Random bits of Dawgly goodness

Have there been any signs of progress out of this year’s team?  You be the judge:

  • David Ching notes that Georgia is seeing steadily improving results out of the no-huddle offense.

The Bulldogs ran 83 plays two weeks ago against Coastal Carolina and 82 last Saturday against Ole Miss. Those are the two highest play totals for a Georgia offense since the Bulldogs needed 84 plays to beat Purdue in overtime in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2004. One must go back another several weeks — to a Nov. 22, 2003, win against Kentucky, when the Bulldogs also ran 84 plays — to find a game where Georgia totaled more offensive snaps in regulation…

It didn’t work particularly well against Boise State in the opener, when the Bulldogs gained 373 yards in a 35-21 loss, but they have since gained 436 yards against South Carolina, 470 against Coastal Carolina and 475 against Ole Miss.

… third-down defense, where Georgia has gone from worst to almost first in the Southeastern Conference.

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham worked this offseason on turning that around after the Bulldogs ranked 79th in the nation last year on third downs, when opponents converted 41.9 percent of the time.

Georgia now stands fifth in the country. Opponents are getting past the first down marker at just a 25 percent clip.

  • And on the strength and conditioning front,  Georgia’s starting offensive line played every one of those 82 snaps against Ole Miss.

****************************************************************************

UPDATE:  UGACory has more data on defensive improvement.

66 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

66 responses to “Random bits of Dawgly goodness

  1. Scott

    Colonel, you have really been drinking the Kool-Aid this season. I’ll partake when we shut down even a mediocre team and make a few stops in the red zone.

    Like

    • I’m not predicting greatness here.

      You think they’d be doing about the same now if Richt had left things in place after the ’09 season?

      Like

      • Scott

        I am one of those who thinks our problems the past few years are a direct result of our change in practice philosophy, when we went to non-contact scrimmaging and soft practices to prevent injury, thus losing our blocking and tackling skills. I am no longer convinced our schemes or Martinez were the problem, which is why Grantham suffered the same poor defensive performances initially. The problem had been Richt all along. I hope you are right and that we are going to see continued improvement as the season progresses. We will know either way by the end of the Florida game.

        Like

        • gatorhater27

          Most teams don’t hit in practice anymore, and I am pretty sure contact is also limited by the NCAA.

          Like

          • Scott

            During the South Carolina broadcast, the announcer said Richt had reverted back this season to full contact scrimmaging during game weeks, which had been a rarity in recent years for UGA.

            Like

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              The threat of impending unemployment tens to focus one on what really needs to be done.

              Like

            • Krautdawg

              We first went to no-contact practices during Summer 2008, when Sturdivant (then more of the O-line) went down with injuries during practice. If memory serves, we lost about 20 PT-quality players due to injury before the ’08 season started. Then came the ‘Bama game, and we lost Ellerbe, Durham, and a couple more. So while I agree that no-contact practice can take the edge off a team, I still think anyone in Richt’s position would’ve called for the green jerseys during that summer and kept it throughout the year.

              Like

            • hailtogeorgia

              I thought what they said was that we held full-contact practices during the entirety of the South Carolina gameweek after the fallout from the Boise game. That is to say, with the poor showing against Boise, Richt decided to go full contact every day in preparation for Carolina…I didn’t think it was an all-season thing.

              Like

              • Scott

                ABH FROM A YEAR AGO RIGHT BEFORE WE WHOOPED UT:
                ATHENS, Ga. – With Georgia’s team at the bottom of the SEC standings, Bulldogs coach Mark Richt is admitting to a few decisions he’d like to have back this season.One of them involves preseason practice.Citing the Bulldogs’ continued issues with blocking and tackling, Richt said Tuesday that his squad did “the least amount of that in camp than we’ve ever done” for fear of injury before the season opener.“Is it biting us in the rear end right now?” Richt said. “Probably so.”After Saturday’s 29-27 loss at Colorado dropped Georgia to 1-4 and sent more heat in Richt’s direction, the coach switched gears Monday at practice. The Bulldogs held full-contact, full-pads, 11-on-11 scrimmage drills pitting the first units on both sides of the football.
                “I thought the players responded beautifully,” Richt said. “I thought it pumped some life into those guys. I think they had fun playing football and blocking and tackling. We haven’t been blocking and tackling good enough. So I’m going back to my original philosophy when I came to Georgia and that’s when I would say, ‘It’s hard to get better blocking and tackling without blocking and tackling.’”
                Richt’s opinion was changed over the years by injuries being logged during the preseason. For the 2010 season, he cut out two-a-days for the Bulldogs.
                Players also noticed a difference in contact work at practice this year.
                “In recent years, it was a lot more live tackling and tackling to the ground,” senior linebacker Akeem Dent said. “In the recent years, there have been a lot of injuries heading into the season. I think was something he was trying to prevent.”
                “A lot of it had to do with the one season when we had 32 guys hurt going into the year,” Richt said. “You start out with camp and another one goes and another one goes, and you’re like, ‘My gosh, what are we going to do?’ There are different schools of thought. One is you have to block and tackle to block and tackle well. The other one is ‘Hey, let’s get everybody to the gate healthy and let’s kind of play our way into this thing and pick our shots’ when we do those types of things.”
                Despite Richt’s regrets about the preseason, linebacker Christian Robinson put the blame more on players that aren’t producing.
                “We had designated times to tackle and hit and scrimmage and things like that (during preseason),” Robinson said. “I felt like we had a great camp. The defense, I felt like we learned what we were supposed to do. I really don’t disagree with what we did. … I’m not going to point any fingers, but people (on the team) know who needs to step up.”

                Like

        • hailtogeorgia

          You may be right, but I attributed it (and still do) much more to the scheme. Sure, practice philosophy may have had something to do with it, but I think that’s more of a post-hoc ergo propter-hoc thing. As for Grantham’s performance issues last year, I attributed that much more to being in the first year of a defense after a major transition and not having the complete knowledge of the scheme nor the proper players to fill the positions.

          Like

        • Hackerdog

          Practicing full contact for a week does not give the kind of improvement form our defense that we have seen from last year to this year.

          The kind of improvement we’ve seen is the result of having players that fit into the scheme (Geathers/Jenkins/Jones) and those players being more comfortable in their second year of learning how to play in Grantham’s defense.

          A lack of tackling skills doesn’t explain the complete inability to defend the wheel route. 😉

          Like

      • Jerry

        I think they would be doing better.
        Martinez never had a season with as few wins as CTG had.
        I thought I read on this blog a quote from a coach who said ” statistics are for losers number of games you win are for winners”

        Like

    • Irwin Fletcher

      The interesting thing is that (a) we haven’t beaten a good team but at the same time (b) we are four points from sitting at 3-1 and probably ranked somewhere b/w 10th and 15th.

      It’s a fine line 4 games into a season. However, you have to win this weekend to justify any of the pleasant talk.

      I still think this 5 game stretch is the crucial measuring stick. Ole Miss, MSU, Tenn, Vandy, and Florida…you have to win these games, period. Ole Miss, Tenn, and Vandy to stay ahead of them. MSU to prove you’ve put them behind you after last year’s anomaly. Florida….well, you were basically even with them last year, losing in OT. If they beat you this year, there is a pretty good argument that the reason is coaching. They got better b/c they switched coaches. I’m just not sure you can survive that kind of criticism.

      Here’s hoping they win them all and give us something really interesting to talk about in November..Go Dawgs!

      Also, Wilco’s album is out today and they are playing two shows at the Cobb Energy place…high recommendations.

      Like

      • hailtogeorgia

        Couldn’t agree with this assessment more. We need to win these five games because that’s what good teams do…they beat the teams that they’re supposed to, and, with the exception of Florida (that’s debatable), we should beat all of these teams handily.

        Like

      • ChicagoDawg

        Digs Wilco

        Like

    • hailtogeorgia

      We just shut down a mediocre team last weekend.

      Like

  2. NRBQ

    That OL was gassed the last half-quarter, helping reduce the yards IC was getting there at the end.

    Like

    • The Tick

      dam that tereshinski … only 82 plays without a substitution and they were GASSED!?! Bring back Van Halanger!

      Like

    • Otto

      Auburn ran 81 against Clemson, 77 against Arkansas, and 73 against Oregon winning botth games int he 4th. They weren’t gassed.

      The DL was a monster with great 4th quarter stats. It is funny how many discredit Auburn’s defense but now that UGA is trying to keep pace people have posted they are concerned about the defense being rested.

      If you are going to score quick (which UGA often did last yr) you have to score often and have a good defense.

      I don’t doubt JoeT improved S&C over Van Halanger but that doesn’t automatically translate to being on par with the SEC contenders.

      UGA is also darn lucky Garcia hasn’t been able to hit the broadside of a barn much of the season.

      The offense may or may not be improving but the game plan has to change with the competitiion. UGA had an advantage running and limiting Boise State’s possesion but instead hadn’t the ball over in a hurry resulting in a gassed team on both sides of the ball.

      Like

  3. vincent

    Stop the mental mistakes and this team can be a good team. take care of the football, know your assignments on d and special teams and we will go a long way

    Like

  4. Go Dawgs!

    I think the biggest sign of improvement on the S&C front isn’t the fact that the O-Line played all the snaps, it’s the fact that our defense was still holding strong late in the second half of the game. My biggest concern with the new offense is the fact that it puts those guys back on the field quickly if it doesn’t work, but they looked strong throughout. Granted, it’s just Ole Miss, but still, I was glad to see it.

    Like

  5. DawgPhan

    If IC gets 30 totes, doesnt lay the ball on the ground and we keep that 3rd down convert rate around 25% we should be alright.

    Stop whining about loses that didnt happen, and worrying about loses yet to happen and the fanbase might have a decent year as well.

    Like

  6. Bevo

    “And on the strength and conditioning front, Georgia’s starting offensive line played every one of those 82 snaps against Ole Miss.”

    That fact that the o-line played all 82 snaps against Ole Miss is a sign of S&C improvements?

    I laughed out loud as I read that. Then I realized that maybe it wasn’t a joke. I guess there’s a possibly that could be a sign of S&C improvements, but I certainly took it as a sign that we have zero depth at o-line. Who in the hell were we going to substitute in?

    Like

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      We had better hope for 0 injuries in the O-line this season.

      Like

      • W Cobb Dawg

        We have 9 other OL recruits on the roster – Andrews, H. Long, A. Long, Dantzler, DeBell, Ward, Theus, Houston, Burnette. Sure a couple are banged up and 1 is ineligible for some unknown reason, but is it too much to ask that we get 1 or 2 serviceable contributors?

        Like

    • Tell me something – what would you have done if Gates, who was playing on a bad ankle, said he couldn’t go back in?

      Yeah, it was best that they all played the entire game (although you could argue that Georgia could have subbed at the very end of the game), but that’s no guarantee they would play the entire game.

      Like

      • Bevo

        I took that as a sign of zero depth rather than improved conditioning.

        I applaud your optimism. Mine’s been in decline for several years.

        I’m bullish on the defense though.

        Like

        • Bevo

          From a practice report:

          The second-string line was as follows: Austin Long (LT), Hugh Williams (LG), David Andrews (C), Hunter Long (RG) and Watts Dantzler (RT).

          I’m guessing that plugging these guys in during SEC play would not be pretty.

          Like

  7. 1stLtDawg

    The Aggie fans are excited about joining the SEC. Check this youtube video out it’s 7 min. long. It’s a pre game vid of the A&M vs OSU last weekend and SEC flags were flying high. Really good quality video. Do full screen. I’ve never been to Kyle Field but it looks like a great atmosphere to see a game. I’ll damn sure be buying tickets for that road game next year if we play them.

    I still can’t figure out how to embed a youtube on wordpress. Can somebody tell me how?

    Aggie Pre-Game (SEC) 2011 vs oSu

    Like

  8. Turd Ferguson

    All good signs, indeed. Here’s hoping it starts translating into meaningful wins sometime soon. October will tell the story, I guess.

    Like

  9. heyberto

    Stoked about the improvement on D. I tend to think it was because we were against inferior teams, but last year, the difference is we probably would have won against those teams, without that unit being as solid as it has been this year. Good job Dogs.

    The thing that irks me is how Richt (and yes I blame Richt, not Bobo) stick to an offensive gameplan hoping they’ll finally stump an opponent with it. I don’t doubt execution played a part in that not being effective against Boise, but it’s maddening to think they stuck with a game plan just so they could say that they were building for the season against teams like Ole Miss. On one hand, it’s good to see Richt remain level headed and not panic just to change it up for the sake of his job.. but I would like to see them alter the plan when they run into a brick wall with it. ..

    Like

  10. Keese

    I figured the number of snaps would be lower b/c of clock management in 2nd half vs ole miss.

    Like

  11. stoopnagle

    Maybe I’m too stupid to watch football. I’m just going to resort to enjoying my drinks and the senseless violence.

    Like

    • shane#1

      Drinking and violence are never a bad idea Stoop. Rowan, “what do you think about sex and violence on TV?”. Martin,”I don’t think there’s enough room on there.” Now I am going to go enjoy a beer on the patio. The violence will begin when my friend gets home. I made chilie in her kitchen. Now, where did I put my mouthpiece?

      Like

  12. Hogbody Spradlin

    The 1976 team, at the height of option, run oriented offenses, averaged about 84 plays a game. That was considered excellent ball control football at the time. Any time we run over 80 plays in this day and age, I bet we have a nice time of possession advantage.

    Like

    • Hackerdog

      Time of possession was almost 2 to 1 in our favor.

      Like

    • I need another beer

      That 1976 team was greatness. However, we had to battle with Coach Johnny Majors who out did Vince Dooley. Pitt also had the Heisman Trophy winner, Tony Dorsett.

      Like

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Pittsburgh prepared well. They fooled us with passing, and neutralized Mike Wilson and Joel Parrish. If memory serves, Dorsett didn’t get into the secondary until after halftime, but he didn’t need to.

        Like

  13. Will Trane

    I think the numbers of plays relate to the TOP, but not to the score. When watching the game I thought the pass plays were safe and limited. I have not figured out why. Ole Miss is a ball hawking secondary, and for their size good. They looked a little tired and one even indicated that. But what hurt on the score board was those missed FGs and a sharp passing game inside the 30. I do not know the snaps they ran inside the 30, but my thoughts are they would be down. Plus I would like to see the yards per carry on the RBs in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

    What is hurting this team is special teams play. Maybe that is due to personnel and time in practice [like the contact in practice in prior yrs.]. I’di like to see the film on those punts, release off the line, and where the players were on the field during the hang time re their lanes.

    The sets and calls inside the 30 are of interest to me. Maybe inside the 10 they go with a jumbo package or a full half house backfield with both Samuel and Crowell set to the side of Figgins at FB slot, or even Lynch back there with Crowell and Friggins. But I would like to see some plays from 30 to 15 with quick opening and hot passes.
    The no-huddle will give them more plays, but the execution on those plays are critical. Regardless of the number of O linemen playing they are playing well even to generate yards, scores, and TOP. And maybe as the season goes one or two maybe added in their.

    Like

  14. Thanks for the mention, glad you enjoyed the article.

    Like

  15. Derek

    I think we’re mediocre with a bullet. Let’s get to 5-2 before we get too excited.

    Like