While I was putting together this week’s Dawg stat watch, I came across some numbers that tell an interesting tale about Georgia’s offense this season.
If you’ll recall, one notable thing that Mike Bobo accomplished last season was to speed up Georgia when it had the ball. It took a little while to get things going, but his strategy worked. Georgia led the conference in total number of offensive plays, averaging 72.57 plays per game. That helped the Dawgs finish third in the SEC in total offense.
In 2012, the Dawgs are again third in total offense, but they’ve gotten there by a different route. Given the influx of fast-paced spread offenses into the conference, it was logical to expect Georgia to slide some in total plays ranking, but it turns out the Dawgs are down to a pretty lowly ninth. Even LSU has run more plays than Georgia has.
But where the offense has made up for that is yards per play. And it’s done that with a vengeance: Georgia is first in the SEC, at nearly seven yards per play. That’s an improvement from 2011 of about 1.3 yards per play. It’s hardly insignificant.
It’s even more eye-popping when you look at things from a national perspective. Georgia ranks fifth in the country in yards per play. It’s averaging more yards per play than Oregon. That’s pretty freakin’ remarkable. In fact, behind an offensive line that could be described as a work in progress, it’s downright astounding.
Some of that’s attributable to Aaron Murray’s progress at becoming a more efficient quarterback. And some of that’s attributable to a running game that’s been more consistent than last year’s. But it’s also due to Georgia’s penchant for hitting the big play – the Dawgs are now third in the country in plays from scrimmage of 20 yards or more.
In other words, this really may the year that Mike Bobo deserves some slack from Georgia fans.