Oh running game, oh running game… wherefor art thou, oh running game?

I don’t think it takes an astute observer of the game to recognize that Georgia isn’t going to go very far with the production it’s getting out of its rushing attack.

How bad is it?  Currently the Dawgs rank dead last in the SEC in rushing offense.  Georgia is the only team in the conference averaging less than 100 yards per game on the ground.

And that’s not the whole story.

Believe it or not, in terms of percentage of team carries and percentage of team rushing yardage, the second-most relied upon running back in the SEC is… Richard Samuel.  He’s been, as the post calls it, a workhorse back, at least in terms of opportunity.  Unfortunately, not so much in terms of production, as he doesn’t rank in the top ten in the conference in rushing yardage.

All of which culminated in a dismal performance against LSU.

… Richard Samuel was trying, and he has been the team’s leading rusher, but the coaching staff basically ignored him and the run last week with the team carrying the ball just 24 times for 45 yards with Washaun Ealey running for 33 of them. This isn’t running back by committee; this is using a slew of backs to try to find someone who can produce on a regular basis…

It’s hard to argue with that assessment.

What’s tough this week is that Caleb King’s injury leaves Georgia with Samuel, who hasn’t been consistently effective to date, and Ealey, who provided a spark against LSU, but obviously isn’t up to speed on all of the requirements of the position.  Mike Bobo’s got his work cut out for him this week.

And so, I might add, does Stacy Searels.  I am baffled by the inability of the offensive line to run block; if anything, the group seems to have regressed from last year’s inconsistent showing.  Even with Sturdivant’s absence, they’ve underperformed.  I have no idea what the problem is (although I continue to wonder if Ben Jones’ high ankle sprain that he suffered earlier is still affecting him), but things have got to get better there very soon, as this team cannot function with half an offense.  And that’s not an exaggeration – Vanderbilt currently ranks higher in the conference in total offense than does Georgia.

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26 Comments

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26 responses to “Oh running game, oh running game… wherefor art thou, oh running game?

  1. Joe B.

    I know Samuel is a great, great kid and he is a heckuva physical specimen.

    But he is not an SEC RB. He needs to be moved to LB or risks being a total washout. He does not have the gift of vision, and that simply cannot be taught.

    Washaun is the future, and the future is now. I don’t care if they have to tell him where to go on every play, just put him in.

    Does it really matter if a kid knows what to do on passing situations if he presents absolutely no threat as a runner when in the game?

    At least when Washaun is in, the opponent has to honor the run, thus minimizing his deficiency in pass blocking.

    How bad must Dontavius Jackson be? And why don’t we have some 3rd down plays for Carlton Thomas?

    • SCDawg

      I think Samuels is such a great athlete that he has the potential to be drafted as a LB-isn’t he still barely 18? As a RB, he’ll be just ok, and will be a short down back by next year. He doesn’t lack speed, but vision. Ealey will be they guy next year.

  2. NebraskaDawg

    I’m beginning to wonder if our coaches can really recruit or just look at recruiting services ratings. Either that or they flat out can’t coach up the talent. It seems to me that our players are as good as any in the country yet we still suck. We make the same bonehead screwups year in and year out (penelties, special teams, inconsistancy, etc.) This team has been sloppy for years under Richt. If we roll out of Tennessee this weekend with a loss then all hell will break loose in the Bulldawg nation.

  3. JaxDawg

    This is truly pathetic.

    With this supposedly dynamic OL, we are being outrushed by:

    Vandy
    Kentucky
    Mississippi

    Look, there are more students in the Terry College of Business than there are at Vanderbilt. There is no excuse, no whatsof*ckingever, than can justify this.

    Yes, we’re 3-2 and can be 5-2 soon, but we’re being carried by AJ Green and an occasional other player (Boykin for example). We have systemic problems that are identifiable, but hard to explain at times.

    I know Moreno would be missed but there is no excuse for this. None.

    And since we’re dead last in offensive production after 5 games, let me say this.

    I don’t care how many kids Bobo has, or where he played CFB, or what position he played, or where he’s from, or that his Dad was a coach in Thomasville, or that he’s a nice guy, or that he’s paid his dues, or that he can throw a few back from time-to-time, or that he’s friends with the other coaches. He is not qualified to lead an offensive team at the University of Georgia. His relative experience does not justify his position and the results are finally beginning to illustrate this.

    Bobo has had the luxury of having great talent – extreme talent – Moreno, Stafford, and now Green, and this has masked his ineptitude. Without this luxury I’m convinced the problem would have reared its head much earlier than now.

    • JaxDawg

      excuse me – Mississippi State. Although UGA should always outrush Ole Miss as well.

    • Dog in Fla

      excuse me…I take issue with this. Vanderbilt does have more students than the Terry College of Business. Now if you combine the number of students at Terry, the Vet School and MCG, it may be different.

      • JaxDawg

        either you’re being sarcastic or you’re missing the point. Hopefully the former.

        • Dog in Fla

          Neither. While sarcasm and pointlessness should be big parts of any college football fan’s life, and I know they are in mine, I thought you had valid points on everything except the Vandy student population.

          • JaxDawg

            I checked and you are correct. According to my source, Vandy undergraduate popluation is 6,637 and Terry College undergrad is 3,063.

            UGA’s total enrollment is 34,180 while Vandy’s is 12,093.

            As a point of interest, Miami’s enrollment is 15,449.

            Given Miami’s status as a private school surrounded by 45+ AAAAAA high schools within a 60 mile radius, I won’t say we should always outrush them.

            However, I will stand by my statement that we should always, always, always outrush, outpass, out-everything Vandy.

            Except in ’94 and ’06, of course.

  4. Yeah, let’s go back to Richt as OC. It’s amazing how people have forgotten how terrible a playcaller Richt was. Pick whatever offensive measure you want and we’re better in that category under Bobo than we were under Richt. The difference is that Bobo doesn’t have BVG to bail his ass out like Richt did for 4 years.

    • Joe B.

      Do not forget that when CMR came into the league, Fat Fulmer got the no-huddle outlawed. That severely hampered what CMR was known for on offense.

      I would say that CMR was much better at managing the game in total, playing field position and giving his defense a break.

      David Hale posted some numbers about our % of 3 and outs over the last couple of years that were absolutely staggering.

      I think that we have been more explosive offensively under Bobo, but on the flip side, we have had a lot more wasted drives.

    • JaxDawg

      Tri,
      where did I say give it back to CMR?

      I simply advocated replacing Bobo with an experienced, successful Offensive Coordinator from another program.

      I don’t think we do a 180 like Auburn and hire a new coordinator who implements an entirely new offense. Although that seems to be working quite well for them – with the SAME PERSONNEL as last year.

  5. Macallanlover

    We can all argue about RBs and playcalling (we will anyway so thought iI would concede that), but averaging less than 100 yards per game clearly states it is a bigger issue. We have an OL that returned several players who had started games over the past two years, was rated among the Top 5 in the country. Even taking TS out of that mix, this performance is incredible to me. None of us know the problem, but the coach who seems to escape all the complaints is the guy who should.

    You can talk about the RBs’ stylea all you want, but any of them could get 100+ if they had the blocking we expected. Pass protection has been great, run blocking has been a total failure. No one can ask CSS questions, but I would think the other coaches, especially CMR is aware. If it isn’t solved, we are going no where. Along with the Special Teams lunacy, this is the difference between 3-2 and 5-0.

  6. Dog in Fla

    In honor of Jimmy, Phil is expected to issue a challenge to Monte that a Chavis’ run defense would have been man enough play the Georgia run game with one arm tied behind their backs using the LSU game as proof.

    • Macallanlover

      Uh, that might have been Casey, but talent like that probably runs in the family. Funny, TN tried two of those boys and missed the only one that might have helped them.

      • Dog in Fla

        My bad. The boys in that Claussen family confuse me. To me they all look like Leonardo Dicaprios trying to play bad guy roles in movies. Plus Weiss got me confused about Jimmy going #1 in the draft.

  7. Farsider

    Those are some stunning statistics. What was even worse was the 10th ranking in the conference for total offense and 11th ranking for total defense.

    It definitely helps explain how this team is 3-2. I’m not down on the coaches as much for the x’s & o’s as much as I am questioning the consistency of drive, effort and motivation.

  8. Kent Mercker Skew

    I feel like our line is our of position at some spots….I may be way off but I feel like we could be better with Boling at LT, Vance at LG, Jones at C, Cordy and RG and Bean at RT.

    Just a thought.

  9. bdawg

    Getting yards after contact doesn’t exist for samuel. W. Ealey drove the entire LSU defense back about 7 yards, and K. Moreno was incredible at this. But Samuel falls down so easy. I don’t know if he is trying so hard not to fumble or what, but he is way to big and strong to fall down time after time when he is not wrapped up.

  10. 69Dawg

    Please remember that an OL that has a great running back does not have to do as much run blocking as you may think. A great running back will hit a small hole quickly and not require that the line hold their blocks very long. We only thought this line was good because KM made them look good.

    The teams we played are a little bit better on D than the Little Sisters of the Poor that most of our fellow SEC teams have enjoyed feasting on so far. Hopefully the calibre of our competition will help us in the long run or maybe these guys are just not as bad a$$ed as we thought. Maybe they aren’t man enough to play in the SEC.

    One more thing Lame Kitten said in his press conference that the UGA O was the same as it had been forever and was basically the FSU O from 15 years ago. So I don’t think we are surprising too many people with our innovative play calling.

    • Hackerdog

      Our run blocking last year was, indeed, poor. Bobo did a great job of scheming around it. We did sweeps galore to get Knowshon on the outside where he could spin around one tackle and pick up good yardage.

      Our weakness was near the goal line. When the defense was compressed and near the LOS, the sweeps didn’t work. But we couldn’t generate a push up front in order to run between the tackles, so we had to try the fade route time and again.

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