Josh Kendall has a good article up today in The Macon Telegraph about Georgia’s rushing game.
He tosses out some factoids of interest in the middle of his piece:
… Georgia has thrown the ball more than it has run it once in a game this year, against South Carolina, which was its only loss of the season. The Bulldogs threw 45 passes and ran the ball 31 times that day.
For the season, Georgia has run the ball 56.3 percent of the time, which is the sixth-highest percentage in the conference, almost right in the middle of Arkansas’ league-high 67.6 percent and Tennessee’s league-least 42.3 percent.
Georgia (4-1, 2-1 SEC) takes on the Volunteers (2-2, 0-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium. At the conclusion of that game, the Bulldogs will have played the only three teams in the SEC who throw the ball more than run it – Tennessee, Alabama and Ole Miss…
According to Kendall, Georgia’s offensive staff had an epiphany after the South Carolina loss.
After the South Carolina game, Georgia’s coaches decided they had to get better in the running game one way or another, Richt said. The answer in the past three games has been a heavy dose of zone blocking, which has two advantages for the Bulldogs.
First, it’s an easier skill for young linemen to master, and, second, it gives Brown and Moreno several choices on where to run the ball rather than one specific hole to hit, thus taking advantage of their quickness and cutting ability.
In the three games since South Carolina, Brown and Moreno have carried the ball a combined 90 times for 546 yards. That’s better than a 6 yard per carry average.
Over that same span, Georgia has run 203 offensive plays. When you add in pass receptions, Brown and Moreno have had a collective total of 104 touches on those plays. Their total yardage for those three games is 689, which is close to 57% of Georgia’s total yardage from those games. Essentially, in that time frame, they’ve been the Man.
There shouldn’t be any big strategic surprises in store for tomorrow’s game, mainly because there shouldn’t be a need for any. Stick with what works. After all, UT isn’t exactly killing it in defending the run so far this year. Tomorrow is all about execution for Georgia.