee and cornerback Geno Smith. It has 19 players on its roster listed from Georgia.
“I’ve been ready for this before I even left high school,” said Jenkins, who had Alabama as his long-time leader, knows most of the current freshmen and said he played Xbox with Smith online last week. “I’m just hyped up for it.”
This and that
Richt said on his radio show Monday night that Georgia would turn to Hutson Mason in the SEC title game if Murray was “out for the rest of the game or the rest of the season. Then I think Hutson would jump in there and play.” Mason is otherwise heading for a redshirt season. “He’d be willing to jump in and help us win that game because it does mean so much.”
Safety Bacarri Rambo got his first weekly SEC honor in his final regular season game. Rambo shared the SEC defensive player of the week award with South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. Rambo had eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a 49-yard fumble recovery return in the Bulldogs’ 42-10 win against Georgia Tech.
The SEC is warning fans about possible counterfeit or stolen tickets being sold on the secondary market. Individuals with such tickets will be denied access to the game, according to the league.