Understatement of the effing decade

As headers go, “Nick Chubb Needs Help From His O-Line” pretty much nails it.

Georgia running back Nick Chubb is among the most talented at his position, and among the top draft-eligible running backs entering the 2017 season. But his 2016 campaign was a bit of a disappointment, as he managed just 1,130 yards on 224 attempts.

His 5.0 yards per attempt average was easily the lowest of his career, and a steep dropoff from his 8.1 mark during his injury-shortened 2015 season.

The issue, however, wasn’t Chubb himself. It was an offensive line that struggled to create room for him to run, even against the likes of Nicholls State and UL-Lafayette.

To demonstrate just how porous the Bulldogs offensive line was a season ago, we used our new heat map tool to chart where Chubb was first contacted by the defense on each of his carries in 2016. These results certainly won’t come as a shock to Georgia fans, but seeing it in heat map form is still eye opening:

nick-chubb-2016-contact-copy-copy

… As the map shows, opposing defenses regularly got to Chubb behind the line of scrimmage and only on a handful of occasions did he get more than five yards downfield before encountering contact.

Yeah, but some of y’all keep reminding us in the comments about how last year was all about Chubb not being himself.

It’s amazing to keep reading comments here, there and everywhere about all the different keys to Georgia’s offense this season I read:  Eason, the receivers, Chubb’s health, et cetera… none of that is going to matter much if the offensive line doesn’t improve.

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29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

29 responses to “Understatement of the effing decade

  1. ugafidelis

    The front five is where it all begins. The other 6 can’t do anything without them.

    Like

  2. mwo

    Does Mr. College Football write for this outfit now?

    Like

  3. Greg

    1) Rookie QB (recognizing defenses, adjusting and etc.). Thinks he improves, not sure how much.

    2) OL….stick with a philosophy, you are who you are (small quick OL=zone blocking, not power). Hope we identify who we are early and stick with it…..switched last year from 1 to the other. Poor performance due more to that (philosophy) than personnel imo…get on the same page.

    3) Center….like a QB on the OL, recognizes defensive sets (DL and Backers) and adjust the OL. We have had some good centers in the past, not sure if we are there yet.

    In order, that is what I see….thinks Chubb if he stays healthy, has a monster season. Thinks the offense improves, but ‘D doesn’t.

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    • junkyardawg41

      Could not agree more with all three and in the order you put it in. IMO, it all goes back to offensive play design. You don’t play the game with the team you want, you play it with the team you have.

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      • Greg

        A lot of teams stacked the line last year because they did not respect the QB imo. Maybe more in the shotgun???….Who knows, your guess is as good as mine. All positions are important, just think the QB play effects the team most. Hoping to see an improvement, we go as the QB position goes imo.

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  4. dawgxian

    I don’t see what more we can do. F=MA and the m is clearly growing between the new arrivals and the redshirt freshmen. I would also think them talented considering the recruiting battles we waged for them

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  5. Russ

    I want to know which SEC coach said Chubb and Michel weren’t elite backs. And did Chubb and Michel read it?

    Like

  6. Skeptic Dawg

    “When it comes to running the ball, however, some of the same problems from last season persisted.”

    This is why Georgia will struggle yet again this season, in my opinion. It will take longer than 2 recruiting classes to fully reload our OL. I think that 2017 will be another frustrating season that looks very similar to 2016. 2018 will be the year that I look for the Dawgs to challenge for the East and an SEC title.

    Like

    • Greg

      Thanks….I guess we always have basketball season.

      Like

      • dawgtired

        You may be right but I’m seeing several new names being mentioned on the OL and some of them carry a lot of weight. Plus, this is Pittman’s second year so maybe some continuity will help them improve. AND…KS seemed to show he learned a little about playing to the strength of the OL. Larger new talent, coaching continuity and better play-calling should equal some improvement.

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        • Skeptic Dawg

          Tired, from your keyboard to God’s ear sir. The second year of Pittman does give me hope. The young OL kids are beefy and appear to be athletic. My fear is their lack of playing experience will raise its head early in the season. As others have said, if the OL can improve by any measure we should have a solid offense.

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  7. Hal Welch

    Where to even start…

    There’s so much more to this than Chubb, Eason, or the offensive line. It’s really all 3 then most importantly, the adult in the room strategizing and putting those players in the best position to succeed.

    Case in point, who remembers the formation we used a ton last year: 2 tights, fb, slot receiver in tight behind one TE or the other. Then brilliantly we’d run Chubb right up the middle at the teeth of the defense. When we put all or guys in the box, sucking the d into the box what do we think the outcome of 22 dive might be?

    The best OL we’ve ever had won’t succeed with bonehead design. Eason has to be able to check out of bad plays. The OL has got to protect him better and open holes. Chubb just has to be Chubb and the rest will work out.

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    • dawgtired

      “There’s so much more to this than Chubb, Eason, or the offensive line. It’s really all 3 then most importantly, the adult in the room strategizing and putting those players in the best position to succeed.”

      So true. Each feeds from the success of the other. First the ‘adult’ has to ‘scheme’ to used each strength to give the group the best opportunity to succeed. The OL has to protect Eason long enough for Eason to become a threat so that ‘threat’ can in turn scare opposing defenses away from ‘stacking the box’ causing the OL even more problems. When the opposing defenses have to cover both pass and run, the OL has a better chance of success, opening holes for running backs….and when the RBs start having some success…passing opportunities open because of single coverage tactics by the defenses when helping with run support…etc, etc…

      Like

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        They failed to gain more than 1 yard on running plays, by running backs mind you, in the Vandy game 16 different times. That’s not coaching. That’s getting physically dominated.

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        • Irwin R. Fletcher

          By the way, I said it in the comments iduring last season and I still believe it…I think they rolled out the same OL game after game because if they had played the younger guys, it could have hurt recruiting. I think there were many that called it just being stubborn…I truly think it was calculated. You’ve got two redshirt FR on the first team Oline and we are supposed to somehow believe…poof…they just appeared this offseason. Anyway…line is going to make mistakes because they are young, but they will not get push around. They are big boys.

          Like

  8. SemperFiDawg

    Our season and quiet possibly the careers of several coaches is directly dependent on the O line play. That’s essentially all one needs to know about the Dawgs.

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  9. 92 grad

    It would be a shame, and more, if they never use the qb under center. The 2-4 steps that the RB uses to get the handoff creates a lot of speed and momentum at the point of attack. The RB doesn’t get that “jump” when the qb is right next to him…

    Like

  10. Mike Cooley

    I have never understood the laissez-faire attitude weve had about the offensive line. How much difference might a truly dominant offensive line e have made any given year, but particularly 2007 and 2012?

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    • Greg

      Points were not a problem in ’12, 2nd in the SEC. Defense was IMO (Bama), depth killed us on the DL…..those poor boys were sucking air that game. Gave it their all though….

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      • I think Mike’s point is that in that game we needed a yard and a half to bleed the clock with the lead and we didn’t get it with Todd Gurley.

        We haven’t had quality depth on the offensive line until now. We missed on a lot of evaluations, had some bad luck and suffered from some poor player development on the OL.

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        • Greg

          That was a decision by the coaching staff (did not agree). As far as OL’s go, it does not matter how they look….big & overpowering or small & quick, what matters is, that they get the job done. The dawgs put some points on the board with small quick lines. Last year the staff did not use them the way they should have IMO (admitted philosophy differences)….hence, the problems.

          Some of the best lines that I have ever seen were the small quick ones…..go back and check out some of those Denver Bronco teams with Gibbs coaching them (OL).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            One of the best lines that I have ever seen was the small quick one

            FIFY

            There is always an exception that proves the norm. Broncos in the last 90s were that exception….and that was 20 years ago with a HOF QB and RB…

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  11. AusDawg85

    Give me a nasty, junkyard, ball-hawking D and I’ll worry about the OL later.

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  12. Uglydawg

    Chubb and Sony will be improved. Chubb will be the most determined human battering ram you’ve ever seen. The offensive line will be at least marginally better..maybe quite better. Eason will be a little better. Coaching had better be a lot better….The defense will be well above average. The Dawgs look back at last year and know they owe Tennessee and Florida.
    I say “drink up, boys” We’re going to have a good season.

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  13. 1smartdude

    Chubb’s no different than most downhill runners, they need an o-line to keep guys off of them until they get moving. I went up and watched Chubb play Ridgeland his senior season and while he looked like an all world back against every other team they played, Ridgeland had big boys on the line and hit him in the backfield on nearly every play. He looked human that night. The whole year reminded me of that game this past year.

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  14. Go Dawgs!

    I’d like to see a similar heat map from Chubb’s other two seasons, though. There’s no doubt that last year’s offensive line was the worst in recent memory, but he’s been getting hit in the backfield his entire career.

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  15. Southernlawyer11

    I’m gonna be really disappointed if we go any worse than 9-3…..9-3 will basically be a wash. Because next year it will be “ohhh, we’re replacing so many guys on defense.” I’m just worried that we have a coaching staff that doesn’t realize there ain’t a pair of cliff notes telling them how to utilize all the talent that seems to have their heads spinning. I’m done with the Georgia roster being a sob story. Win.

    Like