A new red and black metric

Meet “Dawg yards”.

Both those runs earned Swift what running backs coach Dell McGee calls “Dawg yards.” They’re awarded any time a back gets yards over and above what is provided for them by the blocking on any given play.

“Making people miss, running over people, just creating yards,” Swift explained. “The line can only get you to a certain point, so anything you do beyond that is Dawg yards.”

Swift had a few of those last Saturday.

One other noteworthy thing about the Florida game is this:

Bulldogs fans saw that coming into focus against the Gators as the two backs combined for 175 yards on 32 carries. In this latest instance, Holyfield got the tough yards on 20 carries, while Swift ran down the big chunks mostly late in the game. Those roles have been reversed in other games.

“We are competitive, but that’s my brother; that’s my man,” Swift said of Holyfield. “We do a lot together on and off the field. We complement each other real well.”

Meanwhile, freshman James Cook was the only other back with a rushing attempt against Florida. So it appears — for now at least — that the running back rotation has been pared down to two.

Well, one game does not a full-blown strategy make, and I keep thinking there’s a role for a speed guy like Cook to play in Georgia’s offense, but giving Holyfield and Swift a greater opportunity to churn out Dawg yards makes some sense.  We’ll see how that plays out in Lexington.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

22 responses to “A new red and black metric

  1. Will Trane

    Sunny and a cool 55 forecast for Saturday afternoon in Lexington.
    Ideal football weather, especially for the big boys.
    Rain and wind at UK today and tomorrow.
    Does UK have an indoor practice facility?

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  2. Jt (the other one)

    Got to get Cook in the open field…1 on 1 with a LB…that is deadly. Why we haven’t schematically done this yet…

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  3. Irwin R. Fletcher

    What’s fascinating about Holyfield’s production this year is that while he’s got a ton of runs over 10 yards…only 3 of those have gone for more than 20. It’s like 19:3. I hate to speculate, but I think there is probably a little bit there about how good he is at hitting the hole, but maybe a lack of elite open-field playmaking and/or top-end speed. IMO, that’s why Swift getting healthy is so key. (and maybe why Zeus getting hurt has been a bigger issue than many thought).

    Through 8 games this year: Rushing offense of 59 runs for 10+ and 16 of 20+ (of which, several were early in the year by WRs and even the fumble scoop and score by Nauta). None of which is bad, per se. [They had 14 runs of 20+ in ALL of 2015] But it is a different story than last year when they had 47 in 15 games.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that while the YPC are eerily similar, the big play production is not and I think that is putting more pressure on the passing game to make first downs and big plays. (They’ve passed fo 85 first downs through 8 games this year vs. 112 in all of last year) Magnifies when Fromm plays well vs. poorly, as we’ve seen the last couple of games.

    Anyway, that’s what I’m looking for this weekend…to see if we can shake loose a number of long runs to make it easier for the passing offense to make big plays vs. pressure to convert on 3rd and X.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AusDawg85

      Holyfield is literally dragging 2 or more defenders with him for a lot of those carries. He’d rather run over a DB than slide between them like Swift.

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      • Russ

        Yeah, what does McGee call the yards gained after running over a DB and carrying another with him? Because Holyfield owns all of those.

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    • ASEF

      Last year’s team rushed for 42 touchdowns. This year’s has 17 so far. Sure, the passing game is taking up some of that slack, but it’s not as if the passing game has taken the lead on offense,

      Last year’s team featured a 3-headed monster at RB, with a true freshman adding explosiveness. If Cook and Fields aren’t getting touches, we have to assume they’re just not ready for this level of football yet.

      Last year’s offense felt more diverse, even though this year’s offense is slightly more balanced in terms of yardage.

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    • A couple of The New Deal’s touchdown runs could have been longer than 20 yards if we had been outside the 20. He doesn’t have elite speed, but he also isn’t a slow poke by any stretch.

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      • Macallanlover

        True, let’s not forget the 90 yard return of a kickoff against ND nullified by a needless holding call that didn’t impact the result of Holyfield’s effort. He has better breakaway speed than Moreno had.

        Cook is definitely situational at this point but doesn’t mean their won’t be a spot for his skills at the least expected time. There are raves from players of what he has done at practice. Wouldn’t count him out too early.

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        • SEC officiating – it just sucks more

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        • Anonymous

          Cook is one of those guys that would have contributed more if he was an early enrollee. In order to play in the main rotation you have to be able to pass protect and recognize when your responsibility changes on a blitz. That isn’t something most high school backs are taught, and it takes time to learn it. Mentioning Moreno, we all know that is why he was redshirted in 2006.

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          • Macallanlover

            Agree about Cook being a newbie due to hi enrollment date, but think his bigger issue is the S&C work he has missed and what he has to do to get more shots. That is also a part of the blocking problem as well.

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    • 92 grad

      I’m not a schematic wizard, not even close, but I do see a regular tendency by Holyfield to take the wrong cut behind our downfield blockers. Basically, I think he zigs at the wrong time after he breaks the los. Not all the time, but often enough where I’ve noticed it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy for him as he holds onto playing time and I’ll cheer him on as long as he graces us with his efforts. Great kid.

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    • J-DawG

      Speaking of Zeus, haven’t heard anything on his rehab. Anyone got any info to share on that?

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    • nightnthebox

      Probably 7yds of each of those 10-yd runs is a YAC… so having that many 10-yd runs is an eye-popper stat and proves just how strong a runner he is… he runs angry, a real striker.

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  4. Spike

    I wonder why Herrien doesn’t get the rock a little more?

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  5. Will Trane

    When Coach Smart says UK’s top ranked defense is experienced he does not joke about it.
    Check out their two deep roster.
    Defense.
    8 of the 11 starters are seniors. Then 2 juniors. One sophomore.
    Young offense going up against a very battle tested D.
    Third game on the road against a top 10 team.
    How does the O staff plan to attack this defense?

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    • The plan………is to CUT YO ASS LOOSE !
      Holyfield / Swift
      Holloman
      Nauta
      Mecole
      Ridley

      rinse. repeat. It takes impeccable communication and skill to be able to cover all of those diverse receiving options while also not getting pounded by the run. Blanket Mecole and Holloman ? Ok, better be ready to cut them loose (and shed their block) to go help bring down a barreling Isaac Nauta.

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  6. W Cobb Dawg

    I wish Cook the absolute best. But I’ve always thought bigger, more powerful RBs do best in the pro-style offense we’ve run – Musa, Ware, Chubb, Gurley, Sony, Knowshon, etc., etc. The Carlton Thomas types just don’t move the needle much for me. Here’s hoping Cook proves me wrong and finds a niche.

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    • HiAltDawg

      Let’s not forget Sony benefited from a couple years in the weight room to thicken up

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    • nightnthebox

      Cook is a quality player with amazing skills but he isn’t a 3-down back…
      If we want to get production from him on a set-piece, we may need to let defenses see him more often in regular rotation… he’s probably being keyed any time he enters the game and he usually gets the ball when he comes in…
      I’d like to see him rotated in regularly at slot so he doesn’t look uber-conspicuous if we line him up in trips/stack, but I don’t know how well he blocks downfield.

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