Marc Weiszer explores some of the numbers behind Mike Bobo’s strategic change of heart:
… The changes come a season after Georgia set a school record with seven straight games with 30 or more points (against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Florida, Idaho State, Auburn and Georgia Tech) despite a 6-7 finish.
Georgia ranked last in the Southeastern Conference last season in total offensive plays. The Bulldogs averaged 62.6 per game. Alabama wasn’t far away at 63.8
Georgia ran 60 offensive plays against Boise State. The Bulldogs had less than that in three of their losses last season. Georgia ran 47 offensive plays against South Carolina, 52 against Auburn and 59 against Colorado.
It’s worth pointing out that last year Georgia ran 51 plays in its win against Kentucky and 48 in the Georgia Tech win. In both cases, the Dawgs scored over 40 points.
“We’re trying to get going a little faster,” Murray said. “We just want more plays pretty much. … We’re trying to get 80 and 90. We believe you get more plays in, more chances for more guys to touch the ball, more chances to score points. That’s why we’re speeding things up. … We still have the same plays, the same formations, we’re just speeding it up a little.”
It sounds logical, but if you look at Georgia’s offense last year, there’s wasn’t the kind of correlation between scoring and the number of offensive plays run that Murray is hoping to see with the new approach. More of the same isn’t necessarily going to be a recipe for success, in other words.
If you’re looking for the real issue that plagued Georgia against Boise State, it wasn’t that the Dawgs didn’t run enough plays. It’s that they didn’t run enough effective ones.
- This game was decided by the passing game. Neither run game was altogether impressive — Boise was semi-efficient but less than explosive, while Georgia was explosive and inefficient — but Boise State’s Kellen Moore led a downright clinical pass attack, while Georgia’s Aaron Murray just couldn’t get out of the way of Boise’s pass rush.
- To further this point, look at standard downs and passing downs. The two teams were similar on standard downs (BSU was more efficient, Georgia more explosive), but when the teams fell into passing downs, a) Kellen Moore made plays for BSU, and b) Georgia’s drives died quickly.
- Boise State actually didn’t do very well at all on third downs, but they executed so well on second-and-long that they were able to leverage their way back on schedule. Georgia did not.