Mike Bobo knows what kind of pressure cooker he’s walking into as Georgia’s offensive coordinator. He served in the role before, leading the Georgia offense from 2007 to 2014.
But in replacing Todd Monken, the gold standard for offensive coordinators at Georgia, Bobo faces increased levels of scrutiny. He will constantly be compared to what Monken was able to do at Georgia, in addition to the usual second-guessing that comes from fans and the media about personnel decisions and play calling.
Related: Todd Monken forever reset the offensive standard for football in Kirby Smart, Georgia
Bobo has found success at Georgia before and will be tasked with doing so in an immediate way for the Bulldogs in 2023. The program is going for its third national championship.
Below is a look at Bobo’s previous offenses at Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn, up against Monken’s time at Georgia. The data points from South Carolina and Auburn don’t exactly do Bobo justice, as he was working with far less talent, but his previous offense at UGA was in 2014.
The main job of Georgia’s offensive coordinator is to score points. Everyone from Kirby Smart to Monken to retiring quarterback Stetson Bennett underscores this fact.
“Let’s not fool ourselves with what we’re doing,” Monken said. “I get paid to score points and run the offense, and that relationship only goes so far.”
Monken’s offense in 2022 averaged an astounding 41.1 points per game, including 52.3 in the team’s three postseason games. The full-season mark was the highest in the Smart era and the second best in program history.
No. 1 belongs to Bobo’s 2014 Georgia offense.
Bobo scoring offenses:
- 2011 UGA: 32.0, 30th nationally
- 2012 UGA: 37.8, 18th nationally
- 2013 UGA: 36.7, 21st nationally
- 2014 UGA: 41.3, 8th nationally
- 2020 South Carolina: 5/23, 98th nationally
- 2021 Auburn: 3/28, 68 hours nationally
Monk scoring offenses:
- 2020 UGA: 32.3, 38th nationally
- 2021 UGA: 38.6, 9th nationally
- 2022 UGA: 41.1, 4th nationally
Bobo’s scoring offense was comparable to Monken’s, although Monken’s was better nationally. The 2023 offense is a bit safer than what Bobo has had to work with in the past, as Georgia returns perhaps the best offensive line in college football along with players like Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Kendall Milton.
If scoring points is the most important attribute of a Georgia offense, creating explosive plays is a clear No. 2. It’s easier to score when you put your playmakers in space and make them rip off big plays .
To no surprise, Monken’s Georgia offense did this very well. The Bulldogs led the country in plays of 10-plus yards and 20-plus yards in 2022.
“We’re throwing the ball more and we’re scoring more points this year, and so far it’s been more explosive,” Bennett said before the Heisman Trophy ceremony. “It’s been asked of me this year, which has been fun for me.”
As for Bobo, he pretty much sees things the same way. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t try to get the ball down the field one four-yard carry at a time.
Bobo explosive plays:
- 2011 UGA: 210 plays of 10-plus yards, 25th, 62 plays of 20-plus yards, 41st
- 2012 UGA: 238 plays of 10-plus yards, 11th, 90 plays of 20-plus yards, 3rd
- 2013 UGA: 245 plays of 10-plus yards, 12th, 81 plays of 20-plus yards, 14th
- 2014 UGA: 210 plays of 10-plus yards, 25th, 68 plays of 20-plus yards, 32nd
- 2020 South Carolina: 129 plays of 10-plus yards, 57th, 44 plays of 20-plus yards, 49th
- 2021 Auburn: 190 plays of 10-plus yards, 52nd, 64 plays of 20-plus yards, 53rd
Monk Explosive Plays:
- 2020 UGA: 145 plays of 10-plus yards, 44th, 53 plays of 20-plus yards, 30th
- 2021 UGA: 233 plays of 10-plus yards, 10th, 80 plays of 20-plus yards, 7th
- 2022 UGA: 272 plays of 10-plus yards, 1st, 98 plays of 20-plus yards, 1st
Yards per play
You get a better sense of how good an offense is when you use yards per play instead of total offense. Some schools run a ton of plays, which increases their offensive production too much. While schools like Georgia will move at a slower pace in part to help the defense.
Bobo yards per game:
- 2011 UGA: 5.63 yards per play, 56th
- 2012 UGA: 7.09 yards per play, 1st
- 2013 UGA: 6.66 yards per play, 13th
- 2014 UGA: 6.79 yards per play, 7th
- 2020 South Carolina: 5.35 yards per play, 90th
- 2021 Auburn: 5.81 yards per play, 69th
Monken yards per game:
- 2020 UGA: 6.21 yards per play, 34th
- 2021 UGA: 6.98 yards per play, 4th
- 2022 UGA: 7.17 yards per play, 4th
Anything over 6.5 yards per play is very good, and if you can push yourself closer to the 7.0 mark, you have one of the best offenses in the country. That will be the goal Bobo should aim for in 2023.
This number changes every year, as a good offensive coordinator combines talent with play. If you have a backfield with Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb, you probably run the ball more.
Conversely, if you have Bowers and McConkey carving up opposing defenses, you’re more likely to put the ball in the hands of your Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback.
Bobo percentage of run games vs. passing game
- 2011 UGA: 55.39/44.61
- 2012 UGA: 55.65/44.44
- 2013 UGA: 49.05/50.95
- 2014 UGA: 62.16/37.64
- 2020 South Carolina: 53.40/46.60
- 2021 Auburn: 46.81/53.19
Monk percentage running game vs. passing game
- 2020 UGA: 53.63/46.37
- 2021 UGA: 56.87/43.14
- 2022 UGA: 53.46/46.54
For the most part, Monken was much more consistent when it came to run plays called compared to pass plays called. Some of that can be traced back to the fact that Georgia went 37-3 in the three seasons Monken served as the team’s offensive coordinator.
If Georgia is able to achieve similar team success with Bobo calling the plays, perhaps the fan base will begin to recognize and appreciate his offensive acumen.