A tale of two offenses seeking more

David Ching suggests that if LSU wants to run down Alabama, it’s going to have to abandon Les Miles’ pound and ground approach on offense.

… One, the conservative offensive strategy the Tigers brought into several recent Alabama losses produced historically poor results. Two, despite its overall recruiting success, LSU has not signed and developed sufficient talent at particular position groups (namely quarterback), widening the gap between the two programs when they have met head-to-head.

What’s standing in their way: LSU fans’ hope is that the coaching change from the Les Miles-Cam Cameron era to Ed Orgeron, offensive coordinator Matt Canada and a reworked offensive staff will be the spark that the Tigers’ offense needed. Miles’ philosophy generally produced winning results in recent years, but not enough to contend for the big prizes that his position demanded. Orgeron knows that modernizing the offense, specifically by moving away from the plodding rushing attack that bogged down in some of LSU’s biggest games, will be the key to his success. That’s where Canada comes in. The only 2016 Broyles Award finalist who coached offense, Canada posted big numbers last season at Pittsburgh and has built a solid reputation for developing quarterbacks and drawing up inventive offensive schemes…

This is interesting to a Georgia fan for a couple of reasons.  First, Canada succeeded Jim Chaney at Pitt when Chaney answered Kirby’s call to Athens.  Second, if this is indeed LSU’s cue to abandon its heavy run first approach on offense, it’s worth noting some relevant statistical details from last season.

Without looking, where do you think LSU finished in the conference in rushing attempts?  Nah, not even close.  The Tigers were 12th in the SEC in 2016.  (By comparison, Georgia was 4th.)  It turned out, though, that LSU was really good when it ran the ball, as it finished first in yards per carry, which was good for third nationally, at 6.09.  (Georgia, with Chubb and Michel, was an anemic ninth in the SEC.)

Now, LSU was a mediocre seventh in passer rating, so there’s certainly room for improvement there.  Whether Canada figures out a way to preserve the good in the run game while juicing up LSU’s passing attack would seem to be the big question.  One big area for improvement would seem to be just running more plays in general, as the Tigers were a horrid 125th last season in total plays.  That went a long way towards negating a very good yards per play average (13th nationally, tied with — wait for it — Pitt).  LSU was tops in the conference in that regard.

So if there’s a big jump in LSU’s offense, it may simply come as a result of Canada squeezing more snaps out of each game as opposed to some radical restructuring of offensive philosophy.  Sometimes being a genius can be as easy as not trying to do too much.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Dawgs have something of a different issue.  Georgia was 58th nationally in plays run, but 86th in yards per play.  There is no fresh eye coming in to call plays, either.  If things are to improve, it’s going to have to start and go a long way with personnel getting better in the existing scheme. Will they is Georgia’s big question.

It will be interesting, to say the least, to see where the two stack up when all is said and done in 2017.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

23 responses to “A tale of two offenses seeking more

  1. SemperFiDawg

    You know. I was never in favor of Bobo leaving. He never got the credit he deserved. And while I admit he went through his growing pains, he came into his own the last year in particular. Had we had any defensive depth, we probably would have won the SECCG in 12 and the NC also, but it wasn’t for lack of putting points on the board. Hated to see him go. Would love to see him back if Chaney fails.


    • Bobo isn’t coming back unless he or Kirby fails. He’s only coming back as OC if he fails in Fort Collins, and the liquor barons will probably stand in the way of Bobo’s return regardless.


  2. Pittman must earn his money this year. I don’t give a damn about zone versus man blocking schemes. Just move the line of scrimmage and give our skill guys a chance to make a play.


    • 92 grad

      Kind of like golf right now. There’s not a column for pretty on the score card. You can catch your driver thin, miss the green to the left, fat your chip and sink a 12 footer. You’ll be pissed off but a 4 is a 4…..


      • “You’ll be pissed off but a 4 is a 4 …”

        Not me, 92. I run to the next tee like I stole something with a smile on my face. Of course, I know the golf gods will slap me back to reality quickly after that. 🙂


        • Got Cowdog

          I’m with EE, 92. Bomb the driver about 320. Big wedge in, leave it four feet above the hole on a stimpy green. Lose the putt to the right, rolls through the fringe into the #$@* trap. Pitch out, then three putt the uphill.
          Wipe away tears, go find cart girl for liquor and a hug.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Cojones

          There are no golf gods as long as Trump swings a club and builds courses. He makes them like whorehouses: It’s a place with a lotta holes where you try to make your balls go in, except you can’t just walk up and grab it by the pussy.


    • Atticus

      Agreed but what he had to work with last year was pathetic….the talent was the worst I have ever seen at OL in Athens. Much less trying to do so installing the system for the 1st time with these kids….as well as having a true freshmen QB and WRs who couldn’t block. That will change this year. It won’t be as good as fans would like because the OL talent is still deficient and too young and the WR position still isn’t there. But they are improving and we should see that by mid season.


      • Still not convinced we were as deficient as everyone wants to wish we were.
        Brandon Kublanow – 4-star
        Dyshon Sims – 4-star
        Greg Pyke – 3-star (playing out of position but had been a freshman All-SEC at guard)
        Tyler Catalina – people are engaged in historic revisionism with him. Everyone thought because of his offer list he would be ready to play SEC football at the time he committed to the G. Unfortunately, we were the ones who were wrong.
        Lamont Galliard – high 3-star DT and moved to o-line

        WRs who couldn’t block? That has nothing to do with whether you can run between the tackles, and for most of the season, we didn’t have problems getting to the edge.

        I get there were holes in the line, but good coaching schemes around talent deficiencies. The only game I saw us really try to scheme around our deficiencies was the Tennessee game. Then we turn around against Vandy and go back to running between the tackles with Eason under center. It was maddening to watch …


        • Atticus

          Disagree but I always enjoy your opinions.

          I won’t go into detail on each kid but here’s the deal. You don’t win in the SEC with a line that has no NFL players. I don’t care what their rankings were and you just mentioned 2 were 3 stars. List for me all the 3 star OL that play for Bama or Ohio State or Clemson? You will have the occasional overachiever but that is usually mixed in with 4 and 5 star linemen. Not half the line. Sims and Wynn can play if in the right position. Pyke is a good backup. Catalina is a decent backup. Galliard switched positions. The OL recruiting under Richt was horrible and I am glad he’s gone because he didn’t deserve to keep a job with the way he handled it. Pathetic is an understatement. Then you combine it with the 1st year in a new system PLUS a true freshmen QB from Washington State…..

          It’s a team sport. Everyone on the offense has a role and they all go together. If you can’t block and run outside then the CBs and safeties can play the run differently, same with LBs. We didn’t hold our blocks long enough so they are able to support the middle.

          If your QB is drinking from a firehose, he is slower to make reads, slower to get to the line, not making audibles….not seeing adjustments as quickly as needed….the only reason we ran well ANY time was because of Chubb and Sony. But even then our ypc was bad.

          Doesn’t mean there weren’t several big questions going forward, as you mentioned, especially as it relates to Cheney. But we will know after the first 5-6 games.


          • I have no problem with your opinion on OL recruiting. It was maddening to watch blue chip offensive linemen leave the state over the last few years. Some (examples Mitch Hyatt, Vadal Alexander) were never coming to Georgia. I don’t hold that against the prior guy, but we missed on enough that the prior guy isn’t here anymore.

            Should we have been able move the ball against Nicholls, Vandy and tech to win all of those games comfortably? I suggest the answer to that is yes. Was it an SEC championship quality offensive line? Not even close.


          • You must not have seen the 1989 or 1990 offensive lines. They were flat out awful.


            • Cojones

              Yes, on the quality of our recruiting O linemen, but that can’t be inserted into opinion when considering what Bobo did with them for Gurley, Chubb and a lot of other good RBs and FBs. Any competent O-line coach can do better than what that line did last year. That fits squarely on the O coach and O-line coach’s shoulders. If they don’t have a better year coaching the offensive players we have this year, … … .


              • I think Will Friend was better than anyone gave him credit for, and for those who think Jeremy Pruitt will be a great head coach, his handpicked successor, Rob Sale, was a damn disaster.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        Well, if Pittman couldn’t develop a workable line with 3.5 returning starters and a grad transfer in 2016, then why is he expected to improve after 3 of those starters graduated?

        Now we have 2.5 returning starters, a JUCO and a cast of newbees. The 2017 season will rise or fall depending on Pittman’s ability to develop a OL that can get the job done. Pittman’s gonna to have to do a helluvalot better job of coaching than he did in ’16.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Uglydawg

    So LSU ran the ball less than Georgia but was more successful than Georgia, by quite a bit, when they did run it. That’s what maddening predictability will get you…Run it on first, second, then drop back on third and long and throw it too short..throw it away or take a sack..BTW..do sacks count as running plays? I think they do..which would go even further to explain the miserable running stats.
    This is the largest obstacle to Georgia’s success…get the right plays called and get the ball to the right player for the situation. Watching that hard headed attempt in 16 to mimic Bama on offense with an inept offensive line was grueling. if that particular piece of history repeats itself we’ll all be miserable.
    Does anyone think it will change? I hope everyone says, “yes” because it would sure make me more optimistic about this year.


    • Guice and Fournette (when healthy) was every bit of the tailback tandem of Chubb and Michel with a better offensive line. If Eason had LSU’s line last year, we win 3-4 additional games.


  4. South FL Dawg

    I don’t know about Pitt but the Georgia offenses in 2015 and 2016 are easier to compare.

    The personnel was either the same or similar. The offensive stats were very close. In wins and losses we lost 2 more games 2016 – Vandy and Yech – but they were close and you could just as easily lay it on defense and special teams. Both teams even had ugly wins (GSU and Nicholls).

    I’m not defending Chaney as much as I’m saying he didn’t do any worse than Schotty and Richt with similar talent. I used to think Schotty didn’t know anything but between him and Chaney to neither one know anything….that’s hard to believe. I just hope Chaney can improve our team. That’s the deal.


    • Schottenheimer at least had the South Carolina game to point to when the offense performed. Chaney had zero games where we scored 40+. If our offense had played as poorly as it did in the Nicholls game, GSU beats us by double digits in 2015. Both Chaney and Schottenheimer sucked when you look at the body of work.


      • South FL Dawg

        Truth be told I thought Schottenheimer was terrible and Chaney would easily get better production. Not to mention Pittman vs Sale. But good grief, an Chaney and Schottenheimer both be that bad? Sure hope not.


  5. 69Dawg

    I get that everybody was giddy when Kirby got Pittman but it’s not like Arkansas did a lot with the world’s biggest offensive line. I believe we beat them rather handily. If your big lineman are slow or as the Pro scouts like to say lacking the fast twitch muscles to pass block we are just going to get schooled by every DC that can scheme against what we saw last year. Every DC in the world starts every game trying to stop the run. We just made it easy for them last year by the stupid play calling. If we get the same play calling in 2017 we will get the same results. Year one didn’t show me that Kirby cared enough about the offensive side of the ball to make a great HC. He was almost totally disinterested in the O, spending his time with the defense where he was the most comfortable. The game of college football has changed and no team can be expected to win without as much offense as they can get. Kirby has that defensive coach mentality about the offense, just don’t screw it up for the defense. I hope I’m wrong but we’ll see.


  6. Pingback: “You are trying to get better.” | Get The Picture

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