Again, if you’re looking for a preview for the Colorado game, look elsewhere around the Dawgosphere for plenty of good examples. Besides, is the bottom line for tomorrow any different that what is was last Saturday – play up-to-your-potential, focused ball for sixty minutes, Dawgs, and you’ll win?
Nah. Instead I think I’ll spend the rest of this post riffing off Jody’s latest observation about the playcalling:
Play action…Figured I’d follow back up on that. We threw a LOT more from the shotgun this week. We called a passing play from shotgun 29 times Saturday, including penalty plays that were lost, sacks, scrambles, etc. and according to my charting, just one used play action. Under center play calls was a different story. Of the 10 pass plays called under center, all utilized play action. [Emphasis added.] 3 ended in scrambles and Murray was 4 of 7 on the plays he actually got a pass off. So in 2 weeks we’ve had 34 pass plays called under center and 31 of them were play action. I’ve felt for years that it seemed like we never did straight drops but I didn’t expect it to be this stark.
This is the kind of stuff that belongs in Fabris Country, i.e., a stubborn insistence bordering on insanity for doing things in a certain way for reasons which have little to do with success. And it’s starting to drive me up the wall in the same manner that directional kicking did last year.
Consider that in the opinion of the always brilliant Chris Brown, college offenses have entered
… the age of the tinkerer, where subtle tweaks instead of wholesale changes to offensive or defensive schemes, will be what decide games. The hero coaches will be more Thomas Edison than Albert Einstein, putting spare parts from football’s extensive history to new use…
Tinkering in Athens these days seems to be little more than waiting to see if A.J. Green’s return provides an offensive spark. (Part of me is going to be pissed off if we suddenly see a fully functional offense tomorrow night.)
Some of the problem may be due to an inability to identify what the coaches have to work with.
“I think Aaron has surpassed our expectations of playing under the pressure, of being a confident young man, (handling) every situation with poise,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “And his ability to make plays probably surprised us more than we thought he’d do.”
Gee, that makes you wonder if Bobo was even watching the Louisiana game while he was standing on the sideline.
But some of it seems to be a genuine inability to engage in the kind of tinkering Chris alludes to. Consider the formation du jour: the pistol.
… Invented in Nevada, the short shotgun setup – hence pistol – that places the quarterback about 4 yards behind center and a running back 3 yards behind the QB is now being used in varying amounts at Alabama, Arkansas, Duke, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and UCLA, just to name a few.
Now the point here isn’t that the pistol is some magic formula to revive a moribund Georgia offense. As the article notes, the formation hasn’t been an unbridled success everywhere it’s been deployed. But it’s had enough success that a variety of schools running a variety of offenses have taken steps to incorporate it into their gameplanning. Enough so that HeismanPundit has gotten all excited about it:
… The Wildcat is soooo 2008. The Pistol is the new craze in college football… The benefits are clear: It provides a shot gun look while still allowing for downhill running without telegraphing the direction of the run, as in a normal shotgun with an offset back. Unlike the Wildcat, the quarterback gets his hands on the ball first, allowing for more passing options. And preparing for the Pistol is difficult–not many teams run it, so most defensive players haven’t absorbed its concepts yet.
“The Wildcat is so 2008” observation is a bit of an exaggeration in that it’s still a successful formation which has a different purpose – getting an extra blocker on the field for the runner taking the direct snap – than does the pistol, which is more about deception. But it’s a mature strategy (fifth year in the SEC) that we’re finally seeing Bobo add to the arsenal. By that timeline, we can probably expect to see Murray line up in the pistol sometime during 2013. And run play action out of it.
One last thing. Watch the Florida-Alabama game, not just because of its importance, but also to see how successful the 5-2 defensive alignment the Gators will deploy is at slowing down Alabama’s power offense. I’m obviously not putting Georgia’s offense in the same class as Alabama’s, but the underlying philosophies are similar. Except ‘Bama tinkers more…