Daily Archives: September 3, 2007

Rules rule, but not too much.

It looks like the new NCAA rules had about the effect you’d expect in the first week of play.

Major-college games produced an average of 56 more yards and three more points than last season’s openers.

Perhaps less heartening to the NCAA’s football rules committee: The 68 games, going into Monday night, took an average of 3 hours, 16 minutes to play, up from last year’s 3:03.

The article goes on to say that the committee is shooting for an average time of 3:07. Let ‘em take the difference out of TV commercials.

Meanwhile,

…(t)hat 5-yard kickoff adjustment had caught the attention of coaches across the country, who not only foresaw a dramatic impact on the number of returns but also their length and, thus, on field position and potentially on scoring.

Week 1 was mostly uneventful, though, with average field position after kickoffs at the 29-yard line and teams almost twice as likely to start from the 20 or inside (184 times in 68 games) as from the 40 or beyond (98 times).

About one in every 8½ kickoffs was a touchback. Nearly 84% of all kicks were returned, compared with 79% all of last season. The return average, which has hovered just beneath 21 yards in each of the past four seasons, was 21.1.

South Carolina’s Ryan Succop, who Georgia will see this week, had touchbacks on four of his five kickoffs.

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Filed under Stats Geek!, The NCAA

Georgia On My Mind

A Sooner fan’s musical tribute to 35-14:

Not bad…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Best post-game quote…

came from Matt Stafford:

“We had a meeting during spring practice and we asked who are our playmakers,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “Everybody stood up. I think they all got the ball tonight.”

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Oh stop, you’ll give ‘em a big head.

Hey, you do good enough, some people will start saying nice things about it.

From John Harris at College Football News:

Lose almost an entire defense to graduation or the NFL Draft?  No problem.  Lose a potential All-American corner to ineligibility and then the NFL supplemental draft?  What, me worry?  Start an offensive line overflowing with freshmen and sophomores?  No sweat.  This is what faced Georgia head coach Mark Richt prior to a dangerous opener with potent Oklahoma State, but in the end, the Cowboys were the ones leaving with the lesson learned.  Behind a strong performance by quarterback Matt Stafford and that young offensive line, the Bulldogs put up 35 points on an OSU defense that must get better.  On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Willie Martinez’s defense sent the true shot across the bow, holding the Cowboys to only 14 points.  If you didn’t know the Bulldogs defensive depth chart in 2006 or in 2007, you’d have thought it was loaded with nine or ten returning players.  Richt and his staff were as prepared, on the field and in recruiting the past few years, for a night like this as any staff could possibly have been.  When you rank the great coaches in the nation, you’d better have this man up in your top five.

And here’s something Mergz at Saurian Sagacity posted:

The best showing in “a real game” week one was by Georgia, hands down. Stafford looked sharp, and the Bulldog defense held the Cowboy offense to only 3 or 13 on 3rd down conversions. Oklahoma State had only 266 yards of offense. (Remember, Oklahoma State QB Bobby Reid had a better QB rating than Brady Quinn last year). In 2006, the Reid led offense of Oklahoma State scored less than 14 points only once (10 in a loss to Texas). They scored 41 in beating Nebraska, and 34 in beating Alabama in the Independence bowl.

One other thought:  last year, Bobby Reid and Zac Robinson combined to rush for 644 yards on 148 carries (a 4.35 average).  On Saturday, they rushed the ball 11 times for -14 yards.  I’ve had some harsh words in the past for Martinez’ inability to scheme against running QBs, but he saw stopping Reid on the ground as the key to controlling the OSU offense, and he succeeded admirably.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere