Bobo a hit on the circuit

semerson@macon.comMay 9, 2013 

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Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, center, and the Bulldogs open the season Aug. 31 at Clemson.

BEAU CABELL — bcabell@macon.com Buy Photo

AUGUSTA -- Mike Bobo got a standing ovation when he was introduced at a UGA Day event Thursday night. As recently as a year ago, that would have been a sympathetic ovation. By now, it’s just another sign of how far things have come for Georgia’s offensive coordinator.

Fresh off a record-breaking offensive season, and being rewarded with a raise and long-term contract, these are good days for Bobo. Once a punching bag for upset fans, he got a chance Thursday to sub at a fan event for head coach Mark Richt.

“I got to fly, too. I didn’t have to drive, so it was nice,” Bobo said. “Now I get home, and see my wife.”

Bobo has done lower-profile speaking events, but this was the first he has done that was big enough to also include the basketball coach, as well as the athletics director and the incoming school president.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also subbed for Richt at a Nashville event on Wednesday night (Richt is attending to family matters). That put Grantham in the same town as his old nemesis James Franklin, the head coach at Vanderbilt, but the two evidently didn’t cross paths.

Bobo drew the Augusta event, which was held literally across the river from the border with South Carolina and an hour from Columbia. That drew the obvious focus to the second game of the season and how Bobo’s offense will try to contain Gamecock star end Jadeveon Clowney.

Earlier Thursday Bobo played in a golf tournament, and his playing partners kept peppering him with the same question: “What’s your plan for Clowney? What’s your plan?”

Bobo laughed as he recounted it a few hours later. But he also knows it’s a pretty good question.

Clowney, the man-child expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft, already played a big part in South Carolina beating Georgia the past coupleof years. So when the teams meet this year in the second week of the season, Georgia will be trying for a third time to figure it out.

Maybe this time the Bulldogs reach to Hollywood for a solution.

“I think we’re gonna do the old Burt Reynolds “Longest Yard,” not block and let (Aaron) Murray throw it,” Bobo said, mimicking his quarterback just wildly chucking it downfield.

Turning serious, Bobo acknowledged that the only thing that can really be done is to contain Clowney, then not make a bad situation worse by turning a sack into a turnover.

“The guy’s gonna get his,” Bobo said. “We can’t throw the ball backwards if he’s about to sack us, and we’ve gotta hold on to the ball and not turn a bad play into a catastrophe. That’s what’s gotta happen. Because he’s a great player. He’s one of those guys you sit there and try to (decide), ‘Can you do this, can you do that?’ ... I don’t know. We gotta play hard and realize that he’s gonna make some plays. And we’ll do some things to hopefully try to discourage him.”

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