Daily Archives: September 25, 2012

Second thoughts on Tennessee: offensive fireworks

Also from Paschall’s article is this little tidbit:

Grantham is fixated this week on stopping quarterback Tyler Bray and Tennessee’s NFL-type offense, but Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is picking Grantham’s mind about the 3-4 and trying to capitalize on the growing pains in Knoxville — the same growing pains Georgia experienced two seasons ago.

“We’ll talk a little bit this week about what they do,” Bobo said. “They’re all from the same background, but all of them are a little bit different. We’ll figure out what we can do to give us the best chance to be successful.”

One thing he’s got to be thinking about is the big play.  On paper coming in, you’ve got to say it’s a good matchup for Bobo:

Tennessee’s defense been susceptible to big plays this season, and now the Volunteers face the nation’s biggest big-play makers Saturday in fifth-ranked Georgia.

Through just four games, Tennessee’s defense has allowed 20 plays of 20 or more yards, which is nearly half of last season’s total of 41. Fourteen of those have been pass plays. In the last six quarters alone, the Vols have surrendered touchdown plays of 80, 75 and 70 yards…

… The Bulldogs lead the Southeastern Conference in offense, and their 35 plays of 20 or more yards lead the nation. Georgia has scored nine offensive touchdowns of 22 or more yards in four games. The starting offense ripped off nine plays or 20 or more yards in a rout of Vanderbilt this past Saturday.

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall when Bobo and Grantham get together about this week’s game plan?

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

First thoughts on Tennessee: been there, done that.

David Paschall has a smart piece this morning on the bumpy ride involved in changing to a 3-4 defensive scheme in the SEC.  You can say there’s a pattern:

Alabama struggled to stop opponents in 2007, when Nick Saban arrived with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. Georgia’s 2010 season was anything but smooth under new coordinator Todd Grantham, and Tennessee’s defense is experiencing inconsistencies this year under Sal Sunseri, who spent the past three seasons as Alabama’s linebackers coach.

Typically, there are two problems.  One, there are the inevitable personnel issues, particularly in the front seven, that crop up as the 4-3 requires different body types and different position responsibilities than the 3-4 does.  Two, there’s a period of adjustment for the players on the field.

“From a coverage standpoint, we are pretty complex, and I think that you’ve got to get some reps in it,” Grantham said of his system. “I think the best thing we’ve done is to maintain our consistency from day one here. As players develop and get that consistency and develop their habits, then they play with more consistency.

“That’s a little bit of why you saw some things early on with us, because we had some players who were kind of like first-year guys.”

It takes time.

“We are glad that [first] season is behind us,” Bulldogs redshirt junior outside linebacker Chase Vasser said. “Last year, we made a big deal about not just knowing your own role but the roles of everyone around you. We started to play faster, and now I know I am trying to get even more detailed and working on little things like my stance, get off, drop step and where I shoot my hands.

“It’s the little things now, because I’m not worrying about the whole defense.”

This is why I questioned those who were predicting a major improvement from Tennessee this season.  It’s not that the Vols don’t have some talent on defense, or that Sunseri didn’t learn enough about how to implement a 3-4 scheme under Saban.  It’s just that Alabama and Georgia both demonstrated that it’s not realistic to expect a top ten defense in the first year of that kind of transition.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Dawg stat watch, Week 4

Okay, it’s time for our weekly look at how Georgia is shaping up with certain statistical measures that have in common one thing – they were all met or exceeded in every year the Dawgs have won the SEC East under Richt.  Here’s how things look after Vanderbilt (all stats via cfbstats.com):

  1. Hold opponents under 18 points per game.  As a team, Georgia is yielding 16.5 ppg.
  2. Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.  Georgia’s turnover margin is 0.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.  Georgia’s offense is averaging 530 ypg.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.  Georgia’s defense ranks eighth in total defense.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.  Georgia is fourth in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.  Georgia is third in passing yardage.
  7. Finish no worse than third in sacks.  Georgia is eighth in sacks.

Last week, the Dawgs only met two of the metrics.  This week, it’s three, but there’s positive momentum in several other statistical categories.  It will be interesting to watch how much impact the returns of Ogletree and Rambo have on some of those numbers over the next few weeks.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!