Throw the damned ball, Junior.

Every time Alabama doesn’t give the ball to Derrick Henry, it’s a win.

Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has called passes on 53% of plays this season, well above the 46% from the last two seasons.

Some of this increase in passing come from situational football, as Alabama trailed Ole Miss for the entire second half. However, this increased tendency to throw even with questions at quarterback marks a shift for this program.

It’s not a good idea to throw that much against Georgia. In my rankings based on yards per play adjusted for schedule, Georgia has the 4th best pass defense but the 50th ranked rush defense.

Kiffin seems stubborn about throwing the ball. In last year’s playoff semi-final, Ohio State also had a better pass than rush defense. However, Kiffin still called more passes than runs despite racking up over 6 yards per carry.

Stubborn?  Stubborn is good.  I wonder if the Laner is sitting in staff meetings telling Saban he handled Georgia’s defense just fine the last time he coached against the Dawgs.

Also, more passing means more of this.

29 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

29 responses to “Throw the damned ball, Junior.

  1. Rick

    The goal absolutely needs to be to make Lane Kiffin beat us with his cleverness. You know how even when Spurrier has the lesser team, he can find a way to exploit our weaknesses? Maybe it’s the the middle of the field, maybe it’s a couple deep balls when we least suspect it, maybe it’s going “screw it, we’re running the veer!” like he did this year (a hopeless cause, but still relatively effective).

    Make Lane Kiffin do that. Make him try to be Steve Spurrier.

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    • Gravidy

      Yes. Please, please let Kiffy try to get clever tomorrow. My fear is that tomorrow will finally be the game that he realizes he should run it 70% of the time.

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  2. DugLite

    Dawgs win going away….

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  3. Mayor

    Pass Bama pass. 🙂

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  4. According to Saban he has been trying to open it up for some time now. It seems like no one since Brad Scott has listened to him.
    Oh and watch out for that 3rd string running back from Georgia. He has some good hands.
    just sayin’
    http://www.cbssports.com/general/writer/gregg-doyel/24723044/lane-kiffin-bama-genius-saban-aint-buying-it-and-neither-am-i

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  5. i think the rain forces the ball in the henry’s hands more than lane would have called, had it been dry… kinda unfortunate for us bc lane had been under utilizing him to this point.

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    • BCDawg97

      +1
      This was my first thought as well. Damn rain. Ruining the tailgate wasn’t enough? Hopefully it’s not Scorpio and his bitches…

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      • Uglydawg

        Do you think the rain will dampen the crowd enthusiasm and noise?
        Man, did we ever need a blue bird day to help this crowd and game.

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        • Macallanlover

          Lessened crowd involvement will be the worst consequence of it, imo, but that is significant. First true road game for Coker, not to mention the impact on the Dawgs when the stadium should be rocking.

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  6. DawgPhan

    I will definitely remember that as I watch the game.

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  7. AusDawg85

    Slight thread hijack, but the Saban worshippers here should catch the Feherty interview with Saban from Wednesday night on Golf Channel.. Some interesting insight. I found most interesting Saban’s unabashed philosophy that he hires coaches to run HIS system, not theirs. He admits most other HC’s will permit their assistants to grow and develop there skill sets to be hired elsewhere, but while at Bama, they do it his way, not bring their own philosophy. This answer was in response to the hiring of Kiffen. So…is this Bama offense truly what Nick wants and thus you can’t blame Kiffens? Or is there some acrimony in paradise? Lord I hope so…either way. (Also good insight into Richt’s problem at the DC job…CMR doesn’t seem to even pretend to have his own philosophy, so he’s subject to the whims of the guy he’s put in charge. Even if Pruitt is a huge success, when he leaves, CMR will have to start over with a new DC, new philosophy, etc. Saban may be on to something with that.)

    P.S. Spurrier was on last week. Amazing the humble backgrounds and similarities in experience between the two. I found Nicky to be more humble and gracious while Spurrier is, was, and will always be about himself even when he’s feigning to be humble. Compare each’s response to how they want to be remembered.

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  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    “but the 50th ranked rush defense.” Gee, I hope Bama does not notice this.

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  9. Cousin Eddie

    I believe Saban will be more involved with the O play calls this weekend because this is a make or break game for the tide.

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  10. Ugh. Kiffin is stubborn at times. Hopefully Saban has been in his ear all week about pounding the rock with Henry, Drake and Scarbrough.

    If I don’t make it back to the blog before game time, best of luck to your Dawgs, Senator.

    Roll Tide!

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    • Uglydawg

      I don’t think Jr. is stupid enough to get too stubbon with Saban…Nick doesn’t have time for stubborness. But we can hope 🙂

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  11. Brandon

    With the news of big TT starting, I expect Pruitt to employ mostly a 4-3 tomorrow with Bailey, Mayes, Thompson, and Atkins up front and Floyd Jenkins and Carter behind them. Stuff the run and force Coker to beat you with his arm

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  12. Uglydawg

    If the field is sloppy, it will be hard for big backs to cut and to get outside..no? So stuff that box. I think Georgia’s backs might be a little more agile on the cuts and sweeps, so maybe we get an edge..or maybe we slip down a lot trying.
    Good grief, it’s only 24 hours from right now!
    Hunker-em DOWN!

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  13. ASEF

    Given the rain…

    Any chance either team goes I formation with their between-the-tackles guy as FB and their speed guy as TB?

    It would be an absolute time warp if both offenses dusted that one off for what appears to be a Monsoon Bowl.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Based on the forecast I don’t think the weather will be THAT bad. A little wind and rain on and off shouldn’t affect play calling very much.

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  14. Bulldog Joe

    Not concerned about the wet field.

    Georgia has already played two games in the rain and has conducted its practices outdoors.

    Also, the current radar does not look as bad as the weather alarmists had predicted.

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    • Macallanlover

      Hope you are right, I have been hoping for a timing delay on the heavy rain forecast but it hasn’t changed much in 3 days. I don’t think it changes the odds much for either team but it does increase the likelihood that a slip, or bad snap could change the outcome. Would much rather a game of this magnitude be played where the athletes can play to their best. And the crowd could get into peak form!

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    • Will (The Other One)

      Sanford does have a pretty solid drainage system if I remember correctly as well.

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    • ASEF

      NWS forecast for Athens remains 2 to 3 inches Sat. I am guessing they expect a large chunk of rain to wrap around HJ and ditnover GA. But tropical storm effects can be finicky. We’ll see.

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  15. Not sure where I wanted to mention a couple of anecdotal things that I think favor us:

    Wasn’t Pruitt the FSU DC during Coker’s last season with the Seminoles? I am sure he has some good intel on what will and won’t rattle him.
    Schottenheimer was the Jets OC in 2006 when they swept Saban’s Dolphins.

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