Run the damn ball.

I know all the usual caveats about it’s early and the quality of the opposition apply here, but, still, an impressive statistical picture is beginning to emerge about Georgia’s running game.  Consider these facts:

  • Todd Gurley is averaging 9.9 yards per carry.
  • Keith Marshall is averaging 5.7 ypc.
  • Ken Malcome is averaging 5.6 ypc.
  • Gurley is fourth in the SEC in rushing; Marshall is fifteenth.
  • The above has been accomplished despite that the high in carries in a game belongs to Marshall, with 12.
  • Georgia’s average of 222.7 rushing yards a game is its highest in 20 seasons.  (Remember who the running backs were in 1992?)
  • Through three games, Georgia already has nine rushes for 20 or more yards.  The Dawgs totalled 22 in that category for the entire 2011 season.

I’m not foolish enough to declare mission accomplished here.  It is indeed early.  But let’s not forget going into the season, with the departure of 2011’s two leading rushers, including the SEC’s freshman of the year, running back was an area of great concern.  I think it’s fair to say we can call off the Code Red now.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

51 responses to “Run the damn ball.

  1. bulldogbry

    Not that I didn’t enjoy that article, but……..I don’t theenk that leenk takz you where you theenk.

  2. bulldogbry

    Oh, and it seems to me those stats contradict what I’ve seen with my eyes. But yes, we should run more.

  3. JasonC

    Dogs were definitely less effective against Mizzou. However, it’s apparent we have quality RBs. Vandy will give us a good challenge and we’ll know more how good we are.

    I think the most amazing thing is the numbers have been compiled with spotty line work at best. If we ever sort out the line and stay healthy, we’ll steamroll some teams.

    • SCDawg

      It is all about the line. If they give these RB’s some room, watch out.

      • Cojones

        Same goes for our passing game. Things are getting tuned up, folks! Waiting to see it hum. Drive it around Athens for three weeks then she will be ready for the road.

    • Bevo

      JasonC is right. We didn’t look great running the ball against Mizzou, but we looked all-world on the ground against FAU and Buffalo.

      Way too early to say what we have, but I agree with the bottom line: If we can get some decent o-line play this season, we will be tough to beat.

  4. mwo

    A group of us had t-shirts made that said ” Run The Damn Ball!” 8 or 9 years ago. We were convinced that Richt was a junkie to the pass. They would run 6 to 8 running plays in a row, moving from the 20 to the 20. Then they would throw 3 passes and kick a field goal. It was maddening.Good things happen when a team runs the ball. When a team throws the ball, only 3 things happen – and 2 of them are bad.

  5. Orl Dawg

    I agree I would like to see a few more running plays; however you have to throw it some to keep the defense from crowding the line of scrimmage. When the defense only has 7 in the box because Murray has hurt them through the air, it makes it much easier to block and run. The key is balance because that keeps the defense on it’s heals. When you become one dimensional, the defense will stop you. I would like to see a few more running plays because we have some outstanding young talent at RB’s. We can’t complain about the defense at all this year as they’re putting up record numbers. Why don’t we sit back and enjoy what Bobo has done?
    As much as I like CTG, his side of he ball has been the mystery at times this year. Hopefully, everyone will come out firing on all cylinders for this big stretch of games. This could be one of CMR’s best teams.

    GO DAWGS!!!

    • What fresh hell is this?

      We can’t complain about the defense? Record numbers?

      Have you watched the games?

      • What fresh hell is this?

        Sorry, I’m a little cranky this morning.

      • BosnianDawg

        I think he meant the offense, not defense. That would make more sense

      • Orl Dawg

        Yes I watched FAU and Buffalo gash the defense in the first half of those games. What records have the defense posted so far this year? If the defense was focused neither team wouldve reached the endzone Both teams were shut down in the second half which is what should’ve happened in the first half. We’ll see how FAU moves the ball against Bama this week. It’s mental lapses like that where we’ll possibly get beat. Saban is a master at preparation and focus. Hopefully the Dawgs come out focused for each game the rest of the year

        • IveyLeaguer

          After the hype and talk all year, it sounds like blasphemy, but you guys are right.

          Like the offense, the defense has not been able to put together a complete game. The Mizzou game was better, but still far from the kind of effort we have to have if we’re going to win anything.

          Fortunately for us, the schedule was about as kind as it gets, early on. We’re a long way, I mean a LONG WAY, from ever being able to what, for instance, Alabama did to Michigan in that opener. On EITHER side of the ball.

          I think we have to remember we’re just now crawling out of the toilet bowl we put ourselves in after our last Title. We haven’t been hanging around the top competing for championships. Not really. November-January 2007 was a blip on the screen, nothing more.

          We still have a long way to go.

  6. would like to see some toss sweep nd jet sweep with gurley and marshall going outside in the mix.

  7. JAX

    Hearst and Harvey. Most folks forget Harvey’s run against FL that year.

    • Darrron Rovelll

      I think we also had some guy named Davis in 1992 … don’t think he really did much after UGA.

      • Cojones

        There was a Davis who won MVP in the Denver-won SB QBed by some guy who is part owner now. Gee, could that be the same guy? Also that year and before his injury, Hearst was #1 rushing in the NFL with Davis #2 in the same year. It spoke well of UGA’s RBs.

      • JAX

        Terrell Davis played too infrequently due to injuries to have an impact that year, but yes, he was on the depth chart.

    • Lumpdawg

      Hearst of course, but Harvey was the backup fullback behind Mack Strong. As mentioned in other posts, Terrell Davis was the backup RB. Yes Harvey scored, but he’s not playing then if Strong isn’t hurt. We win this game in Jax if Strong was healthy, IMO.

  8. Bubs

    Those rushing numbers will certainly come down, probably starting this weekend, once we start playing better competition. Vandy, TN, and SC are all a step up from the cupcakes that the RBs compiled most of their yards against. Still, our offensive strength rests with our QB and WRs. We can go far if they take us there. Young RBs continuing to mature and get better is also a plus, but one that will more than likely benefit us next year against better competition.

  9. Gravidy

    I agree with the sentiment, Senator. I’m always a fan of running the ball, and I obviously like what I’ve seen so far from Gurley and Marshall. But I’m going to wait another couple of games or so before I get all tingly inside. Can I get an AMEN, Scorpio?

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Yup….It appears 11 needs a little work on his toss, too…right after throwing the flair drill?

      I would never say Vandy is a better team, overall, than Moo U, but they will remain consistently aggressive for four quarters, as we noticed last year.

      There probably won’t be any “mop up” yards this week.

      Anchor up they ass.

  10. Macallanlover

    Those running numbers are impressive, no doubt, but they are misleading too. Breaking a few long runs per game against weaker defenses may inflate our strength and disguise the OL issues, imo. No question we have talent at RB and who knows, our OL may be better than we thought. Hard to evaluate with the limited database at this point. The encouraging part is we should get better with the OL as we go along and the talent the RBs have shown is not going away barring serious injury.

    I also want to add there does seem to be a better bond/chemistry with this team which can partially be attributed to the loss of IC. I said in the summer we could be better without him and was criticized for it. I didn’t want to lose Crowell, wish he had turned it around, but I am thankful for not having to watch the drama we were saddled with last year. I am a gazillion times happier with the hand we have to play with this season. But that doesn’t mean we have shown we can run the ball on a sustained drive in the 4th Qtr, against a top defense, to secure a lead. Hopefully as we get into the meat of the schedule we will see that.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      History with Vandy indicates a fourth quarter, win the damn game, drive is something we may very well need Saddy night….I would hesitate to call Vandy a “top defense”, Mac, but they are gritty, well-coached and play the whole game.

      I think we may very well find out how manly we are at the running back position.

    • Cojones

      I agree on Crowell. My problem was the disrespect he showed Richt and the team by running his mouth on the sideline, not from his production. I was waiting until this fall to forgive him if he had changed, but still resented his attitude until he left. That hurts teams and perceptions, neither of which we could afford.

  11. Comin' Down The Track

    I graduated SQ ’92. My first football season at UGA was Dooley the Greater’s last season… Man, was Ray Goff a bad football coach. Obviously, a good to great recruiter. Turrible, turrible coach.

  12. PatinDC

    The 1992 RBs included:
    Mack Strong
    Garrison Hearst
    Terrell Davis

    In addition , that team had a ton of other talent.

    Other notable names on the roster:
    Damon Evans
    Will Muschamp

  13. W Cobb Dawg

    So far, Malcome, Gurley & Marshall (MGM) have been all we could have hoped for. The latter two have the ability to break out on any given play. I wouldn’t mind a few more runs or if we tossed a few more passes their way.

    But in the bigger scheme of things, seems to me our offensive braintrust is trying to be more aggressive this season. I could be wrong since I don’t track these things, but it seems we’re throwing further down field and ‘dinking’ it less. With tougher games coming, I wonder if we’ll return to the conservatism that keeps the score uncomfortably close.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I gotta tell ya’ll….that little eight or nine yard double spin move thing Malcome did made me all giggly…for the first time in a long time I see folks who might, at some point, be actual college football running backs and they wear that very identifiable G on they hats, too.

      We will know more about these young men about midnight on Saddy.

      • Billy Mumphrey

        That run made me happy too. All three of these guys run very hard which is refreshing.

        • Macallanlover

          Yes, as SJ said Boo is a talented guy who is getting overlooked in all the gushing about the great start our two freshmen have had. They each bring something to the party that is unique from the others, although at this point TG seems to be the blend of both. We haven’t used them yet but we have two talented runners/blockers/receivers at FB as well. We are blessed with a very talented backfield this year, and the next two as well. Since the defense is supposed to be the stronger unit this year, we are definite contenders.

  14. Cosmic Dawg

    If Murray sticks around, we could see a flip in the strength of the team next year – we could have a top 5 offense and a top twenty defense…but in CTG’s case, I put a lot of faith in his x’s and o’s as well as his Jimmys and Joes. We may be pleasantly surprised at how good the D is in 2013

  15. IveyLeaguer

    FWIW, some of us were never concerned about running back at any time this year. Kept saying that G&M were different, their film and their character proved that. When Crowell was booted, I was happy and said it was a blessing for the team.

    Gurley & Marshall have been exactly what was expected. Even so, they are still adjusting to this level of play, and that is quite obvious. That is to say, being freshmen, they are still struggling somewhat with freshman issues, still adjusting to the speed of the game, and are not as good right now as they will be in November.

    So, hopefully we’ll turn up the screws on the running game, as the OL gets better from here to November.

    • Cojones

      Although it’s only three games, we haven’t seen them turn over the ball like we remember other backs doing. Waiting to see what happens when they get tired in a close game and in the 4th qtr. If they can still retain control under those conditions, they will have achieved well beyond what I have expected from our RBs.

      • By Georgia We Did It

        Sadly, this is what I was thinking as well. Hopefully it doesn’t come up, but I fear that it probably will.

        • IveyLeaguer

          You and Cojones have a good point. We should remember that we HAVE dropped the ball or otherwise put it on the ground, a good bit actually. Especially Gurley. It just hasn’t hurt us yet.

          So hopefully we’ve gotten THAT part of the freshman stuff behind us. Because it’s doubtful we can get away with those things as we enter the meat of the schedule.