Third and long

Ian Boyd analyzes advanced stats to find the keys to offenses having a successful third-and-long conversion rate and finds three:

  • have a dual-threat quarterback;
  • have an NFL-grade tight end; or
  • have multiple true threats (defined as 1,000-yard) at receiver

But wait, you say.  Georgia was no slouch at converting third-and-longs last season and it didn’t check any of those boxes.  Well, it turns out Boyd’s ahead of you here.

The 2017 Georgia Bulldogs were a sort of exception. They regularly used TEs who might prove to be NFL-caliber (Isaac Nauta, Charlie Woerner), but they didn’t throw to them terribly often. They didn’t put one WR over 1,000 yards, either. Their trick was to convert a lot of third-and-longs by checking into runs when they caught teams vacating the box or playing dime. With Sony Michel and Nick Chubb moving on while Jake Fromm returns, they’ll probably lean more on those TEs.

Or ***looking around carefully and whispering*** Justin Fields.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

9 responses to “Third and long

  1. kckd

    Or checking to guys named Swift, Zeus, Cook and Holyfield. What worked last year is not off the table.


  2. That article seems like something Mr. Conventional Wisdom would write. Teams with talent in the passing game convert more long yardage situations. Water is wet.

    I bet a stout pass blocking offensive line has more to do with it myself.


  3. Mayor

    I don’t think Georgia is losing much at RB. I see Swift particularly as being at least as good at RB.


  4. DavetheDawg

    I am almost actually looking forward to 3rd and long this season. I reserve the right to change my opinion as necessary…


  5. AusDawg85

    I’m going to bet we don’t throw to the TE’s (see what I did there?).


  6. Cojones

    Since they did fine on 3rd down checking off to running plays last year, why would they have to rely more on a dual threat QB now? kckd’s comment takes care of who makes that happen when running and Boyd takes care of the who with the TEs. Fromm has probably been training since Jan for taking care of the increased passing, if we want it.

    The careful whisper fades to a red shirt backup with plenty of time made available for SEC-game training as a great QB of the future. His 3rd down training will only come by game-management training under fire – something we have on the field now at a suitable competence level going forward into a new season of improvement.

    Try as we may, there is no QB controversy.


  7. Bulldog Joe

    Georgia threw to the tight ends plenty enough.

    It’s just that Georgia had five of them.


  8. UGA '97

    ….Or just have a Jake Fromm on your roster.

    I heard Fromm is not expected to miss any fishing time and that he should also be able to hold off the dual threat fishing hooks and dual threat tow ropes for the remainder of summer and into fall camp.


  9. Matt in Australia

    I’m not expecting too many 3rd-and-longs this year, anyway, unless penalties become an issue.

    Fromm (and Chaney, I presume) were pretty brilliant last season when it came to Fromm running, because he did not take every good opportunity to run and get a 1st down, even when it was right there for him. He waited until it was truly necessary or the impact was greatest, which meant Ds never really knew what was coming. If Justin Fields could apply the same next-level chess game mentality (a tall order), the results could be staggering. Imagine an offense that has little trouble moving the ball along, and also regularly hits running QB homers.