Daily Archives: November 15, 2017

Today, in ‘Murica

I swear, every time I read a story like this, I think of my favorite line from Nobody’s Fool.

At least no trees were harmed.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, General Idiocy, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Taking the Bull Gator by the horns

Well, now.

Heitner isn’t some random dude, either.   He’s pretty plugged into the scene in Gainesville.

I’m sure this will work out well.


UPDATE:  Spurdog walks it back.



Filed under Georgia Football

Shooting straight, Champions of Life edition

One word for this:  brutal.

Doesn’t sound like Booch will be missed.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Another genius shown the door

Say goodbye to Bert’s boss.

Jeff Long will not return as the Arkansas athletics director, sources told FootballScoop Wednesday. Sources told FootballScoop the announcement is set for today. Tyler Thomason of KARK-TV in Little Rock first reported the news.

Long’s contract was set to expire on June 30. The Arkansas board of directors held a lengthy meeting last week in which no action was taken on Long or Bret Bielema’s respective employment statuses.

I doubt that’s good news for Bielema.  If so, this has the potential of being a real shit show in terms of find a new head coach.


Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

More questions

Here’s what Kirby had to say in response to, “Dude, where are the screen passes?”:

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said it’s “hard to do” when opposing defenses tend to be focused so hard on the tailbacks.

“We don’t see traditional coverages,” Smart said. “People don’t play us the way we play people. The way people play us a lot of times is to take the run away. A lot of times it’s like that. It’s not as simple as calling a screen play. There’s more to it than that. We’re trying to find ways to get the backs the ball because we’ve got a lot of backs. But they cover our backs out of the backfield last week, and they cover our backs out of the slot. So you’re always trying to find a way to get them the ball. There’s no easy way against really good defenses.”

So what’s Georgia doing instead?

Georgia’s perimeter blocking by receivers also hasn’t been as good as Smart would like, he said, which is another reason the Bulldogs may be reluctant to call screens. So they tend to focus instead on explosive plays that have worked in previous games against the upcoming opponent.

“A lot of times you try to mimic those. We call it copycats,” Smart said. “We see the same plays each week: Auburn copied some plays that worked against us. So offensively you’re always trying to figure out what works on that defense.”

I’d say that didn’t work too well, but in reality, whatever the offensive game plan was, it became doomed once it was obvious that Auburn’s defense didn’t need to load the box to stop the run and could get effective pressure on Fromm out of its base four-man front.  If your o-line is getting blown up repeatedly, the screen pass probably won’t be much of a help.

That doesn’t explain the rest of the season, though.  As Seth notes, there was much made in the preseason about working on throwing to the running backs, but to this point, Georgia’s backs have a total of 20 receptions.

That being said, there is a certain amount of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to Kirby’s attitude on the matter and I can’t exactly fault him for that.

A performance like at Auburn may send up some warning signs and concerns. But Georgia was pretty successful the first nine weeks and still ranks a respectable fifth in the SEC and 47th nationally in total offensive yards. The run-heavy philosophy helped get the Bulldogs to 9-0 and No. 1 in the country.

So the coaches aren’t trying to rip up the script quite yet.

“You’re looking for new ideas, new plays. But you can’t throw everything away and just start anew,” Smart said. “You’ve got certain plays you run, you’ve run them since camp. You try to window-dress them different ways. You try to execute better. Protect better. Give the quarterback a chance, maybe give him some easier throws. But you’re not trying to change everything, no. You’re just trying to play well against Kentucky.”

It’s not so much about ripping up the script, though, as having the foresight and flexibility to turn the page to a Plan B when the main plan isn’t working.  We didn’t see that on the Plains, and while they might not need to worry about that in the next two games, they soon will.

Yeah, I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The question we’re not asking correctly

Look at Jake Fromm’s situational passing stats.  He’s attempted more throws on first down than any other, so it’s not really a matter of “why don’t they throw on first down?”.

Look more carefully, though, and you should get a strong hint about what we should be asking.  Here are his passer ratings, by down:

  • First:  188.58
  • Second: 148.99
  • Third:  141.31
  • Fourth:  166.26

He’s completing over 71% of his passing attempts on first down.  The question, then, isn’t why aren’t they throwing on first down.  It’s why aren’t they throwing more on first down than they are.

Argh.  Totally screwed the pooch on this post.  Let’s start over.  Passer ratings, by down:

  • First:  175.82
  • Second:  115.59
  • Third:  187.07
  • Fourth:  221.80  (Note:  only two throws)

Most pass attempts came on third down, with 68, but Fromm has thrown 57 times on first down.  He also hasn’t turned the ball over on any of his first down attempts.  His problems, such as they are, come more on second down.

The earlier stats I posted were by quarter, not by down.  What they show is that he’s been incredibly effective throwing the ball early  in games and that his passing performance tails off as the game progresses.  Why that’s the case may be the question worth asking.

Sorry for being an idiot on this one.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Question of the day

Seth Emerson asks, “Did this defense get exposed, or was it just a bad night?”

The short answer is that nobody knows.  Obviously, the team hopes it was just a one-off experience.  But their coach hints at underlying structural issues when he says things like this:

“We can play better. We have to strike and get off blocks, but every player on our team can do that,” Smart said. “It’s easy to look at a lot of the things that reared their head in the last game, they were in the game before and the game before that. You may not have noticed them because the results weren’t the same.”

That begs certain questions, such as, if they knew there were issues that needed addressing, why weren’t they able to do so?

Of course, it’s equally possible that Smart is using the Auburn outcome to motivate his defensive players to up their game, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Another big question is, assuming this was something more than just a singular bad day, whether it takes a certain level of offensive proficiency to expose Georgia’s defense.  If so, what’s tough for those of us looking for context is that Georgia’s last two regular season opponents before the championship game aren’t exactly on Auburn’s level, that being 24th nationally in offensive yards per play.  Kentucky is 58th and Georgia Tech is 53rd.  Thus, it’s possible that we see significant improvement in the Dawgs’ defensive effort without knowing how much of that to attribute to the lapses being cleaned up and how much to the level of opposition.

Of course, we’ll get a truer measure of all that at the SECCG.  Besides Auburn, Alabama is tenth in yards per play.


Filed under Georgia Football