Georgia and big plays

Chris Low has a post up about which SEC teams have been the best at big plays (20 yards or more) over the past three seasons.  Georgia ranks third during that period, behind only Florida and Auburn, with 210 big plays.

What’s noteworthy is the trend – unfortunately, it’s downward for the Dawgs (conference rank in parentheses):

  • 2008 – 83 big plays (1st)
  • 2009 – 65 big plays (4th)
  • 2010 – 62 big plays (6th)

My first thought on seeing that was about Matt Stafford’s arm.  No doubt a good part of that drop can be attributed to going from Stafford’s ability to go deep with Joe Cox’.  But take a look at these numbers from

  • 2008 – 21 big rushing plays (2nd)
  • 2009 – 17 big rushing plays (6th)
  • 2010 – 12 big rushing plays (12th)

And now you know why Isaiah Crowell was a high priority in this year’s recruiting class.



Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

33 responses to “Georgia and big plays

  1. dan

    I’m surprised we had 12 big rushing plays in 2010. It doesn’t seeem lik that many.


  2. Mike

    “Chris Low has a post up about which SEC teams have been the best at big plays (20 yards or more) over the past three seasons. Georgia ranks third during that period, behind only Florida and Auburn, with 210 big plays.”

    Damn, maybe Meyer did know a thing or two about offense!


  3. gastr1

    Actually, Stafford was a poor deep passer, so I’m not surprised that difference was in the running games.


    • Um, you might want to do the math. Georgia had as many big passing plays in 2008 as it had big total plays in 2010.


    • hailtogeorgia

      I have a feeling the perception was that Stafford was a poor deep passer because he did it more often than we’re accustomed to seeing and he took risks when he did. Lots of guys won’t throw the deep ball unless they’re sure their receiver has the man beat…Stafford, however, would.


    • 81 Dog

      dude, which games were you watching? Even the THREAT of getting beat deep forces the defense to protect against the deep play, which (you may have heard) opens things up for the running game.

      I’m sure Detroit took Stafford number one in the NFL draft with the hopes they could work around his “poor deep passing game.”


  4. So after all that had been said and written, it is the old fashion running. I was just reading a book on the Dawgs and Dooley written about a decade ago which mentioned his philosophy in running the ball and why he is considered the most successful coach. I also saw in some discussion boards about older fans’ preference of a stronger running game from the Dawgs more than passing.


  5. hailtogeorgia

    I bet if you take out Richard Samuel’s 80 yarder in Fayetteville and the Georgia Tech game, the numbers for big rushing plays are pretty much identical in 09 and 10.


  6. Todd

    The deep ball is not 20 yards. Say what you want. Stafford was very good 35 and in. To me, his ability to throw “over the hump” or across the field was his specialty. He had the strength and velocity to make it work.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dboy

    To say Stafford was a bad deep passer is sadly misguided. True deep passing plays are low percentage by nature. Like the difference between a layup (5 yard pass) and a long three pointer (30 yard pass) in basketball. The greatest three point shooters in history only make 40% because it is a difficult shot. Same thing with the deep pass in football but with even higher degree of difficulty and higher rewards. Stafford did it better than most. I agree with the others, the threat of the deep ball (esp the year with AJ going deep) probably created many of those big running plays.


  8. Irwin R. Fletcher

    I wish we could take a look at who had the 20+ yard runs. I assume in 2008 it was mostly RB’s.(I know AJ had 1 run of 20+) 2009 was probably mostly RBs, too…Ealey and King really clicked after the Tennessee game. I’ll see if I can get a better breakdown because I think the biggest problem with our offense has been the lack of a game breaker at RB in 2010…making the Crowell signing so promising.

    In case anyone is wondering, here are the 7 games UGA had its 12 20+ runs in during the 2010 season…UL, Colorado, Tenn, Vandy, UK, ISU, Ga Tech. All 6 wins are in this group. I would say not one above average defense.

    Of those 12 runs….
    2 came from Aaron Murray. (UL and UT)
    1 came from AJ Green (Colorado)
    4 came from King (UL, Col, ISU, Ga Tech)
    5 came from Ealey (Vandy, UK, 3x against Ga Tech)

    So…here are some interesting ways at looking at how little threat our RB’s were this year.
    -33% of the big plays in the running game came in one game with one of those being a gift from CPJ, Super Genius.
    -25% of the big plays in the running game came against Non-BCS opponents
    -75% of the big plays in the running game came against Non-SEC opponents
    – Caleb King had 0 big plays against SEC teams
    -Cartlon Thomas, supposedly a ‘change of pace’ burner like Thomas Browning, had 0 runs of 20 yards.
    – In the 9 games against opponents not named GA Tech, UL, ISU, or Colorado, UGA had 4 plays of 20 yards or more….and 1 of those was by our QB.


    I’ll see if I can find 2009 and 2008 game logs later.


    • Knowshon had 15 big play runs in 2008.

      That’s not too shabby.


    • King had four and Ealey had six 20+ yard runs in 2009.


      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        2009…the other 7 came from…
        B. Smith had 3 (South Car, UK and TTech)
        Samuel had 2 (Ark, Florida)
        L. Gray had (T Tech)
        Chappas had 1 against TAMU.

        Just for Kicks…King’s four runs came against Auburn(2x) and GA Tech(2x)
        Ealey had his against Ga Tech(2x), TTech(2x), Vandy, TAMU. That’s not shabby considering he didn’t play the first 4 games. Too bad he disappeared in 2010.

        And just as a side note on how badly UGA needs a complete threat in the backfield…Knowshon had 33 catches in 2008. King and Ealey had a combined 10 in 2010. Crowell’s ability to catch the ball out of the back field (on something other than a 3rd down or red zone screen pass..ugh) should be a big asset and is probably being undervalued.


        • Irwin R. Fletcher

          And if anybody cares…22 big runs in 2007. 20 of them came from Knowshon and Thomas Brown.

          2007- 20 big plays from the RBs
          2008-18 big plays from the RBs (15 KM, 1CK, 2RS)
          2009- 12 big plays from the RBs (6 WE, 4 CK, 2 RS)
          2010- 9 big plays from the RBs (5 WE, 4 CK)

          And…that’s not counting 20+ yard receptions by RBs which was all the way down to 1 in 2010.


  9. This old Dawg still thinks the running game is crucial & the Ol & the RB have to make the D respect their ability to run the ball. That should be priority number 1 in spring practice.


  10. Joey

    Might help if Bobo was ranked 10th in SEC in number of running plays per game.


  11. Joey

    Moreno got a lot more carries than Ealey, Ealey had more 10+ rushes per carry than Moreno or Herschel Walker.


    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      What universe are you in?

      Ealey in 2009 (his ‘good’ year)
      125 carries, 17 runs of 10+, 6 runs of 20+

      Moreno in 2008
      250 carriers, FIFTY runs of 10+, 15 runs of 20

      And let’s put this out there to…Moreno didn’t ‘get’ a lot more carriers than Ealey…he EARNED a lot more carries. Being able to run for more YPC, break more medium runs, break more long runs, pass block, catch the ball out of the backfield, not fumble, and not get suspended for disciplinary issues will earn you more carries.

      I’m not here to crap on Ealey. I think he is a DGD, has talent, and can be a good RB. I’m just saying that neither he nor King have produced anywhere near the type of production that Knowshown/Thomas Brown did…and that’s why the addition of Crowell is so exciting.


  12. Joey

    Hopefully, the new QB, Lemay or Mason, will be able to be accurate on long passes. Murray only completed 1 long pass against South Carolina & Miss St combined.

    Need a real QB.


    • Dawgfan Will

      How many did he attempt?

      Need real stats.


    • 69Dawg

      Wow and the hate continues.


      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        This must be a joke…I’m assuming Joey is actually a made up name referring to Blossom’s flannel vest loving brother.

        First, using the So Car game and the MSU game as a barometer is just plain wrong. I really don’t remember him attempting many long passes period in those games, AJ Green was MIA…and I believe that was because Bobo wasn’t ready to pull the gloves off. (bad choice of words based upon the attire in the bowl game)

        Second, not sure what ‘long’ passes means to Joey, but Murray completed 5 passes of 20+ yards in the MSU game. 2 were negated by an Ealey fumble and a hold on a 31 yard play to Durham.

        As far as South Carolina goes, I really only remember 3 or 4 long attempts. He connected with Durham on the 55 yarder…which Ealey later coughed up on his fumble at the goal line…after which Murray only had 5 more pass attempts period…two incompletions, a 31 yard completion to Marlon Brown, a 2 yard lost to Ealey, and a 9 yard completion to T. King.


  13. CSA

    Has anybody mentioned how this makes the signing of Crowell so exciting?