It’s probably not fair, but I can’t help it:  every time I hear Mark Richt discuss having a balanced offense, I keep thinking about what Mike Leach says about balance.

…  People get overly impressed by that artificial balance, where it’s half run, half pass, but with only a couple of players touching the ball.  You can run the ball every snap, but if you’re in the wishbone, and everybody touches the ball, that’s real balance.  Or you can throw the ball every snap, and if everyone touches the ball, that’s real balance.

I don’t think Georgia’s approach was as extreme as that, but its three top receivers last season accounted for 53% of all receptions and the top three running backs plus Aaron Murray tallied almost three-quarters of the running plays (if you take Murray out of the mix, the percentage declines to a shade under 70%).  I expect the rushes to be spread out more this season (barring suspensions and injuries, of course), given the talent at hand, but I’m not at all sure what to expect as far as receiving.  Murray’s going to be throwing to a very different mix, given the departures of Charles and White and the limited time Mitchell is going to spend on offense, at least early on.

How balanced do you think the Dawgs will be on offense in 2012?  And does it matter?


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

36 responses to “Balance

  1. Skeptic Dawg

    Richt and Bobo are far too hung up on this notion of balance. The reason our offense struggles at times is due to their lack of identity. This offense is a jack of all trades, yet a master at none. why not ride what works until an opposing team can stop it? That would equated to too many points on the board, and lord knows Richt is against that. So, we strive for balance.

  2. Bevo

    Personally, I’m not real charmed by the balance talk. I like a philosophy that puts using what we’re best at as the first priority, regardless of balance. I just don’t get the point of balance for the sake of balance.

    However we get there, next season I’d really prefer an offense that doesn’t kill the team with turnovers and disappearing acts against quality defenses.

    • Cojones

      Frankly, I don’t hear Richt saying “balance for balance sake”, rather, it’s after a game where he states,”We had a balanced attack today that kept the opponents off balance for THEIR balance’s sake”.

  3. David Jones

    I’ve always liked SmartFootball’s definition of balance – passing and rushing yards per play should be roughly balanced.

    This means it doesn’t matter if you throw 70% of the time, if you average 8 ypp passing and 6 ypp rushing, that’s a lot more balanced that an offense that throws 50% of the time and has 12 ypp passing and 4 ypp running.

    Balance should be about maximizing production from each play – not balancing the types of plays run.

  4. ETennDawg

    Balance means being able to run or throw out of the same formation. And being able to get the ball to different players out of those formations. That is balance and is VERY difficult to prepare for. I equate it to a true motion offense in basketball. Teams are to easy to prepare for if they run the same plays from the same formations.

  5. Krautdawg

    Sounds like Richt was responding to a “will we be able to RTDB this year???” sort of fan question at the Lake Co Bulldog Club. If so, then “we’ll be balanced” was actually *less* of an endorsement of the “we’ll run it because it’s football and you run the ball” perspective than the fan was inviting Richt to endorse.

    My guess is that “balance” refers to running effectively enough to set up the play-action, or to convert 3rd & 2 or less. Not much more can be expected from the young O-line, and why not lean on your Top-15-in-America QB while the line is developing? In the last couple weeks of practice, Richt & Bobo started passing more because the run game wasn’t productive. And Murray’s G-day drives were also pass-driven (for what G-day is worth).

  6. Dawg Vent

    I could care less if we pass the ball 100 percent of the time or run the ball 100 percent of the time. I could care less who gets what percentage of touches. Balance is the ability to take advantage of what the defense is giving you. That is something we rarely do, and I blame Bobo.

  7. hassan

    Balance to me should mean not living and dying by one facet of the game.

    You need to run the ball to pull the safeties up to open up the deep route. You need to throw the ball to keep the linebackers from creeping up on you. You need to spread the touches around to keep the defense from double and triple teaming your best skill players.

    But for God’s sake…if they can’t stop the run, then run, run, run, and run some more. If they can’t cover, then throw that ball more than Phil Niekro ever did. And don’t let up until they show they can stop you.

    Our offense the past few years has been the tale of two halves. We figure out what works, and then try the opposite.

    • Cojones

      After they throw the ball, I hope it doesn’t behave the same way it did when it left Phil’s hand.

  8. DawgsRuleTheWorld

    I get tired of hearing about Mike Leach’s philosophy on football and life. Granted I don’t care if we run or throw as long as we score more points than the other team, but I don’t put to much stock into Leach. Richt has been an outstanding offensive co-ordinator and a 2 time SEC champ coach. Leach? He and Hal Mumme haven’t proven to be built for the long haul.

    • Really? Texas Tech’s national ranking in total offense in Leach’s last three seasons: 4th, 4th and 2nd.

    • Bryant Denny

      Amen to that. He’s kind of like a friend’s crazy uncle. The stories are kind of funny until he wants to sleep on your couch.

    • Dog in Fla

      “He and Hal Mumme haven’t proven to be built for the long haul.”

      But, on the other hand, neither Leach nor Mumme ever had access to anything close to the resources and firepower that Richt had at FSU and has at Georgia.

      • Will (the other one)

        Or decent defenses. Kentucky had no trouble with SEC Defenses when Leach was calling plays, and when Leach was paired with a decent defense (OU), they beat FSU.

  9. fuelk2

    Ah, statistics presented without comparative data. As for Leach, his 2008 team was his best (one loss in the regular season). The top three receivers on that team combined to catch 53% of the completions for that team. So let’s not act like our offensive statistics from last year were some sort of outlier.

    • I’m not saying they were. As I pointed out, Leach’s comment was a more extreme example than we saw last year with Georgia. My question is more about what we can expect this season in comparison, based on Richt’s comment and the roster changes.

      • fuelk2

        My guess would be little if anything. And I’m not sure I’d want to in the passing game. We don’t have a lot of depth in terms of WRs and we have inexperience at TE. I’d say let’s throw it to the guys who can catch it.

        • NRBQ

          I expect (hope) you’re wrong. Aside from the obvious veterans, I look for Conley and Scott-Wesley to shine (if they get the looks). Throw in some DB’s lining up on offense, and there should be plenty of targets.

        • Cojones

          Why is Tavarres King the invisible man.? If you can’t see that his play is stepped well beyond average in his last outings and including Spring, I don’t know what to tell you. Marlon Brown has entered the competition, along with injured WRs back to play.

          I think that the QB and WR corps together are strong as hell, to be envied by other SEC teams.

  10. mykiec4444

    Ain’t nothing gonna be balanced if that offensive line ain’t “balanced”.

  11. Rebar

    It all depends on the offensive line and what they are capable of; but when I was reading this I thought about the Florida game last year when we through everything out the window when we couldn’t kick a field goal and started going for it on 4th down (successfully too!). I’ll give Coach Richt the benefit of the doubt about our offense and balance.

  12. Bryant Denny

    I also like the plays where every player touches the ball on every snap. It’s tricky to get all 22 hands on the ball, but very effective if you can pull it off.

  13. AusDawg85

    I think Bobo will continue to keep things very balanced. After failed 1st & bomb, losing 5 yards on 2nd & dive, we should see a fairly even mix of the play-action pass / draw on 3rd down.

    Who’s the punter again?

  14. Keese

    Our run-playaction has not been very effective over the last several years.The offense depends on that for true balance.

  15. Craig

    Leach is clearly a better coach…right??? Yeah…right.

  16. Derek

    The issue of balance is addressed by too many without due regard for what challenges sec defenses provide. It seems to me that defenses want to take away the run, force the qb to throw and then begin to mentally and physically dismantle the qb. What balance does, if you have it, is allow you to run enough to not allow that process to take place so that you throw/run when you want to rather than being dictated to.

    • Cojones

      Most people agree with you Derek, but some followers chose to ignore while fully understanding. They just have to fake the reasons for anti-Bobo stuff.