Mike Bobo has always been good. He was a good quarterback. He was a good quarterbacks coach. And he's been a good offensive coordinator.
But coming into the 2010 season, Mark Richt and Georgia face pressure to go beyond good. With a redshirt freshman at quarterback, the majority of that pressure falls directly on Bobo.
As offensive coordinator since 2006, Bobo has experienced the good with the bad. Critics heralded him as an up-and-coming star in 2007 as Georgia put together an 11-2 season. The offensive was dominant under Bobo's play-calling. Led by Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, Georgia averaged 32 points per game that season, finishing with a rout of Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.
If that was the high point of Bobo's career, however, 2009 was the low. Georgia's offense was wildly inconsistent. After posting over 40 points against both South Carolina and Arkansas, the offense collapsed against Arizona State, LSU, and Tennesse (the latter was perhaps the worst-coached game in Bobo's career).
Critics pointed out that Bobo's success in 2007 had been largely due to offensive stars like Stafford and Moreno. In other words, who couldn't be successful with those players? As a result, in 2009, when given a quarterback like Joe Cox, Bobo's true abilities came to light.
Which is why 2010 is such an opportunity for Bobo. He's got a good but inexperienced quarterback in Aaron Murray (as opposed to a bad but experienced quarterback in Cox). Murray's success will depend largely on whether Bobo can find ways to maximize his talent while limiting the pressure and load on his shoulders.
In short, Bobo has to be the experience that Murray lacks as a redshirt freshman. He can't throw the ball for him. But he can tell him where and when to throw it. He can give him opportunities to succeed, or he can put him in situations where he's destined for failure.
Murray has the talent. Bobo has the experience. It's up to Bobo to weld the two together.
There won't be excuses this time, not for the critics or the fans of Bobo. Georgia's season is dependent on Murray, and in that sense, it's largely dependent on Bobo.
Richt has repeatedly said that Murray is not being asked to be a hero. He might as well say that's because he's asking Bobo to be one instead.
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