It’s a popular theme this week – that bye week the Gators are enjoying will give them the opportunity to retool their sputtering offense.
“It’s a little bit more of a mystery than if you had played them before the open date,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “When you have an open date, you do have time to make change, and maybe a little bit more of a radical change, if that’s what you choose to do.
“We’re not 100 percent certain about what we’re going to see, but it’s hard to change everything. We’ll have a basic idea, but I’m sure coach Meyer and his staff are going to have some interesting twists for us to deal with that we probably won’t get a chance to practice a lot because I’m sure it will be some things that will be brand new for us.”
After consecutive losses to Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State, Meyer said he spent the off week evaluating the offense’s execution and making sure his players’ assignments suit their capabilities.
“I’m not going to share much with you, but we have modified quite a bit,” Meyer said Monday. “That’s something I’m not going to obviously say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do,’ but things are modified…”
Now the smartass in me wants to know why Corch feels the need to rejigger the plays or scheme since you can’t improve upon perfection, and there’s also this quote from his starting quarterback:
Brantley, who ranks 10th in the SEC in passing efficiency, said: “We’re still running the same plays. We’ve got great plays. We just need to execute them.”
So maybe this is all just head games, trying to get Grantham to bite on the play fake, so to speak. Although the idea that Florida has to resort to something like that to get an edge seems out of character for the mighty Gators, doesn’t it?
“A-ha!”, smart Dawg fans say, though: “but what about 2005?” That was the year, you may recall, that saw a tearful Urban Meyer after a remarkable loss to LSU (the Gators lost despite being plus-5 in turnover margin) use the bye week to construct a power formation offense that Florida trotted out for two early scoring drives that were the difference in a 14-10 Georgia loss – the idea being that the bye week changes were responsible for the Gators coming out on top. (Never mind that Georgia outgained Florida on the day.)
Let me suggest an alternate theory for the crime. Take a look at this chart I’ve compiled as to the five Cocktail Parties of the Meyer era:
YEAR SCORE P. RATING BYE? 2009 41-17, UF 102.01 N 2008 49-10, UF 113.04 N 2007 42-30, UG 206.27 N 2006 21-14, UF 65.71 Y 2005 14-10, UF 88.44 Y
That’s Georgia’s passer rating and Florida’s bye week status listed there. Anything stand out to you?
For Georgia to have a chance on Saturday, I don’t think Aaron Murray has to play the game of his life. Just hitting his season average in passer rating will be better than what the Dawgs have gotten out of their quarterbacks in those four losses in the last five years.
UPDATE: Paul adds some bye week thoughts of his own.