Monthly Archives: September 2011

This just in: Kellen Moore is pretty good.

Per Dave McMahon, here’s a breakdown of Georgia’s pass defense against Boise State versus the three games which followed:

… Georgia was stellar on defense in the last game as well. One of the major improvements throughout the season has been pass defense. Check out the Georgia’s stats after facing Heisman candidate Kellen Moore in game one compared to what the Dawgs have done in the last 3 games.

Comp Pct Pass Yards/Game TD passes Interceptions
vs Boise State 82.4 261 3 1
Games 2-4 45.1 113 2 5

That translates into these specific defensive passer ratings per game:  Boise State, 170.07; South Carolina, 85.50; Coastal Carolina, 61.99; Ole Miss, 79.39.

Rambo missing that first game may also factor into those stats.  But one thing you have to feel good about is that Georgia won’t see a quarterback as stout as Moore the rest of the season.

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23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Lettin’ his freak flag fly.

Bitter?  Yeah, I think you can say Ralph Friedgen’s bitter.

Friedgen: Well, it’s not painful because I watch it for the kids. I could care less about Maryland. I’ve burned my diploma. I’m flying a Georgia Tech flag right now.

27 Comments

Filed under ACC Football

What’s the opposite of third-and-Willie?

I’m not willing to go this far yet, but I will say that I’m very much heartened by the improvement the Georgia defense has shown with its third-down play.  I don’t think it’s a mirage resulting from playing weak offenses the last two weeks, either.

The Broncos and Gamecocks combined to convert 8 of 26 third-down opportunities, and those could be the top two offenses the Bulldogs face all season.

Not too shabby there.  The Dawgs followed that up with a combined 6 for 30 performance against Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, which leaves them ranked fifth nationally in a performance category where they stunk the joint up last season.  And that improvement may be paying one unexpected dividend.

One stat Richt has tracked is time of possession, where his Bulldogs rank third in the SEC at 32:27 a game. He wasn’t expecting Georgia to fare overly well in that category because of its no-huddle offense, but the defense’s success on third down has resulted in more offensive plays and possessions.

Last year, Mississippi State converted its third-down plays against Georgia at a sickening 7-13 rate (along with a 1-1 conversion on fourth down).  That was the best conversion percentage against any D-1 opponent the Bulldogs saw in 2010.  Needless to say, there can’t be a repeat of that for Georgia to win tomorrow.

57 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Keeping ‘em honest.

Mississippi State’s beat writer suggests to Seth Emerson that the Bulldogs’ struggles on defense are largely personnel related:

4. Does the Mississippi State defense miss Manny Diaz’s playcalling? If not, what else ails their defense, especially against the run?

Marcello: I know a lot of folks are complaining, but Chris Wilson’s defense is very similar to Diaz’s scheme. The Bulldogs are missing three NFL players more than anything. All three starting linebackers (two now in the NFL) and defensive end Pernell McPhee (now sacking quarterbacks for the Balitimore Ravens) are gone from last season’s team. McPhee commanded attention, often drawing double teams that allowed inside guys like Josh Boyd and Fletcher Cox to apply pressure in the middle of the field. State simply does not have that luxury this season and they’re trying to figure things out…

Brophy notes that Wilson pulled a trick or two out of his sleeve at crunch time against Louisiana Tech.

… On the final interception, needing to inch closer to convert the downs (5 yards), likely because of the inconsistent short-yardage production from the banged up Lennon Creer, Tech opts for Y Cross isolating standout receiver, Quinton Patton, in the boundary with a double outlet underneath to the field.  Mississippi State presses the line of scrimmage showing press cover 1, essentially baiting Isham to throw the 1-on-1 with Patton.  At the snap, MSU bails out to cover 3, Patton’s cornerback retreats deep with deep help from the free safety in the end zone.  Because MSU disguised this so well (discouraging the run with 7 defenders versus the 5 blockers), it was too late for Isham to recognize the Hi-Lo on the lone MSU linebacker to the field.

Still, that was crunch time against Louisiana Tech.  There’s something a bit comforting about MSU getting pushed to the limit by Tony Franklin and a 17-year old quarterback.

Georgia won’t be running anything like Franklin’s offense, but there are still a couple of lessons to be taken from the Tech game.  First, Louisiana Tech kept Mississippi State’s defense on its heels with a short controlled passing game (Isham was 29-40 passing, but averaged less than six yards per passing attempt).  Second, as Brophy mentions, LT couldn’t rely on its run game to pick up first downs in short yardage situations.  That allowed Wilson to be creative with his play call on the last interception.

The Dawgs need to do two things on offense against the Dogs this Saturday.  Make them respect the run.  And make them fear the tight end.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Lucky thirteen

Let’s see… key high-profile match ups potentially tossed aside, Greg McGarity worried about liquidated damages provisions and coaches complaining about unbalanced schedules and trips to Texas.

Yeah, this whole thirteen-team schedule thingy looks like it’ll be a breeze to put together.  No wonder you’ve already got conference athletic directors undercutting the boss’ message.

13 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

If size were the only thing that mattered…

… then Georgia’s offensive line would be the baddest on the planet.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Bacarri Rambo, poster child

I beat the drum as loudly as anyone for Rambo during his freshman year.  Anyone with half a brain and a pair of eyes could see that as the season progressed, the defense played better with him on the field.  With the departure of Martinez and the arrival of Grantham, I figured that Rambo was poised to have a breakout season last year.

Such was not the case, though.  It’s not so much that Rambo was awful in 2010, as it was more a matter of inconsistency which led to overall mediocrity.  Kind of like the team as a whole, when you think about it.  As for Rambo, he often looked lost in pass coverage, largely because he was susceptible to play-action.

Fast forward to this year.  Despite missing the Boise State game, he sits among the national leaders in interceptions.  And that stat isn’t a false signal – when you watch him on the field, it’s clear that he plays with more awareness and confidence than he displayed last year.  And what does he chalk his improvement up to?  By now, you probably know the answer:

“I’ve started to study the game plan a little bit harder than I did last year,” Rambo said. “The way I was playing last year really didn’t help. I needed to change it up and put more work into it. It seems like everybody’s learned their stuff. When they know their stuff and I know mine, everything just seems to click together and I’m just lucky enough to be around a ball when they throw it to me. I have to say it’s all one the defense, not just me but the whole defense. I’m just lucky enough to be around the ball.”

Where did all these kids get the idea that all they had to do last year to win was show up on game day?  It’s not like 2009 was some dominant season on Georgia’s part.

One good thing to consider:  if Rambo is in fact a bellwether for the team, maybe things are looking up for this season.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Thursday morning buffet

Grab that plate and dig in.

  • Bruce Feldman was granted access to West Virginia’s preparation for the LSU game.  The result is a must-read.
  • Dan Mullen’s observations from yesterday’s teleconference are about what you’d expect.
  • Keith Marshall is one of Georgia’s top recruiting targets.  Check out what he did with a botched snap.
  • Trent Richardson raced Jeff Demps when they were in high school.  You can guess who won.
  • The NCAA is looking strongly at multi-year scholarships, but it’s hard to say how much of a difference that will make:  “The process for nonrenewal of an annual grant probably would look just like the process for terminating a four-year grant…”  Sounds like Nick Saban will just have to work a little harder, that’s all.
  • Nice look at how coverage technique by Georgia’s secondary has changed under Lakatos.
  • Five players from Georgia’s 2010 recruiting class are now gone.  The silver lining:  “All it’s gonna do is allow us to sign a full boat of recruits again, which will be a very positive thing if we bring in the right guys,” Richt said.
  • Bill Connelly ponders Moneyball and college football.  Michael Elkon is appreciative.
  • Georgia 38, Mississippi State 21.

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

“When they call it, my eyes get really big.”

344-Fullback is the tits, man.

… Georgia coach Mark Richt said the fullback is the primary receiver on the play, while the tight end runs a deeper route and a receiver clears out if there is a receiver on that side. The play often results in the fullback and tight end being open.

“What happens is that people are in man coverage, and you might be in I-formation and your tight end is being covered man-to-man, and usually an inside linebacker is covering your fullback,” Richt said. “When you come downhill, as we’ll do running the power play where Bruce takes an angle to block the defensive end, that linebacker isn’t 100 percent sure if it’s a run or pass right away by the track of the fullback. When he ends up splitting out into the flats, that guy is a little bit behind normally.”

This is a modest assessment:  “It’s a pretty effective play,” Richt said, “and it’s one that is so simple sometimes that you don’t call it enough.”  Georgia’s defensive backs can testify to its effectiveness.

… Sanders Commings, who plays safety and cornerback, tackled Figgins on that play in the spring and sustained a concussion that caused him to miss G-Day.

Every time I’ve seen that play work, I think it’s stealing.  Richt’s right; they ought to go to it at least three times a game.  Sometimes the simple things really are the best.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“Making the BCS the best it can be…”

At least we see how Mike Slive intends to pay for Texas A&M’s entry into the SEC.

3 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football