Daily Archives: September 18, 2013
Bill Hancock’s got a few good men for the new selection committee. Here’s the definition of “college football experts”:
The composition of the committee (12-18 persons) remains sitting athletic directors, former coaches, former players, former administrators [including presidents] and former journalists. [Emphasis added.]
If Michael Adams is sitting on the damned thing, I may shut the blog down in protest.
I was going to revisit the issue of pace that I explored in July in another week or so, but I’m delighted to find that John Pennington’s already done the heavy lifting. Here’s how the SEC shapes up through Week 3:
Need For Speed (Seconds of Possession per Offensive Snap)
School Secs/Poss Off. Snaps Secs/Snap Texas A&M 4635 224 20.69 Ole Miss 5045 238 21.19 Missouri 3710 159 23.33 Kentucky 4777 202 23.64 Auburn 4876 205 23.78 Vanderbilt 4969 188 26.43 S. Carolina 5501 207 26.57 Tennessee 5518 204 27.04 Georgia 4040 146 27.67 LSU 5288 189 27.97 Miss. State 6443 225 28.63 Arkansas 6502 211 30.81 Alabama 3947 128 30.83 Florida 4688 147 31.89
If you compare that with my numbers from July (Texas A&M, 21.41 spp; Ole Miss, 22.75 spp; Clemson 22.77 spp; Georgia Tech, 27.64 spp; Alabama, 30.19 spp; Florida 30.60 spp), offenses sped up at the top and slowed down at the bottom.
But I’m still not sure how much to take from this. It’s a good indication of coaching philosophy, but how much does it say about wins and losses? Georgia is a perfect example why. The Dawgs averaged 25.57 seconds per play last season, so this year’s number is a significant increase in time. But that’s easily explained by that last eight-and-a-half-minute drive to run out the South Carolina game; with a two-game sample size, that drive is going to have an oversized effect on Georgia’s average. And it was the perfect strategy in that situation.
Maybe I’ll learn more as the season wears on.
Sterling Bailey, I like you guys, but… no, it’s not. Not when you’ve got stuff like this to clean up.
So what constitute these miscommunications? Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins specified a major one on the Davis 75-yard run. Each side of the defense thought the blitz was coming from the other side. So instead of an edge rusher coming off the edge on the play, no one was there and Davis got free.
Of course, there was another breakdown on the play.
“Safety, or somebody should’ve come up,” Jenkins said. “Really, we shot ourselves in the foot that play. Really, we’ve been pretty stout against the run, minus the big plays they got.”
Yes, it’s fixable. But the gap between fixable and fixed is everything right now for this defense. It’s an unlikely problem this week, but that LSU offense can run the ball a little. Time is getting short.
Aaron Murray’s favorite TD pass? His first quarter toss to Orson Charles in the 2010 Georgia Tech game. I can understand why he remembers that game so fondly. He shredded the Jackets to the tune of a 250.86 passer rating.
Anyway, the clip at the link is a fun eight-minute watch. Don’t miss Bob Davie’s “oh” of disappointment when Washington throws the game clinching interception.
What I know directly about North Texas wouldn’t fill the back side of a matchbook cover, so I did the next best thing and took a look at what Steele and Myerberg had to say about the Mean Green.
The first thing that jumped out is experience. Richt’s not blowing Dooleyesque smoke when he says,
“I’m very impressed with what I see on film. Coach McCarney has done a great job with his team. One of the things that sticks out to me is the number of junior and seniors that they have playing and starting for them. There are nine juniors and seniors on offense and 10 out of 11 defenders are either juniors or senior – mostly seniors. So they are a very veteran team.”
No, that doesn’t make up for the talent imbalance, but you’re probably looking at a team that avoids beating itself too often. That’s reflected in turnover margin, where North Texas is the top ranked team in the country (although to my surprise, the Mean Green are one of the more heavily penalized squads, ranking 110th).
The second thing I noticed is the fine job the North Texas offensive line does in pass protection. In 2012, they allowed the fewest sacks in D-1 and they’re now tied for fifth in that category. So even if Derek Thompson isn’t as mobile as Boyd or Shaw (although that’s not to say he won’t do some running), that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Georgia defense is suddenly looking at a sack fest.
Thompson’s ranked 39th in passer rating, so it sounds like the NT passing game is competent. Myerberg noted that the Mean Green need to find a little more explosiveness in the passing game, and perhaps they have, as they rank higher than Georgia in long passing plays. North Texas is middle of the pack in rushing, so the offense looks fairly balanced.
Steele thought North Texas had a shot at bowl eligibility going into the season. Myerberg was less optimistic, ranking the program at 113. But the win over Ball State, fueled by a +4 turnover margin, has revised Myerberg’s opinion considerably, as he now sets NT at number 80.
If you’ve taken a peek at this week’s Fabris Pool, you’ve noticed that Georgia is a heavy favorite. It’s a game that Georgia can cover, provided the Dawgs avoid making mistakes. Screw around, though, and North Texas is capable of playing a much closer game.