Todd Grantham wants to stop all that running.

Some of you may be surprised to hear that Todd Grantham took time out from his busy career plotting to answer a few questions from Chris Low about his day job.  The good thing is that he seems to have a handle on what needs to get better this season.

What the Bulldogs didn’t do as well was stop the run, and it cost them against Alabama in the 32-28 SEC championship game loss. The Crimson Tide rolled up 350 rushing yards and manhandled the Bulldogs in the second half.

The takeway from that game for Grantham was pretty simple.

Georgia needs to play more players up front and tackle better from the inside linebacker positions.

“We did some good things in that game,” Grantham said. “We blocked a field goal and ran it back for a touchdown. We were really good on third down, and got a turnover in the red zone. The thing we didn’t do was stop the run in the second half.

“We’ve got to play more players up front and keep them fresh, and from the inside linebacker position, we’ve got to learn to tackle backs like (Eddie Lacy). Those are two things we’ve got to do better.”

He’s got plenty of options, even if many of them are young.

One thing Grantham’s right about is that Georgia’s 2012 rushing defense stats are skewed (although I don’t know where he got the 3.3 ypc in conference play from, unless he wasn’t counting the SECCG).  Check out this page at Marty’s blog.  And this one.  No wonder Grantham knows he needs more bodies.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

30 responses to “Todd Grantham wants to stop all that running.

  1. Irwin R Fletcher

    Agree that the rushing defense has to get better…but stopping Bama from running wasn’t just a UGA problem. I wonder how much attrition from the prior two games played into our late game woes against Bama?

    5 games against ranked opponents and averaged 5.85 YPC. That’s against LSU, UGA, TAMU, Michigan, and Notre Dame.

    Other interesting tid-bit…only teams that played 5 or more ranked opponents and averaged over 4 YPC in those games? Bama, Wisconsin, UGA, and UK. We were such a product of our weak schedule.<-sarcasm

  2. Brandon

    Glad to hear him say this. Grantham has done a good job building our defense back up from the disaster zone Willie had driven it into, but as long as Saban is in the conference stopping the run against Alabama is job one. A lesser coach might have hemmed and hawwed here instead of acknowledging their was a deficiency.

  3. Irishdawg

    I thought the knocks on UGA’s run D weren’t completely fair. They gave up yards at the end of the season, but that was against 2 triple option teams and 2 teams with giant O lines. Georgia’s defense wasn’t as dominating as in 2011, but it wasn’t awful.

    • gastr1

      350 yards is a ton against anybody, though, and that’s the one peeps will remember.

    • Cojones

      Irish you need to look at each game and the running yards put up against this team beginning with Buffalo. There were several “We’ll fix that.” statements throughout the season after several weak sister opponents. Many couldn’t see this because their attention was diverted by the anti-Bobo crowd and we now know how poorly they judged one coach while being blind to the other plus to the fact that Bobo was saving our collective bacon.

      Part of the reason, especially at the last of the season, resided in getting the correct signal into the D game beforw the ball was snapped or getting the correct fit of personnel into the ball game in time. Our opponents used that effectively against us by faking personnel entry and catching us flat-footed. Now Todd knew about all of this, but he was combating something that takes the flash of a computer to beat. He probably will be hooked in with a new system to get the correct lineup for each snap next season. I saw several players thrown under the bus with a “tired” excuse that stats later didn’t validate.

      The problem doesn’t reside in coaching ability for Grantham; its the result of several opponents taking advantage in a few instances with hurryup Os and multiple substitutions. I think his coaching is well above the average D coach in D-1 plus his red-zone D is outstanding, but the old Erk D of smothering them every once in a while may never return to CFB. Stemming the Tide is the name of the game now and I’m confident that Grantham is up to the newer challenges. Certainly having more players to substitute will fix part of the problem.

      I think that Grantham is also lucky to have a damn good hurryup O to practice against and expect him to take full advantage. If he can stop Bobo’s O when it is cruisin’ then I expect he can beat anyone, including Bama.

  4. mwo

    There were several running plays by Bama in the SECCG that were hard to watch. We had players in position to make plays but they shied away from contact with Lacy. (I can’t say that I blame them for that though). It just seemed like some of our ILBs lacked intestinal fortitude. I would never call them out by name but if you watch the third quarter especially it is easy to pick out who looked scared. I don’t recall seeing UGAs defense scared to hit anyone before, even if they didn’t lock up and finish the tackle.

  5. Ant123

    While it is true we did not defend the run well. Our opponent’s attempts are skewed high because most of our opponent’s could not stop our pass rush. So we in a sense encouraged our opponent’s to do what we had the most difficult time defending.

    • JasonC

      I think the fact that we played GT & GA Southern also skewed the rushing attempts against the defense. However, our yrd/att allowed wasn’t very good either.

  6. Dawg72

    Mow, you are on the money, If ya want to be a bad ass on D take on Lacy with your best shot. If the whole D had this PHYSICAL attitude the five yards short excuse would never have been an issue.

  7. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Every analysis I am aware of on the subject says that the closest predictor of who will win a college football game is which team has the most rushing attempts. The fact that UGA averaged allowing 44 per game for its opponents (worst in the SEC and in the nation apparently) yet still won 12 games defies logic. The O must have been even more outstanding than we all thought.

    • Ant123

      If that were true GT would win every game.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        It is true. I’ll bet that when the Nerds get more rushing attempts than their opponents they do win those games. But when an opponent gets the Nerds off the field on 3rd down with regularity, limiting Tech’s rushing attempts, then the opponent gets more rushing attempts and wins the game. Running and stopping the run–that’s what the game really is all about. Except for the 2012 UGA team, that is. This is a real aberration.

        • gastr1

          It’s not true. Look how far down you have to go until you get to a decent team:

          One can test theories pretty easily these days.

          • gastr1

            (sort the link by att/g…see Oregon & Ohio State at 5 & 11 and virtually no one good after until you get to Florida & Alabama.)

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              To do this right you have to do it on a game by game basis. Look at how many rushing attempts each team in each game had. If you do that you’ll see that substantially more of the time the winning team has more rushing attempts. I have heard that for years from coaches. I haven’t done an empirical analysis myself–just have looked at a lot of box scores of games over the years and found it to be true. That doesn’t mean it happens every time–just most of the time. Another one of these anomalies is that the team that scores first wins the game most of the time–about 60% if the first score is a FG and about 70% if that score is a TD. Watch out for that and you’ll see it, too.

              • Hackerdog

                Again, you can test it. Don’t just rely on something you heard one time.

                Maybe rushing attempts as a predictor of wins held up in the time of the single-wing or wishbone offenses. If everybody is running, then the team that runs best wins.

                But those days are gone. If you use the “other school” in the state that likes to run so much, they went 7-7 this year. Their opponents attempted more rushes than they did twice. And Tech lost both of those games. However, Tech attempted more rushes than their opponents 12 times. And they went 7-5 in those 12 games. That doesn’t seem like a good predictor to me.

                Let’s test it some more with UGA. UGA went 12-2. They attempted more rushes than their opponents 4 times and won all 4 games. However, they attempted fewer rushes than their opponents 10 times and went 8-2 in those games.

                Mike Leach makes a lot of money rushes fewer times than his opponents. It certainly makes me wonder whether he’s onto something.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  You may be on to something, Hack. Maybe the game has changed. That said, when looking at gross statistics one should be ever mindful that they can be misleading. A screen door is 90% air but try getting through one without opening it.

  8. GFoster

    Mr Grantham’s defenseless gave up over 30 points in 3 out 4 big games, leading to 2 losses. Only played well in the 1 big game, Floida, stunk it up against the other 3 big games.

    • Problem with focusing on ‘big games’ is that usually is against very good teams. Georgia held Alabama a TD below their scoring average and Nebraska more than a FG below theirs. Both games graded out average, defensively. South Carolina flat out whipped Georgia.

      Tenneesse scored a TD on an Int, plus had two drives start inside the 20 yd line. Put that on the defense if you like, but by my count, at least 7 points aren’t Grantham’s defense’s responsibility, with 14 more that you could argue were as much on the offensive side as defensive side.

      Oh, and if you want to get upset about a game, be upset about Kentucky. We allowed them nearly a TD above their average scoring and also allowed more rushing yards than anyone but Sanford. That is the game we vastly under-performed defensively in.

  9. BCDawg97

    I’d argue a bit of the Bama game too was our offense scoring so quick and some 3 and outs. Gurley picks up a 3rd and 1 and maybe the game turns out a little different. And as awesome as the blocked kick was, it put the D right back out there. I know you don’t wanna take away those scores, but at some point, the D needs a breather.

    • Hackerdog

      I have never bought into the notion that the offense should try to score while controlling the clock. The more often you score, the more plays and possessions you get. When you’re a good offensive team, you want as many plays and possessions as possible. Scoring quickly plays to your strengths.

      Defensively, even if you’re tired, you have a decent chance that the other team will simply make a mistake (penalty, fumble, dropped pass) that ends their possession.

      Now, you could argue for controlling the clock in certain situations, like the end of the half when you don’t want the other team to end the half with the ball and enough time to score.

      • BCDawg97

        Agreed whole heartedly. And I think UGA finally has a bit of an identity on offesnse (that a lot of people have complained about the lack of) with our hurry up game. I wouldn’t change it but it’s still gotta take a toll on the defense at some point which was my point – just that the numbers don’t tell the whole story of our defense

  10. W Cobb Dawg

    I’ll say one thing for bama, they have 1 coach. You don’t see them arguing about the OC vs the DC vs the head coach vs the special teams vs the recruiting coordinator vs s&c staff, etc. If we ever get to discussing UGA as a team instead of a constituency of respective parts, it’ll be a giant leap forward.

  11. Baitstand

    Why did it take him 14 games to figure that out?

  12. Lorenzo Dawgriguez

    It took him 3 years to figure out he needed to substitute more?

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