published Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Mike Bobo refuses to discuss Georgia Southern report

JACKSONVILLE — Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was not in the mood to discuss a report earlier this week that had him discussing the head-coaching vacancy at Georgia Southern.

"I would rather not comment on it," Bobo said minutes after the 24-19 loss to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl.

Bobo did, however, admit that he becoming a head coach is a personal goal. The former Bulldogs quarterback is the only assistant who has been with head coach Mark Richt for all 13 seasons.

"I aspire to be a head coach one day, and where I don't know," he said. "I also aspire to win a championship here at the University of Georgia. We've been close so many times, and I do feel like the ingredients are there. I do feel like Mark Richt is one of the best head coaches in the country, and I do feel like we are able to get players who can make plays.

"There are just some little things we need to improve on, and it's hard to win any game, much less a championship. We've just got to keep knocking on the door."

Georgia Southern would seem to be an unlikely fit since the Eagles historically have run the triple option. Bobo's salary of $575,000 is more than twice what former GSU coach Jeff Monken made ($260,000), though the Eagles are expecting to pay Monken's successor more with the program moving from the Championship Subdivision to the Bowl Subdivision's Sun Belt Conference.

The Bulldogs set a program record this season in yards per game (484.2) but came up short of the mark for points per game. Georgia scored 36.7 points a game this season after averaging a record 37.8 a year ago.

Gurley falls short

Bulldogs sophomore tailback Todd Gurley came up short in his quest for a second consecutive 1,000-yard season.

Needing 97 yards at the start of the day, Gurley rushed 21 times for 86 yards and finished with 989. Gurley, who missed all of October with a sprained ankle, had a long run Wednesday of 16 yards in the less-than-desirable conditions.

"It was kind of bad with the rain and everything," Gurley said. "You just had to be patient out there, and you couldn't really go full speed like you wanted to."

Gurley did have a career-high 97 receiving yards on seven catches, which included a 25-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Morgan magnificent

Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan concluded an All-SEC sophomore season by making all four of his field-goal attempts and his lone extra-point try Wednesday. Morgan made all 47 of his extra-point attempts this season, and he was 22-for-24 on field-goal tries with a streak of 17 straight to close the year, the longest stretch of the Richt era.

"Everything went smooth," Morgan said. "I mean, it was wet out there. The field wasn't what we wanted, but we got it done."

His four field goals tied the Georgia bowl record set by Kanon Parkman in the Peach Bowl after the 1995 season and matched by Billy Bennett in the Sugar Bowl after the 2002 season.

Odds and ends

Georgia's bowl record dropped to 27-19-3, with the Bulldogs 12-5 in their current stretch of 17 consecutive appearances. ... Former Ridgeland High cornerback Devin Bowman played some meaningful snaps in the secondary due to suspensions to Josh Harvey-Clemons and Sheldon Dawson and an injury to Tray Matthews. ... The career of senior receiver Rhett McGowan ended sooner than expected when the former Calhoun High standout suffered a groin injury in the third quarter. ... Former Dalton High lineman Watts Dantzler played a couple of series at right guard while Chris Burnette battled a hip flexor. "Watts did OK, from what it looked like," line coach Will Friend said. ... J.J. Green's 48-yard kickoff return in the second quarter was the longest by the Bulldogs this season. ... Georgia wound up 4-4 this season in games decided by five points or less.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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