Bobo and the Bulldogs mulling over how to contain Clowney

semerson@macon.comMay 9, 2013 

AUGUSTA - Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo played in a golf tournament on Thursday morning, 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.

Jadeveon Clowney, the man-child expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft, has already played a big part in South Carolina beating Georgia the past couple 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 they'll reach to Hollywood for a solution.

"I think we're gonna do the ol' Burt Reynolds-Longest Yard, not block and let (Aaron) Murray throw it," Bobo said, mimicking his quarterback just wildly chucking it.

Don't worry, Georgia fans, Bobo was kidding. That's not the real plan, at least not yet.

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."

That's the smart approach. There's also the wishful-thinking approach.

"And maybe he'll change his mind, and maybe decide he's gotta sit out and go pro," Bobo joked, before again turning serious. "He's a great player. He's gonna make plays. But we've got good players too. And when we've got opportunities to make plays against them, we've gotta make plays."

Perhaps some inspiration could be gleaned from another SEC opponent: Tennessee. Georgia coaches were watching tape of last year's South Carolina win over Tennessee, and while Clowney still "got his," Bobo felt that the Volunteers did "an outstanding job all game" in trying to contain the damage from Clowney. In the end the star Gamecock still made a game to tip the game in his team's favor.

"He's gonna make some plays," Bobo said. "We've just gotta make enough to offset what he makes."

Georgia is still trying to decide who will start at both tackle positions. Interestingly, Bobo wouldn't deny that consideration will be given to who can best stop Clowney. Bobo pointed out that the Bulldogs moved personnel around a few years ago prior to playing Auburn star nose tackle Nick Fairley, and it worked for awhile until Fairley adjusted by finding single-blocking coverage.

"That will come up, who we feel like might do the best job against (Clowney)," Bobo said. "But I have confidence, I think our guys are eager to play that game. We were obviously embarrassed that game and got thoroughly whipped by that defense. So we'll be ready for that game, I promise you."

A few other notes from not only Bobo, but men's basketball head coach Mark Fox:

- Freshman receiver Tramel Terry, who sat out spring practice after knee surgery, is head of schedule, according to a report athletic trainer Ron Courson provided the coaching staff. There's a possibility of Terry being able to run routes as early as July.

"Every time I'm in the building, we're out a lot right now, but I see him in the training room working extremely hard. He looks good," Bobo said. "I'm excited to see him in the fall camp, where he's at. But he looks like a guy that's probably over-anxious to get out there. I'm sure we're gonna try to control him a little bit, and make sure he's completely healthy until he's ready to go."

- Fox said there was no update on assistant coach Kwanza Johnson, who for several weeks now has been considering whether to leave for a similar job at TCU.

"He's got a decision to make, I anticipate he'll be making it soon," Fox said.

- Bobo said the third quarterback spot, behind Murray and Hutson Mason, was still "wide open."

- Incoming freshman Brendan Douglas will be a tailback, reiterated Bobo. Douglas, who is from the Augusta area, will help the depth situation at tailback, and Bobo feels either Douglas or A.J. Turman, the other incoming tailback, will have to play at some point this season. The team doesn't have much on the depth chart at tailback.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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