Toss it.

Mark Richt explains why Georgia is employing the toss much more this season:

The Bulldogs this season are utilizing the toss — or lateral — more often when they run the football. And unlike in past years, when that usually meant an outside running play, Georgia is doing it when it intends to carry the ball between the tackles.

That’s no accident. It’s a wrinkle the Bulldogs picked up from LSU, which utilized that tactic to great effect last year.

“It’s basically the old-school power,” Georgia coach Mark Richt explained. “We’ve handed it off over the years; most everybody in the country still hands it off. [But] LSU has been a team that’s tossed it like that and you could see the benefit of it on film when we watched LSU do it.”

Richt said the advantage of it is two-fold. One, it actually utilizes the quarterback as a blocker or even just a shield from back-side pursuit. It’s also “softens up” the linebackers, who normally read the toss as an outside play and simply get out to the perimeter as fast as they can. Now they need to be more careful to mind their inside gaps.

I haven’t noticed Aaron Murray blocking much on those plays (and I’m not sure I want to see that, anyway), but I see Richt’s point about getting the linebackers to shift out of their gap responsibilities.  Now, if only he had LSU’s offensive line depth at his disposal…



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

17 responses to “Toss it.

  1. Castleberry

    I noticed from the end zone view of that play that Murray rolls in the opposite direction of the run as he flips. That probably puts more pressure on the linebackers and safeties (who may not see the flip) to stay put or even lean the wrong way. I like it. Shall we blame Bobo for this?


  2. rugbydawg79

    Against Tennessee or South Carolina I predict an outside toss sweep to Marshall or Gurley–I think all this is being done to set something up ! and yes I blame Bobo


  3. Keese

    Im not a fan. When opposing teams d line is penetrating or linebackers are blitzing it’s a risky move. The tailbacks also have to focus on following the football instead of reading holes to hit. Inexperienced tailbacks as well. You may make the linebackers respect running inside but that’s not a strength of the team. Not to mention you’re mitigating the effectiveness of play action.


    • Castleberry

      I agree there is more risk on the flip, but I don’t see how it minimizes play action. We still hand it off some and we could fake the toss and roll out from that play.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Kinda hard to fake play action and pass when the ball is tossed into the air.


        • Castleberry

          Ok. I see what you both mean, but what I am saying is that we still hand off the ball and we still run play action. The toss play opens up different wrinkles for qb run or rollout that you don’t get with play action. I dont think the toss play makes a play action fake any less effective later in the game.


    • Sanford222view

      The back actually gets the ball quicker and has more time to view the hole. My only issue with it is it makes our play action less effective if we aren’t running a run play with a hand off like the play action simulates.


  4. AusDawg85

    Guess we won’t see that classic David Greene fake handoff / statue of liberty type play on 1st & bomb anymore.

    I blame Les Miles.


  5. Macallanlover

    Agree with rugby, when they begin to not react to the perimeter it opens up some long run potential. The other huge difference to me is that our QB would run back to hand it off, very slow and leads the defense to the ball. Our RBs were often starting 6 yards deep two counts after the snap, the pitch is faster, imo. Also agree with the Senator, success on the ground always comes back to the OL performance. Perhaps confusing the defensive keys is even more important for us.


  6. I got really excited when they tossed it on the first play last week (even though Gurley dropped it).

    The toss-sweep is responsible for the greatest success UGA ever achieved. How many times do we remember hearing, “Toss to Herschel….there he goes, down the sideline!” Or words to that effect.

    Bill Bates remembers that play, too.


    • Murray beaned that ball at Gurley from 2 yards. Maybe TG should catch it, but it’s tough. Got to put a little loft under it.

      I predict the next time there is a fumble, DawgNation’s hope in the toss goes down 50%. Still, I think it is a sound play and am happy we’re using it.


    • Scorpio Jones, III

      “The toss-sweep is responsible for the greatest success UGA ever achieved.”

      It ain’t like we have never seen it…the toss sweep is the prettiest pass in college football….course it looked a lot better when it was that Herschel fella on the receiving end.

      I think the Bates thing was right up the middle, but I could be wrong.

      But you can damn sure ask anybody on the Florida teams from that period.

      Yes, Florida fans, you did play football before 1990….just not very well.


    • The Lone Stranger

      Hey JazzMan, which album is “Do It Again” on? That’s not entirely trumped-up pop.


  7. Sanford222view

    Thanks for this post, Senator. I have been wondering about this.


  8. I don’t like this version of the ‘toss’. The RB is basically running straight at the LOS vs toward the outside perimeter. Huge difference in ‘loft’ and a better chance at fumbling the ball. Works well unless the defensive end or d-tackle is making penetration (see South Crackolina as a game where we should NOT utilize this play). Turnovers are killers in big games. Just my two cents.