Georgia OC on SEC Championship Game play that never happened

By Chip Patterson | College Writer

Georgia OC Mike Bobo would have called a play Florida used against Alabama in 2008 with another snap in the 2012 SEC title game. (USATSI)
Georgia OC Mike Bobo would have called a play Florida used against Alabama in 2008. (USATSI)

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo had a play in mind if the Bulldogs gotten one more chance at the end zone in the 2012 SEC Championship Game. If Chris Conley had not caught a deflected pass in bounds at the 5-yard line, Aaron Murray apparently would have been asked to do his best Tim Tebow impression to beat Alabama.

Last week at a UGA Day meeting in Augusta, Bobo was asked what the next play call would have been if the Bulldogs had one more play to overcome the 32-28 deficit against the eventual national champions. If Murray's pass fell incomplete or Georgia had decided to spike the ball at the eight yard line, Bobo said he would have pulled out a play from Florida's 2008 SEC Championship Game win over Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

Check out the full explanation below, courtesy of the Macon Telegraph's Seth Emerson.

Turns out, it wasn't a play that was in Georgia's playbook, or if it was it was inspired by Florida. Bobo said that in the lead-up to last year's showdown with Alabama, he and his staff studied the plays the Gators ran in their two SEC title games against Alabama. They zeroed in on the 2008 championship game, when Florida beat Alabama 31-20, scoring three touchdowns on passes inside the 10.
Alabama's personnel was obviously different from four years ago, but the defensive scheme hadn't changed much, led by head coach Nick Saban and coordinator Kirby Smart - the former Georgia player and coach who is one of Bobo's closest friends. Here's how Bobo explained the thought process:
“We had actually gone back to, I don't know what it was, it was one of the Florida-Alabama games, where Alabama had given up three red zone scores to Florida. It was a play that Florida had actually ran against Alabama. It was an empty set, and had two primary front-side, and a double-slant backside. It was something from '08 or '09 that Tebow had completed against them. Because I remember after that game, Kirby was talking about how, ‘We just couldn't stop them in the red zone.' So we just studied that hard.

In that 2008 game, a 31-20 Florida victory, Tim Tebow completed touchdown passes of 3, 5 and 5 yards. Emerson revisited the game to identify the possible play calls for the Bulldogs. All three touchdowns came from an empty set, with Tebow making quick passes to Carl Moore, David Nelson, and Riley Cooper -- all receivers in single coverage.

As Emerson pointed out in his post, Georgia would have likely counted on Murray making a quick read with Alabama's defense spread wide across the field. Unfortunately, breaking down "what might have been" does not erase the stinging memory of Alabama escaping Atlanta with a win on its way to a third BCS title in four years.

As for what was, check out video of Georgia's final sequence below.

 
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