“We can only go as fast as they let us.”

First time I’ve seen Georgia put into this camp:

Auburn is returning to the no-huddle under former offensive coordinator turned head coach Gus Malzahn, and fellow believers, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, are in Year 2 at their programs. In the SEC East, Kentucky and Tennessee join Missouri and Georgia as teams that are going to go as fast as possible. That’s half of the 14-team SEC pushing the tempo each Saturday.

The author’s reasoning seems to be based on this:

Going fast has had a direct relationship to a team’s success, with the notable exceptions of Alabama and LSU. When Auburn won the national championship in 2010, Malzahn called a league-best 948 plays. A year later, Georgia won the SEC East in part because it ran 1,016 plays. Texas A&M led the league in 2012, and while the Aggies did not win the SEC West, they did beat Alabama.

Yes, Alabama and LSU are certainly notable exceptions, seeing as those two have won four of the last six conference titles (not to mention a few national titles sprinkled in there).  But I digress.  Total plays are a weak reed to hang your speed argument on, seeing as there are significant factors such as number of games played and turnover margin that affect the number of plays a team runs.  Georgia, for example, as part of playing a fourteen-game schedule, ran 85 plays in the 2011 SECCG, something that contributed mightily to that 1,000+ play total mentioned.

That’s not to say the Dawgs don’t run fast break no-huddle.  Of course they do.  But Bobo doesn’t run it as routinely as others.  Although given this stat, you could argue that maybe he should think about running it more often.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

23 responses to ““We can only go as fast as they let us.”

  1. Cojones

    It’s nice to know we didn’t depend on the “Muy Rapido” Offense and were still the best O in the country. The friggin’ lack of applause for Bobo is deafening. Wake the hell up, Dawgs! Bobo, with Murray, is leading us to the promised land step-by-step. Murray, while trying to escape the bulrushes, is going to be the Judeo-Christian leader to complete that task. Parting the Red Tide will be the final step to the choreography of the NC Dance.


    • IveyLeaguer

      [“The friggin’ lack of applause for Bobo is deafening. “]

      The fast break, HUNH, or whatever we want to call it, didn’t begin with Bobo at Georgia. It was already there, because it’s ingrained in Richt’s system. That’s why we have always been so good at one minute drills .. our system is designed to go fast, the fundamentals required for that are built in.

      What I love about it, though, is that it’s also designed to go slow. Richt’s offense is truly multiple, and we are comfortable at any speed. I love being able to fly all the way down the filed in 30 or 40 seconds, but I also love the 11-12 minute fourth quarter drives we’ve used in the past to ice ballgames.

      Bobo has done a good job tweaking the offense, and keeping it up to date – for the most part. Especially last year, I thought.


      • Cojones

        Wasn’t implying that Bobo initiated it. He never gets credit for creating the roster that gets his job done. Bobo has done much on his own except penetrate the reasoning of the early “Fire Bobo” meme. No one wants to admit they were wrong by enjoying what Bobo has now put together under our noses in the middle of being maligned. To give him the slight of now defining him as only “tweaking” the O of the Head Coach that was maligned previously is insulting and points out that your reasoning of Bobo’s qualities are no longer shared by UGA since he got a raise in value.

        Ivey, your scab is curtailing your healing process.


        • IveyLeaguer

          I have always tried to give Bobo credit where it is due, whether early on as an OC or of late. And that is a matter of record. Further, I have consistently defended his playcalling, with certain exceptions, ever since he took over as OC.

          You do err when you try to put me in a box with the indiscriminate Bobo bashers.

          [” He never gets credit for creating the roster that gets his job done.”]

          He certainly has from me. I’ve also criticized him in the past for some of the earlier rosters he put together. And rightfully so, since that too is now a matter of record. But I’ve also, when it comes to player evaluation, given him credit for learning from his mistakes and correcting them.

          [” To give him the slight of now defining him as only “tweaking” the O of the Head Coach that was maligned previously is insulting and points out that your reasoning of Bobo’s qualities are no longer shared by UGA since he got a raise in value.”]

          That’s a ridiculous comment. This is Richt’s offense, Richt’s system, and always has been. Bobo has made significant contributions to it, some good, and some that didn’t work. Overall he’s had a positive effect on the offense, and has been especially good the last two years or so, keeping us current and giving us that edge.

          His play design has improved as well, and the current offense reflects that. Tweak. Tweak. Tweak.

          It’s a beautiful offense, though, one of the truly multiple offenses in CF. It’s the most flexible college offense I know of. We can run anything, and it’s designed that way. But the entire thing is built on Richt’s foundation.

          [” No one wants to admit they were wrong by enjoying what Bobo has now put together under our noses in the middle of being maligned.”]

          What on earth does that mean? Maybe there are people like that, but I can’t relate. I can’t speak for others, but I never wrongly maligned Bobo. I pointed out his flaws and mistakes along the way, by expressing my opinion as a longtime Georgia fan.

          This isn’t quantum physics or anything, but you seem to have confused yourself by thinking too broadly about the situation. It’s not that hard to explain. Bobo wasn’t quite ready when he took the job and had to learn the ropes as he went along. He did that.

          There’s no contradiction. Bobo grew up. It’s that simple.

          What I said last year is that I hope, now that he’s grown into the job, that he won’t up and leave for a HC job somewhere. Bobo now deserves to be rewarded at the highest level as an OC. But at the same time, I feel like he owes us some of his best years, since we all shared in his growing pains as he learned on the job.


  2. Beautiful…just beautiful! Bobo is kinda like Moses and Murray like Joshua.


  3. charlottedawg

    Why anybody gives a damn about plays run is beyond me. By that measure Keith Marshall & Todd Gurley are two of the worst players you could have on your team. I can’t count the number of times those clowns ran the ball into the end zone instead of taking a knee after crossing the first down marker, many times on our side of the fifty. There were at least three perfectly good offensive plays that went unused every time you jackasses did that. And don’t get me started on Murray chucking the ball down the field. Doesn’t honey Bobo know whoever runs the most plays wins the game not who ever scores the most points.


  4. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The linked stat is a bit misleading. UGA is only 22nd in yards per game.


    • The point is that as the national leader in YPP, Georgia might gain the most by running more plays.


      • AusDawg85

        I doubt you could lead in both. Successful big plays limit total plays in all likelihood. Conversely, a lot of plays probably means a lower YPP average. Statistically speaking of course.


        • It’s not a matter of leading in both. It’s just that you’d think a team with a high YPP would generate more yardage with additional plays than a team with a lower YPP would.


          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            The real eye opener in the linked table is that in total number of plays run Georgia is 49th. Combined with the YPP ranking of first, that means the Dawgs are scoring quickly and on big plays. This is a 2 edged sword as that leaves the D out on the field a lot. Good problem to have, though.


  5. mdcgtp

    More plays can equal more yards…even if the average yards per play comes down. Ultimately, if one dials all the way back to Mumme’s air raid, it was painful to watch and defend against. why? it seemed like they always got a minimum of 2-3 yards per play. thus, they were constantly on 3rd and short and 4th and nothing…so it was very hard to get the ball back. That said, it acted as a bit of an equalizer of sorts even without a fast pace. Of course, when an offense like this falls behind, its hard to catch up because there is no play action and it rarely draws man coverage. In my mind, that is a big chunk of what the pace revolution is all about, particularly for the teams that do it 100% of the time. At the blatant risk of homerism, when we do it, it seems like we are using it to drive inferior teams into the ground. Bobo has no problem seeing a matchup he likes and running it til teams stop it. Pace allows him to do that.

    Upon hearing Saban’s comments last week, I better understood the context of his questions about pace. No doubt the knee jerk reaction is to view his comments as either self serving or genius, but kidding aside, when I thought further, I think he has the right questions.

    He basically wants to know…is football a “continuous” game with few “breaks” in the action and what are the implications of such?

    He did not specifically mention concussions and head injuries, but in asking the question does running more plays significantly increase the risk of injury? Of course, with each additional play, there is a risk of injury. I guess the question is how much additional risk does say 20 plays.

    Taken to its logical extreme, one could argue that Overtime increases risk and games should be limited to a certain number of OT periods. My gut and back of the envelope math suggest that the rates of paralysis injuries on a “per play” basis are low that even a 20-30% increase in injury rate (from 20-30% more plays) is unlikely to change people perceptions about the safety of the game. Concussions might be a different matter, which I know is mentioned on the board here. My guess is concussion rates in college are probably lower than the NFL, but that is totally a guess.

    I don’t mean to hijack the thread, but I do think the first question is really the real question, Is this what we want the game to be strategically? Do we want to allow teams time to substitute personnel between plays? Should defense’s be given somewhere between “a couple of seconds and eternity” to be able to get organized and lined up? Personally, i think there is middle ground. I think teams should be allowed to play hurry up if their goal is “more plays”, but the defense (and refs frankly) have to have some time to get aligned.


    • AthensHomerDawg

      Nice post.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      “…how much additional risk does say 20 plays”…add? I agree with your premise and go further–it’s 20 plays times 12, 13 or 14 games. That’s 240-280 more plays per season. Plus your observation about OT is right.


    • IveyLeaguer

      At a minimum, I’m for what Richt said last week. When the offense substitutes, the officials need to allow a REASONABLE amount of time for the defense (and the officials themselves) to get set in a good football position.

      That is a very easy thing for the officials to do. An offense can’t go any faster than the officials allow. So the SEC can control it, and I hope they do.


  6. Cosmic Dawg

    The main reason I could see number of plays mattering is for keeping the D off balance, reducing the amount of chance in a football game, or if your increase in # of plays run does not come at a proportional expense of your own YPP average PLUS a proportional increase in the YPP of your opponent (they also get to run more plays when you hurry up), as mdcgtp sort of alluded to above.

    For instance, if your YPP is only slightly better than your opponent, by running more plays maybe you arrive at a truer statistical mean or whatever – there is a tiny chance I can beat Murray in a single football throw competition (eg his receiver trips) – but my chances go to almost zero in a ten-throw competition. Perhaps running more plays helps the better team win more often – that’s only good if you’re the better team on paper.

    However, if your opponent has a higher YPP than you, then running more plays might be bad for you!

    But all of this ignores that running more plays doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it changes a lot of variables in and of itself, one of which is possibly putting your D back on the field more quickly – has anyone checked to see if your *own* D gets less efficient as their offense speeds up? Surely it must.

    Isn’t the ideal metric actually:
    YPP multiplied by # of plays / Opponent YPP multiplied by # of plays,

    and you shoot to get the highest number overall, which may mean running *fewer* plays to keep your offense at peak *efficiency* and slowing your failure rate so you’re not simply speeding up the process of handing the ball back to your opponents via a punt…


  7. I’m torn on the fast paced, no huddle offense when it comes to the Dawgs. On the one hand, tons of yards and points are fun. On the other, a big negative to me….especially this year: often puts the defense right back on the field and I don’t think that really helps us this year. At least not while the D is trying to figure it out in the early games.

    I’m kinda expecting the same for Clemson. They might score 30 on us but I think we’ll score 45-50. Its the following games I’m more concerned with.

    I was hard on Bobo his first few seasons as OC. Then he turned into what I thought he could. Now, its like he’s gotten the offense so damn good and proficient that he’s forgotten that there is another major part of the game play. Defense.

    I know I’m being picky…


    • And I can’t blame him for striving to be the best and he can’t control #3 and #4 running through and by folks for long yards. There are just points in games where I’d like to see him use that proficiency to control the tempo a little more.

      Just trying to think of our defensive linemen. Lol!