Mark Richt explains why Georgia is employing the toss much more this season:
The Bulldogs this season are utilizing the toss — or lateral — more often when they run the football. And unlike in past years, when that usually meant an outside running play, Georgia is doing it when it intends to carry the ball between the tackles.
That’s no accident. It’s a wrinkle the Bulldogs picked up from LSU, which utilized that tactic to great effect last year.
“It’s basically the old-school power,” Georgia coach Mark Richt explained. “We’ve handed it off over the years; most everybody in the country still hands it off. [But] LSU has been a team that’s tossed it like that and you could see the benefit of it on film when we watched LSU do it.”
Richt said the advantage of it is two-fold. One, it actually utilizes the quarterback as a blocker or even just a shield from back-side pursuit. It’s also “softens up” the linebackers, who normally read the toss as an outside play and simply get out to the perimeter as fast as they can. Now they need to be more careful to mind their inside gaps.
I haven’t noticed Aaron Murray blocking much on those plays (and I’m not sure I want to see that, anyway), but I see Richt’s point about getting the linebackers to shift out of their gap responsibilities. Now, if only he had LSU’s offensive line depth at his disposal…