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.