Pettis + Young = Green?

No doubt you found it as reassuring as I did to hear Craig James spout off yesterday about how he expected a Boise State win Saturday night because Kellen Moore would take care of business.  James didn’t mention any receivers, though.

No knock on Moore, who’s clearly an élite college quarterback, but you’ve still got to have somebody to throw to.  And that’s one thing I haven’t really heard played up much by the media in all the discussion leading up to the game.  Certainly the losses of Austin Pettis and Titus Young have been mentioned, but not in the apocalyptic terms reserved for A.J. Green’s departure.

But there’s a strong argument to be made that Boise State is in a similar boat to Georgia with regard to its passing game.  Maybe even more so.  Consider these points:

  • Austin Pettis had 22 touchdown receptions inside the 20 the past two seasons (most in FBS), and was targeted 27 more times than any other Broncos receiver in the red zone since 2009.
  • Titus Young averaged 47.7 yards per touchdown reception last year and was Moore’s greatest threat downfield. On passes thrown 30 yards or more, Moore targeted Young on 20 of 23 attempts.
  • Young and Pettis combined for more than half of Boise State’s first-down receptions last season. On third down, they were targeted on 46 of Moore’s 94 attempts.
  • Kellen Moore completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns and no interceptions when facing a blitz the past two seasons. He completed 79.0 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns when targeting Austin Pettis.

Where I come from, that’s a helluva lot of attention and a helluva lot of production.  Maybe Boise’s preparation is so good and Kellen Moore is such a terrific quarterback that the Broncos’ passing game won’t miss a beat in the first game without those two.  If that first game were on the fabled blue turf against, say, UNLV, that’s a likely possibility.  But it’s not.  So I’m not seeing a slam dunk here.

Then again, maybe the bright side of this for Boise is that it may take Georgia some time to figure out which receivers are worthy of being keyed on.  But is that any different a task from what the Boise defense faces?

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45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

45 responses to “Pettis + Young = Green?

  1. Rick

    This is the one point about 2011 Boise that I think is being vastly underappreciated. AJ was a singular talent, but the difference between those two receivers and the average Boise State first stringer absolutely dwarfs the difference between AJ and, say, Orson Charles or Tavarres King.

    Those two represent what % of all Boise State players drafted rounds for the last 10 years? 50%? 100%? AJ, on the other hand, is less than 1% of our draftees. Consequently, I suspect their receiver attrition to sting quite a bit more.

    • Rocksalt

      +1

      I was commenting just yesterday. Who do you expect more out of, our 3rd and 4th receivers, or theirs? I think quality depth will matter in this game.

  2. Keese

    Boise seems to reload each year with overachieving 2 star talent.

    • Joe

      BUT, the reports out of Boise about the scrimmages was that they have the dropsies. Reloading is one thing, but some are duds.

  3. DavetheDawg

    “Then again, maybe the bright side of this for Boise is that it may take Georgia some time to figure out which receivers are worthy of being keyed on. But is that any different a task from what the Boise defense faces?”

    Absolutely. But this only works if Bobo has the courage to actually throw the ball enough times to find out.

  4. Fitzdawg

    Here’s a scary fact… Lou Holtz keyed on that very thing last night while Mark May commented on the size mismatch on the line. Is this the Apocalypse or did those two just lose the coin toss?

  5. Careful Brad

    Craig James also mentioned that UNLV was not playing like they were intimidated against Wisconsin. The score at that time was 51-10. Craig James is also an idiot.

    • Faulkner

      There is a fine line between being intimidated and not knowing what is going on when your getting your teeth kicked in.
      Craig James is not intimidated when Mike Leach swings his sword. What a buffoon.

    • OKDawg

      CJ also allegedly says the five hookers weren’t intimidated when he killed and buried them while at SMU. So his judgment may be a bit skewed.

  6. IM

    Yes, when Mark May says something positive about the Dawgs, you know that all the stars have aligned.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Re: Mark MAy
      or that the devil just put on his cardigan?

      Re: Kellen Moore

      I watched some highlight vids of him and they show nearly all his completions in the 10 – 15 yard range. This was in stark contrast to Murray vids that had numerous deep routes.

      Any thoughts on how our D plays that? I’m sure if we play a soft zone he’ll pick us apart but it seems Safety and DB are one of the few known strenths on our team.

  7. Go Dawgs!

    That asshat Craig James predicted a Boise State win? Well, I certainly feel a lot better about tomorrow night now.

  8. ZDawg

    Craig James may beleive that scheme and talent at quarterback will account for the loss of their two top receivers. On the other hand, the loss of Green has more impact because Georgia relies more on overwhelming talent than on a solid offensive scheme and execution.

    Not saying this is true, but it is my take on some of the analysis. And given our discussion on Searls yesterday, there may be some truth to it.

  9. jferg

    I’d bet, statistically, the loss of Green/Durham looks a lot worse than the loss of Pettis/Young. I’d call both WR corps a draw at this point.

    • Renny

      Yes, th4e losses are probably a draw. It is what was in the cupboard that tells the tale and I feel 100% better about what we have in there than what BSU has in theirs. After all, it is who is coming back (or in — Malcom Mitchell etc.) who will be playing Saturday night.

      Thye may be nicknamed Horse, but as far as WRs, we have them, they don’t!

  10. Will Trane

    Moore is a top notch QB. He can make it happen…the plays, something CMR would covet at UGA. Austin Pettis was a premier receiver at Boise over two years. Not interested in any player once they go Pro…that is a different league and game. In collegiate games Pettis was a player. He reminded me of one of the Dawgs’ alltime favorites and a great player maker…HInes Ward…cut from the same mold.

    But now do the guys who follow Pettis and Young have that ability. We will see soon. And I would think Moore and Peterson have those same thoughts when the clock starts. Shut down their new guys quickly, and let’s see how Moore and Peterson play.

  11. I am sick and tired of reading about the prolific accomplishments of one Boise State University.

    The truth is, they earned a reputation playing one game a year. I don’t care who they line up or how many games they have won the last ten years. I daresay Georgia would run through their soft schedule like shit through a goose.

    Y’all believe what you like, but to the keen, well trained eye of Red Blackman, they are over rated prima donna’s that benefit from a shit schedule.

    Tomorrow night in Atlanta, they become a martyr for the little sisters of the poor.

    GO DAWGS!!! SIC ‘EM!!! WOOF!! WOOF!! WOOF!!

  12. Bryant Denny

    It’s not that much of a stretch for James to pick BSU. He’s probably just following the crowd.

    For the last few years, though, I think Boise has had better offensive schemes and execution than Georgia has. Sometimes great players can hide scheming problems (e.g. Stafford and Moreno), but I think in Boise’s case, they’ve had good players and great schemes and great execution.

    Y’all all know the 3-4 is designed to stuff the run on first and second down and dial up the exotic pressure on 3rd down. With Jenkins in the middle, that will likely happen. It will be interesting to see how Moore can handle those third and long spots and if Grantham can get to him.

    I’ll be pulling for the Dawgs for sure (and for the Ducks). :)

    • Cojones

      If you could stuff the first and second, why do you dial up “exotic” stuff for third down? You’re dumber than grits. Don’t be comin’ on here with your “you boys git’em while we cheer against our West Div competition” crap. Obviously, by omitting Geathers, you don’t know crap about us so don’t come in here with your condescending junk. Otherwise, we will be cheering for Bama so we can kick your ass in the SEC Championships.

  13. Starbreaker

    The obvious key to success in this regard is (a) Geathers/Jenkins bull rushing up the middle and rushing Moore, combined with (b) ‘tree/Jones laying the wood on BSU WRs when they try to catch the ball. Do this early and they will be uncomfortable enough to take them off their game. Re: UGA…I will go ahead and call our first play of the game: play action deep to TK.

    • Cojones

      The ball sails over King’s outstretched arms because the Boise player,3ft behind, has stretched King’s jersey out to 4ft.. The referee, Penn Wagers, calls incompleted pass.

  14. Skeptic Dawg

    It is time to put all of the stats and numbers to bed. Time to let the BIg Dawg Eat! Let’s play ball and see how the Dawgs come out in the wash. Hopefully this staff has removed their collective heads from the sand and are able to put a complete gameplan together. GATA!

  15. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Does anybody know what crew of SEC refs will be calling the Boise-UGA game? I have an inquiring mind and want to know.

  16. Scott W

    I was just happy that Palmer heard everyone tell him his tie looked stupid.

  17. Vindexdawg

    And – it’s only fair if I say it before Saturday’s kickoff – I am just as sick and tired of hearing what a devastating loss the absence of A.J. Green will be for us. I think that the last two thirds of this season will go better for us than the last two thirds of 2010 when he actually played. Our D will give greatly improved support to our O. Younger receivers will step up, they don’t need to make eye-popping circus catches every other game just so long as they don’t have the dropsies. And if our O-line gets away from the “just cover somebody” virus that Searels infected it with, an improved running game will far outweigh the loss of a star receiver who came to see more absent than present.

  18. Bad M

    When has Georgia ever had “amazing” receivers before AJ (and maybe MoMa)? Fred Gibson, Reggie Brown, Edwards? DGD’s but was anyone scared of them? We’ll be fine. Just stay away from the dropsies we had in the late nineties and we’ll be fine.

  19. 69Dawg

    Boise will roll Moore out, UGA should make him have to roll in the wrong direction so that he must throw across his body. NFL has found that to be the way to screw up rollouts.

  20. Smitty

    Isn’t Boise breaking in a new Coordinator or two??

  21. Starbreaker

    I expect big improvements across the board for Dawg WRs…it has been well documented that when you have an elite talent like AJ, it totally changes the natural flow/tendencies of players…QB will “force” the ball to them, other guys will feel subconsciously out of the picture and disengaged, etc. Maybe I am naive/optimistic, but I expect TK and Marlon to have really good years. Neither will replace AJ, but that can be a good thing b/c the problem when you rely so much on one guy (and your offense revolves around him) is you are screwed when you lose him.

  22. yurdle

    Boise lost a higher percentage of its TDs and receiving yards than UGA lost. Green and Durham were great players, but Young and Pettis were more heavily relied on in Boise’s offense.

    Plus, we get TK and Orson Charles back.

  23. Robert Smith, when commenting on this game, has brought up the experience of the wide receivers. He is understated (and underrated – probably because he’s not loud, bombastic, etc..) but very good analyst.

  24. Russ

    Last time we came into a season with a highly recruited RB, following a 6-win disappointing season the previous year, we did okay. I think we could be looking at a great year if we stay healthy. Defense will be the key, and I think we’ve got the players to make the defense run.

  25. Cojones

    And I hope the efforts at fan training thru the summer has a payoff of interested and supportive Dawgs helping the team when they are both(team and fans) up and down.

    Can I get a SIC”EM DAWGS!! on here?

  26. bulldawgy

    SIC’EM DAWGS!!!!