Georgia was obliterated by Florida on Saturday by a score of 27-3. In the few hours following the defeat, many have placed some of the blame on Mark Richt and his approach to the game. However, a bulk of the blame may need to be placed on the man calling the plays. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer chose to start former 3rd string QB Faton Bauta and didn’t alter the offensive strategy to cater to his abilities.
Bauta is known for his ability to pose a dual threat to a defense, drawing comparisons to Tim Tebow and Joshua Dobbs. Coming into the contest, many of us thought Bauta would have designed run plays drawn up for him, potentially causing trouble for Florida’s defense.
However, Schottenheimer decided to run the offense just as he would with Greyson Lambert, a pocket passer, behind center. Bauta only had three carries (one sack) for a net total of four yards. Georgia should have utilized his strength of a run game rather than exposing his weakness, an inaccurate throwing arm. Georgia’s coaching staff tried to stick to their strict pro-style offense based around a pocket passer. If they would’ve attempted to improvise their offensive approach and allow Bauta to use his skill set, the outcome may have been different against the Gators.
Schottenheimer is running Georgia’s offense as if it were the NFL. That play-calling style simply doesn’t cater to the college game. The college game has historically seen success with an outside run and a scrambling quarterback approach.
We all certainly hope not, but the Schottenheimer hire for Georgia may be one they regret. His résumé displays his success as a coach, but it may be more compatible for the NFL, as it seems as if it doesn’t blend with the style of Mark Richt led teams in the past. As a result, I may look for Richt to take more of a play calling responsibility in the near future.
For Bauta, I look for him to continue to start for the Bulldogs to wrap up the 2015 campaign. Georgia is essentially out of the race for SEC or national championship contention. Richt and the rest of Georgia’s coaching staff should tell Bauta to go out and play his style of football, now that the pressure is off. After this performance, I would look for Schottenheimer to realize his throwing arm as a weakness and utilize his running game more.
Before we all say that Bauta is a bad quarterback, we need to realize that he was placed under immense pressure. Asking an inexperienced guy to go into Jacksonville and start in one of the biggest rivalry games of the season with an improper game plan is a tall task. Bauta has immense talent; we just need to give him time to show it.