What’s the opposite of third-and-Willie?

I’m not willing to go this far yet, but I will say that I’m very much heartened by the improvement the Georgia defense has shown with its third-down play.  I don’t think it’s a mirage resulting from playing weak offenses the last two weeks, either.

The Broncos and Gamecocks combined to convert 8 of 26 third-down opportunities, and those could be the top two offenses the Bulldogs face all season.

Not too shabby there.  The Dawgs followed that up with a combined 6 for 30 performance against Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, which leaves them ranked fifth nationally in a performance category where they stunk the joint up last season.  And that improvement may be paying one unexpected dividend.

One stat Richt has tracked is time of possession, where his Bulldogs rank third in the SEC at 32:27 a game. He wasn’t expecting Georgia to fare overly well in that category because of its no-huddle offense, but the defense’s success on third down has resulted in more offensive plays and possessions.

Last year, Mississippi State converted its third-down plays against Georgia at a sickening 7-13 rate (along with a 1-1 conversion on fourth down).  That was the best conversion percentage against any D-1 opponent the Bulldogs saw in 2010.  Needless to say, there can’t be a repeat of that for Georgia to win tomorrow.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

57 responses to “What’s the opposite of third-and-Willie?

  1. Hobbes

    “Third and WIllie”. I like it. You don’t mind if I steal it and modify. Which do you think sounds better.. “third and Roof” or “third and Ted”.

    I dream of holding a team to 7 of 13 third down conversions. Try 14 of 18 against Clemson.

    • Feel free to use it… as the Lexicon indicates, it wasn’t my idea to begin with.😉

      Can’t say I’m surprised about the Roofster, remembering his glory days as O’Leary’s DC. As I said a couple of weeks ago, if you picture Auburn this year as a battle between Malzahn and Roof, Ted’s winning.

    • Rick

      The first occurrence I was aware of was from Tennessee fans and “third-and-chavis”. Given that guy’s performance recently, it kind of takes the sting out, although I know LSU fans were also using it quite a bit (presumably not recently).

  2. Go Dawgs!

    I’m pumped about Georgia’s improvements on third down. I’ll be very interested to see if the time of possession stat stays where it is, though, or if it trends downward as we start to get back into games against tougher opponents. The third down conversion stat isn’t necessarily inflated by playing Coastal and Ole Miss, but I think the time of possession stat might be.

  3. If South Carolina is the second toughest offense Georgia sees all season… I feel really good about their chances to win some games. Except, I fear Florida, Georgia Tech, and Auburn are all equal – if not greater – in terms of effectiveness (maybe not star power) to Sakerlina.

  4. JaxDawg

    Now let’s see some pressure from the DL – gotta get the sack total up.

    • WH

      I’d love to see more sacks, but I’m much rather have the inaccurate Relf just hurling the ball into the air under pressure, especially in Rambo’s direction. Would you rather have 3 picks or 6 sacks per game? I’ll take the INT’s.

      • JaxDawg

        sacks and picks aren’t mutually distinct and it’s not correct to present each as one or the other. But to your point, it all starts with pressure. Constant, nightmarish pressure.

        • ThePetis

          Sacks and picks are mutually exclusive… I’ve never seen a play that involved both. Last time I checked, if you were sacked, you were not able to get the ball off. And if you got the ball off, you weren’t sacked.

          • JaxDawg

            “Would you rather have 3 picks or 6 sacks per game?”

            I’d rather have both, and can have both since throughtout the course of a defense can both sack the qb and force him to throw errant passes/picks.

            You shouldn’t have to choose between one or the other. Right now we’ve forced some picks but trail on the sack side. Let’s get the later up and I bet we’ll see the former increase.

            • Keese

              Ok then…what about a sack and fumble? Like SC game with murray. It’s a wash. And better field position potentially in the sack/fumble

          • hailtogeorgia

            There you go again with that whore, Logic. You’re right. Sacks and fumbles aren’t mutually exclusive, sacks and picks are.

            • Red Blackman

              Sacks and hurries have an affect on a QB’s decision making process.

              Interceptions are an effect of sacks and hurries.

              The Grantham fire zone is starting to have an affect on opposing QB’s decision making process. Even if the number of sacks do not increase, I fully expect to see more interceptions as the season progresses.

              I hope this helps.

            • JaxDawg

              no one said sacks and fumbles are mutually exclusive. and yes, you cannot have a sack and a pick on the same play (for the true dipshits in the room) but you can have both during the course of the game, which was my original point.

              • Red Blackman

                Viewing the world from the prism of my own ass prevents be from seeing dipshits……..but yes, you can have both on the same play. Furthermore, it’s not an uncommon event.

                To be honest though, I could care less……..but I won’t.

                • JaxDawg

                  “……..but yes, you can have both on the same play. Furthermore, it’s not an uncommon event.”

                  Both what Red?

                  • Red Blackman

                    Sacks and interceptions.

                    • JaxDawg

                      good. I was beginning to worry about you.

                    • shane#1

                      I was thinking along the lines of WH. I want to keep their QB in the pocket and make him beat the Dawgs with his arm. I don’t want Relf to get to the outside so I keep seven or eight in the box and bring the OLBs upfield so he can’t roll out. Everybody fills their gap and shuts down the running lanes. Stop the run and you beat Missy St.

          • “Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a-gonna be in motion. You see… “

  5. Irishdawg

    I’m a believer in Grantham as a DC now, without a doubt. He’s taken guys in only their 2nd year in a new system and made huge strides. And he’s done it with injuries to 2 of the best athletes on the field.

    • Ginny

      I’m just happy that our defense no longer has that deer-in-the-headlights look they had so much. They look like they actually know where to be at the right time.

  6. vincent

    I’m still in wait and see mode with this defense and with this team. our only victories are against awful teams. for us to be considered “back” we will need to win at least the next 4 games. You are not a top tier or emerging power if you do not expect to win every game much less against an unranked team. i want to see a defense and team that goes out there expoits their talent and doesn’t make stupid mistakes.

    • James Stephenson

      It was not the Defense’s fault for the SC loss.

      • Go Dawgs!

        I don’t really blame Boise on the defense, either. Georgia’s offense was mostly inept in that game, and the defense got gassed. The first several possessions, the defense stoned Boise.

        • Dawgfan Will

          This. It may be the D’s job to get the opponent’s offense off the field, but our offense has to help them out by get at least a few first downs.

        • James Stephenson

          Yes, I wish to God Bobo had not been reading all the bad press over the summer. If we could have I – formation, ran the ball with PA early against that team and got some first downs, maybe the game goes differently.

        • AusDawg85

          Though true, you have to give Petersen far more credit for his half-time adjustments that started to beat us immediately coming out of the half. We got outplayed and out-coached I’m afraid in that one.

          I think it’s safe to say we have not been out-coached since then, but Missy St, Aubie’s and Fl will all test the “who’s the better coach” theory.

          • AusDawg85

            If anybody adds Yech to that list, I’ll punch you in the jowls. (I’m looking at you AJC!)

            • Will (The Other One)

              Give them time. They’ll trump the likely win over a terrible NCSt. team that couldn’t stay on the field with Cincy as huge this Sunday, and the NATS don’t play anyone with a pulse until the end of the season.

          • Dog in Fla

            It’s also safe to say that Mark, in the first year of his third five year plan (decade deux), should be expected to not coach worse than Heed, Chiz and/or Padujuan

  7. Turd Ferguson

    No way is South Carolina one of the 2 best offenses we’ll face this season. Only 2 offensive TDs last week — half the number of Garcia’s INTs — against the might Commodores. And poor Lattimore had to carry the ball nearly 40 times for 250 yards and 3 TDs for them to beat Navy by a FG. In their last 2 games, the Gamecock offense has scored 5 TDs … every single one of them by Lattimore. Offensively, they’re one injury away from being Ole Miss.

    One could argue that 3 of our next 4 opponents are better on offense than South Carolina.

    • Red Blackman

      At this point in the season, Florida, Tennessee and the North Avenue Trades and Welding School are all statistically better. I am pretty sure that FU’s offensive production, after playing a murderer’s row this month, will drop off significantly.

      However, as it stands right now, Miss St. and Vandy make up 3 of our next 4 and they are not better than SCU …….offensively speaking.

      The view from my own ass says that Georgia rolls through the month of October and never looks back.

      Glory, Glory to ole Georgia.

      • Cojones

        Right on, Red.

      • Turd Ferguson

        Mississippi State currently leads South Carolina in both rushing and passing offense. And they’re harder to scheme for, since they’ve actually got more than one offensive threat (Garcia is awful, and Jeffery is playing nowhere near as well as expected). Granted, Mississippi State has played an easier schedule, but then, South Carolina hasn’t faced anyone on (or near, for that matter) LSU’s level. I never said MSU was a better offense than South Carolina, I just said it was arguable. And at this point, it clearly is.

        I think it’s just tempting to think more highly of SC’s offense than the facts warrant because they beat us. But having watched almost every play of their last 2 games, it’s painfully obvious how utterly mediocre they are.

        • Red Blackman

          Well, you said it was arguable………….. I was arguing.

          • Turd Ferguson

            All you said was “Miss St. [… is] not better than SCU …….offensively speaking.” That’s not an argument. Arguments have premises.

            And while we’re on the subject, “Georgia rolls through the month of October and never looks back” is also not an argument. Rather, it is an item of faith. And while I’d love to share your faith, at this point, this damned brain of mine keeps getting in the way.

            • Red Blackman

              In your first post, Mr. Ferguson, you said…..

              “One could argue that 3 of our next 4 opponents are better on offense than South Carolina.”

              I responded by saying that neither Vandy nor MSU is better than SCU from an offensive standpoint. That remains true. In the category of scoring offense, South Carolina ranks ahead of MSU and Vandy. That, in itself, makes your statement false.

              Do you ever tire of getting your ass handed to you by a man that views the world through the prism of his own ass, Mr. Ferguson?

              It’s not your brain getting in the way, Mr. Ferguson. It’s your inability to see things how they are and not how they were.

  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    Slightly off topic, but when I look at Chris Relf I see Quincy Carter, not D.J. Shockley or Cam Newton.

    • James Stephenson

      Ouch. Except to be honest, when Quincy was on, he was nearly unstoppable and an accurate passer. Please do not remind me of the 5 int SC Quincy though, because damn.

      • Go Dawgs!

        “Except to be honest, when Quincy [wasn’t high], he was nearly unstoppable and an accurate passer.”

        Fixed that for you.

        Actually, I think that Quincy Carter just regressed every year as defenses geared up to contain his running ability. I think he had a little too much Falcons-Mike-Vick in him. I don’t think he was working very hard to improve after Coach Donnan told him how good he was.

  9. My biggest worry has to do with the fact that we did such a piss-poor job of containing mobile QBs last year, and through the first four games of 2011 we really haven’t faced one. Chris Relf, on the other hand, was their leading rusher against us last year — think he got right around 100 yards, if not more — so there’s definitely a burden on us to keep him from doing that again.

  10. BMan

    To answer the original question, isn’t 1st-and-Bobo the opposite of 3rd-and-Willie?

    I kid…sort of.

  11. timphd

    Anyone besides me worried about teams going to a hurry up offense to prevent Dawgs from getting their packages in and the calls settled? Miss had several opportunities to catch the defense before it was set if they had hurried to the line and snapped the ball. Hope Grantham noticed that and has a plan. If not, I sense big plays against us.

  12. W Cobb Dawg

    The D coaches are doing fine. Now if the O and special team coaches could improve as much as D has, we’d be a good team.

  13. Sandra the peach

    I really like to follow you senator and I also like Socrates. To me he is writing some of the best analysis on the net. Have to agree with him, thinking our defense is doing really well.

  14. Scott

    Now if we can only show the same kind of improvement in the red zone.